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Denver Mandates Com. Building Energy Benchmarking (Ind. Report)
Denver
Date: 2016-12-23
Denver City Council has approved new energy-efficiency and energy benchmarking regulations requiring commercial building owners to determine the Energy Star score of their properties using the U.S. EPA Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool, beginning in 2017. The rule applies to buildings that are 50,000 square feet and larger, but after the first year will apply to buildings 25,000 square feet and larger. The city will then publish the scores in a searchable database.

The recommendations initially required for property owners to improve energy efficiency in their buildings every five years in addition to the benchmarking and transparency requirements. Those recommendations were met with stiff resistance from the city's commercial real estate sector. (Source: Denver City Council, Denver Business Journal, 20 Dec., 2016) Contact: Denver City Council, www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-city-council.html

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Energy Benchmark,  


Traverse City Mandates Renewables, Net-Zero Emissions (Ind. Report)
Traverse City
Date: 2016-12-23
In Michigan, the Traverse City commissioners have unanimously adopted a resolution calling for all city streetlights, water plants, government buildings and all of its other operations to be powered by green energy not later than 2020, according to a release. The commissioners also created a "Green Team" that will identify ways to meet the goal and make other recommendations, including how the city can cut its greenhouse gas emissions from operations to a net of zero before 2050. (Source: Traverse City Record Eagle, 20 Dec., 2016) Contact: Traverse City, Marty Colbur, City Manager, (231) 922-4440, www.traversecitymi.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  Net-Zero Emissions,  


OG&E Distributes $7.Mn in Energy Efficiency Incentives (Ind. Report)
Oklahoma Gas & Electric
Date: 2016-12-23
Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) reports that in 2016 it distributed $7.5 million in energy efficiency incentives to 750 businesses, schools and government buildings

OG&E, a subsidiary of Oklahoma city-based OGE Energy Corp, paid almost $650,000 in incentives to secondary schools and approximately $365,000 to universities through its SmartHours for Schools program. The SmartHours for Schools program has led to a savings of more than $2.2 million for Oklahoma schools since its inception in 2012. (Source: OG&E, Daily Energy Insider, Other Media, December 21, 2016 )Contact: OG&E, www.oge.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency IncentivesEnergy Efficiency,  Oklahoma Gas & Electric,  


DOE Secures Carbon Capture Equipped Methanol Plant Loan (Funding)
Lake Charles Holdings
Date: 2016-12-23
According to the U.S.DOE, the Obama administration is the principal investor in a $3.8 billion methanol plant in Lake Charles, La., the first methanol facility in the world to use carbon capture and the first in the U.S. to make methanol out of petcoke, a byproduct of oil refining. With a U.S. government guaranteed loan that could reach up to $2 billion, the project would also mark the first time the DOE has loaned money to a fossil fuel project under its advanced energy program -- given to technologies deemed promising but unable to secure investors in the private sector.

The DOE anticipates that the Lake Charles project will be able to defray the high costs carbon capture by selling carbon for use in enhanced oil recovery operations. The Lake Charles project is headed Lake Charles Holdings, according to the DOE. (Source: US DOE, FuelFix, 21 Dec., 2016) Contact: Lake Charles Holdings LLC, (713) 963-3650, 2 Boulevard Place, Suite 600, Houston, Texas, 77056

More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  Methanol,  CO2 ,  Carbon Emissions ,  Enhanced Oil Recovery,  


Chinese Launch Carbon Emissions Monitoring Satellite (Int'l)
China Carbon Emissions
Date: 2016-12-23
Further to our December 16th coverage, after a week long weather and smogdelay, China has launched a 620-kg global CO2 monitoring satellite on a 3-year mission to track worldwide carbon dioxide emissions.

The satellite, which was sent into a sun synchronous orbit about 700 kms above the earth, will monitor the concentration, distribution and flow of atmospheric CO2 and collect data that will help scientists better understand and fight climate change.

China is the third country after Japan and the US to monitor greenhouse gases through its own satellite. (Source: Xinhua, Various Other Media, Dec., 22, 2016)

More Low-Carbon Energy News China Carbon Emissions,  


Aussie GHG Emissions Projected to Continue Rising (Int'l)
Australia Department of Environment and Energy
Date: 2016-12-23
In the Land Down Under, recently released data from the Australian Department of Environment and Energy shows that, based on current policies, Australian GHG emissions will continue to rise and the country will miss its 2030 carbon emissions reduction goals.

The official quarterly figures tracking growth in year-on-year emissions, confirms projections from the Melbourne-based independent consultancy Ndevr Environmental's prediction that Australia's emissions would be rising, and would continue to do so. The government figures suggest that in 2030, emissions will have risen by 10 pct above June, 2016 levels -- 1 billion tonnes more than permitted under the country's 2030 emissions and climate change commitments.

The report projections do not take into account policies that might emerge from the government's 2017 review of climate policy. The review is not expected to include discussions of any form of carbon price, cap-and-trade or emissions intensity scheme. (Source: Australia Department of Environment and Energy, SBS, Guardian, Others, 22 Dec., 2016) Contact: Australia Department of Environment and Energy www.environment.gov.au; Ndver Environmental Consulting, +61 3 9865 6225, www.ndevrenvironmentalconsulting.com.au

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


UMass Amherst Researcher Aims to Improve Pine Biomass Yield
UMass Amherst
Date: 2016-12-23
The University of Mass. reports the global demand for forest products such as pulp for paper, saw timber and wood pellets for fuel is expected to increase in coming years. To meet this need, UMass plant geneticist and associate professor Sam Hazen, whose research has led to higher biomass yield in grasses, will use a recently received $713,000, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation to demonstrate that his technology can be translated to grow trees that produce more wood than conventional trees. Hazen's experiments will advance understanding of the transcription networks that regulate secondary cell wall biosynthesis in grasses.

Hazen has partnered with Amherst-based Genoverde Biosciences, Inc. to test the commercial viability of his technology. Hazen is also chief scientific officer for Genoverde, which recently received a one-year, $225,000 grant from NSF's Small Business Innovation Research program to evaluate the use of its "gene trait approach"to bioengineering loblolly pine for high wood density by modifying secondary cell wall gene regulation.

If rhe technology is successful, this bioengineering project would provide more wood material per tree and per acre with no added cost to production processing. The bioengineered trees would also help to protect the environment by sequestering more atmospheric carbon dioxide to mitigate global climate change.

