Richard Branson on biofuels
- By Jack Preston -
- Sep 04, 2012
Ever since a Virgin Atlantic aircraft made history in 2008, becoming the first flight by a commercial airline to be powered partly by biofuel, Richard Branson has been eager to further advance Virgin's use of clean fuels.
“There are a number of clean technologies and clean business solutions that I’m passionate about, but with regards to transportation and air transport specifically, the options for reducing the environmental impact are somewhat limited,” explained the Virgin Group founder to the International Finance Corporation.
“With airplanes it’s important we make air transportation more efficient but we also need sustainable biofuels since we won’t have fuel cell or electric planes anytime soon.”
"I've always loved a challenge, we absolutely have to transition away from fossil fuels... the advanced biofuels industry is ready to take off."
As recently as last year Branson talked of his desire to have all of the Virgin airlines using only clean burning fuels by 2020, making air travel one of the cleanest sectors. So how does he see this mission progressing over the coming years?
“The advanced biofuels industry is ready to take off. The economic crisis has slowed and now the key challenge is the finances needed to build commercial scale production capacity.”
Branson was ready to acknowledge the concerns surrounding the production of biofuel, however he seems excited by the prospect of leading the charge into a new era of sustainability.
“I’ve always loved a challenge, we absolutely have to transition away from fossil fuels. There are huge challenges facing advanced biofuels, but also huge opportunities. Our airlines, the Carbon War Room, and all our companies and partners are working hard to ensure the success of the most promising and sustainable technologies.”