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DOE Invests $17.6 Mn in Technologies Capable of Reducing CO2 Capture Cost (R&D, Funding)
US DOE
Date: 2018-02-26
In Washington, the U.S. DOE reports it has selected six projects to receive $17.6 million in federal funding under the Office of Fossil Energy's Novel and Enabling Carbon Capture Transformational Technologies funding opportunity announcement.

This FOA will address the cost and operational challenges associated with current CO2 capture technologies that are commercially available for industry, providing for additional development to these technologies at coal-fired power plants. Some of the challenges that will be addressed include a need to improve the reliability and operational flexibility; reduce high capital costs; and reduce the high-energy penalty associated with operating existing technology.

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage the selected projects, which will concentrate on transformational technologies focused on: developing transformational materials and processes for CO2 capture that will enable step-change reductions in the capital and energy cost; and enabling technologies that facilitate improved performance of transformational CO2 capture processes to reduce capital cost and energy penalties, and improve operational reliability and flexibility. Funding recipients include:

Development and Bench-Scale Testing of a Novel Biphasic Solvent-Enabled Absorption Process for Post-Combustion Carbon Capture University of Illinois -- DOE: $2,999,941; Non-DOE: $750,052; Total: $3,749,993;

Bench-Scale Development of a Transformational Graphene Oxide-Based Membrane Process for Post-Combustion CO2 Capture -- Institute of Gas Technology dba Gas Technology Institute (GTI) -- $2,914,074; Non-DOE: $728,738; Total: $3,642,812;

Development of Self-Assembly Isoporous Supports Enabling Transformational Membrane Performance for Cost-Effective Carbon Capture -- Membrane Technology and Research, Inc. (MTR) (Newark, CA) DOE: $2,907,219; Non-DOE: $726,805; Total: $3,634,024;

Mixed-Salt-Based Transformational Solvent Technology for CO2 Capture -- SRI International -- ; DOE: $2,999,922; Non-DOE: $782,817; Total: $3,782,739

A Process with Decoupling Absorber Kinetics and Solvent Regeneration Through Membrane Dewatering and In-Column Heat Transfer – University of Kentucky Research Foundation -- DOE: $2,998,293; Non-DOE: $750,642; Total: $3,748,935;

Flue Gas Aerosol Pre-Treatment Technologies to Minimize Post-Combustion CO2 Capture Solvent Losses -- Linde, LLC -- DOE: $2,787,742; Non-DOE: $696,936; Total: $3,484,678. (Source: US DSOE, 22 Feb., 2018) Contact: US DOE Office of Fossil Energy, www.energy.gov/fe/office-fossil-energy; National Energy Technology Laboratory , www.netl.doe.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2,  Carbon Capture,  CCS,  US DOE,  


Oil Majors Commit to Low-Carbon Energy (Ind. Report)
British Petroleum,Royal Dutch Shell,Low-Carbon Energy
Date: 2018-02-26
UK-headquartered petroleum giant British Petroleum plc (BP) has announced it is investing $500 million a year in a push for low-carbon energy. The oil company says it sees "significant commercial potential" in solar power and is becoming more active in trading carbon credits. It also plans to set targets for emissions from operations, according to Bloomberg.

As previously reported, Royal Dutch Shell plc recently announced it would spend as much as $1 billion a year on renbewable through its New Energies division. According to the report, Shell sees opportunities in hydrogen fuel-cells, liquefied natural gas, and next-generation biofuels for air travel, shipping and heavy freight. (Source: BP, CS News, Bloomberg, Various Media, 21 Feb., 2018) Contact: BP, www.bp.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News British Petroleum,  Royal Dutch Shell,  


Mitsubishi, ICM Tout ZEBREX Marketing Collaboration (Ind. Report)
Mitsubishi Chemical,ICM Inc
Date: 2018-02-26
Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. and Colwich, Kansas-headquartered grain ethanol technology specialist ICM Inc. are reporting a strategic marketing collaboration to provide ZEBREX to the fuel ethanol industry in the U.S.. ZEBREX will improve production capacity and reduce energy costs through the use of proven state-of-the-art zeolite membrane dehydration technology. MCC and ICM including Matheson Tri-Gas Inc., who has been MCC's ZEBREX marketing partner in the U.S., will collaborate to market, engineer and provide turnkey solutions for ZEBREX within the U.S.

ZEBREX is specifically designed for ease of use, energy efficiency, and has a smaller carbon footprint than traditional pressure swing adsorption or organic membranes, according to Mitsubishi Chemicals. . Multiple ethanol production facilities have reportedly expressed interest in ZEBREX since the announced collaboration. (Source: Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., 23 Feb., 2018) Contact: ICM, Dave VanderGriend, CEO, Issam Stouky, Global Business Development, (316) 796-0900, www.icminc.com; Mitsubishi Chemical, www.m-chemical.co.jp; ZEBREX, www.m-chemical.co.jp/en/products/departments/mcc/aquachem/product/1201038_8078.html

More Low-Carbon Energy News ICM Inc,  Ethanol,  Biofuel,  Mitsubishi Chemical,  


US Increases Argentinian Biodiesel Import Duties (Reg & Leg)
U.S. Commerce Department
Date: 2018-02-26
In Washington, the U.S. Department of Commerce reports it is levying additional import duties on Argentinian and Indonesian biodiesel imports adding anti-dumping duties of 60.44 pct to 276.65 pct to existing duties on the fuels. The increase is subject to a second ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission on April 6 on whether U.S. biodiesel producers were injured by dumped imports from the two countries. But the independent panel has already found in the subsidy cases that the imports caused such injuries.

The latest duties come just two weeks after a budget deal in the U.S. Congress reinstated a $1 per gallon biodiesel tax credit, which is expected to improve profitability for domestic producers. (Source: U.S. Commerce Department, MecoPress, 23 Feb., 2018) Contact: U.S. Department of Commerce, www.commerce.gov Department

More Low-Carbon Energy News U.S. Biodiesel,  Biodiesel Duties,  Commerce Department ,  


Neste Renewable Diesel Cut 8.3 Mn Tons of CO2 in 2017 (Ind. Report)
Neste
Date: 2018-02-26
According to a Helsinki-headquartered Neste release, replacing fossil fuels with Neste's renewable fuels reduced global climate emissions altogether by 8.3 million metric tons or 8.3 billion KG in 2017 -- equivalent to removing 3 million passenger cars from the roads for a full year.

The emission reduction is calculated by comparing the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of the renewable fuels that Neste produces in a year to the life cycle emissions of the equivalent amount of conventional diesel. Neste MY Renewable Diesel is refined from waste and residue raw materials, such as meat processing wastes, used cooking oils, and residues from vegetable oil processing, Neste MY Renewable Diesel provides up to 80 pct reduction in carbon emissions as well as improving local air quality by reducing exhaust emissions, nitrogen oxides, particulates, and carbon monoxide, according to the Neste release. (Source: Neste, PR, 21 Feb., 2018) Contact: Neste Corporation, Jeremy Baines, VP sales, Neste US Inc., Kaisa Hietala, VP Renewable Products , +358 10 458 4128, www.neste.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Neste,  Biofuels,  Carbon Emissions,  


Climeworks Claims "Historic" First CCS Contracts (Int'l Report)
Climeworks
Date: 2018-02-23
Zurich University spin-off carbon capture and storage (CCS) specialist Climeworks reports it has signed several "historic" contracts for its carbon capture system, which it claims marks the first time a company has been commissioned to permanently remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

Climeworks unveiled the creation of a new market mechanism late last year, through which companies can offset their emissions by paying Climeworks to remove an equivalent amount of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere using its Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology. Unlike traditional offsetting schemes that essentially trade pollution rights, the Climeworks solution involves the direct removal of the same amount of emissions from the atmosphere as the customer is creating.

