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Bonded Builders Warranty Group, Pivotal Energy Solutions Announce Partnership (Ind. Report)
Bonded Builders Warranty Group
Date: 2016-03-02
St. Petersburg, Florida-headquartered Bonded Builders Warranty Group (BBWG) and Pivotal Energy Solutions are reporting the availability of BBWG's Residential Energy Guarantee (REG) program through Pivotal's Axis Platform.

The REG is an exclusive program available to builders who construct and certify homes that meet industry standards for energy efficiency such as HERS, Energy Star, LEED or National Green Building Standard. This first-of-its-kind program for new homes is the only national program which guarantees energy usage of the entire home based on standards set by the Residential Energy Service Network (RESNET). The program reimburses the homeowner for cost of gas and electricity usage exceeding the home's predicted energy usage by 15 pct or more.

Axis is a cloud-based data collection, storage, and sharing solution used by HERS Raters, new home builders, and program sponsors to streamline the data collection process for energy ratings and energy efficiency programs such as ENERGY Star Homes. (Source: Bonded Builders Warranty Group, Mar., 2016) Contact: Bonded Builders Warranty Group, Steve Hooker, (800) 749-0381 x 4618,,; Pivotal Energy Solutions, Bob Burns, (800) 980-AXIS,

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

Cement Producers Awarded ENERGY Star Certification (Ind. Report)
Date: 2016-03-02
US DOE ENERGY Star reports that 27 portland cement operations are among 70 manufacturing plants to achieve ENERGY Star certification in 2015. Cement industry recipients include Holcim, Buzzi Unicem, Cemex USA, Lehigh Cement,Argos USA, Essroc Cement and Titan America, Ash Grove Cement, CalPortland Co., Martin Marietta Materials, Salt River Materials and Suwannee American.

Independently verified energy efficiency measures at the cement and other plants recognized in the 2015 ENERGY Star manufacturing program netted power consumption savings of $475 million and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 5 million mtpy. (Source: US DOE ENERGY Star, Concrete News, 29 Feb., 2016) Contact: DOE ENERGY Star,

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

E.ON Launches Business Energy Audit Service (Int'l Report)
Date: 2016-03-02
Energy giant E.ON reports the launch of a new business energy audit service aimed at helping small and medium-sized businesses reduce their energy consumption and carbon emissions. The service identifies measures firms can take to save energy,and provides a tailored report highlighting the pros and cons of implementation to help them make any follow-up investment decisions.

The service, which costs from £180 to £600, guarantees that it will identify energy saving measures worth more than their initial implementation cost. (Source: E.ON, Business Green, Others, 1 Mar., 2016) Contact: E.ON, Iain Walker, Business Energy, +49 2 11 45 79 4170,

More Low-Carbon Energy News E.ON,  Energy Audit,  Energy Consunption,  

Greenlane Supplying Biogas Equipment for BC Project (Ind. Report)
Greenlane Biogas,Orgaworld Canada
Date: 2016-03-02
Greenlane Biogas has received a contract from London, Ontario-based Orgaworld Canada to supply a biogas upgrading system and a CO2 recovery unit for the city of Surrey's Organic Biofuel Facility in British Columbia, Canada.

The facility, which is currently under construction, will process up to 115,000 mtpy of residential and commercial organic waste. The organic waste will be fed into anaerobic digesters to generate biogas which will be used to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) with methane purity greater than 97 pct. The RNG will be used to fuel the city's fleet of natural gas waste collection and operations service vehicles and to heat buildings in the City Centre community. (Source: Greenlane Biogas, 1 Mar., 2016) Contact: Greenlane Biogas, Brent Jaklin, Managing Dir.,; Orgaworld Canada, (519) 663-4446,

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

ElectraTherm ORC to Generate Energy from Poultry Biomass (Ind. Report)
Date: 2016-02-29
Seno, Nevada-based distributed and waste heat to power generation specialist ElectraTherm, is reporting the shipment of a Power+ Generator 4400 to a poultry farm in the UK. The unit will utilize poultry manure biomass to generate emission-free electricity, beginning this spring.

ElectraTherm utilizes Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) and proprietary technologies to generate power from low temperature heat ranging from 77-122 degrees C. ElectraTherm offers 3 sizes of Power+ Generator: the 4200 generates up to 35kWe; the 4400 generates up to 65kWe; and the 6500 is the largest size model generating up to 110kWe. Power+ Generators utilize waste heat on applications such as internal combustion engines, biomass, flare gas methane and other fluids. (Source: ElectraTherm, PR, 23 Feb., 2016) Contact: ElectraTHerm, (775) 398-4680,

More Low-Carbon Energy News ElectraTherm,  Biomass,  

South Korea Abandons 20 pct by 2020 GHG Target (Int'l Report)
South Korea
Date: 2016-02-29
On Friday, the South Korean government of President Park Geun-hye announced that under its new "Green Growth Program", it was abandoning its GHG emissions reduction target for cutting emissions by 20 pct below "business as usual levels by 2020. The 20 pct by 20102 pledge is being replaced by Korea's Paris pledge to keep 2030 emissions 37 pct below BAU levels. The government also announced it has stripped the Ministry of Environment of its responsibility for the emissions trading scheme and lifting its cap on Early Action -- Credits that observers say could boost the market’s supply by more than 40 million tonnes.

The Green Growth Plan calls for the construction of new coal-fired power plants and a more than 65 pct increase in coal capacity, compared to Korea's current levels. The annual CO2 cap for the 525 companies covered by Korea's emissions trading scheme was set to keep the country on the path to meeting the 2020 target. (Source: Korea Carbon, CP Daily, Others, Feb., 2016)

More Low-Carbon Energy News GHGs,  South Korea Carbon Market,  Emissions Reduction,  

More Low-Carbon Energy News GHGs,  South Korea Carbon Market,  Emissions Reduction,  

New Solar Cell Chemically Stores Solar Power (New Prod & Tech)
Vienna University of Technology, Georg Brunauer
Date: 2016-02-29
Researchers at Vienna's University of Technology (TU Wien) report the development of a photo-electrochemical cell that can chemically store the energy of ultraviolet light even at high temperatures. This allows ultraviolet light to be directly used to pump oxygen ions through a solid oxide electrolyte and the energy of the UV light is stored chemically.

