|Indiana’s growth in biofuel production. Click to enlarge.|
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels introduced today the state’s “Hoosier Homegrown” Energy Plan which focuses on the substitution of Indiana coal and biomass for current coal, natural gas and petroleum imports for use in power generation and transportation.
The governor also signed Executive Order 06-14 to create an Interagency Council on Energy to oversee the further development and implementation of the plan and to provide energy policy advice to the governor and General Assembly.
Indiana consumers pay lower rates—among the lowest in the country—and that is a key competitive advantage for all of our business growth and retention. But that advantage is at risk because we will soon become a net importer of electricity. We already import all of our natural gas and are the sixth largest per capita natural gas-consuming state.
The state’s economic comeback depends on development of our energy potential. Our energy industry must grow. With new forms of energy production, such as biodiesel, ethanol and clean coal we will preserve and grow jobs and incomes—Governor Daniels
The state already has dramatically grown its biofuels industry in the past 18 months. The governor has also directed that all state fleet vehicles become flexible fuel capable as they are replaced.
Indiana is optimistic about the potential of corn-based ethanol, but realizes that to achieve the national target of 25 percent, or 60 billion gallons, we need to see a breakthrough in cellulosic ethanol. Advances in ethanol production efficiency and new feed stocks (corn stover, wood, switch grass, etc.) will be vital to making the fuel a lasting and economical substitute for petroleum.
...For Indiana, it means an increase in the value of farm crops which can lead to jobs and increased incomes. For example, corn stover left over from the harvest process can be processed into transportation fuel that would have the potential to pay back Hoosier farmers upwards of $130 per acre.—“Hoosier Homegrown Energy”
The plan also states that Indiana will seek to become a major source of coal-to-liquids (CTL fuel), with some estimates pegging the potential of 20 billion barrels of oil equivalent from coal.
The governor said he is confident the state will be as successful in its pursuit of clean coal and biomass facilities as it has been so far in its ramping up of biofuels production. He has also directed that state government buildings in Marion County use Indiana-sourced renewable energy for 10% of power needs by 2010 and 25% by 2025.
Currently, 75 percent of the state’s energy expenditures leave Indiana for imports of coal, natural gas and oil. Coal provides over 90% of electric generation in the state, but more than 50% of coal consumed comes from outside of the state. Indiana has 17 billion tons of reserves (485 years of reserves at current consumption rates) but it is high in sulfur content and requires clean air technologies to use productively. The energy plan calls for pursuit of clean coal technologies and building new generation facilities.
The plan also encourages more use of biomass for power generation which would expand Indiana’s agriculture, food processing and other waste-producing ventures, involving animal waste, landfill gas, and woody biomass.