chapter  17
15 Pages

Bio energy efficiency and a flex- mill simulation in


Until the 1970s renewable energy production systems were widely considered minor and declining sources for energy (Maugh 1972). Since then, oil price shocks, concerns about finite energy dependence, technological advances, varied and new renewable-related energy-products, green job creation and rural economic development have changed the policy and business environment for renewable energy in the economy (Sims et al. 2006; British Petroleum 2009; Pandey 2009). Rapid development by some of the most populated countries has significantly tightened fossil fuel supplies causing prices to rise dramatically over the last 15 years. Concerns over climate change have accelerated the interest in renewable energy sources in general, and liquid bio fuels in particular (McKendry 2002; Sims et al. 2006). Governments have reacted to these concerns by introducing financial frameworks and policies to mobilize capital investment in renewable energy projects. The United States invested almost $25 billion dollars, 20 percent of the global investment, into the sector in 2008 (British Petroleum 2009). Renewable energy growth has not been restricted to developed countries. At least 64 countries had policies to promote renewable power generation by early 2009 (REN21 2009). Global annual renewable energy investment has increased 400 percent since 2004 and reached $120 billion dollars in 2008. Solar photovoltaic annual capacity increased 500 percent to 16 gigawatts, wind-power 250 percent to 121 gigawatts, and ethanol production 100 percent to an annual capacity of 70 billion liters. Total energy production from renewables increased to 280 gigawatts during the period. Global annual energy demand could jump from 400 EJ in 2000 to 700-1,000 EJ by 2050 and reach 1,275-1,500 EJ/year in 2100 (Clarke et al. 2007). Demand pressures and climate change concerns will likely continue to shift policy and investment away from traditional sources, such as fossil fuels, and toward having renewables play a larger role in the world’s energy portfolio.