Renewable Ethanol Market Size - By Production (Fermentation of Sugar Crops, Fermentation of Starch Crops, Cellulosic Ethanol and Other Feedstocks), Application, End Use and Blend: Global & Regional Forecast By 2033

  • 2023-10-20
  • 280
  • Energy & Power

Market Overview

Renewable Ethanol Market is still within its infant stage at a market value of USD 500.13 million in 2023 and is estimated to reach a value of USD 15.16 billion by 2033 with a CAGR of 49.16% during the forecast period.

The adoption of renewable ethanol plays a pivotal role in aligning with broader renewable energy and sustainability goals that many countries have set forth in their efforts to combat climate change and reduce their carbon footprint. One key aspect of these sustainability objectives is the establishment of targets to increase the use of renewable fuels, including ethanol, in their transportation sectors.

Market Scope

Report Attributes


Market Size in 2023

USD 500.13 Million

Market Forecast in 2033

USD 15.16 Billion

CAGR % 2024-2033


Base Year


Historic Data


Forecast Period


Report USP

Production, Consumption, company share, company heatmap, company production capacity, growth factors and more

Segments Covered

Production, end user and feedstock

Regional Scope

North America, Europe, APAC, South America and Middle East and Africa

Country Scope

U.S., China, Brazil, India, Argentina, Sweden, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and Others

Key Companies

Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), POET, Green Plains, Valero Energy, Cargill, Bunge, Raízen, COSAN, Tereos, Verbio, Borregaard


Market Dynamics

Countries worldwide are increasingly recognizing the urgent need to transition from fossil fuels to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources. The transportation sector is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, primarily through the burning of gasoline and diesel fuels. As such, it has become a prime focus for implementing renewable energy solutions to reduce emissions and improve overall environmental sustainability, thereby boosting the growth of renewable ethanol market.

Renewable ethanol, derived from sources such as corn, sugarcane, or even non-food feedstocks like cellulosic materials, offers a cleaner-burning alternative to traditional gasoline. One of its most significant advantages is its ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels. Ethanol is known for releasing fewer carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions when burned, making it a valuable component of a low-carbon transportation system.

The targets established by countries for increasing the use of renewable ethanol and other biofuels in the transportation sector are usually part of broader renewable energy and sustainability initiatives. These targets often include blending mandates that require a certain percentage of ethanol to be mixed with gasoline. These mandates serve multiple purposes: they reduce carbon emissions, decrease reliance on imported oil, promote rural development by supporting agriculture, and create jobs in the biofuel production and distribution sectors.

Below Figure Depicts The Production Statistics Of Renewable Ethanol Market In Million Gallons From 2018 To 2022

Source: We Market Research, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) & International Energy Agency (IEA)

Government policies, incentives, and subsidies play a critical role in driving the adoption of renewable ethanol market. By offering financial support and regulatory mechanisms, governments encourage investment in the biofuels industry and help achieve the established targets. Additionally, international agreements like the Paris Agreement underscore the global commitment to combat climate change and accelerate the transition to more sustainable energy sources, further motivating countries to explore cleaner alternatives.

Consumer awareness and demand also contribute to the growth of renewable ethanol in the transportation sector. As environmentally conscious consumers seek more sustainable products, the choice of ethanol-blended fuels as a cleaner and renewable option gains traction.

In summary, the adoption of renewable ethanol market aligns with broader renewable energy and sustainability goals through its contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, decreasing oil dependency, fostering rural development, creating jobs, and aligning with global climate commitments. The targets set by countries for increasing the use of renewable fuels in the transportation sector are a significant step toward building a more sustainable and environmentally friendly transportation system, thereby supporting the global transition to cleaner energy solutions and boosting the growth of renewable ethanol industry.

We Market Research Cost Optimization Analysis

There is still a wonder that despite the fact ethanol being renewable energy source, why the overall adoption rate of renewable ethanol is still around 14-15% globally. The answer for this issue lies within its overall production process. In order to explain the overall process let’s present a cost breakdown of renewable ethanol supply chain, below figure depicts the overall cost component and percentage within the renewable ethanol market supply chain:

Source: We Market Research

From the figure it is evident that, feedstock such as corn, sugarcane and others are more expensive than the crude oil which forms the basic raw material of gasoline. Below table depicts the average price of feedstock corn and sugarcane from 2018 to 2022:

Source: We Market Research

It Is Clear That The Feedstock Prices Have Recorded A Significant Upward Trend Due To The Following Factors:

·         Increased demand: Due to the population growth and rising income the demand for these has increased.

·         Decreased supply: With such growing demand it becomes mandatory to maintain a constant supply of corn and sugarcane, however owing to bad weather condition and unexpected natural calamities the supply and demand gap was widened. Further, continuous variation within the fuel and fertilizer cost has also put a pressure on the feedstock production cost.

All these factors contribute within the higher cost of renewable ethanol as a product and thus creating a higher dependency on the gasoline products, thereby slowing the adoption rate within renewable ethanol market.

