Renewable Fuels as the Best Alternative Shift


The past few decades have witnessed an interesting and consistent global encouragement for the alternative usage of bio fuels over cracked or refined petroleum. Day by day, the call for use of bio fuels in homes, automobiles, airlines as well as industries is heard louder. Government of countries investing huge interest and cash for the utilization of bio fuels in their localities. This surge is edged forward by the conviction that fossil fuel are increasingly becoming expensive, diminishing in supply, becoming very dangerous to the environment and, resultantly causing adverse health impacts to man, plants and animals[1]. The economic viability of the adoption of bio fuels globally, as preferential fuel to petroleum, is steered by criticism from the educational point of view, the argument is that production of bio fuels is eating up agricultural raw materials, denying agro allied industries of supply, increasing global food crisis, especially in developing countries. Another argument stands clear that the production of bio fuels is cost intensive and less friendly for small scale utilization. In spite of the criticism from respected quarters, renewable fuels remain the best alternative shift from the diminishing fossil fuels.

Renewable fuels

Renewable fuels are either produced from animal waste or droppings (known as biomass) or from plants. Renewable or bio fuels are of various forms: Bio ethanol, which is produced from sugar and cassava; and substitute petroleum in its usage. Bio diesel is produced from Jatropha, palm oil or from rapeseeds. Frances [2] is of the opinion that the increasing infusion of bio fuel technology and its dependence on agricultural produce is capable of provoking farmer’s interest in growing more of crops used as raw materials for bio fuels production. He also stressed that bio fuel production has a multiplier effect in increasing agro business and empowering the economy. According to [ 3] increased demand for renewable energy forms will structurally develop rural markets and it is capable of creating employment opportunities for the rural populace.

The production of crops used for bio fuels, George [4] argues has expanded the use of agricultural lands, and consequently has intensified communal land disputes. This has thrown away many locals from their homes. He identified the shortage in water supply as one of the major impact of increased use of water for the irrigation of this crop in dry seasons. Herman [5] has a different opinion, land dispute s he says are used as excuses by locals as a stage of getting at those they have differences with. Alvin[ 6] on the other hand feel the use of agricultural products for the production of this fuels will result to food shortage and as an extension the global food crisis. But the advocates of renewable fuels think as more and more crops are cultivated for the production of these fuels more food will be available. They stress that the prevailing food crisis is as a result of the poor markets for the farm produce, which discourage the farmers from producing but as the markets open for them to sell their produces more products will be produced, and more people will be encouraged to invest in those crops for which the market is available and the resultant effect is that, there will be more food.

A variety of security in terms of energy is also offered by renewable fuels, other benefits derived from renewable diesel fuels are economical and environmental in nature. One undisputed advantage that is derived from these fuels; Veigh [7] and Dufer [8] agreed that countries investing in it are liberated from total dependence on foreign oil imports. Dependence on foreign oil imputes by a country he says, renders such a nation vulnerable, especially during crisis. The argument is that a nation that does not independently produce its energy needs will have problems sourcing for, when they disagree with the nations from which they get their supplies.


Renewable fuels as the name implies is a kind of fuel that is gotten from renewable source. It is a direct contrast of sources of fuels that are not renewable, for example natural gas and all other fuels from the fossil family, alongside those from nuclear energy source [9]. The popularity that renewable fuels have gained in the last few years is as a result of their sustainability, a contribution to the carbon cycle that is almost negligible, and a release of green house gases that is low compared to other source of energy [10]. All the renewable sources of energy are not yet view as a sure replacement of petroleum. For instance a critical consideration of ethanol will be seen as having its merits and demerits. Some schools of thought opine that ethanol is only a segment of a solution to a problem that is complex. It is thus clear that renewable fuels will provide great opportunity basically in two sensitive directions, one in the area of energy security and the other in enhancing the climate change fight. Countries that are currently investing in this virgin opportunity, are investing for posterity and the leaders of such nations will surely be remembered and praised by the generations yet unborn [11].


[1] M. Hanna, Feedstock and Biogas energy. 2nd ed. Jos: Teleman, 2003.

[2] M. Frances, Biogas production in Nigeria. 6thed. Abuja: Aboki, 1998.

[3] K, Jack, Biogas Production and agric development. 3rd ed. Kaduna: Ternado, 1996.

[4] D. George, The production of biodiesel from animal dung. Cape Town: Salome, 2009.

[5] J. Herman, The future of energy generation. 1sted. Peru: Ama, 2000.

[6] P. Alvin, Renewable sources of energy. Accra: Techno, 2001, pp. 54

[7] M. Veigh, “An introduction to the application of solar energy”, Nigerian Journal of tropical Engineering, Vol.2, pp.26-23, 2003.

[8]V. N. Dufer, Nigerian Bio-fuel Policy and Incentives, Abuja: Salu, 2006.

[9]S. N. Mcgregor, Bio-fuels vs food crops, Johannesburg: Wamber Printing house, 2007.

[10]G. W. Ark, Biofuels in Africa: Investment boom or Food threat?, Accra: T and T, 2007.

[11]M. West, Biofuel generation in Sub-Saharan Afriaca, Abuja: Ellen, 2008.

[12] J. Hewitt, Blending EPAs renewable fuels standard in complex proposition, Houston Business Journal-2007. Web.