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Bioindustrial Innovation Canada Wins FedDev Ont. Funds (Funding)
Bioindustrial Innovation Canada
Date: 2020-02-17
In Ontario, the Sarnia-based Ontario business accelerator Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) is reporting receipt of $15 million (Cdn) from FedDev Ontario to promote new sustainable innovations that will encourage biofuel and other green energy development and investment in Ontario.

To that end, BIc is establishing the Ontario Bioindustrial Innovation Network (OBIN) -- a second hybrid chemistry cluster in Brockville, Eastern Ontario. BIC will partner with the St. Lawrence Corridor Economic Development Commission and St. Lawrence College to deliver OBIN.

Further to our BIC May, 2019 coverage, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada has released Canada's first national Bioeconomy Strategy reflecting the views of more than 400 industry representatives from across the country. The Strategy recommends action on four key priority areas identified in foundational work by the Advisory Council on Economic Growth, the Economic Sector Strategy Tables, and Canada's forestry ministers. These priority areas call for: creating agile regulation and government policy; establishing biomass supply and stewardship; building strong companies and value chains; and building strong sustainable innovation ecosystems.

Download the Canada's Bioeconomy Strategy report HERE. (Source: Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, Biofuel Int'l. 17, Feb, 2020) Contact: Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, Sandy Marshall, (226) 778-0020, info@bincanada.ca, www.bincanada.ca

More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioindustrial Innovation Canada ,  Biofuel,  


North Carolina Bioenergy Project Funding Announced (Funding)
North Carolina Bioenergy Research Initiative
Date: 2020-02-17
The North Carolina Bioenergy Research Initiative and the New and Emerging Crops Program recently awarded $1 million in grants for 15 projects aimed at boosting bioenergy opportunities and crop production in the state.

The following organizations received bioenergy-specific grants in the 2020 Bioenergy Research Initiative funding round: $33,212 to North Carolina State University (NCSU) Department of Horticultural; $122,594 to NCSU Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources for a 2.5-year project titled Sycamore: Sustainable Bioenergy-Improved Soil Health; $30,465 to NCSU Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources for continued work on Loblolly Pine Biomass and Economic Analysis; $80,738 to Appalachian State University Department of Sustainable Technology & the Built Environment for a two-year Biochar - Anaerobic Digestion project; and $74,382 to NCSU Cooperative Tree Improvement Program to extend a Loblolly Pine Biomass Genetics/Cropping Study. (Source: NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, PR, Feb., 2020) Contact: North Carolina Bioenergy Research Initiative, (919) 693-2483, (919) 693-6848 - fax, www.ncagr.gov/bioenergy

More Low-Carbon Energy News North Carolina Bioenergy Research Initiative,  Bioenergy,  


UPM-Kymmene Investing in Woody Biomass Chemicals Plant (Int'l.)
UPM, UPM-Kymmene
Date: 2020-02-12
In Finland, Helsinki-headquartered UPM-Kymmene Oyj reports it will invest €550 million ($600 million) in a biorefinery at Leuna, Germany, that will use locally-sourced wood biomass to produce a variety of 100 pct wood-based biochemicals -- bio-monoethylene glycol (BioMEG), bio-monopropylene glycol (BioMPG), industrial sugars and lignin-based renewable functional fillers. The facility is expected to produce roughly 220,000 metric tpy when fully operation by the end of 2022.

UPM-Kymmene' buiness companies include: UPM Biorefining, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Paper Asia, UPM Paper ENA and UPM Plywood (Source: UPM-Kymmene Corp., 10 Feb., 2020) Contact: UPM-Kymmene Corp, Jussi Pesonen, Pres., Tel. +358 204 15 111, Fax. +358 204 15 110, www.upm.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wood.Woody Biomass,  UPM,  Biochemical,  Biofuel,  


Virginia Grassroots Coalition Calls for Removal of Biomass-Fired Facilities from Renewable Portfolio Standard (Ind. Report)
Virginia Grassroots Coalition
Date: 2020-02-10
In the Old Dominions State, a letter to the Virginia General Assembly from the Virginia Grassroots Coalition, with over 40 participating member groups, calls for the removal of biogass-fired power facilities from Virginia's renewable portfolio standard, as follows:
  • Though touted as a clean, environmentally safe alternative to fossil fuels, wood pellets are a carbon-intense, destructive and polluting industry based in flawed carbon accounting in international agreements;

  • Wood pellet material sourcing leads to massive deforestation of critical habitats, and Enviva alone is responsible for 50 acres a day of clear-cut land:

  • Pellet production facilities release dangerous air pollutants including particulate matter and volatile organic compounds putting surrounding communities at higher risk for health complications.

  • Burning wood pellets releases 65 pct more CO2 than coal per megawatt hour. In order to keep global climate change below 1.5 degrees Celsius, wood pellets must not be used as an energy alternative.

    The letter also notes UK-based researchers found last year that burning wood is a "disaster" for climate change because older trees release large amounts of carbon when they are burned and aren't always replaced with replanted forests. Even when trees are replaced, it can take up to 100 years to cultivate a wooded area that soaks up as much carbon as was previously released. And the fuel burned in shipping wood pellets to Europe is also a significant source of emissions. (Source: Virginia Grassroots Coalition, 9 Feb., 2020) Contact: Virginia Grassroots Coalition, www.virginiagrassroots.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  


  • LLNL Envisions CO2 Cuts Without Cutting CA Oil Prod. (Ind. Report)
    Lawrence Livermore National Lab
    Date: 2020-02-07
    In the Golden State, a new study from the US DOE's Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) has found that California can bury or offset 125 MW per year of CO2 by 2045 through land management practices, waste material processing, capturing atmospheric CO2 and storing the gas deep underground without negatively impacting the state's oil production.

    The study also suggests the local economy might be able to avoid fallout from Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom's plan to achieve carbon neutrality, in part, by managing the decline of California's Kern-centric oil industry and Kern's previously recognized geologic underground carbon storage capacity.

    The LNL report -- Getting to Neutral: Options for Negative Carbon Emissions in California -- also notes the entire effort would cost less than $10 billion per year, or less than .05 pct of the state's economic output.

    According to the report, 84 megatons per year of CO2 emissions can be rerouted by creating biofuels from biomass and that carbon associated with such activities could then be buried. Another 25 megatons per year could be avoided by restoring woodlands, grasslands and wetlands, among other land-management practices. Additional savings could be pulled right out of the air using energy-intensive technology. (Source: Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Bakersfield.com,3 Feb., 2020) Contact: Lawrence Livermore National Lab, www.llnl.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Getting to Neutral: Options for Negative Carbon Emissions in California,  Lawrence Livermore National Lab ,  


    Enexor BioEnergy Touts Organic Waste-to-Power System (Ind. Report)
    Enexor BioEnergy
    Date: 2020-02-05
    Franklin, Tenn.-based Enexor BioEnergy is touting the release of its patented "Bio-200" Bio-CHP direct combustion system that converts various organic biomass waste into on-site energy.

    The Bio-200 is a small-scale -- 75 kW power, 125 kW thermal -- modular unit that provides 24/7 continuous renewable power. The hurricane-proof unit is ideally suited for renewable energy microgrids and can be installed and commissioned within one day. The unit, which is fueled by a blend of on-site or locally sourced organic materials, offsets as much as 2,200 metric tpy of CO2 emissions.

