1 Introduction</h5> The story of biofuels has been described as one of ‘riches to rags’ ( Sengers et al., 2010 ). Initially cornucopian views of the potential of biofuels have been challenged under the weight of increasing speculation that their pace of development was racing ahead of understanding of the range of direct and indirect sustainability impacts of this technology. UK and EU targets for renewable fuels in the transport sector have further compounded perceptions of an unfettered dash for biofuels. Media headlines linking the rise of vast biofuel plantations in various parts of the world with rising food prices provoked a rapid shift in thinking about this technology in the second half of the 2000s. No longer is it possible to encounter the term ‘energy crops’ without some awareness of the potential conflict with the use of agricultural land for food encapsulated by the term ‘food vs. fuel’. Other social, environmental, economic and ethical challenges are emerging especially with respect to so-called ‘first generation’ biofuels produced from food crops.</P>Biofuels have been roughly classified to distinguish between first generation (1G) biofuels produced primarily from foods crops such as grains, sugar cane and vegetable oils and second generation (2G)
Energy Policy – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 2013
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