Archive for the 'biofuels' category

David MacKay interview

First published in Sustainable Business, 4 June 2011.

My interview with David MacKay has the feel of a university tutorial. Perhaps it’s not surprising, since the chief scientific advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change is a professor of physics at Cambridge. But the impression is reinforced in his cramped office on the sixth floor of DECC, where I negotiate piles of paperwork and shuffle furniture so we both can see his computer screen.

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The great biogas bungle

First published in The Ecologist on 4 August 2009, and Sustainable Business, October 2009.

When David and Ruth of The Archers decided to set up an anaerobic digester to make biogas from farm waste, they quickly ran into trouble. Intended to produce electricity for the national grid and heat for their poly-tunnels, the project was defeated by boardroom bust-ups and NIMBY protests led by local battle-axe Linda Snell.

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Green fuel for the airline industry?

Published in New Scientist on 13 August 2008

IF YOU have become addicted to the fly-cheap philosophy espoused by budget airlines over the last decade, it could be time to rethink your travel plans.

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Branson: nuts to peak oil

Sir Richard Branson today claimed aviation could be made “truly sustainable” at the launch of test flight fuelled in part by coconut oil. But the Virgin boss conceded that meaningful supplies of alternative fuel might not be available before the advent of peak oil, which he said could happen within six years.

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Biofuel without tears, but how much?

(Podcast) Biofuel can be produced without clearing rainforest, raising CO2 emissions or displacing food production, according to the chief executive of D1 Oils, the British company pioneering oil from jatropha curcas in the developing world. And according to Elliott Mannis, the fuel could even work out cheaper than damaging first generation biofuels.

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