    The company's Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) partnership model eliminates upfront customer capital-outlay and delivers immediate cost savings unlike typical on-site energy projects, according to the company website. (Source: Enexor BioEnergy, PR , EngineerLive, 4 Feb., 2020) Contact: Enexor BioEnergy, Lee Jestings, CEO, (615) 656-0762, info@enexor.com, www.enexor.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enexor BioEnergy,  Bioenergy,  Bio-waste,  Waste-to-Energy,  


    N.S. Public Buildings Converting to Woody Biomass Heat (Ind. Report)
    Nova Scotia
    Date: 2020-02-05
    In Halifax, the government of Nova Scotia reports it has issued tenders to five pre-qualified vendors for for the conversion of fossil fuel heating systems in six public buildings. The work being tendered includes the design, construction and operation of woody biomass boilers that use wood chips from private woodlots, according to a government press release.

    The tender closes on March 5, and the biomass boilers should be operating by the end of November 2020. (Source: Gov. of Nova Scotia, PR, 3 Feb., 2020) Contact: Gov. of Nova Scotia - Tenders, 800-670-4357, www.procurement.novascotia.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  


    Worley Selected as Velocys Engineering Partner (Int'l, Ind. Report)
    Velocys,Worley
    Date: 2020-02-05
    In the UK, Oxford-based sustainable fuels specialist Velocys plc is reporting the appointment of North Sydney, Australia-based Worley to manage the development of pre-feasibility, feasibility and FEED packages for all projects in the Velocys portfolio.

    The Velocys technology package converts waste feedstocks into sustainable aviation and road transport fuels.

    Velocys also notes it has now selected all the technology suppliers for its Bayou Fuels woody-biomass-to-fuels project in Natchez, Mississippi, USA. The same technology package will be used for the Altalto Immingham waste-to-fuels project in the U.K. (Source: Velocys, PR, Chem Eng., 4 Feb., 2020) Contact: Velocys, Henrik Wareborn, CEO, +44 1235 838 621, (713) 275-5840 -- Houston Office, info@velocys.com, www.velocys.com; Worley, Paul Seaton, Pres., www.worley.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Velocys,  Worley,  Woody Biomass,  Biomass-to-Fuel,  Aviation Biofuel,  Biofuel,  


    Net-Zero and Beyond -- What Role for Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage? (Int'l., Ind. Report Attached)
    Chatham House
    Date: 2020-02-03
    Further to our 23rd Feb., 2017 Chatham House, biomass and climate change report coverage, according to Net-Zero and Beyond -- What Role for Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage?, new report from the London-headquartered NGO Chatham House, the UK Government is over-prioritizing carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) and biomass in its net-zero plans and failing to account for the impact these technologies could have on land use.

    The potential unintended consequences of scaling up biomass energy carbon capture and storage (BECCS} in the UK and assesses the extent to which the technologies could deliver true and sustainable decarbonisation to the energy sector.

    BECCS has received a swathe of Government support and media coverage in recent times, both in the build-up to the ratification of the UK's 2050 net-zero goal, and after its implementation. Supporters of the technologies point out that biomass, unlike gas or other fossil fuels, is renewable, and that it is produces less emissions when burned. If these emissions can be captured for storage and reuse, the process can become carbon neutral or even carbon negative, firms including Drax have claimed.

    The report, however, warns that BECCS is "no silver bullet" for a net-zero energy sector. It claims that there has not been enough research into the likely energy output of BECCS or the environmental impacts of scaling up biomass supply chains, making it difficult to determine whether BECCS systems can be carbon-neutral across the life cycle.

    According to the report, deployment of BECCS at the scales assumed by the UK's modelling, on a global scale, would consume land equivalent to that currently accounted for by cropland. This could pose problems for food security, result in biodiversity loss and hamper plans to re-assess land-use in line with net-zero, Chatham House concludes. Chatham House claims that failures to account for biomass supply chain emissions undermine the assumption that BECCS systems are inherently carbon-neutral and is accordingly calling for stricter sustainability requirements for biomass feedstock and urging the Government to prioritise decarbonisation across carbon-intensive sectors, reshape its land-use strategies to ensure BECCS decisions are made after full considerations of all alternatives, both technology-based and nature-based.

    Download the report HERE. (Source: Chatham House, edie news, February 2020) Contact: Chatham House, Royal Institute of International Affairs, +44 (0) 20 7957 5710, contact@chathamhouse.org, www.chathamhouse.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News BECCS,  Chatham House,  Carbon Emissions,  Biomass,  Bioenergy,  


    Delta, NWABF Ink Aviation Biofuel Agreement (Ind. Report)
    Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels, US Advanced Bio-Fuels, Inc.
    Date: 2020-02-03
    Scottsdale, Arizona-based Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels LLC (NWABF), a wholly owned subsidiary of Frederick, Maryland-based US Advanced Bio-Fuels, Inc. (USABIO), is reporting an off-take agreement with Delta Airlines under which the air carrier will purchase sustainable aviation fuel, if produced, from NWABF. The NWABF process uses the gasification of woody biomass to produce syngas for the Fischer-Tropsch process.

    NWABF's project would utilize forestry waste woody biomass to produce biofuel which would qualify under an approved carbon-reducing pathway recognized by ASTM. NWAF is currently carrying out a previously announced feasibility study to determine the potential for a production facility in Washington state. If constructed the Washington state plant would supply Delta's operations Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles by mid-2020.

    NWABF is developing second-generation, commercial scale, cellulosic renewable bio jet fuel refineries with the first project being developed in the Pacific Northwest. (Source: Delta, Green Car Congress, 1 Feb., 2020) Contact: Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels LLC, 602-753-8386 www.nwabiofuels.com; US Advanced Bio-Fuels, Inc., (301) 644-1395, www.advancedbiofuelsusa.info

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US Advanced Bio-Fuels,  Inc.,  Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels,  Aviation Biofuel,  


    Czech Firm Invests €80Mn in Woody Biomass Plants (Int'l. Report)
    GEEN Holding
    Date: 2020-02-03
    In the Czech Republic, Prague-headquartered GEEN Holding reports it will soon break ground on its third woody biomass power plant in Gospic, Croatia. The plant is expected to be fully operational and grid connected by mid 2021.

    In Decemeber 2019, GEEN announced it had three waste wood biomass-fired power plant in operation at a total cost of €80 million. was built.

    GEEN Holding a.s. is an energy, engineering and investment group which was formed by 31 companies. GEEN has six operating hydro, 10 photovoltaic power plants and e woody biomass plants in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, according to its website. (Source: GEEN Holding, Total Croatia News, 31 Jan., 2020) Contact: GEEN Holding, +420 511 111 950, geen@geen.eu, www.geen.eu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  


    Getting to Neutral: Options for Negative Carbon Emissions in California -- (LLNL Report Attached)
    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
    Date: 2020-02-03
    In its Getting to Neutral: Options for Negative Carbon Emissions in California report, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) notes the identification of a suite of technologies -- natural and working lands; carbon capture from biomass conversion to fuels; and direct air capture -- that could help California become carbon-neutral -- and ultimately carbon-negative -- by 2045 by removing roughly 125 million tpy of CO2 from the atmosphere. according to the report.

