Sunday, July 06, 2008

Surprise! Even Big Oil Companies Are Jumping Onto the BioFuels Bandwagon

Why are Exxon, Chevron, and other large oil companies frantically studying biofuels and bioenergy? Several reasons. First, nationalisation of oil production around the globe has taken big multinational oilcos out of the running for the really big oil fields, except perhaps for Iraq. Second, the US Congress has put trillions of barrels of oil equivalent off-limits to oil and energy companies. Third, nuclear energy is mired in political/environmental entanglements that could take decades to sort out. Fourth, solar energy and wind energy lack the utility-scale storage that would make them the obvious strategy for large scale energy projects in lieu of nuclear and fossil fuels. Fifth, bio-energy is virtually unlimited, is so far not prohibited by a neanderthal US Congress or absurdist environmental regulations, and can be developed almost anywhere on the globe.
Biofuels production worldwide, led by the U.S. and Brazil, is expected to rise by 330,000 barrels a day this year, which is more than the gain in conventional crude output from any single non-OPEC country, according to the IEA.

"We are focusing on next-generation biofuels," said John Watson, the Chevron Vice President for Strategy and Development. "We are not investing in food-based ethanol" research.

..."Renewables are not the main business of the oil companies, which have to justify returns for investors," said Davide Tabarelli, director of Nomisma Energia, a Bologna, Italy-based energy research company.

"Still, biofuels is the most logical segment of renewable energy for oil companies to invest in," because they produce transportation fuels, he said.
Canadian province Ontario, lacking the oil resources of Alberta and Saskatchewan, is helping to finance the next generation of biofuels.
Overall, the province has its eye on the 50-million-ton mountain of biomass produced in Ontario every year, much of which gets treated as waste or is underused. The biomass could meet the needs of seven million homes if harnessed by processes such as the projects unveiled today. __Source
The use of waste biomass to produce biofuels and bioenergy is relatively uncontroversial. But there is only so much waste biomass. Unleashing the full potential of biofuels and bioenergy depends upon going far beyond what is currently considered possible, by conventional and pedestrian energy analysts (is there any other kind?).

The potential of algae biofuels for example--both micro-algae and multicellular algae--points to vast, neglected areas of the globe for biofuel production: the deserts and the oceans. Desert land--using closed circuit algae production to conserve water--is ideal for all forms of solar energy, including micro-algae. Oceans are ideal for aquaculture of multi-cellular algaes, or seaweeds. Seaweed could provide immense quantities of biomass without using an acre of food-producing acreage.

Peak oil adherents are incapable of creating anything. They can only dwell on doom, deprivation, depletion, and death. They are catastrophe addicts whose minds are tuned to the Cassandra Channel, and cannot be tuned to any other mode of thought.

Doomsters cannot invent or create, they can only promote futility. They themselves are doomed to become but footnotes, once again.



Blogger Mr. Doom said...

So, Al Fin care to cite your sources on these "trillions of barrels of Oil" that is off limits to the oil co. because of the U.S. congress?

ANd no Alfin you're incorrect we are a constructive bunch. We can sparate the BS form reality. In reality we're coming up on the crash, much sooner than I had ever thought. Look for it to happen in Sept.

12:24 AM  
Blogger al fin said...

Thanks for illustrating precisely what I was talking about. Regular readers know exactly where the trillions of barrels of oil equivalent are located. And they know precisely who to blame.

4:33 PM  
Blogger JackofBlades said...

Al Fin. You did nothing to cite your sources. That is what he had asked for.
He didn't "illustrate" anything.

We're not regular readers. So please if you will show us your sorces, proof of the the "trillions of barrels of Oil in the U.S."
And no conspiracy theorys about Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer do not count.

Stop living in denial Al Fin! You know there isn't anymore oil to be had. At least easy to get Oil....Oil Shale, Tar sands, Bakken....will not save us!
We have dicked the chicken far too long on this one

12:05 PM  
Blogger al fin said...

You sound like someone who has "dicked the chicken" as you say, for far too long. ;-) In fact, you sound exactly the same as "mr. doop" above.

Thanks for the reassurance that you are not regular readers. But then, regular readers would have known that.

3:27 PM  

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