Ethanol in “hangover mode” as sector looks to restructure

The unbridled optimism which spurred the ethanol markets in 2006 has been replaced by fears over the sustainability of some corn-based projects, according analysts speaking at this week’s Renewable Energy Finance Forum in New York.

“A year ago we were popping champagne corks. Today we’re in hangover mode, and we’re a lot more sober about our sector,” said Andrew De Pass, managing director and head of sustainable developments investments for Citi Alternatives Investments.

De Pass admitted that many in the industry “had got burned” by the sharp rise in corn prices which many institutions failed to account for. A year ago, corn traded at around $2/bushel but is now hovering near $4/bushel.

“The large increases in ethanol

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