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Aquion Battery Supplying Puerto Rican Solar Energy Storage Batteries (Ind. Report)
Aquion Energy
Date: 2016-04-18
Pittsburgh-based Aquion Energy reports it has sealed a deal under which it will supply its 1.25 MWh Aqueous Hybrid Ion battery for to meet the overnight energy requirements of a 16 MW solar farm In Puerto Rico. The battery will be powered by its own 250 kW solar array, making the larger facility almost grid-independent. The installation will be controlled using software developed by California-based Growing Energy Labs Inc.

Puerto Rico enacted energy storage legislation in 2013. (Source: Aquion, Utility Dive, 11 April, 2016) Contact: Aquion Energy, Jay Whitacre, CEO, (412) 904-6400, Elizabeth Pond, (412) 904-6460,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Aquion Energy,  Solar,  Energy Storage,  Flow Batteries,  

Neste Renewable jet fuel to power KLM (Int'l, Ind. Report)
Date: 2016-04-18
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines reports it will launch a series of flights with a fuel blend consisting of Neste Renewable Jet Fuel. Neste Renewable Jet Fuel is refined in Porvoo, and meets the requirements of ASTM 7566 for aviation fuels. The fuel is blended at a 50 pct blend ratio with Jet A1 fuel and transported to Oslo Airport where it is pumped into the airport's existing hydrant system.

KLM will use Neste Renewable Jet Fuel in about 80 flights with the EMBRAER 190 from Oslo to Amsterdam. Embraer will be conducting measurements during these flights to gauge the efficiency of biofuel in comparison with kerosene. KLM's current aim is to reduce CO2 emissions by 20 pct in 2020 compared to 2011 levels. (Source: Neste, 18 April, 2016) Contact: Neste, Kaisa Hietala, Executive VP of Renewable Products, Virpi Kroger, Marketing & Sales Development, Renewable Products, +358 10 458 4379,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Neste,  Neste Oil,  Aviation Biofuel,  Aviation Jet Fuel,  

Downsized Chopin Wind Project Set to Get Underway (Ind. Report)
BayWa Wind
Date: 2016-04-18
Renewable energy developer BayWa Wind is reporting plans to erect four to six wind turbines on private farmland north of Weston, Oregon. The Chopin Wind Project will generate 10 MW and connect to Pacific Power's electrical grid. Financial details have not been released. Construction is slated for completion before the year end.

In 2011, the Chopin Wind project planned to utilize 33 turbines to generate 99 MW, but was drastically cut back to meet the concerns of area residents and conservation groups. (Source: BayWa, East Oregonian, April 14, 2016 ) Contact: BayWa, Florian Zerhusen, CEO,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  BayWa Wind,  

Algae, Papaya Considered as Biofuel Feedstock (Ind. Report)
Hawaiian Department of Agriculture
Date: 2016-04-18
In the Aloha State, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists at the Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center in Hilo are investigating Chlorella protothecoides algae which can be coaxed into producing oil from discarded papayas and other unmarketable crops and byproducts, like glycerol, as a biodiesel feedstock.

The goal of the research is to make agriculture more profitable and to address food- and energy-security issues in Hawaii. To accomplish this, the research uses "bioreactors" which allow for the growth of 40 gallons of C. protothecoides algae, a top-performing strain that can store as much as 60 pct its cellular weight in lipids when grown on a diet of 35 pct papaya juice. In addition to sugar, papaya juice contains carbon, a critical but costly component of current algal-based methods of producing oil for conversion into biodiesel.

The effort was awarded $1.6 million in grant funding from the Hawaiian Department of Agriculture in 2014. (Source: Hawaiian Department of Agriculture, USDA, April, 2016) Contact: Hawaiian Department of Agriculture, (808) 973-9560,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  Biodiesel,  Biofuel,  Algae,  

BuildingIQ Acquires NorthWrite's Energy Info. Management Services (M&A)
BuildingIQ,NorthWrite Inc
Date: 2016-04-18
San Francisco-headquartered energy management software specialist BuildingIQ is reporting acquisition of the Energy WorkSite and Facility WorkSite software applications from Minneapolis-based NorthWrite Inc. The two cloud-based applications, coupled with BuildingIQ's packaged monitoring-based commissioning (MBCx) services, create a new, full-suite Energy Information Management Services (EIMS) platform.

The Energy WorkSite application is a sixth-generation monitoring and data analytics software toolkit that enables commercial and industrial facilities to track and benchmark energy use and verify savings from energy efficiency measures, while helping utilities to better manage generating capacity.

The Energy and Facility Worksite applications presently serve more than two hundred customers with an average contract tenure of nearly seven years and over four thousand end users. This includes significant energy utilities under re-seller agreements. In addition, the EIMS platform processes more than twenty thousand transactions per month. (Source: Building IQ, April, 2016 Contact: BuildingIQ, Michael Nark, CEO, (888) 260-4080,; NorthWrite Inc., (612) 238-1051,

More Low-Carbon Energy News BuildingIQ,  Energy Efficiency,  ENergy Efficiency Software,  Energy Management,  

£240Mn UK Green Deal Delivers "Negligible" Benefits (Int')
National Audit Office,Green Deal
Date: 2016-04-18
In the UK, a National Audit Office investigation of the government's flagship Green Deal energy efficiency scheme has found that the £241 million program was taken up by just 14,000 households and delivered only "negligible" energy efficiency savings. Additionally, an investigation into the Green Deal Finance Company that financed the individual home energy efficiency upgrades under the program, was unlikely to repay a £25 million government loan. While 1.4 million homes had benefited from measures ranging from new boilers to insulation by the end of 2015, just 1 pct of them took out 'green deal' loans.

The investigation also found that the government's various energy efficiency schemes over the past few years have cost £94 for each tonne of carbon they saved, significantly more than the £34 per tonne of CO2 of the schemes they replaced. (Source: National Audit Office, thisismoney,, Guardian, Various Others, 14 April, 2016) Contact: UK National Audit Office,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  

Cornhusker Legislators Approve PACE Energy Efficiency Financing (Ind. Report)
Date: 2016-04-18
In Lincoln, Nebraska lawmakers have passed a measure allowing Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing for some energy efficiency projects with the caveat that any single PACE bond not exceed $5 million. Municipalities are permitted to fund larger projects following a referendum.

