The market for biofuel is expected to grow to double the current size in a span of just 10 years. So says a study. Forecasts from a study conducted recently by Pike Research, a market research and consulting company that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets, show that the value of biofuel will rise to a global value of $183.3 billion by 2021 – which represents a huge increase from the present value of $82.7 billion.
Of the total amount of biofuel, ethanol will account for $78 billion, and biodiesel is expected to reach $25.5 billion in worldwide trading.
According to the same study by Pike Research, the United States is favoured to become the world’s leading producer of biofuel, with around 70% of alternative fuel to originate from that country.
This tendency can already be observed: 80% of the corn produced in the United States is used for making biofuels, which means that only the rest 20% is used for human and animal consumption. As a result, the United States exported 1.5 billion gallons of ethanol last year alone.
All the same, there are those unhappy with the way things are going. Ecologists have already voiced their apprehension that growing crops for biofuels will destroy the environment in the long run.
And, a study conducted by Greenpeace revealed certain disturbing facts regarding biofuels, leading to the conclusion that biofuels are not so ‘bio’ after all.
Pike Research conducted its study in nine European countries by taking biodiesel samples from various gas stations which dealt with biofuels and analysed those samples in special laboratories with a view to finding out their true composition.
The results of the analyses were not all that encouraging: the tests concluded that biodiesel sold in European gas stations is very rich in carbon dioxide since it is manufactured from plants with a high concentration of carbon dioxide such as soy, colza, and palm oil.
The only advantage biofuels have over traditional diesel and petrol is that they are devoid of carbon monoxide and particle emissions.
Meanwhile, Greenpeace has warned of collateral damage to the ecosystem. Intensive cultivation of such plants would lead to fast reduction in the soil quality, and growing demand for biofuels would mean a rise in deforestation to make way for arable land.
Depletion of forests will, in turn, result in diminished capacity for the ecosystem to absorb carbon dioxide. This will eventually worsen the greenhouse effect.
Greenpeace has launched a campaign to convince countries worldwide to give up their biofuel prioritisation programmes.
According to Greenpeace, instead of focusing on solution that would still involve combustion and fossil fuel in some form or the other, researchers must concentrate on really ecological energy sources such as the sunlight, wind and geothermal energy.
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