Genoverde's CEO Michael Harrington says by redesigning and optimizing Hazen's grass technology specifically for loblolly pine, he expects similar yield increases leading to the company's first entry into the forest products market with a bioengineered pine tree. Genoverde is also exploring the use of this and similar technologies that enhance yield in other commercially important agricultural crops. In collaboration with Genoverde, the Hazen lab will plant bioengineered pine seedlings in a greenhouse to test the new approach to greater strength and increased biomass leading to a commercially valuable improved tree crop. (Source: UMass Amherst, December 19, 2016) Contact: UMass Amherst, Sam Hazen, Researcher, (413) 545-4546, hazen@bio.umass.edu, www.bio.umass.edu/biology/hazen; Genoverde Biuosciences, Michael Harrington, CEO, (202) 531-4897, info@genoverde.com, www.genoverde.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News UMass Amherst,  


EU Proposes Action on Maritime Emissions (Int'l, Ind. Report)
International Maritime Organization,EU ETS
Date: 2016-12-21
The European Parliament's Environment Committee's recent decision to take regional action over ship emissions with respect to emissions trading, unless the International Maritime Organization (IMO) acts first, has been met with a mixed response.

Specifically, the Committee decided to include shipping emissions in the European Union's (EU's) Emissions Trading Scheme ( EU ETS) from 2023 if the IMO does not have a comparable system operating for global shipping from 2021.

Among the maritime industry groups, Danish Shipowners' Association, the European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA), and the . International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) are opposed to the action. "Non-EU nations will be disappointed and very concerned by yesterday's vote in the European Parliament Environment Committee following IMO's adoption just a few weeks ago of a comprehensive road map for action," said ICS Director of Policy and External Relations, Simon Bennett. "But we hope that EU governments and the European Commission will see sense and recognize that threats to their trading partners will not serve the development of the global solution which both they and the shipping industry want and need." On the other hand, the Port of Rotterdam welcomed the decision. (Source: Ship & Bunker, Hellenic News, Various Other Media, 19 Dec., 2016) Contact: International Maritime Organization, Stefan Micallef, Director of Marine Environment Division, +44 (0) 20 7735 7611, www.imo.org; ICS, Esben Poulsson, Chairman, +44 20 7090 1460, www.ics-shipping.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News International Chamber of Shipping,  International Maritime Organization,  Maritime Emissions,  EU ETS,  


Saudi Aramco's Ist Wind Turbine Commissioning Date Set (Int'l)
Saudi Aramco
Date: 2016-12-21
Following on our June 15 coverage, Saudi state oil company Saudi Aramco reports it will commission the kingdom's first wind turbine pilot project in January as part of a nationwide energy diversification initiate.

The new GE wind turbine will generate 2.75 megawatts of power at its peak, enough to power around 250 Saudi households, while reducing the consumption of approximately 18,600 bpy of oil equivalent. (Source: Saudi Aramco, Al Arabyi, 18 Dec., 2016) Contact: Saudi Aramco, Amin H. Nasser, Acting Pres., CEO, Abdulaziz Al-Judaimi, VP Power Systems, 011 +966 13 872 0115, webmaster2@aramco.com, www.saudiaramco.com; General Electric, Hisham Albahkali, CEO for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, www.ge-energy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News GE Wind,  Saudi Aramco,  Wind,  


India Ranked 4th in Global Installed Wind Power Capacity (Int'l)
Global Wind Power Installed Capacity index
Date: 2016-12-21
India has been ranked fourth in the Global Wind Power Installed Capacity Index with cumulative installed wind power generation capacity of 25,088 MW with the Government undertaking the largest renewable capacity expansion programme to to meet the country's growing demand for energy. The demard for energy is being driven by a focus on energy security, electric power shortages, the fight against climate change, and others.

A capacity addition of 14.30 GW of renewable energy has been reported during the last two and half years under Grid Connected Renewable Power -- 5.8 GW from Solar Power, 7.04 GW from Wind Power, 0.53 from Small Hydro Power and 0.93 from Bio-power.

As of October 31, 2016, India installed solar energy projects with an aggregate capacity of over 8727.62 MW and is actively promoting the adoption of renewable energy resources with generation-based incentives, capital and interest subsidies, viability gap funding, concessional finance, fiscal incentives and other initiatives. (Source: Daily Excelsior, Various Other Media, 19 Dec., 2016)


Medio Energy Inks Khuzestan Wind, Solar Construction Deal (Int'l)
Medio Energy Invest
Date: 2016-12-21
Germany's Medio Energy Invest reports it has inked a $104 million Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Khuzestan Regional Electricity Company for the construction of a wind and solar power plants in Southern Iran -- a 20-MW solar power project worth $25 million (€24 million) and a 50-mw wind power plant valued at $83.6 million (&euro80 million).

For both projects, Medio Energy will provide technical knowledge, experience, a skilled workforce, capital, and technical and economic capabilities as well as necessary equipment for construction and operation of the power plants. (Source: Mehr News, Construction Week, 18 Dec., 2016) Contact: Medio Energy Invest, +49 8094 9078430, www.medio-energy.de; Khuzestan Regional Electricity Company, www.kzrec.co.ir

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


Asia Wind Energy Association Launching in Singapore (Int'l)
Asia Wind Energy Association
Date: 2016-12-21
In Singapore, the newly formed Asia Wind Energy Association (AsiaWEA) reports it aims to be a centralized voice for the industry, as well as help expand the reach of the continent's wind farms, which are primarily in China. The new trade group will coordinate international policy, communications, research and analysis, and offer networking and learning opportunities throughout North-east Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

AsiaWEA will hold its inaugural meeting during the annual Asia Wind Energy Conference during Singapore International Energy Week in October 2017. The association sees wind market opportunities in countries such as Vietnam, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Taiwan, it says. (Source: Business Times, Associations Now, Various Trade Media, 19 Dec., 2016)Contact: AsiaWEA contact information is not yet available.

More Low-Carbon Energy News Asia Wind Energy Association ,  Wind,  


Cdn. Wheat Growers Warn of Carbon Tax Trickle-Down (Ind. Report)
Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association
Date: 2016-12-21
On the Canadian Praries, 3,000 members of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association (WCWGA) have called for Ottawa and the other provinces to realize the positive impact agriculture has by storing carbon in the soil. The farm organization also warns that a carbon tax will wreak havoc throughout the entire agriculture value chain.

According to the WCWGA, a Canadian carbon tax makes even less sense with the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President. "The reality is that there is not going to be a carbon tax on growers in North Dakota and Montana. There is more of a realization about issues around competitiveness and maybe we should be giving this a bit of second sober thought before plowing ahead," says WCWGA Exec. Dir. Robin Speer. According to the WCWGA, a carbon tax will go through the entire value chain from the farm to the grocery store aisle and kitchen table, taxing everything along the way. The federal government is giving all provinces until 2018 to implement a carbon tax or it will do it for them. Saskatchewan says it opposes a carbon tax. (Source: Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association, Sasknow.ca, 19 Dec., 2016) Contact: Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association, Robin Speer, Exec. Dir., (306) 955-0356, www.wheatgrowers.ca

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  Canada Carbon Tax,  


USGBC Touts Top 10 LEED Countries for 2016 (Ind. Report)
US Green Building Council
Date: 2016-12-21
The US Green Building Council (USGBC) has released its list of the 10 most LEED certified countries, apart from the U.S., that are making significant strides in building design, construction and market transformation.

