For those in the United States who caught the President’s address to a joint session of Congress last night, you know that alternative energy is a big part of the new administration’s agenda. No matter where you are on the political spectrum, there seems to be recognition that more diverse energy sources are a good thing. The arguments tend to be about the role the federal government should play or not play in the path forward.
I mention all this because process manufacturers play a large role in the development and production of alternative energy sources–both here in the U.S. and globally. As a supplier of process automation equipment and expertise to these manufacturers, Emerson also plays a large role.
Our alternative energy industry team, led by director, Al Novak, is holding three Alternative Fuels / BioRefinery Summits over the next few months. The first one will be held March 19th in Denver, Colorado, with a reception on the evening of the 18th.
The purpose of the summit is to bring together manufacturers engaged in the development and production of alternative fuels, investors, academia, policy makers, and the Emerson alternative energy industry team in conversation to discuss the technical, commercial and legislative challenges facing these producers. The summit’s focus is to address the:
…challenge of translating alternative fuels technology into large-scale production of renewable and eco-friendly transportation fuels or energy for refineries, chemical plants, pulp mills, and other industries.
From the event flyer, the topics covered will include:
- Government perspective on the importance of bioenergy
- Feedstock availability/sustainability
- Process and feedstock research methodologies
- Pilot plant to production scale up
- Governmental and legislative support for alternative fuels development
- Best practices in project implementation
- Role of automation technologies in risk mitigation and schedule optimization
In addition to Al, some of the speakers at the Denver summit include:
- T. Randall Fortenbery, director of the RENK Agribusiness Institute at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, who will discuss feedstock challenges for advanced biorefineries
- Daniel P. Goldman, executive vice president and chief financial officer for GreatPoint Energy, Inc., who will share a case study on process commercialization of new technologies
- Michael McAdams, director of the Advanced Biofuels Coalition, who will address legislative impacts on second-generation biorefinery development
I wanted to pass this information along (registration here), in case you are part of this industry sector and want to join this conversation, as the U.S. and other nations move down the path of increased alternative fuels production.
Update: I just received word that there’s a great post on the gas2.0 blog, Emerson Process Management’s Alan Novak Sets Optimistic Tone for Advanced Biofuels Industry that gives more of Al’s thoughts on assembling great minds from many perspectives around advanced biofuels.