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Tree Height Carbon Capture Capacity Examined (Ind. Report)
University of Arizona BIO5 Institute
Date: 2017-08-14
Researchers from the University of Arizona BIO5 Institute have determined that trees growing in mountain valleys (low altitude) hold more carbon than higher altitude trees on mountain peaks. The researchers examined precipitation records and data collected by aircraft showing tree density and height at sites in Colorado and noted that the same species of tree at low altitude, valley floors were at least twice as tall as those on nearby ridges and slopes.

According to the researchers, "a tree growing on a ridge may only ever grow to be 30 feet tall. But the same species down in the drainage bottom could be 150 feet tall and it could have 10 times the biomass, and that would mean it was doing maybe 10 times the carbon capture of the trees on the ridges." Simply put, trees and other plants use biomass, or their living tissue, to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as part of the photosynthesis process that puts oxygen back into the atmosphere. Taller trees have more biomass. The research could be useful to land managers and scientists modeling the effects of climate change. (Source: University of Arizona BIO5 Institute, Aug., 2017) Contact: University of Arizona, Tyson Swetnam, Ecologist, (520) 626-2465,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Capture,  

Energy Efficiency Standards for Appliances, Lighting and Equipment Report -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
Environmental and Energy Study Institute
Date: 2017-08-14
According to the attached report from the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, over 40 pct of the total energy consumed in the U,S. is used for operating buildings, and most of that energy goes toward appliances and building-related equipment. In accordance with the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA), as amended , the U.S. DOE implements minimum efficiency standards for a wide range of appliances and equipment used in residential and commercial buildings.

Within the parameters of technical feasibility and cost effectiveness, federal efficiency standards compel product designers and manufacturers to reduce the amount of energy and water necessary for the proper operation of appliances and other building equipment. Operational efficiency means less waste of natural and financial resources. The legal limit on energy/water consumption for designated products -- applied equally to all manufacturers of those products -- makes energy efficiency a priority instead of an afterthought or a competitive disadvantage .

Download the Environmental and Energy Study Institute Energy Efficiency Standards for Appliances, Lighting and Equipment report HERE Contact: EESI, (2020 628-1400,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Environmental and Energy Study Institute,  

Bay State Finalizes GHG Reduction Plan (Ind. Report, Reg & Leg)

Date: 2017-08-14
In Concord, Massachusetts regulators are reporting the details of a just released plan to tackle greenhouse gas emissions. The plan requires a clean energy standard, carbon dioxide emissions limits for the transportation and energy sectors,curbs on methane pollution, and other initiatives to reduce emissions in the state.

The new rules require utilities produce 80 pct of their power from low-carbon sources by 2050, and creates a cap-and-trade program for 21 fossil fuel power plants in the state Mass Live reports. The rules also call for lower emissions from state-owned or leased vehicles and a reduction in methane leaks along natural gas distribution lines.

The expanded regulations come nine years after Massachusetts lawmakers passed a climate change law to cut emissions by 25 pct below 1990 levels by 2020, and by 80 pct before 2050. As of 2014, the Bay State's emissions were down 21 pct from 1990 levels. (Source: Mass Live, the Hill, Others, 11 Aug., 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News GHG Emissions,  GReenhouse Gas Emissions,  

India Investing $2Bn in Methanol, Biofuels (Int'l)
Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas
Date: 2017-08-14
In New Delhi, the Indian Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas reports that state-run companies are investing $2 billion in R&D on second-generation biofuel refineries to meet the fast growing demands of the transportation sector. At the same time, the Indian transport minister cautioned that a 22 pct annual growth in the number of automobiles was unsustainable without promoting public transport running on alternative fuels.

To that end, the transportation ministry is promoting biofuel and electric powered public transportation and working with the Finance Ministry to cut the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on biodiesel from the present 18 pct to 5 pct. The government has also passed legislation requiring flexi-engines, shipping and inland waterways to use methanol and other Biofuels . (Source: Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Times of India, 11 Aug., 2017) Contact: Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Methanol,  

£4.4Mn Ear-Marked for Scottish Energy Efficiency Pilots (Int'l)
Scotland Energy Efficiency
Date: 2017-08-14
In Scotland, 15 local and community councils are to share £ 4.4 million in funding for pilot energy efficiency projects under Scotland's Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP). Pilot projects are testing innovative ways to reduce emissions and tackle fuel poverty before the programme starts in full in 2018.

Pilot projects include the installation of two large-scale ground source heat pumps in Edinburgh's Saughton Park Winter Gardens and new building developments, energy efficiency measures in NHS Lanarkshire health centres and Orkney schools, and the extension of a district heating network to tower blocks in Falkirk. (Source: Various Media, Energy Voice, 10 Aug., 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  

U.S. Global Change Research Program Climate Science Special Report -- Final Draft Attached (Ind. Report)

Date: 2017-08-11
Scientists and environmental groups have expressed concerns that the White House will try to bury or otherwise suppress the attached final draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies.

The report concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now. The report was completed this year and is part of the National Climate Assessment, which is congressionally mandated every four years.

Access the U.S. Global Change Research Program Climate Science Special Report HERE. (Source: Various Media, NY Times, 7 Aug., 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  

Target Purchasing 100MW of Wind Energy for 150 Stores (Ind. Report)
Target Corp., Infinity Renewables
Date: 2017-08-11
Santa Barbara, California-headquartered Infinity Renewables reports that retailing giant Target Corp. has agreed to purchase 100 megawatts of output from Infinity Renewables' 474-megawatt Solomon Forks wind project in Kansas. Power from the Solomon Forks project will help offset the energy used at 150 Target stores in the area. Terms weren’t disclosed. The Solomon Forks wind farm is ex pected to be online in 2018. Other details have not been released. (Source: Infinity Renewables, Target, Aug., 2017) Contact: Infinity Renewables, (805) 569-6180,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Infinity Renewables,  

CWind Seals German Offshore Wind Farm Cable Deal (Int'l Report)
CWind.Merkur Offshore
Date: 2017-08-11
UK-based CWind, a British integrated service provider supporting the offshore wind industry, reports it has sealed a deal with Tideway to deliver all cable pull-in services for 66 offshore wind turbines and one offshore substation at the 396MW Merkur Offshore wind farm which is currently under construction in the German North Sea.