Once captured, the CO2 is then stored underground in Iceland via the company's 'CarbFix' process. Climeworks opened its Icelandic pilot CCS facility in partnership with utility company Reykjavik Energy last October.

Sited at an existing geothermal power plant, the system draws in ambient air, separates out the pure CO2 using a specially designed filter and pipes it more than 700 metres underground where it reacts with the basaltic bedrock to form solid minerals.

Climeworks, which also opened a commercial carbon capture plant in Zurich last May, aims to filter 1 pct of global CO2 emissions by 2025. (Source: Climeworks, BusinessGreen, Feb., 2018) Contact: Climeworks, Christoph Gebald, CEO, +41 44 533 2999, www.climeworks.com; Reykjavik Energy, Edda Sif Aradottir, CarbFix Project Leader , www.or.is/en

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climeworks,  Climate Charnge,  Carbon Emissions,  CCS,  Carbon Capture,  


FirstEnergy Unloading W.Va Coal-Fired Power Plant (Ind. Report)
FirstEnergy,PJM Interconnection
Date: 2018-02-23
Akron, Ohio-headquartered FirstEnergy reports it will sell or close its 1,300 MW coal-fired Pleasants Power Station in West Virginia next year. To that end, FirstEnergy subsidiary Allegheny Energy Supply has advised PJM Interconnection it plans to "deactivate" the plant. The grid operator must review the potential reliability impacts of closing the plant.

Another FirstEnergy subsidiary Mon Power in West Virginia, had proposed acquiring the plant but the deal was rejected by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and opposed by West Virginia regulators. (Source: FirstEnergy,Feb.21, 2018) Contact: FirstEnergy, Charles Jones, CEO, President www.firstenergy.com; PJM Interconnection, Andrew Ott, CEO, (866) 756-6397 - Media), www.pjm.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News FirstEnergy,  Coal,  PJM Interconnection,  


Energy Efficiency Upgrades Expected to Save Alabama School District $14.6Mn (Ind. Report)
Schneider Electric
Date: 2018-02-23
In Alabama, Blount County Schools’ partnership with Schneider Electric to improve energy efficiency at 20 district facilities is expected to generate $14.6 million in energy and operational savings that will be used to finance the projects, according to Schneider Electric.

Plans include: installation of exterior and interior LED lighting and controls for classrooms; a district-wide VoIP telecommunications system to for improved communications; additional water-reduction technologies in multiple facilities; HVAC upgrades and modernization; sealing windows, doors, gaps, and cracks across all buildings; a new district-wide building automation system; boiler and roof upgrades and replacements in several buildings; and a district-wide building automation system. (Source: Schneider Electric, Various Media, Feb., 2018) Contact: Schneider Electric, www.schneider-electric.us

More Low-Carbon Energy News Schneider Electric,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Management,  


Neste Touts Neste MY Renewable Diesel for Cutting GHG EMissions (Ind. Report)
Neste
Date: 2018-02-23
According to Helsinki-headquartered renewable fuels specialist maker Neste, replacing fossil fuels with Neste's renewable fuels reduced global climate emissions altogether by a staggering 8.3 million metric tons or 8.3 billion kilograms in 2017 -- the equivalent to removing 3 million passenger cars from the roads for a full year.

The amount of greenhouse gas emissions saved with Neste's renewable fuels, primarily Neste MY Renewable Diesel, increased by 1.6 million tons from 2016 thanks to increased production at Neste's renewable fuels refineries in Finland, the Netherlands, and Singapore.

Refined from waste and residue raw materials, such as meat processing wastes, used cooking oils, and residues from vegetable oil processing, Neste MY Renewable Diesel provides up to 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions. Waste and residues account for the vast majority of Neste's renewable raw material usage. In addition to significantly reducing global climate emissions, replacing conventional diesel with Neste MY Renewable Diesel can improve local air quality by reducing local exhaust emissions, nitrogen oxides, particulates, and carbon monoxide. (Source: Neste, PR, 21 Feb., 2018) Contact: Neste, Jeremy Baines, US VP Sales, (713) 407-4400, www.neste.com, www.nestemy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Neste,  Neste MY Renewable Diesel,  Renewable Diesel,  


Hawaiian Legislators Mulling B10 Biofuels Blend (Reg & Leg)
Biofuel Blend
Date: 2018-02-23
In January,In the Aloha State, the Hawaiin legislature is reported to be considering Senate Bill 2019 (SB2019), and several amendments to the original bill, requiring transportation fuel sold in the state to contain no less than 10 percent biofuel by volume.

Originally, SB2019 called for a percentage of the biofuel used in the blending be produced in Hawaii and defined biofuel as ethanol and biodiesel. The bill includes stiff penalties for distributors or others that violate the blend requirement. Violators would be subject to a fine of $2 or more per gallon of nonconforming fuel up to a maximum of $1 million per infraction. The legislation is now awaiting state Senate approval. (Source: Biodiesel Mag, Various Media, 21 Feb., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel Blend,  B10,  


Canadian Solar Manufacturers Act Against U.S. Tariffs (Reg & Leg)
Solar
Date: 2018-02-23
The Toronto Star is reporting three Canadian solar panel manufacturers -- Ontario-based Silfab Solar Inc., Heliene Inc., and Canadian Solar Solutions Inc., along with U.S.-based distributor Canadian Solar (USA) Inc. -- have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government over the 30 pct tariff the Trump administration imposed on solar cell imports last month.

The lawsuit, which was filed at the U.S. Court of International Trade in New York on Wednesday, claims that an investigation last year by the International Trade Commission found Canadian products do not significantly hurt U.S. manufacturers nor account for much of the overall imports of solar cells into the U.S. and that the imposition of the tariffs is contrary to the NAFTa agreement. NAFTA.

The legal action contends that the tariffs, which the U.S. administration says were imposed to put American companies and jobs first, will inflict immediate, severe, and irreversible injuries to the companies. The tariffs have also been challenged by the EU, China, South Korea, and Taiwan at the World Trade Organization. (Source: thestar.com, Various Media, Feb., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar Tariff,  Solar,  Trump,  


Mayo Clinic Hits Energy Savings Goal Ahead of Schedule (Ind. Report)
Mayo Clinic
Date: 2018-02-23
In Rochester, Minnesota, the world renowned Mayo Clinic is reporting as of October, 2017, it has reached an surpassed it 2011 goal of reducing energy consumption by 20 pct by 2020. The clinic estimates it has invested over $1.5 million in upgrades from which it has realized approximately $26 million in energy costs since 2011 -- $7.8 million per year in avoided energy costs -- and received almost $890,000 in rebates.

