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Video & Press Briefing: Todd Stern, Special Envoy for Climate Change, United States Department of State DOS

In biofuel, cleantech, Energy, Environment, greentech, Science, Sustainable on February 17, 2010 at 12:15 pm

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This article contains two presentations by Todd Stern, Special Envoy for Climate Change at the U.S. Department of State. The first is a video presentation that he made at the Center for American Progress. The second is a Press Briefing that he gave February 16, 2010 at the State Department. He discusses the road forward despite some obvious setbacks at Copenhagen. He is optimistic about the possibilities and continues to work for positive changes that will protect the global environment.

Video

Todd Stern, US State Department’s Special Envoy on Climate Change at the Center for American Progress

In February 2010, Todd Stern, U.S. special envoy for climate change, spoke about the lessons of the COP-15 summit in Copenhagen last December, the significance of the Copenhagen Accord that was negotiated there, and the path forward over the coming year and beyond. This was Stern’s first public speech since the January 31 deadline for inscribing mitigation targets and actions in the Copenhagen Accord. An expert discussion panel follows the address.

Introductory Remarks: John Podesta, President and Chief Executive Officer, Center for American Progress

Featured Speaker: Todd Stern, Special Envoy for Climate Change, United States Department of State

Featured Panelists:

  1. Jennifer Haverkamp, Managing Director for International Policy and Negotiations, Environmental Defense Fund
  2. Andrew Light, Senior Fellow and Coordinator for International Climate Policy, Center for American Progress

Location: Center for American Progress, 1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20005

Transcript: Press Briefing by the Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern


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Todd Stern
Special Envoy for Climate Change
Washington, DC
February 16, 2010

