Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Biofuels Branch Out: News

A bunch of news postings to keep everyone up to date on what is happening around the world at the moment. Of course I cannot place everything here but here is a good grouping.

Fight over ethanol bill centers on Governor
"I certainly hope it does not increase the cost of gasoline as some have claimed," Blanco said, adding she wanted to support Louisiana's development of the alternative fuel industry. She has asked for further details on pricing of ethanol and biodiesel around the country.

Under the bill, the sale of the plant-based fuels would be required once production of the products in Louisiana meets certain benchmarks, and then a percentage of the gasoline sold would have to include the biodiesel or ethanol. The Legislature gave final approval to the measure last week, though the margin of victory was narrow in the House.

Green light for biofuel car
Two Norfolk companies are helping the environment with cars that run on biofuels.

Norwich Union, the city's biggest employer, hopes to bring green cars into its company fleet, while the chief executive of the company's insurance arm is testing out a biofuel model himself.

The company is working with carbon reduction campaigners at CRed, based at the University of East Anglia.

Meanwhile, Renewables East, the Norwich-based green energy agency for the East of England, has bought a Ford Focus that can run on either biofuel or conventional petrol.

Ethanol plants to open new market to growers
In-state facilities, like one recently announced here in far western New York, represent “another significant step in our goal of developing a strong biofuel industry in the state,” said Gov. George Pataki, “which will not only provide an economic boost to our farming community, but keep our energy dollars here in New York.”

Pataki, the first Northeast governor to join the Governors' Ethanol Coalition, promised $6 million and other incentives for the $87 million Shelby facility to be built on an old cabbage farm. It may be the first plant to get up and running, with groundbreaking expected in June and production in January 2008.

For local farmers, having a new market in their own backyard promises to pay off.

Government looks to biofuel to stave of oil crisis
Under the target the government has set for itself, it is planned that Indonesia will cut the contribution of oil to total energy consumption from the current 55 percent to only 15 percent in 2025 by developing other energy sources, such as hydropower, coal, gas and biofuels.

Will the country succeed in achieving the target? Many are optimistic that it can.

Such optimism is reflected by ministers and government officials across the archipelago.

Biofuel developed in Cuba
Rocketing oil prices have made Cuba search for less polluting energy sources as biofuels.

It has become ever more urgent the need to stop irrational hydrocarbon consumption, led by the United States, the greatest polluter worldwide. This situation and the diminishing oil reserves, will have a negative impact in national economies, above all in developing countries.

Angara bats for energy independence through utilization of biodiesel, ethanol
He noted that the Philippines imports 94 percent of its annual oil requirements, making the country vulnerable to constant world price increases.

He said that an increase of $1 in world oil prices translates into about $1.26 million in added foreign exchange requirements for the Philippines.

Bio-fuels are crop based transport fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol, Angara said, and in the Philippines, the same can be produced from coconuts and Jatropha while ethanol, from sugarcane, corn and cassava.

He pointed out that unlike petroleum-based fuels, ethanol is cleaner and emits less carbon dioxide.

Pischetsrieder's VW To Produce Flex-Fuel Models In Brazil
Now the Brazilian unit of Bernd Pischetsrieder's Volkswagen has said it will only produce vehicles that run on a mixture of traditional fuels and ethanol from this month, ending production of gasoline-only models. Other car makers also produce a large proportion of flex-fuel vehicles--that can run on ethanol, gasoline, or a blend of the two--in Brazil but none so far has switched entirely to this technology, reports AFX News.

Branching out for fuel
Kenneth Stewart, director of the Georgia Forestry Commission, says 30 companies have expressed an interest in opening biofuel plants in Georgia that use pine wood to make biofuel, a cleaner-burning fuel made from plant matter or animal fat, such as ethanol.

Ethanol is a type of alcohol, made from converting plant crops into sugars, that can be refined into fuel that burns cleaner than gasoline.

Middle and south Georgia are likely to see the benefits of such refineries, because transportation costs for logs are too high for the plants to be located far from timber supplies.

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