Setting a Hemispheric Energy Agenda

April 9, 2010

This posting is a guest contribution by Eric Farnsworth, Vice President of the Council of the Americas in Washington DC. It was originally published as a contribution to the AS-COA website.

Leaders from across the Americas will converge on Washington April 15 to 16 to promote the efficient production and consumption of clean energy. As a follow-on to the Summit of the Americas one year ago in Trinidad and Tobago, the Energy and Climate Ministerial of the Americas seeks to create an agenda based on energy efficiency, increased use of renewables, cleaner fossil fuels, infrastructure development, and universal access to energy resources. These are good and worthy goals. The question will be whether governments are prepared to move beyond aspirations and to build an agenda for cooperation and implementation, both with each other and also with the private sector. If they do, the hemisphere could play a leading role in global clean energy markets. If they don’t, the region will fall behind. Read the rest of this entry »

Shell and Cosan — oil and ethanol merger will deliver cellulosic ethanol from sugar cane

February 17, 2010

An exclusive post that connects to work CIGI’s Portal for North America conducted a few years ago. NOTE: after this article was published I spoke (Feb, 18 at 2:00PM EST) to Iogen who clarified some points. The edits/comments appear in bold.

Early this month, in a transaction estimated at US$12 billion, oil super-major Royal Dutch Shell and Cosan, one of Brazil’s (and the world’s) largest ethanol and sugar processors, agreed  to merge their respective Brazilian ethanol and fuel distribution businesses. The deal alone is noteworthy: it opens global distribution markets to Brazilian ethanol and makes Shell a major player in the ethanol market. Even more interesting, however, is the new joint venture’s (JV) position in second generation ethanol production. The JV will own a 50 percent stake in Canada’s Iogen – a global leader in the production of cellulosic ethanol (Shell’s 50 percent joint venture is in Iogen Energy and not Iogen Corp), and a 14.7 percent interest in California’s Codexis, a top developer of clean biocatalytic process technologies. All stand to gain from this transaction… except, perhaps, Canadian tax payers… Read the rest of this entry »