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National Algae Association Announces Speakers for Santa Fe Conference - National Algae Association Announces Speakers for its Algae Growing, Harvesting and Extraction Technologies Collaboration, Strategic Alliances and Networking Conference on August 1, at Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, New Mexico
National Algae Association Announces Speakers for Santa Fe Conference

 

NewswireToday - /newswire/ - The Woodlands, TX, United States, 2011/06/21 - National Algae Association Announces Speakers for its Algae Growing, Harvesting and Extraction Technologies Collaboration, Strategic Alliances and Networking Conference on August 1, at Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

   
 
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The partial agenda includes New Mexico State University and Santa Fe Community College, along with updates from NAA's Algae Oil Spec Committee, the USDA, New Solutions Energy, Waterwheel Factory, Solutions4CO2, MerckMillipore, CBO Financial and industry updates by Algae Industry Magazine and Emerging Markets Online. The day will end with a tour of New Solutions Energy’s Algae Base Station and SFCC’s new Trades and Advanced Technologies Center. We are disheartened to announce that NAABB has withdrawn its commitment to provide a briefing in Santa Fe on August 1. NAA Executive Director Barry Cohen commented,“We have invited the leadership of the DoE's Office of Biomass to present at NAA events since its inception and are amused by the number of 'family commitments' and vacations that coincide with the date(s) of our events, even when the invitations have gone out months in advance. We were looking forward to being able to offer a collaborative session with the NAABB and for our broad base of algaepreneurs to finally get the opportunity to see what our government is doing to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but when 31 team members claim to be otherwise committed, we have to wonder what the true mission of this consortium is, whether they are just not interested in collaborative efforts or if they have nothing to share. When it is more important for them to send our taxpayer dollars to an event in Brussels, Belgium than to Santa Fe, New Mexico, we can see the writing on the wall. And when they are not willing to travel less than an hour to brief the very taxpayers who are paying their salaries on the progress they claim to have made and results, we have to wonder what’s really going on. John Hofmeister, former president of Shell Oil Company, summed it up well when, in a recent CNN interview, he said that we need 'political permission' to get off of foreign oil. After over 50 years and over $2.5 billion in research, why do we now need permission?

“The volatility of the price of oil seems to tie to a renewed and growing interest among corporations in algae production for fuel and its co-products,” according to Cohen, “but I have concerns. As examples, Gevo, Amyris, and Solazyme have all been recipients of Department of Energy grant funds for alternative fuels and have each recently successfully held IPOs. All three companies, however, remain in the early stages of development. More importantly, all three have now targeted specialty chemicals — which yield higher prices — instead of fuel. While the quest for revenue is understandable, at some point they have to decide whether they are in it for the money or whether they are trying to create energy security. I would have thought that any investment by the Department of Energy would require a long-term commitment by the recipient to provide the US with energy security, but I was clearly wrong. While co-products may be financially attractive, algae producers must keep a focus on algae oil in their overall business plans. At the end of the day, we all want to be able to become energy independent, create jobs in America and strengthen national security, or so I thought.”

Cohen is encouraged by the number of technologies that are beginning to scale in growing, harvesting and extraction systems. “If a technology cannot scale out of a laboratory, it has no value. NAA is only interested in algae technologies that can scale to a minimum of 100 acres. We are constantly benchmarking and testing many different technologies to identifying what is scalable, and are actively working to help deployment of the ones we believe will be game changers in the industry.”

For more information visit nationalalgaeassociation.com/.

 
 
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National Algae Association Announces Speakers for Santa Fe Conference

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Publisher Contact: NationalAlgaeAssociation.com 
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