Production and use of lignocellulosic bioethanol in Europe: Current situation and perspectives
Contrary to the case of the United States where a systematic management of the RD&D; on lignocellulosic ethanol prevails, in Europe the research works remain fragmented despite the efforts made by the European Union and in few member states. In most of the European countries, sustainable lignocellulosic resources may not be widely available in the future for bioethanol production due to the possible competition between several potential usages. Thus the actual deployment of the lignocellulosic bioethanol in Europe will depend on the opportunity costs of biomass on one side and on the prices of ethanol and gasoline on the other side. While the papers on lignocellulosic ethanol often emphasize technology progress, this review paper also addresses policy measures. It is found that, especially in Europe where security of oil supply will be lower in long term, the policy instruments should explicitly reward the higher value of lignocellulosic ethanol compared to first the generation ethanol and gasoline.