The use of alternative energy has been the focus of the 21[st] century. As we strive to develop new energy sources and reduce on the use of traditional energy sources particularly fossil fuel, that has posed great threat to the environment, researchers continue to weigh the pros and cons of the various energy sources. Biofuels are one of the alternate energy that has been lobbied by advocates of green energy. However, just like any other energy source, biofuels use come with various advantages and disadvantages. This essay will explore three reasons why the use of biofuels is good and three reasons why its use is bad.
Biofuels have the possibility to be significantly affordable than fossil fuels. This is particularly to the fact that, the demand for oil globally is escalating while oil supplies continue to decrease. When more sources of biofuels are discovered, they will be cheaper (Pappis, 2011).
The use of biofuels also offers some sense of security since they can be produced locally unlike fossil fuel that is only available in some specific regions in the world. Biofuels use can thus reduce a country`s dependence on fuel from foreign sources, protecting their integrity of their energy resources and making them safe from foreign influences.
When biofuels are use, they produce less carbon and fewer toxins. They are thus safer for the environment especially with the current concern of global warming. They are a true form of green energy as they are produced from crops, wastes material and other recyclable materials (Pappis, 2011).
Nevertheless, the use of biofuels has its own limitation. First, they have a lower energy output than classical fuels hence require large amounts to be used so as to produce same energy level (Gao, Skutsch, Masera, & Pacheco, n.d). Due to this reason, biofuels use may not be worth it, as we are made to believe.
Secondly, refining biofuels to more energy efficient outputs, as well as setting up the manufacturing plants to enhance the amount of biofuels require heavy capital investment. This may not be favorable to developing countries.
Thirdly, despite biofuels having less carbon emissions when used, carbon footprint of biofuels is essentially higher than that of fossil fuel. The process of producing it including setting up of machinery, crop cultivation which involve clearing forests to create room for crops and plants for biofuels production has heavy carbon emissions (Gao, et al., n.d). Thus, their use may not be necessarily safe to the environment.
Personally I do not support the use of biofuels. From the above analysis, the benefits of biofuels use seem to be shadowed by the limitations of its use. The need to shift from fossil fuel to greener energy seems to be the trend. However, the use of biofuels presents a different picture far from green energy. If we shift to biofuels, we require to create more land to cultivate crops and plants to produce enormous amounts of biofuels needed to provide enough energy. This may also lead to unhealthy competition between land for food production and for crops to produce biofuels (Callé & Johnson, 2010). This may lead to other issues such as deforestation, food shortage and ultimately global warming. Use of green energy needs to weigh between the benefits and limitations of its use. In biofuels use is obviously unsustainable.
Callé, F. & Johnson, F. (2010). Food versus fuel: an informed introduction to biofuels. London New York: Zed Books.
Gao, Y., Skutsch, M., Masera, O., Pacheco, P. (n.d). A global analysis of deforestation due to biofuel development. CIFOR.
Pappis, C. (2011). Climate change, supply chain management, and enterprise adaptation: implications of global warming on the economy. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.