a1 Department of Sociology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
This article reviews scientific, peer-reviewed literature on the costs and benefits of biofuels. Four peer-reviewed journals—Science, Natural Resources Research, Renewable Energy, and Journal of Cleaner Production—were searched for articles from the years 2006 through 2008 that evaluated some aspect of this fuel. The articles identified through this search were then assessed collectively. Non-foodstock biofuels were reported as having the fewest costs associated with their production and use. The article concludes on a sociological note, with a speculative look ahead. Drawing upon the concept of path dependency, the discussion turns briefly to society's ability (or perhaps lack thereof) to switch over to these so-called second-generation biofuels.
Environmental Practice 11:17–24 (2009)
(Received April 11 2008)
(Revised October 17 2008)
(Accepted October 31 2008)