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Obama Methane Venting/Flaring Rule Rollback Stalled (Reg & Leg)
BLM,Obama Methane Rule
Date: 2017-12-15
In Washington, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) reports it is delaying implementation of the (Methane) Waste Prevention Rule to Jan. 17, 2019, and suspending rule provisions already in effect due to "concerns regarding the statutory authority, cost, complexity, feasibility and other implications" of the Obama-era 2016 Venting and Flaring Rule, according to a Kallanish report,

The rule, which came into effect in January, covered drilling on federal and Native American lands, and was to be fully operational by Jan. 17, 2018. The rule forces energy companies to capture methane that's burnt off or "flared" at drilling sites on public lands during production because it pollutes the environment. An estimated $330 million a year in methane is wasted through leaks or intentional releases on federal lands, enough to power about 5 million homes a year. (Source: BLM, Kallanish Energy, 11 Dec., 2017) Contact: Bureau of Land Management,

More Low-Carbon Energy News BLM,  Methane Rule,  Obama Methane Rule,  

Apache Supports Operations Environmental Performance (Ind. Report)
Apache Corp
Date: 2017-12-15
Houston-headquartered petroleum and natural gas giant Apache Corp. reports it has joined the Environmental Partnership, a collaboration among 25 oil and natural gas producers to support environmental performance enhancements in operations nationwide.

The association will use expertise and knowledge within the industry to advance best practices, innovations and technologies that lower emissions. The voluntary plan comes into play January 1, 2018.

By the means of the ONE Future Coalition, Apache has pledged to target 0.36 pct or less of methane released by 2025, and has already cut methane emissions by 12 pct from 2015 levels. The Environmental Partnership plan includes a program to retrofit, replace or remove high-bleed pneumatic controllers, a plan for manual liquids unloading targeting natural gas production sources and a leak detection and technology plan for production sources. (Source: Apache Corp., Financial Trends, 11 Dec., 2017) Contact: ONE Future Coalition,; Apache Corp.,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Apache Corp,  ONE Future Coalition,  

CEC Supports California Energy Efficiency Initiatives (Ind. Report)
California Energy Commission
Date: 2017-12-15
In Sacramento, the California Energy Commission (CRC) reports it has created a new advisory group that will consist of members representing disadvantaged communities who will provide advice on proposed clean energy, energy efficiency and pollution reduction programs.

The CEC also approved a nearly $2 million low-interest loan to the City of Clovis to convert interior and exterior lighting at city buildings to energy efficient LED lights that are expected to save the city more than $125,000 per year in electric utility costs. Funds for the projects came from the Commission's Energy Conservation Assistance Act program, which provides low- and no- interest loans and technical support for energy efficiency projects.

Additionally, the CEC approved the adoption of building energy efficiency standards for the City of Davis that require single-family homes to be 30 pct more energy efficient than state standards. It also requires multi-family homes to be 25 pct more energy efficient than the state standards. The city will require a combination of efficiency measures and installation of solar panels.

With these actions, the CEC has approved 14 local ordinances that provide greater energy savings than the current state building energy efficiency standards. (Source: California Energy Commission, PR, 13 Dec., 2017)Contact: California Energy Commission, (916) 465-4500,

More Low-Carbon Energy News California Energy Commission,  Energy Efficiency ,  

Wa. State Airport Lauded for Energy Efficiency, Savings (Ind. Report)
DOE Better Buildings Challenge
Date: 2017-12-15
The U.S. DOE reports it has recognized King County International Airport for energy-efficiency upgrades and commitment to cut energy use by at least 20 pct in 10 years.

To meet its energy reduction goals, the airport upgraded mechanical systems and added advanced LED lighting and lighting controls controls throughout the terminal. The airport also installed exterior LED lighting that to date has delivered a 63 pct energy savings.

The airport is a Seattle-area Better Buildings Challenge partner. The Challenge has more then 345 member organizations from diverse sectors nationwide who have shared energy performance results for nearly 38,000 properties. On average, the partners are saving more than 2 pct per year and are on track to meet their energy savings goals of 20 pct over the next 10 years. (Source: US DOE, Energy Manager, 13 Dec., 2017) Contact: US DOE Better Buildings Challenge,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Better Building Challenge,  Energy Efficiency,  LED Light,  

ViZn CMI Energy Partner on Energy Storage Projects (Ind. Report)
ViZn Energy Systems
Date: 2017-12-15
Austin, Texas-based utility-scale energy storage specialist ViZn Energy Systems Inc. (ViZn) reports it is partnering with CMI Energy on energy storage projects. The initial project features a 400 kilowatt, 3-hour, zinc redox flow battery system that will be integrated with 2 MWp of rooftop solar PV and installed at the CMI HQ in Seraing, Belgium.

The CMI Energy and ViZn Energy partners will focus on: renewables integration, waste water treatment, mining, oil and gas, chemical, and other commercial and industrial energy storage use projects.

ViZn is currently delivering systems in the U.S., Canada, Central America, Europe, and India. ViZn Energy’s flow batteries are uniquely capable of performing both rapid, high-power discharges and slower, long-duration releases at lower power, according to the company. (Source: ViZn Energy, PR, Various Media, Dec., 2017) Contact: ViZn Energy, Van Dell, CEO ,; CMI Energy, Jean-Michel Gheeraerdts, Pres., Energy,

More Low-Carbon Energy News ViZn Energy Systems ,  Redox Flow Battery,  Energy Storage,  

$3.9Mn Funding for Bacteria Biofuels Production R&D (R&D Funding)
Washington University
Date: 2017-12-13
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis report receipt of $3.9 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop bacteria that manufacture renewable biofuels from non-food plants or microbes. The grant supports research in five Washington University labs as well as Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The researchers are studying Rhodococcus opacus, a bacteria originally discovered growing on toxic compounds outside a chemical plant. These bacteria thrive on these toxic compounds, using them as a source of food for the production of biofuels that not compete with the food supply.The researchers will engineer microbes to make biofuels from lignin, millions of tons of which are generated yearly from paper making and lignocellulose-based biofuel industries. Currently, the value of lignin is restricted to its application as a fuel for on-site boiler operations. (Source: Washington University St. Louis, PR, 11 Dec., 2017) Contact: Washington University St. Louis, Diane Duke Williams, Associate Director for Media Relations, (314) 286-0111,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Cellulosic,  Bacteria,  Ethanol,  Biofuel R&D,  

