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Bioenergy Projects Score DOE Small Business Voucher Support (Funding, Ind. Report)
GEVO,Cogent,
Date: 2017-04-28
Following on our April 26 coverage, the U.S. DOE reports it has awarded funding to the following bioenergy-biofuels projects through the DOE Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot program:

  • GEVO and Argonne National Laboratory have been awarded $200,000 to create a model that measures the synergistic and antagonistic relationship between gasoline and isobutanol, with the goal of creating a blending model that works over a variety of representative gasoline base fuel compositions.

  • Cogent and Idaho National Laboratory have been awarded $200,000 to work toward improving Cogent's small-scale gasifier which can be used to make electricity, liquid fuels, hydrogen and chemical precursors for distributed waste-to-energy applications and markets. The project aims to properly homogenize and size feedstock material so that it can be continuously fed into the gasifier and meet real-world feedstock processing requirements.

  • Kalion Inc. and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have been awarded $200,000 to reach full manufacturing scale production of glucaric acid and glucuronic acid by creating a manufacturing-ready production strain, and then scaling to generate an appropriate process.

  • Synvitrobio and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have been awarded $200,000 to work toward development of cell-free based analytical tools to convert renewable biomass to higher-order chemicals mevalonate and vanillin.

    The SBV program facilitates access to DOE national labs for American small businesses, enabling them to tap into the intellectual and technical resources needed to overcome critical technology challenges for their advanced energy products, and gain a global competitive advantage, according to the DOE. (Source: US DOE SVB, 25 April, 2017) Contact: DOE Small Business Voucher Pilot Program, www.sbv.org; Synvitrobio Inc., https://synvitrobio.com; GEVO, Pat Gruber, CEO, (303) 858-3358, info@gevo.com, www.gevo.com; Kalion Inc., www.kalioninc.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GEVO,  Synvitrobio,  Kalion Inc,  


  • Saudi Arabia Seeking 1GW of Wind, Solar PPAs in 2017 (Int'l)
    Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources
    Date: 2017-04-28
    In Riyadh, the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources reports it will auction power-purchase agreements covering 620 megawatts of photovoltaic installations and 400 megawatts for wind farms by Q4 of this year in its second round of tenders for the renewable energy technologies. by the fourth quarter of this year. The government aims to install 3.45 gigawatts of renewable by 2020 and 9.5 gigawatts by 2030, about 10 pct of its current electric power generation capacity.

    Earlier this month, the ministry announced it had cleared 27 companies to bid for a 300-megawatt solar plant and 24 firms for a 400-MW wind farm. The long-term power-purchase agreements will be guaranteed by the government. (Source: Arabian Business, Bloomberg, 24 April, 2017) Contact: Saudi Arabia Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Turki al-Shehri, Renewable Energy Development, www.meim.gov.sa


    Vestas Expands 2 MW Platform (New Prod & Tech)
    Vestas
    Date: 2017-04-28
    Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas reports the addition of two new turbines to it offerings. The new V116-2.0 MW and V120-2.0 MW turbines are designed to deliver stable energy production, a steeper power curve and higher power output in medium, low, and ultra-low wind conditions. Based on structural shell technology and advanced balance of loads, the new blades, 57 meter and 59 meter respectively, optimize aerodynamics while maintaining the original nacelle and hub dimensions and low-weight profile.

    The new turbine variants are expected to be available in Q1 of 2018 and Q3 of 2018 for the V120-2.0 MW. The new upgrade is the fifth major upgrade since Vestas introduced the 2 MW platform in 2000. (Source: Vestas, Business Standard, 24 April, 2017) Contact: Vestas, +45 9730 0000, www.vestas.com

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


    ADM, Arisdyne Ink Cavitation Technology Agreement (Ind. Report)
    Arisdyne Systems,Archer Daniels Midland
    Date: 2017-04-28
    Arisdyne Systems Inc. reports it has enetered into joint development agreement with Archer Daniels Midland Company to develop and commercialize new applications of Arisdyne's technologies. Controlled cavitation has been demonstrated to provide superior mixing, particle size reduction and improved reaction efficiency in fuel ethanol production and other processes. (Source: ADM, Arisdyne, PR, 27 April, 2017) Contact: ADM, Dr. Paul Bloom, VP, Process and Chemical Research, Jackie Anderson, Media, (217) 424-5413, media@adm.com, www.adm.com; Arisdyne Systems, Inc., Dr. Peter Reimers, CEO, (216) 458-1991x427, President and Chief Executive Officer preimers@arisdyne.com, www.arisdyne.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Arisdyne Systems,  Archer Daniels Midland ,  


    SaskPower Seeking Solar Power Project Partners (Ind. Report)
    Saskpower
    Date: 2017-04-28
    In Regina, the Saskatchewan utility SaskPower is aiming to produce enough solar energy to power 10,000-12,000 homes in the prairie province.

    The utility plans to have the first 10 megawatt utility-scale project online in 2018 and, to that end, is seeking industry partners as well as partnering with the First Nations Power Authority (FNPA) for two, 10-MW solar projects to serve First Nations communities. SaskPower is also looking for other community groups, like co-operatives that may be interested in partnering on similar renewable energy projects.

    The solar projects are part of the provincial government's plan to generate 50 pct of the province's power from renewables by 2030. (Source: Saskpower, Global News, Others, 26 April, 2017) Contact: Saskpower, Howard Matthews, VP Power Production, Guy Bruce, VP Planning, Environment & Sustainable Development, (306) 566-2121, www.saskpower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Saskpower,  Solar,  Renewable Energy,  


    Richmond Aiming for 80 pct Emissions Cut by 2050 (Ind. Report)
    City of Richmond
    Date: 2017-04-28
    In the Old Dominion State, the capital city of Richmond's mayor is looking for his city to become more energy efficient and promoting "RVA Green 2050", a vague new proposal to cut the city's carbon emissions by 80 pct by 2050.

    To that end, the city has already taken steps to limit energy use by adding new HVAC systems, retrofitting energy-efficient lighting in city buildings, and other measures. But Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney wants to take things to the next step, developing a plan to reduce the city's carbon emissions 80-percent by 2050. (Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch, WVTF, NPR, 26 April, 2017) Contact: City of Richmond, Levar Stoney, Mayor, RVA Green 2050, www.richmondgov.com/Sustainability/RVA_Green.aspx

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  


    Bellevue Joins PSE's "Green Direct" Renewables Plan (Ind. Report)
    Puget Sound Energy,Bellevue Washington
    Date: 2017-04-28
    In Washington State, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) reports the City of Bellevue is joining the utility's new "Green Direct" renewable energy program. The initiative allows local governments and major commercial customers to reduce their carbon footprint by by-passing the utility and purchasing energy directly from renewables sources. Bellevue plans to purchase 10.3 million kWh, or half of its total energy usage through the program, beginning in 2019.

