Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Ethanol & Animals in the Eastern Corn Belt: The New Dynamic

Cattle Network:
Source: Chris Hunt, Purdue University
"The growth of ethanol production would seem to have positive benefits for cattle feeders, and perhaps the dairy industry. However, for hogs and poultry, the question is whether the increased price of corn will be offset by added value in the feed product that is returned. If not, this could mean some restructuring of the location of the U.S. and the world animal industries."

Private investors storm ethanol industry

Private investors storm ethanol industry:
by Christopher Leonard, AP business writer -- 2/27/2006
"LADDONIA, Mo. -- For three long years, Roger Young barnstormed through Missouri, speaking in small-town churches, VFW halls and community centers, asking any farmer who would listen to invest his hard-earned money in a new ethanol plant."

The energy crisis is for real

While national security is certainly sufficient reason to develop domestic energy sources, this author reminds us that a deeper, more persistend force is at work -- we're using up our easily extracted energy reserves. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Ponying Up for Alternative-Fuel Research:
by Warren Brown -- washingtonpost.com -- 2/26/2006
"We actually are running out of oil. It has little to do with manipulation of oil futures, stocks, per-barrel prices or even violent upheavals in oil-producing nations. The bottom line is that the world is producing less of the stuff as global demand for it is increasing."

New device could make biodiesel production easier

The Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon, USA:
by Greg Bolt -- 2/26/2006
"At its heart, the microreactor is a simple device. It's made by etching tiny, parallel grooves into wafers of plastic and gluing them together. That creates small channels, each one smaller than a human hair.
When vegetable oil and alcohol are forced through the channels along with a small amount of catalyst, the reaction that turns the mixture into biodiesel occurs almost instantly."

Friday, February 24, 2006

Signs of shrinking global oil reserves found on Wall St.

Reuters Business Channel | Reuters.com:
by Janet Mcgurty -- 2/24/2006
"So far, it appears the major companies that replaced more than 100 percent of their production last year did so by buying fields rather than finding them -- a trend that could quietly usher in shrinking global reserves."

Midwest's windmills generate buzz

USATODAY.com - Midwest's windmills generate buzz:
by Judy Keen -- 2/23/2006
"MASON CITY, Iowa--Windmills are sprouting on hillsides across the Midwest, but this city is encouraging the use of electricity-producing wind turbines everywhere--even in homeowners' backyards."

Police department fleet of SUV's runs on E85 ethanol

Hoover's ethanol SUVs catch researchers' eye:
by Dawn Kent -- 2/23/2006
"Jim Price, executive director for Central Alabama Clean Cities, said clean fuels help the economy and the environment. They also provide energy security, when oil supplies are questionable.
'Hoover looked like a hero after Hurricane Katrina, because they had plenty of ethanol to run on,' he said."

Plant Science Advances U.S. Potential for Ethanol from Biomass

RenewableEnergyAccess.com | Plant Science Advances U.S. Potential for Ethanol from Biomass:
"Rockville, Maryland [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) President Michael Thomashow, Ph.D., indicated that the recently launched Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI) and American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) will help the nation pull away from its increasing dependence on foreign oil."

No technological barriers to cellulosic ethanol

United Press International - Microorganisms key to ethanol production:
by Meredith Mackenzie, UPI correspondent
"WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- The secret to making ethanol production viable is invisible. Microorganisms such as yeasts and bacteria are being perfected as a way to ferment cellulosic material, like corn stalks or sawdust, into transportation-grade ethanol. The future, say scientists, is already here.
'There are no technical barriers to making ethanol from woody material today,' said Lonnie Ingram, a microbiologist and professor at the University of Florida."

Houston may face gasoline shortages

Chron.com | Houston may face gasoline shortages:
by David Ivanovich, Houston Chronicle -- 2/22/2006
"WASHINGTON -- Houston motorists could face price spikes and fuel shortages at the gas station beginning this spring, as refiners phase out use of a common gasoline additive in favor of ethanol.
Federal energy forecasters warned today gas supplies in Houston and Dallas-Ft. Worth, as well as cities along the East Coast, could be disrupted as refiners try to keep up with the demand during the busy summer driving season."

Colorado pumps up ethanol production

Rocky Mountain News:
by Gargi Chakrabarty -- 2/24/2006
"Hey Iowa, watch out for Colorado.
The state is quietly getting into the business of ethanol, the alternative fuel extracted from corn. "

Getting fuel from a bean

"Even low blends of biodiesel like B2 and B5 offer exceptional engine lubrication, thus slowing engine wear and tear, and it acts as a cleaning agent and protects the system, Stephenson said. Blends up to B20 (20 percent soy) are available. More information is available at www.biodiesel.org."

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

DOE Report: China Outpacing U.S. In Global Energy Market

RenewableEnergyAccess.com | DOE Report: China Outpacing U.S. In Global Energy Market:
"Washington, DC [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released its long-awaited study of the economic and national security implications of the Chinese energy demand, which found that China's incredible 9 percent annual economic growth rate was led by an energy demand that could seriously affect U.S. foreign policy and economic progress. "

Ethanol Terminology Needs Clarification

RenewableEnergyAccess.com | Ethanol Terminology Needs Clarification:
"Because of the way the terminology is used, two misunderstandings frequently arise: people mistakenly believe it takes a special car to run on ethanol and that ethanol is only available at a few gas stations in the Midwest."