The photoelectrochemical cell is comprised of a photoelectric top layer and an electrochemical part below. In the upper layer, ultraviolet light creates free charge carriers. The electrons in this layer are immediately removed and travel to the bottom layer of the electrochemical cell where the electrons are used to ionize oxygen to negative oxygen ions, which can then travel through a membrane in the electrochemical part of the cell.

The cell works as a UV-light driven oxygen pump that yields an open-current voltage of up to 920 millivolts at a temperature of 400 degrees C.

The concept is not only useful for the production of hydrogen, as it could also split carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide. The produced energy carried in the form of hydrogen and carbon monoxide can be used to synthesise fuels. (Source: Vienna University of Technology, The Statesman, IANS, 23 Feb., 2016) Contact: Vienna University of Technology, Georg Brunauer, +43 1 58801 302332,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar Cell,  PV,  Energy Storage,  

Albany Solar, EcoArk Announce Upcoming Merger (M&A)
Magnolia Solar,EcoArk
Date: 2016-02-29
Albany-headquartered thin film solar developer Magnolia Solar reports it will merge with Rogers,Arkansas-based EcoArk. EcoArk was established in 2011 to develop and deploy intelligent technologies and consumer products to national and international retailers, agriculture, and commercial real estate and government agencies, according to the company.

Magnolia Solar, which has a research facility at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany, has filed 15 patents for thin film solar technologies. (Source: Magnolia Solar, Times Union, Others, 23 Feb., 2016) Contact: Magnolia Solar, (518) 618-4200,; EcoArk, (479) 259-2977,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Magnolia Solar,  Solar Cell,  Solar,  Solar (M&A),  

Governors' Energy Accord Stresses Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
Energy Efficiency
Date: 2016-02-29
A bipartisan group of governors from 17 states have inked the Governors' Accord for a New Energy Future confirming that their states will lead the way in promoting clean energy, modernizing the grid and planning for a new energy future. The Accord calls for:
  • Expanding energy efficiency and renewable energy in a cost-effective way. "Promoting energy savings through efficiency and conservation programs is the fastest, most reliable and often cheapest way to meet our energy needs," according to the Accord;
  • Updating the nation's energy infrastructure. "Electrical grid improvements, advanced in a cost-effective way, can empower utilities and consumers to manage electricity flexibly and efficiently."
  • Sharing expertise and experiences. "These state-by-state approaches enable each state to meet benchmarks it sets for itself in areas such as energy diversification, reduced energy waste, improved air and water, and economic performance," the Accord stressed.

    Participating governors are from California, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, Vermont and Virginia. (Source: ECT, 29 Feb., 2016)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  

  • Biggest solar farm in Maryland may rise in Somerset

    Date: 2016-02-28
    Corn and soybean fields in Somerset County formerly ticketed for wind turbines may now become home to one of the largest solar power plants in the eastern United States. Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. of Canada has plans to collect up to 150 megawatts of power from arrays scattered across several large plots of land south of Princess Anne. Construction on the first phase of 75 megawatts is tentatively scheduled to begin in May and go online by the end of the year. The company already has a deal to sell the electricity generated from that first phase to the U.S. General Services Administration. The agreement was struck by the solar farm's original developer, Texas-based Pioneer Green Energy, which had previously proposed a wind farm on the land. Algonquin acquired the rights The $178 million project dwarfs any others of its kind in Maryland. The project consists of five solar array sites and a power substation, totaling about 1,000 acres of purchased and leased land. The Maryland Public Service Commission, which regulates power utilities, signed off on Algonquin's plans in December. Pioneer Green Energy, a subsidiary of Great Bay Wind, announced early last year it was pursuing solar energy instead of wind in Somerset. The switch came after residents raised health and safety concerns, and military officials warned that the 500-foot-tall turbines could interfere with radar systems at the Patuxent River Naval Air facility across the Chesapeake Bay. . The Public Service Commission is requiring Algonquin to begin construction on the second phase within three years. Aspinall said the company doesn't have a specific timetable for the remaining wattage. (Source: Delmarvanow, 26 Feb., 2016)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Soplar news,  

    Money to Burn? The UK Needs to Dump Biomass and Replace Coal Plants with Truly Clean Energy -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)

    Date: 2016-02-27
    According to the attached Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) report, in an effort build new electric power capacity and meet its climate targets, the UK has relied heavily on biomass -- basically any plant matter used for energy -- beginning in 2013, when Drax Power completed conversion of its first boiler. To date, biomass has been a low-cost form of generation, largely because renewable energy subsidies treat the fuel as "carbon neutral." Utilities are not required to fully account for the carbon emissions associated with burning biomass for electricity, as the carbon emitted at the power plant is assumed to be reabsorbed by future plant growth.

    Today, biomass supplies the lion's share of U.K. "renewable" electricity generation. However, recent science shows that many forms of biomass produce more carbon emissions than fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas -- especially biomass from forests -- increasing carbon pollution precisely when the UK aims to rapidly decarbonizse its electricity sector. At the same time, the costs of building low-carbon alternatives to biomass, in particular wind and solar energy, have fallen rapidly and are expected to continue to do so.

    A new study commissioned by the and conducted by Vivid Economics concludes that in the period 2020 -- 2025, wind and solar are likely to be the least-cost way to ensure U.K. reliability of supply while also achieving power sector decarbonization goals, not biomass.

    Access the full report HERE. (Source: Natural Resources Defence Council. Nov., 2016) Contact: NRDC,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Drax,  Woody Biomass,  Biomass,  Coal,  Climate CHange,  Carbon Emissions,  

    Boeing, Aeromexico Announce Jet Biofuel Collaboration (Ind. Report)
    Beoing,Mexican Bioenergy Innovation Center
    Date: 2016-02-26
    The Mexican Bioenergy Innovation Center is reporting that US aviation giant Boeing, Aeromexico and Mexico's Airports and Auxiliary Services (ASA) will collaborate on a biojet programme to advance research and development of sustainable aviation biofuel in Mexico. The 4-year project, which is being supported by Mexico's Sector Fund for Energy Sustainability, involves nine CONACYT research centres; Mexican companies Pemex, QENER and Tratamientos Reciclados del Sureste; the Mexican Petroleum Institute; Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in United Arab Emirates; and the US Joint BioEnergy Institute.

