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Calif. Climate Change Act Extended to 2030 (Reg & Leg)
California Cap-and-Trade
Date: 2017-07-19
On Monday in Sacramento, the California State House and Senate Legislature extended the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 -- the Golen State's cap-and-trade climate change program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Act limits carbon emissions and requires polluters to acquire permits for each ton of carbon released. The program is the only one of its kind in the U.S. and is generally seen as a model for using regulatory financial pressure to encourage carbon-emitting industries to cut emission levels. The bill was supported by Governor Jerry Brown, national environmental groups and business interests seeking to limit emissions and fighting climate change. State law requires California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 pct from 1990 levels by 2030.(Source: The Standard, AP, Various Other Media, I, 18 July, 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News California,  Cap-and-Trade,  Carbon Emissions,  Jerry Brown,  Climate Change,  


CWRU Testing PERC Solar Cell Durability (Ind. Report)
Case Western Reserve University
Date: 2017-07-19
In CLeveland, Case Western Reserve University reports it has been awarded $1.47 million in federal grant funding to determine the durability of a new, more powerful solar panel design that is presently commercially available.

The new "Passivated Emitter Rear Cell" (PERC) typically boosts the output of an off-the-shelf solar panel by 10 pct. And manufacturers can make the design changes without major re-tooling of production lines. What this means for customers is that installers can use fewer solar panels to get the same level of power, lowering the overall cost of a project. Or, if space is not an issue and the budget not as critical, installers can boost the total output of a solar array. (Source: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland.com, 14 July,2017) Contact: Case Western Reserve Univ., Roger French, CWRU Solar Durability and Lifetime Extension (SDLE) Research Center, (216) 368-3655, roger.french@case.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  Solar Cell Efficiency,  


EDF Renewable Energy Acquires Nevada Solar Projects (M&A)
EDF Renewable Energy,First Solar
Date: 2017-07-19
San Diego-based EDF Renewable Energy recently has announced its acquisition of two solar project presently under construction in Nevada from Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar Inc. Terms of the deal, which was announce on July 14, have not been disclosed.

NV Energy subsidiaries Nevada Power Co. and Sierra Pacific Power Co. will purchase power from the two projects. Although this acquisition is EDF's entry into Nevada, the company has developed nine gigawatts of wind, solar, biomass and biogas projects in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. (Source: EDF, San Diego Bus. Journal, Others, 14 July, 2017) Contact: EDF Energy Renewables, Ryan Pfaff, Exec. VP, Tim Wheeler, Onshore Wind Development Manager, www.edf-er.com; First Solar, Brian Kunz, VP Project Dev., Steve Krum (602) 427-3359, steve.krum@firstsolar.com, David Brady, Inv. Rel., (602) 414-9315, dbrady@firstsolar.com, www.firstsolar.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News EDF Renewable Energy,  Solar,  First Solar ,  


Notable Quote

Date: 2017-07-19
"It's up to you and it's up to me and tens of millions of other people to get it together to roll back the forces of carbonization and join together to combat the existential threat of climate change.

"President Trump is trying to get out of the Paris agreement, but he doesn't speak for the rest of America. We in California and in states all across America believe it's time to act, it's time to join together and that's why at this climate action summit we're going to get it done." -- California Governor Jerry Brown)Contact: Governor of California, Edmund G. (Jerry) Browm, (916) 445-2841, http://gov.ca.gov

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


World's GHG Policies "Not Enough, " Scientists Say (Ind. Report)

Date: 2017-07-19
New research indicates that simply reducing greenhouse gas emissions is not enough to avoid the massive costs and environmental destruction that young people are likely to face if the effects of climate change compound and worsen. The research is part of the scientific basis for legal action in Juliana et al. v. United States, filed in Eugene, Oregon Federal Court in 2015 by 21 young people, claiming the president and major government agencies are violating their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property by failing to address climate change.

According to a just published Columbia University study by Professor James Hansen, former head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies , most carbon in the atmosphere can be removed through improved forestry and agricultural practices alone, which would be comparatively inexpensive, and could enhance forest products and soil fertility. And, while reforestation and other measures to remove CO2 from the atmosphere will help, elevated fossil fuel emissions will require costly technological solutions to extract additional CO2 and prevent global warming.

However, if CO2 emissions grow at a rate of 2 pct a year -- they rose 2.6 pct a year from 2000 to 2015 -- nations would need to extract more than 1,100 gigatons of carbon from the atmosphere by 2100. This could be achieved only by using expensive technological solutions, according to the study. According to Hansen, CO2 should be reduced to fewer than 350 ppm from the current level of about 400 ppm. To do so, nations must reduce CO2 emissions by 6 pct a year by 2021, and extract roughly 165 gigatons ( 1 gigaton = 1 billion tonnes) of carbon from the atmosphere by 2100. Even if global average temperatures stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels -- the primary goal of the 2015 Paris climate agreement -- climate feedbacks could be "slowed," to the partial melting of ice sheets and resulting sea level rise. (Source: Court News, July, 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News GHG,  Greenhouse Gas Emissions,  Climate Change,  

More Low-Carbon Energy News GHG,  Greenhouse Gas Emissions,  Climate Change,  


Atlantic Renewable Energies' 5th Brazilian Wind Farm Construction Underway (Int'l)
Atlantic Renewable Energies
Date: 2017-07-17
In Curitiba, Brazil, Atlantic Renewable Energies reports that construction of its R$ 1.3 billion Lagoa do Barro Wind Farm Complex in Piaui state, Brazil, is now underway. At full operating capacity, the complex will incorporate eight wind farms with a total of 65 wind turbines with a total capacity of 195 MW.

The Lagoa do Barro Wind Farm Complex is the company's fifth development since 2009. The company currently has active operations in Bahia, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina -- 652 megawatts of power have already been sold.

Atlantic Renewable Energies is 100 pct controlled by the British private equity investment fund Actis, which has a growing portfolio of investments in Asia, Africa and Latin America. (Source: Atlantic Energias Renovaveis, PR, 13 July, 2017) Contact: Atlantic Energias Renovaveis, +55 41 3079-7100, http://atlanticenergias.com.br/en

More Low-Carbon Energy News Atlantic Renewable Energies,  


German-Turkish Consortium Chases Turkish Wind Power Project (Int'l)
Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy,Turkerler Energy
Date: 2017-07-17
Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy reports it has joined with Kalyon Construction, and Turkerler Energy in a tripartite consortium that will participate in an upcoming Turkish Wind Energy Renewable Energy Resource Area (YEKA) project bidding valued at an estimated $1.2 billion.

