Preliminary findings of a new study on the net energy balance of ethanol indicate ethanol produces 67% more energy than it takes to generate.

“Corn yields per acre have increased, fertilizer is more energy efficient and ethanol plants are more efficient, so the net energy value of corn ethanol improves,” says USDA Economist Hosein Shapouri, who authored the study, “The 2001 Net Energy Balance of Corn Ethanol.”

A similar study in 2002 found ethanol production yielded 34% more energy than used to grow, transport and refine the corn into ethanol.

“We believe the net energy balance is going to increase because of technology in corn production and technology in ethanol,” he says. “The research proves this.”