As Donald Trump famously said, “As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big.” That certainly seems to apply to what we’re doing in clean energy, doesn’t it? It’s really not smart to apply time and effort to projects that don’t scale.
Consider for a moment, municipal solid waste, as a component of the biomass wedge. 130 millions tons of MSW are converted annually into energy and other useful products, in an industry that will reach $29 billion by 2015. Yet this is a minute fraction of the total MSW generated by our worldwide population.
And here’s a useful point to keep in mind: the disposal of MSW constitutes a significant problem — especially for the world’s most densely populated cities. Imagine you’re chartered with the responsibility to deal with MSW in a population center like Shanghai, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangkok, Beijing, Seoul, or Mexico City. Think of the issues that all conspire against you: land scarcity, air and water pollution, disease, odor, and the expense of logistics.
But then, realize that you’re sitting on a fortune! You have tens of thousands of tons a day of energy-rich biomass that, with the right equipment, can be converted to energy – some combination of electricity and liquid fuels, as well as other valuable products — and sold back to a huge population of energy-starved people, all living and working within a short distance.
As it turns out, one of our 2GreenEnergy clients just sent me a 61-page feasibility study they completed in one of the mega-cities I just mentioned. It calls for the deployment of a patented waste-to-energy technology to convert 3000 tons of MSW per day into 130 megawatts of electricity plus ancillary products. Strategic partners, including one of the five largest engineering/construction companies on Earth, are ready to start the 14 month build process; and a 25-year power purchase agreement is solidly in place, signed off at the highest level of government.
My job, as usual, is to round up investors. Between debt and equity, the total project cost is about $400 million, and the IRR numbers (return rate) look quite attractive. If you know of anyone who might be interested and can invest at that level, I hope you’ll let me know.
I think “The Donald” is quite correct here: If you have to think, you might as well think big.