A tip of the hat to the trade emag Renewable Energy Weekly for shining a light on a tiny paper’s account of the red tape and other wrangling that can face companies hoping to make many selling green energy. In the Kauai Garden Island NewsNathan Eagle (Jan 16) reports at some length the permit hiccups for a company planning to raise trees, chip them, and then gasify and burn them for energy. Nothing novel about that. But the story is notable for touching on a wide range of practical issues facing any community that wants to get greener on energy without compromising other enviro standards. In here we come across not only ordinary land use and zoning problems, but invasive species (the albizia tree the company wants as a crop), sustainable agriculture, fertilizer costs pertinent to fossil oil, herbicides, displacement of food crops, and more. This slice of life qualifies as a microcosm of global issues.
Pic – albizia tree farm in Malaysia, source. (The source is itself interesting – an EIR and plan for a forest harvest project in Orangutan country).
Other biofuel news:
NYTimes Elisabeth Rosenthal (Jan 22) on recent adjustments, and subsidy cuts, in European policy and similar moves elsewhere.
AP Michael Casey on a UN warning over fears that biofuel production could worsen water and food shortages.