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Minnesota Considering $90M Push for Cellulosic Ethanol Development

Pioneer Press. Minnesota state officials are considering providing $90 million in incentives, spread over 10 years, to support the development of cellulosic ethanol production within the state.

The state would also provide $10 million in incentives to encourage current corn ethanol producers to convert their plants to biomass power.

Officials want to defer decisions on the $90 million part of the plan until next year, after the US Congress has completed a new farm bill and the emerging science may be a bit clearer.

Officials from the state Agriculture Department, Commerce Department and the Legislature also have discussed how to structure incentives...One idea: Base the incentives on BTUs produced. Another idea: Reward not just production, but energy-efficiency, too.



States should be aggressively funding alternative / renewable fuel research, development and construction of facilities. States like Florida, the herbaceous woody biomass capital of the south, have a vested interest in the potential jackpot (from the eventual tax revenue of job creation, keeping energy money in the local economies, etc) that it could use to fill/maintain its coffers. Land used to grow energy crops is land that is NOT sold to developers to pave over creation. The collapse of the Big 3 and many autoparts related industries in the north means snowbirds will not be settling in the south in droves like they have in the past. The populations of many of Florida's metro areas will transition to vast lower income regions without a big $ industry that fills the void left by snowbirds (ie. large scale subdivison development and commercial complexes). The south, especially Florida, should be jumping on this! A potential free-market solution to sprawl - energy crops!


Few or no techies can admit that, by virtue of the natural laws of the universe such as conservation of mass and energy, ethanol or biomass will not solve CO2, rather will increase it.
None of this is sustainable much less being approached from a sustainable advantage rather than 'straight' talk from Wall Street & US/World capital, ie, greed. All the corn in the US will do 12% of daily US gas use, all soybeans 6% of daily US diesel use. Where's the tech ?

Adam Galas

Corn and Soy may only provide 18% but cellulose could be several times more than that.

Corn Stover, Orange peels, paper waste, perrenial grasses, ect. All could mean a whole lot of liquid fuels.

Also what does conservation of mass have to do with anything? We all know energy can't be created but in the case of bio-fuels the sun is providng the net energy we use to fuel vehicles.

In end Cellulose ethanol and Algea-biodiesel may provide all of our liquid fuel needs.

That is until we can transition to an electron economy, or perhaps we'll have a little of both.

As long as we can replace all carbon fuel by 2050, western civilization won't die out due to peak oil, and that is what really counts,(we need to continue on our tech growth path if we are to achieve life extension technologies that the youth of today to live into the next century and perhaps for several more after that).

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