Introduction. Links to International Policy and Markets

  • Armen B. Avagyan
  • Bhaskar Singh


In 2016, the total energy investment was more than $1.7 trillion, shares of oil and gas were $649 billion, and renewables (transport and heat) only $19 billion. G20 nations responsible for more than three-quarters of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions contributed an average of $71.8 billion/year of public finance for fossil fuel projects and only $18.7 billion/year for renewable energy. The adverse effects of fossil fuel subsidies consist of the diversion of public funds from other necessary expenses such as social spending, health, clean energy, and energy access for the poor. Termination of these subsidies can reduce GHG emissions by 21% and reduce deaths caused by fossil fuel air pollution to 55%. However, this course will be a challenging scenario as the world oil demand will increase from approximately 14.3 billion liters per day in 2014 to 16.5 to 19.1 billion liters per day by 2040, whereas the continued extraction and combustion of fossil fuels will create severe environmental challenges.

Air pollution policy is closely connected with climate change, public health, energy, transport, trade, and agriculture. Overall, the Earth has been pushed to the brink and the damage is becoming increasingly obvious. This realization stimulates the production of biofuels, which has become one of the most rapidly rising markets in the current bioeconomy. Biofuel composition results in less sulfur oxides, nitrous oxides, and carbon monoxide emissions during its combustion compared with fossil fuels. Thus, this chapter focuses on the transport sector, which remains the foremost source of air pollutants. More than 50 countries have applied a biofuel blending target as well as other measures such as tax incentives. In 2015, support for biofuels achieved only $26 billion. For 2021, projected biofuel volume can exceed $41 billion at a compound annual growth rate of 3.8%.

Among advanced biofuels, algal biomass provides a low risk of causing indirect land use change; as it does not compete directly for agricultural land for the food and feed markets, this is recognized as the better future feedstock. The global algae biofuel market volume was expected to be $5.96 billion in 2018 and will reach $10.73 billion by 2025.

Simultaneously, the UK Royal Academy of Engineering and 178 Netherlands scientists determined that some biofuels, such as diesel produced from food crops, have led to more emissions than those produced by the fossil fuels. This statement requires reevaluating the full cycle of biodiesel production to find optimal solutions.


Biodiesel Biomass conversion economics Feedstock Investment Environmental policy Climate change Pollution 



British thermal unit (equivalent 1055 joules)


annual growth rate


carbon dioxide equivalent for a gas


energy return on investment


fatty acid methyl ester


greenhouse gases


unburned hydrocarbon


hydro-treated vegetable oil


million barrels of oil equivalent




million tonnes of oil equivalent (energy defined as the amount of energy released by burning 1 ton of crude oil)


oxides of nitrogen


particulate matter


Renewable Fuel Standard


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Armen B. Avagyan
    • 1
  • Bhaskar Singh
    • 2
  1. 1.President and Sole FounderR&I Center of Photosynthesizing OrganismYerevanArmenia
  2. 2.Department of Environmental SciencesCentral University of JharkhandRanchiIndia

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