Applied Research and New Product Development

Verdurous works tirelessly to stay updated on the latest developments in the fields of climate-friendly policy, programs, technology and related areas. More significantly, Verdurous contributes to defining the cutting edge and to adding to the knowledge base through rigorous research, new product development, testing and dissemination.

Sphinx Revolutions

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The Sphinx micro-wind generator built and field-tested by Verdurous Engineers, and the fee-for-service business model pioneered by the in-house team marks a small step forward in human endeavor to reverse environmental degradation, especially in fragile ecosystems such as mountain slopes, valleys, coastal zones and the like.

The rooftop ‘personal’ energy generator is an integrated system which provides in-line supply of the generated power on mainstream alternating current circuits, while also providing backup storage. The vertical axis design uses lightweight materials, works at lower rotations-per-minute (RPM) making the turbine more stable, safer and quieter compared to other micro turbines, leading to better energy capture. The technically superior alternator design, and other sub-systems built with innovative use of components enables the turbine to generate electric power more economically relative to comparable decentralized technologies.

Having designed, built, tested and demonstrated the performance of the Sphinx personal wind-energy generator, Verdurous Engineers are currently involved in making incremental improvements to its structure and the electro-mechanical components.

An option-based valuation mechanism for payments for ecosystem services

Verdurous has developed and demonstrated the use of a real-option model to encourage the planting of new biologically-diverse forests, and to help conserve existing forests standing on private land. Payments for ecosystem services (PES) take several forms and several instruments and policies have been designed over the years. This research effort involved a detailed analysis of literature on PES and of various revenue streams generated by forest stands. It was observed that the option-to-harvest encouraged expansion and conservation of small-scale forests. The real-option model employing bounded random walk projections is applied to a registered Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project. Subject to the alternative use of the parcel of land, the option payments are found to represent 3.83–6.57 % of the value of stand conserved.

A Tariff Model for Energy Storage

Energy storage has been increasingly seen as a crucial element in resolving the challenge and several electrical, chemical, and mechanical systems have been analyzed. On occasion, storing a unit of electric power could cost more than generating one. Trading margins alone are found insufficient to justify economic investments in storage facilities. To sustain investor interest in the long run, such facilities would have to bank and trade energy along the lines of mainstream commercial banks and earn economic profits comparable to alternative applications of funds. Verdurous has developed an economic model involving a two-part tariff: an option price and a trading margin derived from energy time-shifting.

Statistical analyses reveal trends in pricing of Euro denominated CERs, which is interpreted as market inefficiency. Since the exporting countries are required to “liquidate”, “package” and “export” a natural asset, and in real terms, surrender the option to employ certain technologies or to undertake certain initiatives, they should be recompensed through an asset of comparable quality, and more importantly, one on whose valuation the sellers have sufficient control. Verdurous has designed a currency-basket consisting of major CER exporting country currencies. A specially constructed synthetic currency named the CERO, a weighted average of the CER exporting countries’ import partners’ currencies is proposed as a second alternative.