Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I Have Seen the Future and it is Not Hydrogen

When the usually practical and down to earth folks in Sweden decide it's time to do something, you can bet that they have done some serious thinking about the subject. It's no mystery to me that a fair number of Swedes fetched up in Minnesota-the culture and climate is unmistakably Norse.

It is reported in Der Spiegel that Sweden has announced that it intends to be completely off the petroleum baby bottle by the year 2020-fourteen years from now.

Sweden intends to fuel its motor vehicles using enhanced production of ethanol from cellulose as an avenue to a more self sufficient energy future. Already, Sweden may have more E85 stations (about 450) than the United States. This is serious stuff, and if the Swedes are involved it's practical and doable. They are, in the main, a no-nonsense, down to business people.

We here in the prairie states already know that ethanol can supply a large part of our motor fuel diet, through the use of biodiesel and crop based ethanol-which has the advantage of producing a good grade of animal feed that is actually protein fortified by the yeast content it receives. We also have a large coterie of hungry cattle that are ready and waiting for their dinner. We've also synthesized plastics from corn, and there are inventors and tinkerers all over the midwest busy in research labs and garages on alternative energy projects.

We also have a developing coal gasification/synfuels industry based in the western states that promises to produce good quantities of high quality motor fuel.

Overall, the picture is one of a new industry emerging from the wreckage of the previous economy. It's not hydrogen, it's a partnership between technology and agriculture, and it leads me to think our best days are ahead of us, not behind us.,1518,406937,00.html


At 11:09 AM, Blogger American Lung Association of Minnesota said...

Correction: Sweeden does not have more E85 outlets than the United States. The US has more than 600 E85 outlets. Minnesota alone has 204.

See what transplanted Sweedes are doing with E85 in Minnesota at this site, from the American Lung Association of Minnesota:

At 8:51 AM, Blogger Robert Luedeman, attorney at law said...

Yeah, but the US is a lot bigger than Sweden, or hadn't you noticed?


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