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Associations Call for Canadian Clean Fuel Strategy (Ind. Report)
Wood Pellet Association of Canada
Date: 2019-09-13
Advanced Biofuels Canada, Canadian Biogas Association, Canadian Gas Association, Electric Mobility Canada and Wood Pellet Association of Canada are forecasting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions of over 50 million metric tons (Mt) per year by 2030 through greater production and use of renewable energy in Canada.

Collectively, the associations say they represent technologies that can, with the right policy measures in place, exceed the proposed federal Clean Fuel Standard's objective of 30 Mt of annual GHG emission reductions by 2030.

To that end, the associations are calling on the Canadian federal government to adopt a Clean Fuel Strategy by 2020. The strategy would include setting a clear path to clean and renewable fuel use by 2030 by: establishing clear market signals for clean fuels and electric vehicles; aligning clean and renewable fuel regulations to meet targeted clean fuel and EV use; establish clean fuel program funding to support clean and renewable fuel production capacity and infrastructure investments, and support EV adoption; and Support research and development programs to maintain Canadian leadership in clean fuel technologies and innovation. (Source: Wood Pellet Association of Canada, Biomass Mag., Sept., 2019) Contact: Wood Pellet Association of Canada, www.pellet.org; Canadian Biogas Association, (613) 822-1004, www.biogasassociation.ca; Advanced Biofuels Canada, Ian Thompson, Pres., (604) 947-0040, ithomson@advancedbiofuels.ca, www.advancedbiofuels.ca

More Low-Carbon Energy News Advanced Biofuels Canada,  Canadian Biogas Association,  Wood Pellet Association of Canada,  Clean Fuel,  Biofuel,  


Gevo, Leaf Resources Ink Joint Development Agreement (Ind. Report)
Gevo,Leaf Resources
Date: 2019-09-13
Englewood, Colorado-based renewable fuels and chemicals manufacturer Gevo, Inc. and Queensland, Australasia-based Leaf Resources, a specialist in converting plant biomass into industrial sugars, are reporting a joint development and commercialization agreement under which Gevo will explore the potential use of cellulosic-derived sugars and glycerol from Leaf Resources and the ability to convert these to hydrocarbon molecules useful as fuels or chemicals.

Leaf Resources' Glycell Process pre-treatment technology breaks down plant biomass to generate a higher yield of cellulose than conventional approaches. The pretreatment is followed by enzymatic hydrolysis which converts cellulose into cellulosic sugars. The process also yields lignin, hemicellulose and refined glycerol.

Gevo has developed technology for producing isobutanol from renewable feedstocks using a yeast that has been developed to produce isobutanol and a product recovery technology that continuously removes isobutanol as it is formed. Gevo adds its proprietary yeast to fermentable sugars to convert the sugars to isobutanol. (Source: GEVO, Green Car Congress, 12 Sept., 2019) Contact: Leaf Resources, +61 7 3188 9040, www.leafresources.com.au; Gevo, Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, pgruber@gevo.com, www.gevo.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Isobutanol,  Leaf Resources,  GEVO,  Cellulosic,  


Trump Asked to Honor RFS Pledge (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
NBB,National Biodiesel Board
Date: 2019-09-11
"DearMr.President,

"We are writing to express dismay at your recent decision to grant 31 waivers from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. Plainly stated, that decision is putting U.S.biodiesel producers out of business and worsening the year's outlook for soy farmers. And while you have expressed concern to save small petroleum refineries, you should also understand that small U.S. biodiesel producers need a positive signal.

"Within a week of your decision on the 31 waivers, one U.S. biodiesel producer announced plans to close three plants -- in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Mississippi. Other producers have announced closings and laid off workers. More than 200 million gallons of domestic biodiesel production has been idled this year, due to instability in federal policy. We anticipate that additional facilities will close over the next several months if you do not take quick action to restore RFS volumes for biodiesel and renewable diesel.

"Every small refinery waiver issued by the EPA has the potential to put a U.S.biodiesel producer out of business. A small oil refiner processing 75,000 barrels of oil per day can produce nearly 1 billion gallons of fuel in a year. The RFS program requires that oil refiner blend about 20 million gallons of biodiesel or renewable diesel during the year -- a very small fraction of overall fuel production. However, there are dozens of biodiesel producers who produce 20 million gallons of fuel or less each year; three-fifths of U.S. producers are small, non-integrated facilities.

Small refinery waivers destroy demand for all biofuels across the board, with a significant impact on domestic biodiesel and renewable diesel producers. According to University of Illinois economist Scott Irwin, the exemptions especially harm biodiesel and renewable diesel producers because of the way the RFS is constructed. The 1.4 billion gallons of renewable fuel eliminated from the 2018 RFS through the 31 waivers includes hundreds of millions of gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel in the biomass-based diesel, advanced and overall volumes.

"The small refinery exemptions are compounding the policy headwinds our industry is facing. Biodiesel producers have waited more than 20 months for Congress to address expired tax incentives. Additionally, your U.S. Department of Commerce is proposing to virtually eliminate countervailing duties on unfairly subsidized Argentine biodiesel. Those duties were put in place to counteract years' worth of unfair trade practices by Argentina. Soy farmers have faced closed markets, depressed crop prices, and weather-related challenges. Those forces have reduced soy planting by 15 percent for the current marketing year. Biodiesel is a value-added market driver for America's soybeans, at a time when markets have been shut or diminished.

"The biodiesel industry continues to rely on the RFS to incentivize growth. Biodiesel and renewable diesel can be used in any existing diesel engine without special equipment for blending or dispensing. Producers therefore rely on a positive signal and support from federal programs to continue opening the transportation market to higher volumes.

"Biodiesel producers and soy farmers rely on the RFS program. Growth in the biodiesel market is the only way to keep domestic producers operating and protect U.S. workers' jobs. Unfortunately, EPA is proposing zero growth for biomass-based diesel. We have asked the agency to do two things: first, properly account for the small refinery exemptions handed out over the past few years and going forward; and second, provide growth in the biomass-based diesel market for 2020 and 2021.

"We ask that you continue to support the RFS and save small biodiesel producers. (signed) National Biodiesel Board (NBB)" (Source: NBB, 9 Sept., 2019) Contact: NBB, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News NBB,  Biodiesel,  RFS,  


WPA Takes Canadian Clean Fuel Standard to Task (Ind Report)
Wood Pellet Association of Canada
Date: 2019-09-09
Since 2017, the government of Canada has been developing the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS), a low carbon fuel standard-type policy, to reduce the life-cycle carbon intensity of fuels and energy used in Canada. The CFS aims to achieve 30 million tonnes CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) of annual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2030.

The Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) has been providing input to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) as it works to design and shape the CFS. And, upon review of ECCC's proposed regulatory approach, WPAC is seriously concerned that the government will not allow end-use fuel switching in the buildings/stationary fuel use sector.

WPAC believes it is unfair for ECCC to recognize fuel switching from gasoline to electricity or hydrogen in transportation, but not to recognize switching from heating oil to solid biofuels -- wood pellets or chips -- for Canada's second largest renewable energy product -- solid biomass heating. To that end, WPAC made the following representations to ECCC:

  • One of the three primary objectives of the CFS is low-cost compliance. By prohibiting recognition of fuel switching for stationary applications, ECCC will actually significantly increase the cost of CFS compliance, exclude the forest sector from participation in the short-term, and inhibit investment in the most proven commercial technology for displacement of heating oil -- wood pellet and chip boilers.

  • Canada consumes approximately three billion lpy of heating oil, the majority of which is consumed by Canadians in rural and Atlantic Canada. The latter accounts for 44 pct of heating oil consumption in the residential sector and 50 pct of heating oil consumption in the commercial/institutional sectors. Rural and Atlantic Canada also have among the lowest per capita income. ECCC's proposed regulatory approach will make CFS compliance for these low-income areas significantly more expensive than for those living in cities.

  • Under ECCC's proposed regulatory approach, the principal mechanism for ensuring compliance from heating oil primary suppliers will be to blend renewable diesel with heating oil. Since heating oil has low carbon intensity (CI) relative to other liquid fuels and much of the crude used to produce heating oil is sourced from outside of Canada, there is less opportunity for upstream reductions than with other liquid fuels. The 2030 target of 74 g CO2e/MJ is less than heating oil combustion emissions, meaning upstream efficiency improvements will be insufficient to meet the requirements. The only heating oil-miscible fuel that can also be stored outside in winter, as is often the case with heating oil, is renewable diesel.

