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| Future goals: 2030 - 2025 - 2022 - 2020 - 2018 - 2017 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 |
Past developments: 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001 - 1996 - 1992 - 1981 - 1973 - 1947 - 1942 - 1940 - 1937 - 1935 - 1932 - 1921 - 1918 - 1906 - 1861 - 1860 - 1834 - 1826
- 1 February 2008, Online meeting of the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels: 6th Virtual Meeting of the RSB Working Group on Environment - To discuss biotechnologies and finalisation of Conservation Criteria. (Themes: RSB, biotechnology, sustainability criteria) (Meeting signup)
- 2-3 February 2008, Kissimmee, Florida, USA: 5th Sustainable Biodiesel Summit (SBS) - "the place to be to learn why sustainability is important to the industry, share technical experience and exchange best practices tailored specifically to sustainable biodiesel production and distribution." (Themes: biodiesel, sustainability)
- 3-6 February 2008, Orlando, Florida, USA: National Biodiesel Conference & Expo 2008. (Theme: biodiesel)
- 6-7 February 2008, Palm Springs, California, USA: Clean Tech Investor Summit (Themes: investment, technology)
- 6-8 February 2008, Mexico City, Mexico: 4th Annual Biofuels Americas Conference & Expo 2008. (Theme: biofuels)
- 7-10 February 2008, Verona, Italy: Bioenergy World Europe 2008. (Themes: bioenergy, biomass, Europe)
- 12-13 February 2008, Hamburg, Germany: Developing and Commercializing Next Generation Biofuels
- 12-13 February 2008, Atlanta, Georgia (U.S. state): Integration of Agricultural and Energy Systems (Themes: bioeconomy, biotechnology, co-products, etc.). Organized by Farm Foundation and USDA.
- 14 February 2008, Washington, D.C., USA: Tennessee Biofuels Initiative - Seminar at USDA - Tennessee's "unique effort includes farmer involvement, technology partnerships, and political leadership resulting in an integrated systems approach for a sustainable, large scale cellulosic biofuels industry." (Themes: cellulosic ethanol, partnerships)
- 14-18 February 2008, Boston, Massachusetts, USA: American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) - Annual Meeting: "Science and Technology from a Global Perspective". (Themes: science, sustainability, technology). Sessions related to bioenergy include:
- 15 February 2008: World Biofuels Production Potential in the Next Decade (Theme: biofuels production potential, trade). Includes results of the DOE World Biofuels Study.
- 15 February 2008: Energy, Agriculture, and People: Global Implications for Science and Policy (Themes: food, bioeconomy). From the abstract: "The emerging bioeconomy, led initially by the biofuel industry, will put increased demands on agriculture to produce both food and fuel for humans’ insatiable appetite for energy. This gives rise to a number of technical, political, and ethical issues that are addressed in this symposium. What are the opportunities for energy farming? Can enough food, feed, and energy feedstock be produced? If so, at what cost to the food system, to the economy, to rural communities, and to natural ecosystems? What will be the long-term environmental effects? What are the technical challenges, and what are the ethical dimensions in diverting land from food production to fuel production? Finally, and perhaps most important, what are the critical scientific issues that need to be addressed?"
- 16 February 2008: Food and Fuel - Biofuels, Development, and a Sustainable Bioeconomy. From the abstract: "There need be no food–fuel trade-off, but there are also no guarantees. Producing and using biofuels in a sustainable, global bioeconomy requires delicate policy choices, further scientific and social research, new production technologies, behavior change, marketing systems, and trade regimes that balance environmental, social, and economic costs. Demand for biofuels is already changing land ownership and land use." (Themes: sustainability, technologies, food security)
- 16 February 2008: Biomass-to-Biofuels Conversion - Technical and Policy Perspectives. (Themes: biotechnology, technology, biofuels policy)
- 18 February 2008: Biofuels from Forest-Based Biomass (Themes: forest-based biomass, energy security, economic development, markets)
- 18-19 February 2008, London, UK: Bioenergy Europe 2008: Markets and Finance for biofuel and biomass. (Themes: biofuel, biomass, finance, markets)
- 19-21 February 2008, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA: Power-Gen: Renewable Energy and Fuels (Themes: biofuels, renewable energy)
- 20-22 February 2008, Des Moines, Iowa: 2nd National Forum on Energy Efficiency in Agriculture.