    Program research will include biomass sourcing, fuel production, sustainability and lifecycle assessment, and aviation biofuel market development. Aviation biofuel feedstocks in Mexico are expected to include jatropha, salt-tolerant Salicornia and sewage sludge. (Source: Mexican Bioenergy Innovation Center, Boeing, Various Media, HydroCarbon Eng., Feb., 2016) Contact: Boeing, Julie Felgar, Jessica Kowal, Envir. Communications, (206) 660-6849,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Jet Biofuel,  Aviation Biofuel,  Boeing,  

    MidAmerican Reports Iowa Wind Farm Commissionings (Ind. Report)
    MidAmerican Energy
    Date: 2016-02-26
    In Des Moines, MidAmerican Energy Company (MEC) is reporting the Dec., 2015, commissioning of the 502 MW Highland Wind Farm in O'Brien County and an Adams County wind farm in Iowa. The Highland project is the fifth and largest wind farm of MEC's $1.9 billion Wind VIII initiative which utilizes 448, 2.34 MW Siemens wind turbines.

    With this recent commissioning, MEC now has a total wind generation capacity of 3,500 MW. (Source: MidAmerican Energy, Storm Lake Pilot Tribune, Others, 23 Feb., 2016) Contact: MidAmerican, Mike Gehringer, VP Renewable Energy, (888) 427-5632,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  MidAmerican Energy,  

    TPI Confirms New Mexican Wind Blade Plant Plans (Ind. Report)
    TPI Composites
    Date: 2016-02-26
    Scottsdale, Arizona-based wind turbine blade maker TPI Composites Inc on Tuesday confirmed in a press release it intends to open a second 360,000 sq-ft plant in Juarez, Mexico during the second half of 2016.

    The company also reports it has inked a long-term contract with wind turbines maker Gamesa to continue supplying blades from its existing plant in Mexico and to start delivering products from the new plant upon its completion. (Source: TPI Composites, Various Media Sources, 23 Feb., 2016) Contact: TPI Composites, Steve Lockard, CEO,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News TPI Composites,  Wind,  Wind Blade ,  

    Optimizing Biofuel Prod. from Algae Using CO2 Emissions (Ind. Report)
    American Chemical Society
    Date: 2016-02-26
    The American Chemical Society' (ACS) journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research reports that researchers Eusiel Rubio-Castro and colleagues have developed a mathematical model to determine the optimal design of an algae-based biorefinery where flue gases from different industrial facilities are used as raw materials.

    The team developed a mixed integer non-linear programming (MINLP) model and applied it to a case study in Mexico. Their model determined that using flue gases as a source of CO2 reduced costs associated with the algae-growing stage of the process -- the most expensive part -- and reduced all other costs by almost 90 pct.

    Using water recycled within the biorefining process also reduced fresh water needs by about 83 pct. However, as the technology stands, the researchers say that the costs are still too high to justify an algae-based biorefinery on its own. Instead, they say that producing cleaner, algae-based fuels should be seen as a necessary expense in the global effort to reduce and capture carbon emissions. (Source: American Chemical Society, Public Release, 24 Feb., 2016) Contact: American Chemical Society, Donna Nelson, Pres, (800) 333-9511,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Algae,  Biofuel,  American Chemical Society,  

    SunEdison Snares Residential Solar Specialist Vivant (M&A)
    Vivant Solar,SunEdison Inc
    Date: 2016-02-26
    US residential solar installer Vivint Solar reports that its shareholders and Board of Directors have approved a $1.9 billion cash-and-stock sale of the company to renewable energy developer SunEdison Inc. SunEdison will pay $7.89 per share in cash without interest, plus common stock and convertible notes. SunEdison previously cleared the deal with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice. (Source: Vivant Solar, Various Media, 25 Feb., 2016) Contact: Vivint Solar, Jan Newman, VP of Business Dev., Rob Kain, VP Inv. Relations, (801) 229-6460,,; SunEdison, R. Phelps Morris, Pres., (314) 770-7325,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Vivant Solar,  SunEdison,  

    Repsol Selling Scottish Offshore Wind Interests (Int'l, M&A)
    Repsol,SDIC Power Holdings
    Date: 2016-02-26
    Spanish oil and gas producer Repsol SA reports it will sell all of its offshore wind power interests in Scotland to China's SDIC Power Holdings for €238 million ($ 263 million). The deal includes Repsol’s 100 pct interest in the 784-MW Inch Cape project and its 25 pct stake in the up to 588-MW Beatrice development, both in Scottish Territorial waters. The sale is expected to close in Q2 of this year. (Source: Repsol, Various Media, 24 Jan., 2016) Contact: Repsol,; SDIC Power Holdings,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Repsol,  Offshore Wind,  Wind (M&A),  

    Planned Tacoma Methanol Plant Delayed (Ind. Report)
    NW Innovation Works
    Date: 2016-02-26
    In Tacoma, NW Innovation Works, a multinational consortium of chemical companies and investors , reports that its planned $1.8 billion plant that would convert natural gas to methanol has been temporarily mothballed. NW has asked the city of Tacoma to hold off on an environmental review of the plant if construction were to proceed.

    The company plans to use the next several months to engage in public outreach and to address local residents' concerns over the proposed plant's potential impact on property values and the environment. (Source: NW Innovation Works, komonews, 20 Feb., 2016)Contact: NW Innovation Works,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methanol,  

    U.S. Power Sector Carbon Emissions Jump Slightly (Ind. Report)
    US EPA
    Date: 2016-02-26
    According to the EPA's just released Draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2014 power generators accounted for 39 pct of the nation's carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion in 2014 -- less than 1 pct more than in 2013.

    In 2014, 2,054.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMtCO2-e,) was produced by all electricity generation–related activities, compared to 2,052.8 MMtCO2-e in 2013. Almost all -- 2,039.3 MMtCO2-e -- was emitted by fossil fuel combustion: 77 pct by coal power generators, 21 pct by natural gas generators, 1.2 pct by petroleum generators, and 0.02 pct by geothermal generators.

    The report notes that generators relied on coal for about 39 pct of their total energy requirements in 2014, and that coal used by power generators accounted for 93 pct of all coal consumed for energy in the U.S. But while the amount of power generated in the U.S. increased by 1.1% compared to 2013, carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector increased by 0.1 pct as the consumption of petroleum for power generation increased by 15.8 pct in 2014. The report notes that methane emissions made up a 10.3 pct share of all 2014 emissions. (Source: EPA, Power Mag., Various Others, 25 Feb., 2016)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  GHGs,  Greenhouse Gas Emissions,  Carbon Emissions,  

    Siemens, IBM Partner on Building Energy Management (Ind. Report)
    Siemens Building Technologies,IBM,
    Date: 2016-02-26
    Siemens' Building Technologies Division and IBM are touting cloud-based solutions that will leverage Siemens' building expertise and IBM Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities to maximize the potential of connected buildings and the data they create. The initiative aims to help corporate real estate owners manage their energy usage and meet energy efficiency goals.

