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HARC Earns Zero-Energy Certification (Ind. Report)
Houston Advanced Research Center,International Living Future Institute,
Date: 2020-11-16
In the Lone Star State, the Woodlands-based not-for-profit Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) reports recept of Zero-Energy status from the Seattle-headquartered International Living Future Institute, making it the first commercial building in Texas to accomplish the feat.

Today, 100 pct of HARC's energy is sourced from on-site renewable energy, made possible by a $136,000 Green Mountain Energy Sun Club grant that supported the purchase and installation of additional solar panels, associated inverters and hardware on the roof of HARC's LEED® Platinum building.

The HARC building and campus grounds is 50 pct more energy efficient when compared to LEED® base targets and employs several sustainable features in its design. The building footprint and impervious paving are minimized, bioswales are designed to retain and filter water on-site to reduce the impact to nearby waterways, and the site’s biodiversity is preserved by protecting and restoring native vegetation. The building is also oriented to maximize the daylight reaching the building's interior spaces and rooftop solar installation. Other sustainable strategies include an added high-performance building envelope and rain screen that performs 2.5 times better than a typical enclosure and low-flow fixtures to conserve water while mechanical systems utilize a geothermal heat exchange system for optimal energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and thermal comfort. (Source: Houston Advanced Research Center, PR, Nov., 2020) Contact: Green Mountain Sun Club , Diana Maddock, diana.maddock@greenmountain.com, 713-703-4989 www.gmesunclub.org; International Living Future Institute, 206 223 2028, www.living-future.org; Houston Advanced Research Center, Kacey Wilkins, kwilkins@harcresearch.org , 281-364-6092, www.harcresearch.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Houston Advanced Research Center,  International Living Future Institute,  ,  


Growth Energy Comments on Biofuel Production (Opinions & Asides)
Growth Energy, USDA
Date: 2020-11-02
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor recently submitted the following comments to the USDA's Agriculture Innovation Agenda regarding readily available technologies that enable our domestic agriculture sector to increase production while reducing its environmental footprint.

In her comments, Skor argued that biofuels like ethanol play a critical role in achieving the USDA's goals and called for building on current investments to expand renewable fuels role in the nation's transportation infrastructure. "Supporting programs like the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and initiatives to expand access to higher biofuel blends like E15, E30, and E85 can build on biofuels' environmental progress and expand the market for American agriculture,", said Skor. "USDA's Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) is a prime example how the agency can support the productivity of our farmers, while decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and encouraging further adoption of sustainable farming practices across our agriculture sector."

Skor also notes the biofuels industry's continued advancements to capture CO2 and the plant-based fuel's ability to replace harmful toxics and improve air quality. "We have a better option in ethanol, the single most affordable and abundant alternative to petroleum-based fuel additives that threaten air quality in communities across the globe. To expand on these benefits, USDA should continue to promote programs that boost biofuels access and use throughout the country.

As the department works to streamline programs and seek opportunities to improve sustainable farming across the country, Skor encouraged USDA to continue exploring the strong link between U.S. agriculture and our biofuels industry, and promote the increased use of biofuels so our nation's farmers can continue to rely on these markets as we work to reduce the environmental impact of the agriculture sector.

The organizations have asked the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to order the following: EPA should not withhold the name of the company submitting an application for an SRE nor the name and location of the refinery for which relief is requested; EPA should immediately produce the information that was unlawfully withheld for Renewable Fuel Standard compliance years 2015, 2016, and 2017, and; EPA should not withhold any of the five data elements identified in the proposed Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support (REGS) rule (Source: Growth Energy, Website PR , 28 Oct., 2020) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy,  USDA,  RFS,  Biofuel,  


ClearFlame Engine Technologies (New Subscriber Profile)
ClearFlame
Date: 2020-11-02
"There is a great need in heavy-duty applications (e.g. long-haul trucking, construction, agriculture, marine and back-up power generation) for technologies that provide diesel-like performance but which are decoupled from the dirty emissions of diesel fuel. ClearFlame's mission is to break the bond between diesel engines and their fuel to create the fastest path to a sustainable future, equitably distributed to all the places that might be initially under-served by alternative solutions.

Electrification is important, but it requires extensive infrastructure expansion. This is expensive and will take decades, and until that expansion is complete, little benefit is achieved in reducing climate change or improving air quality in the front-line communities that are harmed most by pollution. We cannot wait that long.

"We believe the solution is our technology allows climate-friendly, renewable, decarbonized fuels to be used at the highest possible efficiency. Our technology can be adopted quickly. It uses existing liquid refueling infrastructure, and operators get the performance they expect while also relying on the existing base of engine technicians for service. Our solution provides "near-zero" emissions that are an order of magnitude better than even the cleanest diesel-fueled engines and is the fastest way for reducing CO2 emissions from heavy-duty engines. "Low carbon, renewable fuels are generally characterized as low in reactivity as measured by cetane number. These alternative fuels have historically required use of spark-ignited engines which have lower efficiency and are bore-size limited compared to compression ignition (Diesel) engines. These fuels were thought to be incompatible with compression ignition engines which traditionally require easily ignitable fuels.

ClearFlame uses a high-temperature combustion system that overcomes cetane limitations. We are using insulation strategies and calibration changes like reduced charge air cooling and increased EGR to increase combustion temperatures just enough so that lower cetane fuels like alcohols will ignite reliably with short ignition delays. There is no fuel blending, no spark plugs and no petroleum. The ClearFlame combustion process leverages the no/low soot characteristics of alternative bio or e-fuels and produces engine-out exhaust with ultra-low PM levels that does not require a DPF. Further, because the engine is no longer smoke-limited, the air-fuel ratio is changed from lean to stoichiometric using "clean" EGR for dilution at lower loads, improving volumetric efficiency/power density, and leaving an exhaust stream suitable for 3-way catalysis. The SCR after-treatment system can be eliminated in favor of a 3-way catalytic converter allowing a substantial cost reduction and improvement in NOx reduction efficiency. DEF/AdBlue/urea is no longer required and system reliability is improved.

The value added by being able to change fuels is tremendous because a very high efficiency combustion process can now be paired with use of 100 pct renewable, clean fuels providing a combination that surpasses all other alternatives in terms of CO2 mitigation, reduced criteria emissions and lower costs.

ClearFlame Engine Technologies recognizes the importance of developing renewably-fueled combustion-based alternatives that complement electrification enabling sustainability in applications where liquid fuels will remain necessary.

"Technologies that integrate globally deployed, decarbonized fuels with high-efficiency combustion can be implemented faster and at lower cost than even current diesel technology, providing the immediate scalability needed for rapid carbon mitigation. Such solutions can support electrification by providing low-cost range extension power to otherwise electrified drivetrains (e.g. in a series hybrid configuration), relieving the need for complete charging/H2 infrastructure buildout before scalability can be achieved." (Source: Subscriber profile submitted by ClearFlame Engine Technologies, Oct.,2020) Contact: ClearFlame Engine Technologies, John Howell, Bus. Dev., 508-404-9398, JohnH@clearflameengines.com, www.clearflameengines.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News ClearFlame Engine Technologies,  Alternative Fuel,  


Energy Inspectors Wins EPA WaterSense Provider Award (Ind. Report)
Energy Inspectors Corporation
Date: 2020-11-02
Las Vegas-headquartered residential energy efficiency specialist Energy Inspectors Corporation (EIC) reports receipt of its 6th EPA WaterSense Award for water management and conservation, saving millions of gallons of water though its work with leading home builders in the Western U.S.

Earning the WaterSense label makes easy to find water-efficient products, new homes, and programs that meet the EPA's criteria for efficiency and performance. WaterSense labeled products and services are certified by WaterSense Providers, such as EIC to use at least 20 pct less water and save energy.

In 2020, EIC won the Award for Excellence in Builder Support to help home builders meet WaterSense criteria, Energy Inspectors provides analyses showing what they might need to change to meet the WaterSense specification for homes.

EIC is involved in all aspects of residential and commercial energy efficiency, water efficiency and indoor air quality, and a leader in Construction Quality Assurance, certifying tens of thousands of homes annually as energy efficient and sustainable. (Source: Energy Inspectors Corp., PR, 31 Oct., 2020) Contact: Energy Inspectors Corp., Galo LeBron, CEO, Lisa Lau, 760-593-8998, llau@eicompanies.com, www.eicompanies.com; EPA WaterSense , www.epa.gov/watersense

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Inspectors Corporation ,  Energy Efficiency,  


ClearFlame Engine Technologies (New Subscriber Profile)
ClearFlame Engine Technologies
Date: 2020-10-09
"There is a great need in heavy-duty applications (e.g. long-haul trucking, construction, agriculture, marine and back-up power generation) for technologies that provide diesel-like performance but which are decoupled from the dirty emissions of diesel fuel. ClearFlame's mission is to break the bond between diesel engines and their fuel to create the fastest path to a sustainable future, equitably distributed to all the places that might be initially under-served by alternative solutions.. Electrification is important, but it requires extensive infrastructure expansion. This is expensive and will take decades, and until that expansion is complete, little benefit is achieved in reducing climate change or improving air quality in the front-line communities that are harmed most by pollution. We cannot wait that long. Further, developing economies and marginalized locations may not be able to afford electric equipment and its required infrastructure, and will therefore be forced to continue using aged diesel assets that compromise air quality.

