Holiday time for me
I hope you have fun too, and for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, look out for sunburn. For those of you chained to your computers there'll be four or five videos to pass the time while I'm away. Look out for them.
We need to accelerate the move from corn-based ethanol to more sustainable biofuels. The conversion ratio is twice as good, but the enzyme process is twice as expensive. Many of the corn ethanol plants can be easily modified to produce cellulosic ethanol from the waste of farm crops. We can't continue to raise the price of food and skew production patterns. It seems worth it to have differential tax incentives to do this right.This is part of a speech for the audience, its unlikely, in my opinion, that it would be politically possible to import cheap ethanol to the US from Brazil, even if there was a joint project between the countries in a third Caribbean nation.
We should consider doing a joint investment with Brazil, potentially in the Caribbean, which would import sugar cane-based ethanol into the U.S, but it would not be subject to the tax that is placed on the rest of Brazilian ethanol. It might not be politically feasible, Clinton added.
Biofuels are also just a transition to electric and hybrid cars. We have this electric vehicle technology today, and it's made in America. The technology would probably require larger tax credits, but it would be worth it because the prices for electronics would immediately drop -- think the iPhone or a flat screen TVs.
So the interest in Biofuels could only be there for the medium term. This idea is pretty much pie in the sky until battery technology improves and there is an environmentally acceptable carbon free route to electricity generation.
"The cost of input--primarily soy and corn--costs too much given the price they get for their biodiesel," says Butler.If that's your problem, then you need to cut costs in your process as much as possible, or if you've got the financial muscle, integrate downstream into raw material production and upstream into distribution. It can be very uncomfortable sitting in the middle.
The United States is the largest producer of ethanol from maize and is expected to use
about 81 million tons for ethanol in the 2007/08 crop year. Canada, China and the
European Union used roughly an additional 5 million tons of maize for ethanol in 2007
(USDA 2008a), bringing the total use of maize for ethanol to 86 million tons, which was
about 11 percent of global maize production. The large use of maize for ethanol in the
U.S. has important global implications, because the U.S. accounts for about one-third of
global maize production and two-thirds of global exports and used 25 percent of its
production for ethanol in 2007/08.
Global grain production did decline by 1.3 percent in 2006 but it then increased 4.7 percent in 2007. Thus the production shortfall in grains would not, by itself, have been a major contributor to the increase in grain prices. But when combined with large increases in biofuels production, land use changes, and stock declines it undoubtedly contributed to higher prices.
Rapid income growth in developing countries has not led to large increases in global
grain consumption and was not a major factor responsible for the large grain price
increases. However, it has contributed to increased oilseed demand and higher oilseed
prices as China increased soybean imports for its livestock and poultry industry. Both
China and India have been net grain exporters since 2000, although exports have declined
as consumption has increased.
The principal biomass fuel to be burnt by the biomass plant will be woodchip which will be
sourced from sustainable supplies, however it is likely the majority of the fuel will be delivered by
ship with the remainder being regionally sourced and delivered by road or rail (subject to a
The design capacity of the plant has not yet been determined precisely as it will depend on the
completion of a fuel supply study. However, the plant is likely to have a net electrical output of
about 150MW which would require a fuel supply of approximately 1,200,000 tonnes per year. The
annual tonnage of biomass required will depend on the technical specification such as the
Calorific Values and the types of the woodchip.
"Extracting oil from algae to produce a more sustainable biofuel is one of the most promising and exciting areas of biofuels research today," said Sayre, formerly a professor in the Department of Plant Cellular and Molecular Biology at The Ohio State University. "Algae have significant potential as a clean, renewable, and economical fuel source. And, because algae are not used as food, they are a biofuel source that does not compete with the food supply."