Professor David Harries, Director of the Centre for Excellence into Energy for Sustainable Transport at Australia’s Murdoch University & Curtin University of Technology, outlines why skepticism about biofuels has grown internationally.
Read the piece in full here.
“Firstly, the benefits of biofuels, notably the potential to reduce greenhouse gasses, differ from one biofuel to another and from one feedstock to another for the same biofuel. The benefits of using ethanol produced from corn in the USA are much less than those achieved by using ethanol produced from molasses in Australia.
“Secondly, the benefits of biofuels are often not calculated on a full life cycle basis. Thirdly, in computing the energy balance of a biofuel, which is the ratio of energy contained in the biofuel to the energy that goes into making it, we need to be aware that we are not comparing apples with oranges. And finally, where a policy is being driven not by just one single issue, but by a number of issues, care needs to be taken in dismissing a policy without considering the full suite of objectives that lie behind the policy. (continued)