  • Renewable diesel has a useful heat fuel cost of $65-82 per gigajoule (GJ) ($234-295 per MWh. In contrast, wood pellets, at $300-350 per tonne for residential sales, have a useful heat fuel cost of $20-24 per GJ. Wood pellets also have half the of default renewable diesel (29 g CO2e/MJ). Wood chips are half the carbon intensity of wood pellets which means, on an implied carbon price basis and assuming wholesale $0.75 per litre for heating oil, blending renewable diesel with heating oil has a fuel cost of $630/ per tonne CO2e to 884 per tonne CO2e. Switching from heating oil to wood pellets saves money on a fuel basis, in addition to avoiding taxes on heating oil. In this case, there is little reason to implement a complex policy such as the CFS.

  • Despite the billions of dollars invested in lignocellulosic liquid transportation biofuels, all technologies are still pre-commercial -- especially forest feedstock-based liquid transportation biofuels due to the recalcitrant structure of wood fibre. Co-processing of pyrolysis oil or biocrude in existing oil refineries at a meaningful volume will not occur before 2030. The forest sector represents over 75 pct of annually-available biomass resources in Canada and its exclusion from participation in the liquids class will dramatically increase the cost of fuel, especially in rural communities where wood chips and bioheat are a cost efficient and convenient source of energy. (Source: WPAC, Canadian Biomass, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 26 Aug., 2019) Contact: Wood Pellet Association of Canada, Gordon Murra, Exec. Dir., ; Environment and Climate Change Canada, www.canada.ca › environment-climate-change

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Environment and Climate Change Canada,  Wood Pellet Association of Canada,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet ,  


  • Valmet Announces BS Energy Biomass Boiler Order (Int'l. Report)
    Valmet, BS Energy
    Date: 2019-09-06
    Espoo, Finland-headquartered Valmet is reporting it will supply a biomass-fired boiler and a flue gas treatment plant to BS Energy's combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Braunschweig, Germany. The roughly €50 million boiler with its auxiliary equipment is in line with BS Energy's energy production strategy 2030 which aims to remove and replace coal-fired boilers by 2022.

    The biomass-fired CHP plant will produce approximately 20 MW of electricity and 60 MW of district heat. The CYMIC circulating fluidized bed boiler included in Valmet's delivery will use recycled wood as its primary fuels to generate 27 kg/s of high-pressure steam at a pressure of 75 bar and a temperature of 525 C. The flue gas cleaning system included in the delivery will enable fulfilling the tightening emission standards.

    BS Energy, a subsidiary company jointly owned by the City of Braunschweig, Veolia Deutschland GmbH, and Thuga AG, is the regional energy supplier in Braunschweig. (Source: Valmet, PR, Globe Newswire, 3 Sept., 2019) Contact: Valmet, Kai Janhunen, VP, www.valmet.com, www.twitter.com/valmetglobal; BS Energy, +49 531 3838000

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Valmet,  BS Energy,  Biomass,  Woody Biomass,  


    GEVO Touts New No Particulate Renewable Diesel (Ind. Report)
    GEVO
    Date: 2019-09-06
    Englewood, Colorado-based renewable fuels and chemicals manufacturer GEVO reports the development of a proprietary, breakthrough processes that converts

    either low-carbon isobutanol or low-value "fusel oils" -- a mixture of alcohols that are byproducts from fermentation processes -- into renewable diesel. This new renewable diesel is expected to compete head-to-head on price with natural and petroleum-based equivalents while reducing particulates and CO2 emissions.

    Low-carbon renewable diesel is biomass-derived transportation fuel suitable for use in diesel engines and has increased in demand since the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard came into effect. Additionally, the marine sector will have to reduce sulphur emissions to meet new international water regulations beginning in 2020. (Source: GEVO, PR, 4 Sept., 2019)Contact: GEVO, Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, pgruber@gevo.com, www.gevo.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GEVO,  Renewable Diesel,  isobutanol,  


    UNIDO, NUST Plan Pakistan's First Biomass Cluster (Int'l Report)
    National University of Science and Technology
    Date: 2019-09-04
    The US-Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in Energy at Pakistan's National University of Science and Technology (NUST) -- under the banner of U.N. Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) programme for promoting sustainable energy production and the use of biomass in Pakistan -- is reporting plans to develop that country's first Biomass Cluster.

    Participants in the planning process include: Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA), Punjab Bio Energy Company Limited (PBECL), SBP Banking Services Corporation (SBP-BSC), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL), Ministry of Food Security and Research, SAARC Energy Center (SEC), Asia Foundation, Punjab University, DESCON and Ali Engineering.

    The proposed cluster is intended to act as an easily accessed shared knowledge and data repository for biomass stakeholders and to promote biomass and green energy business opportunities. (Source: The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 20190 Contact: National University of Science and Technology, www.nust.edu.pk; US-Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in Energy, +92 91 9217480, www.uspcase.asu.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biomass,  Pakistan Biomass,  


    Clariant Completes Miscanthus Grass Biomass-to-Ethanol Tests (Int'l)
    Clariant
    Date: 2019-09-04
    Basel, Switzerland-based specialty chemicals company Clariant reports the completion of tests of technology that converts miscanthus biomass into lignocellulosic sugars and ethanol at its pre-commercial "sunliquid" plant in Straubing, Germany.

    Approximately 30 tons of miscanthus provided by Croatian oil and gas company INA was tested with funding from the Growing Advanced Industrial Crops on Marginal Land for Biorefineries (GRACE) project -- of which INA is a consortium member. GRACE is supported by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

    The project aims to optimize various miscanthus grass value chains in order to produce sustainable products and to develop miscanthus as a sustainable feedstock resource for cultivation on marginal, contaminated and abandoned land. Clariant tested miscanthus as a feedstock for the production of lignocellulose sugars and ethanol. (Source: Clariant, Business Standard, 3 Sept., 2019) Contact: Clariant, Markus Rarbach, Biofuels and Derivatives, Clariant, Markus Rarbach, Hariolf Kottmann, CEO, +41 61 469 5111, www.clariant.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Clariant,  Miscanthus,  Ethanol,  Biofuel,  


    USDA REAP Announces Rural Energy Grant Funding (Funding)
    USDA, REAP
    Date: 2019-08-30
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) reports it will award a total of $9.3 million in grant funding for energy costs reduction to farmers, ag producers, rural-based businesses and institutions in 49 states and Puerto Rico.

    Congress appropriated $50 million for REAP grants and loan guarantees in fiscal year 2019. REAP funding can be used for energy audits, renewable energy systems including biomass, geothermal, solar, hydropower biomass and others as well as energy efficiency upgrades such as HVAC energy efficiency improvements, insulation, lighting and refrigeration. (Source: USDA, Farm & Dairy, 29 Aug., 2019) Contact: USDA, (202) 690-4730, (f) 202-690-4737, www.rd.usda.gov; REAP, www.rurdev.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  Renewable Energy,  Energy Efficiency,  REAP,  


    Woodland Biofuels Wins $4.7Mn NRC Investment (Funding)
    Woodland Biofuels
    Date: 2019-08-30
    In Ottawa, the Canadian government reports it will invest $4.7 million in Toronto-headquartered Woodland Biofuels. The company uses gasification and a series of catalytic reactions to convert biomass into renewable fuels.

    Of the total investment, $1.9 million, funded by Natural Resources Canada's (NRC) Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program, will support the company's development of a technology to produce cellulosic ethanol from wood and agricultural waste. A second investment of more than $2.8 million, funded by NRC Clean Growth Program, will be used to increase the efficiency of the company's cellulosic ethanol demonstration plant and support detailed engineering activities, enabling Woodland's first commercial-scale ethanol plant in Sarnia, Ontario. (Source: Woodland Biofuels, PR, Ethanol Producer, 28 Aug., 2019) Contact: Woodland Biofuel, Greg Nuttall, CEO,(647) 494-5553, www.woodlandbiofuels.com; NRC, www.nrcan.gc.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cellulosic,  Natural Resources Canada,  Biofuel,  


    Shell Sinks $7.7Mn in Punjab Biomass Supply Business (Int'l Report)
    Royal Dutch Shell,Punjab Renewable Energy Systems
    Date: 2019-08-30
    Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell Plc reports is subsidiary Shell India has invested $7.7 million in the Indian biomass supply company Punjab Renewable Energy Systems Pvt. Ltd. which is backed by Neev Fund and responsAbility.

