For international companies, forum will highlight Pittsburgh innovation
By Paul J. Gough - Reporter
September 20, 2022
Clean energy will be in the focus of discussions for this week's Global Clean Energy Action Forum, but organizers hope that it's also a good opportunity for Pittsburgh companies to shine among an international audience that wouldn't normally get up close and personal with southwestern Pennsylvania. There are dozens of events and demonstrations beyond the forum's meetings and plenary sessions that begin Wednesday afternoon and stretch through Friday afternoon.
"I think this is huge for the entire region. We're going to have at least 20 energy ministers coming and a couple of hundred different CEOs from the clean-tech energy space," said Joe Mastrangelo, CEO of EOS Energy Enterprises (Nasdaq: EOSE) and a member of the GCAEF's Host Committee. "It gives us an opportunity as a region the chance to show off the capabilities we have."
EOS Energy, like others in energy and industry, are planning to make the most of the opportunity. EOS is hosting tours of its Turtle Creek energy storage manufacturing facility, which in three years has gone from two employees to 260 and has shipped its 200th energy storage container recently with a mostly homegrown workforce.
The local workforce is a point of pride for Mastrangelo, who said that southwestern Pennsylvania punches above its weight when it comes to clean energy and green technology.
"We're going to show people in real terms that there's this manufacturing renaissance coming in green tech in an area where you probably wouldn't have thought," he said.
One international company that has its eyes set on the GCEAF in Pittsburgh is Carbon Clean, an English company that is coming to the conference to both display its carbon-capture technology and also speak with attendees about carbon capture.
"I think it's a great opportunity to meet business decision-makers and policy decision-makers in one place," said Aniruddha Sharma, Carbon Clean chair and CEO.
Carbon Clean's modular carbon capture, storage and utilization technology is aimed at industries like steel manufacturing, refining and cement making that are considered the hardest industries in the drive to reach net zero emissions. The proprietary products, which are already in use around the world, offer carbon capture that takes up less space and is more affordable than a complete reworking of a factory or industry.
"That really gels well for the energy industry and industrial companies," Sharma said. "Space is a big problem and no one is sitting on a billion dollars of cash."
Sharma said that Carbon Clean seeks to enable industries to reduce their emissions and build toward decarbonization, something that he said the United States is a prime market for, especially with the new funding available through the just-passed Inflation Reduction Act.
Carbon Clean expects about half of the decarbonization market will be in the United States, and he's working with other companies and plans to open manufacturing plants in the United States.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent energy crisis, which is playing out in real time in Europe, is likely to be a major topic of conversation. But in an interview earlier this month ahead of her visit to Pittsburgh, UK Consul General Emma Wade-Smith said that clean energy technology and innovation will be top of mind for her country's delegation.
"What doesn't change is the UK's commitment to getting to net zero as quickly as we can," Wade-Smith said.
Wade-Smith and UK officials are interested in Pittsburgh's leadership role in electric vehicles and automation and having strategic talks around supply chains and critical minerals.
"The conversations we can have with the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University are really important from that strategic perspective," she said. "In the bigger picture, longer term, how do we help transition and drive investment into the technologies that will help us change the economy."
Gough, Paul J. "For international companies, forum will highlight Pittsburgh innovation". BizJournals, PittsburghInno. September 20, 2022. Pittsburgh Inno - For international companies, forum will highlight Pittsburgh innovation (bizjournals.com)