    Other cities and entities joining the program include Anacortes, Snoqualmie and Mercer Island. King County, Western Washington University and Sound Transit also committing to the project. Major private customers include Target, Starbucks and REI. (Source: City of Bellevue, Bellvue Patch, 26 April, 2017) Contact: City of Bellevue, http://www.ci.bellevue.wa.us/environmental.htm; Puget Sound Energy, Kimberly Harris, President & CEO, (425) 454-2000, www.pse.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Puget Sound Energy ,  Renewable Energy,  


    Mercedes Challenges Tesla's Powerwall Market Supremacy (Int'l)
    Tesla Power Wall,Mercedes-Benz
    Date: 2017-04-28
    Daimler, parent company of Mercedes-Benz, reports it is developing a Mercedes Brand of home energy storage units which are now available in Germany. The automaker incorporated the same lithium-ion battery technology from their hybrid cars in the new home energy storage units, each of which has a 2.5 kWh capacity.

    Daimler plans to expand throughout Europe and start selling the units in the U.S. this year. The residential unit comes complete with the battery, solar panels, an inverter, and an energy management system and costs around $10,000, including installation. (Source: Mercedes-Benz, Treehugger, Inhabitat, 25 April, 2017) Contact: Mercedes-Benz, www.mercedes-benz.com/en/mercedes-benz-energy/energy-storage-home-installer; Tesla, www.teslamotors.com, http://ir.tesla.com/corporate-governance.cfm

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Tesla,  Mercedes,  Battery Energy Storage,  


    Montreal Bibliotheque Records 2017 Green Building Award (Ind. Report)
    Canada Green Building Council
    Date: 2017-04-28
    In Montreal, the 6,000 square-meter Bibliotheque du Boise reports it has been awarded the 2017 Green Building Award and LEED Platinum-certification by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and the Canada Green Building Council.

    The library's sustainability features include an innovative integration of mechanical systems with a passive heating system that uses the heat accumulated in a glass prism for redistribution through a geothermal loop. Low-flow in-floor ventilation reduces the number of ducts required and the building relies mostly on natural light for energy savings. The project also used certified wood and recycled or regionally sourced materials and incorporates a stormwater recovery system. (Source: RAIC, DCN News, April 24, 2017) Contact: Canada Green Building Council, Mark Hutchinson, VP, (613) 241-1184, www.cagbc.org

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


    U.S. Ethanol Ind. Breaches Blend Wall, says RFA (Ind. Report)
    RFA
    Date: 2017-04-26
    According to the Renewable Fuels Association, gasoline consumed in the United States in 2016 contained an average of 10.04 percent, which shatters the blend wall myth. The RFA's analysis is based on data from the Energy Information Agency showing that the U.S. ethanol industry can easily meet the requirements of the Renewable Fuel Standard.

    The RFA says it will share its analysis with the EPA and Congress in order to prevent any push back against the RFS. (Source: RFA, WNAX Radio, 24 April, 2017) Contact: RFA, Geoff Cooper, Snr. VP, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFA,  Ethanol,  Blend Wall,  


    Meritage Scores 5th ENERGY STAR Excellence Award (Ind. Report)
    Meritage Homes,ENERGY STAR
    Date: 2017-04-26
    Scottsdale, Arizona-based builder Meritage Homes reports it has been awarded its fifth annual U.S. EPA 2017 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year --Sustained Excellence Award -- the seventh year the firm has been recognized the EPA's ENERGY STAR for Homes Program. In 2016, Meritage delivered 7,138 ENERGY STAR rated homes with an average HERS score of 58.

    In 2015 alone, ENERGY STAR and its partners saved American businesses and consumers 503 billion kilowatt hours and $34 billion dollars on their energy bills, while achieving broad emission reductions, according to ENERGY STAR. (Source: Meritage Homes, Builder, ENERGY STAR, April, 2017) Contact: ENERGY STAR, www.energystar.gov; Meritage Homes, (877)275-6374, www.meritagehomes.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Meritage Homes,  ENERGY STAR,  Energy Efficiency,  


    PNNL, ThermoChem Collaborate on Bio-Coal Hydrothermal Carbonization Tech (Ind. Report)
    ThermoChem,PNNL
    Date: 2017-04-26
    In Richland, Washington, the U.S. DOE Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) reports it will collaborate with Portland, Oregon-headquartered ThermChem Corporation, to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the company's hydrothermal carbonization method which converts dairy manure into bio-coal. PNNL will also assess the technical and economic feasibility of extracting valuable byproducts from liquid waste created during bio-coal production.

    ThermoChem's steam reforming gasification systems are also suitable for woody biomass and other waste feedstocks. (Source: U.S. DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 24 April, 2017)Contact: ThermoChem, (707) 575-1310, paul@thermochem.com, www.thermochem.com; PNNL, Karl Albrecht, Chemical Engineer, (509) 371-6775, www.pnnl.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bio-coal,  ThermoChem,  PNNL,  


    U.S. DOE Touts Small Business Voucher Collaborations (Funding)
    U.S. DOE
    Date: 2017-04-26
    The U.S. DOE on April 21 announced that 38 small businesses will collaborate with national lab researchers through the Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot program. The SBV facilitates access to the federal agency's national labs for American small businesses. Eight of the DOE national labs will receive funding to partner with 38 competitively selected small businesses nationwide.

    In the first two rounds of the program, 12 DOE national labs received funding to partner with 76 small businesses. This new announcement means SBV will have forged partnerships between 114 American small businesses and the national labs.

    The eight participating DOE laboratories this time include Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, Argonne National Laboratory's Prototype Cell Fabrication Facility, and Sandia National Laboratories' Scaled Wind Farm Technology Facility.

    The new collaborations are focused on advanced manufacturing, buildings, bioenergy, solar, geothermal, wind energy and others. (Source: USA DOE, 24 April, 2017) Contact: DOE Small Business Voucher Pilot Program, www.sbv.org: Solar and Wind contact Sandia National Lab, David Kistin, (505) 205 – 3598, dkistin@sandia.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioenergy,  U.S. DOE,  


    Belgian Minister calls for Offshore Wind Concessions (Int'l)
    Belgian State Secretary for the Fight against Social Fraud, Privacy and the North Sea,
    Date: 2017-04-26
    In Brussels, Belgian State Secretary for the Fight against Social Fraud, Privacy and the North Sea, Philippe De Backer, is reportedly calling for the cancellation of concessions for three offshore wind farms that as yet have not begun construction. yet to start construction in the North Sea. De Backer wants the concessions scuppered and a call for tenders issued for the same site so as to reduce the cost of subsidies. The three projects concerned are Seastar and Mermaid, which are being developed by the Otary consortium, and Northwester 2 of Colruyt, InControl, Wagram Invest and TTR Energy.