    Punjab Renewable, is involved in the collection, processing, storage and supply of paddy straw, cotton stalk, soya husk, maize cob and mustard stalk biomass for use in to power plants, biofuel production and various other applications.

    Punjab Renewable notes it can handle more than 1,000 tpd and plans to scale up to 10,000 tpd in the next few years. (Source: VCCircle, Royal Dutch Shell, 29 Aug., 2019) Contact: Shell India, www.shell.in; Punjab Renewable Energy Systems, +91 22 2757 0498, www.prespl.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Royal Dutch Shell,  Biomass,  


    UPM Raflatac Touts Wood-Based Polypropylene Film (New Prod & Tech)
    UPM Biofuels
    Date: 2019-08-28
    Helsinki-headquartered renewable diesel producer UPM Biofuels is touting "Forest Film", new product developed with UPM BioVerno naphtha, a 100 pct wood-based solution originating from sustainably managed forests.

    The new product replaces traditional fossil-based virgin materials and offers an efficient way to reach sustainability goals without compromising on product performance, according to a release.

    At UPM Raflatac, UPM Biofuels converts woody biomass pulp pulp production residue into renewable naphtha, a drop-in raw material for the chemical industry. (Source: UPM Raflatac, UPM Biofuels, Labels & Labeling, 27 Aug., 2019) Contact: UPM Raflatac, +44 1723 583661, www.upmraflatac.com; UPM Biofuels, Panu Routasalo, +358 45 265 1345, sari.mannonen@upm.com, www.upmbiofuels.com, www.upm.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UPM Biofuels ,  


    More RFS "Hardship" Waivers! (Ind. Report)
    EPA,American Soybean Association
    Date: 2019-08-26
    On Friday the 23rd, the EPA announced it was granting 31 more Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) "hardship" waivers -- a whopping 31 of 38 total Small Refinery Exemption (SRE) applications for the 2018 compliance year.

    In July, EPA announced biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuels volumes for 2021 will remain stagnant but again failed to account for the significant gallons lost because of SRE, which makes the proposed volume, in effect, a reduction for biofuels.

    The waivers announced Friday evening combined with those issued for 2016 and 2017 RFS volumes brings the total number to more than 80 retroactive waivers, which significantly reduces biodiesel demand and results in billions of dollars in economic harm to the U.S. biodiesel industry, including soybean farmers.

    Kentucky soybean grower and American Soybean Association (ASA) president Davie Stephens responded to the latest round saying "Of course ASA is unhappy. These exemptions undermine President Trump's pledge to support the RFS and undermine the Administration's efforts to support farmers who are already bearing the brunt of trade disruptions. EPA's decision is another blow to yet another market for soybean farmers." (Source: American Soybean Association, Daily American, Various Media, 26 Aug., 2019) Contact: American Soybean Association, Dave Stephens, Pres., (314) 576-1770, www.soygrowers.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA,  "Hardship" Waivers,  American Soybean Association,  


    USDA Invests in Energy Efficiency Improvements ... Seven Businesses In New Mexico Among Recipients
    USDA Rural Development
    Date: 2019-08-25
    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Bette Brand has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding grants for projects in all states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to reduce energy costs for farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses and institutions. Under today’s announcement, USDA is investing $9.3 million through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects across the nation. Congress appropriated $50 million for REAP grants and loan guarantees in fiscal year 2019. USDA will make additional funding announcements in the REAP program in coming weeks. Recipients can use REAP funding for a variety of needs, such as conducting energy audits and installing renewable energy systems such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower and solar. Funds also can be used to make energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration. This announcement includes, seven businesses in rural New Mexico that received funding to purchase energy saving systems. Listed below are the REAP investments made for seven rural businesses in rural New Mexico: • CIA Inc. an insurance company in Ruidoso will receive $9,236 to install a solar array system at that company's building, which will save $1,849 in the company's electric bill every year. • Conley's Lumber Mill in Española will receive $7,897 to install a solar array system at the lumber mill. By installing the solar power system, the company will save $1,857 per year in electricity, which is a 100 percent of the electricity used by the lumber mill for its business. • Four Peaks Energy LLC of Sunland Park will receive $20,000 to upgrade its lighting, HVAC system, and Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) (connected to motors) insulation upgrades, and an environmental shade screen at the Camino Real Landfill Facility. This project will save $17,638 per year in electricity costs. • Pamela N. MacArthur of Rancho De Taos will receive $2,811 to install a solar array system for her horse boarding facility. The solar array will save $529 per year in electricity costs, which is equal to 103 percent of the yearly energy usage for the business. • Joseph J. Mathieu of Deming will receive $7,500 to install LED lighting and energy efficient windows at his Denny’s Restaurant. By installing the energy efficient systems $9,987 in electricity will be saved yearly. • Roxie Properties LLC of Santa Rosa will receive $18,711 to install a solar array system at the El Rancho Motel. The new solar power array will save $5,122 per year in electricity costs for the business. • Taos Veterinary Clinic PC of Taos will receive $ 11,021 to install a solar array system. By installing the solar panels, the business will save $3,796 per year in electricity or a 103 percent of the electricity used by the veterinary clinic.

    To view the report in its entirety, view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB). USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. (Source: USDA, 25 Aug., 2019) Contact: USDA Rural Development, www.rd.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA Rural Development news,  Energy Efficiency news,  


    Irish Bio-coal Developer Raises £ 2Mn (Int'l. Report, Funding)
    Silform Technologies
    Date: 2019-08-23
    On the Emerald Isle, Belfast-based Silform Technologies reports it has raised £2 million ($2.5 million +-) from the Bank of Ireland to establish a pilot factory in Northern Ireland for its unique process that turns coal mine waste into industrial fuel.

    Silform's technology includes a formula and process that process coal mine waste into a water resistant pellet fuel. The company is also developing a pellet that mixes 30 pct biomass "biocoal" with 30 pct less CO2 emissions compared with traditional coal and 70 pct more calorific value compared to pure wood Biomass pellets.

    The Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Growth Fund (NI) fundg will establish the plant and also scale-up R&D on broader applications of the technology and products. (Source: Silform Technologies, PR, Irish Times, 22 Aug., 2019) Contact: Silform Technologies, +44 28 9446 3759, www.silform.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Silform Technologies,  Coal,  Bio-coal,  Biomass,  


    Univ. of BC Expanding Woody Biomass Power Plant (Ind. Report)
    University of British Columbia
    Date: 2019-08-21
    The University of British Columbia (UBC) reports it will invest $20.4 million to expand its 2012 vintage wood waste-to-energy power plant. The expansion will include installation of a new boiler and increasing the plant's capacity to generate 70 pct of the hot water needed in the university's district energy system and cutting its CO2 emissions by 14,500 tpy. The project, with $7.6 million in Canadian government support, is slated to be completed in 2020.

    UBC constructed its initial biomass-fueled research and demonstration facility in 2012 in partnership with Vancouver-based bioenergy firm Nexterra Systems and General Electric. (Source: Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver Sun Aug., 2019) Contact: UBC, David Woodson, Dir. Energy Services, (604) 822-2211, www.ubc.ca

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


    Electro-Active Technologies Converts Organic Waste Into Hydrogen for Biofuels (New Prod & Tech)
    Electro-Active Technologies
    Date: 2019-08-19
    Tennessee start-up Electro-Active Technologies reports it has licensed two biorefinery technologies invented and patented by the company's founders to convert organic waste into renewable hydrogen gas for use as a biofuel.

    Electro-Active Technologies is developing a modular system that can be placed onsite or in a decentralized location to produce renewable hydrogen from organic waste. The system combines biology and electrochemistry to degrade organic waste such as biomass or food waste, to produce hydrogen which then combines the protons and electrons into hydrogen molecules.

    The company originally developed their processes to tackle the problem of liquid waste formed during biofuel production; however, the company will now focus on fighting food waste, according to its website. (Source: Electro-Active Technologies Contact: Electro-Active Technologies, Alex Lewis, CEO, https://electroactive.tech/contact.html, www.electroactive.tech/index.html

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Hydrogen,  H2,  


    Turkey Litter, Biomass Power Plant Bites the Dust (Ind. Report)
    Fibrominn,Xcel Energy
    Date: 2019-08-16
    Following up on our 21st February, 2018 coverage, Fibrominn's 2007 vintage 55 MW biomass plant in Benson, Minnesota, the country's first turkey manure and wood chips fired power plant, has been demolished by Xcel Energy to make way for a third-party proposed new dairy manure biogas facility. The plant had reportedly become too cost inefficient to continue running. Xcel acquired the plant for $24.5 million in 2017.

