Crown prince regrets popularity of biofuels

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Crown Prince Willem-Alexander says the use of food as fuel increases the global water shortage.

14 December 2007

AMSTERDAM - Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander says he regrets the increasing popularity of biofuels because the use of food as fuel increases the global water shortage, according to a report Thursday.

Willem-Alexander, an advocate of water issues and the patron of various international bodies concerned with the resource, made the comments in an interview published by Dutch weekly magazine Elsevier.

"Providing someone in the Third World with grain for one whole year and harvesting enough cane sugar to fill up a single sports utility vehicle (SUV) with bio-ethanol, requires the same amount of water," he was quoted as saying.

The 40-year-old prince said while he hoped science will help produce biofuels from agricultural waste, he did not foresee a quick solution.

"The investments required to adjust oil-based generators to first- generation biofuel-based generators are enormous," he explained.

"The private sector will not be anxious to make similar investments to build second-generation electricity generators. They will claim they were once forced to join the hype and that now they are not even allowed to earn back their own investments."

[Copyright dpa 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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