In Florida, Biofuels Digest and BIO have launched the latest Bioenergy Business Outlook Survey.
In the last survey, Biofuels Digest reported that 79 percent of bioenergy executives are more optimistic both about their organization’s prospects for growth and industry growth, than 12 months ago, and that 72 percent are more optimistic about the industry’s prospects than at this time in 2010.
Overall, the survey painted a picture of an industry that is expecting to grow at nearly triple the growth rate of the world economy (8.9 percent for the industry, compared to 3.2 percent for the total economy), but expecting to find generally less external support in the form of tangible support from government, and less IPO activity. In Q1 of this year, 39 percent said that favorable government mandates, tariffs or tax credits would be a strong growth driver, but only 31 percent said so in the Fall survey.
The nature of financing is changing. Merger activity is expected to increase. The industry sees the IPO window as substantially less open in the next 12 months than the past year, but report a generally higher success rate in obtaining new finance.
Geographies are changing in importance. They generally cite the US, EU and Brazil as the key markets for growth. Fast growing in importance: Australia/New Zealand and the Pacific, cited by 23 percent of respondents as a key growth geography (“outside of your home country”), up from 17 percent in the spring survey and 13 percent in Q1 of this year.
Respondents continued to chill out on the prospects for cellulosic ethanol. Though 50 percent of respondents expect that sector to reach 1 billion gallons in capacity, 67 percent indicated the same belief in Q1 of this year. Holding steady or increasing in importance, among the fuel types: aviation and algae-based fuels.