Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of MRW, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Biofuels will never replace traditional fuel sources, say Lib Dems

Biofuels derived from food waste are never going to be a total replacement for traditional fuel but are more likely to pass sustainability standards then biofuels derived from crops, according to the Liberal Democrats.

The topic of biofuel use has been controversial with critics warning that they are exacerbating the global food crisis.

Shadow transport secretary Norman Baker told MRW that the Government had to be cautious about the environmental and social impacts of using biofuels. If fuel is coming from food waste it is likely to pass the sustainability test. The Government started off believing that biofuels was a panacea but they have realised that more work needs to be done in this area.

Biofuels are never going to be a total replacement for traditional fuel. It will be a bridge between traditional fuel and a future fuel, based on the renewable generation.

Last week the Government introduced the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation which sets outs Britains biofuels target. Road transport fuel suppliers will have to ensure that by 2010/11, 5% of fuel is made up of renewable fuels. In a Downing Street website statement issued in relation to the global food crisis (April 21 2008) Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: We know that biofuels, intended to promote energy independence and combat climate change, are frequently energy inefficient. We need to look closely at the impact of food prices and the environment of different production methods and to ensure that we are more selective in our support. If our UK review shows that we need to change our approach, we will also push for change in EU biofuels targets.

The EU issued a 10% quota of biofuels in all petrol and diesel by 2020 as part of a drive to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020.

Image: Lib Dem Shadow Transport Secretary Norman Baker

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.