I wonder when the fools will get it

New Zealand Parliament – 9. Biofuels?Mandatory Obligation

I watched David Parker vainly trying to defend the government’s position on biofuels. He is so wrong about biofuels that it isn’t funny, but both he and Nick Smith are missing the point entirely when they wank on about sustainable production and suppliers of raw material for biofuels or processed ethanol.

First: Labour and others constantly go on about the use of tallow to produce biofuels. They point to the fact that enough tallow is made in New Zealand that 5% of New Zealand’s fuel requirements can be made from this. This is blatant lies. Sure in total tonnage New Zealand produces enough tallow to do such a thing, but you cannot ignore market forces here. The works currently sell all but the worst grades of tallow overseas for substantially more than $1.00 per litre ex-Works. The crap that is left is very difficult to make in biofuels and requires such a level of investment as to make the whole process and business of making biofuel from this source un-economic.

Second: Again the government is prepared to lie when they talk about New Zealand growing suitable crops for producing biofuels. Yes we could do that, but it would be at the expense of producing food crops. You see we are already using the land that is suitable for growing biofuel stock crops. It is producing food crops. You can’t have both, it is one or the other.

Third, the only options left then are importing stock for production of biofuels, most of the stock available for the production of bio-diesel is Palm oil. Indonesia is busily razing the flora on any spare island they can find to grow the palms for palm oil. The Pacific Islands could conceivably produce coconut oil for bio-diesel production but again there simply isn’t enough. If Samoa, for instance, decided to harvest coconuts for oil instead of copra they can only produce enough for the provision of 10% of their own fuel requirements, but at the same time it would tank the economy. Why? Well because the biggest earner in Samoa is Copra, if you take the coconut crop and produce biofuels then they lose the revenue from copra and instantly are bankrupt. It also means we can’t get oil from them. I can go on about every Pacific nation, India and Africa as potential for production of stock oils for producing bio-fuel and if anyone asks I will enlighten them offline about the report of the finding of my research.

Fourth: Even if we could buy stock oils at a reasonable price the quantities involved are huge. All the pumping facilities to handle bulk liquids in New Zealand are already 100% utilised and worse they are almost entirely owned by oil companies. They will be less than impressed to provide bulk liquid pumping facilities to competitive products. Then of course there are the shipping costs. We live at about the furthest you can live anywhere in the world to transport stock oils to from producers of the oils or ethanol. The cost per metric tonne is cost prohibitive in the first place. Combine the shipping price with the increasing stock oil price and already you raw material is over $1 per litre and it hasn’t even been processed yet. To get an idea go to Alibaba and do a search for any type of suitable oil and see if you can get a price less than $1.00 per litre ex-factory….you won’t but you can give it a try to see what I mean. Oh and while you are at it check out how much full commercial production plants are.

Fifth: What about conversion of marginal lands to Salix and Algae production. Good oh! there is a reason the land is marginal, it floods! The cost benefits aren’t proven here and the investment requirements are significant especially for the production of algae. However that said algae provides more oil per hectare than anything else by a factor of over 20, so is perhaps the best option. Unfortunately though the technology just isn’t there yet at a level to produce the significant quantities required.

Sixth: The environmental benefits just so happen to turn out to be like almost anything associated with the “Climate Change Chicken Littles” (CCCL’s). Complete and utter bullshit. There simply are no, zero, zilch, none, viable environmental reasons to use or even make biofuels.

Seventh: Almost all oils produced that can be used for the production of biofuels are also edible oils, therefore you are competing in the market with the need to supply existing markets with edible or food grade oils. These oils are also used to make a multitude of other products from make-up and other cosmetics to margarine. Jatropha is one option but there isn’t much available yet and we can’t grow it here. Again Jatropha oil is over $1.00 per litre ex-factory.

So that is summary of just a little bit about what I know about biofuels. Again if anyone wants to discuss this with me then by all means contact me via the Contact Page.

Technorati Tags: , , ,