Bill Gates seems to want a piece of the action when it comes to renewable energy. The billionaire's investment company, Cascade Investment, has agreed to invest $84 million in Pacific Ethanol which will help it finance construction of several planned fuel-additive plants on the West Coast. Cascade's investment gives Gates a 27% stake in Pacific Ethanol. Gates will be sharing the company with petroleum distributor SC Fuels, which owns the majority stake in the ethanol producer and is one of its biggest customers. It could be a lucrative investment, since federal law requires that the U.S. nearly doubles the amount of ethanol it uses annually to 7.5 billion in 2012 from 4 billion gallons in 2006.
For background on ethanol as a solution to the "peak oil" non-problem, see here
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