A detailed review of 12 U.S. based synthetic biology, biofuel & biochemical companies that are developing third and fourth generation biofuels, bioindustrial & household chemical, and food additive products; using synthetic biology to produce engineered microorganisms and specialty enzymatic products. Each company is examined in turn, looking at its financials and the uniqueness and strength of its processes and technology as well as at any important partnerships or alliances that have been formed.
This post addresses some of the misdirections being propagated by politicians about the rising price of gasoline and points at the actual underlying reasons for these rising prices, clearly illustrating how the global price of crude oil is by far the largest factor in the price of a gallon of gas at the pump and that fuel taxes are a small portion of the overall price. It goes on to make the point that these taxes are also badly needed by a rapidly crumbling national road infrastructure. This is a complex subject; this article provides an important perspective on it.
Are mandated renewable energy standards the most efficient way to promote renewable energy. In this post, David argues that legislating goals for renewable energy is picking winners and losers, because many of these renewable energy standards laws mandate specific percentages for say wind or solar. He questions why so many people, in light of the recent nuclear disaster in Japan, have rejected nuclear power and he makes the claim that renewable sources of energy cannot provide baseload electric energy supplies. These are arguments that advocates of wind and solar need to address head on.
Developers and facilities owners nationwide are spearheading the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) movement in the design and construction management industry. Due to long-term ownership and aggressive goals of high performing buildings at lower costs toward energy and potable water expenditures, an increasing number of building owners are constantly seeking new avenues to streamline risk and opportunities associated with standard contractual relationships such as Construction Manager-At Risk, Owner-Architect Agreement (AIA-B141), and Owner-Contractor Agreement (AIA-A101).
Can we really ever move beyond petroleum? Traditional fossil fuels like coal and petroleum are so ingrained in our culture and way of life that eradicating them as fuel sources soon is unlikely. We need to think about what we produce and the costs that go beyond the balance sheet: the costs to the environment, to the people that live where our raw materials originate, the cost of the life of a pelican, gull or fish. It is our personal responsibility to consume less and conserve more.
DOE Doles Out $300 Million in Clean Cities Grants to Support Clean Fuels, Vehicles, and Infrastructure Development
Last week, Secretary Chu announcen nearly $300 million in Clean Cities grants to support clean fuels, vehicles, and infrastructure development. The projects are designed to create jobs, limit pollution, and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.
The great American car culture is literally running out of gas. Many leading petroleum geologists are warning us that the era of easy cheap oil is over and that we are facing a much steeper rate of depletion than commonly believed. There is nothing that can replace these vast stores of liquid fossil energy that is being pumped out of the ground and drives our car culture. Without cheap plentiful oil the American car culture will rapidly crumble. The impending demise of the car culture and the types of spread out low density living that it has fostered is perhaps the most profound socio-economic earthquake we will have faced in many decades. Will we wisely prepare and build out alternatives to this doomed way of life or we wake up one day unprepared and find that the pumps really have run dry? Talking about giving up on the car culture in America is quite the third rail — no one wants to give up their car — and discussion often veers off into irrational sound bite, talking point filled shouting matches. But the facts are the facts. Cars run on gas and the era of cheap easy oil is over… the world now stands at the top of the oil production curve… at the peak of production. It is like we are all sitting in some great roller coaster ever so slowly rolling perched right at the very top of the precipice. We do not have much time at all to begin re-inventing America and building a green economy that can carry us into the future; if we dilly dally and do nothing events will soon race ahead of us and force drastic sudden change upon us all.
This, the second article in the series The Two-Headed Dragon–Energy/Water/Food Scarcity and Climate Change — the Top Ten Policies that Feed It; Two New Technologies (and One Old) that Could Enable us to Slay It and Save the Planet focuses on the unintended side effects of large dams and levee systems. It specifically discusses how they are causing serious environmental problems downstream that are becoming more damaging than the benefits that these dams and levee systems provide. In many ways this cautionary tale is applicable to many other technological and large scale engineering interventions into natural systems, especially when these technologies and engineered systems are not well understood.
The clean tech green energy sector is hurting badly – along with the rest of our economy. A lot of promising new firms are on life support finding it very difficult to raise desperately needed venture capital. We need to be laying the foundations for future growth now and there is no time to waste, I would argue that this is a paramount issue of national security, that it is not just about jobs or being “green”, but that it is an urgently vital necessity for our country’s future security. This is not an optional choice; it is not a luxury, a nice to have kind of thing; this is the very life blood of our country, of our industrial society. An industrial society needs energy and lots of it. America needs to urgently begin a national crash program of investing in domestically controlled renewable energy supplies, such as wind and solar right now while we still have a little breathing room to begin laying the foundations for a new American energy economy. It is a matter of national security.