    Siemens is integrating IBM's Watson IoT Business Unit software, including analytics and asset management, into its cloud-based Navigator energy and sustainability management platform. The platform provides a customizable suite of services that enables monitoring of building system performance, energy demand, and energy supply across a single building, a campus, or an entire real estate portfolio. The Navigator platform can also integrate with any system, including the Siemens Desigo CC building management system and third party technologies. (Source: Siemens, IBM, 24 Feb., 2016) Contact: Siemens, Amanda Naiman, (484) 680-4427,,; IBM, Hanna Smigala,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Siemens Building Technologies,  IBM,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Management ,  

    Johnson Controls, Arkansas State Univ. Ink $15Mn Energy Performance Contract (Ind. Report)
    Johnson Controls
    Date: 2016-02-26
    Milwaukee-headquartered Johnson Controls and Arkansas State University are reporting the signing of a $15 million energy performance contract under the Arkansas Energy Performance Contracting program. The upgrades outlined in the contract include LED lighting, water conservation, waste management, energy management, HVAC, utility monitoring and others, all of which are slated for completion by Nov. 30, 2016.

    Recent energy legislation has enhanced the Arkansas Energy Performance Contracting program, allowing Arkansas State and other educational institutions to benefit. Energy performance contracting is a financing mechanism used to pay for energy efficiency improvements, which are then paid back through annual energy and operational savings. The Arkansas State energy performance contract features a 20-year payback and operational savings -- the first of its kind in the state of Arkansas. (Source: Johnson Controls, PR, 25 Feb., 2016) Contact: Johnson Controls, Ryan Nolan, Building Energy Efficiency Program Manager, (414) 524-6107,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Johnson Controls,  Energy Storage,  Energy Management,  

    Abengoa Goes Under with $10 Billion in Debts (Ind. Report)
    Abengoa Bioenergy,Abengoa
    Date: 2016-02-26
    As expected, on Wednesday, Abengoa Bioenergy US Holding filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a U.S. federal court in Missouri claiming as much as $10 billion (€9.1 billion) in debts to from 200 to 999 creditors. Abengoa Bioenergy affiliates , including Abengoa Bioenergy of Nebraska LLC, Abengoa Bioenergy Engineering & Construction LLC, Abengoa Bioenergy Company LLC, Abengoa Bioenergy Trading US LLC and Abengoa Bioenergy Outsourcing LLC, also joined in the filing.

    Previously this month, Abengoa said it will need some €1.66 billion, including €525 in new financial guarantees, to stay afloat over the next two years. (Source: Abengoa, Various Other Media, 24 Feb., 2015)Contact: Abengoa,; Abengoa Bioenergy,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Abengoa Bioenergy,  Abengoa,  

    ROXUL HQ Scores CaGBC Gold Certification (Ind. Report)
    Rockwool International,ROXUL,USGBC
    Date: 2016-02-24
    In Milton, Ontario, Rockwool® International subsidiary ROXUL® reports that its 86,000 sq-ft North American headquarters has been awarded CaGBC LEED Gold certification in the new Construction category.

    The ROXUL Inc. headquarters features an open-concept floor plan and to natural light, motion-sensor lights and HVAC systems, drought resistant landscaping, rain water harvesting and grey water reuse. ROXUL's Energy Design Center -- a resource and education hub for architects, designers and specifiers -- was involved in the building envelope design and energy modelling to ensure that advanced green features used would exceed building codes and achieve superior performance. Thermal couples, relative-humidity sensors and heat-flux meters were installed in the roof, walls and below-grade insulation to monitor the in-situ performance of the ROXUL insulation. The data captured is recorded and uploaded to a third-party system. The data will underscore the long-term performance of the building's green construction and act as a real-time case study and education tool. (Source: Roxul Inc., CaGBC, 22 Feb., 2016) Contact: Canada Green Building Council, Mark Hutchinson, Director, (613) 241-1184,; ROXUL,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CaGBC,  LEED Gold,  LEED Certification,  

    Canadian Business Not Ready for Climate Change, says Canadian Chamber of Commerce (Ind. Report)
    Canadian Chamber of Commerce
    Date: 2016-02-24
    In its latest annual report, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) claims Canada is not ready to meet the challenges that climate change presents to the business community.

    According to the report, "The impacts of climate change will be increasingly challenging for industries across Canada. Changing weather patterns will lead to regional water supply difficulties for agriculture, natural resource industries and local communities. Infrastructure will be threatened in the North from melting permafrost and on the coast due to rising sea levels. It could be an extremely significant issue across the top of the whole economy."

    The association is calling on the federal government to clarify the rules on carbon emissions and take an active role in creating a national strategy and regulatory system to deal with the impacts of climate change. (Source: Canadian Chamber of Commerce, iPolitics, Feb. 18, 2016) Contact: Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Perrin Beatty, Pres., Warren Everson, VP Policy, (613) 238-4000,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  

    Wind Turbine Specialist Senvion Touts Upcoming IPO (Int'l)
    Senvion,Renewable Energy Systems Ltd
    Date: 2016-02-24
    Hamburg-headquartered German wind turbine manufacturer Senvion reports it will float an IPO on the regulated market segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange before mid-year. IPO revenue is expected to be used to redeem the company's outstanding €400 million, 6.625 pct high-yield bonds upon expiration in 2017.

    The company reportedly brought in €2.14 billion in pro-forma revenues during the calendar year 2015. (Source: Senvion, Various Media, 22 Feb., 2016) Senvion, Andreas Nauen, CEO, 011 +49 40 5 55 50 90 0,

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

    UCS Comments on NREL Renewables Tax Credit Analysis (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    NREL,Union of Concerned Scientists
    Date: 2016-02-24
    A recently released National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) renewable energy analysis projects that the December, 2015, five-year extension of the federal renewables production and investment tax credits will drive a net peak increase of 48-53 gigawatts in installed renewable energy generation capacity in the early 2020s and cut CO2 emissions by 540 to 1,400 million metric tons over the next 15 years.

    The following statement is from Steve Clemmer, director of energy research and analysis at the Union of Concerned Scientists: "The NREL study shows just how important the tax credits are. The tax credits will spur significant renewable energy development and cut carbon emissions. That's important from a climate point of view because the earlier we start reducing emissions the better chance we'll have of staving off some of the worst consequences.

