I came across this quote in a biofuels newsletter
Mad as heck about $5 gasoline? According to new research from Iowa State, the price would have hit $6 per gallon, if the US had not had its ethanol supply
And next to it was a picture of a dude in a white T-shirt with the slogan
“I saved you $1220 last year, ask me how”
in green letters.
Research is suggesting that ethanol production saved US householders $143 billion, or roughly $1220 per household in 2011. And for the headline, a dollar a gallon.
No doubt the transition away from fossil fuels will have to be as gentle as possible. There will be any number of tactics to ease the system through to avoid cost and supply discomfort.
At the same time the oil people will want to keep selling every last barrel at top prices. The dance to oil at $200+ a barrel will be interesting to watch.
So here is the thought.
If we measure the success of our economic system on wealth and lifestyle it generally stacks up. Measure it on the number of people it sustains and its performance is stellar.
And so far that system has been supported by ancient fossilized energy. Power that the sun sent to earth millions of years ago that was captured by plants and stored by quirks of decomposition and sedimentology.
Ethanol is power from today’s sunshine that is captured by plants and converted to a liquid fuel.
Seems like a very clunky way to do things. Why not just harness the power directly?
I am sure you know the answer.