Merkur Offshore is a JV of its shareholders PG Merkur Holding , InfraRed Capital Partners, DEME Concessions and Coriolis. The Merkur Offshore wind farm features 66, GE Haliade 150 offshore wind turbines with nominal power of 6 MW each.(Source: CWind, EBR, 9 Aug., 2017) Contact: CWind Global, +44 (0) 1245 702000,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News CWind,  Offhsore Wind.Merkur,  

HCAVS, Autani Launch EnergyCenter Financing Program (Ind. Report)
Hitachi Capital America,Autani
Date: 2017-08-11
Hitachi Capital America Vendor Services (HCAVS) reports it has joined forces with Columbia, Maryland-based building automation specialist Autani LLC to provide financing to customers of its EnergyCenter suite of building management products and services.

Autani's EnergyCenter building management platform connects Lighting, Metering, HVAC, Refrigeration and Sensors to control, monitor and verify energy consumption through a single system with either wireless or wired connectivity. (Source: Hitachi Capital, 9 Aug., 2017) Contact: Htachi Capital America, Jeff Cowan, (952) 996-0270,; Autani,

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

Ameresco, LCCC Ink GESA Energy Efficiency Contract (Ind. Report)
Date: 2017-08-11
Framingham, Mass.-headquartered energy efficiency and renewable energy specialist Ameresco, Inc. reports it has contracted with Luzerne County Community College (LCCC) in Ticoke, Pennsylvania to renew and upgrade the school's energy infrastructure and institute energy efficiency measures.

The nearly $8 million Guaranteed Energy Savings Act (GESA) Energy Performance Contract (EPC) project is expected to earn the College $122,757 in energy rebates and incentives and deliver more than $576,000 annually in energy savings for the next 15 years.

The project includes energy efficiency and infrastructure upgrades to 474,900 square feet of space in 17 campus buildings and and consists of 16 Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) that will prove entirely self-funded within the 15-year repayment term. Work on the projec t is slated to get underway this fall. (Source: Ameresco, PR, 10 Aug., 2017) Contact: Luzerne County Community College,: Lisa Nelson, 570-740-0732,; Ameresco, CarolAnn Hibbard, 508-661-2264,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ameresco,  Energy Efficiency,  

Biox Sombra Biodiesl Plant Upgrades on Hold (Ind. Report)
Biox, Methes Energies Canada
Date: 2017-08-11
Canadian biodiesel producer BIOX Corporation is reporting the postponement of upgrades at its Sombra, Ontario, biodiesel production facility pending a Sept. 7 shareholder meeting and review of a planned transition from a publicly traded to a private company. Biox’s board of directors are recommending that shareholders vote in favor of taking the company private.

Biox purchased the 50 million liter (13.2 million gallon) nameplate capacity biodiesel facility in Sombra, Ontario, from Methes Energies Canada Inc. in 2016 for $4.5 million. This spring, Biox announced it is working with Forge Hydrocarbons Corp. to lease Forge up to four acres at the Sombra site for construction of a 25 MMly renewable diesel plant using Forge’s technology. (Source: Biox, 89 Aug., 2017) Contact: BIOX, Alan Rickard, CEO, (905) 521-8205 ext. 253,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biox,  Biodiesel,  Methes Energies Canada ,  

Hawaii Seeks Operator for Reforestation Carbon Credits (Ind. Report)
Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife
Date: 2017-08-11
The Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife has issued an RfP for an operator to sell carbon offset credits for reforestation and recovery of its planned Puu Mali Forest Carbon Project on Mauna Kea .

The Puu Mali Forest Carbon Project calls for the planting of native trees and watershed land restoration. The improvements will be paid for through the sale of carbon offset credits, with one such credit typically certifying the storage of one metric ton of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in plants and other organic material. (Source: Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Honolulu Star, AP, Aug., 2017) Contact: Puu Mali Forest Carbon Project, (808) 587-0166,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Credit,  Reforestation,  

Laguna Beach Sticks with Paris Climate Accord (Ind. Report)
Laguna Beach, Paris Climate Accord
Date: 2017-08-11
In California, the Laguna Beach City Council reports it will support other cities and countries initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Climate Accord.

To that end, the council unanimously adopted a resolution that supports goals of the Paris Agreement and commits the city to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through additional policies and programs than those currently included in its own Climate Protection Action Plan. The council also directed city staff to explore ways of measuring and reducing the city's greenhouse gas emissions. (Source: City of Leguna Beach, Daily Pilot, p Aug., 2017) Contact: City of Leguna Beach, City Council, (949) 497-3311,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Accord,  Climate Change,  

Shell Launches Methane Detection Pilot (Ind. Report)
Shell Oil
Date: 2017-08-11
In Houston, oil giant Shell reports it has launched a methane detector pilot at one of its shale gas sites near Rocky Mountain House in Alberta, Canada.

The Methane Detectors Challenge pilot test is part of a multi-stakeholder partnership that includes the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), oil and gas companies, US government agencies and technology developers. The initiative aims to enable better early detection and repair of methane leaks, and ultimately reduce emissions.

In addition to the Methane Detectors Challenge, Shell is involved in other partnerships, including the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) to understand the gaps in methane data and detection technology. (Source: Shell Oil, Aug., 2017)Contact: Shell US, (713 )241-6161,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Shell Oil,  

Utah Relaunches C-PACE Program Statewide (Ind. Report)
Sustainable Real Estate Solutions
Date: 2017-08-09
Sustainable Real Estate Solutions reports it has been selected by the Utah Governor's Office of Energy Development (OED) to administer the state's updated commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) program.

