In this week’s news roundup, we look at some of the top bioenergy stories from South America, Europe and Asia showing how both the biomass and ethanol industries are moving forward globally.

Goldman Sachs to build biomass power plants in Japan

Japan Renewable Energy, a solar power company established by Goldman Sachs, intends to build new biomass plants at 10 or more locations by 2020, investing roughly 40 billion yen (€326 million). It is projected that the total power generation capacity of the new facilities will reach 70,000kw.

Because biomass power is less dependent on weather conditions than wind or solar, the Japanese government wants to triple the total power generation capacity of biomass from 2014’s levels to 7.28 million kilowatts by 2030, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

Learn more on this story at Bioenergy News—and while you’re there, check out how biomass helped the UK break its own renewables record this week as well.

European ethanol achieves higher GHG savings in 2016

European renewable ethanol delivered an average of more than 66% greenhouse gas (GHG) savings over fossil fuel in 2016, according to new certified data from European ethanol producers.

The number represents the latest of several annual increases in the climate-change-fighting potential of European ethanol, which has shown improved performance for five straight years.

“Every year ethanol is improving its sustainability score, and helping reduce greenhouse gases from today’s vehicle fleet,” said Emmanuel Desplechin, secretary general of the European Renewable Ethanol Association (ePURE).

Read more at Ethanol Producer Magazine.

Ethanol imports rise in Brazil as Argentina raises prices

In Brazil, ethanol imports increased 122% in May from April at 248 million liters, more than six times the volume imported during May 2016. Nearly all those imports came from the U.S. With the possibility of suspended import duties expiring in May or June in response to increased imports over recent months, volumes increased significantly before the policy shift could be implemented.

Meanwhile in Argentina, the government raised the price of sugarcane-based ethanol for June that oil refiners must pay by the maximum 5% allowed to $1 per liter. Corn-based ethanol was also raised slightly by 0.7% to 80.5 cents per liter. The ethanol is used to supply the 12% mandatory ethanol blending policy. The government has been steadily increasing the prices in order to support industry development like neighboring Brazil.

Learn more about the story in Brazil and the situation in Argentina both at Biofuels Digest.

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Geoff Hayward

Communications Advisor at Novozymes
Geoff writes about Bioenergy for the Communications team at Novozymes. When he isn’t advocating for an industry that’s changing the world for the better, he can be found on a North Carolina bike path or playing slide guitar.