Briefing by the Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern
MR. TONER: Good afternoon. We’re very pleased to have Special Envoy Todd Stern here today to give us the lay of the land on international climate negotiations post-Copenhagen. As you know, in late January, the U.S. announced that it submitted its pledge to limit or reduce greenhouse emissions under the Copenhagen Accord, as did all of the world’s major economies. These countries represent more than 80 percent of global emissions and this constitutes an unprecedented step forward in the global effort to combat climate change.
With that impressive statistic in mind, I’ll hand the podium over to Todd Stern, who has about 20 minutes to answer your questions.
MR. STERN: Hello, everybody. Pleased to be here today. I’m just going to be very brief at the top and open it up for questions for you all.
Where we stand right now is – as you all know that Copenhagen meeting produced, in the end, a short document which is known as the Copenhagen Accord, we think a very important – short but important document that was produced very importantly through the intervention of leaders, a great number of leaders from countries there. It was, at the end of the day, not formally adopted as a decision of the – decision being a term of art – of the Conference of the Parties, but was supported by the overwhelming number of them.
The fact that it wasn’t formally adopted has led to a process since Copenhagen where countries essentially conveyed to the secretariat of the UN convention their interest in being part of it; the UN term is to associate itself with the accord. And in addition, the major countries, major economies have submitted their targets or actions that they plan to take to reduce emissions. So this is the developed countries and the major developing countries. That was supposed to happen by January 31st and it did.
We now have slightly less than a hundred countries that have indicated they want to be part of the accord, and my guess is there will be still some additional ones who indicate that. The accord itself, I think, is an important document for a number of reasons. It includes – it quantifies the objective of this whole exercise of the Framework Convention. The objective, as stated in the convention, is to – essentially to avoid dangerous climate change and the Copenhagen Accord quantifies that by talking about limiting the increase in temperature to 2 degrees Centigrade. It includes a pledge by the major economies to submit their targets and actions. It includes important stuff on – important language on transparency, important provisions on financing, and on technology. So in – all in all, I think a very important step forward.
The – going forward this year, I think will be a combination of both of making elements of the accord operational as well as further discussions under the umbrella of the UN Framework Convention toward additional agreements in Mexico. So that’s kind of where things stand right now. I’m happy to take questions.
QUESTION: Sean Tannen with AFP. You alluded to this a little bit in your talk at the Center for American Progress —
MR. STERN: Yeah.
QUESTION: — the other week. The commitments by countries like China, India, Brazil, South Africa aren’t necessarily unambiguous. How do you see that going forward, unless there’s a clear commitment by those emerging economies?
MR. STERN: Well, I think that that’s going to get clarified. I think that, first of all, they have all submitted their proposed actions and there’s nothing ambiguous about that. They have submitted the actions that they intend to take to reduce emissions. I think that’s a good thing. So far, I believe Brazil and South Africa have stated to the – have conveyed to the secretariat that they wish to be associated with the accord. And China and India have conveyed something which is not entirely clear. I think that’ll get clarified, though, is my guess over the course of the next few days.
There will be – the way this thing works is that the secretariat publishes a report on the COP, the Conference of the Parties. They do this every year when there’s a Conference of the Parties. After a couple of months, they publish a report, essentially, on the proceedings, what happened. And the report includes all of the decisions that were taken. One of those decisions was a decision to take note of this Copenhagen Accord. And so as part of that decision, the accord itself will be published. And on the front page of the accord, there will be a list of all the parties who have said we want to be part of this.
And so I think that that’s something that will presumably happen reasonably soon, and I would expect that all of the major countries will be part of it at that point.
QUESTION: Can I just follow up briefly? But would there be a risk to the accord itself unless there is more clarity from these emerging economies?
MR. STERN: I think it’s important that the major countries be part of it, but I – again, I think that we have close to a hundred countries now. So I think that the accord is already kind of gathering steam.
Yes.
QUESTION: If India and China, turn out – don’t associate themselves with it, is there any possibility that the U.S. would pull out, essentially?
MR. STERN: No.
QUESTION: Not at all?
MR. STERN: No. I mean, I think that the U.S. is – we have put forward our own submission. It’s consistent with what President Obama announced back in November. So I don’t think it’s a question of the U.S. saying “Never mind.” I don’t think – that’s not the plan.
Yes.
QUESTION: Lalit Jha from Press Trust of India. Just a follow-up question. What you said is not clear about China’s and India’s proposals?
MR. STERN: The proposals are clear. This is a little bit confusing. I don’t want anybody to be confused. The proposals that they’ve all made with respect to “Here’s what we’re going to do,” perfectly clear. There is a second piece of this which is do you, quote “associate yourself with the accord,” and in effect, will you be one of those hundred-plus countries that are listed on the front page of the accord as having said “Yes, we want to be part of it.” That’s the piece that I’m talking about right now, and that’s – as I say, there’s just slightly less than a hundred countries that have said that. India and China have said something close to that, and I think the UN is just trying to make sure that they understand what the intention is.
QUESTION: Now my question about – India has distinctly announced that they will set up their own IPCC because they believe that the UN’s IPCC is not that realistic, that they are a bit confusing and it’s – they’re not reliable. What’s your opinion on that?
MR. STERN: Well, look. I think it’s a good thing for countries to have an active scientific effort. I don’t know what the details are. I don’t know what Minister Ramesh or others in India have in mind. But I think, obviously, the United States has all sorts of scientific work that we do through our various agencies of the U.S. Government. So I think that’s all a good thing.
I think the IPCC as an institution has made a very large contribution and I think it’s an important body that will continue and that is very representative of countries all over the world. So I don’t know what – I’m not familiar with the specifics of what India —
QUESTION: He was talking about – Minister Ramesh was talking about recent controversies about Himalayan glaciers.
MR. STERN: About what?
QUESTION: About Himalayan glaciers and the – some of the facts and figures in the IPCC report which has raised a lot of doubts.
MR. STERN: Right. Well, look, as I said, I think the IPCC is a very important body. I think it’s made a very important contribution. To the extent that there were any – that any errors appear in their lengthy report, I think that’s regrettable. But again, I’m not – I don’t have any – I’m not a scientist and I don’t have any considered view on the specifics. But I think the IPCC as an institution has been quite important and will continue to be important.
QUESTION: Can I follow up on that, actually? How much more difficult has your job been since the errors in the IPCC report came to light, both globally and –
MR. STERN: It was difficult already. (Laughter.) No, look, I think that the scientific underpinning for action on climate change, the fundamental science of climate change and the observed data, is quite overwhelming. I think that to the extent – and again, I make no comment one way or another about whether they’re mistakes – I just don’t know. But to the extent that there were any mistakes in the IPCC report, reports, assessments, or anywhere else, that’s regrettable. You don’t want there to be mistakes.
But what should not happen is that any individual mistakes, typos, whatever they might be, be taken to undermine the very fundamental record that exists from scientists all over the world and from observed data from all over the world that this is a quite serious and growing problem. So I think that that’s really the kind of underlying important point.
