• WDS invests in award-winning carbon-to-products company 
  • PGY completes $2.2m equity placement to fast-track development at its Mid West Clean Energy Project in WA
  • CSIRO’s GenCost report has found renewables remain the cheapest new-build electricity generation option in Australia


Woodside (ASX:WDS) has revealed a US$9.9m (A$13.16m) equity investment in an India-based bio-engineering company, String Bio, the developer of a patented process that can recycle greenhouse gases (GHG) into products such as feed for livestock.

Woodside is exploring the potential of String Bio’s carbon-to-products technology to support its decarbonisation efforts, targeting abatement of methane emissions at its operational sites.

String Bio’s proprietary technology converts methane into a single-cell protein which could provide a sustainable alternative in animal and human nutrition as well as agriculture products, with a focus on improving the sustainability of crops and food production, land, and water use.

Woodside’s conditional investment is part of the company’s ambitious US$5 billion target for investing n new energy products and lower-carbon services by 2030.

WDS CEO Meg O’Neill says Woodside believes String Bio’s technology could eventually be used to recycle methane at Woodside facilities.

“It could also be deployed at third-party sites with available bio methane such as landfill facilities and farms.”




PGY has received commitments for $2.2 million (before costs) in a two-tranche placement to new and existing sophisticated, institutional, and professional investors.

Strong investor interest was shown in the placement along with support for the company’s strategic focus on developing the Mid-West Clean Energy Project in Western Australia.

As part of the placement, Pilot Energy will issue one new call option for every two new shares issued to investors, resulting in a total of 64,705,882 new options being issued.

The options will be unlisted, have a three-year term to expiry and an exercise price of $0.033.

Pilot has also concluded a memorandum of understanding for 8 River to invest in the Mid West Clean Energy Project, which contemplates that 8 Rivers’ support will take the form of an investment of A$1 million.

PGY chairman Brad Lingo said the Pilot team is looking forward to continuing its strong working relationship with 8 Rivers.

“Given 8 Rivers market-leading expertise in zero carbon solutions, the investment contemplated by the MOU represents a strong endorsement of Pilot’s Mid-West Clean Energy Project,” Lingo says.

Bridge Street Capital Partners is Lead Manager of the placement.



In other renewable energy news

CSIRO’s annual GenCost report has found renewables remain the cheapest new-build electricity generation option in Australia, although inflation and supply chain disruptions will likely put cost reductions on hold for the next year.

Each year, Australia’s national science agency CSIRO, and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), work with industry to give an updated cost estimate for large-scale electricity generation in Australia.

The report considers a range of future scenarios to understand the mix of technologies that may be adopted and costs for each of these possible pathway

It also confirms that wind and solar are the cheapest source of electricity generation and storage in Australia, even when considering additional integration costs arising due to the variable output of renewables, such as energy storage and transmission.

Projections in the report assume that cost reductions for all technologies will stall for the next 12 months because tight global supply chains will require more time to recover from the pandemic.


Post-inflation: solar, wind, batteries – all to get cheaper

However, in what looks and feels like good news – when the current inflationary cycle ends – solar, wind, and batteries are all projected to keep getting cheaper.

CSIRO Chief Energy Economist Paul Graham says researchers have seen year-on-year cost reductions for most technologies and this year’s report is no exception.

“What will be different in the next year is that we will have a confluence of factors impacting project costs,” he says.

“The war in Ukraine has resulted in fossil energy price inflation which flows through to all parts of the economy through transport and energy costs – we also have tight supply chains that are still recovering.”

In fact bth onshore and offshore wind costs have fallen faster than expected, solar and wind will begin to require additional investments in storage and transmission once variable renewables reach around 50% share of generation and the status of SMR has not changed.

This means, report findings do not see any prospect of domestic projects this decade, given the technology’s commercial immaturity and high cost.

Future cost reductions are possible but depend on its successful commercial deployment overseas.