Sixth Annual Algae Biomass Summit Kicks Off with National Security Message from Senator Mark Udall
Strategic and economic need for commercial production of food, feed and fuel from algae dominates discussions on Day One
DENVER (September 25, 2012) The 2012 Algae Biomass Summit, the official conference of the Algae Biomass Organization (ABO), officially opened yesterday afternoon in Denver with a keynote address by Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) that emphasized the strategic imperative of developing a national industry that can produce cost-competitive domestic biofuels from feedstocks such as algae.
The Senator’s comments to a packed conference hall referred to the potential that a commercial biofuel industry has for the strategic priorities of the nation’s military. Senator Udall listed a series of costs the military pays for a reliance on fossil fuels, from budget strains every time the price of gas goes up, to delays in readiness or the pressures associated with securing fuel supplies in politically unstable regions.
“Nobody understands this better than the troops on the ground,” said Udall, before noting that one in 50 supply convoys end in a U.S. casualty.
To the applause of an audience of more than 700 attendees Senator Udall announced his strong support for the efforts of the Department of Defense (DOD) to accelerate the commercial production of advanced biofuels. Noting the DOD’s long history of supporting technologies that later had enormous impacts outside military applications such as radar, GPS, and flat screen TV’s, Senator Udall told attendees that he would support pro-biofuel provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act and other legislation.
“The facts and the future are on our side,” said Udall, before encouraging the entrepreneurs, researchers, algae producers and end-users attending the Summit to keep pushing the algae industry’s development at all levels.
Following the Senator’s remarks, several algae business leaders discussed the latest trends that are shaping a dynamic and growing industry, including the new facilities that have opened in the past 12 months and plans to dramatically increase production over the next few years. Executives at Sapphire Energy, BioProcess Algae, Cellana, Heliae, and Algenol described their companies’ milestones toward commercial production of the many products that can be derived from algae.
The summit will continue through Thursday afternoon. Information on the event, including a full agenda is available at http://algaebiomasssummit.org. Ongoing developments can also be monitored via the Twitter hashtag #ABS12.
The Summit comes at a time when industry is increasingly looking for new sources of sustainable raw materials—feedstock—for a wide range of end-uses. Products made from algae are the natural solution to the energy, food, economic, and climate challenges facing the world today. Algae have the power to simultaneously put fuels in vehicles, recycle CO2, provide nutrition for animals and people and create jobs for millions of Americans without harmful impacts on freshwater supplies or valuable agricultural land. More information can be found at www.allaboutalgae.com.
About the ABO
The Algae Biomass Organization (ABO) is a 501 c(6) non-profit whose mission is to promote the development of viable commercial markets for renewable and sustainable commodities derived from algae. Its membership is comprised of people, companies and organizations across the value chain. More information about ABO, including its leadership, membership, costs, benefits and members and their affiliations, is available at the website: www.algaebiomass.org.