    "The tax credits will help states cut emissions by transitioning to renewables, rather than over-relying on natural gas. The danger is that if you lock in too much natural gas use, you've locked in a certain amount of future emissions. Renewables, on the other hand, provide cost-effective, carbon-free energy.

    "This analysis clearly shows why the renewable industry had reason to cheer when Congress voted for the extension. The tax credits create the certainty the renewable energy industry needs to develop projects, create jobs and expand U.S. manufacturing capacity. It will also allow the industry to continue advancing wind and solar technology and drive down costs to put them on a level playing field with fossil fuels.

    "The recent Supreme Court stay on the Clean Power Plan does not change the underlying economic and public health benefits from a shift to renewable energy. The good news is that the extension of the tax credits can help states stay on that path. However, additional clean energy policies, including full implementation of the Clean Power Plan and action from Congress on clean energy finance and deployment policies, are vital to meeting our climate and energy goals." (Source: NREL, Union of Concerned Scientists, 22 Feb., 2016) Contact: Union of Concerned Scientists, (617) 547-5552, Steve Clemmer,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy Tax Credit,  Carbon Emissions,  Clean Power Plan,  Union of Concerned Scientists,  NREL,  Carbon Emissions,  

    US GHG Emissions Up Under 1 pct in 2014 (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2016-02-24
    According to the draft version of the EPA's annual greenhouse gas report U.S GHG emissions increased by 0.9 pct between 2013 and 2014 after a 2.2 pct increase the previous year. The EPA cited cold winter and the increase on higher fossil fuel consumption in the energy and transportation sectors, for the increase. Carbon dioxide emissions -- which comprised 81 pct of total U.S. emissions -- increased slightly between 2013 and 2014, the second straight annual increase after a small decline between 2011 and 2012, according to the report. All told, the U.S. accounted for 6,873 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent in 2014. (Source: EPA, The Hill, Various Others, 22 Feb., 2016)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GHG,  Greenhouse Gas,  CO2,  

    Valero Seeks Redefinition of RFS "Obliged Party" (Reg & Leg)
    Date: 2016-02-24
    Valero Energy Corp. has reportedly joined the swelling ranks of biofuels and petroleum producers that are challenging the EPA's Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The company has filed a petition with the U.S. EPA, asking it to revise its definition of "obligated party" under the RFS. It has also petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to review the EPA's recent RFS rule-making to set renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for 2014, 2015 and 2016, along with the 2017 RVO for biomass-based diesel.

    Valero is asking the EPA to reconsider defining obligated party as the entity that holds title to the gasoline or diesel fuel, immediately prior to transfer from the truck loading terminal or bulk terminal to a retail outlet, wholesale purchaser-consumer or ultimate consumer, as reflected in the records maintained for federal excise tax purposes. Making this change will address supply constraints on renewable fuel in the transportation fuel market, according to Valero. (Source: Valero, Various Media, 22 Feb., 2016)Contact: Valero Renewable Fuels,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Valero,  RFS,  Biofuel,  

    LED Lighting Firm Commits to Carbon Neutrality (Ind. Report)
    Philips,Copenhagen Center on Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2016-02-22
    Amsterdan-headquartered Royal Philips N.V. (Philips), which has pledged to reach carbon neutrality by 2020, reports it has reduced its carbon footprint by 40 pct since 2007.

    The company plans to meet its goal through a multi-pronged approach aimed at driving down energy consumption in own operations by reducing energy use, logistics and business travel, the promotion of energy efficient lighting through technology innovation and partnerships like the en.lighten initiative.

    Philips has already moved towards carbon neutrality through its membership in the RE100 program, a collaborative initiative of businesses committed to 100 pct renewable electricity. To date, the company has increased its renewable energy consumption from eight pct in 2008 to 55 pct in 2014. (Source: Philips, Copenhagen Center on Energy Efficiency, 19 Feb., 2016) Contact: Philips Lighting, Eric Rondolat, CEO,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News LED Light,  Philips,  Carbon Neutral,  Energy Efficient Light,  

    United Wind Raises $200Mn for Expansion (Funding, Ind. Report)
    United Wind,Forum Equity Partners
    Date: 2016-02-22
    Brooklyn, New York-based small wind turbine specialist United Wind reports it raised $200 million from Toronto-based Forum Equity Partners. United Wind was the result of a 2013 merger between the turbine company Talco Electronics and the energy analytics company Wind Analytics.

    With 26 current projects, the funding will allow United Wind to expand to 1,000 projects, according to Reuters. (Source: United Wind, Technically Brooklyn, Others, 19 Feb., 2016)Contact: United Wind, Russell Tencer, CEO, (800) 268-9896,,; Forum Equity Partners, (416) 947-0389,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News United Wind,  Wind,  

    FuelCell Energy, Cenovus Announce Carbon Capture Study (Ind. Report)
    FuelCell Energy Inc., Cenovus Energy Inc, COSIA
    Date: 2016-02-22
    Danbury, Conn.-headquartered FuelCell Energy, Inc. reports it has signed a contract with the Canadian oil company Cenovus Energy Inc. to complete the preliminary front-end design and engineering (pre-FEED) for siting a fuel cell system to capture CO2 from flue gas. The system would be at an existing 14 megawatt natural gas-fired co-generation facility located at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.

    Cenovus is the lead partner of a Joint Industry Project (JIP) that include Alberta Innovates-Energy Environment Solutions as well as Cenovus, Devon Canada and Shell Canada -- members of Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA).

    This project aims to quantify the benefits of the fuel cell carbon capture solution for the separation of CO2 from the flue gas of boilers used to make steam in oil sands production. The project is focused on separating 75 pct of the CO2 from the flue gas of the cogeneration plant at the University of Calgary. (Source: FuelCell Energy, Global News Wire, NASDAQ, 15 Feb., 2016) Contact: FuelCell Energy, Chip Bottone, CEO, Kurt Goddard, VP Investor Relations (203) 830-7494,,; COSIA, Craig Stenhouse, Manager,; Cenovus Energy, Jessica Wilkinson, Media, (403) 766-8990,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  Carbon Capture,  Flue Gas,  FuelCell Energy Inc.,  Cenovus Energy Inc.,  COSIA,  

    Aliso Canyon Massive Methane Leak "Officially" Plugged (Ind. Report)
    Southern California Gas Co
    Date: 2016-02-22
    Southern California Gas Co (SoCal Gas), the operator of the now infamous Aliso Canyon, Porters Ranch, California natural gas methane well leak on the outskirts of Los Angeles has been permanently, and "officially" sealed with cement.

    Over 4 months, the leak spewed an estimated 95,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere and sent thousands of area families running in search of cleaner air, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. At its peak in late November, the well released over 127,000 pounds of methane per hour, according to an estimate by the California Air Resources Board. Needless to report, the leak has also spawned numerous lawsuits, including criminal charges. (Source: Southern California Gas, VICE News, Various Others, 19 Feb., 2016) Contact: Southern California Gas,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Southern California Gas Co ,  

    Building Energy Efficiency Innovation Funding Available (Funding)
    US DOE Building Technologies Office
    Date: 2016-02-19
    The U.S.DOE Building Technologies Office (BTO) is offering $20 million funding in a revised solicitation (DE-FOA-0001383) for building energy efficiency technologies. The federal agency seeks promising market-ready solutions to the market barriers that hinder the growth of energy efficiency in commercial buildings and tenant spaces of under 50,000 sq-ft gross floor space, which account for over 40 pct commercial sector energy consumption.

    According to the DOE, well-documented informational, structural, and market barriers -- such as split incentives, asymmetrical or inadequate information, higher first costs and high investment hurdle rates impede the adoption of energy efficient technologies and practices, especially for small and medium size commercial buildings.

    The funding is intended to help the federal government achieve its energy savings goal of 20 pct by 2020 and 50 pct by 2030. (Source: DOE's Building Technologies Office (BTO), Feb., 2016) Contact: US DOE Building Technologies Office,,

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

    NAFTA Nations Ink Climate Change, Clean Energy MOU (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2016-02-19
    On Friday, 12 Feb., the U.S., Canada and Mexico -- the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) member counties -- entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on climate change and energy collaboration under which they will share data on energy supply and distribution, renewable and clean energy initiatives and technologies, as well as improving energy efficiency continent wide. The NAFTA partners also announced the completion of a web-based platform which maps out all of the North American energy infrastructure.

    The NAFTA memorandum comes on the heels of the COP21 conference which produced a climate change agreement that, although widely praised, lacks an enforcement mechanism. (Source: NAFTA, Motherboard, 13 Feb., 2016) Contact: NAFTA,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NAFTA,  Climate Change,  Energy Efficiency,  Renewable Energy,  Clean Energy,  COP21,  

    Nevada PUC Extends Solar Net-Metering Terms (Ind. Report)
    Nevada Public Utilities Commission
    Date: 2016-02-19
    Meeting in Carson City, the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has ruled that the state's existing net-metering customers will see their rates change over a period of 12 years, rather than 4 years, as with new customers. Last December, the Nevada PUC lifted the utility service charges for small solar owners, and reduced the feed-in tariff sum paid to them for power sent to the grid. The changes will occur in phases between 2016 and 2020 for new customers.

    The PUC changes to the net metering policy are not without controversy. In January, solar system owners took legal action against NV Energy, accusing the utility of conspiring to reduce or eliminate competition, inflate price and illegally increase revenues. (Source: Nevada PUC, Various Sources, Feb., 2016) Contact: Nevada PUC, (775) 684-6101,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Net-Metering,  Nevada Public Utilities Commission,  Solar,  Feed-in Tariff,  

    SoCalGas Faces Charges Over Aliso Canyon Methane Leak (Ind. Report)
    Southern California Gas
    Date: 2016-02-19
    Following-up on our Jan. 15the coverage, in Sacramento, the Golden State's attorney general Kamala Harris reports her office is charging Southern California Gas Co. with failing to immediately notify state authorities of the Aliso Canyon facility methane leak, which has since been checked.

    SoCalGas faces four misdemeanor charges, three for each day they failed to report to authorities after the leak was discovered, and one for the discharge of air contaminants. The lawsuit also cites the climate threat posed by the uncontrolled emission of more than 80,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere. (Source: California Attorney General Office, Lake Andes Wave, Others, 18 Feb., 2016)Contact: California Attorney General Office, (415) 351-3374,; Southern California Gas,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  SoCalGas,  County,  Southern California Gas,  

    Pa. Regulators Tackle Natural Gas Well Methane Leaks (Reg & Leg)
    Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
    Date: 2016-02-19
    In Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has been tasked by the Governor to tighten regulations governing methane leaks at natural gas wells and facilities in the Keystone State. The aim is to reduce the unnecessary release of greenhouse gas from shale gas well sites, compressor stations and the state's expanding natural gas pipeline system.

    Regulators are first tackling emissions from new shale gas well sites and compressor stations, which the department oversees now. DEP wants to issue streamlined permits for those facilities by October, said at an advisory board meeting last week when concepts for the new permits were announced. Regulations for existing oil and gas facilities, and suggestions for leak detection and control along pipelines will follow.

    DEP is considering various new standards for well pads including: quarterly leak inspections with infrared cameras and monthly walk-though screenings; cleaner diesel engines on drilling rigs; quicker repairs once leaks are discovered; 95 pct control of emissions of associated pollutants from storage tanks; and reduced bleed-off from pumps. (Source: Penna. Department of Environmental Protection, Post Gazette, 16 Feb., 2016) Contact: Pa. DEP, Joyce Epps, Bureau of Air Quality, John Quigley, DEP Secretary,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection,  Methane,  

    EBRD, GEF Funding Ukrainian Climate Change Mitigation Projects (Int'l Report, Funding)
    Global Environment Facility
    Date: 2016-02-19
    Ukraine has become the newest member of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Finance and Technology Transfer Centre for Climate Change (FINTECC) programme. FINTECC, which is designed to transfer technology in the area of climate change mitigation and adaptation, in the 14 countries where the EBRD invests. The three-year programme is supported by $7 million grant funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and a €4 million from the EU's Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF).

    FINTECC resources will be available to the existing local clients of the Bank planning to introduce modern climate change mitigation and related technologies. Under the FINTECC programme, individual companies may qualify for up to 25 pct of the cost of a new technology to a maximum of $1 million.