And nor should – and I think what you do see sometimes is that people who have an agenda that is directed toward undermining action on climate change grab whatever tidbit they can find and say, look, there’s no climate change, it snowed last week in Washington, there’s no climate change. That kind of stuff is nonsense. And the exploiting of this or that mistake that might have occurred in some part of long reports that pull together a lot of scientific data, again, I think is – I think it needs to be seen for what it is, which is a deliberate attempt to undermine. The fundamentals haven’t changed.
QUESTION: Andy Quinn from Reuters. I was hoping you could talk a little bit after Copenhagen how you see the UN’s role in further negotiations about climate change and that of the Major Economies Forum. And do you have any word on when and where the next meeting of the MEF might be?
MR. STERN: Well, two things. I think the UN absolutely has an important role going forward. I think that there are obviously – anybody who was at or closely following Copenhagen can see that there are challenges with respect to managing a big process like that, particularly one with – where a small group of countries can block actions. That is certainly difficult, but it is – the UN has a special level of credibility and history in this and we support the UN process.
The Major Economies Forum, I think, was a very useful exercise last year, a useful forum, a useful body that we really picked up from the previous administration and then kind of remodeled. So we have every intention of continuing that this year. I am quite sure that we will have a meeting this spring. We haven’t set the exact date or the place yet, but I would anticipate that we will be working with our Major Economies Forum partners to set up a meeting in the relatively near term.
And I might say that in the fall we began a practice of inviting a few additional countries to participate who were important countries but not necessarily majors in terms of their economies. And I think that that was a useful process that we began in – I can’t remember if it was September or October, but we started it in the fall. And I would guess we’ll probably continue something like that as well.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) broaden the guest list even further?
MR. STERN: A little bit. A little bit, but not to a large extent.
Yes.
QUESTION: Sort of related to his question, is there any coordination between your office and the Trade Representative’s office, folks at Commerce, folks at Treasury, in trying to deal with some of the economic concerns that some countries might have about trying to limit their economic output that might have an impact on the rise in temperatures globally?
MR. STERN: Well, two things. We coordinate with everybody. I mean, this is not just a State Department exercise. It’s a government exercise. We – for starters, we coordinate very closely with the White House, obviously with the President but also with people in the NSC and the climate and energy office over there. And we coordinate a lot with Treasury and EPA and Energy and Commerce and other places. So this is a broad government effort where, of course, on the diplomatic side, State’s in the lead, but there’s a lot of coordination just in general.
With respect to the question of countries who need to play a role and who have concerns about that, we interact, we discuss those issues with the countries – with countries in that kind of a position a lot. I think that USTR is also an agency that we certainly do work with. Look, there’s kind of a basic underlying reality here, which is that countries in the sort of emerging market category of countries, which is really what you’re talking about, they have to be part of the solution in dealing with this problem.
If you only look at developed countries, you’re at about 40, maybe – somewhere between 40 and 45 percent of total emissions and shrinking. And if you’re trying to deal with the 80 or 85 percent of emissions and growing, you’ve got to bring in China and India and Brazil, other countries like that. You have to do it in a way that is mindful of their own needs for development, but those things can be reconciled and they have to be reconciled or else there’s no way to deal with the problem.
MR. TONER: Okay, just a couple more questions.
QUESTION: On the difference between associating with the accord and commitments for the accord –
MR. STERN: Yeah.
QUESTION: — Yvo de Boer earlier, a few weeks ago, said that there – that the January 31 was a soft deadline. Are – do you know what the number of countries is that have made commitments for the accord?
MR. STERN: Yeah. Well, I mean, I know that Yvo said that, but the reality is that the countries who were expected to make those commitments did so by January 31st. I think somebody might have been February 1st, but basically it was done by January 31st. And those countries are the developed – all developed countries, so U.S., Europe, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, et cetera; and the major developing countries, so that’s China, India, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia. Korea and Mexico are kind of in a halfway house, but they’re still traditionally considered developing. And there are some additional countries. I don’t have them at the – at my fingertips. There’re some additional countries that would not necessarily be considered majors but who nonetheless did step forward and make their own commitments with respect to actions.
So that piece of it is basically, in terms of meeting the deadline, that got done. That’s done.
QUESTION: Okay.
MR. STERN: So now we’re just in the world of what countries are going to be reflected as part of the Copenhagen Accord.
QUESTION: Okay. And in relation to that, what are the next steps in the accord process?
MR. STERN: Well, there’s —
QUESTION: — leading on to COP (inaudible)?
MR. STERN: Yes. So there were these two steps we’ve already just talked about, the making your commitments and the associating, which is – that part – not quite over yet. Beyond that, there are a number of elements in the accord that, by their terms, need further elaboration. So it calls for a global fund. All right, well, then you need to set up – set the fund up. You need to – there’s a structure, there’s mechanics, how the fund will work. It calls for technology mechanism. All right, what does it look like? Does it look this way or this way or how – what is it – what are the elements of the mechanism?
A very important provision about transparency, including with respect to developing countries, including with respect to actions they take on their own as opposed to just actions they take when they’re funded. Very important stuff there. And in paragraph five of the accord, it talks about further guidelines to spell out those transparency provisions. Okay, that needs to get done. So there are probably four or five elements of the accord that need further work, and I think that that – that those things need to be carried forward. The first piece of that that got announced was a high-level panel or group, advisory group, I think it’s called, on financing that Ban Ki-moon announced just Friday.
QUESTION: (Off-mike.)
MR. STERN: That’s under – I think it’s paragraph nine of the accord that talks about setting up a high-level panel to do a study on potential sources of income toward realizing that goal of $100 billion by 2020. All right. So they’ve now announced that panel. I think there’s a couple of members from different countries, including ours, that haven’t been announced yet. But that’s underway and there’ll be other elements of that that I think as time goes on will get – will be – will get underway as well.
MR. TONER: Any more questions? Go ahead.
QUESTION: We’ve heard that several companies – BP, Conoco, and Caterpillar – dropped out of the Climate Action Partnership. I’m wondering if you can talk specifically about that, if you know about it. Is it a blow to that side of the equation? And more specifically, how do you feel that business is – I mean, do you think that there is some concern that business interest in this whole process is waning?
MR. STERN: I don’t know anything about that – about the specifics, so I’m not going to comment on that. I think – it’s interesting. I think that overall business interest and focus on this issue is growing gradually and that that will continue, because whatever the ups and downs of this process at any particular moment, there is only one direction that this process can go, which is in the direction of action to reduce emissions. I hope we get there – I very much hope we get there sooner rather than later and we will be doing everything we possibly can to advance that goal. But whether it’s sooner or later, it’s coming. Businesses get that. Businesses need to plan for not just – businesses don’t drive by looking right over the head of the car, they look down the road, and this is coming. So I think that that will grow.
Thank you.

