Biofuels - Sept 27
Click on the headline (link) for the full text.
Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage
Jatropha fuelled car tours Indonesia
Marianne Kearney, AFP/Yahoo
Indonesia's first fully plant-fuelled car has successfully completed a 3,200-kilometre (2,000-mile) road trip. Now its backers are hoping the triumph may herald a new era of sustainable energy in the archipelago nation.
Tanto Bangun, editor of Indonesian
National Geographic, one of the major sponsors of the trip, says he was not sure the Mitsubishi Strada would survive the arduous journey from West Timor's Atambua to the capital Jakarta.
But the car, fuelled with oil from the jatropha plant, smoothly negotiated the freezing volcanic peaks of Flores and Sumbawa islands, as well as the sweltering Javanese countryside. ..
Jakarta plans to make at least five million hectares (12 million acres) of former forest land available for palm oil, jatropha, sugarcane and cassava plantations in a bid to create jobs for up to three million people, Hamdi says.
"The government is looking for a breakthrough for creating more jobs since we have over 10 million people unemployed," says Hamdi. Already diesel trucks and buses across Indonesia can buy biodiesel, a mixture of palm oil -- another biofuel -- and fossil fuel, at 120 gas stations run by state oil company Pertamina, he notes.
(24 Sept 2006)
France prepares for post-oil fuels
Cars that can run on ethanol or conventional fuel will be widely available from September 2007 to ease France's dependency on fossil fuels, French Finance Minister Thierry Breton said on Tuesday.
He also said that at least 500 pumps of ethanol-based E85 fuel would be installed in main French cities and in motorway service stations by then. France has a network of 13,000 fuel pumps.
"For the first time French consumers will have a wide access to the post-oil fuel," Breton told a news conference to launch a report on the flex-fuel cars.
"We have to arm ourselves against the new energy situation which is weighing on our economy," he added. ..
Agriculture minister Dominique Bussereau said France had the agricultural capacity to supply demand for ethanol without resorting to imports or threaten needs for human consumption.
He added that 400,000 hectares of cereals and sugar beet out of 10 million hectares grown would be sufficient to satisfy the biofuel incorporation target of seven percent.
(27 Sept 2006)
Uganda to make fuel blending compulsory
Michael Wakabi, The East African
Uganda will soon make it compulsory for oil companies to blend petroleum with a variety of bio-fuels as the country tries to beat rising oil prices by reducing dependence on petroleum, a senior government official said last week.
The Ministry of Energy says it has completed development of a policy on a renewable energy that will make in compulsory for oil companies to blend fuel.
Energy Minister Daudi Migereko says the policy, which covers ethanol, bio-fuel, wind and solar, is essentially ready and will require oil companies to blend petroleum with ethanol to a maximum ratio of 20 per cent. ..
Uganda on average consumes a combined volume of 840 million litres of refined diesel and petrol annually, meaning the country pays a higher price for fuel than either Kenya or Tanzania, who import crude oil and refine it locally.
Industry players who spoke to the The EastAfrican said they had not been consulted over the proposed policy but warned that factors surrounding the supply side of ethanol needed careful study since the local sugar industry lacked the capacity to supply adequate quantities. This could make blending uneconomic as a result of high ethanol prices and could also distort food production.
Without a stable source, there is a danger that food prices could skyrocket as energy competes with nutritional needs from source crops, the industry warned.
(26 Sept 2006)
Close the CAFE loophole
Robert Rapier, The Oil Drum
The ethanol bubble has been bursting a bit lately. I don't say that with glee, because I hate to see people lose money, especially when it was due largely to misleading claims. (I say that even though 95% of the hate mail I get comes from ethanol investors). I hope the end of the irrational exuberance we have seen in the ethanol market will lead to a more fact-based look at which technologies are needed to replace or supplement fossil fuels, and what technical challenges must be overcome before that happens.
There are certain things we can do to help ethanol along that I completely agree with. Because of the great potential, I think we need to heavily fund cellulosic ethanol research. I think we need to encourage the pursuit of closed-loop ethanol processes, like the one E3 Biofuels is building. I have no problem with making most vehicles flex-fuel. I do have a problem with requiring E85 pumps at some percentage of gas stations.
(24 Sept 2006)