Forget the recent drop in gas prices. Smoke and mirrors don’t hide the real picture for that long. Countries and companies worldwide know that a long-term strategy for energy security involves not just the soot of the earth but the fat of the land also.
This spring when I attended the Solar Cities Congress at Oxford University in England, I met industry leaders and scientists from all over the world. In one memorable conversation, I sat down for refreshments during a lecture break and began chatting with two German gentlemen from the city of Gelsenkirchen
We began to converse in half-German, half-English (or Denglisch as our Teutonic friends call the mix), and one of the men, a university professor, asked me where I came from. “Die sogenannte Vereinigten Staaten,” I replied. He smiled and chuckled, translating my words back in to English – “The so-called United States! I love it!”
I took this jab at my country not out of a lack of patriotism, but out of a yearning for a more national effort to push sustainable and renewable technologies.
Here in the US, it is largely up to states like California and cities like Portland to go it alone, establishing separate tax initiatives while the federal government remains largely aloof from energy consumption issues. Though issues of energy, economics, and terror are inextricably linked, Washington continues to wind the knot tighter.
Germany has the right idea – a united spirit of policy and industry towards an independent energy future.
And I’m thrilled to tell you that one small company from my home state of Kansas is smart enough to align themselves with this German zeitgeist for the fuels of the future.
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Great Plains, Great Idea
Ethanex (EHNX.OB) is taking its low-cost ethanol production capabilities worldwide, signing on this week to a strategic alliance with Germany’s Industrial Investment Council.
As I said before, Germany has not opted for the island-of-ideas approach. If renewable momentum is concentrated more in places like Gelsenkirchen, the dots are quickly being connected to create a critical mass for clean energy industries.
The Industrial Investment Council is made up of the German federal government, five German states, and the Berlin municipality. As you may remember from the days of Berlin’s Cold War separation, Berlin lies in the east.
And that’s where Germany wants to draw the opportunities.
Surrounding the former West Berlin, a prosperous beacon of progress that made so many risk life and limb to jump the Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall), a Soviet satellite industrial landscape belched smoke into the sky.
Smokestacks and cheap products may not be the best foundation for human or economic health, but the effects of the Soviet Union’s demise and its support to puppet regimes meant that the people of what is now eastern Germany have often had a hard time making up ground.
Ethanex and its partnership with the IIC could be the shot in the arm that this region needs, and the company will reap the rewards of government incentives given to companies that establish domestic production facilities in Germany, both in the east and west. Ethanex will provide the cornbelt know-how to German apprentices.
The European Union’s directives, which filter down from Brussels, Belgium to member states like Germany, say that European bio-ethanol production capacity must TRIPLE by 2010.
That’s four short years, and combined with Ethanex’s goal of establishing no fewer than three new production facilities in its native Midwest by 2008…
Ethanol might as well be rocket fuel for this stock!!!
Yesterday, Jeff Siegel told you about Ethanex from his perspective as one of the world’s top green energy hawks. Now I’m telling you that from the standpoint of an international policy and market watcher, Ethanex has the perfect combination of policy support and great connections to expand shareholder value while taking Germany’s biofuel production to the next level.
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