Energy efficiency retrofits and upgrades to the Mayo campus' 50 buildings included: reprogramming energy control systems; adjusting the heating and cooling in public areas; lab exhaust fan controls to eliminate wasted usage; motor drive replacements and upgrades; upgrading traditional to LED lighting; upgraded insulation; HVAC duct resealing; employee energy use and conservation education; and a planned energy tracking and management system at a future date.

The Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit medical practice and medical research group of more than 4,500 physicians and scientists and 58,400 administrative and allied health staff. (Source: Mayo Clinic, Post Bulletin, 20 Feb., 2018) Contact: Mayo Clinic, Amanda Holloway, Sustainability Project Leader , Brett Gorden, Utility Operations, Energy Management, and Infrastructure Systems Engineering, www.mayoclinic.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


ENERGY STAR Wars -- Trump Attacks Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
ENERGY STAR
Date: 2018-02-23
In Washington, Pres. Donald Trump's (The Donald's) budget request to Congress for fiscal year 2019 is calling for the elimination of $42 million in funding for the well known and popular DOE ENERGY STAR program. The voluntary program sets efficiency benchmarks for appliances, electronics, building materials, lighting and other products, and lets companies use the ENERGY STAR label on products that meet the specifications.

Under The Donald's budget proposal, the EPA would administer and manage the energy efficiency certification program which would be funded through fees charged to the appliance manufacturers and other companies that use it, thus shifting the programs costs away from the taxpayer's purse.

"By administering the ENERGY STAR program through the collection of user fees, EPA would continue to provide a trusted resource for consumers and businesses seeking the most energy and cost efficient products as well as help protect the environment," according to the DOE.

As expected, manufacturers, retailers, utilities, environmentalists and others that benefit from the program are lining up against Trump's newest plan. The program's backers are also concerned that Trump's plan would erode the program's credibility for objective certifications. The Donald previous proposed to abolish the ENERGY STAR program altogether. (Source: The Hill, Various Other Media, 22 Feb., 2018) Contact: ENERGY STAR, www.energystar.gov

Editor's Note: Keeping Wednesday, 21st February's coverage -- US Dept. of Energy Ordered to Publish Appliance Energy Efficiency Standards -- in mind, there is little reason to believe The Donald, Pruitt or the DOE have much interest in energy efficient appliances or energy efficiency in general. Here's Wednesday's coverage again:

DOE Ordered to Publish Appliance Energy Efficiency Standards (Reg & Leg)

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has ordered the Trump administration to end its hold on rules that would strengthen appliance energy efficiency standards.

At issue in the energy efficiency case were four standards -- proposed by the Obama administration in late 2016 -- that would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 99 million tons over 30 years and save consumers billions of dollars on their energy utility bills over that time period.

U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria ruled the DOE had "breached" its duty under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to publish the four energy efficiency standards in the Federal Register. The judge ordered the DOE to publish the standards within 28 days of the ruling. A DOE report notes that energy efficiency policies will save consumers $545 billion, but "The Donald" doesn't seem to care.

More Low-Carbon Energy News ENERGY STAR,  Trump,  


Univ. of Florida Boasts 74 On-Campus LEED Buildings (Ind. Report)
University of Florida,USGBC
Date: 2018-02-23
In Gainesville, the University of Florida is reporting the addition of its 75th US Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED-certified building with an addition of the Career Resource Center and Weil Hall.

Seventy-three buildings on campus meet LEED standards, having been designed to save energy, use less water, generate less waste and be more cost-effective, according to the school website. The University campus has three platinum, 27 gold, 12 silver, 14 certified and 18 registered LEED buildings, as of April 2014. (Source: University of Florida, ProudGreenBuilding, 22 Feb., 2018)Contact: University of Florida, Dustin Stephany, Sustainability Director, www.ufl.edu; USGBC, Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News University of Florida,  USGBC,  LEED Certification,  


West Virginia Extends CCS Tax Credits Beyond Coal (Red & Leg)

Date: 2018-02-21
In West Virginia, a recently passed and signed Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 includes the Furthering Carbon Capture, Utilization, Technology, Underground Storage, and Reduced Emissions (FUTURE) Act which extends and expands the Section 45Q carbon sequestration tax credits for the first time to industries and companies other than the coal-fired power plants the original 2008 45Q tax credits originally benefited.

Now the tax credits are available to any industrial facility at which carbon capture equipment is installed and which captures at least 500,000 metric tpy of CO2. There are currently only a handful of projects that have been built to take advantage of 45Q and only 17 large scale CO2 capture projects worldwide. This expansion can help the next wave of investments in CO2 capture projects. (Source: WV News, 18 Feb., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Coal,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


CDP Reports Emissions Cuts Saved Companies $14Bn in 2017 (Int'l)
CDP
Date: 2018-02-21
According to the environmental disclosure platform CDP's Closing the Gap: Scaling up Sustainable Supply Chain Practices report, major global companies significantly reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in their supply chains and saved approximately $14 billion as a result of emission reduction activities in 2017. The report is based on climate, water and deforestation-related data collected from over 4,800 companies, and points to increased awareness of climate change-related risks and opportunities down the supply chain.

According to the findings, carbon emissions in supply chains are four times greater than those of a company's direct operations. Of those responding to CDP, over 75 pct of suppliers identified some climate change risks to their business, and more than 50 pct said they have integrated climate change into their business strategies. The number of companies that address emissions in their supply chains doubled within a year, with emission reductions totaling 551 million metric tonnes of CO2.

The report also compares the efforts of suppliers in eight major economies to mitigate environmental risk. It finds that 80 pct of companies in France are likely to have climate change integrated into their businesses. Japanese companies have the highest rates of disclosure, and are the most likely to set emissions reduction targets. Of the organizations on the Supplier Engagement leader board, 33 pct are from the US, followed by 15 pct from the UK. (Source: CDP, PR, UNFCCC, Feb., 2018) Contact: CDP, Lance Pierce, Pres. North America, (212) 378 2086, info.northamerica@cdp.net, www.cdp.net

More Low-Carbon Energy News CDP,  Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  


EDF says Methane Emissions Must be Slashed for Future of Climate Industry (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
EDF
Date: 2018-02-21
According to the International Energy Agency's (IEA) 2017 World Energy Outlook evaluating the role of natural gas in a low-carbon economy, globally, the oil and gas industry could reduce up to 75 pct of its current methane emissions. Methane, the main constituent in natural gas, is also a powerful climate pollutant that has increasingly alarmed scientists. IEA says the environmental credentials of natural gas are at risk absent action by the industry to radically reduce oil and gas methane emissions. Methane emissions from human activities account for about 25 pct of the warming our planet is experiencing today, according to the IEA.

The IEA says that while some oil and gas companies are beginning to tackle methane in earnest, others downplay or deny the problem while others question the oil and gas industry's role in a low-carbon future.(Source: Environmental Defense Fund) ) Contact: Environmental Defense Fund, Fred Krupp, Pres. www.edf.org; IEA, Fatih Birol, Exec. Dir., +33 1 40 57 65 00, www.iea.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane news,  EDF news,  Climate Change news,  


Nordex Scores Greek Wind Farm Contracts (Int'l Report)
Nordex
Date: 2018-02-21
Hamburg, Germany-headquartered wind turbine maker Nordex reports it has won a contract from Hellenic Capital Partners (HCP) to install 16 N117/2400 and N100/2500 series wind turbines at two Greek wind farms with a combined capacity of close to 40 MW. Under the contract, Nordex will also service the machines over a 15-year period and for this purpose will establish a service station in the vicinity of the wind farms.

