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Message: The biofuel market is expected to double by 2021
A recent study done by Pike Research indicates the fact that the market for biofuel will grow to double the current size in just 10 years. Forecasts show the value will rise to a global value of 183.3 billion dollars by 2021. This represents a major increase from today´s value of 82.7 billion dollars.
From the total amount, ethanol will total 78 billion dollars, while biodiesel is expected to reach 25.5 billion dollars in worldwide trading. According to the same study, the USA is favored to become the world leading biofuel producer, with some 71 percent of alternative fuel to originate from here.
Already this tendency can be observed. 80 percent of the corn produced in the United States of America is used in the making of biofuels. This means that only the remaining 20 percent is used for human and animal consumption. As a resulting fact, the US have exported last year alone 1.5 billion gallons of ethanol.
However, not everyone is happy with the way things are going. Ecologists fear that growing crops for biofuels will destroy the environment in the long run. A study by Greenpeace showed some disturbing results concerning biofuels that lead to the conclusion that they are not so bio after all.
This study was performed in 9 European countries by taking biodiesel samples from different gas stations that dealt with biofuels and having them analyzed in special laboratories. This was done with the intention of finding out what is their true composition.
The results that came out were not at all optimistic. Tests concluded the fact that biodiesel sold in European gas station is very rich in CO2. That is because it is made from plants with a high concentration of carbon dioxide like colza, soy and palm oil. The only advantage biofuel has over traditional diesel and petrol is they lack carbon monoxide and particle emissions.
Greenpeace also signals a warning through this study concerning collateral damage to the ecosystem. Intensive cultivation of such plants leads to fast reduction in the soil quality, while growing demand for biofuels means an increase in deforestation to make way for arable land. Lack of forests will in turn lead to a diminished capacity for the ecosystem to absorb CO2, thus furthering the Green House effect.
And even more problematic is the tendency to increase the amount of land allotted for biofuel production, while reducing the areas where plants for human and animal consumption are cultivated. Some analysts say the risk of a food crisis is dangerously high as it is, without the added biofuel dilemma.
As a result of all this, Greenpeace is trying hard to convince European and worldwide countries alike to renounce their biofuel prioritization programs. Instead of concentrating on solution that still involve combustion and fossil fuel in some form or another, researchers should turn their attention to truly ecological energy sources like the sun light, wind and geothermal energy. Maybe EVs will become popular much faster than anyone expects.
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