    EBRD is the largest international financial investor in Ukraine with a total commitment of approximately $12 billion covering 355 projects. throughout the country. As of January 2016, 16 EBRD Sustainable Resource Initiative investment projects will lead to approximately 168,000 tonnes of CO2 savings over 10 years. (Source: EBRD, Feb. 16, 2016)Contact: EBRD, Adonai Herrera-Martinez, Senior Manager Energy Efficiency and Climate Change,; Global Environment Facility,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EBRD,  Climate Change Mitigation,  Global Environment Facility,  

    UK Woody-Biomass Supplier Merger Announced (Int'l, M&A)
    Lakes Biomass,Forest Fuels
    Date: 2016-02-19
    In the UK, wood fuel supplier Forest Fuels is reporting the acquisition of Lakes Biomass, a provider of woody biomass kiln-dried logs, woodchip, and pellets to domestic and commercial customers throughout the North West of England.

    The deal will give Lakes Biomass customers access to Forest Fuels' automatic monitoring systems, which allows them to monitor fuel-store levels, usage and boilers via telephone, tablet or computer. (Source: Forest Fuels, Lake Biomass, Others, reNews, 16 Feb., 2016) Contact: Lakes Biomass, Gemma Turrall, GM, +44 1229 580555,; Forest Fuels, Search Results Forest Fuels,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  

    ABB Investing €4Mn in Finnish Solar Laboratory (Intl Report)
    ABB Finland
    Date: 2016-02-17
    ABB reports it will invest close to €4 million in a new solar power plant laboratory that will investigate and test the performance of solar inverters, simulate the impacts of various network disruptions and carry out weather tests in Pitajanmaki, Finland. The laboratory's weather room will also test power electronics in temperatures ranging from -40 to 100 degrees C.

    The laboratory will support ABB Finland's inverter business which was launched in the late 2000s. ABB Finland's solar power technology is presently used in megawatt-sized solar power plants worldwide. (Source: ABB, Good News Finland, 15 Feb., 2016) Contact: ABB, Bernhard Jucker, Pres., Timo Toissalo, Sr. VP, Power Conversion, Finland,,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ABB,  Solar,  Solar Inverter,  

    Masdar Inst. Touts Thermal Energy Storage Demo (New Prod & Tech)
    Masdar Institute,
    Date: 2016-02-17
    In Abu Dhabi, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, is reporting the initiation of its Concentrated Solar Power on Demand Demonstration (CSPonD) Demo pilot at the Masdar Institute Solar Platform in Masdar City.

    The CSPonD demonstration is intended to help show that the novel single-tank thermal energy storage system, which absorbs and stores thermal energy using molten salt or other liquid transfer media, may prove to be more affordable and efficient than conventional two-tank systems. "The CSPonD Demo prototype is expected to directly absorb and store 600 KWh of thermal energy in a one-tank system on the ground, thus avoiding the need to pump molten salt to the top of the solar power tower, which is the method employed by traditional two-tank TES systems. It will produce constant power of 25 kW at all times."

    The CSPonD Demo system, which was originally designed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), avoids the use of pipes, pumps, and double tanks by bringing the sunlight down directly to a receiver on the ground, which it does through secondary mirrors placed at the top of the tower. It also avoids costly receiver tubes that undergo thermal fatigue and can bring the entire system down with the smallest of leaks. (Source: Masdar, MIT, 15 Feb., 2016)Contact: Masdar Institute, Dr. Nicholas Calvet, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Shaima Al Jarman, Marketing & Communications, 011 +971 02 8109365,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Masdar Institute,  Thermal Energy Storage,  

    Carbon Trust Touts Irish Wind LIDAR Trials (Ind. Report)
    Carbon Trust
    Date: 2016-02-17
    In the UK, the Carbon Trust is reporting the launch of the world's largest trial of scanning Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology in Dublin Bay, Ireland. The launch is the latest Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) project designed to help reduce the cost of energy generated by offshore wind.

    Over the next three months the most comprehensive test of scanning LIDAR will take place, involving four different scanning LIDAR systems alongside three vertical profiling LIDARs for validation purposes. The project is supported by independent renewable energy company RES and the Commissioners of Irish Lights. (Source: Carbon Trust, Others, 15 Feb., 2016) Contact: Carbon Trust, Megan Smith, Project Manager, Wakes Research,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Trust,  LIDAR,  Wind,  

    Geodynamics' Acquisition Enables Aussie Biogas Expansion (M&A)
    Geodynamics Ltd,Quantum Power Ltd
    Date: 2016-02-17
    Australia-based Geodynamics Ltd. Is reporting the July acquisition of anaerobic digestion-specialist Quantum Power Ltd., a biogas company focused on the growing agribusiness and municipal waste sectors in Australia. Together, Geodynamics and its wholly owned subsidiary, Quantum, are working to build a portfolio of build, own, operate and maintain (BOOM) projects in the biogas sector.

    Prior to the acquisition, Quantum had built approximately 12 projects, and when Geodynamics acquired the company it had one BOOM project in its portfolio, which the companies continue to operate and maintain today. Quantum currently has three projects under development: the $4 million Goulburn Bioenergy Project at the Southern Meats abattoir in New South Wales, and the Mindarra Bioenergy Project, located at a large piggery in Western Australia, both of which are slated for commissioning before the year end. Under the revised arrangements, Quantum will build, own and operate the project under a 20-year PPA. agreement. The $4-million project includes the construction and commissioning of anaerobic digesters, gas treatment equipment, electrical generation and electrical interconnections to the facility. (Source: Geodynamics, Others, 15 Feb., 2016) Contact: Geodynamics, Chris Murray, CEO, +61 7 3721 7500,,; Quantum Power Ltd., +61 7 3177 1040,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News anaerobic digestion,  Geodynamics,  Biogas,  Methane,  Quantum Power Ltd,  

    Whitefox Installing Tech at Pine Lake Corn Processors (Ind. Report)
    Whitefox Technologies Limited,Pine Lake Corn Processors
    Date: 2016-02-17
    Calgary, Alberta-headquartered clean fuel membrane specialist Whitefox Technologies Limited reports an agreement with Iowa-based Pine Lake Corn Processors for the installation of its Whitefox ICE™ Solution at Pine Lake's 30-million gpy ethanol plant in Steamboat Rock, Iowa. It will be Whitefox's first installation in the U.S. Midwest.