Both of the wind farms are expected to come online by the end of 2018. (Source: Nordex, Various Media, 19 Feb., 2018) Contact: Nordex, Jose Luis Blanco, CEO, +49 381 6663 3300, www.nordex-online.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Nordex,  Wind,  


Los Angeles Curbs Building Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Reg & Leg)
Los Angeles
Date: 2018-02-21
On February 6, the Los Angeles City Council adopted a resolution targeting drastic cuts to greenhouse gas emissions from commercial and residential buildings -- the latest step by the nation's second-largest city to shrink the environmental footprint of its built environment.

The measure gives the city's Building and Safety Department and the Department of Water and Power (DWP) 90 days to recommend methods for reducing reliance on natural gas and shifting toward electricity from clean sources for heating, water heating, and cooking. The move also requires DWP to set ambitious goals for building electrification in 2028 and 2038.

The targets are in line with L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti's sustainability plan which aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 60 pct before 2035. Currently, the L.A. region burns more fossil fuels in its buildings than in its power plants. (Source: City of Los Angeles, Architectural Record, 6 Feb., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Greenhouse Gas Emissions,  GHGs,  


Rotterdam Waste-to-Methanol Plant Plans Confirmed (Int'l)
Enerkem,AkzoNobel,Air Liquide
Date: 2018-02-21
Montreal-based Enerkem reports it has joined AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals, Air Liquide, and the Port of Rotterdam in an agreement for initial investments for an advanced waste-to-chemicals plant in Rotterdam. When fully operational, the plant is expected to have two production lines producing as much as 220,000 mt of "green" methanol from 360,000 mt of waste materials. The new plant should also generate CO2 emission savings of around 300,000 mt.

An Initial €9 million ($11 million) investment is expected to cover the set-up of a joint venture, engineering and permitting. The completed plant is expected to come in at approximately €200 million. (Source: Enerkem, Platts, 16 Feb., 2018) Contact: Enerkem Inc. Vincent Chornet, Pres., CEO, (514) 875-0284 X 251, vchornet@enerkem.com, www.enerkem.com; AkzoNobel, Peter Nieuwenhuizen, Dir. of Innovation, +31 88 969 7833, www.akzonobel.com; Air Liquide, Chet Benham, VP Advanced Technologies, (781) 491-0807, www.airliquide.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Enerkem,  AkzoNobel,  Air Liquide,  Methanol,  


PA. Oil, Gas Methane Emissions Higher than Reported (Ind. Report)
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection,EDF
Date: 2018-02-21
According to a new study conducted by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the Keystone State's oil and gas operations emit more than 520,000 tpy of methane from leaky, outdated and malfunctioning equipment. The study also found emissions of volatile organic compounds, which contribute to smog and respiratory diseases like asthma, are nine times higher than reported to the state by the oil and gas industry. "Oil and gas methane emissions could be as high as five times what industry reports through the state methane and greenhouse gas reporting inventories," The report claims.

The study concludes that without additional regulatory action by the state, more than 5,000,000 million tons of methane pollution could be emitted in Pennsylvania by 2025. The Pennsylvania DEP is presently finalizing methane reduction requirements for new, unconventional facilities which are expected to reduce emissions by about 3 pct. If the state regulations included existing unconventional sources, emissions would be 25 pct lower, according to the report. (Source: EDF, Public News Service, Allegheny Front, 16 Feb., 2018) Contact: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, www.dep.pa.gov; EDF, Andrew Williams, Director of Regulatory and Legislative Affairs, www.edf.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Environmental Defense Fund,  ,  Methane,  GHGs,  Greenhouse Gas Emissions,  


Massive Floating Solar Farm Planned for Netherlands (Int'l)
Floating Solar
Date: 2018-02-21
In the Netherlands, a $1.48 million floating solar farm off the coast of the Netherlands is being promoted by a nine-member consortium headed up by Oceans of Energy, a Netherlands company that creates floating offshore systems. The project, which aims to have 2,500 square meters of solar panels in place by 2021, is being backed by the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy's Netherlands Enterprise Agency over the next three years.

The consortia includes energy sector companies: Oceans of Energy, TNO, TAQA, TKI Urban Energy, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and ECN. Utrecht University will conduct sustainability research, while the Maritime Research Institute of the Netherlands will carry out independent research for the Dutch government.(Source: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, 19 Feb., 2018) Contact: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, www.government.nl/ministries/ministry-of-economic-affairs-and-climate-policy; Oceans of Energy, Allaard van Hoeken , CEO, +31-(0)850090631, info@oceansofenergy.blue, https://oceansofenergy.blue

More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  Floating Solar,  


Greencoat Renewables Snares 9.2-MW Irish Wind Farm (Int'l, M&A)
Greencoat Renewables
Date: 2018-02-21
Dublin-headquartered Greencoat Renewables Plc reports it has taken possession of the 9.2-MW Lisdowney wind farm in Leinster province, Ireland, which it purchased last July for €22.5 million, subject to an adjustment mechanism.

The wind farm, which went into production in November 2016, incorporates four Enercon GmbH E82 turbines. The wind farm benefits from a contract through 2031 under Ireland's renewable energy feed-in tariff (REFIT) scheme.

Owned by European renewables investment manager Greencoat Capital LLP, Greencoat Renewables had a 173-MW portfolio of wind farms as of December 2017. (Source: Greencoat Capital, 20 Feb., 2018) Contact: Greencoat Capital, Bertrand Gautier, Partner, www.greencoat-capital.comGreencoat Renewables www.greencoat-capital.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Greencoat Renewables,  Wind,  


China Expanding Bioethanol Production, Consumption (Int'l)
Chinese State Administration of Grain
Date: 2018-02-21
In Beijing, the Chinese State Administration of Grain (SAG) is reporting China will expand production and consumption of bioethanol fuel this year as the country seeks more channels to use corn and grain stockpiles. The surplus is the result of years of support for corn farmers.

To help make use of the excess stock, China last year announced a plan for nationwide use of bioethanol gasoline by 2020. Outlining the work priorities for 2018, the SAG said it will accelerate the use of grain stockpiles and reform grain storage mechanisms to make them more market-oriented, according to the State Administration of Grain. (Source: Chinese State Administration of Grain, Xinhua, 17 Feb., 2018) Contact: Chinese State Administration of Grain, www.chinagrain.gov.cn/english/index.html

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  Bioethanol,  China Ethanol,  


EU Announces €98.2Mn Energy Efficiency Funding (Int'l)
European Commission
Date: 2018-02-19
In Brussels, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) are reporting a €98.2 million investment package under the new Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE) funding program. The investment will cover 10 projects in eight Member States to address environmental quality and building efficiency issues. The move appears to be in response to Eurostat's announcment that the trading block is lagging in its energy efficiency goals.

The funding package could mobilize an additional €2 billion in funding as Member States also make use of other EU funding sources.

