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Biofuels Contribute $5Bn to Iowa's GDP, says Report (Ind. Report)
IRFA
Date: 2019-03-22
Contribution of the Renewable Fuels Industry to the Economy of Iowa, a recent study commissioned by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) has found that biofuels contribute over $5 billion to the Hawkeye State's GDP, equivalent to 3 pct. The report also found the biofuels industry supports over 48,000 jobs in the state and adds over $2.5 billion to Iowa household incomes.

The report was authored by John Urbanchuck, managing partner at ABF Economics.

As we reported on 23 Jan., 2019, 2018 was a record year for ethanol production in Iowa with the state's ethanol production facilities producing 4.35 billion gallons -- 150 million gallons more than 2017 and 150 million gallons short of capacity. The Hawkeye State produces about 27 pct of total U.S. ethanol production. Iowa's two cellulosic ethanol and 41 corn ethanol plants use more than 1.3 billion bpy of corn. Iowa also produced a record 365 million gallons of biodiesel in 2018 (Source: Iowa Renewable Fuels Assoc., Mar., 2019) Contact: IRFA, Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., info@IowaRFA.org, (515) 252-6249, www.iowarfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Iowa Biofuel,  Monte Shaw,  IRFA,  


EPA Proposes E-15 Fuel Regulatory Changes (Ind. Report, Reg & Leg)
EPA
Date: 2019-03-18
In Washington, the US EPA has proposed regulatory changes to allow E-15 ethanol blended gasoline to take advantage of the 1-psi Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver for the summer months that has historically been applied only to E10. Under the proposed expansion, E15 would be allowed to be sold year-round without additional RVP control, rather than just eight months of the year.

EPA is also proposing regulatory changes to modify elements of the renewable identification number compliance system under the Renewable Fuel Standard program to enhance transparency in the market and deter price manipulation. Proposed reforms to RIN markets include: prohibiting certain parties from being able to purchase separated RINs; requiring public disclosure when RIN holdings exceed specified thresholds; limiting the length of time a non-obligated party can hold RINs; and increasing the compliance frequency of the program from once annually to quarterly.

Download details on proposed rulemaking HERE. (Source: US EPA, Irrigation & Green Energy, Mar., 2019) Contact: US EPA, www.epa.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News E-15,  E15,  Biofuel Blend,  EPA,  Alternative Buels,  Renewable Fuel,  Biofuel,  


Pacific Ethanol Considers Production Facility Sales (Ind. Report)
Pacific Ethanol,Piper Jaffray
Date: 2019-03-15
In the Golden State, Sacramento-based low-carbon renewable fuels specialist Pacific Ethanol reports it has contracted investment bank and asset management firm Piper Jaffray to help it sell some of its 10 various production assets to refinance $67 million in debt coming due in December. The company notes it could also look at other capital raising options for debt refinancing.

Pacific Ethanol, which operates 10 biorefineries in six states, did not specify which plants might be sold. (Source: Pacific Ethanol, Others, Seeking Alpha, 13 Mar., 2019) Contact: Piper Jaffray, www.piperjaffray.com; Pacific Ethanol, Paul Kohler, Pres., CEO, (916) 403-2790, investorrelations@pacificethanol.com, www.pacificethanol.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Pacific Ethanol,  Piper Jaffray,  Ethanol,  Biofuel,  


John Wood Wins US Biofuel Construction Serv. Contract (Ind Report)
John Wood,Red Rock Biofuel
Date: 2019-03-13
Aberdeen, Scotland-headquartered global engineering firm John Wood Group PLC reports receipt of a construction and mechanical services contract from Fort Collins, Colorado-based biofuels plant developer IR1 Group LLC for the Red Rock waste woody biomass-to-biofuels facility in Oregon. The value of the contract, which is expected to take two years to fulfill, hasn't been disclosed.

The Red Rock Biofuels facility will convert more than 136,000 tpy of biomass into 15.1 million gpy of renewable fuels. (Source: John Wood, Alliance News, 12 Mar., 2019) Contact: IR1 Group LLC, (970) 223-6766, https://ir1group.com; John Wood Group, www.woodgroup.cpm

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel,  John Wood Group,  Red Rock Biofuel,  Biofuel,  


Research Links Biofuel Mandate to Environmental Harm (Ind. Report)
Biofuel,Renewable Fuel Standard
Date: 2019-03-11
New research prepared by the University of California-Davis, Kansas State University, and University of Wisconsin contends that the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its implementation are draining western aquifers, accelerating climate change and fueling numerous other environmental disasters.

The new research, provides a detailed and comprehensive assessment of the direct connection between U.S. biofuels policy and specific economic and field-level environmental changes following passage of the Renewable Fuel Standard 10 years ago.

Download a report overview HERE. Download the full research report HERE. (Source: National Wildlife Federation, 8 Mar., 2019) Contact: National Wildlife Federation, www.nwf.org

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


ABA Claims EPA Strayed on RFS "Hardship Waivers" (Reg & Leg)
EPA,Advanced Biofuels Association
Date: 2019-03-11
According to a brief filed by attorneys on behalf of the Advanced Biofuels Association (ABA) in a U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit court in Washington last Wednesday, the US EPA broke away from Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requirements for granting small-refinery waivers starting in May 2017 and continued to deny a congressional order regarding which refiners qualify.

The suit contends the EPA approved waivers for small refiners that didn't meet the minimum U.S. DOE score to qualify, and improperly considered the debts of small-refiners' parent companies when considering waiver requests. The brief also noted the agency considered small-refiners' operating losses whether or not they were related to RFS compliance. The agency also considered what small refiners might spend on biofuel credits, without looking at revenue the refiners would later generate from sales of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs).

Accordingly, the ABA suit asked the court to declare the EPA's methodology for determining disproportionate economic hardship "unlawful" and to strike down the agency's economic "hardship" policy.

As previously reported, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct. (Source: ABA, DTN, 8 Mar., 2019) Contact: Advanced Biofuels Association, www.advancedbiofuelsassociation.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Advanced Biofuels Association ,  RFS,  Hardship Waiver,  


HEBioTech W.Va. Resource Recovery Facility Underway (Ind. Report)
BioHiTech Global
Date: 2019-03-06
Chestnut Ridge, NY-based waste management specialist BioHiTech Global, Inc., reports operations are underway at the nation's first HEBioT™ renewable resource recovery facility in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

The Company has completed the first phase of plant commissioning including the facility's reception area, overhead bridge cranes, and its primary mechanical sorting equipment. The Company has begun the next phase of plant commissioning and progressing operations, which includes receiving limited amounts of waste and beginning runs of its patented high efficiency mechanical and biological treatment process (HEBioT Process) for producing an EPA recognized solid recovered fuel (SRF). The facility is expected to reach full operations early in Q2 2019.

The Martinsburg Facility is expected to generate $7 million of high margin revenue annually while diverting as much as 80 pct of the waste that enters the facility from landfills. HEBioT solid waste processing technology has been successfully deployed at seven facilities located throughout Europe which currently process in excess of 1 million tpy of solid waste.

