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    Spanish company Ferry Group is to invest €42/US$55.2 million in a project for the production of biomass fuel pellets in Bulgaria. The 3-year project consists of establishing plantations of paulownia trees near the city of Tran. Paulownia is a fast-growing tree used for the commercial production of fuel pellets. Dnevnik - Feb. 20, 2007.

    Hungary's BHD Hõerõmû Zrt. is to build a 35 billion Forint (€138/US$182 million) commercial biomass-fired power plant with a maximum output of 49.9 MW in Szerencs (northeast Hungary). Portfolio.hu - Feb. 20, 2007.

    Tonight at 9pm, BBC Two will be showing a program on geo-engineering techniques to 'save' the planet from global warming. Five of the world's top scientists propose five radical scientific inventions which could stop climate change dead in its tracks. The ideas include: a giant sunshade in space to filter out the sun's rays and help cool us down; forests of artificial trees that would breath in carbon dioxide and stop the green house effect and a fleet futuristic yachts that will shoot salt water into the clouds thickening them and cooling the planet. BBC News - Feb. 19, 2007.

    Archer Daniels Midland, the largest U.S. ethanol producer, is planning to open a biodiesel plant in Indonesia with Wilmar International Ltd. this year and a wholly owned biodiesel plant in Brazil before July, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. The Brazil plant is expected to be the nation's largest, the paper said. Worldwide, the company projects a fourfold rise in biodiesel production over the next five years. ADM was not immediately available to comment. Reuters - Feb. 16, 2007.

    Finnish engineering firm Pöyry Oyj has been awarded contracts by San Carlos Bioenergy Inc. to provide services for the first bioethanol plant in the Philippines. The aggregate contract value is EUR 10 million. The plant is to be build in the Province of San Carlos on the north-eastern tip of Negros Island. The plant is expected to deliver 120,000 liters/day of bioethanol and 4 MW of excess power to the grid. Kauppalehti Online - Feb. 15, 2007.

    In order to reduce fuel costs, a Mukono-based flower farm which exports to Europe, is building its own biodiesel plant, based on using Jatropha curcas seeds. It estimates the fuel will cut production costs by up to 20%. New Vision (Kampala, Uganda) - Feb. 12, 2007.

    The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has decided to use 10% biodiesel in its fleet of public buses. The world's largest city is served by the Toei Bus System, which is used by some 570,000 people daily. Digital World Tokyo - Feb. 12, 2007.

    Fearing lack of electricity supply in South Africa and a price tag on CO2, WSP Group SA is investing in a biomass power plant that will replace coal in the Letaba Citrus juicing plant which is located in Tzaneen. Mining Weekly - Feb. 8, 2007.

    In what it calls an important addition to its global R&D capabilities, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is to build a new bioenergy research center in Hamburg, Germany. World Grain - Feb. 5, 2007.

    EthaBlog's Henrique Oliveira interviews leading Brazilian biofuels consultant Marcelo Coelho who offers insights into the (foreign) investment dynamics in the sector, the history of Brazilian ethanol and the relationship between oil price trends and biofuels. EthaBlog - Feb. 2, 2007.

    The government of Taiwan has announced its renewable energy target: 12% of all energy should come from renewables by 2020. The plan is expected to revitalise Taiwan's agricultural sector and to boost its nascent biomass industry. China Post - Feb. 2, 2007.

    Production at Cantarell, the world's second biggest oil field, declined by 500,000 barrels or 25% last year. This virtual collapse is unfolding much faster than projections from Mexico's state-run oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos. Wall Street Journal - Jan. 30, 2007.

    Dubai-based and AIM listed Teejori Ltd. has entered into an agreement to invest €6 million to acquire a 16.7% interest in Bekon, which developed two proprietary technologies enabling dry-fermentation of biomass. Both technologies allow it to design, establish and operate biogas plants in a highly efficient way. Dry-Fermentation offers significant advantages to the existing widely used wet fermentation process of converting biomass to biogas. Ame Info - Jan. 22, 2007.

    Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited is to build a biofuel production plant in the tribal belt of Banswara, Rajasthan, India. The petroleum company has acquired 20,000 hectares of low value land in the district, which it plans to commit to growing jatropha and other biofuel crops. The company's chairman said HPCL was also looking for similar wasteland in the state of Chhattisgarh. Zee News - Jan. 15, 2007.