"We believe the solution is our technology allows climate-friendly, renewable, decarbonized fuels to be used at the highest possible efficiency. Our technology can be adopted quickly. It uses existing liquid refueling infrastructure, and operators get the performance they expect while also relying on the existing base of engine technicians for service. Our solution provides "near-zero" emissions that are an order of magnitude better than even the cleanest diesel-fueled engines and is the fastest way for reducing CO2 emissions from heavy-duty engines.

"Low carbon, renewable fuels are generally characterized as low in reactivity as measured by cetane number. These alternative fuels have historically required use of spark-ignited engines which have lower efficiency and are bore-size limited compared to compression ignition (Diesel) engines. These fuels were thought to be incompatible with compression ignition engines which traditionally require easily ignitable fuels. ClearFlame uses a high-temperature combustion system that overcomes cetane limitations. We are using insulation strategies and calibration changes like reduced charge air cooling and increased EGR to increase combustion temperatures just enough so that lower cetane fuels like alcohols will ignite reliably with short ignition delays. There is no fuel blending, no spark plugs and no petroleum. The ClearFlame combustion process leverages the no/low soot characteristics of alternative bio or e-fuels and produces engine-out exhaust with ultra-low PM levels that does not require a DPF. Further, because the engine is no longer smoke-limited, the air-fuel ratio is changed from lean to stoichiometric using "clean" EGR for dilution at lower loads, improving volumetric efficiency/power density, and leaving an exhaust stream suitable for 3-way catalysis. The SCR after-treatment system can be eliminated in favor of a 3-way catalytic converter allowing a substantial cost reduction and improvement in NOx reduction efficiency. DEF/AdBlue/urea is no longer required and system reliability is improved. The value added by being able to change fuels is tremendous because a very high efficiency combustion process can now be paired with use of 100 pct renewable, clean fuels providing a combination that surpasses all other alternatives in terms of CO2 mitigation, reduced criteria emissions and lower costs.

ClearFlame Engine Technologies recognizes the importance of developing renewably-fueled combustion-based alternatives that complement electrification enabling sustainability in applications where liquid fuels will remain necessary.

"Technologies that integrate globally deployed, decarbonized fuels with high-efficiency combustion can be implemented faster and at lower cost than even current diesel technology, providing the immediate scalability needed for rapid carbon mitigation. Such solutions can support electrification by providing low-cost range extension power to otherwise electrified drivetrains (e.g. in a series hybrid configuration), relieving the need for complete charging/H2 infrastructure buildout before scalability can be achieved." (Source: Subscriber profile submitted by ClearFlame Engine Technologies, Oct.,2020) Contact: ClearFlame Engine Technologies, John Howell, Bus. Dev., 508-404-9398, JohnH@clearflameengines.com, www.clearflameengines.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News ClearFlame Engine Technologies,  


U.S. House Advances Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (Reg. & Leg.)
Low-Carbon Fuel
Date: 2020-10-02
Legislation that would authorize a federal emissions reduction program and fund research and development for technologies across the environmental sector recently passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The legislation authorizes ans earmarks over $2 billion for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA)intended to advance improvements in air quality through the mitigation of diesel emissions. Specifically, the bill would authorize $500 million for each of fiscal years 2021 through 2025.

The program at the U.S. EPA looks to reduce the number of older, diesel-powered trucks on the road and to facilitate the transition in the freight industry to newer equipment, promote energy efficiency, authorize environmental justice grants, and boost funding for clean low-carbon alternative fuels and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. (Source: Various Media, TT News, 29 Sept., 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Low-Carbon Fuel,  DIesel,  Transportation Emissions,  


SWEEP Calls for Shift to Efficient All-Electric Bldg (Ind. Report)
Southwest Energy Efficiency Project
Date: 2020-07-27
A new report from the Boulder, Colorado-based Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) guides local governments through policy options and pathways to electrify new buildings -- a key strategy for meeting climate and public health goals. The report -- Building Electrification: How Cities and Counties are Implementing Electrification Policies -- with Adoptable Code Language -- provides insight to local governments seeking to encourage more all-electric buildings as a way to improve energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and cut GHG emissions in the built environment.

The report notes that with the electric grid increasingly powered by renewables and with advanced technologies like heat pumps and induction stoves now widely available, most experts agree all electric is the quickest way to zero-carbon buildings.

Cities and counties across the country, large and small, are evaluating, adopting, and implementing building electrification ordinances proving that electrification is not only necessary, but doable. Electrification policies range from simple incentives to all-electric requirements for new construction, with several intermediary options such as electric-ready or electric-preferred.

SWEEP is a public-interest organization promoting greater energy efficiency in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. (Source: Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, Website News Release, 27 July, 2020) Contact: Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, Jim Meyers, Buildings Program Director, 303.447.0078, info@swenergy.org, www.swenergy.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Southwest Energy Efficiency Project,  Energy Efficiency,  


Growth Energy Suggests Ethanol to Address PM Emissions (Ind. Report)
Growth Energy
Date: 2020-07-06
In comments addressed to the US EPA, Growth Energy Senior VP of Regulatory Affairs Chris Bliley noted: "Through multiple rulemakings at EPA over the last decade including those on greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and the Tier 3 fuel regulation, Growth Energy has submitted a wealth of data to further support the conclusion that ethanol decreases harmful particulate emissions. We think this is a critical opportunity for the agency to review this data as it reviews the Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

The NAAQS are limits on atmospheric concentration of six pollutants that cause smog, acid rain, and other health hazards. Established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under authority of the Clean Air Act, NAAQS is applied for outdoor air nationwide.

Growth Energy's letter to the EPA reiterates its May comments urging the EPA Science Advisory Board to examine the impact of toxic gasoline additives on respiratory health, as well as the potential benefits offered by bio-based alternatives like ethanol. (Source: Growth Energy, 2 July, 2020) Contact: Growth Energy, Chris Bliley, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy,  Ethanol,  


UK Contractors Declare Initiative to Address Climate Change (Int'l)
UK Contractors Declare
Date: 2020-07-01
In the UK, a group of major contractors -- Multiplex, BAM Construct UK, BAM Nuttall, Canary Wharf Contractors, Morgan Sindall, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and Willmott Dixon -- have launched the UK Contractors Declare initiative to address climate change and drive the construction industry to net-zero carbon not later than 2050.

Working as part of the wider global Construction Declares movement, Contractors Declare is already engaging with Architects Declare and Engineers Declare to promote a unified strategic approach to lobbying government and driving meaningful and effective change. To that end, Contractors Declare has committed to:

  • Raise awareness of the climate and biodiversity emergencies and the urgent need for mitigation and adaptation action among our employees, clients, peers, collaborators and supply chains.

  • Advocate for faster change in the building industry towards regenerative practices and higher Governmental investment to support a just transition, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Establish climate mitigation and adaptation principles, as well as maximise biodiversity and air quality enhancement. This will be demonstrated through commitments, actions and achievements. Seek for us and our key supply chains to set targets for our own emissions and for the assets we design and build using recognised standards aligned to the 1.5-degree scenario.

  • Evaluate all new projects against the aim to contribute positively to mitigating climate and biodiversity breakdown, to adapt to climate change using nature-based solutions and encourage our clients to adopt this approach. Share knowledge and research on an open-source basis, to address the climate and biodiversity emergencies.

  • Support the upgrade of existing assets for extended use as a more carbon-efficient alternative to demolition and new build whenever there is a viable choice, as well as support and promote the use of life cycle costing, whole-life carbon modelling and post-occupancy evaluation/performance measurement.

  • Adopt and support more regenerative principles, with the aim of achieving net-zero in line with recognised standards. For buildings, this should be in line with the UKGBC's industry created definition of net-zero carbon.

  • Work together with engineers, designers, clients, collaborators and supply chain to further reduce construction waste and transition to a circular economy and accelerate the shift to low embodied carbon materials to reduce embodied carbon by at least 40 pct by 2030, based on the World Green Building Council call to action.

    According to Contractors Declare , buildings and construction account for nearly 40 pct of energy-related CO2 emissions while also having a significant impact on natural habitats. (Source: UK Contractors Declare , PR, June, 2020) Contact: UK Contractors Declare, www.contractorsdeclare.co.uk

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


  • Building Energy Experts Recognized for Home Energy Performance (Ind. Report)
    Building Energy Experts
    Date: 2020-06-24
    Crystal Lake, Illinois-based Building Energy Experts reports it has been awarded the US DOE ENERGY STAR® Century Club Award for its "Comprehensive whole-house" approach to improve the energy performance of more than 100 homes as part of the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Program.

    Building Energy Experts' service improves energy efficiency and comfort, cuts home utility bills and helps protect the environment, according to the release.

