In the Financial Times Ricardo Hausmann, the director of Harvard University’s Center for International Development, he argues that BioFuels will certainly be part our future and that technology is bound to deliver a biofuel that will be competitive with fossil energy at current prices. He says that ethanol is an inconvenient chemical compound that is corrosive and soluble in water but don’t worry, it’s just the “Betamax” phase of the eco-fuel industry. Hausmann argues:

The world is full of under-utilised land that can grow the biomass that the new technology will require. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the world has a bit less than 1.4bn hectares under cultivation. But using the Geographic Information System database, Rodrigo Wagner and I have estimated that there are some 95 countries that have more than 700m hectares of good quality land that is not being cultivated. Depending on assumptions about productivity per hectare, today’s oil production represents the equivalent of some 500m to 1bn hectares of biofuels. So the production potential of biofuels is in the same ball park as oil production today… Even if only partially used, this large potential biofuels supply will cap the price of oil because its supply is much more elastic than the supply of oil.

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