Thursday, February 21, 2008

[PBN] Biofuel for Developing Countries: Promising Strategy or Dead End?


By Gerhard Zieroth, SOPAC

Biofuel for Developing Countries

At present there is much hype about biofuel. While some proponents see
ethanol and vegetable oil based fuels as a panacea to stabilize energy
markets and to provide energy security for countries lacking fossil
fuels, others see it as an ecological and social nightmare. Tropical
rainforests are under threat from land hungry biofuel producers and food
prices have started to rise triggered by strong demand for biofuel
feedstocks. We post a study here that is more than 20 years old and we
believe that most of the questions discussed today have been very well
understood in 1985.

The questions remain:

Which agricultural products might be suitable for use as a feedstock for
biofuel production? How great is the potential for biofuel production in
view of the available land and raw material base? What would be the
feasibility, limits, and costs of expanded cultivation of "energy
crops"? and finally, how would such shifts in land use most likely
affect the agricultural sector in technological, economic structural and
ecological terms, and what would be their probable impact on the poor?

More can be read on the subject by downloading: Biofuel for Developing
Countries: Promising Strategy or Dead End? (1985)

Check for earlier Pacific Biofuel posts:

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