As a greener planet and sustainable future would appear to be something everyone should agree on, the question becomes why biofuels project funding is not a given. Why do many bioenergy projects, even very good ones, not get the funding they need? Undoubtedly, there are many reasons that failures to obtain financing occur, but some stand out more than others. As professionals in this area, we know that most often funding boils down to the project economics simply not having, or at least not showing, an adequate return on investment. When the project participants cannot demonstrate sound economic fundamentals to potential lenders or investors, there is little hope of obtaining financing.
Most of the time, funding failures revolve around having the wrong team, the projected economics not being evident, market and/or policy uncertainty, mismatched investor mandates, or the feeling that the project oversight is simply unacceptable. Even the best projects fail if the wrong people are leading them. Investors understand that developers are often eternal optimists, so they need to see independent analysis and scenarios that are less than perfect. Long term, fixed price contracts for offtake and feedstock are difficult. Government incentives are not guaranteed, yet are factored into the analysis. All investors have mandates and areas they are interested in. Make sure you know you audience. Finally, it is imperative that those who will oversee the project have histories in this type of work to give investors confidence that experienced people are in control of spending their money. Want biofuels project funding? Spend the money and hire professionals with experience, and without vested interests, to validate both the technology and the economics of the project, and never forget government funding sources as a first option.
Large renewable energy and biochemical consulting firms certainly have experts in biotechnologies and economics, as well as the more common areas like bio and renewable fuels, biomass and biomass power, feedstocks, biomaterials, and biochemicals. These larger groups will also have expertise in other technologies like agitation systems, anaerobic digestion, beverage fermentation, bio-oil extraction, bioreactors, carbon capture, carbon storage, carbonization, catalysis, cellulosic ethanol, cleantech, combined heat and power, direct combustion, enzyme technologies, fermentation, Fischer-Tropsch, gasification, genetic engineering, hydrothermal, nanotechnology, organosynthesis, power generation, pyrolysis, renewable technology due diligence, synthetic biology, thermochemical conversion, torrefaction, water treatment, and waste management.
Lee Enterprises Consulting is the world’s premier bioeconomy consulting group, with over 150 highly qualified experts serving in all these areas. Look at our experts and the services we provide. Most of our experts are also available to advise and serve as expert witnesses in bioeconomy litigation matters. For the larger projects, we specialize in putting together full service, interdisciplinary teams with one point of contact. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information. See Federal Programs & Resources Available to Support the Bioeconomy and Due Diligence for Emerging Technologies.