Burnt by the sun

Biofuels were once seen as the future of energy production but concerns about the damage they can do has clouded their reputation.

For a brief period, biofuels bloomed in the political sun: they would clean up transport, cut dependency on unstable petro-regimes and help out struggling farmers. “Biofuels are just about the only large-scale option available to diversify fuel sources in the transport sector,” Andris Piebalgs, the European commissioner for energy, said two years ago, when electric cars were still an eccentric fancy, rather than the next big thing. 

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