    The Zimbabwean national police begins planting jatropha for a pilot project that must result in a daily production of 1000 liters of biodiesel. The Herald (Harare), Via AllAfrica - Jan. 12, 2007.

    In order to meet its Kyoto obligations and to cut dependence on oil, Japan has started importing biofuels from Brazil and elsewhere. And even though the country has limited local bioenergy potential, its Agriculture Ministry will begin a search for natural resources, including farm products and their residues, that can be used to make biofuels in Japan. To this end, studies will be conducted at 900 locations nationwide over a three-year period. The Japan Times - Jan. 12, 2007.

    Chrysler's chief economist Van Jolissaint has launched an arrogant attack on "quasi-hysterical Europeans" and their attitudes to global warming, calling the Stern Review 'dubious'. The remarks illustrate the yawning gap between opinions on climate change among Europeans and Americans, but they also strengthen the view that announcements by US car makers and legislators about the development of green vehicles are nothing more than window dressing. Today, the EU announced its comprehensive energy policy for the 21st century, with climate change at the center of it. BBC News - Jan. 10, 2007.

    The new Canadian government is investing $840,000 into BioMatera Inc. a biotech company that develops industrial biopolymers (such as PHA) that have wide-scale applications in the plastics, farmaceutical and cosmetics industries. Plant-based biopolymers such as PHA are biodegradable and renewable. Government of Canada - Jan. 9, 2007.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Capturing carbon with "synthetic trees" or with the real thing?

Carbon capture, in the form of "artificial trees", is one idea explored in the BBC Two documentary Five Ways To Save The World. But could these extraordinary biomimetic machines help to mitigate our excessive burning of fossil fuels and its potentially catastrophic consequence, global warming? Or would we be better off using real trees in a carbon negative energy system? Let us compare the two ideas.

In 2006, more than 29 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide were pumped into the atmosphere. And 80% of the world's energy supply still relies on fossil fuels. German geo-physicist professor Klaus Lackner of Columbia University's Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, thinks he may have found a way of tackling our current excessive use of fossil fuels.

He has designed a "synthetic tree", a construction that mimics the function of natural trees whereby leaves pull carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the air as it flows over them. The CO2 removed from the atmosphere in this way, he believes, could be stored deep underground both safely and permanently, by using carbon capture and storage (CCS) techniques.

Professor Lackner's trees are seen as the most feasible out of four other 'geo-engineering' strategies proposed by some of the world's top scientist. These other options are (1) building a giant space mirror to reflect enough of the sun's rays away from the Earth, (2) seeding the oceans with fertilizer so algae blooms remove CO2 from the atmosphere, (3) building ocean-going vessels that seed clouds with salt particles from sea water so that they reflect more sunlight back into space and (4) replicating the cooling effects of a giant volcanic eruption by filling the planet's higher atmosphere with sulphur, delivered by rockets. Most of these options are either very expensive or highly risky and might have irreversibly damaging effects on the environment.

Even though professor Lackner only advocates the use of his artificial trees as a way of giving the world some time to come up with alternative energy sources, how effective would they be in offsetting greenhouse emissions? And wouldn't it be more efficient to use a "carbon-negative" energy system rightaway?

Synthetic leaves
"Just like a real tree, an artificial tree would have a structure to hold it up - the equivalent of a trunk, probably a pillar," explains the professor. "You would find the equivalent of branches which hold up the leaves" [in this video, Professor Lackner demonstrates how an artificial tree would work].

Unlike in a real tree, he explains, where the leaves are spread out because they have to see sunshine for the purpose of photosynthesis, the leaves on an artificial tree could be packed much more tightly. "That is one of the reasons why an artificial tree can collect much more CO2 than a natural tree," he argues:
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Professor Lackner's tree is based on the fact that if you blow air through a solution of sodium hydroxide, the CO2 contained in it will be absorbed, producing a liquid solution of sodium carbonate. It is that liquid solution that the professor believes could be piped away, and the time at which the CO2 could be recovered as a concentrated gas in preparation for its final storage.

Lackner's vision is to have thousands of artificial trees and estimates that every single one would remove 90,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year - the equivalent emissions of 20,000 cars. But even if this is possible, could the CO2 collected be stored away forever?

