Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Biofuel for the future

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has a lofty goal. By 2030 he wants his country of Brazil to be the world`s largest biofuel supplier. Brazil wants to supply the world with cheap ethanol from their sugarcane. Many consider ethanol to be the answer to global warming.

Last year, Brazil produced almost 26 billion liters of ethanol. By 2017 production is projected to be 53 billion liters.

Over thirty countries currently use ethanol along with gasoline. The US has stipulated that by 2012 approximately 15 percent of its fuel will be ethanol. The EU`s goal is for biofuel to make up 10 percent of its gasoline by 2020. Sweden is in the lead of the biofuel race. Last year they entered into an agreement with Brazil for 115 million liters of biofuel.

President Lula envisions Brazil leading the ethanol quest with other developing countries that are located in the tropics participating in an OPEC-like organization. They won`t produce oil; however, they will produce ethanol. These countries could supply biofuel to wealthy countries and become wealthy in the process.

The attraction to Lula`s dream is that it could mean that industrialized nations wouldn`t be forced to economize to save fossil fuels. Ethanol would be inexpensive and drivers would not have to feel guilty about their consumption.

In Brazil, sugarcane is grown on over 14.8 million acres of land with plans to expand this production. Brazil was once native rain forests...but those were destroyed long ago. Brazil is now an ethanol zone with entire villages razed to plant sugarcane.

Ethanol is considered a promising alternative to fossil fuels.

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