    As a participating contractor in the utility rebate program, Building Energy Experts received specialized training and is equipped with high-tech diagnostic tools to inspect buildings and determine where improvements are needed. Rather than focusing on a single problem, like an old heating or cooling system, not enough insulation in the attic, or leaky windows, Building Energy Experts look at how improvements throughout a home can work together to give homeowners the best results. Depending on the improvements selected by the homeowner, annual utility bill savings, improved comfort and better home air quality are possible. (Source: Building Energy Experts, PR, 24 June, 2020) Contact: Building Energy Experts, Anthony Stonis , 888.623.3769, 312.656.4705 242338@email4pr.com, www.buildingenergyexperts.com; ENERGY STAR, www.energystar.gov

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


    U.S. Gain Completes Testa Produce NG Fueling Station (Ind. Report)
    U.S. Gain
    Date: 2020-06-17
    Appleton, Wisconsin based U.S. Gain is reporting completion of a private natural gas fueling station at Testa Produce Inc's headquarters in Chicago. The new modular station will supply alternative fuel for the company's fleet of 40 natural gas delivery vehicles.

    The use of natural gas as an alternative fuel significantly reduces transportation-related emissions, improves air quality, and delivers economic savings, according to the release.

    U.S. Gain is a leader in development, procurement and distribution of alternative fuel and renewable energy for the transportation and energy markets. Over the past 10 years, U.S. Gain has diversified throughout the renewable natural gas (RNG) supply chain -- investing in and managing development projects at farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants; generating, trading and monetizing clean fuel credits under the RFS, LCFS and CFP programs; designing, building and operating alternative fueling stations, both private and a public GAIN Clean Fuel network. (Source: U.S. Gain, PR, 15 June, 2020) Contact: Testa Produce, www.testaproduce.com; U.S. Gain, Ross Finlan, Business Development Manager, Bryan Nudelbacher, Dir. RNG Business Development, 920.381.2190; Stephanie Lowney, Director of Marketing & Innovation, slowney@usgain.com, www.usgain.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News U.S. Gain,  RNG,  Natural Gas,  Alternative Fuel,  


    WMO Reports New Climate Change Record Highs (Int'l. Report)
    World Meteorological Organization
    Date: 2020-06-08
    According to the Geneva, Switzerland-based World Meteorological Organization (WMO) May, 2020, was the warmest month on record worldwide, with one observing station reporting CO2 levels hitting a record high.

    The WMO release notes that although lock-downs due to the COVID-19 virus have led to improvements in air quality and cleaner skies in many places the effects are temporary and the pandemic will not have a long-term affect on climate change. The WMO also notes the long term and economic slowdown from COVID 19 is not a substitute for sustained and coordinated climate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    "Unfortunately carbon dioxide concentrations measured at the Mauna Loa observing station in Hawaii reached a new record in May," the WMO noted. The most above-average temperatures were recorded over parts of Siberia where they were up to 10 degrees C above average. Records also were shattered in Alaska and Antarctica, according to the WMO release. (Source: WMO, Newsgram. 6 June, 2020) Contact: WMO, Clare Nullis, spokesperson, public.wmo.int/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News World Meteorological Organization ,  Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  Climate Change,  


    Indian Healthy, Energy Efficient Bldgs Initiative Launched (Int'l.)
    Energy Efficiency Services
    Date: 2020-06-05
    Indian state-owned Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) are reporting the launch of the Healthy and Energy Efficient Buildings initiative aimed at retrofitting existing buildings and air conditioning systems for better health conditions and increased energy efficiency.

    As part of the initiative, EESL will develop specifications for Indian building energy as well as aid in evaluating the effectiveness and cost benefits of various technologies and their short and long-term impacts on air quality, comfort, and energy consumption.

    A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC Ltd) report noted that various Indian energy efficiency measures have translated into approximate savings of Rs 89,122 crore ($890,000 US) in 2018-19, as against Rs 53,627 crore ($530,000 US) savings during 2017-18. (Source: EESL, USAID, Outlook India, June, 2020) Contact: USAID, www.usaid.gov; Energy Efficiency Services Ltd., 011-4580 1260, www.eeslindia.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency Services,  Energy Efficiency,  USAID,  


    London Emissions Slashed During COVID-19 Lockdown (Int'l.)
    Carbon Emissions
    Date: 2020-05-20
    In the UK, a new comprehensive analysis has revealed CO2 emissions in London have reduced by almost 60 pct during the COVID-19 lockdown. -- between 23 March and the first week of May this year.

    For the period 8am-8pm, the reduction in CO2 emissions was 58 pct which very closely mirrors the daily reduction of 60 pct in traffic flow in central London reported by Transport for London. These and other measurements of pollution during the lockdown and as it eases will provide valuable evidence on how air quality might change as sources of emissions are reduced, the study notes. (Source: UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, PR, 19 May, 2020) Contact: UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, +44 1524 595800, www.ceh.ac.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  


    USGBC Launches Global Economic Recovery Strategy (Ind. Report)
    US Green Building Council
    Date: 2020-05-15
    The US Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced a new strategy intended to leverage LEED -- and the communities implementing the rating system -- to support buildings and neighborhoods in a post-pandemic world.

    The Healthy People in Healthy Places Equals a Healthy Economy strategy promotes the idea that prioritizing the health of people, communities, and the planet is the fastest way to rebuild a healthier, more sustainable economy. USGBC is launching emergency guidance and upgrades to the LEED green building program to ensure that it reflects the realities that buildings, and more importantly, the people inside them, will face in the near future.

    Under the new initiative, USGBC will update current LEED strategies in LEED v4.1 that support indoor environmental quality, cleaning, occupant comfort, operations, better materials, and risk management, while finding opportunities to introduce new approaches given the current public health crisis.

  • Introduce new LEED strategies and launch new pilot credits to support social distancing, nontoxic surface cleaning, air quality, and infection monitoring.

  • Form CEO Advisory Councils to advise and support USGBC's CEO on how the organization, its programs, and the building and construction industries can prioritize sustainability in a post-pandemic world.

  • Accelerate the implementation of its USGBC Equity program to better address the social, health, and economic disparities within communities.

  • Call for ideas and perspectives from the broader market on how LEED and healthy spaces can evolve given the current public health crisis.

  • Adapt a review process for LEED and other green business certification programs, and amend its LEED process to incorporate the lessons learned.

  • Publish a series of best practice guidance reports to help project teams assist their occupants as they re-enter their spaces.

    According to USGBC, refining LEED strategies and providing guidance that clearly communicates the economic, health, and environmental benefits of sustainable buildings, communities and cities to people -- especially during this time of uncertainty -- will be a priority. (Source: USGBC, Env..Energy Leader, 13 May, 2020) Contact: US Green Building Council, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US Green Building Council,  


  • Trump Urged to Reject Waiver Requests (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    EPA,Renewable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2020-05-11
    In the nation's capitol, a bipartisan group of 24 U.S. senators -- including Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Tina Smith(D-Minn) Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich) have written the following to the White House:

    "We are writing to urge you to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and immediately reject the requests for a waiver of the RFS under Section 211(o)(7) of the Clean Air Act recently received by the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) from five state governors.

    "Across our states, biofuels lower fuel prices, create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the new energy economy, many of which are in rural areas, provide an important market for farmers, cut our reliance on foreign oil, reduce emissions and harmful air pollutants, and provide critical inputs to our food supply.

    "Our nation is facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the global health pandemic caused by COVID-19, with the impacts being felt across all of society. Waiving the RFS would cause further harm to the U.S.economy, especially our most vulnerable rural communities. It would also exacerbate the effects experienced by the biofuel sector as a result of COVID-19, causing far-reaching detrimental impacts on employment, farmers, food security, fuel prices, and the environment. The resiliency of America's renewable fuel industry has already suffered as a result of the EPA's drastic expansion of the small refinery waiver program in recent years.

    "The U.S. Department of Homeland Security identified the biofuels sector as an essential critical infrastructure workforce during the COVID-19 response. However, as motor fuel demand has plummeted, prices have slumped to record lows and producers are suffering heavy losses. At this point more than 70 ethanol facilities with an annual production capacity of 6.1 billion gallons have been fully idled, and approximately 70 more plants have reduced their operating rates by a combined amount of 1.9 billion gallons annualized. At least 46 pct of the ethanol industry's total production capacity is now idled, and eight biodiesel and renewable diesel facilities remain offline. Highly-skilled jobs across the country are being lost at an alarming rate.

    "Biofuel plant closures have ripple effects through the U.S. economy. Farm income is directly linked to the health of the renewable fuel industry. Plant shutdowns are causing commercial CO2 supply shortages and inhibiting the ability of meat packers and other food sectors to refrigerate, preserve,and supply food and beverages at current, affordable rates. Ethanol plants also produce low cost, high-protein animal feed (distillers grains). Supply shortages as a result of biofuel plant closures are impacting livestock feed procurement, rations, and prices. Biodiesel producers provide value to surplus and waste oils, fats and greases from food, feed and other biofuel production. Without the biodiesel industry, excess feedstocks will clog the supply chain, causing livestock producers to potentially raise prices for consumers. Removing biofuels from gasoline and diesel will also lead to an increase of greenhouse gas emissions, particulate matter, and toxics-causing degradation to our air quality.

