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PG&E Promoting Home Energy Upgrade California® Upgrade Program (Ind. Report)
Build It Green,Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Date: 2015-09-14
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) reports that more than 10,000 PG&E customers have completed the Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade program and received a share of over $27 million in incentives to help offset the cost of energy efficiency upgrades. The program also helped customers save 13,019 metric tons of carbon, the equivalent of removing 2,741 cars of the Golden State's highways.

The Home Upgrade program encourages homeowners to take a comprehensive, whole-house approach to energy efficiency to maximize savings, rather than making upgrades one at a time. Program participants cut their home energy usage by an average of 18 pct.

PG&E works with the not-for-profit, Oakland-based Build It Green to help customers understand the benefits of the whole-house approach and find a contractor to perform the upgrades. PG&E also works closely with the Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN), a collaboration of the nine counties in the San Francisco Bay Area that oversees the program in the Bay Area. (Source: PG&E, 10 Sept., 2015) Contact: Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade, www.pge.com/homeupgrade; PG&E, Ari Vanrenen, (415) 973-5930, www.pge.com; Build It Green, (510) 590-3360, www.builditgreen.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Pacific Gas and Electric Company,  Energy Efficiency,  


USDA China Biofuels Annual Report -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
USDA,China Biofuel
Date: 2015-09-14
China is a major producer of biofuels and production continues to increase. However, it is unclear how the government will meet its ambitious targets for continued expansion given its decision to limit grain-based biofuel production and the limited availability of alternative feedstocks. 2016 fuel ethanol production is forecast at 3.15 billion liters (2.49 million metric tons), up 2.6 percent from 2015 in response to increased fuel consumption in provinces with blend mandates. Biodiesel production is forecast to stay flat in 2016 at 1.14 billion liters (1 million metric tons). 2016 ethanol imports are forecast to reach 90 million liters on higher consumption and competitive prices. Imports jumped to 56.9 million liters in the first half of 2015, compared to less than 14 million liters during the same period the year before. The prospect for further import growth remains uncertain given tight government controls over the sale of ethanol for fuel use.

Download full USDA China Biofuels Report HERE. (Source: USDA, Sept., 2015)

More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  Biofuels,  China Biofuel,  


Abbott Dismisses Climate Change Survival Plea (Int'l. Report)
Australia, Climate Change,Tony Abbott
Date: 2015-09-14
While attending a meeting of the sixteen-nation Pacific Island Forum in Papua, New Guinea, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot reportedly declined to commit his country to additional carbon emission reduction efforts. The small island leaders, most of which face a watery grave unless climate change is avoided, urged Abbott to ban new coal mines, further cut carbon emissions and set more stringent global warming targets.

The Aussie PM countered that "Australia and New Zealand have already announced very ambitious targets for emissions reduction to take to the Paris conference. I was very pleased to explain to the forum today what Australia is doing, and just how ambitious we are being. We can be constructive global citizens when it comes to climate change without clobbering our economy," he said. In response to Abbotts comments, Enele Sopoaga, the prime minister of Tuvalu said "We're simply seeking for the rights of small island states to survive."

In August , the Aussies, one of the world's highest per-capita emitters, pledged to cut carbon emissions by 26 to 28 pct on 2005 levels by 2030 -- a pledge that climate scientists and environmental groups characterized as "pathetically weak." (Source: Various Sources, Telegraph, 10 Sept., 2015)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Tony Abbott,  Australia,  Climate Change,  


American Ethanol Hits 8Mn Miles at NASCAR Event (Ind. Report)
NCGA,NASCAR
Date: 2015-09-14
The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is reporting that the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) has hit the 8 million mile mark of auto racing competition on E15 American Ethanol. at the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Speedway .

According to a NCGA release, "When the National Corn Growers joined the American Ethanol partnership five years ago we wanted to show the tens of millions of NASCAR fans the performance and environmental benefits of higher ethanol blends like E15. Eight million miles is a big accomplishment and sends a strong message to consumers that E15 works and works well. NASCAR has not had one fuel related issue since switching to E15." The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is a family owned and operated business venture that sanctions and governs multiple auto-racing sports events. (Source: NCGA, PR, 11 Sept., 2015) Contact: NASCAR, www.nascar.com; NCGA, Jon Holzfaster, Chairman, Chip Bowling, Pres., (202) 628-7001, Jennifer Myers, (202) 326-0644, myers@dc.ncga.com, www.ncga.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News NCGAR,  Ethanol.E15,  NCGA ,  


Edeniq Upgrades Cal. Cellulosic Sugars Pilot Plant (Ind. Report)
Edeniq
Date: 2015-09-14
California-headquartered bio-refining and cellulosic technology specialist Edeniq, Inc. reports it has completed a significant upgrade of its cellulosic sugar and ethanol pilot facility in Visalia. The upgrade included new proprietary equipment for feedstock preprocessing; continuous mechanical and thermal pretreatment; continuous saccharification; and separations technologies for recycling enzymes. The pilot plant has the capacity to convert two dry tpd of feedstock into enough cellulosic sugars to produce 50,000 gpy of ethanol.

Edeniq was awarded $3.9 million in grant funding for the project from the California Energy Commission under the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. (Source: edeniq, 6 Sept., 2015) Contact: Edeniq Inc., Brian Thome, CEO, Tom Griffin, CTO, Erika Schuetze, (805) 540-4318, eschuetze@edeniq.com, www.edeniq.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Edeniq,  Cellulosic,  Ethanol,  


Climate Change Goes Mainstream in Alabama (Ind. Report)
Climate Change
Date: 2015-09-14
The AP is reporting that Alabama state school authorities have upgraded the Heart of Dixie's school systems' science standards to require students to be instructed in, and understand the theory and science of evolution and climate change, starting next school year.

Many Alabama local school boards and educators, however, have responded to the new curriculum saying that the new rules "don't require that students believe in evolution or accept the idea that climate is changing globally." The local school boards set each school's individual curriculum and there me be considerable irregularity in programming in the Bible Belt State. (Source: AP, Various Sources, 11 Sept., 2015)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


Aemetis Biodiesel Being Retailed in India (Int'l. Report)
Aemetis, Inc.,Biodiesel
Date: 2015-09-14
Following-up on our May 22nd, 2015 coverage, Cupertino, California-headquartered renewable fuels and biochemical specialist Aemetis, Inc.reports that biodiesel produced by its Aemetis subsidiary in India is now being retailed by one of the three major India Government controlled oil marketing companies (OMC's) which controll about 90 pct of the country's diesel, gasoline, and other fuels.

In August 2015, the OMCs issued tender calls for the purchase of 225 million gpy to meet a portion of the country's 5 pct biodiesel blend policy. The Indian diesel market is roughly calculated to be 25 billion gpy. Aemetis owns and operates a 50 million gpy biodiesel production facility located on the East Coast of India. (Source: Aemetis, Various Others, Sept., 2015) Contact: Aemetis, Eric MacAfee, CEO, Satya Chillara, (408) 213-0939, schillara@aemetis.com, www.aemetis.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Aemetis,  Inc.,  Biodiesel,  India Biodiesel,  


NZ’s “Inadequate” Climate Change Plan Challenged by Solar Industry (Int’l Report)

Date: 2015-09-13
Recent comments made by Climate Ambassador to the UN, Jo Tyndall have sparked anger within New Zealand’s solar energy industry, prompting the question: What price does our government put on New Zealand’s future? At a meeting in Germany this week, Jo Tyndall said New Zealand’s target of cutting emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 “would represent quite a significantly higher cost to our economy” than action by other countries, because of a dependence on sheep and dairy farming. “It’s true that sheep and dairy farming are big greenhouse gas contributors, but there are other ways New Zealand can lower carbon emissions without reducing herd numbers,” says Solar Living Director Jason Tobin. “This government has done nothing to embrace renewable energy and has no meaningful climate action plan in place.”

