Regional Availability

Despite pushes for Jatropha, Camelina, and algae, it is more likely that biofuel feedstock will be grown on a regional basis. This is important for a number of reasons, chief among them being the fact that some crops just grow better in some locations and not so well in other. Things that will need to be taken into consideration are:

Water use - The less water a crop uses, the better as water is a very limited resource. This is particularly important in places that are more arid.

Invasiveness - A crop that kills native plants and which is difficult to control is not a good choice as it may threaten biodiversity and severely damage the surrounding ecosystem.

Fertilizer - Nutrients are needed for plants to grow. Some plants are more frugal with scarce resources than others.

Limitations - Some places just aren't going to be able to grow biofuel crops. Alaska, for instance, really isn't suited to the rapid growth needed to produce crops year after year for fuel supplies. Regions like this will have to import fuels, so energy independence still will not be possible for every location.

It is becoming ever clearer, that biofuels do not present the energy independence originally attributed to them. Limitations on water, arable land, and access to chemical fertilizers all place restrictions on the regions in which large quantities of biofuels can be grown. BASF, far from removing the imbalance of power created by the limited distribution of fossil fuels, biofuels are likely to only redistribute the existing lack of balance and not alleviate it altogether.

World Map of Total Biomass By Region