    "Recent requests for a waiver of the RFS are unjustified and clearly do not satisfy the rigorous requirements necessary for EPA consideration. RFS waivers can only be granted by EPA if there is a demonstration of 'severe harm' to the economy or environment of a state, region or the United States that is directly caused by the RFS. None of these standards are met today and the following reasons clearly demonstrate the case for rejecting the waiver requests:

  • Challenging market conditions in the oil sector are the directresult of oversupply from international competitors combined with falling gasoline, diesel and jet fuel demand as a result of the COVID-19, not the RFS.

  • The RFS already accommodates demand reductions and provides flexibility to reflect the reality of motor fuel demand. EPA translates the annual RFS requirements into a percentage share of gasoline and diesel. Thus, the existing structure of the RFS regulations already results in an oil refiner's renewable volume obligations being proportionally reduced if overall motor fuel demand drops over the year

  • EPA has repeatedly found that RIN prices do not negatively impact refiners, a position reinforced by the 10th Circuit court in January 200. In addition, a record-large supply of RINs is available to refiners today, largely as a consequence of EPA's abusive expansion of the small refinery exemption program, so the threat of high RIN prices is currently non-existent.

    "We urge you to direct the EPA to reject all calls to waive the RFS. The RFS is more important now than ever as farmers, the biofuel sector, and rural America struggle to remain operational during the COVID-19 crisis." (Source: US Senate, 8 May, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  "Hardship" Waiver,  


  • UCLA Studies Post Pandemic Emissions Possibilities (Ind. Report)
    UCLA
    Date: 2020-05-11
    In the Golden State, a team of University of California- Los Angeles (USCLA) is reporting the state can achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and thus prevent thousands of deaths annually.

    The researchers note that since millions of Californians began staying at home and off the roads in March, air quality in the Golden State has visibly improved but that once life returns to normal, air pollution levels will likely, but need not return to pre-pandemic levels.

    In a peer-reviewed study published May 4 the researchers describe a pathway for California to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution that taken together would prevent about 14,000 premature deaths from air pollution–related illnesses each year and help reduce climate change by 2050. In addition to the finding that approximately 14,000 premature deaths per year could be avoided in California by 2050, achieving net-zero emissions could also: reduce acute respiratory symptoms in 8.4 million adults; cut asthma exacerbation in 1 million children; decrease the number of lost work days by 1.4 million; and cut cardiovascular hospital admissions by 4,500 per.

    The reports notes that while all communities would benefit, the state's top 25 pct most-polluted census tracts would receive approximately 35 pct of the health benefits resulting from the projected improvements in air quality.

    The study also notes that unlike with the current COVID-19 crisis, achieving net-zero emissions post-pandemic would benefit the economy. By 2050, the monetary savings of greenhouse gas reductions will exceed the annual health care cost by $109 billion a year.. The study's authors intend their research to help state and local policymakers take bold action on climate change. This study was partially funded by the UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge, a university-wide initiative aimed at applying UCLA expertise and research to transform Los Angeles into the most sustainable megacity by 2050. (Source: UCLA FSPH, Lauren Miura, 4 May, 2020) Contact: UCLA Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering , www.jifresse.ucla.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UCLA,  Carbon Emissions,  Clean Air,  


    UK County Surrey's Climate Change Strategy Announced (Int'l.)
    Surry County
    Date: 2020-05-01
    In the UK, the Surrey County Council (SCC) has approved Surrey's Climate Change Strategy, a collective approach for how the County can be net-zero carbon by 2050. to that end, the county's current rate of carbon consumption would have to decrease significantly.

    The County's strategy is broken down into eight key sectors; Organisation Emissions, Transport and Air Quality, Energy Generation, Housing and Planning, Buildings and Infrastructure, Waste, Resources and Circular Economy, Land Use and Food Systems, Industry and Economy -- each of which includes county-wide CO2e emissions reduction targets, strategic priorities and action identified to achieve them. The strategy aims for 66 pct overall emissions reduction by 2035.

    A summary of the Climate Change Strategy and action plan is HERE (Source: Surrey County Council , Surrey News, 29 April, 2020) Contact: Surrey County Council, www.surreycc.gov.uk

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


    Trump Admin. Continues to Weaken Climate Change Laws Amid Pandemic (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2020-04-27
    "Most American are probably unaware of how aggressively the Trump administration is rolling back environmental laws. Just recently, the administration implemented a far-reaching climate change rollback that dismantled an Obama-era clean air standard. Unfortunately, that rollback, as well as other rollbacks, have received little media attention -- and understandably so -- because most news outlets are preoccupied with Covid-19.

    "However, this pandemic does not provide decision makers with a license to haphazardly reverse decades of environmental progress and climate change laws. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening as the administration is seemingly using the pandemic as a 'red herring' to gut numerous laws. This misguided attempt to undermine climate change policy is particularly troublesome especially when considering that 64 pct of Americans believe climate change is a serious threat and/or a crisis.

    "Surfrider believes it is unconscionable to gut environmental laws while most Americans are deeply concerned about the global pandemic and will be less likely to engage in civics. Not only are these rollbacks underhanded, but they contribute more air and water pollution which will impact residents with health conditions, making them more susceptible to Covid-19. A new Harvard study found that air pollution can be significantly linked to higher rates of death in people with Covid-19.

    "It should be noted that some rollbacks were proposed prior to Covid-19, and are part of a broader pattern of environmental deregulation under the Trump administration. Yet, the most recent rollback is particularly troubling because it dramatically weakens vehicle emissions standards that were hard-fought over the past decade. Another attempt to undermined climate change efforts came when the administration proposed to revoke California's authority's to set higher air quality standards than the federal government. Of course, California promptly sued and the case is making its way through the courts.

    "The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a paramount environmental law that mandates climate change review, has also become another target. The Trump administration brazenly proposed a rule that climate change impacts should not be considered under NEPA. The proposal has met significant opposition in Congress where a Democrat and Republican co-authored a bipartisan sign on letter opposing the administration's plan. Moreover, the courts have a long history of requiring government agencies and businesses to weigh climate change impacts during decision-making and implementing large projects.

    "Then there are oil and gas production rollbacks. For years, the DoI has drastically weakened offshore drilling safety regulations. To add insult to injury, the administration launched a controversial plan to open up roughly 90 pct of U.S. waters to oil drilling, which Surfrider and our partners have helped stall. Most recently, the administration auctioned off 78 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to oil/gas producers despite cries to halt sales until after the pandemic.

    "Right now, our global community is experiencing two crises -- Covid-19 and climate change -- and we should be applying the same lessons to each crisis. While times have been challenging the past several weeks, there are positive lessons to embrace that relate to climate change:

  • Global society can work together to stave off 'worst case scenarios.' With sufficient leadership, we can take the necessary (albeit painful) collective steps to avoid catastrophe. A similar global response is needed to tackle climate change.

  • There is undeniable strength in science. At first, Covid-19 was framed as being no worse than the flu (some alluded it was a hoax). Once clear facts and science were embraced, the situation was taken more seriously.

  • A deeper appreciation for nature is emerging. Since people have been staying home, the great outdoors has never been so appealing.

  • The earth has appreciated the pause. Satellites images show air pollution over major worldwide cities has significantly dropped. In fact, in the northeast U.S. there was a 30 pct drop in pollution.

    Needless to say, it shouldn't take a global pandemic for us to make bold reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The threats posed by climate change have become abundantly clear and the solutions are right in front of us. Please join Surfrider in opposing environmental rollbacks and urging our government leaders to take bold action on climate change. (Source: Surfrider Foundation, Sefanie Sekich-Quinn, Blog, 23 April, 2020) Contact: Surfrider Foundation, Stefanie Sekich-Quinn, California Policy Manager, ssekich@surfrider.org, www.surfrider.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


  • American University Buildings Score LEED Gold (Ind. Report)
    America University,USGBC
    Date: 2020-04-17
    In Washington DC, American University is reporting four buildings on its East Campus have received US Green Building Council (USGBC)LEED Gold certification for their sustainable design and construction. To qualify for LEED Gold status, East Campus incorporated the following elements:
  • 100 pct of the buildings receive their power from green electricity;

  • 97 pct of on-site construction waste was diverted from landfill;

  • the East Campus buildings are 27 pct more energy-efficient than standard buildings;

  • 21 pct of materials used in its construction was locally sourced;

  • buildings incorporate 13,000 square feet of green roofs;

  • computerized thermostats to regulate temperature, providing optimum air quality and thermal comfort;

  • buildings use sealants, paints, and furniture with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs);

  • state-of-the-art HVAC systems;

  • ultra-low-flow faucets, toilets, and urinals use 43 pct less water than standard buildings, and various other energy efficient features and amenities.(Source: American School & University, 14 April, 2020) Contact: America University, www.american.edu; US Green Building Council, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

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


  • COVID-19 and climate change The COVID-19 crisis is having a direct impact on carbon emissions by reducing industrial activity and travel. Similarly, air quality has improved markedly in the UK and around the world, which will reduce the estimated 10 million people who die prematurely each year from poor air quality. In the absence of changes in behaviour, then a rebound would be expected which broadly depended on the strength of the economic recovery: a slow recovery would reduce emissions; a bounce-back would not. The tantalising question is whether employers and employees change their working practices and citizens change their personal ones.

