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NZ Bioenergy Assoc. calls for More Woody Biomass Use (Int'l)
New Zealand Bioenergy Association
Date: 2017-05-26
The New Zealand Bioenergy Association (NZBA )reports it is disappointed the Government is not recognizing that by investment in bioenergy and other renewable energy opportunities within New Zealand that it can avoid squandering $14 billion on carbon credits to overseas countries to meet our climate change obligations.

According to the NZBA, "Government should be sitting down with renewable organizations as a group and discussing how we can deliver the highest value options and ensure the economy and society benefits across all measures -- not just cost. This should be done before they start paying any of that $14 billion. Buying carbon credits offshore will only give tax payer money away when it could be used to help business and local government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We should be taking advantage of low-cost opportunities to reduce our carbon emissions here in New Zealand by increasing our use of bioenergy, particularly in the heat sector."

“Bioenergy has the potential to add revenue of $6 billion to the country's economy, and to create jobs and economic growth -- particularly in the regions. In the short term, we'd like the Government to encourage the heat market to use wood fuel, farmers to process farm waste to produce bioenergy and local authorities to use organic waste for heating and transport fuel instead of dumping it in landfills," the NZBA added. (Source: NZ Bioenergy Association, PR, Scoop NZ, 24 May, 2017) Contact: NZ Bioenergy Association, Grant Smith, Chair, +64 (0)4 385 3398, http://www.bioenergy.org.nz

More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  Biomass,  


EPA Issues 90-day Stay on Landfill Methane Rules (Reg & Leg)
EPA
Date: 2017-05-26
In the nation's capital, the U.S. EPA reports a 90-day administrative stay for the August 2016 New Source Performance Standards and Emissions Guidelines for municipal solid waste landfills. This stay will allow EPA to reconsider certain aspects of the new source standards and emission guidelines for existing landfills.

Consistent with President Trump's Energy Independence Executive Order, EPA will continue to review these actions to ensure that they protect the environment and enable a growing economy.

Municipal solid waste landfills receive non-hazardous waste and under updated rules are required to install and operate landfill gas collection systems that monitor landfill gas/methane emissions.

Rule details are available HERE. (Source: US EPA, News Release, 23 May, 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA,  Landfill Gas,  Obama Methane Rule,  


The Donald Would Dump "Really Clean Coal" R&D (Funding)
US EIA,EPA
Date: 2017-05-26
In the Trump administration's just released budget proposal, the President's promise of "really clean coal" has been dimmed by a proposed $1.7 billion cut in the agency's budget. To date, the DOE has spent an average of $200 million per year researching ways to capture and store the carbon dioxide emitted when coal is burned to make electricity, with at best limited success. It looks like the dream of "really clean coal" just got a little tougher.

With the proposed cuts, the agency would focus on basic research and free those technologies to private industry for development and commercialization. (Source: DOE, Bloomberg, Various Media, May 24, 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News CLean Coal,  Coal,  USEPA,  Carbon Emissions,  


Yanchang Touts Upcoming Chinese CCS Project (Int'l Report)
Yanchang Research Institute
Date: 2017-05-26
Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum (Group) Co Ltd. Yanchang Research Institute is reporting that Asia's first commercial carbon capture and storage (CCS) project is slated to begin operation in 2018 in northwestern China's Shaanxi province. The project will have an annual capacity of 360,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which will be used for enhance oil recovery operations.

The company has submitted and is awaiting a feasibility study to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and it is awaiting official approval. Two projects, boosting the company's capacity to capture CO2 by a total of 1.3 million tpy are already in operation. In 2013, the NDRC implemented a new policy to promote carbon capture and storage. The policy called on local governments to take further steps on pilot projects, which could enhance research on capturing CO2 to help tackle climate change and create economic benefits. (Source: Yanchang Research Institute, Ecns.cn, China Daily, 24 May, 2017) Contact: Yanchang Research Institute, english.sxycpc.com/Companies/Institute.htm; NDRC, en.ndrc.gov.cn

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Capture,  Carbon Dioxide,  NDRC,  Emissions,  CCS,  


Better Buildings Initiative Saves $1.9Bn (Ind. Report)
Better Buildings Initiative
Date: 2017-05-26
The U.S. DOE 2017 Better Buildings Initiative Progress Report finds that close to 350 public and private sector organizations have joined the initiative to save a combined 240 trillion Btus and an estimated $1.9 billion in energy and cost savings. The Obama era Better Buildings Initiative was aimed at making U.S. buildings 20 pct more energy efficient by 2020.

Organizations that have signed on to the initiative account for more than 4.4 billion square-feet of building space and have dedicated $7 billion in funding, according to For Construction Pros. Initiative partners have reported results across nearly 38,000 properties and, on average, are on pace to meet the Better Buildings goal after improving energy performance by more than 2 pct each year. Since the program's launch, 40 organizations have met their energy goals, six have achieved their water goals and 12 have met their financing benchmarks. (Source: US DOE, Construction Dive, Others, 24 May, 2017) Contact: US DOE Better Buildings Initiative, https://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/

More Low-Carbon Energy News Better Buildings Initiative,  


Poet's Marion Ethanol Expansion Granted Tax Relief (Ind. Report)
POET
Date: 2017-05-26
Following-up on our May 19th coverage, the Marion County (Ohio) Commission reports it has granted a tax abatement for POET Biorefining's $120 million ethanol plant expansion in Marion.

The project is slated to get under almost immediately for completion and startup in late 2018. The expansion is expected to double the plant's present 70 million gpy capacity to 150 million gpy. (Source: Marion County Commission, Various Media, 25 May, 2017) )Contact: POET Ethanol Products, (316) 303-1380, www.ethanolproducts.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News POET,  Ethanol,  Corn Ethanol,  


Colombia Eyes Increased Ethanol Production, Blends (Int'l)
Fedebiocombustibles
Date: 2017-05-26
In Bogota, the Fedebiocombustibles biofuels federation is reporting the commercial startup of Colombia's largest ethanol plant which will allow the blend of the biofuel in gasoline to be raised to 10 pct by year-end. Columbia's 6 ethanol plants produced a total of 456 million litres of the biofuel in 2015.

Columbia's present ethanol blending mandates stand at 8 pct (E8) in the central Antioquia department and 6 pct (E6) for the rest of the country, although three eastern departments that border Venezuela are excluded from mandates. Despite the 8 pct requirement, the country is currently unable to produce enough to meet the mandate.