    Whitefox's technology reduces energy consumption, increases production efficiency and contributes to the production of low-carbon ethanol, according to the company. (Source: Whitefox Technologies, PR, 15 Feb., 2016) Contact: Whitefox, Gillian Harrison, CEO, (403) 210-2999,; Pine Lake Corn Processors, (641) 868-2676,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Whitefox Technologies,  Pine Lake Corn Processors ,  

    Indian Bamboo Ethanol Project Advances (Int'l. Report)
    Chempolis Ltd, Numaligarh Refinery Limited
    Date: 2016-02-17
    A joint venture of Finland-based Chempolis Ltd. and India's Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. reports it has received the necessary regulatory approvals and has begun preparatory work, including signing memorandum of understanding for a sustainable supply of bamboo.

    The JV partners will jointly build a world class bamboo ethanol biorefinery in Assam, India, using Chempolis formicobio technology in North East India for the production of bioethanol and the co-production of furfural and acetic acid. (Source: Chempolis Ltd., Others, February 15, 2016) Contact: Chempolis Limited, +358 10 38 76666,; Numaligarh Refinery Ltd.,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  Chempolis,  Numaligarh Refinery Limited ,  Bamboo Biofuel,  

    EEA-Grants €2Mn for GE Europe's Hydropower Projects (Int'l)
    GE Europe,Alstom,European Economic Area
    Date: 2016-02-17
    GE Europe's renewable energy division reports receipt of €2 million in grant funding from the European Economic Area (EEA) for hydropower projects in Tepekisla, Turkey and in Iveland, Norway. The grant funding will be used to finance the equipment R&D activities on the hydropower projects.

    The contract for equipment for the two projects was originally granted to Alstom but fell to GE with its acquisition of Alstom last November.

    EEA-Grants are intended to address social and economic inequalities in the European Economic Area and to strengthen bilateral relations between donor states like Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein and the other 16 EU member states that are qualified for this financial help. (Source: GE Europe, EEA, 11 Feb., 2016) Contact: EEA Grants,; GE Europe, Yves Rannous, CEO, GE Renewable Energy Hydro, +32 2 235 6855,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Hydro,  GE Renewables,  Alstom,  

    Rhode Island Considering Woody Biomass Options (Reg & Leg)
    Rhode Island
    Date: 2016-02-15
    Although Rhode Island has no wood-burning power plants, more than 50 pct of the renewable power used to comply with state's Renewable Energy Standard (RES) comes from woody biomass imported from Maine and other neighboring states, according to the latest annual review of the program. However, there is a growing belief among researchers that emissions from wood-fueled power plants release more CO2 than fossil fuels and that CO2 takes decades to offset even if the wood is sustainably harvested. A 2014 report concluded that woody biomass emits 50 pct more CO2 per megawatt generated than coal and 800 pct more CO2 than a natural-gas power plant.

    Rhode Island's legislation, which is still in committee, would incrementally raise the RES to about 38 pct of the state's overall power mix by 2035. Environmental groups are pushing for an extension of the RES program without restrictions on woody biomass. During a recent House hearing, the RES was praised for helping meet climate-emission goals. On paper, at least, the RES will do that, because woody biomass CO2 emissions are not counted in emissions in programs such as RGGI.

    Meanwhile, two of Maine's four woody biomass plants that export power to Rhode Island have been shuttered due to low natural-gas and oil prices as well as stricter RES standards in Massachusetts and Connecticut. (Source: eco'RI News, 14 Feb., 2016)

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

    Ameren's Energy Efficiency Plan Targets Renters (Ind. Report)
    Ameren Missouri
    Date: 2016-02-15
    Six weeks after its efficiency program lapsed, Ameren Missouri, the Show Me state's largest electric utility reports that it new, $158 million, 3-year energy efficiency program has won state regulatory approval and will be activated this spring. The revised energy efficiency program can be expanded and/or modified as needed in 2017 and 2018.

    Ameren will hire coordinators to work with renters and low income customers who tend to pay a higher proportion of their income to utility bills, and typically do not take advantage of discounted high-efficiency appliances, light bulbs and others.

    According to Ameren, it was the first investor-owned utility in Missouri to implement an energy efficiency program under the MEEIA legislation. And, since 2009, Ameren Missouri has committed to invest more than $375 million to support its 1.2 million customers' efforts to use energy more efficiently. (Source: Ameren Missouri, 10 Feb., 2016) (Source: Ameren, Utility Dive, Others, 14 Feb., 2016) Contact: Ameren Missouri, Dan Laurent, Dir. Energy Services, Michael Moehn, Pres., CEO, (314) 554-2165,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ameren Missouri,  Energy Efficiency,  

    Mich. Utilities Exceed Renewable Energy Prod. Standard (Ind. Report)
    Michigan PSC
    Date: 2016-02-15
    In its annual report, the Michigan Public Service Commission reports that the state's investor-owned electric utilities, cooperative utilities, municipal utilities and alternative electric suppliers have exceeded the 10 pct renewable energy production goal as required under the state's 2008 landmark energy legislation. Utilities increased renewable energy production from 7.8 pct in 2013, to 9.1 pct in 2014 and an estimated more than 10 pct in 2015, according to the report.

    The PSC report says all 75 producers met their targets primarily by building wind farms, which accounted for more than 1,500 MW of power in Michigan where wind power generation has increased to 61 pct of the total amount of 2,500 MW from 7 pct in 2009. Hydroelectric accounts for 15 pct of renewable energy production, biomass is at 13 pct, landfill gas at 6 pct, municipal solid waste at 3 pct and solar at 1 pct.

    Access the Michigan PSC full report HERE. (Source: Michigan PSC, Crain’s Detroit, Others, 12 Feb., 2016) Contact: Michigan PSC, (517) 284-8100,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Rewnewable Energy,  

    Boulder Mixed-Use Building Earns LEED Platinum (Ind. Report
    Date: 2016-02-15
    In Boulder, Colorado, Unico Properties reports that its 41,000 sq-ft mixed use office-retail building redevelopment project has been awarded U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED platinum certification for its core and shell.

    Unico's energy efficiency measures include: installation of electrochromic windows that reduce the need for shades, reduce solar heat gain, increase energy savings; Boulder's first installation of a SolarWall, a solar transpired air collector that preheats outside air and provides solar heat in the winter; a 41 pct water savings by using low-flow plumbing fixtures; use of 100 pct energy-efficient LED lighting; real-time energy tracking capability; extensive use of recycled and regional building materials; energy-efficient mechanical equipment; native, drought-resistant landscaping; and a 100 pct offset of building-related carbon emissions through the purchase of renewable energy credits. (Source: USGBC, Colorado Real Estate Journal, Others, 14 Feb., 2016) Contact: USGBC, (202) 552-1500,

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

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