The Ethanol Bubble?
from the invest-away dept
There’s been a lot of talk lately about alternative fuels, with ethanol suddenly jumping into the spotlight as the hot choice, despite it being nothing particularly new. It’s good to see investment and research going into an area that greatly needs some innovation. However, with so much investment money going into the space, along with all the recent attention, it risks being another bubble-type situation. The problem here is that overhype in alternative fuels could mean that any early problems or failures (which there are likely to be) would get so much attention that it would scare off additional investments or any form of customer support. Hopefully, if there is some form of a bubble, it’s the good kind that allows many different ideas to get tested very quickly. While the original link above discusses efforts by high profile VCs and folks like Bill Gates to invest in ethanol, expect plenty of attention to go controversial scientist Craig Venter’s new efforts. Venter, of course, is famous for his work on the human genome — but also for his brash style and his reputation for having quite an ego (one that resulted in him using his own genome for the research done at Celera — despite the fact they were supposed to use an anonymous donor). Venter’s latest efforts involve creating a “designer microbe” to be used in the production of ethanol (and hydrogen, too, while he’s at it).