IBERDROLA has presented today the first edition of the Perseo Awards, which are designed to promote research in the energy sector through support for state-of-the-art initiatives that may help address future challenges in this field.
The ceremony, which was held at the Company's headquarters in Madrid, was attended by the General Secretary for Innovation, Juan Tomás Hernani, the Chief Executive Officer of IBERDROLA RENOVABLES, Xabier Viteri, the Manager for Non-energy Businesses of IBERDROLA, Pedro Velasco, and the Innovation, Environment and Quality Manager of IBERDROLA, Agustín Delgado.
For this first edition of the awards the Company has established two categories: CO2 capture and storage and clean combustion technologies, where Westec Environmental Solutions (United Kingdom) was selected as the winner and Carbozyme (New Jersey) won the second prize, and energy storage technologies aimed at electrical grid use, where the winner was Bright Energy Storage Technologies (Colorado) and the second prize went to Ecovoltz (California).
The winners were selected by the Investment Committee of the Perseo Fund(*), through which the Company is looking into the possibility of taking a stake in the winning companies, in which it could invest up to €4 million.
When making its decision, IBERDROLA took into account the profile of the candidates and their experience, conducted a scientific assessment of the project from the point of view of innovation, and analysed its financial, environmental and social feasibility.
With these awards, the Company is seeking to promote business projects offering high technological and innovative value that involve a substantial advance in economic, environmental and social terms in relation to current solutions.
During the award presentation ceremony, the main advances of the companies in the Perseo investment portfolio were showcased, including marine technology developments (Hammerfest Strom and Oceantec Energías Marinas), microalgae biotechnology (AlgaEnergy), photovoltaic solar energy (Morgan Solar) and thermoelectric solar energy (Prometeo Energía Solar).
In addition, following the success of these prizes, IBERDROLA has announced the launch of the second edition of the Perseo Awards, which will be focused on the new energy products and services and biomass conversion technologies areas.
Initiatives awarded a prize by IBERDROLA
In the CO2 capture and storage and clean combustion category, Westec Environmental Solutions offers a CO2 absorption technology that uses smaller devices than the ones used currently, but equally effective and less expensive. This system applies to all industrial processes that require the transfer of a mass of gas/liquid through absorption, and has been designed to optimise the gas/liquid mass transfer processes in a huge variety of sectors and applications.
Carbozyme is now completing the development of its advanced carbon dioxide separation and capture system. This proprietary design uses liquid membranes offering high efficiency and low energy consumption to capture and separate the carbon dioxide from a wide variety of gas flows, with special emphasis on combustion gas.
The most important of the many potential applications of these two technologies is the capture of CO2 from combustion gas flues in electric power generation. In addition, these two technologies will help fight the increase in greenhouse gases and thus mitigate global warming.
In the category of energy storage aimed at electrical grid use, Bright Energy Storage Technologies submitted an initiative focused on a low-cost underwater energy storage system (BrightCAES). Wind power or surplus conventional energy is stored by compressing air in flexible containers at the bottom of a mass of water (sea, lakes, etc.); the air is released at peak hours to generate electricity.
Ecovoltz is developing an innovative low-cost flow battery. This company is exploring alternative chemistries in order to optimise costs and performance compared to the technologies available today.
This type of cutting-edge proposals for large-scale energy storage are fundamental for mass integration of renewable energies into the electrical grid, and improve the operation of the electrical system as a whole.