BioHiTech Global, Inc. cost-effective technology solutions include the patented processing of municipal solid waste into a valuable renewable fuel, biological disposal of food waste on-site, and proprietary real-time data analytics tools to reduce food waste generation, lower the carbon footprint associated with waste transportation and reduce or virtually eliminate landfill usage. (Source: BioHiTech Global, Inc., PR, 5 Mar., 2019) Contact: BioHiTech Global, Inc, . Frank E. Celli, CEO, Rich Galterio, Exec. VP, (845) 367.0603, rgalterio@biohitech.com, www.biohitech.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News BioHiTech Global,  Renewable Fuel,  


Forest Biomass Renewable Fuels Classification Challenged (Int'l)
Bord na Mona
Date: 2019-03-06
In an action filed Monday at the European General Court in Luxembourg, Ireland's state-owned energy company Bord na Mona Plc and six other plaintiffs claimed that classifying forest biomass as a renewable fuel "fatally undermines the goals of the new European Renewable Energy Directive's biomass energy policy."

The lawsuit seeks to remove forest biomass from the EUs Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) which raises the overall EU target for renewable energy sources consumption by 2030 from 20 pct to 32 pct. The plaintiffs contend RED II "ignores the science on forest bioenergy and promotes false climate solutions" and that RED II failed to properly account for the lifecycle carbon emissions from harvesting, producing, transporting, and burning woody biomass fuels.

The case is coordinated by the US-based Partnership for Policy Integrity with input from experts including the Dogwood Alliance; one of more than 30 conservation and environmental justice organizations in the southern US who wrote to the Government, the ESB and Bord na Mona in August 2018 pointing out it was planned that wood used in the Irish power plants would come from their region -- the U.S. North Atlantic Coastal Plain. According to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, the annual supply gap in wood production for biomass could be up to 1.88 million cubic metres by 2020 and more than twice that by 2025, all of which must be sourced outside Ireland.

According to Dr Mary S Booth, director of the US Partnership for Policy Integrity and lead science advisor on the case, "burning wood for energy emits more CO2 per unit of energy generated than coal but RED II counts these emissions as zero.". (Source: (Source: Bord na Mona, All Things Arb, Agricultural News, 5 Mar., 2019) Contact: Bord na Mona Plc, Mike Quinn, CEO, Patrick Madigan, Bioenergy Division, +353 45 439000, www.bordnamona.ie

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel,  RED II,  Bord na Mona,  Carbon Emissions,  Woody Biomass,  Forest Biomass,  


BP, Virent, Johnson Matthey Ink Bioforming Tech Deal (Ind. Report)
BP, Virent, Johnson Matthey
Date: 2019-03-06
In London, BP plc reports it and Madison, Wisconsin-based Virent Inc. along with Johnson Matthey have inked an agreement to advance the commercialization of Virent's Bioforming process for the production of bio-paraxylene (PX) -- a vital raw material for the production of renewable polyester.

Virent's Bioforming technology, which is being developed in collaboration with ohnson Matthey, generates drop-in reformate product from renewable sources that can be used to yield renewable fuels and/or processed into lower carbon intensive bio-PX, the feedstock for bio-purified terephthalic acid (PTA), using existing technologies. (Source: BP, Zacks, 5 Mar., 2019) Contact: BP plc, www.bp.com; Virent Inc., Lee Edawards, CEO, Jeff Moore, Exec. VP, Operations, (608) 663-0228, www.virent.com; Johnson Matthey, www.matthey.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels,  BP plc ,  Virent,  Johnson Matthey,  


Shell Joins Rotterdam W2C Project Consortium (Int'l Report)
Air Liquide,Shell,Enerkem
Date: 2019-03-04
Further to our July 17, 2018 report, a consortium comprising Air Liquide, Nouryon (fka AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals), Enerkem and the Port of Rotterdam is reporting Royal Dutch Shell will join as an equal equity partner in Europe's first advanced waste-to-chemicals (W2C) and biofuels from non-recyclable waste materials facility in Rotterdam.

The planned facility will convert up to 360,000 tpy of waste into 220,000 tpy of biomethanol -- a chemical building block that is used to manufacture a broad range of everyday products, as well as being a renewable fuel.

The consortium was established as a dedicated joint venture company and has begun preparatory work covering detailed engineering and the permitting process. It aims to take the final investment decision (FID) before the year end.

The project, which will use Montreal-headquartered Enerkem's proprietary technology, is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate Policy, the City of Rotterdam, the Province of Zuid-Holland and Innovation Quarter, the regional development agency. The facility's sustainable methanol output will be purchased by Nouryon and Shell. (Source: Shell, Port Of Rotterdam, Hellenic Shipping News,1 Mar., 2019) Contact: Enerkem Inc. Vincent Chornet, Pres., CEO, (514) 875-0284 X 251, vchornet@enerkem.com, www.enerkem.com; AkzoNobel, Peter Nieuwenhuizen, Dir. of Innovation, +31 88 969 7833, www.akzonobel.com; Air Liquide, Chet Benham, VP Advanced Technologies, (781) 491-0807, www.airliquide.com; Port of Rotterdam, www.portofrotterdam.com/en

More Low-Carbon Energy News Waste-to-Chemical,  Methanol,  Enerkem,  Shell,  Air Liquide,  


Renewable Dairy Fuels Ups CNG Biogas Production (Ind. Report)
Renewable Dairy Fuels ,Amp Americas
Date: 2019-03-01
Renewable Dairy Fuels Chicago-headquartered parent company Amp Americas reports it plans to boost biogas production by 30 pct at Fair Oaks Farms, the popular agritourist destination in Fair Oaks, Newton County, Indiana. Fairs Oaks Farms presently processes more than 800,000 gpd of cattle manure methane into compressed renewable natural gas that is shipped out through NIPSCO's pipeline system. With the latest expansion, the Fair Oaks operation can produce more than 2.3 million gpy of renewable transportation fuel from dairy waste.

The Fair Oaks Farm is the second-largest renewable natural gas production facility in the country, after the new Renewable Dairy Fuels' operation that opened in Jasper County in August of 2018. Between the two operations, Amp Americas's renewable fuels production capacity stands at approximately 5 million gpy. Amp Americas also operates 20 CNG filling stations nationwide. (Source: AMP Americas, nwi.com, 28 Feb., 2019) Contact: Amp Americas, Grant Zimmerman, CEO, info@ampamericas.com, (312) 300-6700, (312) 380-0206 - fax., www.ampamericas.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biogas,  Methane,  CNG,  Biofuel,  


USGC Wins $14Mn for Feed Grains, Ethanol Promotion (Funding)
U.S. Grains Council
Date: 2019-02-25
The Washington, D.C. headquartered U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is reporting receipt of almost $14 million in funding from USDA's Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) Program to help expand the organization's global footprint and dramatically increase its promotion for ethanol and other feed grains products. The program is part of a larger "trade aid" package in the wake of new tariffs and global market uncertainty.

The Council was awarded just under $14 million from the one-time program, which granted a total of $200 million for organizations working in overseas market development for U.S. agriculture and food products Much of the funding will be used to dramatically expand the Council's ethanol programs, which it coordinates with corn and sorghum checkoff organizations, Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association, as well as USDA.