Embracing clean, renewable energy like solar to combat greenhouse gas emissions has the potential to drive economic growth instead of limiting it. EnaSolar , NZ’s only PV manufacturer, General Manager Trevor Foster. “It is anticipated to be a large growth industry, as seen overseas, that will provide a range of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.” New Zealand’s Climate plan of cutting emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 has been labelled “inadequate” by Climate Action Tracker, an independent group of scientists which monitors the emission commitments and actions of countries around the world. (Source” Solar Living, Scoops, 6 Sept., 2015)


Aussie professor says Australia must cut emissions by 95% to meet global targets by 2050

Date: 2015-09-13
The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission started on Sept. 9, 2015, the first of about 30 hearings on planned expansion of South Australia's nuclear industry. Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Twitter Account Since Australia would be one of the biggest victims of climate change, the country must do more than other western nations to reduce its emissions, University of Melbourne Professor Ross Gamaut to reach the global goal of controlling rise in global temperature to not more than 2 degrees Celsius by 2050, industrialised nations must cut their total emissions by 90 percent. However, he has a taller order for Australia.

He pinpoints electricity generation as the biggest source of emissions. However, it would be easier to meet the global target by decarbonising electricity generation in Australia. Many power plants in Australia still use carbon as source of fuel since the country is rich in the commodity, and even Prime Minister Tony Abbott favours the continued use of coal because of its contribution to the Aussie economy. The consequence of failure to meet global emissions reductions targets would be “serious damage to global economic activity and political instability,” said the professor. He noted that China and India, two of the world’s biggest carbon emitters, are changing their polluting behaviours which could result in achieving greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. The hearings, which would reach 30 hearing days until December, according to a press release from the commission, aims to study the possibility of expanding the nuclear industry in South Australia. The sessions would tackle climate change, energy policy, national electricity market, geology and hydrogeology. (Source: Int’l. Business Times, 10 Sept., 2015)


Duke Energy settles federal air case for $5.4 million

Date: 2015-09-13
The US EPA and Justice Department are reporting the settlement of a federal lawsuit filed against Duke Energy for air pollution allegations involving five Duke Energy coal-fired power plants in North Carolina.

The EPA contended that Duke illegally modified the power plants, increasing their emissions, without also upgrading air pollution controls. In its defense, Duke countered that the modifications were part of routine maintenance that did not require pollution control improvements The U.S. Supreme Court agreed with the agency’s interpretation of the rules in 2007. In a statement, Duke denied any wrongdoing or error on its part by opted for a settlement that would ultimately be less costly than an ongoing expensive legal battle with an uncertain outcome.

The settlement was part of an EPA initiative to reduce emissions from major sources, including coal-fired power plants, under Clean Air Act provisions. The EPA has sued more than 30 electric utilities on similar grounds since 2000 and has resolved most of the litigation.

Duke agreed in the settlement to operate pollution controls and meet interim emission limits at the remaining two units at the Allen plant before retiring them by 2024. It will retire a third unit by 2024. The three units had already been scheduled for retirement in 2028. Shutting them down will leave two operating units at Allen but cut the plant’s output by about half, Duke said. The agreement will reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from Allen by 2,300 tpy.. Sulfur dioxide contributes to haze and acid rain. Nitrogen oxides form ozone. Both form fine particles that can damage the heart and lungs. Duke will pay a $975,000 fine and spend $4.4 million on environmental projects including energy efficiency projects in distressed parts of the Carolinas, donations to the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service and, potentially, installation of electric vehicle charging stations. (Source: US EPA, Duke, Charlotte Observer, 10 Sept., 2015)



Date: 2015-09-11
Zeon develops new biomass rubber tech Written by Shahrzad Pourriahi Tokyo – In a joint research with Japan’s National Research and Development Agency (RIKEN) and Yokohama Rubber Co Ltd., Zeon has succeeded in synthesising isoprene from biomass. According to a 7 Sept Zeon press release, the three parties have been engaged in joint research for producing synthetic rubbers from biomass since 2013, using the cell design and plant science technologies of the RIKEN Centre for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS). “As a result, we were able to discover a new method for synthesising isoprene by designing an artificial European Rubber Journal


World's Largest Industrial Biotechnology Conference Slated for San Diego in 2016 (Events & Conferences)
Biotechnology Industry Organization
Date: 2015-09-11
The Biotechnology Industry Organization's (BIO) 2016 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology will be held April 17-20, 2016 in San Diego, California at the San Diego Convention Center.

BIO is calling for papers for the event. The submission of papers for breakout panels, breakout papers, posters, and Green Tech investor sessions will be accepted beginning Sept. 17th. Leaders from the biotechnology industry, academia, and policy community are invited to offer an abstract or a proposal for a 15 minute presentation. Proposed papers and presentations should address any in a range of topics, including renewable chemicals, algae for fuels and bioproducts, and chemicals, biobased products, biomass utilization, cellulosic biofuels, metabolic engineering, new chemical pathways, regional economic development, synthetic biology, regulatory issues, new feedstock crops and feedstock sustainability, aviation biofuels, genetically engineered crops, project finance, biopathways to bulk chemicals, enzyme development, green plastics, work force training and specialty chemicals.

The 2015 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology, held in Montreal, drew 1,200 industry leaders from 725 companies, 50 countries and 37 states, as well as the District of Columbia. Further, the 2015 World Congress hosted more than 1,400 partnering meetings, a 40 pct increase from the 2014 BIO World Congress.

Information on the conference or to submit a proposal, please visit http://www.bio.org/worldcongress. (Source: Biotechnology Industry Organization , 8 Sept., 2015) Contact: Biotechnology Industry Organization, Brent Erickson, Exec. VP, (202) 962-9200, www.bio.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biotechnology Industry Organization ,  


Chinese Industry Survey Respondents Expect Carbon Tax (Int'l)
National Development and Reform Commission, China Carbon Forum
Date: 2015-09-11
The 2015 China Carbon Pricing Survey by the China Carbon Forum (CCF), an independent Beijing-based non-profit organization, and climate change consultancy ICF International has shown strong confidence that carbon price levels in China will rise over time and that carbon pricing will increasingly affect investment decisions. The survey also found the vast majority of respondents expect China will meet its target of peak emissions by 2030 or sooner. The survey collected 300 responses from stakeholders in China's emerging carbon market.

The Chinese government has announced that a national emissions trading scheme (ETS) will be established in early 2017, although many expect it could be 2020 before the national ETS is functional across mainland China. China presently operates seven ETS pilot carbon markets and aims to establish a national ETS by 2017.

