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Old 12-21-2010, 01:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My microbiology prof worked at NREL, trying to create cheap ways to produce cellulosic ethanol. While it may come some day, right now we are decades from any kind of meaningful production. I keep a few thousand shares of Lignol Energy around just in case there's a miraculous breakthrough, but right now, you can pick it up as a penny stock, so that's how much confidence the market has in it.

The short term solution will be coal to oil technology. It's dirty, but it's the only alternative fuel we have in significant quantity that can quench even a fraction of our thirst for oil as the big oil fields lose production and fewer big fields come on line. The next decade or two is going to be very interesting. I suspect it'll be a societal change on the scale never before seen... just like the last century was, after we discovered oil. Unfortunately, the ride down the supply curve won't be as fun as the ride up.
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