Branson BioPower interview online


The full interview with Sir Richard Branson about alternative fuels and his efforts to reduce his carbon footprint has now been published over at Saab Great Britian’s BioPower website.

Click here to read the interview in full.

Some interesting tidbits:

Clearly there will also have to be a positive approach to the taxation of the fuel at home in the UK. The most local example I can think of is London where it is a nonsense that hybrid and electric cars pay no congestion charge and bioethanol cars do. I intend to write to the mayor about this shortly.

Just what Saab are after, I would say.

If the government is going to tax traditional fuel more it needs to provide big incentives to use greener fuels at the same time which can benefit people’s pockets as well as their conscience.

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  1. I dunno about this whole biofuel thing after I read in the newspaper it takes 450lbs of corn to make enough biofuel (I believe E100) to fill one tank of an average American SUV. Seems like a massive waste of food if you ask me!! And as biofuels arent any better for the atmosphere I think Saab would be better off going the way of hydrogen.

  2. The end to all ends is not ethanol. Current hydrogen seems to be the best option, but its clearly not fully feasible yet. However ethanol is a fantastic option now, and we need to develop these alternative fuels on our march to finding the perfect energy source. Its a great step away from oil, one that we need to be persuing as much as possible. One day, perhaps hydrogen will be ready for everyone, or maybe even something better. Btw, corn is the easiest way to make ethanol, but certainly not the only. Once ethanol becomes more widely used, the push to make ethanol from other sources will happen.

  3. sethsev7n has a good point. We’re not going to be able to go to whatever the panacea is right away. It’ll be in steps.

    Ethanol is better than gasoline and biodiesel is better than petrodiesel right? We’ll, in conjunction with hybrids (to conserve the amount of fuel used) we can start to address the problem. Then maybe phase those out with whatever’s next and better after we’ve phased out IC cars.

    I wouldn’t worry about “wasting food” when it comes to using corn to make ethanol. In the U.S. the government pays farmers NOT to plant crops. So it’s not like they’re taking corn off our tables to put it in our fuel tanks. When all the useable farmland in the U.S. has been exhausted then maybe we should worry about that.

    Also, the second-generation biofuels like cellulosic ethanol and biobutanol will yield far more fuel per acre than current biofuel production methods.

    As for hydrogen, it’s a complete joke. Unless we’re talking about generating hydrogen from algae (which is sci-fi right now with the only real results being low-scale proof-of-concept testing in a laboratory), hydrogen produces far more greenhouse gases to manufacture than if you were to just burn gasoline in the car instead.

    It takes a lot of electricity to extract hydrogen from water. You have to use (today’s U.S. electrical grid) mostly coal and natural gas to generate that electricity, which pollutes with greenhouse gases.

    My perfect green future (maybe I’m a dreamer) would see an electric grid primarily supplied by a combination of renewable and nuclear (non-greenhouse-gas polluting) power plants that we use to charge our pure-EV vehicles which have battery technology advanced enough to equal today’s fossil fuel-propelled cars’ performance.

  4. I agree with the comments above plus I would like to add that buying local and supporting the local economy is the #1 step is Enviromental Sustainabilty. Most enthonal production is in the home or neighbouring country of use. so you are supporting your local farmers, who then buy more materials and undertake more service which keep people like me employed. You also have the transport costs. Here is Australia we import most of our oil, coming from the otherside of the world. Ethenol is the way to go in the mean time of the next 10-15 years, and governments need to embrace this technology as it is such an easy fix when compared to other alternatives.

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