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US DOE Awards $73Mn for Bioenergy, Biofuel R&D Projects (Funding)
Date: 2019-10-04
The U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) this week announced $73 million in R&D funding for 35 bioenergy projects aimed at producing affordable biofuels including renewable-gasoline, -diesel, and -jet fuels that are compatible with existing fueling infrastructure and vehicles.

According to the DOE, the US has the potential to create 1 billion dry tonnes of non-food biomass without disrupting existing agricultural markets. It is an underutilized resource with the potential to produce up to 50 billion gallons of biofuels -- roughly 25 pct of U.S. transportation fuels. (Source: US DOE, DEI, 3 Oct., 2019) Contact: US DOE EERE,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioenergy,  DOE EERE,  Biofuel,  

ICAST Completes Multifamily Housing Efficiency Retrofits (Ind. Report)
International Center for Sustainable Technology
Date: 2019-09-30
The Lakewood, Colorado-based not-for-profit International Center for Sustainable Technology (ICAST) is reporting completion of energy-efficiency upgrades to nearly 1,000 multifamily buildings, for a reported savings of 7.4 million kWh, 850,000 therms, and nearly $2 million in utility cost savings.

The 3 year work contract , which was funded by the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Building Technologies Office (BTO), was intended to spur the growth of energy efficiency in the small and medium commercial building sector -- less than 100,000 square feet in gross floor area -- but accounts for over half of the energy used in the commercial sector, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey.

At the start of the project, ICAST operated in two states, improving energy in about 100 multifamily buildings per year. ICAST has eight affiliates providing energy-efficiency services to the multifamily sector in four states and seven cities. (Source: US DOE EERE, ICAST, PR, 30 Sept., 2019) Contact: US DOE EERE,; ICAST, 866.590.4377,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE EERE,  International Center for Sustainable Technology,  Energy Efficiency,  

Wind Tech Advancements Depress Wind Energy Costs (DOE Report)
Date: 2019-08-14
Wind Technologies Market Report, a just released U.S. DOE report prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) notes that with prices averaging below 2 cents per kWh for newly built projects, wind energy is competitive with other generation sources.

"Wind energy prices -- particularly in the central United States, and supported by federal tax incentives -- are at all-time lows, with utilities and corporate buyers selecting wind as a low-cost option," according to LBNL Senior Scientist Ryan Wiser.

Report highlights include: wind power capacity additions continued at a robust pace in 2018; larger turbines are enhancing wind project performance; low turbine pricing continues to push down installed project costs; wind energy prices are at historical lows; the grid-system value of wind has declined over the last decade but rebounded over the last two years; and the domestic supply chain for wind equipment is diverse.

BNL's contributions to this report were funded by the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. BNL is a multiprogram national laboratory, managed by the University of California for the U.S. DOE Office of Science.

Download the Wind Technologies Market Report HERE (Source: US DOE LBNL, Aug., 2019) Contact: DOE Office of Science,; LBNL,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Wind Energy,  

DOE SBIR Touts Sm. Business Innovation Research Funding (Funding)
Date: 2019-07-31
American small businesses received a near-$44 million boost from the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, according to an SBIR release. Five buildings-focused, Phase II Release 2 grants awarded approximately $5 million to five small businesses. The projects, which are making advancements in building envelopes, building energy efficiency and modeling, and lighting, have already demonstrated a level of commercial feasibility for further innovations in the second phase of research. The five projects:
  • Innovations in Opaque Building Envelope Performance -- Lightweight and Thermally Insulating Nanowood -- (Inventwood LLC., College Park, Maryland) Inventwood LLC is using delignified wood to create a new, bio-derived cellulose thermal insulation material that could be used in window frames, exterior insulating cladding, or prefabricated panels for new building construction or retrofit applications.

  • Transparent Conductive Anodes for Solid-State Lighting -- Printed Anodes and Internal Light Extraction Layers on Flexible Glass to Create Cost-Effective High-Efficacy Bendable OLED Lighting Panels -- (OLEDWorks LLC, Rochester, New York) OLEDWorks LLC will further develop and commercialize a highly energy-efficient lighting product in the form of uniquely thin and beautiful curved sheets of light to accelerate organic light-emitting diode (OLED) market growth.

  • High Performance Substrate Embedded Microgrids for High-Efficiency, Flexible Organic Light-Emitting Diodes -- (Electroninks Inc, Austin, Texas) -- Electroninks Inc. is developing an alternative, transparent conductor for optical-electronic applications like touch sensors, displays, and OLEDs that significantly outperforms today's indium, tin, and oxygen (ITO) conductors.

  • Building Energy Modeling -- Portfolio-Level Energy-Efficiency Simulation (PLES) -- (Maalka, Brooklyn, New York) Maalka is extending its customizable framework for energy efficiency program development and management. The framework leverages the increasing availability of building energy data and DOE's open-source data standards and platforms and energy analysis tools (EnergyPlus, OpenStudio). The project targets the large and growing energy-efficiency program market of cities, utilities, larger owners, and energy service customers with a focus on supporting a move from individual energy conservation measures to packages and deep retrofits.

  • CAD-Integrated Web-Based Performance Simulation -- (Ladybug Tools LLC, Fairfax, Virginia) -- Ladybug Tools will use DOE's open-source EnergyPlus and Radiance tools, as well as OpenStudio's new elastic cloud capabilities, to deliver a greater range of analysis services (and subsequent revenue streams) for architects. Phase I of this project involved creating a working radiance-based daylighting simulation service; Phase II work will focus on energy simulation. (Source: U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Small Business Innovation Research, PR, July, 2019) Contact: SBIR,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE SBIR,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Management,  

  • CSU, NREL Lead $2.1Mn CO2 Utilization for Algae Biofuels R&D (R&D)
    Colorado State University,NREL
    Date: 2018-10-31
    Following up on our October 4, 2017 coverage, a team of five Colorado State University (CSU) and three National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) researchers are reporting a $2.1 million, 3-year effort to increase algae yield for biofuel production by improving carbon dioxide utilization. For the research, New Belgium Brewing will provide CO2 from their fermentation processes, and Qualitas Health, a producer of omega-3 nutraceuticals from algae, will help test the improved CO2 delivery technology. The aim is to improve delivery of CO2 to algae and enhance algae's consumption of the CO2.