Several lenders have already indicated an interest in funding projects: Pace Equity, focused on commercial projects, and Renovate America, which handles residential PACE loans. The cities of Lincoln, Omaha and some rural locations have also expressed interest in financing PACE projects. The legislation now moves to the the Governor's desk for signature into law.

PACE is a simple and effective way to finance energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation upgrades to buildings. PACE can pay for new heating and cooling systems, lighting improvements, solar panels, water pumps, insulation, and more for almost any property -- homes, commercial, industrial, non-profit, and agricultural.

Property owners across the US are using PACE because it saves them money and makes their buildings more valuable. PACE pays for 100 pct of a project's costs and is repaid for up to 20 years with an assessment added to the property's tax bill. PACE financing stays with the building upon sale and is easy to share with tenants. State and local governments sponsor PACE financing to create jobs, promote economic development, and protect the environment.(Source: PACE, Various Sources, Utility Dive, 14 April, 2016) Contact: PACE,

More Low-Carbon Energy News PACE,  Energy Efficiency,  

Japanese GHG Emissions Fall for 1st Time Since Fukushima (Int'l)
Carbon Emissions,Japan's Environment Ministry
Date: 2016-04-18
Japan's Environment Ministry is reporting that the country's greenhouse gas emissions fell 3.1 pct in fiscal 2014 from 2013 levels, dropping for the first time since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. The GHG emissions totaled the equivalent of 1,364 million tpy of carbon dioxide in the fiscal year ended March 2015. According to the agency, the decline reflects the increasing use of renewable energy and falling demand for electric power on the back of the introduction of more energy-efficient devices.

The emissions in fiscal 2014 declined 2.4 pct from fiscal 2005 levels but the ministry estimates they dropped 6.5 pct from that year's levels, taking into account the effect of CO2 being absorbed by plants. The result means Japan met its goal of a 3. pct cut in emissions by fiscal 2020 from fiscal 2005 levels. (Source: Japan Environment Ministry, Japan Today, KYODO, 16 April, 2016) Contact: Japan Environment Ministry ,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  

IBC Solar, E.ON Launch "Aura" Solar + Storage (New Prod & Tech)
E.ON, IBC Solar
Date: 2016-04-18
The German utility E.ON reports it is partnering with IBC Solar for the rollout of its new "Aura" solar PV + energy storage product. The "Aura" all-in-one smart energy package will feature a Solarwatt energy storage system, a smart energy management app, a tailored electricity tariff, and an optional solar photovoltaic (PV) system. "With a storage capacity of 4.4 kWh, E.ON Aura can meet the entire electricity needs of a three-to four-person family during the evening and night hours," according to E.ON (Source: Sustainovate, E.ON, IBC Solar, 14 April, 2016) Contact: IBC Solar, Thomas Mart, Dir. Sales,; E.ON, Iain Walker, Business Energy, +49 2 11 45 79 4170,

More Low-Carbon Energy News E.ON,  IBC Solar,  Solar,  Energy Storage,  

Mining Association of Canada Supports Carbon Price to Combat Climate Change (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Mining Association of Canada
Date: 2016-04-15
The Mining Association of Canada has issued the following statement:

"The Mining Association of Canada and its members, comprising some of Canada's largest mining companies, have issued principles for climate change policy design to support an efficient pan-Canadian approach to addressing this important issue.

"To inform the design of a carbon price regime, MAC's Principles for Climate Change Policy Design document recommends; establishment of a broad-based carbon price applicable to all sectors of the Canadian economy;. be revenue neutral by investing revenues generated through carbon pricing into the development of lower emission technologies including climate adaptation; address competitiveness and carbon leakage concerns; support investments in the development and implementation of technologies that lower emissions.

"MAC and its member companies have worked to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through measures such as MAC's mandatory Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative as well as individual company efforts. In 2009, MAC adopted the International Council on Mining and Metals' climate change policy, which recognizes that comprehensive and sustained global action is required to reduce the scale of human-induced climate change and to adapt to its impact.

"In the mining sector, GHG emissions are emitted primarily as a result of the use of fossil fuels for energy; as such, emissions are controlled by managing consumption." (Source: Mining Association of Canada , PR, NewsWire, 13 April, 2016) Contact: MAC, Pierre Gratton, President, CEO,

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

ecobee Supplying Energy Efficient Programs with Smart Themostats (Ind. Report)
Date: 2016-04-15
Toronto-headquartered Smart thermostat maker ecobee reports it will be the sole supplier of smart thermostats used in Florida's Gulf Power and Xcel Energy's, New Mexico energy efficiency and demand response (DR) programs. Participants in the Gulf Power and Xcel Energy programs can receive a free ecobee3 smart thermostat with a room sensor when they register for the programs.

The new Gulf Power Energy smart rate offers a variable-priced rate based on the time of day electricity is used. Xcel Energy's residential smart thermostat pilot will investigate the benefits that can be achieved by deploying smart thermostat technology, according to ecobee.

ecobee designed an open API for utilities that delivers valuable metrics for EE and DR programs and EM&V purposes. Industry standard open communication protocols facilitate seamless integration into utilities existing platforms. The ecobee3 smart wifi thermostat uses room sensors, outdoor temperature, occupancy and a number of other data points, resulting in increased comfort and energy savings as high as 23 pct.(Source: ecobee, ProudGreenBuilding, April, 2016) Contact: ecobee, Stuart Lombard, Pres., CEO, (647) 428-2220,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News ecobee,  Energy Efficiency,  Smart Thermostat,  Energfy EfficiencySmart Thermostat,  

Univ. of Ark. Funded for Woody Biomass-to-Biofuel R&D (R&D)
Process Dynamics,University of Arkansas
Date: 2016-04-15
Researchers at the University of Arkansas Dept of Chemical Engineering are reporting receipt of two research grants totaling $145,250 over three years from Process Dynamics to help the company convert woody biomass into bio-oil and eventually liquid biofuel.

Process Dynamics, which focuses on petroleum refining, hydro-processing of fuels and the manufacturing of oils and waxes, has done significant testing toward converting woody biomass into bio-oil and liquid biofuels. These efforts have led to a conversion rate as high as 60 percent. The research aims to help the company understand the nature of the conversion and what conditions lead to a more optimal suite of bio-oils and to determine the maximum amount of conversion possible.

Research project leader Assoc. Prof. Jamie Hestekin's previous research focused on the extraction of oils and carbohydrates from algae and their ultimate production into both biodiesel and butanol. Projects in this area include enhancement of butyric acid fermentation with electrodeionization for continuous product separation, direct conversion of algae into butanol, the production of biodiesel from lipids using continuous supercritical methanol esterifications, and the extraction of carbohydrates and lipids from algae. (Source: University of Arkansas, April, 2016) Contact: University of Arkansas, Assoc. Prof. Jamie Hestekin, (479) 575-3492,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  Bio Oil,  Biofuel,  

Xcel Releases Scant Details on 600MW Wind Farm Project (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy
Date: 2016-04-15
Utility giant Xcel Energy reports it will build a 600 megawatt wind farm spread over several counties in eastern Colorado. The company offered few other details as to turbine suppliers, contractors, cost or dates of construction and commissioning.

Minneapolis-headquartered Xcel currently has a wind generation capacity of 2,500 megawatts which is sufficient for approximately 1.3 million homes for a year. the utility reportedly has more wind power than any other U.S. utility, including both power it generates and purchases (Source: Xcel, AP, Others, 13 April, 2016)Contact: Xcel Energy, Media Relations, (612) 215-5300

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy ,  Wind,  

Israelii GHG Plan Sets Renewables Quotas, Incentives (Int'l Report)
Renewable Energy
Date: 2016-04-13
SeeNews is reporting that onb April 10th, Israel approved a plan that will define long-term renewables quotas and introduce loan guarantees, grants and other measures and incentives to help the country meet its renewable energy goals and to cut GHG emissions by 26 pct on 2006 levels.

The long-term plan and renewable energy quotas aims to give investors a degree of security and allow for the expansion of the market. The plan will also support energy efficiency upgrades and green buildings, as well as reduce the use of coal. When fully implemented, the plan is expected to result in cumulative economic benefits of almost $8 billion (US). (Source: SeeNews, Various Others, April 11, 2016)

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

S. Korea Named OECD's Fastest Growing CO2 Emitter (Int'l)
South Korea,IEA,
Date: 2016-04-13
The Paris-headquartered International Energy Agency (IEA) is reporting that for the past 20 years South Korea's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have grown at the fastest pace among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member nations.

The country's CO2 emissions per person jumped from 5.4 tons in 1990 to 11.4 tons in 2013, while the corresponding average figure for the OECD declined 7.2 pct to 9.5 tons during the same period, according to IEA data. South Korea's high carbon emissions are attributable to a heavy reliance on coal fuel which rose 147 pct to 580 million tons during the period, accounting for 4.7 percent of total emissions by OECD members in 2013. In 2014, South Korea's per-capita coal consumption was the fifth largest in the world. (Source: OECD, Yonhap, Korean Times, April 11, 2016) Contact: OCED, Simon Upton, Env. Dir., +33 1 45 24 82 00,; IEA,

More Low-Carbon Energy News OECD,  Carbon Emissions,  CoalCO2,  IEA,  

First Energy Seeks WV Energy Efficiency Plan Approval (Ind. Report)
First Eenergy
Date: 2016-04-13
In March, First Energy's West Virginia subsidiaries MonPower and Potomac Edison filed a case with the state PSC recommending the commission approve a plan to finance $9.9 million in energy efficiency programs between January 2017 and May 2018. The programs could benefit its roughly 523,000 West Virginia customers with home energy audits, efficient commercial lighting and other electricity-saving measures.

According to PSC data, between February 2012 and the end of 2016, First Energy companies are expected to reduce electricity usage by 0.5 pct of total retail sales, based on 2009 levels. Under their new plan, MonPower and Potomac Edison are expected to increase their long-term energy savings to 1 pct of retail sales by 2018.

The documents also show that the cost of the efficiency programs will be discounted by First Energy selling those efficiency credits in the regional market, although First Energy will retain 20 pct of those profits. (Source: First Energy,, 11 April, 2016) Contact: First Energy,

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

Israel Plans to Cut GHGs with Renewables, Energy Efficiency (Int'l)
Israeli Minister of Finance
Date: 2016-04-13
The Israeli Minister of Finance reports it has approved a plan for cutting GHG emissions through energy efficiency and renewable energy project grants and loan guarantees for small and medium-size businesses and local authorities.

According to the government, the plan will leverage investment in the billions of shekels by private enterprise and save the Israeli economy some NIS 30 billion annually. (1.00 ILS = $0.264606). The government will also examine ways of further lowering greenhouse gas emissions, including the reduction of the use of coal and a switch to natural gas. (Source: Israeli Minister of Finance, Globe Online, Israel Business News, 11 April, 2016) Contact: Israel Minister of Finance, Moshe Kahlon,

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

Methane from Some Wetlands May Lower Benefits of Carbon Sequestration -- USGS Report Attached (Ind. Report)
Date: 2016-04-13
A new study from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) suggests that methane emissions from restored wetlands can release enough methane to reduce or even negate the benefits the same wetlands offer of carbon sequestration.

In the study, and a team of scientists collected data in 2002-2003 and 2010-2011 to estimate trends of carbon fluxes from restored wetlands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. From measuring wind speeds and gas concentrations, and computing photosynthesis and respiration rates, they concluded that CO2 uptake decreased between the two sampling periods, while CO2 respiration and methane emissions remained relatively consistent. Results show that the restored wetlands were a small source of carbon in 2010-2011. However, given the potency of methane as a strong greenhouse gas, the wetlands will likely be long-term sources of global warming potential.

The study, first published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, was featured as a Research Spotlight on the American Geophysical Union's Earth & Space Science News website. Variation of energy and carbon fluxes from a restored temperate freshwater wetland and implications for carbon market verification protocols is available HERE. (Source: USGS, PR, 11 April, 2016) Contact: U.S. Geological Survey California Water Science Center, Frank Anderson, Hydrologist, Donyelle Davis, Communications & Publications, (626) 202-2393,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Sequestration,  Methane,  CO2,  USGS,  

Connecticut Legislators Set to Raid RGGI Funds (Ind. Report)
Date: 2016-04-13
In Connecticut, the legislature is planning to divert $22 million in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) funds to help alleviate the state's growing budget deficit. RGGI funds are supposedly earmarked for efficiency, renewable, and non-carbon energy projects.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is protesting that taking money out of the RGGI fund will "devastate Connecticut's efforts to build a clean energy future -- and would likely contribute to increased energy prices in our state." (Source: Connecticut Public Media, 11 April, 2016) Contact: RGGI, (212) 417-3179,

More Low-Carbon Energy News RGGI,  

CA Wants $1.7Mn in Energy Beet Biofuel Funding Back (Ind. Report)
Mendota Bioenergy,California Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission
Date: 2016-04-13
In Sacramento, the California Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission (ERCDC) reports it is taking legal action against Fresno-based sugar beet specialist Mendota Bioenergy LLC for "improperly spending as much as $1.7 million in public money targeted for equipment purchases for a project to refine sugar beets into ethanol fuel."

