How our transport system stops relying on fossil fuels will be one of the stories of our generation. It is a surprising fact, unthinkable to some, that children being born now will never drive a petrol car. Fossil fuel depletion is such that within five to 10 years it will be far too expensive to drive using petrol, let alone 20 years.
If this seems unlikely, consider industry insider Matthew Simmons. He used to be energy advisor to George W. Bush, and now chairs a large investment bank specialising in energy investment. He is convinced that the price of oil will be over $200 per barrel by 2010, and places huge investments accordingly. Imagine how much oil will be by 2020... Dozens of books have been written on fossil fuel depletion, and yet it still seems to be largely unknown. The Party’s Over by Richard Heinberg (Clairview Books 2007) is a good place to start if you want to find out more.
Overwhelmingly, our largest use of oil is for transport. Richard Pike, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, put this usage at 74 per cent. With oil fields around the world, including Britain’s North Sea oil fields, in terminal decline, our transport system has to change. The big question is what we replace oil with. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. The alternative fuels which are all currently vying for our attention, especially in the media, are:
- straight vegetable oil (SVO)
Currently, there seem to be no plans to completely replace our fossil fuel inputs, but to add a blend of 5 per cent biofuel to 95 per cent fossil fuel. This goes along with the government’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation, which is aimed at having 5 per cent all road vehicle fuel from renewable sources by 2010. This is in answer to the European Union Biofuels Directive, which aims for similar results.
What is biodiesel? Essentially it is a replacement for diesel, but from biological ingredients. It should be usuable in an unmodified vehicle which runs on diesel.
The key here is ‘unmodified’. The whole infrastructure we currently have in place can remain untouched, from the pump to the vehicle. The only change would be in the actual manufacture of the fuel.
Although many diesel engines will run perfectly well on biodiesel, some engines are safer to run on a blend of biodiesel and standard diesel, with some manufacturers being so cautious as to endorse only a 5 per cent blend, that is 5 per cent biodiesel to 95 per cent standard diesel. Blends such as this are classified by their percentage, so 5 per cent biodiesel is B5. Biodiesel without any standard diesel would be B100 (100 per cent biodiesel). It is the B5 blend which is currently available at many filling stations around the UK, not B100.
Pure biodiesel, i.e. B100, has the advantage that it is produced from organic material, rather than crude oil. This means that much of the carbon emissions produced by the fuel are already part of the carbon cycle. It tends to be mostly carbon neutral and hence sustainable. As long as a vehicle is able to operate using such a fuel, then there is no reason why driving can’t be carbon neutral. This is a far cry from our petrol-head present.
B100 can be grown and processed anywhere there is adequate farmland, thereby eliminating the highly political supply shocks that have thrown the world into turmoil in the past. Just about any country in the world could produce this fuel, and run vehicles.
In addition it is a biodegradable product, so there is no issue of pollution from fuel spills. No longer would tanker accidents cause massive environmental damage, as the stuff would simply return to the carbon cycle.
Sounds perfect doesn’t it? But there’s always a catch.
Although some older vehicles, especially larger diesel vehicles such as trucks or trains, are more suited to running on B100, many current vehicles won’t run on a ‘pure’ biodiesel. This is why only a blend is available at the pumps. So although Britain’s current car fleet may need to be adapted to pure biodiesel, it may yet prove useful for running our infrastructure and possibly our public transport.
Recall that most biodiesel available at the pumps is only B5. It is still 95 per cent standard diesel. So how much are we actually gaining here? Of course, where biodiesel is available it should still be used, as it is still reducing the amount of carbon produced. However, it is a far cry from being carbon neutral.
We use too much to replace
Another big drawback to biodiesel is the capacity of oil that can be grown, compared with the number of cars currently on the road. George Monbiot, in his article ‘Worse than Fossil Fuel’ (6 December 2005) says:
‘In 2003, the biologist Jeffrey Dukes calculated that the fossil fuels we burn in one year were made from organic matter “containing 44×10 to the 18 grams of carbon, which is more than 400 times the net primary productivity of the planet’s current biota”. In plain English, this means that every year we use four centuries’ worth of plants and animals.’ (www.monbiot.com)
Does this mean that we can’t sustainably run cars on biodiesel? Well some of our cars can be run on biodiesel. What it does mean is that the scale of our current usage of fossil fuels is so grotesque that there is no way we can hope to replace the fuel for them all. How much fuel could we replace? In the same article above he says there is enough waste cooking oil in the UK to meet one 380th of our demand for road transport fuel.
