The conversion of biomass into ethanol and biodiesel provides farmers an additional market for their crops. Over the years, many federal and state rules have been developed to promote biofuels production for use in industry and reformulated gasoline. While this page does not include an exhaustive list of ethanol incentives, the rules on this page are unique in that they encourage ethanol and biodiesel production on a small scale. A decentralized, rural biofuels industry tends to favor a greater number of farmers over a wider area. Production credits for smaller facilities also promotes the formation of farmer-owned cooperatives that further increase returns to farmers. Continue reading
Featured from Energy Page 60 of 88
In 2001 the state of Missouri passed a new law that gives school districts an incentive to purchase biodiesel fuel for their bus fleets. The law begins with the 2002-03 school year and lasts through the 2005-06 school year. Any school district may contract with an eligible new generation cooperative to purchase biodiesel fuel for its buses of a minimum of B-20 (20 percent biodiesel). The state will then reimburse the school district so that the net price to the contracting district for biodiesel will not exceed the rack price of regular diesel. Continue reading
This report, jointly authored with George Crocker of the North American Water Office and Michael Michaud of Matrix Energy Solutions, examines the implications that two recent distributed generation studies in Minnesota may have on the need for building new high-voltage transmission lines in the state. The authors conclude that project over a certain size be compared to alternative ways sufficient power transfer capability for dispersed renewable electricity generation may be available on the existing grid or with relatively modest, strategic enhancements to the existing grid system to meet the Minnesota’s 2025 renewable energy goal without building major new 345 kV transmission facilities. Continue reading
How much energy could be generated by states tapping into internal renewable resources? This November 2008 report by David Morris and John Farrell presents preliminary data that suggests that at least half of the fifty states could meet all their internal energy needs from renewable energy generated inside their borders, and the vast majority could meet a significant percentage.
David Morris discusses the new report, Energy Self-Reliant States, on CleanSkies.TV on November 10, 2008. Continue reading
A few weeks ago I was at Iowa State University addressing 500 students and faculty at its engineering school. I was sharing a platform with former CIA Director Jim Woolsey. At one point, a student asked our views on the presidential candidates’ energy programs.
Iresponded that the essential difference between Obama and McCain is not in their goals as much as it is in the tools they would use to reach those goals. Obama believes in the active use of government authority; John McCain does not. McCain’s self-declared heroes, Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, galvanized and led a movement whose principal thesis is that government is part of the problem, not part of the solution.
The financial bailout bill passed by Congress may have once and for all put an end to T. Boone Pickens’ energy plan. Let me explain.
Until the financial meltdown obliterated all other news coverage, T. Boone and his energy plan were everywhere. His book, The First Billion Is the Hardest, is number two on the bestseller list. During the Republican and Democrat Conventions his press conferences were attended by a fawning media, virtually all of who filed stories with the theme "oil man turns wind energy advocate."
With has the potential to become one of the nation’s fastest spreading local renewable energy programs, the Berkeley city council last night voted unanimously to use the city’s bonding authority to finance rooftop solar on residential properties. The city will pay the upfront costs and property owners will repay those costs over 20 years through a special assessment on their property tax bills. If a person moves, the solar system will stay at the property and the new owners will assume the remaining years of the assessment.
The Republicans keep handing the Democrats a winning election issue. And the Democrats keeping refusing to accept the gift. I hope the beginning of the formal election campaign knocks some sense into them.
Thegift is the Republicans’ continued opposition to extending renewable energy incentives. Eight times since the fall of 2007, a Republican-threatened filibuster has thwarted a vote on extending these incentives. They will expire at the end of this year — and with that expiration, many believe the solar and wind industries will come to a grinding halt.
Al Gore’s heroic speech challenging us to make our electrical system 100 percent renewable promised it would simultaneously address three major crises: the weak economy, catastrophic climate change and the dire national security problems inherent in our dependence on imported oil.
He got two out of three right. A crash renewable electricity initiative would provide an immediate boost to our economy and could slow climate change, since electricity accounts for about a third of our overall greenhouse gas emissions.