China is at the top of the list with 34.62 million gross square metres of certified LEED space. Canada, India, Brazil and the Republic of Korea rounded out the top five countries respectively. Other countries in the top 10 include Taiwan, Germany, Turkey, Sweden and the UAE to bring the number of certified projects to a total of 27,699.

Global green building is expected to double every three years, according to the World Green Building Trends 2016 SmartMarket Report from Dodge Data & Analytics. The green building materials market is expected to reach $234bn by 2019 with increased consumer demand pushing the world's green building market to a trillion-dollar industry, according to a USGBC statement. (Source: USGBC, Construction Week, 19 Dec., 2016) Contact: USGBC, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

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


New Commercial Bldg Energy Efficiency Code Released (Ind. Report)
ASHRAE, U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
Date: 2016-12-21
The U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy is reporting the release of the new ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1 -- aka the Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. The model standard was developed jointly by ASHRAE and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES). An updated edition is published every three years and provides the basis for energy codes adopted by U.S. states.

The new 2016 edition contains several important changes to reduce energy consumption, including a new compliance path and a significant change in formatting, intended to improve its overall flexibility and use. A range of technical changes are also included, affecting building envelope, mechanical and lighting systems.

More information on code adoption and related technical assistance is available at www.energycodes.gov. (Source: U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, ProudGreenBuilding, 19 Dec., 2016) Contact: U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, energy.gov/eere/office-energy-efficiency-renewable-energy; ASHRAE, Tom Phoenix, Pres., (800) 527-4723, www.ashrae.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy,  Building Energy Efficiency,  ASHRAE,  


RWDI Snares Portland's Green Building Services (M&A, Ind. Report)
RWDI,Green Building Services
Date: 2016-12-21
Portland, Oregon-based sustainability consulting firm Green Building Services reports it is now part of RWDI, a Canadian global building and consulting engineering firm. Green Building Services was acquired by RWDI in May, but after merging operations GBS is now a specialty consultancy within RWDI.

GBS has been instrumental in mare then 600 LEED certifications over the past 16 years. (Source: Portland Business Journal, 19 Dec., 2016) Contact: Green Building Services, (503) 467-4710, http://greenbuildingservices.com; RWDI, (503) 467-4710, www.rwdi.com

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


Aggregated Micro Power Acquires Wood Pellet Firm PEL (Int'l, M&A)
Aggregated Micro Power Holdings
Date: 2016-12-21
In the UK, London-headquartered wood fuel supplier and developer Aggregated Micro Power Holdings PLC is reporting the acquisition of wood pellet supply business PEL (Fuel) Ltd. for £5.0 million -- £500,000 in cash and £4.5 million in shares. AMP also announced issuance of £1.9 million convertible loan notes at 86 pence per share. (Source: Aggregated Micro Power Holdings, Various Media, Alliance, 19 Dec., 2016)Contact: Aggregated Micro Power Holdings, www.ampplc.co.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  


DRAX Coal-to-Woody Biomass Conversion Wins EC Approval (Int'l)
DRAX
Date: 2016-12-21
Inb the UK, British coal power producer DRAX reports the European Commission (EC) has given the green light to the conversion of its third coal-fired generating unit to biomass-fired at its North Yorkshire, power plant.

Operating exclusively on wood pellets, the converted power unit will have a capacity of 645MW. Two other units out of a total of six power units were previously upgraded to biomass by DRAX. The plant is expected to use approximately 2.4 million tpy of wood pellets imported primarily from the U.S, and South America. (Source: DRAX, Various Media, EBR, 19 Dec., 2016) Contact: DRAX, Andy Koss, +44 (0)1757 618381, www.draxpower.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News DRAX,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  


AsiaBio Investing in Singapore Biogas Developer Projects (Int'l)
Asia Bioenergy Group, KRU Energy Asia Pte Ltd
Date: 2016-12-21
Kuala Lumpur-based Asia Bioenergy Group (AsiaBio) is reporting the signing of a Memorandum of Intent with Rangkain Iltizam Sdn Bhd. Under the terms of the agreement, AsiaBio is expected to invest in Rangkain Iltizam and assist in the raising of funds for Rangkain Iltizam's biogas energy and related projects.

Rangkain Iltizam is a Singapore-based privately held renewable energy development company which is owned by KRU Energy Asia Pte Ltd (KRU).

Asia Bioenergy Group is a business and technology incubator and strategic advisory group that draws upon the strength and experiences of its promoters who have long served in the engineering, investment banking and finance industries. Asia Bioenergy Group's focus have been in incubating start-up technology companies and early stage high growth companies. In recent years, the group have made tangible strategic investments in the bioenergy, photo voltaic energy, advanced microbial agriculture applications and biomass conversion sectors. (Source: Asia Bioenergy Group, Malaysian Digest, 20 Dec., 2016) Contact: KRU Energy Asia Pte Ltd, www.sgpbusiness.com/company/Kru-Energy-Global-Investments-Pte-Ltd; Rangkain Iltizam, contact information not presently available; AsiaBio, +603 6142 3088/4688, www.asiabio.com.my

More Low-Carbon Energy News Asia Bioenergy Group,  Biogas ,  


McCain Questions Navy's Great Green Biofuels Fleet (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
US Navy, Great Green Fleet
Date: 2016-12-21
A recent report by Arizona Republican Sen. and former Presidential candidate John McCain's office has found the U.S. Navy's goal of weaning itself off petroleum products has cost taxpayers millions of dollars and did not bring U.S. fleets much closer to getting 40 pct of its energy from alternative sources. "Unfortunately, not only has the Navy failed to meet its goal, but the alternatives it explored have been without exception far more costly to taxpayers than traditional petroleum products," reads McCain's report.

In 2009, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus launched the Navy's "Great Green Fleet" of ships. In its 2012 demonstration, the Green Fleet used biofuels that cost $27 per gallon, compared to about $3.50 per gallon for conventional fuels. The Navy eventually scaled back its ambitions and the Green Fleet's 2016 Mediterranean voyage used a blend that was 95 pct conventional fuel to 5 pct biofuels at a cost of $14.60 per gallon compared to the $1.60 per gallon price of conventional fuels.

With its Great Green Fleet initiative, the Navy has spent at least $58 million on the purchase of alternative fuels to satisfy its "political dogma", according to McCain's office.

The report also found that between fiscal year 2007 and fiscal year 2014, the Department of Defense purchased 32 billion gallons of conventional petroleum products at a cost of $107.2 billion or $3.35 per gallon. During the same period it purchased two million gallons of alternative fuel at a cost of $58.6 million, or $29.30 per gallon. And , along with the USDA and DOE, the DOD pumped $170 million into the Biofuels industry, according to McCain's office.

"After seven years of very expensive and time-consuming experiments with fuel alternatives, the Navy appears to have run aground on the reality of economics," McCain's report concludes. (Source: Daily Caller, Dec. 19, 2016) Contact: U.S. Senator John McCain, (202) 228-2862, (502) 670-6637,www.mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-form

More Low-Carbon Energy News US Navy Green Fleet,  Great Green Fleet,  Biofuel,  


ComEd Touts $2Bn Energy Efficiency Prog. Savings (Ind. Report)
Exelon Corporation, ComEd
Date: 2016-12-19
In Chicago, Exelon Corporation unit ComEd reports that its Energy Efficiency Program has enabled more than $2.1 billion in savings for ComEd customers since its launch in 2008. The ComEd Energy Efficiency Program has also eliminated 27.1 billion pounds of CO2 emissions -- the equivalent to removing 2.5 million cars off the road. The pprogram has also cut energy consumption by more than 19.5 million megawatt hours -- enough energy to power more than 2.1 million homes for a full year, according to ComEd.

The program offers free ComEd Home Energy Assessments that give personalized savings recommendations that homeowners can use to better control the energy usage. Customers can also take advantage of cash rebates on select ENERGY STAR® certified appliances, in-store discounts on select ENERGY STAR certified CFLs and LEDs and can qualify $50 for free old appliance pickup and disposal. of old, working fridges or freezers. (Source: ComEd, PR Business Wire, 16 Dec., 2016) Contact: ComEd Energy Efficiency Program, (835) 433-2700, www.ComEd.com/HomeSavings, www.ComEd.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Exelon Corporation,  ComEd,  Energy Efficiency,  


Free Nonprofits Energy Efficiency Program Lauded (Ind. Report)
Consumers Energy
Date: 2016-12-19
Jackson, Michigan-headquartered public utility Consumers Energy reports it performed free energy efficiency upgrades to 541 facilities under its Nonprofit and House of Worship Initiative, in 2016.

The program was launched four years ago to help food banks, the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, churches, senior centers and others. These organizations got free energy efficiency upgrades and incentives for projects that amounted to more than $975,000 in 2016. Since the programs inception, Consumers Energy has spent $2.375 million on the projects at 1,300 places of worship and nonprofit organizations which have enjoyed more than $1.5 million in annual energy savings and incentives, accoprding to the utility. (Source: Consumers Energy, Blog, 3BL Media/Justmeans, 16 Dec., 2016) Contact: Consumers Energy, Tim Sparks, VP Energy Supply, www.ConsumersEnergy.com; www.ConsumersEnergy.com/CARE

More Low-Carbon Energy News Consumers Energy,  Energy Efficiency,  


Philippine Legislator Planning Carbon Tax (Int'l Report)
Philippines
Date: 2016-12-19
In Manila, Philippine House of Representatives member Hon. Luis Raymund Villafuerte, Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, has "cited the increasing evidence of man-made climate change and the need for Congress to pass new legislation that would help curb global warming, according to the Manila Bulletin. To address the issue, Villafuerte is considering the introduction of carbon tax legislation that would curb carbon emissions and allocate funds for renewable energy projects and development. Villafurte says that prior to introducing carbon tax legislation he will first measure the impact of a carbon tax on the Philippines and other developing economies.

In related news, Philippine Presidente Duterte has announced his country will honor the 2015 Paris Climate Change agreement which came into force on Nov. 4. (Source: Various Media, Manila Bulletin, 18 Dec., 2016) Contact: Hon. Luis Raymund Villafuerte, Chairman Philippines House Committee on Appropriations, +632 931 5001X7499, www.congress.gov.ph

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


Regulator OKs EDF EN Canada Vulcan Solar Project (Reg & Leg)
EDF EN Canada
Date: 2016-12-19
EDF EN Canada Inc., a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles Group, reports the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) has approved its proposed 77.5 megawatt (MWAC) solar photovoltaic (PV) Vulcan Solar Hybrid Energy Centre Vulcan Solar Project near the community of Carmangay. Approval is subject to provisions by the Hydro and Electric Energy Act and the Alberta Utilities Commission Act.

The Vulcan Solar is located within the footprint of the 300MW Blackspring Ridge Wind Project and, upon completion and will be the first utility scale Hybrid Renewable Energy Project in Canada and one of the largest hybrid facilities in North America. The project will utilize 300,000 ground-mounted solar PV panels and generate sufficient electric power for 12,000 residences and business. It will also offset over 85,000 metric tpy of CO2 emissions. The power will be sold into the Alberta Power Pool. The project is expected to begin construction in Spring 2017. (Source: EDF EN Canada, PR, Yahoo, 15 Dec., 2016) Contact: EDF EN Canada, (514) 397-9997, www.edf-en.ca

More Low-Carbon Energy News EDF EN Canada ,  Solar,  PV,  


25 States Crack E10 Blend Wall, says EIA (Ind. Report)
EIA
Date: 2016-12-19
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is reporting that half of all states now see ethanol blended in more than 10 pct of gasoline by volume. In California, Oregon, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Louisiana ethanol volumes surpassed 10 pct in 2014 when the number of states poking through the 10 pct blend wall was 22. That year the national average ethanol content was 9.83 pct. (Source: US EIA, Various Media, DTN, 13 Dec., 2016)

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


Coal-burning Germany Likely to Miss Climate Targets (Int'l)
German Emissions
Date: 2016-12-19
According to the German international news broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW), although Germany has implemented measures since 2014 to cut greenhouse gas emissions it may miss its 2020 target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40 pct from 1990.

A recently released German environment ministry report lays much of the blame on the country's continuing addiction to high emission laden "brown" coal which is used in power production and accounts for 40 pct of the nation's GHG emissions. Indeed, the gap between government pledges and needed cuts could be more than 20 million tonnes of CO2. (Source: DW, New Europe Online, Power Engineering International, 16 Dec., 2016)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Coal,  German Carbon Target,  Carbon Emissions,  Emissions Reduction,  GHGs,  Coal,  


Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance Wary of Incoming Trump Presidency (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance,
Date: 2016-12-19
The Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, a coalition of 20 of the world's most progressive cities on climate change, is offering support to their American counterparts in preparation for the incoming Trump presidency.

Five mayors who have signed up for the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance issued an open letter of solidarity this week to the United States members of the network. The letter warns of possible Trump administration actions that could undo environmental regulations that would reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants, increase the production of oil, coal and natural gas, approve new fossil-fuel pipelines and other legislation or actions. The Trump administration could also cut financial support for international climate change efforts including the recent Paris Agreement.