    The report was funded by the Livermore Lab Foundation (LLF) with grant support from the ClimateWorks Foundation LLNL

    Download the Getting to Neutral: Options for Negative Carbon Emissions in California report HERE.(Source: LLNL, Jan., 2020) Contact: LLNL,www.llnl.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory,  Carbon Emissions,  Negative Carbon Emissions,  


    UPM Invests in German Woody Biomass Biochemicals Plant (Int'l)
    UPM
    Date: 2020-01-31
    Helsinki-headquartered UPM reports it will invest €550 million in a biorefinery -- 100 pct wood-based biochemicals at Leuna, Germany. The 220,000 tpy biorefinery will convert locally-sourced solid wood biomass into next generation biochemicals: bio-monoethylene glycol (BioMEG) and lignin-based renewable functional fillers, bio-monopropylene glycol (BioMPG) and industrial sugars. The plant is expected to come online by the end of 2022. (Source: UOM, PR, Global NewsWire, Jan., 2020) Contact: UPM Biochemicals, Juuso Konttinen, Vice President, +358 40 5317405, juuso.konttinen@upm.com, www.upm.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UPM,  Biofuel,  


    Cycleenergy Acquires Innogy Biomass Pellet Plant (Int'l, M&A)
    Cycleenergy,Innogy
    Date: 2020-01-29
    Essen, Germany-based energy company Innogy is reporting the sale of its subsidiary NRW Pellets GmbH biomass pellet production plant in Erndtebruck, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, to Austria-based Cycleenergy Holding GmbH for an undisclosed price, effective 27 Jan., 2020.

    With this acquisition, Cycleenergy's portfolio includes three biomass plants and two pellet factories in Austria. (Source: Innogy, PR, Renewables, 28 Jan., 2020) Contact: Cycleenergy Holding GmbH, www.cycleenergy.com; Innogy, NRW Pellets, www.nrwpellets.nl

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wood Pellet,  Biomass Pellet,  Innogy,  


    DOE Announces $300Mn for Sustainable Transport R&D (R&D, Funding)
    US DOE
    Date: 2020-01-27
    The US DOE has announced three separate funding opportunities totaling nearly $300 million for sustainable transportation fuels, resources and technologies R&D.

    Funded through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the three FOAs will be issued on behalf of the three transportation offices: Vehicle, Fuel Cells, and Bioenergy Technology Offices. Brief summaries of the FOAs follow:

  • FY20 Vehicles Technologies Office (VTO) Multi-Topic FOA ($133M) -- Issued on behalf of DOE's VTO , topic areas within this FOA address priorities in advanced batteries and electrification; advanced engine and fuel technologies, including technologies for off-road applications; lightweight materials; new mobility technologies (energy efficient mobility systems), and alternative fuels technology demonstrations.

  • H2@Scale New Markets FOA ($64M) -- Issued on behalf of DOE's Fuel Cells Technologies Office (FCTO), topic areas within this FOA advance DOE's H2@Scale initiative. This investment will support innovative hydrogen concepts that will encourage market expansion and increase the scale of hydrogen production, storage, transport, and use, including heavy-duty trucks, data centers and steel production.

  • FY20 Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Multi-Topic FOA ($100M) -- Issued on behalf of DOE's BETO, topic areas within this FOA support the U.S. bioeconomy by reducing the price of drop-in biofuels, lowering the cost of biopower, and enabling high-value products from biomass or waste resources.(Source: USDOE, 25 Jan, 2020) Contact: US DOE BETO, energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuels,  Bioenergy,  DOE BETO,  DOE EERE,  


  • Biomass-Acetone, Light Creates Green Jet Fuel Additive (Ind Report)
    Loa Alamos National Lab
    Date: 2020-01-27
    Take biomass-derived acetone -- common nail polish remover -- use light to upgrade it to higher-mass hydrocarbons and you have a domestically generated product that can be blended with conventional jet fuel to fly while providing environmental benefits.

    There are many challenges in using acetone for fuels applications, the paper notes. Its volatility precludes its direct use as a fuel, and it requires chemical upgrading to be suitable for introduction into the fuel supply, as acetone has a nasty habit of dissolving engine parts and O-rings. So by upgrading the initial product to a cyclobutane, a potentially safer and more energy-dense fuel is created, while reducing the hydrogen input required for upgrading a bio-derived feedstock.

    "Reducing high-pressure hydrogen treatment in synthesizing renewable fuels is important, because most hydrogen is derived from using steam to reform natural gas, which generates carbon dioxide," according to the release.

    The LANL research was funded through the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) through ChemCatBio: Chemical Catalysis for Bioenergy Consortium. (Source: Los Alamos National Laboratory, PR, 23 Jan., 2020) Contact: Los Alamos National Laboratory, (505) 667-5061, www.lanl.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News LANL,  Los Alamos National Lab,  Green Fuel,  Green Jet Fuel,  


    Zero Emission Tokyo Strategy Outlines Climate Change Action (Int'l)
    Tokyuo,Climate Change
    Date: 2020-01-27
    In Japan, the recently released Zero Emission Tokyo Strategy details a multifaceted effort to heighten climate change disaster - mitigation preparedness, reduce single-use plastics, transition to renewable energy and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The strategy also calls for zero-emission cars, buses, boats and planes; buildings made of recycled wood and equipped with solar panels; power plants on the city's perimeter tapping biomass, geothermal, hydrogen, hydroelectric, solar and wind energy; grocery stores with zero food waste and no single-use plastics; and "smart" homes with artificial intelligence to minimize energy consumption.

    To that end, the Tokyo City Metropolitan Government 2020 budget plans to spend more than ¥74.6 billion ($684.5 million). The money will be distributed to individual progams in 14 energy sector including buildings, transportation, resources, climate change adaptation and engagement. These include Tokyo Climate Change Adaptation Policy, Plastic Strategy, Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Promotion Strategy, all of which outline additional steps the city will take to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions, marine plastic waste, food waste and fluorocarbon emissions.

    To achieve decarbonization, the capital city of 13.9 residents plans to expand the use of hydrogen energy as it moves away from fossil fuels in its effort to address global warming and the climate change crisis, and urged the central government to formulate a national strategy to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. (Source: City of Tokyo, PR, Japan Times, 26 Jan., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Tokyo,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  Global Warming,  


    Tribal Biomass Demonstration Projects Notices Issued (Ind. Report)
    Bureau of Land Management
    Date: 2020-01-24
    In Washington, the U.S. DOI Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has published a notice of availability establishing eligibility and selection criteria for biomass demonstration project proposals submitted for BLM-managed lands as authorized by the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self Determination Act Amendments of 2017. The notice pertains to both tribal biomass demonstration projects and Alaska Native biomass demonstration project proposals.

    Under the The Act requires the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to enter into stewardship contracts or similar agreements with Indian tribes to carry out at least four new demonstrations projects to promote biomass energy and biofuel production as well as heat and electric power generation on Indian forest land and in nearby communities by providing reliable supplies of woody biomass from federal land. The requirement is in place for each of fiscal years 2017 through 2021. That requirement is also in place for each of fiscal years 2017 through 2021.

    A full copy of the notice is HERE. (Source: BLM, Jan., 2020) Contact: BLM, www.blm.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bureau of Land Management,  Woody Biomass ,  


    NV Energy Seeks Addition to Renewable Energy Portfolio (Ind. Report)
    NV Energy
    Date: 2020-01-24
    NV Energy has issued a request for proposals (RfP) to add new renewable energy projects to its portfolio. This announcement comes on the heels of the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada's (PUCN) December 2019 approval of 1,190 mw of new solar energy and 590 mw of battery storage to be built in Nevada and serving customers by Jan. 1, 2024.

    The RfP seeks solar, geothermal, wind, biomass and biogas technology projects compliant with Nevada's existing renewable portfolio standards. NV Energy will also consider adding supplemental energy storage systems that are integrated with the proposed renewable energy resource and stand-alone energy storage systems. Projects will be competitively evaluated on a number of factors, including best value to customers of NV Energy and creation of economic benefits to the State of Nevada.

    NV Energy requests that all parties interested in becoming a bidder for this opportunity register on the company's website www.nvenergy.com and follow each of the directives under the "Steps to Complete" section of the website. Bids are due by 4 p.m. on March 9. Projects proposed by successful bidders will require the approval of the PUCN. It is anticipated the projects would be completed and producing energy for customers by December 31, 2025.