Denver Unveils RFP for 2 MW Solar Project

RenewableEnergyAccess.com | Denver Unveils RFP for 2 MW Solar Project:
"Denver, Colorado [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper announced that Colorado sunshine and a new Denver solar facility will soon provide enough electricity to power the equivalent of more than 1,000 homes, as he unveiled the City's plans to build one of the nation's first municipally owned urban solar power plants at Stapleton. "

Biodiesel Refinery Powered by Landfill-Gas Methane

Every biofuel production facility would do well to considering powering production with landfill gas, biomass gasification, manure-derived methane, and other renewable resources now being wasted. While it's true that natural gas powered refineries are now making money, this could easily change with rising natural gas cost. Biodiesel Industries and the city of Denton are on the leading edge of what should become a growing trend. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
RenewableEnergyAccess.com | EPA Recognizes Landfill-Gas Methane Projects:
"Project of the Year: Alternate Fuel. Biodiesel Industries and City of Denton, Texas -- Landfill gas powers a 3 million gallon biodiesel production facility at the City of Denton's landfill. The biodiesel is used to power the city's truck fleet, which is the first-time landfill gas has been used in the biodiesel production process."

Schlesinger on energy

Another respected authority on the subject supports the idea that cheap oil is no more. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Schlesinger on energy-Editorials/Op-Ed-The Washington Times:
Editorial -- 2/19/2006
"At those levels of consumption, the debate over when we reach Hubbert's Peak may be beside the point... 'Even present trends are unsustainable. Sometime in the decades ahead, the world will no longer be able to accommodate rising energy demand with increased production of conventional oil.' ...Because more than half of the nearly 21 million barrels of petroleum America consumes every day are devoted to motor gasoline and jet fuel, Mr. Schlesinger concludes that '[t]he intractable problem lies in liquid fuel for land, sea and air transportation.'"

New Ethanol Fuels Lead Oil Alternatives Touted By President

New Ethanol Fuels Lead Oil Alternatives Touted By President - Yahoo! News:
by Laura Mandaro -- 2/21/2006
"This week Bush touted ethanol, which can lessen the need for oil when mixed with gasoline. The U.S. already makes nearly 4 billion gallons of ethanol from corn. But the corn-based variety takes a lot of energy to make.
Scientists are more upbeat about ethanol from dedicated energy crops like switch grass or agricultural waste. The DOE says that could be five to six years away."

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


VENTURING OFF THE GRID / Innovative families save money, gain power with solar, propane, other energy sources:
by Daniel King -- San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/21/06
"In the wireless era, Parkinson said, technology both frees us up and plugs us in, and the off-grid choice is not a retreat from technology but an application of it. "

Seeking newer ways of ethanol preparation

Seeking newer ways of ethanol preparation - Deccan Herald - Internet Edition:
Matthew L Wald, NYT News Service -- 2/21/2006
"To realise the full potential of ethanol as a fuel and drastically reduce the use of natural gas for its production, experts are charting new methods to prepare ethanol. "

Bush: U.S. on Verge of Energy Breakthrough

BREITBART.COM - Bush: U.S. on Verge of Energy Breakthrough:
by Deb Riechmann, AP writer -- 2/20/2006
"Saying the nation is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that would 'startle' most Americans, President Bush on Monday outlined his energy proposals to help wean the country off foreign oil.
Less than half the crude oil used by refineries is produced in the United States, while 60 percent comes from foreign nations, Bush said during the first stop on a two-day trip to talk about energy. "

Monday, February 20, 2006

Micro Wind Generator Mounts on Roof or RV

Dependable Solar Products - Wind power for RVs - wind turbines, aka wind generators.:
"Our all-in-one RV Power Up family of wind charging system kits are all you need to charge the batteries in your Recreational Vehicles (RV). "

Missouri Ethanol By-Product in Demand

Marshall Democrat-News: Story: Mid-Missouri Energy posts profit, looks to future:
by Marcia Gorrel, Staff writer -- 2/15/2006
"'We are really the first plant to be able to tap into the (poultry) market with consistency and quality.' he said. In the first months of operation DDG was sent on railcars and barges, often to southwest feedlots. But in the past 4 to 6 months most of the byproduct has gone out in trucks to the poultry industry or local cattle producers. 'We have more of a problem of running out now,' said Gwaltney. The DDG is marketed through Bartlett Grain Company."

Sen. Lugar Points Out the True Cost of Oil

Let's get fired up over ethanol | IndyStar.com:
"In a commentary in the Wall Street Journal this month, Lugar explained the economics of ethanol research and production. He noted that if you add up the $50 billion-a-year cost of military spending for safeguarding Mideast oil fields, damage to the nation's security from enriching troublesome 'petro-states' such as Iran or Venezuela, and the contribution of burning fossil fuels to pollution and global warming, along with the more than $2-a-gallon price of gas, 'oil is neither cheap nor easy.'"

Ethanol Development: A National Security Priority

Let's get fired up over ethanol | IndyStar.com:
editorial -- 2/20/2006
"Sen. Richard Lugar and former CIA Director James Woolsey were lonely voices in 1999 when they wrote an article arguing that the nation's security was linked to the development of ethanol fuel from domestically produced biomass.
Now, turmoil in the Middle East and high gas prices add fresh urgency to their plea."