Now comes the question as of how the cost can be reduced in order to increase the adoption rate, so there has been continuous research going on below listed factors in order to control the production price:

·         Increasing Focus on developing renewable ethanol from less expensive feedstock such as agricultural and municipal solid waste


·         Improving the efficiency within the production process


·         Focus on scaling up the production in order to take the advantage of economies of scale


·         Government subsidies and incentives


We Market Research Cost Optimization Hypothesis

Now it is clear that feedstock as a raw material, the cost of renewable gallon is within the higher range. Now let us create a hypothesis to understand that by what percentage will the price of renewable ethanol fall if agriculture and municipal solid waste are used

(Note: Since the research is going on regarding the production of renewable ethanol from agriculture waste the overall value will have a weightage or confidence interval of around 50-60%)

Below table depicts the results, that gives a clear idea that agriculture and solid waste is set to have a major impact on the price of renewable ethanol, thereby boosting the growth of renewable ethanol market immensely during the forecast period.







 Correlation Coefficient

Renewable Ethanol

(Price USD/Gallon) with corn and sugarcane feedstock







Feedstock Corn (USD/Ton)







Agricultural and Municipal Solid Waste Price (USD/Ton)







Renewable Ethanol







Source: We Market Research


Market Analysis By Production

Based on production method, the renewable ethanol market is segmented into Fermentation of Sugar Crops, Fermentation of Starch Crops, Cellulosic Ethanol and Other Feedstock. Fermentation of sugar and starch crops constitute around 90% within the market. While sugarcane remains a prominent source for sugar crop-based ethanol, there is a growing interest in alternative feedstock’s, such as sweet sorghum and sugar beets, which can be cultivated in various regions. This feedstock’s often offer higher yields and better drought tolerance.

Advances in fermentation technology and enzyme efficiency are leading to higher ethanol yields and more cost-effective processes for converting sugar crops into ethanol. Sustainable and eco-friendly practices in sugarcane cultivation and ethanol production are gaining importance, with an emphasis on reducing environmental impact and conserving resources. Corn-based ethanol production remains the dominant source of starch crop-based ethanol, particularly in the United States, which is one of the world's largest producers.

Market Analysis By Application

Based on application, the renewable ethanol market is segmented into Transportation Fuel, Chemicals Industrial, Pharmaceuticals, Renewable Power Generation and Others. Transportation fuel segment dominates the market with an active share of around 70%. The demand for renewable ethanol in the transportation fuel market has been on the rise due to a confluence of environmental, economic, and energy security factors. One of the foremost drivers of this demand is a growing concern for the environment.

Ethanol, produced from renewable sources like corn and sugarcane, is considered a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional gasoline. Its combustion emits fewer greenhouse gases, making it a cleaner-burning fuel and contributing to efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of the transportation sector. Additionally, governments around the world have implemented ethanol blending mandates, requiring a certain percentage of ethanol to be mixed with gasoline. These mandates are aimed at promoting the use of renewable ethanol in transportation fuels and reducing the reliance on fossil fuels.

The demand for renewable ethanol market is also driven by a desire to reduce air pollution. Ethanol-blended fuels can lead to lower emissions of harmful air pollutants, improving air quality, especially in urban areas. Furthermore, the transportation sector plays a significant role in a country's energy security. By incorporating domestically produced renewable ethanol into the fuel supply, nations can decrease their dependence on imported oil, enhancing energy security and reducing vulnerability to global oil price fluctuations.

Government targets and biofuel goals are additional factors bolstering the demand for renewable ethanol. Countries have set specific targets for the use of renewable fuels in their transportation sectors as part of broader sustainability initiatives. Ethanol is integral to achieving these goals. Moreover, the ethanol industry offers support for agriculture by providing additional income opportunities for farmers through the cultivation of crops used in ethanol production, thereby contributing to rural development and job creation.

Technological advancements have played a critical role in making ethanol production from renewable feedstocks more efficient and cost-effective, further propelling the demand for this renewable ethanol market. The availability of flex-fuel vehicles that can run on high ethanol blends, such as E85, has also contributed to the increased adoption of renewable ethanol. Consumers' growing awareness of environmental issues and sustainability is influencing their choice of ethanol-blended fuels as a eco-friendlier option.

In summary, the demand for renewable ethanol in the transportation fuel market is closely aligned with global efforts to reduce carbon emissions, enhance energy security, and promote sustainable agriculture. As countries strive to build more sustainable and environmentally friendly transportation systems, renewable ethanol continues to play a pivotal role in this transition, contributing to cleaner and more sustainable energy solutions.

Market Analysis By Region

Based on regions studied, the renewable ethanol market is analyzed across North America, Europe, APAC, South America and MEA.

Source: We Market Research

North America dominates the market with an active share of around 45% in 2022, In the United States, the renewable ethanol market is marked by several key trends that reflect the country's commitment to sustainability, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and promoting the use of cleaner-burning transportation fuels. One prominent trend is the ongoing expansion of the E15 ethanol blend. E15, which contains 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline, has gained regulatory approval and is increasingly available at gas stations. This trend aligns with the broader goal of increasing the ethanol content in gasoline to reduce carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels.

