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Results for: “the palm oil conundrum”

Global Biofuels Status Update

In this week’s column Robert Rapier breaks down the global biofuels data from the Renewables 2014 Global Status Report.

What the RAND Report on Biofuels Really Said

The just-issued RAND report Alternative Fuels for Military Applications has generated quite a bit of controversy. However, in my opinion many of the news stories covering the report got the gist of the message wrong. In essence, what has been reported is “RAND Says Biofuels are Bunk.” In fact, many in the renewable energy industry have responded as if they are under attack. Biofuels Digest published comments from several in the renewable fuels industry. Some excerpts from those comments: Will Thurmond, CEO, Emerging Markets Online Is it simply a coincidence that RAND’s study on alternative fuels for the military, the “Clean Coal” Coalition’s advertising campaign, and the State of the Union address were released on the same day? In contrast… Continue»

The Palm Oil Conundrum

People sometimes ask which biofuels are competitive head to head with crude oil. By competitive, I mean those that can actually compete favorably with oil prices on a level playing field (i.e., they don’t require big subsidies or mandates in order to compete). There are two that always come to mind: Ethanol from sugarcane (although less competitive currently due to high sugar prices) and fuel from palm oil (oil derived from the fruits of the African Oil Palm). In fact, in the first book chapter I wrote in 2007 (Renewable Diesel in Biofuels, Solar and Wind as Renewable Energy Systems: Benefits and Risks) I highlighted palm oil as a crop with great promise, but also great environmental risk: By far… Continue»