Posts Tagged ‘biodiesel’
Global Biofuel Solutions Inc., a Nevada corporation, made a compelling case at the US-Chinese Business Summit held in Las Vegas for the alternate energy needs. It was very well attended and accepted by the businesses around the world who agreed on the need of Bio-Diesel produced from the Algae Oil, as the future of the Green Movement presenting an alternate the crude oil and petroleum based products.
January 3-5, 2010, Las Vegas featured an unprecedented gathering of over 1,000 minority business owners and entrepreneurs from the Chinese American communities across the U.S. and business delegations from China, under one summit. Along with forum discussions, cultural exchanges, and investment opportunities, there were plenty of networking as well.
The Summit had a number of high-level officials from China including China Investment Conference(CIC), National Development and Reform Commission, The Investment Association of China, Research Institute of Investment National Development and Reform Commission, China Commercial Network Construction Center, and the China General Chamber of Commerce (CGCC).
From the U.S, high profile keynote speakers and leaders invited to the Summit were from organizations such as the U.S. Census 2010, the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Small Business Administration, the National Restaurant Association, and Asian American Business Development Center, among others.
It was truly an excitement that Mayor Oscar Goodman of Las Vegas took time to meet with CBS committee members. The Mayor welcomed this US-China business summit to be held in Las Vegas; and applauded the Summit organizer, Smart Business Services, Inc., in leading efforts in fostering a platform between the U.S. and China business communities. Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority (LVCVA) was also one of the official sponsors of the Summit.
The car, aptly dubbed the “Algaeus” — built into the shell of a Toyota Prius — will take off today on a 10-day nationwide tour, stopping first in Sacramento, where governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is planned to pour a vial of algae into its gas tank. Sapphire’s algal biofuel, called “green crude,” is significant because it’s a drop-in fuel, meaning it works with current automotive technology, no newfangled advancements necessary.
The technology is relatively simple. Sapphire grows the algae in salt-water ponds at its facility in New
Mexico. It adds a combination of carbon dioxide — trapped and sequestered from industrial sources, thereby limiting their emissions as well — and sunlight. And through a proprietary microbial process, it produces hydrocarbons capable of replacing gas. Unlike ethanol, the fuel is not alcohol based, and it’s not just an additive, emphasizes Sapphire CEO Jason Pyle.
The Algaeus, which supposedly gets 150 miles per gallon, was unveiled today to showcase Sapphire’s technology — though technically, the company has nothing to do with the building of cars, and certainly not the plug-in hybrid aspect of the model. The event also celebrated the debut of the film FUEL, a documentary about America’s addiction to oil and the damage it causes. It took director Josh Tickell, who also founded anti-fossil fuel nonprofit the Veggie Van Organization, 11 years to make the film, which will premiere on Sept. 18 in New York when the Algaeus finishes its trek.
The car is part of a caravan that includes several other green vehicles, including an all-electric motorcycle and a classroom-fashioned bus powered by rooftop solar panels. The latter contains models and materials showing how Sapphire’s technology works and why it’s important that viable replacements are found for fossil fuels. The plan is to have the caravan tour college campuses following its cross-country drive.
Sapphire has already proved its technology in several key arenas. Late last year, it signed deals with companies like Continental Airlines and Boeing to successfully test out algae-based jet fuel. And the San Diego-based startup says it will be building a larger demonstration plant (capable of producing 2 million gallons of diesel and 1 million gallons of jet fuel a year), also in New Mexico, in the coming months to refine its process even more. There’s no doubt that algae is capable of powering vehicles.
These same characteristics also make algae important to surrounding communities where green jobs could go a long way. For example, Sapphire’s current facility in New Mexico — a state that could use agricultural revenue — employs 140. And its new demo plant will employ even more.
The only hurdle standing in algal biofuel’s way is government policy, Pyle says. In order for any alternative fuel of its kind to be widely adopted, renewable fuel mandates and emissions restrictions will need to be implemented and strongly enforced. The Obama administration is headed in the right direction, with its recommended changes for the country’s energy mix, but no major shift can happen until legislation like Waxman-Markey becomes a reality.
NV Energy and Solar Millenium, together with its joint venture partner MAN Ferrostaal Inc., have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop solar power facilities in Amargosa Valley.
The initial project under consideration is a 250-megawatt solar trough technology plant, the companies announced in a press release Tuesday. A megawatt is enough power to serve roughly 675 homes; using that formula a 250 megawatt plant would be able to provide electricity to 168,750 homes.
The press release only refers to a site in Nye County. Solar Millenium has applications for rights-of-way from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for three sites in Amargosa Valley. The BLM would have to conduct an environmental impact statement on solar projects on public land, which is expected to take a year and a half to two years.
NV Energy spokesman Adam Grant said a specific site has not been announced yet but the company is looking at Amargosa Valley. He said it’s the first time NV Energy signed an MOU with a company interested in building a solar plant.
“We hope to find the support from the involved agencies to be able to permit the power plants such that we can start construction no later than 2010,” said Uwe T. Schmidt, CEO of MAN Ferrostaal Inc. “Having constructed more than 5,000 facilities around the world we are very much looking forward to building a CSP plant with NV Energy that will set a new benchmark for advanced solar energy in the U.S.”
Plans call for the project to be completed in 2013-14, depending on permitting, financing and other government approvals. The company is undertaking transmission and environmental studies, along with financing options. Grant said resource studies will be included, determining the solar potential of the location.
The plant would include thermal storage, enabling the plant to produce energy beyond daylight hours during hot summer months when electricity demand is at its highest, the companies state. That technology is being used at Solar Millenium sites in Spain, the company states.
“NV Energy is excited about being involved in storage technology that has long been talked about. As a result, we expect that our company will remain at the forefront of utilizing renewable resources and technologies in this case solar energy, for the benefit of our customers and the environment,” said Michael Yackira, president and CEO of NV Energy.
The law requires utilities like NV Energy to have 20 percent of their source of power from renewable energy by 2015. Grant said developing renewable energy resources is part of a three-fold company strategy along with energy efficiency and conservation, clean and efficient generation.
The local electric cooperative, Valley Electric Association, is not bound by a requirement to have a percentage of renewable power, unless state law is changed.
“Solar technologies have been making great strides in the last several years,” Yackira said. “It is now reasonable to believe that projects like this one will be capable of providing a reliable power supply as part of a mix of resources that will include other types of renewable resources as well as clean and efficient traditional generation such as natural gas-fired plants. Such a project as the one being studied in Nye County would also provide a boost to the local economy.”