Biofuels Industry Ramps up Production
Last week's Algal Biomass Summit (ABO) held in Minneapolis, showcased a number of startup companies, working to create sophisticated facilities to manufacture mass amounts of biofuels and oils. Many innovative approaches to algae were presented, including proprietary lab-designed strains from open ponds to stainless vats and enclosed bioreactors
ABO's executive director Mary Rosenthal said attendance skyrocketed and, “the key difference this year, over past years, is that we're out of the lab now and we're into production. We're also seeing people here who want to hire, they have job opportunities available.”
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One of the best known algae companies, Solazyme, focuses on energy, but also provides oil for cosmetics, health sciences and fuel. The company has been awarded a contract to provide the U.S. Navy with 150,000 gallons of diesel fuel. “The test results have been fantastic,” said Solazyme president Harrison Dillon. “We've found our oil works identical to petroleum-based fuels and we were able to put it straight into the Navy's existing platform.”
Another leader in the industry, Sapphire Energy, has raised $200 million to fund “green crude” to replace conventional crude oil. The advantage of Sapphire's fuel is that cars and refineries could use it in the exact same manner they use crude now. The company hopes to be producing 18,000 barrels a day by 2018. At the conference, Sapphire Energy President Cynthia Warner said, “In the next three years we think the economics will show that green crude will be competitive with oil.”
Many other competitors showed up at the event with innovative approaches that will soon become important sources of renewable energy.
Awesense launches digital clean energy marketplace
Awesense has launched what it claims is the only energy-focused repository of solutions built to drive the industry's decarbonization agenda.
The Awesense Marketplace aims to provide a common framework for companies to collaborate towards the future of clean energy and digital transformation, uniting applications, solutions and algorithms to solve energy and grid challenges.
Solutions listed on the marketplace cover a range of cases, and launch companies include Doosan GridTech, Kitu Systems, vadiMAP, LO3 Energy, ENGIN, Utilidata, Clir Renewables, ChargeLab, SensorLink, Exeri, Easy SmartGrid, and Athena Power.
“We are welcoming a new era in the decarbonization of energy systems,” said Mischa Steiner, CEO of Awesense. “The goal of achieving a clean energy future requires collaboration amongst key industry players in the utilities and energy sectors. Sharing resources through the Marketplace means that our customers and partners have a truly seamless approach as we work towards our common goal - ultimately, decarbonizing the world’s energy system.”
Utilities, consulting companies, and other organizations struggle to develop solutions that can be scaled across many jurisdictions due to complex data integration and the lack of a standard, open data model. Using the solutions offered throughout the Marketplace, organizations can rapidly accelerate their transition to a decentralized, decarbonized future and develop solutions that are scalable across industry. The platform will open up new revenue streams in areas such as:
Distributed energy resource integration and control
Electric vehicle charging
Demand response and smart-home management
Intelligent asset management
Advanced distribution system management
The new marketplace builds on Awesense's Digital Energy Platform, a digital twin based energy analytics platform that allows utilities to scale at the same pace as the rapidly changing technology landscape of the energy grid.
Together, the Open Energy Data Model and the Awesense Marketplace removes hurdles around data mapping and transformation, expedites data preparation and refining, and provides a common framework for companies to collaborate.
“The energy-specific data model allows utilities, technology companies, consulting firms, and other vendors to build solutions that can be easily integrated by other energy companies, to make a real impact on the industry as a whole, and develop new revenue streams for their organizations” said Steiner. “We’re looking forward to seeing the Awesense Marketplace grow as more partners committed to energy decarbonization join us.”
There are no simple solutions to putting the world on a sustainable path to net-zero emissions, according to the IEA. Reducing global CO2 emissions will require "a broad range of different technologies working across all sectors of the economy in various combinations and applications." it notes.
Renewable Energy Hub of South Australia formed
Amp Power Australia has established the Renewable Energy Hub of South Australia, a strategic portfolio of large scale integrated Solar PV, Wind and Battery Energy Storage assets located in South Australia. The hub also includes the siting of the Spencer Gulf Hydrogen Energy Ecoplex, forming part of the South Australian Government's Hydrogen Action Plan.
The portfolio, acquired from EPS, includes three large Solar PV projects totalling over 1.3 GW of generation, located at Robertstown (636 MW), Bungama (336MW) and Yoorndoo Ilga (388MW) with a total BESS capacity of up to 540MW across the portfolio.
Amp's expansion in Australia will include the implementation of Amp X, a proprietary digital energy platform 100% owned by Amp, which provides a diverse portfolio of disruptive and interoperable grid edge solutions, and includes a smart transformer, which enables real-time autonomous management and optimised dispatch of all forms of distributed generation and loads across the grid.
Palmetto recently opened its marketplace in Arizona, and is now serving 20 states across the country, claiming its proprietary technology, marketplace business model, and consumer mobile application "are all designed to democratize access to clean energy".