on bio fuels and RTFO

George Monbiot writing in todays Guardian

Biofuels are a crime against humanity …I am sorely tempted to write another column about biofuels. From this morning all sellers of transport fuel in the United Kingdom will be obliged to mix it with ethanol or biodiesel made from crops. The World Bank points out that “the grain required to fill the tank of a sports utility vehicle with ethanol … could feed one person for a year”. This year global stockpiles of cereals will decline by around 53m tonnes; this gives you a rough idea of the size of the hunger gap. The production of biofuels will consume almost 100m tonnes, which suggests that they are directly responsible for the current crisis.

So what does this mean for heating and CHP systems that are bio-fuel based? (eg Hanham Hall, and I would guess many of the other eco town and challenge proposals). Is it correct to provide capital grants to kick start more bio-energy building initiatives? I will let others comment on the technical issues … but from a ‘soul’ or a fit for planet approach this would appear to be a cul de sac with very dangerous consequences.

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