    The project is being funded by the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy in a collaborative effort to improve the cost-competitiveness and environmental sustainability of microalgae-based fuels and products. (Source: CSU, NREL, Various Media, Oct., 2018) Contact: Colorado State University, Prof. Ken Reardon,,; US DOE BETO,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Colorado State University,  NREL,  Algae,  CO2,  Biofuel,  

    Climate Science Denier Appointed to DOE Renewable Energy Office (Ind. Report)
    Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
    Date: 2017-05-05
    In Washington, Pres. Donald Trump has appointed a climate science skeptic and fossil fuels champion, David Simmons, as Acting Assistant Secretary to the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. The agency has a $2 billion budget which Trump is proposing to slash by more than one-half, according to E&E News.

    The appointment is the latest in a string of appointments where the fox is put in charge of the hen house. Simmons -- the fox -- is well known for comments such as:

    "We have to look at the track record of the oil and gas industry [which is] producing low-cost, reliable energy, particularly when the alternative is much, much higher prices."

    "The most simple of all points is that no matter what the renewable (energy) guys say, what they will admit is that their type of power -- wind and solar -- is more expensive and will increase the price of electricity. And in an economy that is struggling, it is critical that we do everything we can to keep prices low."

    "It is unseemly that the American taxpayer has contributed billions of dollars to these (wind and solar energy) facilities." (Source: The Independent, 3 May, 2017) Contact: U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy,  

    National Labs Investigate Algae Strains for Biofuels (R&D)
    DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Sandia National Laboratories,PNNL
    Date: 2017-03-10
    Sandia National Laboratories reports it is partnering with the Los Alamos National Lab, Pacific Northwest Lab, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Arizona State University to identify and test various strains of algae for resistance to a host of predators and diseases.

    Their investigations are part of the new, $6 million Development of Integrated Screening, Cultivar Optimization and Validation Research (DISCOVR) project to determine which algae strains are the toughest and most commercially viable. The U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is sponsoring the project.

    Researchers estimate that 30 pct of current production on algae farms is lost each year due to pond crashes. For early crash detection, Jeri Timlin, an analytical chemist on Sandia's DISCOVR team, is using spectro-radiometric monitoring to watch the ponds for subtle changes in reflected light that indicate the presence of pathogens or predators. This technique can detect subtle color changes as well as other physical and chemical properties of the algae, making it possible to determine the pond's density and overall health.

    While Sandia monitors ponds and evaluates resistance to diseases, PNNL will quantify the biomass production rate of 10 strains of algae that they grow in a variety of simulated environmental conditions. NREL then will perform compositional analysis on the same strains, seeking those best suited for fuel production. Later phases of the three-year project will involve partners in this "algae pipeline," increasing pond culture stability and evaluating the potential for generating products other than fuel, such as chemicals used for industrial purposes. (Source: Sandia National Laboratories, 6 Mar., 2017) Contact: U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy,; Sandia National Lab, Jeri Timblin, (505) 844-7932,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy ,  Sandia National Laboratories,  Algae,  Algae Biofuel,  PNNL,  

    ASHRAE/IES 2016 Energy Standard Savings Announced (Ind. Report)
    Pacific Northwest National Laboratories,ASHRAE
    Date: 2017-02-20
    The Pacific Northwest National Laboratories (PNNL), in support of the US DOE Building Energy Codes Program, reports a 30 pct energy savings can be achieved using the 2016 version of the ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2016. ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2016, Energy Efficiency Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, was published in October 2016.

    PNNL's preliminary energy savings analysis shows for the whole building energy consumptions, national aggregated site energy savings are 34.1 pct and energy cost savings are 34.2 pct when compared to the 2004 standard.

    On a nationally aggregated level, building-type energy savings range from 11.9 pct (fast food restaurants) to 48.6 pct (schools) and energy-cost savings from 15.3 pct (large offices) to 49.8 pct (schools). These figures include energy use and cost from the whole building energy consumptions, including plug and process loads. Sixteen different building prototypes were modeled in 17 different climate locations for a total of 272 building types in various climate zones that were incorporated into this analysis. (Source: ASHRAE, ProudGreenBuilding, 14 Feb., 2017) Contact: U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy,; ASHRAE, Tom Phoenix, Pres., (800) 527-4723, www.ashrae.orgContact: Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, Susan Bauer, (509) 372-6083,

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

    New Commercial Bldg Energy Efficiency Code Released (Ind. Report)
    ASHRAE, U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
    Date: 2016-12-21
    The U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy is reporting the release of the new ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1 -- aka the Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. The model standard was developed jointly by ASHRAE and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES). An updated edition is published every three years and provides the basis for energy codes adopted by U.S. states.

    The new 2016 edition contains several important changes to reduce energy consumption, including a new compliance path and a significant change in formatting, intended to improve its overall flexibility and use. A range of technical changes are also included, affecting building envelope, mechanical and lighting systems.

    More information on code adoption and related technical assistance is available at (Source: U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, ProudGreenBuilding, 19 Dec., 2016) Contact: U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy,; ASHRAE, Tom Phoenix, Pres., (800) 527-4723,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy,  Building Energy Efficiency,  ASHRAE,  

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