The funding will build upon existing market development and marketing programs operated with support from Council members and USDA through the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development program. (Source: US Grains Council, PR, 23 Feb., 2019) Contact: U.S. Grains Council, (202) 789-0789, (202) 898-0522, www.grains.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News U.S. Grains Council,  Ethanol,  


Growth Energy Suing Over RFS "Hardship" Waivers (Reg & Leg)
Growth Energy
Date: 2019-02-15
Ethanol trade association Growth Energy, the ethanol trade association reports it has taken legal action challenging the US EPA's (EPA) "disingenuity" and "failure" to address small refinery "hardship" exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in its 2019 renewable volume obligation (RVO) rulemaking.

According to Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor, the "EPA's inaction on addressing lost gallons due to small refinery exemptions in this rulemaking is a clear violation of law. In doing nothing to remedy these and other deficiencies, EPA has again failed to meet its statutory obligation to ensure that annual RVOs are met each year. Today's filing calls for greater accountability from EPA to ensure that every renewable fuel obligation is fulfilled as the law intended."

As previously reported, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. (Source: Growth Energy, Various Media, Biofuels Int'l, 13 Feb., 2019) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy,  RFS Hardship Waiver,  RFS,  EPA,  


Virgo, Punjab Confirm Indian Biofuel Project MoU (Int'l Report)
Virgo Corporation
Date: 2019-02-13
The Punjab government Monday signed an MoU with the Delhi-based engineering products and services company Virgo Corporation for a Rs 630-crore ($88,389 million, &euro:77.931 million) biofuel project that will use Honeywell technology to produce renewable fuel from waste rice stubble and husks. The Punjab State agricultural sector generates approximately 20 million metric tpy of paddy straw.

The new biofuel facility will create a new market cash flow for Punjab farmers as well as support the national government's biofuel blending and air quality targets. (Source: Energy InfraPost, 12 Feb., 2019) Contact: Virgo Corporation, +91 11 43588335-37, +91 11 43588338 - fax, virgo@vsnl.com, www.virgogroup.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Virgo Corporation,  India Biofuel,  Biofuel,  


RFA 2019 Ethanol Industry Outlook -- Powered with Renewed Energy Guide Attached (Ind. Report)
RFA
Date: 2019-02-11
The RFA's 2019 Ethanol Industry Outlook and Pocket Guide -- the go-to sources for reliable information and data on America's ethanol industry -- is now available.

The annual Outlook publication provides policymakers, regulators, consumers, the media and renewable fuel advocates with key statistics, trends, insight, and analysis on the latest developments in the U.S. renewable fuels industry, as well as commentary on what to expect in 2019. The publication also features a detailed listing of every fuel ethanol plant in the country, along with production capacity.

Access the RFA 2019 Ethanol Industry Outlook -- Powered with Renewed Energy HERE. (Source: RFA, Feb., 2019) Contact: RFA, Robert White, VP Ind. Relations, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFA,  Renewable Fuels Association,  Ethanol,  Biofuel,  


RFS2 Emissions Reductions Beat EPA Expectations (Ind. Report)
Renewable Fuel Standard ,Renewable Fuels Association, RFA
Date: 2019-02-08
A recently released Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) commissioned study claims the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) has been a tremendous success in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with nearly 600 million metric tons of GHG reduction since 2007 -- surpassing the EPA original expectations of 422 million metric tons, according to the study. The analysis was conducted by Life Cycle Associates, a California-based scientific consulting firm, and commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Foundation (RFF).

The study credits the larger-than-expected GHG reductions to: the adoption of technology improvements in the production of corn-based ethanol, resulting in far greater GHG reductions than originally estimated by EPA; the GHG emissions of petroleum are higher than the baseline estimates originally projected by EPA; and advanced biofuels like biodiesel, renewable diesel, and renewable natural gas have contributed additional GHG reductions, even though actual cellulosic biofuel production has been lower than initially projected. The study also notes that the conventional ethanol consumed in 2018 reduced GHG emissions by 43 pct compared to EPA's initial projections that conventional ethanol would achieve only a 20 pct GHG reduction versus petroleum.

Download the study HERE. (Source: RFA, 6 Feb., 2019) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News GHG Emissions,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  Renewable Fuels Association,  Climate Change,  RFA ,  


Notable Quote
Renewable Fuel Standard
Date: 2019-02-08
"The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has been an unmitigated success, helping to clean the air, boost rural economies, lower fuel prices, and break up the oil industry's near monopoly at the pump." -- Geoff Cooper, Renewable Fuels Association Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel Standard ,  RFA,  


NEXT Renewable Fuels, Shell Trading Ink Supply Contract (Ind Report)
NEXT Renewable Fuels
Date: 2019-02-06
Oregon-headquartered renewable fuels producer NEXT Renewable Fuels Inc is reporting a long term agreement to supply renewable diesel to Houston, Texas-headquartered Shell Trading (US) Company. Shell Trading (US) Company is a corporation that acts as the single market interface for Royal Dutch Shell companies and affiliates in the United States.

NEXT Renewable Fuels will fulfill the contract with diesel produced at its $1-billion, 600 million gpy facility presently under construction in Port Westward, Oregon. The plant is slated for commissioning in 2021.

NEXT's renewable diesel is produced from used cooking oils, animal tallows and other 100 pct renewable feedstocks. (Source: NEXT Renewable Fuels, Renewables, 5 Feb., 2019) Contact: NEXT Renewable Fuels, www.nextrenewables.com; Shell Trading (US) Company, www.shell.us

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


EPA Sued Over RFS "Hardship" Exemptions (Reg & Leg, Ind. Report)
Growth Energy
Date: 2019-02-06
The NAFB is reporting Growth Energy has filed a petition in the Washington, D.C., Court of Appeals challenging theUS EPA's failure to address small refinery "hardship" exemptions in its 2019 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) rulemaking, which was issued late in 2018. "The filing calls for greater accountability from EPA to ensure that every renewable fuel obligation is fulfilled as the law intended," according to Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor.

The EPA has a deadline of November 30th each year to issue their RVOs, which establish the required total volume of renewable fuel to be blended with transportation fuel for the upcoming calendar year. In July of 2018, the industry found out that in previous years, the EPA had been granting an unprecedented amount of small refinery exemptions to numerous refiners. The EPA made no apparent effort to publicly identify the refineries that received the exemptions. In the petition, Growth Energy is challenging the EPA's failure to reallocate the renewable volume obligations of exempt refiners, according to Growth Energy. (Source: NAFB, Growth Energy, 6 Feb., 2019) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, www.growthenergy.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  "Hardship" Waiver,  EPA,  Growth Energy,  


American Coalition for Ethanol Presses Senate on EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler's Confirmation (Opinions, Editorial & Asides)
American Coalition for Ethanol
Date: 2019-02-01
The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) submitted the following letter to US Senators regarding acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler's confirmation:

" As the Senate proceeds to consider the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), I write to encourage you to secure tangible documentation from Mr. Wheeler that EPA will resolve two critically important issues before casting your confirmation vote: finalizing a legally -defensible Reid vapor pressure (RVP) rule to allow E15 use year-round before June 1, and reallocating ethanol blending obligations waived for 2016 and 2017 through the Small Refinery Exemption (SRE) provision of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

"I urge you hold Acting Administrator Wheeler to this high standard because of the harm done to renewable fuels by former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Prior to his confirmation by the Senate, Mr. Pruitt pledged to support the RFS as the law of the land and the President's commitment to expanding ethanol use. However, while leading EPA, he undermined the RFS through an unprecedented number of backdoor refinery waivers which erased more than 2 billion gallons of ethanol blending obligations between 2016 and 2017. Furthermore, he refused to reallocate those blending obligations to other refiners, as called for under the law, and failed to initiate a rulemaking to allow E15 use year-round despite the fact it is a priority for the President. EPA's broken promises and abuse of the RFS compel Acting Administrator Wheeler to repair the damage by reallocating the blending obligations and finalizing a legally-defensible rule to allow E15 use year-round before June 1.

