The price of petroleum is about half of what it was for the past few years:
- First-gen ethanol producers: only doing so-so, but still okay.
- Biodiesel: also so-so, with a "let's produce as little as possible and hang on."
- Industrial sugars: pretty good, but for human consumption, not cars.
- Renewable diesel: looks pretty good thanks to lowered production costs achieved through feedstock diversification (frankly, this is a rather piddling to middling product).
- Butanol: surprisingly strong--while BP shed all kinds of assets, it retained Betamax, and Green Biologics is now converting "plant #1" to n-butanol (but for paints and other higher value products, not auto fuel).
- Oil major support: Shell, Total and Reliance, with Chevron quietly engaged, so too, China. BP and Petrobras have disappeared.
- Aviation biofuels: moving strongly (of course, still costs several times more times two, but if this is "moving strongly," then you can totally discount anything above).
- Synthetic biology and algae: forget fuel, only dabbling in chemicals and nutraceuticals.
- Gasification: methane is strengthening (hooray...next stop, methanol).
- Cellulosic developers: delayed commercialization for most, into stealth mode for others. INEOS Bio, Abengoa, POET-DSM GranBio in extended shakedown. (All terrible signs.)
Ah, the first ocean storm 2015 has appeared in the East Pacific. Tropical Storm Andre is at 40 MPH and will become a hurricane, but will move further north and dissipate:
The next few will be Blanca, Carlos, Dolores, Enrique and Felicia (alphabetical). Wait a minute, I remember Felicia in 2009. She almost caused me to return home from a Big Island trip. The storms I fear are the ones which form near us in the Central Pacific. In 2006 Ioke popped up just southeast of the Big Island, but thankfully just went east for a while and eventually reached 155 MPH.
If one forms just south of the Big Island and comes up north, we are in quick and deep trouble. Not really sure what will be the name of the first Central Pacific storm, for this is not alphabetical, but I think it will be Ela. However, Ela follows Ana in our region, and the first Atlantic storm of this year three weeks ago was Tropical Storm Ana.