Biofuels Leaders Weigh In On Impact of U.S. Elections

December 4th, 2012

Majority of respondents believe it’s status quo for funding and Renewable Fuel Standard in 2013, but questions linger about future of DOE Loan Guarantee Program.

Based on a survey of attendees at the 3rd Annual Advanced Biofuels Markets Congress & Exhibition which took place October 29-31, 2012, there is cautious optimism about Federal support for biofuels in 2013 and tangible optimism about the production of commercial quantities of cellulosic ethanol.
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Smallball – local trends dominate action this year on biofuels policy

December 4th, 2012

As we approach the end of the year, just as the corporate world begins to slow-down for the holiday season and focuses it attention on 2013 targets and budgets, governments and policy-makers heat up with new projects, elections, international gatherings and a flurry of activity around year-end program renewals. 2012 has proven to be no exception to the rule.

Let’s look at major government and policy activities around the globe.
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The Top 10 financing paths for biofuels, 2012-13

December 4th, 2012

Dozens of deals – what are the hottest paths to $$$? Who’s forming capital in bioenergy this year, and when, where, why and how?

In the old days, the process seemed simple: seed round to fund some lab work at the bench level, series A for proof of concept, series B for the pilot, series C for the demonstration (and bringing in a feedstock and offtake partner), and then head for the IPO market.

Most of the early-stage capital was raised out of Silicon Valley, Boston or other capital havens for early-stage technology plays. Strategics were sought rarely, and sometimes one VC group would fund the entire company through, say, series B.

Ah, pilgrim, what times they were, but times gone by.
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Renewable Diesel on the March

December 4th, 2012

UOP, Eni update on the complete conversion of Eni’s Venice refinery to renewable diesel. Why is renewable diesel getting traction – and where, and when?
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Everyday low (fuel) prices: Drop-in advanced biofuels for under $100 per barrel

December 4th, 2012

Brent Crude trades this past week at a transorbital $109 per barrel (West Texas Intermediate at a suborbital, if high, $85).

It puts the conventional wisdom that biofuels are too infrastructure incompatible and too costly to the test. Are they?

Let’s look today at progress in developing infrastructure-compatible, drop-in advanced biofuels that cost less than $100 per barrel.
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Gusher! KiOR starts production of US cellulosic biofuels at scale

December 4th, 2012

500 ton per day wood biomass to biocrude plant commences oil production – the long wait for cellulosic biofuels at scale is over.

“With a roar like a hundred express trains racing across the countryside, the well blew out, spewing oil in all directions.”

Well, the startup of biocrude production at KiOR’s Columbus plant arrived with less drama than the above-described gusher at Spindletop in 1901. And James Dean was nowhere to be found, in a rain of oil that spread across the flickering screen in Giant.

But the news from Columbus, Mississippi, that cellulosic biocrude production has started up, on schedule, on budget, and at scale — it’s a shocker for the skeptics, not to mention any short-sellers for KiOR.
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Next generation Bio-fools?

October 25th, 2012

On October 17th, The European Commission announced a major new policy direction aimed at driving the production and consumption of next generation biofuels within Europe.
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Biofuels Mandates Around the World – who is moving the targets?

October 25th, 2012

It’s election time in the US, and policy switcheroo time (again) in the EU. The driving factors — drought in the US and elsewhere, and a change of heart among EU energy regulators regarding how much food-based feedstocks are available to be used for biofuels without affecting food costs or supplies.

It’s a good time to review the latest on mandates around the world. Let’s start with the US and the EU.
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The Stampede of Elephants: Biofuels and big balance sheets

October 25th, 2012

28 big balance sheets deploying capital into commercial-scale advanced biofuels.

Who’s writing the checks, and for what, and when?
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The Hillary Step: 7 Biofuels Contenders, 7 Routes to Scale, Who’s Near the Summit, Who Will Plant the Flag?

October 25th, 2012

The Hillary Step. It’s the last big technical obstacle between a mountaineer and the summit of Mount Everest.

Every biofuels contender has its own route to the top – with unique advantages and technical challenges.

Who is nearing the Summit, what’s their Hillary Step, who’s got Sherpas, who’s got oxygen?

It’s the race for scale in advanced biofuels and a clear first-mover advantage awaits the winners.
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