International conference focuses on renewable energy, energy efficiency
Apr 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By David A Kolman
The Bush Administration also is investing in next generation biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol that can be produced from plant wastes: corn stalks, rice straw, wood chips, and other agriculture products. While chemically identical to ethanol produced from corn or soybeans, cellulose ethanol exhibits a net energy content higher than corn ethanol and emits a low net level of greenhouse gases.
The US Department of Energy has dedicated about $1 billion since 2001 to develop technologies that can make cellulosic ethanol cost-competitive. Since then, the projected cost of cellulosic ethanol has dropped by more than 60 percent.
Expanding the use of biofuels requires getting more vehicles on the road that use alternative fuels, said Bush. “We expect the private sector to respond. Consumers are going to demand flex-fuel vehicles when they find out that these new technologies are available. As a matter of fact, there's 5 million flex-fuel vehicles on our roads now.
“Another way to reduce the nation's dependence on oil is promote hybrid vehicles,” he continued. “We're providing tax incentives to buy these fuel-efficient vehicles, and nearly a million of them are on the road today.”
The Bush Administration is a strong supporter of hydrogen. Over the past five years, it has invested about $1.2 billion in hydrogen research and development to help bring hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to market. These vehicles use no gasoline at all and emit clean, pure water.
“We spent about $1.2 billion in research and development to bring vehicles running on hydrogen to the market,” Bush noted.
Hydrogen-powered vehicles are “an amazing opportunity for us. This will be a long-term opportunity, compared to ethanol and biodiesel and hybrids, but it makes sense to invest now and work on the technology so that when it becomes cost-competitive, it's available.”
Bush said the US Environmental Protection Agency is working with fuel producers to increase the amount of renewable fuels used in the US to 36 billion gallons by 2022.
This year's WIREC is the third global ministerial-level conference on renewable energy, following events in Beijing in 2005 and Bonn in 2004. The next conference is set for 2010 in India.
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
Acceptable Use Policy blog comments powered by Disqus