Bioenergy, Geothermal, Hydropower

USDA Report: Ethanol Production

August 5, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released its new study of the energy efficiency of ethanol production. The report, “The Energy Balance of Corn Ethanol: An Update,” concludes that ethanol production yields 34 percent more energy than is used in growing and harvesting grain and distilling it into ethanol. The report can be accessed on USDA’s web site at: www.usda.gov/oce/oepnu/aer-813.pdf. The study cites increased corn yields, lower energy use in the fertilizer industry, and advances in fuel conversion technologies that have enhanced the economic and technical feasibility of producing ethanol. The study is an update of a previous USDA study completed in 1995, which demonstrated a 24 percent net energy gain.