The Zonguldak Wind Energy project requires at least 65 pct local technology and equipment inputs inputs to establish wind power plants that will have a combined output of 1,000 MW and meet the electric power requirements of 1.2 million households when commissioned in 2023. The consortium also agreed on long-term cooperation and will cover possible future YEKA projects. (Source: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, DAILY SABAH , 13 July, 2017) Contact: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, www.gamesacorp.com/gamesa/en/siemensgamesa.html; Turkerler Energy, www.turkerler.com; Kalyon Construction, www.kalyongrup.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy,  Wind,  Turkey Wind,  


IWI Plans Ontario Woody Biomass Pellets Plant (Ind. Report)
International Wood Industries
Date: 2017-07-17
Turlock, California-headquartered International Wood Industries (IWI) reports it will invest approximately $140 million in a wood products facility near Bonfield, Ontario. In addition, wood waste from the operation will be used on site to create pellets for home heating.

Work could begin on site as early as this fall, with construction completed by December of 2018 in time for production to start up in early 2019. The site is expected to include a sawmill, dry kilns and a planer mill, moulder mill, and CNC facilities (computer numerical control) in addition to ancillary buildings in support of the main processing plants.(Source: International Wood Industries, North Bay Nugget, 13 July, 2017) Contact: International Wood Industries, Gary Medwid, Pres., (209) 632-3300, www.iwiproducts.com


Schneider Electric Intos PowerTag Energy Sensor (New Prod & Tech)
Schneider Electric
Date: 2017-07-17
Energy management specialist Schneider Electric is reporting the launch of The PowerTag, a new product designed to make monitoring electrical assets easier for building owners and facility managers.

The PowerTag, which can be installed on any type of building, provides real-time measurements of currents, voltages, power, power factor and energy. Data from the PowerTag can be wirelessly sent to a concentrator and displayed via a webpage, or to other energy management and building management systems. Customized mail alerts can also be set up to enable remote monitoring. (Source: Schneider Electric, Channel News, 14 July, 2017) Contact: Schneider Electric, www.enable.schneider-electric.com

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


Georgia Tech Wins $500,000 Energy Efficiency Rebate (Ind. Report)
Georgia Power,Georgia Tech
Date: 2017-07-17
Georgia Power reports it has issued a $500,000 energy efficiency rebate check to Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in recognition of the school's energy efficiency upgrades at two on campus facilities. The $500,000 rebate is the largest single rebate ever issued through the company's Commercial Energy Efficiency Program.

Georgia Tech earned the rebate by completing various energy efficiency upgrades including upgrading central water chillers, replacing existing motors with high efficiency inverter rated motors and conversions of condenser water pumps, and others. The upgrades are expected to save Georgia Tech more than 16 million kWh annually.

Georgia Power has awarded more than $44 million in rebates through the Commercial Energy Efficiency program since the program's inception in 2011. (Source: Georgia Power, PR, Various Media, 14 July, 2017) Contact: Georgia Power, www.georgiapower.com/commercialsavings

More Low-Carbon Energy News Georgia Power,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency Rebate,  


New England CO2 Emissions Down Since RGGI Inception (Ind. Report)
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
Date: 2017-07-17
Contrary to U.S. President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, the Administration's apparent determination to debunk global climate change and its non-interest in reducing greenhouse gas pollution, the New England states and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) are considering more aggressive curbs on power plant carbon emissions.

The RGGI market-based cap-and-trade program sets limits on CO2 emissions in the nine RGGI member states -- Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. RGGI member state power generators can buy and sell emission allowances under the program which can give a financial boost to cleaner renewable energy sources.

RGGI notes that since its 2009 inception, carbon pollution is down 40 pct, electricity prices are down 3 pct, and RGGI member state economies have grown by 25 pct, none of which is directly or solely attributable to RGGI. (Source: MPR, RGGI, 17 July., 2017) Contact: RGGI, (212) 417-3179, www.rggi.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative,  RGGI,  Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  Cap-and-Trade,  


Christie Blocks NJ RGGI Membership Again (Reg & Leg)
RGGI
Date: 2017-07-17
The Garden State's Democratic-controlled State Assembly's recent vote requiring the state to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) has been defeated again by former republican presidential wannabe and state governor Chris Christie. On Thursday, July 13, Christie vetoed the assembly's legislative measure requiring the state to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Christie withdrew his state from RGGI in 2011 on the grounds that it was ineffective and a tax on utility customers. Since then, he has blocked and discouraged all legislative efforts to rejoin RGGI.

When it was a RGGI member, New Jersey received over $100 million from the program, much of which was diverted to prop-up the state budget or fund other programs. (Source: NJ Spotlight, Others, 13 JUly, 2017) Contact: RGGI, (212) 417-3179, www.rggi.orgy

More Low-Carbon Energy News Chis Christie,  RGGI,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


Diesel Truck Fleet Emissions Drop 30 pct (Ind. Report)
Diesel Technology Forum
Date: 2017-07-17
A recent study by technical research firm IHS Markit for the Diesel Technology Forum has found that the U.S. diesel-powered heavy truck fleet of about 3 million vehicles is now more fuel efficient and 30 pct cleaner in terms of emissions than it was five years ago.

According to the study, the newest generation commercial vehicles have saved 4.2 billion gallons of diesel fuel and reduced 43 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), 21 million tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 1.2 million tons of particulate matter. Since 2011, U.S. diesel trucks were required to meet NOx emissions of no more than 0.2 grams per brake horse-power hour. This is in addition to particulate emissions levels of no more than 0.01 grams per brake horse-power hour set in 2007. (Source: Diesel Technology Forum, American Shipper, 14 July, 2017) Contact: Diesel Technology Forum, Allen Schaeffer, Exec. Dir., (301) 668-7230, aschaeffer@dieselfourm.org www.dieselforum.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2 Emissions,  Diesel Technology Forum,  nitrogen oxides,  


Xcel, Energy CENTS Partner on St. Paul Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy
Date: 2017-07-14
In St. Paul, Xcel Energy reports it is partnering with the Energy CENTS Coalition on a community solar garden offering to help the city's Railroad Island area residents cut energy consumption and lower their energy bills.

Subscriptions to the program will be available without a credit check, long-term commitment or up-front payments. The program will include a free home energy audit to identify and install low-cost energy efficiency measures and provide energy conservation tips. Pending approvals, the program is expected to launch in 2018. (Source: Xcel Energy, EL&P, Others, 11 July, 2017) Contact: Xcel Energy-Minnesota, www.xcelenergy.com; Energy CENTS Coalition, (651) 774-9010, www.energycents.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Renewable Energy,  Solar Garden,  Community Solar,  Energy Efficiency,  


2016 Clean Energy Spending 43 pct of Total Energy Investment, says IEA (Ind. Report)
International Energy Agency
Date: 2017-07-14
The International Energy Agency's (IEA) World Energy Investment Report finds that global spending on energy fell by 12 pct overall in 2016, marking the second-consecutive year that investment has dropped as less money is funneled into costly gas and oil infrastructure. Even so, the reality for renewables looks brighter than ever as more and more funds are steered towards clean energy.

