Biofuel Foresty: Good Idea?

by Jackson Cooney

In an effort to reduce the use of gasoline and diesel many governments have pushed to increase the use of bioenergy, but today, biofuel makes up only 2.5 percent of the worlds transportation fuels. The European Union estimates that their dependence on biofuel will increase to 10 percent by 2020, and, the US also is expecting a large increase. The International Energy Agency foresees biofuel as accounting for 27 percent of the world’s transportation fuel by midcentury. Other renewable energy options seem more limited because, with the current technologies, it would be impossible to supply the entire world’s energy needs with wind and solar sources. The Environmental Protection Agency also supports the biofuel initiative by labeling the harvest of forests a “carbon-fee source”. Continue reading

China and Solar Energy

by Jackson Cooney

China is the world’s largest user of energy, and one of the largest consumers of coal. However, recently it has shifted to solar power and started relying less on oil, natural gas, and coal. Between January 2014 to June 2014, China added 3.3 gigawatts of solar capacity, which brings China’s total to 23 gigawatts (Topf, 2015). This is the second largest solar capacity behind Germany’s 36 gigawatts. The Chinese government has gone as far as to ban the use of coal by 2020. The renewed focus on the clean energy has a lot to do with the worsening smog conditions and an attempt to clean up the environment. China has appropriated $23.5 billion to finance an increase in solar panel use which is the most money assigned to solar energy. Continue reading