California Ready for Biofuel Boom

June 10, 2013
How biomass and purpose-grown crops could help California meet its energy goals.

Biofuels from plants and purpose-grown crops could help California take a large step toward achieving its energy goals, but only if stringent energy efficiency measures are implemented and crops are allocated wisely.

California Energy Future: The Potential for Biofuels, a new study by the California Council on Science and Technology, addresses six scenarios based on varying options for supply and demand. The ability of biofuels to propel California toward its emissions target depends largely on the future demand for fuels and the availability of next-generation technology, according to the study.

The report indicates that biofuels could particularly help reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by transportation, but truly moving away from fossil fuels altogether will also require the implementation of low-carbon lignocellulosic ethanol and biomass-derived hydrocarbons, as well as a significant reduction in demand.

The report is the first of seven in a series summarizing the conclusions of a two-year study aimed at charting a path toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050 as required by a 2005 executive order.

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