A new report has found that ethanol use is contributing to a growing reduction in greenhouse gases on a global scale.
Using a model for lifecycle assessment of transportation fuels called GHGenius, report author Don O’Connor examined greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions from grain ethanol since 1995 and projected GHG reductions from ethanol out to 2015. The important conclusion was that GHG reductions will grow by over 100% from 1995 to 2015.
“I think what the study has documented is the importance of time in life cycle assessment work,” said report author Don O’Connor. “This issue in general has been overlooked by people.”
The report was commissioned by the International Energy Agency (IEA) Bioenergy Task 39 and the results were announced today by the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA), an organization which represents over 60% of the global biofuels production from 30 countries.
GRFA spokesperson Bliss Baker says the report clearly illustrates the improving environmental performance of ethanol compared to gasoline. “This report demonstrates that governments must develop energy policies that take into account the increasing efficiency of global ethanol production and do not rely on out-of-date data and out-dated straw man arguments,” said Baker.
The research also found ethanol’s energy balance continues to improve as well. In 2005, the energy balance ratio for grain ethanol was estimated at 1:1.42, meaning every unit of energy used to produce ethanol returned 1.42 units of usable energy to the consumer. By 2015, the energy balance ratio is expected to be 1:1.93, a 55% increase in energy efficiency in just 10 years.
Read the entire report here.
Listen to comments from Baker and O’Connor during a press conference Wednesday morning: