Vehicles – Ethanol

Gov. Doyle announces $7.3 Million in clean energy grants

Posted on September 16, 2008. Filed under: General, Solar, Vehicles - Ethanol |

From a media release issued by Governor Jim Doyle:

Projects Expected to Leverage $44 Million in Additional Investment

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today announced $7.3 million in grants and loans from the Wisconsin Energy Independence Fund (WEIF) for research and development and commercialization or adoption of new technologies. These awards will leverage $44.2 million in investments and create new jobs for Wisconsin families on farms, in forests, in research labs and for manufacturers.

“From manufacturing wind turbines and solar panels to retro-fitting fuel pumps and exploring the latest clean technologies, our future lies in seizing green opportunities that will create good jobs for our citizens and add billions of dollars to our economy,” Governor Doyle said. “Today we are awarding more than $7 million in grants and loans to companies that are committed to expanding Wisconsin’s clean energy industry. “

Governor Doyle made the announcement at Greenstone Technologies in Madison. Eight Madison-area projects totaling $2,498,000 are receiving funding. Greenstone is using $250,000 to develop a working prototype of a solar window. Eligible applicants for the grants and loans include businesses and researchers. Projects require a 50-percent match. Governor Doyle will announce the remaining statewide grants in the coming days.

The Wisconsin Energy Independence Fund is an integral part of Clean Energy Wisconsin, Governor Doyle’s strategy to strengthen Wisconsin’s energy future. This comprehensive plan moves Wisconsin forward by promoting renewable energy, creating new jobs, increasing energy security and efficiency, and improving the environment.

The media release includes a list of all of the grant awards.

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Clean Energy Car Show, June 20-22, Custer, WI

Posted on June 6, 2008. Filed under: Vehicles, Vehicles - Ethanol, Vehicles - Hybrid, Vehicles - Vegetable oil |

From the just-released program for The Energy Fair in Custer, Wisconsin (just outside of Stevens Point), June 20-22:

Clean Energy Car Show
A popular part of the Energy Fair, the Clean Energy Car Show will be back for its fourth year. The Car Show, sponsored by Toyota, will feature sustainable transportation options though exhibits, workshops and demonstration vehicles. Example workshops include Sustainable Transportation Technologies, Biofuels 101, and Reacquaint Yourself with Your Bike.

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State to start issuing energy grants, loans

Posted on March 29, 2008. Filed under: Biomass, Digesters, Energy Finance, General, Solar, Vehicles - Ethanol, Vehicles - Vegetable oil, Wind, Wood |

From an article by Rick Barrett in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Businesses and researchers may soon apply for state grants and loans aimed at developing renewable energy, Gov. Jim Doyle said Tuesday.The state expects to award about $15 million per year for 10 years from the newly created Wisconsin Energy Independence Fund, Doyle said at a news conference at Johnson Controls Inc.The money will be used to support research and development of renewable fuels and encourage businesses to adopt new technologies that save energy and use renewable energy.

Typical grants are expected to range from $100,000 to $500,000. Matching funds of at least 50% of total project costs must come from other sources, according to the state Department of Commerce.

Doyle laid out a long-term strategy that he hopes will make Wisconsin a leader in renewable energy. He repeated his call for the state to generate 25% of its electricity and motor fuels from renewable resources by 2025.

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Alliant unit partners for ethanol efficiency

Posted on December 14, 2007. Filed under: Vehicles - Ethanol |

An article from The Capital Times:

Madison-based Alliant Energy announced that its Iowa utility unit has partnered with three other companies to market, design, install and arrange financing for a biomass-fueled, steam production technology that aims to significantly cut the cost to produce ethanol while lowering emissions.

The four firms are Interstate Power and Light Co., Harris Companies, AE&E-Von Roll Inc., and FCStone Carbon LLC

“With ethanol prices lower than they’ve been in recent years and capital costs required for expanding or building new plants soaring, producers are looking for ways to operate more efficiently and reduce costs,” IPL President Tom Aller said in a statement. “This technology is the answer to being a low-cost ethanol producer in today’s competitive marketplace.”

