Here we discuss more recent developments and some historical patterns in energy/fuels. History often goes in circles for reasons that baffle historians. Many of the bioenergy technologies being developed today were researched in the 1970’s during the energy crisis. Ironically, many of the technologies researched in the 1970’s were based on ideas that been practiced more than 100 years earlier to produce energy and fuels for a world going crazy for engines and struggling to find a fuel of choice.
So, here we are again. The price of oil has been high and for 10 years or so there has been considerable enthusiasm for bioenergy. However, now we are potentially looking at producing more oil than we consume and interest in bioenergy is waning again. The graphs above show what oil prices did in the 1970s and what the balance of oil production/imports has looked like for the last 100 years. Its interesting to note that with the exception of the last 10 years in general the US has always produced more than oil than it has imported.
If you are interested in receiving the written slide notes for each lecture, please contact the USDA supported Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest project at; [email protected]
Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest is supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Competitive Grant no. 2011-68005-30407 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
This series contains 25 short lectures, each between 10 and 15 minutes long. The content in these lectures is flexible and can be used in a variety of ways to communicate bioenergy concepts to audiences from diverse backgrounds. An important objective of this series is to present facts about bioenergy and biofuels, and use them to explore misconceptions.