Germany joins biofuels project

Posted: 28 June 2005

A new project to examine the global potential and implications of large-scale use of biofuels for transportation has been launched by the Washington-based Worldwatch Insteitute and the German Ministry for Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture.

"Soaring oil prices, growing security concerns, and farmers' search for new markets have combined to create a super-charged market for biofuels, boosting consumption by 70 per cent over the past three years," saidWorldwatch Institute president Christopher Flavin.

"With country after country adopting tax breaks and regulations designed to boost the use of biofuels, it is urgent that governments assess strategies for maximizing the economic, social, and environmental benefits of biofuelsdevelopment."

The project, which is being funded by the German Ministry for Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture (BMVEL) and carried out in conjunction with the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and the Agency ofRenewable Resources (FNR), is being managed by Suzanne Hunt, the Worldwatch Institute's newly selected Biofuels Project Manager. She willlead an international team of experts who will contribute the latest information and analysis to the project.

Her biofuels background includes the successfulintroduction of biodiesel at Hunt Country Vineyards in New York, and funding an organization that teaches children from inner city ashington, D.C. how to turn waste grease from restaurant kitchens into cleaner-burning fuel for their school buses.

The 12-month project will uantify the potential for biofuels to displace petroleum fuels, and will analyze the policy instruments available for stimulating the roduction and use of biofuels. The project will include in-depth analysis of the world's biofuels leaders -particularly Brazil, Germany, and the United States.

The biofuels project will also assess the broader impacts of large-scale development of biofuels, focusing on the implications for the size of farms, the health of rural communities, the energy and chemical requirements of agriculture, impacts on rural landscapes and biodiversity, air and water quality, climate change, and international trade balances.

"These fuels, together with solar, wind and other renewable resources, will play a vital role in building a more diversified and environmentally sound energy system", Flavin said.