Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Vin ruse

It seems the great European wine lake is taking on a greenish tinge (and not because of an influx of vinho verde). Reuters reports that the European Union is preparing to sell its stockpiled wine surplus for conversion into biofuel. A tender notice in the EU's Official Journal (available as pdf here) offers around 70 million litres of alcohol distilled from otherwise unsellable plonk - strictly for use as bioethanol.
So is viniculture a particularly sustainable potential source for biofuel? I've not seen the sums, but I'd strongly suspect not - like corn in the US, this is more to do with finding a market for the fruits of heavily subsidised production.

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