South Africa's Biofuels Strategy. Food or Fuel?

South Africa's government sees much to be excited about in the emerging biofuels industry. They are planning to outline their strategy for the business next month and have taken in over 200 submissions on the subject. A news piece from Business Report says they are investigating the viability of maize, sugar cane, sugar beet, sorghum and wheat as possible biofuel feedstocks. The key challenges the strategy would need to address were the costs of the technology to develop the biofuels and the production plants. Some are wondering if this will have an impact on the price of food normally derived from such crops. "You've got cars owned by wealthy people, competing against the food security of the poor," said one disgruntled environment group. Among many who who are calling on the South African government to set fuel efficiency standards.. Others ponder the effect the global warming will have on agricultural yields if severe droughts continue. But the government is bullish, estimating that the sector could also yield 55,000 sorely needed jobs. One of the policies that may result from the biofuels strategy is that" by 2013 biofuels would constitute 4.5 percent of motor fuel sold, because this fuel would contain either an 8 percent ethanol blend or a 2 percent biodiesel blend." Via ::Business Report.

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