Biofuels and the innovation ecosystem

 Krisztina Holly has an interesting article on biofuels, the automotive bail out, evolution and the innovation ecosystem over on the Huffington Post.

Part of her post is particularly resonant for the biofuels industry

Big companies play an important role, too, in this healthy, diversebusiness ecosystem. They help amplify – through acquisition, licensing,or even copying – the impacts of successful ideas.

Just as dangerous as cultivating a monoculture is picking a “winner” prematurely.

In the recent green energy debate, for example, the U.S. chose tosubsidize corn ethanol as the winning new clean fuel, giving $7.0billion in subsidies in 2006 alone.

Through premature decision making, have we thwarted cheaper and cleaner competitors?

What we should have done, and still can, is to encourage innovatorsdeveloping a wide range of fuel-alternatives including wind, algae,solar, methanol, and so on. Government should make available researchfunding, infrastructure, education, incentives, and regulations for theoutcome we want, and let the market decide. 

Surely we have to agree with the last statement.

The way ahead should be to let a thousand biofuel flowers/algae/non-food crops/waste streams bloom. 

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