E10 improves mileage on average

Motorists avoiding E10 thinking it gets fewer miles per gallon might change their minds based on an EPA study, "The Effect of Fuel on Emmissions of Vehicles over a Wide Range of Temperatures," Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association 43 (July 1998). The authors tested 11 vehicles and found that E10 delivered an average of 1.64% better mileage compared to ethanol-free gasoline. Some cars were much better, while a few models were a little worse on E10. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter - Ethanol fueling nationwide debate:
by Kristopher Wann -- 2/19/2006
"MANITOWOC -- When Jim Kraemer needs to fill up his 1991 GMC Sonoma pickup after transporting car parts for Marv's Auto Sales & Service, he would rather use gasoline than E10, the 10 percent ethanol-blend fuel suitable for vehicles produced after 1980.
'I don't like to use ethanol because it's not good for the engine and I get less mileage from the fuel,' he said. "

Energy CEO's: no more cheap energy

More people in the know are realizing that the era of cheap oil is over. Reliance on unconventional sources like shale oil and oil sands means more production expense and higher prices. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Chron.com | National Survey: Independent Oil & Gas Companies Strained by Staffing & Drilling Issues:
"Several of the survey's other respondents made similar comments about the basic dynamics of the industry. 'The time has come to face the fact that there isn't any 'cheap energy' left to find and produce,' concludes Bob G. Alexander, CEO and president of National Energy Group, which is headquartered in Dallas. "

Independent Oil & Gas Companies Strained by Staffing & Drilling Issues

Chron.com | National Survey: Independent Oil & Gas Companies Strained by Staffing & Drilling Issues:
"HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 20, 2006--A survey of senior executives from U.S. independent oil-and-gas companies reveals an industry straining to keep up with hiring and drilling demands, while also expecting to increase its spending. "

Japanese putting all their energy into saving fuel

Japan's experience shows it is possible to grow an economy while reducing petroleum use. This will take even more discipline in the U.S. because we don't have the pressure of lacking resources to the extent that Japan does. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Japanese putting all their energy into saving fuel | EnergyBulletin.net | Peak Oil News:
by Anthony Faiola, Washington Post -- 2/19/2006
"After the 1970s oil crisis, Japan 'went into a panic. We have no oil of our own, and are completely dependent on imports,' said Takako Nakamura, an official at the Global Environment Bureau of the Environment Ministry. 'That weakness changed the way we looked at energy.'
The country embarked on a major effort to wean itself off oil. Japan now imports 16 percent less oil than it did in 1973, although the economy has more than doubled. "

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Bush Highlights Flex-fuel Plug-in Hybrids in Global War on Terror Speech

EV World: The :
Christian Newswire -- 2/18/2006
"In the short-term, ethanol and hybrid batteries makes the most sense to me. It's the most practical way, and most economic way, to begin the reduction of dependency."

Friday, February 17, 2006

Ethanol could be star player in hydrogen fuel cell technology

Farm and Ranch Guide: Regional News:
Fago, ND -- by Dale Hildebrant -- 2/16/2006
"At the present time, Thomas is using natural gas for the hydrogen conversion process, but he claims ethanol is by far the most economical and efficient way of transporting hydrogen from the corn field to the consumers' car."

Iowa Legislature gets Lesson in Ethanol

Farm and Ranch Guide: Regional News:
by Gene Lucht -- 2/16/2006
"DES MOINES - With education and ethanol the leading issues coming into the 2006 legislative session, perhaps it was fitting lawmakers recently invited college professors to lecture them on the facts and myths surrounding ethanol."

Selectpower Completes Geothermal System for New Facility

this is not a deep source geothermal system, but rather a shallow earth/heat exchanger system that could be installed almost anywhere. This kind of technology appears to be the most promising way to heat and cool buildings with renewable energy.
RenewableEnergyAccess.com | Selectpower Completes Geothermal System for New Facility:
Guelph, Ontario -- 2/15/2006
"Selectpower's geothermal system uses a combination of vertical and horizontal loops on the site. A water solution circulates through the loops and absorbs heat from under the ground, and delivers it to the geothermal reversible heat exchangers in the building."

New power storage technologies could make wind more competitive

TheStar.com - Wind when you want it:
by Tyler Hamilton -- 2/13/2006
"Most inquires about electricity storage technologies are coming from Europe, says Vince Sorace, president of Vancouver-based VRB Power Systems Inc., which makes a massive chemical 'flow' battery that can store 10 megawatts of power for up to 12 hours."

Consumer education is key to ethanol effort

Consumer education is key to ethanol effort:
Agriculture.com -- 2/17/2006
"According to Tom Slunecka, executive director of the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC), a survey conducted in December showed that 70% of consumers didn't know what ethanol was, or if they did, they wouldn't consider putting it in their vehicle."

Ethanol forces delicate balancing act

AP Wire | 02/17/2006 | Ethanol forces delicate balancing act:
by Chris Blank, Associated Press
"MACON, Mo. - It takes a daily average of 106 trucks carrying 45,000 bushels of corn to feed the oldest and second largest ethanol plant in Missouri.Trucks picking up grain from as far as 120 miles away and dropping their loads at the Northeast Missouri Grain LLC ethanol plant have increased the cost of corn by 20 cents per bushel in the area. That has fueled the construction of two more plants since the Macon facility opened in 2000 and has led to plans for at least three more."

