heightened awareness of environmental problems such as climate change and the extreme dependence on economically unreliable supply of fossil fuels and their dwindling reserves.
The European Union (EU) has been at the forefront of attempting to gradually adapt the concept of environmental sustainability. EU’s current target is to be able to supply 20% of its energy requirements through renewable energy by 2020 (European Commission 2010). EU’s gradual adoption of renewable energy as a significant resource as part of its total energy supply is an attempt to secure a long term supply of energy for its residents while at the same time reducing the negative effects of energy use on the environment by reducing the use of fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels are the primary cause of greenhouse emissions. Not only that, there is a finite supply of fossil fuels reserves which are being consumed at an accelerating rate. The fact that fossil fuels are the primary energy resource and provide the feedstock for almost all of the manufacturing industry at some stage of production calls for a need for the conservation of these resources and the search for alternates. The environmentally sustainable nature of renewable energy is inherently more economically stable and therefore will remain more affordable in the future compared to the unreliable and volatile fossil fuel market.
One of the renewable energy initiatives the EU is promoting is the use of biofuels. A biofuel is any fuel that is obtained from a renewable biological resource, such as wood or as in the case of EU’s new and largest biofuel refinery situated in Britain, wheat. The biofuel energy model works on the principal that plants not only provide a renewable source of fuel compared to finite fossil fuel reserves, they also fit into the current carbon cycle and provide us with fuel by using carbon dioxide already present in the atmosphere instead of introducing more carbon by releasing it from fossil fuels. Other