If you want to grow biofuel in the desert, then you have to import water from somewhere. If the canals to transport the water are too big, then build a hundred small ones, with underground pipes moving some cubic meters per minute.
Water irrigates earth which takes sunlight and using the water and minerals in the earth, sustains and creates new life, which is harvested to use as biofuel. How many gigawatt-years, or thermal units, how much potential energy can the land yield in any year?
This pure quantitative measurement defines whether or not any biofuel, or any land, can yield the return you need to grow. Not every land easily can grow a healthy crop of oil palms, but with water nearly all biofuel crops and land grow more.
Irrigation ain’t what it used to be, and green, nurturing and efficient irrigation is more a reality, more affordable than ever. Bring water to the crops, and grow fuel along with food.