One 380th, that’s around a quarter of a per cent. So I guess we won’t be needing that extra lane of the M1 after all...
But surely we could switch more crops over to oil-producing ones? That’s exactly what’s happening at the moment, although less in Britain than in other countries. According to a report from Friends of the Earth, the creation of new oil-palm plantations in southeast Asia is causing massive deforestation. Millions of hectares of forest have been cleared in Sumatra aand Borneo, with millions more being planned in Malaysia and Indonesia. This is likely to lead to the extinction in the wild of species such as the orangutan as well as others such as the Sumatran rhinoceros and tiger. Beyond this, many thousands of indigenous people have been kicked off their land, with hundreds being tortured when they resisted.
So there’s the rub – biodiesel is causing deforestation. Undoubtedly some of our vehicles could, and should, be converted over to B100. Tractors, buses, trucks and trains all make good candidates for conversion. Not only is it sustainable, but gives better security of supply. But to try to replace all our fuel use with biodiesel could cause a lot more trouble than it’s worth.
How can I use it?
As noted above, biodiesel is available at the pumps of some petrol stations. However, as this is only a B5 blend, it may be worth ordering B100 from a mail order company. Whether your car is OK to run on B100 though is another matter.
One internet source (www.biodieselfillingstations.co.uk) claims that diesel cars built between 1990–2004 should be fine to run on 100 per cent biodiesel, with a one-off fuel filter change after the switch has been made. Cars built after 2004 should run on a 50 per cent blend. It also warns that some biodiesels, those made from waste cooking oil, will freeze in winter. To avoid this issue, it recommends a 50 per cent blend during the colder months, or biodiesel made from rapeseed oil as this doesn’t freeze.
Biodiesel also has a quality specification called EN14214. This gives a certain guarantee of quality. It is recommended that you look for this standard when buying biodiesel.
Very few car manufacturers will endorse 100 per cent biodiesel. Again, according to www.biodieselfillingstations.co.uk:
‘The companies that have approved 100 per cent biodiesel are VW, Audi, SEAT and Skoda. They have approved all their cars built between 1996 and 2004 on 100 per cent use of “RME” Biodiesel (biodiesel made from rapeseed) providing it meets the specification DIN41606 (which was later replaced by EN14214).’
Apparently, some new cars can even be provided with a warranty for 100 per cent biodiesel, although this does need to be requested from the manufacturer. To be safe, you should contact your car manufacturer, or least look them up on their website. There are also a number of enthusiasts out there who can point you in the right direction. For a list of available outlets in the UK, go to www.biodiesel-fillingstations.co.uk/outlets.htm
Alternatively, biodiesel in a variety of blends can be bought by mail order. See ‘Useful Information’ at the back of the book for more details.
For detailed information about how biodiesel is made, you should look no further than the excellent book From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank by J. Tickell (ECo-Logic Books 2000). This carries straightforward instructions on how to make your own biodiesel, although this is not a weekend project by any stretch of the imagination! But if you are serious about producing your own biodiesel and are willing to invest in the equipment necessary, then this would be an ideal place to start.
STRAIGHT VEGETABLE OIL (SVO)
At the 1900 World Exhibition, one of the original engines which was presented ran on unmodified peanut oil. (Although whether it was Rudolph Diesel himself or the French Otto Company that presented this particular engine, seems to be in dispute.) The main reason that petrochemical diesel became the choice for such engines was a matter of economics, rather than environmental factors. As the years have passed, these factors have changed and now it seems that we have come full circle.
One big advantage of using SVO over biodiesel is that there is no processing involved, other than the processing of the plant into vegetable oil in the first place. This means that it is available ‘off the shelf’ to us, the general public. This is a tremendous advantage in itself, and allows for even easier supply as there is no need for the SVO to be sent to a plant to be processed into biodiesel.
SVO cannot be used in an unmodified engine. Ever since the decision was taken that the fuel would be petrochemical diesel rather than an organic oil, manufacturers have naturally tuned their engines to perform according to the fuel for which it was intended. The main difference between SVO and diesel is that SVO is many times thicker than diesel. This can result in clogging engine parts, thick deposits and ultimately engine failure. These are not trivial problems, but thankfully they can be overcome. However, the vehicle in question must be modified. In the case of biodiesel the fuel is adapted; in the case of SVO the vehicle is adapted.
