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Posts tagged “biofuels”

By Robert Rapier on Oct 30, 2010 with 35 responses

The U.S. Navy and Biofuels – Part III

This is the concluding installment of my recent interview with Tom Hicks, Deputy Assistant Secretary to the Navy (Energy). Part I discussed the overall goals of the Navy’s biofuel efforts, and in Part II we covered why coal-to-liquids (CTL) is presently off-limits, and why GTL may be as well. Part III picks up with the human cost of moving fuel into the theater of operations. The editor of Consumer Energy Report, Sam Avro, joined me in this interview and our questions below will be denoted as “RR” or “SA”. Mr. Hicks’ responses are “TH”. RR: I saw a recent story that once fuel actually makes it to the theater of operations, it can cost $400 per gallon when all the… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Oct 28, 2010 with 19 responses

The U.S. Navy and Biofuels – Part II

In Part I of my recent interview with Tom Hicks, Deputy Assistant Secretary to the Navy (Energy), we covered the nature of what the Navy is trying to achieve (and why) with respect to incorporating renewable energy into their operations. Part II begins with a discussion of why coal-to-liquids (CTL) is presently off-limits, and why GTL may be as well. Incidentally, I mention Shell’s Bintulu GTL facility in Malaysia below. I have just spent my entire morning inside their facility, and will have a report up on that visit next week. The editor of Consumer Energy Report, Sam Avro, joined me in this interview and our questions below will be denoted as “RR” or “SA”. Mr. Hicks’ responses are “TH”…. Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Oct 26, 2010 with 32 responses

The U.S. Navy and Biofuels – Part I

Robert Rapier and Sam Avro conducted an interview with the Deputy Assistant Secretary to the Navy (Energy) in which the Navy’s investments in biofuels were discussed.

By Nathanael Greene on Jul 19, 2010 with 2 responses

CBO Report Shows The Folly of Corn Ethanol Tax Credit

A new report released by the Congressional Budget Office yesterday afternoon reaches some eye popping conclusions about what our lavish support for old corn ethanol is costing us. For mature and mainstream corn ethanol, we the tax payers are shelling out $1.78 per gallon before we even pay for it at the pump. As I’ve written a lot about before, this comes on top of a federal mandate, which this year requires 12 billion gallons. That adds up to a total cost of over $21 billion just this year! The industry is already is heavy spin mode, but even it has to acknowledge the sticker shock. RFA’s early response amounts to “sure it’s expensive, but what else are you going… Continue»

By Nathanael Greene on Jul 18, 2010 with no responses

Klobuchar Bill: Trojan Horse for Bad Biofuels

It should come as no surprise that the first copy of the full text of Sen. Klobuchar’s energy bill  was found on a corn ethanol industry association website; the bill reads like the industry’s wish list. Klobuchar says she’s trying to broaden the base of support for an energy bill and increase our reliance on renewable energy. These are good goals, but giveaways to old corn ethanol will counter act and undermine much of the benefits that the Senator claims to be seeking. Today’s corn ethanol is mature and mainstream and, unfortunately, generally causes more global warming pollution than gasoline. Klobuchar’s bill would lavish over $30 billion on the ethanol and oil industries, it would pull the rug out from… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 22, 2010 with 64 responses

Range Fuels’ Number One Critic

That title appears to be reserved for me, even though I did not set out to earn it. It all started with the first story I wrote on Range Fuels in which I pointed out that their progress does not remotely align with their early promises. Since that initial story was published I have been frequently contacted to provide a skeptical side of the Range story. Below I report on another story on Range that has just come out that reiterates my skepticism – not on the nature of the technology but on the disconnect between the intial claims and actual progress to date. One person recently e-mailed me and said “I bet (Range backer) Vinod Khosla and (Range CEO)… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 11, 2010 with 52 responses

Five Positive Notes on Next-Generation Biofuels

Here are five positive notes extracted from the USDA report on next generation biofuels.

By Robert Rapier on Mar 25, 2010 with 103 responses

Bad Assumptions

As I have been traveling around New Zealand, I have had a lot of discussions about various renewable energy companies. Inevitably, there is some discussion as to why certain approaches have failed. Occasionally, companies failed simply because they were running a scam and lying about what they were doing. More common, however, are companies that failed due to bad assumptions on their part. Those discussions have led me to reflect on what some of the bad assumptions – or potentially bad assumptions – companies may be making that will result in failure of their business models. Of course I have to make assumptions as well, and I must constantly evaluate those assumptions in light of new evidence. I would say… Continue»

By Shay Bapple on Mar 17, 2010 with 3 responses

US Government Roadblocks Private Production of Biogas

While other countries are rapidly producing biogas, economics plus concerns about byproduct emissions cause the US to lag behind.

By Robert Rapier on Sep 8, 2009 with no responses

Soliciting Reader Input for Bioenergy Chapter

9/8 Update: Lichtblick/VW announcement is now in the English version of Der Spiegel: A Power Station in Your Basement Green-energy provider Lichtblick and German automaker Volkswagen are joining forces and promising to stir up the energy market with an unusual plan. Instead of relying on massive energy facilities, the average consumer may soon have a miniature power station in their basement. Chief executives of Germany’s major energy suppliers usually don’t have much time for their junior counterpart, Lichtblick. The Hamburg-based green-electricity provider’s half a million customers may be “impressive,” they say, but Lichtblick works in a niche market and is no competition for the larger companies in the industry. The ambitious new project could be worth billions of euros and… Continue»