Recently the trade press has reported that Novozymes is expanding in Europe, China and Brazil but has ceased expansion efforts in the US. It has no current US expansion plans beyond the completion of a plant in Nebraska this year. As most of our readers know, Novozymes is the big player in enzymes for biofuels. Its behavior should be a good marker for future trends in the biofuels industry. Interestingly, it seems that Novozymes’ decision making has not been driven by a sense of hostility to biofuels in the US or by bad market conditions but rather by a perception that US governmental policy futures are so inconsistent. The expiration of the biofuels tax credit at the end of 2011 is the principal explanation. Given the extraordinary political season we have been having, perhaps it is no surprise that mixed signals are being sent by both parties. The industry can hope for some clarity after November, but that’s a long time to wait to make decisions in an industry as important as biofuels to both energy independence and cleaner technology.
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