    More home-working would mean reduced travel to work and a likely improvement in air quality as well as reduced carbon emissions. Greater use of online meeting capabilities (especially if they improve rapidly with rapid uptake) could reduce longer range transport including air traffic. Comprises a major part of the carbon emissions of organisations which work internationally.

    The response of government will be critical in determining the longer term impact. They could use the opportunity to advance green policies such as the development of low carbon technologies, a kind of ‘COVID-19 Green New Deal’. Now could be the time, for example, to really push ahead and use the fiscal stimulus to develop a 21st century transport infrastructure to connect our regions (including, for example, short-range electric aircraft) and fully finance the measures already outlined in the Agriculture and Environment Bills.

    This ‘Build Back Better’ approach is being discussed by influential groups including the We Mean Business coalition and McKinsey & Company.


    Date: 2020-04-10
    The COVID-19 crisis is having a direct impact on carbon emissions by reducing industrial activity and travel. Similarly, air quality has improved markedly in the UK and around the world, which will reduce the estimated 10 million people who die prematurely each year from poor air quality. In the absence of changes in behaviour, then a rebound would be expected which broadly depended on the strength of the economic recovery: a slow recovery would reduce emissions; a bounce-back would not. The tantalising question is whether employers and employees change their working practices and citizens change their personal ones.

    More home-working would mean reduced travel to work and a likely improvement in air quality as well as reduced carbon emissions. Greater use of online meeting capabilities (especially if they improve rapidly with rapid uptake) could reduce longer range transport including air traffic. Comprises a major part of the carbon emissions of organisations which work internationally.

    The response of government will be critical in determining the longer term impact. They could use the opportunity to advance green policies such as the development of low carbon technologies, a kind of ‘COVID-19 Green New Deal’. Now could be the time, for example, to really push ahead and use the fiscal stimulus to develop a 21st century transport infrastructure to connect our regions (including, for example, short-range electric aircraft) and fully finance the measures already outlined in the Agriculture and Environment Bills.

    This ‘Build Back Better’ approach is being discussed by influential groups including the We Mean Business coalition and McKinsey & Company. Society is showing how quickly it can adapt – can the momentum be maintained and used to help solve the pressing issues of air quality and climate change? (Source: Cranfield University, Press Release, April, 2020) Contact:Cranfield University, Neil Harris, Professor of Atmospheric Informatics , Centre for Environment and Agricultural Informatics , +44 (0) 1234 750111, www.cranfield.ac.uk The COVID-19 crisis is having a direct impact on carbon emissions by reducing industrial activity and travel. Similarly, air quality has improved markedly in the UK and around the world, which will reduce the estimated 10 million people who die prematurely each year from poor air quality. In the absence of changes in behaviour, then a rebound would be expected which broadly depended on the strength of the economic recovery: a slow recovery would reduce emissions; a bounce-back would not. The tantalising question is whether employers and employees change their working practices and citizens change their personal ones.

    More home-working would mean reduced travel to work and a likely improvement in air quality as well as reduced carbon emissions. Greater use of online meeting capabilities (especially if they improve rapidly with rapid uptake) could reduce longer range transport including air traffic. Comprises a major part of the carbon emissions of organisations which work internationally.

    The response of government will be critical in determining the longer term impact. They could use the opportunity to advance green policies such as the development of low carbon technologies, a kind of ‘COVID-19 Green New Deal’. Now could be the time, for example, to really push ahead and use the fiscal stimulus to develop a 21st century transport infrastructure to connect our regions (including, for example, short-range electric aircraft) and fully finance the measures already outlined in the Agriculture and Environment Bills.

    This ‘Build Back Better’ approach is being discussed by influential groups including the We Mean Business coalition and McKinsey & Company. Society is showing how quickly it can adapt – can the momentum be maintained and used to help solve the pressing issues of air quality and climate change? (Source: Cranfield University, Press Release, April, 2020) Contact:Cranfield University, Neil Harris, Professor of Atmospheric Informatics , Centre for Environment and Agricultural Informatics , +44 (0) 1234 750111, www.cranfield.ac.uk


    "COVID-19 Green New Deal" Touted (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Cranfield University
    Date: 2020-04-10
    According to a release from Cranfield University, "The COVID-19 crisis is having a direct impact on carbon emissions by reducing industrial activity and travel. Similarly, air quality has improved markedly in the UK and around the world, which will reduce the estimated 10 million people who die prematurely each year from poor air quality. In the absence of changes in behavior, then a rebound would be expected which broadly depended on the strength of the economic recovery: a slow recovery would reduce emissions; a bounce-back would not. The tantalizing question is whether employers and employees change their working practices and citizens change their personal ones.

    "More home-working would mean reduced travel to work and a likely improvement in air quality as well as reduced carbon emissions. Greater use of online meeting capabilities (especially if they improve rapidly with rapid uptake) could reduce longer range transport including air traffic which comprises a major part of the carbon emissions of organizations which work internationally.

    "The response of government will be critical in determining the longer term impact. They could use the opportunity to advance green policies such as the development of low carbon technologies, a kind of 'COVID-19 Green New Deal'. Now could be the time, for example, to really push ahead and use the fiscal stimulus to develop a 21st century transport infrastructure to connect our regions and fully finance the measures already outlined in the Agriculture and Environment Bills.

    "This 'Build Back Better' approach is being discussed by influential groups including the We Mean Business coalition and McKinsey & Company. Society is showing how quickly it can adapt -- can the momentum be maintained and used to help solve the pressing issues of air quality and climate change? (Source: Cranfield University, Press Release, April, 2020) Contact:Cranfield University, Neil Harris, Professor of Atmospheric Informatics , Centre for Environment and Agricultural Informatics , +44 (0) 1234 750111, www.cranfield.ac.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  COVID-19,  


    Colorado Senate OKs Limited Biodiesel Blend Rules (Ind. Report)
    Biodiesel Blend
    Date: 2020-02-05
    Yesterday in Denver, the Colorado State Senate approved SB38 which allows the sale of biodiesel-diesel fuel blend sales during the summer months in non-attainment air quality regions of the state, which currently only includes the Denver metropolitan area.

    Under the bill, diesel fuel must have a 5 pct blend with biodiesel starting next year, but only between June 1 and Sept. 15. The blend rate would increase to 10 pct in June, 2023. (Source: Colorado State Senate, PR, Daily Sentinel, 4 Feb., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel Blend,  B5,  B10,  


    MCGA Announces Better Fuel Initiative (Ind. Report)
    Minnesota Corn Growers Association
    Date: 2020-01-27
    The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) has unveiled its Better Fuel Initiative aimed at increasing the state's B10 ethanol blend rate to B15, and generally touting the advantages of biofuel.

    Minnesota was the first state to require ethanol blended fuels to improve air quality.

    With nearly 7,000 members, MCGA is one of the largest grassroots farm organizations in the United States. Working in close partnership with the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council, MCGA identifies and promotes opportunities for Minnesota's 24,000 corn farmers while building connections with the non-farming public, according to the MCGA website. (Source: Minnesota Corn Growers Association, KDHL Radio, Contact: Minnesota Corn Growers Association, 952-233-0333, www.mncorn.org; Better Fuel Initiative, www.betterfuel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Minnesota Corn Growers Association,  Ethanol,  B10,  B15,  


    Home Builders Focusing on Energy Efficient High-Performance Building Practices (Ind. Report)
    National Association of Home Builders
    Date: 2020-01-24
    According to the 2020 Green Single Family and Multifamily Homes SmartMarket Brief conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics, in partnership with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), almost all home builders in the US are incorporating energy-efficient practices and over two-thirds are using practices designed to improve indoor air quality and water efficiency. Key findings include:
  • 91 pct of home builders use energy-efficient approaches, and 69 pct do so on the majority of their projects. These practices may include the use of LED lighting, energy-efficient appliances and appropriately-sized, highly efficient HVAC systems;

  • Energy efficiency and durability are the top influential green attributes in product/system selection;

  • Over two-thirds use practices designed to improve indoor environmental quality and water efficiency; and

  • 97 pct of green builders report using energy efficiency practices on more than 75 pct of their projects.

    The study reveals both customer demand and perceptions about performance are driving green engagement. Most builders believe that the top factors influencing consumer decisions about whether to invest in a green home are concerns about cost and performance, with related issues -- like their return on investment and the quality of the home -- following close behind. However, most builders and remodelers say it's a careful balance of production with demand. Lack of market demand was cited as the top reason why many companies are not ramping up their green building. Forty-two pct of single-family and 31 pct of multifamily builders reported doing no green projects at all.

    Cost is also a major influencer in the green building market. However, 70 pct of single-family home builders believe that their customers will pay more for a green home, suggesting that many home buyers understand the benefits of green. (Source: National Association of Home Builders, Jan., 2020) Contact: National Association of Home Builders, www.nahb.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Association of Home Builders,  Energy Efficiency,  Green Building,  


  • UK DfT Announces Biofuel Projects Funding (Int'l. Report)
    UK Department for Transport
    Date: 2020-01-06
    In London, the UK Department for Transport (DfT) has announced funding for four British plants producing biofuels from feedstock including household waste, unused straw from farmland and old wood.