"During his recent confirmation hearing, Acting Administrator Wheeler assured Environment and Public Works committee members that EPA is 'still on schedule to issue a final rule allowing year-round E15 sales' but added there 'may be a slight delay' due to the recent government shutdown. The shutdown is not a credible excuse for a delay in the E15 rulemaking. In fact, recent history proves the Trump Administration can expedite high-priority rulemakings.

"Take for example the USDA newly-proposed work requirements for recipients of supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits. In December, as Congress was negotiating the Farm Bill, the Senate insisted that House conferees drop new food stamp work requirements from the final legislation. In response, to secure enough Republican votes in the House of Representatives to pass the Farm Bill conference report, USDA put forward a rulemaking to impose the work requirements through executive action. The Farm Bill conference report was adopted by Congress on December 12. The President waited to sign the Farm Bill until December 20, the same day USDA published the SNAP work requirement rulemaking.

"In just eight days USDA was able to issue a rule at the direction of the President to fulfill a promise to Republicans in the House of Representatives. It has been more than 100 days since the President Directed EPA to initiate a rulemaking to allow E15 use year-round. What is taking EPA so long to act? There is no better way to guarantee the RVP rule and reallocation of refinery waivers are addressed than by insisting Mr. Wheeler provide tangible evidence of his intentions on these issues prior to voting to confirm him.

"The RVP rule is particularly time-sensitive. Under EPA's existing and outdated RVP regulations, E15 cannot be sold in most areas of the country from June 1 to September 15, leaving just four short months from today to complete the rulemaking process. Unfortunately, EPA needlessly plans to combine the RVP rule with reforms to the way Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) are handled under the RFS. RIN reforms are highly-controversial among oil refiners so EPA's proposal will likely pit refiners against each other, causing a protracted dispute. If RIN reforms prevent EPA from finishing the RVP rule by June 1, it will result in another summer that E15 cannot be sold in many parts of the country when fuel demand is at its peak. Acting Administrator Wheeler should be encouraged to decouple RIN reforms from the RVP rule to ensure E15 can be offered for sale by June 1." (signed) Brian Jennings, CEO American Coalition for Ethanol. (Source: ACE, 29 Jan., 2019)Contact: American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, Ron Lamberty, VP, (605) 334-3381, https://ethanol.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News ANdrew Wheeler,  American Coalition for Ethanol,  Andrew Wheeler,  Ethanol.Ethanol Blend,  


NBB Sets Biodiesel Tax Credit, Trade and RFS Priorities (INd. Report)
National Biodiesel Board
Date: 2019-01-30
With the conclusion of its recent conference in San Diego, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) is calling for a permanent biodiesel tax credit, a resolution to a South American trade dispute and support for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)

According to NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen, the U.S. came out on top regarding an anti-dumping charge against Argentina and Venezuela and are now challenging their appeal of that decision. Rehagen says their goal this year on the domestic front is convincing Congress to enact a long term biodiesel tax credit. Rehagen says they also want to work with the EPA to make improvements in the RFS that would benefit biodiesel producers and farmers. (Source: NBB, WNAX,28 Jan., 2019) Contact: National Biodiesel Board, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board ,  Biodiesel,  Biofuel,  


Gevo Touts Proprietary Renewable Isoprene Process (Ind. Report)
Gevo
Date: 2019-01-30
Englewood, Colorado-headquartered renewable fuels and chemicals manufacturer Gevo, Inc. is reporting a proprietary, breakthrough catalytic process that transforms low-cost commercially available, or even waste by-product, renewable alcohols into renewable isoprene that it says could compete head-to-head on price with natural and petroleum-based chemical equivalents while reducing CO2 emissions.

Gevo recently developed a chemical-based catalytic process to convert low-value "fusel oils", a mixture of alcohols that are byproducts from fermentation processes such as ethanol production, into renewable isoprene. Fusel oils from the ethanol industry alone equate to about 2.5 million tons of potential bio-based waste feedstock.

Isoprene is primarily used in the production of synthetic-based rubber. The market for isoprene is estimated to be approximately $4 billion by 2025. (Source: Gevo, PR, 28 Jan., 2019) Contact: Gevo, Dr. Patrick Gruber, CEO, , (303) 858-3358, info@gevo.com, www.gevo.com, www.gevo.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Gevo,  Isoprene,  


Iowa Ethanol Production Breaks Record High (Ind. Report)
Iowa Renewable Fuel Association
Date: 2019-01-23
In Iowa, 2018 is slated to go down as another record year for ethanol production with the state's ethanol production facilities producing 4.35 billion gallons -- 150 million gallons more than 2017 and 150 million gallons short of capacity. Iowa produces about 27 pct of total U.S. ethanol production. The Hawkeye State also produced a record 365 million gallons of biodiesel in 2018.

Iowa's two cellulosic ethanol and 41 corn ethanol plants use more than 1.3 billion bpy of corn. (Source: Iowa Renewable Fuel Association, WHO13, 21 Jan., 2019) Contact: Iowa Renewable Fuel Association, Monte Shaw, info@IowaRFA.org, (515) 252-6249, https://iowarfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Cellulosic,  Corn Ethanol,  Iowa Ethanol,  Iowa Renewable Fuel Association ,  


Attis Snares Sunoco's New York Ethanol Plant (M&A, Ind. Report)
Attis Innovations
Date: 2019-01-23
Milton, Georgia-headquartered bio-products specialist Attis Innovations reports it will purchase the Sunoco ethanol plant in Fulton, New York, for $20 million. The company also noted it is planning an approximate $80 million expansion of the facility that will a research and development campus for renewable fuels.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to close within a month with the planned expansion breaking ground shortly thereafter. Sunoco plans to purchase the 61 million gpy plant's ethanol production for the next 10 years. (Source: Attis Ind., PR, Oswego County News, Jan., 2019)Contact: Attis Innovations, Jeff Cosman, CEO, (678) 580-5661, ir@meridianwastesolutions.com, www.attisinnovations.com; Sunoco Fulton Ethanol, (315) 593-0500, www.sunocoethanol.com/about/fulton-plant

More Low-Carbon Energy News Sunoco,  Attis Innovations ,  Ethanol,  


VTT Touts New Woody Biomass Gasification Technology (Int'l)
VTT
Date: 2019-01-16
In Helsinki, the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd is touting its newly developed gasification technology for turning woody biomass and forest industry byproducts, such as bark, sawdust and forestry waste, into transport biofuels and chemicals. The new technique reduces CO2 emissions by approximately 90 pct compared to fossil fuels, according to VTT.

The new approach uses gasification to turn biomass into intermediate products -- liquid hydrocarbons, methanol or methane -- in production units integrated with communal district heating plants or forest industry power plants. The intermediate products are processed further in oil refineries to make renewable fuels or chemicals.

VTT developed and piloted the new gasification process and evaluated the competitiveness of plants based on the technique in the course of a recently concluded project called BTL2030. The distributed generation process developed by the project team makes efficient use of the energy content of biomass, according to VTT. (Source: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, Canadian Biomass, Jan., 2019) Contact: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, +358 20 722 7070, info@vtt.fi, www.vttresearch.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News VTT,  Woody Biomass,  Biofuel,  


Sprouts Adopts BioHiTech Anaerobic Digester System (Ind. Report)
BioHiTech Global
Date: 2019-01-11
Chestnut Ridge, New York-based waste management specialist BioHiTech Global, Inc. is reporting the installation of a BioHiTech Revolution Series™ Digester at Pheonix, Arizona-headquartered Sprouts Farmers Market's first store in Philadelphia, Pa.. The BioHiTech technology is being used in 18 Sprouts locations nationally.

BioHiTech's cost effective Revolution Series™ Digesters technology platforms can virtually eliminate landfill usage through real-time data analytics to reduce waste generation, biological disposal of food waste at the point of generation, and the processing of municipal solid waste into a valuable renewable fuel. (Source: BioHiTech Global, PR, 9 Jan., 2019) Contact: BioHiTech Global, Frank E. Celli, CEO, Rich Galterio, Exec. VP, (845) 367-0603, rgalterio@biohitech.com, www.biohitech.com: Sprouts, www.sprouts.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel,  BioHiTech Global,  Anaerobic Digestion,  


Iowa Sets Record Ethanol Production (Ind. Report)
Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2019-01-11
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association is reporting 2018 ethanol production in the Hawkeye State came in at 4.35 billion gallons in 2018, up slightly over 2017 production by still below the 4.5 billion gpy capacity of the states ethanol producers.

The IRFA credits the increase to record ethanol exports, refinery exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard, and the trade dispute with China. Iowa's ethanol is projected to make up 27 pct of total U-S ethanol production.

On Jan. 4 we reported the Iowa's 12 biodiesel plants produced a record-breaking 365 million gallons of biodiesel in 2018. The record production is due in part to the plummeting level of biodiesel imports following a verdict against Argentina and Indonesia for illegally subsidizing imports to the U.S. According to the IRFA, Iowa's biodiesel production is expected to make up nearly 20 pct of total U.S. production for 2018. The IRFA also emphasized that the state could do even more if the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) level for biodiesel was set to at least mirror projected U.S. biodiesel consumption and not undermined by small-refinery exemptions. (Source: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Jan., 2019) Contact: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., (515) 252-6249, info@irfa.org, http://iowarfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  Biodiesel,  Ethanol,  Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  


FuelCell Energy Scores $3.76Mn Calif. SCAQMD Award (Funding)
FuelCell Energy,SCAQMD
Date: 2019-01-11
Danbury, Conn.-based FuelCell Energy, Inc. is reporting receipt of $3,767,380 in funding from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) to enable the development of a renewable fuel cell project that will renewable hydrogen and power from onsite biogas while avoiding nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). SCAQMD is the air pollution control agency for all of Orange County and the urban portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino countries. The 10,743 square mile area is home to over 16.8m people. (Source: Fuel Cell Energy, PR, SCAQM, Jan., 2019) Contact: Fuel Cell Energy, Chip Bottone, Pres., CEO, (203) 830-7494, ir@fce.com, www.fuelcellenergy.com; SCAQMD, http://yourstory.aqmd.gov/home

More Low-Carbon Energy News FuelCell Energy,  SCAQMD ,  Biogas,  


Notable Quote
Renewable Fuel Standard, Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2019-01-09
"The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has been an unmitigated success, helping to clean the air, boost rural economies, lower fuel prices, and break up the oil industry's near monopoly at the pump." -- Geoff Cooper, Renewable Fuels Association Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel Standard ,  Biofuel,  Renewable Fuels Association,  


IRFA Touts Iowa's 2018 Biodiesel Production (Ind. Report)
Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2019-01-04
In a recent release, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) notes that the Hawkeye State's 12 biodiesel plants produced a record-breaking 365 million gallons of biodiesel in 2018. The record production is due in part to the plummeting level of biodiesel imports following a verdict against Argentina and Indonesia for illegally subsidizing imports to the U.S.

According to the IRFA, Iowa's biodiesel production is expected to make up nearly 20 pct of total U.S. production for 2018. The IRFA Shaw also emphasized that the state could do even more if the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) level for biodiesel was set to at least mirror projected U.S. biodiesel consumption and not undermined by small-refinery exemptions.

Compared to 2017, there was a shift in feedstock usage across the state toward more soybean oil. Soybean oil increased its market share to nearly 81 pct while animal fat usage declined from 11 pct to nearly 5 pct. Corn oil continued to make up about 10 pct of feedstock while used cooking oil (UCO)increased to about 4 percent. (Source: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, KMA Land, 3 Jan., 2019) Contact: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., (515) 252-6249, info@irfa.org, http://iowarfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  Biodiesel,  


Aemetis Closes on Calif. Dairy Digester RNG Investment (Ind. Report)
Aemetis,Protair-X Americas
Date: 2019-01-02
In the Golden State, Cupertino-headquartered advanced renewable fuel and biochemical specialist Aemetis Inc. reports its subsidiary, Aemetis Biogas LLC, has closed a $30 million equity investment and funded the first $8.3 million tranche to Aemetis Biogas to construct, own and operate dairy biomethane digesters, pipelines and gas cleanup/compression facilities primarily under 20-year agreements with a dozen dairy farm operations in California. The equity funding was provided by Protair-X Americas, an environmental investment unit of Protair-X Technologies in Canada.

In addition to its ethanol and wet distillers grain facility in Keyes, California, Aemetis owns and operates a 50 million gpy renewable chemical and advanced fuel biodiesel production facility in India, as well as operates an R&D laboratory and holds patents on renewable fuels and renewable chemicals production related technologies. (Source: Aemetis, Feedstuffs, 31 Dec., 2018)Contact: Aemetis, Eric McAfee, CEO , Todd Waltz, (408) 213-0940, investors@aemetis.com, www.aemetis.com; Protair-X Americas, www.protairx.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Aemetis,  RNG,  Biogas,  Biomethane,  Protair-X Americas ,  


More RFS "Hardship" Waiver Applications Filed (Ind. Report)
RFS,Renewable Fuel Standard
Date: 2019-01-02
According to a recently released US EPA list of small-refinery "hardship" waivers filed under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), seven new applications for waivers have been filed for the 2018 compliance year. All of the waivers were filed between November 10 and December 18, 2018, when the EPA reported receipt of 22 waiver requests for the 2018 compliance year.