    Las Vegas-based NV Energy, Inc. is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Company, do business as NV Energy. (Source: NV Energy, PR, 22 Jan., 2020) Contact: NV Energy, Doug Cannon, Pres., CEO, Kristen Saibini, Corp. Communications, 775-834-3891, ksaibini@nvenergy.com, www.nvenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NV Energy ,  


    MSU Researching Green Algae Biofuel (R&D, Ind. Report)
    Missouri State University
    Date: 2020-01-24
    Missouri State University (MSU) reports professor Jianlin Cheng is working with the St. Louis-based Donald Danforth Plant Science Center to make green algae an efficient, cheap source of energy to replace fossil fuel.

    According to the MSU report, if enough green algae could be produced to cover half the state of Maine, for example, it could supply enough "green oil" to replace all of the petroleum used in the United States right now. According to the US DOE, the U.S. has the capacity to produce 5 billion gallons of fuel from algae per year by the year 2030, at a cost of $2.50 per gasoline gallon equivalent. To that end, "algal biomass will need to be produced from large-scale farming operations, similar to agricultural crops," the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy said in a statement.

    Cheng, a researcher with the Interdisciplinary Plant Group and director of Bioinformatic at MU, is adapting artificial intelligence to map the shapes and amino acids of proteins to help bioengineers change the structure of the algae and make it more less costly and more efficient for biofuel production.

    Cheng's project Deep Learning Prediction of Protein Complex Structures was supported by $167,797 from the US DOE. (Source: University of Missouri, The Columbian, 23 Jan., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Algae,  Algae Biofuel,  


    Pinnacle Ship Charter to Deliver Wood Pellets to Japan (Ind Report)
    Pinnacle Renewable Energy
    Date: 2020-01-20
    In British Columbia, Vancouver-based Pinnacle Renewable Energy reports it has inked a new 40,000 deadweight-ton ship charter for the delivery of its industrial wood pellets from British Columbia, Canada to customers in Japan where it has signed three wood pellet contracts within the last six months, according to the company release. (Source: Pinnacle Renewable Energy, Bioenergy, 20 Jan., 2020) Contact: Pinnacle Renewable Energy, Pinnacle Pellet, Robert McCurdy, CEO, (604) 270-9613, investors@pinnaclepellet.com, www.pinnaclepellet.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Pinnacle Renewable Energy,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  


    Enviva Forest Conservation Fund Protects N.C. Watershed (Ind Report)
    Enviv
    Date: 2020-01-17
    Bethesda, Maryland-based wood pellet supplier Enviva Holdings Inc is reporting an important piece of the Little River watershed in the North Carolina Piedmont region will be protected for years to come in part through the help of a $20,000 grant from the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund to the Three Rivers Land Trust. The Fund’s support leveraged another $660,000 in external funding, allowing the Land Trust to purchase a permanent conservation easement on approximately 230 acres adjacent to another conservation site that protects one of the few remaining bogs in the Piedmont region. The property is a unique landscape with high ecological and conservation value and contains a mix of bottom land hardwoods and long leaf pine forests.

    According to its website, the Fund's goal is to be a catalyst for investments in critical forest and habitat conservation in the North Carolina coastal plain and southeastern Virginia region. More than three years into the planned 10-year partnership, seventeen projects have been funded with a total commitment of over $2 million including the grant announced today. When these projects are completed, the Fund will have protected an estimated 24,500 acres of sensitive wetland forest and other habitats. (Source: U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, 16 Jan., 2020) Contact: U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities , 864.233.7646, 864.235.3842 - fax, info@usendowment.org, www.usedndowmwnt.org; : Enviva Holdings LP, Enviva Biomass, Dr. Jennifer Jenkins, VP, (301) 615-5560, jennifer@envivabiomass.com, www.envivabiomass.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enviva,  Wood Pellet,  Woody Biomass,  


    Welsh Woody Biomass Plant Undergoing Final Tests (Int'l Report)
    Barry Biomass
    Date: 2020-01-15
    In Wales, the long delayed 86,000 tpy Barry Biomass waste woody biomass facility on Barry Island reports it is near completing its testing phase and has commissioned the plant's wood chipping system and designed to recover energy from pre-prepared mixed waste wood gasification turbine, generator set. The plants expects to go into full production later this year.

    The 10 MW facility, which was financed by Aviva Investors, will process shredded mixed waste wood from households and industry, include items such as pallets, fence panels, cupboards and similar biomass. (Source: Barry Biomass, LetsRecycle.co, 14 Jan., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  


    Fortistar Welcomes SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust as Primary Energy Co-Investor (Ind. Report, M&A)
    Primary Energy,Fortistar,ArcelorMittal
    Date: 2020-01-13
    White Plains, New York-based Fortistar and its partners are reporting an agreement to sell 50 pct of the shares of Primary Energy to SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust (SEEIT).

    Primary Energy Recycling has a 298 MW portfolio of waste heat-to-power (WHP) and combined heat and power (CHP) plants located at two of the most efficient steel mills in North America belonging to ArcelorMittal S.A. and United States Steel Corporation, selling discounted electrical and thermal energy to the mills under long-term stable contractual arrangements.

    The transaction is expected to close in Q1 2020 with Fortistar continuing to manage the company.

    Fortistar's portfolio of associated companies includes Generational Power, TruStar Energy, Primary Energy Recycling, Fortistar Methane Group, Fortistar Biomass Group, Carbonfree Chemicals, Golden Renewable Energy and ClockIN.

    SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust plc is the first London Stock Exchange-listed company of its kind to invest exclusively in the energy efficiency sector. (Source: Fortistar, PR, Jan., 2020) Contact: SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust plc, www.sdcleeit.com; Primary Energy, Mo Klefeker, CEO, 630-371-0505, www.primaryenergy.com Forttistar, Mark Comora, CEO, (914) 421-4937, MComora@fortistar.com, www.fortistar.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Primary Energy,  ArcelorMittal,  Fortistar,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Avantium selects Netherland Location for FDCA Plant (Int'l Report)
    Avantium
    Date: 2020-01-13
    In the Netherlands, Amsterdam-based renewable chemicals specialist Avantium is reporting it will build its furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) bioplastic flagship plant at Chemie Park Delfzijl, the Netherlands. The $30 million, five-kiloton facility will be constructed near Avantium's pilot biorefinery, producing glucose and lignin from non-food biomass. The plant is expected to be completed in 2023. (Source: Avantium, PR, Website, 8 Jan., 2019) Contact: Avantium, Tom van Aken , CEO, +31 (0)20 586 8080, www.avantium.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Avantium ,  Bioplastic,  


    €3.7Bn Invested in Ukrainian Renewables in 2019 (Int'l. Report)
    State Agency on Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving of Ukraine
    Date: 2020-01-10
    Reporting from Kiev, the Ukrainian State Agency on Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving of Ukraine is claiming €3.7 billion was invested in record high 4,500 MW of renewable energy capacities in Ukraine in 2019.

    According to the agency, 3,537 MW of solar power, 243 MW of wind power, 637 MW of biomass, 73 MW of biogas and 15 MW of mini hydropower facilities were installed in 2019. With these installation, Ukraine's total green energy capacity now stands at 6.8 GW, according to the agency's report. (Source: State Agency on Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving of Ukraine, UNKRINFORM, Jan., 2020) Contact: State Agency on Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving of Ukraine, www.saee.gov.ua

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  


    Cielo's Aldersyde Renewable Fuels Refinery Now Online (Ind Report)
    Cielo Waste Solutions
    Date: 2020-01-10
    Following up in our October 2nd coverage, Vancouver-based Cielo Waste Solutionm is reporting contractors have completed optimization of the design of the world's first waste-to-renewable fuels refinery at Aldersyde in Alberta, Canada.