SVO also carries with it some of the same pluses and minuses as biodiesel, since they both have the root source of vegetable oil. So they both contribute less emissions, both are biodegradable and both, unfortunately, contribute to deforestation. The main difference with the two is that the fuel has not been processed when using SVO, but has been when using biodiesel.
How can I use it?
Can I use SVO in my unmodified diesel car? Some commentators seem to agree that a straightforward blend of 5 per cent or a little more, can be used in unmodified vehicles. One professional convertor, writing on www.dieselveg.com says:
‘Mixing a small amount of veg oil to an unmodified diesel is, however, undoubtedly beneficial. Five per cent would probably not hinder combustion and would aid fuel system lubrication. There would also be an improvement in emissions, similar to that of the same bio-diesel mix which is widely sold at the pump.’
According to this source, there shouldn’t be too much trouble with putting 19 litres of diesel in your tank, followed by a litre of sunflower oil straight out of the supermarket! However this is at your own risk. Some cars are better suited to SVO than others. If you are unsure whether you can use a blend of SVO in your car, check first with the manufacturer or a qualified mechanic. Also bear in mind that you may breach your warranty if you use any fuel other than that specified. (See SVO and the law on page 65 for more information.)
100 per cent vegetable oil
What about pure vegetable oil? Can I use that in my diesel car? Well, there’s no short answer to that question other than probably not.
Straight vegetable oil (SVO) is much thicker than diesel. In order to burn properly, it needs to be in a fine spray, much like diesel. This is where the problems start. Unless the oil and/or the engine are warmed, which thins the SVO, then you can’t get a proper combustion. This is why an unmodified diesel trying to run on SVO will have cold start problems.
Problems such as clogged injectors can occur, but the main problem is that of starting up. When the SVO is cold, it causes undue pressure on the injection system. The cost of a failure can be your engine. However, once many diesel engines have warmed up, SVO can be substituted for diesel. For this reason, there are two main methods of converting a diesel car to run on SVO.
The two tank system
This involves having two fuel tanks, one for diesel and one for SVO. The fuel line is then split between the two and a switch governs which type of fuel is used. When starting, and just before stopping, diesel is used to prevent any start-up strain on the injectors. Then, when the engine is warm enough, the driver can switch over to SVO. When you come to finish your journey you will also need to idle on diesel for a short while to ensure that only diesel is in the system for the next start up.
The heated fuel system
This system involves heating the vegetable oil so that it has similar properties to diesel, and hence avoids the cold start problem. This has the advantage that only one type of fuel is required, SVO, so it is a truly carbon neutral vehicle.
Unfortunately I can’t dive into a full, technical analysis of how such a conversion can be made. This is a huge area and several books have been written on this subject alone. If you are interested in making such a conversion yourself, two good books to find out more might be From the Fryer to Fuel Tank by J. Tickell and The Edge Of Veg by S. Helbig. For the technically astute, these books go into the hows of running diesel engines on SVO in great detail, explaining not just how to make a conversion, but also the principles behind such a conversion.
Several companies can also provide you with SVO conversions or simple kits to help you get started. Details are available in ‘Useful Information’ at the back of the book.
SVO and the law
Hang on, isn’t using vegetable oil to run your car illegal? Not necessarily. If you wish to use vegetable oil as a fuel, or sell it as such, then you are liable for fuel tax. As long as you pay this tax, you are not in breach of the law. And since 30 June 2007, provided you don’t use more than 2,500 litres of vegetable oil per year, you are exempt from duty. If you do go over this threshold, you will need to contact Customs and Excise and arrange to make quarterly fuel tax payments on the amount that you use.
However, according to the Revenue & Customs Brief 02/07 (issued on 5 January 2007), tax on small producers may be dropped completely, which might apply to anyone buying SVO for personal fuel use. However, this was only a proposal, and at time of writing, was yet to be confirmed.
If you are in any doubt as to whether you are liable to fuel tax, you are urged to contact Customs and Excise. Remember: if you use vegetable oil as a fuel in any quantity and don’t register, then you may be in breach of the law.