    Belgium is committed to backing nine offshore wind farms and the current concessions at an expected cost of between €3 billion (USD 3.2 billion) and €5 billion for the remaining three projects, according to the L'Echo report. If constructed, the three wind farms could be operational in 2022 or 2023. (Source: L'Echo, Various Media, 21 April, 2017) Contact: Belgian State Secretary for the Fight against Social Fraud, Privacy and the North Sea, Philippe De Backer, www.belgium.be

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Offshore Wind,  


    Engie's 50-MW Texas Solar Park Now Online (Ind. Report)
    Engie,Solairedirect North America,Engie North America
    Date: 2017-04-26
    In the Lone Star State, French energy group Engie SA reports that its 50-MW SolaireHolman solar power plant in Alpine, Texas, is now online and supplying electricity to the city of Houston under the terms of a 20-year PPA.

    The SolaireHolman facility, which incorporates 203,840 solar panels, was developed and implemented jointly by two Engie subsidiaries -- Solairedirect North America and Houston-headquartered Engie North America. The facility will generate sufficient electric power to meet 10.5 pct of the city's electricity needs. (Source: Engie SA, Renewables Now, Others, 24 April, 2017) Contact: Solairedirect North America, https://www.solairedirect.com; Engie North America, (713) 636-0000, information@na.engie.com, www.engie-na.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Engie,  Solar,  Solairedirect North America,  Engie North America,  


    Gamesa Takes Lions' Share of India's New Wind Capacity (Int'l)
    Gamesa
    Date: 2017-04-26
    According to media reports, Spanish renewable energy giant and wind turbine maker Gamesa has installed 2,050 MW of wind energy capacity in India in FY2016-17 (between April 2016 and March 2017).

    India added a total of 5,400 MW of wind energy capacity; at 2,050 megawatts Gamesa captured 38 pct of the market and has maintained it's position as India's leading turbine manufacturer for the last several years. In FY2014-15, the company commissioned 657 MW, while in FY2015-16 this capacity increased to 1,000 megawatts, translating into a 30 pct share in the Indian market. (Source: Gamesa, CleanTechnica, 24 April, 2017)Contact: Gamesa, +34 948 771 000, www.gamesacorp.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Gamesa,  Wind,  Wind Turbine,  India Wind,  


    United PV Share Issuance Expected to Raise HK$85.4Mn (Int'l)
    United PV,Driven Innovation
    Date: 2017-04-26
    In Hong Kong, solar investor and developer United Photovoltaics reports it will issue 700,000,000 shares to Driven Innovation at HK$0.95 per share -- representing about 9.39 pct of the company's existing issued share capital. It expects net proceeds to reach HK$664.5 million ($85.4 million). The proceeds will be used for general working capital and business development purposes.

    Driven Innovation is an indirect, non-wholly owned subsidiary of Beijing-based financial services provider China Huarong, one of the biggest shareholders of United Photovoltaics. The new subscription expands the group's issued shares from 7,452,032,287 to 8,152,032,287, reducing the stake of its largest shareholder -- China Merchants New Energy (CMNE) -- to 24.52 pct. China Merchants Group indirectly holds a 79.36 pct stake in CMNE.

    The company, which recently announced plans to change its name to Panda Green Energy Group, raised HK$223.9 million last month with the issuance of 270,000,000 new shares. In August 2016, the company generated net proceeds of HK$364 million by issuing three-year convertible bonds, exclusively to finance the construction of solar projects. (Source: United PV, PV Mag., Various Media, 24 April, 2017) Contact: United Photovoltaics, +852 3112 8461, ird@unitedpvgroup.com, http://unitedpvgroup.com; Driven Innovation, www.driveninnovation.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News United PV,  Solar,  PV,  Driven Innovation,  


    Portland Converting Waste-Water Methane to RNG Fuel (Ind. Report)
    City of Portland
    Date: 2017-04-26
    In Oregon, the Portland City Council has approved a measure to convert methane from a city wastewater treatment plant into renewable natural gas (RNG) to replace diesel fuel in city trucks. The project will modify the city's sewage treatment plant on Columbia Boulevard to capture the methane waste which is presently being flared.

    The project is expected to cut the city's greenhouse gas emissions by 21,000 tpy and generate as much $10 million in annual revenue from the sales of surplus gas through a partnership with Northwest Natural. With that expected revenue, the $12 million project is expected to pay for itself in about 3 to 4 years. (Source: City of Portland, Portland Tribune, KOIN 6 News, 23 April, 2017) Contact: City of Portland, Portland Water Bureau, Nick Fish, Commissioner, (503) 823-4000, www.portlandoregon.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  RNG,  Wastewater,  Alternative Fuel,  


    UK Launches "Negative Emissions" R&D Program (Int'l, R&D)
    National Environmental Research Council
    Date: 2017-04-26
    In London, the U.K. government is launching a £8.6 million ($11 million) "negative emissions" research effort to develop technologies to remove CO2 and methane from the atmosphere. The initiative will be coordinated by the National Environmental Research Council (NERC).

    The program will fund the investigation of various carbon removal initiatives and technologies, including directly extracting CO2 and methane from the atmosphere, CCS installations and enhancing the ability of soils to absorb carbon. More than 100 researchers at 40 U.K. universities and partner organizations are expected to participate.

    According to the four major research groups, given the continuing huge volume of CO2 emissions -- currently 35 to 40 billion tpy -- it will be exceedingly difficult to hold global temperature increases to 2 degrees C (3.6 F) without deploying "negative emissions" technologies. (Source: NERC, Yale E360 Digest, Yale School of Forestry and Environment, 24 April, 2017) Contact: National Environmental Research Council, www.nerc.ac.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Negative Emissions,  CCS,  CO2,  Carbon Capture,  Climate Change,  Carbon Storage,  


    BTEC Offers Community Biomass Handbook (Ind. Report)
    Biomass Thermal Energy Council
    Date: 2017-04-26
    The Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) has published the fourth volume of the Community Biomass Handbook. The handbook was developed by the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station and co-authored by BTEC Director Marcus Kauffman of the Oregon Department of Forestry.

    The BTEC handbook accompanies BTEC's Wood Energy Financial Calculator, an online pre-feasibility tool, which allows facility managers, project developers, and others interested in modern wood heating to calculate cost and energy savings associated with converting fossil fuel-powered heating systems to wood.

    The Wood Energy Financial Calculator is designed to encourage the development of new markets for modern wood heating systems, expand the use of wood heating in high-performance buildings, and show the viability of wood as a heating source in rural communities.

    The Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) is an association of 100 biomass fuel producers, appliance manufacturers and distributors, supply chain companies, and non-profit organizations that view biomass thermal energy as a renewable, responsible, clean, and energy-efficient pathway to meeting America's energy needs. The organization is involved in biomass thermal energy R&D, education, and public advocacy.

