With COP21 in full swing, the largest solar power plant in Europe is being inaugurated in the Bordeaux region, symbolizing the firm commitment of the metropolitan area to combat climate change and protect the environment.
Numerous Gironde companies and start-ups have innovated and put forward effective solutions, here are just a few of them.
Fermentalg, a Gironde company, is specialized in the development and production of “high efficiency” micro-algae. Transformed into oils or isolated as proteins such as omega-3, these micro-algae have multiple applications and meet the demands of the human nutrition, animal, healthcare, green chemistry and energy markets.
Fundraising of more than €40 million has enabled the start of construction of a first micro-algae industrial production unit on a Libourne site; it will be commissioned during the first quarter of 2016.
And Fermentalg once again demonstrates its capacity for innovation, this time in the energy sector, with the patenting of a unique technology to permanently remove CO2.
This innovation will be unveiled in Paris during COP21.
Innoveox, with an R&D unit based in Mérignac, develops innovative procedures for the treatment and recovery of toxic industrial waste.
The first innovation launched by the company is its technology described as hydrothermal oxidation in a supercritical environment, capable of converting hazardous industrial liquid waste into water.
The company was listed on the stock market in 2014 and raised €14 million.
Last November Innoveox signed a €2 million contract in Quebec with waste collection company Sorinco, and has just announced the signing of a business development partnership with the Chinese company Nanjing Benesource Environment Engineering Co.
Exosun is a pioneering French company in solar energy, with two innovative tracking systems: these are motorized, enabling photovoltaic panels to follow the sun’s path, thus improving their performance by 20 to 30%.
Today this company, which was created close to Bordeaux in 2007, has grown to be one of the world leaders in solar tracking systems. In the past three years it has experienced rapid international growth and has subsidiaries in the USA, South Africa and Brazil. It has also opened offices in Spain, Portugal, Chile and Mexico.
Exoès is a spin-off of Exosun, founded in Bordeaux in 2009.
It has developed a unique technology for heat recovery from exhaust pipes: the EVE system – Energy Via Exhaust – patented by Exoès, recovers and converts this heat by reinjecting it into the engine. This results in lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are reduced by 5 to 10%.
EVE is particularly suitable for heavy goods vehicles and trucks.
In 2013, Exoès signed a partnership with the second largest supplier of exhaust systems, American company Tenneco, for the development of an exhaust pipe heat recovery solution based on specific “Rankine” systems.
In 2014 it raised €2 million in funds and in spring 2015 was the winner of the My Positive Impact campaign, run by the Fondation Hulot.
Exoès is currently preparing a new round of fundraising for €5 million.
The company Base Innovation, located in the Bordeaux agglomeration, specializes in solar engineering.
As a result of its R&D, it has designed and developed a hybrid photovoltaic thermal system, “Cogen’air”:
in addition to the electricity produced, a photovoltaic panel also produces heat which is recovered by the innovative heat exchanger system.
This heat recovery has applications in the housing sector for heating and in agriculture and the wood industry for drying.
In spring 2015, Base Innovation commissioned one of its largest solar forage drying facilities in a barn.
At the end of November, it announced a €1 million fundraiser targeted to two private funds.
Sunna Design designs, manufactures and markets LED solar lighting solutions for emerging countries.
Its flagship product is an LED solar street lamp, developed in partnership with Saft, world leader in storage with an R&D center based in Bordeaux, and the CEA-INES in Barp.
These street lamps now light up over 20 regions of the world without access to electricity, mainly in Africa.
Sunna Design has recently presented its latest innovation at COP21: the Nanogrid, an LED solar street lamp with great weather resistance which can provide electricity to four homes and is very simple to set up.
Sources: Fermentalg, Innoveox, Exosun, Exoès, Base Innovation, Sunna Design, Sud-Ouest, Objectif Aquitaine, Tecsol, Capital, La Croix