A Comparative Analysis of the Development of the United States and European Union Biodiesel Industries

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2007-07-01
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Carriquiry, Miguel
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Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) conducts innovative public policy and economic research on agricultural, environmental, and food issues. CARD uniquely combines academic excellence with engagement and anticipatory thinking to inform and benefit society.

CARD researchers develop and apply economic theory, quantitative methods, and interdisciplinary approaches to create relevant knowledge. Communication efforts target state and federal policymakers; the research community; agricultural, food, and environmental groups; individual decision-makers; and international audiences.

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Worldwide production of biodiesel is growing at a rapid pace. Arguably, the European Union (EU) is the global leader in biodiesel production, but the United States has recently expanded its production. The growth of the biodiesel industry in both regions has been fueled by a series of government-provided financial incentives. However, the timing of the growth and incentive provisions, the nature of the main incentives, and the market conditions differ across regions. This article provides a comparative analysis of the EU and U.S. biodiesel industries, highlighting market and policy aspects that are leading to a rapid but distinct growth.

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