Notable Quote
Carbon Emissions
Date: 2017-12-13
"The North American Climate Summit sends a timely message to leaders around the world that cities are taking strong, swift and measurable action to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, ensure their communities are more resilient and transition their local economies to benefit from a low-carbon world. Cities and local governments have a critical role to play in stepping up ambition on climate change, and it is very encouraging to see so many coming to the table." -- Christiana Figueres , Vice Chair, Global Covenant of Mayors

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change news,  Christiana Figueres news,  Carbon Emissions news,  

Mayors Endorse Chicago Climate Charter (Ind. Report)
Mayors Climate Agreement
Date: 2017-12-13
Absent leadership from the Trump administration, more than 50 mayors from U.S. Canadian and American cities and townships participating in last weeks North American Climate Summit in Chicago signed the Chicago Climate Charter agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to meet goals comparable to those of the Paris climate accord, in each of their respective cities.

The Chicago Climate Charter outlines concrete plans for meeting carbon emission reduction targets by the year 2025.

Download the Chicago Climate Charter HERE. (Source: Futurism, Various Others, 10 Dec., 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  Paris Climate Agreement,  

EA Technology Pledges Carbon Neutrality (Int'l Report)
EA Technology
Date: 2017-12-13
In the UK, Capenhurst, Chester-headquartered energy networks specialist EA Technology is touting its new Carbon Action Plan to achieve carbon neutrality. Under the plan, EA Technology will slash its transportation, heating and lighting emissions by adopting solar energy, low-carbon heating systems, EV charging points and energy efficient technologies such as LED lighting to boost energy efficiency and self-sufficiency that will save thousands of pounds a year in energy costs. The company did not set a specific date for reaching carbon neutrality.

According to EA Technology CEO Robert Davies, "Our Carbon Action Plan will give us a modern, integrated, low carbon footprint and we expect to see our emissions reduce year on year with immediate effect as well as delivering the company financial savings." (Source: EA Technology, PR, Various Media, BusinessGreen, 11 Dec., 2017) Contact: EA Technology , Robert Davis, CEO, +44 (0) 151 339 4181,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Neutrality,  Carbon Neutral,  

Aera Energy, Glasspoint Solar Partner on CA Solar Project (Ind. Report)
GlassPoint Solar,Aera Energy
Date: 2017-12-13
Freemont, California-headquartered GlassPoint Solar reports it is partnering with Bakersfield, California-based oil and gas industry player Aera Energy to construct a thermal enhanced oil recovery solar energy project at the Belridge oilfield in California. The project will be the first of its kind in the world to use solar steam and solar electricity to power oilfield operations. efficiently reducing the field's carbon emissions.

The Belridge Solar project will consist of an 850MW solar thermal facility, producing 12 million barrels of steam per year, and a 26.5MW photovoltaic facility that will generate electricity. The facility is projected to save more than 376,000 metric tpy of CO2 emissions. (Source: GlassPoint Solar, Muscat Daily 9 Dec., 2017) Contact: Aera Energy, Christina Sistrunk, CEO, (661) 665-5000,; GlassPoint Solar, Ben Bierman, CEO, (415) 778-2800,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News GlassPoint Solar,  Solar,  

PARC Secures CalSEED Energy Storage Awards (Funding, R&D)
PARC,California Clean Energy Fund
Date: 2017-12-13
Palo Alto, California-based PARC, a Xerox company, is reporting receipt of two grant awards from the California Energy Commission's California Clean Energy Fund (CalSEED) program to develop a desalination battery for simultaneous desalination and electrical load-shifting, and a membrane-based electro-chemical CO2 removal system for HVAC energy savings.

The desalination battery combines the ability to desalinate highly saline waters with the ability to store electrical energy. The battery produces desalinated water during discharge without the need for high pressure or expensive maintenance; reduced pretreatment requirements; and the ability to realize high water recovery ratios and enables high renewables penetration on the grid.

PARC is developing the Membrane-based Electrochemical CO2 Removal System as a retrofit to existing HVAC systems. The PARC system reduces the need for thermal and humidity conditioning of building air by removing CO2 directly without increasing energy consumption.

PARC is also working on a variety of initiatives ranging from energy storage and efficiency to renewable energy, and others. (Source: PARC, PR, 11 Dec., 2017) Contact: PARC, Jessy Rivest, Energy Materials & Systems Hardware Systems Laboratory , (650) 812-4000,; California Clean Energy Fund, (415) 957-0167,; California Energy Commission, (916) 465-4500,

More Low-Carbon Energy News California Energy Commission,  Energy Storage,  California Clean Energy Fund,  

PG&E Lauded as Nation's Greenest Energy Provider (Ind. Report)
Date: 2017-12-13
PG&E reports its clean energy and sustainability initiatives have been recognized by the 2017 Newsweek Green Rankings, which named the company the greenest energy provider in the nation based on eight indicators covering energy, greenhouse gases, water, waste, green revenues, linking executive pay to sustainability, board-level committee oversight of sustainability and third-party audited environmental metrics.

PG&E's commitment to sustainability include: delivering power that's among the cleanest in the nation, with nearly 70 pct coming from greenhouse-gas free resources; a shareholder-funded Better Together Resilient Communities grant program that will invest $2 million over five years to support climate resilience planning efforts; and helping customers save $258 million on their energy bills through energy efficiency, and others. (Source: PB&E, PR, 11 Dec., 2017) Contact: PG&E Corporation, (415) 973-5930,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Energy,  Renewable Energy,  PG&E,  Energy Efficiency,  

India to Announce Gasoline-Methanol Blend Rate (Int'l Report)

Date: 2017-12-13
Autocar India reports the Indian government has announced it will soon allow the blending of methanol and gasoline to reduce retail fuel costs and curb pollution. Although an exact blend percentage rate has not yet been determined, 15 pct is being anticipated.

Gasoline supplied in India is already blended with ethanol and methanol-blended automotive fuel (petrol and diesel) in various blended percentages ranging from 3 to 85 pct is already in use in a few markets. (Source: Autocar India, 11 Dec., 2017)

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

Sunseap, Linyang Partner for Singapore Solar Projects (Int'l)
Sunseap, Linyang Energy
Date: 2017-12-13
Chinese clean energy firm Linyang Energy reports it has inked a MoU with Singapore-based solar developer Sunseap to work on distributed solar, floating solar, module supply and energy efficiency projects in Singapore.

