The entire world needs energy for infinite purposes like cooking food, heating the homes and running the machines. Our quality of life depends on this energy and we rely completely over this abundant supply of energy for living and working.
Fossil fuels are the major sources of our energy. Commercial exploitation of these fuels has increased so much so that a day would come where we have no more fossil fuels left.
The world energy consumption is likely to increase by 75 percent within the next 25 years. Therefore, we have to reduce our dependence on the fossil fuels to find other sources of alternative fuels.
Biofuels, or fuels derived from plants are the best form of alternative fuels. Various plants such as corn, wheat, soybean and sunflower can be used to produce biofuels.
There are innumerable advantages of using energy crops:
- They make us less fossil fuel dependent.
- They are inexhaustible sources of fuels.
- They are better for our environment than the fossil fuels.
- They can be cultivated almost anywhere on Earth.
- Even barren land can be used for their cultivation.
- These crops absorb the CO2 from the air and reduce the green house effect.
- Some of these plants help in preventing soil erosion.
- They can attract insects that help in pollination and pest control.
Good and bad are the two sides of the same coin. While many crops are highly beneficial, some crops may have certain adverse effects.
- The Palm oil manufacturing leads to the destruction of rainforests that has endangered the lives of many plant and animal species and affected the Earth’s weather system. It also produces large amount of green house gases.
- The production of bioplants is very profitable and hence farmers are reluctant to grow food crops, thereby increasing the prices of the food crops.
- Not all biocrops have ecologically sound effects, as many of them require more fuel for their cultivation than the fuel they produce after yielding large number of crops.
- The cultivation of only one type of plant poses a threat to the bird biodiversity.
Keeping in mind which biocrops to grow and where to grow, if we make a wise decision in the choice of energy crops we can make our environment and our planet a more better place to live.