Subsidies for biofuels in the United States have reached levels unimagined when support for an "infant industry" began in the late 1970s. Today, the infant has grown into a strapping behemoth with a powerful sense of entitlement and an insatiable appetite for ethanol's primary feedstock: corn. In 2009, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported a record corn harvest of 13.2 billion bushels, 9 percent larger than the harvest of 2008.
This study aims to reduce this complex debate to two simple questions: how much money are Canadian federal and provincial governments spending to support liquid biofuels—fuel-grade ethanol and biodiesel—and does it represent good value-for-money to Canadian taxpayers?
It is one of a series of reports undertaken by the Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) examining government support for biofuels in selected countries.
Provides subsidy cost per mt CO2eq abated via goverment supports to biofuels (including cellulosic) and nuclear energy. Integrating data from McKinsey & Co. on abatement options, demonstrates subsidies comprise the least efficient options for addressing climate change. Prepared for Greenpeace Solutions. (June 2008).