Renewable Energy

Foreign Affairs Article

How Biofuels Could Starve the Poor

Authors: C. Ford Runge and Benjamin Senauer

Thanks to high oil prices and hefty subsidies, corn-based ethanol is now all the rage in the United States. But it takes so much supply to keep ethanol production going that the price of corn -- and those of other food staples -- is shooting up around the world. To stop this trend, and prevent even more people from going hungry, Washington must conserve more and diversify ethanol's production inputs.

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Ask CFR Experts

With renewable energy sources in countries like Brazil and Bolivia, will U.S. energy policy shift toward South America?

Asked by Fagner Dantas, from Universidade Federal da Bahia

The global energy map is being redrawn at an accelerated pace. All signs point to the United States becoming part of an increasingly hemispheric energy trade, both for oil as well as for biofuels like ethanol. The Middle East will still loom large in U.S. energy policy given its crucial role in the world oil market, but U.S. energy officials and companies are forging deeper ties with their counterparts elsewhere in the Americas.

Read full answer

See more in United States; Energy Policy; Renewable Energy

Audio

A Future Vision For Energy (Audio)

Speaker: Anne Lauvergeon
Presider: Christine Todd Whitman

Anne Lauvergeon, chief executive officer of AREVA, a company that provides complete fuel cycle services, nuclear reactor design, and construction for the nuclear energy industry internationally, offers her perspective on how to satisfy growing global energy needs while decreasing carbon dioxide emissions,  protecting natural resources, and maintaining price stability and competition.

This session was part of the Corporate Program’s CEO Speaker series.

See more in Nuclear Energy; Renewable Energy; Global

Audio

A Conversation with T. Boone Pickens (Audio)

Speaker: T. Boone Pickens
Presider: Frank W. Sesno

Listen to T. Boone Pickens outline the future of U.S. energy policy and his campaign to promote the “Pickens Plan,” which calls for increased use of domestic energy products such as wind and natural gas to lower U.S. dependence on foreign oil by more than fifty percent over the next ten years.

See more in Energy Policy; Renewable Energy

Audio

Is Castro Right? The Prospects for Biofuel Development (Audio)

Speakers: David J. Rothkopf and C. Ford Runge
Presider: Julia E. Sweig

Listen to David Rothkopf, president and chief executive officer of Garten Rothkopf, and C. Ford Runge, distinguished McKnight university professor of applied economics at the University of Minnesota, discuss the potential impact of the increasing demand for biofuels on global energy and food security.

See more in Cuba; Renewable Energy; Biotechnology

Audio

Panacea or Pipe Dream? Energy Policy and the Search for Alternatives: Session 2: The Range of the Possible: Energy Alternatives in the Market (Audio)

Speakers: John E. Bryson and Vijay Vaitheeswaran
Presider: Sebastian Mallaby

Listen to John Bryson, chairman and CEO of Edison International, and Vijay Vaitheeswaran, correspondent for The Economist, discuss the role of the market in developing energy alternatives to oil and gas.

See more in Renewable Energy; Energy Policy; United States

Must Read

PEW: Who's Winning the Clean Energy Race?

This report documents the dawning of a new worldwide industry-clean energy-which has experienced investment growth of 230 percent since 2005. Demonstrating its strength, the clean energy sector declined only 6.6 percent in 2009 despite the worst financial downturn in over half a century.

See more in Renewable Energy; Global