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. _EconomistWhether 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.