The patented process involves the way steam is produced for the ethanol manufacturing process. Using AE&E-Von Roll’s fluidized bed reactor technology, residue and byproducts of making ethanol are used as fuel to generate steam used in the plant, cutting natural gas use by more than 50 percent while reducing emissions.

Energy costs for a typical 50-million-gallon-per-year ethanol plant represent approximately 20 percent of total annual operating costs. For every gallon of ethanol produced, 29 cents is spent on natural gas and four cents is spent on electricity.

Michael Vickerman commented on ethanol’s fossil-fuel dependence in his article De-Fossilizing Ethanol.

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Midwest Ag Energy Network Summit, February 5-6, 2008

Posted on September 13, 2007. Filed under: Biomass, Digesters, Solar, Vehicles - Ethanol, Vehicles - Vegetable oil, Wind, Wood |

From the Midwest Ag Energy Network:

Next Generation Ag Energy: Policies to Advance Regional Growth
Monona Terrace Community and
Convention Center
Madison, WI

Join other Midwestern ag leaders at the 2nd Annual Midwest Ag Energy Network Summit to learn how to maximize the ability of agricultural producers and local communities to retain the wealth generated by the convergence of renewable energy and agriculture.

Next Generation Ag Energy: Policies to Advance Regional Growth is an opportunity to network and become aware of how farm policy and various Midwest regional networks are propelling Midwest agriculture forward as the prime driver in the next generation of ag energy.

For additional information, call Amanda Bilek at 651-645-6159, x5.

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Office issues biofuels construction guide

Posted on May 3, 2007. Filed under: Biomass, Vehicles - Ethanol, Vehicles - Hybrid, Vehicles - Vegetable oil, Wood |

From the new Wisconsin Office of Energy Independence:

APRIL 24, 2007 – MADISON – Judy Ziewacz, Director of the Office of Energy Independence, announced the publication of the state’s first biofuels production guide. The Wisconsin Guide to Building Biofuels Facilities outlines the regulations, permits, and contacts necessary to produce biofuels in Wisconsin.

“If we want renewable fuels in the marketplace, we have to produce the fuel here in Wisconsin. If an oilfield in Mideast is competing against a farm field from the Midwest, that’s a very good thing for the environment, for our economy, and for the state,” Governor Jim Doyle said.

The Office of Energy Independence was created to advance Governor Doyle’s vision on energy policy and to promote the state’s bioindustry.

Governor Doyle’s Declaration of Energy Independence challenges the state to utilize 25 percent electricity and 25 percent transportation fuel from renewable sources by 2025. The Office of Energy Independence is leading Wisconsin toward the goal: Achieving 25 x 25.

The Wisconsin Guide to Building Biofuels Facilities is a tool for prospective producers and is available on line at: It provides information on permits, regulations, and agency contacts that are critical for construction and operation of a biofuels facility.


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Fossil Fuel Watch: De-Fossilizing Ethanol

Posted on May 1, 2007. Filed under: Vehicles - Ethanol |

Petroleum and Natural Gas Watch
by Michael Vickerman, RENEW Wisconsin
April 30, 2007, Vol. 6, Number 7

Discussions of the net energy balance of grain ethanol tend to gravitate toward the fossil fuels used for growing and shipping corn. Somewhat overlooked in the net energy return debate are the quantities of natural gas and electricity consumed at ethanol refineries, which are substantial.

An ethanol refinery that produces 50 million gallons a year burns about 50,000 therms of non-renewable natural gas a day for process heat. This is no trivial expense. Using today’s prices, a refinery operator would need to budget at least $15 million over the next 12 months to secure enough fuel to keep that plant running nearly every hour of the year. After corn, natural gas is the second-largest cost component of ethanol production.


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Biofuels, wind, solar eyed as viable options for Wisconsin

Posted on April 30, 2007. Filed under: Biomass, Digesters, Energy Policy, Peak Oil & the End of Cheap Fossil Fuel, Solar, Vehicles - Ethanol, Wind |

From a story by Pete Bach in the Appleton Post Crescent:

Wisconsin appears to be all about cultivating renewable energy sources.