    The city of Benson is purchasing the site and reportedly has a letter of intent from a Californian company interested in constructing dairy manure biogas facility. (Source: West Central Trib., Aug., 2019) Contact: Xcel Energy, www.xcelenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Turkey Litter,  Fibrominn,  Biogas ,  


    Atlantic Power Takes Ownership Interest in Biomass Plants (M&A)
    Atlantic Power,Fortistar,CMS Energy
    Date: 2019-08-16
    In the Bay State, Dedham-based independent power producer Atlantic Power Corporation reports completion of its $20 million acquisition of the equity ownership interests held by AltaGas Power Holdings in Craven County Wood Energy in North Carolina and the Grayling Generating Station contracted biomass plants in Michigan.

    The 48 MW Craven County Wood Energy facility has been in service since October 1990 . Atlantic Power acquired a 50 pct interest from AltaGas with the remaining 50 pct held by CMS Energy. Craven County burns wood waste, wood chips, poultry litter, forestry residues, mill waste, bark and sawdust, and has PPA with Duke Energy Carolinas.

    In Michigan, the 37 MW Grayling Generating Station has been in service since June 1992 . Atlantic Power acquired a 30 pct interest from AltaGas , leaving Fortistar with 20 pct and CMS Energy with 50 pct. Grayling has a PPA with Consumers Energy. The plant burns wood waste from local mills, forestry residues, mill waste and bark. Both plants are operated by an affiliate of CMS Energy. (Source: Atlantic Power Corp., CNW Group, 14 Aug., 2019) Contact: Atlantic Power Corporation, (617) 977-2700, info@atlanticpower.com, www.atlanticpower.com; , Mark Comora, CEO, (914) 421-4937, MComora@fortistar.com, www.fortistar.com; CMS Energy, www.cmsenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Fortistar,  Atlantic Power,  Biomass,  Woody Biomass,  CMS Energy,  


    "We've Had Enough!" -- NBB Comments on EPA's RFS Waivers (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    NBB
    Date: 2019-08-16
    "Here we go again. Last week, the U.S. EPA granted 31 out of 38 retroactive small refinery exemptions for 2018. I can't contain the frustration and utter disappointment I have with how this administration is handling its responsibility of administering the RFS.

    "Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) back in 2007, signed into law by George W. Bush -- a lifelong oil and gas guy. The law was passed to encourage investment in advanced biofuels like biodiesel, renewable diesel and renewable jet fuel. Biodiesel producers responded, making the investments and building an industry that today produces more than 2 billion gallons of transportation fuel each year. This market also provides added value to feedstocks such as soybean oil, used restaurant oil and animal fats.

    "The oil industry feverishly insists that the ethanol industry isn't harmed by small refinery exemptions because production has grown. But what about biodiesel? They never mention us because they know that small refinery exemptions disproportionately affect biodiesel because of the way the RFS is constructed.

    "We have said again and again -- biodiesel is very different from ethanol. The president (Trump) was instrumental in clearing the path for higher blends of ethanol year-round when he lifted the RVP waiver this summer, which we were supportive of. He and his EPA administrator have mentioned E15 when they have spoken about what they believe to be the minor impact of exempting RFS gallons. It's as though they think we are dumb enough to not understand that they are giving with one hand but taking away with the other.

    "Now, back to biodiesel. E15 does nothing to expand demand for biodiesel. Ethanol is not biodiesel. In fact, the RFS recognized this by establishing its own category for biodiesel, separate from ethanol, called biomass-based diesel. Policymakers at the time recognized the need to segment biodiesel and renewable diesel within the bigger RFS pool so that growth in those products could be differentiated in the overall program and we would see advancements of biofuels in both the gasoline and diesel sector.

    "Fast forward to 2019 and we now have an EPA that, two months ago, proposed a draft rule to hold the biomass-based diesel category flat for 2020, keeping it at 2.43 billion gallons for the second year in a row and then, just last week, the same EPA grants nearly one-half billion gallons of biomass-based diesel waivers. To highlight the hypocrisy in this action, while filing the draft rule two months ago, the EPA documented, in writing, the fact that they expected to grant zero (that's zero as in none, zilch, nada) gallons of small refinery waivers in 2020. And we're supposed to understand and accept that move?

    "Biodiesel and renewable diesel year after year fill more than 90 percent of the RFS volumes reserved for advanced biofuels. But EPA complains that advanced biofuels have not materialized quickly enough to meet the goals of the RFS. Now -- as seen last week -- the agency is holding its thumb on the industry and blocking growth. Not only blocking growth, but helping to reduce demand through small refinery exemptions.

    "As the agency continues to hand them out to every refiner that asks, the damage could reach $7.7 billion or 2.54 billion gallons, according to Scott Irwin, an agricultural economist from the University of Illinois. A 'small' oil refinery, by RFS definition -- one that processes 75,000 bpd of oil and produces nearly a billion gallons of fuel a year -- would have an RFS obligation to use just 20 million gallons of biodiesel or renewable diesel. Many U.S. biodiesel producers are smaller than that -- just one small refinery exemption would eliminate their entire market. And the EPA granted 31 of them.

    "President Trump vowed to protect and defend American farmers. In fact, he calls them patriots. But his actions will put the biodiesel producers those same farmers depend on for their market, out of business. It's already happening, and it's having a devastating impact on rural communities across the nation.

    "President Trump and EPA Administrator Wheeler should clearly know what this means to the workers, producers, farmers and investors in the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry -- their new round of unwarranted RFS exemptions just destroyed jobs and a valuable marketplace for hardworking Americans, including those patriotic soybean farmers who Trump has called on to be his willing allies in the trade dispute with China. If this is how the EPA administrator treats the president’s allies, I'd hate to see how he treats his enemies. (Source: NBB, 15 Aug., 2019) Contact: NBB, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NBB,  Biodiesel,  


    Burning Sustainably Managed Forest Woody Biomass Increases CO2 Pollution for 40+ Years, SELC Report Finds (Ind. Report)
    Southern Environmental Law Center
    Date: 2019-08-14
    A new report by Spatial Informatics Group, LLC (SIG), commissioned by the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and the National Wildlife Federation, takes a closer look at the carbon profile of wood pellets produced at Drax's three U.S. wood pellet mills.

    The report found that the accumulated emissions of burning wood pellets from these U.S. mills to produce electricity in the UK increases carbon pollution in the atmosphere for more than 40 years -- well beyond the time-frame identified by the IPCC as critical for carbon reduction.

    Download the report details HERE. (Source: Southern Environmental Law Center, 12 Aug., 2019) Contact: Southern Environmental Law Center, www.southernenvironment.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biomass,  Woody Biomass,  Carbon Emissions,  Southern Environmental Law Center,  


    NewEnergyBlue Licenses Inbicon Low-Carbon Fuel Tech. (Ind. Report)
    Inbicon,NewEnergyBlue
    Date: 2019-08-12
    NewEnergyBlue LLC reports acquisition of exclusive rights to Inbicon bio-conversion technology throughout the Americas and will first employ it to turn North Dakota wheat straw into a high-value, carbon-neutral automotive fuel. The technology license was purchased from Denmark-based Orsted which developed the technology over 15 years at a cost exceeding $200 million.

    NewEnergyBlue plans to construct a series of biomass refineries across grain belts and sugar-growing regions to process agricultural residues -- wheat straw, cornstalks, sugar bagasse and others -- into a high-octane advanced ethanol that's more than 100 pct below the carbon baseline of grain ethanol -- more than 140 pct below gasoline.

    Using Inbicon technology , NewEnergyBlue's refinery utilizes high-pressure steam followed by an enzyme bath to break down the biomass fibers into sugars and lignin that are valuable for making liquid and solid biofuels. The company expects groundbreaking for its Spiritwood, North Dakota refinery in 2020. (Source: NewEnergyBlue, PR, 12 Aug., 2019) Contact: NewEnergyBlue LLC, Thomas Corle, CEO, Roger Moore, Brand Manager, (717) 626-0557, www.newenergyblue.com; Inbicon, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inbicon

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Biomass,  Low Carbon Fuel,  


    Net-Zero Carbon "Achievable" says UK National Grid (Int'l Report)
    UK National Grid
    Date: 2019-08-09
    According to the UK National Grid's latest Future Energy Scenarios (FES) report, Great Britain could reach net-zero carbon in its electricity grid by 2050 -- if "immediate action" is taken across all key energy technology and policy areas, such as increased energy efficiency and carbon capture and storage (CCS), and "at a significantly greater scale than assumed."