Columbian biodiesel mandates range from 0 pct to 10 pct across the country. The USDA foercasts that biodiesel production will rise to 700 million lpy in 2017, up from 580 million litres in 2016. (Source: Fedebiocombustibles, REM, 25 May, 2017)Contact: Fedebiocombustibles, +57 1) 342 1552, colombia@fedebiocombustibles.com, www.fedebiocombustibles.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol Blend news,  

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol Blend,  Biodiesel,  Biodiesel Blend,  


Researchers Study Oak as Biofuel Feedstock (R&D)

Date: 2017-05-24
Scientists from the universities of Pittsburgh and Oklahoma have published research into using oak wood to create new hydrocarbons, compounds of hydrogen and carbon generally found in crude oil. The researchers claim the "second generation" biofuel reduced GHG emissions by 80 pct compared to diesel.

The researchers used pyrolysis, heating the wood to high temperatures in the absence of oxygen, to create the fuel they claim could offer almost three times as much energy output per energy input compared to corn ethanol.

Despite confirming the potential use of the oak biofuel, the researchers say questions remain around whether the production process is practical and if the fuel would offer the benefits and greenhouse gas reductions claimed claimed. The efficiency and energy needed for the fuel-creation process, as well as the source of the oak feedstock, is also unclear.

The research was published in The Royal Society of Chemistry's Energy & Environmental Science journal. (Source: Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Professional Engineering, PR, 22 May, 2017)Contact: University College of London, Prof Mark Barrett Professor of Energy and Environmental Systems Modelling Bartlett School Env, Energy & Resources Faculty of the Built Environment, mark.barrett@ucl.ac.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  


GE Wins 1.2GW Forestalia Wind Turbines Order (Ind. Report)
Forestalia Group,LM Windpower,GE
Date: 2017-05-24
GE reports it will supply 1.2GW of wind turbines from its 3MW range for wind farms in Spain to be developed by Forestalia Group. GE will supply a further 300MW of 3MW machines to Forestalia, for a wind farm awarded to the Spanish company in Spain's tender last year.

The turbines will be manufactured at GE's European facilities in Barcelona and Salzbergen,Germany. LM Wind Power, recently acquired by GE, will provide the blades from plants in Ponferrada and Castellon. (Source: GE Renewable Energy, renews, Various Media, 18 May, 2017) Contact: GE Renewable Energy,www.ge-energy.com; Forestalia Group, info@forestalia.es, www.forestalia.es

More Low-Carbon Energy News GE Renewable Energy,  Forestalia Group,  LM Wind Power,  GE,  


Bangladesh Set to Impose Carbon Tax (Int'l Report)
Bangladesh
Date: 2017-05-24
DHAKA, May 23 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) -Thomson Reuters Foundation is reporting that Bangladesh will impose a carbon tax on June 1, 2017. The tax will be part of a larger bundle of "green" measures included in the upcoming annual budget.

Many businesses and environmental groups have welcomed the plan on the grounds that Bangladesh -- one of the countries considered most threatened by climate change impacts -- needs to make a strong statement as some governments such as the U.S. pull back from action on climate change. Bangladesh produces about 0.44 tpy of CO2 per person, much lower than the United States' 16.4 tpy, Australia's 16.3 tpy and Qatar's 40.5 tpy, according to World Bank figures. (Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation, 23 May, 2017)

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


New Jersey Legislators Want Back Into RGGI (Ind. Report)
RGGI
Date: 2017-05-24
In the Garden State, the Democratic-controlled State Assembly has voted to require the state to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a multi-state effort to combat climate change by curbing carbon pollution from power plants.

The state's former republican presidential hopeful Gov. Chris 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 legislative efforts to rejoin RGGI with vetoes.

When it was a RGGI member, New Jersey received over $100 million from the program, but much of it was diverted to prop-up the state budget or fund other programs. RGGI member states include Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. (Source: NJ Spotlight, Various Sources, 23 May, 2017) Contact: RGGI, (212) 417-3179, www.rggi.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  RGGI,  


Shell AGM Nixes Carbon Emissions Reduction Targets (Int'l)
Royal Dutch Shell
Date: 2017-05-24
Reuters is reporting that the international oil giant Royal Dutch Shell shareholders meeting in the Hague have overwhelmingly -- 94 pct -- rejected a proposal by an environmental activist group demand that the company set and publish annual carbon emissions reduction targets.

Shell executives claimed that binding emissions reduction targets would mean "tying its hands" and weakening the company because it would be forced to reduce production and sales. (Source; Royal Dutch Shell, Daily Mail, Reuters, 23 May, 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Royal Dutch Shell,  Carbon Emissions,  


Texas Co-op Touts Solar Monitoring Software (New Prod & Tech)
Bandera Electric Cooperative
Date: 2017-05-24
Texas-based Bandera Electric Cooperative (BEC) is reporting the development of Apolloware, a cloud-based software solution to help its commercial and residential members monitor solar and energy storage installations in real time and to receive the associated enhanced financial benefits. In addition, the software solution allows the utility to reduce system design and operation costs.

BEC commercial and residential members will receive financial benefits by earning capacity reduction credits for production during electrical usage peak times. Those members will have a better understanding of when to sell into the market and when to store energy, according to BEC. An Apolloware pilot program is under way through the end of 2017. (Source: Bandera Electric Cooperative, 22 May, 2017) Contact: Bandera Electric Cooperative, William Hetherington, CEO, (866) 226-3372, www.banderaelectric.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar Software,  Solar Energy,  


SkyNRG, AEG Fuels Supply Aviation Biofuels for Bombardier Demo Flights (Ind. Report, Int'l)
SkyNRG,AEG Fuels,Bombardier
Date: 2017-05-24
Geneva, Switzerland-based SkyNRG and AEG Fuels report they have completed the delivery of sustainable aviation biofuels for the Bombardier Business Aircraft demonstration fleet flying from Amsterdam to the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland. The fuel, which is produced by biorefinery AltAir Fuels, was supplied by SkyNRG and delivered to the KLM Jet Center who performed the re-fueling. This is the first delivery of biofuel completed by AEG Fuels. (Source: AEG Fuels, Bombardier, SkyNRG, 23 May, 2017) Contact: AEG Fuels, Claudia Arnold, (305) 913-5253, carnold@aegfuels.com, www.aegfuels.com; Bombardier, Anna Cristofaro, (514) 855-8678, anna.cristofaro@aero.bombardier.com, www.aero.bompardier.com; SkyNRG, Merel Laroy, +31 6 30833505. merel@skynrg.com, www.sktnerg.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Aviation Biofuels,  SkyNRG,  AEG Fuels,  Bombardier,  


Fuels Groups Oppose RFS Point of Obligation Change (Ind. Report)
NACS,SIGMA,NATSO
Date: 2017-05-24
Three fueling trade associations -- the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing (NACS), SIGMA (representing the nation's fuel marketers) and NATSO (representing the nation's truckstops and travel plazas) -- have launched a new video campaign aimed at demonstrating how shifting the compliance responsibility under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) away from refiners will raise hurt small retailers and the entire U.S. economy.

