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May 30, 2011

Taylor English Duma Renewable Energy Blog

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September 7, 2010

Corn Prices Surge. Is Ethanol to Blame?

Corn prices have surged but, as Biofuels Digest reports, the culprit this time is a poor harvest and shutdown of grain exports from Russia.

U.S. ethanol production remains sluggish as low gas prices and a lack of investment capital have held back plans for new plants.  In addition, Congress’  inability to  extend biofuel subsidies that expired that the end of 2009 means that China has surged ahead of the rest of the G20 both in energy consumption and in clean energy investment.

March 15, 2010

Alternative Fuel Producers Push for 30% Investment Tax Credit

Filed under: Biofuels,biomass,CleanTech investing — Tags: , , , , , — Jonathan B. Wilson @ 6:00 am

Blue Fire Ethanol and a consortium of 31 other alternative fuel producers have sent a letter to Congress asking for a 30% investment tax credit for biofuels.  While alternative fuel producers were encouraged by last week’s passage of extenders legislation to extend the alternative fuel mixture and biodiesel excise tax credit programs, those extentions are temporary.

While the national renewable fuels standard contemplates increasing amounts of biofuels by 2010, there are no commercial scale cellulosic ethanol plants schedule to come online before 2011, according to one industry letter sent to Congress.

February 23, 2010

Senate Passes Jobs Bill Without Alternative Fuel Tax Credit Extension

Filed under: Biofuels,biomass — Tags: , , , — Jonathan B. Wilson @ 7:47 am

The Senate voted yesterday to move  forward with Senator Reid’s stripped-down version of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act.  The bill could be voted upon by the Senate by the end of the week.  Reid’s version of the bill, however, omits the extension of the alternative fuel mixture and biodiesel tax credits that were included in the earlier (Baucus/Grassley) version of the bill.

February 3, 2010

Administration Announces New Program to Promote Biofuels and Renewable Energy (RFS2; Carbon Sequestration; Biomass Crop Assistance Program)

President Obama today announced a series of steps as part of a comprehensive strategy to enhance American energy independence and build a foundation for a new clean energy economy. The administration believes that the strategy will create new industries and millions of jobs. (Reuters;  Reaction from Renewable Fuels Association).  At a meeting with a bipartisan group of governors,  the President set forth three efforts that he believes will work in concert to boost biofuels production and America’s dependence on foreign oil:

• The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized a rule to implement the long-term renewable fuels standard of 36 billion gallons by 2022 established by Congress.

• The U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed a rule on the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) that would provide financing to increase the conversion of biomass to bioenergy. 

• The President’s Biofuels Interagency Working Group released its first report – Growing America’s Fuel. The report, authored by group co-chairs, Secretaries Vilsack and Chu, and Administrator Jackson, lays out a strategy to advance the development and commercialization of a sustainable biofuels industry to meet or exceed the nation’s biofuels targets. 

In addition, President Obama announced a Presidential Memorandum creating an Interagency Task Force on Carbon Capture and Storage to develop a comprehensive and coordinated federal strategy to speed the development and deployment of clean coal technologies. The U.S. will continue to rely on the availability and affordability of domestic coal for decades to meet its energy needs, and these advances are necessary to reduce pollution in the meantime.

The Presidential Memorandum calls for five to ten commercial demonstration projects to be up and running by 2016.

President Obama said, “Now, I happen to believe that we should pass a comprehensive energy and climate bill. It will make clean energy the profitable kind of energy, and the decision by other nations to do this is already giving their businesses a leg up on developing clean energy jobs and technologies. But even if you disagree on the threat posed by climate change, investing in clean energy jobs and businesses is still the right thing to do for our economy. Reducing our dependence on foreign oil is still the right thing to do for our security. We can’t afford to spin our wheels while the rest of the world speeds ahead.” 

“Advancing biomass and biofuel production holds the potential to create green jobs, which is one of the many ways the Obama Administration is working to rebuild and revitalize rural America,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Facilities that produce renewable fuel from biomass have to be designed, built and operated. Additionally, BCAP will stimulate biomass production and that will benefit producers and provide the materials necessary to generate clean energy and reduce carbon pollution.”

“President Obama and this Administration are strongly committed to the development of carbon capture and storage technology as a key part of the clean energy economy. We can and should lead the world in this technology and the jobs it can create,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “The actions President Obama has taken today will create jobs, slash greenhouse gas emissions and increase our energy security while helping to put America at the leading edge of the new energy economy,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “The renewable fuel standards will help bring new economic opportunity to millions of Americans, particularly in rural America. EPA is proud to be a part of the President’s effort to combat climate change and put Americans back to work – both through the new renewable fuel standards and through our co-chairmanship with the Department of Energy of the Interagency Task Force on Carbon Capture and Storage.”

February 2, 2010

U.S. Endowment for Forestry Seeks Proposals for Energy Demonstration Projects

Filed under: Biofuels,biomass,Renewable energy jobs — Tags: , — Jonathan B. Wilson @ 7:42 am

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities is seeking pre-proposals for grants of up to $250,000 to develop demonstration projects for the conversion of woody biomass to energy.

The Endowment will award grants of up to $250,000 (but not more than $750,000 in total) for proposals that can convert laboratory technology for converting woody biomass to energy in a way that is sustainable, economically viable and produces employment opportunities. 

The Endowment is a non-profit corporation created in 2006 as part of a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Canada.  The Endowment’s approach in this RFP is to find solutions that have not yet been developed to commercial scale, for harvesting trees in forets that are not suitable for traditional lumbering. 

Proposals are due on February 12, 2010 and must be submitted through the Endowment’s online grant system.

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