Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Sugar Biofuels. Hmmmm.

The Guardian informs us that sugar-based biofuels are popular at the petrol pumps in Brazil, in large part because they're much cheaper than regular gasoline. Brazil wants to export the biofuels revolution. Certain carmakers, such as Peugeot, are skeptical that it'll catch on outside Brazil. Erm, what about Cuba? They used to be awash in sugar, back when the Soviets were propping up their sugar market. And I'll bet even Katherine Harris might swallow her revulsion at dealing with Commies if she could figure out a way to make her family's Florida sugar plantations as profitable as they were in the old days.

This is how the energy revolution will take place - distributed. Each region in the world is going to need to find what works best for them and use it. For Brazil and other areas this might be sugar. For portions of eastern Asia it might be biofuel based on peanut oils.

There is no incentive for energy companies to extricate us from our oil dependency right now - none at all. The more distributed our energy production becomes, the less money they make. Even things like "tax cuts" for energy research won't encourage them to really research other avenues of energy production - distributed energy production hurts their control of the market which hurts their bottom line more than the tax benefit will make up for it.

It will be these upstart former third world nations who will take the bull by the horns and pull the rest of us behind them - like the US did back in the late 1800s when it was the growing nation and dragging Europe behind it.
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