World Economic Forum: Bioenergy tops agenda

Biofuel companies debut among Tech Pioneers

(PresseBox) ( Davos, )
Davos, Switzerland, January 15, 2008 – Biofuel companies are among the winners at this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF). Biofuel specialist Primafuel will be awarded the coveted WEF Technoogy Pioneer Award, which in previous year was given mostly to Internet companies. The WEF expects the bioenergy subject to to be leading the agenda this year.

"In the energy/environment field, we have received many more applications than last year. What's interesting to see is that in the past, the great majority of these companies were working on batteries, solar solutions or wind energy, not biofuels. This year, biofuels are getting more interest from investors and entrepreneurs,“

says Rodolfo H. Lara, Head of Technology Pioneers and Knowledge Integration Center for Global Growth Companies Global Leadership Fellow.

Professor Christoph Frei, Senior Director, Energy Industries & Strategy at the World Economic Forum, adds:

“Biofuels have become the subject of a highly controversial discussion during which the potential positive contribution has recently been understated. It is important to understand that there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ biofuels and hence there is a need for splitting the wheat from the chaff and for making biofuels traceable through the supply chain. At the World Economic Forum and also in the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels, these issues find enormous interest and at the forthcoming Annual Meeting we have a number of large companies and Tech Pioneers in the Bioenergy field who want to work towards a bright bioenergy future.”

California-based Primafuel received the award for its innovative approach to biofuels production and distribution infrastructure. The award recognized Primafuel’s insistence on examining the entire fuel supply chain and its commitment to developing new low-carbon biofuels. The company’s modular infrastructure concept also gained praise from the awarding committee.

Primafuel was one of thirty-nine companies to be honoured with a WEF Technology Pioneer Award. WEF Technology Pioneer awards were given to companies developing and applying highly transformational and innovative technologies in the areas of energy, biotechnology, health, and IT. Technology Pioneers are selected for their development of life-changing technology innovations with the potential for long-term impact on business and society. In previous years, Internet companies took the spotlight among the technology innovators who earned the coveted award. This year however, climate concerns and peak oil make it likely that bioenergy companies will be in the front seat.

Along with collecting the award, Primafuel will use the WEF gathering to hold meetings with government, investment and technology representatives. “We look forward to continuing low-carbon policy and technology conversations with US, European Union and national representatives that we last held in Bali,” says Primafuel CEO Richard Woods, referring to Primafuel’s involvement in the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in December 2007.

“Receiving this award in Davos is a great way to start 2008,” continues Woods. “Later this year, we’ll be introducing new technologies to help improve the efficiency of operational ethanol plants. We also anticipate beginning construction on our state-of-the art biodiesel plant at the Port of Sacramento. We’ll also be active in helping California meet its new low-carbon initiative.”

Primafuel is active in globally strategic markets in the US, Europe and Asia. As part of its drive toward zero-carbon fuels, Primafuel’s infrastructure projects have earned accolades and awards from leading authorities such as the California Air Resources Board.

In addition to being invited to the WEF Annual Meeting in Davos, the WEF Technology Pioneer Award winners are also invited to the Annual Meeting of the New Champions that will be held in Tianjin, People’s Republic of China from September 25-27, 2008. The entire list of Technology Pioneers can be found here:

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