For 2017, EPA received a total of 37 small refinery "hardship waiver" petitions, 29 of which were approved, seven are still pending and one declared ineligible or withdrawn. The 29 approved petitions have exempted roughly 1.46 billion renewable identification numbers (RINs) keeping more than 13.6 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel from meeting the RFS blending targets.

As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. (Source: US EPA, NAFB, 31 Dec., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News RINs,  Hardship Waiver,  RFS,  US DOE,  


EPA Waivers Costly for Ethanol Ind., says Study (Ind Report)
EPA "Hardship Waivers"
Date: 2019-01-02
According to a recently released University of Missouri Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) study, the US EPA's small refinery "hardship" waivers of their obligations under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) could cost the ethanol industry nearly $20 billion annually.

The study concludes that the small refinery waivers could account for as many as 4.6 billion gallons of domestic demand lost over the next six years, along with the hit to revenue. Conventional biofuel such as corn ethanol stands to fall in use, along with consumption of ethanol in flex fuels and mid-level blends, and wholesale ethanol prices could slip as much as 19 cents per gallon on average. The study also notes that U.S. ethanol consumption stands to drop 761 million gpy on average between 2018 and 2023 with a resulting decline in gross ethanol sales revenues, with an average of $3.3 billion lost per year. (Source: University of Missouri Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute, Transportation Today, 2018) Contact: University of Missouri Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute, (573) 884-4688, www.fapri.missouri.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA,  "Hardship Waiver",  Ethanol Biofuel,  


ExxonMobil Awarded RFS "Hardship Waiver" (Ind. Report)
Exxon Mobil,Renewable Fuel Standard
Date: 2018-12-21
Reuters is reporting the oil juggernaut ExxonMobil, with more than $19 billion in net income for 2017, has been granted a Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) "financial hardship waiver" from the EPA for its 60,000 bpd Billings Refinery in Montana.

ExxonMobil's poor cousin Chevron, with a net 2017 income of only $9.2 billion, also scored a "hardship waiver" for its refinery in Utah on the grounds that without the waiver its refineries would be "at disadvantage in this competitive market."

Under the RFS, oil refiners must increasingly blend ethanol and other biofuels into their fuel each year or purchase blending credits from those that do. The 2005 regulation was intended to help farmers and to cut fuel imports. But small oil refineries can be exempted from the standard if they prove compliance would cause disproportionate hardship. The EPA granted 29 waivers for the 2017 compliance year, up from 14 in 2015 and 20 in 2016. (Source: ExxonMobil, OilPrice, Reuters, 20 Dec., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News ExxonMobil,  RFS,  Hardship Waiver,  


8 New RFS "Hardship" Waiver Applications Since 10 Nov. (Ind. Report)
RFS
Date: 2018-12-21
In Washington, the US EPA is reporting receipt of seven new Renewable Fuel Standard “hardship” waiver petitions for the 2018 compliance year and one new petition for the 2017 compliance year as of Nov. 10 , 2018

For the 2017 compliance year, the EPA has received 37 small refinery petitions, up from the 36 it had received as of Nov. 10. Twenty-nine of the 37 petitions have been approved , 7 ar pending and 1 was withdrawn. The 29 approved petitions exempted 13.62 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel from meeting the RFS blending targets.

Under the RFS, oil refiners must increasingly blend ethanol and other biofuels into their fuel each year or purchase blending credits from those that do. The 2005 regulation was intended to help farmers and to cut fuel imports. But small oil refineries can be exempted from the standard if they prove compliance would cause disproportionate hardship. The EPA granted 29 waivers for the 2017 compliance year, up from 14 in 2015 and 20 in 2016. (Source: EPA, Dec. 20, 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel Standard,  Hardship Waiver,  Biofuel Blending,  


Aussie Hardwood Waste-to-Renewable Diesel Explored (Int'l)
BORAL,ARENA
Date: 2018-12-19
Further to our 27th August report, In the Land Down Under, lumber and building materials supplier BORAL and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) are reported to have joined forces to fund a $1.2 million (AUS) feasibility study of a proposed a second-generation woody biomass biorefinery in New South Wales (NSW).

The study will explore the potential conversion of up to 50,000 tonnes of sawmill hardwood residues from a BORAL owned sawmill near Port Macquarie, NSW, into renewable transport-grade diesel and bitumen using world-first technology. The study will consider a mechanical catalytic conversion technology, developed by Spanish-based Global Ecofuel Solutions, combined with the potential biorefinery. The process has never before been used in a production-scale facility.(Source: BORAL, ARENA, AggNet, 18 Dec., 2018) Contact: ARENA, Ivor Frischknecht, CEO, +61 2 6243 7773, arena@arena.gov.au, http://arena.gov.au; Boral Limited, www.boral.com.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Diesel,  Biofuel,  Renewable Fuel,  ARENA,  BORAL,  


Neste, ScanOcean Partner on Marine Fuel Distribution (Int'l)
Neste
Date: 2018-12-19
In Helsinki, Finnish renewable fuel producer Neste reports it is partnering with bunker and marine fuel supplier ScanOcean AB to deliver and resell Neste's low-sulfur marine fuel in the Stockholm area on the east coast of Sweden.

With this agreement, Neste's marine fuels are now available at all Finnish ports and through ScanOcean cooperation, according to the press release. (Source: Neste, PR, Biofuels Int'l, 18 Dec., 2018)Contact: Neste Oil Corp., Kaisa Hietala, VP Renewable Products , Jacob Granqvist, Marine Fuels & Services Manager, +358 10 458 4128, www.neste.com; ScanOcean AB, Jonatan Karlstrom, GM, www.scanocean.se

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewabole Fuel,  Renewable Diesel,  Neste,  Marine Fuel,  Biofuel,  


WBCSD Launches New Energy Solutions Project (Int'l Report)
World Business Council for Sustainable Development
Date: 2018-12-17
The Swiss-headquartered World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is reporting the December 10th launch of its newest project, New Energy Solutions.

By facilitating cross-sectoral collaboration, the project aims to scale up pre-commercial and/or proven low-carbon technologies that are being deployed too slowly across the transportation and other energy sectors.

The New Energy Solutions project aims to help commercial and industrial companies from all sectors make headway with proven technologies and low-carbon fuels, the uptake of green bonds for renewable fuels and projects, corporate renewable power purchase agreements, and low-carbon microgrids for commercial and industrial customers.

Together, project members are identifying and implementing technologies, fuels and solutions that help companies transition to low-carbon energy sources in line with the Paris Agreement. (Source: World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Climate Home, 10 Dec., 2018) Contact: WBCSD, Maria Mendiluce, Managing Director, www.wbcsd.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News World Business Council for Sustainable Development,  


House Republicans Call for Axing RFS Ethanol Mandate (Reg & Leg)
RFS
Date: 2018-12-17
The Houston Chronicle is reporting US House Republicans are pushing to eliminate the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandating the blending of ethanol into the nation's fuel supply by 2032 in favor of a requirement that cars built from 2023 on run only on gasoline with a minimum octane level of 95.