According to the report, there was a 12 pct fall in global energy investment in 2016, but equally significant is the fact that clean energy spending claimed a record 43 pct share of all expenditures.

The IEA calculates that $1.7 trillion was invested in the global energy sectors in 2016 -- 2.2 pct of global GDP. Spending on the electricity sector outstripped investment in gas, oil and coal supply for the first time ever – marking a notable tilt away from traditional thermal energies towards renewables and nuclear.

The U.S., meanwhile, accounted for 16 pct of global energy spending despite registering a sharp decline in oil and gas investment. With China, India and the U.S. cutting back on thermal power investment, carbon emissions stagnated in 2016 for the third year in a row, the IEA report found. (Source: IEA, 11 July, 2017)Contact: International Energy Agency, www.iea.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News International Energy Agency,  Renewable Energy,  Clean Energy,  


Saint Jean Carbon Advances Carbon Dots Energy Storage (Ind. Report)
Saint Jean Carbon Inc
Date: 2017-07-14
Oakville, Ontario-based Saint Jean Carbon Inc, a carbon science company engaged in the design and build of green energy storage, green energy creation and green re-creation through the use of carbon materials, reports that its carbon dots project has a number of carbon nano level projects underway at the University of Western Ontario. In particular a lot of time has been placed on the carbon dots and the ability to create solar energy, recent tests show a significant increase in energy efficiency. The increase means more energy gathered effectively may create better solar panels in the future.

The project intellectual property will be owned on a 50/50 basis with the university and the Company. The project is funded over a two-year period by the Company contributing $10,000.00 per year and an NSERC grant for $100,000.00. The Company also provides "in kind" services and materials to the project. (Source: Saint Jean Carbon Inc., NASDAQ, 11 July, 2017) Contact: Saint Jean Carbon, Paul Ogilvie, CEO and Director, (905) 844-1200, info@saintjeancarbon.com, www.saintjeancarbon.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Saint Jean Carbon ,  Energy Storage,  


G20 Communique Chides Trump on Paris Climate Accord Withdrawal (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
G20
Date: 2017-07-14
"The Paris Agreement is irreversible !" That's the crux of the G20 Communique issued at the end of the Hamburg summit. In many ways, the message seems aimed directly at U.S. President Donald Trump and the U.S. withdrawal from the almost universally subscribed to agreement.

"We remain collectively committed to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions through, among others, increased innovation on sustainable and clean energies and energy efficiency, and work towards low greenhouse-gas emission energy systems.

"We take note of the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from the Paris (Climate) Agreement. The United States of America announced it will immediately cease the implementation of its current nationally-determined contribution and affirms its strong commitment to an approach that lowers emissions while supporting economic growth and improving energy security needs.

"We reiterate the importance of fulfilling the UNFCCC commitment by developed countries in providing means of implementation including financial resources to assist developing countries with respect to both mitigation and adaptation actions in line with Paris outcomes and note the OECD's report Investing in Climate, Investing in Growth.

"We reaffirm our strong commitment to the Paris Agreement, moving swiftly towards its full implementation in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances and, to this end, we agree to the G20 Hamburg Climate and Energy Action Plan for Growth."

Download the full G20 Communique HERE. (Source: G20, PR, Various Media, July, 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News G20,  Climate Change,  Paris Climate Agreement,  


Colorado Joins U.S. Climate Alliance (Ind. Report)
U.S. Climate Alliance,Paris Climate Agreement
Date: 2017-07-14
On Tuesday 11 July, Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) announced that despite Trump's withdrawal, Colorado has joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of states and territories supporting the Paris Climate Agreement on climate change. The other states are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

Hickenlooper said the state will increase its renewable energy usage goals and cut greenhouse gas emissions by one-fourth while keeping energy affordable or even cutting the cost by increasing building energy efficiency and eliminating the need for additional power generation stations.(Source: AP, SF Chronicle, Various Media, 11 July, 2017) Contact: Office of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, www.colorado.gov/governor

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  U.S. Climate Alliance,  Paris Climate Agreement,  


POET Criticizes EPA Mandated Cellulosic Ethanol Volumes (Ind. Report)
POET
Date: 2017-07-14
WNAX Radio 570 in Yankton South Dakota is reporting that POET officials are disappointed with the EPA's RFS volume levels for 2018 for advanced biofuels and cellulosic ethanol, both of which are lower than 2017 statutory levels. Advanced biofuels were 40 million gallons less than in 2017 at 4.24 billion gallons, while cellulosic levels were set at 238 million gallons for 2018.

According to POET official Matt Merritt, that level will curtail any progress for the advanced biofuel industry. Merritt said the EPA needs to give advanced biofuel investors certainty going forward and the best way to do that is through aggressive volume levels. Merritt says POET will be submitting comments on the 2018 RFS volume level proposal and asking for increased numbers in the final rule, according to WNAX (Source: POET, WNAX, 12 July, 2017) Contact: POET, Matt Merritt, (316) 303-1380, www.ethanolproducts.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News POET,  RFS,  Cellulosic Ethanol,  


DOE Awards $8Mn for Algal Biofuel, Products R&D (Funding, R&D)
Sapphire Energy,Lumen Bioscience
Date: 2017-07-14
The U.S. DOE recently announced the selection of three projects to receive up to $8 million to support research aimed at reducing the costs of producing algal biofuels and bioproducts. The following projects will deliver high-impact tools and techniques for increasing the productivity of algae organisms and cultures:
  • Seattle, Washington-based Lumen Bioscience will work with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to engineer strains that grow in seawater, resist contamination and predation, and accumulate substantial amounts of energy-rich components. Lumen Bioscience is focusing on agricultural production of algae on otherwise non-productive land in rural eastern Washington State, with the ultimate goal of creating new agricultural jobs in that region.

  • El Cajon, California-headquartered Global Algae Innovations in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories, University of California at San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the J. Craig Venter Institute will deliver a tool for low cost, rapid analysis of algae pond microbiota, gather data on the impacts of pond ecology, and develop new cultivation methods that utilize this information to achieve greater algal productivity.

  • Los Alamos National Laboratory, working with San Diego-based Sapphire Energy Inc. at its Las Cruces, New Mexico, field site, will evaluate designed pond cultures containing multiple species of algae, as well as beneficial bacteria, to achieve consistent biomass composition and high productivity. This project will help the algal R&D community better understand these metrics at commercial scales.