Together the firms aim to install 100MW of distributed solar PV by the end of 2018 and 500MW by 2021. They will also collaborate on efficiency management using LEDs and green energy trading projects in Singapore as well as providing decentralized energy in industrial parks, according to a Linyang release.

The MoU covers: six areas requiring an investment of more than $500 by 2020. energy efficiency in buildings; rooftop and floating solar plants; 300MW of n-type double-glass modules; LED light and energy-saving services; partnering on Singaporean power trading; and working on virtual power stations, energy management hosting and micro-grids. The two companies expect to invest a total of $500 million by 2020. (Source: Linyang Energy, Various Media, PV Mag, 12 Dec., 2017) Contact: Linyang Energy,; Sunseap, +65 68 16 1000,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Sunseap,  Linyang Energy,  Solar,  Floating Solar,  Rooftop Solar,  

DOE Announces $18.5 Mn for Offshore Wind R&D (Funding)
Date: 2017-12-13
In the nation's capital, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry has announced $18.5 million in new Department of Energy (DOE) funding for an offshore wind research and development (R&D) consortium that will conduct U.S.-specific research aimed at reducing the cost of offshore wind in the U.S.

The consortium will be a cooperative private-public innovation hub addressing wind plant technology advancement, resource and physical site characterization, installation, operations and maintenance, supply chain technology solutions, and related relevant offshore wind topics and technologies.

The DOE intends to select an administrator to coordinate the collaborative R&D activities conducted by the consortium. The consortium will include members of the offshore wind industry who will contribute funds to the consortium and use the research findings to further advance technologies. In addition to the initial $18.5 million funding, $2 million will be allocated to research at DOE's national laboratories to support consortium R&D activities. (Source: US DOE EERE, 12 Dec., 2017) Contact: US DOE EERE,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Offshore Wind,  DOE EERE,  

Zero-Emissions Fossil-Fuel Demo Expected in 2018 (Ind. Report)
NET Power
Date: 2017-12-11
Following up on our 29 Sept. coverage, Durham, North Carolina-based Net Power reports its $150 million zero-emissions natural-gas pilot power plant in Houston, Texas is underway. The turbine technology used in NET Power's demo plant is based on the Allam cycle which exploits the unusual qualities of CO2 which, under high pressure and temperature, becomes a "super-critical fluid" that shares characteristics of a liquid and a solid. In its super-critical fluid form, CO2 has proven to be an efficient extractor of heat energy in a turbine. NET Power's turbine uses CO2, rather than a mixture of hot gases, to transfer heat, which is then converted into mechanical energy and, ultimately, electricity.

In collaboration with Toshiba, NET Power modified turbines to be compatible with the Allam cycle. Because of their highly efficient design, NET Power's turbines are one-tenth the size of normal turbines. After some final tests are conducted and minor problems are fixed, NET Power expects its plant to begin its operation in 2018. At full capacity, it will produce enough electricity to power 40,000 homes. Net Power aims to license its technology to third parties -- oil and gas companies, power utilities -- and expects the first commercial plant to start its turbines as early as 2021. Net Power was formed by a partnership of 8 Rivers Capital, Exelon and CB&I. (Source: NET Power, inhabitat, 5 Dec., 2017)Contact: Net Power, (919) 667-1800,

More Low-Carbon Energy News NET Power,  Carbon Emissions,  Zero Emission,  CO2,  Carbon Dioxide,  

NextEra Commissions Bluff Point Indiana Wind Farm (Ind. Report)
NextEra Energy Resources,AEP,Appalachian Power
Date: 2017-12-11
Following on our August 30th coverage, NextEra Energy Resources reports the commissioning of the Bluff Point Wind Energy Center in Jay County, Indiana.

The Bluff Point Wind Energy Center incorporates 57 General Electric wind turbines capable of generating almost 120 MW which is being purchased by American Electric Power. AEP will, in turn, service roughly 1 million customers of Appalachian Power in West Virginia, Tennessee and Virginia with the energy generated from Bluff Point. (Source: NextEra Energy Resources, Connerville News Examiner, 8 Dec., 2017) Contact: NextEra Energy Resources LLC, Zack Melda, Project Director, (561) 691-7171,; Appalachian Power,; AEP, (614) 716-1000,

More Low-Carbon Energy News NextEra Energy Resources,  AEP,  Appalachian Power,  

SiemensGamesa Announces Americas Consolidation (Ind. Report)
Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy
Date: 2017-12-11
SiemensGamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) reports it has consolidated its North America and Latin America regions under the leadership of a new CEOs Jose Antonio Miranda and Darnell Walker of its onshore and service businesses, respectively.

Prior to his start with Gamesa, Miranda worked for ABB in numerous roles, including business unit director of medium voltage in Spain.

SGRE notes it has a strong presence in the Americas: a total installed base of over 26 GW, capable of powering nearly 8 million average households. Of the 26 GW installed, 17.5 GW is under service. (Source: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Various Media, 7 Dec., 2017) Contact: SiemensGamesa Renewable Energy,

More Low-Carbon Energy News SiemensGamesa Renewable Energy,  Wind ,  

VertAx Wind, U.of Edinburgh Ink C-Gen Licensing Agreement (Int'l)
VertAx Wind
Date: 2017-12-11
In the UK, Guildford, Surrey based vertical axis wind energy specialist VertAx Wind Ltd reports it has sealed its first commercial licensing agreement for the C-Gen Permanent Magnet Generator developed at the University of Edinburgh. The agreement enables VertAx to build the technology into its multi-megawatt vertical axis wind turbine which are presently under development.

The scaleable C-Gen is an air-cored, lightweight, "no cogging" design was developed under the Scottish Enterprise Proof of Concept Programme, and it has since been demonstrated at various scales up to 1 MW. The design is suitable for tidal, wind and wave energy applications. (Source: VertAx Wind Ltd., Windpower, Various Media, 8 Dec., 2017) Contact: VertAx Wind, +44 01252 702165,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Vertical Axis Wind,  Wind,  

Hotel Indigo Tuscaloosa Scores LEED Silver Certification (Ind. Report)
Date: 2017-12-11
In Alabama, Chance Partners, developer of the Hotel Indigo Tuscaloosa Downtown reports the hotel has been awarded US Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED Silver Certification.