Mendota Bioenergy was planning to construct the nation's first commercial-scale bio-refinery to turn high sugar content "energy" beets into biofuel. The plant was expected to process 10,000 tons of beets into 285,000 gallons of 200-proof (100 pct ) ethanol.

Under the terms of their agreement with ERCDC, Mendota was to use equipment it from subcontractor Easy Energy Systems to build an $11.5 million, 60,000 gal. demonstration plant. To that end, ERCDC agreed to provide approximately $5 million as reimbursements, and Mendota agreed to provide the remaining $6.5 million for the project. In late 2013, Mendota submitted two separate requests to the commission for reimbursement of equipment expenses, along with invoices from Easy Energy for approximately $1.77 million, according to the complaint. (Source: California Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, Courthouse News, 12 April, 2016) Contact: Mendota Bioenergy, 559) 336-4570; California Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Mendota Bioenergy,  Beet Ethanol,  

Nordic Paper, RenFuel Building Lingin Biofuel Test Facility (Int'l)
Nordic Paper,RenFuel
Date: 2016-04-13
RenFuel Energy and Nordic Paper report they have inked a deal for construction of an advanced lingin biofuel production test facility that will use RenFuel's patented method to refine the lignin from black liquor, a renewable byproduct from the production of paper pulp, into lignin oil (Lignol). Lignol can replace fossil oil and be used as raw material in the production of renewable gasoline and diesel. Using the black liquor also leads to an increase in production capacity and profit in the paper pulp industry. in order to test manufacture an advanced biofuel based on lignin.

The project, which will be located in in Backhammar, Sweden, has received $8.7 million in grant funding from the Swedish Energy Agency, according to a press release. (Source: Nordic Paper, PR, LesProm, 11 April, 2016) Contact: Nordic Paper, Per Bjurbom, CEO,; RenFuel Energy,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Pulp and Paper,  Black Liquor,  Lignol,  Lingin,  Biofuel,  Nordic Paper,  

More Low-Carbon Energy News Pulp and Paper,  Black Liquor,  Lignol,  Lingin,  Biofuel,  

Nordex Completes $880Mn Acciona Windpower Merger (M&A, Intl)
Nordex,Acciona Windpower
Date: 2016-04-11
Following on our April 1st Coverage, under the agreement announced in October, Nordex agreed to pay €366.4 million to Acciona in an one-off cash payment and 16.1 million new Nordex shares, for a combined value of €419 million , equal to a 16.6 pct stake in the German company.

With the merger, Nordex is acquiring Acciona's production facilities in the US, Brazil, Spain and India. In 2015, the two companies had a combined 18GW of installed capacity and sales of €3.4 billion. (Source: Nordex, Various Others, 6 April, 2016) Contact: Nordex, Lars Bondo Krogsgaard, CEO,; Accoina, +34 91 663 28 50,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Nordex,  Acciona Windpower,  

Soil's GHG Storage Capacity 8 Bn Tonnes Underestimated, say Scientists (Ind. Report)
Carbon Storage,GHG
Date: 2016-04-11

In the UK, scientists from the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh in the UK, estimated that around four-fifth of annual emissions released by the burning of fossils fuels can be curbed just by growing crops with deeper root systems, using charcoal-based composts and implementing sustainable agricultural method that will enable Earth's soil to absorb more greenhouse gases. The scientists believe that by proper and sustainable land use and latest technologies on the global scale can help farmland and other spaces like forests store more greenhouse gases.

Previously, this hidden capability of soil was overlooked by the scientists due to a lack of effective monitoring tools but recent advancement in the technology have helped them in identifying the potential of soil.

The research scientists say Earth's soil contains around 2.4 trillion tonnes of GHGs that are locked in as an organic matter. The scientist and believe that with the proper implementation, the soil can hold an extra 8 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases. (Source: University of Aberdeen, Nature, Inquisitor, 8 April, 2016) Contact: University of Aberdeen, Prof. Pete Smith,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Storage,  GHG,  CO2,  

$3.5Mn School Energy Efficiency Upgrades Underway (Ind. Report)
Ameresco Inc.
Date: 2016-04-11
Framingham, Mass.-based renewable and energy efficiency specialist Ameresco, Inc. reports it has begun work on a $3.5 million Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) for 13 scholls in the Hillsboro (Oregon) School District. Approximately a third of the project cost, $1.3 million, is funded through Oregon Senate Bill 1149 which is provided by a public-purpose charge from electrical customers to fund K-12 school improvements.

The efficiency upgrades, which are projected to save $137,000 annually, include: lighting retrofits; installing CO2-based ventilation control; occupancy and daylighting sensors for lighting control; adding variable speed pumps, heating and air conditioning controls upgrades, and retro-commissioning; installation of building automation systems; upgrades to electrical service to increase capacity; installing natural gas water heaters to replace electric water heaters; and identifying district-wide water saving measures. The project is slated for completion by the year-end. (Source: Ameresco Inc, PR, 6 April, 2016) Contact: Hillsboro School District,;

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ameresco Inc.,  Energy Efficiency,  Renewable Energy,  

Bank of America Expands CFI to Fight Climate Change (Ind. Report)
Bank of America,Catalytic Finance Initiative
Date: 2016-04-11
A consortium of leading financial institutions and investors including Bank of America, Alliance Bernstein , Babson Capital Management LLC, Credit Agricole CIB, European Investment Bank, HSBC Group, International Finance Corporation a member of the World Bank Grou and others is reporting a new partnership under the Catalytic Finance Initiative (CFI) to direct $8 billion in total commitments toward high-impact sustainability investments.

All CFI partners have pledged capital and expertise to develop and advance innovative financing structures for investments in clean energy and other sustainability-focused projects. In addition, the Aligned Intermediary, representing a group of long-term institutional investors, will collaborate on specific investment opportunities with members of the partnership.

