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March 24, 2008

"Biotown" USA Development Hampered by Lack of Money, Audacity of Vision, but Mostly Lack of Money

Reynolds, Indiana was to become the first US community to meet all electricity and gas needs with renewable energy from farm waste and sewage.

3 years later, corn that was to have been used to fire energy generation systems lies unused waiting for equipment that likely never will be built.

The timetable was aggressive. State officials hoped to break ground in November 2006 on a $10 million facility that would house the core equipment needed to turn manure and other biomass material into energy, and start generating electricity for the town by July 2007.

The groundbreaking happened, and General Motors offered deals on flex fuel vehicles to people living in the Reynolds ZIP code. But there has been little other progress, and now BioTown leaders acknowledge they have adjusted their vision. But they insist the project will happen.

That's the problem with vision and wishful thinking. Reality sneaks up behind it and smacks the shit out of it, and then adds insult to injury, by closing the checkbook.

No anaerobic digester, to convert manure into electricity. No ethanol plant, construction suspended due to falling ethanol prices and high corn prices. Jim Adams, President of Energy Systems Group says they're still lining up investors for the $10MM it will take to build the digester.

I'm no Professor Science, but it occurs to me that renewable energy has a couple of requirements.

1. It must in fact be, renewable.

2. It cannot cost more (or much more) than traditional sources of energy.

Of course, there are vested interests.


Very. Vested. Interests.



George C. Scott and Marlon Brando in The Formula. Sorry for the rough rip, it's all I could find. I was looking for the payoff quote "Arthur, you're uh, missing the point. We are the Arabs".

It's about 2:45 in. After that is a truly horrid ad for a Rolling Stones concert, a Chicago phone number without an area code, and Keith Richards looking like he'd only been out of the coffin for a half hour or so.

Those were the days. Nazi conspiracies and George C. Scott as a leading man. See why my twenties sucked canal water? Hell, I look better than him now and I couldn't score Marthe Keller.

Is it money? Shit. Always with the money.

Oh, and given the proclivities of the day, we are not the Arabs so don't make a maniac outta me. Ok?

digg this
posted by Dave In Texas at 08:07 PM

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