What is ethanol? Well if you’ve ever enjoyed a glass of whisky, then you are already familiar with it. It’s commonly referred to in the UK as alcohol, and it’s the same substance that’s found in alcoholic drinks. Although it is possible to make ethanol from a petrochemical process, what we are interested here is bio-ethanol – that made from an organic source, typically sugar cane, switchgrass or corn. And, like alcoholic drinks, it is produced by yeast fermentation and then distillation. The only additional step before it can be blended with petrol is dehydration.
Like biodiesel, ethanol is often used in a blend with petrol and has a similar classification system, but instead of a ‘B’ for biodiesel, we have ‘E’ for ethanol, e.g. E10 is 10 per cent ethanol and 90 per cent petrol. E100 would be pure ethanol.
Advantages and disadvantages
Like SVO, pure bio-ethanol is a fully carbon neutral fuel. Provided that the energy used for powering a production plant is carbon neutral, then there is no reason why such a fuel can’t be sustainable. Brazil is leading the way in ethanol production, mainly from sugar cane. All cars by law must be able to run on E23 or better.
But, like SVO, it cannot work in an unmodified engine. That is why most countries in the world, such as Brazil and the USA, use blends. In Brazil, all cars must be capable of running on a 25 per cent ethanol blend, and requires a similar blend for its fuel. Some states in the US require the fuel sold to be anywhere up to 10 per cent. Because so many countries require cars to run on ethanol blends, it is often speculated that all cars can run on blends of up to about 30 per cent to avoid having two sets of parts – ethanol blend, and non-ethanol, but this is not known.
Ethanol is corrosive and in high concentrations can damage some vehicle parts. Hence, only blends are typically allowed. A higher blend, E85, is sold at some pumps in the USA, but it requires a vehicle that has been especially adapted to run on such a fuel.
Although ethanol is carbon neutral, the emissions it creates are only marginally less polluting than burning petrol.
Another disadvantage of ethanol is that it creates competition for land use. In a similar way that biodiesel may cause the extinction of orangutans in the wild, it has been argued that growing crops for ethanol production may cause food to become more expensive.
In a presentation at Downing Street, Richard Pike stated that: ‘to achieve the 2010 EU 5.75 per cent biofuels target would require 19 per cent of arable land to be converted from food to biofuel crops.’
Clearly ethanol, like biodiesel, will never be able to replace our current transportation needs, and can only make a contribution. In Mexico, protests have been held about the dramatic increase in the price of tortillas, due to US corn being diverted to ethanol production. Over time, this problem will worsen, and already commodities such as corn and sugar are rapidly gaining in price.
How can I use it?
Britain seems to be somewhat behind the times when it comes to ethanol production, or rather the British government is behind the times. While countries like Brazil have replaced 40 per cent of their oil use with ethanol, Britain’s attempts barely register. The first UK bio-ethanol plant will come into production at some time in 2007, and should hopefully provide a supply of E5 at the pumps. According to Envocare, the availability of ethanol at time of writing stands as follows:
‘In the UK, in 2005, tax concessions for ethanol encouraged a minor shift and a 5 per cent ethanol mixture entered the retail market. A firm called Greenenergy pioneered this and Tesco have been reported as the retailers (mainly in SE England), the ethanol source being Brazilian sugar cane. The real motivation may be cost (although the reduction in price to the UK customer is small) but even so that is no bad thing. In 2006 another supermarket, Morrisons, started selling E85 bio-ethanol in East Anglia.’ (www.envocare.co.uk/ethanol)
So ethanol is gradually becoming available, but it will be quite some time before it is available to all. The first bio-ethanol plant, from Green Spirit Fuels, will begin production in 2007.
Ethanol and your car
Can I use it in my car? Generally speaking, an E5 blend can be used by most petrol vehicles, but this should always be checked out with the manufacturer. The E85 blend, however, requires a specially designed vehicle: the Flexible-Fuel Vehicle (FFV). These are cars with a specially-designed engine, which can run on two different fuels; typically high ethanol blends, or petrol, with separate fuel tanks for each fuel.
Although only a small number of manufacturers currently produce cars compatible with E85, this number is growing all the time – so if you would like to make the change check around to see what‘s available.
Even then, bear in mind that supply of E85 fuel is sporadic in the UK at best. Really, unless you happen to live near to an adequate supply, then there’s little point seeking out an FFV for your driveway. The only way this situation will change is if industry or government decide to change it.
