Carbon Trust Innovations – addressing market failures in the development of low carbon technologies

Posted in Conferences, Companies, Science on November 14, 2008

The Carbon Trust is a private company set up the by the UK government to combat the threat of anthropogenic climate change. It has a simple but profound mission: "to accelerate the move to a low-carbon economy by working with organisations to reduce carbon emissions and develop commercial low-carbon technologies". All of the Carbon Trust's activities derive directly from this statement. The Carbon Trust is also a company limited by guarantee: it has shareholders and can make profits but cannot distribute cash dividends. Those that invest in the company do so in expectation of return in the form of carbon savings, while any arising profits are recycled into the company's operations.

The Carbon Trust Innovations division develops low carbon technologies through partnerships, funding, expert advice and large-scale demonstrations. Its mandate is to provide targeted support for low carbon technology development using public funds, but always with the expectation of catalysing private sector follow-on investment. Innovations has been active in the UK for the last six years, with notable achievements in the marine energy, smart metering, micro-CHP, low carbon buildings and fuel cell sectors. This talk will provide a summary of the assessment frameworks, methods of intervention and future plans for Carbon Trust Innovations and should be useful to anyone with an interest in the role of technology in fighting climate change.

Speaker: Robert Trezona
Robert is responsible for all the Carbon Trusts investments in low-carbon research and development and has led the Advanced Bioenergy Accelerator initiative that was launched earlier this year with the Pyrolysis Challenge. Other areas of focus for the Carbon Trust are algal biofuels and novel routes from sugars.

Robert is a materials scientist by training, and has a First Class degree and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. He has five years experience as an engineer working on fuel cell technology with Johnson Matthey and then Ceres Power, where he led the fuel cell development programme. Before joining the Carbon Trust in 2007, Robert worked for management consultants McKinsey and Company, where he focussed on strategic and operational issues in the energy, utilities and basic materials sectors.

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