NEW YORK -- The Energy Management Institute has released results of a study that showed alternative fuels are 29-percent more cost-competitive than they were three years ago when compared to their hydrocarbon counterparts.

Of the five commercially viable alternatives recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy, the results showed:

  • Biodiesel - 29.2% more cost-competitive.
  • Ethanol - 17.4% more cost-competitive.
  • Natural Gas - 41.4% more cost-competitive.
  • Electricity - 36.0% more cost-competitive.
  • Propane - 21.3% more cost-competitive.

  • The study was conducted by analyzing three years of pricing data collected from more than 80 urban areas across all 50 states.

    "We crunched a lot of data for this one," said J. Scott Susich, dditor of EMI's Alternative Fuels Index publication. "It's not enough to look at prices from three years ago and compare them to recent values. We looked at the relationship between the cost of each fuel and the amount of energy one could buy on a BTU equivalent basis, and compared those values to their gasoline and diesel counterparts in each market. Next we had to look at the trends of those relationships to determine whether the results were atypical or part of a sustained pattern. In each case the data showed a continuing trend toward competitiveness."

    The study quantifies advances in process technology and market efficiency that have been achieved since 2004. Gains were seen in the decades-old fuel ethanol industry as well as the more fledgling biodiesel market.

    When compared to crude oil, the five alternative fuels became 32.5-percent more competitive over the three years. These results were achieved during some of the most volatile years in energy industry history. During the time-span studied, crude oil more than doubled to over $75 while Gulf Coast hurricanes wiped out more than a quarter of U.S. production capacity. The data clearly demonstrates the continued and growing viability of domestic renewable fuels.

    New York-based EMI provides specialized education services to major oil companies, utilities, Fortune 500 end-users and top transportation fleets throughout the world. As a division of Advanced Energy Commerce Inc., it also provides critical business information services and thought leadership in the energy segments of oil, alternatives, gas and power.

    SOURCE: The Energy Management Institute via PR Newswire.