The survey suggests that until 2025, China's mix of policy instruments to control carbon emissions will markedly shift towards carbon trading, tax, and information disclosure, although most respondents expect that a carbon tax will eventually be introduced. (Source: China Carbon Forum, National Development and Reform Commission, Xinhua, CRI, 8 Sept., 2015) Contact: National Development and Reform Commission, en.ndrc.gov.cn; National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, www.ctc-n.org; China Carbon Forum, www.chinacarbon.info

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


Keystone State to Meet Clean Power Plan Deadline (Reg & Leg)
Dept. of Environmental Protection,
Date: 2015-09-11
In the Keystone State, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection says it expects to meet the Obama Administration's Clean Energy Plan deadline for submitting a state plan to cut power plant carbon dioxide emissions and will not rely on a default solution written by the federal government.

The state agency has not, however, divulged how it will cut the state's energy sector GHG emissions by one-third over the next 15 years while still maintaining its status as an energy exporter.

The US EPA included different approaches and measurements states can use, including whether to cut the overall mass of carbon emissions to a certain number of tons or the rate of emissions per MWh of electrical generation. Choosing between a rate-based or mass-based path will dictate whether power plant owners are assigned emission allowances, or if they can trade in credits generated by plants that emit below a certain level, according to DEP policy director Patrick McDonnell. It also will determine whether and how Pennsylvania could coordinate efforts with surrounding states.

The EPA's plan is expected to further reduce the percentage of electricity generated by coal, which has diminished as coal-fired plants close because of tougher regulations and competition from natural gas. The department also will hear from lawmakers once it writes a final plan by next year. A state law passed in 2014 requires approval of the implementation plan by the Republican-controlled General Assembly. (Source: Penna. Dept. of Environmental Protection, TribLive, 9 Sept., 2015) Contact: Penna. Dept. of Environmental Protection, John Quigley, Sec., Patrick McDonnell, Policy Director, RA-epcontactus@pa.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Energy Plan,  Coal,  GHGs,  Carbon Emissions,  


$35Mn Carbon Competition Seeks Submissions (Ind. Report)
Climate Change and Emissions Management Corp.
Date: 2015-09-11
The Edmonton, Alberta-based Climate Change and Emissions Management Corp. is calling for second-round submissions for its $35 million international Innovative Carbon Uses challenge. The competition seeks out technologies from around the world capable of turning captured carbon dioxide emissions into useful products while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

New entrants will join 24 round-one winners in the second round of the competition, where the CCEMC is placing particular emphasis on projects that can be commercialized in Alberta by 2020 and reduce GHG emissions by at least 1 megatonne annually. The deadline for this round of submissions is Jan. 18.

CCEMC plans to name five second round winners in 2017, each of whom will receive $3 million and have two years to refine their technology. At the end of the competition in 2019, one project will receive $10 million to help them commercialize their technology in Alberta.

Round one winners were drawn from 344 entries originating in 37 countries. Each of the 24 winners received $500,000 to advance their idea. (Source: CCEMC, CleanTech Canada, 9 Sept., 2015) Climate Change and Emissions Management Corp., Kirk Andries, Managing Dir., (687) 352-1973, ccims@ccimc.ca, http://ccemc.ca

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change and Emissions Management Corp.,  Carbon Capture,  


Court Denies Temporarily Block of EPA Carbon Rules (Reg & Leg)
Clean Power Plan
Date: 2015-09-11
A federal court has denied a petition by 15 "coal" states for a temporarily block the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan regulations while they mount a full legal challenge to the rules. The states claimed they would be required "to spend significant and irrevocable sovereign resources now" to be in a position to meet the initial deadline of Sept. 6, 2016 for individual states to submit compliance plans to the EPA. The court also rejected a request for an emergency stay brought by coal producer Peabody Energy Corp. The court said the challengers had not met the high legal requirements needed to win an emergency stay of a government regulation. (Source: Various Sources, 9 Sept., 2015)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Energy Plan,  


SolarEdge Touts New HD-Wave Tech Inverter (New Prod & Tech)
SolarEdge
Date: 2015-09-11
Fremont, California-based PV inverter specialist SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. is introducing its new HD-Wave inverter technology.

Inverters convert solar power into usable energy and are measured by size, efficiency, and reliability. While advances have been made in the solar inverter space throughout the years, the large size of magnetics and cooling components have significantly limited any leapfrogging in the inverter space. SolarEdge's new HD-Wave technology will dramatically reduce the size of the inverter's magnetics by means of advanced digital processing. The new technology is designed to increase reliability and optimize the performance of solar energy systems to 99 pct efficiency. SolarEdge's first inverters powered by HD-Wave technology will be available in December 2015. (Source: SolarEdge, 10 Sept., 2015) Contact: SolarEdge Technologies Inc., (877) 360-5292, infoNA@solaredge.com, www.solaredge.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Storage,  SolarEdge,  Inverters,  Solar,  


Neste Breaks Ground on Rotterdam Bio LPG Plant (Int'l. Report)
Neste Oil,SHV Energy
Date: 2015-09-11
Neste Oil reports it has begun construction on the world's first Bio LPG production facility in the Port of Rotterdam. The €60 million facility is slated to start production of Bio LPG in late 2016. The new facility will have a production capacity of 40,000 tpy of Bio LPG for the European market. Neste Oil presently produces premium-quality NEXBTL renewable diesel from various waste, residues and vegetable oils in Rotterdam.

Bio LPG will enable fossil fuels users to reduce their carbon footprint without modifications to existing gas applications technology. Bio LPG, which can be used as a transportation fuel, heating oil and other applications, is recognized as an effective method of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and meeting sustainability targets.

SHV Energy will be the exclusive distributor of Neste Oil's Bio LPG, supplying the 160,000 tonnes over four years. SHV Energy provides decentralized energy sources LPG, LNG and biomass worldwide. (Source: Neste, 8 Sept., 2015) Contact: Neste Oil, Lars Peter Lindfors, Sr. VP, Kaisa Hietala, Exec. VP Renewable Products, 011 +358 10 458 4128, www.neste.com; SHV Energy, www.shvenergy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News SHV Energy,  Neste Oil,  Bio LPG,  Alternative Fuel,  


Metro Vancouver Considers Biosolids Alt. Fuel (Ind. Report)
Metro Vancouver
Date: 2015-09-11
In British Columbia, Metro Vancouver has been studying pelleted biosolids as an alternative energy source.

The solids would be dried at the Annacis Wastewater Treatment Plant using excess heat from the cogeneration facility, but an additional facility would have to be established to dry half of the biosolids currently generated in the region. The cost of the project is estimated at $25 million plus an additional $10 million in 2030 when capacity is expected to grow. The initial annual operating cost is projected at $2.6 million jumping to $4 million in 15 years.

Metro Vancouver is developing an RFP for the conceptual design of a facility at the Annacis plant to produce the dried pellets. The RFP would establish the life-cycle cost, footprint, and preferred procurement method. The conceptual design process is expected to get underway this November. Construction would not get underway until June 2019.