    The DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates research and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and innovative solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security and economic vitality, while preserving our natural resources. The Bioenergy Technologies Office contributes to EERE's mission by working with industry, academia, and national laboratory partners on a balanced portfolio of research in algal biofuels technologies. (Source: US DOE, 11 July, 2017) Contact: DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, https://energy.gov/eere/office-energy-efficiency-renewable-energy; Bioenergy Technologies Office , https://energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office; Lumen Bioscience Inc., www.lumenbioscience.com; Sapphire Energy Inc., www.sapphireenergy.com; Global Algae Innovations, www.globalgae.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Algal Biofuels,  Algae,  Biofuel,  Sapphire Energy,  Lumen Bioscience ,  


  • UBC Touts New Biofuel Bioreactor Technology (New Prod & Tech)
    University of British Columbia Okanagan
    Date: 2017-07-14
    University of Britich Columbia (UBC) Okanagan School of Engineering. Assoc. Prof. Cigdem Eskicioglu is reporting the development of a fast and cost effective bioreactor for biofuels production. The research might hold the key to biofuels that are cheaper, safer and much faster to produce, according to a UBC release.

    "Methane is a biofuel commonly used in electricity generation and is produced by fermenting organic material. The process can traditionally take anywhere from weeks to months to complete, but with my collaborators from Europe and Australia we've discovered a new biomass pre-treatment technique that can cut that production time nearly in half," Prof. Eskicioglu claims.

    Starting with materials commonly found in agricultural or forestry waste -- including wheat straw, corn husks and Douglas fir bark -- Eskicioglu compared traditional fermentation processes with their new technique and found that Douglas fir bark in particular could produce methane 172 pct faster than before, Eskicioglu says.

    The new process pre-treats the initial organic material with carbon dioxide at high temperatures and pressures in water before the whole mixture is fermented. The new pre-treatment process uses equipment and materials that are already widely available at an industrial scale, so retrofitting existing bioreactors or building new miniaturized ones could be done cheaply and easily. In addition to producing biogas faster and cheaper, Eskicioglu says her new technique may also make methane production safer, Eskicioglu explains. (Source: University of British Columbia Okanagan , Public Relase, Contact: UBC Okanagan School of Engineering. Assoc. Prof., Cigdem Eskicioglu, Nathan Skolski Associate Director, Public Affairs , (250) 807-9926 , nathan.skolski@ubc.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Bioreactor,  


    Blyth Offshore Wind Farm Foundation Set for Installation (Int'l)
    EDF Energy Renewables
    Date: 2017-07-14
    EDF Energy Renewables reports that the first of 5 "float-and-submerge" designed wind turbine foundations for the 41.5 MW Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm is on its way for installation 6.5 km off the coast of Blyth, Scotland.

    The project's concrete gravity based foundations (GBFs) and are being installed using a new "float and submerge" method -- the first time this method has been used for offshore wind turbines. Designed and built by Royal BAM Group in the Neptune dry dock on the River Tyne, the 15,000 tonne GBFs are being floated into position at sea and submerged onto the seabed to provide the support structures that act as the foundations for the installation of the wind turbines.

    The Blyth Offshore Demonstrator project will utilize five MHI Vestas V164 , 8.3 MW turbines and is being built by EDF Energy Renewables, a 50-50 UK joint venture between EDF Energies Nouvelles and EDF Energy. (Source: EDF Renewables, BAM Nutall , BDaily, 11 July, 2017) Contact: BAM Nutall, +44 (0)1276 63484, headoffice@bamnuttall.co.uk, www.bamnuttall.co.uk; EDF Energy Renewables , Matthieu Hue, CEO, www.edf-er.com

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


    Gold Standard for Global Goals Launched (Int'l Report)
    Gold Standard
    Date: 2017-07-14
    Geneva, Switzerland-based Gold Standard today launches Gold Standard for the Global Goals, a new standard to quantify, certify and maximize the contributions of climate and development initiatives toward climate change mitigation and the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    The standard is set to help those who fund life-changing climate and development projects around the world -- including corporates, impact investors and government bodies -- measure the full range of benefits they have contributed to and report credible, verified impacts to their customers and other stakeholders. It is also anticipated that the best practice standard will protect businesses against accusations of "green-washing" as well as open up new avenues of funding for large-scale programmes, like green infrastructure and sustainable supply chain interventions around the world.

    Gold Standard sets the best practice benchmark for climate projects, ensuring the highest levels of environmental integrity and sustainable development in carbon markets. To accelerate progress toward the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, Gold Standard will now certify a range of independently-verified SDG Impacts in addition to its flagship carbon credits. (Source: Gold Standard, PR, 10 July, 2017) Contact: Gold Standard, Marion Verles, CEO +41 22 788 7080, www.goldstandard.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Credits,  Gold Standard,  Climate Change Mitigation,  


    New Carbon Capture Bill Musters Bipartisan Support (Reg & Leg)
    Carbon Capture
    Date: 2017-07-14
    In Washington, bipartisan legislation that would expand the tax credit for carbon capture, allowing companies to retain incentives to invest in the costly technology, was introduced in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday by North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D). The bill, which is co-sponsored by 24 senators, including six Republicans, has broad support from conservation groups, labor unions and energy industry player such as Southern Company, Arch Coal, Peabody Energy and Occidental Petroleum.

    The bill would remove the Section 45Q tax credit, a cap on the amount of captured carbon that can qualify for the tax credit, and increase the federal reimbursement for carbon capture storage and re-utilization. The government currently offers a $20 per ton metric tax credit for carbon stored underground, and a $10 credit per metric ton for carbon captured and used for enhanced oil recovery. The legislation would increase the credits to $50 and $35 per ton, respectively. (Source: Morning Consult, Other Media, 12 July, 2017)Contact: North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, www.heitkamp.senate.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Capture,  CCS,  EnhancedOil Recovery,  COs,  Carbon Emissions,  


    St. Maarten Found. Submits Climate Change Mitigation Plan (Int'l)
    Nature Foundation
    Date: 2017-07-12
    In Cole Bay, the Dutch Caribbean, the non-profit St. Maarten Nature Foundation reports it has updated its Climate Change Response Plan for the island's coastal zone and nearshore ecosystems and has submitted it to stakeholders to be included in plans aimed at the mitigation of climate change effects.

    The plan is designed to tackle the effects of global warming on the island's Marine and Coastal Zone Ecosystem. The document gives an overview of the causes and threats posed by global warming, parameters for monitoring and recording those threats and possible mitigating suggestions to the effects caused by climate change to the coastal and marine environment, which are most vulnerable to the affects of climate change.

    For St. Maarten, climate change has been projected to bring with it serious consequences, particularly pertaining to sea-level rise, ocean acidification, invasive species and coral bleaching. It is estimated that with just five metres of sea-level rise various districts on the island including Great Bay, Simpson Bay and Cole Bay will be submerged. (Source: St. Maarten Nature Foundation, Daily Herald, 11 July, 2017)Contact: St. Maarten Nature Foundation, Tadzio Bervoets, Managing Director, +1721-544-4267, info@naturefoundationsxm.org, www.naturefoundationsxm.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Nature Foundation,  Climate Change Mitigation,  Climate Change,  


    CIFOR Touted as 2016 Top Climate Think Tank (Int'l)
    Center for International Forestry Research
    Date: 2017-07-12
    The International Center for Climate Governance (ICCG) has honoured the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) as the Top Climate Think Tank in 2016 outside of Europe and North America. CIFOR was sranked third worldwide for performance per capita.

