ISU study on the biofuels market in America

Driven by the new energy policy of the US government the American ethanol production will reach 30 billion gallons in 2012. The current annual turnover could rise from 14 to 20 billion dollars at a time when the price of crude back to overcome the share of the $ 70 per barrel.

A recently conducted by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University (ISU), however, the study also makes the point about the possible economic consequences on the American market of wheat compare with the rising production of biofuel ethanol.

According to the report the growth of ethanol production will drag upward even the price of wheat by $ 2 per bushel in 2006 to $ 4.42 by 2016. In a crisis, such as that recorded in 1988, the prices of soybeans and wheat could however, further increase of up to $ 8.50, causing a drop of 50% on exports of wheat and related products.

The biofuels industry could come then to consume more than half of US wheat, indirectly driving up prices for livestock feed and then the meat to the final consumer. In the next ten years it is therefore assumed a reduction in exports of grain and meat made in the USA and an increase in imports from the southern hemisphere.

Despite the hypothesis may seem negative against biofuels study aims to identify an ‘optimal gear’ in the growth of the biofuel industry to take account of general economic analysis and not only partially. In this regard, the report summarizes the average ask yourself three short-term goals:

– Secure as a production peak max. ethanol an annual volume of 14 billion to 15 billion gallons and a cover of 10% of current US gasoline consumption. This step would ensure grain prices constantly lower than the $ 3.16 per bushel.

– The study also suggests the introduction of a subsidy of $ 270 for each acre converted for the cultivation of wheat and wheat, in order to contain the impact of ethanol on the agri-food sector.

Diversify the production of biofuels. The possibilities offered by the sector are manifold, but investment and policy decisions are often hampered by economic interests of large producers of grain policy and the importance of States ‘ barn ‘ (in the US).

– Apply the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to contain the uncontrolled expansion and give out financial aid and support to activities damaged by the increase in wheat (breeding).

In conclusion. ISU study confirms the rapid growth forecast for the biofuel industry in the US, however, taking into account the criticism raised by several parties on the impact of biofuel could be in the food industry.

Compared to the other criticisms of the biofuel study it appears to be free from political motivations and indicates the possible optimal solutions to reconcile the birth/growth of the biofuel industry to the rest of the agricultural economy.

Energetics 2007

It has just ended with a budget entirely positive Fiera di Genova “Energetics 2007”, renewable and sustainable energy living. About 9000 people visited the Fair actively participating in conferences and workshops.

National and international exhibitors were 254, from 12 countries in the world. During “Energetics 2007” were also presented the latest prototypes of electric vehicles and hydrogen cars, and the innovative policy of storing hydrogen by means of crystals.

There was room a bit ‘all sustainable mobility scenarios as biodiesel and biofuels. A common thread that combines renewable energy with the environment and that extends in all directions of everyday life: the use of cars to the energy efficiency of their homes.

Energetics The 2007 prize was awarded to the engineer Gianluca Toso for the project of an “eco-house” and the architect Alberto Bruno for the “energy dome” project.

Biogas in Africa

During the ‘Biogas for Better Life Conference: An African Initiative’ held on 22 May 2007 in Nairobi was prepared a plan for the supply of renewable energy to 20 million households in 25 African countries, including Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa.

The initiative will be supported by the presence of the Dutch company’s technology partners such as SNV and Hivos, the company already engaged in similar projects in Vietnam and Nepal, and focused on distributed generation of renewable energy from biogas.

The first stage of the program is being implemented in Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Uganda. A small biogas plant has a low cost and can be used as raw material the dung of animals, as well as being easily distributed throughout the territory are located a short distance from the electricity consumption sites and sites not yet reached by the service.

The spread of the biogas plants will also support the production of fuel of biological origin. The biogas program will also enable the creation of a local supply chain and thus increased employment not qualified in rural areas. Based on the objectives, the program will allow the use of biogas to 10 million people by 2015.

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.