The CFI was launched in 2015 by Bank of America with a $1 billion commitment and a goal to stimulate at least $10 billion in new investment into high-impact clean energy projects through additional partnerships. CFI partners bring expertise in a broad range of financial specialty areas. This includes clean energy infrastructure finance, green bonds and asset-backed securities, emerging markets investment and advisory assistance, and approaches to blending public and private finance.

Since 2007, Bank of America has provided over $53 billion in financing for low-carbon activities and continues to play a leading role in the development of the rapidly expanding green bond market, issuing a $500 million corporate green bond in 2013 and a $600 million green bond in 2015. (Source; Bank of America, Bloomberg, Various Others, 6 April, 2016) Contact: Bank of America,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Catalytic Finance Initiative,  Bank of America,  Climate Change,  Green Bond,  

KLM Testing Camelina-Based Aviation Biofuel (Ind. Report)
Date: 2016-04-11
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines reports it is launching around 80 flights from Oslo to Amsterdam using 100 pct RSB (Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels) certified camelina oil-seed based biofuel on its Embraer 190 aircraft. The flights are intended to measure the biofuel's efficiency compared to regularly used kerosene aviation fuel. (Source: KLM, 11 April, 2016) Contact: KLM, Pieter Elbers, KLM President and CEO, +31 (0) 20 649 9123,

More Low-Carbon Energy News KLM,  Aviation Biofuel,  Camelina,  

Burlington Commits to Sustainability, Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
Village of Burlington Illinois
Date: 2016-04-11
In Illinois, the Village of Burlington reports the adoption of the Metropolitan Mayor's Caucus' Greenest Region Compact 2 outlining best practices for advancing environmental stewardship and sustainability and energy efficiency. The resolution will help guide future development and be a tool to encourage green building practices and energy efficiency. (Source: Village of Burlington, Courier Tribune, 8 April, 2016)

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

DuPont Halts Cellulosic Ethanol Feedstock Purchases (Ind. Report)
DuPont,Dow Chemical
Date: 2016-04-11
DuPont and Dow Chemical's previously announced $130 billion merger, which is slated for closure later this year, is beginning to have an negative impact on its cellulosic ethanol plant and its feed-stock suppliers in Nevada.

Over the last few years, DuPont has contracted with approximately 500 local farmers to provide 275,000 tpy of dry stover -- leaves, stalks and harvest wastre -- that is required to produce the 30 million gpy of cellulosic ethanol that DuPont plans to produce at the plant. According to John Pieper, the corn stover and feed-stock supply chain development lead for DuPont, the company has maxed out its storage facilities and put its feed-stock purchases on hold. (Source: DuPont, Ames Tribune, 8 April, 2016) Contact:DuPont, Wendy Rosen, (650) 284-6429,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News DuPont,  Dow Chemical,  Corn Stover,  Ethanol,  

Missouri House Approves Ethanol Incentive Extension (Reg & Leg)

Date: 2016-04-11
In Jefferson City, the Missouri House has voted to extend the state's ethanol producer incentive program until 2020. The incentive, which aims to encourage the use and production of ethanol in the Show Me State, provides grants to ethanol producers and production facilities which presently use more than 30 pct of the state's corn crop to produce approximately 300 million gpy of ethanol and 825,000 tpy of distillers grains.

The ethanol producer incentive program, which expired at the end of 2015, will now be sent to the State Senate for final approval. (Source: Various Sources, KMA 960AM, 8 April, 2016)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  Ethanol Incentive,  

HECO Plans for 100 pct Renewable Energy by 2045 (Ind. Report)
Hawaiian Electric Companies
Date: 2016-04-08
In the Aloha State, the Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) -- Maui Electric, Hawai'i Electric Light, Hawaiian Electric -- are touting the Power Supply Improvement Plan Update, a 30-year plan that aims for 100 pct renewable energy usage statewide. Hawaii.

The plan lays out near-term actions to lay the foundation for meeting the goal while preserving the flexibility needed to adapt to future advances in technology, changes in policy, and reductions in development costs. The Power Supply Improvement Plan Update has been submitted to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for its review.

Based on the update, Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawaii Electric Light Company could collectively increase private rooftop solar photovoltaics (PV) by more than 250 pct from current levels and 370 pct over 2014 levels.

The plan calls for partnering with customers and renewable energy developers to invest in a diverse mix of renewable energy resources that could include 1,215 MW private rooftop solar PV, 36 MW feed-in tariff solar power, and 872 MW utility-scale PV. The companies aim to achieve 100 pct renewable energy by 2045. (Source: Hawaiian Electric, SolarServer, Others, April, 2016) Contact: Hawaiian Electric, Alan Oshima, Pres.,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Rooftop Solar,  Solar,  Hawaiian Electric Companies,  

WWC Joins Canadian Env. Mkt. Trading Platform (Ind. Report)
World Wide Carbon LLC
Date: 2016-04-08
In Atlanta, World Wide Carbon LLC (WWC), a global project development, environmental commodities liquidator and consulting services company, reports its listing on the Conseil patronal de l'environnement du Quebec (EMTP)-- the Environmental Markets Trading Platform. The company has also joined the Landfill Methane Outreach program.

EMPT works as a bulletin board exchange where covered entities can source Air Resources Board Offset Credits and California Air Resources Board (CARB) allowances for their compliance obligation. Under the guidelines, only carbon credits valid under the WCI cap-and-trade system can be posted.

WWC and its affiliates are active in carbon sequestration as well as methane flaring/recapture. (Source: World Wide Carbon LLC, PR, 5 April, 2016) Contact: World Wide Carbon LLC , (404) 459-5910),,

More Low-Carbon Energy News World Wide Carbon LLC,  Carbon Market,  CCS,  

ZSW CIGS Solar Cells Set 22 pct Efficiency Record (Ind. Report)
Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wurttemberg,Fraunhofer Institute
Date: 2016-04-08
In Germany, the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wurttemberg (ZSW) reports that the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has certified that its new CIGS thin-film solar cell has achieved an efficiency record of 22 pct.