The United States is also witnessing a continued focus on advancing cellulosic ethanol production. This next-generation biofuel, derived from non-food feedstocks like agricultural residues and woody biomass, offers the potential for even lower carbon intensity compared to traditional corn-based ethanol. Research and development initiatives, supported by government incentives and mandates, are driving the growth of cellulosic ethanol production, thereby boosting the growth of renewable ethanol market.

Another significant trend is the transition to higher ethanol blends, including E85, which contains up to 85% ethanol. Flex-fuel vehicles that can use E85 are becoming more prevalent, and their increased adoption is encouraging the availability of this high ethanol blend. This trend supports the country's renewable energy goals and contributes to reduced greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector.

Furthermore, there is a growing emphasis on sustainability and eco-friendly practices in the ethanol industry. This includes efforts to reduce water usage, optimize energy efficiency, and minimize the environmental impact of ethanol production. Such practices align with the principles of the circular economy and reflect a commitment to responsible resource management.

Lastly, the U.S. renewable ethanol market is influenced by government policies and incentives, such as the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which sets annual targets for the blending of biofuels in the nation's transportation fuels. These regulatory measures provide a stable and supportive environment for the growth of the ethanol industry.

Overall, the key trends in the U.S. renewable ethanol industry underscore the nation's dedication to reducing carbon emissions, diversifying energy sources, and promoting sustainable practices within the transportation sector. As these trends continue to shape the market, renewable ethanol is poised to play an increasingly significant role in the nation's pursuit of cleaner and more sustainable energy solutions.

Competitive Landscape

Major companies operating within the renewable ethanol market are Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), POET, Green Plains, Valero Energy, Cargill, Bunge, Raízen, COSAN, Tereos, Verbio, Borregaard.

Below Table Depicts The Production Capacity Of Top 3 Companies


Production Capacity (Billion Gallons)

Market Share (%)

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM)




Poet LLC



Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc



Market Segments

By Application

·         Transportation Fuel

·         Chemicals

·         Industrial

·         Pharmaceuticals

·         Renewable Power Generation

·         Others

By Production

·         Fermentation of Sugar Crops

·         Fermentation of Starch Crops

·         Cellulosic Ethanol

·         Other Feedstocks

By End Use

·         Agriculture

·         Automotive

·         Chemical and Petrochemical

·         Renewable Energy

·         Industrial and Manufacturing

·         Pharmaceutical and Healthcare

By Ethanol Blend

·         E10

·         E15

·         E85

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Case Study- Automotive Sector

One of the key manufacturers of automotive had plans to invest in electric utility vehicles. The electric cars and associated markets being a of evolving nature, the automotive client approached We Market Research for a detailed insight on the market forecasts. The client specifically asked for competitive analysis, regulatory framework, regional prospects studied under the influence of drivers, challenges, opportunities, and pricing in terms of revenue and sales (million units).


The overall study was executed in three stages, intending to help the client meet its objective of precisely understanding the entire market before deciding on an investment. At first, secondary research was conducted considering political, economic, social, and technological parameters to get a gist of the various aspects of the market. This stage of the study concluded with the derivation of drivers, opportunities, and challenges. It also laid substantial emphasis on understanding and collecting data not only on a global scale but also on the regional and country levels. Data Extraction through Primary Research

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Market Estimates and Forecast

In the final stage of the study, market forecasts for the electric utility were derived using multiple market engineering approaches. This data helped the client to get an overview of the market and accelerate the process of investment.

Case Study- ICT Sector

Business process outsourcing, being one of the lucrative markets from both supply- and demand- side, has appealed to various companies. One of the prominent corporations based out of Japan approached us with their requirements regarding the scope of the procurement outsourcing market for around 50 countries. Additionally, the client also sought key players operating in the market and their revenue breakdown in terms of region and application.

Business Solution

An exhaustive market study was conducted based on primary and secondary research that involved factors such as labor costs in various countries, skilled and technical labors, manufacturing scenario, and their respective contributions in the global GDP. A comparative study of the market was conducted from both supply- and demand side, with the supply-side comprising of notable companies, such as GEP, Accenture, and others, that provide these services. On the other hand, large manufacturing companies from them demand-side were considered that opt for these services.


The report aided the client in understanding the market trends, including country-level business scenarios, consumer behavior, and trends in 50 countries. The report also provided financial insights of crucial players and detailed market estimations and forecasts till 2033.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much gallons of renewable ethanol was produced in 2022?

In 2022, around 115 billion gallons of renewable ethanol were produced.

What is the average price of renewable ethanol per gallon?

Average price of renewable ethanol per gallon in 2022 was USD 1.9.

Which company dominates the renewable ethanol market?

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), Poet LLC and Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc dominates the market with a combined share of 50%.

Which region holds major share within the renewable ethanol market?

North America dominates the market with an active share of 45% in 2022.


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