Consumer Energy Report is now Energy Trends Insider -- Read More »

By Robert Rapier on Oct 31, 2009 with no responses

Toward a Sustainability Bioenergy Platform

The slides I presented on September 27th at the First Nations’ Futures Program at Stanford University are available for viewing for anyone interested:

Toward a Sustainability Bioenergy Platform

To summarize, the purpose of the First Nations’ Futures Program is “to establish a world class fellowship program focused on building First Nations’ capacity through developing values based leadership and more integrated solutions for managing First Nation’s assets / resources.” These are the leaders and future leaders of First Nations’ groups like the Māori of New Zealand, Native Hawaiians, and Native Americans. These are the people who are often tasked with managing group resources so they are still available for future generations. Thus, sustainable energy is high on their list of priorities.

My presentation starts with some of the traditional aspects we think of being related to sustainability, but then talks about a more systematic and objective method for measuring sustainability. I cover the fact that sustainable solutions are different in different locales. For example, Brazilian sugarcane ethanol has been deemed to be potentially sustainable by a Dutch group who attempted to measure sustainability based on six categories. But take that example and move it to a location that doesn’t receive ample rainfall, or a location in which the terrain is prone to erosion, and what was sustainable in one case is not sustainable in another. On the topic of sustainability, one size definitely does not fit all. I also contrast the U.S. to Brazil to show why the two are not at all comparable.

Finally, I spend three slides to present for the first time in public a tentative org chart for my new organization, our platform, and our strategy. The org chart has been sanitized to remove some company names from the boxes, as some deals are not ready to be publicized. As indicated previously, I sit in the “Merica” box, but spend most of my time working on the Global Conversions leg of the platform.

Next up is the Pacific Rim Summit in a week. I will be on a panel with Guy Cellier – the President and founder of Forest Solutions – and Professor Scott Turn from the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii. The topic will be sustainable bioenergy.