Utah launched its statewide C-PACE program in 2015 after passing legislation enabling commercial PACE in March 2013. Senate Bill 221 authorized local governments to adopt C-PACE financing programs, which offered commercial and industrial property owners a unique mechanism to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy building upgrades.

Senate Bill 273, enacted in March 2017, expands the scope of eligible projects, establishing a statewide C-PACE District, and more clearly defines the process of developing and closing projects. In this updated program, financing is provided by private capital providers in an open market and repaid through a voluntary assessment on the owner's property tax bill over a period of up to 30 years. (Source: Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, PE Web, 8 Aug., 2017) Contact: Utah Governor's Office of Energy Development (OED),; C-PACE,; Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, Brian McCarter, CEO,

More Low-Carbon Energy News C-PACE,  PACE,  Energy Efficiency,  

Vestas Wins Cactus Flats Texas Wind Turbine Order (Ind. Report)
Vestas, Southern Power
Date: 2017-08-09
Vestas is reporting receipt of an unconditional, firm order for the supply and commissioning of 43 units of its V126-3.45 MW turbines, including a 20-year service contract, from Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power. The turbines are destined for installation at the Cactus Flats wind farm in Concho County, Texas. (Source: Vestas, Various Media, NA Windpower, Aug., 2017) Contact: Vestas, Chris Brown, US/Canada Pres., +45 97 30 00 00, www.vestas.

More Low-Carbon Energy News Vestas,  Southern Power,  Wind,  Wind Turbine,  Cactus Flats,  

PacifiCorp "Re-Powering Wyoming Wind Turbines (Ind. Report)
PacifiCorp Energy
Date: 2017-08-09
Portland, Oregon-based, PacifiCorp Energy reports it is refitting and "re-powering" its fleet 2008-vintage wind turbines near Medicine Bow, Wyoming, with longer blades and newer technology to increase power production capacity.

The upgrades are expected to increase output of the wind projects by 20 pct on average while extending the operating life of the projects and thus allow the projects to re-qualify for federal production tax credits for an additional 10 years. (Source: PacifiCorp Energy, Saratoga Sun, 2 Aug., 2017) Contact: PacifiCorp Energy, Laine Anderson, Director of Wind Operations,

More Low-Carbon Energy News PacifiCorp Energy,  Wind,  Wind Turbines,  

Alliant Energy Announces Iowa Wind Expansion Plan (Ind. Report)
Interstate Power and Light
Date: 2017-08-09
Alliant Energy reports it's Iowa energy unit, Interstate Power and Light, is seeking Iowa Utilities Board approval for an additional 500 MW of wind energy in Iowa. A decision is expected in early 2018. With the company's existing Iowa wind installation, the combined projects would represent a $1.8 billion investment and add up to 1,000 MW of new wind generation in Iowa -- sufficient power for as many as 430,000 Iowa homes for one year. (Source: Alliant Energy Iowa, Renewables Now, Others Media, 3 Aug., 2017) Contact: Alliant Energy Iowa, Interstate Power and Light,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Interstate Power and Light,  

Tesla Taking Deposits on Solar Roof Tile Installations (Ind. Report)
Date: 2017-08-09
Electric auto maker and soon to be solar giant Tesla reports it has begun installing its solar roof in the US. Earlier this year, the company began taking $1,000 (£761) deposits for its glass roof tiles which, according to the company, are indistinguishable from high-end roofing. Tesla claims the product, which takes around a week to install, is more than three times stronger than standard roofing tiles.

As we previously reported, Musk says the new tempered, textured glass tiles look like ordinary roof tiles but allow light to pass through from above onto a standard flat solar cell. They are "tough as steel" and can weather a "lifetime of abuse from the elements" as well as be fitted with heating elements to melt snow in colder climates. According to Musk, the tiles are "never going to wear out", have a "quasi-infinite lifetime" and are comparable to competing high-efficiency solar panels. (Source: Tesla, Various Media, 4 Aug., 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Tesla,  Solar,  Solar Roof Tile,  Elon Musk,  

CA Air Quality Offices Empowered to Shutdown Emitters (Reg & Leg)
Date: 2017-08-09
In the Golden State, Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation giving air quality officials the power to quickly stop polluters when they endanger people's health. The law, which comes into force Jan. 1, 2018, will empower pollution control officers to issue immediate "cease and desist" orders when violations pose an "imminent and substantial" danger. The orders are temporary, pending a hearing before an administrative board.

Currently, air regulators seeking orders to curtail operations that violate rules and threaten public health must go through a lengthy administrative hearing process during which time pollution continues unabated. (Source: Various Media, LA Times, 7 Aug., 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emittions,  

Kiwi NGOs Demand Zero Carbon Act to Fight Climate Change (Int'l)
Climate Change
Date: 2017-08-09
A group of 14 New Zealand NGOs has issued an open letter to every member of the country's Parliament calling for a Zero Carbon Act to fight climate change.

The proposed legislation would set a target of zero-net emissions of harmful greenhouse gases by 2050 and bind future Governments to act decisively to reduce emissions. It would also establish an independent body to make recommendations to government on how to enact greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Oxfam, VSA, Unicef, and Amnesty International are among the NGOs that believe the New Zealand government is not doing enough to reach its Paris Climate Accord target of reducing its net emissions of harmful gases to 57.7 million tpy of CO2 equivalent. (Source: NZ Stuff, 8 August, 2017)

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

Trump USDA Bans "Climate Change" -- If Only it Was That Easy! (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)

Date: 2017-08-09
The following list of "acceptable" Trump Administration terminology was issued to USDA underlings by USDA Director of Soil Health, Bianca Moebius-Clune:

"(The phrase) 'climate change' is in the 'avoid' category, to be replaced by 'weather extremes'. Instead of 'climate change adaption', staff are asked to use 'resilience to weather extremes'.