    According to the DfT release, two of the projects are being funded under the government's £20 million Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition (F4C).

    KEW Projects and Rika Biogas have been awarded a share of £6.5 million for the production of biofuel for trucks. The KEW project will also begin research on aviation biofuel.

    Tow additional projects being funded under the £25 million Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Competition (ABDC) are in the final stages of development. This includes Nova Pangaea Technologies which will focus on the production of bio-ethanol from wood waste that can be blended with existing petrol used in road transport.

    These latest investments build on the government's push to go further and faster to harness innovation, drive down emissions and improve air quality -- including through the ground-breaking Transport Decarbonisation Plan which will set out plans to end the UK's transport emissions by 2050, according to the DfT website. (Source: Gov. of UK, DfT Website, Jan., 2019)Contact: UK Department for Transport, www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-transport

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Department for Transport,  Biofuel,  


    Portland 10th on U.S. Sustainable Cities List (Ind. Report)
    ACEEE
    Date: 2019-12-16
    A recent CommercialCafe study ranking the top 50 U.S. cities on CO2 emissions reductions, air quality improvements, improvements in air quality, the number of US GReen Building Council LEED certifications, growth in environmentally focused occupations, ratings given by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and other related factors has rated top ten 10 U.S. cities making the most progress toward sustainability. According to the study , Washington, D.C. leads followed by New York City, Denver, Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, Baltimore, Atlanta and Portland, Oregon, in that order. (Source: CommercialCafe, KATU News, 14 Dec., 2019) Contact: CommercialCafe, www.commercialcafe.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy,  ACEEE,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Europe's Largest "Green" Wall Planned for London (Int'l Report)
    Green Wall
    Date: 2019-11-22
    In the UK, plans have been submitted to the City of London to build Citicape House, including a 40,000 square feet exterior "green" wall incorporating more than 400,000 plants -- Europe's largest.

    The "green" wall is projected to capture over 8 tpy ofcarbon, produce 6 tpy of oxygen, lower the local temperature by three to five degrees Celsius, and significantly improve local air quality by trapping approximately 500 kg per year of particulate matter.

    Citicape House, designed by architecture firm Sheppard Robson, will feature a five-star hotel, 40,000 square-feet of workspace, a sky bar, meeting and events space, a spa, a restaurant, and various other spaces. (Source: Shepard Robson Architects, electrek, 20 Nov., 2019)

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


    Velocys Delivers on Japanese Biorefinery Project (Int'l.)
    Velocys, Toyo Engineering
    Date: 2019-11-20
    Further to our 19 Sept. coverage, UK-headquartered landfill gas-to-liquid fuels and chemicals producer Velocys Plc reports the delivery of Fischer-Tropsch reactors and catalyst to Toyo Engineering Corp. in Nagoya, Japan, for use in a biomass-to-jet fuel demonstration facility bio-jet fuel facility being developed by a consortium of Japanese companies.

    Velocys enables sustainable fuels for aviation and heavy goods transport, using waste materials, to cut greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. Combining transformative technology, operational expertise and a partnership approach, we are working on commercial projects, today, that deliver the fuels of tomorrow, according to the company website. (Source: Velocys, PR, Biomass, 18 Nov., 2019) Contact: Velocys, Henrik Wareborn, CEO, +44 1235 838 621, (713) 275-5840 -- Houston Office, info@velocys.com, www.velocys.com; Toyo Engineering, www.toyo-eng.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Toyo Engineering,  Velocys,  Fischer-Tropsch ,  


    Aviation Emissions' Impacts On Air Quality Larger Than On Climate, study Concludes (Ind. Report)
    MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
    Date: 2019-11-11
    In the Bay State, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers are reporting that growth in aviation causes twice as much damage to air quality as to the climate.

    The study notes reducing one type of emission can come at the cost of increasing another, either in absolute terms or by limiting potential reductions offered by new technology. The researchers applied the metrics to evaluate the effects of a global expansion in aviation, consistent in magnitude with its current annual growth, then used this as a benchmark for three scenarios: they considered a growth scenario with fuel efficiency increases and reductions in NOx emissions factors consistent with 10-year goals; they evaluated the trade-offs between the climate and air quality impacts of engine-based NOx emissions reductions; re-assessed the climate and air quality trade-offs of jet fuel desulphurization.

    According to lead researcher Dr. Sebastian Eastham: "Three components are responsible for 97 pct of climate and air quality damages per unit aviation fuel burn -- air quality impacts of NOx at 58 pct, climate impacts of CO2 at 25 pct, and climate impacts of contrails at 14 pct. It is important to note that 86 pct of the NOx impacts on air quality are due to the emissions from cruise as opposed to the landing and takeoff cycle.

    "To reduce the climate impacts of aviation, measures aimed at reducing CO2 emissions and contrails are likely to have the greatest net climate benefit. In contrast, 94 pct of air quality impacts are driven by NOx. This suggests that measures aimed at reducing NOx emissions during cruise could lead to the greatest net benefits", Eastham added.

    "Finally, we found the air quality impacts of aviation emissions significantly exceed the climate impacts, with air quality impacts being 1.7 to 4.4 times higher than the climate impact per unit of fuel burn," he concluded. (Source: MIT, Eurasia Review, 10 Nov., 2019) Contact: MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Dr. Sebastian Eastham, Lead Researcher, 617-258-7537 www.aeroastro.mit.edu

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


    Marquette BLP Touts Energy Efficiency Rebate Program (Ind. Report)
    Marquette Board of Light and Power
    Date: 2019-10-28
    In Michigan, the Marquette Board of Light and Power (BLP) is working to spread the word about the statewide energy optimization program that can provide rebates for consumers who purchase energy-efficient items, such as LED light bulbs or ENERGY STAR rated appliances.

    From 2008 to 2017 the rebate program generated significant customer savings and reduced BLP customers' electric usage by over 31.3 million kWh and saving customers over $17 million in energy costs. In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, saving 31.3 million equates to burning 24,188,356 pounds of coal or consuming 51,226 barrels of oil, according to the EPA.

    This energy optimization program is part of a larger statewide effort that stems from Public Act 295 of 2008, which expanded energy efficiency efforts, supported the development of clean and renewable energy and aimed to improve air quality through a number of measures. Beyond saving energy at homes and businesses, the program also helps BLP reduce the need for costly new generation equipment.

    Marquette BLP is one of 13 municipal and cooperative utilities that is part of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association collaborative -- a group of electric service providers that offer energy optimization programs. (Source: BLP, PR, Mining Journal, 28 Oct., 2019) Contact: BLP. Toby Smith, Customer Service Manager, 906-228-0311, www.mplb.org, www.michigan-energy.org/utility/Marquette; Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 517-351-6322, www.meca.coop

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


    EnergyX Touts Southern California Public Utilities Energy Savings Success (Ind. Report)
    EnergyX Solutions
    Date: 2019-10-28
    Canadian SaaS company EnergyX Solutions is reporting its MIT award-winning online energy audit MyEnergyXpert is now being utilized by the City of Colton Electric Utility, Azusa Light & Water and Imperial Irrigation District in California.

    California's energy performance standards to keep energy costs down even as the per-unit cost of energy increases are being validated by a decrease in both energy and carbon intensity.

    EnergyX's AI-powered software technology determines how a building is using energy and identifies ways it can improve its overall performance. This helps utilities meet their commitments to drive customer engagement, program uptake and achieve environmental targets related to carbon emissions and air quality. (Source: EnergyX Solutions, PR, Valdosta Daily Times, 25 Oct., 2019) Contact: EnergyX Solutions, Deepesh Kumar, 587-710-1494, www.energyxsolutions.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EnergyX Solutions,  Energy Audit,  Energy Efficiency ,  


    China Projected to Triple Biofuel Production by 2024 (Int'l. Report)
    IEA
    Date: 2019-10-23
    According to the Paris-headquartered International Energy Agency's Renewables 2019 Report, the world total biofuel output is forecast to increase 25 pct by 2024. In 2018, production grew at its fastest pace for five years, propelled by a surge in Brazil's ethanol output. Overall, Asia accounts for half of the growth, as its ambitious biofuel mandates aimed at reinforcing energy security boost demand for agricultural commodities and improve air quality.

    China is set to have the largest biofuel production growth of any country. The rollout of 10 pct ethanol blending in a growing number of provinces and increasing investments in production capacity drive a tripling of ethanol production by 2024. Brazil registers the second largest growth, boosted by the introduction of the Renovabio programme in 2020. The United States and Brazil still deliver two-thirds of total biofuel production in 2024. (Source: IEA Renewables 2019 Report, Oct., 2019) Contact: International Energy Agency, Dr. Fatih Birol, Exec. Dir., +33 1 40 57 65 00, www.iea.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News International Energy Agency,  ,  Biofuel,  Ethanol,  China Biofuel,  


    Climate Change Outpaces Renewables Boom -- Notable Quote
    IEA
    Date: 2019-10-23
    "Renewables are already the world's second largest source of electricity, but their deployment still needs to accelerate if we are to achieve long-term climate, air quality and energy access goals" -- Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director, IEA, www.iea.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  Climate Change ,  Dr Fatih Birol,  IEA,  


    UK Planning Tougher New Home Green Bldg. Regulations (Int'l.)
    Green Building
    Date: 2019-10-16
    In London, the UK Housing Secretary reports the Government plans to implement a new green standard for homes.

