The saying "if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" is an appropriate metaphor for the approach to CO2 emissions reductions recently. The "nail" of CO2 emissions, it is believed, can only be addressed by the "hammer" of regulations to bury, sequester or otherwise get rid of the waste.
A new crop of algae technologies can flip this approach on its head by converting CO2 into valuable commodities for trillion dollar industries, thus turning a problem -- the high cost of compliance -- into an opportunity -- an ongoing revenue stream.
Algae digest CO2 as they grow, returning clean oxygen to the environment while they produce oils and proteins. These oils and proteins can be used in the production of transportation fuels, animal feed, chemicals and food products. The more CO2 algae can consume, the faster they grow. As such, the US algae industry has a vested interest in obtaining as much CO2 as possible.
By co-locating algae production facilities at coal or gas fired power plants and onsite at other industrial emitters, they can become customers for waste CO2. One such demonstration facility, using CO2 from a coal fired power plant, has already been built in
By monetizing waste CO2 emissions, energy companies can, at minimum, offset the cost of compliance with regulations and thus avoid ratepayer impact. Depending on the size of the power plant, some could create an annual revenue stream that returns a profit. In either case, the CO2 will be producing commodities that create jobs at the plant and downstream, helping to create economic development in their communities and elsewhere.
Beneficial utilization of CO2 is the only option to turn the market forces and economics of waste CO2 into a ROI-driven, growth industry that will turn a huge problem into an economic opportunity. In doing so, we can achieve a rare trifecta -- the reduction of emissions, the creation of jobs and economic development across the country, and a contribution to our food and energy security.
John WilliamsScoville Public Relations for ABO 206-625-0075 x1 firstname.lastname@example.org