Newest green efforts lack proper funding

Freedom New Mexico

All the feel good mumbo jumbo aside, we see further evidence that going fully green still requires too many greenbacks to make it feasible.

The most recent example comes from western Indiana.

Reynolds, Ind., was to become BioTown USA. Gov. Mitch Daniels and the state Department of Agriculture wanted to create a model for energy self-sufficiency, The Associated Press reported.

Former U.S. agriculture Secretary Mike Johans dropped by to support the project and — Reynolds having struck a politically correct chord — so did the band Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

The idea sounded good. It grabbed some headlines. Then reality struck.

The story provides warning to those who believe that, with some government help, they’ll revolutionize how the rest of us get our energy.

Such beliefs exist in New Mexico and across the country. We could all use a market refresher, and Reynolds provides it.

“State officials said private funding would drive the project,” AP reported. “The startup firm Rose Energy Discovery Inc. would install an anaerobic digester, a device that converts manure methane into electricity, and a gassifier would be built to create a gas that can be burned for heat or put in a boiler to make steam.

“But Rose Energy dropped out last summer after failing to line up enough private investment. In October, VeraSun suspended construction on its ethanol plant due to a steep drop in ethanol prices, which combined with high corn prices has slowed factory construction around the country.
“Work has not begun on the Reynolds digester.”

Although some plans will continue, Reynolds will sell what it produces to a power company. Reynolds coming off the existing power grid would be about impossible, and building a grid just for Reynolds would cost too much. And, Reynolds still would need a backup energy source.

The green crowd will have to wait until the benefits of such projects actually justify the costs.