The 91 guest room hotel scored LEED Silver status through incorporation of a highly reflective TPO roof which reduces the hotel's heat island effect, installation of low-flow plumbing fixtures throughout to cut water consumption by at least 35 pct compared to LEED baseline metrics. Additionally, the hotel's energy model design reduces energy costs over 28 pct compared to ASHRAE 90.1-2007 baseline. The hotel's construction is composed of 35 pct recycled material and 44 pct regionally sourced materials and received credit for incorporating public transportation access with the hotel's location in downtown Tuscaloosa. (Source: Chance Partners, LLC, PR, 8 Dec., 20170 Contact: Chance Partners,; USGBC,

More Low-Carbon Energy News USGBC news,  LEED Silver news,  Energy Efficiency news,  

EKAE, Pearson Fuels Seal Renewable Diesel Mkt. Deal (Ind. Report)
East Kansas Agri-Energy, Pearson Fuels
Date: 2017-12-11
East Kansas Agri-Energy (EKAE) and San Diego-based Pearson Fuels, California's largest independently owned ethanol distributor, report they have inked an exclusive West Coast marketing agreement for the distribution of corn oil Renewable Diesel from EKAE's recently commissioned 50 million gpy plant in Garnett, Kansas.

The fuel qualifies under both the biomass-based diesel and the "other advanced biofuels" category in meeting the federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). Pearson will wholesale the fuel to retailers, fuel distributors, and municipalities in both California and Oregon. The first several rail cars of Renewable Diesel have already started shipping to these West Coast markets. (Source: East Kansas Agri-Energy, PR, Dec., 2017) Contact: EKAE, Bill Pracht, Pres., CEO, (785) 448-2888,; Pearson Fuels, (619) 521-2411,

More Low-Carbon Energy News East Kansas Agri-Energy,  Pearson Fuels,  Biodiesel,  Renewable Diesel,  

RIC Launches Ethanol Mandate Advertising Campaign (Ind. Report)
Renewable Industries Canada
Date: 2017-12-11
The Aylmer, Ontario-based trade organization Renewable Industries Canada (RIC) is reporting the launch of its The Facts Don't Lie advertising campaign to increase public awareness of the benefits of biofuels.

The campaign describes bifuels as "the fastest and easiest way" to reduce transportation sector greenhouse gases and calls for Canada's present 5 pct ethanol blend mandate raised to 10 pct (E10).

Renewable Industries Canada, founded in 1984 as the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association, represents the leaders of Canada's bioeconomy -- producers of renewable fuels and value added products that reduce GHG emissions. RIC members provide renewable, clean-burning biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel -- fuels that help fight climate change and combat pollution and smog. At the same time, they produce value added products from renewable resources and continuously innovate to provide environmental and economic benefits. The organization aims to promote the use of value-added products made from renewable resources through consumer awareness and government liaison activities. (Source: Renewable Industries Canada, Dec., 2017) Contact: Renewable Industries Canada, (833) 446-3385,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Industries Canada,  Ethanol Blend,  

WV Energy Efficiency Program Economic Benefit Questioned (Ind. Report)
WV Energy Efficiency Program Likely to Survive PSC Challenge (Ind. Report)
Date: 2017-12-11
In Charleston, Energy Efficiency West Virginia (EEWV) reports the American Electric Power (AEP) administered West Virginia energy efficiency program is expected to survive a challenge by the state's Public Service Commission (PSC) which has questioned the program's cost effectiveness. AEP runs the program for consumers of Allegheny Energy and Wheeling Power. Energy Efficient West Virginia and AEP have indicated that they want to maintain and expand the program.

The program, which helps people reduce their power bills through better insulation, efficient lighting and similar energy efficient upgrades, is a good investment and a cost effective way to meet the customer's energy requirements, have a better and more robust electrical system, create jobs and promote economic development, according to EEWV. The utilities are also finding it cheaper to reduce demand than to build more generating capacity, which saves money, even for ratepayers who don't participate in these programs, EEWV added. The program is largely the result of proposals made by EEWV during PSC consideration of a 2009 rate increase. (Source: EEWV, Public News Service WV, 11 Dec., 2017) Contact: AEP, Energy Efficiency West Virginia,; Public Service Commission of West Virginia,

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

Calif. to Consider Ban on Gas-Powered Cars by 2040 (Reg & Leg)
Date: 2017-12-11
In the environmental bellwether state, legislation that would ban gasiline-powered cars by 2040 is expected to be introduced in California's democrat dominated legislature in the upcoming January, 2018 session. If passed into law, the California Motor Vehicle Department would only register vehicles that did not produce carbon dioxide emissions. Based on currently available technology, that would mean only battery-electric or hydrogen fuel-cell cars would be permissible after 2040.

The UK, France, Germany, and others have taken similar steps and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has previously proposed banning internal-combustion engines. Governor Jerry Brown has also come out in support of the move. Transportation is currently the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. (Source: Futurism, CARB, Various Media, Dec., 2017) Contact: CARB, (800) 242-4450,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News California Air Resources Board,  Transportation Emissions,  Low carbon Fuels,  

Landfill Gas Recovery System Proposed for Oberlin (Ind. Report)
Oberlin College
Date: 2017-12-11
In the Buckeye State, the Oberlin College Office of Environmental Sustainability is proposing a new landfill gas recovery system to heat dorms and other on campus facilities. The landfill gas system would replace the current gas-powered steam system and reduce the campus' carbon usage by 65 pct compared to a 2015 usage profile, according to data released by Ever-Green Energy. The measure could bring Oberlin 92 pct of the way toward reaching its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025.

Oberlin ranks sixth in the nation among four-year baccalaureate colleges for sustainability, according to the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System -- an independent sustainability assessor that runs off of self-reported data. The school currently uses 100 percent renewable electricity. (Source: Oberlin College, Oberlin Review, 8 Dec., 2017) Contact: Oberlin College, Bridget Flynn, Sustainability Manager, (440) 775-8121,; Ever-Green Energy, (651) 290-2812,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Landfill Gas,  

Carnegie Air Observatory Tracks Borneo's Carbon Reserves (Int'l)
Carnegie Airborne Observatory
Date: 2017-12-08
Ecologists at the Washibgto, D.C. Carnegie Institution for Science, in coordination with the Sabah Forestry Department in Malaysian Borneo, the Southeast Asia Rainforest Research Partnership and others are using the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, an airplane filled with scientific instruments, to map Malaysian Borneo's carbon stocks to help conservationists locate and track the island’s most important carbon reserves.