Metro Vancouver is the provincially created political body and service provider that oversees the Greater Vancouver region's 24 local authorities. (Source: Metro Vancouver, Vancouver24Hrs, 7 Sept., 2015) Contact: Metro Vancouver, Laurie Ford, Utility Residuals management program manager, (604) 432-6200, icentre@metrovancouver.org, http://www.metrovancouver.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biosolid,  Biofuel,  Alternative Energy,  


Caesars Wins Nev. Tax Incentives for Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
Nevada Governor's Office of Energy,Caesar's Entertainment
Date: 2015-09-11
In Carson City, Nevada, the Governor's Office of Energy (GOE) has awarded property tax incentives to 11 Caesars Entertainment affiliated casino resorts for introducing significant energy and water savings measures and winning US Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED Silver or Gold certification or equivalency.

To achieve these levels of LEED equivalency, Caesars is building upon current conservation efforts already in-place by installing energy efficient LED lighting, introducing day lighting controls, and rewiring lighting systems for better control. Caesars is also educating operations management on new purchasing processes that encourage the use of supplies made with recycled content, as well as training staff on sustainability procedures that enhance facility operations.

In 2015, GOE awarded tax incentives to the owners of 22 buildings in Nevada that achieved LEED certification or equivalency, for a total of more than 46 million square feet. The largest contributor to this robust figure was the Caesars Entertainment properties at 28.5 million square feet. (Source: Caesars Entertainment, GOE, 10 Sept, 2015) Contact: Caesars Entertainment, www.caesars.com; Nevada Governor's Office of Energy, (775) 687-1850, www.energy.nv.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency Funding,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency Incentive,  


Virginia Wind Project Meets Opposition (Ind. Report)
Apex Clean Energy
Date: 2015-09-09
In the Old Dominion State, Charlottesville-based Apex Clean Energy reports construction of two test towers in Botetourt County to explore the area's commercial-scale wind energy development potential. The company is considering the installation of 25 wind turbines. If constructed, the project is projected to generate sufficient energy for as many as 20,000 area households.

The initiative, called Rocky Forge Wind, has met with local criticism, opposition and a legal action against the county for its passage of an ordnance approving the project. The ordinance allows wind turbines under 550 feet tall and that emit less than 60 decibels from the nearest property line. The Rocky Forge Wind project would be the first large scale wind farm in Virginia, which is not generally considered to offer good wind energy potential. (Source: University of Virginia, Cavalier Daily, 31 Aug., 2015) Contact: Apex Clean Energy, Mark Hood, Pres., Dahvi Wilson, (434) 220-6351, dahvi.wilson@apexcleanenergy.com, www.apexcleanenergy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Apex Clean Energy,  Wind,  


Algeria Pledges 7 pct Emissions Cut by 2020 (Int'l)
Paris Climate Summit,Algeria,Algerian Minister of Energy
Date: 2015-09-09
Oil-rich Algeria has filed its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) ahead of December's Paris Climate Summit with a pledges to cut it emissions by a minimum of 7 pct compared to business-as-ussual figures by 2020.

The filing indicated that the pledge could be substantially higher, depending upon the level of international financial support it receives. It also confirmed that the country aims to source 27 pct of its electric power from renewables by 2030 and to cut its energy consumption by 9 pct. Algeria also aims to convert at least one million private vehicles and 20,000 buses from diesel to petrol power, develop a national adaptation plan to boost its climate resilience, establish a new monitoring mechanism with early warning systems for managing extreme weather events, and amend its institutional and regulatory framework to improve its ability to tackle climate change.(Source: Various Sources, Business Green, 7 Sept., 2015)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Intended Nationally Determined Contribution,  


ConocoPhillips Fine-Tunes UN Climate Deal Support (Ind. Report)
ConocoPhillips
Date: 2015-09-09
According to a Reuters report, Houston-headquartered oil and gas giant ConocoPhillips on Friday said it would support a UN climate change agreement if it met its own policy principles, including creating a "level playing among energy sources and between countries." The company has since issued a clarification of its "yes" position on the proposed UN agreement and stated "In hindsight, had we known CDP would only include one part of our answer, we would not have responded with an unqualified 'yes,'" Conoco's other conditions for supporting a global deal include an agreement that avoids technology mandates and promotes investment in R&D. (Source: Conoco Phillips, CDP, Maritime Executive, 4 Sept., 2015) Contact: ConocoPhiliiips, www.conocophillips.com;Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), 011 +44 (0) 20 3818 3900, www.cdp.net

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  ConocoPhillips,  Carbon Emissions,  CDP,  


Maine Agrees to Regional Carbon Cutting Targets (Ind. Report)
Carbon Emissions
Date: 2015-09-09
In Portland, Maine Gov. Paul LePage has joined five other New England governors and five premiers of Eastern Canadian provinces in setting a new regional goal of cutting carbon emissions by 35 percent to 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2030,

The agreement came out of an annual conference of the regional leaders, adding to a list of carbon reduction targets already set for 2010, 2020 and 2050. renewables goals. The premiers and governors also agreed to "to help orient mid-term climate policy making efforts to meet the 2050 goal of reducing emissions by 75 pct to 85 pct below 2001 levels. (Source: Maine Office of the Governor, BDN Maine, 8 Sept., 2015) Contact: Maine Office of the Governor, Patrick Woodcock, Governor's Energy Office, (207) 287-3531, www.maine.gov/governor

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  


Nano-Material Boosts Battery Storage Capacity (New Prod & Tech)
Case Western Reserve University
Date: 2015-09-09
In Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) scientists have developed what may be the first one-step process for making seamless carbon-based nano-materials with superior thermal, electrical and mechanical properties in three dimensions.

CWRU's research holds potential for increased energy storage in high efficiency batteries and supercapacitors, increasing the efficiency of energy conversion in solar cells for lightweight thermal coatings and more. In early testing, a 3D fibre-like supercapacitor made with the uninterrupted fibres of carbon nanotubes and graphene matched or quadrupled the reported record-high capacities for this type of device. Used as a counter electrode in a dye-sensitized solar cell, the material enabled the cell to convert power with up to 6.8 pct efficiency and more than doubled the performance of an identical cell that instead used an expensive platinum wire. The properties can be customized. With the one-step process, the material can be made very long, or into a tube with a wider or narrower diameter. The material can be used for charge storage in capacitors and batteries or the large surface could enable storage of hydrogen. (Source: Case Western Reserve University, Science Advances, BGR, Sept. 7, 2015) Contact: Case Western Reserve Univ., Prof. Liming Dai, case.edu/cse/eche/daigroup

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Storage,  Battery,  


Texas Electric Co-op Testing s SolarWorld Panels (Ind. Report)
SolarWorld,CoServ Electric Cooperative
Date: 2015-09-09
In the Lone Star State, CoServ Electric Cooperative reports that final testing is under way at its solar station in Krugerville, Texas, about 50 miles north of Dallas. The 2.7-MW solar farm, which utilizes 8,448 of SolarWorld 315-watt, 72-cell solar panels, is serving as a model for other utility cooperatives interested in undertaking solar projects. The project is being touted as the largest co-op solar instalation in the state.

