Thursday, May 11, 2006


The State announced that an Ethanol Plant will be built in Orleans County. The press release from New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR) has a lot to say in it.
Governor George E. Pataki today announced nearly $6 million in State funding to assist Western New York Energy (WNYE) in the development of the first state-of-the-art dry mill ethanol plant in New York State.

I wanted to know where the other 81.7 Million Dollars was coming from so I looked up WNYE. I might be wrong but it seems that "WNYE" is another quasi government agency, at least that's what I gather here. So the rest of the money is taxpayer money in some shape or form right? It's kind of hard figuring out who's who and what's what. Layers upon layers of government, kind of like an onion, except it makes you cry even more.
The new facility is expected to produce 50 million gallons of ethanol a year and create 58 new jobs and represents another significant step in our goal of developing a strong biofuel industry in the State which will not only provide an economic boost to our farming community, but keep our energy dollars here in New York.

87.4 million divided by 58 is 1.51 million, don't use job creation as a plus with those numbers, ok? The States track record isn't that great when it comes to going into business. So what makes them think they'll do any better this time? "A economic boost to our farming community you mean the big corporate farms that can afford to do business with the State? Get your corn on the cob now because once this plant starts up.....
There are more than 180,000 flexible-fuel vehicles registered in New York State that can run on gasoline or ethanol. The New York State Thruway Authority will install or convert at least one pump at each of its 27 travel plazas to dispense renewable fuel.

There are more then 11,000,000 registered vehicles in the State, flex-fuel vehicles make up less then 2%. The numbers don't seem to warrant the money spent. How much will this fuel cost per gallon? At least the 2% will have an "express lane" at the plazas.

I wonder how far the 87.4 million dollars would have gone in our pockets rather then another quasi-government organization, which will charge us for something we paid to make. This is one of the problems when the government is turned to to solve a problem rather then the market. It's not the best technology or efficiency that wins, but what creates the best press.

According to an New York Time Article Brazil expects to be energy self-sufficient this year. But it took over 30 years.
Ethanol can be made through the fermentation of many natural substances, but sugar cane offers advantages over others, like corn. For each unit of energy expended to turn cane into ethanol, 8.3 times as much energy is created, compared with a maximum of 1.3 times for corn, according to scientists at the Center for Sugarcane Technology here and other Brazilian research institutes.

What sticks out here is the 1.3 and 8.3 pay back ratios. Seems sugar cane beats corn hands down granted we don't have many sugar cane fields in this area. But a big problem lies in our Federal governments "energy policy"
But Brazilian officials and business executives say the ethanol industry would develop even faster if the United States did not levy a tax of 54 cents a gallon on all imports of Brazilian cane-based ethanol.

The tariff isn't the only extra charge tacked on to the consumer's price. A Reuters Article stated.
The United States collects a 2.5 percent ad valorem tariff on imports of ethanol and an additional duty of 54 cents a gallon.

In other words we're going to spend 87 million on a plant to make ethanol, because the tariffs and other taxes we impose on imports makes it to expensive.

New York law also stand in the way, for example, I can't buy a diesel car, I could run it using vegetableble oil or even Hung Nahg Chinesee restaurant's used grease. After that deep fried turkey on Thanksgiving, empty the pot into the "Rabbit".

With so many other options out there it is pretty easy to question the wisdom in vesting so much money. Especially since the money being invested (gambled) isn't from those making the decisions.

Canola and soya to the rescue

Biodiesel and
Vegetable Oil Fuel

Tiny Reactor Boosts Biodiesel Production

No comments: