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Tillerson Stalls Arctic Council on U.S. Climate Change Decision (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Arctic Council
Date: 2017-05-15
In Fairbanks, 11 May, members of the eight-nation Arctic Council have signed the Fairbanks Declaration 2017. The Declaration notes and the Council Members agreed that the Arctic region is warming much faster than other parts of the world and that immediate action is needed to reduce the effects of climate change.

The U.S. representative to the Council, Sec. of State Rex Tillerson, stalled on the American commitment to address climate change and took the position that the Trump administration was in no particular rush to address climate change and has not decided on its climate change policy or the U.S. honoring it commitments under the Paris Agreement.

The Arctic Council is a high-level intergovernmental forum that addresses issues faced by the Arctic governments and the indigenous people of the Arctic. The Arctic Council states include: Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States. Six international organizations representing Arctic Indigenous Peoples have permanent participant status. (Source: Arctic Council, VOA, 12 May, 2017) Contact: Arctic Council, +47 77 75 01 40, acs@arctic-council.org, http://www.arctic-council.org

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


Q1 U.S Wind Turbine Installations Number 908 (Ind. Report)
AWEA
Date: 2017-05-12
According to the American Wind Energy Association's (AWEA) recently released U.S. Wind Industry First Quarter 2017 Market Report a total of 908 utility-scale turbines were installed in Q1, 2017, for the strongest start in eight years.

Twelve states commissioned a total of 25 wind projects with Texas installing 724 MW in the first quarter, followed by Kansas, New Mexico and North Carolina with 481 MW, 242 MW and 208 MW, respectively. (Source: AWEA, LCG Consulting, 4 May, 2017)Contact: AWEA, Tom Kiernan, CEO, www.awea.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News AWEA,  Wind,  


GOP Fails in Obama Methane Rule Repeal Effort (Reg & Leg)
BLM Methane Rule
Date: 2017-05-12
In Washington, the U.S. Senate on Wednesday failed to muster the necessary votes to repeal President Obama's methane rules for oil and gas drillers on federal lands. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a similar resolution using its authority under the Congressional Review Act back in February. Under the review act, the Senate had until Thursday -- May 11th -- to pass the rule.

The Bureau of Land Management rule for methane is considered duplicative due to an existing EPA rule requiring drillers to control their methane emissions from natural gas and oil wells. (Source: PBS, Inside EPA, 10 May, 2017)

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


Notable Quotes on BLM Methane Rule Rejection
BLM Methane Rule,American Energy Alliance
Date: 2017-05-12
Following is a statement from World Resources Institute (WRI): "This was a smart move by the U.S. Senate to preserve a common-sense measure that helps companies cut methane waste from natural gas and oil production on public and tribal lands. This rule ensures that companies use modern technologies and best practices to reduce emissions of methane and associated pollutants, protecting public health and saving money for state governments and taxpayers.

"Methane causes far more warming than carbon dioxide emissions and must continue to be reined in to address the increasing threat of climate change." -- Sam Adams, WRI U.S. Director: Andrew Pickens , Communications Specialist, Climate Program, (202) 729-7940, andrew.pickens@wri.org, www.wri.org

American Energy Alliance issued the following statement: "The Senate just squandered an opportunity to protect American workers and families from a regulation aimed at making energy more expensive. The evidence against this regulation is overwhelming. Not only does this regulation fall outside of the BLM's jurisdiction, but the energy sector is already significantly reducing methane emissions without this top-down directive from the federal government.

"The cost of complying with this regulation will ultimately fall on the shoulders of the American people. Fortunately, the fight isn't over. It's now up to the Trump administration to do what the Senate failed to do and protect the American people from this unnecessary and costly regulation." -- American Energy Alliance , Thomas Pyle, Pres., www.americanenergyalliance.org

Earthjustice submitted the following comments: "By preserving this win-win rule that protects public health and saves taxpayers money at the same time, Congress is managing to slowly rebuild its credibility as an institution that can serve as a check against powerful corporate interests" -- Earthjustice, Jessica Ennis, Senior Legislative Representative, (202) 295-7619, www.earthjustice.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News BLM Methane Rule. Methane,  WRI,  Earthjustice,  ,  


Egyptian Researchers Pursuing Jatropha Jet Biofuel (Int'l, R&D)
National Research Center's Department of Chemical Engineering
Date: 2017-05-12
In Assiut, Egypt, researchers at the National Research Center's Department of Chemical Engineering are researching aviation biofuels from recycled cooking oils and combining them with the oil of Jatropha seeds, a plant watered by sewage in the desert. The researchers are transforming natural oils to have combustion, viscosity, volatilization, flash point, and freezing point characteristics close to that of traditionally used kerosene airplane fuel. The National Research Center research team is also seeking to produce algae-derived biofuels.

According to the National Research Center, Egypt has succeeded in cultivating 420,000 square meters of Jatropha in Luxor province, south of Cairo. (Source: Egypt National Research Center Department of Chemical Engineering, Al-Fanar Media, 10 May, 2017) Contact: Egypt National Research Center Department of Chemical Engineering, +202 3337 1362, http://www.nrc.sci.eg

More Low-Carbon Energy News Aviation Biofuel,  Jet Biofuel,  Jatropha,  Algae Biofuel,  


Nebraska Surpases 1,300 MW of Wind Energy Capacity (Ind. Report)
Nebraska Wind
Date: 2017-05-12
According to the Lincoln Journal Star, the Cornhusker State's growing number of wind farms is now generating in excess of 1,300 megawatts -- 1 gigawatt -- of wind-generated capacity. Nebraska is the 18th state to join the group of gigawatt-level wind energy states, according to AWEA. Wind accounted for over 10 pct of electricity generated in the state for the first time last year, according to federal Energy Information Agency data. Administration. (Source: Lincoln Journal, AP, 8 May, 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Nebraska Wind,  


ACEEE Issues City Energy Efficiency Scorecard -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
ACEEE
Date: 2017-05-12
The just released third edition of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) City Energy Efficiency Scorecard notes that the nation's cities are increasing their efforts to reduce energy waste through increased energy efficiency and greater reliance on renewable energy.

According to the ACEEE report, Boston remains the top US city for energy efficiency, receiving 84.5 out of a possible 100 points. Following Boston, the top 10 US cities for energy efficiency are New York City , Seattle , Los Angeles and Portland tied for 4th place, Austin , Chicago , Washington, DC, Denver and San Francisco. The five cities most in need of improvement on energy efficiency are Hartford , Memphis , Detroit , Oklahoma City and Birmingham.

Access the ACEEE City Energy Efficiency Scorecard HERE. (Source: ACEEE, PR, 10 May, 2017) Contact: ACEEE, (202) 507-4000, www.aceee.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News ACEEE,  Energy Efficiency,  


Enova, METRON Partner for Middle Eastern Energy Efficiency Opportunities (Ind. Report)
Enova, METRON
Date: 2017-05-12
In the Windy City, Enova International, a technology and data analytics driven online lending company operating 11 brands in 6 countries and providing analytics services to businesses, reports it is partnering with the French big data start-up METRON to address the challenges and opportunities in the energy efficiency market in the Middle East and help industrial customers use smart energy management solutions to reduce utilities costs.

METRON will leverage its platform to collect high data volumes from industrial sites in real-time. The data will be analysed by Enova energy efficiency experts to ultimately transform them into tangible energy savings, adding to the Dh24mn of energy savings already guaranteed by Enova through existing contracts.

METRON's smart energy platform spans across all industries including chemicals, plastics, automotive, food, paper and glass industries. The first round of customer meetings indicated a strong interest from the market for Energy Intelligence solutions that result in energy savings while decreasing the environmental footprint, according to Enova. (Source: Enova, METRON, utilities-me.com, 10 May, 2017) Contact: Enova, Anne Le Guennec, CEO, (312) 568-4200, www.enova.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Enova International,  METRON,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Management ,  


ICF Inks $13.6Mn Con Edison Energy Efficiency Contract (Ind. Report)
ICF, Con Edison
Date: 2017-05-12
Fairfax, Virginia-based consulting and technology services provider ICF reports it has won a contract under which it will assist Con Edison with its residential energy efficiency programs. The 3-year contract, which was awarded in Q,is valued at $13.6 million.

ICF will work with Con Edison to plan, design and market the programs and provide Con Edison with detailed analytics, call center support and information technology services.

Con Edison's residential energy efficiency programs include incentives for upgrades to HVAC, lighting, appliances and smart thermostats. (Source: ICF, 10 May, 2017) Contact: ICF, Mike Merrick, Snr. VP, Erica Eriksdotter, (703) 934-3668, erica.eriksdotter@icf.com, www.icf.com; ConEdison, Vicki Kuo, Dir.Energy Efficiency, kuov@coned.com, www.coned.com, www.coned.com/energyefficiency, www.conedsolutions.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News ICF,  Con Edison,  Energy Efficiency,  


ETI Discovers 8X increase in UK CO2 Storage Potential -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
Energy Technologies Institute
Date: 2017-05-12
In the UK, New research by the Impact of Brine Production on Aquifer Storage Project is reported to have discovered that brine production from rocks beneath the North Sea could hold mass carbon dioxide (CO2) storage potential. The study, funded by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) as part of its carbon, capture and storage (CCS) programme, discovered that an eightfold increase in capacity is possible via this method.

The project studied how controlled brine production could enhance the storage potential of saline aquifers that have already been identified as suitable CO2 stores. The aim was to produce a cost-benefit analysis of brine production using exemplar stores from the CO2-stored database and the UK Storage Appraisal Project (UKSAP). The project findings also highlight further opportunities in converting smaller aquifers into economically viable stores and lengthening the lifespan of certain storage sites by allowing operators to increase injection rates as new CO2 sources come on-stream. The project recommends further work that would support the development of CCS in the UK. ETI expects to release its full report findings later this year.

Access the ETI UK Storage Appraisal Project HERE (Source: Energy Technologies Institute, May, 2017) Contact: Energy Technologies Institute, www.eti.co.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Technologies Institute,  Carbon Storage,  CCS,  UK Carbon Storage,  


EU CO2 Reduction Trends Narrowing (Int'l Report)
Eurostat
Date: 2017-05-10
According to data from the European Union's statistical agency Eurostat, CO2 emissions resulting from the 28 EU member state's energy consumption fell slightly in 2016, compared to the year before.

In 2016, carbon emissions dropped by 0.4 pct compared to 2015, but in 2015, CO2 emissions had increased by 0.7 pct compared to 2014, which means that for the second consecutive year the EU's carbon emissions are sightly higher than in 2014, according to Eurostat. CO2 emissions account for approximately 80 pct of all of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to potentially disastrous climate change. (Source: Eurostat, May,2017)Contact: Eurostat, http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat

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


Ocean Absorption of CO2 More than Makes Up for Methane Emissions from Seafloor Methane Seeps -- Report Available (Ind. Report)
USGS
Date: 2017-05-10
According to a study by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Gas Hydrates Project and collaborators in Germany and Norway, the ocean waters near the surface of the Arctic Ocean absorbed 2,000 times more CO2 from the atmosphere than the amount of methane that escaped into the atmosphere from the same waters. The study was conducted near Norway's Svalbard Islands, above several seafloor methane seeps.

Methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, but the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere where the study was conducted more than offset the potential warming effect of the methane emissions that were observed. The data also indicated that significant amounts of CO2 were being absorbed by the waters near the ocean surface, and that the cooling effect resulting from CO2 uptake is up to 230 times greater than the warming effect expected from the methane emitted.

Most previous studies have focused only on the sea-air flux of methane overlying seafloor seep sites and have not accounted for the drawdown of CO2 that could offset some of the atmospheric warming potential of the methane.

The research was conducted during a research expedition sponsored by CAGE and the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany. USGS involvement in the Svalbard margin expeditions was partially supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The USGS Gas Hydrates Project is an international leader in the study of methane dynamics related to environmental and energy issues. In addition to the expeditions on the Svalbard margin, USGS has studied the interchange between methane and CO2 at the ocean surface in the Beaufort and Bering Seas, on the U.S. Atlantic margin, and in the Baltic and North Seas.

The study can be accessed HERE. (Source: Proceedings of the Nationa Academy of Sciences, USGS, PR, 8 May, 2017) Contact: USGS, John Pohlman, Biogeochemist, 9508) 457-2213, jpohlman@usgs.gov, www.usgs.gov; GEOMAR, www.geomar.de/en

More Low-Carbon Energy News USGS,  Methane,  Seabed MethanecLimate Change,  


NEB Report Addresses Canadian Biomass Power Generation -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
Canada National Energy Board
Date: 2017-05-10
The Canada National Energy Board recently released a report on Canada's adoption of renewable power sources,

The report indicates Canada had approximately 70 biomass generating power plants in 2014 with a total installed capacity of 2,408 MW. This includes facilities that rely on wood, wood byproducts and landfill gas. Overall, biomass accounts for 1.7 pct of Canada's electric generation capacity, and 1.9 ptc of actual generation. In 2015, 12,161 GWh of biomass-based electricity were produced. From 2005 to 2015, biomass generation grew by 54 pct.

Within Canada, provinces with the highest biomass use are those with active pulp, paper and forestry industries, including Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, and New Brunswick. While few landfills in Canada recover methane for use in energy production, the report notes that some Canadian municipalities actively produce energy waste using either landfills or anaerobic digestion facilities. Landfill gas is also converted into pipeline-quality renewable natural gas in some locations.

Internationally, the report shows that biomass generation reached 518 tWh in 2015, which accounts for approximately 2 pct of global power generation. Most generation is attributed to solid biofuels, such as wood pellets and chips. However, biogas, municipal solid waste and biofuels are also used to generate power.

