Here are five predictions for things that I think are likely to happen in the world of biofuels sometime in 2008.
1. The price of food grains will continue to rise putting pressure on the economics of new build ethanol and biodiesel plants.
2. More municipal authorities will follow San Francisco’s lead and start collecting used food oils for use in their own public transport fleets. Bus operators in towns where this does not happen will be offering incentives to passengers to bring along their own for collection like Stagecoach in Kilmarnock in Scotland. Freestyle biofulers will start getting annoyed about this.
3 Somewhere in the US, a federal agent in a car powered by biofuels will knock on the door of someone using veg oil and diesel to power their car and demand that they pay back taxes on 3 month’s use, or face a jail term.
4 Rationally or not, rising food prices will increasingly be blamed on biofuels as more food crops are diverted into biofuels. Look out for an alliance of big oil and big food retail on this issue.
5. Cellulosic ethanol based around degrading cellulose and lignin and fermenting the simple sugars they yeild will still be five years away on 31 December 2008