    Access the handbook HERE. (Sources: USDA, Biomass Thermal Energy Council, Canadian Biomass, 25 April, 2017) Contact: Biomass Thermal Energy Council, Jeff Serfass, Exec. Dir., www.biomassthermal.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biomass,  Biomass Thermal Energy Council,  Thermas Energy,  


    Notable Quote
    Paris Agreement
    Date: 2017-04-26
    "Washington (Trump) won't determine the fate of our ability to meet our Paris commitment. And what a tragedy it would be if the failure to understand that led to an unraveling of the agreement." -- Micheal Bloomberg,

    Michael Bloomberg is an American businessman, author, politician, and philanthropist. His net worth is estimated at $47.5 billion, as of March 2017, ranking him as the 8th richest person. (Source: AP, 23 April, 2017)

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


    Friday UK's First Coal-Free Day Since Industrial Revolution (Int'l)
    UK National Grid
    Date: 2017-04-24
    In the UK, the National Grid reports that Friday, April 21 was the first 24-hour coal-free period for the production of electricity, not for industrial uses such as steel production, in Britain since the Industrial Revolution.

    Until Friday, the longest continuous period was 19 hours achieved on a weekend last May, and matched again on Thursday, 20.

    In 2016, UK coal consumption for electric power generation dropped to just 9 pct, down from 23 pct in 2015. The country's last coal power plant is slated to be shuttered in 2025 as part of a government plan to phase out the use of coal to meet its climate change commitments. (Source: UK National Grid, Guardian, 21 April, 2017) Contact: UK National Grid, www2.nationalgrid.com/uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Caol,  UK National Grid,  


    Windy City Wins Energy Efficiency Partner of the Year (Ind. Report)
    Chicago,ENERGY STAR
    Date: 2017-04-24
    In recognition of its energy efficiency strategies and initiatives the City of Chicago, and its building energy benchmarking ordinance in particular, the City of Chicago is receiving the EPA's ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year recognition for leveraging ENERGY STAR tools and resources, including integration of ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® as a critical tool and vital program component. The city's building energy benchmarking ordinance requires commercial, industrial, and residential buildings more than 50,000 square feet to track and report whole-building energy use.

    Chicago is also being recognized for:

  • Partnering with multiple organizations to create the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Working Group, including the U.S. Green Building Council -- Illinois and the City Energy project, to provide over 40 training sessions on Portfolio Manager:
  • Increasing enrollment in the number of customers obtaining data from utilities from 300 buildings to more than 3,300 buildings between 2014 and 2016:
  • Generating approximately $11.6 million in energy costs/year and 188,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents annually in energy savings across buildings that benchmarked consecutively for three years:
  • Facilitating more than 10,000 support interactions through the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Help Center;
  • Assisting more than 100 properties, on a pro bono basis, with benchmarking and data verification:
  • Supporting 15 properties in the National Building Competition BOOTCAMP, including two properties also participating in the Retrofit Chicago Energy Challenge. (Source: City of Chicago, US EPA, April, 2017) Contact: ENERGY STAR, www.energystar.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News City of Chicago,  Energy Efficiency ,  Energy Benchmarking,  ENERGY STAR,  


  • Vermont Opposes Stalled Energy Efficiency Standards (Reg & Leg)
    Vermont
    Date: 2017-04-24
    In Montpelier, Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan reports that the State of Vermont has joined two multi-state actions to force the US Department of Energy (DOE) to finalize energy conservation standards for several consumer and commercial products including ceiling fans, portable air conditioners, walk-in coolers and commercial boilers.

    According to DOE estimates, the standards that being blocked would combine to eliminate emissions of 292 million tons of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, 734 thousand tons of the pollution that creates soot and smog, 1.2 million tons of the potent climate change pollutant methane, and over 1,000 pounds of highly-toxic mercury, over a 30-year period. Over this same period, the Appliance Standard Awareness Project estimates that the efficiency standards would together save over 443 billion kWh of electricity -- the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of over 36 million households. The DOE itself estimates that the six standards would provide net savings to consumers and businesses of approximately $23.8 billion.

    The coalition of states challenging the delay on efficiency standards includes Vermont, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Washington, as well as the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the City of New York. The same coalition, plus the Attorney General of Maryland, is sending a 60-day notice of intention to sue to the DOE regarding the other standards. (Source: Office of Vermont Attorney General, Vermont Business, Others, April, 2017) Contact: Vermont Attorney General, T.J. Donovan, (802) 828-1371, www.atg.state.vt.us

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Invenergy, SB Energy Tout Joint Japanese Solar Projects (Int'l)
    Invenergy,SB Energy Corp
    Date: 2017-04-24
    Chicago-based Invenergy reports it has partnered with SB Energy Corp., the energy arm of SoftBank Group Corp, to jointly develop two solar projects in Japan with a combined capacity of over 20 MW.

    Invenergy Japan GK and SB Energy Corp will develop, finance, build and operate the 10.5 MW Queens Solar farm in Fukushima Prefecture and the 10.4 MW Koumi Kogen Solar park in Nagano Prefecture. The two projects are slated to be operational in fiscal 2018.

    Invenergy Japan holds a 60 pct stake in each of the two project companies, while SB Energy holds the balance. The partners plan to collaborate on the development of additional projects, according to the announcement.(Source: Invenergy, PR, SB Energy Corp, Various Media, 21 April, 2017) Contact: SB Energy Corp., www.softbank.jp/en/energy; Invenergy, Amy Francetic, Snr. VP New Ventures and Corporate Affairs, (312) 224-1400, http://invenergyllc.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Invenergy,  Wind,  


    Oil-Soaked Saudis Plan Massive Renewables Investments (Int'l)
    Saudi Arabia
    Date: 2017-04-24
    Oil soaked Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister reports his country is aiming to produce 10 pct of its power from renewable energy sources and plans complete and bring on line 30 solar and wind energy projects totaling 9.5 GW by 2023. The 30 projects are expected to cost approximately $30 billion to $50 billion in total, according to the Ministry. The projects are intended to help cut the country's dependency on oil. (Source: Saudi Arabia Energy Ministry, CleanTechnica, Various Media, 18 April, 2017) Contact: Saudi Arabian Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, www.mopm.gov.sa

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Saudi Arabia Renewable Energy,  


    Macy's, SunPower Dedicate Macy's Solar Arrays (Ind. Report)
    SunPower
    Date: 2017-04-24
    New York City's iconic retail giant Macy's Inc. is reporting the commissioning and dedication of the last of 21 solar arrays, totaling 15 MW, on several of its US department store locations. Macy's financed the majority of the projects through power purchase agreements (PPAs).