Locking it up
Using existing oil drilling technology, channels thousands of metres deep would be bored into the sea bed. The carbon dioxide gas would be injected into it, permeating the surrounding porous rock. At this depth and low temperature, the carbon dioxide is denser than water, locking it in place. "It cannot rise from there to the ocean floor," says Professor Lackner, "so it puts it away literally for millions of years."

This type of carbon capture and storage techniques are currently being developed, tested and monitored in real experiments. Investments in CCS come from the coal, oil and gas industries, as they are trying to find a way of cleaning up their act.

Bio-Energy with Carbon Storage
Professor Lackner's artificial trees are designed to buy us time. They do not intervene in the way we use energy. In fact, they are proposed with the specific purpose that we can keep on using fossil fuels, until we have developed more climate friendly energy technologies. Lackner's trees are not an energy source in themselves.

An alternative that resembles the geo-physicist's system but that actually prodives useable energy while capturing carbon dioxide, is called Bio-Energy with Carbon Storage (BECS). The idea is similar, in that CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and then stored away underground using CCS techniques. The major difference though is that BECS relies on nature's very own wonderful carbon sinks: ordinary trees and fast growing energy crops.

Unlike Lackner's biomimetic machines, real trees are an energy source. Their biomass can be used in coal, oil and gas power plants instead of the fossil fuels. This is what makes BECS so powerful: it replaces fossil fuels while it captures and stores carbon dioxide.

Unlike other renewable energy systems, such as solar, wind or hydropower, BECS is not carbon-neutral. It is carbon negative.

BECS was imagined by scientists several years ago against the background of the so-called 'Abrupt Climate Change' scenario. If global warming were to prove much more dramatic than expected, BECS would be implemented on a rapid, global scale. The system can take us back to pre-industrial CO2-levels within a few decades, while providing energy with which to keep powering our societies.

Meanwhile, BECS is becoming an ever more feasible geo-engineering option because of the confluence of several factors: (1) biomass grown sustainably in the tropics and the subtropics has become cheaper than today's costly fossil fuels, even after accounting for the transport costs involved in trading the green fuels globally; so it has become commercially interesting to invest in plantations that grow solid biofuels; (2) the green fuels can be burned in today's existing power plants (which generate the bulk of the world's GHG emissions), (3) given that rapidly developing countries like China and India have enormous energy needs, which they are trying to meet by investing massively in the construction of new coal-fired power plants, they could switch to using solid biomass without too much pain, thus 'leapfrogging' straight towards a greener economy; and (4) carbon capture and storage techniques are becoming a real option to lock up carbon for thousands of years.

Professor Lackner's synthetic trees have the advantage that their capacity to capture CO2 is far greater than the natural variant that inspired them.

But using them would not provide an incentive to lessen our reliance on fossil fuels. In fact, the machines could result in the dramatic opposite - an attitude of negligence, based on the idea that we can keep polluting because our artificial trees are doing the hard part for us.

Moreover, artificial trees are a very costly option compared to BECS. Bio-Energy with Carbon Storage pays itself back, because it delivers fuel that directly competes with fossil fuels, while it performs the same function of storing carbon. Real trees are a source of alternative fuel, artificial trees are not.

Finally, as oil and gas resources are nearing their peak, we will have to switch to a bio-based economy anyways. Starting with BECS would be a good way to speed up this transition.

More information
BBCNews: Artificial trees: A green solution? - Feb. 20, 2007
BBCNews: Five Ways to Save the World - Feb. 20, 2007
More info on the origin of Professor Lackner's idea can be found in this article: Synthetic trees could purify air - Feb. 21, 2003
Biopact: Abrupt Climate Change and geo-engineering the planet with carbon-negative bioenergy - Dec. 21, 2006

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EU reaches deal on 20% emissions cuts

EU environment ministers have agreed [*.pdf or other languages] in principle to cut greenhouse emissions by 20% from 1990 levels by 2020. The ministers, meeting at the Environment Council in Brussels, also agreed to seek a 30% cut worldwide if matched by other developed nations.

The proposals, contained the European Commission's new policy for a low carbon energy future (earlier post), are seen as a key measure to curb climate change.