    The Aldersyde refinery, which produces renewable naphtha and diesel from wood biomass, is presently operating at roughly 100 lph to be increased to 200 litres per hour. The company notes it is working with the Alberta Government to secure amendments to its operating permit to allow additional waste feedstocks to be utilized. (Source: Cielo, PR, Biofuels Int'l, 9 Jan., 2020)Contact: Cielo Waste Solutions Corp., Don Allan, Pres., CEO, (403) 348-2972 Ext. 101, donallan@cielows.com, www.cielows.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cielo Waste Solutions,  Biofuel,  Waste-to-Fuel,  Landfill Waste,  


    Renewables 46 pct of Germany's 2019 Energy Mix (Int'l. Report)
    Fraunhofer
    Date: 2020-01-06
    Reuters is reporting renewable energy accounted for 46 pct of Germany's power in 2019 -- up roughly 5 pct from the previous year. Germany, which is Europe's biggest economy, is aiming for renewables to provide 65 pct of its power mix by 2030. The country also plans to completely abandon nuclear power by 2022 and is planning an exit from coal.

    Out of last year's total power production of 515.6 TWh, solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric generation together produced 237.4 TWh. In 2019, wind power, both onshare and offshore, produced 127.2 TWh for a 24.6 pct share of the total mix. Solar produced 46.5 TWh, biomass producers generated 44.4 TWh while hydropower generated 19.2 TWh of power, according to data from the Fraunhofer organisation of applied science. (Source: Successful Farming, Reuters,3 Jan., 2019) Contact: Fraunhofer, +49 36601 93010, www.fraunhofer.de/en.html

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Fraunhofer ,  Renewable Energy,  German Renewable Energy,  


    USDA Adv. Biofuel Payment Program Final Rule Released (Ind. Report)
    USDA
    Date: 2020-01-03
    The USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service has released a final rule for the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program. The program provides quarterly payments to producers of eligible advanced biofuels. To be eligible for payments, the advanced biofuels produced must be derived from renewable biomass other than corn kernel starch at a biorefinery located in the U.S.

    Download the full Advanced Biofuel Payment Program HERE (Source: USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA, 27 Dec., 2019) Contact: Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Bette Brand, Admin., (202) 690-4730, 202-690-4737 - fax., www.rd.usda.gov

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


    Renewables Topped Coal in April 2019 US Power Mix (Ind. Report)
    US EIA
    Date: 2020-01-03
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is reporting utility-scale hydropower, wind, solar, geothermal and biomass accounted for 23 pct of the U.S. energy mix, while coal was only 20 pct in April, 2019. The EIA report noted that although generation output from large coal, gas and nuclear plants is typically lower during April and other demand lull periods, renewable capacity has been growing and coal-fired power falling in recent years.

    Each renewable resource set record high generation outputs sometime during 2018. Wind power generated 30.2 million MWh in April, a new monthly high, while a combination of utility-scale solar photovoltaics and solar thermal made history in June with 7.8 million MWh, the EIA report shows. (Source: US EIA, Power Eng., Jan., 2020) Contact: US EIA, www.eia.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  US EIA,  Coal,  


    $100Mn Woody Biomass Pellet Plant Slated for Alabama (Ind. Report)
    Westervelt,Pinnacle Renewable Energy
    Date: 2019-12-30
    In "The Heart of Dixie", Tuscaloosa-based Westervelt Co. reports it is partnering with Vancouver, B.C.-based Pinnacle Renewable Energy to construct a woody biomass-wood pellet production plant in the city of Demopolis. The 360,000 metric tpy plant is aiming for an early 2021 startup, according to a statement.

    Pinnacle will reportedly hold a 70 pct stake in the plant, Westervelt will hold 20 pct and Two Rivers Lumber Co. which will supply the plant with sawmill waste for pellet production, will hold the remaining 10 pct. (Source: Westervelt Co., Various Media, San Francisco Chronicle, 28 Dec., 2019) Contact: Westervelt, Brian Luoma, CEO, 205-562-5800,www.westerveldtlumber.com; Pinnacle Renewable Energy, Pinnacle Pellet, Robert McCurdy, CEO, (604) 270-9613,investors@pinnaclepellet.com, www.pinnaclepellet.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Westervelt,  Pinnacle Renewable Energy ,  Wood pellet,  


    White House Confirms 2020 Biofuel RVO Plan (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2019-12-20
    Reuters is reporting the Trump administration plans to stick with its proposed 2020 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) biofuel blending requirements as proposed in October, despite the farming sector's complaint that the plan does too little for corn growers.

    Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) oil refiners are required to blend some 15 billion gpy of corn-based ethanol into their gasoline, but small facilities can be exempted if compliance would hurt them financially.

    The October proposal was intended to placate corn growers and compensate the biofuel industry for the administration's expanded use of refinery exemptions, but which the industry has largely panned as insufficient, according to Reuters. The EPA's October plan would raise the biofuels volumes that some refineries must blend in 2020 based on DOE recommendations for volumes that should be exempted.

    As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. (Source: Reuters, Various Media, 19 Dec., 2019)

    For details see our Oct. 21 report as follows -- Proposed Volumes for 2020 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021. The Trump administration EPA has issued the attached supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking seeking additional comment on the recently proposed rule to establish the cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel volumes for 2020 and the biomass-based diesel volume for 2021 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.

    The notice does not change the proposed volumes for 2020 and 2021. Instead, it proposes and seeks comment on adjustments to the way that annual renewable fuel percentages are calculated. Annual renewable fuel percentage standards are used to calculate the number of gallons each obligated party is required to blend into their fuel or to otherwise obtain renewable identification numbers (RINs) to demonstrate compliance.

    Specifically, the agency is seeking comment on projecting the volume of gasoline and diesel that will be exempt in 2020 due to small refinery exemptions based on a three-year average of the relief recommended by the BOE, including where DOE had recommended partial exemptions. The agency intends to grant partial exemptions in appropriate circumstances when adjudicating 2020 exemption petitions. The agency proposes to use this value to adjust the way it calculates renewable fuel percentages. The proposed adjustments would help ensure that the industry blends the final volumes of renewable fuel into the nation's fuel supply and that, in practice, the required volumes are not effectively reduced by future hardship exemptions for small refineries. Consistent with the statute, the supplemental notice seeks to balance the goal of the RFS of maximizing the use of renewables while following the law and sound process to provide relief to small refineries that demonstrate the need.

    Download the Renewable Fuel Standard Program -- Proposed Volumes for 2020 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021 HERE. Contact: EPA Renewable Fuel Standard, 800-385-6164, www.epa.gov/fuels-registration-reporting-and-compliance-help/forms/fuels-program-helpdesk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  "Hardship" Waiver,  Ethanol.Ethanol Blend,  Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  Red Trail Energy,  


    UK Biotech Breakthrough Turns Waste Biomass into Biofuel (Int'l.)
    University of Manchester
    Date: 2019-12-20
    In the UK, a move towards a more sustainable bio-based economy has been given a boost by researchers at the University of Manchester who have been able to simplify a process to transform waste agricultural biomass into biofuels and other valuable chemicals.

    A collaboration between the UK and Brazil has shown that waste sugar cane and wheat straw from agricultural processes can be made directly into valuable chemicals with an increase in value of 5000-fold.