The test cell, which is made of copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS), was developed by optimizing the manufacturing process with the help of the co-evaporation method. According to ZSW, the technology could achieve an efficiency as high as 25 pct. and manufacturing costs could be significantly reduced by expanding production capacity. With an annual output of 0.5 to 1 GW, those PV plants could achieve 18 pct or greater module efficiency and costs as low as 25 US$-ct/W, rendering CIGS prices competitive. (Source: Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wurttemberg ZSW, 4 April, 2016) Contact: Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wurttemberg, Michael Powalla, +49 (0) 711 78 7000,,; Fraunhofer Institute,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar Cell Efficiency,  Solar,  PV,  Fraunhofer Institute,  

US Appliance Standards Rank No. 2 Energy-Saving Tool (Ind. Report)
Appliance Standards Awareness Project
Date: 2016-04-08
Data from the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP) show that a quiet revolution in U.S. appliance standards has resulted in the initiative holding the second largest energy efficiency policy spot in the nation -- saving 5.3 quadrillion BTUs (quads) of energy in 2014, ahead of the better known Energy Star program, utility sector energy-efficiency programs, the impact of federal tax incentives, and other major national initiatives. Only corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for cars and trucks at 7.3 quads saved more energy in 2014 than did appliance standards.

Upcoming appliance and equipment standards will mean even bigger savings. The U.S. DOE has issued new standards for rooftop air conditioners and commercial warm air furnaces that will reduce energy use by 1.7 trillion kWh over 30 years.

National appliance standards are already saving the typical U.S. household about $500 per year on utility bills. In 2015 alone, appliance standards helped the U.S. avoid emissions of 300 million tons of CO2 -- equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions from about 63 million automobiles. More than 50 products are covered by federal standards, and state laws cover some additional items. The appliance and equipment standards cover products used in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors. (Source: Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP), PR, 6 April, 2016} Contact: ASAP,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  

ConEd Expects $1Bn in Clean, Energy Efficiency Savings (Ind. Report)
Consolidated Edison
Date: 2016-04-08
NY utility Consolidated Edison reports it faces higher demand for power than its existing infrastructure can supply. To address the demand, Con Ed plans to deploy a mix of distributed solar, fuel cells and efficiency measures that will cost a fraction of the cost of adding a new substation to the grid.

The utility's Brooklyn-Queens Demand Management project aims to relieve demand from the Brooklyn-Queens part of the grid, which Con Ed calculates will be overloaded by 69 megawatts in 2018. The plan involves supplying 52 MW by summer 2018 through efficiency and new, mostly renewable energy sources: 41 MW would come from efficiency and conservation efforts as well as new distributed power sources, including fuel cells and neighborhood-scale solar. The remaining 11 MW would be utility-scale projects. The remaining 17 MW needed to meet the 69 MW demand increase would come from utility-scale projects. (Source: Consolidated Edison, 6 April, 2016)Contact: ConEdison Solutions, Jorge J. Lopez, Pres., CEO, (914) 286-7094,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Consolidated Edison,  Energy Efficiency,  

B.C. Mayors Call for Carbon Tax Increase (Ind. Report)
BC Mayors Climate Leadership Council
Date: 2016-04-08
Mayors of British Columbia municipalities are calling on the provincial government of Premier Christy Clark to raise the province's carbon tax to $15 per tonne annually. The tax increase would be transferred to the municipalities for low-carbon, green energy projects such as green building standards and clean public transit projects.

Last December, the BC Mayors Climate Leadership Council endorsed a package of recommendations in response to the government's phase 2 consultation towards a climate plan. Now the council is submitting what it says are additional and critical action items to strengthen it. Among them, more partnership between communities. In 2013 B.C.'s carbon emissions reached 64 megatonnes. The projected carbon emissions for 2020 is 72 megatonnes. {Source: CBC, News880, Various Others, 7 April, 2016)

More Low-Carbon Energy News BC Carbon Tax,  BC Mayors Climate Leadership Council ,  

Scepter Takes 80 pct Stake in Maine Woods Biomass Exports (M&A)
Scepter Holdings, Inc.,Maine Woods Biomass
Date: 2016-04-08
Chicago-headquartered Scepter Holdings, Inc. reports it has inked an Equity Purchase and Sale Agreement for 80 pct of the issued and outstanding percentage shares of Maine Woods Biomass Exports(MWBE) LLC.

Searsport, Maine-based MWBE is a privately-held biomass-wood chip producer that is developing and building a multifunctional wood chip processing, manufacturing, and log drying facility using Phytosanitation heat treatment. MWBE's expanded facility would manufacture a minimum of 310,000 metric tpy fof wood chips or export to the EU for combined heat and power (CHP) production, and to produce medium density fiberboard. The Equity Purchase and Sale Agreement is subject to normal due diligence and contains standard representations and warranties. (Source: Scepter Holdings, Inc., April, 2016) Contact: Scepter Holdings, Inc., James Hicks,,; Maine Woods Biomass,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  Forest Biomass,  

Nordex' Acciona Windpower Acquisition Completed (M&A)
Nordex,Acciona Windpower
Date: 2016-04-06
German wind turbine giant Nordex and Spain's Acciona Windpower have confirmed the completion of Nordex's €785 million -- cash and shares -- acquisition of Acciona. The merger was originally announced in October 2015.

The deal includes Acciona Windpower's four production plants in the US, Brazil, and Spain, as well as a production facility currently under construction in India. Combined, the new group has installed over 18GW of wind power capacity in over 25 markets worldwide, and generated sales of €3.4bn in 2015. (Source: Business Green, Nordex, 4 April, 2016) Contact: Nordex, Lars Bondo Krogsgaard, CEO,; Accoina, +34 91 663 28 50,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Nordex,  Acciona Windpower,  

TVA Approves Four Solar Power Project Proposals (Ind. Report)
Tennessee Valley Authority,TVA
Date: 2016-04-06
In Knoxville, the Tennessee Valley Authority reports it has approved 16.7 MW of new solar power installation proposals by the Chickasaw Electric Cooperative in West Tennessee, the East Mississippi Electric Power Association, the Joe Wheeler Electric Membership Corporation in northern Alabama, and the Johnson City Power Board.

TVA currently has over 400 MW of solar power under contract that could supply sufficient electric power more than 216,000 homes. (Source: TVA, Fox10, Others, April 4, 2016) Contact: TVA, Bill Johnson, (865) 632-2101,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Tennessee Valley Authority,  TVA,  Solar,  

Steelmaker Switching to Hydrogen Tech to Cut CO2 Emissions (Int'l)
Date: 2016-04-06
Swedish steelmaker SSAB reports it will abandon the use of fossil fuels and replace it with HYBRIT Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology (HYBRIT) which generates no CO2 emissions and only water as waste. The switch to HYBRIT will help Sweden meet its climate goal of net zero emissions by 2045 as well as develop a high-value internationally marketable technology.

