Tuesday Dec 06, 2022

Green Ammonia To Rescue US Farmers From Fertilizer Supply Woes – CleanTechnica

The idea of pairing green ammonia production with distributed wind and solar resources at US farms seemed like so much pie in the sky just a couple of years ago. Nevertheless, here comes the startup ReMo Energy with a new round of $5.25 million in additional funding to kick the idea into high gear, with the influential investor group Breakthrough Energy Ventures among those assisting.

The Scoop On Fertilizer

Since much of the global ammonia fertilizer supply chain relies on natural gas for sourcing, the ongoing spike in natural gas prices is pushing up fertilizer prices in the US and elsewhere. Power outages in China and Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine are among other factors pushing up global fertilizer costs.

“Global fertilizer prices are at near record levels and may remain elevated throughout 2022 and beyond,” explains the US Department of Agriculture. “Fertilizer prices account for nearly one-fifth of U.S. farm cash costs, with an even greater share for corn and wheat producers. Fertilizer accounts for 36 percent of a farmer’s operating costs for corn, and 35 percent for wheat.”

“These elevated prices could have implications for crop production in 2022 and 2023.The Russian invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated the already limited fertilizer supply situation and has triggered import-export restrictions that will compound shortage concerns,” they add.

More DERS, More Green Ammonia For US Farmers

The US Department of Energy is a big fan of decentralized, distributed energy resources, and not just because hyper-local wind turbines and solar panels can help with grid resiliency and reliability. The Energy Department has also been eyeballing distributed wind and solar as an economic assist for US farmers.

Back in 2020, CleanTechnica took note of the agency’s enthusiasm for distributed wind, in particular, which it defines as wind turbines of any size that generate electricity for on-site use, or for use in a local grid.

The cost of installing a wind turbine for distributed purposes can be a stumbling block for individual farmers, but the ability to generate a value-added product could sweeten the deal. For example, farmers with access to their own distributed wind could produce green hydrogen with their excess clean kilowatts. They could also use the hydrogen to produce renewable ammonia fertilizer.

Aside from providing themselves with a stable supply of fuel, fertilizer and store-able energy at a predictable price, farmers could potentially market any excess green hydrogen or ammonia as additional cash crops.

ReMo Has A Plan For Green Hydrogen & Ammonia

ReMo Energy, for one, did not let the green ammonia grass grow under its feet. Last May the Boston-based firm announced the launch of its first commercial offering, “ReMonia™,” a nitrogen fertilizer production system that takes advantage of the low cost of solar as well as wind.

“Solar and wind resources are the lowest marginal cost sources of electricity in most of the world today. The dropping costs and near universal availability of wind and solar resources have created an opportunity for the world to synthesize high-volume commodities at competitive prices without carbon emissions,” ReMo explained. “ReMo Energy’s technology makes it possible to produce nitrogen fertilizers and other materials right where they are needed directly from local energy sources.”

Electrolyzer news is old hat these days, but ReMo is staking out a name for itself with a focus on predictive modeling and cost cutting, aimed specifically at smoothing out the bumps for distributed, intermittent renewable energy resources.

“With this technology, …….

Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2022/07/25/green-ammonia-to-rescue-us-farmers-from-fertilizer-supply-woes/

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