"The primary cause of human-driven climate change is also targeted, with the term 'reduce greenhouse gases' blacklisted in favor of 'build soil organic matter, increase nutrient use efficiency'. Meanwhile, 'sequester carbon' is ruled out and replaced by 'build soil organic matter.' "

We can't help but wonder if a rose by any other name really smells as sweet? (Source: USDA, Jezabel, The Slot, 7 August, 2017)Contact: USDA Director of Soil Health, Bianca Moebius-Clune, (202) 205-7712,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Global Warming,  

RIT Studying Solar Cell Energy Storage Technology (R&D)
Rochester Institute of Technology
Date: 2017-08-07
In the Empire State, researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) report the expansion of both solar cell technology and knowledge of environmental effects of energy storage on the electricity grid.

In solar cell technology, RIT researchers are focused on maximizing how much of the solar spectrum can be taken in using tandem junction solar cells based on III-V compounds -- metallic and non-metallic elements on the Periodic Table to supplement silicon, RIT said.

The project will be conducted over a two-year period and aims to expand the scope of III-V solar cells beyond niche markets.

The RIT research has received a $149,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the climate, health and environmental effects of operating energy storage devices and to propose new electricity system policies that allow the economic benefits of storage to be captured without causing inadvertent emissions. Work is slated to begin this fall. (Source: Rochester Inst. of Tech., Rochester Business Journal, Kerry Feltmer, Aug,, 2017) Contact: Rochester Institute of Technology,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Rochester Institute of Technology,  Solar,  Solar Cell,  Energy Storage,  

£1.5Mn Added to Scottish Gov. Offshore Wind Investment (Int'l)

Date: 2017-08-07
The Scottish Government is reporting an additional £1.5 million investment in the Carbon Trust's world-leading Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) development and demonstration programme in a bid to stimulate innovation in the sector. Funding will also continue for other projects exploring potential opportunities that offshore wind can offer to Scotland and ultimately lead to a reduction in costs.

Schemes receiving funding will be those which encourage international collaboration and knowledge-sharing between offshore wind developers. sectors to improve the industry as a whole. The OWA programme brings together nine of the largest offshore wind developers in Europe – DONG Energy, EnBW, E.ON, Iberdrola, innogy, SSE, Statkraft, Statoil and Vattenfall. (Source: Gov. of Scotland, The Courier, Various Media, 5 Aug., 2017) Contact: Carbon Trust, Andrew Lever, Director of Innovation, Al-Karim Govindji, Senior Manager of Innovation, +44 (0) 207 832 4773,

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

Aurora Reports Gemini Bifacial Solutions Order (Ind. Report)
Aurora Solar Technologies
Date: 2017-08-07
North Vancouver, BC-based Aurora Solar Technologies Inc. reports receipt of an order for two Decima™ Gemini measurement systems, and Veritas™ process visualization systems, for deployment on new bifacial cell fabrication lines. In addition to this purchase, the unnamed customer has agreed to a joint project with Aurora to define, document and publish the economic benefits of Aurora’s bifacial cell measurement and visualization technology.

The ordered systems will be used to speed the ramp-up of the new production lines and assist in solar cell R&D and production equipment development. The systems are scheduled for delivery in September and October. (Source: Aurora Solar Technologies, 1 Aug., 2017) Contact: Aurora Solar Technologies, Michael Heaven, CEO, Pres., (778) 241-5000, ,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Aurora Solar Technologies,  Solar,  

Aemetis, InEnTec Ink Cellulosic Ethanol Tech Deal (Ind. Report)
Date: 2017-08-07
Cupertino, California-headquartered Aemetis, Inc. reports it has signed a Master Agreement with key exclusive rights for the use of Richland, Washington-based InEnTec's patented Plasma Enhanced Melter® gasification technology to produce cellulosic ethanol. The InEnTec gasification technology agreement is a key part of Aemetis' strategy to produce high value, low carbon cellulosic ethanol from locally sourced biomass by integrating InEnTec's patented advanced gasification technology with LanzaTech's patented microbial fermentation technology. InEnTec's technology was developed at MIT and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) with the support of the US Department of Energy.

Under the Master Agreement, Aemetis has predominant exclusive rights to use the InEnTec gasification equipment and technology for cellulosic ethanol production until 2024. The gasification technology complements Aemetis' current license with LanzaTech for syngas-to-ethanol conversion, providing Aemetis with a complete technology solution to produce locally sourced, low carbon cellulosic ethanol, accoding to a release. (Source: Aemetis, Inc., PR, 4 Aug., 2017) Contact: InEnTec, (509) 946-5700,,; Aemetis Inc., Eric McAfee, CEO,(408) 213-0939,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Aemetis,  Cellulosic Ethanol,  InEnTec,  

PCJ Developing Castor Oil Biodiesel Blend (Ind. Report)
Petroleum Corp. of Jamaica
Date: 2017-08-07
In Kingston, the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), the government agency charged with leading the country's energy resources, reports it has developed a castor seed oil for use in diesel vehicles. The blend could replace 97,000 bpy of imported oil and save Jamaican motorists an estimated $540 million per year in imports.

PCJ is making the effort to develop local alternative energy sources to rely less on imports and help advance the Jamaican economy and agricultural sector with satellite farms even as small as an acre being able to grow caster plants.

