It has been shown that even corn, which can be grown by the millions of tons, takes a lot of water to convert to a fuel additive. That is what has caused the demise of the ethanol plants that sprouted up as fast as a corn crop in the midwest a couple of years ago. Just inquire of the owners of those idle plants to see what the real situation is and compare that to what exists in Alamogordo. Those places sit idle because corn is more valuable as an animal feed or for use as food for people. The key is the water used for creation of the ethanol. The amount of water needed would make it virtually impossible to be a viable alternative in a desert environment. Unless, of course, you want to leave a few hundred people to run the plant and send everyone else to live elsewhere because they would have no water.The amount of this plant available worldwide for this is stunning. And almost everywhere it grows, it is currently a problem. Financing the control of cattails and similar weeds through the biofuels market would go a long ways toward stopping desertification, simply by removing the dessication machines and siltation machines that are causing it. This fuel resource is terrifyingly renewable.
There are other plants, like sugarcane that is used in Brazil, that can grow abundantly and are not as harmful as the weed-like cattails. But even that crop needs water in amounts not available in the desert. When you can't insure enough water for the people in the area or their livestock, how can you entertain the prospects of an ethanol processing plant?