Tropical deforestation and ecological degradation account for roughly 10 pct of the planet's annual carbon emissions. Meanwhile, Borneo is home to one of the most efficient carbon recycling and storage systems on the planet. The latest research efforts show, some 40 percent of the island's carbon stocks are without maximum protections and could suffer deforestation and degradation if the land is converted into agriculture or cleared for development.

Using the latest data collected by the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, the researchers found the island could double its carbon stocks by allowing previously felled forests to regenerate. (Source: Carnegie Institution for Science, Carnegie Airborne Observatory, Newsline, UPI, 4 Dec., 2017) Carnegie Airborne Observatory,; Carnegie Institution for Science, (202) 387-6400,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon,  Deforestation,  Carbon Storage,  

EIA Reports US Ethanol Stocks at 6-Month High (Ind. Report)
Date: 2017-12-08
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is reporting the U.S. domestic stock level of ethanol increased alongside higher production, while blending demand declined during the week-ended Dec. 1, 2017. Ethanol supply increased 500,000 barrels (bbl) to a 22.5 million bbl six-month high during the week -- up 4.0 million bbl against the comparable week a year ago.

The EIA also reports that refiner and blender net ethanol inputs dropped 37,000 bpd -- 4.0 pct -- to 885,000 bpd, while up 13,000 bpd against the prior year. During the four weeks ended Dec. 1, blending demand for ethanol averaged 911,000 bpd, up 11,000 bpd against the same four weeks in 2016. (Source: US EIA, Various Media, DTN/Progressive Farmer, 6 Dec., 2017) Contact: US EIA,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  US EIA,  

Cargill Planning $90Mn Wichita Biodiesel Plant (Ind. Report)
Date: 2017-12-08
Cargill reports it plans to construct a $90 million, 42,000 sq-ft biodiesel plant in Wichita.

The company presently operates biodiesel facilities in Kansas City, Mo., and Iowa Falls, Iowa. The Wichita plant will replace an existing oil refinery managed by Cargill's Global Edible Oil business. The facility is expected to produce 60 million gpy of biodiesel when fully operational in 2019. (Source: Cargill, Various Media, Dec., 2017)Contact: Cargill, Frank van Lierde, Exec. VP,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Cargill,  Biodiesel,  

Univ. Florida Hospitals Lauded for Sustainability (Ind. Report)
Green Building
Date: 2017-12-08
Two newly opened University of Florida Health facilities -- UF Health Heart & Vascular and UF Neuromedicine Hospital -- which cost a total of $425 million to construct, report they are the first medical facilities in the country to score a four out of four Green Globe sustainability rating fom the Green Building Initiative.

Among the innovations that helped the hospitals rank high was giving Gainesville Regional Utilities a place at the table in the planning and design process and the incorporation of an on-site energy center -- a concrete-reinforced network of pipes and cables stemming from the on-site energy plant that pumps electricity and water into the new facilities for the greatest energy efficiency. (Source: University of Florida, Independent Alligator, 5 Dec., 2017) Contact: Green Building Initiative , Shaina Weinstein, VP, (503) 274-0448,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Building Initiative,  Energy Efficiency,  Green Building,  

Transportation Surpasses Power Generation Emissions (Ind. Report)
Date: 2017-12-08
According to the US Energy Information Agency (EIA), emissions from the transportation sector -- automobiles, trucks, airplanes, and ships -- now surpasses emissions from the electric power sector.

The increase in transportation emissions is partially due to the steady increase in the number of vehicles on the road and the frequency and length of trips taken.

On the other hand, falling power sector emissions can be partially attributed to the significant growth in the use of natural gas and renewable energy and the decline of "Old King Coal" and other fossil fuels. (Source: US EIA, CleanTechnica, Other Media, Dec., 2017) Contact: US EIA,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  

Attis Innovations Plans Biomass Processing Facility (Ind. Report)
Attis Innovations,American Science Technology
Date: 2017-12-08
Atlanta-based Meridian Waste Solutions, Inc. reports that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Attis Innovations -- formerly Meridian Innovations -- has initiated commercialization plans for it first biomass processing facility and has begun evaluating locally available woody biomass feedstocks for conversion into pulp, cellulosic sugars, and AST's unique melt-flowing lignin. The company is also . assessing potential locations for its first 60,000-tpy production facility in Minnesota .

Attis holds an exclusive license to American Science Technology Corporation's (AST) patents and AST's biomass processing facility in Wausau, WI. (Source: : Meridian Waste Solutions, Inc., PR, 5 Dec., 2017) Contact: Attis Innovations, (917) 658-7878,,, Meridian Waste Solutions, Jeff Cosman, CEO,; American Science Technology,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Attis Innovations,  Biomass,  Woody Biomass,  American Science Technology,  

Alberta Earmarks $1.4 Bn to Cut CO2 Emissions (Ind. Report)
Alberta Environment Minister
Date: 2017-12-08
In Calgary, the Alberta Environment Minister the Hon. Shannon Phillips has announced the oil-soaked province is setting aside close to $1.4 billion from climate levies to help industry reduce carbon emissions.

The funding, spread over seven years, is intended to encourage industries to invest in new technologies, stay competitive and create jobs.

Of the total funds, the oilsands industry will receive $440 million to update and upgrade facilities so they can better meet new provincial and federal guidelines for large emitters. A further $240 million will go to industrial energy efficiency, which will be available to a range of sectors including agriculture, manufacturing and energy. The plan also sets aside $400 million in loan guarantees for climate reduction programs, reducing the cost and challenges for businesses to fund projects. Industries of all kinds will be able to apply for a further $225 million for carbon reduction innovations, including $80 million to Emissions Reduction Alberta and $145 million for the Climate Change Innovation and Technology Framework. (Source: Alberta Environment Minister, CTV, 5 Dec., 2017)Contact: Alberta Environment Minister, Hon. Shannon Phillips, (780) 310-3773,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Alberta Environment Minister ,  

First Aussie Offshore Wind Farm Funding Confirmed (Int'l)
Offshore Energy
Date: 2017-12-08
In the Land Down Under, Melbourne-based Offshore Energy reports its $8 billion, 2000 MW "Star of the South" offshore wind project -- Australia's first offshore wind facility -- has secured financing from Danish fund management group Copenhagen Infrastructure Partnership (CIP). CIP has more than €5 billion ($7.79 billion AUS) under management and invests in renewable energy projects.