Download the complete NEB Canada's Adoption of Renewable Power Sources report HERE. (Source: Canada National Energy Board, May, 2017) Contact: Canada NEB, (403) 292-4800, https://www.neb-one.gc.ca/index-eng.htm

More Low-Carbon Energy News Canada National Energy Board,  Biomass,  Bioenergy,  Renewable Energy,  


Tribal Groups Oppose BLM Methane Waste Rule Rollback (Reg & Leg)
BLM
Date: 2017-05-10
A vote on whether to repeal the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Methane Waste Rule could come in the U.S. Senate in the next few days, and Navajo Nation and other tribal leaders are calling for its retention.

Under the existing BLM Methane Waste Rule, oil and gas companies are required to identify and fix methane leaks and install equipment to capture methane gas at wells rather than venting or flaring it off. Opponents of the rule claim it is too expensive for the industry and call it government overreach.

The Navajo Nation, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and three affiliated tribes in North Dakota have come out in opposition to a rollback of the Methane Waste Rule for health and employment reasons.

Despite bipartisan opposition, the U.S. House of Representatives has voted to repeal the rule, which was finalized in the last days of the Obama administration. Now the Senate has until this week to reverse it under the Congressional Review Act. (Source: Public News Service, 9 May, 2017) Contact: Bureau of Land Management, www.blm.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News BLM,  Methane Rule,  


Certified Passive House PLUS Slated for Vancouver (Ind. Report)
City of Vancouver ,Passive House Standard
Date: 2017-05-10
In Vancouver, Marken Design + Consulting is touting the construction of the city's first home designed and constructed to the stringent Passive House PLUS standard combining highest energy efficiency and electric energy production.

The 2-story wood-frame home uses as much as 90 pct less energy for heating and cooling and up to 65 pct less than a standard home on operating costs. Triple pane wood windows, heat pump hot water, high level of insulation, eco-friendly materials and a ultra efficient heat recovery ventilation system and solar array are among the sustainable building features incorporated into the custom passive design.

The Passive House Building Energy standard originated in Germany in the late 1980s and is fast becoming the world standard in green, sustainable building techniques. It is estimated there are over 60,000 passive house buildings around the world. Currently, there are only about 40 such buildings in Canada. The city of Vancouver is developing an incentives program to encourage the growth of Passive Home construction standards. (Source: Marken Design, PR, Canadian Free Press Release & Media Distribution Service, 8 May, 2017) Contact: Markern, Alexander Maurer, www.markendc.com; Passive House Building Energy Standard, www.passivehouse.ca

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Passive House Standard,  Energy Efficiency,  


Biodiesel Blending Terminal Launched in S.D (Ind. Report)
Victory Renewables,South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council
Date: 2017-05-10
The South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (SDSRPC) is reporting the opening of a new biodiesel blending facility near Rapid City, South Dakota. The new Victory Renewables biodiesel blending facility provides fuel marketers with convenient access to full loads of biodiesel or blend biodiesel with diesel fuel. Year-round biodiesel sales will be facilitated by a heating system on-site.

The new biodiesel blending facility was funded in part by the South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council and the soybean checkoff. (Source: South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, PR, Biodiesel, Various Media, 8 May, 2017) Contact: South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, (605) 330-9942, sdsrpc@sdsoybean.org, www.sdsoybean.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel,  Biodiesel Blend,  


green|spaces Touts Community Energy Efficiency, Green Space Funding (Ind. Report, Funding)
Partners for Places - a project of the Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities
Date: 2017-05-10
Community Energy Efficiency Projects is reporting the winners of the Partners for Places Empower Chattanooga Program grant funding to raise awareness of community energy and green spaces.

The grants will fund community energy efficiency projects furthering expanding the work of Empower, which provides educational classes to renters and homeowners teaching simple low and no-cost ways to lower their utility bills. More than 20 applications were submitted. The grants are made possible by Partners for Places - a project of the Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities. Each of the grant recipients will be paired with a mentor from EPB and will work with green|spaces to refine and implement their ideas. (Source: greenspaces, 9 May, 2017) Contact: green|spaces, Dawn Hjelseth, {423) 648-0963 Partners for Places - a project of the Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, www.fundersnetwork.org/partnersforplaces


NATSO Calls for Extension, Phase Out of Biodiesel Tax Credit (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
NARSO
Date: 2017-05-10
NATSO, the national association representing truckstops and travel plazas, as well as a coalition of trade associations representing the entire biodiesel supply chain, has urged Congress to extend the biodiesel blenders' $1 per gallon tax credit as it considers tax reform legislation and to ultimately phase it out. This tax credit expired at the end of 2016. Extending and phasing out the biodiesel blenders' tax credit is needed to provide blenders, producers and consumers with necessary certainty to realize the environmental and cost benefits that the credit was designed to accomplish, according to NATSO.

In letters to members of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee, NATSO urged lawmakers to refrain from changing the existing biodiesel tax credit structure, arguing that the biodiesel tax credit is helping to displace traditional petroleum-based fuel with a cleaner-burning substitute.

Recently, there has been a coordinated effort by a group of lawmakers representing states where biodiesel is produced and where its feedstock is grown to convert the biodiesel blenders' tax credit to a producer's credit which would drive up biodiesel prices and ultimately impede U.S. efforts to advance the utilization of cleaner-burning fuels, according to NATSO. (Source: NATSO, NGT, 9 May, 2017) Contact: NATSO, Lisa Mullings, Pres., CEO, David Fialkov, VP Gov. Affairs, (703) 549-2100, www.natso.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel Blend,  Biodiesel,  NATSO,  Biodiesel Tax Credit,  


UK Fastest EU GHG Emissions Slasher (Int'l Report)
Eurostat
Date: 2017-05-08
According to data from the the European Union's statistics agency Eurostat, Britain was one of 11 member states to record decreases in 2016, due in part to the UK's uptake of low-carbon renewable energy.

Despite reducing its CO2 emissions, the UK still accounted for 11.7 pct of total EU emissions in 2016, Poland, France, Italy and Germany made up the top five with 9.2 pct, 9.8 pct, 10.1 pct, and 22.9 pct in that order. The Eurostat figures are early estimates based on monthly energy statistics and may slightly differ from those published nationally. (Source: Eurostat, The Actuary, Others, May, 2017) Contact: Eurostat, ec.europa.eu/eurostat

More Low-Carbon Energy News Eurostat,  Greenhouse Gas Emissions,  COs,  


Diamond Giant De Beers Aims for Carbon Neutral Mining (Int'l)
DeBeers
Date: 2017-05-08
In Johannesburg, South Africa, diamond industry giant De Beers Group reports it intends to make its mining operations carbon neutral within five years and, to that end, is investigating the possibility of storing large amounts of carbon at its diamond mines through the mineralisation of kimberlite tailings.

Kimberlite, a rare type of rock that has ideal properties for storing carbon through mineral carbonation technologies. Mineral carbonation is a natural or artificial process where rocks at the Earth's surface react with carbon dioxide and traps it in solid carbonate materials such as kimberlite.

DeBeers scientists believe that the carbon storage potential of a single year's kimberlite tailings could offset nearly 10 times the emissions of a typical mine. DeBeers' research is in its early stages and it may take some time before it is economically or practically achievable to tap into this full storage potential, according to the project leader Dr. Evelyn Mervine.

