Bill, heres a thumbs up to your comments on biomass. In fact take it a step further to say biomass grasses can also be carbon neutral through the cycle. Check out Viaspace Inc's Giant King Grass. Clean energy is the future one way or the other!
Giant King Grass is carbon neutral. Photosynthesis converts solar energy and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into plant material (biomass). Burning plant material in a power plant releases the carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere, but it is reabsorbed again when the next crop grows making it carbon neutral.
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Certainly capex costs weigh heavy on wind projects. Supplementing alternatives with other aternative energies adjacent to biomass plantations could answer down times in wind energy reserves. Check out Viaspace in St Croix. I understand other Caribbean Islands could be served wiht partner projects with known turbine mfg's like GE!
More likely to evolve will be direct combustion converted coal plants with adjacent plantations such as is
being offered by Viapsace and their highly touted biomass Giant King Grass TM. Subsidies have a long way to go but a biomass like GKG harvestable the first year planted and capable of celluistic ethanol production has the potential to compete and maybe replace corn stover as the ethanol of choice. Believe me pellets are viable but just more costly with additonal shipping costs and pelletizing equpment. Already in the Caribbean and growing in Hawaii keep your eye on Viaspace Inc.. Watch it grow!
Please review Viaspace Inc and their biomass grass Giant King Grass. Several deals are already under way to supply 6 mw and other power plants with a dedicated feedstock. A sister company under the name Viaspace Green Energy is also located in Guangdond China BTW. Biomass grass can certainly compete with wood and corn stover as a dedicated feedstock in many regards.
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Hey EPA bottom line is feedstock. Now lets consider the BEST available options. Well where does grass fit in as replacement for corn stover? My guess is other countries, Caribbean intersts and the like will unvail the success of grass biomass. Lets not let politics get in the way of economics. Look for Giant King Grass as a cellulistic feedtstock that yields 3500 gallons per acre compared to 500 for corn stover. Viaspace Inc. a serious market player can provide a sustainable source of feedstock at the least cost of known biomass by direct combustion or cofiring current coal plants!
Just when the movement to alternative energies can save the Spainish economy from the brink of disaster President Cristina Fernandez wants to nix relations with Argentina. Guess she likes what she sees in Greece! Smart to amend though! Wonder if Giant King Grass is a consideration for her? I'll send her an email!
Look for financing to increase for alternative plantation feedstock ventures. Indonesia will pioneer 30 mw power plants adjacent to feedstock plantations. Corn stover plants must address multiple feedstocks to meet EPA duel standard demand!
Watch Viaspace and others at the EUEC 2013 Phoenix conference for more information.
BP will be the wiser to use combinations of energy grasses some more hearty then others like Giant King Grass.
In the US, ethanol producers that use corn as a feedstock are building cellulosic ethanol plants adjacent to their corn ethanol plants. The cellulosic feedstock they plan to use is corn straw (corn Stover)-- the leaves and stalk of the corn plant. All of their processes are developed and optimized for corn straw.
Three companies have independently tested Giant King Grass as a feedstock for cellulosic ethanol production. These include well-known companies in the ethanol business. GKG lab test results are as good or exceed those of corn stover. The first measurement is the sugar, lignin and ash composition of a completely dried sample. Glucan, xylan and arabinan are polymer sugars which are desirable, and lignin and ash are undesirable. BP should consider a combnation of feedstocks. Sugar cane is invasive. GKG can be havested the first year of planting and is renewable.
Thanks Cliff. I'm a follower of the evolution of alternative energies. One of the alternatives will be a game changer as windows was to dos. If and when is the economic and political question at least here in the US. Globally we see the Drax company and the UK adopting alternatives and subsidies which seem to be the driving force or lack of. Wood feedstocks are not infinite so a variety of alternatives must on the table. Coal plants see a conversion to 20% here in the US to meet EPA standards so again alternatives. Very interesting what happens politically.