With climate change, carbon emissions and clean energy taken into account, the Alliance says "they have not yet seen any redeeming features of a Trump White House." (Source: Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, Dec., 2016) Contact: Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, http://usdn.org/public/page/13/CNCA

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance,  ,  


GEVO Plans Reverse Spilt to Hold NASDAQ Listing (Ind. Report)
GEVO
Date: 2016-12-19
Englewood, Colorado-based isobutanol and renewable chemicals maker Gevo, Inc. reports its its stockholders have approved an amendment to its Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation allowing a reverse stock split of the company's outstanding shares of common stock. This happened by a ratio of not less than one-for-two and not more than one-for-twenty at any time on or prior to 6 January 2017, with the exact ratio to be set at a whole number within this range by the Board of Directors in its sole discretion. The exact date of the split has not yet been determined. (Source: GEVO, Various Trade Media, 19 Dec., 2016) Contact: GEVO Inc., Pat Gruber, CEO, (303) 858-3358, info@gevo.com, www.gevo.com

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


Estonia Mandates Biofuel Blending at 3.3 pct (Int'l)
Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure
Date: 2016-12-16
In the Baltic, the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure reports the country is amending the Liquid Fuel Act requiring all fuels retailed in the country contain at least 3.5 pct biofuel by volume effective in Mat, 2017. The perdentage will increase to 6.4 pct in 2018, 8 pct in 2019 then jump to 10 pcy in 2020. Estonia is the last EU member country to mandate biofuel blending.

The Estonian announcement is in response to the European Parliament's Renewable Energy Directive, which requires all EU countries to ensure at least 10 pct of their transportation fuels come from renewable sources by 2020. Other Baltic countries, Latvia and Lithuania, have already reached a 5 pct blending rate while Finland has surpassed 10 pct. (Source: Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, ISSA, Crop Biotech Update, 13 Dec., 2016) Contact: Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, www.mkm.ee/en

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel Blend,  


EIA Forecasts Continued Biodiesel Growth (Ind. Report)
US EPA
Date: 2016-12-16
According to the US Energy Information Agency (EIA), the US EPA's recently released final Renewable Fuel Standard ruling projects the rule will have the greatest impact on biomass-based diesel consumption, which is forecast to continue growing into 2017, while ethanol consumption remains largely unchanged.

Biomass-based diesel generates so-called renewable identification number (RIN) credits used by refiners and gasoline and diesel importers to meet the RFS targets for use of biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuels, and total renewable fuel.

Steadily increasing RFS targets for biomass-based diesel have led to increasing D4 RIN prices, which, along with the blender's tax credit, have helped encourage growing levels of biomass-based diesel consumption in 2015 and 2016, according to EIA.

The agency projects biomass-based diesel consumption will increase from 1.7 billion gallons in 2015, to a record 2.5 billion gallons in 2017, 0.5 billion gallons above the biomass-based diesel RFS target of 2.0 billion gallons. The additional biomass-based diesel will help meet the advanced biofuel RFS target. EIA assumes ethanol, the most-consumed renewable fuel, consumption will continue to be driven primarily by domestic gasoline demand. Almost all gasoline sold in the U.S. is blended with up to 10 pct ethanol. (Source: EIA, EPA, Various Media, Kallanish, 14 Dec., 2016)Contact: EIA, www.eia.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News EIA,  Biomass,  Biofuel,  Biodiesel,  US EPA,  


ADM Expanding Bulgarian Corn Wet Mill Capacity (Ind. Report)
ADM
Date: 2016-12-16
Chicago-headquartered ethanol producer and grain trader Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM) is reporting it will significantly expand the overall grind and finishing capacity for sweeteners and starches at its corn wet mill in Sofia, Bulgaria. The expansion is slated for completion early in 2018.

ADM currently employs more than 32,000 people and its products are sold worldwide. (Source: ADM Website, Various Media, SeeNews, 12 Dec., 2016) Contact: ADM, Juan Luciano , CEO, (312) 634-8100 - US Headquarters, ADM Bulgaria Trading EOOD, +359 2 963 0201, www.adm.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  ADM,  Archer Daniels Midland,  Corn,  Biofuel,  


Suez Environment, TOTAL Ink Cooking Oil Biodiesel Deal (Int'l)
Suez Environment,Total SA
Date: 2016-12-16
French waste management specialist Suez Environment and Paris-headquartered oil and gas giant TOTAL SA are reporting a 10-year deal under which Suez will collect and supply 20,000 metric tpy of used cooking oil to TOTAL's La Mede biorefinery for processing into biodiesel. The La Mede petroleum refinery was closed in 2015 and reopened as a biodiesel refinery in 2016.

Presently, approximately 45,000 tpy of used cooking oil are collected in France, out of an estimated total of more than 100,000 tonnes. The two firms plan to increase used cooking oil collection and biodiesel production by more than 20 pct during the term of their agreement. (Source: Suez Environment, TOTAL, Various Media, 13 Dec., 2016) Contact: Suez Environment, Jean-Marc Boursier, Senior Exec. VP, +33 1 45 30 86 79, www.suez-environnement.fr; TOTAL SA, www.total.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Suez Environment,  TOTAL SA,  Biodiesel,  Used Cooking Oil,  


Chevron Takes Equity Stake in Australian Novvi Group (M&A)
Chevron Products,Novvi, Amyris , Cosan S.A.
Date: 2016-12-16
Chevron Products Co., a division of US oil and gas giant Chevron USA , and Melbourne, Australia-based renewable base oil technology lubricant manufacturer Novvi Group are reporting Chevron has made an unspecified equity investment into Novvi Group.

Novvi is a joint venture of Emeryville, California-headquartered industrial biosecience specialist Amyris Inc., Cosan S.A., and American Refining Group. (Source: Chevron, Novvi Group, Biofuel Int'l, 15 Dec., 2016) Contact: Amyris, John Melo, CEO, (510) 450-0761, www.amyris.com; Novvi Group, Jeff Brown, CEO, www.novvi.com; Cosan S.A., www,cosan.com.br; Chevron, www.chevron.com/operations/products-services; American Refining Group, www.amref.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Chevron,  Amyris ,  Cosan S.A.,  


US PV Manufacturing Consortium Offers Solar Testkit (Ind. Report)
SUNY Polytechnic Institute,US Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium
Date: 2016-12-16
As part of the US DOE Sunshot Initiative and led by SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly), the US Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium )PVMC) is reporting a new set of PV systems evaluation capabilities aimed at providing real-time data to industrial and academic partners.

PVMC's Solar Energy Optimization Testkit is able to obtain and provide actionable solar energy cost and PV performance information from PVMC test and consortium member sites to improve solar cells, components, modules, systems, and operations and maintenance protocols. The service helps partners avoid costs associated with managing and maintaining their own individual test centers and instead leverage the consortium and SUNY Poly's expertise.