    ICCG's standardized ranking, which measures efficiency per capita based on the number of researchers in the institution, and assesses performance based on 15 indicators in terms of activities, publications and dissemination.

    CIFOR's research in 2016 addressed the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement's focus on climate change, energy and low-carbon development worldwide.

    The ICCG is a joint initiative of the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) and the Fondazione Giorgio Cini. (Source: Center for International Forestry Research, 11 July, 2017) Contact: Center for International Forestry Research , www.cifor.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News International Forestry Research,  Climate Change,  Paris Climate Accord,  


    NIPSCO Converting 42,000 Streetlights to LED (Ind. Report)
    NIPSCO
    Date: 2017-07-12
    In the Hoosier State, Merrillville-headquartered investor owned utility Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) reports it will equip all of its streetlights with LED technology by 2022.

    NIPSCO will replace 42,000 company-owned streetlights, some 7,200 of which are being replaced this year in East Chicago, Schererville, Munster, Highland, Valparaiso, Kouts, Wheatfield, Hebron and Whiting. In 2014-2015, the utility ran an LED pilot program then began replacing its old fixtures with LED lighting in 2016. (Source: NIPSCO, nwi.com, 10 July, 2017) Contact: NIPSCO, (800) 464-7726, www.NIPSCO.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NIPSCO,  LED Light,  Streetlight,  


    DOE Scaling Up Building Efficiency Packages Funding (Funding)
    US DOE
    Date: 2017-07-12
    In Washingto, the US DOE's Building Technologies Office (BTO) reports it is investing more than $3 million in five projects to improve the efficiency of the nation's commercial buildings. This investment is designed to drive innovation in multi-system technology packages while also fostering the collaboration of dynamic industry teams that include energy consultants and nongovernmental organizations, utilities, and technology providers.

    These projects, which include matching private-sector funding, will leverage a combined $5.4 million to help ignite new innovative commercial building technology packages that can save significant energy in new and existing buildings. Findings from this work will also enable and unleash investment-level decision-making, helping accelerate the development of utility programs for packages of technologies that meet cost-effectiveness thresholds.

    Each project teamwill develop and verify the benefits and trade-offs of multisystem energy efficient technology packages (groups of technologies that improve efficiency across two building systems: envelope, lighting/electrical, plug, process, heating, ventilation, cooling, refrigeration, energy management and information, sensors and controls). These projects will help commercial building owners and operators better understand and optimize building systems in order to achieve significant cost-effective energy savings. Selected teams will create new synergies between building stakeholder groups, and, ultimately help utilities develop and release or expand more aggressive and ambitious energy efficiency program offerings. (Source: DOE BTO, PR, Various Media, EIN News Desk, July, 2017) Contact: DOE BTO, David Nemtzow, Director of the Building Technologies Office, (202) 586-9127, Buildings@ee.doe.gov, https://energy.gov/eere/buildings/building-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US DOE,  Building Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency,  


    SDSA Disappointed with RFS Biodiesel Volumes (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Fuels Standard,South Dakota Soybean Association
    Date: 2017-07-12
    According to South Dakota Soybean Association (SDSA) President Jerry Schmitz, the U.S. EPA's recently announced mandated flat lining of advanced biofuels volumes under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) for 2018 at 2.1 billion gallons and the biomass-based diesel volume at that same level for 2019 is a missed opportunity missed an opportunity to boost domestic biodiesel production, which benefits the economy and the environment. Schmitz says the RFS is important for the biodiesel industry to grow because it provides a degree of certainty for investors, helps utilize surplus soybean oil and improves soybean prices for producers. In the coming weeks the Soybean Association will meet with the EPA to discuss the value of increased biodiesel volumes for both farmers and consumers nationwide. (Source: South Dakota Soybean Association, WNAX, 11 July, 2017) Contact: South Dakota Soybean Association, Jerry Schmitz, Pres., (605) 370-0278, www.sdsoybean.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Standard,  RFS,  Biodiesel,  Soybean Biodiesel,  


    Google, Enco Seal Second Data Center Solar PPA (Ind. Report)
    Google, Enco
    Date: 2017-07-12
    Internet giant Google and one of the Netherlands' leading electricity providers, Eneco Energy, are reporting the signing of their second PPA for Google's newest data center in Eemshaven, the Netherlands.

    The PPA is for 100 pct of the electricity produced by an Eneco Energy solar farm in Delfzijl, near Eemshaven. The 30 MW Sunpower Delfzijl solar park came online earlier this year. (Source: Google, Various Media, CleanTechnica, 10 July, 2017) Contact: Encon, +31 88 111 0600, www.encon-energy.nl

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  Google,  


    Virginia Governor Reconsiders RGGI Participation (Reg & Leg.)
    RGGI
    Date: 2017-07-12
    In the Old Dominion State, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) is steering Virginia on an aggressive course to curb greenhouse gas emissions and perhaps join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

    To that end, McAuliffe has issued a directive to ensure the state is "trading-ready" with a structure that enforces carbon-reduction mechanisms. The directive follows a previous executive order requiring a state working group to recommend methods to reduce carbon emissions and boost Virginia's clean energy economy.

    All of the RGGI states -- Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont -- have deregulated their retail power markets while Virginia has not. (Source: Office of Governor Terry McAuliffe, July, 2017) Contact: Office of the Governor, Brian Coy, (804) 225-4260, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov; RGGI, (212) 417-3179, www.rggi.org

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


    John Laing Takes 90 pct Stake in 100MW Texas Wind Farm (M&A)
    John Laing Group ,NRG Energy
    Date: 2017-07-12
    Following on our October 17, 2016 coverage, British infrastructure company John Laing Group plc reports it has taken a 90.5 pct stake in the 100.5MW Buckthorn Wind Power Project in Erath County, Texas. In 2016, John Laing Group invested $20.5 million (€18.6 million) in the 29.9-MW Sterling wind development in Lea County, New Mexico.