    An impact assessment of the new green standard backed a 30 pct improvement on energy standards for new dwellings compared with 2013 as its "preferred option.". The assessment noted the new plans would deliver "a world-leading performance standard incorporating low-carbon heat in new homes by 2025."

    The higher-level new standards are estimated to cost £10.46 billion over 70 years. Improvements would be sought via tougher building regulations based on overall carbon performance and primary energy targets, with mandatory energy efficiency requirements, improvements to ventilation and air-tightness standards.

    However, the 30 pct improvement in energy efficiency and carbon reductions was estimated to deliver £7.7 billion in energy savings via lower heating bills as well as £3.3 billion in non-financial benefits such as carbon savings and air quality savings in the same period. The proposed changes could come into force in 2025. as part of plans to deliver on climate change targets. (Source: UK Housing Secretary, Inside Housing, 15 Oct., 2019) Contact: UK Minstry of Housing, https://twitter.com › mhclg

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


    Google's EIE to Help Cut Air Pollution, CO2 Emissions (Ind. Report)
    Google
    Date: 2019-10-11
    Tech giant Google has announced is touting Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE)⁠, a new tool that uses Google's global mapping data to help gauge and reduce carbon emissions and measure renewable energy potential across cities.

    The EIE will initially be available in Europe starting with Dublin, Birmingham, Manchester, with Wolverhampton and Coventry to follow soon. Copenhagen will get what Google is calling "hyperlocal, street-level air quality data" as part of EIE Labs, which will help streamline and optimize action against climate change by piloting climate-focused datasets. Dublin has already been utilizing the new tool to help track emissions from transportation modes.

    Review EIE details HERE. (Source: Google, Oct., 2019) Contact: Google EIE Lab, insights.sustainability.google/labs

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  Transportation Emissions,  Vehicle Emissions,  

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  Transportation Emissions,  Vehicle Emissions,  


    Manchester NHS Organizations Declare Climate Emergency (Int'l)
    Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership,
    Date: 2019-09-06
    In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) organizations in Greater Manchester have declared a "climate emergency" and committed to far-ranging action to "slash carbon emissions and avert predicted illness and disease." Greater Manchester is the first integrated care system -- defined as NHS bodies and council social care working together -- in the country to declare a climate emergency.

    The joint Manchester NHS organizations will develop and agree upon that will meet its obligations under the Climate Change Act, to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Manchester NHS organizations will also support pledges made to the Greater Manchester Five Year Plan for the Environment, -- the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership -- which will build on existing work already underway to cut the harmful impact of NHS activity on the environment, such as cutting carbon emissions from energy use by improving efficiency and using low-carbon sources. It will also work with partners to improve local transport around NHS sites, to improve air quality and cut the impact of supply chain transport and encourage reducing waste, managing waste better and reusing or recycling. (Source: Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, PharmaTimes, 3rd September 2019) Contact: Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, www.gmhsc.org.uk

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


    US DOE Promoting Zero Energy Ready Homes Program (Ind. Report)
    US DOE EERE
    Date: 2019-08-28
    The US DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is touting it Zero Energy Ready Homes Program which it claims "offers a superior homeowner experience."

    According to the agency, Zero Energy Ready homes last longer because its requirements combine the best of building science with the latest technologies and systems, innovative building practices, and risk management solutions.

    Every certified Zero Energy Ready Home: breathes better with a comprehensive package of indoor air quality features; provides complete top-to-bottom water protection; incorporate DOE ENERGY STAR products throughout; ensures quality with independent verification, testing, and diagnostics; and delivers $10,000s of utility bill savings over the life of a mortgage, the agency release noted. (Source: US DOE EERE, PR, Aug., 2019) Contact: US DOE EERE, www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/zero-energy-ready-homes; ENERGY STAR, energystar.gov/about

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US DOE EERE,  Energy Efficiency,  ENERGY STAR,  


    UK Clean Alt Fuels R&D Funding Announced (Int'l, Funding)
    Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
    Date: 2019-08-28
    In London, the UK government reports £300 million will be spent on the development of "green" transportation.

    As part of the initiative, five new transport research networks will each receive £5 million for their work developing cleaner fuels and other tech innovations to reduce emissions and improve air quality.

    The new transport research networks will be led by the University of Birmingham, the University of Leeds, the University of Durham, Cardiff University and University College London with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). (Source: Air Quality News, 27 Aug., 2019) Contact: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, +44 0 1793 444000, www.epsrc.ukri.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Fual,  Alternative Fuel,  Clean Transportation ,  


    Corvus to Intro Battery Power in Carnival Cruise Ships (Ind. Report)
    Corvus Energy
    Date: 2019-08-26
    Cruise ship operator Carnival Corporation, the world's largest leisure travel company, is reporting its German brand AIDA Cruises has inked an agreement with marine battery and energy storage specialist Corvus Energy for the installation of lithium-ion battery storage systems onboard the AIDA Cruises fleet in 2020. The aim is to test stored battery power for emission-free ship operation for an extended period as well as to meet onboard energy needs.

    Norwegian-Canadian company Corvus Energy is a pioneer in the development of maritime energy storage systems. The introduction of battery power to ships is the latest in a series of innovations that supports Carnival's "green cruising" strategy, which includes the introduction of new technologies, approaches and investments in sustainability.

    In total, Carnival Corporation has 10 next-generation "green" cruise ships on order and is pioneering the use of ship-board Advanced Air Quality Systems "scrubbers" , the CO2-free production of liquefied gas from renewable sources through its "Power-to-Gas" project, and the use of LNG fuels. (Source: Carnival Corp., PR, 26 Aug., 2019)Contact: Corvus Energy, Andrew Morden, Pres. & CEO, Sean Puchalski, VP Strategic Marketing, (604) 227-0280 ext. 123, spuchalski@corvus-energy.com, www.corvus-energy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Corvus Energy,  Battery,  Energy Storage,  


    Miami Business School Scores LEED Gold Certification (Ind. Report)
    US Green Building Council
    Date: 2019-08-21
    Coral Gables and West Palm Beach, FL: (August 19, 2019) In the Sunshine State, the Miami Business School, located on the University of Miami Coral Cables campus, is reporting receipt of US Green Building Council LEED Gold Certification for Existing Building Operations & Maintenance (EBOM). The project is the first LEED v4.1 OM higher-education building in the State.

    Energy deficiency and sustainable design features of the 163,885 square foot facility include:

  • the building is 30 pct more energy efficient than the national average of university college buildings;

  • more than 90 pct LED lighting, in-room air quality sensors, audio/visual and tele-presence technology, and automatic window shading;

  • an average of 60 pct of the waste generated is recycled and/or reused;

  • a comprehensive carbon-footprint assessment of student and faculty transportation was completed to help meet transportation needs;

  • indoor air-quality testing was conducted to quantify levels of formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals. (Source: Miami Business School, University of Miami, Florida Trends, 19 Aug., 2019)Contact: USGBC, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org; Miami Business School, University of Miami, 305-284-4643, www.bus.miami.edu

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


  • Moody AFB, Schneider Elec. Ink $11.2Mn, ESPC Energy Efficiency Contract (Ind. Report)
    Moody Air Force Base
    Date: 2019-08-09
    The USAF Moody Air Force Base in Lowndes County, Georgia reports inking an $11.2 million energy efficiency and infrastructure improvement project energy savings performance contract (ESPC) contract with Schneider Electric that is expected to generate more than $21 million in energy savings over the next 23 years.

    The project includes a 2.5 MW on-site solar array that will allow the base to move away from nuclear, coal and gas energy sources, as well as:

  • expands the base's energy management controls system (EMCS) for increased visibility of energy use;

  • upgrades and replaces current interior and exterior lighting systems with LED technology;

  • updates HVAC/Variable Frequency Drive systems to improve air quality and comfort for airmen;

  • replaces transformers for enhanced energy efficiency and added resilience and reliability.

    The project is expected to be completed within 18 months.(Source: Moody Air Force Base, PR, Aug., 2019) Contact: Moody Air Force Base, Don Montgomery, Energy Manager, 229-257-4211, www.military.com/base-guide/moody-air-force-base/contact/welcome--visitors-center/7293; Schneider Electric, Mark Nolan, Director, Marketing, www.schneider-electric.us

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency ,  Schneider Electric,  Solar,  Energy Management,  


  • China's Ethanol Policy Remains Muddled, says USDA (Int'l. Report)
    USDA Foreign Agricultural Service
    Date: 2019-08-09
    Although Beijing's push to improve air quality is emerging as the major driver for expanded fuel ethanol production and use, Chinas ethanol policy in 2019 remains a patchwork of provincial and municipal-level policies, according to a USDA report.

    China's central and provincial authorities have not renewed subsidies for ethanol production. Without clear incentives and enforceable compliance measures, the country's ethanol industry will struggle to raise the level of biofuels use in transportation fuels to meet China's E10 goal by 2020. As a result of restrictive ethanol investment and trade policies, China will most likely achieve a blend rate of only 3.0 to 3.5 pct by 2020. Biodiesel remains neglected except for a limited program in Shanghai, the USDA report claims. (Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, GAIN Network, 7 Aug., 2019) Contact: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, gain.fas.usda.gov


    LA Touts Sustainability pLAn 2019 Climate Plan (Ind. Report)
    LosAngeles
    Date: 2019-07-10
    In the Golden State, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is touting his Sustainability pLAn 2019, a "Green New Deal" to help the city of approximately 4 million residents deal with climate change.

    The Los Angeles Green New Deal is intended to: reduce by 50 pct the number of census tracks lacking equity and environmental parity; create a $100,000,000 Transformative Climate Communities program; include an "Equity and Environmental Justice Impact Statement" in official City reports; and analyze the LADWP budget for environmental equity metrics. The program calls for both mitigation and/or adaptation measures to climate change impacts and will be folded into all other area climate emergency plans covering: energy and climate; climate change preparedness; green buildings; transportation; air Quality; environmental justice; urban greening; green economy; and others.

    Additionally, Los Angeles City Council is creating a new Office of Climate Emergency Mobilization that will in turn will create a Climate Emergency Commission, hire a director for the new Climate Emergency Mobilization Office, and draft a Climate Emergency Declaration.

    Download the Sustainability pLAn 2019 HERE. (Source: City of Los Angeles, City Watch, July, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Climate Change Mitigation,  Climate Change ,  


    UK's £1bn Bioethanol Ind. at Risk, claims APPG Report (Int'l Report)
    All Party Parliamentary Group for British Bioethanol
    Date: 2019-06-12
    In the UK, the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Bioethanol is reporting release of its its interim Introducing E10 in the UK report considering the to barriers to the introduction of E10 ethanol blended transportation fuel into the UK. The report notes:
  • The UK economy will likely lose its £1 billion ($1,272,225,000 US) bioethanol industry without the introduction of E10 by 2020 at the latest, and will continue to decline and likely disappear.

  • Introducing E10 would help the UK meet its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, saving the equivalent of taking 700,000 cars off the road.

  • Petrol fuel sales volumes in the UK are now increasing, due to the decreasing popularity of diesel cars. With widespread adoption of electric vehicles still decades away, the use of increasing blends of biofuels in petrol to make cars greener and cleaner must be a priority.

  • E10, or a higher blend of bioethanol, could help tackle the UK's air quality problems and health issues caused by high particulate levels.

  • If the British bioethanol industry is lost, the UK is unlikely to attract further investment, including for the next generation of biofuels and enhanced animal feed co-products, which would deliver further economic and environmental benefits.

  • Lose of the UK Biofuels industry could also increases the country's dependence on imported biofuels, force British farmers to source animal feed from less sustainable sources, and contribute the the UK missing its fuels quality directive target -- 4 pct rising to 6 pct in 2020 -- and miss its GHG emissions targets. (Source: All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Bioethanol, June, 2019) Contact: All Party Parliamentary Group for British Bioethanol, info@britishbioethanol.com, www.britishbioethanol.com/about-the-appg

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UK Bioethanol,  Ethanol,  Biofuel,  Biofuel Blend,  B10,  


  • India Launches Emissions Cap-and-Trade System (Int'l. Report)
    Cap-and-Trade
    Date: 2019-06-07
    In New Delhi, the Indian government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reporting the launch of a pilot, market-based air polltion and emissions cap-and-trade programme in Gujarat, State. The programme is being initiated in Surat, a heavily populated industrial centre with significant emissions and air pollution.

    The emissions trading programme incorporates continuous emissions monitoring systems to track industry emissions in real time. About 350 Surat area industries have installed continuous emissions monitoring systems, the data from which will be used to implement and carry out industrial pollution audits and set incentives to encourage compliance.

    The Gujarat programme is the first in the world to regulate particulate air pollution, the single-largest threat to human health globally according to the Air Quality Life Index (AQLI). (Source: Gujarat Pollution Control Board, livemint, 6 June, 2019) Contact: Gujarat Pollution Control Board, gpcb.gujarat.gov.in

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cap-and-Trade,  Carbon Emissions,  


    HM3 Bioenergy Biomass Plant Plan Scores USFS Funding (Funding)
    USFS,HM3 Energy,
    Date: 2019-06-05
    The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is reporting the issuance of grant funding to Gresham, Oregon-based HM3 Energy, a company focused on biomass energy, for a feasibility study for a $4 million woody biomass fired power plant in northern Arizona.

    HM3 Energy's torrefaction technology converts biomass such as wood or grain into a coal-like material, according to the company.

    The number of unnaturally severe wildfires in forests and range lands has dramatically increased in recent years, with devastating impacts on forests, wildlife, watersheds and communities. By culling out small diameter trees and performing prescribed burns, forest managers are trying to restore forests back to their former natural state, before all wildfires were suppressed. Progress, however, is painfully slow. With little to no market for the slash left after thinning operations, it is usually piled and burned. These pile burns cost forest managers money and severely impact surrounding air quality in rural communities.

    HM3 Energy's torrefaction and densification technologies provide a solution to this "biomass bottleneck" by creating a profitable market for the forest slash, turning it into energy dense torrefied wood briquettes that can directly replace coal or wood pellets for dispatchable, baseload electric power generation. The ability to use biomass instead of clean wood chips makes TorrB® torrefied briquettes competitive in price with raw pellets at the coal-fired plant burner tip, according to the company website. (Source: HM3 Energy, KJZZ/Rio Salado College, 3 June, 2019) Contact: HM3 Energy, Hiroshi Morihara, CEO, (503) 674-3380, www.hm3energy.com; U.S. Forest Service, www.fs.fed.us

    More Low-Carbon Energy News HM3 Energy,  Biomass,  Woody Biomass,  USFS,  


    EPA Now Allows E15 Ethanol Blend Summer Sales (Reg & Leg Report)
    EPA
    Date: 2019-06-03
    Today in Washington, the US EPA announced the ending a summertime ban on the E15 blend imposed out of concerns for increased smog from the higher ethanol blend. Until the change, the only ethanol blend fuel typically found in summer months was a 10 pct (E10) ethanol blend . The move may well be challenged by environmental groups on the grounds that the U.S. Clean Air Act disallows year-round E15 sales over smog and air quality concerns.

    The change removes a barrier to wider sales of E15 and is expected to expand the market for ethanol -- although immediate effects on the market are expected to be minimal since only about 1,000 to 1,500 of more than 150,000 U.S. gas stations currently sell the higher-ethanol blend, according to the EPA Office of Air and Radiation. (Source: EPA, PBS New, 31 May, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News E15 news,  Ethanol Blend news,  


    Hong Kong "Green Bond" Looking to Raise $1Bn (Int'l Report)
    Hong Kong
    Date: 2019-05-22
    Reuters is reporting the former British colony of Hong Kong is looking to raise $500 million to $1 billion through a five-year "green bond" issuance that will help establish Hong Kong as a "green finance" center for investment in "environmentally friendly" projects.

    The bond is the first to be issued under Hong Kong's HK$100 billion ($12.74 billion) green bond program to fund projects around clean transportation, air quality improvement and green buildings.

    "Green bond" issuance worldwide to date this year stands at $41.3 billion, $12 billion of which was raised in Asia. (Source: Reuters, Various Media, May, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Bond,  


    Green Valley News Comments on Arizona Energy Efficiency Standard (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2019-05-13
    With the approaching demise of Arizona's Energy Efficiency Standard, the Arizona Corporation Commission should note that from 2010-17, every $1 of ratepayer money invested in energy efficiency by Arizona Public Service and Tucson Electric Power returned about $4 in benefits to ratepayers. The Standard also helped reduce water consumption and contributed to job creation.

    The standard set aspirational yet rational requirements incorporating annual benchmarks and establishing accountability measures such as implementation plans. As the Commission deliberates its next steps on energy efficiency, here are a few considerations commissioners should keep in mind:

  • A strong standard will accomplish more than a goal. In large part, the reason Arizona's Energy Efficiency Standard has worked is due to requirements the Commission placed on utilities. Without a Standard, it is unlikely Arizona's utilities would have significantly increased the use of energy efficiency resources.

  • Arizonans support energy efficiency. According to an energy poll released earlier this year, 68 pct of those polled agree that regulations applied to utility providers, such as Arizona Public Service, Tucson Electric Power, UNS Energy Corporation, or Salt River Project should be increased to ensure they are offering energy efficiency to all their customers.

  • The recent trend among state policy makers and utilities in the Southwest is a shift to increased energy efficiency commitments. Just like it is realistic and no longer visionary to send a man (or a woman) to the moon; it is realistic and no longer visionary to increase Arizona's Energy Efficiency Standard.

    For the sake of ratepayers, air quality and public health, the Commission should vote on May 22 to advance Arizona’s Energy Efficiency Standard to at least 35 pct by 2030. (Source: Green Valley News, 12 May, 2019) Contact: Arizona Corporation Commission, (602) 542-3026, www.azcc.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  

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