The video is intended to dispel the widespread confusion created within the marketplace by a handful of merchant refiners and investors who have petitioned the EPA to shift the compliance requirements. Doing so would undercut RFS efforts to sustain the use of renewable fuels in gasoline and diesel fuel, according to the video.

NACS, NATSO, SIGMA and a coalition of more than 35 organizations and companies representing the entire fuel supply chain, from refiners to retailers to renewable fuels groups, oppose shifting the compliance responsibility on the grounds that it would create disruption in the marketplace and ultimately raise prices at the pump. (Source: NACS, 23 May, 2017) Contact: NATSO, Lisa Mullings, Pres., CEO, David Fialkov, VP Gov. Affairs, (703) 549-2100, www.natso.com; NACS, www.nacsonline.com; SIGMA, www.sigma.org;

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel Blend,  Point of Obligation,  NATSO,  SIGMA,  NACS,  


GEVO Isobutanol OK'd for Arizona On-Road Vehicles (Ind. Report)
GEVO Inc
Date: 2017-05-24
Englewood, Colorado-headquartered isobutal and ethanol producer Gevo, Inc. is reporting that recently passed Arizona Bill HB2368 will allow Arizona gasoline stations to sell isobutanol-blended gasoline for on-road vehicles, effective August 2017. GEVO's isobutanol was previously approved and is being sold for off-road applications such as boating, ATVs, motorcycles, lawn tractors and similar equipment.

According to GEVO, isobutanol is an ideal renewable gasoline blendstock because of its high energy content, high octane, low water solubility and low volatility. GEVO's isobutanol meets the ASTM 7862 specification that covers isobutanol blends with gasoline. (Source: GEVO, PR, 23 May, 2017)Contact: GEVO, Pat Gruber, CEO, (303) 858-3358, info@gevo.com, www.gevo.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News GEVO,  Isobutanol,  Biochemical,  Biofuel,  


CARB Launches Low Carbon Transportation -- Moving California Website (Ind. Report)
California Air Resources Board
Date: 2017-05-24
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has announced the launch of Moving California, a new website that showcases how proceeds from the cap-and-trade program are funding a wide variety of ultra-clean and zero-emission trucks, buses, cars and low-carbon transportation projects throughout the state. CARB says Moving California also offers tools to help consumers and others find funding and transportation opportunities that meet their individual needs.

The Low Carbon Transportation program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment— particularly in disadvantaged communities.

To date, more than $600 million in cap-and-trade investments have helped deliver approximately 115,000 zero-emission and plug-in cars; 46 heavy-duty, zero-emission trucks; 950 zero-emission delivery, utility and refuse trucks; 407 zero-emission transit buses, shuttles and light rail cars; and 29 electric school buses in California.

Moving California highlights many ongoing projects, such as the new zero-emission car-sharing programs in disadvantaged neighborhoods, low-carbon agricultural worker van-pools in the San Joaquin Valley, and pilot projects to help low-income consumers afford the cleanest vehicles on the market. CARB says the website also features testimonials from community members who have benefited from these programs.

Access the the Low Carbon Transportation -- Moving California website HERE. (Source: California Air Resources Board, 18 May, 2017) Contact: CARB, (800) 242-4450, helpline@arb.ca.gov, www.arb.ca.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News California Air Resources Board,  California Cap-and-Trade,  Cap-and-Trade,  


Nissan Joins Tesla, Mercedes in Home Energy Storage Race (Int'l)
Nissan,Tesla,Mercedes
Date: 2017-05-24
Japanese automaker Nissan is reporting the launch of its XStorage Home, a British-made lithium-ion battery energy storage system to rival Tesla and the recently announced Mercedes-Benz offering, as detailed in our April 28th issue.

The Nissan cells will be manufactured by Nissan in Sunderland, UK, and sold in the UK in partnership with Eaton Corp, a US power management company. Beginning in July, the XStorage Home systems will sell for approximately £5,000 , exclusive of installation. . (Source: Nissan, CTBR, Guardian, May, 2017) Contact: Nissan, www.nissan.co.uk/experience-nissan/electric-vehicle-leadership/xstorage-by-nissan.html; Tesla Powerwall, www.teslamotors.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Nissan,  Tesla,  Tesla Power Wall,  Energy Storage,  Battery,  


Abengoa Posts Profit Following Financial Restructuring (Int'l.)
Abengo
Date: 2017-05-22
Fresh from restructuring, Spanish renewable energy giant Abengoa is reporting a Q1 profit of €5.56 billion, including non-recurring profits derived from its now-completed financial restructuring. The profit takes into account financial liabilities for €8.46 billion.

Engineering and construction activity revenues reached €295 million and the earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounted to €49 million, versus €391 million and €7 million respectively in the first three months of 2016.

The company's backlog in engineering and construction as of 31 March, 2017 included bookings of new projects for a total approximate value of €200 million in Chile, Argentina, UK and Belgium, among others. Revenues in the concession-type infrastructure activity hit €41 million and EBITDA amounted to €25 million in Q1 of 2017, compared to €34 million and €21 million, respectively, during the first three months of 2016.(Source: Abengoa, Various Media, 15 May, 2017)Contact: Abengoa, www.abengoa.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Abengoa,  Renewable Energy,  


Aurora Solar Tech Scores Taiwanese Patent (New Prod & Tech)
Aurora Solar Technologies
Date: 2017-05-22
North Vancouver, British Columbia-based Aurora Solar Technologies Inc., a leader in inline measurement and control technology for the photovoltaic manufacturing industry, reports the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office has allowed its infrared-based measurement patent entitled "Non-Contacting System and Method for Measuring the Dopant Content of Semiconductor Material and Method of Determining the Impact of a Semiconductor Material Fabrication Line upon Semiconductor Wafer." In addition to photovoltaics industry, the patented process includes any process where impurities are added to semiconductor material for the purpose of modifying its electrical properties, such as light emitting diodes (LED), integrated circuits and flat panel displays.

