Ethanol is worst form of renewable energy A fascinating new study ranks alternative energies from best to worst -- and showing up last is ethanol. It's time to ban all federal subsidies for this wasteful taxpayer investment in Midwest farmers and this inefficient use of corn to power vehicles across America.
Meanwhile, the federal government and all state governments that mandate increased uses of ethanol (including Missouri) should rescind those requirements.
The new study is by Mark Jacobson, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program at Stanford University. He has degrees in civil engineering, economics, environmental engineering and atmospheric sciences, plus a PhD in atmospheric sciences.
His report looks at the effects of air pollutants from energy systems on climate and air quality, in an attempt to show which renewable energy sources the country should be pursuing.
Here is an excerpt from the study, which shows the final rankings:
"This paper reviews and ranks major proposed energy-related solutions to global warming, air pollution mortality, and energy security while considering impacts of the solutions on water supply, land use, wildlife, resource availability, reliability, thermal pollution, water pollution, nuclear proliferation, and undernutrition.
"To place electricity and liquid fuel options on an equal footing, 12 combinations of energy sources and vehicle type were considered. The overall rankings of the combinations (from highest to lowest) were
"1) wind-powered battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), (2) wind-powered hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, (3) concentrated-solar-powered-BEVs, (4) geothermal-powered-BEVs, (5) tidal-powered-BEVs, (6) solar-photovoltaic-powered-BEVs, (7) wave-powered-BEVs, (8) hydroelectric-powered-BEVs, (9-tie) nuclear-powered-BEVs, (9-tie) coal-with-carbon-capture-powered-BEVs, (11) corn-E85 vehicles, and (12) cellulosic-E85 vehicles.
"The relative ranking of each electricity option for powering vehicles also applies to the electricity source providing general electricity. Because sufficient clean natural resources (e.g., wind, sunlight, hot water, ocean energy, etc.) exist to power the world for the foreseeable future, the results suggest that the diversion to less-efficient (nuclear, coal with carbon capture) or non-efficient (corn- and cellulosic E85) options represents an opportunity cost that will delay solutions to global warming and air pollution mortality.
"The sound implementation of the recommended options requires identifying good locations of energy resources, updating the transmission system, and mass-producing the clean energy and vehicle technologies, thus cooperation at multiple levels of government and industry." KansasCity.com
[Editor's Note: AutoRacing1.com has said for years now that Ethanol is not the way to go with regard to alternate fuels and that the IRL should discontinue its use for it eventually would come back to bite itself in the posterior. This new comprehensive study puts that argument to rest once and for all. Tell us one more time why they are racing in the cornfields of Iowa? We do not know of too many sponsors that have a desire to showcase their product before crickets and corn husks. To everyone's dismay, the IRL walked away from a great international event like Surfers Paradise that had a long history and worldwide recognition, yet clings to venues that pander to corn farmers who thrive on taxpayer subsidies that leads to an energy source that ranks dead last.]