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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE February 3, 2012

Why the Clean Tech Boom Went Bust

Juliet Eilperin  •  Wired (February)  •  Posted February 3, 2012

In 2005, VC investment in clean tech measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The following year, it ballooned to $1.75 billion, according to the National Venture Capital Association. By 2008, the year after Doerr’s speech, it had leaped to $4.1 billion. And the federal government followed. Through a mix of loans, subsidies, and tax breaks, it directed roughly $44.5 billion into the sector between late 2009 and late 2011. Avarice, altruism, and policy had aligned to fuel a spectacular boom. Anyone who has heard the name Solyndra knows how this all panned out. Due to a confluence of factors—including fluctuating silicon prices, newly cheap natural gas, the 2008 financial crisis, China’s ascendant solar industry, and certain technological realities—the clean-tech bubble has burst, leaving us with a traditional energy infrastructure still overwhelmingly reliant on fossil fuels. The fallout has hit almost every niche in the clean-tech sector—wind, biofuels, electric cars, and fuel cells—but none more dramatically than solar.
[ read more … ]

Ethanol plant in Iowa to expand algae production

DAVID SHAFFER  •    •  Posted February 3, 2012

A Midwest ethanol company says it will begin building a five-acre production facility to grow algae fed by carbon dioxide emitted by its ethanol plant in Shenandoah, Iowa. [ read more … ]

EPA retreat from 2013 goal would stunt growth — industry

Amanda Peterka  •  E&E  •  Posted February 3, 2012

Biodiesel producers are warning U.S. EPA that lowering a proposed fuel standard volume requirement next year would have “devastating” consequences for the industry, slowing the momentum that last year led to record production of the renewable fuel. [ read more … ]

As EU Ramps Up Biofuels, Climate Debate Intensifies

ALESSANDRO TORELLO  •  Wall Street Journal  •  Posted February 3, 2012

“Europe. Europe is the key” in terms of markets, in important part because of EU regulation, said Matti Lievonen, Neste Oil’s chief executive, in an interview on the day the company announced the start-up of production here in September. However, less than three years after adopting a key law—which mandates that by 2020, 10% of the total energy used in transport will have to come from renewable sources such as biofuels—a tough debate has begun in the EU on whether biofuels really are better for the climate than conventional fuels. [ read more … ]

Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.