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2010 Goldman Sachs Making Up To $1B Investment in Renewable Energy

In agriculture, biofuel, Biotechnology, cleantech, construction, Energy, entrepreneur, Environment, finance, greentech, investment, Solar, Sustainable, Venture Capital on February 11, 2010 at 3:36 am

Goldman Sachs Environmental Policy Framework

In mid- January (see Bloomberg) Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said that shortages will reappear in the crude oil market as supply fails to keep pace with a recovery in demand. Global oil consumption will return to levels seen before the financial crisis by the third quarter of this year, Goldman analyst Jeffrey Currie said in a presentation in London.  At the same time, projects to bring new oil to consumers are still lagging as a result of the credit crunch, he said. By 2011, the market is back to capacity constraints…The financial crisis created a collapse in company returns which has significantly interrupted the investment phase.”

Goldman Sachs is aggressively seeking market making opportunities in environmental markets. The policy framework that they have laid out explains both their investment strategy and an underlying commitment to protect the environment and indigenous populations. Their specific interests in wind, water, solar, alternative biofuels and sustainable forestry related products are detailed below along with references to existing partnerships and hints of future commitments.

Goldman Sachs “seeks to make a significant positive contribution to climate change, sustainable forestry and ecosystem services through market-based solutions.”

In their own words-  Goldman Sachs’ core competencies include

Goldman Sachs will aggressively seek market making and investment opportunities in the environmental markets described below.

These are Goldman Sachs’ stated objectives:

  1. They intend to be  a leading U.S. wind energy developer and generator through their recently acquired subsidiary, Horizon Wind Energy (f.k.a. Zilkha Renewable Energy).
  2. They will make available up to $1 billion to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
  3. They will evaluate opportunities and, where appropriate, encourage the development of and participate in markets for water, biodiversity, forest management, forest-based ecosystems, and other ecosystem features and services.
  4. They will continue to devise investment structures for renewable energy and invest alongside our energy clients, such as our wind energy partnership with Shell Wind Energy and our solar energy fund with BP Solar.
  5. They will explore investment opportunities in renewable and/or cleaner burning alternative fuels such as renewable diesel (such as our investment in Changing World Technologies), ethanol and biomass.
  6. They will seek to make investments in, and create financing structures to assist in the development and commercialization of, other environmentally friendly technologies.

Equator Principles

The Equator Principles serve as a framework for determining, assessing, and managing environmental and social risk in project financing, based on the policies of the World Bank and its private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation. Goldman Sachs will seek to apply the general guidelines to debt and equity underwriting transactions, to the initiation of loans and to investment banking advisory assignments where the use of proceeds is specified to be used for potentially

Goldman Sachs says that they will not knowingly finance

  • Any project or initiate loans where the specified use of proceeds would significantly convert or degrade a critical natural habitat.
  • Extractive projects or commercial logging in World Heritage sites.ii
  • Companies or projects that collude with or are knowingly engaged in illegal logging
  • Projects that contravene any relevant international environmental agreement which has been enacted into the law of, or otherwise has the force of law in, the country in which the project is located.

Goldman Sachs prefers to

  • Only finance preservation and light, nonextractive use of forest resources for projects in forests whose high conservation values are endangered.iii
  • Develop due diligence procedures around key environmental issues for use in evaluating potential financings.
  • Protect the highest conservation values in forests with respect to its execution of financings in the logging and forest products industries.
  • Use a Forest Stewardship Council or a comparable certification when they finance forestry projects that impact high conservation value forests.
  • Examine whether clients process, purchase, or trade wood products from high risk countries and will encourage such clients to have certifiable systems in place to ensure that the wood they process, purchase or trade comes from legal sources.
  • Provide training, as appropriate, to our employees on environmental issues and practices.
  • Develop training sessions and provide the tools necessary to make informed decisions.
  • Finance projects in indigenous areas where free, prior informed consultation results in support of the project by the affected indigenous peoples.

US DOE International Solar Decathlon 2009 Winners & 2011 Rules

In building, cleantech, construction, Energy, entrepreneur, Environment, greentech, investment, maintech, Science, Solar, Sustainable, Technology, technology transfer, Venture Capital on February 10, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Video: Pentagon commits to use biofuels- Secretaries Vilsack and Mabus Onboard

In agriculture, biofuel, Biotechnology, cleantech, Energy, entrepreneur, Environment, finance, greentech, investment, maintech, Power Grid, Science, Sustainable, Technology, technology transfer, Venture Capital on February 6, 2010 at 3:16 pm

The Secretaries of Agriculture and the Navy were at the Pentagon in January 2010, showing their commitment to going green. Secretaries Vilsack and Mabus signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing the two departments to work together to develop biofuels.

In November of 2009- Rear Admiral Phil Cullom spoke plainly at the MIT Innovations Journal event co-organized by Bolton Hill Consulting at the National Academies of Science. The message was clear. The U.S. Navy has a long-standing commitment to the use of biofuels because it makes economic sense. The Navy is the largest consumer of biofuel in the United States. Rear Admiral Cullom controls a 21 Billion dollar budget. He attests that the Navy has used cutting edge clean technology for a long time to save money, increase access to domestic fuel sources and promote American innovation. The talk he gave at this event was riveting because not only is he interested in the topic- he is extremely well-educated (nuclear engineer & Harvard business graduate among other things), well spoken and highly committed to the use of biofuels in multiple contexts. Listen to him in his own words below.

Video provided by Allan Tone at ProVDN

Eye on Algae making biofuel: LS9, Algenol, Algae Systems, Martek Biosciences, Solozyme

In agriculture, Bioscience, Biotechnology, cleantech, Energy, Environment, greentech, investment, Science, Sustainable, Venture Capital on February 4, 2010 at 10:13 am

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Five companies we should watch on the development of biofuel from Algae: LS9 and Solazyme in S. San Francisco, Algae Systems, Algenol in Florida and Martek Biosciences in Maryland. These companies are partnering with government and private industry to make strides in plant based fuels that can be produced locally with no toxic emissions.

1) LS9

Biofuels startup LS9 Inc. bought its first demonstration facility to create renewable petroleum.