It’s like something out of science fiction isn’t it? A quiet car, with no emissions. And provided that the electricity is carbon neutral, then the car will be as well. This seems to shift the emphasis away from the vehicle and back to the energy production itself, as discussed in Chapter 3 – Electricity. There seems to be much fierce debate about at the moment regarding just how easily Britain could convert its fleet over to electricity. Not only would the vehicles themselves all need to be converted, but perhaps the national grid itself would have to be adapted as well, to handle the extra load from all these cars. This in turn asks where all this extra electricity would come from.
Types of electric car
Electric cars have been around for quite a while, but have mainly been concept cars rather than a practical alternative. However, as more and more people choose to go carbon neutral, electric cars are becoming a serious choice rather than the exclusive domain of milk floats and golf carts.
There are two types of electric car available today:
- electric car
- hybrid car.
The difference here is that while electric cars are 100 per cent battery operated, hybrids also use a petrol engine alongside, so that you are not entirely dependent upon the batteries. Petrol of course is hardly carbon neutral.
There have also been many criticisms made of some hybrids in recent years. These have included the high proportion of time that the engine is in use, rather than the electric batteries, as well as the high energy cost of manufacturing them in the first place. These advanced vehicles make use of advanced wiring and electronic components, which all push up the energy cost.
Recently, a new type of electric car has wandered slowly onto the market: the plug-in hybrid. This type of car has increased batteries, which allow it to be run on an electric input, charged straight from the grid. However, it still has the petrol input which allows it to make long journeys. Unfortunately for us here in the UK, this next generation of cars may be another year or two away.
Advantages and disadvantages
There are a number of factors which have traditionally been associated with electric vehicles of all types, and they tend to centre around how electric cars store their energy – the batteries.
The first issue here is range. Many older electric cars would probably only just about manage a modest commute on a full charge, but advances have been made in recent years, with some batteries boasting as much as 300 miles on a single charge. However, with increased range does come increased cost. Indeed, the batteries are often the most expensive part of the car, such that some manufacturers will actually lease the batteries to you at a cost of several hundred pounds per year.
The perks of running on electricity
This starts to sound expensive, until you realise the flip side of this is just how cheap it is to recharge your batteries compared with filling up your fuel tank. Remember that you pay no tax on electricity, compared to over 62p on a litre of unleaded! Also, electric cars are exempt from road tax, so this does need to be factored into your decision.
In London, it has been much publicised that not only are electric cars exempt from the congestion charge, they also get free parking and, in certain special bays, there are free recharge points. Now obviously, this would only benefit a small percentage of people living in Britain, but if you are one of them, then this might be worth looking into.
As far as flexibility is concerned, electric is probably one of the best choices. However, it’s important to remember that there are virtually no mechanics out there who will maintain an electric car. This means that you will have to do it yourself. Like many renewable options, the infrastructure isn’t in place.
If you didn’t already know, most electric cars are not performance models – they are slow! 50mph is fast for an electric car. So if you need to race up and down the country, an electric car is not for you (although there are a few electric sport models).
One final point worth bearing in mind is that unless the electricity you use to charge your car is carbon neutral, then neither is your electric car! This seems such an obvious point, but it should be raised. Using standard electricity from power stations burning gas or coal is no better than running a petrol car.
How can I use it?
For once, this is a straightforward question to answer – simply buy an electric car. Before taking the plunge though, it is worthwhile checking out how each model stands against the others, particularly when it comes to the batteries. Questions such as whether they are owned or leased, how long they are likely to last, and how much they might cost to replace, should all be asked and investigated.
Some well-known electric car retailers are listed below in ‘Useful Information’, although sadly the choice in the UK is somewhat limited compared to the selection available in the US, for example.
Hydrogen is everywhere. To make your own, all you need is water and electricity. When burned to produce energy it produces only water vapour – no carbon emissions or greenhouse gases at all. What could be a better source of energy for running vehicles than hydrogen?
Unfortunately, the reality is that hydrogen is not actually a source of energy at all. Due to inefficiencies, more electrical energy has to be put in to create the hydrogen than can be drawn out by burning it. It is effective only as a carrier for energy, and then at a substantial loss. This means that the hydrogen must be created in the first place, although the opportunity does exist to create this hydrogen using a carbon neutral source, such as a wind turbine.
