The OECD just released a new report discussing the potential of biofuels as a growing segment of the energy matrix. I haven't read through the entire report yet, but so far the points are valid. The argument that crops for fuel will push food commodity prices higher is nothing new; we are seeing that at the moment reflected in grains futures. What I am more pleased to see in their discussion is how they address the issues pertaining to (a) cost-effectiveness of large scale implementation, (b) feasibility to meet growing energy needs, and (c) the solution actually creating a larger resource problem. Biofuels have a place in the energy complex, but too much biofuels euphoria (aka biofools...biofools.org) will have negative envrionmental and financial consequences. However, applying biotechnology for energy purposes does have another avenue: enter Synthetic Biology. Companies such as LS9 and Synthetic Genomics, are just two examples of forward thinking companies who are leading the efforts in creating new biological based energy sources that will be more efficient, cleaner, and ultimately cost-competitive within the current energy complex.
After I read through with more comments, I will discuss the OECD paper in more detail.