Director of the Center for Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Can Alternative Energy Effectively Replace Fossil Fuels?"
"Alternative energy sources such as biofuels are a promising tool for securing energy supply, especially with the increasing volatility and uncertainty of fossil fuel markets. The competitiveness of biofuels depends heavily on the relative prices of fossil fuels and agricultural feedstock. Choice of feedstocks, cultivation practices, and technologies could minimize food-fuel competition and ensure environmental benefits. However, embarking on large-scale biofuel production with current technologies does not make sense at this time for many developing countries. It is more rational to wait for the emergence of second- and third-generation technologies, and 'leapfrog' onto these technologies later.
Expansion of biofuel production introduces new challenges and risks for poor people. Biofuels could unduly divert land, water, and capital, as well as political attention, away from the production of food and feed. The food-fuel tradeoff could lead to increased commodity prices and higher food price fluctuations. Further, distorting subsidy regimes for biofuels may also have adverse effects on the poor, because subsidized fuel––from which the poor benefit little––acts as an implicit tax on food. In the presence of appropriate economic, trade, science, and social policies, biofuels could contribute to energy security and lead to win-win outcomes without jeopardizing food security."
Experts Individuals with PhDs, heads of government, members of state or federal legislative bodies, and individuals with graduate degrees and significant post-graduate involvement in alternative energy or fossil fuel issues. [Note: Experts definition varies by site.]
Involvement and Affiliations:
Director of the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, 2009-present
Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), 2002-2009
Member, Scientific Advisory Board of the Courant Research Centre of the University of Goettingen, 2007-present
Member, International Advisory Board of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, 2007-present
Member, Council on the Future of UNESCO, 1999-present
Co-Chair, Expert Group on Poverty and Hunger, World Economic Forum, 2004-2005
Director, Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn (Germany), 1997-2002
Professor, Institute for Agricultural Policy and Applied Economics, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Bonn, 1997-2002
Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Kiel (Germany), 1993-1997
Director, Institute for Food Economics and Consumer Analyses, University of Kiel, 1993-1997
Director, Food Consumption and Nutrition Division, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), 1990-1993
Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), 1984-1990
Associate Professor, Institute of Agricultural Economics, University of Göttingen (Germany), 1982-1983
Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), 1981-1982
Visiting Fellow, Institute of National Planning (Cairo, Egypt), 1979-1980
Research Associate, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Göttingen, 1975-1980
PhD, Agricultural Economics, University of Göttingen, 1978