    The report outlines five "credible pathways and scenarios for the future of energy" over the next 30 years. Two of the scenarios meet the country's old 2050 target of an 80 pct reduction in GHG emissions by 2050, and a new "standalone sensitivity analysis on how net-zero carbon emissions could potentially be achieved by 2050."

    The report notes that achieve net-zero, British homes would need to use at least one-third less energy for heating by 2050 than today, while the electricity system would need to operate using only zero-carbon generation, and the power sector would need to deliver negative emissions, using technologies like biomass and carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS).

    Report details HERE. (Source: UK National Grid, July, 2019) Contact: UK National Grid, Kayte O'Neill, Head of Strategy and Regulation, www2.nationalgrid.com/uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UK National Grid,  Net-Zero Carbon,  CCUS,  CCS,  CO2,  


    Lake Okeechobee Algae-to-Fuels Project Underway (Ind. Report, R&D)
    AECOM,U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
    Date: 2019-08-07
    In the Sunshine State, a 3 week U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project to extract harmful algae blooms from Lake Okeechobee for conversion into biofuel is reported to be underway.

    The algae will be treated with high temperature and pressure to turn it into a biomass which can be converted into fuel. This process also destroys any toxins that might be in the biomass. While the process of extracting algae and turning it into fuel will not pay for itself, it could offset the cost of the process.

    In the pilot program water flows through a container where "billions and billions" of microscopic air bubbles attach to the solids in the water and float the mass to the surface. The algae and cyanobacteria in the water column rise to the top of the tank. The algae is then skimmed off and fed into a cannister that allows the clear water to flow out into another container. The clear water is treated a second time with an ozone process that eliminates toxins, should any be present. The pilot program treats 100 gallons of algae laden water per minute but can be scaled up to treat 100 million gpd.

    The Lake Okeechobee algae removal project is the second of three projects funded by the Corps. AECOM, a Los Angeles-headquartered global engineering company that specializes in algae removal is a co-investigator on the project. (Source: Immokalee Buletin, Aug., 2019) Contact: AECOM, Dan Levy, (213) 593 8000, www.aecom.com: US Army Corps of Engineers, Dr. Martin Page, Project Manager, 863-983-8101, www.usace.army.mil

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Algae,  Biofuel.AECOM,  


    EU Woody Biomass,Wood Pellet Demand Rising (Int'l Report)
    Woody Biomass,Wood Pellet
    Date: 2019-08-07
    According to a recent report from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service's Global Agricultural Information Network, the European Union (EU) market for wood pellets will likely grow this year but future expansions could be limited by sustainability requirements introduced by the 28 individual EU member states.

    The report notes nearly half of the EU's renewable energy is presently generated from the combustion of solid biomass -- wood chips and pellets -- not including municipal solid waste. The EU consumed an estimated 27.35 million metric tons of wood pellets in 2018, with consumption projected to rise to 30 million metric tons this year. According to the report, the EU's 656 wood pellet plants are expected to produce 18.1 million metric tons of wood pellets this year and imports are expected to rise from 10.355 million metric tons in 2018 to 12.2 million metric tons in 2019.

    Report details are HERE. (Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service's Global Agricultural Information Network, July, 2019) Contact: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service's Global Agricultural Information Network, gain.fas.usda.gov

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


    Serb Scientists "Stressing" Algae for Biodiesel Production (R&D)
    University of Belgrade Institute for Multidisciplinary Research
    Date: 2019-07-26
    Serbian scientists at the University of Belgrade's Institute for Multidisciplinary Research report they have increased the production of lipids in algae by around 30 pct through the method of "positive stressing" with sunlight which could contribute to the use of algae as a biological fuel and thus lower the price of biodiesel . The Institute already produces oxygen from microalgae.

    Under the title of Radiation Hormesis in the Service of Increasing Biomass Yields from Microalgae the project began in 2017, under the NATO programme Science for Peace and Security in cooperation with the University of Manchester, Baylor University in Texas, and UK-based Varicon Aqua Company which produces bioreactors and systems that grow microalgae.

    The project is expected to be completed in August 2020. (Source: University of Belgrade Institute for Multidisciplinary Research, Serbian Monitor, 24 July, 2019) Contact: University of Belgrade Institute for Multidisciplinary Research, Dr. Sonja Veljovic Jovanovic, Dir., +381-11/3555-258, Fax: +381-11/3055-289, direktor@imsi.rs, office@imsi.rs, www.imsi.bg.ac.rs

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Algae,  Biodiesel,  


    BP, Bunge Partner on Brazilian Biofuels JV (Int'l. Report)
    BP Alternative Energy,Bunge
    Date: 2019-07-24
    UK petroleum and energy major BP reports it and White Plains, NY-based agribusiness major and ethanol producer Bunge Ltd. will enter into a 50/50 joint venture (JV) to establish BP Bunge Bioenergia which will operate 11 mills in Brazil, one of the largest fast-growing markets for biofuels in the world.

    The new company will have a combined crushing capacity of 32 million metric tpy and will produce a mix of ethanol and sugar. It will also generate renewable electricity from waste biomass from sugar cane, which will power all sites with surplus electricity being sold to the Brazilian power grid. Bunge will receive cash proceeds of $775 million in the transaction. which the company will use to reduce outstanding indebtedness under its credit facilities. The JV will be headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with Bunge's Geovane Consul as CEO. (Source: Bunge, BP, Biofuels Int'l, 22 July, 2019) Contact: BP Alternative Energy,Dev Sanyal, CEO, www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/what-we-do/alternative-energy.html; Bunge Ltd, (914) 684-2800, www.bunge.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News BP Alternative Energy,  Bunge,  Biofuel,  Brazil Biofuel,  Ethanol,  


    Irish Regulator Stymies Peat-to-Woody Biomass Conversion (Int'l)
    Bord na Mona
    Date: 2019-07-24
    In Dublin, the regulatory development and planning board -- Bord Pleanala -- reports it has denied permission for state-owned energy company Bord Na Mona's planned conversion of a peat-burning power plant at Shannonbridge, Co Offaly, to co-fire with biomass from 2021 until the end of 2027 when its existing peat permit expires. The plant would then be fully biomass fired with 37,000 tpy of woody biomass imported from Australia.

    The regulatory board cited the "potential negative impacts on the environment and the inadequacy of the indigenous biomass supply and high dependence on imported biomass that would be contrary to both EU and national climate and energy policy" for its refusal. The regulatory board also noted previous schemes to establish a domestic source of energy crops such as willow and miscanthus have failed.

    The Irish government's national climate and energy policy calls for a complete phase out of coal and peat fired electricity generation by 2030. (Source: An Bord Pleanala, Green New.ie, 23 July, 2019)Contact: An Bord Pleanala, www.pleanala.ie; Bord na Mona Plc, Mike Quinn, CEO, Patrick Madigan, Bioenergy Division, +353 45 439000, www.bordnamona.ie

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bord na Mona,  Peat,  Woody Biomass,  Biomass Pellet,  


    EPA Releases 2020 RVOs Proposal (Ind. Report, Reg & Leg)
    EPA, RVO
    Date: 2019-07-24
    The US EPA's recently proposed 2020 and 2012 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) require 91 billion litres of renewable fuels to be blended into the US fuel supply in 2020, up from 90.5bn litres in 2019 -- 23 billion litres of advanced biofuels, 11 billion litres of biomass-based diesel - which was set last year and is the same for 2021, and 2.4 billion litres of cellulosic biofuel -- up 545 million litres from the 2019 figure.

    The proposed RVO would require biofuels to make up 10.92 pct of US transportation fuel, including 2.75 pct advanced biofuels, 1.99 pct biomass-based diesel and 0.29 pct cellulosic biofuel.