Using Aurora's technology, 400 to 800 wafers can be measured in minutes as opposed to the traditional time and labor intensive practice of removing three or four wafers from each batch for a manual test. (Source: Aurora Solar Technologies, Inc. PR, 17 May, 2017) Contact: Aurora Solar Technologies Inc., Michael Heaven, Pres., CEO, (778) 241-5000, info@aurorasolartech.com, www.aurorasolartech.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Aurora Solar Technolog,  Solar Waferies ,  Solar,  


Eastman Kodak Joins Li-Ion Battery Consortium (Ind. Report)
Eastman Kodak
Date: 2017-05-22
From the Eastman Business Park in Rochester, New York, Eastman Kodak Co. reports it has joined a global consortium of energy storage industry leaders to support the advancement of lithium-ion batteries. The consortium is investigating and considering the construction of a 15 GWh battery manufacturing plant in Australia. Eastman Kodak will provide coated anode and cathode electrodes and cell manufacturing for the project should it proceed.

The Eastman Business Park is opening a new battery cell assembly facility in July that will add new capability to the existing Kodak Pilot Commercialization Center. The new facility will provide a full set of resources for energy storage inventors, entrepreneurs and commercial developers. When fully operational, the facility will produce 250,000 car batteries, 1 million home battery units or support 300 microgrids to power small towns. (Source: Eastman Kodak, Messenger Post Media , 16 May, 2017) Contact: Eastman Kodak, Dolores Kruchten, Pres., www.eastmanbusinesspark.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Eastman Kodak,  Lithium-ion Battery,  Li-Ion,  Battery,  Energy Storage,  


NorthWestern Energy Seeks Montana Community Wind, Solar Projects (Ind. Report)
NorthWestern Energy
Date: 2017-05-22
In Butte, Montana, NorthWestern Energy Montana legislation requires the utility to procure energy from Community Renewable Energy Projects (CREP), which meet certain criteria including cost-effectiveness to NWE's customers.

CREP is part of the Montana Renewable Portfolio Standard which promotes the development and ownership of smaller renewable energy projects by in-state owners.

Proposals are due June 28, 2017, with selection of finalists expected in September. All inquiries and correspondence regarding this RFP must be directed to Sapere Consulting. (Source: Northwestern Corp., PR, 17 May, 2017) Contact: NorthWestern Corp., www.northwesternenergy.com; Sapere Consulting, Steve Lewis, (206) 726-3695, slewis@sapareconsulting.com, www.Sapereconsulting.com/RFP; NorthWestern Energy, www.northwesternenergy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News NorthWestern Energy,  Renewable Energy,  


25 SAISD Campuses Score ENERGY STAR Certification (Ind. Report)
Cenergistic,San Angelo Independent School District
Date: 2017-05-22
In a press release, the Lone Star State's San Angelo Independent School District (SAISD) reports it has been award US EPA ENERGY STAR certification for 25 school campuses in recognition of their efforts to cut energy consumption and increase energy efficiency.

To earn the certification, SAISD partnered with Cenergistic, Inc. to manage energy use throughout the district. Cenergistic worked directly with each campus to identify opportunities to save energy. As of January the district had achieved over $1.6 million in cost avoidance through the Cenergistic program, according to a SAISD release.

ENERGY STAR certification signifies that the buildings perform in the top 25 pct of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meet strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA. (Source: standard Times, 19 May, 2017) Cenergistic Inc., (214) 275-2814, www.cenergistic.com; San Angelo Independent School District, www.saisd.org; ENERGY STAR, www.energystar.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News ENERGY STAR,  Energy Efficiency,  Building Energy Efficiency,  ,  


NY State's Methane Emissions Oversight Stiffened (Reg & Leg)

Date: 2017-05-22
In the Empire State, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced the state will increase its oversight of the greenhouse gas methane released by landfills, farms the oil and gas industry and other sources.

Landfills account for more than half of the state's known methane emissions. Farms account for 22 pct of methane emissions, oil and gas facilities account for another 11 pct, while the industrial and transportation sectors account for the balance. Methane is about 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, but much shorter-lived in the atmosphere.

Under the state methane plans, the state would help local landfills divert more organic waste away from disposal and improve gas collection systems that can harvest methane and burn it to generate electricity. Of the top 30 methane sources in New York, 27 are landfills, according to EPA figures. (Source: New York State, Office of the Gov, May 19, 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Landfill Gas,  Methane,  


Kiwi's to Spend $14Bn to Meet Paris Agreement Targets (Int'l)
New Zealand
Date: 2017-05-22
In a briefing of recently released documents from the New Zealand Official Information Act, Energy Minister Judith Collins said the cost to the economy of purchasing international carbon credits to offset New Zealand’s emissions will be $14.2 billion over ten years -- $1.4 billion annually. According to the minister, "an over reliance on overseas purchasing at the expense of domestic reductions could also leave New Zealand exposed in the face of increasing global carbon prices beyond 2030".

The minister added It's not yet known where the money will come from to foot the $14.2 billion dollar bill but noted that businesses reliant on carbon-intensive transport will be required to purchase international credits to account for their emissions, while the government will absorb the cost of buying credits for industries exempt from the Emissions Trading Scheme such as agriculture.

New Zealand's pledge under the Paris Agreement is to reduce emissions by 30 pct below 2005 levels by 2030 while domestic emissions are expected to increase. Source: NZ Newshub, 22 May, 2017) Contact: Energy Minister, Judith Collins, https://judithcollins.national.org.nz

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Credits news,  Cap-and-Trade news,  Carbon Emissions news,  


Planned WV Methanol Plant Secures State Loan (Funding)
US Methanol
Date: 2017-05-22
Following-up on our August 15th coverage, the West Virginia Economic Development Authority reports its approval of a $10 million loan to help Aliso Viejo, California-headquartered US Methanol develop a methanol production facility west of Charleston, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

The loan funds will be primarily used for the purchase of purchase of machinery and equipment for the planned Liberty One Methanol plant which will be reconstructed from a methanol plant that is being disassembled in Brazil. The plant is expected to be up and running by the year's end or early 2018. (Source: West Virginia Economic Development Authority, Charleston Gazette, AP, 19 May, 2017)Contact: West Virginia Economic Development Authority, (304) 558-3650, www.wveda.org; U.S. Methanol, Brad Gunn, COO, (888) 772-9930, www.usmeoh.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Methanol,  US Methanol,  


Antarctic "Greening" Attributed to Climate Change (Ind. Report)
University of Exeter
Date: 2017-05-22
According to Widespread biological response to rapid warming on the Antarctic Peninsula, a paper from the UK's University of Exeter, plant life on Antarctica is growing rapidly due to climate change.

