02 February 2008

Biofuels to British Columbia, Airbus, FAA

British Columbia has announced its new biofuels strategy--aiming to make BC electricity self-sufficient using biomass, among other plans.
The BC Bioenergy Strategy includes:
  1. * Establishment of $25 million in funding for a provincial Bioenergy Network for greater investment and innovation in B.C. bioenergy projects and technologies
  2. * A target for B.C biofuel production to meet 50 per cent or more of the province’s renewable fuel requirements by 2020, which supports the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from transportation
  3. * The establishment of funding to advance provincial biodiesel production with up to $10 million over three years
  4. * Development of at least 10 community energy projects that convert local biomass into energy by 2020
  5. * Issuing a two-part Bioenergy Call for Power – the first part will be issued shortly, the second part by July 1, 2008 – focusing on existing biomass inventory in the forest industry and offering opportunities for smaller energy producers with projects that are immediately viable
  6. * Establishment one of Canada’s most comprehensive provincial biomass inventories that creates waste to energy opportunities
  7. * Support for methane capture from the province's largest landfills
  8. * Incentives to utilize waste wood from phased-out beehive burners to produce clean energy
  9. * Support for wood gasification research, development and commercialization____Source
Even more interesting, both the US Federal Aviation Administration, and Airbus are looking into the use of "alternative fuels" for aviation. The high cost of fuels may soon cause massive changes in the aviation industry unless changes are made.
With Airbus' test flight today and its announcement that it too will research next-generation biofuels, all major aircraft manufacturers (Airbus, Boeing, Embraer and others) now have initiated programs to research renewable biofuels for aviation.___Source

Airbus begins its flight testing of alternative fuels with "gas-to-liquids" fuel, and will progress to biofuels.

The US Department of Transportation is initiating research to find alternative aviation fuels, and may soon offer a prize similar to the "Ansari X Prize," for developing economical alternative fuels for aircraft.

Peak oil prophets and seers have for decades predicted a massive collapse of western civilisation, when the oil runs out (or becomes too expensive to pump and burn). It is amusing to visit peak oil sites and observe the quickly lengthening list of "peak oil disclaimers:" tar sands don't count, coal to liquids doesn't count, biofuels don't count, gas to liquids don't count, nuclear power doesn't count, electric vehicles don't count, . . . and so on. Now that most doomseekers of peak oil are beginning to see that the "peak" will be a decades long plateau, and probably has not occurred yet, some of the discussions on the PO sites are becoming more interesting and quasi-rational. We can only hope that trend continues.

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Blogger Snake Oil Baron said...

This link was not where I first heard about this but it illustrates that Boeing seems interested in algae to make plane fuel too. I seem to remember seeing a story where Boeing felt feel that all the world's airlines could be fueled with algae from a surprisingly small number of growth facilities. I don't know if that optimism factored in advancements in lighter materials for planes and lifting body designs and novel engine designs and placements (putting engines at the back to reduce turbulence at the wing and body) but it sounds promising.

The peak oil and climate collapse myths may have a lot of negative effects but at least they help promote investment and innovation that helps to undermine the Middle Eastern regimes. This and other factors will force them to choose between diversifying and developing their economies (as some have begun to do) or just waiting until things fall apart. They will need to survive the transition from depending on oil money to bribe half the people to suppress the other half to actually depending on their people for tax money.

As oil becomes less of a lucrative monopoly for these states the terrorists, extremist Imams and mega-mosque builders around the world will be competing for funds with aging Saudi and Iranian populations.

Saturday, 02 February, 2008  
Blogger Snake Oil Baron said...

And if I had read the article I quickly linked to I would have seen the figure of 34,000 sq km given. When you realize that that would be spread out around the planet in countless regions close to major airports it becomes very cost effective. Rather than transporting it from a few oil fields to a few refineries and then out to the planet you can produce and process it in a far more distributed and efficient manner. There seem to be a lot of advantages to this system.

Saturday, 02 February, 2008  
Blogger al fin said...

You're probably right, but peak oilers get a rush out of all that "collapse of civilisation" talk.

Thanks for the link to the Boeing article.

Saturday, 02 February, 2008  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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