    The rule making also proposed amendments to the RFS regulations including: clarification of diesel RVO calculations; pathway petition conditions; a biodiesel esterification pathway; distillers corn oil and distillers oil pathways; renewable fuel exporter provisions allowing the production of biomass-based diesel from separated food waste; flexibilities for renewable fuel blending for military use; heating oil used for cooling; RFS facility ownership changes; additional registration deactivation justifications; a new Renewable Identification Number (RIN) retirement; a new pathway for co-processing biomass with petroleum to produce cellulosic diesel, jet fuel and heating oil; public access to information; and other revisions. The amendments came as part of the as yet finalized Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support rule. (Source: EPA, Oils & Fats Int'l., 22 July, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel Standard,  RVO,  Biofuel Blend,  


    Georgia Power IRP Includes Increased Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
    Georgia Power
    Date: 2019-07-22
    Georgia power is reporting its 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) has been approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission.

    The IRP includes 80 megawatts of energy storage and 72 percent more renewable generation by 2024, all supported by batteries. The plan also adds 2,260 MW of new solar, wind and biomass energy to the company's energy mix. The plan also includes energy efficiency targets 15 pct higher than previous IRPs while adding new energy-saving initiatives for residential and commercial customers. Further, through an income-qualified initiative, the program will provide greater financial assistance to households which are historically underrepresented in energy efficiency programs. (Source: Georgia Power, Com. Property Exec., July, 2019)Contact: Georgia Power, Wilson Mallard, Renewable Energy Development Dir., (404) 506-6526, www.georgiapower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Georgia Power,  Renewable Energy,  Energy Eficiency,  


    IEA Bioenergy Releases Latest Biorefinery Report (Int'l)
    IEA Bioenergy
    Date: 2019-07-22
    In Ireland, International Energy Agency (IEA) Bioenergy is reporting release of its Technical, Economic and Environmental Assessment of Biorefinery Concepts -- Developing a Practical Approach for Characterisation Report providing an overview on biorefinery assessments methods and results.

    According to the report, there are currently two main challenges related to assessing the environmental and economic components of biorefining processes -- data availability and stakeholder participation. To address these issues, IEA Bioenergy's Task 42, Biorefining in a Circular Economy, examined assessments currently underway to determine the capability of biorefineries in creating a sustainable future. Such assessments aim to highlight the potential of biorefineries to enhance the use of biomass in generating both products and energy.

    IEA Bioenergy was established in 1978 by the International Energy Agency (IEA) with the aim of improving cooperation and information exchange between countries that have national programmes in bioenergy research, development and deployment. The International Energy Agency acts as energy policy advisor to 28 EU Member Countries plus the European Commission, in their effort to ensure reliable, affordable, and clean energy. Current work focuses on climate change policies, market reform, energy technology collaboration and outreach to the rest of the world, especially major producers and consumers of energy like China, India, Russia and the OPEC countries.

    Access report details HERE. (Source: IEA Bioenergy, 20 July, 2019) Contact: IEA Bioenergy, www.ieabioenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News IEA Bioenergy,  Biofuel,  ,  


    HECO Announces Major Renewable Energy Push (Ind. Report)
    Hawaiian Electric Companies
    Date: 2019-07-19
    In the Aloha State, the Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) is reporting that the acquisition of a variety of clean energy technologies over the next five years will enable the Companies to continue providing reliable service after the closure of the largest fossil fuel plant on Oahu and retirement of Mauis oldest oil-fired plant.

    Upon approval by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) anticipated this summer, this second phase of renewable energy procurement will be open to bids and the first projects would come online in 2022.

    Estimated targets of new renewable generation of various technologies are the equivalent of 594 MW of solar for Oahu; 135 MW for Maui and 32 to 203 MW for Hawaii Island, depending on whether other renewable energy projects become available. Proposals for Molokai and Lanai will be sought later this summer. The approximately 900 MW of new renewables to be sought -- generating about 2 million mWh annually -- would be among the largest single procurement effort ever undertaken by a U.S. utility.

    In addition to variable renewable generation, with or without energy storage, this second phase will be open to standalone storage and grid services that help system operators manage reliability of modern electric grids with diverse, dynamic inputs and outputs. These draft proposals are the result of extensive consultation led by the PUC with participation of the Hawaiian Electric Companies, the Consumer Advocate, and other stakeholders.

    For Oahu, new projects are needed to replace the 180-MW coal-fired AES Hawaii plant in Campbell Industrial Park due to close by September 2022. For Maui, the generation and storage is needed for the planned retirement of the 38-MW Kahului Power Plant by the end of 2024. For Hawaii Island, additional renewable generation is sought even assuming the Puna Geothermal Venture plant returns to service and the Hu Honua biomass plant comes online as planned.

    View HECO's largest-ever renewable energy plan HERE. (Source: Hawaiian Electric Companies, PR , 17 July, 2019) Contact: Hawaiian Electric, Jim Alberts, VP Business Dev. and Strategic Planning, (808) 543-7780, Peter Rosegg, (808) 543.7780, Peter.Rosegg@HawaiianElectric.com, www.hawaiianelectric.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Hawaiian Electric Companies,  HECO,  Renewable Energy,  


    Aries NJ Biosolids Gasification Plant Construction-Ready (Ind Report)
    Aries Clean Energy
    Date: 2019-07-19
    Franklin, Tennessee-based Aries Clean Energy -- fka PHG Energy -- is reporting receipt of all required approvals and permits for construction of New Jersey's first biosolids-only gasification facility. The Aries Linden Biosolids Gasification Facility, which will process about 400 tpd of biosolids into clean renewable energy for in-house use and biocharcoal, will be located in a re-purposed building within the Linden Roselle Sewerage Authority (LRSA) complex, 20 miles from Manhattan.

    The plant will utilize Aries patented fluidized bed gasification system specifically designed for processing biosolids. (Source: Aries Clean Energy LLC, PR, Cdn. Biomass, 17 July, 2019) Contact: Aries Clean Energy LLC, Gregory Bafalis, CEO, (615) 471-9299, Info@AriesCleanEnergy.com, www.ariescleanenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aries Clean Energy ,  Biosolid,  Biogas,  Biomethane,  


    Bright Biomethane Opens First North America Office (Ind. Report)
    Bright Biomethane
    Date: 2019-07-19
    In the Netherlands, Enschede-headquartered membrane separation biogas to biomethane upgrading systems specialist Bright Biomethane is reporting the opening of its first North American office in NYC, NY.

    Bright Biomethane North America will supply biogas upgrading systems with membrane separation technology for the refining of biogas from biomass to biomethane, and is working on the first five renewable natural gas (RNG) projects, all of which being realized in the Northeast of the U.S. (Source: Bright Biomethane, PR, Cdn. Biomass, Others, June, 2019) Contact: Bright Biomethane, Herman Klein Teeselink, CEO, +31 53 460 9088, info@brightbiomethane.com, www.brightbiomethane.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bright Biomethane,  Biogas,  Biomethane,  


    Georgia Power Plan Boosts Renewables, Energy Storage (Ind Report)
    Georgia Power
    Date: 2019-07-19
    Kallanish Energy reports Georgia state regulators have approved Georgia Power's plan to expand renewable energy generation and develop up to 80 MW of energy storage, while closing 5 coal-fired units at 2 power plants. Georgia Power will also invest in five hydropower projects and retire three other hydro dams under the 20-year plan. The plan calls for 2,260 MW of new capacity from wind, solar and biomass, increasing those resources to 22 pct of its overall generation capacity, increasing to 5,380 MW -- 72 pct -- by 2024.

    Southern Company-owned Georgia Power notes that 25 pct of its power production is presently coal fired down from 52 pct in 2005. Natural gas produces 45 pct of power, up from 27 pct in 2005. (Source: Georgia Power, Kallanish, 18 July, 2019) Contact: Georgia Power, Allen Reaves, VP, Senior Production Officer, Wilson Mallard, Renewable Energy Development Dir., (404) 506-6526, www.georgiapower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Georgia Power,  Renewable Energy,  


    India's Renewables Installations Capacity Tops 80GW (Int'l Report)
    India Renewable Energy
    Date: 2019-07-19
    In New Delhi, the Indian Minister of State for New & Renewable Energy and Power has announced his country's cumulative installed renewable energy capacity hit 80.46 GW as of 30 June, 2019. The Minister added renewable energy projects of 26.62 GW capacity were under various stages of implementation and 43.84 GW capacity is presently under different stages of bidding.