Hydrogen is still very much a pipe dream and will probably never see fruition as a mainstream fuel. As a practical fuel for use by you or me, it does-n’t even make it to the starting line.
Advantages and disadvantages
The main advantages with hydrogen, as we have seen, are that it is clean and relatively easy to create using electricity. Unfortunately, this is where hydrogen’s big advantages end, and its problems start.
The first big disadvantage is that it is only useful as a fuel if it is firstly compressed. None of the other fuels we have looked at have this requirement. It needs to be compressed at the point where it is created, then transported along each stage in the supply chain using tanks which can handle compressed gas. This includes the tanker trucks, the filling station and the final vehicles themselves. This limits how much fuel can be carried in a vehicle, as the tank does need to be quite large. As such, there is currently no infrastructure in place in the UK for hydrogen vehicles, and probably never will be.
Cut out the middle man
Another major issue with hydrogen is that the hydrogen is created using electricity in the first place. It is then injected into a fuel cell in a vehicle, which then creates electricity to power the vehicle. When newer and more efficient batteries are coming onto the market all the time, why do we need hydrogen as the middle man? This introduces tremendous inefficiencies, converting back and forth from one medium to another, especially when we already have an electrical infrastructure in place – the national grid.
In short, hydrogen is an immature and tremendously expensive alternative technology. It is often limited to pilot programmes such as a two-year project which successfully ran two London buses on hydrogen fuel cells. Although there is no technical reason why some vehicles can’t be run on hydrogen fuel, the cost is prohibitive.
How can I use it?
You can’t, unless you have a vast fortune you are willing to spend on obtaining an appropriate vehicle and the necessary equipment to manufacture your own hydrogen.
As we’ve already mentioned, the outlook for replacing our current transport usage in a carbon neutral fashion is dim to non-existent. Eventually we will all need to power down to a greater or lesser degree. This is the political hot potato that no politician is willing to discuss. Our energy-hogging lifestyles are completely unsustainable, and sooner or later will begin to slide. Even if one of the alternative energies mentioned above were taken to a national scale, it would only be able to provide for a fraction of the population.
The only real alternatives for travel are by car sharing, scaling down, or walking or cycling.
Cars are perfectly capable of carrying five people instead of one, for very little extra fuel. Car share schemes are actually already in place in many work places, and there are several dedicated websites where you can register. To find your nearest, go to www.carshare.com and click on your region.
Ask around at work, or set up a discussion group on your network to help potential car sharers meet up. It really couldn’t be simpler.
Public transport is also a potential way of sharing vehicles, but on a much bigger scale. Buses, trams and trains are all ways of sharing the cost and emissions of travel. Despite this, very few government subsidies flow to public transport companies, with the result that it is still often cheaper to drive to work than to get the bus.
Finally, getting goods delivered, rather than picking them up yourself, is also a method of sharing, since each person is effectively sharing the delivery van. This includes supermarket delivery schemes and local box schemes as well as the more obvious items, such as furniture.
There is still an awful lot of waste in our transport system. Many people still drive large, inefficient vehicles, when a smaller vehicle would satisfy their needs. One of the main reasons behind this of course, is that cars are status symbols. When did you last see the prime minister riding a scooter? Nor will we ever. Cars are directly linked to prestige in most people’s minds to such an extent that they will gladly sink themselves into debt in order to drive a more expensive car. This attitude is one of the main barriers to scaling down our vehicle use.
Beyond this mental shift, it is a simple exercise to trade down to a smaller, more economical vehicle, even a carbon neutral vehicle. I heartily applaud the recent tax hikes for wasteful vehicles, and personally I would ban them altogether.
SELF-POWERED – WALKING OR CYCLING
Walking, riding a bike, even riding a skate board, is self-powered transport, and completely carbon neutral. This won’t always be desirable, or even possible, but where a healthy walk or bike ride is an option, it should always be used.
For the next few years at least, there are carbon neutral options available for almost any travel needs, except flying. As fossil fuels deplete, however, options such as biodiesel and ethanol will become far more mainstream, for purely economic reasons. However, these solutions will create tremendous pressure on the environment as more land is lost to nature, and converted over to farming, to ensure a steady supply of biofuel.
In the long run, there really is no alternative to reducing consumption. This won’t be voluntary; it will be forced upon us by the realities of supply and demand. Britain has been spoilt for years with huge supplies of cheap oil. Those years are about to end.