Is Renewable Energy the Way Forward?

Yes is the answer according to BP Plc, who are now well away testing three new advanced biofuels that could be available as early as 2014. Currently our dependence on crude oil and other limited resources is paramount to what we deem a ‘normal lifestyle,’ – optimistically these biofuel developments could help move us along to a more ‘environmentally friendly’ future.

BP have taken the first step to meeting its targets by introducing 100 trial vehicles during the London Olympic Games. These vehicles are a part of the Olympic fleet of 4000 and run on a blend of fossil fuels and plant-derived biofuels. According to BP, biofuels could be accountable for almost a tenth (9%) of the worlds transport fuels by 2030. Production of crop converted fuel alternatives are becoming more and more efficient according to sources within the industry.

Of the three different fuels, one is a sugar-to-diesel fuel, the second is biobutanol produced through fermentation of plant-derived sugars coupled with a micro-organism and finally there is a cellulosic ethanol based fuel formed by specific energy grasses. The company has made impressive progress of cellulosic ethanol production in Florida, with a plant capable of producing 36 million gallons each year. In addition a demonstrative biobutanol plant is currently being operated in Hull with another plant planned to be producing by 2013.

Chief Executive of BP Biofuels, Philip New, had this to say: “These breakthrough technologies will redefine biofuels. By incorporating them in the fuels for London 2012 we have taken the next generation of biofuels from the laboratory to the road.

“We are the only company in the world with the capability to connect expertise from the laboratory to the farm, to the factory and through to the driver.”

A level of scepticism surrounding BP’s involvement in sponsoring the Olympics was noted due to the company’s environmental problems witnessed in recent years. It seems that despite the oil spill witnessed in 2010 that BP is eager to clean up its act by focusing on biofuel developments to meet the ever increasing demand for fuel. As fuel prices soar it is safe to say motorists too are keen to see BP’s assertions materialise.

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