Renewable energy, such as from photovoltaic electricity and ethanol, today supplies less than 7 percent of U.S. consumption. If we leave aside hydroelectric power, it is under 4.5 percent. Globally, renewables provide only about 3.5 percent of electricity and even less of transportation fuels.It sure is strange to see someone published in Scientific American claiming that ethanol is a renewable fuel, given that it does not result in a net gain of energy. In addition, it brings the added baggage of making our food costs substantially greater and of using up many other resources to no advantage except one of more income for some farmers and for ADM and other subsidized ethanol refiners.
I should not forget that many politicians love the votes they are buying from the special interest groups benefiting from ethanol mandates. Despite the fact that these mandates clearly hurt most Americans and do not serve the purposes used to justify them, Congress still has not revoked the foolish ethanol mandates and subsidies.