Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up May 27, 2022

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Every day our researchers read through the top innovation headlines and provide their expert opinions on important developments and industry news. Our analysts then evaluate news based on potential importance ranking the developments from Truly Disruptive to Ignore.

On Fridays we highlight our Lux Take on the top news for the week. Check out our thoughts on the latest emerging technology and innovation news for the past week below. 

U.S. FDA Rejects Proposal to Exclude Tagatose from Added Sugar Labeling

Abby Terrio

Abby Terrio, Senior Research Associate

Lux Take: Very Important

“The U.S. FDA issued a denial in response to Bonumose’s petition to exclude tagatose from “added sugars” on the U.S. Nutrition Facts panel. FDA issued an approval to exclude the rare sugar, allulose, in 2019. The agency’s response letter indicated that the reason for denial was tagatose’s higher caloric content compared with allulose. Bonumose issued a press release slamming the ruling as unfair and illogical as well as citing evidence of “FDA bias against health-focused innovation.” This is certainly a blow to Bonumose and the likelihood that tagatose will become a widespread sugar reduction solution. It may boost demand for allulose and dash the hopes of producers of other sugar replacers, such as isomaltulose, which were hoping for exemptions.”

Phillips 66 to Convert San Francisco Refinery into a Renewable Fuel Facility with USD 850 Million Investment

Jinze Dai, Ph.D.

Jinze Dai, Ph.D., Analyst

Lux Take: Very Important

“Two years after deciding to convert the Rodeo Refinery into the world’s largest renewable diesel facility, Phillips 66 is doubling down to build another 800-million gallon/year facility by 2024: Instead of processing crude oil, the converted facility will use waste oils, fats, greases, and vegetable oils to produce renewable diesel, gasoline, and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), reducing lifecycle carbon emissions by 65%. The USD 850 million investment will support the construction of pretreatment units and the retrofit of hydrocracking units. Driven by growing demand for renewable fuels, especially SAF with offtakers like Southwest Airlines and United Airlines, repurposing existing refineries will be an increasingly attractive option.”

Vattenfall Tests New Waters in Hydrogen Production with Offshore Pilot

Karthik Subramanian

Karthik Subramanian, Research Associate

Lux Take: Very Important

“Vattenfall will install an 8-MW electrolyzer beside a wind turbine at its wind farm off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland, to produce green hydrogen. Backed by EUR 11 million from the British government, the hydrogen will be piped on land and is expected to start supplying customers in 2025. Hydrogen production is emerging as a top option for offshore wind developers as wind capacity rises faster than grids are being built to transmit the additional electricity. While in this case, Vattenfall has chosen to pipe hydrogen to shore, transmitting power via cables and producing hydrogen onshore could offer cost benefits. With cost metrics a question mark for both options, interested clients should watch for similar announcements and monitor how hydrogen producers decide to supply hydrogen.”

The EU Unveils Controversial Draft Rules That Define “Renewable Hydrogen” That Could Slow Deployment

Oscar Gamez

Oscar Gamez, Consultant

Lux Take: Very Important

“The European Commission published a draft delegated act, setting out the rules defining hydrogen as renewable in the transport sector. In the proposal, hydrogen would be “renewable” if the electrolyzer is installed no more than 3 years after a renewables installation. While the idea is to tie new hydrogen capacity with new renewables capacity, there could be undesired competition for renewables between hydrogen producers and other offtakers. A temporal aspect of the proposal would see hydrogen produced simultaneously with renewable power; this creates risks of higher hydrogen costs due to low electrolyzer utilization. Clients should closely monitor amendments to the proposal, as they could impact green hydrogen deployments in the next decade.”

The U.S. DOE Provides USD 505 Million in a Program to Develop Long-duration Energy Storage Technologies

Juan Cortes

Juan Cortes, Research Associate

Lux Take: Very Important

“The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is soliciting information to fund the Long Duration Energy Storage for Everyone program. The program is in the early funding stage, and its goal is to request information from interested stakeholders, explaining the little amount of funding provided. It will be divided into three categories: demo projects, pilot grants, and demo initiatives. This is the first federal initiative to provide funding for long-duration energy storage (LDES) technologies since the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy DAYS program launched in 2018, which focused on early technology development. In contrast, this program focuses on storage implementation, creating market opportunities for LDES. Clients interested in energy storage deployment should monitor this funding program for potential technology partners and track the types of energy storage technologies the federal government will prioritize.”

Intellihub Acquires Greensync, Increasing the Managed Capacity in Australia and New Zealand and Deploying the Company Platform in the U.S.

Juan Cortes

Juan Cortes, Research Associate

Lux Take: Very Important

“The distributed energy resources management system (DERMS) platform Greensync was acquired by Intellihub, a utility service provider in Australia and New Zealand. With the acquisition, Greensyc’s deX platform will be deployed further in the Australian Market; currently, Intellihub manages over 1.2 million smart meters, increasing the total aggregated capacity of Greensync from approximately 400 MW to 1.4 GW. In addition, the deX platform will also be deployed in the U.S. throughout CrescoNet, a spun-out company from Intellihub. Clients should note the attention from utilities and large energy companies in the acquisition of DERMS developers; most recently, in 2022, Schneider Electric acquired Autrogrid while in 2020, Shell acquired Next Kraftwerke, and Generac acquired Enbala Power Networks.”

New Software to Double Extrusion-Based 3D Printer Speeds

Rune Percy

Rune Percy, Senior Research Associate

Lux Take: Very Important

“Just like with milling machines, unwanted vibrations in 3D printers require lowering print speeds to avoid quality reduction. Instead of buying more expensive printers or settling for slow build times, Ulendo’s new Filtered B Splines software offers clients an inexpensive way to reprogram their existing printers to double print speeds. The software detects those unwanted vibrations and tricks the printhead into traveling in the opposite direction as that vibration, resulting in a straight path. Clients should closely watch this budding company and the software space around 3D printing more broadly.”

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