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The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

09 Nov 2007 05:11:36

Development expert predicts bright future for biofuels

It is only a matter of time before biofuels are developed that can be delivered at a price competitive to fossil fuels which produce much greater carbon-emissions, an expert has claimed.

Writing in the Financial Times, Ricardo Hausmann, director of the Harvard University Centre for International Development, said that the rise of biofuels would, among other things, set about a decline in the power of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and end agricultural protectionism.

Citing increasing exports of ethanol from Brazil to the US at a price of $1.45 for an amount equivalent to a gallon of petrol, he explained that a large amount of investment is being put into finding more efficient ways of extracting cleaner energy from biomass that can be used in transport and power stations.

"Over time, the technology will also become more flexible, allowing more crops to be used as feedstock, not just the current choice of sugarcane, maize and palm oil," he wrote in the broadsheet.

"New technologies will be able to extract energy from cellulose, allowing the use of pastures such as switch grass as well as the refuse of current food production. The cheque is in the mail."

According to the International Energy Agency''s World Energy Outlook 2007, global demand for primary fuels is predicted to increase by 50 per cent over the next 25 years, increasing the urgency for alternative energy sources such as biofuels.

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