The PVMC Testkit can be applied to any currently deployed PV system and allows the PVMC to collect and model data and perform key measurements at the sites to validate predictive models. Array owners receive periodic performance reports that compare predicted versus actual performance to help identify where energy losses are occurring, embracing a data-driven approach to maximize cost effective operations and maintenance. Data is monitored in real-time and sent to the PVMC's SUNY Poly Albany NanoTech Complex where it is time-stamped to the site weather stations, PV reference arrays, various sensors that monitor the solar radiation, the DC side of the inverters, and the module temperature. This allows careful study of the performance of these systems in real-world conditions, allowing companies to validate and improve their designs as the data is being monitored and analyzed by a team of leading PVMC and SUNY Poly research scientists who provide partners with a detailed report that can offer a roadmap toward a more effective PV system. The testing kit is available to companies that partner with PVMC, and is already being utilized by leading PV developers and component manufacturers. (Source: US Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, SolarNovus, 12 Dec., 2016) Contact: US Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium , Eric Holton, Bus. Dev., eholton@sunycnse.com, www.uspvmc.org; SUNY Polytechnic Institute, www.sunycnse.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  SUNY Polytechnic Institute,  US Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium ,  


Canada Sets National Carbon Tax at $10 per tonne (Ind. Report)
Canada Carbon Tax
Date: 2016-12-16
In Ottawa, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Lib.) has announced the country's first carbon tax pegged at $10 (Cdn) per tonne beginning in 2018. The tax will rise $10 every year to hit $50 in 2022.

Under the agreement, the provinces can either implement a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade market. Canada's largest provinces, Ontario and Quebec are presently installing a cap-and-trade system and British Columbia has a carbon tax in place.

In November, Canada announced it would phase out all coal-fired electric power generation by 2030. (Source: Various Media, UNEP Climate Action, 12 Dec., 2016)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Canada Carbon Tax,  Carbon Tax,  Carbon Price,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  


Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification Launched (Int'l)
International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification
Date: 2016-12-16
According to the recently launched International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification (Alliance), carbon emissions have a clear impact on the Earth's atmosphere, trapping heat and contributing to global warming. However, a lot of that carbon also gets absorbed by the water bodies on Earth, especially the oceans, where it contributes to increasing the acidic component of their waters.

Oceans cover 70 pct of the planet and seawater is actually basic, not acidic, but as an estimated 30-40 percent of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere due to human activity is dissolved in the oceans, the basicity of seawater reduces and moves toward being pH-neutral, like pure water. Ocean acidification is problematic because the vast amount of life in the oceans and seas is not suited to live in that kind of water.

Ocean acidity has already increased by 30 pct and is expected to double over pre-industrial levels by the end of this century as a result of the ocean absorbing one-third of the atmospheric carbon dioxide generated by human activities. Significant adverse impacts on fisheries and marine ecosystems have already been documented due to ocean acidification and these impacts will worsen in the future, according to the Alliance's website. Current ocean acidification is a byproduct of human activity, but natural phenomena that are not well understood caused a massive ocean acidification event over 250 million years ago that contributed to the Permian-Triassic mass extinction event, according to the Alliance.

Founding Alliance members include: The Province of British Columbia; State of California; Republic of Chile; Cross River State - Nigeria; French Republic; City of Imperial Beach - California; Province of Quebec; Quinault Indian Nation; Washington State, and others. (Source: International Alliance to Fight Ocean Acidification, 14 Dec., 2016) Contact: Global Alliance to Fight Ocean Acidification, http://oaalliance.org

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


Peabody Honors Cleanest U.S. Coal-Fired Power Plants (Ind. Report)
Peabody Energy
Date: 2016-12-16
St. Louis-headquartered Peabody Energy, the world's largest private-sector coal company which is presently in Chapt. 11 bankruptcy, reports it has recognized U.S. coal-fueled power plants for top environmental performance with the 2016 Peabody Energy Clean Coal Awards.

Honors were determined based on data available from the Environmental Protection Agency for the lowest sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions rates in addition to the best efficiency (as measured by heat rate), which results in a lower carbon footprint. Starting this year, the company also presented awards to industry pioneers advancing modern, large-scale carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) projects.

Award winners included:

  • Dynegy's Coffeen Plant in Illinois -- The 50-year old, 915-MW plant uses low-sulfur Powder River Basin coal and added a wet scrubber in 2009.

  • Southwestern Electric Power Company's (SWEPCO) John W. Turk Jr. Plant, Fulton, Ark. -- The Turk plant's NOx emissions profile is 79 pct better than the U.S. coal fleet average. The 600 MW ultra-supercritical power plant began commercial operation in 2012.

  • Longview Power LLC's Longview Power Plant in Maidsville, W. Va., -- The 705 MW supercritical power plant operates at a level of efficiency 15 pct better than the U.S. coal fleet average. Longview's best-in-class heat rate of 9,003 Btu per kWh in 2015 continues to improve, and the company's current efficiency performance is on track to be well below 8,900 Btu per kilowatt hour.

  • Mississippi Power's Kemper County Energy Facility -- The 582 MW Kemper facility employs Transport Integrated Gasification technology that is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 65 pct.

  • NRG Energy and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration's Petra Nova Carbon Capture Project -- The Petra Nova project demonstrates commercial-scale deployment of post-combustion carbon capture and is designed to capture approximately 90 pct of CO2 emissions from a 240 MW equivalent slipstream of flue gas from the W.A. Parish plant in Thompsons, Texas, southwest of Houston.

    Today's high-efficiency, low-emissions (HELE) coal-fueled generation includes multiple technologies capable of reducing the vast majority of SO2, NOx, particulate matter, mercury and other emissions. Advanced HELE technologies result in a smaller environmental footprint, achieving as much as a 25 percent reduction in a plant's CO2 emissions rate. Longer-term investments in next-generation carbon capture technologies are widely recognized as essential to meet long-term global climate goals, according to Peabody Energy. (Source: Peabody Energy, 14 Dec., 2016) Contact: Peabody Energy, Glenn Kellow, CEO, Stephanie Weiler, (314) 342-7798, www.PeabodyEnergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Peabody Energy,  Carbon Emissions,  Coal,  Clean Coal,  


  • Aussie Biofuels Lab Open to Biofuels Developers (Int'l)
    Australian Renewable Energy Agency
    Date: 2016-12-14
    Following on our June 27th coverage, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) reports it is providing $2.37 million (AUS) in support of a new biocrude and biofuels laboratory which has opened on the site of Northern Oil Refining's advanced biofuels pilot plant in Gladstone, Queensland.