The project, which will incorporate up to 250 turbines spread over 574 square kilometres, is expected to generate 8000-gWh of energy annually, sufficient power for 1.2 million homes, and account for nearly 20 pct of Victoria's energy requirement.

Project feasibility studies are slated for mid-to-late 2018 for a projected commissioning in 2024. The project has signed PPA with Hydro Tasmania for an initial 200-kilowatt trial unit. (Source: Offshore Energy, Sydney Morning Herald, 6 Dec., 2017) Contact: Offshore Energy, Andy Evans, Managing Dir.,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Offshore Energy,  Offshore Wind,  

NY Gov. Cuomo Inks Energy Storage Legislation (Reg & Leg)
New York Public Service Commission
Date: 2017-12-08
Last week in Albany, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) signed legislation requiring the establishment of a statewide energy storage mandate that provides a framework for the New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC) to establish a goal for the amount of energy storage to be deployed in the Empire State through 2030 and to create policy and regulatory mechanisms that will enable the state utilities to meet the goal.

In addition to establishing a foundation for the advancement of energy storage, the mandate will also complement the state's efforts to ensure that New York remains at the forefront of energy-efficient initiatives, the Governor said. The new energy storage mandate also aligns with the state's 50 pct renewable energy by 2030 clean energy standard. (Source: NA Windpower, Dec., 2017) Contact: New York Public Service Commission,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Storage,  New York Public Service Commission ,  

Coal Giant Honors Clean Coal Tech. Leadership (Ind. Report)
Peabody Energy
Date: 2017-12-08
In St. Louis, Peabody Energy, the world's largest private-sector coal company, is reporting the issuance of its Fourth Annual Peabody Global Clean Coal Leadership Awards. The awards recognize the cleanest coal plants in the world and shine a light on the environmental progress being made to improve emissions through greater use of technology.

Honors are based on the best environmental performance for reducing key criteria emission rates and carbon dioxide (CO2). Categories include leadership in reducing sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), and improving efficiency as measured by heat rate, which results in a lower carbon footprint. In addition, Peabody recognized a new coal plant and an industry pioneer advancing carbon capture and storage technologies. A distinguished panel of international experts in high-efficiency, low-emissions (HELE) and carbon capture technologies selected the award recipients following a comprehensive review process.

"Coal remains an essential part of the energy mix, and technology will continue to play an important role in meeting the world's emissions goals," said Peabody President and Chief Executive Officer Glenn Kellow. "Peabody has advocated clean coal technologies for two decades and we are proud to recognize companies that are advancing these technologies to help achieve energy security, economic progress and environmental solutions." (Source: Peabody Energy, PR, Dec., 2017) Contact: Peabody Energy, Glenn Kellow, CEO, Travis Snyder (314) 342-4351,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Peabody Energy,  Coal,  Clean Coal,  Carbon Emissions,  

Texas Univ. Awarded $4Mn for CCS Partnership (Ind. Report, Funding)
University of Texas
Date: 2017-12-06
According to a release from the University of Texas at Austin Bureau of Economic Geology, its leadership in the technology of pumping and sequestering CO2 deep under the seafloor has prompted the U.S. DOE to grant the bureau $4 million to lead a regional partnership to explore how CO2 emitted from industrial facilities along the Gulf Coast can be safely stored in geological formations under the Gulf of Mexico.

The four-year program's goal is to foster the safe capture, transportation and long-term sequestration of CO2. The partnership includes researchers from the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) and the Cockrell School of Engineering Hildebrand Department of Petroleum Geosystems and Engineering. The bureau and UTIG are units of the UT Jackson School of Geosciences. Other partners include the U.S. Geological Survey, Louisiana Geological Survey, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lamar University and Trimeric Corporation.

The partnership will focus on: offshore storage resources geologic characterization; risk assessment, simulation and modeling; monitoring, verification, accounting; Infrastructure, operations and permitting assessment; and knowledge dissemination. (Source: University of Texas, Austin, PR, 4 Dec., 2017)Contact: ontact: Anton Caputo, University of Texas Jackson School of Geosciences, (512)232-9623,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Capture,  CCS,  Carbon Storage,  Carbon Sequestration,  

DRAX Biomass Miss. Wood Pellet Begins Production (Ind. Report)
Date: 2017-12-06
Atlanta-headquartered DRAX Biomass (DBI) reports production is underway at its 450,000 metric tpy LaSalle BioEnergy sustainable compressed wood pellet facility in Urania, Louisiana. The facility is the third pellet plant in DBI's portfolio, joining Morehouse BioEnergy in Bastrop, Louisiana and Amite BioEnergy in Gloster, Mississippi.

As previously reported, DBI acquired the plant in April and immediately began repairs and upgrades which are now completed. (Source: DRAX, Bioenergy Insight, 1 Dec., 2017) Pete Madden, Pres., CEO, +44 (0)1757 618381,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News DRAX Biomass,  DRAX,  Woody Biomass,  

French Pres. Calls for EU Borders Carbon Tax (Int'l Report)
EU Carbon Tax
Date: 2017-12-06
Speaking at the recently concluded COP23 meeting in Bonn, French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated his call for a European carbon tax to guarantee fair competition for companies taking action to reduce their climate impact. Macron said Europe needs a floor price on carbon -- accompanied by "a border tax that will also protect our economic sectors against imports from countries that do not respect the same objectives and decide not to engage in this environmental transition."

Macron also called for EU member countries to levy a carbon tax on foreign direct investment (FDI) income derived from coal, oil and gas extraction, the report recommends. The French president said Countries -- especially those that position themselves as climate leaders -- should have to account for the carbon intensity of their trade production overseas. (Source: Transport & Environment, Various Media, 4 Dec., 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU,  Carbon Tax,  

German Wind-to-Heat Energy Storage Project Underway (Int'l Report)
Siemens Gamesa
Date: 2017-12-06
Zamudio, Spain-headquartered wind turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA reports construction on a 30 MWh wind energy storage system using rock fill is underway in Hamburg-Altenwerder, Germany. The projects is expected to be commissioned in Spring, 2019.