The Council adopted an important set of conclusions that underline the urgent need for a global and comprehensive agreement to reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions after 2012, when the Kyoto Protocol's emission targets expire, with the aim of limiting global warming to no more than 2°C above the pre-industrial level. Negotiations to develop this agreement need to be launched at the annual UN climate conference at the end of this year and completed by 2009.

The conclusions set out the key elements the EU considers the new agreement should contain. In particular, developed countries should continue to take the lead by committing to reduce their collective emissions of greenhouse gases in the order of 30% by 2020 compared with 1990 levels, with a view to a collective cut of 60-80% from 1990 levels by 2050. Until a global agreement is concluded, and without prejudice to its position in the negotiations, the EU makes a firm independent commitment to reduce its emissions to at least 20% below 1990 levels by 2020:
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The conclusions also note the need for developing countries to reduce the emission intensity of their economic development, given their increasing share of global emissions, and emphasise the need for a global agreement to include concrete policies and actions to halt and reverse deforestation within two to three decades.

Commissioner Dimas said: "The Council's position is an affirmation of the EU's leadership and determination to prevent climate change from reaching dangerous levels. But we can only succeed if the international community moves urgently to strike a comprehensive agreement to reduce global emissions after 2012. The EU has demonstrated its seriousness by committing to an emissions cut of at least 20% even before negotiations start. We now look to other developed countries to show responsibility and follow our example."

Commissioner Dimas also welcomed the Council's useful debates on including aviation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and reducing CO2 emissions from new cars.

Picture: Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas. Credit: The Council of the European Union.

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Indian car maker Mahindra & Mahindra rolls out two B100 capable SUV's

Earlier this month, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), the leading Indian automotive manufacturer announced a landmark breakthrough in Indian alternative fuel technology. M&M formally demonstrated its commitment to the promotion of biodiesel by unveiling two B100-capable SUVs, the Scorpio and Bolero DI.

The Scorpio with indigenously developed CRDE technology is the first Asian vehicle in its class to run on 100% biodiesel. M&M also unveiled a 5% biodiesel tractor along with the utility vehicles, another first in the country.

Mahindra & Mahindra spearheaded two projects for it Biodiesel Programme, one in conjunction with the Indian Institute of Technology, and the other with Indian Oil Corporation’s R&D Centre and Lubrizol.
“The Mahindra vehicles are a landmark in the government’s sustainable energy goals. Such innovative use of technology will serve as a benchmark in India’s push for a sustained and more responsible use of valuable energy resources, will help energy security and national security. I am especially proud that this is an indigenous effort by the best minds in the private sector, the academia and the government.” - Murli Deora, India's Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas
The vehicles will be run in a real world environment that will involve severe and demanding terrain including hot and cold weather operations at high altitudes. M&M is a pioneer in R&D of alternate propulsion technologies in India and had also set up its own biodiesel pilot plant way back in 2001. M&M carried our extensive studies on traditional engines and vehicles and realized the need to develop vehicles for contemporary and fuel efficient diesel engines like CRDe, meeting the world’s latest emission norms. M&M is also involved in the development of next-generation technologies that convert biomass into liquid biofuels:
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Mr. Keshub Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra Group said, “This is a landmark day in M&M’s history. We have grown in step with India since its inception and our business activities have been addressing the concerns of the Indian people. Our alternate fuel program addresses India’s fuel consumption needs and is, therefore, a natural extension of our priorities. Given the national importance of this initiative, we have proposed to the national government large-scale implementation throughout the country.”

Mr. Bharat Doshi, Executive Director-Finance and Corporate Affairs and President of its Trade & Financial Affairs Sector, said, “The Bio-Diesel Programme is one of Mahindra’s investments in India’s sustainable economic development. India is one of the world’s fastest developing markets with an automotive industry that hinges on sustainable fuel consumption. Mahindra’s biodiesel fuelled vehicles, serve a national cause for reducing dependence on oil imports.”

Speaking about the strides on the tractor segment, Mr. Manrao, M&M's Senior Vice-President and chief of Product Development & R&D Services of the company's Farm Equipment sector said, “Mahindra’s tractor division has been an Indian market leader and at the forefront on serving the needs of rural development. With rural technology development as an objective, M&M has initiated its Biodiesel programme for tractors and the 5% bio-diesel tractor is a result of this drive”.