The South San Francisco-based startup said Wednesday 2-3-10 that it bought the Okeechobee, Fla., factory for $2 million out of bankruptcy though it had been valued at $80 million. The plant, which was formerly used to convert animal waste into feed, will be retrofitted over 6 months to accommodate LS9’s production process, which produces fuel from raw materials in a one-step fermentation process.

CEO Bill Haywood said the company explored several options including renting existing facilities with fermentation equipment and building a new plant and intended to try and purchase fermenting equipment when it stumbled on the factory.

The company said it can produce 50,000 to 100,000 gallons of renewable diesel for its demonstration phase, but could also retrofit the factory into a full-scale commercial plant. “The real thing I’m most excited about is speed — our ability to scale up quickly and bring this incredible technology to the market very quickly,” Haywood said.

Finding facilities to demonstrate fuel technology at commercial scale is challenging and expensive for biofuels startups. Companies including Solazyme, Zeachem and Amyris Biotechnologies got a boost from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which doled $600 million in biofuels grants. But LS9 was excluded.

2) Algae Systems in cooperation with NASA

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Algae Systems is a new company dedicated to commercializing a novel method for growing microalgae offshore as a biofuel feedstock. This approach, developed by a diverse team of scientists and engineers at the NASA Ames Research Center, is called the Algae OMEGA System.

NASA invented an algae photo-bioreactor that grows algae in municipal wastewater to produce biofuel and a variety of other products. The NASA bioreactor is an Offshore Membrane Enclosure for Growing Algae (OMEGA), which won’t compete with agriculture for land, fertilizer, or freshwater.
NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., licensed the patent pending algae photo-bioreactor to Algae Systems, LLC, Carson City, Nev., which plans to develop and pilot the technology in Tampa Bay, Florida. The company plans to refine and integrate the NASA technology into biorefineries to produce renewable energy products, including diesel and jet fuel.

“NASA has a long history of developing very successful energy conversion devices and novel life support systems,” said Lisa Lockyer, deputy director of the New Ventures and Communication Directorate at NASA Ames. “NASA is excited to support the commercialization of an algae bioreactor with potential for providing renewable energy here on Earth.”

The OMEGA system consists of large plastic bags with inserts of forward-osmosis membranes that grow freshwater algae in processed wastewater by photosynthesis. Using energy from the sun, the algae absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and nutrients from the wastewater to produce biomass and oxygen. As the algae grow, the nutrients are contained in the enclosures, while the cleansed freshwater is released into the surrounding ocean through the forward-osmosis membranes.

“The OMEGA technology has transformational powers. It can convert sewage and carbon dioxide into abundant and inexpensive fuels,” said Matthew Atwood, president and founder of Algae Systems. “The technology is simple and scalable enough to create an inexpensive, local energy supply that also creates jobs to sustain it.”

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3) Martek Biosciences in cooperation with BP:

Martek Biosciences is applying its expertise in developing nutritional products from algae and other microbial sources to produce biofuels.

The Columbia company announced a multiyear agreement with British global energy giant BP to convert sugar into biodiesel. Martek and BP plan to establish proof-of-concept for large-scale, cost-effective microbial biodiesel production through fermentation. BP committed to spending up to $10 million on the collaboration’s first phase.

“Martek is pleased to partner with BP’s Alternative Energy team, to combine our unique algae-based technologies and intellectual property for the creation of sustainable and affordable technology for microbial biofuel production,” said Steve Dubin, Martek CEO, in statement. “BP’s global leadership and commitment to alternative energy solutions complements Martek’s own commitment to responsible and sustainable products and production.”

“As an alternative to conventional vegetable oils, we believe sugar to diesel technology has the potential to deliver economic, sustainable and scaleable biodiesel supplies,” said Philip New, CEO of BP Biofuels. “In partnering with Martek, we combine the world’s leading know-how in microbial lipid production with our expertise in fuels markets and applications, and our more recent experience in biofuels production and commercialization.”

4. Solazyme in cooperation with Chevron

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Solazyme, Inc. is the leading renewable oil and bioproducts company. It was rated as the #1 Hot Company by Biofuels Digest for 2009 – 2010.  The company uses algal biotechnology to renewably produce clean fuels, chemicals, foods and health science products. Solazyme’s advanced and proprietary technology uses algae to produce oils and biomaterials in standard fermentation facilities quickly, cleanly, cost effectively and at large scale.

Solazyme And Chevron Technology Ventures Have a Biodiesel Feedstock Development And Testing Agreement

South San Francisco, Calif – January 22, 2008 – Solazyme, a synthetic biology company pioneering the clean and sustainable bioproduction of fuels, industrial chemicals and specialty ingredients from marine microbes, today announced that it has signed a biodiesel feedstock development and testing agreement with Chevron Technology Ventures, a division of Chevron U.S.A. Inc.

“Building a relationship with Chevron Technology Ventures is an important step toward commercialization of Solazyme’s technology which fits cleanly into Chevron’s existing refining and fuels distribution infrastructure.” said Jonathan Wolfson, chief executive officer of Solazyme.

Using a proprietary protected process that optimizes algal oil production, Solazyme is producing high-value, functional oils that can be leveraged across a wide variety of industries and applications including biodiesel, biojet and other biofuels. Solazyme has developed an industrial scale fermentation process currently capable of producing thousands of gallons of algal oil using standard industrial equipment. In addition, Solazyme has plans to dramatically expand production in 2008.