Few plants live on the continent, but scientists studying moss have found a sharp increase in biological activity in the last 50 years. The researchers used moss bank cores -- which are well preserved in Antarctica's cold conditions -- from an area spanning about 400 miles. The scientists analysed data for the last 150 years, and found clear evidence of "change points" -- points in time after which biological activity clearly increased -- in the past half century. The research team, which included scientists from the University of Cambridge and British Antarctic Survey, say their data indicate that plants and soils will change substantially even with only modest further warming. The researchers now plan to examine core records dating back over thousands of years to test how much climate change affected ecosystems before human activity started causing global warming.

Plant life only exists on about 0.3 pct of Antarctica, but the findings provide one way of measuring the extent and effects of warming on the continent. The research was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). (Source: University of Exeter, PR, EurekaAlert, 18 May., 2017) Contact: University of Exeter, Dr. Matt Amesbury, +44 (0) 1392 725892, http://geography.exeter.ac.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


Univ. Complex Meets Georgia Peach Green Building Standard (Ind. Report)
Georgia Peach Green Building Rating System,
Date: 2017-05-19
Clearview Hall, Columbus State University's newest student housing project, has scored "Two Peaches" under the Georgia Peach Green Building Rating System. The system, which is part of the state's Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Construction Act, rates and recognizes state owned and/or managed buildings that optimize energy performance, increase the demand for materials and furnishings produced in Georgia, improve the environmental quality in the state, conserve energy, protect the state's natural resources, and reduce the burden on the state's water supply.

The $25 million, 121,000-square-foot Clearview Hall complex is home to 457 freshmen students, four learning communities and one faculty-in-residence member.

Georgia Peach Green Building Rating System, HERE. (Source: Columbus State Univ., 16 May, 2017)

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


DTE Aims for 80 pct CO2 Emissions Reduction by 2050 (Ind. Report)
DTE Energy
Date: 2017-05-19
Following on our JUne 10, 2016 coverage, Michigan utility DTE Energy has unveiled its sustainability initiative plan to reduce the company's carbon emissions by 30 pct by the early 2020s, 45 pct by 2030, 75 pct by 2040 and 80 pct or more by 2050. To achieve it's goal, the utility plans to utilize more renewable energy, transition 24/7 power plants and sources from coal to natural gas, and increase options for customers to cut energy consumption and reduce energy bills.

Specifically, DTE plans to construct an additional 6,000 mw of renewable energy capacity, supplementing the 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy DTE has built since 2009. The utility will also continue retiring its coal-fired plants, having already announced the shutdown of 11 coal units by the early 2020s. The company also intends to invest $5 billion over the next five years to modernize the electric grid and gas infrastructure. Since 2009, DTE Energy has invested more than $2 billion in wind and solar energy. (Source: DTE Energy, Energy Insider, Various Media, 18 May, 2017)Contact: DTE Energy, Irene Dimitry, VP Business Planning & Development, www2.dteenergy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News DTE Energy,  Carbon Emissions,  GHGs,  CO2,  


2017 Better Buildings Progress Report -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
Better Buildings Challenge
Date: 2017-05-19
The US DOE reports that its Better Buildings Challenge has led to a combined 240 trillion Btus and an estimated $1.9 billion in cumulative energy and cost savings, according to the attached 2017 Better Buildings Progress Report.

The Better Buildings Challenge initiative aims to make commercial, public, industrial and residential buildings 20 pct more energy efficient over the next decade by focusing on overcoming market barriers and sharing partner-created solutions. The Challenge's 345 diverse member organizations represent more than 4.4 billion square feet of building space, include more than 1,000 industrial facilities, and have committed $7 billion in financing. Partners have shared energy performance results for nearly 38,000 properties. On average, partners are improving by more than 2 percent per year.

Download the full U.S. DOE 2017 Better Buildings Progress Report HERE. (Source: US DOE, ProudGreenBuilding, 16 May, 2017) Contact: US DOE Better Buildings Initiative, https://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/

More Low-Carbon Energy News Better Buildings Challenge,  Building Energy Efficiency,  Energy Savings,  


USGBC, Seoul Agree to Advance LEED Green Buildings (Int'l)
Green Business Certification Inc.,USGBC,Seoul Metropolitan Government
Date: 2017-05-19
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Seoul Metropolitan Government are reporting an agreement to accelerate the LEED green building rating system in the the city of Seoul (pop. 10,000,000 +-). The intent is to lay the groundwork for the city's sustainable development and building energy efficiency and performance as a way to help mitigate climate change. South Korea currently boasts more than 6.5 million gross square meters of LEED certified space.

The LEED green building rating system is administered by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). (Source: USGBC, Seoul Metropolitan Government, PR, Korea IT Times, 18 May, 2017) Contact: Seoul Metropolitan Government, english.seoul.go.kr; USGBC, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org; Green Business Certification Inc., www.gbci.org

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


Vaisala Touts Triton Wind Profiler Success (Ind. Report)
Vaisala
Date: 2017-05-19
Finland-based environmental and industrial measurement specialist Vaisala reports that its Triton Wind Profiler remote sensing system will soon reach 20 million hours of collected wind data since market introduction in 2008. The data have been gathered over 3700 deployments, spanning 45 countries and six continents.

Vaisala's SkyServe online platform enables users to monitor data gathered by the Triton and allows Vaisala technicians to assess the performance of the global wind fleet with a minimum of downtime.(Source: Vaisala, Renewable Energy, 15 May, 2017) Contact: Vaisala , Pascal Storck, Head of Renewable Energy , www.vaisala.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Vaisala,  Wind,  


Lebanon, Mo. Solar Farm Construction Underway (Ind. Report)
Solar
Date: 2017-05-19
In the Show Me State, the city of Lebanon -- pop. 14,800+- -- is reporting work is under way on the 3.15 MW Lebanon Solar Farm , which is expected to be operational late July. The facility is planned to incorporate 9,400, 335 watt solar panels in a fixed, ground mounted position. The completed facility will generate sufficient electric power for as many as 400 average homes. (Source: City of Lebanon, Lebanon Daily Record, 16 May, 2017) Contact: City of Lebanon, Laina Stames, City Clerk, (417) 532-2156, www.lebanonmissouri.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  


Grant to Increase E15, E85 Availability in Hoosier State (Funding)
Indiana Office of Energy Development
Date: 2017-05-19
The Indiana Office of Energy Development and the Indiana Corn Marketing Council are reporting the awarding of nearly $160,000 to the Valparaiso-headquartered regional fuel and convenience store chain Family Express Corp. The grant funding is part of a program to expand the availability of ethanol fuel blends throughout the Hoosier State. With the funding, Family Express will deploy eight blender pumps capable of dispensing E15 and E85 ethanol blends.