- 25-27 February 2008, San Francisco, California (USA): Cleantech Forum XVI (Themes: investment, technology)
- 27-28 February 2008, Bonn, Germany: Workshop on modelling bio-energy in agricultural–economic models (Themes: agriculture, economics, Germany, modeling)
- Biofuel, Partly From Nuts, Is Tested on an Airline Flight, 25 February 2008, by the New York Times: "Virgin Atlantic Airways, the British carrier controlled by Richard Branson, tested a jumbo jet on Sunday that was partly powered by a biofuel made from babassu nuts and coconut oil, a first for a commercial aircraft."
- "Virgin and G.E. tested a number of biofuels before choosing coconut and babassu because they were suitable in initial tests and would not compete with staple food supplies or cause deforestation, the airline said. Babassu nuts are harvested from palms by local workers from the Amazonian rain forest." The biofuel was supplied by US-based [www.imperiumrenewables.com/ Imperium Renewables].
- Reactions to the experimental flight:
- Time Magazine pointed out that only 5% of the total fuel was actually biofuels and that "if biofuel ever takes off in aviation, it will likely be a decade before it has any noticeable impact on industry emissions".
- Scientific American noted that "such biofuel may end up causing rather than curing climate change, according to recent studies. In addition, fuel from the world's limited supply of coconuts could drive up the price of the cooking oil as well as lead to further clearing of endangered rainforests in Southeast Asia for palm plantation expansion." While this was the first major aviation trial for biodiesel, SciAm notes that more than "1,000 crop dusters in Brazil" routinely fly using "100 percent ethanol". Algae is a more promising feedstock for aviation biodiesel, which may be viable in 10-20 years, according to a quoted Boeing expert.
- Ethanol Demand in U.S. Adds to Food, Fertilizer Costs, 21 February 2008 by Bloomberg: "U.S. plans to replace 15 percent of gasoline consumption with crop-based fuels including ethanol are already leading to some unintended consequences as food prices and fertilizer costs increase....About 33 percent of U.S. corn will be used for fuel over the next decade, up from 11 percent in 2002, the Agriculture Department estimates."
- "Increased demand for the grain helped boost food prices by 4.9 percent last year, the most since 1990, and will reduce global inventories of corn to the lowest in 24 years, government data show."
- "Farmers will have to increase planting of corn for ethanol by 43 percent to 30 million acres by 2015 to meet the government's requirements, said Bill Nelson, a vice president at A.G. Edwards Inc. in St. Louis."
- Biofuel blight threatens spectacular Kenyan wetland, 18 February 2008, by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) (UK): "A flourishing wetland on Kenya’s northern coast is under serious threat from plans to grow vast amounts of sugarcane, partly for biofuel production....Developers want to transform nearly 50,000 acres (20,000 hectares) of the spectacular Tana River Delta into sugarcane plantations with other parts of the Delta earmarked for rice." The delta is habitat for 345 species of birds, as well as crocodiles, hippos and lions.
- "Nature Kenya, with the backing of the RSPB and BirdLife International, has urged Kenya’s National Environment Management Authority, to reject the sugarcane plan."
- The article quoted Paul Matiku, Executive Director of Nature Kenya, as saying, "This development would be a national disaster, wreaking havoc with the area’s ecosystem and spelling the end for wildlife across much of the Delta."
- Biotech reports spark debate over potential benefits, 13 February 2008, Food Navigator USA. "Two contradictory reports assessing global cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops and its impact on productivity, pesticide use and world hunger caused debate today."
- Malaysia reviews proposed biofuel policy amid rising palm oil prices, 12 February 2008, International Herald Tribune: "Malaysia is reviewing plans for mandatory blending of palm oil and diesel for biofuel after prices of the commodity more than doubled in two years".
- "Crude palm oil prices have soared to more than 3,000 ringgit (US$928; €638) a metric ton from about 1,400 ringgit a ton since the National Biofuel Policy was formulated in 2006".
- "Officials have said that oilseeds, jathropha and palm biomass are being explored as cheaper alternatives to palm oil in making biofuels."
- Biofuel demand leading to human rights abuses, report claims, 11 February 2008 from the Guardian: "EU politicians should reject targets for expanding the use of biofuels because the demand for palm oil is leading to human rights abuses in Indonesia," according to a report by Friends of the Earth "and indigenous rights groups LifeMosaic and Sawit Watch."
