North Carolina leads surrounding states in biofuels by billions

Source: By Dawn Wallace, Staff Writer-Triangle Business Journal • Posted: Tuesday, November 4, 2014

North Carolina is leading surrounding states in biofuels – when it comes to economic impact and jobs created each year.

In the past year, according to a survey conducted by the Renewable Fuels Association for the Fuels America campaign, the biofuels industry has generated about $3.1 billion in economic impact and supported 13,687 jobs across the state.

The biofuels industry is comprised of companies that create, sell, distribute and purchase fuels made from biomass conversion, by which a substance – for example, soybeans – is converted into fuel, such as biodiesel.

Compared to surrounding states, that’s nearly $2 billion more than most. South Carolina’s economy drew $932 million in from the industry last year, while Virginia and Georgia both collected between $1.8 billion and $1.9 billion. Still, North Carolina leads with supporting jobs in this sector, with 14,000 jobs supported last year. The industry supported about 12,000 jobs in Virginia, 5,500 jobs in South Carolina and 12,500 jobs in Georgia.

Among the top metro areas in North Carolina, the report lists Congressional District 6, the area along the North Carolina-Virginia border between Surry and Granville counties, as having generated the most economic output from the biofuels industry with $293 million last year. In Wake County, or Congressional District 4, $187 million came from the industry, and in Charlotte’s Congressional District 9, $213 million came from the industry.