    "The Government is confident of meeting the target of installing 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022: solar will be 100 GW; wind 60 GW; biomass 10 GW; and small hydropower 5 GW. (Source: India Minister of State for New & Renewable Energy and Power, IndiaCSR, 17 July, 2019) Contact: Indian Minister of State for New & Renewable Energy and Power, R.K. Singh, https://twitter.com/officeofrksingh?lang=en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News India Renewable Energy,  


    Nation's Mayors Applaud Energy Block Grant Renewal (Reg & Leg)
    U.S. Conference of Mayors
    Date: 2019-07-19
    On Wednesday in Washington, the full House Committee on Energy and Commerce approved HR 2088. The bill is aimed at renewing and re-funding the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program, a legislative priority of The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM). As approved, this legislation would commit $3.5 billion annually -- $17.5 billion over five years -- in formula-based grants allocated directly to cities, counties, tribal governments and states.

    The legislation, as existing law provides, continues to extend flexibility to local and state governments to invest these new resources across 14 categories of eligible projects and programs, including the development of comprehensive energy conservation and efficiency plans; conversion of street lighting to highly efficient LED lighting; installation of renewable energy technology (e.g., solar, wind, fuel cell and biomass energy) on municipal and other qualifying buildings; and weatherization of government buildings.

    Under the bill, the Department of Energy retains responsibility for implementing the program, as it did in the 2009-2010 period when the first round of EECBG funding was appropriated and provided to local and state governments. The EECBG Program, which was authorized in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 enacted by President George W. Bush, was first funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). (Source: U.S. Conference of Mayors, 18 July, 2019) Contact: U.S. Conference of Mayors, www.usmayors.org; Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, www.energy.gov/eere/wipo/about-energy-efficiency-and-conservation-block-grant-program

    More Low-Carbon Energy News U.S. Conference of Mayors,  Energy Efficiency,  Climate Change,  


    Net-Zero Carbon "Achievable" by 2050, says UK National Grid (Int'l)
    UK National Grid
    Date: 2019-07-17
    According to the UK National Grid's latest Future Energy Scenarios (FES) report, Great Britain could reach net-zero carbon in its electricity grid by 2050 -- if "immediate action" is taken across all key energy technology and policy areas, such as increased energy efficiency and carbon capture and storage (CCS), and "at a significantly greater scale than assumed."

    The report outlines five "credible pathways and scenarios for the future of energy" over the next 30 years Two of the scenarios meet the country's old 2050 target of an 80 pct reduction in GHG emissions by 2050, and a new "standalone sensitivity analysis on how net-zero carbon emissions could potentially be achieved by 2050."

    The report notes that achieve net-zero, British homes would need to use at least one-third less energy for heating by 2050 than today, while the electricity system would need to operate using only zero-carbon generation, and the power sector would need to deliver negative emissions, using technologies like biomass and carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS).

    Report details HERE. (Source: UK National Grid, ReNew Economy, July, 2019) Contact: UK National Grid, Kayte O'Neill, Head of Strategy and Regulation, www2.nationalgrid.com/uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UK National Grid,  Net-Zero Carbon,  


    B&W Volund Delivers Welsh Woody Biomass Project (Ind Report)
    Babcock & Wilcox, Margam Green Energy
    Date: 2019-07-15
    Barberton, Ohio-headquartered Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises, Inc. is reporting its subsidiary, Babcock & Wilcox Volund A/S (Volund), has turned over a biomass-to-energy plant in Margam, Wales, to Port Talbot-based Margam Green Energy Ltd. Volund will operate the plant for its customer under a 15-year operations and maintenance contract.

    The plant is designed to burn waste wood to generate approximately 40 megawatts of electricity and features Volund's patented DynaGrate® technology. (Source: B&W, PR, BusinessWire, 15 July, 2019) Contact: B&W, Kenneth Young, CEO, (330) 753-4511, Twitter @BabcockWilcox, www.babcock.com, Margam Green Energy Ltd., Paul Taylor, +44 01639 884256, www.margamgreenenergy.co.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Babcock & Wilcox ,  Voland,  Woody Biomass,  


    Pinnacle Inks Japanese, Korean Biomass Pellet Deals (Ind. Report)
    Pinnacle Renewable Energy
    Date: 2019-07-15
    Richmond, British Columbia-headquartered woody biomass pellet producer Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc is reporting a new long-term, take-or-pay off-take contracts with Mitsubishi Corporation, a global integrated business enterprise in Japan and with GS Global Corporation, a biomass power producer in that country.

    Under the terms of the Mitsubishi contract, Pinnacle will supply 110,000 to 120,000 metric tpy of industrial wood pellets beginning in 2021. For the Sout hKorean contract, Pinnacle will supply 100,000 metric tpy of industrial wood pellets to GS beginning in 2022.

    Pinnacle Renewable Energy is a rapidly growing industrial wood pellet manufacturer. The company produces sustainable fuel for renewable electricity generation in the form of industrial wood pellets, according to the company. (Source: Pinnacle Renewable Energy, PR, Lesprom Network, 15 July, 2019) Contact: Pinnacle Renewable Energy, Pinnacle Pellet, Robert McCurdy, CEO, (604) 270-9613, www.pinnaclepellet.com

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


    USDA REAP Announces New Renewable Energy Funding (Funding)
    Rural Energy for America Program
    Date: 2019-07-15
    The USDA Secretary for Rural Development, Joel Baxley, reports the agency's awarding of 58 grants for projects in 17 states to help reduce energy costs and increase energy efficiency for small rural businesses, farmers and agricultural producers. The grants are being issued through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for which Congress appropriated $50 million in fiscal year 2019.

    Under the present announcement, USDA is investing $1 million in renewable energy projects. The REAP grant funding can be used for energy audits and renewable energy systems such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower and solar, or for energy efficiency improvements to HVAC systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration, and others. (Source: USDA, Elko Daily Free Press, 11 July, 2019) Contact: USDA Rural Energy for America Program, www.rurdev.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Rural Energy for America Program,  Renewable Energy,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Wood Products Mitigate Under 1 pct Global CO2 Emissions (R&D)
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Date: 2019-07-08
    At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an research analysis across 180 countries found that global wood products -- all the paper, lumber, furniture and more -- offset less than 1 pct of of annual global carbon emissions -- 335 million tons of CO2 in 2015, 71 million tons of which were unaccounted for under current UN standards.

    Current U.N. guidelines only allow countries to count the carbon stored in wood products created from domestic timber harvests, not the timber grown locally and shipped internationally, nor products produced from imported lumber. These regulations create a gap between the actual amount of carbon stored in the world's wood products and what is officially counted.

    The researchers asked the question, can we continue to consume wood products and have climate change benefits associated with that consumption?" To address that question, the researchers developed a consistent, international analysis of the carbon storage potential of these products, which countries must now account for under the global Paris Agreement to reduce carbon emissions.

    They used data on lumber harvests and wood product production from 1961 to 2015, the most recent year available, from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. The researchers modeled future carbon sequestration in wood products using five broad models of possible economic and population growth, the two factors that most affect demand for these products. In 2015, that gap amounted to 71 million tons of CO2, equivalent to the emissions from 15 million cars. If those guidelines remain unchanged, by 2065 another 50 million tons of CO2 may go unaccounted for due to this gap. But this additional, uncounted carbon does not significantly increase the proportion of global emissions offset by wood products, according to the study.

    Craig Johnston, a professor of forest economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Volker Radeloff, a UW-Madison professor of forest and wildlife ecology, published their findings July 1 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (Source: WU-Madison, PR, July, 2019) Contact: WU-Madison, Craig Johnston, (608) 890-3609, craig.johnston@wisc.edu, www.wisc.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2,  Carbon Emissions,  Woody Biomass,  Carbon Storage,  


    Total's La Mede Biorefinery Production Underway (Int'l Report)
    Total
    Date: 2019-07-03
    In Paris, energy major Total reports it has begun production at the La Mede biorefinery in southeastern France, with the first batches of biofuel coming off the line. It is the final step in converting the former oil refinery into a new energies complex.

    Launched in 2015, the Mede biorefinery can produce 500,000 tpy of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), a premium biofuel, as well as biodiesel and biojet fuel for the aviation industry. The facility was specifically designed to process all types of oil. Its biofuels will be made: 60 to 70 pct from 100 pct sustainable vegetable oils (rapeseed, palm, sunflower, etc.), and 30 to 40 pct from treated waste (animal fats, cooking oil, residues, etc.).

    As part of May, 2018 agreement with the French Government, Total has pledged to process no more than 300,000 tpy of palm oil -- less than 50 pct of the total volume of raw materials needed -- and at least 50,000 tpy of French-grown rapeseed, creating another market for domestic agriculture. All the oils processed will be certified sustainable to European Union standards.

