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Thursday, 24 February 2011

Bioethanol could be answer to EU's environmental, economic problems

Legislative uncertainty in the energy market is undermining the investment potential and a potentially low-carbon future when it comes to the development of bioethanol, the industry is claiming. The industry, which bills itself as being both capable of producing food and fuel, has had a hard time distinguishing itself from the biofuels industry, which has come under fire for being, unlike its original claim, detrimental to the environment, not to mention its contribution to the argument that it decreases land space for food production, and that the industry is blighted with unscrupulous practitioners, who strip the earth of its natural, carbon-absorbing resources. “The challenge is massive”, admits Gareth Jones, commercial director of Vireol, the UK's leading representative of the bioethanol industry, of the task ahead; the twin challenge of persuading European political and business leaders that their industry is not in conflict with environmental concerns, and that it deserves some form of support. Europe, and the UK in particular, should be leading the advancement of the bioethanol industry, says Jones, but it has a hard time distinguishing itself right now from conventional biofuels (Vireol bills itself as representing “good biofuels”), which have been accused of destroying palm crops and rainforests in Indonesia and Brazil. In contrast, wheat-based bioethanol will bio refine wheat, while at the same time produce sustainable fuel.

Source: New Europe