An article in this week’s Nature pokes holes in the biofuel mandate included in last year’s Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) on the basis that the mandate “intended to convince technologists that a substantial market was guaranteed.” In reality, it seems the mandate was so aggressive that biofuel investors, seeing the overstretch and expecting the
Traditional corn-ethanol production, of course, has been booming – 11 or so billion gallons this year and 13 billion or so by 2009. By 2010, corn-ethanol will have already saturated its maximum (14 billion gallons) called for in the EISA. Cellulosic ethanol is essentially nonexistent at the moment, technologies are still in their infancy, industrial-scale ‘advanced’ plants are still in the distant future and will require massive investment, and biofuel investors are cautious to make strides until hearing the EPA’s verdicts. Until then, many expect a refining of the original biofuel mandate and don’t expect the cellulosic mandate to be met anytime soon.
Ho ho ho,