The Indiana Corn Marketing Council used funds provided by its member farmers to leverage additional money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership. The grant program is run in partnership with the Indiana Department of Agriculture, Greater Indiana Clean Cities and South Shore Clean Cities. (Source: Indiana Office of Energy Development, nwi.com, 15 May, 2017)Contact: Indiana Office of Energy Development, www.in.gov/oed; USDA Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership, www.fsa.usda.gov; Family Express Corp., (219) 462-6144, www.familyexpress.com

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


Va. Gov. Takes Executive Action to Limit CO2 Emissions (Reg & Leg)
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
Date: 2017-05-19
In the Old Dominion State, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) on Tuesday instructed the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to begin a process of establishing regulations that will reduce carbon emissions from power plants, a plan that could include the state linking with emissions-trading programs in other states.

McAuliffe opted to take an executive-action based on the likelihood that the Republican-led state General Assembly would not have approved a plan to address carbon emissions, the governor's spokesman said. Furthermore, with the future of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan in doubt, McAuliffe believed the Commonwealth needed to take action on its own to regulate power plant carbon emissions.

McAuliffe's executive action calls for regulations to abate, control, or limit CO2 from Virginia's power plants. The rule is intended to "allow for the use of market-based mechanisms and the trading of CO2 allowances through a multi-state trading program." The proposed regulation is due to be presented to the air board by December 31. The state air board will decide on whether to put the draft regulations out for public notice and comment under the Virginia Administrative Process Act. Once this regulatory process has begun, a future governor would have to take similar administrative procedures steps to undo any rules that are adopted. (Source: Office of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, ThinkProgress, 17 May, 2017) Contact: Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, (804) 786-2211, https://governor.virginia.gov; Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, (804) 698-4000, www.deq.virginia.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Power Plant Emissions,  Clean Power Plan,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


European Investment Bank Carbon Footprint Report 2016 -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
European Investment Bank
Date: 2017-05-19
The attached European Investmment Bank'(EIB) Carbon Footprint Report details the EIB's GHG emissions and the measures actions that the EIB Group takes to continue reducing emissions and its carbon footprint.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the financing institution of the European Union (EU). Created by the Treaty of Rome, its shareholders are the EU Member States and its Board of Governors is composed of the Finance Ministers of these States. The EIB enjoys its own legal personality and financial autonomy within the EU system. The mission of the EIB is to contribute, by financing sound investment, to the policy objectives of the EU, as laid down in its statutes and in decisions of the European Council.

The EIB contributes towards the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the EU Members by raising substantial volumes of funds and offering fav ourable terms towards financing capital projects in accordance with EU objectives. Outside the EU , the EIB implements the financial components of agreements concluded under European development aid and cooperation policies.

Download the European Investment Bank Carbon Footprint Report 2016 HERE. (Source: EIB, May, 2017) Contact: EIB, www.eib.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News European Investment Bank,  Carbon Footprint,  


Global CCS Institute Calls for CCS Action (Ind. Report)
Global CCS Institute
Date: 2017-05-17
Addressing a UNFCCC pre-COP23 meeting in Bonn, Germany, Global CCS Institute's European General Manager, John Scowcroft reported that "whilst climate change talks are worthy and necessary, more climate 'action' is needed if the Paris Agreement's 'below 2 degree' targets are going to be met. This year, we need to ensure that this agreement, and subsequent talks, translate into tangible results. Industry, governments and policymakers need to ensure that momentum is maintained and all clean technologies are given equal impetus to succeed," Scowcroft added.

As 197 sovereign governments meet in Bonn ahead of this year's November COP23, the Global CCS Institute addressed the pressing need to accelerate the global deployment of CCS in the power sector and other industries. Despite positive CCS progress advancements over the last few years, especially in the US and China, the Global CCS Institute warns that more needs to be done to roll-out CCS and drive investment in the technology. There are currently 17 large-scale CCS facilities in operation with five more coming on stream within the next 18 months. (Source: Global CCS Institute, World Coal, 15 May, 2017) Contact: Gloibal CCS Institute, +61 3 8620 7300, info@globalccsinstitute.com, www.globalccsinstitute.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Global CCS Institute,  CCS,  


Energy Efficiency and Energy Performance of Buildings Directives Revisions -- FEDARENE Position Paper Attached (Ind. Report)
FEDARENE
Date: 2017-05-17
The attached position paper is based on consultation with the members of the European Federation of Agencies and Regions for Energy and the Environment (FEDARENE) in response to proposals for the Energy Efficiency and Energy Performance of Buildings Directives, as set out in the ‘ Energy Efficiency Directive released on November 30, 2016.

The Position Paper recommendations include:

  • To raise the energy saving target proposed in the Energy Efficiency Directive to 40 pcy by 2030;
  • To specifically require that efficiency be considered before supply, and that this principle is consistently applied;
  • To embed multi-level governance throughout the Clean Energy for all European proposals;
  • To provide a more detailed requirement to enable and facilitate the participation of citizens, industry and civil society in the development and delivery of National Climate and Energy Plans, clarifying that participation is more than just consultation;
  • To move the requirement for energy renovation of public buildings from EED Article 5 to the EPBD, and extend it to cover all public buildings, together with clear plans for supporting finance and within the limitations provided for under Article 4 regarding historic buildings etc.;
  • That the definition of decarbonization of the building stock includes a specific requirement to avoid the reintroduction of fossil-fuel based heating systems post major renovation, unless all other alternatives can be shown to be technically inadequate,
  • Ensure that energy efficiency and renewable energy knowledge and skills are integrated into the standard (mainstream) training for all building trades and professionals;
  • To set out (for example in Article 20 of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive), a clear requirement for effective energy advice (and not just information) to support building owners throughout the process of deep renovation; and others.

    Download the full FEDARENE Energy Efficiency Directive & Energy Performance of Buildings Directive HERE. (Source: FEDARENE, +32 2 646 82 10, fedarene@fedarene.org, www.fedarene.org

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


  • ICS Calls for IMO to Commit to Maritime CO2 Targets (Int'l)
    International Chamber of Shipping
    Date: 2017-05-17
    In a submission to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Member States, the London-headquartered International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is urging the IMO to adopt the following objectives relative to climate change maritime CO2 emissions:
  • Maintain international shipping's annual total CO2 emissions below 2008 levels;
  • Reduce CO2 emissions per tonne-km, as an average across international shipping, by at least 50 pct by 2050, compared to 2008;
  • Cut international shipping's total annual CO2 emissions by an agreed percentage by 2050, compared to 2008, as a point on a continuing trajectory of CO2 emissions reduction; and
  • Remain in control of additional measures to address shipping CO2 reductions and to develop a global solution, rather than risk the danger of market distorting measures at national or regional level.

