2006 - A Watershed Year for BIOfuels
This was a watershed year for the biofuels industry. Fears about war, global warming, and pocketbook issues will affect public opinion, action, and purchases for decades to come. Starting with the President's "addiction to oil" admission in his State of the Union address and the rising carnage in the Middle East, followed by the spring/summer oil price spike and "The Inconvenient Truth" of global warming, the gordian knot of interrelated problems seems insurmountable.
And yet, as former CIA Director James Woolsey contends, national security can be greatly enhanced in the short term by building a cellulosic ethanol industry based on biomass conversion to ethanol. This would simultaneously reduce our addiction to fossil fuels using cheap feedstock and reduce runaway greenhouse gas emissions, while increasing our national self-reliance on clean renewable energy. The only question is a matter of will - do we have the commitment and persistence to fight for a future virtually free of dependence on foreign oil? The consequences of sticking with the status quo are too onerous to contemplate.
Worldwide technological developments, governmental mandates, and capital investments have been startlingly brisk this year. And yet, we are only at the "bleeding edge" of market development. 2007 promises to see the early commercial-scale deployments of many emerging technologies.
Here are their most significant developments of 2006, organized by Blog...
• Scientists set sights on biomass to reduce fossil fuel dependence
• Tires-to-Ethanol Facility Planned for New Jersey
• Using Algae to Recycle Flue Gas into Biofuels
• Reducing Biofuel Risk through Feedstock Diversification
• FLORIDA: County to Vaporize Trash
• Expanded Recycling - a Key to Cutting Fossil Fuels and Global Warming
• Forests: Carbon S(t)inks?
• Renaissance of the Forest Products Industry
• Cellulosic Ethanol from Woody Biomass
• FLORIDA: Citrus Peels as BIOstock
• DIGEST - California AB 1090 Issues and Support
• The Military Surcharge for Oil
• White House: The Advanced Energy Initiative
• RFA: Ethanol Industry Outlook 2006
• Ethanol Industry Braces for Growing Pains
• CALIFORNIA: Los Angeles Waste-to-Energy Plan Passed Unanimously
• Green Jobs for America: Two Reports
• Visionary Investors Cast Their Eye on Ethanol
• CALIFORNIA: Bioenergy Action Plan - Final Released
• CBS 60 Minutes: The Ethanol Solution
• CHINA: The Food vs. Energy Feedstock Conundrum
• Syngas Fermentation - The Next Generation of Ethanol
• U.S. D.O.E.: Roadmap for Developing Cleaner Fuels
• CALIFORNIA: Governor Announces BioEnergy Action Plan
• CALIFORNIA: Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006
• U.S. D.O.E.: 5-year Plan for Biomass Conversion
• Upgrading Existing Plants for Biomass Conversion
• Global BIOstock/BIOfuels Database
• Bioenergy Gateway: Energy from Wood
• Woody Biomass-to-Ethanol Demonstration Plant Contracted
• General Motors - Live Green/Go Yellow Campaign
• Plug-in Partners National PHEV Initiative
• MOVIE: Who Killed the Electric Car?
• Recycling’s “China Syndrome”
• Terra Preta: Black is the New Green
• Developing Ethanol's Side-stream Chemicals
• Impact of Global Growth on Carbon Emissions
• U.S. D.O.E.: Strategies for Reducing Greenhouse Gases
• BIOplastics: BIOdegradable by-products of BIOconversion
• "Mermaids' Tears" - Unrecycled plastic chokes the seas
• A Tale of Two Auto Shows
The final week of the year, BIOpact has written a Looking back on 2006 series of articles summarizing worldwide factors affecting development in the biomass conversion industry. It would be hard to find a more comprehensive view, broken down by geographic zone, summarizing the implications of global developments:
• Looking back on 2006
• The year in review: Asia
• The year in review: Africa
• The year in review: Latin America
Grist, the clever and controversial environmental news and commentary website, has put together a special series of stories on biofuels called Fill 'er Up. While I tend to be much more upbeat than the Grist writers, the stories are as thought-provoking - whereas the Gristmill Blog is as wild and wooly as the Grist readership.
The Renewable Energy Access has their own two yearend summaries. Renewable Energy Roadmap: Rural America Can Prosper addresses the impact reaching the 25x25 goal would have on farm income and jobs. They also offer an opinion of the Top Stories of 2006. However, most of these concern developments in solar energy.
technorati digest, biofuels, conversion, bioenergy, cellulosic, feedstock, ethanol
December 29, 2006
2006 - A Watershed Year for BIOfuels