Monday, June 20, 2005

ANALYSIS: "Can Australia run on Ethanol"

I'm not sure why the guy chose Ethanol .. but he's putting together a strawman proposal, studying with back-of-the-napkin figuring whether Australia could support itself using home-grown Ethanol:

Can Australia Run on Ethanol

The result is that it would take 107,700 GWHrs of energy to grow and produce the ethanol required to supply the 237,400 GWHrs of energy currently consumed by oil each year in Australia.

That's not a good return on investment.

But, perhaps, there would be other fuels derviced from other crops that would be more suitable? e.g. biodiesel derived from bio-engineered algae. The analysis Stephen Gloor provides covers only one plant/fuel combination, while there are several possible plant/fuel combinations that could be employed. It's very possible that one of them will produce a better return on investment than the Ethanol scenario he examines.