As previously reported, small-scale trials and improvements to the new blend are ongoing in cooperation with the Jamaica's University of Technology. (Source: Petroleum Corp. of Jamaica, Various Media, 4 August., 2017) Contact: Petroleum Corp. of Jamaica, Winston Watson, Gen, Mgr., (876) 929-5380,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica,  Castor Seed Biodiesel,  Biodiesel Blend ,  

Biofuels Impact on Climate Change Study Announced (Ind. Report)
Clemson University
Date: 2017-08-07
In South Carolina, Clemson University scientists have received a USDA, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) 2-year grant totaling $147,744 grant to evaluate the effectiveness of producing biofuels to mitigate climate change. Quantifying the net impact that growing biomass feedstock -- switchgrass and loblolly pine -- for biofuel has on local temperature and carbon sequestration can aid the development of effective land-use policies and is the key of a new research project led by Clemson University scientist Thomas O'Halloran.

According to O'Halloran, "If we incentivize the Southeast to plant switchgrass instead of loblolly pine, for example, how would that affect local climate? This study will give us some answers. Biofuels are about reducing fossil fuel use in the interest of benefiting the climate, so this research is about getting a holistic view on whether this is actually beneficial to the environment."

The research aims to analyze how switchgrass fields and loblolly pine forests affect local temperatures through the exchange of water, energy, radiation and carbon with the atmosphere, and also quantify below- and above-ground carbon fluxes in both loblolly pine and switchgrass plantations and assess the greenhouse gas emissions of the full biofuel production chain for each crop. This will provide a comparative picture of the potential of these feedstocks to reduce carbon emissions when generating electricity by co-firing in a coal power plant. (Source: Clemson Univ., Media Release, 4 Aug., 2017) Contact: Clemson University, Assist. Prof. Thomas O'Halloran, (843) 546-1013,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Climate Change. Polar,  Switchgrass,  

Helsinki Airport Recognizes for Carbon Neutrality (Int'l Report)
Airport Carbon Accreditation
Date: 2017-08-07
In Finland, the Helsinki airport reports it is now the 34th fully carbon-neutral airport in the world and has been awarded international Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) certification. The ACA program supports airports in their environmental efficiency drive to meet aviation industry emissions standards.

To achieve carbon neutrality, the airport uses renewable-biodiesel fuel in vehicles operating at the airport. It has also installed the largest airport solar power plant in the Nordic area, and other energy efficiency, low-carbon features that have delivered almost $130,000 per year in energy cost savings. (Source: Helsinki International Airport, August 3, 2017) Contact: Helsinki International Airport, +358 200 14636,; Airport Carbon Accreditation,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Airport Carbon Accreditation,  

Virginia Considering RGGI Carbon Regulation Model (Ind. Report)
Date: 2017-08-07
In the Old Dominion State, the Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) advisory panel appointed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) to create a new carbon regulation for Virginia's power plants reports its work is now underway. The panel includes representatives from the state's regulated utilities, merchant producers and electrical cooperatives as well as environmental groups and renewable energy and energy efficiency organizations.

Gov. McAuliffe directed the DEQ to develop a regulation that allows for the use of "market-based mechanisms and the trading of carbon dioxide allowances through a multi-state trading program." The only similar program is Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) which sets regional yearly caps for carbon emissions, regulates emissions from fossil fuel power plants above 25 MW, and auctions off those carbon-dioxide allowances.

Virginia's power plants emitted nearly 34 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2016, up from 31 million in 2011, and are expected to rise to 37 million tons in 2019 and then fall to about 34.8 million tons by 2023, according to the DEQ. However, Virginia cannot sell allowances and raise revenue without legislative approval. That presents a complication for the panel in sorting out how to participate in RGGI's allowance-trading market without setting up its own auction and becoming a full-fledged member. (Source: Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Aug., 2017) Contact:Department of Environmental Quality, David Paylor, Director, (804) 698-4000,; RGGI, (212) 417-3179,

More Low-Carbon Energy News RGGI,  Carbon Emission,  Clean Power Plan,  

Aussie Councils Leading the Way on Climate Change (Int'l)
Australian Climate Council
Date: 2017-08-04
In the Land Down Under, a new Australian Climate Council report claims that regional and municipal councils are well ahead of state and federal governments in capitalizing on renewable energy and tackling climate change.

The report claims one in five councils surveyed across Australia are aiming for 100 percent renewable energy and/or zero emissions. The report also notes that urban centres are major contributors to carbon emissions, producing about three-quarters of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from electricity and energy use in buildings and transport.

By changing the way we use and produce energy, says the Climate Council, "70 percent of emission reductions required to meet the Paris Climate Agreement can be achieved in cities." Investments in renewable energy worth millions of dollars are being rolled out across Australia by a number of local councils, according to the report. (Source: Australian Climate Council, Architecture & Design, 25 July, 2017)Contact: Australian Climate Council,

More Low-Carbon Energy News GHGs,  Climate Change,  

Japanese Consortium Snares Lion's Share of Irish Wind Portfolio (Int'l, M&A)
Invis Energy
Date: 2017-08-04
A consortium of Japanese companies including Kansai Electric Power (Kepco), lender Mitsubishi UFJ Lease and Finance (MUFG) and investment firm Sojitzcompanies, is reports it has taken a 60 pct stake in a 223MW portfolio of five Irish onshore wind projects developed by County Cork-headquartered Invis Energy.

Four of the sites are in operation and were completed between 2013 and 2017. The four operating projects are: 44.4MW Knocknagoum, 44MW Leitir Guingaid Leitir Peic, 65MW Knockduff, 25MW Killaveenoge. The fifth project, the 45MW Slievecallan West site, is under construction and slated for completion in early 2018. It will comprise 18 Nordex N90 2.5MW turbines. Invis will retain a 40% stake in the five projects, which are located in the southwest of Ireland. (Source: Various Media, Windpower, 31 July, 2017) Contact: Invis Energy, +353 1669 463,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  

German Automakers Propose NOx Controls to Save Diesel Auto Industry (Int'l)

Date: 2017-08-04
In light of accusations surrounding German automaker's collusion to beat vehicle emissions standards and "fixed" emissions tests, along with French and UK government pledge's to eliminate the sale of gasoline and diesel power vehicle by 2040, and the city of Stuttgart's steps to ban diesel cars because of the harmful effects of their emissions, particularly nitrogen oxides (NOx), the German auto industry is under preasue to ceanup it act.