    The new breakthrough demonstrates that biofuels and high-value chemicals, such as chemicals used by the food industry and precursors for human therapeutic drugs, can be produced directly from waste biomass in a single 'one-pot' process. This added value offers the potential to make the economics of biofuel production from plant-based sources more viable. The new process has the potential to add value to the process of making biofuels from plants, particularly from sugarcane and wheat straw which are abundantly found in Brazil and the UK respectively.

    The work is part of a UK-Brazil five-year program grant being funded by the Biotech & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and FAPESP in Brazil. The UK has awarded more than £2 million to the University of Manchester, The University of Warwick and UCL for the project. (Source: University of Manchester, PR, Dec., 2019) Contact: Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, Dr. Neil Dixon, www.mib.ac.uk; University of Manchester, www.manchester.ac.uk; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, www.bbsrc.ukri.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biomass,  Biofuel,  


    NREL Researching Potential Diesel Fuel Bio-Blendstock (R&D Report)
    National Renewable Energy Laboratory
    Date: 2019-12-18
    Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are reporting discovery of a novel oxygenate molecule that can be produced from biomass to be used as a blend for diesel fuel. The initiative focuses on improving fuel economy and vehicle performance while reducing emissions.

    The team used corn stover-derived molecules as the starting point for a range of potential fuel candidates. From here, the researchers relied on predictive models to determine which molecules would be best to blend with and improve traditional diesel. With the goal of developing drop-in biofuels that work with existing infrastructure. The intention is to blend the 4-butoxyheptane molecule into diesel fuel at a mixture of 20 - 30 pct Initial results suggest the potential to improve ignition quality, reduce sooting and improve fuel economy of the base diesel at these blend levels.

    NREL is working with Yale University, Argonne National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory as part of the US DOE Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines (Co-Optima) initiative which is funded by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Bioenergy Technologies.

    Performance-Advantaged Ether Diesel Bioblendstock Production by a Priori Design, the initiative's research paper was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (Source: NREL,PR, Dec., 2019) Contact: NREL, Derek Vardon, Senior Research Engineer, (303) 384-7763, Derek.Vardon@nrel.gov, www.nrel.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Renewable Energy Laboratory,  


    Costa Rica Increasing Renewable Electricity Generation (Int'l.)
    Costa Rica
    Date: 2019-12-18
    In Costa Rica, the Costa Rica National Center for Energy Control (CENCE) reports the National Electric System (SEN) added more than 99 pct more renewable power generation from run-of-river water, wind, geothermal energy, biomass and solar energy in 2018.

    Since 2015, Costa Rica has exceeded 98 pct of electricity generation with clean resources. Presently, Costa Rica has 18 wind plants managed by public, private, municipal and cooperative companies as well as the third-largest geothermal park on the continent with 262 mw. (Source: National Center for Energy Control, PR, bnamericas, 16 Dec., 2019) Contact: Costa Rica National Center for Energy Control, www.energetskiportal.rs/en/tag/costa-ricas-national-centre-for-energy-control-cence

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  


    Pinnacle Reports Woody Biomass Fibre Supply Agreement (Ind. Report)
    Pinnacle Renewable Energy
    Date: 2019-12-16
    In British CVolumbia, Vancouver-based Pinnacle Renewable Energy is reporting a three-year fiber supply agreement with forest management company Alkali Resource Management Ltd. (ARM) under which ARM will process, store and deliver woody biomass harvest residuals to Pinnacle for use at its Williams Lake facility in British Columbia.

    Pinnacle produces sustainable industrial wood pellet fuel for large-scale thermal power generators as a greener alternative to produce reliable baseload renewable power. The Company operates eight industrial wood pellet production facilities in western Canada and one in Alabama, and owns a port terminal in Prince Rupert, B.C. Pinnacle has entered into long-term take-or-pay contracts with utilities in the U.K., Europe and Asia that represent an average of 108% of its production capacity through 2026. (Source: Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc., PR,CNW, 16 Dec., 2019) Contact: Pinnacle Renewable Energy, 877-737-4344, investors@pinnaclepellet.com, , www.pinnaclepellet.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Pinnacle Renewable Energy news,  Woody Biomass news,  Wood Pellet news,  


    Stora Enso Converting Woody Biomass Sludge to Biofuel (Int'l.)
    Stora Enso,C-Green
    Date: 2019-12-16
    Helsinki-headquartered Finnish pulp and paper manufacturer Stora Enso reports it is producing bio-sludge from woody biomass waste water at its fluting mill in the community of Heinola, Finland. The bio-sludge is dried and processed into biofuel using technology developed and patented by Swedish company C-Green Technology.

    C-Green's OxyPower HTC process uses an innovative application of hydrothermal carbonisation, which converts complex organic compounds into sterile odourless biofuel. The pilot plant processes 16,000 tpy of bio-waste into fuels which is used in the mill and for heat in the town of Heinola, which has around 20,000 inhabitants.

    Stora Enso develops and produces solutions based on wood and biomass for a range of industries and applications worldwide, leading in the bioeconomy and supporting our customers in meeting demand for renewable eco-friendly products, according to the company website. (Source: Stora Enso, Biofuels 13 Dec., 2019) Contact: C-Green Technologies, Erik Oden, CEO , +46 8 93 50 40, www.c-green.se; Stora Enso, Jari Suominen, +43-664-6183907, jari.suominen@stroaenso.com, www.storaenso.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Stora Enso,  C-Green,  Biofuel,  


    Caribou, SUNY Developing Organic Waste-to-Fuels Gasifier (Ind Report)
    Caribou Biofuels
    Date: 2019-12-16
    Biomass process systems provider Caribou Biofuels has teamed up with the Research Foundation for the State University of New York (SUNY) to further develop and commercialize a rotary gasifier that converts combustible organic waste into both gaseous and liquid fuels. The technology was invented at SUNY Cobleskill Prof.David Waage with US EPA and DOD funding.

    This year, SUNY Cobleskill received $1.6 million in grant funding from the two government agencies to build and demonstrate a fully automated, portable rotary gasifier system that will produce 60 kilowatts of ppd from roughly 2 tpd of feedstock at a military base in the US.

    Caribou Biofuels will work with SUNY Cobleskill, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Scaled Power and the Joint Bioenergy Institute to to develop the mobile biomass processing system. (Source: SUNY, Caribou Biofuels, Biofuels, 13 Dec., 2019) Contact: SUNY Cobleskill, Prof.David Waage, 518-255-5312, waagedj@cobleskill.edu, www.cobleskill.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Caribou Biofuels ,  


    Biorefining Startup Chrysalix Technologies Scores Funding (Int'l)
    Chrysalix Technologies,Imperial College London
    Date: 2019-12-13
    Imperial College London reports its spin-out company Chrysalix Technologies has been awarded €2.3 million in grant funding from the European Innovation Council's Accelerator programme as well as additional investment from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and others investors.

    Chrysalix Technologies BioFlex process uses waste wood and agricultural by-products as well as sustainably grown biomass to produce bioplastics, biofuels, biomaterials and greener chemicals. The process separates the different naturally occurring chemical components of wood, which are lignin, cellulose, and hemicelluloses. Once isolated individually, these components can then be used for a variety of applications such as as bio-chemicals, precursors for plastics or as new materials themselves , according to the company website. (Source: Chrysalix Technologies, Imperial College London, PR, 12 Dec., 2019) Contact: Imperial College London, www.imperial.ac.uk; Chrysalix Technologies, Twitter: @ChrysalixTech, info@chrysalixtechnologies.com, www.chrysalixtechnologies.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Imperial College London,  ,  Biorefining,  


    Packard Foundation Warns Put a Brake on Bioenergy by 2050 to Avoid Negative Climate Impacts (Ind. Report)
    Packard Foundation
    Date: 2019-12-09
    According to the newly released Global Change Biology study from the Los Altos, California-based David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the burgeoning bioenergy sector must peak and decline in the next 30 years to alleviate extreme pressure on land. The study researchers assert that projections envisioning the use of biomass from crops, trees or grasses for fuel through 2100 overlook the technology's high carbon footprint and excessive land use.