Editor's note: Most diamonds are made of carbon that was in the earth's mantle since the earth was formed, but some are made of carbon from the bodies and shells of microorganisms like algae in ancient oceans. This organic carbon was buried in rocks that were dragged down into the mantle because of plate tectonics and continental drift. (Source: DeBeers, Australian Mining, 5 May, 2017) Contact: De Beers Group, Dr Evelyn Mervine, Project Leader, +27 (0) 11 374 7000, http://www.debeersgroup.com

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


Portland, OR to Convert Waste Methane into Fuel (Ind. Report)
City of Portland
Date: 2017-05-08
In Oregon, City of Portland is reporting approval of a plan to turn methane from the city's sewage waste into natural gas. The plan will recover and convert 100-percent of the city's waste methane into natural gas and is expected to net $3 million every year. The renewable natural gas produced from the methane will then be sold back to the city residents and, when applicable, to other places.

The natural gas will be used, among other things, to power trucks that would otherwise be using diesel. This plan will produce enough renewable natural gas to replace more than 1 million gpy of diesel fuel and cut the city's greenhouse gas emissions by up to 21,000 tons annually. (Source: Portland Environmental Services, The Oregonian, 4 May, 2017) Contact: City of Portland, Mike Jordan, Environmental Services Director, www.portlandoregon.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Biofuel,  Biogas,  


NRC, Air Canada Measuring Biofuel Environmental Impact (Ind. Report)
Air Canada, the National Research Council of Canada
Date: 2017-05-08
Air Canada and the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada are reporting their collaboration on the Civil Aviation Alternate Fuel Contrail and Emissions Research Project, a research project to test the environmental benefits of aviation /jet biofuel. The NRC-led project will measure the environmental impact of biofuels on aircraft contrails -- the trails of water vapour produced at high altitude through the interaction of hot engine exhaust with a cold atmosphere.

During the test period that began last month and that is still underway, selected Air Canada flights between Toronto and Montreal, will by powered by biofuel produced by AltAir Fuels from used cooking oil. The test flights are being followed by a modified CT-133 research jet which samples and tests the contrail biofuel emissions.

Recent research led by NASA in the United States has found that biofuels can cut particle emissions from jet engines by 50 pct to 70 pct. A reduction in the thickness and coverage of contrails produced by the jet engines of aircraft could reduce aviation's impact on the environment, an important beneficial effect of sustainable biofuel usage in aviation.

Download NASA Study Confirms Biofuels Reduce Jet Engine Pollution HERE. (Source: Air Canada, National Research Council Canada, EcoLog, PR, 5 May, 2017)Contact: National Research Council Canada, (902) 426-8250, www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/index.htm; Air Canada, Peter Fitzpatrick , (416) 263-5576, peter.fitzpatrick@aircanada.ca, www.aircanada.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Air Canada ,  National Research Council of Canada,  Biofuel,  Aviation Biofuel,  Aviation Emissions,  


Bamboo Biofuels Production Planned in Arunachal Pradesh (Int'l)
Numaligarh Refinery Limited
Date: 2017-05-08
In Arunachal Pradesh State, India, officials from the Arunachal Pradesh Resources Development Agency (APBRDA) and Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL), a public sector company, are reported to be in discussions on the production of biofuels from locally sources, fast-growing -- as much as 36 inches per day -- bamboo.

The state officials have agreed to support the company in sourcing bamboo from Arunachal, and to that end have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Numaligarh Refinery to to pave way for sourcing 3 lakh tpy of bamboo and enable its cultivation on a commercially sustainable basis. (Source: Northeast Today, 7 May, 2017)Contact: Numaligarh Refinery Limited, www.nrl.co.in; Arunachal Pradesh Resources Development Agency, www.apeda.org.in

More Low-Carbon Energy News Bamboo,  Biofuel,  


REGI Closes on Biodiesel Plant Expansion Financing (Funding)
Renewable Energy Group Inc
Date: 2017-05-08
Further to our November 9th, 2016 coverage, Ames, Iowa-headquartered Renewable Energy Group Inc. (REGI) reports it has secured financing of up to $20 million from First Midwest Bank for the previously announced $24 million capacity-expansion of its Ralston, Iowa, biodiesel refinery.

The upgrade project, announced last November, is expected to increase the annual nameplate capacity of the Ralston biorefinery from 12 million to 30 million gpy. This would match the capacity at the company's biorefineries in Mason City and Newton, Iowa.

REGI now owns 14 active biorefineries in the U.S. and Europe with a combined annual nameplate capacity of 502 million gpy. (Source: Renewable Energy Group Inc., Various Media, May 05, 2017) Contact: Renewable Energy Group, Inc., Daniel J. Oh, Pres., CEO, Anthony Hulen, (703) 822-1972, anthony.hulen@regi.com, www.regi.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy Group Inc.,  Biofuel,  Biorefinery,  Biodiesel,  


CNG, Landfill Gas, Biomass Activities Avoided 2.1 Mn Tons of GHG Emissions, says Fortistar (Ind. Report)
Fortistar
Date: 2017-05-05
According to Fortistar, the builder, owner and operator of CNG, landfill gas-to-energy and biomass electric power plants across the U.S. and Canada, it's facilities avoided 2.125 million tons of GHG emissions in 2016. That's the equivalent of driving round trip from New York City to Los Angeles approximately one million times.

Fortistar's investments and operations include: more than 100 compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations 31 renewable landfill gas-to-energy facilities with 180 MW capacity; 298 MW of combined heat and power (CHP) electrical generating capacity and 1.8M lbs./hour combined steam generating capacity; and 65MW of renewable energy capacity generated by biomass in Canada.

Fortistar owns and operates lower carbon energy generating assets that support the transition to zero carbon emissions. Fortistar companies include TruStar Energy, Primary Energy Recycling, Fortistar Methane Group, Fortistar Biomass Group, Clock.In and Carbonfree Chemicals. (Source: Fortistar, 2 May, 2017) Contact: Fortistar, Mark Comora, Pres., www.fortistar.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Fortistar,  Biomass,  GHGs,  


Woodland Biomass Penalized $4.22Mn for Improper Hazardous Waste Disposal (Ind. Report)
Woodland Biomass
Date: 2017-05-05
In California, Yolo County Superior Court has ordered Woodland Biomass Power Ltd. to pay $4.22 million in penalties, costs and remediation costs for falsifying records and illegally dumping hazardous waste on agricultural lands.

The company, which burns woody biomass to generate electricity, claimed the ash was not hazardous, but the claim was based on faulty methods and, at times, falsified summaries of the test results for the ash, the release said. The firm also provided the falsified records to various governmental entities, individuals and companies. (Source: SacBee, 2 May, 2017) Woodland Biomass Power Ltd., (530) 661-6095

More Low-Carbon Energy News Woodland Biomass Power,  ,  Woody Biomass,  


£2Mn UK Biomass Waste Project Underway (Int'l Report)
VG Consulting, VG Energy
Date: 2017-05-05
In the UK, renewable energy specialists VG Consulting and VG Energy report they are consulting with Merseyside waste management firm CCC Waste Management on the development of a £2 million biomass plant.