The German auto industry is heavily invested in diesel engines to help meet tougher carbon dioxide (CO2) emission standards and, rather then accept the demise of diesel is developing software upgrades that should reduce NOx emissions by between 25 and 30 pct on average with no negative effect on fuel economy or engine performance. (Source: Motor Authority, 3 Aug., 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News NOx,  CO2,  Vehicle Emissions,  

DOE BETO Announces Fourth MEGA-BIO Award (Ind. Report)
DOE BETO,Michigan State University
Date: 2017-08-04
The U.S. DOE's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) has announced it will award a fourth project -- up to $1.8 million -- under the MEGA-BIO: Bioproducts to Enable Biofuels Funding Opportunity. In August 2016, BETO selected three projects for an initial round of funding. The total funding for the four MEGA-BIO awards is $13.1 million.

Michigan State University was selected to manage the fourth project, which will work in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and MBI International to optimize a two-stage process for deconstruction of biomass into two clean intermediate streams: sugars for the production of hydrocarbon fuels and lignins for the production of multiple value-added chemicals and as a feedstock for renewable bichemicals.

All four projects are supporting the development of biomass-to-hydrocarbon biofuels conversion pathways that can produce variable amounts of fuels and/or products based on external factors, such as market demand. Producing high-value bioproducts alongside cost-competitive biofuels has the potential to support a positive return on investment for a biorefinery through converting biomass to where it is most impactful. Producing value-added coproducts is an approach to achieving DOE's strategic goal of producing hydrocarbon fuels at $3 per gasoline gallon equivalent. (Source: US DOE, 2 Aug., 2017) Contact: BETO,; US DOE EERE,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biochemical,  BETO,  DOE EERE,  Biochemical,  Biofuel,  

ADM Refocusing Peoria Illinois Ethanol Plant (Ind. Report)
Archer Daniels Midland
Date: 2017-08-04
On Aug. 1, Archer Daniels Midland Co.(ADM) announced that improved ethanol margins due to lower production costs and increased exports have been influential in the company's plans to reconfigure it ethanol plant in Peoria,Illinois.

According to ADM CEO Juan Luciano, the plant will simplify its production process and focus on the more profitable higher-grade industrial and beverage alcohol and export fuel and reduce the compan ethanol capacity by more than 100 million gpy.(Source: ADM, Various Media, 2 Aug., 2017) Contact: ADM, Juan Luciano, Pres., CEO, (312) 634-8100, Jackie Anderson, ADM Media, (217) 424-5413,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Archer Daniels Midland,  Ethanol,  

EDGE Adds Existing, Retrofit Buildings Certifications (Ind. Report)
EDGE Green building Certification
Date: 2017-08-04
The International Finance Corporation's (IFC) EDGE Green building Certification system reports is now offering green building certification for existing buildings, retrofits and major renovations in addition to new construction. EDGE makes it faster, easier and more affordable than ever before to build and brand green in more than 130 emerging markets, according to an EDGE release.

EDGE serves as an asset rating instrument that defines whether a building has met the minimum standard of 20 pct less energy, 20 pct less water and 20 pct less embodied energy in materials compared to a base case building.

Broadening the scope of EDGE to include buildings of all vintages is beneficial to building owners, managers managers, banks and buyers. (Source: EDGE, DMG, EcoBusiness, Aug, 2017) Contact: EDGE Buildings,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News EDGE Green building Certification,  Energy Efficiency,  

Savona, Italy Registers First LEED for Cities Program (Int'l)
USGBC,Green Business Certification
Date: 2017-08-04
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the organization that certifies all USGBC LEED projects globally, reports that the city of Savona, Italy, ( pop. 62,000 ) is the first city in Europe registering for the LEED for Cities Program.

LEED for Cities combines sustainability, social equity and human experience with technology and analytics and is based on LEED -- the world's most widely used program for green buildings and communities.

LEED for Cities provides cities with a framework for measuring and managing the performance of water consumption, energy use, waste and transportation. LEED for Cities is administered through GBCI's Arc performance platform.

GBCI is the only certification and credentialing body within the green business and sustainability industry to exclusively administer project certifications and professional credentials for LEED, EDGE, PEER, WELL, SITES, GRESB, Investor Confidence Project (ICP), Parksmart and Zero Waste. GBCI's expansion into Europe will help facilitate the growth and advocacy of LEED, and GBCI's other sustainability programs in the European region. (Source: U.S. Green Building Council, PR, 31 July, 2017) Contact: USGBC,; Green Business Certification,

More Low-Carbon Energy News USGBC,  Green Building,  LEED Certification,  

enVerid HVAC Systems Developing Greener Buildings (Ind. Report)
enVerid Systems
Date: 2017-08-04
Boston-based enVerid Systems, Inc. is touting its HVAC Load Reduction® (HLR) modular technology, designed to reduce indoor air contaminants such as CO2, aldehydes and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) while reducing energy usage and related expenses.

Instead of the traditional process of replacing the entire volume of a building's indoor air every one to two hours, HLR modules clean and recycle existing indoor air enabling a 60 to 80 pct reduction in required outside air intake, and a decrease in cooling and heating energy consumption by as much as 40 pct. solutions. (Source: enVerid Systems, Inc., PR, Aug. 1, 2017) Contact: enVerid Systems, . Udi Meirav, CEO,

More Low-Carbon Energy News HVAC,  Green Building,  enVerid Systems,  

Pruitt Stymied by Order to Enforce Obama Methane Rule (Reg & Leg)
Date: 2017-08-04
In Washington, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has issued the latest ruling after a ruling by the court in July that the EPA unlawfully tried to delay implementing the Obama-era methane pollution rule which sets limits for GHG emissions for the energy industry, and requires companies to identify and fix leaks.