In related news, Eurostat announced that Europe's 2016 primary energy consumption was 4 pct above the EU's 2020 target to reduce energy consumption by 20 pct below business as usual projections by 2020. Final energy consumption exceeded the target by 2 pct. (Source: EuroStat, European Commission, PR, IISD, 5 Feb., 2018) Contact: Eurostat, http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat

More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Consupmtion,  


OECD Report Urges More Effective Energy Taxes to Address Climate Change -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
OECD
Date: 2018-02-19
In its report Taxing Energy Use 2018 the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) finds that current energy taxes are insufficient to effectively address climate change.

The report analyzes the coverage and magnitude of 2015 energy use taxes, and assesses changed between 2012 and 2015. Data is based on the OECD's Taxing Energy Use database, which compares taxes on energy use in 42 OECD and G20 economies, representing 80 pct of global energy use and associated CO2 emissions.

The publication finds that, outside the road transport sector, 81 pct of emissions were untaxed, noting there was almost no change in emissions tax rates between 2012-2015. Overall, tax rates fell short of the €30 low-end estimate of climate cost per tCO2 for 97 pct of emissions. Though not addressed in this publication, the report notes that emissions trading systems had minimal impact on this broader trend.

Emissions from coal-fired energy generation, which were responsible for nearly half of the carbon emissions associated with energy use in the 42 countries studied, remained untaxed in almost every country. In contrast, taxes on oil products were relatively high, exceeding €100 per tCO2. The share of road sector fuel emissions taxed above climate costs increased from 46 pct to 50 pct between 2012-2015, driven by fuel tax reforms in China, India and Mexico. Road transport fuel tax rates remained nonetheless below levels required to cover even non-climate external costs, according to the study. Additionally, in all but two countries, taxes on diesel for road use were lower than taxes on gasoline, despite diesel's known effects on air quality.

The report concludes that, aside from increases in transport fuel taxes that occurred in some low to middle income economies, no structural change to taxation patterns on energy use materialized between 2012-2015. It recommends that, if public compensation for higher energy costs is deemed necessary, targeted transfers should be provided rather than lower tax rates or exemptions to maintain the environmental integrity of market-based instruments

Download the Taxing Energy Use 2018 Report HERE. (Source: OECD, PR, Feb., 2018) Contact: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, www.oecd.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News OECD,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Tax,  Climate Change,  


In the Dark: The Hidden Climate Impacts of Energy Development on Public Lands -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
Wilderness Society
Date: 2018-02-19
In a new report, US Interior Department notes that 42 pct of all coal mined in the US in 2015 came from public lands, as did 22 pct of all crude oil and 15 pct of all natural gas. Now, a new report from The Wilderness Society shows that fossil fuel exploration on public lands generates roughly 20 pct of all US greenhouse gas emissions, and that activity shows no signs of abating.

The report -- In the Dark: The Hidden Climate Impacts of Energy Development on Public Lands -- incorporates data from the Wilderness Society's new Federal Lands Emissions Accountability Tool (FLETT)developed in cooperation with Quadruple Bottom Line Solutions (4BL), a communications agency.

The report finds that emissions associated with federal lands energy development need to be reduced from 1.52 billion tons carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year to between 1.16 billion and 1.13 billion tons CO2e per year by 2025 to be in-line with economy-wide reductions needed to meet that goal."

Download the In the Dark: The Hidden Climate Impacts of Energy Development on Public Lands report HERE. (Source: Wilderness Society, European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, EcoBusiness, 15 Feb., 2018) Contact: Wilderness Society, www.wilderness.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Wilderness Society,  


"More Biofuels Vital to Energy Outlook" - Growth Energy (Ind. Report)
Growth Energy
Date: 2018-02-19
According to Chris Bliley, Growth Energy VP for regulatory affairs, the US Energy Information Administration's (EIA) just released Annual Energy Outlook 2018 demonstrate a clear and growing need for U.S. biofuels. The report predicts an 18 pct increase in miles traveled by U.S. motorists in traditional light-duty vehicles -- an increase from 2.8 trillion miles in 2017 to 3.3 trillion miles in 2050.

"Blending more homegrown, cost-efficient biofuels into the fuel supply is the ready-made solution to lowering prices at the pump while also dramatically reducing emissions.

"Federal experts agree that ethanol slashes emissions by 43 pct over the full energy life-cycle-from farm to engine but that the level of carbon savings is rising with each passing year, thanks to innovations in biofuel production and precision agriculture. We must reduce emissions in the transportation sector and that means deploying higher ethanol blends like E15 and E85 as well as mid-level ethanol blends like E30 alongside advanced and cellulosic biofuels. A strong Renewable Fuel Standard is vital to that effort, and we urge the Environmental Protection Agency to reject calls from a few fossil fuel advocates who want to hold back the rapid growth of ethanol production in rural America," Bliley says.

(Source: Growth Energy, 15 Feb., 2018) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy,  Biofuel,  Biofuel Blend,  


Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center Refocuses (Ind. Report)
Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
Date: 2018-02-19
The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, reports it has embarked on a new mission develop sustainable alternatives to transportation fuels and products currently derived from petroleum.

GLBRC originally focused on corn stover ethanol production and developing perennial plants like switchgrass and miscanthus as biofuel feedstocks. Now, GLBRC goal is centered on designing advanced biofuels, such as isobutanol. These "drop-in" fuels could be used to replace gasoline without engine modification. By engineering bioenergy crops to enhance their environmental and economic value, and conducting research to generate multiple products from plant biomass, these advancements could optimize the bioenergy field-to-product pipeline.

GLBRC scientists and engineers are also improving the yield and processing traits of dedicated bioenergy crops for cultivation on marginal, or non-agricultural, land. With smart management, these crops have the potential to benefit the ecosystem, help mitigate climate change, and provide farmers with an additional source of revenue.

GLBRC is focused on enabling a new and different biorefinery, one that is both economically viable and environmentally sustainable. Realizing this goal will mean increasing the efficiency of biomass conversion and generating a mix of specialty biofuels and environmentally-friendly bioproducts, from as much of a plant's biomass as possible. One such discovery, breaks down lignin's six-carbon rings -- the "aromatics" -- into individual components. Traditionally sourced from petroleum, aromatics are used in a wide variety of products, including plastic soda bottles, Kevlar, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals, and are essential components of jet fuel. (Source: University of Wisconsin Madison, GLBRC, PR, 18 Feb., 2018) Contact: Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Tim Donohue, Dir., John Greenler, Dir. Outreach, (608) 890-2444, www.glbrc.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center,  University of Wisconsin Madison,  Biofuel,  Biochemical,  Ethanol,  Bioplastics,  


Aviation Biofuel Emissions, Contrail Studied (Int'l Report)
Max Planck Institute ,NASA,German Aerospace Center
Date: 2018-02-19
A joint project between the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU) and the US National Aeronatics and Space Administration (NASA) is aiming to determine the effects alternative aviation fuels have on the formation of contrails and whether aircraft emissions are reduced by using biofuels.

In their joint effort, the scientists performed eight test flights at varying altitudes to compare traditional aviation fuels against biofuels. In each test, a DLR Airbus A320 was fueled with a different blend of kerosene and Camelina-based biofuel. NASA's DC-8 flying laboratory followed a few kilometres behind an measured the pollutants in the Airbus' exhaust plume. Among the instruments on the flying laboratory were the ERc Instrument for Chemical composition of Aerosols (ERICA), from the Max Planck Institute and JGU Mainz.