“The vehicles being flagged off today by M&M emphasize the company’s commitment to the customer, environment, commitment to innovation and our commitment to encouraging collaborative research with energy providers and academia in biofuels and other technology areas in India,” concluded Dr. Arun Jaura, Senior Vice-President of M&M's Automotive Sector Product Development.

The US $3.8 billion Mahindra Group is among the top 10 industrial houses in India. Mahindra & Mahindra is the only Indian company among the top five tractor manufacturers in the world and is the market leader in multi-utility vehicles in India.

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Steel price inflates cost of first South African bioethanol plant

Given oil prices of around US$60 per barrel, biofuels have become competitive and, depending on the feedstocks used, some of the green fuels are even considerably cheaper to produce. This explains the feverish and huge investments in the sector. Announcements of the construction of new ethanol and biodiesel plants have almost become a daily affair.

But rising energy prices impact all major industrial sectors, including the energy-intensive steel industry. And to build a biofuel factory, you need lots of this material. South Africa's first major commercial maize ethanol plant which is being built by Ethanol Africa (earlier post), is experiencing the effects of this trend: the price of steel has inflated the construction costs of the Bothaville factory by 25 percent to almost 1 billion Rand (€106.7/US$140.2 million), a shareholder says.

This interesting detail reveals how the production costs of biofuels are ultimately linked to the price of fossil fuels. Because all the inputs needed to make biofuels (such as fertilisers, harvesting and processing equipment and indeed the factories themselves which are made largely from steel), have relied on oil, coal or natural gas as their primary energy source, somewhere during their manufacturing stage. Some have said that this is a weakness of the biofuels industry: they will always depend on fossil fuels as the primary energy in a chain of production.

But green energy advocates of course know that this does not have to be the case. And of all industries, precisely the steel industry proves the point: instead of using costly coal, oil and natural gas to make steel, it has now become commercially interesting to use biofuels instead. In short, you use biofuels to make the steel needed to build a biofuel production plant (or a steel manufacturing plant for that matter...). An EU funded project is taking the idea serious and is looking at 90 million hectares of land in Africa and Latin America to grow biomass crops that will be used as the primary energy source for the production of green steel. The rationale is not merely to reduce greenhouse gases from the energy-intensive steel industry. The rationale has become purely economic: tropical biomass is cheaper than coal and oil (earlier post):
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Moreover, to debunk the argument of those who say biofuels are always dependent on fossil fuels further, the obvious must be stated: the increases in the initial construction costs of the bioethanol plant are obviously one-off costs only. The return on the investment may occur a bit later because of the increased initial costs, but the difference will barely be noticeable. This is why the 25% cost increase has not deterred investors from proceeding with Ethanol Africa's scheme to roll out eight similar ethanol plants in the South Africa's maize belt.

Philip Bouwer, a director of Sterling Waterford and a 50 percent shareholder in Ethanol Africa, said yesterday that in an attempt to cap costs, the firm was re-evaluating its execution approach to the project. Ethanol Africa was considering transferring risk to a managing contractor instead of assuming all the risk itself.

The plant's higher costs were due to rises in steel prices and not contractor quotes, Bouwer said. Assuming an across-the-board cost increase of 25 percent, Ethanol Africa's eight plants will now cost 8.75 billion Rand, up from 7 billion Rand.

Ethanol Africa and Sterling Waterford denied reports implying that construction in Bothaville had stopped due to funding problems. The reports said the firm was assessing its funding options. According to Bouwer, Ethanol Africa was at a "very sensitive stage of negotiations" with strategic investors. Agreement was due by the end of the month.

Martin Jooste, a project manager for Ethanol Africa's roll-out, said the break in construction at the Bothaville plant was because of expected changes to the execution structure, and a decision on whether to opt for dry or wet milling.

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South African sugar producer expanding operations in Zimbabwe and Mozambique, eyeing ethanol and biomass cogeneration

South African sugar and starch producer Tongaat-Hulett still sees its Zimbabwean sugar investment as a sound asset and, despite serious political issues in that country, CEO Peter Staude said that the firm was aiming to raise Zimbabwe's output to an immediate target of 600,000MT/year, whereas in Mozambique it is aiming for an output of 302,000MT/year in 2009. The expansion is driven by the global drive towards biofuels and electricity cogeneration from biomass.