In June, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt sought a two-year pause on the new methane rule so the agency could "look broadly" at regulations and "review their impact" with the end view of abolishing the Obama era legislation. "Today's issuance of the mandate by the full D.C. Circuit protects families and communities across America under clean air safeguards that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt sought to unlawfully tear down," said Peter Zalzal, lead attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund, one of the groups that challenged the EPA. (Source: Newsmax, EDF, Various Others, , EPA, 1 Aug., 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Scott Pruitt,  Methane Emissions,  

ADB Green Bonds Spurring Climate Change Funding (Int'l)
Asian Development Bank
Date: 2017-08-04
In Manila, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) reports the sale of $1.25 billion in green bonds in a dual-tranche issuance to support its low-carbon and climate resilient projects. With the $1.25 billion for climate change support, ADB expects a 30 pct growth in overall financing.

The issuance was split into a $750 million , five-year offering that matures on Aug. 10, 2022, and a $500 million ten-year bond offering that matures on Aug. 10, 2027. Both bond issues were widely distributed geographically with 52 pct of the total issuance going to banks, 25 pct to central banks and official institutions, and 23 pct to fund managers.

The transactions were lead-managed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Agricole CIB, and J.P. Morgan. A syndicate group was also formed consisting of Citi, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, and TD Securities, according to ADB. ADB aims to raise between $27 billion to $30 billion from capital markets in 2017. (Source: ADB, GMA, Others, Aug., 2017) Contact: Asian Development Bank, Michael Trainor, Energy Specialist,

More Low-Carbon Energy News ADB,  Green Bonds,  Asian Development Bank,  Green Bond,  Climate Change Funding,  

CARB, NBB Touting VESTA™1000 Biodiesel Additive (Ind. Report)
California ARB,NBB
Date: 2017-08-02
In Sacramento, the California Air Resource Board (CARB) reports it has certified VESTA™1000, a biodiesel additive that reduces measurable regulated emissions, including NOx, when blended with California's unique diesel formulation called "CARB diesel." The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) led the initial research and development into the additive.

VESTA™1000 ensures compliance with the January 1, 2018 implementation of CARB's Alternative Diesel Fuel Regulation. A 20 pct (B20) blend of biodiesel with VESTA™ 1000 reportedly reduced NOx by 1.9 pct and particulate matter by 18 pct compared to CARB diesel fuel. California Fueling, LLC will produce the formula, and Pacific Fuel Resource, LLC will deliver the product to market. The two companies will work cooperatively with NBB members as well as those in the California fuel community to support the ongoing use of biodiesel diesel blends up to B20. (Source: NBB, Pacific Fuel Resource, July, 2017) Contact: Pacific Fuel Resource, Paul Nazzaro, (978)438-6090,,; NBB, Kaleb Little, (800) 841-5849,,; CARB, (800) 242-4450,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News California ARB,  NBB,  Biodiesel,  

Appeals Court RFS Ruling Favors Alt. Fuels Industry (Reg & Leg)
Date: 2017-08-02
In what many alternative fuels industry leaders see as a victory, the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under the Obama administration, fundamentally misinterpreted its authority under the National Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by reducing the amount of ethanol allowed to be blended in the nation's fuel supply.

The alt fuels and biofuels industry claimed the EPA erred in its interpretation of its own authority to waive biofuel requirements and that this misuse of authority played into arguments made by refiners and other members of the oil industry. The court agreed and ruled that the EPA can not waive the RFS requirements because of a shortage of biofuel refueling stations or pumps at gasoline stations, or similar reasons. The EPA can, however, waive the annual RFS blending requirements for ethanol and other biofuels only because of lack of supply.

With the court ruling, the EPA must now reset the 2016 annual Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requirements. (Source: CSNews, EPA, July 31, 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  RFS,  Ethanol Blend,  

MN PUC Considers CO2 Emissions "Social Cost" Rate (Ind. Report)
Minnesota PUC
Date: 2017-08-02
In St.Paul, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) reports it has voted to substantially increase the "social cost" of power plant CO2 emissions from to $43.06 per short ton of emissions by 2020. Several commissioners sought to increase the rate to more than $63 per short ton by 2020. The present rate, which was set two decades ago, is $0.44 to $4.53 per short ton of emissions. The increase could have a significant impact on utilities seeking to construct new power plants as well as consumers.

In 2010, Interagency Working Group established a social cost of carbon measurement for federal agencies to use in resource planning and policy making. President Trump suspended the use of a social cost of carbon measurement in federal planning.

Interagency Working Groups (IWGs) are the primary USGCRP vehicles for implementing and coordinating global change research activities within and across agencies. These groups are critical to integration and assessment of progress throughout the Program. The working groups span a wide range of interconnected climate and global change issues and address major components of the Earth's environmental and human systems, as well as cross-disciplinary approaches for addressing these issues. (Source: Minnesota PUC, alpha news, Various Others, 31 July, 2017) Contact: Minnesota PUC, Dan Lipschultz, Commissioner, (651) 296-0406,; Interagency Working Group,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions Social Cost,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  

GCL-SI Opens Vietnamese JV Solar Cell Plant (Int'l Report)
GCL System Integrated Technology
Date: 2017-08-02
Suzhou, China-headquartered GCL System Integration Technology Co., Ltd (GCL), a Silicon Module Super League (SMSL) member, reports it has begun production at its 600 MW JV solar cell plant with Vina Solar in Vietnam as well as an unmanned module assembly pilot project in China.