NASA and DLR have been researching whether aviation biofuels are more eco-friendly for some time. According to a statement from the University of Mainz, previous studies have shown that 50 pct and 70 pct less soot particles form from a 50 pct biofuel mixture with 50 pct normal kerosene. "At altitudes of eight kilometres, soot particles and water vapour form ice crystals at -50 degrees C, which can be seen in the sky as contrails. Among other things, the ice crystals prevent heat from escaping the atmosphere into space, meaning that every contrail creates its own small greenhouse effect." (Source: German Aerospace Center, NASA, Various Media, Biofuels Int'l, 15 Feb., 2018)Contact: NASA, www.nasa.gov; Max Planck Institute, www.mpg.de/institutes; German Aerospace Center, www.dlr.de/rd/en

More Low-Carbon Energy News NASA,  Aviation Biofuel,  Max Planck Institute,  


Tradewind Announces $89Mn S. Carolina Solar Project (Ind. Report)
Tradewind Energy
Date: 2018-02-19
Kansas-based renewable energy developer Tradewind Energy reports it will construct a 75-MW, $89 million solar farm on approximately 1,000 acres south of the town of Bowman, Orangeburg County, South Carolina.

The county granted fee-in-lieu of taxes incentives for the project and agreed to place the project in a joint industrial park with Dorchester County. The joint county industrial park is a mechanism designed to provide an industry with additional incentives. There is no physical park.

Construction on the site is expected to get underway by April of this year. To date, Tradewind has completed more than 3,000 MW of wind and solar power projects. (Source: Tradewind Energy, Times & Democrat, Feb., 2018) Contact: Tradewind Energy Inc., Justin McGeeney, (913) 888-9463, www.tradewindenergy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Tradewind Energy,  Solar ,  


Tenaska Inks 236 MW Missouri Wind Farm PPA (Ind. Report)
Tenaska,Associated Electric Cooperative
Date: 2018-02-19
Omaha-headquartered independent power producer Tenaska reports it has inked a 236 MW, 25-year PPA with Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. for a wind from Tenaska's Clear Creek Energy Center which is currently in advanced development near Maryville in Nodaway County, Missouri. The Clear Creek project will incorporate approximately 100 to 120, i2 MW-3 MW wind turbines. Construction of the $200 million to $300 million project is expected to begin in 2019 for commissioning in 2020.

Associated Electric, an electric generation and transmission cooperative based in Springfield, Mo., provides wholesale power to six regional cooperatives, including NW Electric Power Cooperative Inc. of Cameron, Mo., and 51 local cooperative systems in Missouri, southeast Iowa and northeast Oklahoma that serve 910,000 members. Associated's resource mix includes coal, natural gas, wind and hydropower. (Source: Tensaka, Various Media, NA Windpower, 15 Feb., 2018)Contact: Associated Electric Cooperative, David J. Tudor, CEO and GM, www.aeci.org; Tenaska, (402) 691-9700, info@tenaskacapital.com, www.tenaskacapital.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Tenaska,  Wind,  Vestas,  


ConEdison, Tesla Partner on Powerpack Installations (Ind. Report)
Tesla,ConEdison,Orange and Rockland
Date: 2018-02-19
In the Big Apple, New York's largest electric utility, Con Edison, reports it has partnered with Tesla to propose a series of Powerpack energy storage installations in collaboration with Orange and Rockland (O&R), a Con Edison subsidiary.

The Project will develop and test methods of mitigating barriers to energy storage implementation. The demonstration project batteries will consist of a 4MW/8MWh portfolio of aggregated batteries located at individual battery sites behind-the-meter of commercial and industrial customers and co-located with distribution-connected remote solar projects. The battery installations will be developed, designed, installed, operated and maintained by Tesla.

The $5.6 million project is expected to pay for itself quickly by creating over $700,000 in value per year in the New York ISO energy, capacity and ancillary services markets. (Source: Tesla, ConEdison, ElecTrek. 15 Feb., 2018)Contact: Orange and Rockland, www.oru.com; Tesla Power Pack, www.tesla.com/en_CA/powerpack; ConEdison, Jorge J. Lopez, Pres., CEO, (914) 286-7094, www.conedsolutions.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Tesla Powerpack,  Con Edison,  Energy Storage,  


Rotterdam Waste-to-Methanol Plant Agreement Confirmed (Int'l)
Enerkem,AkzoNobel,Air Liquide
Date: 2018-02-19
Montreal, Quebec-based Enerkem reports it has joined AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals, Air Liquide, and the Port of Rotterdam in an agreement for initial investments for an advanced waste-to-chemicals plant in Rotterdam.

When fully operational, the plant is expected to have two production lines producing as much as 220,000 mt of "green" methanol from 360,000 mtpy of waste materials. The new plant should also generate CO2 emission savings of around 300,000 mtpy.

An Initial €9 million ($11 million) investment is expected to cover the set-up of a joint venture, engineering and the completion of permitting processes. The completed plant is expected to come in at approximately €200 million. (Source: Enerkem, Platts, 16 Feb., 2018) Contact:Enerkem Inc. Vincent Chornet, Pres., CEO, (514) 875-0284 X 251, vchornet@enerkem.com, www.enerkem.com; AkzoNobel, Peter Nieuwenhuizen, +31 88 969 7833, www.akzonobel.com; Air Liquide, Chet Benham, VP Advanced Technologies, (781) 491-0807, www.airliquide.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Enerkem,  AkzoNobel,  Air Liquide,  Methanol,  


Honeywell's Aviation Biofuel Powers 13,000km Flight (Ind. Report)
Honeywell UOP.
Date: 2018-02-19
Global technology company, Honeywell tests first trans-Pacific flight using a new biofuel made from Carinata seeds, a non-edible mustard seed. The company says that the 15-hour 13,000km journey marked the debut of Honeywell UOP Green Jet fuel.

According to Honeywell, the new fuel can replace as much as half of the petroleum jet fuel used in flight, without changing the aircraft technology and still meet emission standards established by the ASTM, resulting in a potential 65 to 85 pct cut in greenhouse gas emissions compared to standard petroleum jet fuel. The Carinata oil engineered by Quebec-based Agrisoma is intended for industrial use in the production of bio and jet fuels. When pressed, this seeds yield half their weight in oils that is then refined into jet fuel by AltAir, at the world's first commercial-scale renewable jet fuel plant in Paramount, California. (Source: Honeywell, AutoCar news, 19 Feb., 2018) Contact: Honeywell UOP, Rebecca Liebert, Pres.,CEO, www.uop.com; Agrisoma Biosciences Inc., Steve Fabijanski, CEO, www.agrisoma.com, www.growcarinata.com; Altair Fuels, Bryan Sherbacow, CEO, (843) 720-8920, bryan@altairfuels.com, www.altairfuels.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carinata,  Honeywell UOP,  Aviation Biofuel,  Agrisoma,  AltAir,  


API Opposes Small Refinery RFS Exemptions (Ind. Report)
American Petroleum Institute
Date: 2018-02-19
In a letter to the US EPA, the American Petroleum Institute (API) -- an oil industry lobby group -- has come out against a campaign by small refineries to avoid their obligations under the US Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) biofuel blending requirements. The EPA is empowered to issue the requested exemptions based on "severe economic harm" as claimed by the governors of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Texas. The governors have been pressing the EPA for a nationwide waiver to the biofuel mandate.

