Biofuels far from being a silver bullet

Over on ScienceAlert Simon Upton, former New Zealand Minister for the Environment and chair of the OECD Round Table on Sustainable Development, tells us why he thinks biofuels are not the answer.

Simon argues that the massive tax payer funded subsidies that underpin the rapidly expanding use of biofuels could be used far more effectively on alternative technologies that both supply energy and minimise its use. He goes on to say that while some countries like Brazil can do biofuels well; very simply, without subsidies, biofuels may never be competitive.

My personal opinion is that if we are ever going to see second and third generation biofuels we need to support the biofuels industry enough to make it a viable industry. Rising oil prices may do that for us shortly but in the meantime subsidies that ensure sustainable biofuel production is economically viable ought to be seriously considered. If this means a small proportion of biofuel producers who can produce carbon neutral or carbon negative fuel are the only ones eligible for subsidies so be it. What do you think?

Source: ScienceAlert


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