While it might have a past deeply rooted in petroleum, attendees of the Oklahoma Biofuels Conference in Oklahoma City this week were told renewable energy has a huge future in the Sooner State.
This story from Forbes says a huge wind corridor in the western part of Oklahoma, along with perennial native grasses for biofuels, gives the state a great potential to be a leader in alternative energy:
“We have 40,000 megawatts of wind potential in western Oklahoma, and that industry is exploding out of the ground as we talk,” said Oklahoma Energy Secretary David Fleischaker. “The Obama administration’s attitude toward bringing wind into the grid will really benefit that industry in Oklahoma.
“In addition, to the extent we have the ability, we’ll see a lot more funding of research important to pushing the conversion of biofuels technology.”
Fleischaker said using perennial native grasses, like switchgrass, as a source for biofuel has a number of advantages over annual crops, like corn, that take much more energy to produce.
“If you have an annual, you’ve got to pull the tractor out of the barn and plant it every year, which takes a lot of energy,” Fleischaker said. “If you have a perennial, it grows back every year automatically and you can leave the tractor in the barn.”