"The ongoing issues with the RFS program are structural in nature, apply to all regulated parties, and need to be addressed on a nationwide basis, according to the API. API recommends that EPA deny the state waivers and should not approve any small refinery exemptions. "The RFS needs comprehensive reform," API says. (Source: API, Platts, SPGlobal, Various Media, Contact: API, Frank Macchiarola, Dir., (202) 682-8114, www.api.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News American Petroleum Institute,  EPA,  RFS,  Biofuel Blend ,  


Supporting Energy Efficiency Progress in Major Economies -- IPEEC Report Attached (Ind. Report)
International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation
Date: 2018-02-16
The International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC) has released its 2017 Annual Report, detailing the achievements of its six country-led task groups and nine work streams under the IPEEC Leading Programme. The report highlights progress made by IPEEC members and task groups in the design, acceleration and implementation of cross-sector energy efficiency policies and programs on an international scale.

The Buildings Energy Efficiency Task Group published its 6th report on key regulatory policies used to improve existing buildings. The Energy Efficiency Finance Task Group (EEFTG) developed a toolkit providing voluntary options for policy makers, private financial institutions and development banks to scale up investments in energy efficiency.

Download the Supporting Energy Efficiency Progress in Major Economies report HERE. (Source: IPEEC, IISD, Feb., 2017) Contact: IPEEC, www.ipeec.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation,  Energy Efficiency,  


AEP Plans 80 pct Slash in CO2 Emissions by 2050 (Ind. Report)
American Electric Power
Date: 2018-02-16
Columbus, Ohio-headquartered utility giant American Electric Power (AEP) has announced it will pursue a strategy to reduce its CO2 emissions by 60 pct from 2000 levels by 2030, and 80 pct from 2000 levels by 2050. To meet its goal, AEP plans to increase its investments in renewable generation and advanced technologies and increase its use of natural gas for power generation. It will also invest heavily in transmission and distribution systems to enhance efficiency as well as in expanded demand response and energy efficiency programs.

According to Nicholas K. Akins, AEP Chairman, President and CEO, "The strategy doesn't mean AEP will become a purely clean energy company. We believe in an 'all of the above' strategy, which includes investments in energy efficiency, renewables, natural gas, nuclear, hydro-electric and pumped storage and coal." AEP notes it has "factored future carbon regulations into the company's evaluation of generation resource options for many years and will continue to do so."

Since 2000, AEP has slashed CO2 emissions by 44 pct. Only 47 pct of AEP's generation fleet is coal-fired, compared to 70 pct in 2005 while renewable capacity is up from 4 pct in 2005 to 13 pct today. (Source: AEP, Feb., 2016)Contact: AEP, (614) 716-1000, www.aep.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News American Electric Power,  Carbon Emissions,  


EC Commits €98.2Mn to Mobilize Low-Carbon Economy (Int'l)
European Commission
Date: 2018-02-16
Meeting in Brussels, the European Commission (EC) reports it will invest €98.2 million to support Europe's transition to a low-carbon, circular economy under the new LIFE funding programme for the Environment and Climate Action.

The investment, which covers 10 projects in Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Lithuania, Malta, Spain and Sweden, will mobilize investments leading to an additional €2 billion, as Member States can make use of other EU funding sources.

The 10 projects have a total budget of €182.2 million, of which €29.4 million is earmarked for 2 projects specific to climate change adaptation. (Source: European Commission, 8 Feb., 2018) Contact: European Commission, Miguel Arias Canete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy https://ec.europa.eu

More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission,  Low-Carbon Economy,  Climate Change Adaptation,  


Can DOE ARPA-E Survive The Donald's Budget Cuts? (Ind. Report)
ARPA-E
Date: 2018-02-16
An addendum to President Trump's proposed budget submitted a $1.5 billion increase to the DOE budget -- $1.2 billion of which is earmarked for research into the country's "energy future." Unfortunately, only $120 million of that "energy future" funding is earmarked for research into sustainable transportation, renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies while the absurdity of clean coal will receive $200 million in funding.

While the administration's 2018 proposal ensures the DOE's overall budget remains unchanged, it would cut the $305 million required to keep the DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) afloat.

Since its founding in 2009, ARPA-E has provided funding for projects that develop solar cells, wind turbines, biofuels, energy storage, carbon capture and other crucial technologies and projects. (Source: Various Media, Futurism, 13 Feb., 2018) Contact: US DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, www.arpa-e.energy.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News ARPA-E,  Trump Budget,  Renewable Energy,  


Ontario's 4th Green Bond Sale Raises $1bn (Cdn) (Ind. Report)
Province of Ontario
Date: 2018-02-16
Reporting from Queens Park, the Canadian province of Ontario notes it $1 billion (Cdn)($801 million US) in its fourth green bond sale. To date, the province's 4 green bonds have raised a total of $3.05 billion (Cdn).

Green bond proceed are use to support initiatives and projects that will cut the province's carbon footprint and fight climate change. (Source: Province of Ontario, Various Media, Feb., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Bond,  Carbon Emissions,  


Diacarbon Energy Selling Shuttered Merritt, BC Pellet Mill (M&A)
Diacarbon Energy
Date: 2018-02-16
In Burnaby, British Columbia, biocoal, biochar and wood pellet maker Diacarbon Energy Inc. reports it will not be restarting its fire damaged torrefied wood pellet plant in Merritt.

The shuttered plant, which was damaged by fire in fall 2016, is up for sale and the plant's technology development program is being moved to Vancouver or the USA. Diacarbon acquired the pellet plant in 2014.(Source: Diacarbon Energy, Canadian Biomass, 14 Feb., 2018)Contact: Diacarbon Energy Inc. (604) 291-0001, info@diacarbon.com, www.diacarbon.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wood Pellet,  Woody Biomass,  


Here’s What Trump’s New Budget Means for Renewable Energy

Date: 2018-02-15
As expected, the Trump administration's new budget slashes programs funding renewable energy research, allocating far more money to clean coal development. Cutting Costs The Trump administration’s latest budget proposal released on February 12, 2018 could have major consequences for the future of renewable energy in the U.S. If Congress approves the budget, it would cut the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s funding by more than half, and completely elimination of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program. ARPA-E is a program that issues grants to energy startups from across the country. The program was nearly discontinued in 2017, but Congress awarded it an additional $15 million that ensured its survival for another year


Old Dominion Co-ops Await Solar Program Approvals (Reg & Leg)
Old Dominion Electric Cooperative
Date: 2018-02-14
In Virginia, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, Northern Neck Electric Cooperative and two other Old Dominion Electric Cooperative members are reportedly seeking formal approval for a 3-year Community Solar Pilot Project to which the member cooperatives could subscribe.

Currently, a portion of all power supplied to them comes from solar. The new program will allow members to receive a dedicated, predetermined amount of solar power each month at a locked in price.

