George C. Dimitriou

Technology and Strategy Consulting
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Archive for the ‘Biofuels’

Review of the Indirect Effects of Biofuels.

August 04, 2008 By: George Category: Biofuels, Renewable Energy No Comments →

Earlier last month, the UK Renewable Fuels Agency issued a report recognising the negative impact of biofuels on greenhouse gas emissions and food prices as a result of indirect land-use changes, arguing for an avoidance of the use of productive agricultural land in favour of idle or marginal land, and an emphasis on so-called second-generation biofuels – such as the use of agricultural residues, algae, forest waste or timber industry left-overs – which do not compete with food production.

The report did not however argue for a wholesale abandonment of biofuels or even the dropping of the EU’s 2020 target, but rather to apply the brakes on their development until sustainability can be assured.

The UK government immediately embraced the report’s findings and is pushing for an evolution of the EU biofuels strategies in line with its conclusions.

Secret Report: Biofuel Caused Food Crisis.

July 04, 2008 By: George Category: Biofuels, Renewable Energy No Comments →

Internal World Bank study delivers blow to plant energy drive.

Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% – far more than previously estimated – according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian.

EU commission investigates link between biofuels and food crisis.

April 28, 2008 By: George Category: Biofuels, Renewable Energy No Comments →

In the wake of mounting pressure from international organisations such as the World Bank and the United Nations World Food Programme, European Commission President Barroso has requested a study on whether there is any relationship between the recent skyrocketing of food prices around the world and biofuels.
A spokesperson for the president confirmed on Thursday (24 April) that a study had been requested but said this is only to supply him with data on the relationship so he can form an opinion on the recent concerns about a link.
EU leaders last spring agreed that the EU should increase the use of biofuels in transport fuel to ten percent by 2020, up from a planned 5.75 percent target to be achieved by 2010.
The move comes amid speculation that there is a growing division within the commission over the question.
On Tuesday (22 April), the Reuters news agency reported that during the commission’s internal discussion on sustainability criteria for biofuels, environment commissioner Stavros Dimas and development chief Louis Michel had been on the one side, arguing for social criteria such as the link with food prices to be considered, but were shot down by energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs and trade commissioner Peter Mandelson.