19 Petroleum Dependence, Biofuels — Economies of Scope and Scale; US and Global Perspective
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The economic behavior of all fuels share many common characteristics and it is important for the reader to apply principles concerning one fuel to others as the need arises. In many cases, we use the United States as an example. This is because there is better long-term data available than for other countries. In addition, it is a reference point to compare countries especially when evaluating the impact of policies. When comparing fuels we will focus on the cost per Btu and Btu/lb and Btu/ft3. Efficiency in converting Btu's to mechanical or electrical forms of energy is important as well. The scale of the “conversion plant” may affect efficiency and fuel use for a particular purpose.