In 2006, the company's sugar production in Zimbabwe stood at 447,000MT, with the recently-acquired Hippo Valley Estates accounting for 289,000MT and its operations at Triangle Sugar for 315,000MT. Speaking at Tongaat-Hulett's results presentation for the year to December 31, in Johannesburg, Staude described Zimbabwe as a "world class" sugar producer, unveiling an aggressive expansion drive in that country.

He explained that a "relatively low-cost expansion" in sugarcane hectarage and processing capacity of around 2 billion Rand (€214/US$281 million) could see the company raising milling capacity to 1 million tons a year. This would boost sugar production from Zimbabwe by some 400,000MT/year.

The Zimbabwean operations will also benefit from a biofuels spin-off, as Tongaat-Hulett plans to switch to bioethanol at the Triangle and Hippo Valley mills. Staude said that the company would start blending fuel grade ethanol with petrol in 2007. Tongaat-Hulett is actively involved in exploring the viability of bioethanol and was assessing the possibility of establishing a cogeneration plant using waste biomass from sugar production, as global demand for renewable energy is growing and fossil fuels have become costly.

Meanwhile, the company revealed its growth plans for future 'biofuels superpower' Mozambique, a country set to benefit from the European Union's (EU's) sugar reform:
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This comes on the back of a recently-announced 1.3 billion Rand (€138.8/US$182.6 million) expansion at the Xinavene and Mafambisse mills, where production would be considerably scaled up.

At the Xinavene mill production would be increased from 65,000MT/year of sugar, in 2006, to 186,000MT/year, in 2009 and at Mafambisse production was set to increase from 41,000MT/year, in 2006, to 82,000MT/year, in 2009.

Staude said on Monday that the Mafambisse operation had the potential to grow to about 116,000MT/year, but did not give an exact timeframe. In 2007, Tongaat-Hulett would plant an additional 2,100 ha of cane at the Mafambisse operation.

To back its growth plans, the company had completed a 30 million Rand dam in December, to support the region that had been hit by an extended drought.

Mozambique was also the only country in which Tongaat-Hulett operated that stood in line to benefit from the EU's sugar reforms, as it formed part of a group of 22 other sugar producing countries that qualified as least-developed countries, and would stand in line to benefit as the EU reduces exports.

'Black empowerment'
In South Africa, Tongaat-Hulett will be introducing broad based 'Black Economic Empowerment' (BEE) equity participation, representing disadvantaged communities surrounding its property developments and the small scale cane grower communities supplying its four South African sugar mills.

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Corny humor

The cartoon above, from the Sunday, February 11th, 2007 edition of The New York Times, signals that things are starting to trickle down into the general public's awareness: corn ethanol is mirage, serving the mere interests of a mighty lobby. Thanks for the pointer, Henrique.
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U.S. foreign agricultural service: shift to biofuels buoys Africa farmers

Growing demand for biofuels distilled from plants will revolutionize agriculture in both rich and poor countries, a top U.S. agriculture official said during a trade mission to East Africa [*.pdf or intro].

Michael Yost, chief of the U.S. foreign agriculture service, said African and American farmers both stood to profit from the growing demand for grains, sugars and oils that can be converted to ethanol or biodiesel, two clean burning substitutes for gasoline and normal diesel fuel.

"The advent of renewable energy is global," he said in an interview. "I think it could be the biggest paradigm shift we have seen in a long, long time in agriculture."

Kenya's minister for trade, Mukhisa Kituyi, said the economics and politics of global trade in cereals has been turned upside down by the rising price of oil, global warming and new interest in biofuels produced from grain:
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Farmers who produce grains, sugar and plant oils all stand to benefit from the growing demand for biofuels and the higher prices that will surely follow, said Yost, who serves as a top official in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"We've had discussion today with different African agribusinesses and they are looking for technology, they are looking for know-how," he said. "With the rising demand for renewable energy, I see it raising prices and raising interest, raising the investment potential around the world, everywhere."

Yost said in less than a year the U.S. government has been able to drop all trade-distorting subsidies for grains and oil seeds because of the increased demand for biofuels.

More information:
United States Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service: Trade Mission to East Africa, February 2007.

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