Expert: Southeast Has Potential to Become ‘Saudi Arabia’ for Biofuels Crop Production
by Blair Fannin (Texas A&M University) Dr. Bill McCutchen sees the potential for the southeast to become the ‘Saudi Arabia’ for production of dedicated energy crops.
“It’s the Bioenergy Belt,” said McCutchen, executive associate director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, at the Growing Texas Conference held in College Station recently. Attendees heard from numerous experts discussing future water and energy needs in Texas.
McCutchen provided attendees an overview of research done by the agency in developing potential dedicated energy crops for biofuels. Whether it’s energy sorghum or algae, McCutchen said too much emphasis has been placed on corn, as its needs are for both food and livestock feed production.
…“What we are going to see is an emergence of cellulosic-based conversion facilities, and when this infrastructure is in place, we will see a new set of dedicated energy crops that will complement food and fiber crops. We are starting to see the deployment of cellulosic and biomass conversion facilities for biofuels being put into place.”
McCutchen said the Texas Gulf Coast to the eastern border is the “sweet spot” for biofuel production and growing dedicated energy crops that are also drought tolerant.
…“We are now working with BP, Chevron, Ceres and others to make this a reality for Texas and the Southeast.” READ MORE