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Netherlands Climate Change Plan Phasing Out Natural Gas (Int'l)
Date: 2016-12-12
As part of its attack on climate change, the Dutch government has presented a long-term low-carbon energy plan stipulating: All existing homes will be disconnected from the gas grid by 2050 and no new homes will be connected to the gas grid. Instead of natural gas, homes will be heated in part with waste heat from industrial processes as well as geothermal sources. To that end, new infrastructure for waste heat distribution will be built with local governments playing a leading role in transition process.

Additionally, the government will investigate possibilities for carbon capture and storage (CCS) support energy efficiency and renewable energy possibilities although these initiatives will play second fiddle to CO2 reduction targets.

In particular, the government plans to continue the "large scale expansion" of offshore wind in the North Sea but does not plan to immediately close existing coal-power stations. which has been demanded by NGO’s and left-leaning parties. (Source: Various Media, Energy Post, CleanTechnica, Dec., 2016)

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

Portland Passes Home Energy Reporting Requirement (Ind. Report)
Portland Oregon
Date: 2016-12-12
Portland, Oregon's City Council reports it unanimous approve a measure requiring homeowners to get a home energy audit score that will be attached to a real estate listing in the event the property offered for sale.

Under the measure, which would go into effect Jan. 1, 2018, homes would be scored on a 1 to 10 scale based on insulation as well as furnace, hot water heater and appliances energy efficiency. The city estimates that obtaining a home energy audit and score between $150 and $250. Realators opposed the legislation. (Source: Portland City Council , Business Journal. 8 Dec., 2016) Contact: Portland City Council,

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

EU, EBRD Increase Green, Energy Efficiency Cooperation (Int'l)
Date: 2016-12-12
In London, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and EU are reporting a new Memorandum of Understanding to enhance energy cooperation between the EU and the EBRD.

The MoU aims broaden the existing cooperation and funding for energy efficiency, smart grid, renewable energy and similar EU projects and initiatives. It will also enhance Europe's energy security by further promoting the interconnectivity of EU energy systems and decommissioning of nuclear power plants. It will extend cooperation to related areas like regulatory and financing criteria issues. Until now, cooperation focused mainly on energy security, energy efficiency and nuclear decommissioning.

Since 2006, the has contributed over €290 million in support of the EBRD's green ventures which have surpassed €20 billion over the same time frame. (Source: EU, EBRD, , mondovisione, Dec. 8, 2016 Contact: EBRD, +44 (0) 207 338 6000,

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU,  EBRD,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Conservation,  

Ethanol-Blend Success Could Save India $6Bn, says Report (Int'l)
India,University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun
Date: 2016-12-12
In India, according to the recently released Fuel Blending in India -- Learnings and Way Forward Report from the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun, India could save as much as $6.12 billion in foreign exchange from oil imports by 2021-22 if the country's proposed 20-pct Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme target can be met. The report also suggests that ethanol blending success would slash CO2 emissions by up to 10.41 million tpy 2021-22, if the proposed EBP Programme target is achieved.

Although India's National Policy on Biofuels has set a target of 20 pct blending of biodiesel and ethanol, an average blending rate of close to 5 pct by the end of 2016 is expected. India's current domestic ethanol capacity stands at approximately 2,240 million lpy. To increase that amount, the report recommends continued financial support to key players in the biofuel value chain, rationalization of pricing and taxation mechanism, and a simplification of the regulatory framework. (Source: University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun, PTI India, Money Control, Dec 09, 2016) Contact: University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, +91 135 277 6054,

More Low-Carbon Energy News India Biofuel,  Biofuel Blend,  Ethanol,  Ethanol Blend,  

Hydrite Licenses Solenis' Corn Oil Extraction Tech. (Ind. Report)
Solenis, Hydrite Chemical
Date: 2016-12-12
Wilmington, Delaware-based Solenis LLC, a global producer of specialty chemicals for the pulp, paper, biorefining and other markets, and Brookfield, Wisconsin-based Hydrite Chemical Co. have announce dthe resolution of pending legal actions filed by Hydrite against Solenis regarding Solenis’ patents for using polysorbate as an additive for corn oil extraction aids. As a result of the settlement, Solenis has licensed the use of its corn oil extraction technology to Hydrite. Under the license agreement, Hydrite will become an authorized licensee in the United States and Canada of Solenis technology that enhances the efficiency of corn oil extraction in the corn-to-ethanol process. (Source: Solenis, Hydrite Chemical, Biofuel Insight, Others, 9 Dec., 2016) Contact: Hydrite Chemical Co., Shruti Singhal, VP North America, Jon Murnik, Exec. Dir. Foam Products, (262) 792-1450,; Solenis, John Panichella, Pres, CEO, Catherine Abernathy, Media, (904) 256-0333,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Solenis,  Hydrite Chemical ,  

HERO Program Available in Franklin County, Mo. (Ind. Report)
Date: 2016-12-09
In the Show Me State, the Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program is now available to all homeowners in Franklin County. HERO, the largest residential PACE program in the U.S., helps homeowners finance the replacement of HVAC systems, upgrade windows and doors, add insulation, install solar arrays and other energy efficient improvements.

HERO funds up to 100 pct of home energy efficiency and related improvements at competitive fixed interest rates with terms based on the service life of the product, up to 20 years. Interest on HERO payments may be tax-deductible.

The HERO Program is run by Renovate America and the Missouri Clean Energy District (MCED. (Source: 7 Dec., 2016) Contact: HERO,; Missouri Clean Energy District, (314) 769-8300,

More Low-Carbon Energy News HERO,  PACE,  Energy Efficiency,  

Trump Taps RFS Critic to Head EPA (Ind. Report)
Date: 2016-12-09
U.S President-elect Donald Trump has announced his choice to head-up the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-- Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt.

Pruitt, a lawyer and former Oklahoma state senator (R), is thought to have "oil connections" is an outspoken critic of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and supported the EPA's 2013 decision to lower renewable volume obligations in the RFS. He also led a number of states in filing one of many lawsuits against EPA challenging the WOTUS rule as an unconstitutional power grab.

Pruitt apparently beat-out another Republican, Myron Ebell, for the top EPA slot, as reported on November 11th. Ebell is known for his position that human-activity related global warming is "modest" and could actually be "beneficial." Mr. Ebell, although carrying no science credentials, is a graduate of the London School of Economics. He is also Director of Global Warming and International Environmental Policy at the Washington-headquartered Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian advocacy group. (Source: DTN, Various Media, 7 Dec., 2016) Contact: E. Scott Pruitt, (405) 521-3921,; President-elect Donald Trump, (212) 832-2000,,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  EPA,  Donald Trump,  

President-elect Trump Urged to Act on Climate Change, Energy Efficient Economy (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Date: 2016-12-09
A recently released letter from 800 earth scientists and energy experts to President-elect Donald Trump urges Trump to "take immediate and sustained action against human-caused climate change which threatens America's economy, national security, and public health and safety", among other concerns.

Among the seven specific issues, the letter urges Trump to: "Embrace the enormous economic opportunities of transitioning to an energy efficient, low-carbon society and use part of his $1 trillion commitment to infrastructure development to expand clean energy, boost U.S. competitiveness, and put America to work."

The letter concludes: "You have the support of the majority of companies, military leaders, scientists, engineers, and citizens to respond to the threats posed by climate change by reducing carbon pollution and expanding clean energy. Many of America's largest cities and states are already committed to doing so.. We urge you to decide if you want your Presidency to be defined by denial and disaster, or acceptance and action." (Source: Various Media, Scientific American, Various Others, Dec., 2016)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Renewable Energy,  Trump,  

Miami-Dade Joins City Energy Project (Ind. Report)
City Energy Project
Date: 2016-12-09
In Florida, Miami-Dade County reports it has joined the City Energy Project, a united effort of 20 U.S. communities to address their largest source of energy use and carbon pollution - buildings. The project could save Miami-Dade residents and businesses close to $200 million per year on their energy bills by 2030, as well as cyt more than 1.2 million metric tpy of carbon emissions from county buildings.

City Energy Project participating cities and counties develop locally tailored plans comprising multiple integrated strategies to significantly reduce building energy use, recognizing that a suite of initiatives can be more effective than a single program or policy. alone. In addition to providing energy expertise and guidance on initiative planning, design, and implementation, the City Energy Project offers a platform for peer-to-peer sharing of lessons learned and best practices. (Source: Miami-Dade County, Miami County Newspaper, 7 Dec., 2016) Contact: City Energy Project,

More Low-Carbon Energy News City Energy Project,  Energy Efficiency,  

Ohio Energy Standards Leg. Headed for Senate Vote (Reg & Leg)
Date: 2016-12-09
Following on our Dec. 5th story -- Ohio Considering Voluntary Clean Energy Targets -- Ohio House Bill 554, which would make compliance with the state's clean energy standards voluntary until 2020, has passed in the Ohio House of Representatives and is now headed to the Ohio Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee before being voted on by the full Senate.

The bill, if passed into law, would delay the return of enforceable renewable energy and energy efficiency provisions for three more years. It would also continue loopholes that could let utilities profit from energy efficiency programs at consumers' expense, even for actions those utilities did not take, according to the bill's detractors. The bill would let utilities get "shared savings" for decreases in energy usage in prior years and count lower energy usage from an earlier year towards a benchmark for compliance. (Source: Various Media, MW Energy News, 7 Dec., 2016)

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

Google Commits to 100 pct Renewable Energy by 2017 (Ind. Report)
Date: 2016-12-09
Mountain View, California-headquartered Internet giant Google reports it will meet 100 pct of its corporate energy demand with carbon-free energy by 2017. The company now has commitments to purchase 2.6 gigawatts of electricity under long-term contracts primarily with wind and solar energy providers. That's up from 2 GW a year ago.

In addition to its renewable energy procurement program, Google has to help its consumers bring clean energy benefits closer to home. For example, the company's

The company has deployed a variety of technologies including its Project Sunroof Program used Google Earth 3-D imagery to help determine the potential for deploying rooftop solar panels, and invested in "machine learning" to help boost the computing power of its data centers while using significantly less energy. A Google data center can extract 3.5 times more computing power from a single unit of energy compared with five years ago, according to the company.

Download Google's 2012 Sustainability Report HERE, HERE. (Source: Google, Various Media, Scientific American, Dec., 2016)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Google,  Clean Energy,  Low-Carbon Energy,  Renewable Energy,  

800 Earth Scientists, Energy Experts Address the President-elect on Climate Change (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Climate Change
Date: 2016-12-09
800 Earth Scientists, Energy Experts Address the President-elect on Climate Change (Opinions, Editorials & Asides) "We, the undersigned, (more than 800 prominent scientists and energy experts) urge you to take immediate and sustained action against human-caused climate change. We write as concerned individuals, united in recognizing that the science is unequivocal and America must respond.

"Climate change threatens America's economy, national security, and public health and safety.. Some communities are already experiencing its impacts, with low-income and minority groups disproportionately affected.

"At this crucial juncture in human history, countries look to the United States to pick up the mantle of leadership: to take steps to strengthen, not weaken, this nation's efforts to tackle this crisis. With the eyes of the world upon us, and amidst uncertainty and concern about how your administration will address this issue, we ask that you begin by taking the following steps upon taking office:

  • Make America a clean energy leader. The vast majority of Americans -- whether Republican, Democrat, or Independent -- support renewable energy research and deployment5. Embrace the enormous economic opportunities of transitioning to an energy efficient, low-carbon society. Use part of your $1 trillion commitment to infrastructure development to expand democratized clean energy, boost U.S. competitiveness, and put America to work. Since 2008, the cleantech industry has created one out of every 33 jobs in the United States. 'Wind technician' is the fastest growing job category in America, and the solar industry has hired more veterans than any other sector.

  • Reduce carbon pollution and America's dependence on fossil fuels. The majority of Americans are in favor of this. Assure them that the policies helping to cut greenhouse gas emissions, curb air and water pollution, and accelerate clean energy growth, innovation, and jobs such as the Clean Power Plan, renewable energy tax credits, and auto-efficiency standards will stay in place. Continued funding and flexibility of federal agencies to address climate change, including the EPA, the DOE, and NASA are key to achieving these goals.

  • Enhance America's climate preparedness and resilience. In the past 5 years alone, storms, floods, droughts, and wildfires caused over $250 billion in damages. As climate change continues to increase the frequency and severity of these extreme events, so too grows the burden on all taxpayers to pay for disaster relief and recovery. Help protect and strengthen America's communities, economy, and natural resources by investing in modern, climate-resilient energy, transport, building, and water infrastructure.

  • Publicly acknowledge that climate change is a real, human-caused, and urgent threat. If not, you will become the only government leader in the world to deny climate science. Your position will be at odds with virtually all climate scientists, most economists, military experts, fossil fuel companies and other business leaders, and the two-thirds of Americans worried about this issue.

  • Protect scientific integrity in policymaking. During your campaign, you said that your 'administration will ensure that there will be [scientific] transparency and accountability without political bias.' Uphold these standards by appointing scientific advisors, Cabinet members, and federal agency leaders who respect and rely on science based decision making. This would exclude many of your Cabinet and transition team appointees to date, who deny the scientific realities of human-caused climate change.

  • Uphold America's commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. Reneging from this treaty -- the product of 25 years of negotiations between almost every country on Earth -- would undermine our best chance to avoid dangerous climate change. It would also poorly represent the American people, the majority of whom support US participation in the Paris Agreement19. The United States will lose its seat of influence at the international negotiating table and will cede to China, the EU, and other countries its authority as a political, technological, and moral leader.
  • "You have the support of the majority of companies, military leaders, scientists, engineers, and citizens to respond to the threats posed by climate change by reducing carbon pollution and expanding clean energy. Many of America's largest cities and states are already committed to doing so.. We urge you to decide if you want your Presidency to be defined by denial and disaster, or acceptance and action." Sincerely, (signed by more than 800 prominent scientists)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate CHange,  Trump,  

    Neb. Drivers Save $17Mn with Ethanol-blend Fuel (Ind. Report)
    Nebraska Ethanol Board
    Date: 2016-12-09
    According to the Nebraska Ethanol Board, "Nebraska drivers will save approximately $17 million by using primarily E10 ethanol-blended gasoline in 2016. The savings is based on lower prices for ethanol compared to wholesale gasoline and the state's projected spark-ignition fuel consumption of 900 million gallons.

    Between August 2015 and August 2016, the cost of wholesale ethanol averaged 18 cents per gallon less than the minimum octane gasoline allowed to be sold in most of the U.S, according to the US DOE.

    "According to the DOE, this year's gasoline consumption by U.S. motorists will exceed 140 billion gallons and 97 pct of this fuel will contain ethanol. U.S. gasoline refiners continue to supply lower-octane gasoline which is typically enhanced with high octane ethanol to meet fuel standards. The octane-boosting capability and cleaner-burning attributes of ethanol make it an indispensable part of the U.S. motor fuel supply.

    "The significant role of ethanol in the nation's fuel supply is likely to expand in 2017 to meet the requirements of the national Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). In most parts of the country regular gasoline enhanced with ethanol has an octane rating of 87 which is the minimum octane recommended by automakers. According to EPA's Urban Air Toxics report to Congress, U.S. refiners increasingly boost octane by adding refining by-products such as benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylene. Several of these chemicals are known and suspected carcinogens -- aka aromatics -- and they're more expensive additives. Ethanol is much less expensive and cleaner-burning than these toxic petroleum-based chemicals.

    Sneller adds "Future growth in the ethanol industry is likely tied directly to automaker efforts to meet increasingly stringent U.S. fuel economy standards. New vehicles will have more efficient, higher compression engines that require even higher octane fuels. Ethanol will continue to play a role as a high-octane, low-carbon renewable choice in the U.S. and abroad.

    "Nebraska is the nation's second largest producer of ethanol with 25 plants producing a combined capacity approaching 2.5 billion gallons annually. The ethanol industry has a $5 billion annual economic impact in the state." (Source: Nebraska Ethanol Board, PR, 6 Dec., 2016) Contact: Nebraska Ethanol Board , Todd Sneller, Administrator, (402) 471-2941,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Nebraska Ethanol Board,  Ethanol,  Ethanol Blend,  E10,  

    DRAX Snares Opus Energy (Int'l Report, M&A)
    DRAX, Opus Energy
    Date: 2016-12-09
    In the UK, power giant DRAX Group reports it will pay £340 million to acquire the UK's sixth largest business energy supplier Opus Energy. The purchase is in line with the company's strategy to move away from its coal burning legacy.

    DRAX wants to switch to direct energy supply and back-up power given that its boal and biomass-fired station in Selby, North Yorkshire faces an uncertain future with coal plants forced to close by 2025. (Source: DRAX, Various Media, 7 Dec., 2016) Contact: DRAX, Dorothy Thompson, CEO, +44 (0)1757 618381,; Opus Energy,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DRAX Selby,  DRAX,  Biomass,  

    Vermont's Middlebury College Claims Carbon Neutrality (Ind. Report)
    Middlebury College
    Date: 2016-12-09
    In scenic Vermont, Middlebury College (2,256 enrollment) reports it has met its 2016 goal of a net zero carbon emissions making it the fourth college campus in the U.S. to declare itself carbon neutral.

    Virtually all of the college's current carbon footprint will be offset by carbon credits earned from a land trust agreement on 2,100 acres of College-owned forest land in the Bread Loaf Wilderness in the community of Ripton, Vermont. The tract will be protected "in perpetuity" through a conservation easement held by the Vermont Land Trust. (Source: Middlebury College, Middlebury Campus, 7 Dec., 2016)Contact: Middlebury College, (800) 343-0049,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Neutral,  

    Sturbridge 2.4 MW Community Solar Array Underway (Ind. Report)
    Ameresco Inc.,National Research Council of Canada
    Date: 2016-12-07
    In the Bay State, Framingham-based energy efficiency and renewable energy specialist Ameresco Inc. reports it has begun construction of a 2.4 MW solar facility in the Town of Sturbridge.

    The project will significantly reduce the town's energy costs with a 20-year PPA that is expected to provide millions of dollars in electricity cost savings over the duration of the contract. Under the PPA, half of the annual electricity generated from the facility will be used by the Town in the form of metering credits, and the other half by the Community Solar Program which will deliver the green power to area residents. The project is slated for completion and commissioning in early 2017. (Source: Ameresco, Town of Sturbridge, Yahoo, 5 Dec., 2016) Contact: Town of Sturbridge,; Ameresco, CarolAnn Hibbard, (508) 661-2264,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ameresco,  Community Solar,  Solar,  

    Exelon, ACE Tout Expanded Energy Efficiency Benefits (Ind. Report)
    Atlantic City Electric,Excelon
    Date: 2016-12-07
    Atlantic City Electric (ACE) and Exelon are reporting an additional $56 million in benefits from the March, 2016 Pepco Holdings Inc. merger with Exelon. The additional recently New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJ BPU) approved benefits bring the total benefits to customers and the state to $126 million. The expanded benefits include:
  • $7.5 million in spending on energy efficiency programs for ACE customers, in addition to the $7.5 million in the original merger package, that in total have the potential of creating up to $30 million in savings over the life of the energy efficiency measures.
  • More than $6 million in Workforce Development Initiatives to be paid in installments over six years to develop, fund or expand job training and workforce development efforts in ACE's Southern New Jersey service area.
  • $4 million Helping Hands program for low-income customer support to be provided over four years to the Affordable Housing Alliance, NJ SHARES, Catholic Charities and People for People Foundation.
  • Over $22 million in additional customer rate offsets beginning June 1, 2017.
  • A one-time reduction of $16 million or more in the Non-Utility Generator Charge (NGC) and un-collectible deferred balances that were effective June 16, 2016, through May 31, 2017. (Source: Exelon, Atlantic City Light, PR Bus. Wire, 5 Dec., 2016) Contact: Pepco Holdings, Exelon, Paul Adams, (312) 394-7417,; Atlantic City Electric, Lendel G. Jones, (609) 402-2141,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Atlantic City Electric,  Exelon,  Energy Efficiency,  

  • City Energy Project Membership on the Rise (Ind. Report)
    City Energy Project
    Date: 2016-12-07
    The City Energy Project (CEP) -- a joint project of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Institute for Market Transformation -- reports that the 19 cities and one county presently participating in CEP could save $1.5 billion annually by 2030 and cut carbon emissions by 9.6 metric tons, according to a CEP press release.

    The CEP aims to tailor individualized measures aimed at reducing energy consumption in large commercial buildings and integrate energy efficiency targets and goals into a community's overall sustainability plan.

    CEP members include: Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Denver; Houston; Kansas City, MO; Los Angeles; Orlando; Philadelphia; Salt Lake City; Des Moines; Fort Collins; Miami-Dade County, Fla.; New Orleans; Pittsburgh; Providence, R.I.; Reno, Nev.; San Jose; St. Louis; and St. Paul, MN. (Source: City Energy Project, PR, Energy Manager, 5 Dec., 2016) Contact: City Energy Project, NRDC, (212) 727-2700,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News City Energy Project ,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Consumption,  

    Smithfield Touts Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan (Ind. Report)
    Smithfield Foods Inc.
    Date: 2016-12-07
    Virginia-headquartered pork giant Smithfield Foods Inc. reports it will carve its carbon emissions down by 25 pct over the next eight years. Smithfield estimates it emits about 17 million metric tpy of carbon dioxide -- the equivalent of five coal-fired power plants.

    To reach its goal the company plans to scale back fertilizer used to grow grain for pig feed, capture more methane -- an extremely potent greenhouse gas -- from manure through increased use of anaerobic digestion, do more in-plant meat processing, and reduce shipping emissions and costs. (Source: Smithfield Foods, WSJ, Others, 4 Dec., 2016)Contact: Smithfield Foods, (757) 365-3000,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Smithfield Foods ,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Footprint,  

    Growth Energy Testifies on EPA REGS Rule (Ind. Report)
    Growth Energy
    Date: 2016-12-07
    Growth Energy Testifies on EPA REGS Rule (Ind. Report) On Dec. 6 at a hearing in Chicago, Chris Bliley, director of regulatory affairs for Growth Energy testified before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the Renewable Enhancement and Growth Support (REGS) Rule. Bliley outlined Growth Energy's concern regarding the impact of the REGs rule on the developing market for E15.

    Bliley noted, "While we certainly appreciate and support the regulatory clarity and vapor pressure relief for ethanol flex fuels, we are concerned about the impact of this proposal on the developing market for E15. While the proposal doesn't directly address E15, it would isolate E15 as the only ethanol-blended fuel that does not receive Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) relief in conventional areas. This would deny retailers and consumers the choice of cleaner, less-expensive E15 in a large portion of the country during the height of the summer driving season. It is imperative that E15 be given the same RVP treatment as regular E10 gasoline because of its benefit to our nation's air quality. Without relief, nearly 1,000 retailers will be forced to change their fuel blend to 16 pct ethanol and limit their sale to flex fuel vehicles, which represent a mere 8 pct of the total auto fleet, from June 1 to Sept. 15 in conventional gasoline markets."

    Bliley also raised concerns about the limitations for natural gasoline used for flex fuel blending, explaining, "As proposed, the limits would likely force the use of other refined, hydrocarbon blend stocks and ultimately impose additional costs on the consumers of mid-level ethanol blends and E85."

    Bliley also discussed Growth Energy's support of the use of biointermediates and new pathways to help develop cellulosic biofuels. "The RFS injects competition and consumer choice into the vehicle fuels marketplace. It is moving America forward. With more and more retailers moving toward E15, and the USDA investments through the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership, now is exactly the wrong time to orphan E15 as the only fuel that cannot be sold consistently year-round." (Source: Growth Energy, Convenience Store Decisions, December 6, 2016) Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, Chris Bliley, (202) 545-4000,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  RFA,  Growth Energy,  E15,  Ethanol Blend,  Flex-Fuel,  

    150MW Gaspe Quebec Wind Farm Operations Underway (Ind. Report)
    Senvion ,LM Wind Power,Innergex
    Date: 2016-12-07
    Further to our July 20th coverage, Hamburg, Germany-headquartered wind energy specialist Senvion reports operations are underway at the 150MW Mesgi'g Ugju's'n wind farm in Quebec. The project is an equal partnership between Innergex and three Mi'gmaq communities situated on the territory of Gespe'gewa'gi: Gesgapegiag, Gespeg and Listuguj. The project is expected to generate sufficient power for over 50,000 homes.

    The wind farm utilizes 47 turbines; 46 3.2M114 type turbines and one MM92 turbine specifically designed for cold climates with anti-icing mechanism. The blades and towers were locally produced by LM Wind Power in Gaspe and Marmen, Quebec. (Source: Senvion, GTBR, 5 Dec., 2016) Contact: Senvion, Andreas Nauen, CEO, Helmut Herold, CEO-North America, +49 40 5 55 50 90 0,; LM Wind Power,,; Innergex Renewable Energy, Michel Letellier, Pres., CEO, (450) 928-2550,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Senvion ,  Wind,  LM Wind Power,  Innergex,  

    Utah Legislator Proposing State Carbon Tax (Reg & Leg)
    Date: 2016-12-07
    In Salt Lake City, Utah State Representative Joel Briscoe (Dem) has announced that the time to tackle climate change is at hand and, to that end, he plans to introduce a Carbon Tax bill during the state's 2017 legislative session.

    Rep. Briscoe says his bill will be modeled after British Columbia's carbon tax which charges carbon producers the equivalent of about $23 U.S. per metric ton. The fee is passed on to consumers at gas pumps and on electric power bills. Brisco notes that B.C. gas prices have only risen about $0.25 per gallon since the tax was introduced, and that both gas consumption and carbon emissions are down. Briscoe's proposed carbon tax will be revenue neutral and tax revenues could be used to offset other taxes or passed back to those Utahns who are hardest hit by the bill. (Source; Various Media, ABC4 Utah, Dec., 2016) Contact: Utah State Legislature, Joel Briscoe, (801) 916-9791 - cell,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  

    Aussies Considering Industry Specific Carbon Tax Scheme (Int'l)
    Date: 2016-12-07
    A carbon price for power companies is set to be considered as part of a climate change review, but the Government has ruled out a return to Labor's carbon tax. In Australia, the government of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reports that the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy will undertake an internal, sector-by-sector review next year to examine the best ways for the country to meet its climate commitments.

    The industry specific, sector-by-sector review would consider an emissions intensity scheme specifically for electric power generators, which are among the nation's highest carbon emitters. The review will also consider a "baseline and credit scheme", which could be similar to an emissions trading scheme where emissions are capped by the Government. The review is expected in mid 2017. (Source: Australian Department of the Environment and Energy, ABC News Australia, 5 Dec., 2016) Contact: Australian Department of the Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg, Minister, /

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Australia Carbon Tax,  

    Vestas Announces 180MW Australian Wind Turbine Order (Int'l)
    Vestas,Ratch Australia Corp
    Date: 2016-12-05
    Danish wind energy giant Vestas reports it will supply its V112 and V117 3.45MW models turbines, as well as a 15-year active output management 4000 service contract and a Scada Vestas Online business system, to the 180MW Mt Emerald wind farm in north Queensland, Australia.

    The wind farm, which is being developed by a subsidiary of Ratch Australia Corp., is slated for commissioning and operation in late 2018. Ratch Australia is a subsidiary of Thailand power generation company, Ratchaburi Electricity. (Source: Vestas, RENews, Various Media, 30 Nov., 2016) Contact: Vestas, +45 9730 0000,; Ratch Australia Corp, +61 2 8913 9400,

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

    UW Granted $2.4Mn for CCS Research Projects (Funding)
    U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy
    Date: 2016-12-05
    The US DOE reports that he University of Wyoming Carbon Management Institute will receive nearly $2.4 million from the DOE Office of Fossil Energy for commercial carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects in Wyoming. The funding is part of DOE's Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE) initiative, which helps mitigate CP2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.

    The UW projects are a pre-feasibility assessment for CCS at the Rock Springs Uplift geological formation in southwest Wyoming, and a study of CO2 capture, transportation and storage opportunities at Basin Electric Power Co-op Dry Fork Power Station near Gillette. The Rock Springs Uplift was previously identified as an ideal location for storage of more than 50 million metric tons of CO2.