    Laing's stake in the Buckthorn project is in partnership with the developer NRG Energy. NRG will operate the project which incorporates 26 Vestas V126-3.45MW turbines and 3 Vestas V117-3.6MW turbines and is slated to come online before the year end. (Source: John Laing Group plc, CTBR, 11 July, 2017) Contact: John Laing Group plc, +44 (0) 20 7901 3200, enquiries@laing.com, www.laing.com; NRG Energy Inc., (609) 524-4500, www.nrgenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News John Laing Group,  NRG Energy,  Wind ,  


    CPower Acquires Energy Efficiency Measurement Firm (M&A)
    CPower, eCap Network
    Date: 2017-07-12
    Baltimore-headquartered CPower is reporting acquisition of Pittsburgh-based energy efficiency measurement and verification services specialist eCap Network.

    eCap helps customers monetize their energy efficiency projects in PJM and was an early market entrant in the energy efficiency measurement and verification niche. (Source: CPower, PR, 11 July, 2017) Contact: CPower Energy Management, John Horton, CEO, Glenn Bogarde Senior VP, Sales, (410) 346-5294, Glenn.Bogarde@CPowerEnergyManagement.com, www.CPowerEnergyManagement.com; eCap Network, (412) 281-3808, www.ecapnet.com

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


    3SUN Seeking €14.1Mn for Solar Cell Tool Purchases (Ind. Report)
    Enel Green Energy,3SUN,AMPERE
    Date: 2017-07-10
    Enel Green Power is reporting that its Si thin-film module manufacturing subsidiary, 3SUN is seeking €14.1 million in grant funding from Merloni Invitalia -- the Italian national agency for investment and enterprise development -- to support the acquisition of heterojunction (HJ) solar cell tools to expedite a switch in production to higher efficiency silicon technology.

    Enel also reports 3SUN hosted the launch meeting of AMPERE (Automated Photovoltaic Cell and Module Industrial Production), which is funded by the Horizon 2020 European research and innovation programme aimed at increasing EU's European PV industries competitiveness. The AMPERE meeting included major European research centres and commercial companies and is coordinated by 3SUN. The AMPERE funding is primarily being used for the purchase and installation of the automated HJ manufacturing equipment at the 3SUN facility in Catania, Sicily. (Source: Enel Green Power, 3SUN, PV Tech, 3 July, 2017) Contact: Merloni Invitalia, www.invitalia.it; Enel Green Power, www.enelgreenpower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enel Green Energy,  PV,  


    Maui Corn, Sorghum Plantings for Biofuel Underway (Ind. Report)
    Alexander & Baldwin,TerViva
    Date: 2017-07-10
    Further to our April 12th coverage, Honolulu-headquartered Alexander & Baldwin Inc., a major Hawaiian commercial real estate developer with a varied portfolio, reports it has begun growing sorghum and corn on Maui as part of a test project to develop biofuel to feed a planned anaerobic digester that would produce methane gas to power the Kahului wastewater treatment facility.

    The corn and sorghum acreage , which is part of an extensive former sugarcane estate, could total 500 acres or more depending upon the projects success. A&B previously reported it is developing diversified agricultural ventures on the old sugar cane land.

    In June, A&B announced a partnership with Oakland, Calif.-based TerViva to produce biofuel from pongamia trees on 250 acres in north Kihei/Maalaea. The pongamia TerViva partnership is a program of A&B subsidiary Central Maui Feedstocks LLC, which was organized in November. Anaergia contracted with the county in 2014 to build a waste conversion facility at the Central Maui Landfill. It also has proposed building a $50 million Maui Energy Park in West Maui to grow sorghum. (Source: Alexander & Baldwin, Maui News, 8 July, 2017 Contact: Alexander & Baldwin, Chris Benjamin, CEO, (8080 525-6611, http://alexanderbaldwin.com; TerViva, www.terviva.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News TerViva,  Corn Ethanol,  Sorghum,  Alexander & Baldwin ,  


    BIO Statement on EPA's Proposed 2018 Renewable Fuel Standards (Opinions, Editorial & Asides)
    Renewable Fuel Standards
    Date: 2017-07-10
    "BIO believes the agency (EPA) is wrong to waive more than half of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program's required advanced biofuel volumes and more than 20 percent of the required overall volume while failing to enable advanced biofuel producers to reach the market.

    "BIO and its members are concerned with EPA's delays in issuing this proposal. We will work with the agency and the Administration to finalize annual rules in a timely manner and carefully consider the program's impact on investment in advanced biofuels. We believe the rule should do more to grow advanced and cellulosic biofuel production in the next year and to provide certainty for companies investing in new technologies and production capacity.

    "EPA's proposed advanced and cellulosic biofuel volume obligations do not reflect the full potential for these innovative fuels over the next year. The agency continues to rely on a flawed methodology formulated by the prior administration that fails to ensure sufficient space in the U.S. transportation fuels market for all available advanced biofuels. BIO and its members look forward to working with EPA to identify and account for all qualifying volumes of advanced biofuel.

    "BIO and its members have stressed to EPA the importance of speedier decisions on RFS pathway approvals. Biofuel producers must obtain this approval before they can produce RFS qualifying fuels. To date, EPA has simply taken too long to make its decisions on pathway approvals, with devastating results to individual companies, especially in the cellulosic and advanced biofuels industry.

    "BIO believes the agency is wrong to waive more than half of the RFS program's required advanced biofuel volumes and more than 20 percent of the required overall volume while failing to enable advanced biofuel producers to reach the market. Further, BIO continues to strongly disagree with EPA's prior interpretation of its general waiver authority under the RFS statute and with EPA's ongoing stockpiling of carryover RIN credits. The RFS statute does not allow EPA to rely on demand-side factors under the oil industry's control as a basis for decreasing the fundamental requirement to use as much renewable fuel as the biofuel industry can produce. And the statute does not grant the agency leeway to create a permanent carryover RIN bank.

    "BIO and its members look forward to working with EPA to improve the RFS program and to finalize necessary program rules." (Source: BIO, 5 July, 2017) Contact: Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), Bret Erikson, VP, Paul Winters, 202-962-9237, www.bio.org, www.biotech-now.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Advanced Biofuel,  Cellulosic,  BIO,  Renewable Fuel Standards,  


    Slow Climate Mode Reconciles Historical and Model-Based Estimates of Climate Sensitivity -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)

    Date: 2017-07-10
    "The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Report widened the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) range from 2 degree to 4.5 degree C to an updated range of 1.5 degree to 4.5 degree C to account for the lack of consensus between estimates based on models and historical observations. The historical ECS estimates range from 1.5 degree to 3 degree C and are derived assuming a linear radiative response to warming. A Bayesian methodology applied to 24 models, however, documents curvature in the radiative response to warming from an evolving contribution of interannual to centennial modes of radiative response. Centennial modes display stronger amplifying feed-backs and ultimately contribute 28 to 68 pct (90 pct credible interval) of equilibrium warming, yet they comprise only 1 to 7 pct of current warming. Accounting for these unresolved centennial contributions brings historical records into agreement with model-derived ECS estimates."

    Download the full Slow Climate Mode Reconciles Historical and Model-Based Estimates of Climate Sensitivity report HERE (Source: Science Advances, 5 July, 2017)

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


    Wood Group Provides Control Solution for EDF EN Mexico Wind Farm (Ind. Report)
    SgurrEnergy,Wood Group
    Date: 2017-07-10
    Aberdeen-Scotland-headquartered energy services provider Wood Group reports it has contracted to provide control solution for the 27 Clipper C89 wind turbines at EDF EN Mexico's 67.5MW La Mata y La Ventosa wind farm in Oaxaca, Mexico.

