October has been–and continues to be–a big month for All Power Labs.
As those who’ve been involved in this for a long while know, one of the biggest challenges in gasification is simply getting people to know it exists. We keep chipping away at this invisibility–as you can see in the events below–and plan more chipping around the upcoming COP21 climate meetings in Paris in December. More on our plans to shout “gasification + biochar = carbon negative energy” in a very crowded room in Paris coming up shortly.
In the interim, here’s what October looked like around APL.
First: OEM Workshop
First came our GEK Gasifier OEM workshop ten days ago.These gatherings of gasification enthusiasts from around the world have always been a major part of APL, and always produce a highly interesting collection of people–and this was no exception. Almost two dozen people from around the world traveled to Berkeley for a highly focused workshop on how Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) can build local products on top of the core APL technology.
APL believes OEM partnerships will be a major vehicle for scaling our technology, and the workshop was our opportunity to explore the technical and business particulars for how such a OEM partnership might work. We were very pleased about the learning in both directions, as well as the specific partnerships that were set in motion.
Out of the workshop we’ve signed three MOUs for joint development or deployment in different regions around the world, for a total of four major MOU’s this month. We also learned about a remarkable project that will be using our Power Pallets to drive mobile sanitation units for refugee camps in the Middle East. We are now planning our next workshops, including perhaps one in Europe in the spring. Please let us know if you would be interested in joining us.
Then: APL showcases Power Pallet at the White House in Washington, DC
Now here’s something you don’t see every day:
That was the scene on Thursday, when APL CEO Jim Mason presented at the White House Forum on Off Grid Energy Access in Washington, DC. This was a gathering of companies working in the energy access space, as well as policy administrators and capital investors–all seeking to coordinate and accelerate the deployment of renewables for developing world electrification. While one always fears these government gatherings will be self-congratulatory rituals of little action, this one was highly useful for the companies brought together, and the specific initiatives that were launched. Real work was done connecting companies and products, as well as matching them with new projects and programs not previously seen.
APL left highly invigorated by what is happening at the intersection of energy access and climate work. We were very very impressed by the seriousness of US Government efforts to enable it at the programmatic level. It appears APL will be visiting Washington much more frequently in the near future….
The Obama administration summary of the event, along with a listing of all the companies and organizations present, is available in the press release here.
We were joined by our board member Dr. Dan Kammen, known for his work founding the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at UC Berkeley, and for his work as an author on the IPCC report since 1999. Dr. Kammen was announcing new research on the impacts of remote renewable energy, as well as the powerful new film Time To Choose, by Oscar winner Charles Ferguson, in which he appears and for which another board member, Tom Dinwoodie, served as executive producer.
We also got a chance to meet with top officials at USAID, the World Bank, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, as well as chat with the Prime Minister of Benin, about our new project there (see below). It was a tremendous affirmation of our work to date, and opportunity to build the foundation for scaling the reach of our technology.
Up next–all this week, APL live at the VERGE conference, in San Jose.
For the third year in a row, APL will be powering a hybrid micro grid inside the cutting edge cleantech VERGE conference. This year the conference is being held in San Jose, October 26-29. (You can see a video about our microgrid from a couple years ago here.)
This year is a new location, and bigger crowd, and an even bigger microgrid. We’ll also be on a panel called “Putting micgrogrids to work to create resilient communities.”
If you’re in the area or attending already, we’d love to have you stop by and say hello.
In other news, report cites “enormous” bioeergy potential, benefits for rural energy access
Belatedly, we wanted to pass along a report we picked up earlier this summer. At the Sustainable Energy for All event at the UN in New York, the Alliance for Rural Electrification released a report highlighting the potential of biomass energy, and chose one of our projects to highlight as the lead success case study.
The report showcased the many benefits of using biomass for energy, saying “Biomass can greatly enhance electrification levels,” and “enormous opportunities abound for the electrification of rural areas utilizing sustainably produced bioenergy. It went on to say that energy from biomass”fit well into existing local structures, contribute to the betterment of education by improving electricity provision for schools, strengthen health by providing power to medical facilities and reduce indoor air pollution when used for cooking, as well as enhancing women’s participation in the community.” Couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
New APL projects commissioned in Thailand, Benin, Philippines
We have also been remiss updating on our most recent projects. One we especially enjoyed and are excited by what is to come is the Songhai Center in Benin. They received four Power Pallets this summer, part of a broad electrification and educational effort. The Songhai Center is one of Africa’s leading training and education centers, truly a remarkable place. We’re thrilled to be adding to their research and demonstration efforts, and broadening access to affordable, renewable energy in Africa.
As always, thank you for your continued interest in our work in biomass gasification. If you would like to learn more about a particular topic, or discuss your potential project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.