    The new project will build upon that research by looking at the potential to capture and store CO2 from PacifiCorp's nearby Jim Bridger Power Station, Wyoming's largest emitter of anthropogenic CO2. (Source: US DOE, University of Wyoming, 30 Nov., 2016) Contact: Univ. of Wyoming Carbon Management Institute, Kipp Coddington, Dir., 307-766-6731,,; U.S. DOE Office of Fossil Energy,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CarbonSAFE,  CCS,  U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy,  

    Envision Solar Touts FCRTA Solar EV Chargers Order (Ind. Report)
    Envision Solar
    Date: 2016-12-05
    San Diego-based Envision Solar International, Inc. reports that the Fresno County Rural Transit Agency (FCRTA) has ordered 13 EV ARC™ units with emergency power solar panels. The order is against the California State Contract awarded to Envision Solar in 2015 and renewed in 2016.

    The EV ARC™ features the company's patented EnvisionTrak™ sun tracking system that enables the array to follow the sun, thus generating 18 to 25 pct more electricity than a fixed array. EV ARC products are manufactured in the Company's San Diego facility by combat veterans, the disabled, minorities and other team members. (Source: Envision Solar International, Inc., PR, 29 Nov., 2016) Contact: Envision Solar International, Inc., Stephanie Lacsa, (858) 799-4583,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Envision Solar,  Solar,  EV Charger,  Solar Tracker ,  

    Ohio Considering Voluntary Clean Energy Targets (Reg & Leg)
    Date: 2016-12-05
    Legislators in the Buckeye State will reportedly delay Ohio's enforceable clean energy standards that have been on hold since 2014. In two bills, the legislature would reinstate the state's renewable energy and energy efficiency target on a voluntary, rather than enforceable, basis until at least 2020.

    The Ohio Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the House Public Utilities Committee are in hearings on the legislation that many industry observers claim is detrimental to the state's ability to attract new industries. The state's renewable and energy efficiency standards have been frozen at their current levels since 2014 and are set to resume next year. (Source: Various Media, Midwest Energy News, 29 Nov., 2016)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Energy Targets,  Renewable Energy Target,  Energy Efficiency,  

    Shell Exec. Bonuses to be Tied to GHG Reduction Goals (Ind. Report)
    Royal Dutch Shell
    Date: 2016-12-05
    At the Hague, Netherlands, petroleum Goliath Royal Dutch Shell reports it plans to link part of its executive bonuses to greenhouse gas emissions and conduct more active screening of future investments to further efforts to reduce the energy group's carbon footprint. The new initiative is in apparent response to increased investor pressure to adapt to international plans to phase out fossil fuels by the end of the century and relatively flat oil consumption and prices over the past few years.

    Shell, which previously linked executive remuneration to energy intensity, plans to seek shareholder approval for the three-year scheme at its annual general meeting next April. Shell aims to reduce oil field flaring and lower pipeline methane gas. The company could cut its carbon emissions by as much as 70 pct with these two initiatives, according to Shell. (Source: Royal Dutch Shell, CBC, Others, 1 Dec., 2016)Contact: Royal Dutch Shell, +37 703 77911,

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

    Sydney, Melbourne CitySwitch Efficiency Program Lauded (Int'l)
    CitySwitch Green Office, C40 Cities
    Date: 2016-12-05
    In the Land Down Under, the cities of Sydney and Melbourne have been awarded the C40 Cities global building energy efficiency award for their CitySwitch Green Office program. In 2015 the CitySwitch program slashed an average 24 pct from the power bills of participating businesses.

    CitySwitch, which also operates across Perth, Adelaide, Geelong, North Sydney and Willoughby City on Sydney's North Shore, helps commercial office tenants to improve office energy and waste efficiency. Under the scheme, city-paid consultants assess the offices of participating businesses and help identify savings in their energy and waste management. CitySwitch now covers more than 3.4 million square meters, equivalent to 12 pct of Australia's CBD office space. There are 571 signed-up members, including AMP Capital and Frasers Property Group, occupying 871 offices across the country.

    CitySwitch is a high-value no-cost service which supports commercial office tenants to improve office energy and waste efficiency. The program aims to: educate and inspire with a respected event series and through the provision of toolkits, workbooks, case studies and site tours; facilitate links to other programs, information sources, industry bodies and communities of interest by identifying the market expertise that Signatories might need in order to build corporate capacity, systems and comply with evolving legislative requirements; signpost to incentives and financial vehicles available to expedite the uptake of energy efficiency investments; and reward environmental leadership and achievement though annual awards and ongoing member promotions in order to create a competitive advantage for its signatories. (Source: Australian Financial Review, 2 Dec., 2016) Contact: CitySwitch Green Office ,; C40 Group,;

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Building,  C40 Cities,  Energy Efficiency,  CitySwitch Green Office ,  

    Frost & Sullivan Lauds South African Biodiesel Producer (Int'l)
    Frost & Sullivan,Biogreen Diesel
    Date: 2016-12-05
    In South Africa, Frost & Sullivan has recognized Cape Town-based Biogreen Diesel with the 2016 South Africa Company of the Year Award. Biogreen pioneered a closed-loop system wherein used cooking oils are converted to quality biodiesel. The company, which presently processes 20,000 to 25,000 lpm, is preparing to launch new facilities in Johannesburg and Durban and will then have its combined capacity of 300,000 lpm.

    "Under a license agreement, Biogreen uses locally developed and patented jet reactor technology to make SANS1935 specification biodiesel. While the standard trans-esterification process is conducted at 60 degrees Celsius, Biogreen's technology allows it to run its processes at 45 degrees Celsius. It uses 16 pct methanol, which is lower than what other reactors use, making it even more environmentally friendly. Furthermore, its biodiesel is of higher quality and requires less time for conversion," according to Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Constance Nyambayo.

    Biogreen adheres to motor vehicle manufacturers' recommended biodiesel blend, which can range from 5 pct to 100 pctin more industrial motors. The company offers suppliers and customers set contracts that are independent of oil prices and provides end-to-end services for select customers, supplying new oil and collecting used oil from their premises. (Source: Frost & Sullivan, 29 Nov., 2016) Contact: Frost & Sullivan, Chiara Carella, +44 (0) 207.343.8314,,; Biogreen Diesel, +27 21 792 7575,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Frost & Sullivan,  Biodiesel,  

    NexSteppe Announces Chinese Sorghum Hybrids for Bioenergy Agreement (Int'l Report)
    NexSteppe,Longping High-Tech Arable Land Remediation Technology Company
    Date: 2016-12-05
    South San Francisco-based next-generation biofuel and bioenergy feedstock specialist NexSteppe reports it has inked a sorghum marketing agreement with Longping High-Tech Arable Land Remediation Technology Company, a subsidiary of Chinese seed company, Longping High-Tech.

    The agreement will see Longping provide distribution, marketing and sales for NexSteppe's Palo Alto biomass sorghum hybrids in China as well as evaluate joint R&D of improved hybrids suited to Chinese climate and growing conditions.

