Farmers need land to grow their crops to be used as food or ethanol. The growing demand for ethanol has caused some farmers and commercial agriculture companies to clear out more land for their crops. Clearing out more land for biofuel production could lead to a deforesting problem that wasn’t foreseen. An increasing demand for biofuel has led some companies to clear out protected forest areas instead of forest waste. The clearing of forest areas for agriculture can cause multiple problems for the earth and species residing in the forests. Too much deforestation could counter the biofuels solution to lower greenhouse emissions.
Forest Areas Are Important Global CO2 Sinks
Right now there isn’t enough data or information to show that the production of biofuels has contributed to problems with deforestation. Although there isn’t enough data to show this information right now it can be predicted by current events. If agriculture companies clear out forest areas and plant saplings elsewhere, those saplings will take too long to balance what was taken away. If crops that produce low CO2 amounts are planted in place of deforested areas, then it doesn’t balance out properly. Lower CO2 amounts will create a problem for plant life on the earth and aid to the climate change.
Producing biofuels also creates an issue with water usage. Farmers and agriculture companies need to water their crops in order to gain a good harvest. This water consumption can cause issues in low water supplies in the surrounding areas. This water consumption can also cause issues for the surrounding wildlife. The weather and area would be a major factor in how much water is used on the farmland. Some people may find that the production of biofuel is too risky and other means of producing energy would be safer. Solar panel technology and Windmills may seem like a better solution for creating energy than biofuels.
Creating Biofuels from Waste Products
Using waste products to produce biofuels would validate its purpose. The technology for using waste products to produce biofuel isn’t perfected yet. If it were perfected and practiced throughout all processes, then biofuel development wouldn’t cause harm to environments. These waste products would include non-edible materials and algae. The cellulose of the waste products could be used to create the biofuels instead of the sugars from crops like corn and sugar cane. This would mean that instead of clearing forests the dead trees from forests could be used to create the biofuels.
If the new technology was perfected and less costly, then biofuels would serve their purpose. The problem of deforestation would come to a halt as well if waste products were used to create biofuels. Less farmland would be needed to create the biofuels since crops wouldn’t be the only means of making biofuels. For now, the production of biofuels could be a problem or a solution to greenhouse gas emissions. If technology advancements continue to unfold, then deforestation won’t be an issue to look out for.