The CoServ array is one of 14 pilot projects nationwide to be selected for the US DOE's Solar Utility Network Deployment Acceleration (SUNDA) project. The SUNDA project is intended to expadite the use of solar energy by electric co-ops. Under the program, co-ops receive assistance in areas such as engineering, finance and procurement in an effort to drive down the soft costs of solar development. Beginning in September, CoServ members will be able to buy units of solar energy under a special solar residential rate. (Source: CoServ, AZO, 7 Sept., 2015) Contact: SolarWorld AG, SolarWorld USA, (805) 482-6800, www.solarWorld-usa.com; CoServ, Donnie Clay, Pres., CEO, (940) 321-7800, www.coserv.com; SUNDA Project, http://www.nreca.coop/what-we-do/bts/renewable-distributed-energy/sunda-project

More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  SolarWorld,  


InnoLas Appoints GCD Sunlight as Chinese Agent (Int'l)
InnoLas Solutions GmbH,GCD Sunlight Co
Date: 2015-09-09
InnoLas Solutions GmbH reports the appointment of GCD Sunlight Co. as exclusive agent for its business in mainland China.

InnoLas Solutions utilizes cutting-edge innovations in laser technology to produce highly efficient and reliable processing systems. Incorporating these advances, the company's products offer best-in-class performance in existing and emerging micromachining applications. Laser systems for micro material processing -- particularly in the photovoltaic industry -- with applications in semiconductors, electronics and precision engineering. InnoLas Solutions designs and manufactures machinery solutions as stand-alone systems for inline integration, meeting industrial production requirements in complex process flows. Worldwide service and support ensures smooth installation, training, and reliable operation. (Source: InnoLas Solutions GmbH, PR, PV Mag., 7 Sept., 2015) Contact: Innolas Solutions, Markus Nicht, CEO, www.innolas.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News InnoLas Solutions GmbH.PV,  Solar,  SemiconductorSolar,  PV,  


Fraunhofer Intros Reference Cells for PV Solar calibrating (New Prod & Tech)
Fraunhofer ISE
Date: 2015-09-09
In Freiburg, Germany, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE reports that its spectrum scientists have developed a new version of reference cells for calibrating solar photovoltaic (PV) cells. The new cell type is based on negative, conductive silicon material (n-type)and was incorporated while the structure of the reference cell was optimized.

For the calibration of different types of solar cells, the reference cell's spectral response can be accurately adjusted using optical filters, thereby significantly reducing any measurement uncertainty. The new version of the reference cells, which meets all international standards -- World PV Scale and IEC 60904-2) -- allow test laboratories and cell and module manufacturers in particular to significantly improve the quality of their measurements. In combination with optical filters, the new reference cells can be adjusted for the calibration of various solar cell technologies. (Source: Fraunhofer ISE, SolarServer, 8 Sept., 2015) Contact: Fraunhofer ISE, www.ise.fraunhofer.de

More Low-Carbon Energy News Fraunhofer ISE,  Solar Cell,  


Green Energy Upgrade to Boost London Hospital Efficiency (Int'l)
Genereal Electric,Clarke Energy
Date: 2015-09-09
In London, St. Bartholomew's Hospital is investing in a combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) plant to boost the capital city's energy security and reduce the area's emissions. The upgrade is being funded by Sustainable Development Capital LLP (SDCL) and is the first of its kind under a strategic collaboration between SDCL, Clarke Energy, GE and the NHS Confederation.

Clarke Energy will provide a Ecomagination-approved 1.4 megawatt J420 Jenbacher hospital CHP unit that will provide electricity and heat; a 250 kilowatt absorption chiller delivering cooling water for the hospital; and balance of plant equipment. The system will be installed to create a new energy centre at the hospital to increase energy efficiency, reliability and durability and also increase financial savings.

Clarke Energy is multinational specialist in gas and diesel engine-based power plants for energy efficient and renewable power generation generation. (Source: Clarke Energy, ClickGreen, 4 Sept., 2015) Contact: Clarke Energy, https://www.clarke-energy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News GE Jenbacher,  Energy Efficiency,  CHP,  


Garden State Joins Anti Clean Power Plan Fray (Reg & Leg)
New Jersey
Date: 2015-09-09
Calling it an "unlawful" overreach by the federal government, the Garden State's Republican Gov. and presidential wannabe Chris Christie's minions have dished the Obama administration's utility carbon cutting Clean Power Plan. Christie's administration is seeking an administrative stay and reconsideration from the EPA's sweeping new rules which have been heartily endorsed by New Jersey environmental groups and the state's largest utility.

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin claims that an "extensive and detailed analysis" of the new rules found that they exceeded the EPA's regulatory authority and are "uncommonly cumbersome, difficult and costly to implement, could undermine reliability, and would yield insufficient results given the effort to comply." New Jersey's opposition comes after 15 other states, most of them in the south and midwest, petitioned a federal court in Washington last month to delay implementation of the new rules. That prompted 15 other states, including New York, to issue statements supporting the plan. (Source: Various Media, EPA, NJ.com. 4 Sept., 2015)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Energy Plan,  


BDC Fall Symposium Event Ottawa (Conferences & Events)
Bioenergy Deployment Consortium
Date: 2015-09-09
The Bioenergy Deployment Consortium (BDC) is presenting its Fall Symposium at the Lord Elgin Hotel in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada beginning on Tuesday, September 29. The program will kick off with two keynote presentations; one from Jonathan Male, Director, US DOE - Bioenergy Technologies Office and the second from Otavio Pontes, Stora Enso's Vice President in Latin America. The presentations will be followed by a panel discussion of Renewable Pathways and Regulations. The afternoon programming includes a diverse group of companies providing updates on commercial progress. On Tuesday evening, Ensyn CEO Bob Graham will discuss his company's various projects and activities. On Wednesday morning, Sept. 30, attendees will tour Ensyn's nearby Renfrew, Ontario plant.

BDC, which began in 2006 as a regional effort, became a national non-profit organization in 2010 through its ability to promote and assist in the deployment of commercially viable, advanced biofuel and biochemical technologies. BDC is unbiased in its approach to promoting deployment and provides due diligence and trustworthy information to members and partners. BDC advocates for promising technologies in a number of ways, including seeking to broker partnerships, facilitating contact with government agencies, assisting in the acquisition of government funding for existing and new technologies, and writing pertinent articles in major publications. BDC provides opportunities for members to meet and hear timely updates, to network at two symposiums per year, and tour a cutting-edge bio-facility.

Register for the Symposium and hotel accommodations HERE. (Source: Bioenergy Deployment Consortium, 8 Sept., 2015) Contact: Bioenergy Deployment Consortium, Eric Horn, Administrator, (608) 332-0189, http://www.bioenergydc.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioenergy Deployment Consortium,  


Mass. Biodiesel Plant Receives Non-Profit Community Finance Support (Ind. Report)
Common Good Finance,Northeast Biodiesel
Date: 2015-09-09
In Greenfield, Massachusetts, the $4.2 million Northeast Biodiesel production plant at the Greenfield Industrial Park is getting a final $200,000 loan from the 160-member, Hatfield, Mass.-based Co-Op Power community-based non-profit finance system. The $200,000, seven-year loan is being provided by Ashfield-based Common Good Finance. It will cap a six-month campaign to raise the final $850,000 so the plant can begin producing biodiesel fuel from used vegetable oil.