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Outlook for ethanol industry bright despite new EPA rules

USATODAY.com - Outlook for ethanol industry bright despite new EPA rules:
"OMAHA (AP)--The ethanol industry won't be affected by the federal decision to drop the requirement for fuel in polluted areas to include an oxygenate such as ethanol or MTBE. "

Nuclear waste treatment plant cost may top $10 billion

Is there reason for caution when contemplating nuclear power?
Hanford plant cost may top $10 billion:
U.S. Water News Online -- February 2006
"RICHLAND, Wash. -- The cost to build a waste treatment plant at the Hanford nuclear reservation in south-central Washington could top $10 billion, according to a new report.
In addition, the plant wouldn't be ready to begin treating toxic and radioactive waste until 2017, six years after the legal deadline."

BP's Brown Says Access to Oil Reserves is Restricted

Bloomberg.com: News & Commentary: "Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- International oil companies face a 'serious problem' gaining access to the world's largest oil reserves as they look to expand production, BP Plc Chief Executive Officer John Browne said."

Oil executives list problems with E85

These comments are not about E10, a formulation long used as an oxygenate and fuel extender. They are talking about E85. With regard to mileage, Mr. Mulva has a very good point, and car makers need to respond with E85 optimization, a technology already implimented in the Saab 9-5 biofuel. With regard to the requirement for storing ethanol blends in their own tanks, it's much less expensive to do this than to invest in infrastructure for other alternatives such as hydrogen. Furthermore, oil companies could upgrade to a European style system that stores ethanol in its own tank, straight gasoline in another tank, and the two are mixed at varying percentages as the fuel is pumped into a vehicle tank. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Journal Gazette | 02/16/2006 | Big oil cool to selling ethanol:
by Sylvia A. Smith, Washington editor
"In letters to Sens. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the president of Shell Oil said E-85 can't be used in most vehicles and has to be stored in its own tanks at gas stations. But, John Hofmeister said, Shell has a pilot program in Chicago and hopes to learn more about E-85. James Mulva, chairman of ConocoPhillips, was less enthusiastic, saying mileage is better with regular gas..."

Switchgrass ethanol should be supported even by corn farmers

I am in favor of corn ethanol and it's clear that it has a positive renewable energy balance, but we can't let the good things about corn hold us back from exploiting the potential of switchgrass or cellulosic ethanol in general. Corn can only supply a limited percentage of our fuel needs. We need to aim higher. Besides, switchgrass can be an excellent part of a row crop rotation in addition to thriving on marginal land. It improves the soil even while being harvested every year. It will be a benefit to farmers, even corn farmers! -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
MISSOURI VALLEY TIMES - 02/15/2006 - Farming and your Freedom - We'd rather fight than switch(grass)!:
by Pete Graham
"Corn-based ethanol is happening, it is cutting-edge, and for now doing very well at keeping switchgrass from the door and renewable fuels standards a way of the future."

Wisconsin's promising bio-refining future won't run on ethanol alone

Wisconsin's promising bio-refining future won't run on ethanol alone | WTN:
by Tom Still, WI Technology Network -- 2/15/06
"Examples include extracting energy from wood chips before they are turned into paper; using methane digesters to harness energy from cow manure; turning corn into clothing that is soft, fast-drying, colorfast, chlorine resistant and resilient; and using genetically engineered plants to produce a variety of plastics, packaging materials and even pharmaceuticals."

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Drop in energy prices may be short-lived

Drop in energy prices may be short-lived - Oil & Energy - MSNBC.com
"Gasoline stocks could also get tighter as dealers in many parts of the country switch to so-called reformulated blends for summer, which are required to make fuel burn cleaner and prevent smog. Until recently, that meant using a fuel additive called MTBE. But after the chemical was found seeping into groundwater, and chemical makers failed to win liability protection in last year’s Energy Policy Act, most refiners have stopped using MTBE. The only available substitute is ethanol, which is more costly."

Biodiesel plant coming to northwest missouri

Archives: Story:
Maryville Daily Forum
"ROCK PORT, Mo. (AP)--Spurred by the success of the ethanol industry and tax incentives approved by Congress, a group led by Missouri farmers is planning to build a biodiesel plant in northwest Missouri."

A New Chapter Begins for Concentrated Solar Power

RenewableEnergyAccess.com | A New Chapter Begins for Concentrated Solar Power:
by Jesse Broehl, Editor -- 2/11/2006
"Construction began this weekend on Nevada Solar One, a 64 MW solar trough-style Concentrated Solar Power project. "

Ethanol drawbacks not insurmountable

In answer to the Detroit News comments below, we need to make clear that the great majority of research shows ethanol to have a much better energy balance than gasoline. Ethanol has more room for improvement as well, with technologies such as cellulosic ethanol, renewable process fuels, and better use of co-products. Secondly, Detroit can give us flex-fuel vehicles that get more miles per gallon on E85. The Saab 9-5 biofuel, already on Swedish roads, proves this point. Let's get busy making ethanol work! -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Ethanol is no silver bullet, has plenty of drawbacks, too - 02/15/06 - The Detroit News:
by John McCormick, The Detroit News
"The big problem is that ethanol, like other alternatives to good ol' gasoline, is no silver bullet. The first issue is that ethanol is energy intensive to produce, more so than gasoline, according to some experts. And more important, the fuel is less energy dense than gasoline, so that a gallon will cover about 30 percent fewer miles."

