Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Good Fortune

Several good articles in Fortune:
  • First, this lead-in article.
  • Second, an overview of new green energy technology. ("Advances in nanotechnology and electronic controls are driving down the costs of alternative energy even as prices of fossil fuels climb.")
  • This review of thin-film solar companies.
  • One "gee why didn't I think of that" company: IdleAir, who have a system that provides heat or air conditioning, phone lines, and other amenities to truckers who would otherwise idle their engines. Truckers get a quiet night's sleep knowing their neighbors engines will be turned off, too. That alone will save million of gallons of diesel annually, even more as the franchise is extended.
  • An update on thermal depolymerization: Changing World Technologies is now cranking out 400 bbl/day at its Carthage, MO plant. The only problem is, the price of the raw materials ($80/ton, enough to make two barrels of crude) is now going up above the sale price of the finished product ($40/bbl). The economics of this are dependent on tax breaks, which aren't forthcoming because Congress narrowly defined a tax break for generating biodiesel. Future plants are expected in Europe, where tax law is broader and offal disposal laws stricter (animals can't be fed animal offal).
  • Finally, how the rose bud Sioux are using wind energy to improve their fortunes.