The cooperative has to date invested $2 million in the plant including land and building construction, biodiesel processing equipment, designs, permitting and planning. Common Good Finance is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop and promote rCredits, a democratically controlled electronic credit system generating financial resources to benefit communities. Its pilot rCredits system, launched in May 2013 in Greenfield, has 160 account holders making electronic purchases at 20 area businesses,

The loan to Co-Op Power comes from donations to the nonprofit organization from individuals and foundations from around the country, according to Common Good Finance President William Spademan. Under terms of the loan agreement, Co-op Power members will be able to join the rCredits system and purchase biodiesel at local pumping stations using an rCredits electronic card or pay with traditional credit cards. (Source: Greenfield Mass Recorder, 4 Sept., 2015) Contact: Common Good Finance, William Spademan, CEO, (413) 628-1723, http://www.commongoodfinance.org; Northeast Biodiesel, (413) 772-8898, info@northeastbiodiesel,com, www.northeastbiodiesel.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Northeast Biodiesel,  Biodiesel,  


Lakeview Energy Adds Missouri Biodiesel Plant to Portfolio (M&A)
Lakeview Energy LLC
Date: 2015-09-04
Chicago-based Lakeview Energy LLC reports purchasing the assets of the former Producer's Choice Soy Energy biodiesel production facility in Moberly, Missouri. The acquisition was enabled with a $3.3 million loan guarantee from the USDA Rural Energy for America Program. Lakeview plans to invest approximately $5 million in the plant which it has renamed Lakeview Biodiesel LLC.

Lakeview Energy's portfolio includes wind, agribusiness and Biofuels investments. Including two biorefineries located in Merrill, Iowa, and Coshocton, Ohio. The two biorefiners produce 132 million gpy of biofuel, 300,000 tpy of DDGs and 3 millionppy of corn oil. (Source: Lakeview Energy LLC, Jim Galvin, CEO, (312) 386-5897, http://www.lakeviewenergyllc.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel,  Biofuels (M&A),  


BoatUS Wants Ethanol-Free Gasoline Availability (Ind. Report)
Boat Owners Association of The United States
Date: 2015-09-04
A recently released survey of Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS) more than 500,000 members has found that 91 pct of responding recreational boaters want easier access to ethanol-free gasoline for use in their boats and marine engines. The survey also found that more than half of the respondents have had to replace or repair their boat engine and/or fuel system due to suspected ethanol damage at an average cost of $1,000 per repair.

BoatUS, the nation's largest recreational boating organization, is calling for greater availability of ethanol-free gasoline and insurance programs that cover ethanol-related damage to marine engines. (Source: BoatUS, PR, 1 Sept., 2015) Contact: BoatUS, www.BoatUS.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  Ethanol BLends,  


Coffee Grounds Touted as Methane Sponges (New Prod & Tech)
Methane
Date: 2015-09-04
Scientists at Korea's Pohang University of Science and Technology report finding that bathing coffee grounds in a solution of sodium hydroxidea, rather activating them with heat, converts the coffee grounds into effective methane absorbing "sponges."

The researchers found that although heating makes carbon containing materials' absorbancy, in the case of coffee grounds, soaking in a solution of sodium hydroxide is sufficient to activate the carbon. (Source: Pohang University, Tech Times, 2 Sept., 2015) Contact: Pohang University, Christian Kemp, +82 54 279 0114, www.postech.ac.kr

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon,  Carbon Capture,  Methane,  


Appalachian Power Introduces Low Income Housing Energy Efficiency Programs (Ind. Report)
Appalachian Power
Date: 2015-09-04
Appalachian Power announced new energy efficiency programs designed to help low-income customers reduce their energy consumption and cut energy costs. The utility is introducing three pilot programs focusing on veterans, energy efficiency education for customers in assistance programs, and weatherization and efficiency upgrades to a multi-family residential building.

Homeless military veterans receiving support from the Virginia Housing Development for Veterans through the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program and Total Action for Progress will be eligible for energy assistance funding from Appalachian. These veterans can receive an "energy voucher" that will be used to establish an account with the company and/or make payments on an electric bill.

Energy efficiency education will pinpoint customers who receive assistance paying their electric bill and mail them information regarding measures they can take to save energy and reduce bills. The mailing will provide information regarding programs on energy conservation including those offered by Appalachian and by agencies in the area.

A multi-family residential pilot project will weatherize and improve the energy efficiency of a selected apartment building. The project will then be studied to determine the energy savings achieved and an evaluation of tenant savings and impact on bill payments. The evaluation includes a report of the costs of each component of the upgrade and expected savings, the actual energy usage for each unit before and after the upgrade, and the unit's payment record before and after the upgrade. (Source: Appalachian Power, WSLS Roanoke, 2 Sept., 2015) Contact: Appalachian Power, Tammy Stafford, Energy Efficiency and Consumer Programs Coordinator, www.appalachianpower.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Appalachian Power,  Energy Efficiency,  


World Bank Offers to Help Pakistan Tackle Climate Change (Int'l)
World Bank
Date: 2015-09-04
In Islamabad, after meetings with the Pakistan Climate Change Ministry, the World Bank has offered to support Pakistan's efforts to develop a lower carbon energy economy and prepare for the possible negative impacts of climate change. At the close of the meetings, Pakistani Climate Change Secretary Arif Ahmed Khan emphasized that climate change poses a serious risk to Pakistan's future development and sustainable socio-economic goals.

According to Khan, Pakistan's energy consumption and emissions are growing rapidly. In response, the World Bank delegation underlined the need for regional exchange programs and the sharing of knowledge and technical expertise relative to climate change adaptation and mitigation. (Source: World Bank Islamabad Daily Times, 3 Sept., 2015)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  World Bank,  


First Canadian LEED ND Certification in Ontario (Ind. Report)
Reid's Heritage Homes
Date: 2015-09-04
In Cambridge, Ontario, Reid's Heritage Homes reports that its Preston Meadows community development is the first and only pilot community to complete all three stages of LEED Neighborhood Development (LEED ND) Pilot Certification and be fully LEED ND Certified , in Canada.

Some of the required items on the LEED-ND Pilot Project checklist included:

  • Better designed site -- protecting sensitive local waterways and wildlife, protecting the floodplain, avoiding farmland (e.g.: by reusing an industrial brownfield);
  • Better connected neighborhood -- starting with a smart location, minimizing the impact on existing infrastructure like water and sewer, connecting well with the surrounding neighborhood, striving for increased density, but in an open and connected way;
  • Better coordinated buildings -- having a good mix of housing sizes and types, including affordable housing, taking extra care to manage construction pollution (e.g.: dust), building highly efficient buildings, reducing water use, and using recycled content for buildings and infrastructure (e.g.: in the roads and sidewalks).
  • (Source: Ried's Heritage Homes, Canada Green Building Council, Sept., 2015) Contact: Canada Green Building Council, Mark Hutchinson, Director, (613) 241-1184, www.cagbc.org; Reid's Heritage Homes, Blake Seeberger, Senior VP, www.reidsheritagehomes.com

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


    SunEdison Pulls Hancock Maine Wind Farm App. (Ind. Report)
    SunEdison,Weaver Wind LLC
    Date: 2015-09-02
    St. Louis-headquartered SunEdison reports it has withdrawn its application for its 23-turbine Weaver Wind project from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in order to address environmental issues including the wind farm's potential impact on migratory birds. SunEdison, through its subsidiary Weaver Wind LLC, had proposed a 75.9 megawatts in Hancock County that would have supplied electric power to approximately 30,000 area homes annually. The company presently operates the Bull Hill and Hancock Wind Farms in Hancock County and three other wind farms in Maine, plus another three under construction.

