Thursday, 18 March 2010

IEA calls for biofuel revolution

Published: March. 17, 2010 at 10:15 AM
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, March 17 (UPI) -- The economic recovery under way means energy usage will rise, creating the need for a revolution in the use of biofuels, officials said in the Netherlands.
Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of International Energy Agency, told an audience at a biofuels conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands, that biofuels were part of a long-term strategy to mitigate potential oil and gas supply risks.
Tanaka said data show energy demand could increase by 40 percent by 2030 under a business-as-usual scenario. Electricity demand, he said, would increase at a rate of 2.5 percent each year during the same period.
This scenario made it clear that the global community must work together to safeguard energy security, he said.
"And we must work hard to find alternative forms of energy, including biofuels," he added.
A renewable energy directive outlined by the European Union calls on member states to derive 20 percent of their energy through renewable resources, including biofuels, by 2020.
European leaders said the use of biomass crops could lead to deforestation and cause increases in greenhouse gas production, however.
Tanaka said the IEA was in the process of developing a road map for developing so-called second-generation biofuels that would mitigate the risks to forests and food crops. The road map is expected by the end of this year.
An "energy technology revolution" was under way in the transport sector, he said. "Let's make that revolutionary future a reality together, including by ensuring that biofuels realize their full potential."