Advanced biofuels production will create an estimated total of 123,000 jobs by 2012, according to a report released last week titled U.S. Economic Impact of Advanced Biofuels Production by Bio Economic Research Associates. The report estimated that advanced biofuels production will create 383,000 jobs by 2016 and 807,000 jobs by 2022.
Direct job creation from advanced biofuels production could reach 29,000 by 2012, 94,000 by 2016, and 190,000 by 2022. Forty-six percent of the jobs created will be in feedstock production (primarily agriculture), and 35 percent in construction, engineering, and procurement.
The U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for transportation fuels requires 21 billon gallons of biofuels in 2022 and 0.6 billion gallons for 2009. According to the report, the RFS levels will help create a “major new industry,” which will in turn create a “foundation for future technology development and commercial growth.”
The RFS will benefit the economy, which is welcome news. Total economic output from advanced biofuels production will be an estimated $20.2 billion in 2012, $64.2 billion in 2016, and $148.7 billion in 2022. Direct economic output from advanced biofuels production will be an estimated $5.5 billion in 2012, $17.4 billion in 2016, and $37 billion in 2022.
Advanced biofuels production will not only create jobs and contribute to the economy, but it will reduce oil imports, according to the report, by $5.5 billion in 2012, $23 billion in 2016, and nearly $70 billion by 2022. The cumulative total of reduced oil imports during the 2010 to 2022 period could be over $350 billion.
Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial and Environmental Section, said, “These new jobs will be in sectors of the economy that have experienced the highest rates of job losses over the past year, including agriculture and construction…Continued federal support can help the industry quicken the development of the necessary technology and weather the risk of oil price volatility.”
Federal Funds for Biofuels
Signed into law a few weeks ago, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly referred to as the “stimulus,” provides $800 million in grants for R&D of biofuels.
On January 30, the Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it would invest $25 million over the next for years in R&D of biofuels. The R&D covers three areas: : biomass feedstocks development, cellulosic biofuels and biobased products; and biofuels development analysis. A month earlier the DOE announced it would invest up to $200 million over the next six years in the development of biorefineries that use algae or advanced biofuels.