Max Planck is the father of quantum theory, which turned the scientific world on its head in 1918. Along with Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, these two concepts are the basis for the modern physics. So when Dr. Hartmut Michel, a Nobel prize winning member of the Max Planck Institute For Biophysics says biofuels are “nonsense”, we should listen, shouldn’t we?
His argument is simple. He says biofuels convert less than 1% of available sunlight into useful liquid energy. And some petroleum powered energy has to be expended on fertilizers, pesticides and agricultural equipment to get even that much, reducing the net efficiency of biofuels even further.
Since current solar panel technology can convert 20% of available sunlight into useful energy, Dr. Michel says we should be focusing our efforts for a sustainable energy future on solar rather than biological solutions. If solar is 20 times more efficient, his argument makes perfect sense. You can read more about Dr. Michel’s analysis at TreeHugger.com.
So, what do you think? Take a moment to fill out today’s poll and add a comment. Thanks.
Obviously they are dealing with old data. The increase in efficiency of the biofuels industry in the last few years has been amazing. Also….
Where do they think the energy of the oil industry comes from? In reality oil is just ancient plant material stored in the earth. Talk about inefficient! There is so much energy lost over the decades that modern, fresher plant material cannot help but have more stored energy in it.
Thanks for your sensible and cogent comment, Michael.