Not just small communities or small operators are interested in ethanol. Indeed, the industry is at a stage remniscient of the time when computers were being built as hobbies. It was at the very beginning stage of something huge.
Global Perspective's believes that sustainable energy will become as big an industry as the IT revolution created several years ago. In my office I have a map of every ethanol plant in the U.S.A., and it is reported that over 200 new ones will be coming on stream in the USA within 5 years.
Recently I was in Kansas at a executive hunting resort, (the Spillman Farms hunting resort). As we came in from our Pheasant hunt, I admired one of the guns on the rack. It belonged to an oil executive who had a particularly good quality Merkle, one of the best shotguns in the world. We began a conversation, which included hunting, farming, production, and energy.
That led us to talk of ethanol and BioDiesel. My new friend, Dennis McPhail, V.P. of Chaparral Energy, said: "Oh we believe in ethanol. In fact we are investing $80,000,000.00 ethanol plant in Oklahoma."
The growing interest in ethanol, a clean, corn, or high suger crop based renewable resource, has paralleled the escalating price of gas and the urgent need to break the country's dependence on crude oil.
Recently, the Big Three automobile manufacturers, GM (NYSE:GM), Ford (NYSE:F), and DaimlerChrysler (NYSE:DCX), appealed to Congress for incentives to increase the number of gas stations that offer blends of ethanol.
Last year, Microsoft (NasdaqGS:MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates invested $84 million into Pacific Ethanol (NasdaqGM:PEIX).
Sir Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin Group and worth an estimated $3 Billion, has plans to invest $300 to $400 million to produce and market this alternative fuel.
Vinod Khosla, "guru" of Silicon Valley, co-founder of Sun Microsystems (NasdaqGS:SUNW), and one of ethanol's most vocal advocates, has personally invested millions in private companies involved in the development of ethanol.
These are all in the United States. Brazil, France, Germany, are all indicating growing investment and development of Ethanol.
"Ethanol is just a government subsidy for farmers". This was an argument brought up, primarily by oil companies that percieved of ethanol as an economic threat. But now that consumption and demand for oil has exceeded supply world wide, and prices have gone up so much, this argument no longer makes sense. The farmers need a market for their crops, and the world needs every drop of fuel that can be produced.
"Ethanol takes too much water to produce". Water is a key to the entire energy cycle. Yes ethanol requires water to produce, not only in the crops that are irrigated but in the actual production. And water is a valuable resource as well. But technologies are improving and more emphasis is being placed on grasses and dryland crops for the basic foodstock for ethanol production.
Are you involved in Ethanol? If you want to be in good company, consider it as an investment for you.