DesMoinesRegister.com: Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said his department expects to issue loan guarantees next year for the first cellulose ethanol projects. Construction will take an additional two to three years, he said Thursday.
Despite the research, the Energy Department estimates that it still costs $2.20 a gallon to produce cellulosic ethanol, double the cost of making ethanol from corn.
Private companies closely guard their production costs, but Bodman has been told privately that some have lowered the cost of making cellulosic ethanol to $1.50 a gallon. He did not identify the companies.
“The goal is to get it down to commensurate with corn, which is $1.10,” he said.
This seems contrary to some announcements reported in The Energy Blog which indicated that some plants would start operation this year and more in the following years.