UK biofuel obligation welcomed by skipper of Earthrace eco-boat


The crew of Earthrace, the world's fastest, coolest and greenest powerboat, has welcomed the introduction by the UK government of the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation - describing it as a valuable step in the right direction for the UK energy market.

Earthrace is an incredible 78ft wave-piercing trimaran that runs exclusively on biodiesel and has a net zero carbon footprint - making it one of the world's most environmentally-friendly powerboats, while not skimping on design or performance (Click Here). The project kicks-off on 27 April when Earthrace begins its round-the-world speed record attempt from Sagunto, Spain.

"The widespread availability of plant-based fuel at petrol stations across the UK paves the way for real progress for sustainable transport energy" - says skipper Pete Bethune. "Earthrace runs entirely on biofuel and still manages to look stunning and travel at an efficient speed for its purpose - if we can build a boat like this, imagine what the future holds for cars.

"However, biofuel must not be accepted as a panacea for transport energy. It is a step in the right direction, but it doesn't take away the need to develop other renewable alternatives. In the five years since we started the Earthrace project, the industry has changed considerably.

"Many countries are developing industries based on palm oil - currently the cheapest feedstock - while kidding themselves it is good for the environment. The UK must invest money in producing biofuel from waste products or dedicated energy crops. On the whole, energy crops have a positive social impact on areas where they are produced - but, in the long term, the government must ensure local feedstock gets developed, rather than relying on imports. 'Splash and dash' is not the answer."

From Sagunto, Bethune and his crew will head across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans as they speed around the planet's circumference at a maximum speed of 40 knots.

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