    An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released last year found that many scenarios capable of reducing the threat of climate change relied heavily on bioenergy, predicting that energy from biomass could make up 26 pct of primary energy in 2050 -- up from 10 pct in 2020 -- and predicting that solar and wind combined would likely only account for 22 pct. Those scenarios often relied on significant use of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), which involves growing trees across a large area of land to produce wood pellets burned for energy, then capturing and sequestering the carbon emissions. In its analysis, though, the IPCC found significant challenges associated with a high reliance on bioenergy, noting in particular that the vast areas of land required to produce biomass for energy would compete with food production and other human needs.

    The Global Change Biology assessment examine a flurry of recent reports that suggest even more problems with large-scale bioenergy projects reliant on large tracts of land, and also show that more cost-effective alternatives will be available in the coming decades. Pulling from these recent studies, the authors establish three reasons why large-scale bioenergy must and can peak and decline in the next 30 years:

  • Large-scale bioenergy emits carbon. Carbon emissions from bioenergy can be greater in the near-term than emissions from the fossil fuels it is replacing, undermining the assumption that bioenergy is always a relatively low-emission and low-cost form of energy. Burning wood pellets, for example, creates a "double climate problem." Manufacturing and shipping wood pellets entails substantial emissions of fossil CO2, and it can take decades or centuries for harvested areas to return to pre-harvest carbon stocks.

  • Large-scale bioenergy puts a squeeze on land. Land is already a scarce resource, and it will become even scarcer with time due to an increase in the human population and a rise in the appreciation of the conservation value of natural and mostly-natural ecosystems--even if agricultural yields continue to increase. Because land is so limited, we should use it as efficiently as possible for energy production. In contrast to land-intensive bioenergy, the amount of electricity that can be produced from a hectare of land using photovoltaics is at least 50-100 times that from biomass.

  • Large-scale bioenergy is inferior to other solutions. And, by mid-century, land-intensive bioenergy will face fierce competition from superior technologies such as wind and solar energy, the development of efficient storage and other flexibility solutions, and the advent of more effective carbon removal technologies such as direct air capture with carbon storage.

    The assessment comes at a time when the bioenergy industry is ramping up worldwide, with the EU in the lead. Bioenergy currently accounts for 10 pct of the world's energy, and 50 pct of our renewable energy. In the EU, bioenergy accounts for two-thirds of all renewable energy (nearly half from wood). Two-thirds of the EU's "20 pct Renewable Energy by 2020" target depends on bioenergy. And the bloc is also about to greenlight the conversion of five large coal plants to bioenergy plants that burn imported wood pellets from overseas forests.

    Land-intensive electrical power projects in particular are picking up steam as governments and industry leaders seek to transform disused coal factories into new profit centers. Between 2006 and 2015, the production of wood pellets for biomass energy use quadrupled to 26 million tons. Worldwide, demand for globally traded wood pellets destined for use in phased-out coal plants or new dedicated bioenergy plants is expected to rise 250 pct by 2027.

    The study lays out a bioenergy trajectory that policymakers can use to encourage sustainable bioenergy while also opening the door for new technologies to replace land-intensive bioenergy in the very near future. These recommendations include improved accounting of the actual carbon emissions associated with the use of biomass, favoring biomass from waste, residues or land management practices that enhance carbon storage, and providing incentives for energy storage, direct air capture technologies, and low-carbon alternatives to fossil fuels. Above all, the authors argue that bioenergy projects should be avoided if they involve natural forests, such as converting natural forests to bioenergy plantations, or use land best suited for food crops. And the authors caution that claims that bioenergy projects are a zero-carbon form of energy should be met with skepticism.

    The Packard Foundation through 2020, will have awarded nearly $1 billion in grants to reduce carbon emissions, one of the its greatest program commitments in its 55-year history. (Source: David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Dec., 2019) Contact: David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Walt Reid, Director Conservation and Science Program, Report Author, 650-948-7658, www.packard.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioenergy,  CO2,  CCS,  Biofuels,  Carbon Emissions,  


  • Danish Collaboration Investigating Maritime Biofuel (Int'l.)
    NORDEN
    Date: 2019-12-09
    In Denmark, Hellerup-headquartered global "tramp" shipping company NORDEN A/S and Kvasir Technologies, a spin-off from the Technical University of Denmark, report they are are testing a plant-based biofuel as part of a joint industry initiative aimed at developing Danish expertise in environment-friendly low-carbon maritime shipping fuels.

    Kvasir Technologies is focused on transforming biomass lignin and using it in fuel production. As part of the joint project, a full-scale test of Kvasir's fuel will be conducted on one of NORDEN's vessels to better understand the characteristics of biofuel and prove its suitability as a future maritime fuel,

    In September 2018, NORDEN was the first to conduct a test voyage on a large ocean-going vessel powered by CO2 neutral biofuel. (Source: Norden, Bunkerspot, 6 Dec., 2019) Contact: Kvasir Technologies, +45 22 11 07 75, www.kvasirtechnologies.com NORDEN, Henrik Rojel, Fuel Efficiency and Decarbonisation Manager, +45 33 15 04 51, www.ds-norden.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Marine Biofuel,  Maritime Biofuel,  


    NV Energy Adding Major Solar, Storage Capacity (Ind. Report)
    NV Energy
    Date: 2019-12-06
    In Las Vegas, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUC) reports approval of NV Energy's Integrated Resource Plan to bring three projects totaling an additional 1,190 MW of new solar renewable energy projects to the state -- sufficient power for 230,000 homes -- and an additional 590 megawatts of energy storage capacity. The three new projects include:
  • Arrow Canyon Solar Project -- 200 mw solar photovoltaic project with a 75 mw -- 5 hour battery storage system being developed by EDF Renewables North America.

  • Southern Bighorn Solar & Storage Center -- 300 mw solar array that includes a 135 mw-4 hour Li-Ion battery energy storage system being developed by 8minute Solar Energy.

  • Gemini Solar + Battery Storage Project -- 690 mw solar PV array coupled with a 380 mw AC battery storage system in Clark County being developed by Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners in collaboration with Arevia Power.

    The projects, which are expected to be online prior to January 1, 2024, will double NV Energy's renewable energy resources portfolio to include 57 geothermal, solar, hydro, wind, biomass and supported rooftop solar projects both in service and under development. (Source: NV Energy, PR, 5 Dec., 2019) Contact: NV Energy, Doug Cannon, Pres., CEO, Kristen Saibini, Corporate Communications,, 775-834-3891, ksaibini@nvenergy.com, www.nvenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NV Energy,  Renewable Energy,  Energy Storage,  Solar,  


  • Enviva Alabama Pellet Plant Environ. Permit Approved (Ind. Report)
    Enviva
    Date: 2019-12-04
    Further to our October 11th edition, Bethesda, Maryland-based wood pellet supplier Enviva Holdings, LP, the world's largest producer of wood pellets, is reporting receipt Alabama Department of Environmental Management permitting to construct a new facility in Alabama, US. The new $175 million facility at the Port of Epes Industrial Park in Sumter County is expected to produce around 1,150,000 metric tpy wood pellets from locally sources woody biomass wastes. Construction is expected to break ground in early 2020. (Source: Enviva, Bioenergy, Dec., 2019) Contact: Enviva Holdings LP, Enviva Biomass, Dr. Jennifer Jenkins, VP, (301) 615-5560, jennifer@envivabiomass.com, www.envivabiomass.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enviva,  Wood Pellet,  Woody Biomass,  


    Int'l Alliance to Provide Biogas Solutions (Ind. Report)
    Greenlane Renewables , Integrated Biogas Alliance
    Date: 2019-12-04
    Burnaby, B.C.-based Greenlane Renewables Inc. is reporting AB Energy (Italy), Eisenmann Corporation (USA), Entsorga (Italy), Tietjen (Germany), and Greenlane Renewables (Canada) -- the founding members of the Integrated Biogas Alliance (IBA)-- have joined forces on a non-exclusive basis to provide the global biogas industry with a renewable energy platform solution that will lower the inherent risks facing developers, investors and EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) firms in developing biogas plants, lower project execution risks and improve their bankability.