    SunPower designed and installed the solar arrays featuring the SunPower Helix Roof product, including battery storage systems at three stores in Southern California. (Source: Macy's, Maryland, SunPower Corp , Various Media, 21 April, 2017) Contact: SunPower, Tom Werner, CEO, www.sunpower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar PV,  SunPower,  Solar,  


    Green Bond Issuance Jumps 42 pct in Q1, 2017 (Int'l. Report)
    UNEP, Climate Bond INitiative
    Date: 2017-04-24
    According to the Climate Bonds Initiative, the green bonds market has experienced more than $20 billion issuance in January-March 2017. Globally, total green bonds issuance stood at $21.76 billion during the first quarter of 2017, up nearly 42 pct from the issuance during the same period last year. Approximately $81 billion of green bonds were issued in 2016, up from just $3 billion in 2012.

    A remarkable $11.84 billion was issued in November 2016 alone, almost 14 per cent of the total issuance that year. Various private and government organizations have issued green bonds, from Apple and Toyota to the French government and New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Currently Europe is leading the green bonds market, with numerous Europe-based mutual funds focusing on green bonds -- the Allianz Green Bond fund, the AXA WF Planet Bonds fund and NN Investment Partners' NN (L) Euro Green Bond fund. France, Iberdrola, and Enel have issued a total of $10.39 billion in green bonds -- representing around 48 pct of the total issuance for Q1, 2017, according to the Climate Bonds Initiative.

    A growing number of U.S. fund companies are now looking to tap into investor demand for these bonds. The significant growth in the green bonds market has made the Climate Bonds Initiative raise its issuance estimate for this year from $130 billion to $150 billion. (Source: Climate Bonds Initiative, UNEP, 19 April, 2017)Contact: Climate Bonds Initiative, www.climatebonds.net; UNEP, Erik Solheim, Executive Director UN Environment, +254 20 762 1234, unepinfo@unep.org, www.unep.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Bonds,  Climate Bonds Initiative,  UNEP,  


    London Advances Ultra Low Emissions Zone Enforcement (Int'l)
    London
    Date: 2017-04-24
    In the UK, London Mayor Sadiq Khan is reporting that the city's introduction of an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has been bumped up to April 2019, instead of in September 2020.

    Under the 24/7 ULEZ, all vehicles that travel through the ULEZ that do not meet zone's exhaust emission standards will be liable to £12.50 per day fine. The ULEZ standards are in addition to the Congestion Charge and the Low Emission Zone requirements.

    The Mayor previously announced the introduction of a Toxicity Charge (T-Charge) for London's most polluting vehicles, coming into effect on 23 October 2017. The T-Charge will apply to cars which do not meet Euro IV emission standards, and will be in force weekdays between 7am and 6pm.

    A growing number of major cities around the world are beginning to take similar actions, with selective diesel car bans and periodic car bans proving the most common. (Source: UNEP, April, 2017)Contact: UNEP, Erik Solheim, Executive Director UN Environment, +254 20 762 1234, unepinfo@unep.org, www.unep.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Vehicle Emissions,  Carbon Emissions,  Transportation Emissions,  


    85 GW of Solar Capacity Installations Expected in 2017 (Int'l)
    Greentech Media
    Date: 2017-04-24
    According to recent Greentech Media (GTM) research, China's record solar demand has shifted global solar photovoltaic (PV) projections for 2017, In 2016, global installed capacity exceeded 78 GW -- up from 51 GW the previous year – largely thanks to Chinese demand, which surpassed 34 GW. Chinese domestic demand has raised global demand estimations from 7 pct global PV market contraction in 2017 to 9.4 pct growth, with a 5.3 pct compound annual growth rate through 2022. GTM estimates that up to 85 GW of solar capacity could be installed in 2017 -- more than double the installed capacity in 2014. China is on track to install approximately 30 GW of this 2017 total. Global solar installations are, however, expected to grow by less than 1 per cent from 2017 to 2018. (Source: Greentech Media, UNEP, April, 2017)Contact: Greentech Media, www.greentechmedia.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  China Solar,  Greentech Media,  


    Canadians Following Trump's Lead in Stalling Methane Regulations (Int'l., Reg & Leg)
    Methane Emissions
    Date: 2017-04-24
    It is being widely reported that the Canadian Liberal Government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will put the kibosh on its plan to regulate cuts to methane emissions in the oil and gas sector for approximately 3 years. The Prime Minister appears to be following the Trump administration's executive order stalling the previous Obama administration's commitments to methane cuts.

    In January 2015, Obama administration announced a plan to slash methane emissions from the U.S. oil and gas sector between 40 and 45 pct over 2012 levels by 2025. Canada agreed to match that in March 2016.

    The U.S. issued initial regulatory standards in May 2016 and issued new reporting requirements for companies to submit data on equipment and operations to better track methane emissions. The Trump administration's EPA eliminated those new reporting requirements and Trump ordered that the methane emissions standards be re-evaluated.

    Canada was to issue its first regulations this spring for implementation between 2018 and 2020. Now the regulations will not be fully in place until 2023. Even so, the Liberal government says it remains committed to cutting methane emissions 40 to 45 pct over 2012 levels by 2025. (Source: Waterloo Chronicle, Various Canadian Media, CP, 21 April, 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Methane Emissions,  


    Fortistar Touts CNG, Landfill Gas, Biomass Success (Ind. Report)
    Fortistar
    Date: 2017-04-24
    In the Empire State, White Plains-headquartered Fortistar reports that it avoided 2.125 million tons of GHG emissions in 2016 -- the equivalent of driving from NYC to Los Angeles almost six times.

    The company builds, owns and operates natural gas cogeneration facilities, landfill gas to energy and biomass electreic generating plants and CNG fueling stations throughout the United States and Canada. Fortistar companies include TruStar Energy, Primary Energy Recycling, Fortistar Methane Group, Fortistar Biomass Group, Clock.In and Carbonfree Chemicals.

    Fortistar's investment and operational projects include:

  • 100+ compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations built or managed in states across the United States, including Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and California by portfolio company TruStar Energy;
  • 31 renewable LANDFILL GAS to energy facilities with 180MW capacity for municipalities in Los Angeles, CA, Prince William County, VA and various locations for the Department of Defense;
  • 298MW of combined heat and power (CHP) electrical generating capacity and 1.8M lbs./hour combined steam generating capacity created by portfolio company Primary Energy Recycling for manufacturing plants in Illinois and Indiana; and
  • 65MW of renewable energy capacity generated by BIOMASS in Canada. (Source: Fortistar, Business Wire, 24 April, 2017) Contact: Fortistar, Mark Comora, Pres., (914) 421=4900, info@fortistar.com, www.fortistar.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Fortistar,  Landfill Gas,  Biogas,  CNG,  Biomass,  


  • Indian Commercial Coal Bed Production Underway (Int'l)
    Reliance Industries
    Date: 2017-04-24
    Mumbai, Maharashtra, India-headquartered industrial conglomerate Reliance Industries reports it has begun commercial production from its coal bed methane (CBM) block at Sohagpur in Madhya Pradesh. The block resumed production on 24 March and is currently supplying CBM for commissioning the Shahdol Phulpur Pipeline.