GCL has independently researched and developed numerous intelligent equipment and systems including a high-speed automated tabbing machine, a high-precision layout machine and a robot palletizing system. The company aims to achieve a 50 pct improvement in efficiency, a 60 pct reduction in online manpower and a 30 pct reduction in processing costs. Product quality improvement targets were being set at a 21 pct overall improvement across its manufacturing operations. (Source: GCL-SI, PR, 28 July, 2017) Contact: Silicon Module Super League,; GCL System Integration Technology, +86 512 6983 2777,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News GCL System,  Solar,  Vina Solar,  

BYD, KOSTAL Partner for High-Volt Energy Storage (Ind. Report)
Date: 2017-08-02
Chinese rechargable battery manufacturer BYD Co. Ltd. reports it is collaborating with inverter specialist KOSTAL. KOSTAL has lined-up BYD's high-voltage lithium battery storage solution B-Box HV for use with its PIKO inverter line. The combined battery and inverter system has both commercial and residential applications.

The new modular B-Box series is available in capacities ranging from 6.4 to 11.5 kWh, providing more than enough energy for the average household and can be scaled up to 58 kWh for commercial and industrial applications. The series offers a wide range of capabilities to meet light to heavy electrical load usage, off-grid or on-grid, single-phase or three-phase applications. (Source: BYD, PR, July 31, 2017) Contact: KOSTAL, Christofer Kiesel, Product Manager for PV inverters and storage systems,; BYD, Julia Chen, Global Sales Director, +86 (7) 558 988-8888,

More Low-Carbon Energy News BYD,  Energy Storage,  Battery,  

2 degree Jump in Global Climate by 2100 Predicted (Ind. Report)
Climate Change
Date: 2017-08-02
Two separate studies published in the journal Nature Climate Change are predicting that global temperatures are likely to jump more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by the year 2100.

One study used statistical analysis to show that there is a 95 pct chance that Earth will warm more than 2 degrees C by century's end, and a 1 pct chance that it will be at or below the 2 degree mark.

The second study analyzed past GHG emissions from fossil fuels and found that the earth's temperature will rise by 2 degrees by 2100 even if the burning of fossil fuels ceased completely. It also found that if emissions continue at for another 15 years, the global temperature could rise as much as 3 degrees. (Source: Nature Climate Change, Various Media, 31 July, 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Global Warming,  Climate Change,  

Groups Seek FHA Clean Air Standard Reinstatement ( Reg & Leg)
U.S. PRIG,Federal Highway Administration,NRDC
Date: 2017-08-02
In the nation's capital, the Natural Resources Defense Council, U.S. PIRG -- a public interest advocacy group, and the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of Clean Air Carolina, report they have taken legal action against the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) for illegally suspending the Clean Air Standard this year, and are seeking its immediate reinstatement.

The suit claims the Trump administration ignored requirements under the federal Administrative Procedure Act when it suspended the transportation greenhouse gas standard which was intended to curb transportation sector climate-changing emissions. The suit asks the court to invalidate the suspension, meaning that the standard would go into immediate effect and thus help slow climate change and reduce ground-level ozone and other harmful pollutants . (Source: U.S. PIRG, PR, 31 July, 2017) Contact: NRDC, Jake Thompson, 202-289-2387,,; SELC and Clean Air Carolina, Claudine McElwain , 434-977-4090,,; U.S. PIRG, Matthew Casale, 617-747-4314,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Federal Highway Administration,  Clean Air Act,  NRDC,  

Save Energy Systems Touts HVAC Systems Updates (Ind. Report)
Save Energy Systems
Date: 2017-08-02
Westborough, Mass.-based energy efficiency services provider Save Energy Systems is reporting feature updates to its patented Demand-Limiting Controller (DLC) HVAC management system designed specifically for small to medium-size commercial facilities.

The new features and upgrades include: individual room zoning control; automated fan ventilation; compressor coil freeze prevention; duct supply temterature monitoring; smart start insight and control; energy cost reduction and excellent ROI. (Source: Save Energy Systems, Marketwired, July 31, 2017) Contact: Save Energy Systems, (617) 564-4800,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Save Energy Systems,  Energy Efficiency,  

Valero Reports Falling Earnings for 2017 (Ind. Report)
Date: 2017-08-02
San Antonio, Texas-based Valero Energy Corp. subsidiary Valero Renewable Fuels Company LLC, is reporting that its adjusted operating income for its ethanol segment was $31 million in Q2 of this year -- down from $49 million in the corresponding period of 2016. The company's ethanol production averages 3.8 million gpd. High energy costs and competition is being cited for the decline. (Source: Valero, Ethanol Prod., Other Media, 31 July, 2017) Contact: Valero Renewable Fuels, Joe Gorder, Pres., (800) 324-8464,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Valero,  Biofuel,  Ethanol,  

Carestream Cuts Colorado Plant Energy Consumption (Ind. Report)
Date: 2017-08-02
Rochester, NY-based medical equipment manufacturer Carestream reports its manufacturing facility in Windsor, Colo., has reduced its energy consumption by 5.4 pct over the past two years and has earned a Colorado Industrial Energy Efficiency award from the Colorado Energy Office. The company’s goal is to cut an additional 5 pct in energy use from 2015 to 2020.

The Carestream Colorado plant achieved energy savings of 5,119 megawatt-hours over two years by rebuilding a 40-year-old steam turbine chiller that significantly reduces electricity consumption and installing variable frequency drives on four cooling tower fan motors, eight cooling tower supply pumps and three chilled water pumps to allow each system to use only the precise amount of energy required to obtain the desired flow of water for manufacturing operations, and other improvements. The plant also maintains an ongoing list of projects designed to enhance production and reduce energy use, recycles a variety of materials and works to control hazardous waste from product manufacturing and maintenance activities. The company is also updating its Environmental Management System to meet the new ISO 14001:2015 standard. (Source: Carestream, PR, 2 Aug., 2017) Contact: Carestream Health, Robert Salmon, (585) 627-6560,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency news,  Energy Consumption news,  

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