May 2010

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Business Briefs

Envirotek partners with GFE Global



As this map indicates, most states in the Southeast have shied away from adopting a renewable energy standard.

Southern Discomfort

By Anna Austin

To date, 29 U.S. states and the nation's capitol have adapted renewable energy standards, and the possibility of a national mandate is looming. The Southeast, however, seems to be lagging behind the rest of the country in implementing renewable energy policies.

The U.K.'s Department of Energy and Climate Change is considering adjustments to its biomass policies in response to numerous concerns from developers including inability to secure funding and inadequate subsidies for cofiring facilities.

As the biomass power industry grows, so do the organizations that seek to stop it. Opponents have been influential in postponing and even terminating plans for proposed plants, forcing developers to be more savvy in their pubic outreach.

Bioalgene Inc. is developing an algal carbon-capture project at this Boardman, Ore., coal-fired power plant. PHOTO: BIOALGENE INC.

Mitigation Mechanism

By Lisa Gibson

Using algae for carbon mitigation at power plants is gaining momentum but there is disagreement over whether it's the best or most efficient use of the resource.

Jimenez is pictured near a stand of agave. PHOTO: AGAVE PROJECT

Avant-Garde Agave

By Anna Austin

A group of researchers are touting agave, a plant traditionally used to produce tequila, as a revolutionary cellulosic ethanol feedstock.

Iowa State University's Plant Sciences Institute is genetically modifying Chlamydomonas, an alga whose genome is already mapped out. Algae start-ups have scoured the earth for attractive-high-oil or fast-growing-breeds. But researchers applying the manipulative power of biotechnology, through which multiple desirable traits can be stacked in the same strain, intend to create that which nature did not.

Despite being a late entrant to the world of biodiesel, Argentina has not only embraced the potential of this renewable energy, but also, through efficiency and innovation, is fast becoming a global standard-bearer for the sector. With growing demand in Europe and other countries such as China, as well as a vibrant domestic market, Argentina enjoys the best of both worlds, presenting huge opportunities for investors.


New York biomass study focuses on landowner choices and preferences in determining how much biomass can be grown and at what cost.

Biomass project developers can benefit by taking a closer look at the opportunities offered by the federal government in the cash grant program under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and USDA's Biomass Crop Assistance Program.

This is the second part of a two-part series. The first part detailed several scenarios in which intellectual property rights problems can arise. The second part is about the basic laws that affect third-party disclosures and tips regarding such disclosures.

Participation in the emerging biomass-to-energy industry requires knowledge of the origination, logistic, storage and handling challenges involved with the various biomass resources.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has sponsored the production of a guidebook to assist developers of biomass-power projects that produce less than 10 megawatts.

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