    NexSteppe Palo Alto high biomass sorghum is a dedicated product line for the biopower industry with multiple hybrids adapted for different growing regions. (Source: NexSteppe, Bioenergy Insght, Other Media, 30 Nov., 2016)Contact: NexSteppe, Anna Rath, CEO, (650) 887-5724,; Longping High-Tech Arable Land Remediation Technology Company,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NexSteppe,  Sorghum,  Biofuel Feedstock,  

    Comet's Ontario Biorefinery Seeking Feedstocks (Ind. Report)
    Comet Biorefining ,Cellulosic Sugar Producers Co-operative
    Date: 2016-12-05
    Further to our Nov. 11th coverage, Ontario's Cellulosic Sugar Producers Co-operative, a farmer-owned co-op formed to supply Comet Biorefining's proposed facility in Sarnia, is seeking growers and suppliers of corn stover and wheat stalks for the Comet facility which will extract sugar for industrial uses from the farm biomass, beginning in 2018.

    As suppliers to the facility, co-op members will also hold equity in the Sarnia plant. The co-op is aiming to have 55,000 acres of supply in place to provide 75,000 tpy of bio-mass to the plant.

    Comet's cellulosic sugar process uses a low-cost two stage process to activate cellulosic biomass, followed by conversion to glucose at very low enzyme loading. Co-products are used for energy production or other applications. (Source: Comet Biorefining, 30 Nov., 2016) Contact: Comet Biorefining, Andrew Richard, CEO, (519) 494-7514,,; Cellulosic Sugar Producers Cooperative , Dave Park, Pres.,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Comet Biorefining,  Cellulosic Sugar Producers Co-operative,  

    Illinois Future Energy Jobs Coalition Applauds Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency Legislation (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition
    Date: 2016-12-05
    In response to last weeks passage of the Illinois Future Energy Jobs Bill, the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition issued the following statement:

    "The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition made creating thousands of jobs in every part of Illinois, saving consumers money on their bills and combating the threat of climate change our core operating principles. Today, we are gratified that these goals are now within reach thanks to the Illinois General Assembly passing the Future Energy Jobs Bill.

    "This represents a victory for residential customers who will save nearly $15 per year according to Citizens Utility Board (CUB), for businesses who enjoy some of the lowest rates in the nation due to energy efficiency, for people in low-income communities who are currently left out of the clean energy economy, and for every citizen who suffers from health issues exacerbated by burning fossil fuels. By fixing the state's broken Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), and greatly expanding the state's highly successful energy efficiency programs, Illinois can now compete head-to-head with any other state in the nation in the race to build a sustainable clean energy economy -- and win.

    "This bill includes elements of difficult compromise, but ultimately this is a tremendous victory for Illinois. We commend members of the General Assembly from both sides of the aisle for their passage of the bill and we urge Governor Rauner to sign it to jump start Illinois' clean energy economy." (Source: Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition, 1 Dec., 2016) Contact: Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition,

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

    Biofuels Key to Effective Climate Change Policy: Gord Miller
    CanadaEcofiscal Commission,
    Date: 2016-12-04
    OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - November 28, 2016) - Ecologist, environmental policy analyst and former Ontario Environment Commissioner Gord Miller has delivered a thorough review of Canada's Ecofiscal Commission's anti-biofuels report titled Course Correction. Mr. Miller's report, Staying the Course, rejects Ecofiscal's data, methodology and conclusions. Applying over fifteen years of experience analyzing energy and environment policy, Mr. Miller concludes that when properly assessed, the economic and environmental case for Canadian biofuel policies and mandates is "quite different" from the negative assessment Ecofiscal presents.

    "Biofuel mandates are key to any effective climate policy and should be increased by Canadian governments contrary to Ecofiscal's recommendations," said Mr. Miller. "Ecofiscal's recommendation would result in more emissions; poorer air quality; increased consumer costs; and shut down clean technology research and development being conducted by the biofuels industry."

    Renewable fuels mandates are critical for transportation emission reductions in the near and longer term. "There is no good argument that this course needs correction," said Mr. Miller. "Now is the time to keep a firm grip on the tiller and continue staying the course. Canada must not abandon renewable fuel mandates, the single largest guaranteed source of transportation fuel emission reductions."

    Renewable Industries Canada supports Mr. Miller's objectivity and expert review of Ecofiscal's Course Correction. "Ecofiscal would have us believe the cost of GHG reductions from biofuels is too expensive," said RICanada President Andrea Kent. "Mr. Miller's Staying the Course disproves this, showing how Ecofiscal uses bad economics to inflate the costs of biofuels by not accounting for their unique properties, like higher octane."

    Course Correction shows how little Ecofiscal appreciates how the fuel market functions and what it takes to lower transportation emissions. It required a thorough review from a broader perspective. Mr. Miller answered that call." (Staying the Course Founded in 1984, Renewable Industries Canada (RICanada) is a non-profit organization with a mission to promote the use of value-added products made from renewable resources through consumer awareness and government liaison activities. (Source: Renewable Industries Canada, 28 Nov., 2016) Contact: Renewable Industries Canada, William Meyers, (613) 594-5528,,; Canada's Ecofiscal Commission,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Canada Ecofiscal Commission news,   news,  

    Deepwater Wind Touts Latest Offshore Venture (Ind. Report)
    LIPA,Deepwater Wind
    Date: 2016-12-02
    Deepwater Wind, developer of the 30-MW Block Island offshore project, the nation's first offshore wind farm, reports it is planning a new offshore project that would be Maryland’s largest renewable energy project.

    The planned 120 MW, Skipjack Wind Farm would be constructed approximately 17 nautical miles northeast of the Ocean City coastline, subject to regulatory approval. Construction work could begin as early as 2020 for completion and commissioning in 2022. Deepwater is also in the early stages of development of its 90-MW South Fork Wind Farm 30 miles east of Montauk, N.Y. That project is scheduled to become operational in 2022. (Source: Deepwater Wind, PR, Various Media, 23 Nov., 2016) Contact: Deepwater Wind, Jeffrey Grybowski, CEO, (401) 274-2000,

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

    EC Introduces Revised Renewable Energy Directive (Int'l Report)
    European Commission, European Union
    Date: 2016-12-02
    In Brussels, the European Commission (EC) is reporting its revised Renewable Energy Directive that is aligned with the EU's 2030 clean energy goals. The EU is targeting 27 pct its member nations energy consumption be drawn from renewable energy sources by 2030 and a 50 pct renewables share in electricity by the same year. With the help of renewables, If the targets are met, the 27 nation trading bloc could eliminate €60 billion ($63.7 billion) in annual fossil fuel import expenditures by 2030, according to the EC. fossil fuels by 2030, the commission said.

    The revised Renewable Energy Directive includes the opening of national support schemes for electric power generators operating in other countries and priority access to the grid for existing renewable installations, small-scale renewable installations and innovative technology demo installations. For other installations, no matter what technology they use, there will be non-discriminatory third-party access rules.

    The EU countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK, which recently voted to exit the trade body.

