WALNUT, Calif., Oct. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- VIASPACE Inc. (OTCQB: VSPC) today announced that CEO, Dr. Carl Kukkonen, was an invited speaker at the fifth annual Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum held October 9th through October 11th in Aruba. Dr. Kukkonen represented biomass energy on a panel focused on biomass and waste to energy. He emphasized that "growing your own electricity" was an excellent option for reliable, green electricity in tropical and subtropical regions if there is sufficient land and water available. Kukkonen stated that with Giant King Grass, 200 acres are required for 1 MW of electricity. A 1 MW power plant is the smallest practical unit, and 35 MW using 7,000 acres of Giant King Grass is the largest.
This respected forum brought together more than 500 participants from 42 countries to discuss renewable energy in the Caribbean region. More than a dozen ministers from the region participated in the forum which was kicked off by Aruba Prime Minister Mike Eman and Ambassador Albert Ramdin, the Assistant Secretary-General of the Organization of American States. Former President of Costa Rica, Jose Maria Figueres, chaired the plenary session. Financing organizations such as the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Inter-American Development Bank, International Finance Corporation of the World Bank, commercial banks and private equity funds were represented.
"The conference was informative, well-attended by decision makers and VIASPACE made several important networking business connections," states CEO, Dr. Carl Kukkonen. "Most of the countries represented at the conference produce their electricity from petroleum using heavy fuel oil or diesel. The resulting electricity sells for $0.35-$0.42 per kilowatt hour. Government officials from all of these countries decried this high price and are looking for renewable, non-petroleum and lower cost electricity for their citizens. Many of the countries rely heavily on tourism and being green is important to their tourist customers. A very noteworthy presentation was made by Sonia Miranda Vega of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. She described the challenges of integrating intermittent sources such as solar and wind into the grid of Puerto Rico which is an isolated island not connected to a larger grid. Her presentation emphasized that electricity cannot be stored and that the amount consumed must always equal the amount generated -- 24 hours a day, 365 days per year to have a stable system. Solar and wind are intermittent, and the grid system must have fast reacting backup generators that can take up the slack if clouds pass over a major solar facility. This fast reaction backup generation is a major concern, and a Puerto Rican energy panel concluded that only 15% of Puerto Rico's electricity generation can be provided by solar and wind. Giant King Grass and other biomass can be stored and produce reliable base electricity which is very easy to integrate on the grid."
Kukkonen continued, "The Caribbean region has the suitable temperatures for growing Giant King Grass, but some of the small islands do not have enough land or water for significant agriculture including growing Giant King Grass. On the other hand, there are many larger island countries that are perfectly suitable for Giant King Grass. These include Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, St. Croix, Belize, Surinam and Guyana as well as some smaller islands. I had several meetings with representatives whose islands could support growing Giant King Grass. I was impressed that several of them had agricultural backgrounds and that Giant King Grass was very attractive to them. I believe this region will provide additional new business opportunities for VIASPACE."VIASPACE Chairman, Dr. Kevin Schewe, commented, "It was an honor for our company that Dr. Kukkonen was invited to speak at the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum. It demonstrates how VIASPACE and Giant King Grass are now recognized as a viable, continuously renewable, carbon-neutral, non-petroleum electricity solution for tropical island locations that are motivated to free themselves of dependence on expensive fossil fuels. We are in the process of demonstrating how island nations can "grow their electricity" using Giant King Grass in our 7MW anaerobic digestor power plant project with Tibbar Energy on the island of St. Croix. In addition, our Giant King Grass is scheduled to be released from quarantine in Hawaii in two months on December 20, 2013 and we will then be available to start our business in Hawaii which should serve to establish our presence and green energy solutions for the Pacific island nations. We have a valuable new paradigm for green, renewable base electricity for tropical island nations." Dr. Kukkonen's presentation is on the VIASPACE website www.VIASPACE.com, and pictures from the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum are available on the VIASPACE Facebook page www.facebook.com/viaspaceinc. About VIASPACE Inc.VIASPACE grows renewable Giant King TM Grass as a low-carbon fuel for clean electricity generation; for environmentally friendly energy pellets; and as a feedstock for bio-methane production and for green cellulosic biofuels, biochemicals and biomaterials. Giant King Grass is a proprietary, high yield, dedicated biomass clean energy crop. Giant King Grass when it is cut frequently at 4 to 5 feet tall is also excellent animal feed. For more information, please go to www.VIASPACE.com or contact Dr. Jan Vandersande, Director of Communications, at 800-517-8050 or IR@VIASPACE.com. Safe Harbor Statement Information in this news release includes forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation, risks outlined in our periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, and other factors over which VIASPACE has little or no control.