This story in the e-zine Tuscaloosanews.com (a weekly on-line publication produced by the students and faculty of the University of Alabama’s College of Communications) says that the raw products in Alabama have the state poised to be the next Saudi Arabia… at least in the alternative fuels world. Using a combination of fuels produced from chicken poop, cellulose from the massive amount of wood products in the state, switchgrass, and a growing biodiesel industry in Alabama (made from locally grown soybeans), experts believe the state could be on the verge of something big:
“I often say we are the Saudi Arabia of biomass,” said David Bransby, professor of energy and fiber crops forage-livestock management at Auburn University. “I think those two resources: wood and broiler litter. If we had the technologies to produce the energy from them — to make the liquid fuels from them commercially competitive — we could start tomorrow because they’re all sitting there waiting. That material is all there.
Must be pretty big for Alabama students promoting the thoughts of someone from Auburn! The story goes on to say the state already has one biodiesel plant, another one coming on-line in March, and seven more in the works.
The state legislature has been a little slow to act, but now there is at least one tax incentive proposed, and Gov. Bob Riley has put together an alternative energies advisory panel.