The steel industry has reduced their carbon intensity in recent decades but may be incapable of deeper cuts without changing the basic steelmaking process or reliance on carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

SSAB's switch to HYBRIT would follow other innovative projects for low carbon steel including Tata Steel/Rio Tinto's HIsarna being piloted at Tata's Netherlands plant, or FINEX, developed by South Korean steelmaker Posco.

SSAB's switch to HYBRIT timeline is as follows: 2016-2017 Pre-feasibility study; 2018-2024 Feasibility study-pilot plant trials; 2025-2035 Demonstration plant trials. It's going to be a long haul! (Source: SSAB, Carbon Pluse, Others. 4 April, 2016) Contact:SSAB, Martin Lindqvist, Pres., CEO,

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

Bioenergy Technologies Office Multi-Year Program Plan March, 2016 Launched -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
Date: 2016-04-06
The US DOE's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BTO), one of the 10 technology development offices within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, has launched a 5-year Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP) for the research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of bioenergy technologies to meet the energy and sustainability challenges facing the nation.

This MYPP is intended for use as an operational guide to help the BTO manage and coordinate its activities, as well as a resource to help communicate its mission and goals to stakeholders and the public.

The BTO's mission is to develop and demonstrate commercially viable bioenergy technologies and bioproducts to: enable the sustainable, nationwide production of biofuels compatible with today's transportation infrastructure; reduce greenhouse gas emissions relative to petroleum-derived fuels; displace a share of petroleum-derived fuels to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil; encourage the creation of a new domestic bioenergy and bioproduct industry.

Access the full Bioenergy Technologies Office Multi-Year Program Plan March, 2016 HERE. (Source: DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office, Apr., 2016) Contact: Bioenergy Technologies Office,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioenergy,  DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office,  

CARB Releases Methane Mitigation Proposal (Ind. Report)
California Air Resources Board,SoCalGas
Date: 2016-04-06
Further to our March 23rd coverage, as per Governor Jerry Brown's instructions, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the state's cap-and-trade regulator, has released its final proposal on how SoCalGas should mitigate the methane leaked at its Aliso Canyon facility.

CARB's proposal recommends that SoCalGas offset around 8 million tonnes of CO2e, which it calculated based on estimates of 100,000 tonnes of methane entering the atmosphere and a 20-year global warming potential (GWP) value for the gas of 84. It also recommends that the mitigation programme should target methane emissions from the agriculture, landfill and wastewater sectors and other methane "hot spots" such as abandoned gas and oil wells. The proposal also calls for SoCalGas to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency, facilitate a monitoring system, "avoid the contingencies that may complicate or frustrate distant emissions reductions", and other real, verifiable, permanent and additional initiatives and programs.

At the height of the Aliso Canyon methane disaster, SoCalGas pledged to voluntarily mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions leaked over the four-month period from Oct. 2015. Now, with the disaster fading from the public limelight, the utility claims that CARB's proposal is largely "inappropriate as well as contrary to California and federal law." And, in apparent anticipation of the legal battle that will no doubt come, SoCalGas VP George I, Minter added "Any proposed mitigation program from the CARB does not itself impose any legal obligations on SoCalGas." (Source: CARB, SoCalGas, LA Times, Various Others, 4 April, 2016)Contact: Southern California Gas,; CARB, (916) 322-2990,

More Low-Carbon Energy News California Air Resources Board,  SoCalGas,  Methane,  Aliso Canyon,  

Altex, Unitel Partner on SynGas from Biomass Demo (Ind. Report)
Unitel Technologies,Altrex Technologies
Date: 2016-04-06
Mount Prospect, Illinois-headquartered Unitel Technologies reports it has selected Altex Technologies to provide engineering and design services for the construction of a pilot system that will produce synthetic gasoline from alfalfa, corn stover, switchgrass, processed woodchips and other selected biomass feedstocks.

The Altex process does not require the intermediate conversion of the feedstock into synthesis gas or pyrolysis liquids. The pyrolysis oil produced by the pilot unit is converted into oxygen-free fuels using a two-reactor hydrotreating pilot plant that was also designed and built by Unitel. The data generated by this pilot plant, which will be located in Sunnyvale, California, will enable the design and construction of a commercial-scale plant to produce 3,000 BPD of ASTM Standard D4814 gasoline fer less than $2 per gallon.

The project is being funded by the California Energy Commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Testing Program. (Source: Unitel Technologies, April, 2016) Contact: Altrex Technologies, Dr. Mehdi Namazian, (408) 328-8303,,; Unitel Technologies, Inc., Serge Randhava, (847) 297-2265,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biomass-to-Fuel,  pyrolysis oil,  

ASHRAE 2016 Res. Standard Covers Multifamily Units (Ind. Report)
Date: 2016-04-06
Multifamily units in all types of buildings are now covered in the scope of ASHRAE reports that its new 2016 ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.2-2016, Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Residential Buildings standard now includes multifamily buildings. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.2-2016 defines the roles of and minimum requirements for mechanical and natural ventilation systems and the building envelope. Prior to this edition, multifamily residential buildings four stories or taller were covered but now, , new or renovated individual dwelling units themselves are covered regardless of building height.

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. It includes more than 55,000 members worldwide, focusing on building systems, efficiency, air quality, and sustainability. (Source: ASHRAE, ProudGreenBuilding, 4 April, 2016) Contact: ASHRAE, (404) 636-8400,

More Low-Carbon Energy News ASHRAE,  Building Sustainability,  Building Energy Efficiency,  

Green Building Trends Portend Explosive Growth, says Report (Ind. Report)
USGBC,Dodge Data & Analytics
Date: 2016-04-06
The USGBC and Dodge Data & Analytics report the release of the latest iteration of the World Green Building Trends 2016 SmartMarket Report which predicts the market for green building development is set to double every three years. The report also predicts that emerging economies, such as Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Brazil and India, will likely become centers of green growth.