Cost of Ethanol Rises on Increased Demand

This is what happens with success. Balancing supply and demand is the key to the ongoing viability of a comodity. This is a critical time. Ethanol producers will expand output based on these higher prices, but it needs to happen rapidly so that consumers do not turn away from ethanol permanently. High fuel economy flex-fuel vehicles like the Saab 9-5 Biofuel would help as well by eliminating the mileage deficit. This car is now available only in Europe. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
USATODAY.com - Cost of E85 fuel is higher than gasoline:
by James R. Healey, USA Today -- 2/14/2006
"The price of ethanol has been driven up because major oil refiners are suddenly buying in bulk. They're stocking up on ethanol as a replacement for MTBE, a petroleum-based additive suspected of causing cancer. MTBE and ethanol boost the octane of gasoline and can reduce pollution."

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Austria Puts Its Energy Into Plant Power

Austria Puts Its Energy Into Plant Power - Los Angeles Times:
by Delphine Strauss, Financial Times -- 2/13/2006
"Wood smoke curling from chimneys of an Alpine village encapsulates the picture postcard image of Austria. But the reality is fast becoming more high-tech: sleek, smoke-free boilers burning wood pellets or other biomass fuels to heat villages, factories and urban housing, with a neutral effect on carbon emissions."

Hundreds Rally in Iowa for Renewable Fuel Plan

by Tim Higgins, Register staff writer -- 2/14/2006
"Senate legislation would require 25 percent of fuels used in Iowa to be made with corn, soy or other renewable substances."

Monday, February 13, 2006

ICM to build new ethanol plant in St. Joseph, Missouri

Wichita Eagle 02/13/2006 ICM to build new ethanol plant in Missouri
Colwich-based ICM Inc., the nation's leading designer and builder of ethanol plants, announced today that it plans to build a 40-million gallon plant in St. Joseph, Mo., in collaboration with LifeLine Foods.

Solar thermal power coming of age

Solar thermal power coming of age - MSNBC.com:
Reuters -- 2/10/2006
"Solar thermal at present costs about 12 to 15 cents per kilowatt hour, Westerholt said, compared with natural gas power which costs 10 cents per KWH.
But as production grows, solar companies expect costs to slip to 8 cents per KHW in five years."

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Bugs Could Be Key to Kicking Oil Addiction

Bugs Could Be Key to Kicking Oil Addiction - Yahoo! News:
by Paul Elias, AP Biotechnology Writer -- 2/12/2006
"SAN FRANCISCO - The key to kicking what President Bush calls the nation's oil addiction could very well lie in termite guts, canvas-eating jungle bugs and other microbes genetically engineered to spew enzymes that turn waste into fuel. "

Friday, February 10, 2006

Study looks to power ethanol refinery with corn stover

Future Source Story:
Central City, Neb (Dow Jones) -- agriculture.com -- 2/8/2006
"Although no economically viable method has yet been found to directly
integrate the usage of corn residue, or stover, into the U.S. ethanol-making
process, Cooper points out, 'a study is under planning in Nebraska on making
paper mill fiber from chemically pulped stover - a process known to be
practical - with the waste biomass from pulping used as power plant fuel for
both ethanol and pulping operations.' "

Saudi Arabia to expand oil capacity; Oil price falls below $63

Saudi Arabia to expand upstream and downstream oil capacity; Oil price falls below $63:
2/7/2006 -- finfacts.com
"The Saudi Arabian oil minister Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi said at an energy conference today in Houston, Texas, that rising oil prices were not sustainable long-term, but that prices must be between $45 and $50 a barrel for producers to meet global demand, which he estimated would grow by 1.4 million barrels per day over the next year."

Ethanol could make corn a good investment

Ethanol's poised to fuel a drive for corn - MarketWatch:
by Myra P. Saefong -- 2/10/2006
"SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Corn's looking particularly tasty these days -- at least for investors looking to cash in on the ethanol craze."

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Terrorism & oil woes top list of biggest financial worries

by Tavia Grant -- 2/9/2006
"Hundreds of business leaders, economists and institutional investors from around the world have ranked the top 10 financial risks for the global economy, ranging from oil-supply shocks to avian flu, from hedge-fund collapses to climate change."

