Been really tied up, but saw this story yesterday and wanted to bring attention to it. I think it is significant, and a sign of things to come. Not much time to comment, but some excerpts from the article:
GUESSING, Austria (AFP) – A new plant that produces gas from wood was opened in Austria on Wednesday, paving the way towards new possibilities in renewable energy.
According to its backers, the gas produced at the plant can be used in urban heating systems, for gas-powered cars or by power stations that work on gas.
“The gas produced has the same quality as natural gas,” said Richard Zweiler, from the European Centre for Renewable Energy (EEE), which is behind the project.
A plant able to produce between 20 and 25 megawatts of power — about 25 times bigger than the Guessing project — is already in the works in Goteborg, Sweden.
Readers may know that I am a big fan of gasification over the long haul. Whether the approach described here turns out to be the right one or not, I think gasification makes far more sense than some of the renewable paths we have headed down. I believe 20 years from now we will be doing commercial biomass gasification for heat and power. I don’t believe we will be making commercial quantities of cellulosic ethanol or algal biofuels.