A new economic study, released by the National Biodiesel Board, says that the growing biodiesel industry will add $24 billion to the U.S. economy by 2015.
The figure assumes that the biodiesel industry will grow to produce 650 million gallons annually. If this growth holds, the study says biodiesel will create 39,102 new jobs.
However ambitious the numbers, the study seems right to assume that the biodiesel industry will continue to grow. American Ag Fuels, one company in the process of building a new plant, is expanding production from 2 million to 5 million.
"We decided to expand because frankly we've had trouble keeping up with demand," says American Ag Fuels President Steve Lankenau.
The study also has farmer-level soybean prices climbing 10% within 10 years, if nearly 500 million gallons of biodiesel comes from soybean oil. The study says that tax revenues from biodiesel production will pay off the industry's federal tax incentives.