Browsing the "Biofuels" Tag

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Falling Gasoline Consumption Means US Can Just Say "No" to New Pipelines and Food-to-Fuel

Freeing America from its dependence on oil from unstable parts of the world is an admirable goal, but many of the proposed solutions—including the push for more home-grown biofuels and for the construction of the new Keystone XL pipeline to transport Canadian tar sands oil to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast—are harmful and simply unnecessary. Gasoline use in the United States is falling, and the trends already driving it down are likely to continue into the future, making both the mirage of beneficial biofuels and the construction of a new pipeline to import incredibly dirty oil seem ever more out of touch with reality.

Hawaii: an Epicenter for Renewable Energy

Hawaiian culture is steeped in a delicate harmony with nature. The islands boast consistently strong wind densities, great insolation characteristics, enormous reservoirs of geothermal energy, plant life that is perfect for the production of ethanol, and an incredible oceanic wave resource, all of which could be exploited by renewable technologies without damaging the environment. As […]

June 30th

Rising Global Food Prices – Why You Should Care

The chart above shows that global food prices, as measured by the FAO indicies, are spiking, much as they did in 2008.  At the end of January,  the overall food price index had just surpassed the 2008/9 peak, while the indicies for dairy, cereals and oils were closing in on the previous maximum.  The meat […]

February 14th

The Limits and Potential of Plant-Based Energy

By Lester R. Brown As oil and natural gas reserves are being depleted, the world’s attention is increasingly turning to plant-based energy sources. These include food crops, forest industry byproducts, sugar industry byproducts, plantations of fast-growing trees, crop residues, and urban tree and yard wastes—all of which can be used for electrical generation, heating, or […]

September 15th

Cars and People Compete for Grain

By Lester R. Brown At a time when excessive pressures on the earth’s land and water resources are of growing concern, there is a massive new demand emerging for cropland to produce fuel for cars—one that threatens world food security. Although this situation had been developing for a few decades, it was not until Hurricane […]

Rehabilitating The Concept of Bio-Fuels: Part One

[social_buttons] In 2006 I attended a BIO meeting in Toronto focused on the new bio-based economy.  Oil had just risen to $70/barrel and it was a time when environmental NGOs, biotech companies and even oil companies seemed to be on the “same page” in terms of their enthusiasm for moving to plant-based feedstocks as the […]

November 4th

Does India’s New Biofuels Policy Spell Sustainability?

It’s official, India must work towards the use of biofuels. On September 12th the Indian government announced a new national biofuels policy: By 2017 it will aim to meet 20% of India’s diesel demand with fuel derived from plants rather than fossils.

But where will it come from? According to the National Council of Applied Economic Research, a Delhi think-tank, it means setting aside 14m hectares of land, for the growth of jatropha, a key biofuels raw material.

September 24th