A new generation of biofuels is poised to come into the market. Grown on unused, ‘marginal’ land they won’t compete for our food crops. But just where exactly is all this marginal land, and whose backyard might it be? Helena Paul reports
It has taken just one year for the land-based biofuels (agrofuels) bubble to inflate and burst. In February 2007, the Ecologist was almost alone in pointing out that growing energy crops for car fuel was ecological nonsense; now the tide of academic studies showing that agrofuels are neither energy - nor carbon-efficient seems unstoppable.
The backlash against large scale biofuel production continues to build as Friends of the Earth urges the European Union to scrap its target for 10 per cent of transport fuel to come from crops by 2020.