    With its global footprint, reach and supply chain, the IBA has the capability to process virtually any organic waste including livestock, food and green waste, generating both renewable natural gas as well as compost and other organic fertilizers for projects anywhere in the world, according to the release. (Source: Greenlane, PR, Cdn. Biomass, Dec., 2019) Contact: Integrated Biogas Alliance, www.ibabiogas.com; Greenlane Renewables, Brad Douville, Pres., CEO, (604) 649-4459, brad.dauville@greenlanerenewables.com, www.greenlanerenewables.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Integrated Biogas Alliance,  Greenlane Renewables ,  Biogas,  


    RMDE Planning New Canadian CoalSwitch Plants (Ind. Report)
    Active Energy Group
    Date: 2019-12-02
    London, UK-based Active Energy Group is confirming a 20-year license agreement with Westbank, British Columbia-based forestry waste management specialist RMD Environmentals Inc under which RMD will construct processing plants utilizing Active Energy's CoalSwitch technology.

    RMD plans to construct and operate stand-alone and joint venture-based CoalSwitch plants in Alberta and British Columbia with the support and involvement of provincial governments, Canadian forestry managers/owners, Indigenous groups, timberlands operators and downstream production companies.

    The CoalSwitch product is made from woody biomass including pulp and saw mill by-products such as bark, sawdust and thinning, and wood which is over-age, under-quality, blow-down, beetle-kill, forest-fire damaged, or industrial waste. CoalSwitch can be burned by old, coal-fired generation facilities without the need for a retrofit. (Source: RMDE, PR, Canadian Biomass, 28 Nov., 2019) Contact: RMDE, Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson, Chairman, Commercial Opportunities/Investor Relations: Richard.Spinks@rmde.ca www.rmde.ca; Active Energy Group, Coal Switch, Michael Rowan, CEO, +44 (0) 20 3021 1500, www.active-energy.com, www.aegplc.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Active Energy Group,  CoalSwitch,  


    On the Way to Green Fuels? Israelis Grow CO2 Consuming Bacteria (Int'l Report, R&D)
    Weizmann Institute of Science
    Date: 2019-12-02
    In Israel, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have developed bacteria that survives solely on carbon dioxide (CO2) from their surroundings, instead of their regular food. The findings point to the possible future development of carbon-neutral alternative fuels.

    The study , which was reported in the scientific journal Cell identified crucial genes for the process of carbon fixation, through which plants take carbon from CO2 to turn it into biomass. The research team added and rewired the needed genes to the bacteria. They also inserted a gene that allowed the bacteria to get energy from a readily available substance called formate, which can be produced directly from electricity and air.

    The bacteria were gradually weaned off the sugar they were used to consuming and developed a taste for CO2. The researchers believe that the bacteria's new diet could ultimately be healthy for the planet.

    biotech companies use corn syrup for cell cultures to produce commodity chemicals. Such cells could be induced to live on a diet of CO2 and electricity and spare the large amounts of corn syrup they live on today.

    According to the study, bacteria could be further adapted to use renewable electricity, rather than taking their energy from a substance such as formate, and then store energy for later use. Such bio-fuel would be carbon-neutral, a crucial green development in the battle against climate change. (Source: Weizmann Institute of Science,The Jewish Press, 1 Dec., 2019) Contact: Weizmann Institute of Science, Professor Ron Milo, +972-8-934-9106 www.weizmann.ac.il

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2,  Biofuel,  


    EC OKs €94Mn for Bulgarian Waste-to-Energy Co-Gen Plant (Int'l)
    European Commission
    Date: 2019-11-27
    In Bulgaria, the Sophia Globe is reporting the European Commission (EC) has approved Bulgaria's application for about €94 million aid for the construction and operation of a co-generation plant in the capital city Sofia.

    The facility, which would use biomass wastes and other pre-treated and non-recyclable refuse, is expected to cut primary electric and heat costs by roughly 46 pct. When fully operational in 2023, the facility would generate about 55MW of heat and 19MW of electricity. (Source: EC, Sophia Globe, 25 Nov., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission,  


    Drax Upping Woody Biomass Pellet Production (Int'l., Ind. Report)
    DRAX
    Date: 2019-11-22
    In the UK, power producer Drax Group plc, through its Drax Biomass subsidiary, report it plans to increase its present 1.5 million mtpy wood pellet production to 5 million mtpy by 2027. The company's three U.S plants will increase production by by 350,000 metric tpy over the next two years. Drax notes it is also looking at developing an additional 3 million mtpy of capacity over the next seven years.

    According to a company statement, Drax produced 650,000 metric tons of wood pellets during the first half of 2019, a sligth drop from the same period in 2018. The company also noted the expansion in biomass capacity would allow it to develop an unsubsidized biomass generation business by 2027. (Source: DRAX, Biomass, 20 Nov., 2019) Contact: DRAX, Will Gardiner, CEO, +44 0 1757 618381, www.draxpower.com

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


    POET Temporarily Halting Project Liberty Biofuel Prod. (Ind. Report)
    POET, Poet-DSM
    Date: 2019-11-22
    Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based POET-DSM Advanced Biofuel reports it is temporarily halting production of cellulosic biofuels at its Emmetsburg, Iowa, facility due in part to the uncertainties surrounding the EPA's Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) policies.

    The company, a 50/50 joint venture between Royal DSM and POET, LLC., will now focus on R&D aimed at improving mechanical reliability, creating additional technological efficiencies and licensing technologies in countries that support the use of low carbon fuels from crop residue and other biomass, according to the company. (Source: Poet-DSM, Biofuels 20 Nov., 2019) Contact: POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels, Steve Hartig, General Manager, (630) 780-8171, steve.hartig@dsm.com, www.poetdsm.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Project Liberty,  POET,  Poet-DSM,  Cellulosic Biofuel,  Advanced Biofuel,  


    New York Woody Biomass Heating System Commissioned (Ind. Report)
    NYSERDA
    Date: 2019-11-22
    In the Empire State, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Adirondack Park Agency, and New York State Police are reporting the commissioning of a woody biomass pellet-fired heating system at the State Office Campus in Ray Brook.

    The $3 million project, developed in partnership with DEC, State Police, APA, the New York Power Authority and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's (D) BuildSmart NY program, which calls for a 20 pct reduction in energy consumption by all state agencies by 2020. The installation is also expected to cut annual energy costs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 391 tpy.

    NYSERDA provided more than $500,000 for the project with the balance split by the three benefiting state agencies. (Source: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, NYSERDA, 19 Nov., 2019) Contact: NYSERDA, Alicia Barton, Pres., CEO, (518) 862-1090, www.nyserda.ny.gov; New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, www.dec.ny.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NYSERDA,  Biomass Heat,  Woody Biomass,  

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