I really liked the Livermore graph. It really packs a tremendous amount of information into easily understandable information. I was actually surprised to see that petroleum was not larger. Also, I was surprised that the renewable energy sources were that significant.
One thing to remember with growing our fuels is the unintended effects that it may produce. For example, growing more sugar cane in Brazil will put tremendous pressure to clear more rainforest land (for more fields), thus hurting biodiversity in the process. Also, growing more fuel in the states will have some impact on food prices also, since some of this land will now be used for fuel production.
I still like the idea of growing fuel, but again, we really need to carefully think through all of the unintended effects of switching over to these and other types of sources.
Its totally fair; even if you completely ignore any possible disposal fee; the ROI is still greater than 16 years on the hybrid vs its gas countepart (Honda Civic LX vs Civic Hybrid Base). Do the math.
I don't have totally clean data to send you. My opinions have been formed by reading MANY articles over years of time. However, I was able to google around and find some relevant articles for you. Most biofuel articles tend to be polarized - written by either zealots (pro-biofuel) or curmudgeons (anti-change / anti-biofuel). Here's some that are pretty balanced:
1 gal gasoline =3.875 liters is energy equiv. to 1.5 gal Ethanol = 5.68liters Ethanol
My take is that most of these biofuels cost more than gasoline, but not by <that> much. Perhaps a 20%-50% premium, and for some processes, maybe 2X-3X. Most of the world already pays about this much for their fuel....we are very spoiled in the USA.
Note that the Switchgrass-sourced ethanol is still fairly expensive, but the ethanol processes are still being optimized. However, the FEEDSTOCK is lower cost than most alternatives and requires much less intensive "farming" investment and the "carbon footprint" is dramatically lower than the others. Also - look how GREAT the results are with Brazil's sugar-cane ethanol program!
I'm not normally one who likes to see heavy government subsidies or directives, but energy is an area that I think is different. As long as we can just pump-out (or mine) fossil fuels that took mother nature millions of years to create (and burn them up in only a couple hundred years) - these will be cheaper. Once fossil fuels get scarce and run out - alternate fuels will not be an option, and 1.5X or 2.0X cost vs. today's gasoline will seem just fine.
Since it may take decades of focused development to develop the technology and scale needed, and the fact that the "free market" probably won't respond until we actually start running out of oil and have an emergency on our hands (too late!) - I think the government MUST prime the pump by promoting alternative energy NOW. Hopefully in a smart and efficient way (cynics can snicker...I'm one of them sometimes too). Our future depends on it....and even if it isn't "easy", we must persist or face dire consequences.
As I mentioned before - I really think that farming-based biofuels are not the best choice. A non-carbon, mechanized synthesis process that takes solar energy from all sources (photovoltaic, wind, maybe even direct solar synthesis) and creates a renewable fuel (ammonia or urea) makes much more sense, I think. I've also read that for a given land area - much more energy can be harvested with PV than with any biofuel. That's a factor too - as there is limited land area in many areas to use for solar energy conversion.
Lastly - here's a very enlightening link to see the big picture where our energy comes from:
FrankWye : Wrong, Martian polar CO2 deposits growth and shrinkage have no correlation to solar input. "observed regional changes in south polar ice cover are almost certainly due to a regional climate transition, not a global phenomenon, and are demonstrably unrelated to external forcing."
FrankWye : No, the greater area and population was alway Palestinian. Jordan was just part of Palestine in the past. And of couse they did not want Palestinians because it would threaten their new aquistion the British and French gave them.
Yes, Israel was created by Europeans and the US as a means of getting rid of their Jews, but that is illegal. The internationally recognized Treaty of San Remo in 1920 had already given Palestine independence, under Arab rule. The UN did not have the authority to abrogate this pre-existing WWI agreement.
And no, Saddam was not paying anyone to blow up anything. What he did was to make small payments to victims of collective retribution, when Israel would confiscate the property of relatives of suspected suicide bombers. That is completely different. He supported no terrorism at all. And he had no connection at all to any bombing in Israel or the Philippines.
But yes, it is mostly Saudi Wahhabists behind terrorism. It is extreme Islamic fundamentalists. Saddam had the most secular of all Mideast governments, except for Turkey. Zero connection to ANY terrorism. If you read contrary, it is as much lies as the WMD claims.
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