A panel of leading experts today said that biofuels represent a sustainable solution to address growing concerns about energy security and climate change.
"It is possible -- if the world is really serious about climate change, if people continue to be concerned about energy security, and given the breakthroughs in technology that now seem plausible -- biofuels could represent a significant amount of the transport fuel mix in the future," said BP Biofuels President Phillip New.
"The Department of Energy is very pleased to be collaborating on research, development, and commercial deployment of clean energy through growing public partnerships to sustainably develop advanced biofuels on an accelerated timetable to address America's addiction to oil, dramatically reduce greenhouse gases, and make our economy more agile and competitive," said U.S. Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander "Andy" Karsner.
New and Karsner joined Dartmouth College Engineering and Biology Professor Lee Lynd and Vantage Point Venture Partner Bernie Bulkin for the panel discussion hosted by DuPont Applied BioSciences(TM). The panel was moderated by DuPont Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer Thomas M. Connelly, Jr.
The panelists also outlined the global market drivers that are creating growing demand for biofuels; the role governments can play in accelerating biofuels development; and the challenges and opportunities to make biofuels a commercial reality beyond today's grain and sugar cane ethanol.
"Climate change is a global problem that requires global attention," Vantage Point's Bulkin said. "There is no one miracle technology that will save the day. What we'll need instead is a number of approaches from a number of vantage points. We'll need to focus on biomass opportunities and how we can produce biofuels from different agricultural feedstocks, but we're also going to need to look at more sustainable fuel molecules and fuel technologies."
"Navigating a smooth transition to a world supported by sustainable resources is the defining challenge of our time," Dartmouth's Lynd said. "Increasingly, cellulosic biofuels are expected to play a key role as a source of renewable transportation fuels, and investment at entirely unprecedented levels is being made in the field. It is reasonable to expect rapid progress and the emergence of a new industry with potentially transformative impacts."
"Biofuels is an important business priority for DuPont," Connelly said. "We value the collective views of such well-respected experts who participated in the panel discussion. The panelists have helped shape the biofuels industry in different ways and we will continue to seek their counsel as DuPont brings its portfolio of advanced biofuels to market."