    To date, Reliance Industries has drilled more than 200 wells connected to two Gas Gathering Stations in the first phase of development. The company expects to drill a further 600-800 wells and develop associated infrastructure over the next phases of development. (Source: Reliance Industries, Business First Post, 23 April, 2017) Contact: Reliance Industries, www.ril.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Reliance Industries,  Coal Bed Methane,  Methane,  


    UConn, Eversource Tout Energy Efficiency Work (Ind. Report)
    Enersource,University of Connecticut
    Date: 2017-04-24
    The University of Connecticut (UConn) and Boston-based Eversource Energy are reporting completion of campus-wide energy efficiency upgrades aimed at reducing UConn energy costs and enhancing the university's overall sustainability efforts.

    Upgrades include an energy-efficient LED green lighting system that cuts power consumption by as much as 75 pct while allowing dimming and remote control capabilities, the installation of variable-frequency drives (VFDs) to regulate air handlers and the replacement of the original chillers and cooling towers with modern equipment for more efficient heating and cooling.

    The UConn -- Eversource long-term plan takes a comprehensive, cost-effective approach to energy management at all of UConn's campuses and allows the university to better forecast its budget for future improvement projects. To date, UConn and Eversource have completed nearly 80 projects to save approximately 9.5 million kWh of electricity and $1.5 million in energy cost savings. (Source: UConn, PR, Metro-Hartford Alliance, April, 2017) Contact: UConn, Richard Miller, Director of the Office of Environmental Policy, (860) 486-8741, rich.miller@uconn.edu, ecohusky.uconn.edu/energy; Eversource Energy, Jim Judge, Pres., CEO, Lee Olivier, EVP of Strategy and Business, www.eversource.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Eversource,  University of Connecticut,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Sierra Club Lauds PNM's Coal Phase-Out Plans (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    PNM,Clean POwer Plan
    Date: 2017-04-24
    The Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Commentary has issued the following in response to the Public Service Company of New Mexico's (PNM) proposal to eliminate coal from its energy portfolio by 2031: "PNM's announcement that early retirement of San Juan and Four Corners coal plants will save customers money is a clear demonstration that coal is no longer economically sustainable.

    "Across the nation, utilities are planning early retirements for coal plants, including San Juan, Four Corners and Navajo Generating Station, because coal is simply being 'outcompeted' by less expensive energy sources, including wind, solar and energy efficiency.

    "These announcements point to why it is so important to prepare for the inevitable transition to clean energy. We must take this economic shift seriously and examine how we can support workers and the communities that have lived in the shadow of pollution. The Four Corners' vast solar potential and massive transmission network can create clean energy jobs and provide affordable, reliable energy to the region. This will require immediate and thoughtful action from PNM, the state, local government, and other local stakeholders.

    "It is time to stop investing in technologies of the past - PNM's 2014 purchase of shares in Arizona's Palo Verde nuclear plant forced a large rate increase onto consumers last year. PNM should avoid purchasing another large share of an aging nuclear plant and all the liability that comes with it. Renewable energy, storage and energy efficiency are increasingly cheaper, safer, cleaner investments, and they protect our families in the bargain. (Source: Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter , PR, April 21, 2017) Contact: Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter, Camilla Feibelman, Director, (505) 243-7767, www.riograndesierraclub.org; PNM, Pat O'Connell, Dir. Resource Planning, (505) 241-2700, www.pnm.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Power Plan,  PNM,  Coal,  PNM,  


    New Solar Plant will Charge Huge Battery for SRP
    NextEra Energy Resources,Salt River Project
    Date: 2017-04-23
    NextEra Energy Resources subsidiary Salt River Project is reporting the signing of a 20-year PPA for a grid-scale, integrated solar and battery project that will be located in Pinal County. SRP will purchase all of the energy produced at the Pinal Central Energy Center, located near Coolidge, which will be constructed and owned by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources. A subsidiary of will build a single-axis tracking, 20 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic generation facility at the site and combine it with a 10MW lithium-ion energy storage system.

    The SRP Board has set a goal to meet 20 percent of SRP’s retail electricity requirements through sustainable resources by the year 2020. Currently, SRP is on schedule to meet the goal of delivering 15.9 percent of retail requirements through sustainable resources by the end of the fiscal year by using solar, wind, geothermal, hydro power and energy-efficiency measures. SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest provider of electricity in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 1 million customers. SRP also is the metropolitan area’s largest supplier of water, delivering about 800,000 acre-feet annually to municipal, urban and agricultural water users. (Source: Salt River Project, PR, 20 April, 2017) Contact: Salt River Project, Scott Harelson, (602) 236-2500 NextEra Energy Resources

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NextEra Energy Resources news,  Salt River Project news,  Solar news,  Energy Storage news,  


    UNEP Reports Record 2016 Renewables Investment Levels (Int'l)
    United Nations Environment Programme
    Date: 2017-04-12
    According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) newly published Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2017 Report global investment in renewable energy for 2016 came in at $241.6 billion, 23 pct less than in 2015, but nevertheless helped to deploy 138.5 GW of new renewable energy capacity (excluding large-hydro), a rise of 8 pct from the 127.5 GW installed in 2015. Even so, the report found that the total investment level was the lowest it has been since 2013, due in large part to falling costs, rather than a drop in demand.

    The report found that in developing countries, renewable energy investment fell by 30 pct to only $117 billion in 2016, while that in developed economies fell 14 pct to $125 billion. China's renewable energy investment fell by 32 pct to $78.3 billion, while countries such as Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, South Africa, and Morocco all saw 60 pct or more decreases. (Source: UNEP, Various Media Others, April 7th, 2017 ) Contact: UNEP, Erik Solheim, Executive Director of UN Environment, +254 20 762 1234, unepinfo@unep.org, www.unep.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News United Nations Environment Programme,  UNEP,  Renewable Energy,  


    Enerkem Garbage-to-Ethanol Plant Seeking Permits (Ind. Report)
    Enerkem,SKB Environmental
    Date: 2017-04-12
    Further to our March 20th coverage, Montreal-based garbage-to-ethanol developer Enerkem has proposed the establishment of a $200 million facility in Inver Grove Heights, Dakota County, Minnesota. The plant would process all of the County's un-recycled solid waste each year into a gasoline additive.

    Enerkem has begun applying for the necessary permits with the state Pollution Control Agency. If approved, he privately financed facility wouldn't be built for at least three years. The plant could help the county meet its goal of recycling 75 percent of its waste by 2030, according to Dakota County. The county presently recycles about half its garbage, but that percentage could reach about 65 pct with additional sorting at the new plant. The proposed plant site is owned by SKB Environmental, a Minnesota waste management company, which would be a partner on the project and supply much of the garbage.