A look around the region finds a Neenah paper mill among the leaders in the developing field, while an ethanol production plant is going full tilt west of Oshkosh.

Now the prospect that a northern Wisconsin paper mill might become the first fossil fuel independent facility of its type in North America is another step closer to reality.

These projects represent a mounting effort to develop alternate energy sources as Wisconsin strives for greater independence from oil and natural gas to power homes and industrial plants.

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Bill counterproductive on tax credits for flex-fuel vehicles

Posted on April 26, 2007. Filed under: Vehicles - Ethanol, Vehicles - Hybrid |

Chris Deisinger, a consultant on clean energy policy and am president of Syntropy Energy Solutions, delivered the following testimony to a state Assembly committee after writing the testimony in consultation with the Union of Concerned Scientists and a coalition of environmental and renewable energy groups that have been meeting to discuss Wisconsin energy policy:

I am here to address assembly Bill 85 which would provide a tax credit, up to $1,000, for the purchase of flex-fuel vehicles capable of running on up to 85% ethanol, or E85. While the intentions of this bill are laudable – promotion of biofuels, energy independence and support for Wisconsin industry – unfortunately the bill as written does not help achieve these intentions and is in fact counterproductive.

I will outline why this is so and why I oppose this bill. However I do this in the spirit of offering cooperation to the sponsors in the hope of developing better biofuel and transportation policy for Wisconsin.

Why is this bill counterproductive?

• A tax incentive of $1,000 is excessive and unnecessary. The incremental cost of producing a flex-fuel vehicle is $100 at the most. All gasoline-powered vehicles should be capable of being flex-fueled and it shouldn’t take a tax credit to either produce or market them.

• The bill does nothing to promote the actual use of ethanol. Only 1% of the fuel used in flex-fuel vehicles is ethanol, according to a recent federal study.

• The dual-fuel loophole allows manufacturers to earn credits towards meeting federal fuel economy standards by producing flex-fuel vehicles, even if they never actually use alternative fuel. The result is that automakers can sell fleets of vehicles that fall short of federal fuel economy targets. The Union of Concerned Scientists estimated, back in 2004, that this loophole resulted in the consumption of an additional 80,000 barrels of petroleum per day. In other words, increasing the sale of flex-fuels vehicles would result in more dependence on petroleum and foreign oil, rather than less.

• Besides being counterproductive, this bill is very expensive. The fiscal bureau estimates its impact at $18 million a year or $108 million over the six-year life of the tax credit.


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Minn. Gov. Pawlenty calls for action

Posted on February 6, 2007. Filed under: Biomass, Clean Air, Energy Policy, Generation Plants, Global Warming, Vehicles - Ethanol |

Fresh Energy’s Executive Director Michael Nobel reports on Minnesota policy initiatives in Fresh Energy’s newsletter:

Not content to wait for the Democratically controlled legislature, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty announced the following “aggressive but attainable” agenda in December 2006:

• an increase in the amount of wind power utilities have to use, with financial penalties for noncompliance
• dramatic increases in community and locally owned energy projects
• annual reductions in fossil fuel use throughout the Minnesota economy, achieving a 15 percent reduction by 2015, and including incentives for utilities to sell less energy
• the requirement for any new utilities that emit global warming pollutants to fully offset those emissions, resulting in no additional pollution
• a five-fold increase in E-85 pumps over four years
• strategic investment in the emerging industry of ethanol from grasses, woody materials, and agricultural wastes

Governor Pawlenty made the compelling case that reducing fossil fuel use means energy security; economic opportunities for leading-edge companies, rural communities, and the Midwest’s competitive position in the world economy; and environmental protection of air, water, and soil. All these would be reason enough to make the changes Pawlenty urges. But the governor also stressed his “grave concerns” with global warming. In news commentary that day, WCCO anchor Don Shelby praised Pawlenty as well as California Governor Schwarzenegger, asking rhetorically, “Isn’t it interesting that the most Earth-friendly governors in America are Republicans?”

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