Published today (Mon 14th March) by Independent Science News: Biofuel or Biofraud? The Vast Taxpayer Cost of Failed Cellulosic and Algal Biofuels by Almuth Ernsting.
Synopsis: The biofuels in use today are the result of cherry picking. Starches or oils (usually from the grain of commodity food crops such as maize and soybeans) are being turned into ethanol or biodiesel because the raw materials are easily available. In consequence however, the majority of the crop biomass has to find another use. This is not an efficient use of resources and to function even minimally as a business model it requires major government interventions, such as renewable fuel mandates. The presumption and PR of the many biofuel advocates, however, are that the biofuels now under development will be much more efficient. Things are not going to plan, however.
In this article, Almuth Ernsting, Co-Director of the non-profit Biofuelwatch explains that, whether the goal is ethanol from cellulose or biodiesel from algae, results have so far ranged between unpromising and truly dire. Billions of dollars in taxpayer money has been expended on ventures yielding no discernible public benefit or technical progress. Where taxpayer money went, and continues to go, is of ongoing interest.
To read the full article go to: http://www.independentsciencenews.org/environment/biofuel-or-biofraud-the-vast-taxpayer-cost-of-failed-cellulosic-and-algal-biofuels/
For More Information on the Costs of Biofuels:
http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/ Biofuelwatch provides information, advocacy and campaigning in relation to the climate, environmental, human rights and public health impacts of large-scale industrial bioenergy.
To learn more about the social and environmental costs of biofuels (also known as agro-fuels as the feedstocks are the product of industrial agriculture) read the excellent article by Eric Holt-Gimenez: Biofuels: The Five Myths of the Agro-fuels Transition.
Visit the Bioenergy/ Biomass Resource page on the Econexus website.