    Enerkem operates a similar plant in Edmonton, Alberta, and a demonstration facility in Quebec, and is finalizing the design of a second plant to process 1,100 to 1,500 tpd of garbage, outside Montreal. (Source: Enerkem, Star Tribune, 9 April, 2017) Contact: Enerkem, Tim Cesarek, Sr. VP Bus. Dev., Vincent Chornet, Pres., CEO, Annie Pare, Communications, (514) 875-0284, x. 251, apare@enerkem.com, www.enerkem.com; SKB Environmental, (651) 224-6329, www.skbinc.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News SKB Environmental,  Enerkem,  Ethanol,  Waste-to-Ethanol,  


    Honeywell Upgrading Summereside's Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
    Honeywell Building Solutions
    Date: 2017-04-12
    The City of Summerside, Prince Edward Island, is reporting a partnership with energy services provider Honeywell, for the city's Energy and Facility Renewal Program. The program, which is cost neutral to the city, will look at areas in city facilities, and the city itself, where it can realize improvements and savings in energy usage.

    The first phase of the program involves an assessment of the city's building infrastructure, which includes validating the current conditions as well as occupancy schedules. Systems such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, mechanical equipment, lighting, building automation and air distribution systems, as well as street lighting will be areas of focus.

    Summerside's annual energy bill, which includes heat and electicity consumed at all city facilities, costs approximately $1 million a year. (Source: City of Summerside, Journal Pioneer, 7 April, 2017) Contact: City of Summerside, Rob Philpott, CFO, (902) 432-1230, www.city.summerside.pe.ca; Honeywell Building Solutions, John Rajchert, Pres., (800) 345-6770, www.buildingsolutions.honeywell.com, www.honeywell.com

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


    ComEd's Energy Efficiency Charge Reductions Approved (Ind. Report)
    Illinois Commerce Commission
    Date: 2017-04-12
    In Chicago, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) reports it has approved the utility Commonwealth Edison's (ComEd) energy efficiency programs under the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA). The move could save residential customers more than $2.00 per month over the course of 2017.

    FEJA helps to pivot Illinois to the new clean economy by growing renewable energy resources and significantly expanding energy efficiency programs. ComEd will now begin transitioning to a new system of funding efficiency programs. Pending ICC approval, FEJA will increase energy efficiency funding for ComEd from $250 million to $400 million per year by 2030, generating over $4 billion in consumer savings and reducing the CO2 by an amount equivalent to removing 18 million cars from the road. New, expanded energy efficiency programs will begin in January 2018. (Source: Illinois Commerce Commission, ComEd, 7 April, 2017) Contact: ComEd Media , (312) 394-3500, www.ComEd.com; Illinois Commerce Commission, www.icc.illinois.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ComEd,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Renewable Plastic Precursor to Grow Cellulosic Biofuel Industry (New Prod & Tech)
    University of Wisconsin–Madison
    Date: 2017-04-12
    Chemical and biological engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-M) report they have found a way to produce from biomass a compound used in plastic production. The researchers estimate the compound could lower the cost of ethanol produced from plant material by more than $2 per gallon.

    The development is the latest in an ongoing effort at UW-M to create commodity chemicals currently derived from petroleum out of biomass. These bio-derived chemicals could serve as high value co-products of the biofuels manufacturing process, improving the economics of the cellulosic bio-refinery.

    In their paper published recently by the journal ChemSusChem, Prof. George Huber and collaborators report a new chemical pathway used to produce 1,5-pentanediol, a plastic precursor primarily used to make polyurethanes and polyester plastics. The group's approach is six-times cheaper than a previously reported method, and represents the first economically viable method of producing 1,5-pentanediol from biomass.

    The discovery also provides fundamental chemistry that could be applicable to a wide cross-section of products such as For instance, the same pathway could be used to produce two other plastic precursors - 1,4 butanediol and 1,6 - hexanediol -- currently derived from petroleum and which together represent an annual market of more than $6 billion.

    In the long term, the team will continue to refine their work, collecting the data needed to scale their process up to pilot plant testing. The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is in charge of licensing the technology. (Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison, phys.org, 7 April, 2017) Contact: UW-M, Prof. George Huber, (608) 263-0346, huber@engr.wisc.edu, biofuels.che.wisc.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cellulosics,  Bio-chemical,  University of Wisconsin-Madison,  Cellulosic Biofuel,  


    Its a Wrap! Gamesa, Siemens Wind Power Merger Completed (M&A)
    Siemens Wind Power , Gamesa
    Date: 2017-04-12
    Following on our March 15th report, Siemens is confirming unconditional clearance from the European competition authorities and the conclusion of its wind power business merger with Gamesa.

    Subject to pending closing conditions, Siemens and Gamesa expect to close the merger this month, after the registration of the merged entity in the Vizcaya Companies Register. (Source: Siemens, Gamesa, EL&P, 3 April, 2017)Contact: Siemens Wind Power and Renewables Division, Thomas Richterich, Onshore Wind CEO, +49 69 797 66 60, www.siemens.com; Gamesa Corp., www.gamesacorp.com

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


    India's ReNew Power Planning $600Mn IPO (Int'l. Report)
    ReNew Power
    Date: 2017-04-12
    India's largest clean energy producer ReNew Power is reportedly planning an IPO of shares to raise up to $600 million, sometime within the next 12 months. Goldman Sachs, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Asian Development Bank and Global Environment Fund could offload part of their stakes in the proposed IPO that will primarily offer existing, rather than new shares.

    HSBC, Kotak and Bank of America Merrill Lynch are amongst banks vying for a role in arranging the proposed share sale., according to ReNew Power.

    Since it founding in 2011, ReNew Power has raised $850 million in equity from investors, and may raise an additional $200 million prior to its IPO, either through equity or quasi-equity instruments. (Source: ReNew Power, ET Energy World, 7 April, 2017) Contact: ReNew Power, +91 124 489 6670/80, info@renewpower.in, http://renewpower.in

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ReNew Power,  Renewable Energy,  


    UK Tops G7 Nations for Carbon Emissions Decline (Int'l Report)
    G7,Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
    Date: 2017-04-12
    According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), of the wealthy G7 nations, the UK has been the most successful in growing its economy and at the same time its economy and cutting greenhouse gas emissions over the last quarter century. During that time, the country's per capita economic output has more than doubled and its per-capita carbon dioxide emissions fell by a greater percentage than any of the rest of the group of industrialized nations.

