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For Powering Cars, Solar-Electric Is ‘Orders Of Magnitude’ More Efficient Than Biofuels | ThinkProgress

Climate Progress recently reported on a study that found both economic and environmental benefits if homes in the northeastern United States upgraded older heating systems by moving from heating oil to switchgrass. However, one point to emphasize was the findings were specific to those circumstances — the region, the homes, and that particular use.
Switchgrass was not nearly as good an idea for electricity generation or transportation fuel. Further confirming the need for a diversity of renewable solutions to our energy needs, a recent study determined that electricity generated by solar beats out biofuels for powering cars under myriad scenarios.
The report, put together by a team from the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and published in Enviornmental Science and Technology, compared five different approaches to see what was the most efficient way to power a compact passenger vehicle for every 100 kilometers driven:
Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) run on electricity from solar power.
Battery-electric vehicles run on electricity from switchgrass.
Internal combustion vehicles (ICVs) run on switchgrass biofuel.
Battery-electric vehicles run on electricity from corn.
Internal combustion vehicles run on corn-based biofuel.
The analysis considered land-use, greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel use, and took into account the production and use life cycles of both the fuels themselves and the vehicles they power.
More http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/03/27/1783781/for-powering-cars-solar-is-orders-of-magnitude-more-efficient-than-biofuels/?mobile=wp

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