    According to the 2014 IMO GHG Study, international shipping emitted 921 million tons of CO2 in 2008. As a result of technical and operational measures, this figure declined by 13 percent to less than 800 million tons of CO2 in 2012 or 2.2 percent of the world's total CO2 emissions. (Source: International Chamber of Shipping, MarEx, 14 May, 2017) Contact: International Chamber of Shipping, Esben Poulsson, Chairman, +44 20 7090 1460, www.ics-shipping.org; International Maritime Organization, Stefan Micallef, Director of Marine Environment Division, +44 (0) 20 7735 7611, www.imo.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News IMO,  International Chamber of Shipping,  Maritime Emissions,  Carbon Emissions,  


  • UK Researchers Tout Coffee Waste-to-Biodiesel Process (R&D)
    Lancaster University
    Date: 2017-05-17
    In the UK, Lancaster University researchers are reporting a breakthrough that could produce 720,000 tpy of biodiesel fromused coffee grounds. According to the researchers, the high calorific value of coffee waste could produce a greener, commercially competitive biofuel.

    In the traditional process currently used by a small number of businesses; manufacturers mix spent coffee grounds with hexane and cook the mixture at 60 degree C for between 1-2 hours. The hexane is then evaporated to leave behind the oils. Methanol and a catalyst is then added to make biodiesel, and a glycerol by-product which also needs separating. The chemical engineers have consolidated the existing multi-stage process into a single step, known as in-situ transesterification. The new procedure combines the extraction of oil from the coffee grounds with its conversion into biodiesel.

    Led by Dr. Vesna Najdanovic-Visak, the researchers have consolidated the process by using just methanol and a catalyst. This completely removes the need for hexane as well as saving on chemical waste. Najdanovic-Visak and colleagues' method can extract the same amount of biodiesel as the old method in just ten minutes. The report detailing the study has been published in the Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering. (Source: Lancaster University, Biofuels Int'l., Others, May, 2017) Contact: Lancaster University, Vesna Najdanovic-Visak, +44 (0) 1524 593314, http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/engineering/about-us/people/vesna-najdanovicvisak

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Coffee,  Coffee Biodiesel,  Biodiesel,  


    Alfanar Inks 50 MW Egyptian PV Project Deal (Int'l Report)
    alfanar Energy
    Date: 2017-05-17
    Riyahd, Saudi Arabia-headquartered renewable power project developer alfanar Energy reports it has inked an agreement to construct a 50 MW solar PV plant in Egypt. A PPA was also signed with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company.

    The plant will be constructed as part of the proposed 1.8 GW Ben Ban solar power complex in the Aswan governate in Upper Egypt. The 14. 4 square-mile, $3.5 billion Ben Ban complex is expected to come online in 2018 and will be administered by the New and Renewable Energy Authority. The complex is expected to include 41 PV plants developed by 39 private developers under Egypt's feed-in tariff scheme.

    According to alfanar Energy, it has secured $55 million in funding for its project from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector. Egypt aims to meet 20 per cent of its power needs with renewable sources by 2022. (Source: alfanar Energy, Power Engineering, 15 May, 2017) Contact: alfanar Energy, 00966-11-920-006111, www.alfanar.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  PV,  


    United PV Subsidiary Acquiring 110 MW Chinese Solar Assets (M&A)
    Panda Green Power,United Photovoltaics,China New Energy
    Date: 2017-05-17
    The Hong Kong Stock Exchange reports that Panda Green Power, a wholly owned subsidiary of United Photovoltaics, reports it will acquire a 100 pct equity interest in China New Energy Holdings from Asia Pacific Energy and Infrastructure Investment for $154.1 million. The deal includes solar, wind and hydropower assets. The group will also issue 559,701,493 consideration shares as part of the agreement, according to a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

    Upon the completion, China New Energy will indirectly acquire 110 MW of solar capacity ing include both incomplete and operational assets, as well as the rights to develop undisclosed projects. It will also acquire 4.58 GW of hydropower capacity, in the form of unfinished and operational assets, as well as the development rights for projects. (Source: United Photovoltaics, Panda Green Power, PV Mag., Other Media, 15 May, 2017) Contact: Panda Green Power, www.unitedpvgroup.com; United Photovoltaics, www.unitedpvgroup.com; China New Energy, +86 20 8705 7185, www.chinanewenergy.co.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Panda Green Power,  Solar,  China Solar,  United Photovoltaics,  China New Energy,  


    Grocery Giant Supports COP21 with Renewable Electricity Pledge (Int'l)
    Tesco
    Date: 2017-05-17
    In the UK, grocery giant Tesco has pledged to source all of its global electricity requirements from renewables by 2030 in an effort to meet the climate change targets set at COP21.

    To date, Tesco has invested over £700 million in energy efficiency in its stores and distribution centres since 2007, and cut its emissions by 41 pct per square foot of its real estate for annual energy cost savings of approximately £200 million.

    Even so, the company acknowledges that more needs to be done to reach its targeted absolute reductions of 35 pct by 2020, 60 pct by 2025 and 100 pct reductions by 2050 compared to 2015 levels. To that end, Tesco intends to source all of its electricity from renewable sources, has signed on to the RE100 initiative, and will push its sustainability practices down the supply chain by encouraging the use of credible science-based targets on a two degree trajectory. Alternatively, suppliers will be asked to achieve absolute emissions reductions of 7 pct by 2020 and 35 pct by 2030. (Source: Tesco, Clean Energy, 15 May, 2017)Contact: Tesco, +44 (0) 11 44 1992 632222, www.tesco.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Tesco,  CO2,  Carbon Emissions,  Paris Climate Agreement,  Renewable Energy,  


    Baylor Business School Scores LEED Gold Certification (Ind. Report)
    Baylor University,USGBC
    Date: 2017-05-17
    The In Waco, Texas, Baylor University reports that its Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation has been awarded U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold certification for meeting standards that reduce the building’s environmental impact. The $100 million, 275,000-square-foot facility, which houses Baylor's Hankamer School of Business, opened in August 2015.

