- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
In April 2007, Pollution Engineering reported on Biotown. At that time, townspeople in Reynolds, Ind., were excited about the prospects of becoming energy independent and eliminating greenhouse gas emissions. They had a three-phase plan that had begun in 2005 when they christened their town as "Biotown U.S.A."
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels bragged about planned construction that would add capability to produce ethanol and other environmentally friendly power supplies to the town, setting an example for the world.
According to reports by the Associated Press, the town of 550 residents is beginning to doubt the seriousness of industry to want to produce energy-efficient solutions. State officials said that private funding would drive the projects that had been planned. However, one by one, the planned events are being cancelled or postponed indefinitely.
For example, Rose Energy Discovery Inc. had planned to install an anaerobic digester to convert manure and other biomass into methane, and then electricity. They dropped out of the running last year as private investments came up short to build the facility. Stockpiles of materials are now naturally decomposing around the area.
VeraSun Energy Corp. had begun constructing an ethanol plant to provide a market for the local corn products and fuel for area vehicles. Plans ground to a halt last October as corn prices soared and ethanol prices retreated, making such a venture too unprofitable.
Local power companies have told the town they cannot be removed from the grid as it would be too costly and they would have no backup.
In the tradition of many small towns in the United States, the people are still optimistic. Energy Systems Group is still trying to find financing to construct a digester to produce methane. Some point to a small town in Germany that reached the goal of becoming self-sufficient after 8 years. Representatives from Reynolds have visited the German village of Juehnde to learn what they had to go through to reach their goal.