Government support to help commercialize renewable biopower technologies

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 5, 2003 — Having crossed the research and development stages, the commercialization of renewable biopower technologies in North America is now dependent on the financial incentives from government sources.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan ( ), North American Biomass and Waste-to-Energy Markets, reveals that this market generated revenues worth $350 million in 2003 and is likely to reach $1 billion in 2012.

“As institutional investors are reluctant to invest because of high upfront installation costs and lengthy periods for realizing returns, biopower owners are seeking financing from cooperatives, municipalities, counties, and companies specializing in renewable energies,” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Patricia Seifert.

Many of the promising biopower technologies consisting of pyrolysis, gasification, plasma gasification, and anaerobic digestion have a proven record in other fields such as nuclear waste management and waste-water treatment. The ability to demonstrate cost effectiveness and convince customers will be crucial for their feasibility and success in biopower generation.

These emerging technologies are also challenged by mature processes such as combustion and landfills that offer inexpensive waste management solutions.

“New technologies are likely to call the shots as they generate clean gas that can be used with highly efficient electricity production systems such as gas turbines, fuel cells, and micro-turbines,” says Seifert. “Along with this, the generation of many by-products such as bio-fertilizers, bio-oil, new tile and road materials are expected to provide additional revenues.”

New standards, legislation, and tax incentives will force strategic changes in several industries with respect to waste management which is likely to exert a positive influence on the market.

There will be widespread installation of biopower capacities as concerns increase over environmental pollution.

“Stringent greenhouse gas emission standards, high dependence on foreign energy sources, rising energy prices, and escalating transport cost and tipping fees for waste disposal will be of heightened concern,” says Seifert.

As the market evolves, companies that are able to offer one-stop solutions such as design to installation, maintenance, and financing of biopower projects are likely to capture substantial market share.

Frost & Sullivan is a global leader in strategic growth consulting and training. This ongoing growth opportunity analysis is part of the Power Generation Monitor Service, which also includes market insights on Hybrid Power Systems Markets and North American Power Plant Services Markets. Frost & Sullivan also offers custom growth consulting to a variety of national and international companies.

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