The new octane requirement is being pitched as a fuel-neutral mechanism that would retain demand for ethanol into the future while improving vehicle engine efficiency.

Under present legislation the EPA would take over the RFS in 2022 with authority to reduce the ethanol mandate first set by Congress in 2005. Industry players have described the Republican proposal as "unworkable" especially with the possibility of Trump winning a second four-year term. (Source: Various Media, Houston Chronicle, 12 Dec., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Biofuel Blend,  


UMass Wood Byproducts Renewable Fuel Additive R&D Funded (R&D)
US DOE
Date: 2018-12-14
The US DOE Co-Optima initiative has awarded a three-year, $1 million grant to a team of researchers led by a UMass Lowell for the development of renewable fuel additives from sawdust and other wood byproducts. The University of Maine and Rockledge, Florida-based Mainstream Engineering Corp. are also participating in the project.

The additive is intended to be mixed with diesel and other petroleum-based fuels to displace some volume of diesel with something renewable and help cut down the vehicle's carbon footprint. The biofuel-blend formulation will offer the same engine performance, but will ideally be easier and more environmentally friendly to produce. (Source: U Mass, US DOE, 12 Dec., 2018) Contact: UMass, Prof. Hunter Mack, Research Team Leader, http://uml.academia.edu/JohnHunterMack; Mainstream Engineering, (321) 631-3550, Fax: (321)631-3552, info@mainstream-engr.com, www.mainstream-engr.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel,  Biomass,  Woody Biomass,  


NATSO Comments on Draft Legislation to Reform Renewable Fuel Standard (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
NATSO,RFS
Date: 2018-12-12
Alexandria, Virginia-headquartered truck stop and travel plaza industry group NATSO testified before the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment, Congress on Tuesday to discuss new legislation that would reform the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and transition the gasoline market to a high octane fuel performance standard.

In his testimony, NATSO VP of Government Affairs David Fialkov focused on the diesel market and the opportunities for policymakers to incentivize diesel retailers to incorporate increasing amounts of advanced biofuels such as biodiesel into the nation's diesel fuel supply.

"NATSO supports the provisions of the 21st Century Transportation Fuels Act that would facilitate market conditions and opportunities for its members to lower prices for consumers for advanced biofuels. Fialkov also recommended revisions to the draft legislation that would eliminate unnecessary obstacles to market investment in renewable fuels infrastructure and that undermine the returns on those investments that industry has already made.

"Specifically, Fialkov testified in favor of the provisions that would extend the advanced biofuels mandate for another decade. But Fialkov strongly urged lawmakers to revise the draft legislation to address NATSO's concerns about the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) practice of issuing small refinery waivers that exempt small refineries from their obligations under the RFS, including small refineries that are owned by profitable refining entities.

"The bill's rules-based Renewable Volume Obligations system will only achieve the objectives of enhanced certainty and less volatility if it addresses the Program's current flawed small refinery exemption regime," Fialkov testified. "The fact that the Legislation is silent on this topic is a real flaw. Any legislation to reform the RFS must remedy this situation." (Source: NATSO Inc. , PR, 11 Dec., 2018) Contact: NATSO, David Fialkov, VP Gov. Affairs, Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman (703) 739-8578, www.natso.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  NATSO,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  


Biofuel Players Comment on New RFS (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
RFS,Advanced Biofuels Business Council
Date: 2018-12-07
"Specifically, I'm glad levels for biodiesel are maintained and slightly increased. And although the levels for advanced biofuels and cellulosic biofuels don't represent the full potential of the industry, they are very promising and will help significantly." -- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R), www.grassley.senate.gov

"It is time to get our America First fuel policy back on track, and we encourage the acting EPA administrator to hold oil refiners accountable and maintain the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard." -- Kyle Gilley, Snr VP External Affairs and Communications, POET, www.poet.com

"The final targets open new possibilities for advanced and cellulosic biofuels, but without a check on abusive EPA waivers, we'll continue to see plants closing their doors or idling production. The agency cannot fulfill the president's commitments in the heartland without putting a lid on handouts to oil giants like Chevron and Andeavor." -- Brooke Coleman, Exec. Dir., Advanced Biofuels Business Council, www.advancedbiofuels.org

"It reflects continued growth in the renewable natural gas industry. The growth in production of renewable natural gas and the completion of nearly 50 new production facilities from coast to coast since 2014 is proof positive that the RFS is working as intended for cellulosic and advanced biofuels." -- Johannes Escudero, CEO, Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas, www.rngcoalition.com

"While the numbers are a positive step forward and they hold promise with a 15-billion-gallon commitment to starch ethanol and 418 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels, the billions of lost gallons due to excessive small refinery exemptions need to be accounted for." -- Emily Skor, CEO, Growth Energy, www.growthenergy.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Grassley,  POET,  RFS,  Growth Energy,  


Evonik Boosting Ala. Sodium Methylate Plant Capacity (Ind. Report)
Evonik
Date: 2018-12-07
Germany-based specialty chemicals producer Evonik Industries reports it plans to expand its production facility for sodium methylate -- used as a catalyst for large-scale production of the renewable fuel -- in Mobile, Ala. The expansion includes new infrastructure and logistics, rail transportation and storage facilities, according to the company release.

Evonik's project follows on the U.S. EPA's announced new renewable volume obligations (RVO) for 2020 that changed the ways that refiners comply with the Renewable Fuels Standard. (Source: Evonik, PR, Powder & Bulk Solids, 4 Dec., 2018) Contact: Evonik,Andreas Kripzak, VP and GM for North America, www.evonik.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Evonik,  Renewable Fuel,  


CleanBC Cimate Plan Stresses Renewable Fuels (Ind. Report)
Renewable Fuel, Biofuel
Date: 2018-12-07
In Vancouver, the Government of British Columbia's just released CleanBC climate plan, which charts a path to 19 million tonnes of GHG emissions reductions by 2030 , puts low-carbon biofuels at the forefront of the Province’s climate efforts. The CleanBC plan includes:
  • Strengthening the low carbon fuel standard to a 20 pct reduction in fuel carbon intensity by 2030;
  • Supporting the ramp-up of new renewable fuel production to 650 million litres by 2030;
  • Zero-Emission Vehicles to make up 10 pct of new light duty vehicle sales in 2025, 30 pct in 2030, and 100 pct in 2040;
  • 15 pct minimum renewable content in industrial natural gas consumption, and cleaner industrial operations through electrification, CO2 storage, and direct air capture.

    The 19 million tonnes of reductions in the CleanBC plan represent approximately 75 pct of the Province's overall emissions reduction goal in 2030. The remaining 25 pct of the reduction measures will be determined over the next 18 to 24 months and will include new clean energy options, waste management, and reducing emissions in forestry, land use and agriculture. The plan also suggests that by 2030, over 40 pct of diesel and 10 pct of gasoline could come from biofuels.