Solazyme has produced a variety of renewable algal oil and materials based products including:

  • biodiesel that meets ASTM D6751, EN 14214, and U.S. Military specifications
  • renewable diesel that meets ASTM D975
  • renewable jet fuel that meets all 11 key tested criteria for ASTM D1655 (Jet-A1)

5. Algenol Biofuels

Algenol’s prototype production strains can produce ethanol at a rate of 6,000 gallons/acre/year, and are expected to improve to 10,000 gallons/acre/year by the end of 2009. With further refinement, the algae cells have the potential to increase production rates to 20,000 gallons/acre/year in the future. There are over 100,000 species of blue-green algae useable with rapid growth cycles, high photosynthesis efficiency, large sugar storage attributes that Algenol has access to in refining algae with its Direct to EthanolTM process. The algae are metabolically enhanced to produce ethanol while being resistant to high temperature, high salinity, and high ethanol levels, which were previous barriers to ramping to commercial scale volumes.

Algenol only uses algae strains that do not produce human toxins. In addition, the specific algae cells used cannot live in the environment found outside their Capture TechnologyTM contained sealed bioreactor.

Algenol will now move into a 43,000 square foot facility near Fort Myers, that in addition to serving as company headquarters will serve as a pilot production plant, producing 300,000 gallons of ethanol per year, or three times the production at the pilot plant being built in Freeport, Texas in partnership with Dow (a project which recently was awarded a $25 million grant by the DOE as one of 19 integrated biorefinery pilot and demonstration projects). CEO Paul Woods told local media that the company will move into its new facility by May and will commence production of ethanol by August. The project will bring 100 new jobs to Florida, including 50 transferred from the company’s labs in Baltimore.

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Department of Energy DOE: Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Peer Review Best Practices Workshop

In building, cleantech, Energy, entrepreneur, Environment, finance, greentech, maintech, Power Grid, Science, Solar, Sustainable, Technology, technology transfer, Venture Capital on January 27, 2010 at 11:10 pm

This Association of Public Land Grant Universities (APLU) sponsored event was designed to help DOE employees improve the grant review process. Had it been open to the public… it would have been of great interest to anyone trying to get government funding in the renewable energy arena.

It was a privilege to attend this event.

Jim Turner at the Association of Public Land Grant Universities (APLU) put on a stellar speaker panel and provided participants with the opportunity to meet the experts in the funding process. A select group of speaker presentations are listed below. One of the best featured speakers included D. Wayne Silby (Chair), Founding Chair of the Calvert Funds; Co-chair, Calvert Social Investment Foundation; Chair-elect and Principal, Syntao.com. Catherine Hunt, Dow, Director of Technology Collaboration Development was engaging and informative about finding practical solutions to industry problems.

The agenda and presentations are included below:

EERE Peer Review Best Practices Workshop
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
1307 New York Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20005
8:30 am Continental Breakfast

9:00 am Welcome : Peter McPherson, President, APLU

9:05 am Opening Remarks:Henry Kelly, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

9:15 am Keynote : Bill Bonvillian, Director of Federal Relations, MIT

9:45 am Peer Review Best Practices: Basic Science
Moderator: Jim Turner, Energy Programs, APLU

  • W. Lance Haworth, Director of Office of Integrative Activities, NSF
  • David T. George, Director, Office of Scientific Review, NIBIB, NIH
  • Linda Blevins, Senior Technical Advisor, Office of Science, DOE
  • Diana Jerkins, Interim Integrated Programs Director, Competitive Programs Unit, NIFA, USDA

11:15 am Peer Review Best Practices: Applied Research and Technology Development
Moderator: JoAnn Milliken, EERE

  • Marc Stanley, Deputy Director, NIST
  • Arun Majumdar, Director, ARPA-E
  • Julie A. Christodoulou, Director, Naval Materials Division, ONR
  • Lita Nelsen, Technology Licensing Office, MIT

12:30 pm Lunch

1:00 pm Peer Review Best Practices: Private Sector and Academic
Moderator: Jim Turner, Energy Programs, APLU

  • Catherine Hunt, Dow, Director of Technology Collaboration Development
  • Supratik Guha, Senior Manager, Semiconductor Materials and Devices,
  • Thomas J. Watson Research Center, IBM
  • Wayne Silby, Chairman, Calvert Special Equities
  • Mike Witherell, Vice Chancellor for Research, University of California at Santa Barbara and former head of Fermilab

2:15 pm Alternate Approaches to Peer Review

  • Ken Gabriel, Deputy Director, DARPA
  • Doug Comstock, Director, Innovative Partnerships Program, NASA

3:00 pm Public Comment Period

:: EERE Peer Review Best Practices Workshop Agenda
:: EERE Peer Review Best Practices Workshop Speaker Bios
Powerpoint Presentations
  1. :: Henry Kelly, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary,
  2. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
  3. :: W. Lance Haworth, Director of Office of Integrative Activities, NSF
  4. :: Linda Blevins, Senior Technical Advisor, Office of Science, DOE
  5. :: Diana Jerkins, Interim Integrated Programs Director, Competitive Programs Unit, NIFA, USDA
  6. :: Marc Stanley, Deputy Director, NIST
  7. :: Julie A. Christodoulou, Director, Naval Materials Division, ONR

Clean Energy Week Events 2010 in Washington DC

In cleantech, Energy, Environment, greentech, Power Grid, Solar, Sustainable, Technology on January 25, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Complete list of events: http://www.cleanenergyweek.org/schedule.php

National Coalition of Organizations Create Clean Energy Week, Washington DC — February 1st – 5th, 2010

Organizations nationwide are joining together to maximize efforts to move clean energy to the forefront of national policy. Officially declaring February 1-5, 2010 as Clean Energy Week, a growing list of partners are working together to produce a high-impact week of powerful and effective activities and events.