Dodge Data and Analytics' report has also found that the green building market is now a trillion-dollar industry and that the green building material market is expected to reach $234bn by 2019. Countries such as the US, Germany and UK will continue to increasing development of green assets as well. Meanwhile, a number of survey respondents from across the globe predict that more than 60% of their respective projects will be green by 2018. LEED-certification will also continue to be a highly sought standard across buildings. (Source: USGBC, Construction Week, Others, 3 April, 2016)Contact: USGBC, (202) 552-1500,

More Low-Carbon Energy News USGBC,  Green Building,  

Pentair Aquatic Wins 2016 ENERGY STAR® Award (Ind. Report)
Date: 2016-04-04
The US EPA reports it has awarded Sanford, North Carolina-based Pentair Aquatic Systems with a 2016 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award for energy efficiency.

Since its inception in 1992, ENERGY STAR and its partners have helped prevent a total of more than 2.4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2014 alone, ENERGY STAR and its partners provided more than $11 billion in societal benefits due to reducing damages from climate change. (Source: Pentair Plc, EPA, Nasdaq, 28 Mar., 2016) Contact: Pentair, (763) 656-5580,; ENERGY STAR, Kristinn Leonheart, Brand Manager, (202) 343-9062,,

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

UK Aviation Biofuels, Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
Date: 2016-04-04
Sustainable fuels are viewed, particularly by the aviation industry, as an integral part of managing its growth in CO2 emissions which are expected to triple by 2050. The global aviation industry has a self-imposed target of cutting net emissions in half by 2050 compared to 2005 levels, which it argues could be achieved through technology, operational improvements and alternative fuels.

The UK coalition Sustainable Aviation has argued in its CO2 roadmap that biofuels could make up 40 pct of aviation fuel in 2050 and contribute to a 24 pct reduction in emissions, if the fuel provided a 60 pct improvement in lifecycle emissions.

The UK Committee on Climate Change meanwhile estimated in 2009 that alternative fuels would contribute only 10 pct of total aviation fuel in 2050 under a likely scenario, reducing emissions by 5 pct -- assuming a 50 pct improvement in lifecycle emissions. The Department for Transport predicted in its 2013 forecast that alternative fuels would account for just 2.5 pct of aviation's total fuel in 2050.

Download the AEF Briefing: Aviation Biofuel and the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation HERE. (Source: Aviation Environment Federation, 4 April, 2016) Contact: AEF,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Aviation Biofuel news,  Alternative Fuel news,  Biofuel news,  

Univ. of Ill. Touts "Oilcane's" Biofuel Potential (New Prod & Tech)
University of Illinois
Date: 2016-04-04
New research from the University of Illinois has found that sugarcane solves one of the biggest problems of biodiesel production—yield. When biodiesel fuel is made from soy, it produces a measly barrel of oil per acre of plant while a new genetically modified "oilcane" sugarcane plant could eventually produce 17 barrels per acre.

"Within a year of starting the project, the team was able to boost oil production 20 times, to approximately 1 pct," according to a University of Illinois release. The project is currently producing sugarcane that is 12 pct oil, and hopes to reach 20 pct. The variant, dubbed "oilcane", is also built to be tolerant to cold and to photosynthesize more efficiently, leading to bigger plants and therefore even more oil.

Producing oil and ethanol from sugarcane uses existing technologies which means that it could be cheap to scale-up. Currently, soybean oil costs around $4.10 per gallon, whereas oilcane could manage $2.20 per gallon. (Source: University of Illinois, Co.Exist, 31 Mar., 2016) Contact: University of Illinois, Dept. of Plant Biology and Crop Science, Stephen Long, (217) 244-0881,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Sugarcane,  Ethanol,  Biodiesel,  

City Coalitions Support Obama's Clean Power Plan (Ind. Report)
National League of Cities,U.S. Conference of Mayors
Date: 2016-04-04
The National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and a coalition of 54 local governments have filed "amicus brief" arguments in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the O'Bama administration's Clean Power Plan.

The submissions argue that under the Clean Air Act, the EPA is obligated to protect the public from harmful pollution in ways laid out in the Clean Power Plan. The groups also claim that cities are especially vulnerable to climate change and are already paying for its effects.

The amicus filing come hard on the heels, and in support of the EPA's recent defense of the Clean Power Plan which is being challenged by 27 states and various coal and power industry groups. The rule would force changes in the power sector with a goal of cutting its emissions by 32 pct from 2005 levels by 2030. At stake is the scope of the EPA's regulatory powers and the federal government's ability to meet its own climate change goals and commitments. (Source: National League of Cities, Atlantic, City Lab, 31 Mar., 2016) Contact: National League of Cities, (202) 626-3000,; U.S. Conference of Mayors,

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

How Much Does Energy Efficiency Cost? -- ACEEE Report Attached (Ind. Report)
Date: 2016-04-04
According to the American Council on an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), many states are considering expanding energy efficiency efforts to help customers reduce bills, replace retired power plants, create local jobs, and reduce pollution. A key question many are asking is: How much will energy efficiency cost?

Recent studies from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and ACEEE help to answer that question. While energy efficiency investments reduce energy use and energy bills, the energy efficiency measures do have an up-front cost, a cost that is ultimately covered by energy bill savings.

On average, across all sectors, LBNL finds that energy efficiency programs are costing program administrators about 2.4 cents per kWh saved over the lifetime of the energy efficiency measures installed. Several ACEEE analyses have found slightly higher costs.

Access the ACEEE How Much Does Energy Efficiency Cost? report HERE. (Source: ACEEE, April, 2016) Contact: ACEEE,

More Low-Carbon Energy News ACEEE,  Energy Efficiency,  

CAI ID's Largest Industrial Carbon Emitters (Ind. Report)
Climate Accountability Institute
Date: 2016-04-04
According to recently published research from the Snowmass, Colorado-headquartered Climate Accountability Institute (CAI) , nearly two-thirds of all industrial carbon dioxide and methane released into the atmosphere since 1854 can be traced specifically to 83 producers of coal, oil, and natural gas, and 7 cement manufacturers.

Heading to the list of private and state-held companies are Chevron, ExxonMobil, Saudi Aramco, British Petroleum, Gazprom, Shell and the National Iranian Oil Company. These seven companies alone have produced almost one-fifth of all industrial carbon released into the atmosphere since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. (Source: Union of Concerned Scientists Blog, Climate Accountability Institute, PlanetSave, April, 2016) Contact: Climate Accountability Institute, Richard Heede, (970) 927-9511,,

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

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