21 October 2016
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

    » 10/10/2007, 00.00


    World grain supply not enough to produce bio fuels

    The use of cereals and palm oil in producing bio fuels is forcing a price hike on basic foods. Non edible plants now being tested. Meanwhile Beijing sets out plans for renewable energy sources, even if in the short term more expensive than coal.

    Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – China wants to double its use of renewable energy by 2020, such as hydro energy, wind power and solar energy as well as biofuels by increasing their extraction from cereals and vegetable oils.  But the high costs are presenting obstacles.

    After an initial enthusiasm the world has become aware that it is not capable of producing sufficient grain to feed its population and produce biofuels.  The boom in biofuels in recent years has led to sharp rice in world grain prices, with widespread grave social repercussions. David Jackson, of Lmc International Ltd London, estimates that by 2015 a further 100 million hectares of crop production (half the size of Indonesia) will be needed to meet just 5% of vehicle consumption.  But to obtain this, entire forests would be decimated.

    Sugar cane produces more ethanol, but it requires a lot of water in a world suffering from drought.  The use of palm oil to produce fuel has resulted in two thirds price hike in recent years, bringing it to 735 dollars a tonne, which crude oil costs 593 dollars per tonne. Thus many plantation projects particularly in Asian have been abandoned.

    Now there are plans to use non edible oil plants in the production of biofuels such as jatropha, the leaves seeds and fruit of which are toxic.  The British company D1 Oils plc has planted 175 thousand hectares of Jatropha in Africa as well as in India and China.

    Beijing has also set out on the arduous journey of renewable energy sources.  “So far there is not profit” – explains Zhou Fengqi, Chief of China’s renewable energy programme – but there is “the will to become a leader in clean energy in the future”.  This explains why projects are financed by leading companies in the energy sector. In order to extract methane gas from the coal mines and biofuels from the vegetable plantations, over the next few years China Power, the leading electricity supplier will invest 4 billion dollars and the petrol giant PetroChina will spend 10 billion Yuan.

    Yet coal, although a major pollutant remains the cheapest of all fuels and covers over 80% of the countries energy demand.  China Resources Power will invest between 3 and 5 million Yuan by 2010 in wind power, but exploiting wind power costs three times more than a coal station.



    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    14/09/2007 CHINA
    From garbage and waste to ‘clean’ fuel
    China wants ‘clean’ energy to reduce the huge economic and environmental costs of development. This is why it is trying to get methane from waste in Shaanxi and building an ‘Eco-City’ near Shanghai. But for experts industrial plants are the real problem. China needs to focus more on the environment than on output.

    24/11/2004 CHINA
    Economy must grow or the system breaks down

    Oil imports must rise to quench the country's energy thirst. Coal has already done enough damage to people and environment.

    15/06/2011 KAZAKHSTAN-CHINA
    Alternative energy and nuclear in agreements between Beijing and Astana
    Kazakhstan will supply uranium tablets to Chinese nuclear companies. The trade volume will reach 40 billion dollars by 2015. Concerns about inflation in the dollar, some agreements made with direct exchange between the yuan and tenge (Kazakh currency).

    07/09/2010 CHINA
    Beijing shuts down Hebei steel mills
    The province is the world’s largest steel producer with 620 million tonnes a year. However, pollution and excessive energy use have set off alarm bells in the central government, which switched off supplies.

    28/12/2005 CHINA
    90% of cities have polluted underground water

    The waterbeds supply 70% of drinking water and 40% for agricultural irrigation. Official sources say the situation will get worse in the absence of radical intervention to make maximise resources.

    Editor's choices

    On “Hong Kong sectors” supposedly "against Francis"

    John Mok Chit Wai

    A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.

    The "enemies" of Pope Francis

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®