    The Foster Campus achieved LEED Gold certification by executing strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Several other Baylor University campus buildings are LEED certified. (Source: Baylor University, USGBC, Am. School & University, 15 May, 2017)Contact: USGBC, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USGBC,  LEED Certification,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Albuquerque Announced $25Mn City Buildings Solar Plan (Ind. Report)
    Albuquerque
    Date: 2017-05-15
    In New Mexico, the Albuquerque city council reports that the city will begin work on $25 million in solar installations on city buildings later this year.

    Albuquerque has also secured federal Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs), which could allow it to double its funding. The projects will be financed at no cost to the public purse through energy savings and federal bond credits. According to the release, the solar installations will be the first step in fulfilling a goal set by the City Council last December for Albuquerque to source 25 pct of its energy from solar. (Source: City of Albuquerque, PR, May, 201) Contact: City of Albuquerque, Michael Riordan, COO, mriordan@cabq.gov, www.cabq.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  City of Albuquerque,  


    Jamaica Joins UN REED Program to Curb GHG Emissions (Int'l)
    UNFCCC,REDD+,UNEP
    Date: 2017-05-15
    Jamaica reports it has embarked on the first phase of the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forestry Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD), a global initiative to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

    The Programme aims to provide positive incentives to countries to contribute to climate-change mitigation through activities in the forestry and land use sectors. The programme falls under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and seeks to curb emissions, particularly in the forestry sector, most of which are tropical forests in developing countries.

    The UNFCCC developed a set of guidelines for countries to implement the REDD+ mechanism which are to be implemented over three phases. The first is REDD+ Readiness, where countries are expected to design national strategies and action plans alongside relevant stakeholders, to be able to combat the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, build capacity and develop policies.

    The phase also includes establishing a National Forest Monitoring System, which is a holistic system to monitor forest cover nationally over a period of time, as well as a measurement reporting and verification (MRV) system.

    The country will also establish the forest reference emission levels, to estimate the total carbon dioxide the forested areas are emitting on an annual basis. This is used as a baseline to determine how well the country does in REDD+ activities.

    A safeguard information system will also be set up to ensure that REDD+ activities are environmentally friendly and that any benefits accrued are distributed equitably to all stakeholders involved in the mitigation activities.

    The UN-REDD was launched in 2008 and builds on the convening role and technical expertise of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).Jamaica is receiving support for the programme through the Green Climate Fund of the UNEP. (Source: Jamaica Information Service, 12 May, 2017) Contact: Jamaica Information Service, +876 926 3590, jis.gov.jm; UNDP, www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home.html; UNFCCC, http://unfccc.int

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Deforestation,  Reforestation,  UNFCCC,  Climate Change,  REDD+,  UNEP Green Climate Fund,  


    Alexion Pharmaceuticals HQ Awarded LEED ertification (Ind. Report)
    USGBC,Connecticut Green Building Council
    Date: 2017-05-15
    New Haven, Conn.-based Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and The Connecticut Green Building Council (CTGBC) have announced that Alexion's global headquarters in New Haven has achieved LEED Platinum certification for Commercial Interiors.

    Alexion was awarded LEED Platinum certification for implementing measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in various areas of building. The Company's 14-story global HQ features a "green" roof, renewable energy sources, high-performance water fixtures and materials such as paints and adhesives that provide increased air quality for building occupants. The building is expected to save 778,000 gpy of water and source fully half its of electricity from renewable energy sources. (Source: CT Green Building Council, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, 11 May, 2017) Contact: Alexion, Kim Diamond, (475)230-3775, www.alexion.com; CT Green Building Council, Judy Swann, Exec. Gir., (203) 943-5711, http://ctgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USGBC,  LEED Certification,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Sun Setting on SolarWorld AG with Insolvency Filing (Int'l)
    SolarWorld
    Date: 2017-05-15
    Bonn, Germany-headquartered solar manufacturer SolarWorld AG is reporting its insolvency and has filed for bankruptcy court protection in Germany. The status of the company's U.S. subsidiary -- SolarWorld USA -- is unclear.

    In a brief statement, the company blamed its trouble on "illegal price dumping" by Chinese producers, "ongoing price distortions" within the market and a "no longer positive forecast for the future." in the SolarWorld’s downfall. (Source: SolarWorld AG, Various Media, 10 May, 2017) Contact: SolarWorld AG, SolarWorld USA, (805) 482-6800, www.solarWorld-usa.com; SolarWorld AG, Frank Asbeck, CEO, www.solarworld.de/en/home

    More Low-Carbon Energy News SolarWorld,  Solar,  


    NextEra's Ont. Energy Storage Project Zoning Approved (Ind. Report)
    NextEra Energy
    Date: 2017-05-15
    NextEra Energy reports it has received zoning approval for the development of a 2-MW battery storage facility on a 4.2-acre site in Elmira, Ontario.

    The facility would house a series of independent battery modules that would store excess power from intermittent sources -- wind and solar -- in the grid, releasing it when demand grew or generation dropped off. The system is designed to be self-contained, subject to 24/7 monitoring, and equipped with fail-safe mechanisms. NextEra presently has eight operating storage facilities in Canada. Moreover, (Source: NextEra, 11 May, 2017) Contact: NextEra Energy, Neil Watlington, Project Manager, Steven Stengel, Communications, (561) 691-7171, www.nexteraenergyresources.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NextEra Energy,  Energy STorage,  Battery Energy Storage,  


    Co-ops Tout "Help My House" Energy Savings Program (Ind. Report)
    Santee Cooper,The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina
    Date: 2017-05-15
    In South Carolina, Santee Cooper and other cooperatives are touting the "Help My House" on-bill energy efficiency financing program. The home energy efficiency funding mechanism is part of the USDA's Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP) that recently made its first loans to help rural families and small businesses lower energy consumption and costs.

    USDA's Rural Utilities Service awarded $13 million in zero-interest loans to South Carolina co-ops through KW Savings Co., a nonprofit created by the state's co-ops. KW Savings Co. will pour the RESP funds into lending pools for seven co-ops operating or interested in "Help My House." The group includes Aiken, Santee, Tri-County, Blue Ridge, Little River, Lynches River and Broad River electric cooperatives. Since its founding in 2011, co-ops have helped weatherize some 630 member homes. (Source: America's Electric Cooperatives, Santee Cooper, May, 2017) Contact: The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Mike Couick, Pres., CEO, (803) 796-6060, www.ecsc.org; Santee Electric Cooperative, ]www.santee.org; USDA Rural Energy Savings Program, www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-savings-program;

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Santee Cooper,  Energy Efficiewncy Incentives,  

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