- "The report, Losing Ground (PDF file), said many of the 60-90 million people in Indonesia who depend on the forests are losing their land to the palm oil companies....Pollution from pesticides, fertilisers and the pressing process is also leaving some villages without clean water."
- "Friends of the Earth biofuels campaigner, Hannah Griffiths, said: 'As well as being bad for the environment, biofuels from palm oil are a disaster for people....[European Parliament members] should listen to the evidence and use the forthcoming debate on this in the European parliament to reject the 10% target.'"
- FAO unveils new bioenergy assessment tool - Weighs impact on food security, 8 February 2008, press release by FAO: "A decision-support tool developed by FAO will help ensure that countries can enter the rapidly growing field of bioenergy industry to produce benefits for the poor without jeopardizing their food security....The tool, an “analytical framework” designed by a team of economists...was unveiled at a two-day experts’ meeting of FAO’s Bioenergy and Food Security (BEFS) project."
- "A prerequisite for running the framework is the establishment of a bioenergy development scenario....The analytical framework then makes it possible, through five steps, to assess: technical biomass potential; biomass production costs; the economic bioenergy potential; macro-economic consequences; national and household-level impact and consequences on food security."
- "The framework will be field-tested in three countries – Peru, Thailand and Tanzania – before the analytical framework methodology is made available to the international community at large."
- Biofuels May Hinder Antiglobal-Warming Efforts - Carbon Emissions Could Increase As Land-Use Shifts, 8 February 2008, by the Wall Street Journal: "While the U.S. and others race to expand the use and production of biofuels, two new studies suggest these gasoline alternatives actually will increase carbon-dioxide levels.
- "A study published in the latest issue of Science finds that corn-based ethanol, a type of biofuel pushed heavily in the U.S., will nearly double the output of greenhouse-gas emissions instead of reducing them by about one-fifth by some estimates. A separate paper in Science concludes that clearing native habitats to grow crops for biofuel generally will lead to more carbon emissions."
- More press coverage of these studies:
- Converting land for biofuel worsens global warming: study (AFP)
- Studies Say Clearing Land for Biofuels Will Aid Warming (Washington Post)
- Biofuels Deemed a Greenhouse Threat (New York Times)
- IDB approves US$1.5 million grant for sustainable energy and biofuel strategies in Colombia, 6 February 2008, Inter-American Development Bank Press Release: The IDB will provide Colombia with a US$1.5 million grant "to promote investment in sustainable energy and biofuels projects." In particular, "the main bottlenecks in the production chain of biofuels will be identified, including available land, best suitable crops to plant, roads and infrastructure required, processing plants, storage and ports, as well as the needs in capacity building and human resources."
- Italy's M&G to build bioethanol plant, 5 February 2008 from Reuters. "Italian chemical group Mossi & Ghisolfi, M&G, plans to build a 200,000-tonne bioethanol plant and convert it to using cellulose feedstock as pressure mounts on the sector to make more environment-friendly biofuels."
- EU, US and Brazil release report on biofuels specifications to expand trade, 4 February 2008, from Biopact. In order to further free trade markets in biofuels around the world, the three leading biofuels producers have put together an analysis of current biofuel specifications.
- Australian researchers develop process to produce stable bio-crude oil, 4 February 2008, from Biopact. Researchers in Australia have found a process that will turn lignocellulosic biomass into bio-oil. The stability of the new bio-oil is an important development.
- India to unveil bio-fuel policy in March , 1 February 2008 by Sify business, reports that India's government plans to issue a policy on biofuels in early March. The Biodiesel Industry Association says that "[F]armers are reluctant to undertake plantation of jatropha on a large scale to meet the feedstock requirement of bio-diesel plants in the absence of policy guidelines from the central government," and that facilities "are unable to run at their rated capacities due to feedstock shortage." Sources say that India has thirty million hectares of unused land that is suitable for jatropha and other crops for biofuels.
- Study: biofuels industry added 10% to Iowa's GDP in 2007, 1 February 2008, from Biopact. The study, published by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association finds that the construction of new biorefineries for both biodiesel and ethanol has driven growth in the agricultural economy, especially in rural areas.
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What is bioenergy? | Benefits/Risks | Who is doing what?