In the UK we suffer from high taxation on petrol and other countries are catching up as governments see petrol as an easy way to raise revenue but with talks of peak oil green governments are looking at alternative fuels with varying degrees of success. This is why the Chinese are turning green with billion dollar investments in solar technology and the Indians are not far behind but the West needs to wean itself off oil or find better fuels to use.
I for one am confused about the issues of bio fuels. While bio fuels are not dirty petrol fossil fuels the bio fuel still needs to be produced somewhere and transported leading to greenhouse gasses as it is impossible to produce something without using a certain amount of energy.
One form of bio diesel is from palm oil and multi national companies have been caught destroying forests and food growing areas to produce this oil for fuel. When I first read about food farms being destroyed to grow more plants for fuel I was outraged and thought that this madness could only lead to increased hunger and food prices in the world as the scale increases.
I have recently read the autobiography of the former BP chief executive and he is a great advocate of bio fuels but doesnt mention the disadvantages once but maybe this is the blinkered view of millionaire oil giants?
Some bio fuel farms covered hundred of miles in countries in Africa and then exported to the West for fuel. The fact that many African countries suffer from food shortages didnt seem to occur to the businesses involved. The sugarcane, corn, soy and palm used as bio fuel could have been used to fuel peoples bodies not cars!
At technology advances they have started to move away from the food type bio fuel to second generation bio fuels sourced from algae and biomass. There was an article recently about a submarine that did a short journey just powered by seaweed. As technology progresses within the industry, hopefully bio diesel producers and innovators will learn from the mistakes of the past and create new products that are not part of the human food chain. This is likely to alleviate the upcoming food crisis as the Chinese and Indian populations boom and as they become wealthier they eat more eat which uses more resources than vegetable based diets.
Only a few months ago I saw on TV an electric car that traveled the length of the UK. Bio fuel may just be a passing phase as people look towards renewable energy for a mixture of solar powered batteries for cars and electricity instead of petrol. These days are still a long way off but just think that the motor car itself was only mass produced and available within the life time of the some of the people reading this article.
Who knows what the future holds but providing its clean, cheap, green and for the benefit of the planet then this can only be a good thing. Amen.
By silviarita from Pixabay