Japan raises agriculture to cope with biofuel

The Japanese government has decided to revive the national agriculture to meet the growing global biofuel production and offset the future imbalances between supply and demand in international markets.

The White Paper on Agriculture published in Japan takes note of the new US policy on biofuels and the impact that it will have to rise in agricultural commodity prices on US exports in the next few decades.

According to recent studies, the choice of Washington to invest in the ethanol plant as a substitute for gasoline This suggests a radical change in international markets and on the agri-food trade flows. At the same time, the Japanese document also considers how other variable determining the natural growth of the grains from emerging countries consumption.

Based on these two future events, the Japanese government has decided to focus the revaluation of its agricultural sector in order to achieve agricultural independence of the Japanese domestic market than the rest of the world. The agricultural sector will be raised through the recovery of uncultivated or abandoned fields and the start of large-scale cultivation.

Biofuels and oil

The hypothesis of oil depletion, or rather call it ‘peak oil’, and the subsequent escalation in the price of crude oil does not agree with the statistical offices of the oil companies but is instead breach in marketing and strategic directions of the automakers. Over the last 12 months, we are witnessing even in Italy the inclusion of biofuel models in shopping lists and announcements of upcoming versions of insertions biofuel.

Why is it happening? The Flex technology is not at all unknown to European car manufacturers that the marketing for years in Brazil, where bio-ethanol is produced from sugar cane and available to distributors with ease at least equal to gasoline. The choice of European homes to introduce these models also in Europe is anything but ecological, of course, well understood and leaves to a rapid rollout of biofuels in the Old Continent.

It would be strange otherwise assist the marketing of models with power E85 (15% gasoline and 85% ethyl alcohol) in a context still devoid of distributors and biofuel pumps. It ‘an important signal that something is changing in the market. Interest in biofuels is now widespread: Ford, Volvo, Saab, Renault, PSA … hard to believe that all are wrong.

Moreover, the EU itself seems to have long since given the gap in favor of biofuels with legislation requiring its use to 5.75% of fuel demand by 2010. At this point, just make one plus one to find the answer the original question.

Will biofuels replace oil? No serious observer can say such a thing. For sure biofuels are a viable option to support the oil in his later decades of life and contain the price, indirectly helping to reduce energy dependence on black gold exporting countries. Biofuels without any oil crisis on a global scale would be even tougher.

A strong grounds for assessing ‘pro’ and ‘against’ biofuel without falling into facile enthusiasm or excessive and unnecessary critical attitudes.

It grows in Europe on the Biodiesel Market

New research from Frost & Sullivan reveals that and ‘expected to triple over the next six years. Europe’s desire to be less dependent on oil imports has revived interest in alternative fuels. This need to be self-sufficient has led to the enactment of laws by the individual Member States’ governments that are encouraging and pushing the biodiesel market.

A new analysis conducted by Frost & Sullivan, the European market Analysis of biodiesel and raw materials in 2007, reveals that the market earned revenues of 2.93 billion Euros in 2006.

According to forecasts, this figure is expected to reach 9, 75 billion euros in 2013. “the biodiesel market has benefited from the support of the European Commission through the Kyoto Protocol and the Directives 2003/30 / EC and 2003/96 / EC, seeking to promote specifically biofuels and to set indicative targets for their use in the transport sector, “explains the analyst of Frost & Sullivan Robert Outram.

It is expected that these regulations will lead to increased use of biofuels and make them competitive in terms of cost compared to other mineral fuels. Encouraged by the EU legislation, individual member states have also approved a number of incentives such as tax relief, RTFO (Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation, which requires suppliers a certain percentage of sales of biofuels) and blending mandates.

In general, blending mandates have particularly aided the biodiesel market and the fuel sector. This legislation requires, in fact, that oil companies to blend a set percentage of biofuel in all its fuels, which for them with a huge logistical challenge of view. “Oil companies will require large volumes of biofuel to meet the mandate levels, even though percentage levels are usually low – explains the analyst of Frost & Sullivan.

This means that oil companies are likely to team up with biofuel producers in long-term agreements or even invest in their facilities. ” Such helpful mandates should, however, contribute to an increase in raw material prices.

Since the production of vegetable oil in Western Europe has reached full capacity and has remained constant over the last decade (between 11 and 12 million tons), the biodiesel market, highly competitive, is under pressure in the search for materials first at competitive prices.

Also with the contribution of 1 million additional tons from the new EU member states, to meet the European Union Directives – the aim of which is to ensure that biodiesel represents 5.75% of all transport fuels – will require approximately 9.5 million tons of biodiesel.

“Assuming a conversion of 1: 1 vegetable oil to biodiesel in terms of volume, it would need 80% of all the vegetable oil currently produced in Europe for the biodiesel market,” said Outram.

The overwhelming demand for finished products inevitably affect the prices of biofuels until it reaches a level where the profit margins of manufacturers will begin to decline. Since costs of raw materials account for 70% of all operating costs of a plant, biodiesel producers will largely rely on effective recovery strategies of the first as well as of reduced logistics costs.

Lula’s trip to Europe for biofuels

Brazilian President Lula concluded his first mission in Europe by bringing home an axis Brazil-EU biofuels and an important agreement in Brussels on production and sale of environmentally friendly fuels. Brazil and the European Union have signed a document for the establishment of a partnership on the development of the biofuels industry. At the center of the birth of an international market for ethanol, the fuel of vegetable origin derived from sugar cane.

During diplomatic meetings President Lula has denied the existence of a social and environmental impact resulting from the production of biofuel, reiterating that the Brazilian experience shows how the bioethanol sector avvantaggi own the most favored agricultural population.

Thus, President Lula has shown to want to deploy against the unfavorable face of biofuels. In 2007, Evo Morales, Hugo Chavez, and Fidel Castro expressed a contrary position to the development of biofuel because of the possible impact on agriculture food. Europe showing particular attention to the nascent biofuels market with the ambitious target of achieving by 2020 to cover up to 10% of its consumption with green fuels. The proposed international politics by Lula concerns sull’abbattimento of duties that penalize today’s agri-food exports in order to promote the internationalization of the biofuel market.

Biofuels and labor exploitation

The recent criticism of biofuels because of the exploitative conditions applied to workers of South America leave us perplexed. The perplexity stems certainly not by the exploitation of labor, an undeniable reality in many developing countries, but particularly for the continuous attack against biofuels from some far-left political circles.

The first biofuel was criticized the possible cannibalization of the agri-food sector in favor of the energy as if the biofuel were the cause of world hunger, now also accused of facilitating the exploitation of workers. As if the exploitation of labor was a direct result of biofuels.

In fact, it would be enough to make a trip in the Southern Italian tomato plantations to realize that the exploitation of agricultural laborers is a phenomenon entirely unrelated to the industry or the reference chain. Or remember the sports shoes or footballs manufactured in countries from underage workforce development, exploited with low wages and long hours to reduce the production costs of European or American multinational whatsoever.

It has increasingly been the impression that biofuels are pestering for geopolitical reasons rather than environmental or ideological. This is demonstrated by the heated discussion in recent months which was attended by political figures of Fidel Castro and Chavez caliber.

There were the usual American imperialists to play the role of the bad guys, this time on the side of biofuels to reduce dependence on foreign oil, and other good, worldwide distribution of equity champions against biofuels and indirectly defenders of ‘ current oil economy. That there is some bad faith in all this?