The pilot programs must be approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. The cooperatives expect to receive approval of their Community Solar pilot programs later this spring, and to begin offering solar subscriptions this summer. (Source: Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, PR, Fredericksburg.com, 12 Feb., 2018) Contact: Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, (804) 747-0592, feedback@odec.com, www.odec.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  Old Dominion Electric Cooperative ,  


KHNP Inks South Korean Floating Solar MoU (Int'l Report)
Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power
Date: 2018-02-14
In Seoul, South Korean-state-owned Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) reports it has inked a memorandum of understanding with Hwaseong Solar Energy to develop 100 MW floating solar power plant in Hwaseong, 70 kilometers southwest of Seoul.

The 220 billion won (US$202 million) project is part of KHNP's plan to invest 10 trillion won by 2030 to expand renewable energy sources, including solar and wind power. The government plans to increase the ratio of renewable energy from the current 7 pct to 20 pct by 2030, and increase renewable energy capacity of 63.8 GW. (Source: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power , Yonhap, 12 Feb., 2018) Contact: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, www.khnp.co.kr

More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  Floating Solar,  Korea Solar,  


Vermont Co-op Ups Energy Efficiency Incentives (Ind. Report)
Washington Electric Co-op
Date: 2018-02-14
In Vermont, East Montpelier-based Washington Electric Co-op (WEC) reports its Button Up program is increasing cash incentives for moderate- and low-income WEC members investing in energy-efficient weatherization, heating and EV and Hybrid Electric vehicle purchases.

The Button Up program grew out of Vermont's Renewable Energy Standard requiring electric utilities to support customers move off of fossil fuels to reach the state's goal of using 90 pct renewable energy in all areas by 2050. The cash incentive funds are from the Vermont Low-Income Trust for Energy (VLITE).

The Button Up program will grant $2,000 toward home weatherization, up to $1,000 toward cold climate heat pumps, $850 for heat pump water heaters, $1,450 for solar hot water heaters, and $3,000 for pellet boilers.

Washington Electric Co-op is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric utility founded in 1939. WEC delivers 100 pct renewable energy generated electric power to approximately 10,800 member-owners in 41 Vermont communities. (Source: Washington Electric Cooperative, PR 12 Feb., 2018) Contact: Washington Electric Coop, Patty Richards, GM, (802) 223-5245, www.washingtonelectric.coop

More Low-Carbon Energy News Washington Electric Co-op ,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency Incentives,  


Trump's Draft Budget Rips Renewable Energy Funding (Reg & Leg)
DOE EERE,ENERGY Star
Date: 2018-02-14
"President Trump's draft budget released today proposes to slash funding for the Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) program by $1.3 billion, a 65 pct cut from the 2017 budget. Trump's budget serves as a starting point for congressional negotiations as well as a blueprint for the administration's priorities.

"Trump's steep cuts are a really ugly assault on clean energy. This is a counterproductive move that will threaten our climate, good jobs and economic progress, said Greer Ryan, renewable energy and research specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity. 'While the proposal is unlikely to make it through Congress, it's another clear signal that Trump will do anything to prop up dirty coal and nuclear power.'

"The EERE program, which includes programs to increase the generation of electricity from clean energy sources and improve the efficiency of homes, businesses and industries, has been widely successful. A third-party analysis found that $12 billion in funding yielded an estimated $230 billion in net economic benefit to the U.S.

"The administration also proposed to eliminate funding for the popular Energy Star program as part of cuts to the EPA. The budget proposes that the program's administrative costs be covered by user fees, which companies would have to pay to use the label."

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places. (Source: Center for Biological Diversity, PR, 12 Feb., 2018) Contact: Center for Biological Diversity, Greer Ryan, (812) 345-8571, gryan@biologicaldiversity.org, www.biologicaldiversity.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Energy Efficiency,  DOE EERE,  ENERGY Star,  


DoI Replacing Obama-Era Methane Emissions Rule (Reg & Leg)
US Interior Department
Date: 2018-02-14
In Washington, the US Interior Department (DoI) reports it is replacing a 2016 Obama administration regulation with requirements similar to those in force prior to the Obama administration changed the regulation restricting harmful methane emissions from oil and gas production on federal lands.

The DoI previously announced it was delaying the Obama-era rule until January 2019, arguing that it was overly burdensome to industry and the delay would allow federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) time to review the earlier rule while avoiding tens of millions of dollars in compliance costs to industry. Methane, although shorter-lived than CO2, is far more potent at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. (Source: US Department of Interior, VOA, Others, AP, 12 Feb., 2018) Contact: US Department of Interior, www.doi.gov; BLM, www.blm.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Obama Methane,  US Interior Department,  Methane,  


Houston Advanced Research Center Wins LEED Platinum (Ind. Report)
Houston Advanced Research Center
Date: 2018-02-14
In the Lone Star State, the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) reports it has been awarded LEED platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), pushing the center a step closer to becoming a Net Zero Energy Building.

The key sustainable elements that contributed to the LEED platinum rating include:

  • Water stewardship -- Rainfall runoff from the roof and parking lot of HARC is directed toward vegetated bioswales. The bioswales feature native and water smart plants and run adjacent to the preserved forest habitats. Natural and restored habitats facilitate landscape regeneration. Low-flow water fixtures in the building are calibrated to reduce potable water use.

  • Energy efficiency -- The facility features geothermal heat exchange, a high-performance building envelope and rain screen, appropriately sized mechanical and air distribution systems, and daylighting and rooftop solar photovoltaics.

  • Materials reduction -- Building design seeks to lessen the carbon footprint of the structural systems, as well as minimize layers of finished materials where possible; exposed structure and polished concrete floors are examples of strategies employed. Thirty-one pct of building materials were locally sourced and building finishes were low in volatile organic compound (VOC) content, and 88 pct of waste generated during construction was recycled.

    HARC is a nonprofit research hub providing independent analysis on energy, air and water issues. (Source: HARC, USGBC, ProudGreenBuilding,Daily Telescope, 12 Feb., 2018) Contact: Houston Advanced Research Center, Lisa Gonzalez, Pres., CEO, (281) 364-6000, www.harcresearch.org; USGBC, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Net Zero Energy,  Houston Advanced Research Center,  LEED Platinum,  Energy Efficiency,  USGBC,  


  • Sylvatex, Valicor Tout Blendstock Development Agreement (Ind. Report)
    Sylvatex,Valicor
    Date: 2018-02-14
    Green nano-chemistry company Sylvatex and Dexter, Michigan-headquartered Valicor are reporting a new joint development agreement (JDA)for the development, construction and commercialization of Sylvatex's MicroX technology to convert distillers corn oil (DCO) and other plant-based oil feedstocks into the company's proprietary renewable blendstock.

    Sylvatex creates renewable nanoscale emulsion systems that can be used in fuels and other specialty chemical applications. Valicor specializes in the recovery and repurposing of byproducts from a range of production facilities including corn oil extraction for ethanol production. (Source: Sylvatex, Various Media, Biofuels Int'l, 13 Feb., 2018) Contact: Sylvatex, Virginia Klausmeier, CEO, (415) 667-3835, http://sylvatex.com; Valicor, (734) 659-0244, info@valicor.com, www.valicor.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel,  Corn Oil,  

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