    In other Sun Edison news, the company has begun construction of two meteorological test towers in the Misery Ridge area and is testing wind conditions in the Misery Ridge area of Somerset County where it may build a 26-turbine wind farm. The company has not yet submitted an application to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for the project. (Source: SunEdison, Portland Press, 28 Aug., 2015) Contact: Weaver Wind LLC, (607) 379-3678, info@weaverwindenergy.com, http://weaverwindenergy.com; SunEdison, R. Phelps Morris, (314) 770-7325, pmorris@sunedison.com, www.sunedison.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News SunEdison,  Wind,  Weaver Wind LLC,  


    Columbus Energy Challenge Attracts Few Participants (Ind. Report)
    Columbus Energy Challenge
    Date: 2015-09-02
    In the Buckeye State capitol city of Columbus, the recently launched Columbus Energy Challenges which projected participation of 680 of the city's nearly 1,000 targeted buildings but is coming up just 599 buildings short.

    The volunteer program, which was designed by a building energy efficiency task force, aims to convince buildings of 50,000 sq-ft or more to cut energy consumption by 20 pct annually. The Building Owners and Managers Association of Columbus, which was a member of the task force, launched the program in June, 2014.

    American Electric Power, Anheuser-Busch, Continental and the Miranova Condominium Association are among the organization that have signed on to the program. The The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission says that the region uses 3 pct more energy per capita than the rest of the state, and 8 pct more than the national average. Saving 20 percent would save about $60 million, (Source: Columbus Dispatch, Others, 2 Sept., 2015) Contact: Columbus Energy Challenge, www.columbus.gov/energychallenge

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


    AMSC Scores $40Mnb Inox Wind Order (Ind. Report)
    American Superconductor
    Date: 2015-09-02
    American Superconductor (AMSC), a global solutions provider serving wind and power grid industry leaders, reports receipt of an approximately $40 million order for wind turbine electrical control systems (ECS) from Inox Wind Limited, part of India's Inox Group of Companies. AMSC expects to begin shipments under this new order during the second quarter of fiscal 2015 and expects to complete the vast majority of shipments by the end of fiscal year 2015.

    AMSC's ECS are an integrated, high-performance suite of power electronics systems that include the wind turbine power converter cabinet, internal power supply and various controls. (Source: AMSC, StreetInsider, Penn Energy, 31 Aug., 2015) Contact: AMEC, Jason Fredette, Director of Investor & Media Relations, (508) 621-4177, jfredette@amsc.com, www.amsc.com; Inox Wind Limited, www.inoxwind.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American Superconductor,  Wind,  Inox Wind,  


    COFs Capture, Convert CO2 Into Chemicals (New Prod & Tech)
    UC Berkeley
    Date: 2015-09-02
    In the Golden State, UC Berkeley reports that two chemists, Christopher Chang and Omar Yaghi, have created a sponge-like material called "covalent organic frameworks" (COFs) that captures and stores CO2 power plant emissions and alters them to convert the captured carbon into a useful chemical. A COF is a porous three-dimensional crystal consisting of a tightly folded, compact framework with an extraordinarily large internal surface area. The sponge-like quality of a COF's vast internal surface area enables the system to absorb and store enormous quantities of CO2. The addition of a catalyst -- cobalt metal atoms -- converts the storage material into an active structure that can turn out useful products.

    Chemists Christopher Chang and Omar Yaghi, who invented COFs, added a metal catalyst to the crystal structure in order to turn the captured CO2 into carbon monoxide (CO), a primary building block for fuels, plastics and other applications.

    The COF research was supported by the US DOE Office of Science in part through its Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) program. The porphyrin COFs were characterized through X-ray absorption measurements performed at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source, a DOE Office of Science User Facility. (Source: UC Berkeley, Science31 Aug., 2015) Contact: UC Berkeley, Prf. Chris Chang, (510) 642-4704, chrischang@berkeley.edu, www.berkeley.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Monoxide,  CO2,  UC Berkeley,  


    Colorado Joins Multi-State Clean Power Plan Challenge (Ind. Report)

    Date: 2015-09-02
    Colorado will be represented by the state's Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman in a multi-state legal challenge to the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan which sets rate-based and mass-base adoptions for how states evaluate emissions.

    A rate-based plan looks at pounds of CO2 produced per MWh while mass-based considers overall CO2 emissions. In a mass-based plan, Colorado would seek to reduce total emissions by 28 pct to 29.9 million short tons of CO2 in 2030 from 2012's 41.7 million short tons.

    In 2012, Colorado produced 1,973 pounds of CO2 for every MWh generated, meaning it will have to achieve a 40 pct reduction to meet the 2030 goal of 1,174 pounds per MWh.

    In a recently released statement, the Attorney General reiterated the state's position that "The rule is an unprecedented attempt to expand the federal government's regulatory control over the state's energy economy. The EPA appears unwilling to accept limits set by Congress in the Clean Air Act and instead is pushing its agenda forward through regulatory rewrites that overreach its legal authority." (Source: Office of Colorado Attorney General, Steam Boat Daily, 31 Aug., 2015) Contact: Colorado Attorney General, Cynthia H. Coffman, www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Power Plan,  


    Empire State Considers Carbon Tax Legislation (Reg & Leg)
    RGGI
    Date: 2015-09-02
    New York state assembly members Kevin Cahill and Barbara Lifton last week introduced a bill that if passed into law would create the Empire State's first carbon emission tax on fuels used for electric power generation, heating, cooling, and transportation, and others used in industrial processes.

    The tax would start at $40 per metric ton of carbon dioxide and jump in annual $10 increments to $180 per metric ton, which, according to the bill's sponsors, would completely eliminate CO2 emissions in New York State. The bill would refund 60 pct of its revenues to low and lower middle income New Yorkers and utilize the remaing 40 pct to hasten the transition to a clean energy economy byaugmenting mass transit to reduce carbon emissions, and improving climate change adaptation. The bill also calls for an initial $35 per ton levy on "carbon-based fuels" and other products that contain carbon and emit CO2, methane, N2O or other GHGs when burned.

    As an aside, New York already imposes a price on power plant CO2 emissions through its participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) cap and trade program. (Source: Fuels News, Others, 31 Aug., 2015) Contact: Kevin A. Cahill, New York State Assembly, (845) 338-9610, assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Kevin-A-Cahill

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  CO2,  Carbon Emiissions,  RGGI,  


    European Auto Industry Launches CleanDieselTech Campaign (Int'l)
    CLean DIesel
    Date: 2015-09-02
    The European auto industry has launched the online CleanDieselTech campaign to raise awareness and acceptance of clean diesel in the european market where all new cars must now meet "Euro 6" emissions regulations. CLeanDIeselTech provides accessible facts, figures and infographics to inform the general public and policy makers alike about the latest generation of diesel technology.