    According to the company, the high turbulence and high wind speed site requires some turbines to be run in a reduced power mode.

    Wood Group's control engineering team began working on a solution in October 2016 and, together with Romax Technologies, has recommended an automatic derating system to minimize turbine damage and otherwise optimize power production. Issues with overproduction, which can result in additional turbine wear, were also dealt with using a power feedback loop. (Source: Wood Group, 4 July, 2017)Contact: Wood Group, John Glithero, President Americas Division, (281) 828-3500, www.woodgroup.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Wood Group,  


    Estonian Wind Developer Expands into Wood Pellet Production (Int'l)
    Nelja Energia
    Date: 2017-07-10
    In Estonia, wind energy-company Nelja Energia reports it is diversifying into wood pellet production and power cogeneration with a new facility commissioned last month in Broceni. The €30 million plant will generate 19.4MWe of thermal power along with nearly 4MW of electricity for the 120,000 metric tpy wood pellet facility. (Source: Nelja Energia, PR, July, 2017) Contact: Nelja Energia info@neljaenergia.ee, www.neljaenergia.ee

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Nelja Energia,  Wood Pellet,  Wind ,  


    Notable Quote
    Climate Change
    Date: 2017-07-10
    "It's up to you and it's up to me and tens of millions of other people to get it together to roll back the forces of carbonization and join together to combat the existential threat of climate change.

    "President Trump is trying to get out of the Paris agreement, but he doesn't speak for the rest of America. We in California and in states all across America believe it's time to act, it's time to join together and that's why at this climate action summit we're going to get it done." -- California Governor Jerry Brown)Contact: Governor of California, Edmund G. (Jerry) Browm, (916) 445-2841, http://gov.ca.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Jerry Brown,  


    Cal. Governor Announces 2018 Climate Action Summit (Ind. Report)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2017-07-10
    In a prerecorded video address to the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany, Californian Gov. Jerry Brown announced his planned Climate Action Summit to be staged in San Francisco in Sept., 2018.

    Governor Brown's California Summit will mark the first time a state has sponsored an event in support of the Paris Climate Agreement, a landmark deal that was ratified by virtually every nation, but recently withdrawn from by "the Donald" Trump administration on the grounds that it was "too expensive" for one of, if not the wealthiest, nation on earth.

    Details of the upcoming San Francisco Climate Action Summit have not yet been announced. (Source: SF Gate, Various Other Media, 6 July, 2017))Contact: Governor of California, Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown, (916) 445-2841, http://gov.ca.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Jerry Brown,  


    BIOCOM Expects Small Sugar Ethanol Production Increase (Int'l)
    Companhia de Bioenergia de Angola
    Date: 2017-07-07
    In Angola, Companhia de Bioenergia de Angola (BIOCOM) reports that sugar production in the 2017/2018 year may reach 63,000 tonnes, an increase of 20 pct over the previous year, and that 15,278 cubic metres of ethanol will be produced compared to 14,263 cubic metres in the previous year.

    BIOCOM is the first Angolan company to produce and market sugar, ethanol and electricity from biomass, with the main target being small, medium and large wholesalers in the Angolan market. Biocom is a partnership between Odebrecht Angola Produtos e Servicos, a subsidiary of Brazilian group Odebrecht, Angolan company Cochan, and state-owned oil company Sonangol. (Source: Companhia de Bioenergia de Angola, Macauhub, Angop, 28 June, 2017) Contact: Companhia de Bioenergia de Angola, +380 63 192 3144, www.biocom-angola.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  Sugarcane Ethanol,  


    Tesla Solar Panel Now On Sale
    Tesla
    Date: 2017-07-07
    Tesla’s company-branded solar panel is now officially on sale on selected stores. The official sale of the solar panel in stores follows after the announcement of the Silicon Valley-based Corporation which has instigated a push on Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Solar promotional supplies in its shops and verified a preliminary platform where it wholesaled some of its solar merchandises from the sites. The preliminary platform was a success and it is now expected that Tesla’s Solar Roof and other Tesla-Branded solar Panels will now be available on stores nationwide and globally.

    As seen in reports, Tesla has expounded on the reports in their Q1 shareholders letter. “Recently, we tested sales of our solar and storage products in several Tesla stores, and saw sales productivity improve 50% to 100% relative to the best non-Tesla retail locations. Based on these results, we are working towards fully staffing more than 70 Tesla stores in the U.S. and abroad with dedicated Tesla energy sales people over the next two quarters.”

    Back in November, Tesla acquired SolarCity for an amount of $2.6 billion – a very much discussed acquisition by the shareholders. However, some questioned the move. The acquisition was deemed the world’s first ever vertically integrated defensible energy corporation and so far, Tesla remains as the only company serving in that industry. Solar City helped Tesla in its Battery Storage goods has improved its mass scale solar solution infrastructure. (Source: Tesla, Investing.com, 3 July, 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Tesla news,  Solar news,  


    Arctic Deeply Examines Canadian Wildfire-Soot Arctic Ice Melt Connection (Ind. Report)
    Arctic Deeply
    Date: 2017-07-07
    In its review of the latest Arctic news, including a link between Canadian wildfires, soot -- "black carbon" -- and the Greenland Ice Sheet's melt, Arctic Deeply notes the Earth is no longer absorbing carbon emissions at its previous rate.

    As the Washington Post reports, researchers have for the first time tracked soot's journey between these points and noted the presence of soot is helping to speed up the Greenland Ice Sheet's melt, which could eventually contribute to global rising sea levels by more than 6m (20ft). The Post also reports that sea level rise is happening faster than anticipated and that atmospheric CO2 levels are increasing even as global emission levels have stabilized.

    Arctic Deeply is an independent "Benefit Corporation" digital media project dedicated to covering Arctic issues. (Source: Arctic Deeply, 30 June, 2017)Contact: Arctic Deeply, www.newsdeeply.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Arctic Deeply,  Soot,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


    DOE Announces $3.7Mn High Performance Housing Innovation Funding (Funding)
    US DOE, DOE EERE,
    Date: 2017-07-07
    The U.S. Energy Department has announced up to $3.7 million to study and validate new energy efficiency solutions that will lead to improved home energy efficiency, smarter home operations, and energy cost savings.

    The selected projects will accelerate energy performance improvements in existing and new residential buildings using an integrated building systems approach to achieve peak energy performance. The work will also contribute to achieving the Residential Building Integration program's goals of reducing new home energy consumption by at least 60 pct and existing homes by at least 40 pct, relative to the 2010 average for homes in each U.S. climate zone. Building America project teams will focus on developing and implementing solutions to three interrelated core technical challenges: high-performance building envelope assemblies and systems; optimal comfort systems for heating, cooling, air distribution, and humidity control; and high-performance ventilation systems and indoor air quality strategies.

