Friday, June 27, 2008

Would You Believe 65% of Petrol from Biofuels?

A study by America’s Departments of Energy and Agriculture suggests that even with only small changes to existing practice, 1.3 billion tonnes of plant matter could be collected from American soil without affecting food production. If this were converted into ethanol using the best technology available today, it would add up to the equivalent of 350 billion litres of petrol, or 65% of the country’s current petrol consumption. And that is before specially bred energy crops and other technological advances are taken into account. _Economist
Whether 30% or 65%, obviously replacing a sizeable part of world petroleum consumption with biofuels would make a difference to the geopolitics of oil. Much lower oil consumption would put the oil dictatorships of Africa, South America, Asia, and the middle east, into a far less potent and threatening posture. Terrorist groups supported by such dictatorships--like Hezbollah, FARC, al Qaeda, etc. would likewise lose influence and power to disrupt normal activity.

Long-term prospects for oil are poor, given the technological ability to replace petroleum with more renewable energy sources. It is only a matter of working through the processes and letting the market sort them out.



Blogger Snake Oil Baron said...

Take another sizable chunk out of petroleum use from new industrial efficiency gains, superior structural insulation, fuel efficiency gains, wind, solar and other alternatives which are approaching market competitiveness and gaining market shares, and things really start to get interesting.

5:13 PM  
Blogger al fin said...

Yep. Peak oil doomers make the fatal assumption that humans cannot innovate enough to prevent the catastrophe.

But a lot of small innovations can add up to change the entire economics of the dynamic future.

People whose minds become glued shut fixated on internal visions of doom cannot think clearly.

9:28 AM  

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