    Download new directive details HERE. (Source: EU, EC, Nov 30, 2016)Contact: European Commission,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission,  Renewable Energy,  

    Brazilian 359-MW Wind Farm Complex Underway (Int'l Report)
    Casa dos Ventos
    Date: 2016-12-02
    November 29 (SeeNews) - Brazilian wind energy developer Casa dos Ventos reports that its 359-MW Ventos do Araripe III wind complex in the states of Piaui and Pernambuco is coming online in stages. The $530 million project utilizes 156-turbines in 14 individual wind farms that together will generate sufficient electric power for an estimated 300,000 homes, according to the company. (Source: Casa dos Ventos, SeeNews, Various Media, 30 Nov., 2016) Casa dos Ventos, 011 +55 71 3271 8650,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Brazil Wind,  Casa dos Ventos,  

    Sauer Touts Vertical Axis Windcutter Wind Turbine (Ind. Report)
    Sauer Energy
    Date: 2016-12-02
    Oxnard, California-based Sauer Energy Inc. (SEI), developer of the patented WindCharger® vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) and manufacturer of the patented WindRider® vertical axis wind turbine, reports that its WindCutter has completed a mechanical engineering review and, as a result will likely be the first vertical axis wind turbine in its class to be certified in the U.S.

    The pole mounted WindCutter, which is based on the Darrieus principal and has five airfoil blades that lift and rotate a shaft, met all the criteria per the International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC) Standard IEC 61400-2 for "Small Wind Turbines." It was verified by high-accuracy engineering analysis to Small Wind Turbine Class 3, which includes sustained 50-year extreme winds of up to 117 mph, as well as worst case gusts stipulated by IEC. (Source: Sauer Energy, PR, MarketWire, Nov 30, 2016) Contact: Sauer Energy,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Sauer Energy ,  Wind,  Vertical Wind Turbine,  

    ScottishPower Commissions 69-MW Wind Farm (Int'l Report)
    ScottishPower Renewables
    Date: 2016-12-02
    Glasgow-headquartered ScottishPower Renewables, part of the Iberdrola Group, is reporting the startup of its 69-MW Dersalloch Wind Farm in South Ayrshire. The wind farm incorporates 23 Siemens turbines and at capacity will generate sufficient electric power for over 40,000 homes.

    Scottish Power is currently working on eight facilities in Scotland with a total investment of over £650 million ($810 million). The eight projects will reportedly utilize 221 turbines to generate almost 500 MW. (Source: ScottishPower Renewables, Various Media, SeeNews, Nov., 30, 2016) Contact: ScottishPower Renewables, +44 (0) 141 568 2000,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ScottishPower Renewables ,  Wind,  

    DOE-OFE Announces $44Mn for CO2 Storage R&D (Funding, R&D)
    U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy
    Date: 2016-12-02
    In the Nation's capital, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy reports that 16 carbon storage projects have been selected to receive more than $44 million for cost-shared research and development. The funding is part of DOE's Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE) initiative, which seeks to help mitigate CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.

    Organizations and projects selected will address key research gaps in the path toward the deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies, including the development of commercial-scale (50+ million metric tons CO2) geologic storage sites for CO2 from industrial sources. These sources -- cement, iron and steel production -- currently account for an estimated 21 pct of all U.S. carbon emissions. The selected projects will build on the lessons learned from the Office of Fossil Energy's Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships' large-scale field projects while considering the next set of technical challenges for carbon storage.

    Funding recipients include: the Carbon Management Institute at the University of Wyoming (Laramie): University of Illinois (Champaign): University of Texas at Austin: University of Utah (Salt Lake City) Battelle Memorial Institutein Columbus, Ohio; Electric Power Research Institute in Palo, Alto, California; University of North Dakota (Grand Forks); University of Kansas/Kansas Geological Survey (Lawrence); Columbia University (New York, New York); Louisiana State University and A&M College (Baton Rouge) and the Southern States Energy Board in Norcross, Georgia.

    The Office of Fossil Energy funds research, development and demonstration projects to reduce the risk and cost of advanced carbon technologies and further the sustainable use of the nation's fossil resources. (Source: US DOE, Office of Fossil Energy, Nov., 2016) Contact: DOE Office of Fossil Fuel Energy,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy,  

    Synata Bio High Bidder for Abengoa's Hugoton Cellulosic Ethanol Plant (Ind. Report, M&A)
    Abengoa Bioenergy Biomass,Synata Bio Inc.
    Date: 2016-12-02
    It is being reported that Synata Bio Inc., the Warrensville, Illinois-based reincarnation of the defunct cellulosic ethanol developer Coskata, has been approved by a Kansas district bankruptcy court as the high bidder for bankrupt Abengoa Bioenergy's 25 million gpy cellulosic ethanol plant in Hugoton, Kansas.

    Synata Bio Inc acquired the bankrupt Coskata in Jan. 2016. Coskata was developing processes for the production of cellulosic ethanol from woodchips. Coskata's process technology combines both biological (i.e., microbes) and thermochemical (heat and chemicals) processing. The estimated cost of production via this technology was reported as under $1 per gallon, as opposed to corn-based ethanol costing approximately $1.40 per gallon had been focused, via gas fermentation, on converting natural gas to fuels. Coskata went out of business in 2015, and the technology formerly belonging to Coskata re-merged as the new company Synata Bio, Inc. (Source: Various Media, Synata Bio, Nov. 30, 2016) Contact: Synata Bio Inc., Steven D. Kloos, Pres., (312) 574-1700, other contact information unavailable. Abengoa

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Abengoa Bioenergy Biomass,  Cellulosic Ethanol,  

    Building Emissions Standards Studied in Australia (Int'l)
    Green Building Council of Australia
    Date: 2016-12-02
    In the Land Down Under, the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) reports that industry consultations are underway for the draft National Carbon Offset Standard for Buildings and for Precincts. The Standards set rules for measuring, reducing, offsetting and reporting emissions required to make carbon neutral claims for building and precinct operations. The building and precinct standards will be launched in 2017.

    The Federal Department of the Environment and Energy is working with the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS), the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), carbon accounting experts and property sector businesses to develop the draft Standards, certification of which will be provided through the Australian Government's Carbon Neutral Program and the NABERS Energy and Green Star Performance rating schemes. (Source: Green Building Council of Australia, Climate Control News, 30 Nov., 2016) Contact: Green Building Council of Australia, +61 2 8239 6200,

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

    325 Unit Apartment Complex to Meet NGBS Standard (Ind. Report)
    National Green Building Standard
    Date: 2016-12-02
    Multifamily developer Housing Trust Group (HTG) reports it has closed on financing and broken ground a new $63 million, multifamily development in Mesa, Arizona. The 325 unit apartment development is being built to, and will will be certified to the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) National Green Building Standard (NGBS).

    Energy efficiency and Green elements include dual glazed/high efficiency windows; weather-sealed insulated doors; ENERGY Star rated appliances; low-VOC paints and adhesives; low-flow showerheads and faucets; drought-tolerant native plants and low-water-use landscaping; and low-energy-use energy efficient lighting throughout, among other features. (Source: AZRE, 29 Nov., 2016)Contact: National Association of Home Builders, (800) 368-5242,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Green Building Standard,  Energy Efficiency,  Green Building,  ENERGY Star ,  

    Valero Joins Renewable Fuels Association (Ind. Report)
    Valero Energy Corp,Valero Renewable Fuels
    Date: 2016-12-02
    Valero Renewable Fuels Company LLC, subsidiary of Valero Energy Corp., reports it has Renewable Fuels Association.

