The race to produce a sustainable, scalable form of biofuel has become ‘wacky’ – literally. There are articles printed daily heralding the latest method of producing fuel, be it converting whiskey waste, recycling cooking oil or scooping algae from the ocean. Big Oil is ploughing millions each year into production and research – so why has an answer to our fuel needs not been found yet?
We re-printed an article on our blog recently about how the growth of Ethanol – long seen as a viable fuel alternative – has stalled in Brazil. Brazil was once the poster child of the biofuel boom but has become an example of what can happen when energy planning clashes with government policy.
The US biofuel industry is now also hampered with the worst drought in 50 years – further provoking the raging debate in the food vs. fuel crisis and leading to the UN food agency calling for a suspension in biofuel production.
With Europe’s biofuel industry now threatening to sue the European Commission if it goes ahead with a proposal to limit the global land conversion for biofuel production, the worldwide outlook for the future of renewable energy looks highly uncertain.
Of course, the need for a replacement to fossil fuel is of the utmost importance if we are to continue to live the way we have all become accustomed. Plus large-scale agriculture is dependent on fuel being readily available to achieve the gigantic output it needs to deliver to satisfy increasing demand.
So where is the Biofuel industry thriving and who do we look to for a solution that leads us out of the great ‘eat or drive’ dichotomy and stops diverting food to fuel?
The answer may well be in this smart NEW infographic which leads along the yellow brick road to the Emerald City down-under. Australia has long been a centre for horticulture due to its excellent climatic conditions – it has swathes of available land and a stable government that has been actively promoting the renewable fuel industry since 2007.
With the seeding of crops able to produce so called ‘green oil’ on non-arable land (ie land not suitable for food production) , Australia neatly avoids the controversy of fuel v’s food and may well find that, with the tornado ensuing within the global biofuel industry, it could be left holding the ruby slippers.
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