The project has received planning consent for the installation of 4, 10MW Heizomart biomass boiler systems and a Wellvent drying floor, which will be installed by technology partners VG Energy. (Source: VG Consulting, VG Energy, PR, 3 May, 2017) Contact: CCC Waste Mangement, Sean Munro, Director, www.cccwaste.com; VG Consulting, www.vg-consulting.co.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News VG Consulting,  VG Energy,  Biomass,  


Nissan Joins Tesla, Mercedes in Home Energy Storage Race (Int'l)
Nissan,Tesla,Mercedes-Benz
Date: 2017-05-05
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 cells will be manufactured by Nissan in Sunderland, UK, and sold in the UK in partnership with Eaton Corp, a US power management company. The XStorage Home systems will be sold for £5,000 and up, with installations carried out by a nationwide network of electricians beginning in July. (Source: Nissan, CTBR, Guardian, May, 2017) Contact: Nissan, http://electricalsector.eaton.com/energystorage_Nissan_xstorageContactus_UK; www.nissan.co.uk/experience-nissan/electric-vehicle-leadership/xstorage-by-nissan.html; Mercedes-Benz, ; Tesla, www.teslamotors.com, http://ir.tesla.com/corporate-governance.cfm

More Low-Carbon Energy News Battery,  Energy Storage,  Powerwall,  Nissan,  Tesla,  Energy Storage,  Battery,  Mercedes-Benz,  


Vattenfall Seeking Rooftop PV Partnerships (Int'l Report)
Vattenfall
Date: 2017-05-05
Swedish renewable energy specialist Vattenfall reports it is sseking partnerships with small and medium-sized businesses in Germany to use roof space for the production of photovoltaic electricity.

Vattenfall's sustainable solar partnership allows customers to lease the PV system over a period of usually 20 years, after which the company owns the system. Under the flexible solar partnership, the lease term of the plant is initially at least eight years, after which the customer can extend the contract, purchase the plant or hand it over to Vattenfall for further use. In either arrangement, Vattefall assumes all initial costs as well as maintenance and operation management on behalf of the customer. (Source: Vattenfall, May, 2017) Contact: Vattenfall, Valentin Voigt, Project Manager, +46 8 739 5000, http://corporate.vattenfall.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Vattenfall,  PV,  Solar,  Rooftop Solar,  


UCLA Carbon XPRIZE Team Scores $1.5Mn Donation (R&D, Funding)
UCLA,XPRIZE
Date: 2017-05-05
UCLA has received a generous $1.5 million gift from the Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation to support faculty members competing for the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE. The funds will support the team's efforts to develop a process for capturing CO2 and converting it into a material that can be used in building and construction.

UCLA's Carbon Upcycling team, led by Prof. Gaurav Sant, professor of civil and environmental engineering and materials science, is one of 25 that has advanced to the semifinals by demonstrating a process for capturing CO2 emissions from power plant smokestacks, the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions. The trapped emissions will be used to create a CO2-neutral building material called CO2NCRETE, which can replace traditional concrete. The binding component of traditional concrete is responsible for nearly 9 percent of global CO2 emissions.

A total of up to 10 teams will advance to the Carbon XPRIZE finals, with up to 5 teams in each of two parallel tracks -- one will test technologies at a coal power plant, and the other at a natural gas power plant. The finalists will split a $2.5 million purse, and the winning team in each track will receive $7.5 million. (Source: UCLA, 2 May, 2017) Contact: UCLA, Prof. Gaurav Sant, (310) 206-3084, gsant@ucla.edu, www.lcc-ucla.com; XPRIZE, Eric Desatnik (310) 741-4892, eric@xprize.org, www.xprize.org; COSIA, www.cosia.ca

More Low-Carbon Energy News UCLA,  XPRIZE,  Carbon,  CO2,  Carbon Emissions,  


BNP Paribas Pledges Carbon Neutrality by Year End (Int'l)
BNP Paribas
Date: 2017-05-05
The Paris-headquartered international banking group BNP Paribas reports it is commited to becoming carbon neutral by the end of the year in terms of the CO2 emissions arising from its own operations.

Since 2012, BNP Paribas has reduced its direct CO2 emissions by 15 pct per employee, in line with the Group’s target of a 25 pct reduction by 2020. This achievement is the result of a specific policy of promoting energy efficiency at the Bank’s buildings and data centres -- a significant challenge given that the premises occupied by BNP Paribas worldwide total over 7 million square metres -- and also optimising business travel. The Group will also work to offset CO2 emissions that cannot be directly avoided or easily reduced, such as those arising from staff travel and natural gas consumption, through partnerships with benchmark organisations, in accordance with our Corporate Social Responsibility policies

Other BNP Paribas initiatives include:

  • BNP has entirely ceased financing coal mining and coal-fired power plant projects in any country, and will not finance electricity companies unless they have drawn up a plan for reducing the proportion of coal in their generation mix that is at least as ambitious as the national carbon reduction plan in the country in which the company is established

  • BNP has earmarked €100 million for investments by 2020 in innovative startups working to drive forward the transition to sustainable energy;

  • BNPis working to progressively incorporate a climate-related component into the methodology of rating companies and ventures which it finances. The bank have just joined the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition which, under the aegis of the World Bank, aims to support and encourage the implementation of a worldwide system for pricing carbon into industry and business;

  • BNP has, in line with its involvement in the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition, published the carbon footprint of over 100 funds managed by BNP Paribas Investment Partners (BNPP IP); meanwhile BNPP IP offers a wide range of low-carbon funds to investors. (Source: BNP Paribas, 3 May., 2017)Contact: BNP Paribas Group, https://cib.bnpparibas.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News BNP Paribas news,  Carbon Neutral news,  

    More Low-Carbon Energy News BNP Paribas,  Carbon Neutral,  


  • Malta Registers EU's Largest Carbon Emissions Drop (Int'l)
    Eurostat
    Date: 2017-05-05
    According to the EU statistics agency Eurostat data, the Island nation of Malta registered an 18.2 pct drop in carbon dioxide emissions in 2016, marking the largest drop across the EU. Other EU nations registering significant decreases include Bulgaria (-7 pct), Portugal (-5.7 pct) and the UK (-4.8 pct). As a whole, the 28-nation trading bloc decreased its CO2 emissions by only 0.4 pct in 2016 compared to 2015 levels.

    EU member states with emissions increases in 2016 include Finland (+8.5 pct), Cyprus (+7 pct), Slovenia (+5.8 pct ) and Denmark (+5.7 pct). (Source: Eurostat, Malta Today, 4 May, 2017) Contact: Eurostat, ec.europa.eu/eurostat

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EU Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Emissions,  Eurostat,  


    Statoil Begins Long Island Offshore Wind Preliminaries (Ind. Report)
    Statoil
    Date: 2017-05-03
    Following on our December 21st, 2016 coverage, Statoil, the Norwegian state controlled energy conglomerate that spent $42.5 million for lease rights to build a wind-energy array off the coast of southwestern Long Island, reports it has begun staffing here as it begins the four- to five-year process of acquiring the more than two dozen state and federal permits necessary for the construction of more than a gigawatt of wind power to begin in 2024.

