Biofuels and Climate Change

biofuel-containersThe World Resources Institute has determined that biofuels are one of the many misguided approaches to fighting climate change as reported in the NY Times. Many in the energy field have been saying this for some time.

The way that we have treated biofuels wastes land by turning crop land into fuel growing land (up to 40% of the US corn crop is going to biofuel rather than food). It generally consumes more fuel than it creates and wastes resources that could be used to help feed people.

Most interesting to me was a portion of the article that pointed out our shipping of wood pellets to Europe for fuel! Even if these pellets are made from waste wood, and not from virgin forest, what is the energy consumption and emission total for shipment versus the energy recovery from the wood?

There are certainly acceptable sources of biofuel that can help power our machines, but wasting food and energy to make less energy than we get is not sustainable.

Read the full article:
New Report Urges Western Governments to Reconsider Reliance on Biofuels
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.

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