foreign investment Tag

GRAIN, an international non-profit organization, tracks large-scale investments involving food crops in the developing world. From its dataset of the over 400 transactions tracked since 2006, 23 are related to the bioenergy industry. These are listed below. Note, that projects involving jatropha or eucalypts were generally not included.

Many countries have ambitious plans to increase the amount of energy produced from biomass sources. The European Union’s target to derive 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 could require an additional 40 million dry metric tons annually for the generation of electricity. Add on to this another 60 million tons per year for heating and cooling. In the United States, legislation has been passed requiring a quarter of all national energy to be supplied from renewable sources, including biomass, by 2025. Japan is expected to incorporate more biomass into its energy mix in coming years, particularly after its recent troubles with nuclear energy at the Fukushima plant. Then there is South Korea, which has approved a new Renewable Portfolio Standard targeting 10 percent of its electricity from renewables such as biomass by 2022. The measure could raise South Korea's consumption of biomass pellets to five million tons by the end of the decade.

Nature has presaged Zambia’s utilization of biomass energy. Agriculturally the country is well suited for biomass fuel crops. Although less than 20 percent of its arable land is cultivated Zambian farmland nonetheless produces a surplus for export, lessening the food-fuel tradeoff that often exists with biomass. Furthermore, the nation’s relative dearth of domestic oil and natural gas resources (oil was not discovered in the country until 2006) and landlocked isolation from the seaborne oil trade give added impetus for the development of renewable energy in Zambia.