    The average Briton's carbon footprint is now 33 pct less than in 1992 and they are more than 130 pct richer. According to the report, reasons for the shift include the 1990s "dash for gas" power, a switch to a more services-based economy, policies since the Climate Change Act was introduced in 2008, energy efficiency schemes and cutting methane from landfill sites. The report also questions the notion that the UK has simply shifted its emissions overseas, with more products bought from manufacture in countries such as China where the greenhouse gas output is then counted. Government data shows these so-called imported emissions peaked in 2007 before the financial crisis and are now, per person, almost exactly what they were in 1997, the study said. (Source: OECD, BelfastTelegraph, April, 2017) Contact: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, www.oecd.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  UK Carbon Emissions,  G7,  


    Nevada Legislation Aims to Revive Solar Industry (Reg & Leg)
    Renewable Energy
    Date: 2017-04-12
    Nevada lawmakers in Carson City are debating a package of bills that would increase the amount of credit toward nighttime and cloudy-day power that residential solar users receive as a feed-in tariffs for their excess rooftop solar energy.

    The legislation is intended to correct changes made in 2015-16 that effectively drove up the cost of residential solar and virtually halted the state's previously booming residential-solar industry and caused Sunrun, SolarCity and many small solar contractors to leave the solar business in Nevada.

    Assembly Bill 270 is among five bills aimed at promoting renewable energies. Other measures would require solar companies to make contracts clearer, allow multiple homes to share solar energy and speed up the state's move to renewables. State law currently directs NV Energy, the state's monopolized utility, and any other providers to generate 20 pct of retail electricity from renewable sources. (Source: Nevada Legislature, CBS Las Vegas, AP, 6 April, 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  Rooftop Solar,  Nevada Solar,  Renewable Energy,  


    Portuguese Airports ACI Carbon Accreditation Raised (Int'l Report)
    Airport Carbon Accreditation ,Airports Council International
    Date: 2017-04-12
    The Airports Council International (ACI) reports it has upgraded Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo Madeira International Airport, the Porto Santo Airport, and eight others to the second level 'Reduction' of the Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA). All ten airports have taken measures to reduce the corresponding carbon footprint to ensure a cleaner and sustainable environment.

    In 2015, the ANA Airports of Portugal were successful in reducing their carbon emissions by 15 pct compared to the average of the three years from 2012 to 2014. An initiative of the ACI, the ACA programme helps airports across the globe manage their carbon emissions. (Source: Airports Council International, airport-technology.com, 10 April, 2017) Contact: Airports Council International, www.aci-europe.org; Airport Carbon Accedidation, www.airportcarbonaccreditation.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Footprint,  Airports Council International,  Airport Carbon Accreditation ,  


    Malaysia to Fight EU Ban on Palm Oil Biofuels (Int'l)
    Palm Oil,Malaysian Palm Oil Board
    Date: 2017-04-10
    In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian officials and legislators have almost unanimously agreed to lobby against the European Parliament's non-binding motion to ban the use of palm oil for biofuel -- biodiesel -- production. The EU regulators are calling for greater vetting of palm and other vegetable oils used in transportation biofuels to meet the EU's renewable transport targets for post-2020 that subsequently could lead to increased carbon emissions, deforestation and rapid climate change.

    To counter the EU's concerns, the Malaysians are calling for direct meetins with EU parliamentarians and a single Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) scheme to ensure that Europe-bound palm oil and other vegetable oil exports are sustainably produced.

    As previously reported, EU lawmakers have called for a wider discussion of palm oil production and use for biofuels with specific focus on the rapidly expanding palm oil industry's harmful impact on climate mitigation and biodiversity.

    After India and before China, the EU is Malaysia's second-largest export market, accounting for 2,059,207 tons of palm oil products in 2016, one third of which is used for biodiesel. Indonesia and Malaysia account for approximately 85 pct of global oil palm production. (Source: Malaysian Palm Oil Board, telesur, 5 April, 2017) Contact: Malaysian Palm Oil Board, www.mpob.gov.my

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Palm Oil,  Biofuel,  European Commission,  


    ENERGY STAR Partners Lauded for Energy Efficiency (Ind Report)
    Energy Efficiency,ENERGY STAR
    Date: 2017-04-10
    The U.S. EPA and the U.S. DOE are honoring 143 businesses and organizations in 34 states and the District of Columbia for their commitment to saving energy, saving money, and protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements.

    In 2015 alone, ENERGY STAR and all of its partners saved American families and businesses $34 billion on energy bills while helping states achieve their air quality goals.

    The ENERGY STAR program has 16,000 partners including manufacturers, retailers, public schools, hospitals, real estate companies, and home builders. Since 1992, the program and its partners have saved American families and businesses $430 billion on their energy bills and 4.6 trillion kilowatt-hours of energy, while achieving broad emissions reductions -- including 2.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

    Editor's NoteThe Trump "circus" has described the ENERGY STAR program as a "lower priority and poorly performing" program and is proposing to slash ENERGY STAR's budget and re-focus it on research that can be commercialized and carried out by the private sector, rather than the government. (Source: ENERGY STAR, EPA, PR, 4 April, 2017) Contact: ENERGY STAR, www.energystar.gov

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


    FEDIOL Counters Proposed EU Biofuels Phaseout (Int'l)
    FEDIOL
    Date: 2017-04-10
    In a recent position paper, FEDIOL, the European trade group representing the vegetable oil and proteinmeal industry, takes the European Commission (EC) to task for its proposal to increase the EU's dependency on fossil fuels and would eliminate an important market outlet to the agricultural sector.

    The EC's decision to phase out conventional biofuels as of 2020 outlines a reduction path which should bring the share of biofuels such as rapeseed biodiesel down to 3.8 pct by 2030. Further difficulties in the development and availability of advanced feedstocks, linked with a lack of confidence by investors in view of the uncertain policy context, render the target set for advanced biofuels overly ambitious and highly unlikely to be achieved. For these reasons, FEDIOL calls on the European Parliament and EC to maintain the 7 pct cap for conventional biofuels and further invest in advanced low-carbon technologies alongside conventional biofuels, so as to meet an overall minimum 15 pct renewables' target in transport.

    The fact sheet -- An EU Without First Generation Biofuels? -- is available HERE. (Source: Fediol. PR. 6 April, 2017) Contact: FEDIOL, Nathalie Lecocq, Director General: + 32 (2) 771 53 30, www.fediol.eu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  


    US Biodiesel Prod. Dropped 51Mn Gal. in Jan. 2017 (Ind. Report)
    US Energy Information Administration
    Date: 2017-04-10
    The US Energy Information Administration's (EIA) recently published monthly biodiesel production report for January, 2017, found that U.S. biodiesel was 51 million gallons lower than in December 2016. US biodiesel production was 93 million gallons in January 2017, while production in December was 144 million gallons. Month on month, January 2017's production was lower than 2016, which hit 105 million gallons.

    January 2015 biodiesel production reached only 73 million gallons, making it the lowest producing month since the start of 2015. December and October 2016 were the joint highest producing months with both peaking at 144 million gallons. (Source: US EIA, Various Media, April, 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US Energy Information Administration,  Biodiesel ,  

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