General Motors Promotes Greater E85 Consumer Awareness, Use

General Motors Promotes Greater E85 Consumer Awareness, Use:
GM Press release, 2/8/06
"CHICAGO � General Motors announced Wednesday the addition of 26 additional E85 refueling pumps to stations in greater Chicago through collaborative partnerships with Shell Oil Products US and VeraSun Energy Corp. The collaboration is part of a broader, national GM campaign to boost the use and awareness of ethanol-based E85 fuel in the U.S. "

Plenty of oil, gas to meet demand: Shell

How much will fuel from these unconventional sources cost?
Business Times:
"LONDON, Wed: Royal Dutch Shell plc chief executive officer Jeroen van der Veer said the world has plenty of oil and gas to meet demand, with future supplies aided by development of so-called unconventional reserves such as heavy-oil projects."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Integrated farm energy system would improve ethanol energy balance

"The proposed IFES includes a locally managed system comprised of a 15 million gallon/year (GPY) ethanol plant which uses local crops and an adjoining 25,000 head confined cattle feedlot that is connected to an anaerobic digester. It will produce fuel-grade ethanol, finished cattle, biogas and biofertilizers. Because of proximities and integration of its components, the IFES is economically attractive with an estimated Internal Rate of Return (IRR) that exceeds 25%. This is achievable because of economies of scope. An IFES can reduce commodity transportation costs, reduce ethanol plant capital and operating costs because it is no longer necessary to dry the distillers grains, permit the co-utilization of facilities, equipment and personnel, and allow for the reuse of energy, water and nutrients throughout the system. It is possible to have the IFES achieve �zero discharge� status."

Missourians see benefits of ethanol

Brownfield: Missourians see benefits of ethanol:
by Josh St. Peters -- 2/7/2006
"The ethanol industry generates $390 million annually for the state of Missouri, according to a study released by university experts on Tuesday. The University of Missouri-Columbia study highlighted the thousands of jobs created by the fuel business and the increased demand it creates for corn."

Sweden Aims to End Oil Dependency by 2020 - Yahoo! News

Sweden Aims to End Oil Dependency by 2020 - Yahoo! News:
by Mattias Karen, AP -- 2/7/2006
"STOCKHOLM, Sweden - U.S. President George W. Bush may have surprised international observers by pledging in his State of the Union address to break his country's addiction to foreign oil -- but Sweden was already one step ahead of him. "

GM, Ford Help add E85 pumps in Missouri & Illinois

Chicago Tribune | GM fuels ethanol debate:
by Jim Mateja -- 2/8/2006
"GM and several retailers will announce 20 new E85 fueling stations will be added to the 100 already in Illinois. Also, GM will team with Shell Oil Co. on a pilot program to add the fuel to at least six additional Illinois Shell stations to determine whether the oil company should expand the program.
In response, Ford Motor Co. said it will team with VeraSun Energy, the renewable energy company working with GM, to promote the addition of 30 E85 stations in Illinois and Missouri by the end of 2006."

Oil companies want SEC to loosen reserves rules

Oil companies want SEC to loosen reserves rules:
by Steve Levune, The Wall Street Journal -- post-gazette.com -- 2/7/2006
"A new industry-backed report proposes to let the companies be the best judge of their own stores of oil and gas rather than use a strict formula imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. "

Natural gas has eight years left

The Republic :: Natural gas has eight years left:
by Dan Crawford -- 2/2/2006
"A Natural Resources Canada presentation in the heart of Canada's energy industry lays bare the stark reality of energy resources "

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Study finds ethanol creates jobs and economic expansion

AP Wire 02/07/2006 Study finds ethanol creates jobs and economic expansion
"Further expansion is expected to bring production up to 350 million gallons by 2007 or 2008, according to Rex Rickets, coordinator of the commercial agricultural program at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Another ethanol plant is planned to open by fall 2006 in Sikeston. On Saturday, Lifeline Foods announced a $60 million plant expected to process 40 million gallons of ethanol annually in St. Joseph, beginning as soon as the end of 2006."

A new role for fixture of prairie?

Kansas City Star | 02/05/2006 | A new role for fixture of prairie?:
by Rick Montgomery
"Technically, it's in anything that grows," said Matt Hartwig of the Renewable Fuels Association. But switch grass -- or panicum virgatum in textbooks that bother to cite it -- is a particularly proficient cellulose factory, shooting up fast and absorbing the sun's power for the energy it packs away in its cell walls.

Why OPEC won't turn off the oil

They won't turn off the oil, but it will certainly be expensive.
MSN Money - Why OPEC won't turn off the oil - Jubak's Journal
by Jim Jubak -- 2/7/2006
"Another part of the theory, however, seems to me undeniably accurate. Peak Oil theories predict that production from a field will peak and start to fall long before all the oil is extracted, since the more easily pumped oil deposits are extracted first. And that extracting the remaining oil will get increasingly more difficult and more expensive."

Researcher: Switchgrass as fuel sputters over lack of funding

AP Wire | 02/05/2006 | Researcher: Switchgrass as fuel sputters over lack of funding:
by Garry Mitchell, AP -- ledger-enquirer.com
"MOBILE, Ala. - In his call for greater use of alternative fuels, President Bush mentioned switchgrass as a possible source in the coming decades, but the idea may need a jump-start. A switchgrass researcher at Auburn University said federal policy-makers have delayed its commercial use by waiting for private industry to fund it."

World's Largest Solar Photovoltaic Project to be Built in Nevada

World's Largest Solar Photovoltaic Project to be Built in Nevada: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance:
"LAS VEGAS, Feb. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Powered by Renewables (PBR) of Nevada http://www.pbrcorp.com, announced today it will partner with SunEdison of Maryland to develop the world's largest solar photovoltaic (PV) project in Nevada. The 18 megawatt (MW) project almost doubles what is currently the world's largest PV project (10MW) located in Germany."

