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Biofuels

Biomass: Not Carbon Neutral and Often Not Clean

April 10, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard
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Power companies, facing pressure to find alternatives to fossil fuels like coal, are often consider turning to biomass – an umbrella term for fuel that is newly derived from plant matter. Until recently, most people including policy makers assumed all biomass was clean and renewable.[read more]

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Can the Complexities of Sugarcane Ethanol Imports Lead to Increased Carbon Emissions?

April 7, 2014 by John Miller
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Ethanol Imports and Emissions

The ‘Renewable Fuel Standard’ (RFS) requires blending biofuels into motor fuels annually to reduce petroleum consumption and associated carbon emissions. Since 2010 RFS compliance has included Brazil sugarcane ethanol imports. Do these imports actually achieve RFS carbon reduction requirements?[read more]

Better Chemistry, Better Biofuels? The Glycerol Glut, Solketal, and Other Floating Ideas

April 3, 2014 by N Nadir
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Biofuel Ideas

Along with other forms of so called “renewable energy,” I have come to hold a jaundiced view of biofuels, largely because of their inevitable competition with food supplies, as well as some concern about land use and the pressure placed on natural habitats.[read more]

Why Biofuels Tend to be Costly

March 14, 2014 by Robert Rapier
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Photosynthesis is a very inefficient process. Solar energy is converted into biomass at a rate of only 1 percent or so, which is a fraction of the energy conversion that can be achieved with a solar panel. An advantage of photosynthesis is the biomass that is produced is built-in energy storage.[read more]

When Renewables Destroy Nature

The case against using trees and crops as fuel for cars and power plants has grown stronger in recent years. The expansion of corn for ethanol in the American Midwest has worsened water pollution and soil erosion and has had no benefit in terms of reduced emissions, for example.[read more]

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Seeking Consensus: A New Project on the Energy Collective

February 25, 2014 by Schalk Cloete
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A New Project on TEC!

"Seeking Consensus" is a new column on TEC which aims to objectively quantify the relative attractiveness of the wide range of energy options available to us. Participation from the community is very important, and this first post therefore asks for community feedback on the structure of this project.[read more]

Fight China's Smog with Ethanol: Interview with Chen Lin

February 8, 2014 by Jim Patrick

Chen Lin writes the popular stock newsletter What Is Chen Buying? What Is Chen Selling?, published and distributed by Taylor Hard Money Advisors Inc. He employs a value-oriented approach and often demonstrates excellent market timing due to his exceptional technical analysis.[read more]

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#EnergyChat: Unraveling the President's State of the Union Address

January 30, 2014 by Matthew Stepp
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Obama's State of the Union

 

Last night, the President gave his State of the Union - a unique opportunity to argue for his policy agenda for the next year in front of the entire country and all of Congress. Climate change and clean energy have been a significant part of his previous five speeches and this year was no different.[read more]

NewCO2Fuels Uses Sunlight To Make New Fuels From Old Emissions

January 25, 2014 by Tina Casey
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Sunlight and Fuels

The name pretty much says it all: the Israeli company NewCO2Fuels has developed a solar powered carbon capture process that converts carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide and oxygen, which are reclaimed and processed into fuels.[read more]

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Telling Sugarcane Ethanol's Full Sustainability Story

January 23, 2014 by Leticia Phillips
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Sugarcane and Sustainability

Centering the RFS debate on volume targets for all biofuels has let two key benefits of advanced biofuels slip out of focus: the potential for non-corn ethanol to drastically cut lifecycle emissions compared to gasoline, and the ability of biofuel feedstocks to be sustainably grown without harming the environment.[read more]

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U.S. 2013 Domestic Energy Supplies Growth Scorecard: Part 1

January 21, 2014 by John Miller
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US Domestic Supply Scorecard

Some U.S. Renewables and Non-renewable Energy supplies grew in 2013, and a few did not. Various Energy Advocates and Critics viewed these increases or declines as positive and not so positive developments. Which U.S. domestic energy supplies grew at the greatest rates in 2013?[read more]

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60 Minutes of Epic Fail and the Real Energy Policy Debates CBS Missed

January 10, 2014 by Matthew Stepp
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60 Minutes and Energy Policy Debates

Part of me doesn’t want to waste anymore digital ink on the CBS 60 Minutes CleanTech Crash segment. It stirs the pot of energy and climate commentators and causes a mini firestorm. It’s clear why: it sidesteps policy debates that are too important to ignore and paints a very one-sided picture.[read more]

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Impacts of the EPA Certifying Sugarcane Ethanol as an 'Advanced Biofuel'

January 8, 2014 by John Miller
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EPA and Sugarcane Certification

The EPA certified Brazil sugarcane ethanol as an ‘advanced biofuel’ in 2010. This made Brazil imports eligible for U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard annual compliance. What are the impacts of this EPA action on U.S. fuel markets and associated carbon emissions?[read more]

Algae Oil Poised For World Domination, Eventually

December 31, 2013 by Tina Casey
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Oil Algae and the Future

Don’t be surprised if you wake up one day to find that the petroleum economy has been nudged aside by a startling diversity of alternative fuels topped by algae oil. The geopolitical implications alone are staggering given that various forms of algae can be cultivated practically anywhere in the world.[read more]

Our Holiday Wish List

December 24, 2013 by Leticia Phillips

Energy Wish List

Heading into the New Year, it’s clear the decisions confronting lawmakers and EPA regulators on the RFS will have a great impact on our world’s journey towards decreasing greenhouse gases and improving energy security. Here’s our wish list for the presents we’d like to see in 2014.[read more]