I think it’s interesting to observe how the existing industry who effectively provide jobs and make things that people use (“timber industry”) is often referred to pejoratively..”corporate logging interests.” Or people using firewood for energy; it’s really fairly invisible to the national discussions. However, new uses of wood for energy apparently have a different filter applied, for example this story.
Also this is in the business section; it’s interesting the reporting includes no environmental groups saying “removing dead lodgepole trees for corporate energy interests comes with serious risks to the environment.”
Cool Planet Energy Systems confirmed Wednesday that it will relocate its headquarters to Colorado and build a manufacturing plant that could help convert the state’s numerous dead trees into gasoline.
“We are homing in on a headquarters location in Greenwood Village,” Cool Planet CEO Howard Janzen said.
The company is also looking in the Aurora area for a manufacturing plant that will build microrefineries able to produce about 10 million gallons a year out of organic waste.
Janzen said hundreds of jobs could be created, but he didn’t give a specific number. But in April, the company applied for $3.1 million in state tax credits in return for bringing 393 jobs to the metro area in five years.
The California startup, located in Ventura County, claims to have developed a way to cost-effectively generate gasoline out of plant waste or biomass using energy-efficient chemical and mechanical processes.
Cool Planet has financial backing from Google Ventures, BP, ConocoPhillips, General Electric and others.
“Cool Planet is on the cutting edge of advancements in alternative fuels, and this expansion into Colorado brings them one step closer to making their clean fuel available to anyone who drives a car,” said Wesley Chan, a general partner at Google Ventures.
Chan, who attended the news conference at the Colorado State Capitol on Wednesday, said Google employees have been testing the fuel in the company’s fleet.
Cool Planet doesn’t use food-based items such as sugar beets or corn, eliminating the food-or-fuel trade-off that is an issue with some other biofuel processes.
The char left after fuel is created can be used as a fertilizer, and the entire process removes more carbon from the atmosphere than it generates, the company said.
Janzen said Cool Planet is working with local university and federal researchers on ways to use the state’s beetle-kill trees as a fuel source and then apply the char to strengthen the forest soil and prevent erosion.
Gov. John Hickenlooper said all the deadwood is contributing to wildfires that burn so hot that they prevent forests from regenerating as they normally would after a fire.
Of Cool Planet’s plans, he said, “We couldn’t be happier.”
Maybe the 4FRI contractors need to approach Google Ventures, BP, ConocoPhillips, and General Electric.
And they did get approved for the tax incentives here:
“We are pleased to welcome Cool Planet to Colorado and the Denver South region. The innovation and technology that Cool Planet embodies are driving Colorado’s economy,” said Mike Fitzgerald, President and CEO of Denver South Economic development partnership. “We are very pleased that their leadership has recognized the many benefits that Colorado offers companies, including our location, highly-skilled workforce and collaborative business climate. We are delighted they are
coming and will do everything possible to help ensure their success” The company has been approved for $3,094,928 from Colorado’s Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit for the creation of up to 393 new jobs over three years.
3 thoughts on “Using Wood for Buildings= Bad; Using Wood for Gas=Good”
Sharon, it appears as if the reporter never even called or interviewed any “environmental groups.” Therefore, it’s really not that interesting that the reporting includes no environmental groups saying “removing dead lodgepole trees for corporate energy interests comes with serious risks to the environment.”
Matthew.. I was looking at it more broadly. When we have a new business move to town, do journalists call around and say “hey, this business outsources to sweatshops or uses rare earth mined under unsafe conditions in China.” Reporters don’t usually look for “the other side.”
I just think it might be interesting to look at newspapers and other media sources and take note of what situations are seen to be controversial, with the seeing of “sides” and the need to portray both “sides”, and which ones are not.
Hello forest industry innovat0rs.
What a wonderfull job you have done to get this project financed thru very altruistc donors that are willing to finance
Historically for me after having an idea for innovation the main problem is to follow with interviews of very highly respected companies that are willing to cooperate with the purpose to get financing to do the project. Now this is the best and lower cost method. Another alternative is lobbying but that costs and should be paid.
Now I DO NOT AGREEC OMPLETELY WITH THE PERSON THAT SAYS THAT WOODSHOULD BE USED TO MAKE BIOFUEL. Some times we say
“THE TREES DO NOT ALLOW TO SEE THE FORESt meaning that first we should
investigate other possible uses” that yield a better return.and but,be carefull because you should not contradictthe ideas of whom is getting your financing Any way this seems to be a win-wiin situation for the parties involved
Last but not least is the fact that we are all learning how the afterinnovation process works