    Valero Renewable Fuels' parent company, San Antonio, Texas-based Valero, the largest independent U.S. oil refiner and long-time critic of the Renewable Fuel Standard, is also a major ethanol producer. The company purchase the bankrupt VeraSun Energy Corp., once the industry's bellwether, in 2008. (Source: Valero Renewable Fuels, RFA, Various Media, 28 Nov., 2016) Contact: Valero Renewable Fuels, (800) 324-8464,; Renewable Fuels Assoc., (202) 289-3835,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Valero,  Valero Renewable Fuels,  RFS,  Renewable Fuels Assoc.,  Valero Energy ,  Valero Renewable Fuels,  Biofuel,  

    UK Plans Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation Boost (Int'l)
    Biofuel, UK
    Date: 2016-12-02
    In London, the U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced plans to increase the amount of gasoline-biofuel blend from 4.75 pct to 9.75 pct by volume in 2020. The government also proposed a maximum cap on fuels from food crops, a focus on development fuels and new backing for waste-based biofuels.

    The plans support the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTO) -- equivalent to the U.S. Renewable Fuels Standard -- which was established to meet EU targets for increasing sources of renewable energy in the transport sector.

    The RTFO scheme allows suppliers to claim certificates by supplying renewable fuel and multiple certificates for biofuels supplied made from wastes and residues. (Source: U.K. DECC, ICIS News, Guardian, Various Others, 29 Nov., 2016) Contact: DECC, +44 (20) 7979 7777,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UK DECC,  Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation,  Biofuel,  Biofuel Blend,  

    Building-to-Grid Energy Integration Demo Launched (Ind. Report)
    Northern Ohio Building-to-Grid Integration Demonstration,PNNL
    Date: 2016-12-02
    In the Buckeye State, Cleveland's Case Western Reserve University, NASA Glenn Research Center and the University of Toledo will serve as "living laboratories" demonstrating the value of integrating distributed energy sources with the assortment of devices, equipment and other power consumers within buildings and across the grid.

    The $1 million initiative is being funded by the US DOE Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) with corporate support from FirstEnergy, Eaton Corp., Siemens and Johnson Controls.

    The Northern Ohio Building-to-Grid Integration Demonstration will develop and demonstrate strategies incorporating smart building and energy efficiency technologies, energy storage batteries used for backup power, meeting peak demand and for non-peak storage, and others. Strategies may include setting a ceiling on daily electricity consumption in each building that, in turn, could require small to substantial steps, such as changing the thermostat setting or delaying the use of a lab air compressor. (Source: Case Western Reserve University, PR, 1 Dec., 2016) Contact: Case Western Reserve University, Northern Ohio Building-to-Grid Integration Demonstration, (216) 368-2000,; PNNL, Susan Bauer, (509) 372-6083

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Battery,  Energy Storage ,  Smart Building,  PNNL,  Energy Efficiency Energy Grid,  

    blopper Kilograms of Carbon By Mid-Century

    Date: 2016-12-01
    The world’s soils act as critical storage for carbon, sequestering carbon from the atmosphere to fuel plant and microbial activity. But scientists warned this week that as soils warm in response to climate change, they could release 55 trillion kilograms of carbon by mid-century — roughly equivalent to the projected emissions of the United States, or 17 percent of all countries, during that same period. The largest losses will be from high-latitude ecosystems, the new study, led by scientists at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and published in the journal Nature, said. This includes Arctic and sub-Arctic permafrost, where colder temperatures and slow microbial activity have led to the buildup of massive carbon reserves over thousands of years. The scientists found that for every 1 degree Celsius of global warming, soils will release approximately 30 trillion kilograms of carbon into the atmosphere, or twice the global emissions from human activities.

    The paper analyzed data from dozens of studies on soil carbon storage over the past 20 years, and it clarifies an issue that has long interested scientists: whether warming temperatures will turn soil into carbon sinks or sources. “Getting a handle on these kinds of feedbacks is essential if we’re going to make meaningful projections about future climate conditions,” said lead author Thomas Crowther, a former postdoctoral fellow at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies currently at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology. “Only then can we generate realistic greenhouse gas emission targets that are effective at limiting climate change.” (Source: Yale Univ., Env.360, 30 Nov., 2016)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Soil Carbon news,  

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Soil Carbon,  

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Soil Carbon,  

    EPA Sets Increase in Renewable Fuel Standard Volumes (Reg & Leg)
    Date: 2016-11-30
    Last week, in a required annual rulemaking, the U.S. EPA finalized increases in renewable fuel volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. The following are mmong the key elements for 2017:
  • Conventional renewable fuel increases in 2017, meeting the 15 billion-gallon congressional target for conventional fuels;
  • The standard for biomass-based biodiesel -- which must achieve at least 50 pct lifecycle greenhouse gas emission reductions compared to petroleum-based diesel -- grows by 100 million gallons. The required volume of biomass-based diesel for 2017 is twice that of the minimum congressional target;
  • Cellulosic biofuel -- which must achieve at least 60 pct lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions reductions -- increases 35 pct over the 2016 standard;
  • The advanced biofuel standard -- biomass-based diesel, cellulosic biofuel, and other biofuel that achieves at least 50 pct lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions reductions -- increases 19 percent over the 2016 standard;
  • Total renewable fuel volumes increase 1.2 billion gallons from 2016 to 2017, a 6 pct increase. (Source: EPA, AgNet, 28 Nov., 2016)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Biofuel,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  US EPA,  

  • Corvus Energy Storage System Powers Hybrid Ferry (Ind. Report)
    Corvus Energy
    Date: 2016-11-30
    German ferry ship operator Scandlines new hybrid ferry, the M/V Copenhagen, will utilize a low emission and fuel saving diesel electric hybrid propulsion system powered by Richmond, British Columbia-headquartered battery energy storage systems (ESS) provider Corvus Energy Inc.

    The M/V Copenhagen utilizes Corvus ESS technologies that increase fuel savings, significantly reduce emissions and greatly improve on-board energy efficiency. The Copenhagen also utilizes LED lighting, variable-frequency controls, and other energy efficient measures where possible. (Source: Corvus Energy, Nam Clean Energy, 28 Nov., 2016) Contact: Scandlines,; Corvus Energy, Andrew Morden, Pres. & CEO, Sean Puchalski, VP Strategic Marketing, (604) 227-0280 ext. 123,,

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

    China Launches Electric Carbon Contract (Int'l Report)
    Beijing Environment Exchange,GP Power Electricity Group
    Date: 2016-11-30
    In China, the Beijing Environment Exchange Carbon Trade Center is reporting the launch of the Electric Carbon Contract, a cooperative project between Beijing Environment Exchange and GP Power Electricity Group. The system links carbon trading with preferential electricity rates and cuts electricity bills for reduced carbon emission polluters who have reduced their carbon emissions.

    Since 2013, China has tested carbon trading in seven pilot cities, including Beijing. Under the Chinese model, local governments assign tradable carbon emission allowances to key emitters based on their emissions history. Key emitters that have unused allowance receive a 100-yuan ($14.5)) cut on every 1,000 kwh of electricity they use. The same favorable rate is given to emitters who have participated in the Chinese Certified Emission Reduction program and reduced their carbon emissions. To date, the Chinese pilot program has traded more than over 120 million tonnes of CO2, according to the State Council. (Source: Beijing Environment Exchange, Xinhua. Standard Digital, 29 Nov., 2016) Contact: Beijing Environment Exchange Mei Dewen, Director,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News China Carbon Emissions,  

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