Tuesday, October 14, 2008

General Motors Timeline for Alternative Fuels

We have seen that huge international companies such as Exxon, BP, Shell, Dupont, and others are developing biofuels and bioenergy projects. General Motors has also been involved--financing cellulosic ethanol companies Coskata and Mascoma for example. Here is GM's short, medium, and long range approach to transitioning away from fossil fuels to both biofuels and the electric vehicle. Ultimately, GM aims to run its fleet on hydrogen fuel cells, according to the plan.
Beyond the ethanol activity, GM is also evaluating and considering the potential for higher alcohols such as biobutanol, as well as algae-derived biofuels and ultimately the direct synthesis of bio-hydrocarbon fuels, Dr. Wheeler said.

The key point on biofuels is that they are the most significant near-term solution to offset rising energy demand. Our focus is on next-generation biofuels. These are fast approaching, with cellulosic ethanol nearing commercialization in the 2010-2011 timeframe.

Sustainable biofuels made from non-grain sources could offset up to 35% of future vehicle energy demand by 2030, but the infrastructure needs to be in place for commercialization to be realized.

One of the great strengths [of cellulosic fuels] is to use locally grown biomass. Use what you have in the region, then convert it into fuel. You don’t have to send it far away—use it locally. There is real potential for using the fuels in the area in which we actually make them.

—Candace Wheeler

... _GCC
As the realisation that bioenergy solutions can fit well at the local and regional levels, more entrepreneurs and investors will combine with engineers and technologists to create the infrastructure at those levels. When the bioenergy infrastructure pairs up with agricultural, forestry, and waste management industries in the same locales and regions, the revolution will begin.

The main thing that is holding back the energies of the Anglosphere and most European countries, is the excess of government regulations, taxation, interference, bureaucratic meddling, and debilitating "assistance." Similarly, much of India and East Asia would see far more sustainable economic activity if more local and regional solutions were available for basic infrastructural necessities.

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