    According to Statoil, 400-600 megawatts could be developed by 2024, with the remaining number phased in over the next several years. Statoil expects to eventully deploy about 100 turbines with 10 MW capacity each. The company has also begun meeting with local and state officials to inform them of the plan and address concerns. (Source: Statoil, Newsday, 29 April, 2017) Contact: Statoil, Irene Rummelhoff, Exec VP New Energy Ventures, Stephen Bull, Snr, VP, Offshore Wind, +47 51 99 00 00, www.statoil.com

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


    Dominion Virginia's Power Plan Foresees CO2 Restrictions (Ind. Report)
    Virginia Dominion Power
    Date: 2017-05-03
    In Richmond, Virginia Dominion Power, one of the nation's largest energy producers with a portfolio of approximately 26,200 megawatts of generation, is reporting that the carbon footprint for a typical Dominion Virginia Power customer would shrink by as much as 25 pct over the next eight years under a new company plan. When added to reductions already made by Dominion, carbon emissions to meet the energy needs of a typical residential customer would fall by up to 46 pct between 2007 and 2027.

    The main drivers of these improvements are a significant drop in the subsidized cost of utility-scale universal solar power, the ability to support the variable output of solar and wind with highly efficient natural gas generation, and Virginia's two nuclear power stations. This combination is expected to provide the lowest cost and best environmental performance while maintaining around-the-clock reliability.

    On the Federal level, Dominion anticipates future national energy policy to include limitations on greenhouse gas emissions in some form, i.e. the Obama Administration's Clean Power Plan which is now under attack by the Trump administration. Nonetheless, the federal government remains under a legal requirement to address carbon as a regulated pollutant.

    At the state level, the Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board is currently considering a petition on carbon limitations and is developing proposals to reduce carbon emission in Virginia, irregardless of federal action or inaction.

    Dominion has lowered carbon emissions in recent years through a number of other measures. It has converted four coal-fired power stations to natural gas or renewable biomass; built highly efficient natural gas power stations in Virginia to reduce imports of electricity from higher-carbon sources outside the state; encouraged energy conservation; and increased efficiency of its existing stations to produce more energy with the same amount of fuel. The company's newest coal-fired station, the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center, can use biomass for up to 20 pct of its fuel.

    Dominion's 2017 plan includes advancing renewable energy, grid modernization and strengthening against cyber or physical attacks, providing more control and information for customers, making the power grid a "two-way" street, and improving the company's ability to restore power promptly after outages. Dominion's alternative plans all assume the future will include some carbon restrictions resulting in the potential closures of certain fossil-fueled generating plants. (Source: Dominion Virginia Power, PR, 1 May, 2017) Contact: Dominion Virginia Power, Robert M. Blue, Pres., CEO, www.dom.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Virginia Dominion Power,  Clean Power Plan,  Clean Energy,  Carbon Footprint,  


    SP&G Launches Green-e Certified Natural Gas Offset and Wind REC (Ind. Report)
    Spring Power and Gas,Center for Resource Solutions
    Date: 2017-05-03
    In San Francisco, the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) is reporting that Maryland and New Jersey natural gas and electricity retailer Spring Power and Gas (SP&G) has launched two Green-e certified products: "Zero Gas" -- a natural gas product paired with Green-e Climate certified carbon offsets; and "Wind REC", a Green-e Energy certified renewable energy certificate (REC) product. Both are available to new Spring Power and Gas customers in MD and NJ.

    SP&G's Zero Gas product is the first Green-e Climate certified carbon offset natural gas program for residential customers in Maryland and New Jersey. Zero Gas matches a customer's natural gas usage with Green-e Climate Certified carbon offsets to ensure that 100 pct of the carbon emissions caused by a customer's gas usage are offset.

    Through the Spring Green program, Spring matches 100 pct of the electricity used by its electricity customers, and matches it with nationally sourced Green-e Energy certified wind RECs.

    Green-e Climate is the global retail standard for high-quality carbon offsets and an independent, third-party certification for gas offset programs. Green-e Energy is the leading renewable energy certification and verification program in North America. A program of the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions, Green-e is North America’s leading independent consumer protection program for the sale of renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions in the retail market. (Source: Spring Power & Gas, Center for Resource Solutions, 3BL Media, 27 April, 2017). Contact: Center for Resource Solutions, (416) 561-2100, https://resource-solutions.org; Spring Power & Gas, www.springpowerandgas.us; Green-e, Richard Booth, Pres., www.green-e.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Center for Resource Solutions,  Carbon Offset,  


    SeaTwirl Touts Keeled Floating Wind Turbine (New Prod & Tech)
    SeaTwirl
    Date: 2017-05-03
    SeaTwirl AB, the Swedish developer of a floating vertical axis wind turbine with folding blades, is reporting receipt of a U.S. patent.

    The turbine is mounted on a buoyant underwater structure anchored in deep water. The wind turbine, tower and underwater structure are permanently joined and rotate as a single unit with water carrying the full weight of the structure which, similar to a sailing boat, is stabilized by the keel.

    The unit does not require a yaw system for the turbine to face the wind nor a pitching mechanism to turn the rotor blades. Accordingly, fewer moving parts incur lower maintenance and operating costs. The SeaTwirl S2, 1MW turbine is expected to be available in 2020. (Source: SeaTwirl AB, Maritime Executive, Others, 30 April, 2017) Contact: SeaTwirl AB, Gabriel Strangberg, Managing Director, Gabriel.Strangberg@SeaTwirl.com, +46 70-480 55 29, www.seatwirl.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News SeaTwirl,  Floating Wind Turbine,  Offshore Wind,  


    Australian Vanadium Studying Residential Battery Market (Int'l)
    Australian Vanadium
    Date: 2017-05-03
    On the heels of Tesla's success and Mercedes-Benz recent announcement, West Perth-based Australian Vanadium (AVL) reports it is investigating its potential entry into the residential battery energy storage market through it wholly owned subsidiary VSUN Energy.

    AVL has retained TFMS, a commercialization consultant, to study the market, including: a high level residential VRB costing study; preparation of VRB product budget; identification of potential funding partners and grant assistance; and an analysis of potential technology partners and manufacturing sites.

    AVL's redox flow battery (VRB) offers the ability to store large amounts of energy for delivery over an extended period. Small scale VRBs are also ideally suited for small scale standalone applications such as powering remote telecommunications facilities and irrigation pumping facilities, according to a company release. AVL's vanadium redox flow batteries are currently being marketin Australia by GILDEMEISTER. (Source: Australian Vanadium, PR, 2 May, 2017) Contact: Australian Vanadium, Vincent Alar, MD, +61 8 9321 5594 info@australianvanadium.com.au, www.australianvanadium.com.au

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Australian Vanadium,  Home Energy Stroage,  Energy Storage,  


    Enzyme Used to Recycle Biofuel Production Waste (Ind. Report)
    Sandia National Laboratories
    Date: 2017-05-03
    In California, researchers at the US DOE Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) and Sandia National Laboratories are reporting their investigations into the use of a protein found in common soil bacteria to recycle industrial and agricultural wastes.