    Projects selected for funding include:

  • Newport Partners: Development of Laboratory Test Methods for Low-Cost Indoor Air Quality Sensors;
  • Building Envelope Materials: Validation Study of Experimental Insulating and Air-Sealing Technology for Enclosed Roof Cavities;
  • University of Central Florida: Integrated HVAC Control Methods for Supplemental High Efficiency Mini-Split Heat Pumps in Existing Homes;
  • Home Innovation Research Labs Inc.: Advanced HVAC Equipment Design Strategies for Optimal Efficiency and Humidity Control;
  • Rocky Mountain Institute: Experimental Envelope Fabrication Process for Integrated Zero Energy Ready Multifamily Renovations;
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory: Baseline Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Field Study in Occupied New U.S. Homes: Cold and Marine Climates; and
  • University of Central Florida: Baseline Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Field Study in Occupied New U.S. Homes: Hot-Humid and Mixed-Humid Climate. (Source: US DOE EERE, July, 2017) Contact: US DOE EERE, http://energy.gov/eere

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  DOE EERE,  ,  


  • Pruitt's Suspension of Obama Methane Rule Nixed (Reg & Leg)
    EPA
    Date: 2017-07-07
    In a 2-to-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has held that the EPA cannot suspend an Obama administration rule to restrict methane emissions from new oil and gas wells.

    EPA administrator Pruitt, a noted climate change skeptic, had imposed a 90-day moratorium, which he later extended to two years, on enforcement of parts of the Obama era methane regulation and argued that his action was not subject to court review. But the appeals court disagreed and ruled that the EPA's decision was "unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious." The court ruled that the agency lacked authority under the Clean Air Act to block the methane rule but did have authority to reverse the methane regulations. The court also ruled that the agency would have to undertake a new rule-making process to undo the Obama regulation. (Source: Various Media, NY Times, 3 July, 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Methane Rule,  EPA,  


    Aussie Green Star Update Foretells Shift Towards Carbon Zero Buildings (Int'l Report)
    Green Building Council of Australia
    Date: 2017-07-07
    In the Land Down Under, Green Building Council of Australia reports it has updated its Green Star tools to prioritize carbon reduction in a push towards carbon zero commercial buildings.

    There are now minimum GHG requirements, with 5 Star Green Star buildings needing to obtain three Greenhouse Gas Emissions credit points and be 25 pct more efficient than a standard building; and 6 Star Green Star buildings needing a minimum of 6 credits and to be 50 pct more efficient than a standard building. Ninety-five pct of Green Star-rated buildings currently meet the requirements.

    According to the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, "significant" increases in minimum energy standards have been made in the 2019 National Construction Code update. Other changes include measures to build industry capacity in air-tightness testing, a new materials pathway to incentivize the use of sustainably sourced structural timber; the Construction Environmental Management credit has been renamed the Responsible Construction Practices credit, and includes a point for project teams that can demonstrate staff support through health and wellbeing programs. Another change includes new innovation challenges on carbon neutrality, which will be rolled out in the coming weeks. (Source: Green Building Council of Australia, TheFifthEstate, 4 July, 2017) Contact: Green Building Council of Australia, Jorge Chapa, Head of Market Transformation, +61 2 8239 6200, new.gbca.org.au; Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, www.asbec.asn.au

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Building Council of Australia,  Green Building,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Innergex, BayWa Ink Final Wind Acquisition Agreement (Int'l.)
    BayWa r.e.,Innergex Renewable Energy
    Date: 2017-07-07
    Longueuil, Quebec-headquartered Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. reports it and BayWa r.e. GmbH have reached a final agreement on the purchase two French wind projects totaling 43 MW. The €27.2 million ($39.9 million Cdn.) acquisition, subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to be concluded following the mechanical completion and commissioning in 3Q of 2017.

    Innergex's net share of the purchase price will amount to about €16.5 million ($24.2 million) and will be paid through available funds under its corporate revolving credit facility. Non-recourse debts related to the projects, which are already in place, will amount to €72.0 million ($105.7 million) and will remain at the project level.

    Innergex will hold a 69.55 pct interest in the wind farms and Desjardins Group Pension Plan will own the remaining 30.45 pct. (Source: Innergex Renewable Energy, CNW, CISION, 5 July, 2017) Contact: Innergex, Michel Letellier, Pres., CEO, (450) 928-2556, info@innergex.com, www.innergex.com; BayWa r.e. GmbH, Matthias Taft, CEO, +49 (89) 383932 131, www.baywa-re.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News BayWa r.e.,  Innergex Renewable Energy,  Wind,  


    Wind Moratorium Causes Uncertainty in Tar Heel State (Reg & Leg)

    Date: 2017-07-07
    Following on our July 5th coverage, two proposed wind farms have indicated they will pull out of eastern North Carolina if an 18-month moratorium on wind farm permits becomes state law. Both projects had been expected to apply for state permits as early as this year and potentially could have been generating electricity by 2019.

    But the moratorium, which means no wind farm will be a granted a state permit before Dec. 31, 2018, was inserted last week into an unrelated NC energy bill -- House Bill 589 -- which now awaits Gov. Roy Cooper's signature. (Source: News Observer, 5 July, 2017)Contact: Office of NC Governor Ray Cooper, https://governor.nc.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  North Carolina Wind,  


    REGI Statement on EPA's Proposed Renewable Volume Obligations (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Renewable Energy Group
    Date: 2017-07-07
    Ames, Iowa-headquartered Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (REGI) President and CEO Randy Howard issued the following statement regarding the U.S, EPA's release of the proposed Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) for 2018 Conventional and Advanced Biofuel and 2019 Biomass-Based Diesel: "This proposal offers REGI and the American biomass-based diesel industry the opportunity to prove once again how we exceed expectations and we fully embrace that opportunity. The RVO is only one tool that aids biomass-based diesel growth and it is our job to convince policymakers that it should not restrain growth of American-made renewable fuel.

    "We remain confident in a positive outcome in the trade complaint against unfairly subsidized imported biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia, and are just as confident that U.S. production can make up for any lost import volumes. And finally, there is momentum to reinstate and reform the federal biodiesel tax incentive to focus it on domestically produced fuel. So, we look forward to additional meetings with the Administration in the coming weeks to show how an industry that is only running at about 65 percent capacity, has ample feedstock supply, and is helping fill growing diesel demand can help President Trump reaffirm his commitment to growing the supply of all American made fuels." (Source: REGI, PR, 5 July, 2017) Contact: REGI, Randy Howard, CEO, Pres, Anthony Hulen, Executive Director, Corporate Affairs, (703) 822-1972, anthony.hulen@regi.com, www.regi.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel,  Biodiesel Tax IncentiveRenewable Energy Group,  

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