Biofuels emissions may be 'worse than petrol'

Biofuels, once seen as a useful way of combating climate change, could actually increase greenhouse gas emissions, say two major new studies.

And it may take tens or hundreds of years to pay back the "carbon debt" accrued by growing biofuels in the first place, say researchers. The calculations join a growing list of studies questioning whether switching to biofuels really will help combat climate change.

Biofuel production has accelerated over the last 5 years, spurred in part by a US drive to produce corn-derived ethanol as an alternative to petrol.

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Benefits of Renewable Energy

Renewable energy provides many important benefits including:

  • Savings and Efficiency

  • Reliable Energy

  • Environmental benefits

  • Energy for the future

  • Jobs & the economy

  • Energy security

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Renewable Geothermal Energy / Geothermal Power

Geothermal energy is a form of energy using the inherent warmth of the ground to create power in primarily the form of heat. Roughly six to seven feet below the surface of the ground, the temperature of the Earth is regulated. By exchanging liquids between above and below ground areas, temperature regulation can be achieved. This is mostly seen in residential situations.

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The renewable energy future

Remember rain?

As Los Angeles creaks through its driest year on record and nervously awaits its next explosive wildfire, many wonder if global warming is already taking a toll. Nobody really knows; California has always had intermittent droughts, after all. But climate models predicted this situation. Changes in ocean temperatures and currents driven by things such as the melting of the Greenland ice shelf -- which is happening a lot faster than scientists expected -- will probably produce an even more desert-like climate in L.A.

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Future Power

Where on Earth can our energy-hungry society turn to replace oil, coal, and natural gas?


I stand in a cluttered room surrounded by the debris of electrical enthusiasm: wire peelings, snippets of copper, yellow connectors, insulated pliers. For me these are the tools of freedom. I have just installed a dozen solar panels on my roof, and they work. A meter shows that 1,285 watts of power are blasting straight from the sun into my system, charging my batteries, cooling my refrigerator, humming through my computer, liberating my life.
As National Geographic reported in June 2004, oil, no longer cheap, may soon decline. Instability where most oil is found, from the Persian Gulf to Nigeria to Venezuela, makes this lifeline fragile. Natural gas can be hard to transport and is prone to shortages. We won't run out of coal anytime soon, or the largely untapped deposits of tar sands and oil shale. But it's clear that the carbon dioxide spewed by coal and other fossil fuels is warming the planet, as this magazine reported last September.

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