    Southern Oil Refining and JJ Richards & Sons, joint venture partners in the Northern Oil Refinery at Yarwun, built the newly opened multi-million dollar laboratory, which is freely available for testing and other research to Australian biofuels developers. (Source: ARENA, Various Media, 12 Dec., 2016)Contact: ARENA, Ivor Frischknecht, CEO, +61 2 6243 7773, www.arena.gov.au; Southern Oil Refining, Tim Rose, +61 2 6925 8755, www.sor.com.au

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Southern Oil,  Australian Renewable Energy Agency ,  Biofuel,  


    Goldwind, Apple Partnering on Chinese Wind Projects (Ind. Report)
    Apple,Goldwind
    Date: 2016-12-14
    China's Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. (Goldwind) reports it has sealed a deal with high-tech giant Apple under which Apple will hold a 30 stake stake in four separate wind projects being developed in China.

    Under the terms of the agreement, Goldwind's wholly owned subsidiary Beijing Tianrun New Energy Investment Co., Ltd. and Apple agree to cooperate on wind power projects, and actively promote certain of the Company's green power in local projects.. Beijing Tianrun will transfer a 30 pct equity share of the Target Project Companies -- subsidiaries set up to develop and operate a project -- of four wind projects to Apple, which will make the four projects cooperative joint ventures between the two companies. The four companies-projects are: Nanyang Runtang New Energy Co., Ltd. in Henan Province; Zibo Runchuan New Energy Co., Ltd. in Shandong Province; Shuozhou Pinglu Sineng Wind Power Co., Ltd. in Shanxi Province; and the Qiaojia Tianqiao Wind Power Co., Ltd. in Yunnan Province. (Source: Goldwind, Various Media, 12 Dec., 20160 Contact: Apple, www.apple.com, Goldwind Global, www.goldwindglobal.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Apple,  Goldwind,  Wind,  China Wind,  


    Wind Kite Power Systems Attracts £5Mn Investment (Ind. Report)
    Royal Dutch Shell,Kite Power Systems
    Date: 2016-12-14
    Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch Shell reports it will join E.ON and Schlumberger to invest £5 million in in Essex, UK-based startup Kite Power Systems (KPS).

    KPS's technology uses lightweight kites tethered to a turbine on the ground. Two kites work in tandem, with one rising on the wind to a height of 450 meters while the other falls. Their looping motion -- at speeds of up to 100mph -- rotates the turbine to generate electricity.

    The Shell-led investment will finance a 500 kilowatt test facility at a former air force base in south-west Scotland next year. (Source: E.ON, Shell, Fin .Times, Others, Dec., 2016) Contact: Kite Power Systems, David Ainsworth, Interim CEO, www.kitepowersolutions.com; E.ON, Frank Meyer, Head of Innovation, www.eon.com/renewables; Shell, Geert van de Wouw, STV Managing Director, www.shell.com/energy-and-innovation/innovating-together/shell-technology-ventures.html; Schlumberger, (281) 285-1300, www.slb.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Royal Dutch Shell,  Wind,  Kite Wind,  E.ON,  Schlumberger,  


    U.S. to Miss Advanced Biofuel Targets, says GAO (Ind. Report)
    Government Accountability Office
    Date: 2016-12-14
    In Washington DC, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports that despite government subsidies and mandates, advanced biofuels from dedicated energy crop such as switchgrass, algae and others, will fall short of their plan to blend up to 36 billion gallons of ethanol and advanced biofuels into the nation's gasoline supply by 2022. The GAO adds that production of corn-ethanol has nearly reached the maximum 20 pct greenhouse gas reduction mandated under the renewable fuel standard (RFS).

    . According to the GAO, "In fiscal years 2013 through 2015,the federal government obligated more than $1.1 billion for advanced biofuels R&D. Even with federal backing, it does not appear possible to meet statutory target volumes for advanced biofuels in the RFS under current market and regulatory conditions." The GAO partially blames "high production costs" for the shortfall. (Source: GAO, aminewswire, 13 Dec., 2016)Contact: GOA, (202) 512-3000, contact@goa.gov, www.gao.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Government Accountability Office,  RFS.Biofuel Blend,  


    Australia's Largest Solar Array Wins Regulatory Approval (Int'l)
    Sun Brilliance
    Date: 2016-12-14
    In the Land Down Under, Perth-based developer Sun Brilliance is confirming conditional approval from the Mid-West Wheatbelt Joint Development Assessment Panel for Australia's first utility-scale solar array. The approval is dependent upon the project being developed within two years of the approval date, that the electrical substation be relocated at least 200 meters away from the nearest home, and that a detailed transport management plan be developed accounting for the construction period.

    The $160 million, 100 MW project will be located 158 km east of Perth. Financial, timelines and other details have not been revealed. (Source: Sun Brilliance, Various Media, REnewEconomy, 12 Dec., 2016) Contact: Sun Brilliance, +61 421 344 770, www.sunbrilliance.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Sun Brilliance,  Solar,  Australia Solar,  


    Qatar Airport Touting Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan (Int'l)
    Airport Carbon Accreditation, Hamad International Airport
    Date: 2016-12-14
    In Doha, Qatar, Hamad International Airport (HIA), one of 173 worldwide members of the Airports Council International (ACI) Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme, is touting its long-term commitment to tackle climate change and reduce carbon emissions.

    The ACI's ACA programme offers certification at four levels which reflect incremental challenges in measuring, managing and improving carbon emissions. (Source: HIA, Gulf Times, 11 Dec., 2016) Contact: Hamad International Airport, +974 4010 666, dohahamadairport.com; Airport Carbon Accreditation Program, +44 845 868 2708, www.airportcarbonaccreditation.org

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


    Increased Agriculture Causing Global Methane Emissions Spike, says CSIRO Report (Ind. Report)
    CSIRO,Global Methane Budget
    Date: 2016-12-14
    According to Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) researcher Dr. Pep Canadell, nearly 100 scientists from around the world have compiled comprehensive data for the Global Methane Budget which shows the biggest spike in methane concentrations in the atmosphere in 20 years. The data indicate that the major driver of emissions growth is agriculture and livestock. "The increase in food production globally has led to the increase in emissions, which has contributed to the higher concentration of methane in the atmosphere," according to Canadell.

    Recent CSIRO statistics show that CO2 emissions have plateaued since 2013, while fossil fuel and industry emissions are projected to grow by just 0.2 pct this year. The research showed that CO2 was responsible for 80 pct cent of all increased warming from human activity, according to Canadell. (Source: CSIRO, ABC Australia, 11 Dec., 2016) Contact: CSIRO, Dr. Pep Canadell, Director, Global Carbon Project, pep.canadell#csiro.au, www.csiro.au; Methane Budget - Global Carbon Project, www.globalcarbonproject.org/methanebudget

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


    California Tops in Energy-Efficiency Jobs (ind. Report)
    Environmental Entrepreneurs
    Date: 2016-12-14
    According to a new report by the group Environmental Entrepreneurs, the Golden State leads the nation in energy efficiency job creation with mare than 300,000 active jobs. The report indicates that policies in California are paying off -- even while the state's energy consumption is only increasing by 1 pct a year, according to the California Energy Commission data.

