Post from Jeff Tombleson on July 17, 2019 at 1:09PM
Brian it is refreshing to read your blog dedicated to the most urgent and colossal task confronting mankind.
Your frustration regarding the absence of central governments leadership to steer the ship on the pathway to carbon zero is certainly shared. Since Christmas I’m sure that single use plastic bags have gained considerably more airtime than climate change.
Regarding your topic of biofuels, this week the government has announced the recommendation that both the transport and heat sectors be electrified
Heat generation is the obvious “clean” energy option from biofuels.
In response to your comment that wood be promoted as a substitute for fossil fuels – surely, given the following there is little such rational:
a) Electricity can be generated to power the transport fleets transition to EVs
b) Electricity can fuel much of the heat requirements
c) Biofuels are potentially carbon neutral but are dirty, not clean energy
d) Wood fibre for the production of biofuels is expensive and not readily available in required commercial quantities
e) Growing the feedstock for biofuels is very expensive
f) The cost of electricity is the equivalent of 30c/litre (so biofuels are considerably more expensive)
g) The running costs of EVs is much lower than biofuel combustion engines
h) Biofuels result in reduced air quality and associated healthcare costs particularly in the big cities
i) EVs result in the liquid fuel infrastructure becoming redundant just like cigarette dispensers after 2025
j) The CEO of Air NZ has recently written that all domestic flights will in time be powered via turbo electric
k) International flights could potentially be powered by biofuels or maybe a component of fossil fuels will always be required
Yes, some industrial heat generation for boilers etc will require biofuels, and the Huntly power station is scheduled to have a coal line replaced with biomass that is considered necessary post the fossil fuel era in times of low lake levels and the need to generate electricity via alternative means which in many countries particularly those with wind turbines whereby alternative power can be sourced from nuclear power generation
Yes, I have had a detailed and long interest in biofuels particularly bio petrol and bio diesel via the ‘stump to pump’ commercial project that has stalled due largely to their downside stated above. As a forester it has taken me some time to come to terms with why biofuels have a very minor role to play in the worlds clean energy future
I am keen to learn of your enthusiasm for biofuels?
And please keep up the writing on this blogg