Please read this first...

If you want to know what I'm on about in the shortest time then please read the introductory first post and my current action plan. Comments are very welcome. And if you like this blog, please tell a friend. Thanks!

Friday, 11 May 2007

NSW bets the farm on ethanol

Significant news from south of the border: New South Wales is set to become the first state to mandate the use of ethanol in petrol.

About the only positive thing I can come up with in response to this is that increasing demand might spur investment and innovation, which in turn might lead to the development of a biofuels industry that:
  • doesn't compete directly with food production
  • doesn't encourage deforestation and land degradation
  • doesn't increase the already massive stress on our waterways
  • doesn't require fossil fuel input for fertilisers and machinery
  • has a chance of producing more than a couple of percent of our transport fuel requirements
Sorry folks, but by far the most important thing to do right now is to simply use less fuel.


Iain said...

There's another problem with introducing ethanol - even at the two percent mark - into all petrol sources: rubber components. Older cars with older fuel delivery components (carburettors for a start) start to see major problems when ethanol is introduced into the fuel line, because rubber perishes: this in turn results in higher fuel consumption and eventually engine failure.

Replacing these components costs yet more in terms of resources.

TB said...

Iain - or you could look at it as a sneaky strategy to get those old gas-guzzlers off the road and recycle them ;-)

In the overall sense that would seem like a positive outcome though I would rather that the owners of such vehicles would choose to take them off the road instead of being forced to... one way or another.