    The work, being conducted at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBI), targets LigM for its role in breaking down aromatic pollutants such as aryl compounds, a common waste product from industrial and agricultural practices, into something of value.

    LigM is utilised by the soil bacterium Sphingomonas to metabolize aryl compounds derived from lignin, the stiff, organic material that gives plants their structure. In biofuel production, aryl compounds are a byproduct of the breakdown of lignin. Many of the pathways leading to the breakdown of lignin involve demethylation, which is often a critical precursor to any additional steps in modifying lignin-derived aryl compounds.

    The researchers found that half of the LigM enzyme was homologous to known structures with a tetrahydrofolate-binding domain that is found in simple and complex organisms alike. The other half of LigM's structure was said to be completely unique, providing a starting point for determining where its aryl substrate-binding site is located.

    Study lead author Amanda Kohler, JBEI postdoctoral researcher at Sandia, noted that LigM is an attractive demethylase for use in aromatic conversion because it is a simple, single-enzyme system. LigM is also able to maintain its functionality over a broad temperature range.(Source: Berkeley Lab, National Academy of Science, WMW, 2 May, 2017) Contact: LBL Berkeley, Sandia National Lab, Amanda Koehler, (530) 902-8670, ACKohler@lbl.gov, www.lbl.gov; Sandia National Lab., www.sandia.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Enzyme,  Sandia National Lab,  Lingin ,  


    Notable Quotes on Clean Coal

    Date: 2017-05-03
    "Let us fund new technologies that can generate coal power while capturing carbon emissions" -- President George W. Bush said in his 2008 State of the Union address,.

    "We figured out how to put a man on the moon in 10 years. You can't tell me we can't figure out how to burn coal that we mine right here in the United States of America and make it work. We can do that."-- Presidential Candidate Barack Obama

    "My administration is putting an end to the war on coal. We're going to have clean coal, really clean coal." – Pres. Donald Trump

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Coal,  


    EU to Help Fund Iranian Carbon Emissions Cuts (Int'l Report)
    EU Commission for Climate Action and Energy
    Date: 2017-05-03
    At a recent high-level climate change conference in Tehran, the European Union (EU) Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy reportedly committed the European Union tp provide both technical and financial support to help Iran cut its carbon emissions. To that end, EU and Iranian officials are presently drafting a memorandum of understanding on how the EU's support will be delivered and used.

    The Iranian Meteorological Organization reports the country's greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 3 pct in the past decade. In Paris, Iran pledged to cut its emissions by 4 pct by 2030. According to the U.S. DOE's Center for International Affairs, the average temperature in Iran has increased by 1.8 degrees Celsius since 1750. (Source: EU, Iran Financial Tribune, 2 May, 2017) Contact: EU Commission for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Canete, https://ec.europa.eu/clima/index_en


    Appeals Court Stalls on Obama Clean Power Plan Ruling (Reg & Leg)
    Clean Power Plan
    Date: 2017-05-03
    At the Trump administration's request, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has agreed to postpone a ruling on lawsuits challenging Obama-era Clean Power Plan restrictions on carbon emissions. The government had asked the court to put a hold on the case shortly after President Donald Trump signed an executive order vowing to roll back the Clean Power Plan.

    The regulations were challenged by a coalition of states and industry groups that profit or benefit from burning coal. Environmental groups have opposed the delay and urged the court to rule. (Source: Salina Journal, Various Media, 2 May, 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Power Plan,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Toshiba Touts Japanese Palm Shell-Fired Biomass Power Plant (Int'l)
    Toshiba,SIGMA POWER Ariake Corporation
    Date: 2017-05-01
    Toshiba Corp. reports its subsidiary SIGMA POWER Ariake Corporation (SPAC) in Omuta, Fukuoka Prefecture, has begun commercial operation of its first biomass power plant, a 50MW facility that will supply sufficient electric power for approximately 80,000 households while reducing CO2 emissions by about 300,000 tpy. The newly retrofitted Mikawa Power Plant has been equipped to burn biomass in a circulating fluidized bed boiler and can handle a variety of fuels. including palm kernel shells (PKS) imported from Indonesia.

    The company has also begaun construction of an on-site large-scale carbon capture facility as part of a five year Demonstration of Sustainable CCS Technology Project sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment. (Source: Toshiba, Various Media, 28 April, 2017)Contact: Toshiba Corp., Press, Aya Oshima / Yuu Takase, +81-3-3457-2100, www.toshiba.co.jp

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Toshiba,  Biomass,  Palm Oil,  


    Duke Energy Report Stress Clean Energy Commitment (Ind. Report)
    Duke Energy
    Date: 2017-05-01
    In its just released 2016 Sustainability Report, Charlotte, North Carolina-headquartered Duke Energy reports it has been diversifying its generating fleet by retiring older coal units, building state-of-the-art natural gas and coal facilities, and expanding renewables. According to the report, natural gas presently provides 28 pct of Duke Energy's electric power production while 38 pct of the electricity generated is from zero emission sources, including nuclear, hydropower, wind and solar. As a result of its system modernization, Duke Energy has slashed its CO2 emissions by more than 29 pct since 2005.

    Also in the report, the company announced a new goal to lower carbon intensity, measured in pounds of CO2 released per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated, by 45 pct versus 2005 output. In 2016, the company achieved an almost 25 pct cut in carbon intensity versus 2005.

    The Duke Sustainability Report also notes:

  • Duke is on track to meet its goal of owning or having under contract 8,000 MW of wind, solar or biomass capacity by 2020. At the end of 2016, the company had 5,400 MW;
  • Duke Energy remains on track as the price per kilowatt-hour of electricity remains lower than the national average in all six states the company's retail service area;
  • The company is on target to recycle 80 pct of its solid waste by 2018. Currently, 76 pct of the utility's solid waste is recycled. (Source: Duke Energy, Canadian Biomass, 27 April, 2017) Contact: Duke Energy, Lynn Good, Pres., CEO, Duke Energy Renewables, Rob Caldwell, Pres., www.duke-energy.com/renewable

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


  • Convention Center Scores USGBC LEED Gold Certification (Ind. Report)
    San Diego Convention Center,US Green Building Council
    Date: 2017-05-01
    In the Golden State, the San Diego Convention Center (SDCC) reports it has been awarded U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. The SDCC also boasts an Energy Star Rating of 84 for efficiency that surpasses more than 84 pct of all convention centers nationwide.

