A blog from University of Borås

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Biofuels in Europe: Ethics or...?

European Union is now going to reduce its target to use food-based renewable energy and limit it to 5% in 2020. In the last few years, a great effort has been to produce ethanol, biogas and biodiesel from food-based vegetables such as grains in Europe. However, whenever a crisis appears, debates on producing such biofuels pops up. However, not all the aspects are usually discussed:

  • Is it ok to take the food from a poor african child and make it as fuel for a rich European?
  • Is it ok to use water in relatively dry countries to produce fuel for reach European cars?
  • Is it ok to use the arable lands to produce biofuels and not food for the billions of hungry mouths?
There are many of such questions, which of course we should say NO!
But, there are some other questions as well:
  • What a poor farmer does, when there is an overproduction of the grains in a region or a year? Should he sell it in low price?
  • Why shouldn't we develop unused lands, and unemployed people in some regions or countries to cultivate grains and produce biofuels?
As example, there are now about 7,000 farm-based biogas plants in Germany, and about 600,000 tons excess grains in Sweden. What should these farmers do? Should we stop their farms and import more oil and gas from Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia? Is it sustainable?


No comments:

Post a Comment