The project involves the construction of a ferroconcrete giant to hold 800 cu meters of rock-fill with a mass of 1,000 tonnes covered with a thick layer of thermal insulation. Excess power produced by wind turbines will be stored in the form of heat there and will be released when needed using a steam turbine to produce electricity. The 1.5-MW generator can produce energy for up to 24 hours.

Siemens Gamesa is partnering with utility Hamburg Energie GmbH which will operate the "Future Energy System - FES" heat-storage project. (Source: Siemens Gamesa, Renewables Now, 4 Dec., 2017) Contact: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Siemens Gamesa,  Wind,  Energy Storage,  

Nordex Scores First Spanish Wind Repowering Contract (Int'l)
Nordex,Acciona Energia
Date: 2017-12-06
Hamburg, Germany-headquartered wind turbine maker Nordex reports it has won its first wind farm repowering contract to remove the 90 22-year-old turbines at Acciona Energia's 30MW El Cabrito project in Andalucia, southern Spain. The site's 330kW turbines will be replaced with just eight N100 3MW and four AW70 1.5MW machines.

The contract provides for the delivery of the turbines as well as a guarantee for an initial period of two years. The project is slated to get underway late in 2018. (Source: Nordex, Windpower Monthly, Various Other Media, Dec., 2017) Contact: Acciona Energia, ACCIONA Green Energy Developments, Miguel Angel Alonso, Dir., Mexico, +34 91 657 64 60,; Nordex, Jose Luis Blanco, CEO, +49 381 6663 3300,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Nordex,  Wind,  Acciona Energia,  

NY Offers Commercial Energy Management Systems Funding (Funding)
Date: 2017-12-06
In the Empire State, NYSERDA reports the New York Real Time Energy Management Initiative for industrial- and multifamily-building energy efficiency upgrades has been augmented with an additional $12 million bringing the total available funds to $40 million.

Qualifying fund applicants will receive an energy-management system that continuously monitors their buildings' energy use with sensors, meters and other equipment. The systems' data can pinpoint a building's operational inefficiencies to help identify conservation measures and help justify capital improvements, according to a NYSERDA release. The $12 million in additional funding for the expanded Real Time initiative includes: $5.7 million in direct incentives for Real Time projects in the industrial sector; $830,000 for multifamily projects; $6 million for commercial projects that include cloud-based controls.

The Real Time program is funded through the state's Clean Energy Fund, a 10-year, $5.3 billion program to support clean-energy market development and innovation and a major component of the state's strategy on climate change and the economy. NYSERDA offers a project cost share of 30 pct to support the installation of Real Time Energy Management systems. (Source: NYSERDA, Plattsburg Press Republican, Others, 4 Dec., 2017) Contact: NYSERDA, Alicia Barton, Pres., CEO, (518) 862-1090,

More Low-Carbon Energy News NYSERDA,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Management,  

Decentralized Energy, and Assoc. for Conservation of Energy Merge (Int'l, M&A)
Association for Decentralised Energy, Associatrion for Conservation of Energy
Date: 2017-12-04
In the UK, the Association for Decentralized Energy (ADE) and the Association for Conservation of Energy (ACE) are reporting a merger which will give members a "stronger voice and much clearer representation for decentralized energy and energy efficiency across the industrial, commercial, public and domestic sectors," according to an ADE release. (Source: Energyst, 30 Nov., 2017) Contact: Association for Decentralised Energy, +44 20 3031 8740,; Association for Conservation of Energy,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Conservation,  Energy Management,  Energy Efficiency,  

BMCC Rooftop Hosts Manhattan's Largest Solar Project (Ind. Report)
New York Power Authority
Date: 2017-12-04
In the Biog Apple, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) reports it has completed the installation of 947 vertical solar energy panels on the main roof of Borough of Manhattan Community College's (BMCC/CUNY) four-block-long 199 Chambers Street building. The BMCC solar array is the largest public photovoltaic facility on Manhattan island, and the first vertical solar facility in New York City, according to NYPA.

BMCC is working collaboratively with regulators including the New York City Department of Buildings and The New York City Fire Department for permits to store solar power in two 100-kWh backup batteries for emergency and peak-load periods. The project, a collaborative effort between the New York Power Authority's Energy Services Program and BMCC/CUNY, is part of a greater effort to reduce CUNY's utility costs, improve energy efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint.

Project design and construction were led by The Fulcrum Group, which contracted with Solar Liberty and Maric Mechanical to complete the PV system installation. (Source: NYPA, BMCC, PR, 29 Nov., 2017) Contact: The Fulcrum Group,; NYPA, (914) 681-8186,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News New York Power Authority,  Solar,  Vertical Solar,  

Hawaii Energy Delivers Record Energy Savings (Ind. Report)
Hawaii Energy
Date: 2017-12-04
In the Aloha State, Hawaii Energy, the state's ratepayer-funded energy conservation and efficiency program, reports it has achieved the highest level of energy savings in its eight year history during the most recent program year.

According to the organization's annual report for program year 2016, which was released Thursday, Hawaii Energy helped to deliver 141 million kWh in first-year savings from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017, and 1.76 billion kWh in lifetime energy savings. The savings delivered this past cycle are the equivalent of building a 90 megawatt solar farm, the organization said.

The program delivered 35 pct more energy savings with 20 pct less budget in program year 2016 than it did in PY 2015, resulting in a 41 pct reduction in cost per lifetime kWh. (Source: Pacific Business News, 1 Dec., 2017)Contact: Hawaii Energy, Brian Kealoha, Exec. Dir, (808) 537-5577,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Consumption,  Hawaii Energy,  Energy Management,  Energy Efficiency,  

BETO Feedstock-Conversion Consortium Launched (Ind. Report)
U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office
Date: 2017-12-04
In Washingto, the U.S. DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office is reporting the establishment of the Feedstock-Conversion Interface Consortium -- a research and development consortium dedicated to identifying and overcoming technical uncertainty in the development of biomass feedstock supply, pre-processing, and conversion technologies. The consortium aims to improve the overall operational reliability of integrated biorefineries (IBRs).

