September 2006

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This page lists Events and News from September 2006. (News and events are archived here at the end of the month.)

Events

News

  • Global Bioenergy Partnership Secretariat up, running, 25 September 2006, by FAO Newsroom, reported that "the Secretariat’s mandate is to facilitate a global political forum to promote bioenergy and to encourage the production, marketing and use of “green” fuels, with particular focus on developing countries."
    • The article highlighted that the GBEP "Secretariat will be the principal coordinator of Partnership communications and activities and will assist international exchanges of know-how and technology, promote supportive policy frameworks and identify ways of fostering investments and removing barriers to the development and implementation of joint projects."
    • The news release details, "In the short term, the Secretariat will update the inventory of existing networks, initiatives and institutions dealing with bioenergy and identify any gaps in knowledge. It will also assist the Partners in identifying and implementing bilateral and multilateral projects for sustainable bioenergy development and support the formulation of guidelines for measuring reductions in greenhouse gas emissions due to the use of biofuels."
    • The piece quoted Alexander Müller, FAO Assistant Director-General for Sustainable Development, as having said, "Over the next decades, we will most probably see bioenergy providing an increasing amount of the world’s energy needs, but we need to assure that this is done in a sustainable manner. Positive synergies between GBEP and FAO’s International Bioenergy Platform (IBEP) will contribute to an expanded and sustainable role of biofuels."
  • Biofuel Boom Sparks Environmental Fears, 24 September 2006, by InterPress Service (IPS), reported that "The use of biofuels is on the rise in Latin America and is feeding dreams of abundance in countries like Argentina and Colombia. But the experience of Brazil, a pioneer in this alternative energy, raises questions about their potential negative environmental consequences."
    • The article stated that "environmentalists warn that although biofuels reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (which lead to global climate change), they could also trigger a massive expansion of the biofuel crops, pushing the agricultural frontier deeper into the forests, destroying habitat and biodiversity.
    • It quoted Délcio Rodrigues of the NGO Vitae Civilis as saying, "It is worrisome that a new economic cycle based on biofuels would trigger the expansion of monoculture crops and, consequently, deforestation." Rodrigues claimed that Brazil's production of sugarcane and soy beans contributes to deforestation of the Amazon and Cerrado scrub forests.
  • Plant-fuelled cars could be Indonesia's future, 24 September 2006, AFP, reported that "Indonesia's first fully plant-fuelled car has successfully completed a 3,200-kilometre (2,000-mile) road trip." The Mitsubishi Strada used by the Bandung Institute of Technology is "fuelled with oil from the jatropha plant" to demonstrate the viability of non-palm oil feedstocks for biodiesel.
    • Indonesia "plans to make at least five million hectares (12 million acres) of former forest land available for palm oil, jatropha, sugarcane and cassava plantations in a bid to create jobs for up to three million people," according to the article.[3]
    • The article reported that "Already diesel trucks and buses across Indonesia can buy biodiesel, a mixture of palm oil -- another biofuel -- and fossil fuel, at 120 gas stations run by state oil company Pertamina", and the "government hopes that biofuels will supply 10 percent of Indonesia's transport and electricity fuel needs by 2010."
  • House panel embraces "25 by '25" energy goal, 21 September 2006, Reuters, reported that a U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee approved a non-binding "sense of Congress" resolution endorsing the "25 by 25" goal of having 25% of U.S. energy needs supplied by renewable energy sources.
  • U.S. sees delay in big rise in alternative motor fuels, 20 September 2006, Reuters, reported that the U.S. Department of Energy stated that goal of having alternative fuels meet 30 percent of fuel needs for cars and trucks will not be met by the mandated year of 2010, but will require an additional 20 years.
    • "New ethanol plants are coming online, but output would have to soar to 60 billion gallons a year by 2010 to replace 30 percent of petroleum-based motor fuel supplies, the DOE said."
    • "That would not be possible, according to the department, because all the corn currently grown by U.S. farmers could make just 18 billion gallons of ethanol a year."
    • "The department said achieving the 30 percent replacement fuel requirement also becomes more difficult each year because more vehicles are put on the road and vehicle miles traveled increase."[4]
  • Biofuels look to the next generation, 18 September 2006, by Mark Kinver, BBC News, notes that "Biofuels are being hailed by politicians around the globe as a salvation from the twin evils of high oil prices and climate change."
  • Branson to Invest $400 Million in Renewable Energy, Biofuels, 10 September 2006, Bloomberg News, reported that UK billionaire Richard Branson "will invest as much as $400 million in renewable-energy projects to reduce dependence on traditional fuels."
    • "The investments will be made through Virgin Fuels" and the "first investment will be in Cilion Inc.," based in California.[5]
  • 5 September 2006 Biodiesel in Burma: A friendly Alternative?from Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.) and www.narinjara.com. The military junta in Burma (Myanmar) has begun implementing a plan to convert 7,000,000 acres of land to jatropha cultivation by 2009. The decisions was put into force without any prior announcement and many forces were being forced to plant the crop. The government's ability to actually produce biodiesel at that scale is also in doubt as economic sanctions mean that Burma, unlike India, lacks the financial and technical support of foreign companies like BP so necessary to the success of a venture of this magnitude. However, the article reported that "In Chin state, the death penalty is already in place for anyone daring to criticize the policy on Jatropha."
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