    Total is also examining different biomass conversion pathways, such as thermochemical, biotechnology and algae, and is working in its own laboratories and via R&D partnerships with manufacturers, start-ups, universities and private laboratories, including BioTfueL, Novogy and Renmatix. (Source: Total Website, PR, 3 July, 2018) Contact: Total, Investor Relations: +44 (0 )207 719 7962 l, ir@total.com, www.total.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Total,  Biofuel,  Biodiesel,  Palm Oil,  


    Avinor Purchasing Norwegian Woody Biomass Jet Biofuel (Int'l)
    Quantafuel,Avinor
    Date: 2019-06-28
    In Oslo, Norway's state-owned airport operator Avinor reports it will purchase more than €827,000 of Norwegian produced woody biomass-based aviation biofuel produced by Quantafuel.

    Quantafuel's technology produces liquid fuel from biomass, which is comprised of solid wood in the form of chips, sawdust and other qualities. Quantafuel's biomass-to-liquid pilot plant will be located in eastern Norway, according to Avinor. Success of the pilot project will enable Quantafuel to consider a full-scale plant, with preliminary capacity targets of at least 7-9 million lpy of fuel. (Source: Quantafuel, Biofuel Int'l., 27 June, 2019) Contact: Quantafuel, Kjetil Bohn, CEO, contact@quantafuel.com, www.quantafuel.com; Avinor, Dag Falk-Petersen, CEO, www.avinor.no/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aviation Biofuel,  Avinor,  


    NS Plans Major Woody Biomass Heat Conversions (Ind Report)
    Wood Biomass
    Date: 2019-06-28
    Sitting in Halifax, the Nova Scotia government reports it will soon issue tender calls for the conversation of dozens of provincial government buildings to woody biomass heat.

    With six tenders expected to go out shortly. the province has a list of 100 buildings it is considering converting to locally sourced wwody biomass heat, according to a report in the Chronicle Herald. The province is planning a large scale conversion of its rural buildings – from schools to hospitals - to heat them with wood. (Source: Gov. of Nova Scotia Lands and Forests, hronicle Herald, Canadian Biomass, 26 June, 2019) Contact: Nova Scotia Dept. of Lands and Forestry, Iain Rankin, Minister, (902) 424-5935, https://novascotia.ca/natr

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biomass,  Woody Biomass,  


    Finns Investigating Man-made Cellulose Fibre Production (R&D, Int'l)
    VTT
    Date: 2019-06-28
    The Helsinki, Finland-headquartered VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland reports receipt of €2.6 million funding from the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU)to improve wood-to-textile value chains to enable increased production of man-made cellulose fibres.

    VTT's Green Chemicals and Technologies for the Wood-to-textile Value Chain (CRETE) project, a partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium, will tackle the bottlenecks of creating wood-to-textile value chains by developing innovative technologies for wood pulp modification, cellulose dissolution and fibre-quality generation. The issues to be solved in the project play a significant role in developing sustainable and green technologies for the European industry.

    The project is led and coordinated by VTT, alongside partners University of Helsinki, Universitat fur Bodenkultur Wien, Universidade de Aveiro, Metsa Fibre Oyj, Celbi SA, Material Connexion Italia SRL and Vertech Group. (Source: VTT, Canadian Biomass, 26 June, 2019) Contact: VTT Technical Research Centre, Nils-Olof Nylund, +358 400 703 715, nils.olof.nylund@vtt.fi, www.vttresearch.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News VTT,  Cellulosic,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pulp,  


    NV Energy Adding 1,200 MW of New Solar + Storage (Ind. Report)
    NV Energy
    Date: 2019-06-26
    In the Silver State, Las Vegas-based NV Energy reports it will seek Nevada PUC approval for the addition of nearly 1,200 MW of new solar PV generation along with 590 MW of battery storage to be added to its energy mix in the form of three projects in southern Nevada. With the addition of these new projects, NV Energy will double its renewable energy by 2023.

    Each of the three announced projects -- the 200-mw Arrow Canyon Solar Project with a 75 mw battery storage system; the 300-mw Southern Bighorn Solar & Storage Center with 135-mw Li-Ion battery energy storage system; and the 690-mw Gemini Solar + Battery Storage Project with a 380 mw AC battery storage system -- are expected to be online by the end of 2023.

    NV Energy's current portfolio includes 57 geothermal, solar, hydro, wind, biomass and supported rooftop solar projects both in service and under development. (Source: NV Energy, PR, 24 June, 2019) Contact: NV Energy, Doug Cameron, CEO, Pres., www.nvenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NV Energy,  Solar,  


    Notable Quote -- Woody Biomass and the EPA's ACE Rules
    Biomass
    Date: 2019-06-26
    "In a bit of an Orwellian logic, the (Trump) EPA's recently finalized ACE (Affordable Clean Energy) rules ... ignore the basis for why using biomass for power and heat is the principal pathway for decarbonization in most other developed countries. By only counting the CO2 emission at the source and ignoring the continuous adsorption of CO2 by sustainably managed forests, the EPA has excluded a proper consideration of the dynamics that keep the net CO2 added into the atmosphere neutral or even negative.

    "In Europe, wood pellets and wood chips are recognized as low carbon fuels because a full life-cycle analysis shows that under well-crafted (and necessary) sustainability criteria, the combustion of those fuels is carbon neutral. The supply chain carbon footprint accounting, given that fossil fuel are used in transportation and in the electricity used to upgrade the biomass into pellets, typically yields an 85 percent or more reduction in net CO2 added to the atmosphere. Because of the carbon benefits, biomass derived fuel makes up about 60 percent of the total renewable energy in the EU28." -- William Strauss, Pres, FutureMetrics, June 24, 2019

    Bethel, Maine-based FutureMetrics released the above statement criticizing the Trump Administration EPA's Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Program for its treatment of biomass and calling the program's discussion of how to measure CO2 emissions "misguided."

    The ACE program, which replaces Obama's Clean Power Plan, specifies that biomass co-firing is not compliant with the ACE program. Contact: FutureMetrics LLC, William Strauss, 207-824-6702, 207-357-8708 Cell, WilliamStrauss@FutureMetrics.com, www.futuremetrics.info

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  CO2 Emissions,  


    UK Sourcing More Green Than Fossil Fuel Energy (Int'l Report)
    National Grid UK
    Date: 2019-06-24
    In the UK, the National Grid is reporting 48 pct of the country's electricity is now being sourced from wind and solar, 47 pct from natural gas and coal with the remaining 5 pct being generated by biomass.

    National Grid notes it is the first time since the Industrial Revolution that more electricity has been produced from zero and low-carbon sources rather than fossil fuels. It also notes the majority of energy imported from Europe this year has also come from carbon free sources, at an estimated 63 per cent. The bulk of this has come from nuclear power stations in France. Imported power coming from greener sources is only set to increase with the UK seeking to acquire more energy from hydropower generators in Norway. (Source: National Grid UK, BBC, The Parliamentary Review, 22 June, 2019)Contact: National Grid UK, John Pettigrew, CEO, ttps://twitter.com/nationalgriduk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  National Grid UK,  


    Kemira Participates in Bio-based Chemicals Project (Int'l)
    Kemira Oyi
    Date: 2019-06-24
    Helsinki-headquartered pulp and paper firm Kemira Oyi reports it has joined a four-year, EU funded project to develop 100 pct bio-based chemicals from renewable raw materials. The project aims to develop and improve woody biomass production efficiency at pulp mills.

    The project, which was launched in May 2019, received €5.9 million funding from the EU's Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. The €9.6 million project is one of several undertakings aimed at developing a sustainable bio-based industry sector in Europe.

    Ecohelix , Avantium Chemicals BV, Metgen Oyi , Novamont Spa , Fundacio Universitaria Balmes , Graanul Biotech Ou , and Spinverse are also participating in the four-year project in which members will conduct demo-scale trial runs at a dissolving pulp mill in Europe. The aim is to develop fully bio-based polymeric chemistries for paper and cardboard production to complement and even replace polymers that are derived from petroleum. (Source: Kemira Oyi, PR, GlobalNewswire, 24 June, 2019) Contact: Kemira Oyi, +358 10 8611, Fax. +358 10 862 1119, www.kemira.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Kemira Oyi,  Biochemical,  

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