Harvesting biomass willow points to future

icWales - Harvesting biomass willow points to future:
by Steve Dube, Western Mail -- 2/7/2006
"By 2016, when power stations have to source 75% of their fuels from renewables, he says 10,000 hectares of arable land in south Wales could be growing bio-energy crops. They need virtually no attention, pesticides or weedkiller and sustain eight times the insect life of a crop of wheat."

Monday, February 06, 2006

North Sea production slump casts doubt on government figures

North Sea production slump casts doubt on government figures - [Sunday Herald]
By Ian Fraser, Financial Editor -- 2/5/2006
“North Sea fields are maturing rapidly and as a result the UK looks set to become a net importer of crude oil earlier than the government is anticipating. Even current high prices will be insufficient to stem the long-term depletion of North Sea fields.”
UK crude production peaked at 2.9 million bpd in 1999 but has been in long-term decline ever since. Since 2004, the UK has been a net importer of gas.

Oil Companies, Experts Discuss Alternative Energy Development

VOA News - Oil Companies, Experts Discuss Alternative Energy Development
By Greg Flakus -- 07 February 2006
"Around 1,800 oil and gas company executives, government energy ministers and other players in the world energy sector have gathered in Houston for the annual Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) conference, known as CERAWeek. This year's meeting will have a special emphasis on developing new sources of energy."

Switchgrass: The Super Plant Savior?

ABC News: Switchgrass: The Super Plant Savior?
Switchgrass is the perennial wonder plant touted by President Bush in Tuesday's State of the Union address and in his remarks made today in Nashville, Tenn., where he joked that he could have a new career in farming. "All of a sudden, you know, you may be in the energy business," Bush said. "You know, by being able to grow grass on the ranch and have it harvested and converted into energy. And that's what's close to happening."

Automotive News

Automotive News

General Motors has launched an ad campaign called "Live Green, Go Yellow" to promote ethanol, which often is made from corn. The automaker scheduled commercials to air during pregame and postgame Super Bowl shows.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

LifeLine Foods Announces Plans to Build an Ethanol Facility in St. Joseph

KFEQ - LifeLine Foods Announces Plans to Build an Ethanol Facility in St. Joseph:
"(St. Joseph, MO)-February 3, 2006 -- Today, Lifeline Foods, LLC announced their intention to construct an ethanol production facility in St. Joseph, MO. The project is estimated to consist of $60,000,000 in investment and create 35 new jobs. "

Friday, February 03, 2006

Exxon's Silver Lining Has A Cloud

Exxon's Silver Lining Has A Cloud:
"But the biggest problem with costly oil is that it makes it tougher to line up new supplies. Countries that sit on lots of oil -- such as Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Russia, Venezuela, and Nigeria -- drive harder bargains with the supermajors like ExxonMobil when oil prices are high."

Massive oil profits may not last

In other words, there's not enough easily extracted oil left to go around.
Massive oil profits may not last through coming years - Feb. 3, 2006:
by Nelson D. Schwartz, FORTUNE
"Weak production gains and an inability to refill reserves may put big oil in a pinch in coming years."

Subaru concept car: first turbocharged hybrid

This type of hybrid car could deliver even better performance with a flex fuel, variable boost turbocharged engine. On E85, such an engine could be boosted much more because of ethanol's high octane. This would result in better fuel efficiency and power.
Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS) 2006 - Environmentally Friendly Subaru Concepts - MSN Autos:
With the turbo engine mated to the electric motor in the B5-TPH, fuel efficiency is improved some 30 percent over a comparable gas-only vehicle, officials said.
At the same time, the car has "powerful acceleration that's typical of turbo engines," said Takao Tsuchiya, corporate executive vice president of Subaru's parent company in Japan, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Saab Joins BEST European Bioethanol Project

Saab already has the most efficient flex-fuel car available, the 9-5 biofuel, so this project holds great promise.
Saab Joins BEST European Bioethanol Project
"BEST (BioEthanol for Sustainable Transport) is a four year project, partly funded by the European Union (EU), in which three vehicle manufacturers, ten locations, five bioethanol producers and four universities will cooperate cross-functionally to accelerate the introduction of bioethanol as alternative automotive fuel in Europe... Saab Automobile, one of the two car manufacturers involved, will contribute to the project with test cars, technical competence and education."

We're not running out of oil says record-breaking Shell

We may not be running out of oil, but it is looking more certain that we have run out of cheap oil.
Telegraph--Money--We're not running out of oil says record-breaking Shell
By Christopher Hope, Industry Editor -- 2/3/2006
Jeroen van der Veer, Shell's chief, said: "President Bush has to run America and we have to run Shell, but there is a huge energy challenge in the world. We have plenty of opportunities. This is not about proved resources, but hydrocarbon resources."
...World oil and gas production was nowhere near peaking because of the potential of untapped reserves made economic by the higher oil price.
He said: "There is the theory of 'peak oil' - that the big discoveries have all gone. But we don't know where the peak will come with oil sands. With oil shale, we have not yet started. There will be many peaks in many time frames."

