- Julio Campos
- Jundiai - Sp
Not only environmental damages should be considered, but also the not accounted environmental costs of oil production.
For some years now new energy sources has been researched to face the eventual depletion of our fossil fuels reserves. Those researches had leaded to two different options; 1- energy crops and 2-non- crops sources, such as hydrogen and recently microalgae.
Growing crops allows to produce a almost clean fuel that can compete with fossil fuels prices but implies in two major problems. The need to choose between using the land to produce fuel sources or food and the need to use even larger agricultural areas as the demand increases, implying in a crescent environmental impact.
Trying to find a different option is the second research. These options lead to cleaner fuels and considerably small environmental impact. These options however are today confronted to a major drawback due to the lack of proper technology which leads them to be are more expensive than oil fuel what makes those technologies less interesting for research investors, reducing it’s development rate.
However on the economic side there are a few factors that are not being considered as they should. One is the environmental benefits of these new sources that are not being considered in the price calculation. The other factor can be considered even more important seems to have escaped from researches attention. It is the fact that the comparison of fossil fuel prices and clean fuel prices cannot be made as it have been made.
The fossil fuel prices are a result of oil extraction and refining while the clean fuels prices are calculated considering the production, harvesting and processing, and here lies the problem. We get fossil sources for free. Clean fuels sources, on the other hand, are not free, they need to be produced and this production implies in extra costs. So comparing a free energy source with a costly energy source generates a distortion in the final prices, which results in a more expensive product.