This special publication documents our 2012 Bioenergy Leadership Forum, Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s annual gathering of influential thought leaders and decision-makers from across the global bioenergy sector.

This special publication documents our 2012 Bioenergy Leadership Forum, Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s annual gathering of influential thought leaders and decision-makers from across the global bioenergy sector.

Executive Summary

The bioenergy industry is one of the more diverse and fragmented energy sectors, and touches alternative fuel, chemical and power production. However, this diversity affords various disparate stakeholder groups the chance to play a role in the shift towards a low-carbon economy, in spite of it not yet being clear which technologies and business models will prosper.

This year, capacity growth in first generation biofuels has reached something of a plateau. Low margins, spiking soft commodity prices, uncertain policy and greater feedstock competition have made financing and building new projects less appealing. Nevertheless, global installed capacity has reached 160bn litres with further potential still remaining in certain emerging countries. Global markets have evolved and trading has become more sophisticated. There is also a new group of alternative fuels either ramping up production volumes or about to cross the Valley of Death. In Europe, the biomass-to-power sector is optimistically looking towards a new breed of large projects. And there are interesting opportunities in the build-out of a supply chain to manage the flow of today and the bioenergy-related commodities of tomorrow.

The purpose of the Forum was to create a dialogue between finance, policy and industry to address these challenges and capitalise on the opportunities they present. We examined supply and demand balances and trading strategies in today’s biofuel supply chain, and looked at the critical role of Brazil in the global market. We also explored a newly-emerging group of traded bioenergy feedstocks, predominantly those relating to power production; while likewise looking at a new breed of coming biofuels and biochemicals, and unpicking some of the success factors.

Throughout the day-and-a-half, these themes were galvanised, and a vision was mapped out for the industry over the next decade. We encouraged our Thought Leaders to think and act boldly and thus help us create a roadmap forward for the coming years. The programme was designed to be intense and thought provoking, and we endeavoured to not shy away from the difficult issues.

Please download the full report for more detailed analysis and coverage of the 2012 Water Leadership Forum.