    The following sustainability achievements helped SDCC move up from USGBC Silver to Gold certification:

  • In 2016, the facility diverted a record 79 pct of materials, or 3,162 tons, an amount almost equal to the weight of eight Boeing 747s;

  • Replaced old fluorescent lights with 11,650 energy-efficient LEDs in the exhibit hall, meetings rooms and offices;

  • Ninety-eight percent of all of the Center's restrooms have been renovated to low-flow water usage, helping reduce indoor water consumption by 32 pct;

  • The Center recycles 100 pct -- 50 tonnes -- of all cardboard with the help of two cardboard balers;

  • All food scraps are composted and reused by local gardeners and untouched food is donated to the San Diego Rescue Mission. (Source: SDCC, Trade Show News Network, 27 April, 2017) Contact: SDCC, Clifford Rippetoe, Pres., CEO, (619) 525-5000, https://visitsandiego.com; USGBC, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US Green Building Council,  Energy Efficiency,  LEED Certification,  


  • PNNL Converts Dairy Methane into Transport Fuel (New Prod & Tech)
    PNNL
    Date: 2017-05-01
    Scientists at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington, have developed a process to turn methane from dairy farms into a microbial biomass, and from the microbial biomass into a transportation fuel and other valued products.

    Scientists have been converting methane, a much more potent greenhouse gas pollutant that carbon dioxide, into microbial biomass for decades, most of the time turning it into electricity. This recent PNNL project is converting the methane into something that can be stored and turned directly into the gasoline. The end product can also be converted into plastics or even cattle feed, adding to the portfolio of renewable resources. (Source: PNNL, NBC-KNDO, 25 April, 2017)Contact: PNNL, Hans Bernstein, Lead Scientist, (509) 371-6989, www.pnnl.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bio-gasoline,  Biofuel,  Methane,  PNNL,  Alternative FUel,  


    RGGI States Discussing Deeper Emissions Cuts (Ind. Report)
    RGGI
    Date: 2017-05-01
    Despite the Trump Administrations apathy to fighting climate change and determination to quash the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, Delaware and the other Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) states -- Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont -- are reportedly considering making deeper cuts in carbon emissions from state power plants as part of the nine-state emissions reduction plan.

    The RGGI states are weighing policy options that would impose stricter limits on their power-plant emissions starting in 2020, ramping up a program that has driven down carbon emissions from those sources by 40 pct since it began in 2009.

    The RGGI states are committed to scale back emissions by an annual 2.5 pct which they achieve by selling "allowances" to power generators, and then using the revenue to invest in renewable energy and energy-efficiency measures. In practice, regional emissions have fallen by about 5 percent a year under RGGI while consumers' power prices have dropped in response to the increasing use of renewables and energy efficiency, boosting local economies. RGGI is now looking at raising its mandates cuts from 2.5 to 3.5 percent.

    Since its inception, the RGGI program has cut consumers' energy bills by some $4.7 billion, while boosting the regional economy by $2.9 billion, according to RGGI data. (Source: RGGI, Delaware Public Media, 28 April, 2017) Contact: RGGI, (212) 417-3179, www.rggi.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  RGGI,  


    Univ. of Guelph Awarded $2.2Mn for GHG Reduction Study (Funding)
    University of Guelph
    Date: 2017-05-01
    In Ontario, Canada, researchers at the University of Guelph have been awarded more than $2.2 million from Canadian Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program to develop greenhouse gas emissions mitigation technologies. received more than $2.2 million from the federal government today.

    The funding includes nearly $1.7 million to study riparian "buffer" plantings -- vegetation planted between streams and farms to help prevent surface runoff. By studying locations in Ontario and Quebec, environmental sciences professor Naresh Thevathasan and his research team hope to strengthen agroforestry research and practices, benefiting farmers and the environment. The funding will also support research by plant agriculture professor Ralph Martin, who received nearly $380,000 to investigate aerial sensors used to assess soil organic carbon (SOC) levels. His team will assess climate change scenarios and analyze policy options for industry and government. Environmental sciences professor John Lauzon will use nearly $180,000 to study nitrous oxide (N20) emissions. (Source: University of Guelpg, Guelph Mercury, 27 April, 2017) Contact: University of Guelph, Professor Naresh Thevathasan, (519) 824-4120 Ext.52565, nthevath@uoguelph.ca, www.uoguelph.ca/ses/users/nthevath

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


    Mass. Carbon Tax would Save $2.9Bn in Health Costs, says Harvard Study (Ind. Report)
    Harvard
    Date: 2017-05-01
    A recently released Harvard University study commissioned by several environmental groups has found that a Massachusetts state carbon tax aimed at decreasing pollution would save $2.9 billion in health benefits and 340 lives between now and 2040. The study is based on the projected decrease in air pollution generated by a carbon tax. Other policies that decrease greenhouse gas emissions and pollution could have similar health benefits. The accrued health benefits depend upon the degree to which fossil fuel use is reduced, the type of fuel and the location of the reduction, according to the report.

    Although a carbon tax would raise the price on energy generated from oil, natural gas and coal, the tax would be rebated back to Massachusetts residents and businesses, under the model used in the Harvard study. The calculations are based on a $10 per ton tax gradually increasing to $40 a ton.

    The study was paid for by the Merck Family Fund, which gives grants to environmental nonprofits, the Clean Water Fund, and private donations. (Source: Harvard School of Public Health, MassLive, 27 April, 2017) Contact: Harvard School of Public Health, Prof. Jonathan Buonocore, jbuonocore@mail.harvard.edu, www.harvard.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  


    Pattern Energy Shuffles 324 MW New Mexican Wind Farms (M&A)
    Pattern Development,Pattern Energy
    Date: 2017-05-01
    San Francisco-headquartered Pattern Energy Group Inc. reports it has acquired two projects that make up the 324 MW Broadview Wind facilities in New Mexico from Pattern Development for $269 million. The deal, which consisted of a cash consideration of $215 million and taking on a $54 million project loan, also includes the 35-mile 345kV Western Interconnect transmission line.

    The projects, which consist of 141 Siemens 2.3MW turbines and are limited to 297MW of injection capacity at Broadview’s transmission interconnection point, have 20-year PPAs with Southern California Edison for all of the electricity generated. (Source: Pattern Energy, PR, 27 April, 2017) Contact: Pattern Energy , Mike Garland , CEO, Pres., Matt Dallas, (917) 363-1333, matt.dallas@patternenergy.com, www.patternenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Pattern Energy,  Pattern Development,  Wind,  


    Acciona Inaugurates Lone Star State Wind Farm (Ind. Report)
    Acciona
    Date: 2017-05-01
    Spanish energy developer Acciona Energy is reporting the commissioning and inauguration of its San Roman Wind Farm in the Lone Star State. The wind farm, which incorporates 31 AW125/3000 turbines and will generate sufficient power for as many as 30,000 homes, brings Acciona's total U.S. wind capacity to 721 MW.

    Including the San Roman Wind Farm, Acciona's U.S.-based portfolio includes three wind farms in Oklahoma totaling 329 MW), one in North and South Dakota with 180 MW, one in Illinois at 100.5 MW, and two in North Dakota at 12 MW, and Iowa with 6 MW). The company also operates a 64 MW concentrating solar power plant in Nevada.

    Acciona has also broken ground on a 168 MW wind farm and a 339 MW solar plant in Mexico, both of which are expected to be completed by the end of 2018. (Source: Acciona, 27 April, 2017))Contact: ACCIONA Energy, Ilya Hartmann, CEO, (312) 673-3000, info@accion-na.com, www.acciona.us

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Acciona,  Wind,  Solar,  

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