Phase-out of MTBE coud worsen fuel shortages in 2006

The main alternative oxygenate is ethanol. Ethanol production will need to be ramped up to replace MTBE.
Oil & Gas Financial Journal - CEOs discuss top issues impacting oil industry in 2006:
by Bill Greehey, CEO of Valero Energy Corp
"Congress knew MTBE was the only oxygenate that could be readily available, so at Congress�s request we built a big plant and also put in some smaller MTBE units at our other refineries. Now Congress has decided they do not want MTBE. Under the new [Energy Policy Act of 2005], the oxygenate mandate goes away in May of 2006. Very few people realize that Valero and the majority of the refining industry are pulling the plug on MTBE. We are not going to make it without the legal protection the mandate afforded. So, right ahead of the peak summer demand for gasoline, the US is going to lose 150,000 barrels a day of gasoline production. Losing that much per day is a big, big deal, and it is going to have a big impact on supply. "

Pacific Ethanol shares surge ahead of Bush speech

Stock Market News and Investment Information | Reuters.com:
"LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pacific Ethanol Inc. (PEIX.O: Quote, Profile, Research) shares surged to a fresh all-time high for a second straight day on Tuesday, on expectations that U.S. President George W. Bush will highlight petroleum-alternative ethanol fuel in his State of the Union speech that evening."

South Dakota could benefit from grass-made ethanol

Argus Leader - News:
by Ben Shouse -- 2/2/2006
"Ethanol made from grass would have many advantages over corn ethanol. Farming techniques would use less fertilizer, and production could be much more energy-efficient than corn ethanol.
But several obstacles remain for 'cellulosic' ethanol."

Canada's ethanol industry said to be at risk because of duty on U.S. corn

Ethanol industry said to be at risk because of duty on U.S. corn:
by Dennis Bueckert, Canadian Press -- Canada.com -- 2/1/2006
"OTTAWA (CP) - Canada's burgeoning ethanol industry is at risk if the federal government maintains a recently imposed countervail duty on U.S. corn, company officials warn. "

E85 optimization: we can do much better

I am puzzled by these statements about getting 2-5% more power from E85, but only if we develop 100% E85 engines from scratch. Saab is already doing much better with a flex-fuel car. The Saab 9-5 biofuel reportedly gets up to 20% more horsepower on E85 and suffers no loss in miles per gallon compared to gasoline (search my posts on the SAAB 9-5 for references). What's more, this is not a 100% E85 car, but a flex-fuel car that can run on 100% ethanol-free gasoline in case E85 is not available. The key is its variable turbocharging. It adjusts the boost for different ethanol content. This car is on the road in Sweden and could be coming to the U.S.
USATODAY.com - Is ethanol the answer?: "Your vehicle wouldn't make the most of the fuel. FFVs are able to burn E85 but are tuned for best performance on gasoline because it's abundant and E85 isn't. An engine would have to be designed from scratch to fully exploit E85's higher octane and overcome its inferior energy content.
'If you were using 100% E85, you could tune the engine and ... maybe get 2% more power,' says Ken Kridner, the GM engineer who helped adapt GM V-6s to E85 capability. The Energy Department is more optimistic, suggesting gains of 3% to 5%."

Is ethanol the answer?

USATODAY.com - Is ethanol the answer?:
by James R. Healy, USA Today -- 2/1/2006
"Ethanol fuel -- in the form of E85, a mix of 85% grain alcohol and 15% gasoline -- is the only one of those immediately available. E85, using ethanol made in the USA from corn, isn't a science experiment or pipe dream. It's real fuel, sold now, and 5 million vehicles already are on the road with the systems needed to burn it."

Engineers Name Ways to Kick Oil Habit

Discovery Channel :: News :: Engineers Name Ways to Kick Oil Habit:
by Larry O'Hanlon, Discovery News
"Feb. 2, 2006 -- While America may be addicted to foreign oil, as President George W. Bush has said, there may be some surprisingly simple ways to kick the habit, say engineers.
For instance, why not simply create a federal standard that requires U.S. automakers to build all cars and trucks so they can run on either pure gasoline or a cleaner burning gas/ethanol mix of up to 85 percent ethanol (a.k.a. E85)? "

USATODAY.com - New production method uses far less energy than it creates

USATODAY.com - New production method uses far less energy than it creates:
by James R. Healey, USA TODAY -- 2/1/2006
"Just now in the demonstration stage, it has the potential to deliver ethanol using as little as one-tenth the energy that the fuel provides, according to a study by the University of California at Berkeley. Ethanol from corn, the most common source now, produces 26% more energy than it takes to make it, the study says. It takes more energy to make gasoline than gasoline yields."

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

switchgrass as an alternative energy crop (web site)

switchgrass as an alternative energy crop
by H.W. Elbersen and other European researchers
"welcome to the "switchgrass as an alternative energy crop" website. this website contains practical as well as scientific information on switchgrass (panicum virgatum l.) , a potential biomass crop for energy purposes in europe."

Fossil-Fueled Worries

Fossil-Fueled Worries - Business Edge - Newsweek - MSNBC.com
By Rana Foroohar, Newsweek -- 2/1/2006
"Not surprisingly, the energy issue was one of the most pressing topic on the agenda of the global leaders assembled in the Swiss ski resort... Jeroen van der Veer CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant, speaking to NEWSWEEK, summed up the prevailing mood: "The era of easy oil is most likely over." As demand rises, traditional wells in many countries are running low, forcing companies to start looking at "unconventional" oil supplies in deep water and rock shale. But those reserves are both expensive to tap and environmentally unfriendly, since it takes so much more energy to extract them."