    Download CleanBC lan details HERE. (Source: Government of British Columbia, PR, EIN, 6 Dec., 2018) Contact: Government of British Columbia, (604) 660-2421, www2.gov.bc.ca; Advanced Biofuels Canada, Ian Thompson, (604) 947-0040, www.advancedbiofuels.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels,  ,  


  • CleanBC Climate Action Plan Targets Heavy Emitters (Ind. Report)
    British Columbia
    Date: 2018-12-07
    In Vancouver, the province of British Columbia's just released CleanBC Climate Action Plan aims to cut the province's emissions by 18.9 million tonnes over the next 12 years. To reach its goal, the plan calls for increasing the use of electricity by all sectors -- including heavy industry and transportation -- and boosting the use of low-carbon fuels.

    The plan depends most heavily on slashing industry emissions by 8.4 million tonnes, nearly half the total cuts planned -- achieving that with aggressive electrification, major new hydro transmission lines, and a $240-million a year technology fund.

    Another third of the cuts would come from greener transportation, particularly a ban on emission-producing new vehicles within 20 years, clean fuel car incentive incentives, and an increased reliance on renewable fuel.

    The plan also calls for increasing the provincial price on carbon emissions to $50 per tonne and ramping up buildings' energy efficiency each account for a further one-tenth emissions savings, the latter by retrofitting 51,000 provincially owned housing units and requiring at least 15 pct of natural gas use to come from renewable sources.

    In 2015, the province's emissions were 61.6 million tonnes net after offsets -- equal to the annual CO2 emissions of 13.4 million passenger vehicles. (Source: Province of British Columbia, Star Metro Vancouver, CBC, 5 Dec., 2018) Contact: Province of British Columbia, CleanBC Climate Action Plan, www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/climate-change/planning-and-action, www2.gov.bc.ca

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


    Ontario Upping Biofuels Blend to E15 as soon as 2025 (Ind. Report)
    Ontario, E15
    Date: 2018-12-05
    The province of Ontario is touting its "Greener Gasoline" plan to move from a E5 blend to a E10 ethanol fuel blend by 2020. Key elements of the Greener Gasoline plan include: increasing renewable fuels content in gasoline to 15 pct as early as 2025; the increased use of renewable natural gas and other lower-carbon fuels will be encouraged; large emitters will be subject to emission performance standards; and a $350 million Carbon Trust Fund and a $50 million Ontario Reverse Auction Fund will provide financial assistance for emission reduction initiatives.

    The plan builds on the amended Ethanol in Gasoline & Greener Diesel regulations that will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

    Download details of Canada's Clean Fuel Standard HERE. (Source: Prov. of Ontario, Farm Progress, 3 Oct., 2018) Contact: Advanced Biofuels Canada, Ian Thomson, Pres., (604) 947-0040, info@advancedbiofuels.ca, www.advancedbiofuels.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Advanced Biofuels Canada,  E15,  Biofuel,  Biofuel Blend,  


    RFA Helps Consumers Track Flex Fuel Models, Stations (Ind. Report)
    RFA
    Date: 2018-12-05
    The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) reports there are now more than 24 million flex fuel vehicles (FFV) vehicles on U.S. roads today are flex fuel vehicles (FFV) capable of running on fuel blends containing up to 85 percent ethanol (E85). To assist FFV owners and drivers,the RFA has updated its annual FFV brochure that compiles FFV models available in the current model year (MY2019), as well as previous years going back as far as MY1998.

    According to the brochure, "There are now approximately 4,500 retail stations throughout the country that offer E85 or other ethanol flex fuel blends, at least 500 more than last year and growing every week."

    Consumers can locate E85 stations to fuel their FFVs at E85prices.com, and also view what pricing experiences other users have reported. RFA offers hard copies of the brochure to fuel retailers and member companies at no cost.

    View a copy of the brochure HERE (Source: Renewable Fuel Association, 4 December, 2018) Contact: RFA, Robert White, VP Ind. Relations, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Association,  ,  Biofuel,  Flex Fuel,  


    British Airways Announces Sustainable Fuels Challenge (Int'l)
    British Airways
    Date: 2018-12-05
    In the UK, air carrier British Airways, In collaboration with Cranfield University, is touting its new "BA 2119: Future of Fuels" challenge aimed at encouraging academics across the U.K. to develop a sustainable alternative fuel able to power a commercial aircraft on a long-haul flight, with up to 300 customers and zero net emissions. BA's challenge is the first time the industry has tasked experts from both aerospace and fuel fields to work in collaboration to tackle this environmental issue.

    The Challenge winning team will receive £25,000 ($31,000) to support further research and a commitment from British Airways to work together to advance the idea. Nominations will be judged by a panel of industry experts based on the potential carbon reduction, innovation, value to the U.K. economy and feasibility of the idea.

    As an early proponent of renewable jet fuels, IAG -- BA's parent company -- has committed to invest as much as $400 million on alternative sustainable fuel development over the next 20 years -- the highest ever financial commitment from an airline group. (Source: British Airways, Airline Geeks, 3 Dec., 2018) Contact: British Airways, www.britishairways.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Jet Biofuel,  Aviation Biofuel,  Biofuel,  Sustainable Fuel,  Renewable Fuel,  


    EPA 2019 Final Renewable Fuel Standards Quota (Summary Report)
    EPA,RFS
    Date: 2018-12-05
    On November 30, 2018, the US EPA finalized volume quotas under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for 2019 for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, total renewable fuel, and biomass-based diesel for 2020.

    In brief,the conventional renewable fuel quota, which is met primarily by corn-based ethanol, will be maintained at 19 billion gal in 2019, while required advance biofuel volumes will climb by 630 million gal from 2018 to 19.92 billion gal. The 2019 quota for cellulosic biofuels increased nearly 130 million gal to 418 million gal.

    Download the EPA RFS summary HERE. (Source: EPA, Dec., 2018) Contact: US EPA, www.epa.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Biofuel,  Biomass,  Ethanol,  Biodiesel,  Biofuel Blend,  


    Industry Comments on New RFS (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Iowa Renewable Fuels Association , National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2018-12-05
    "Without reallocation of small-refinery exemptions, the numbers released today may look good on the outside, but just like the chocolate bunnies my children open up on Easter morning, they are hollow on the inside. While any increase is better than a flatline, these modest increases vastly underrate the potential of advanced biofuels." -- Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, (515) 252-6249, info@irfa.org, http://iowarfa.org

    "EPA's failure to properly account for small refinery exemptions will continue to destroy biodiesel demand. EPA recognizes that the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry is producing fuel well above the annual volumes. The industry regularly fills 90 percent of the annual advanced biofuel requirement. Nevertheless, the agency continues to use its maximum waiver authority to set advanced biofuel requirements below attainable levels. The method is inconsistent with the RFS program's purpose, which is to drive growth in production and use of advanced biofuels such as biodiesel." -- National Biodiesel Board, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    "Of the 418 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel called for in the RFS, the vast majority, 388 million gallons, are requested from biogas and that represents a 45 pct increase in production from the 2018 volumes." -- American Biogas Council, Patrick Serfass, Executive Director, (202) 640-6595, www.americanbiogascouncil.org

    "When the EPA continues to grant waivers and does not account for those volumes in this rule, domestic demand for our crop is lost, impacting farmers' livelihood and the economy of rural America." -- National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), Lynn Chrisp, (202) 326-0644, www.ncga.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American Biogas Council,  NCGA,  ,  RFS,  Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  National Biodiesel Board ,  

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