    The campaign partners include the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), the Association for Emissions Control by Catalyst (AECC), the European Council for Motor Trades and Repairs (CECRA) and the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA). The partners are calling for technology-neutral and results-oriented policy to ensure the uptake of the latest low-emission vehicles. With this support, they will continue to work together to ensure that modern diesel remains one of the key pillars in the portfolio of low CO2 technologies and fuels. (Source: Clean Diesel Tech., Fleet News, 1 Sept., 2015) Contact: CleanDieselTech, www.cleandieseltech.eu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Low Carbon FUel,  Alternative Fuel,  Clean DIesel,  Diesel,  


    Premiers, Governors Set GHG Emission Targets (Ind. Report)
    Carbon Emissions
    Date: 2015-09-02
    In St. John's, the 39th annual conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers on Monday unanimously set a target of slashing carbon pollution by 35 to 45 pct below 1990 levels by 2030, rising to 75 to 85 pct of 2001 levels by 2050.

    The conference resolution states "that for the region to successfully continue reducing its GHG emissions, [the governors and premiers] must identify and implement additional strategies, policies and measures at the regional level." A climate change steering committee will present a plan on how to advance the 2030 target at next year's conference. The resolution comes the same day as a new report by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council shows that the area's emissions have fallen 26 pct since peak levels in 2004 due in great part to the region's faltering economic growth. (Source:CBC News, Various Others, 31 Aug., 2015)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions Targets,  


    Updated New Home Energy Codes Would Deliver Significant Savings (Ind. Report)
    NIST
    Date: 2015-09-02
    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) estimates that if every state in the nation adopted up-to-date residential building energy efficiency codes the energy savings realized over a decade from all houses built in just one year would total about 2.4 billion kWh -- enough to power all the homes in Tucson, Ariz., for a year, according to recent calculations using NIST’s Building Industry Reporting and Design for Sustainability (BIRDS) software. The new software measures the energy, environmental and cost performance of newly constructed homes located in 228 different cities and climates zones in the United States.

    The energy cost savings associated with these energy consumption reductions realized over 10 years, the NIST economists estimate, would total $1 billion -- a 15 pct drop compared with the status quo. And it would reduce the houses’ total carbon footprint by 9.3 million metric tons (an 11 pct decrease), avoiding the equivalent of a year’s worth of carbon emissions from about three coal-fired power plants.

    The free NIST BIRDS is a combination of software tools and building databases for evaluating the costs and benefits associated with alternative building designs, technologies and codes and standards Just released, BIRDS Version 2 includes all the capabilities from BIRDS Version 1 -- which was focused on commercial buildings-- and has added a database for residential building analysis. (Source: NIST, 1 Sept, 2015) Contact: NIST BIRDS, Mark Bello, (301) 975-3776, Download FREE software at http://ws680.nist.gov/Birds

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NIST news,  Energy Efficiency news,  Energy Efficiency Software news,  


    Great Plains Agricultural GHG Emissions Could be Eliminated, says Study (Ind. Report)
    Natural Resource Ecology Lab at Colorado State University
    Date: 2015-08-31
    Researchers from the Natural Resource Ecology Lab at Colorado State University and their partners have completed a study of greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. Great Plains that demonstrates the potential to completely eliminate agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from the region. The study used historical agricultural census data and ecosystem models to estimate the magnitude of annual greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural sources including cropping, livestock raising, irrigation, fertilizer production, and tractor use in the Great Plains region from 1870 to 2000.

    According to the study, "Carbon released during the plow-out of native grasslands was the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions before 1930. Livestock production, direct energy use for tractors and irrigation, and soil nitrous oxide emissions from nitrogen fertilizer application are currently the largest sources."

    The analysis demonstrated that adoption of best management practices -- no-tillage agriculture, slow release fertilizer, and others -- could substantially mitigate agricultural greenhouse gas fluxes. The report estimated that "if 25 percent of agricultural producers in the region adopted these practices, we estimate a 34 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. If 75 percent of them adopted the practices greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture in the region could be completely eliminated." These reductions in greenhouse gas fluxes would occur without any reduction in food production and are primarily a result of no-tillage cultivation practices.

    The report also found that climatic factors mediate GHG emissions , with cool and wet weather promoting carbon sequestration, and hot and dry weather increasing greenhouse gas releases. Potential future increases in hot and dry weather conditions could enhance GHG fluxes from the Great Plains. A 25 percent reduction in harvested cropland and increases in the conservation reserve program have resulted in major reductions in GHG emissions from the Great Plains during the last 40 years. Potential expansion of cropland in the Great Plains due to high crop prices could greatly increase future GHGs fluxes.

    The study was funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute Child Health and Human Development, the USDA and the National Science Foundation. (Source: Colorado State Univ., Pork Mag., 6 Aug., 2015) Contact: Natural Resource Ecology Lab, Colorado State University, William Parton, Sr. Researcher, www.ecology.colostate.edu/nrel; Access the USDA's Climate Smart Building Blocks for Agriculture and Forestry HERE.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GHG,  Greenhouse Gas,  


    $2.1Mn for NYC MTA Railroad Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
    BuildSmart NY, NY Power Authority
    Date: 2015-08-31
    In the Big Apple, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Metro-North Railroad North White Plains Train Yard is slated to receive $2.1 million from the Governor's BuildSmart NY program for energy savings and efficiency projects. The upgrade are expected to cut over $328,000 in energy costs and remove approximately 1,280 tons of greenhouse gases annually.

    The project includes comprehensive energy-saving and efficiency improvements at four major buildings throughout the train yard. Improvements include the replacement of several air-handling systems, a new boiler, electric smart meters and a building energy monitoring and management system. This system will help the MTA better track and curtail its energy use and reduce operation and maintenance costs at the facility.

    The New York Power Authority oversaw the project from an initial energy audit through its completion and provided upfront financing. The energy savings resulting from the project will offset the MTA's payments back to the New York Power Authority. Launched in 2012, BuildSmart NY calls for an increase in energy efficiency in state government buildings by 20 percent by 2020.(Source: NYPA, RealEstateRama, August 25, 2015) Contact: NYPA, Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA President and CEO, http://www.thenypa.com, Arun Vedhathiri, (914) 390-8186, www.nypa.gov; BuildSmart NY, http://www.buildsmart.ny.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News New York Power Authority,  BuildSmart NY,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Indian Oil Investing $2.4Bn in Synthetic Ethanol Plant (Int'l)
    Indian Oil Corp. Ltd,Celanese Corp
    Date: 2015-08-31
    India's largest refiner, Indian Oil Corp. Ltd (IOCL) reports it will invest $2.4 billion to build a plant for producing synthetic ethanol as it seeks to secure supplies of the biofuel to meet mandatory blending with gasoline standards. The Mumbai-headquartered state-run company plans to produce 1 million mtpy of ethanol at a planned facility in Paradip, in eastern India. The plant, which will use petroleum coke as feedstock, is expected to be completed in 2019. Indian Oil is partnering with Dallas-based Celanese Corp. for the project. (Source: Indian Oil Corp., Various Sources, Live Mint, 30 Aug., 2015) Contact: Indian Oil Corp., www.iocl.com; Celanese Corp., www.celanese.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Indian Oil Corp. Ltd,  Ethanol,  Ethanol Blend,  Synthetic Ethanol,  Celanese Corp,  

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