I’m going to give the last word on the State of the Union (for now) to Robert Rapier in his R-squared energy blog.
In President Bush’s State of the Union address tonight, he called for a 20% reduction in our gasoline consumption in the next 10 years. That’s a noble goal, and one that I fully support. For this goal, President Bush deservedly received a standing ovation.
It is a stretch goal and while, there’s nothing wrong with that, Robert says, he adds…
Clearly we do not produce enough corn and soybeans to achieve this goal, so the technology that is being counted on is almost certainly cellulosic ethanol. And while cellulosic ethanol has great potential, we need to realistically understand that there is a reason that cellulosic ethanol plants are not up and running today.
Moore’s Law has only recently started bumping up against basic chemistry and physics. Production of cellulosic ethanol has been bumping up against these limits for years. I have previously weighed in on the current status of cellulosic ethanol technology, as well as the amount of biomass required for implementation. Clearly the technology is not yet ready for prime time.
It’s hard for me to disagree with any of this… I’ll go further, it is not wise to try and develop technology as remote as cellulosic ethanol to a schedule.