Clean Energy Week, February 1-5, highlights:

  • February 1: Clean Energy Week Press Conference – Presented by ACORE, Alliance to Save Energy, and the Clean Economy Network. National Press Club, Holeman Room, 9:30am
  • February 1-5: NASEO State Energy Policy and Technology Outlook Conference
  • February 2-3: Business Advocacy Day for Jobs, Climate & New Energy Leadership – Clean Economy Network and Ceres’ Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy. More Information
  • February 3-5: RETECH 2010 Conference & Exhibition, Washington DC Convention Center
  • February 4: Finance Education Day by the U.S. Partnership for Renewable Energy Finance (US PREF)
  • February 4: Clean Energy Breakfast Roundtable – with Special Hill Guest Speaker. 8am (Clean Technology & Sustainable Industries Organization, Clean Economy Network and K&L Gates). Please contact CTSI or community@ct-si.org for an invite. Free with Invite
  • February 4: Renewable Energy Interactive Webinar (World Team Now) – 2:30-4pm. For more information and to register. Free Webinar
  • February 4: Buy Clean Energy 2010 Program Launch (Center for Resource Solutions). More information available! – Open Opportunity
  • February 4: A cutting-edge feed-in tariff that has the potential to transform New York State into a leading center for renewable-energy investment and job creation will be discussed in a public forum at the Cooper Union’s Great Hall in NYC at 6:30 p.m. http://www.nyses.org
  • February 5: Opportunities and Challenges for Renewable Energy in Latin America and the Caribbean (Latin American and Caribbean Council on Renewable Energy – LAC-CORE, Washington Convention Center: For more information and to register. Free Event

Partners Include:

Time For Change: Reframing the Conversation on Energy & Climate

In Energy, Environment, Science, Solar, Sustainable on November 20, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Time 4 Change Reframing the Conversation on Energy & Climate.

Bolton Hill Consulting is helping plan “Time for Change: Reframing the Conversation on Energy and Climate” At the release of MIT’s Innovations journal special issue on energy & climate

Event Details:

Date: Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Time: 1:00 – 6:45PM (Event: 1-5:40PM; Reception: 5:45-6:45PM)
Place: The National Academy of Sciences, 2100 C Street, NW (21st and Constitution Avenue), Washington, DC 20001(Foggy Bottom Metro)
Cost: Free of charge – Register here

Event Description
The goal of this meeting is to contribute to reframing the conversation on energy and climate by illuminating opportunities inherent in the transition away from carbon intensity. The meeting will focus on how technologies already in use can be combined with common-sense policies and 21st century modes of organization to create jobs, advance innovation, and enhance international cooperation. The meeting will take place at the National Academy of Sciences and will engage leaders from business, government, and academia in a discussion of the societal possibilities inherent in the in the creation of climate solutions. The event is timed to take place two weeks before the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, and coincides with the release of the Innovations journal special issue on energy & climate titled “Energy for Change.” Led by the Science Adviser to the President of the United States, John Holdren, and informed by a year-long project on energy & climate at the National Academy of Sciences, the meeting will be organized into a set of forward-looking conversations respectively emphasizing opportunities for business, for the United States, and for the global community of nations.

Featured speakers include:

  • John Holdren, Science Adviser to the President of the United States and former Director of the Belfer Center’s Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program
  • Thomas Schelling, 2005 recipient of the Nobel Prize in economics
  • Bill Drayton, Founder and CEO of Ashoka, Innovators for the Public
  • Richard Meserve, President of the Carnegie Institution
  • Iqbal Quadir, Founder and Director of MIT’s Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship

World Bank Development Marketplace Climate Adaptation Grant Recipients to be Announced November 10-13, 2009

In agriculture, Bioscience, Biotechnology, cleantech, Environment, greentech, Science, Sustainable, Technology on October 20, 2009 at 12:27 pm

The Development Marketplace is a competitive grant program administered by the World Bank. The 2009 global competition is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and additional DM partners. It aims to identify 20 to 25 innovative, early-stage projects addressing climate adaptation.

Open to the public: this year’s Climate Adaptation Grant Recipients will be announced on Nov 10-13, 2009

Development Marketplace – DM2009 – Climate Adaptation.

In 2008- twenty-two project winners collected their crystal awards and grant checks in the 2008 Global Development Marketplace: Sustainable Agriculture for Development:

The winners came from Sub-Saharan Africa, South and East Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.  India, Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Cambodia, and Vietnam were each the home of two award winners.  Altogether, 15 countries and Sub-Saharan Africa as a region were represented.

The projects that made the final cut — from 1,800 applications that were winnowed down to 100 from 42 countries — promise to deliver a number of objectives and innovations to increase agricultural productivity, give farmers more land rights and link them to global markets, and, overall, reduce the deep poverty of rural regions in developing countries.

All the grants are $200,000 or less — but the World Bank Group and other funders of DM2008 see even the smallest projects having a catalyst effect on lagging agricultural development that has been undercutting gains in the global fight against poverty.

In her opening remarks, Katherine Sierra, Vice President of Sustainable Development at the World Bank, a DM2008 partner, complimented the winners on their “ambition and drive,” and said their innovation comes when it’s especially needed — amid the crisis of rising commodity prices.

