Over There: The Yanks are Coming (同胞, Can You Spare a Dime?)
by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest) BIO exec VP Brent Erickson ruefully noted in a conference with reporters that the biofuels industry was “very disappointed in the loan guarantee program. Biomass was mixed in with wind and solar, which have much more mature technologies, and we have not fared well.” He noted that the program was designed to be a risk reducer, and to “go beyond” what the commercial credit market could do. “Instead, it does exactly what the commercial credit market does.” …(M)ore than half of the 50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy are actively seeking capital offshore or are developing offshore operations in response to foreign investment interest.
…The theme of unintended consequences was taken up by several members of the United States Senate, led by Charles Schumer of New York, who have raised hell over an announcement by the US Renewable Energy Group that its application for a $450 million stimulus bill tax credit would create 300 jobs in Texas and 3,000 in China where the wind turbines would be manufactured. …(W)e have here the appearance of indirect job use change …
…US oil companies have largely divested their downstream systems, with retail gas stations primarily owned by the convenience store industry that uses fuel as something of a loss leader and makes money off high-price snacks and soda. They are reluctant to invest in ethanol distribution because they don’t make much money on fuel in the first place. Why bother, they say, where’s the ROI?
Hence some of Tom Mack’s frustration. His company’s technology is an ethanol-electric hybrid locomotive — a new platform for distribution. We need, he says, “to move ethanol-optimized technologies such as locomotives, industrial engines, generators, and so forth into the market. Since these types of equipment can use alternate fuel suppliers (e.g. the local ethanol plant or independent fuel dealer), we open up a whole new market force for ethanol. Shouldn’t we be working on the vehicles and engine technologies so that we can efficiently use the billions of gallons of new algae or cellulosic ethanol when it begins to flow? And why should the manufacturing side be any different than the production?” READ MORE and MORE