Farming energy is a global reality. While biomass fuel wood is still the energy of peasants, used by nearly 2 billion people living on the planet earth, biological fuel is rapidly becoming popular in the developed countries. Modern agriculture is for food, industrial raw materials for manufacturing consumer goods, biological fuel feed stock and biomass for cogeneration.
Biofuels has been produced commercially in USA and Brazil for several decades, currently all developed countries and countries in transition have a biofuel plant. Globally, biofuel sector has been growing in the last 10 years , biofuel production grew from 16 billion litters in the year 2000 to more than 100 billion litters in 2010. Currently biofuels provides global average 2.7 percent of global road transport fuel. Some countries are pretty farming fuel, Brazil has reached 21 percent of transport fuel being biofuel, USA has achieved 4 percent and European Union average is 3 percent. The biofuels includes cellulosic-ethanal, biomass to liduids diesel, biosynthetic gas and other innovations.
Installed advanced biofuel capacity such as ligno‐cellulosic ethanol, biomass‐to‐liquids and other types, today is roughly 175 million liters gasoline equivalent (lge)/year. Additional 1.9 billion lge/year production capacity are currently under construction.
There trends have been as a result of global energy market investors strategies and sound government policy. The most important policies to encourage biofuels include mandatory sustainability requirements, blending targets or mandates for biofuels with traditional fuels and loan guarantees and other financing mechanism that address the investment risk of developing commercial‐scale advanced biofuel production units. Sustainability criteria ensure that biofuels develop with a positive social impact and without competing with food or causing negative impacts for biodiversity.
The debate that biofuels negatively affect food production is mere propaganda, as farming modernizes to embrace income and value addition, food security becomes easier to achieve. While mere food production targeting in households has deepened food insecurity, the hybrid of production targeting and food in markets is the way to have all people food secure in nations, therefore income strategy for poor people is the fundamental challenge to have hybrid of production targeting and food in markets as the way to feed the world. Biofuels will commercialize agriculture and put money in the pockets of the poor as famers of feedstock. This will encourage food markets as the priority way to feed the world, peasantry is due to limited income targeting in livelihood strategies. Lack of income limits use of better farming technologies such as mechanization, improved breeds and fertilizers , this has made 2 billion people hungry.
The EU’s Renewable Energy Directive requires that biofuels generate GHG savings of at least 35% compared to fossil fuels started at the end of 2010; these requirements rise to 50% Savings in 2017 and 60% in 2018. The European Union will also maintain a target of 5.75% renewable fuels (by energy content) in transport by 2010 and a 10% renewable energy mandate for 2010. Further, advanced biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass counts twice against the EU targets. Funding is provided under the EU’s Research Framework Programme;
some Member States, e.g. Denmark and Germany provide specific financial support for advanced biofuels plants. These nations are out rightly farming fuel.
Globally Africa has the potential of biofuel production given the robust agriculture sector with capacity for feed stock production. Africa is bedeviled by widespread poverty, income disparity relate to opportunity various social groups have to earn money. Given the 50 percent poor population in Africa and diminishing agriculture markets caused by global competition, poverty may be increasing. Bio fuel production can put billions of dollars in the wallet of the poor as feed stock farmers. The widespread disparity in oil deposits of Africa, with most of the oil in Africa produced by a few countries while some countries don’t have any oils wells, farming fuel will be the bigger option to oil imports and surging oil prices everyday weakening economy of oil poor countries. Well developed green energy encompassing biofuels, solar, wind, geothermal and hydro is the way out of oil poverty that bedevil some African countries. It can be done.
– Joshua Okomo, Proprietor Environment Stores & Logistics