“Today we meet to celebrate innovation,” said second speaker Monique Barbut, CEO of the Global Environment Facility, a competition partner.  “And the projects we are recognizing here do just that by supporting communities struggling with the agricultural challenges of the food price crisis.”

More compliments came from other speakers representing other partners — Mercy Karanja, Senior Program Officer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Albert Engel, Head, Division for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food at GTZ.

The winners that used technology are listed below: (listed by project, country, sponsoring organization, and objective):

1. Using Cassava Waste to Raise Goats, Nigeria, University of Agricultural, Abeokuta. To create a new market linking cassava producers and goat keepers through the introduction of a simple drying technology that will turn cassava waste into goat feed.  As a result, the project will increase farming incomes and reduce carbon dioxide wastes by eliminating the need to burn cassava waste.

2. Converting Rice Fields into Green Fertilizer Factories, Ecuador, Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL). To increase rice yields and reduce dependency on imported artificial nitrogen fertilizers through the re-introduction and cultivation of the Azolla Anabena plant as a biofertilizer.

3. Linking Coffee Farmers to Markets via Traceable Coffee, Sub-Saharan Africa, Pachama Coffee Cooperative of Small-scale coffee producers. To support small farmers to obtain a greater share of the value-added in coffee production through the introduction of an online tracking system that will allow end consumers to trace a specific coffee back to the level of the actual farm.

4. Mini Cold Storage Ventures, India, Tiruchirappalli Regional Engineering College- Science and Technology Entrepreneurs Park. To establish cold chain enterprises among trained youth using the latest technology in refrigeration adapted to the needs of small farmers.

5. Renewable Energy-Powered Milk Coolers, Uganda, University of Georgia, To test a reengineered milk cooling system to match the needs of smallholder dairy farmers, resulting in reduced post-harvest losses and increased farm income.

6. Micro-Franchising Scheme for Agricultural Services, Cambodia, International Development Enterprises Cambodia. To develop a sustainable micro-franchise enterprise to provide affordable horticulture services through private extension agents.

7. Açaí Production for Income Generation and Forest Protection, Brazil, Centro Ecológico. To provide technical services to a local cooperative of small scale farmers in the biodiversity-rich Atlantic Forests to harvest and market the açaí berry.

8. Value Chain Development for Textile Products, Mongolia, VSO. To increase the domestic value of livestock production through better marketing opportunities and services to raw material producers and processors.

9. Organoleptic Analysis to Improve Market Access for Cacao Growers, Ecuador, Conservación y Desarrollo. To equip cacao growers with access to chocolate making machinery so that they can better serve differentiated markets and improve the quality of their product.

10. Ancient Cocoa: Modern Genomics Methods Benefiting Small Farmers, Trinida and Tobago, Bioversity International. To enhance the cocoa value chain by facilitating the identification of more profitable trace cocoa cultivars using modern genomics methods.

11. Riverbed Farming for Landless Households in Nepal, Nepal, Helvetas. To facilitate the use of leasing arrangements for landless households to gain access to unused dry riverbeds for off-season cultivation of horticultural produce.

12. Collective Land Ownership Model for Women, India, Manav Seva Sansthan “SEVA.” To demonstrate the effectiveness of a collective land ownership model that provides women secured land holdings necessary for them to adopt more profitable modern farming practices.

13. Legal Aid for Farmers’ Land Rights, China, Rural Development Institute. To create the first legal aid center in China devoted to farmers’ agricultural land rights.

14. Land Ownership for the Rural Poor in Mexico, Mexico, Agros International.To create two sustainable farming communities in Chiapas through the long-term lease of land and provision of integrated technical services to landless farmers.

15. Producing Biofuel from Indigenous Non-Edible Nuts, Tanazania, Africa Biofuel and Emission Reduction Ltd. To cultivate and sell an indigenous oil-seed for biofuel from the Croton tree, creating a new, sustainable cash crop for smallholder farmers.

16. Locally Produced Biofuel Outboard Motor, Senegal, Mission Goorgoorlu. To introduce along Senegal’s waterways an affordable and environmentally friendly mode to transport agriculture products to market. The project is using traditional vessels powered by a locally produced biofuel outboard motor fueled by processed indigenous oil seeds.

17. Agricultural Cooperatives for Biodiversity Conservation, Cambodia, Wildlife Conservation Society. To pilot Cambodia’s first market for payment for environmental services generated from agriculture using a “Wildlife-friendly” branding and marketing strategy.

18. Reducing Impacts of Ranching on Biodiversity, Mexico, Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda. To pilot a payment scheme for a “gourmet” menu of integrated environmental services generated from intensive cattle operations in the biodiversity-rich area of San Antonio Tancoyol.

19. Sustaining Nitrogen-Efficient Rice Production, Vietnam, University of Sydney. To establish an integrated production-supply-extension chain to ensure a reliable biofertilizer product that reduces chemical contamination and increases yields.

20. Low-Cost Housing: Waste Rice Straw Construction Panels, Vietnam, Vinh Sang Ltd. To create a sustainable enterprise that manufactures kits for affordable environmentally sustainable housing made from recycled straw waste in the Mekong Delta.

22. Payment for Ecosystem Services and Sustainable Agriculture, Paraguay, Organization of American States. To implement in three pilot sites a menu of agro-forestry practices combined with a scheme of Payments for Ecosystem Services. This will be the first application of Paraguay’s Law of Ecosystem Services in the context of a rural farm economy.