    According to the report, the greatest concentration of energy efficiency jobs in the state is in the metropolitan areas that includes L.A., Long Beach and Santa Ana. Of the companies currently operating in the energy efficiency field, 70 pct are small businesses, the report said. (Source: Public News Service, 13 Dec., 2016) Contact: Environmental Entrepreneurs, (415) 875.6121, victoria@e2.org, www.e2.org; Reports Available https://www.e2.org/energyefficiencyjobs

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Environmental Entrepreneurs,  


    Leclanche Taps Greensmith for 20MW Energy Storage System (Ind. Report)
    Leclanche,Greensmith Energy
    Date: 2016-12-14
    Emeryville, California-headquartered energy storage software and services supplier Greensmith Energy reports that it has been selected by battery pioneer Leclanche to provide a turn-key 20MW/10MWh system in Marengo, Illinois -- near Chicago. The site will provide frequency regulation as the main use-case. Leclanche will provide the batteries and work with Greensmith to deliver the project. which is expected to be commissioned by May, 2017.

    Greensmith's software platform is the most widely-deployed energy storage software solution powering 130 MW/180 MWh globally. Greensmith enables the most-advanced and proven energy storage systems by providing robust yet flexible feature functionality for grid-scale, behind-the-meter and microgrid storage control architecture, according to the company. The GEMS software platform optimizes the performance of energy storage by lowering costs and maximizing system return on investment throughout life. In 2014, Greensmith delivered over one-third of all energy storage capacity installed in the United States. GEMS is currently used by more than 30 major customers globally, according to Greensmith. (Source: Greensmith Energy, Bus. Wire, 13 Dec., 2016) Contact: Greensmith, John Jung, Pres., jjung@greensmith.us.com, Mallory Sass, (408) 966-5950, Merketing Dir., msass@greensmithenergy.com, www.greensmithenergy.com; Leclanche, www.leclanche.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Leclanche,  Greensmith Energy,  Energy STorage Software,  Energy Storage,  


    China Trumpets GHG Reductions, Carbon Markets Success (Int'l)
    China,China National Development and Reform Commission
    Date: 2016-12-12
    In Beijing, China's special representative for climate change Xie Zhenhua reports that China cut its carbon intensity by 20 pct between 2010-15 surpassing its original 17 pct target. Zhenhua added that the use of non-fossil fuels was up by 12 pct, slightly above the targeted 11.4 pct.

    Chinese authorities are also reporting that as of the end of Sept. 120 million tons of carbon credits valued at $472 million were traded on the country's 7 pilot carbon credit trading markets including Beijing and Guangdong Province. Authorities are also trumpeting the training of over 1,000 climate change and emissions specialists and the establishment of 100 projects in 10 low-carbon demonstration areas to cope with climate change. (Source: China National Development and Reform Commission, Various Media, Dec., 2016) Contact: China National Development and Reform Commission, en.ndrc.gov.cn

    More Low-Carbon Energy News China National Development and Reform Commission,  China Carbon Market,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Harvard Hits Emissions Target Ahead of Schedule (Ind. Report)
    Harvard
    Date: 2016-12-12
    In Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University, driven by an ambitious science-based emissions reduction and climate change goal, reports it has slashed its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 pct during the past decade.

    The University's reduction goal, adopted in 2008 and measured from a 2006 baseline, was met despite 15 pct growth in campus building square-footage -- an addition of 3 million square-feet -- and an increase in the energy intensity of existing space. The prestigious school achieved its goal by reducing demand through widespread implementation of energy-efficiency measures (net energy use measured 10 percent less in 2016 than in 2006), an increase in renewable energy sources, and by "decarbonizing" -- shifting to low-priced natural gas, a less carbon-intensive fossil fuel than oil or coal. Ninety-seven pct of the University's emissions are attributable to energy use in buildings. (Source: Harvard Univ., Harvard Magazine, 8 Dec., 2016) Contact: Harvard University, Office of Sustainability, https://green.harvard.edu

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


    DOE Accelerates Clean Energy, Energy Conservation Initiatives (Funding)
    US DOE
    Date: 2016-12-12
    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is reporting $3 million in funding for three projects to speed the adoption of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies at federal facilities.

    Through the DOE's standardized Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) ENABLE performance contract, agencies can more quickly install energy conservation measures such as lighting and solar photovoltaics at smaller facilities as compared with a traditional ESP. The Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies (AFFECT) will help the agengy Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) funded programs including:

  • USDA U.S. Forest Service -- This program proposes to expand its use of ENABLE from two regions to 10 regions overall. The Forest Service is committed to developing $15 million worth of energy savings projects.

  • General Service Administration (GSA) Public Building Service -- This program will utilize a proven ESPC Team, the GSA's Project Management Office (PMO), to institutionalize the ESPC ENABLE process across the entire organization. GSA aims to develop $18 million worth of energy savings projects.

  • Department of Defense U.S. Air Force - This program has identified previous organizational barriers to performance contracting and has developed a plan to overcome those barriers with the newly created Office of Energy Assurance (OEA) to ensure an effective ESPC ENABLE process within the Air National Guard. Air Force is committed to developing $18 million worth of energy savings projects. (Source: US DOE, PR, Various Media 10 Dec., 2016) Contact: US DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) www.energy.gov/eere/office-energy-efficiency-renewable-energy ; FEMP www.energy.gov/eere/femp/federal-energy-management-program

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Management,  Energy Efficiency,  US DOE,  Renewable Energy,  Energy Conservation,  Energy Efficiency,  Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy ,  


  • Orlando Legislates Building Energy Benchmarking (Reg & Leg)
    City of Orlando
    Date: 2016-12-12
    In the Sunshine State, the Orlando city council reports approval of the Building Energy and Water Efficiency Strategy (BEWES) ordinance, effective May, 2018.

    The ordinance requires buildings of 50,000 square feet or more to to annually benchmark and report their energy and water consumption. It also requires energy audits for buildings that perform below the national average in terms of their energy use.

    The ordinance, which aims to help building owners identify low-cost energy efficiency improvements, is expected to save building owners and tenants an estimated $208 million in energy costs over the next 15 years as well as avoid an estimated 1.1 million metric tons of carbon pollution. Orlando's bui;ldings sector accounts for over 72 pct percent of the city's energy consumption. (Source: City of Orlando, NRDC Blog, 8 Dec., 2016)

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

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