BETO has identified inconsistent feeding, handling, and initial conversion operations at IBRs as limiting factors in the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fuels and chemicals. According to the agency, IBR development and operation have suffered from failure to account for the complexity and variability of feedstock properties and composition and from a lack of fundamental understanding of the physics and chemistry of biomass-derived feedstock pre-processing and subsequent deconstruction, combined with poor equipment design and flawed integration. Solving this significant current challenge is essential for advanced biofuels to fully reach their potential and for the economic benefits of new jobs and improved security of our fuel supply to be realized, the agency says.

The Feedstock Conversion Interface Consortium (FCIC) is an integrated and collaborative network of eight national laboratories dedicated to addressing technical risks in developing and scaling up biomass harvest, storage, preprocessing and conversion technologies with the goal of improving the overall operational reliability of integrated pioneer biorefineries. FCIC laboratories members include, Idaho National Laboratory , National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories. (Source: US DOE, BETO, Nov., 2017) Contact: FCIC,; BETO Multi-Year Program Plan HERE.

More Low-Carbon Energy News U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office,  Biofuel,  Biofuel Feedstock,  Bioenergy Feedstock,  

Iceland Geothermal Carbon Capture Tech Tests Underway (Int'l Report)
Date: 2017-12-04
Following up on our October 13th coverage ETH Zurich University spin-off company Climeworks, in collaboration with Reykjavik Energy, reports it has launched a second round of testing on its trial CarbFix2 project to combine direct air capture (DAC) of CO2 with permanent geological storage. The CarbFix2 project is at Hellisheidi is centered around one of the worlds largest geothermal power plants.

Climeworks, which is running the trial with Iceland utility Reykjavik Energy, is part of a research project to demonstrate that DAC of CO2 can be combined with permanent geological storage, as proof that DAC is a highly scalable carbon removal technology. According to Climeworks, the Hellisheidi facility is the world's first "negative emissions" plant.

Climeworks developed a DAC module, installed at the site and designed to be heated with low-grade heat from the geothermal plant, which captures gas in a Climeworks-designed filtration system. In the trial, researchers have injected CO2 at an industrial scale. The captured CO2 is bound to water, and then sent more than 700 meters underground, where it reacts with basaltic bedrock to form solid minerals. The trial is part of the CarbFix2 project led by Reykjavik Energy and financed by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research program. The CarbFix2 pilot program can remove an estimated 50 metric tpy of CO2 from the air eliminating more CO2 than it produces. Climeworks estimates it costs $600 to extract one ton of CO2 from the air. The capacity of the plant is expected to be 900 metric tons annually by year-end 2017. (Source: Climeworks, POWER, 30 Nov., 2017)Contact: Climeworks, Christoph Gebald, CEO, +41 44 533 2999,; Reykjavik Energy Edda Sif Aradottir, CarbFix Project Leader ,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climeworks,  Geothermal,  CCS,  

Pa. Legislates "Best Available Technologies" to Cut Methane Emissions (Reg & Leg)
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Date: 2017-12-04
Last week in Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced that effective in early 2018, drilling companies will have to use the to prevent the potent greenhouse gas methane leaks at new well sites and midstream facilities.

The most recent data show overall methane emissions from shale gas industry rising, while other air pollutants are falling. The DEP says the methane increase is mostly due to the growth in the number of facilities filing reports, while the average emissions per facility is staying relatively level.

Yet methane leaks are notoriously difficult to pin down. Without technology to continuously monitor emissions in real time, regulators must rely on self-reporting by the industry and inspections. (Source: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, 30 Nov., 2017) Contact: Pa. DEP,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection,  Methane,  Climate Change,  GHG,  ,  

Virginia Plans to Link with RGGI (Ind. Link)
RGGI,Virginia Air Pollution Control Board
Date: 2017-12-04
Following on our 17 November coverage, the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board has unanimously approved draft regulations to cut and cap carbon emissions from the Old Dominion State's electric power generation sector beginning in 2020, and to reduce emissions 30 pct by 2030.

The draft rule proposes two starting levels for Virginia's carbon cap: 33 million or 34 million tons, starting in 2020 decreasing by roughly 3 pct each year.

The draft plan also calls for the state to link with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a nine-state carbon cap-and-trade program, in 2019. Participating RGGI states include Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. To date, the RGGI auctions have raised $2.7 billion that is earmarked for clean-energy and energy efficiency programs. (Source: Duke University Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, WNPR, RGGI, Various Media, 30 Nov., 2017) Contact: RGGI, (212) 417-3179,; Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Mike Dowd, Director, (804) 678-4000,; Virginia Air Pollution Control Board,; Duke University Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions,

More Low-Carbon Energy News RGGI,  Carbon Emissions,  GHGs,  

WEC Energy Plans 350-MW Solar Park (Ind. Report)
WEC Energy Group
Date: 2017-12-04
US Milwaukee-headquartered utility holding company WEC Energy Group reports it plans to construct a 350-MW solar power station in Wisconsin following next years planned shut-down of the 1,190-MW Pleasant Prairie coal-fired power plant in 2Q, 2018. Closing the inefficient coal-fired plant will help the company meet its goal of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 40 pct from 2005 levels by 2030. The company says it will also shutter a coal-fired plant in Green Bay and one in Presque Isle, Michigan. (Source: WEC Energy Group, Business Times of Milwaukee, Dec., 2017) Contact: WEC Energy Group, (414) 221-2345,

More Low-Carbon Energy News WEC Energy Group,  Solar,  

Dutch Scientist Call for End to Crop-Based Biofuels (Int'l Report)

Date: 2017-12-04
In Amsterdam, a group of 177 Dutch scientists are are calling for complete phase-out of crop-based biofuels at European level on the grounds that they're a "false solution to climate problems." The scientists pointed to a study commissioned by the EU executive, which found that crop-based biodiesel has on average 1.8 times the climate impact of fossil diesel, increasing to three times more in case of biodiesel from palm oil.

Biodiesel reportedly accounts for 80 pct of all biofuels used in the EU , approximately one-third of which comes from palm oil. The remaining 20 pct produced from regionally sourced sugar beet, wheat, and others. The scientists also credit biofuels for habitat and biodiversity loss, reducing the region's resilience to local climatic conditions, undermining food security and increasing prices, and concentrating land in the hands of multinational companies at the expense of small-scale farmers.

The 177 scientists also call for the government to acknowledge the damage caused by EU biofuels policy and abandon them in the EU's 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda later this month. (Source: Various Media, EURACTIV, Dec., 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  EU Biofuel,  Biofuel Blend,  Ethanol,  

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