September 10, 2008

Busienss Model Update: Clearing the first hurdle

Clearing  hurdle #1.

We have struggled to find the hard data necessary to determine the equivalent price of coal at which torrefied wood is economic, without subsidies or a premium for the derived carbon benefits.

We now have a model, and our first answer to the question.

$ 80 dollars

(Actually a range of $ 70 to $90 depending on certain conditions).

This is a key advancement.  It helps explain why torrefaction has not taken off previously (Coal has historically been below this level) and provides a benchmark for assumption refinement.

Would you build a business and an industry off an assumption that Coal will stay above $ 80?  In fact many coal companies are making just that bet in their capital ex investments.  In fact, with the current price of coal, one could invest in biomass torrefaction (or torrefication depending on your preference) coupled with hedges against a precipitous decline in coal and still make money.

It’s getting interesting folks…..

No comments: