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BHP Invests in Bio-Tech Start-up Cemvita Factory (Ind. Report, Int'l)
Cemvita Factory,BHP,BHP Billiton
Date: 2019-09-13
Australian mining major BHP Billiton reports it has taken a stake has taken a stake in Cemvita Factory Inc., a US biotech start-up developer of bio-engineered pathways that support carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration and utilization. Cemvita Factory is developing a portfolio of CO2 conversion microorganisms, including a platform that mimics photosynthesis and other natural processes.

emvita Factory's technology is based on established methods of synthetic biology to improve the metabolic capacity of environment-friendly photosynthetic microorganisms for CO2 use. These microorganisms may also be used for different purposes including the treatment of heavy metal or acidic contamination, using and sequestering CO2 in the process, according to the company. (Source: BHP Billiton, PR, Creamers Mining, Sept., 2019)Contact: Cemvita Factory Inc., www.cemvitafactory.com; BHP Billiton, Laura Tyler, +61 3 9609 3333, www.bhpbilliton.com, www.bhp.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News BHP Billiton,  Climate Change,  


HeidelbergCement Joins Norwegian CCS Project (Int'l. Report)
HeidelbergCement
Date: 2019-09-11
HeidelbergCement reports it has joined a list of leaders from various industries in endorsing Norway's state-owned energy group Equinor's carbon capture and storage (CCS) plans.

HeidelbergCement's Norwegian subsidiary Norcem has been involved in CCS research at its 1.2Mt/yr integrated cement plant in Brevik since 2011. The plant was "shortlisted" by the Norewgian government for its multiple-industry Northern Lights CCS project early last year Beginning in 2023, Equinor will remove 0.4Mt/yr of CO2, half of the plants total CO2 output, from Brevik for storage in empty oil and gas fields beneath the North Sea. (Source: HeidelbergCement, Global Cement News, 6 Sept., 2019) Contact: HeidelbergCement, Dr Bernd Scheifele, CEO, Jan Theulen, Director Alternative Resources, www.heidelbergcement.com; Equinor, Pal Eitrheim, VP New Energy Solutions, www.equinor.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News HeidelbergCement,  Carbon Emissions,  Equinor,  


AEP Accelerates CO2 Emissions Reduction Target (Ind. Report)
American Electric Power
Date: 2019-09-11
In the Buckeye State, Columbus-based American Electric Power (AEP) reports it is cutting carbon dioxide emissions faster than anticipated and has revised its 2030 reduction target to 70 pct from 2000 levels. The company's previous target was a 60 pct reduction from 2000 levels by 2030. The company will cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 80 pct from 2000 levels by 2050, according to a release.

To that end, AEP will further invest in renewable generation and transmission and distribution technologies to enhance efficiency, and expanded demand response and energy efficiency programs. AEP's resource plans include adding more than 8,600 megawatts (MW) of new wind and solar generation to serve the company's regulated utility customers by 2030. Between 2019 and 2023, the company plans to invest approximately $2.2 billion in contracted renewables and renewables integrated with energy storage and approximately $25 billion over the next 5 years in its transmission and distribution systems.

To date, AEP has cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 59 pct since 2000. (Source: AEP, PR, 10 Sept., 2019) Contact: AEP Clean Energy Strategy, www.aep.com/investors/ESG .

More Low-Carbon Energy News American Electric Power,  CO2,  Carbon Emissions ,  


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 ,  


  • Norwegian CCS Project Announces Major Participants (Int'l. Report)
    Equinor,Gassnova
    Date: 2019-09-09
    In Oslo, Norway's Equinor is reporting steel maker ArcelorMittal, Heidelberg Cement, the Swedish refiner Preem, and the Finish energy firm Fortum Oyi are among the firms signing Memorandums of Agreement (MoU) on joining the Norwegian government's Northern Lights underground carbon dioxide (CO2) storage project offshore Norway. The CCS project is led by Equinor in partnership with Shell and the French energy giant Total.

    Industry's commitment is considered crucial for the Norwegian government's investment in the project, which aims at capturing and storing up to 5 million tonnes of CO2 from various industrial sites onshore. The project is expected to cost between $802 million and $1.4 billion to establish a full CCS chain. To date, Norway has spent roughly $92 million on the project which could start operations in 2023 or 2024, according to a Gassnova, a governmental agency in charge of CCS development, report.(Source: Equinor, Gassnova, Reuters, 5 Sept., 2019) Contact: Equinor, Eldar Saetre , CEO, www.equinor.com/en; HeidelbergCement, Dr Bernd Scheifele, CEO, Jan Theulen, Director Alternative Resources, www.heidelbergcement.com; Fortum Oyi, www3.fortum.com; PREEM, Petter Holland, CEO, Pres., +46 (0) 10 459 1000, www.preem.se/en/in-english

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GassnovaCCS,  Equinor,  ArcelorMittal,  Heidelberg Cement,  Preem,  Fortum,  


    Australians Announce "Blue Carbon" Science Hub (Int'l Report)
    Blue Carbon
    Date: 2019-09-09
    Further to our 10th July report, the Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne has announced the establishment of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Indian Ocean Blue Carbon Hub aimed at protecting and restoring the health of ocean "blue carbon" mangrove ecosystems.

    The hub, which will be hosted by the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre at the University of Western Australia, will be jointly funded by the federal government and CSIRO to the tune of $600,000 over three years. According to hub director Dr Mat Vanderklift, "Blue carbon ecosystems are highly effective at carbon storage and protecting coastal communities against storms. The Indian Ocean is disproportionately important in blue carbon globally. The hub will allow us to accelerate action and go beyond talking about it, to doing something about it."

    Mangrove systems sequester "blue carbon" -- CO2 absorbed from the atmosphere and locked up in coastal wetlands such as mangroves. (Source: The New Nation, Sept., 2019) Contact: Indian Ocean Blu Carbon Hub, Dr Mat Vanderklift, Dir. Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre at the University of Western Australia, +61 8 6488 7270, www.uwa.edu.au › facilities › indian-ocean-marine-research-centre

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Mangrove,  Blue Carbon,  Climate Change,  


    Reading UK Top Performer in Cutting CO2 Emissions (Int'l Report)
    UK Climate Change
    Date: 2019-09-06
    In the UK, the Borough of Reading is reportedly one of the top performing areas for reducing carbon emissions. The Reading area cut emission by 45 pct from 2007 to 2017, earning it a top spot among the UK's top 25 performing areas.

    Reading's 218,000 +- residents produce roughly 3.4 tpy -- the ninth lowest amount per person in southeastern England and 48th lowest in the UK. To further cut its emissions, the borough council declared a Climate Emergency and committed to work with partners to deliver a carbon neutral borough by 2030. (Source: Reading Chronicle, 5 Sept., 2019) Contact: Borough of Reading, www.reading.gov.uk

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


    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,  


    Rice Univ. Researching CO2 As Fuel Feedstock (New Prod & Tech)
    Rice University
    Date: 2019-09-06
    In Houston, researchers at Rice University report they've developed a cleaner and more efficient process to turn CO2 into a feedstock for chemicals and fuel -- including ethanol and propanol -- for electric power generation without using oil, natural gas or coal. Researchers developed an electrolyzer that uses carbon dioxide and electricity from renewable sources to produce purified, high concentrations of formic acid, a feedstock in the petrochemical industry for various products.

    Typically, producing liquid fuel with an electrolyzer is costly and energy-intensive, since the process requires mixing CO2 in a liquid electrolyte, such as salty water, to conduct electricity. At the end of the reaction, the salts have to be removed from the end product, which takes more energy and money. The Rice research team was able to eliminate the need for the salt by using solid, highly conductive fibers to conduct the electricity. As a result, the end product is a purer fuel and cheaper to produce.

    Using CO2 to produce liquid fuels could allow more power to be stored in less space. Formic acid can produce 1,000 times the energy of the same volume of hydrogen gas. Similarly, the process can provide a use for excess energy generated by renewable energy sources, providing the electricity to power the electrolyzer to create fuels. In essence, the excess energy is being stored as a new product. The electrolyzer could also be used to create ethanol and propanol fuels. (Source: Rice University, Houston Chronicle, 5 Sept., 2019) Contact: Rice University, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineer Haotian Wang, Lead Researcher, 713-348-0000, htwang@rice.edu, chbe.rice.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2,  Carbon Dioxide,  Rice University,  Alternative Fuel,  Ethanol,  Propanol,  


    Energy Efficiency High on UK Buyers, Renters Wish Lists (Int'l Report)
    Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2019-08-30
    In the UK, new research on behalf of real estate firm Jackson-Stops has found energy efficiency is in high demand among home buyers and renters, with over a fifth wanting reduced CO2 emissions in the form of energy-efficient appliances and electric vehicle charging points in their next home. Other desired energy related features that helped cut emissions included living near good transportation links. Londoners showed the strongest preference towards reducing CO2 emissions, with 31% stating this was important. (source: Property Industry Eye, 29 Aug., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Big Oil Opposes Trump's Proposed Methane Rule Rollback (Ind Report)
    EPA
    Date: 2019-08-30
    The Trump administration reports it will loosen Obama era federal rules on methane, a significant contributor to the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Although shorter-lived than CO2 and is not emitted in as large amounts, methane is roughly 80 times more damaging to the atmosphere than CO2.

    The proposed rule will reverse standards enacted under President Barack Obama that require oil and gas operations to install controls on their operations to curb the release of methane at the well head and in their transmission equipment, including pipelines, processing and storage facilities.

    Despite EPA estimates the proposed changes would save the oil and natural gas industry between $17 million and $19 million a year, Shell, Exxon, BP and other major fossil fuels players are opposing the proposed rollback and urging the current standards be kept in place. (Source: EPA, Various Media, Wash. Post, 29 Aug., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  EPA,  


    Trillium Quits Dubuque Landfill Gas Biofuel Agreement (Ind. Report)
    Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency
    Date: 2019-08-28
    In Iowa, the Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency reports Ankeny, Iowa-based Trillium, the company it contracted to capture and move CO2 from the city landfill, has pulled out of the agreement. The CO2 was to be processed into CNG for transportation fuel.

    Under the 2018 agreement, Trillium would have constructed a compression system at the landfill and paid $300,000 annually in royalties to the agency. Although several companies reportedly bid on the project, Trillium's willingness to make a capital investment was apparently a major consideration in the contract award.In withdrawing from the contract, Trillium claimed the project is "no longer economically feasible" and cited the Trump EPA's policies as the prime culprit. (Source: Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency, PR, 26 Aug., 2019) Contact: Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency, 563-557-8220, www.dmaswa.org; Trillium, www.linkedin.com/company/trillium-cng?trk=guest_job_details_topcard_org_name


    ExxonMobil, Mosaic Partner on Carbon Capture Tech (Ind Report)
    ExxonMobil, Mosaic Materials
    Date: 2019-08-28
    Irving, Texas-headquartered petroleum and energy giant ExxonMobil reports it is partnering with US-based Mosaic Materials Inc. to explore breakthrough technologies that can remove carbon dioxide from emissions sources. The two companies will evaluate opportunities for industrial uses of the technology at scale.

    ExxonMobil V.P for R&D, Vijay Swarup, noted "New technologies in carbon capture will be critical enablers for us to meet growing energy demands, while reducing emissions. Our agreement with Mosaic expands our carbon capture technology research portfolio, which is evaluating multiple pathways -- including evaluation of carbonate fuel cells and direct air capture -- to reduce costs and enable large-scale deployment."

    Mosaic's technology utilizes porous solids known as metal-organic frameworks to selectively remove impurities such as CO2 from gas mixtures in an array of applications from submarines to power plants, according to the company website.

    With a working interest in approximately 20 pct of the world's total carbon capture capacity, ExxonMobil has been able to capture about 7 million tpy of carbon dioxide and has cumulatively captured more of it than any other company since 1970, according to the company. (Source: ExxonMobil, TradeArabia News Service, 27 Aug., 2019)Contact: ExxonMobil, Vijay Swarup, VP ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Co., William M. Colton, VP Strategic Planning, www.exxonmobil.com; Mosaic Materials, John Husk, VP, Bus. Dev., www.mosaicmaterials.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Exxon,  Mosaic Materials,  CO2,  CCS,  Carbon Capture,  


    Quito Airport Lands Airport Carbon Accreditation (Int'l)
    Airport Carbon Accreditation
    Date: 2019-08-28
    In Ecuador, Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport reports it is Latin America's first international airport to achieve carbon-neutral status in ACI's Airport Carbon Accreditation programme.

    The Quito airport Operator, Corporacion Quiport, joined the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme in 2015 and has achieved carbon-neutral status through concrete actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce fuel consumption, increase energy efficiency, improve water management, maintain conservation areas for flora and fauna and more. The Quito Airport's 2018 carbon footprint was calculated at 3,273 tons of CO2 emissions, a 41 pct drop compared to 2014 as the base year (5,534 tons of CO2).

    The airport offsets its direct emissions by buying certified carbon credits in sustainable projects including the MANOA REDD+ Project which works to preserve 74,000 hectares of forest in Rondônia State, Brazil. (Source: TASS, World Airport, 27 Aug., 2019) Contact: Airport Carbon Accreditation, +44 845 868 2708, www.airportcarbonaccreditation.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Neutral,  Airport Carbon Accreditation,  


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

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

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

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


    Porsche Carbon Offsetting Tool Offered in N. America (Ind. Report)
    Porsche
    Date: 2019-08-26
    German automaker Porsch AG is touting the launch of Porsche Impact aimed at helping its North American customers lower their carbon footprint.

    Porsche Impact is a web-based emissions calculator that allows Porsche owners to assess and compensate for CO2 emissions, based on mileage and average fuel consumption. Customers can then follow a quick link to make financial contributions to environmental projects designed to offset their individual carbon footprint.

    Porsche Impact users can choose from four different internationally certified projects to support. The available programs are focused on forest protection in the U.S., hydropower in Vietnam, solar energy in Mexico, and habitat preservation in Zimbabwe.

    The Porsche Impact offset programs are managed by South Pole, a Swiss-based provider of carbon offsetting projects and sustainability financing that has been active internationally for more than a decade. Impact has been available to customers in Germany, the UK, and Poland since late 2018. (Source: Porsche AG, PRN, 25 Aug., 2019)

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


    Illinois Coal-Fired Power Plants Getting the Axe (Ind. Report0
    Vistra Energy
    Date: 2019-08-23
    Irving, Texas-headquartered Vistra Energy are reporting it and its subsidiaries will be shuttering four Illinos, coal-fired power plants -- Coffeen Power Plant, Duck Creek Power Plant (in Canton), Havana Power Plant, and Hennepin Power Plant -- in order to comply with the Illinois Pollution Control Board's (IPCB) recently approved revisions to the Multi-Pollutant Standard rule.

    The Multi-Pollutant Standard rule regulates emissions and calls for a reduction in annual mass caps for SO2 and NOx, requiring the company to permanently shut down 2,000 MW of capacity from the eight MPS group of plants by the end of the year, pending approval by grid operators -- Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and PJM Interconnection, and approval of the termination of certain tariffs by FERC. The revised rule also requires adjustments of these annual caps as additional power plant units are shut down or transferred. As a result, the retirement of the four plants will further reduce annual allowable SO2 and NOx emissions in the MPS group of plants, driving total allowable emissions down by 57 and 61 pct respectively. CO2 emissions will also be significantly reduced by approximately 40 pct relative to 2018 levels. (Source: Vistra Energy, PR, Aug., 2019) Contact: Vistra Energy, Curtis Morgan, CEO, www.vistraenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Vistra Energy,  Coal,  CO2,  Emissions ,  


    SaskPower's Boundry Dam CCS Unit Reports Strong July (Ind. Report)
    Boundary Dam,SaskPower
    Date: 2019-08-23
    On the Canadian Prairies, SaskPower and the Estvan Mercury are reporting the carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility at SaskPower's Boundary Dam Power Station captured 80,530 tonnes of CO2 in July -- an average of 2,598 tpd with a peak one-day capture rate of 2,871 tonnes.

    The 80,530 tonnes of CO2 captured in July marked about 80 pct capacity for CO2 for the second consecutive month. The 12-month average for tonnes of CO2 captured was 51,297 tonnes, or about 51 pct.

    Since start-up in October 2014, the facility has captured over 2.8 million tonnes of CO2. (Source: SaskPower, Estevan Mercury, 21 Aug., 2019) Contact: SaskPower, Mike Marsh, Pres., CEO, (306) 566-2121, www.saskpower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News SaskPower,  CCS,  Boundary Dam,  


    Think Tank Warns of Carbon Tax "Carbon Leakage" (Ind. Report)
    Fraser Institute
    Date: 2019-08-23
    A recently released study from the Canadian think tank, the Fraser Institute, contends Canada's federal carbon tax will increase production costs in certain key sectors and could trigger "carbon leakage" -- a phenomenon where firms relocate industrial activity to countries with less-stringent climate policies.

    According to the study, the federal carbon tax, which is set to reach $50 per tonne in 2022, will increase the cost of energy and make some Canadian businesses less competitive compared to firms in other countries including the U.S..

    The study identifies petroleum and coal-product manufacturing sector (which will see costs increase 24.8 per cent due to the federal carbon tax), agriculture chemical manufacturing (pesticides, fertilizers, etc.), basic chemical manufacturing, cement and concrete product manufacturing, and primary metal manufacturing as the most vulnerable to waning competitiveness and carbon leakage.

    Access the report HERE (Source: Fraser Institute, PR, Aug., 2019) Contact: Fraser Institute, Elmira Aliakbari, Dir. of Natural Resource Studies, (514) 281-9550, www.fraserinstitute.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Fraser Institute,  Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  Carbon Leakage,  


    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,  


    Melting Glaciers Having Unexpectedly Positive Effect on CO2, says Report (Ind. Report)
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Science
    Date: 2019-08-21
    In a recently released Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) paper -- Proglacial freshwaters are significant and previously unrecognized sinks of atmospheric CO2, researchers show that the watershed of Canada's Lake Hazen, which is fed by several glaciers, consumes CO2 as far as 26 miles downstream. According to the paper, this finding could change the way scientists think about how freshwater ecosystems will respond to a warming planet, forcing us to reevaluate the way that melting glaciers will contribute to climate change, at least in the near future.

    Paper Abstract -- "Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from freshwater ecosystems are almost universally predicted to increase with climate warming. Glacier-fed rivers and lakes, however, differ critically from those in non-glacierized catchments in that they receive little terrestrial input of organic matter for decomposition and CO2 production, and transport large quantities of easily mobilized comminuted sediments available for carbonate and silicate weathering reactions that can consume atmospheric CO2.

    "We used a whole-watershed approach, integrating concepts from glaciology and limnology, to conclusively show that certain glacier-fed freshwater ecosystems are important and previously overlooked annual CO2 sinks due to the overwhelming influence of these weathering reactions.

    "Using the glacierized Lake Hazen watershed (Nunavut, Canada) as a model system, we found that weathering reactions in the glacial rivers actively consumed CO2 up to 42 km downstream of glaciers, and cumulatively transformed the High Arctic's most voluminous lake into an important CO2 sink. In conjunction with data collected at other proglacial freshwater sites in Greenland and the Canadian Rockies, we suggest that CO2 consumption in proglacial fresh waters due to glacial melt-enhanced weathering is likely a globally relevant phenomenon, with potentially important implications for regional annual carbon budgets in glacierized watersheds."

    Download report details HERE. (Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Aug., 2019) Contact: Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, www.pnas.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Proceedings of the National Academy of Science,  CO2,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


    Amazon Rainforest CO2 Capacity Investigated (Ind. Report)
    LBNL, US DOE
    Date: 2019-08-21
    The US DOE Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and an international team of researchers addressing the "Amazon Forest Response to CO2 Fertilization Dependent on Plant Phosphorus Acquisition," has raised the issue and asked the question, "How long will the Amazon rainforest continue to act as an effective carbon sink?"

    The study, published August 5 in the journal Nature Geoscience, found that accounting for phosphorus-deficient soils reduced projected CO2 uptake by an average of 50 pct in the Amazon, compared to current estimates based on previous climate models that did not take into account phosphorus deficiency. The Amazon Basin is critical to help mitigate climate change due to its trees absorbing around a quarter of the CO2 released each year from the burning of fossil fuels.

    According to Berkeley Lab research scientist and study co-author Jennifer Holm, "Most predictions of the Amazon rainforest's ability to resist climate change are based on models that have outdated assumptions; one of those is that a sufficient supply of nutrients such as phosphorus exist in soils to enable trees to take in additional CO2 as global emissions increase," said . "But in reality the ecosystem is millions of years old, highly weathered, and therefore depleted of phosphorus in many parts of the Amazon."

    Agriculture, forestry, and other types of land use account for 23 pct of human-caused GHG emissions, yet at the same time natural land processes absorb the equivalent of almost a third of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry, according to the recently released International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on land and climate interactions. (Source: DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, PR, Eureka Alert, 20 Aug., 2019) Contact: US DOE Office of Science, energy.gov/science; LBNL, Jennifer Holm, Research Scientist and Study Co-author, www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-holm-265600b, www.lbl.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News LBNL,  Rainforest,  CO2,  Carbon Sink,  Climate Change,  


    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,  


    Lufthansa Launches Sustainable Aviation Fuel Carbon Offsetting Platform (Int'l., Ind. Report)
    Lufthansa
    Date: 2019-08-21
    In Berlin, German airline Lufthansa's Innovation Hub is reporting the launch of its "Compensaid" sustainability platform focused on carbon-neutral sustainable renewable fuels (SAF). The new platform will allow airline passengers to offset their individual carbon footprint by using SAF, reducing up to 80 pct of their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

    "Compensaid" combines a global airline flight tracking tool with a sustainability platform that makes it possible to directly offset individual CO2 emissions. The platform offers two options for carbon offsetting -- the option to replace fossil fuel with SAF, which is calculated through a market-based surcharge on flights, or the alternative is to use Compensaid to support a reforestation project in Nicaragua, reducing CO2 emissions in the long-term. (Source: Lufthansa, Biofuels Int'l., 20 Aug., 2019) Contact: Lufthansa Innovation Hub, Gleb Tritus, Dir., https://de.linkedin.com/in/glebtritus, welcome@lh-innovationhub.com; www.lh-innovationhub.com, www.lufthansagroup.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aviation Biofuel,  Sustainable Fuel,  Jet Biofuel,  Lufthansa,  Carbon Offsetting,  Carbon Offset,  


    AurCrest Gold, Blue Source Seek Forest Carbon Sequestration Opportunities (Ind. Report)
    AurCrest Gold, Blue Source
    Date: 2019-08-21
    Toronto-based AurCrest Gold Inc. reports it and Alberta-headquartered Blue Source Canada have inked a Carbon Development & Marketing Agreement to collaborate to develop forest carbon sequestration opportunities on behalf of Canadian First Nations communities.

    As previously reported, three Northwestern Ontario First Nations groups, AurCrest and carbon offset developer Blue Source, will work together to assess the potential of forests to capture and sequester carbon dioxide (CO2) within the First Nation's traditional territory for the development of Greenhouse Gas offsets.

    AurCrest, a mineral exploration company focused on the acquisition, exploration, and development of gold properties, holds a portfolio of properties in Ontario, which include the Richardson Lake and Bridget Lake gold properties. (Source: AurCrest Gold Inc., PR, 19 Aug., 2019) Contact: AurCrest Gold Inc. Christopher Angeconeb , CEO, (807) 737-5353, christopherangeconeb@gmail.com; Blue Source, (403) 262-3026, www.bluesource.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News AurCrest Gold,  Blue Source,  Carbon Sequestration,  Carbon Offset,  


    Farmington, Enchant Energy Deal Would Keep NM Coal-Fired Power Plant in Action (Ind. Report)
    Public Service Co. of New Mexico,Enchant Energy
    Date: 2019-08-19
    In an effort to avoid the scheduled 2022 shut down of Public Service Co. of New Mexico's (PSNM) coal-fired San Juan Generating Station, Farmington New Mexico city officials are reporting an agreement with Enchant Energy Corp., also of Farmington.

    Under the agreement, the city would keep its 5 pct share in the plant and Enchant Energy Corp. would acquire a 95 pct ownership interest from other utilities that will be divesting in the plant. Enchant Energy would also pay for installation of new emissions equipment and carbon capture technology. The company anticipates an estimated $1.23 billion investment in the project but notes it could benefit from federal tax credits associated with investments in carbon-capture technology.

    Enchant Energy seeks to capture CO2 for sequestration purposes and electricity production by investing in state-of-the-art environmental technology at San Juan Generating Station. These activities are intentionally designed to further New Mexico's dual goals of substantially reducing its statewide CO2 output and supporting New Mexico's economy by employing hundreds of people in San Juan County and on the Navajo Nation by providing reliable, low-cost wholesale electricity, according to the company website. (Source: Public Service Co. of New Mexico, Durango Herald, AP, 17 Aug., 2019) Contact: Public Service Co. of New Mexico, Pat O'Connell, Dir. Resource Planning, (505) 241-2700, www.pnm.com; Enchant Energy, Jason Selch, CEO, (505) 436-1828, info@enchantenergy.com, (505) 436-1828, www.enchantenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enchant Energy,  Public Service Co. of New Mexico,  Coal,  CCS,  


    800,000 Year High Atmospheric CO2 Levels in 2019 (Ind. Report)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2019-08-19
    In May, 2019, the Mauna Loa Observatory NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory in Hawaii reported atmospheric CO2 levels at 415.26 ppm, marking a historic precedent in the last 800,000 years. The Observatory also noted there is now more CO2 on the planet than ever since the dawn of humanity,

    The last time the planet came close to matching the climate of today was during the Pliocene Epoch when the Arctic was covered in trees instead of ice and sea levels were roughly 20 meters higher than today, according to Tech Wire (Source: Mauna Loa Observatory, Various Media, Journal Pioneer, 14 May, 2019) Contact: Mauna Loa Observatory, (808) 933-6965, www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/obop/mlo

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Dioxide news,  COs news,  Climate Change news,  


    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,  


    Helsinki Sustainability Programme Addresses Climate Change Concerns (Int'l.)
    City of Helsinki
    Date: 2019-08-14
    In Finland, according to a 2018 City of Helsinki survey, two thirds of the city's 1,292 million residents identified the climate crisis as their major concern when thinking about the future of the city. In response, Helsinki has launched Think Sustainably, the world's first online service that makes sustainable choices of retails, services, hotels and others as easy as using an app.

    Services, hotels and others filtered through the online programme are benchmarked against criteria developed by the City of Helsinki in collaboration with the independent think tank Demos Helsinki, local interest groups and sustainability experts. The service also includes a route planner feature that identifies emission-free transportation options in the city. The route planner provides CO2 emissions in grams per person per trip.

    Currently gathering feedback from users, the Think Sustainably service is publicly available with plans to roll the programme out further and review its impact in 2020.

    The process of developing the Think Sustainably service included researching the most significant factors of ecological sustainability related to different service categories. These dealt mostly with greenhouse emissions caused by energy production, the impacts of mobility and food, waste management, factors related to circular economy, protecting biodiversity, accessibility, and employment and preventing discrimination.

    The European Commission (EC) tagged Helsinki the most innovative region in the EU. It is also the first European city and, the second globally -- after New York -- to voluntarily report the implementation of its Sustainable Development Goals to the UN. (Source: City of Helsinki, PR, CISION, Yahoo Finance, Aug., 2019)Contact: Helsinki Think Sustainably , www.myhelsinki.fi/en/think-sustainably; Helsinki Marketing, Laura Aalto, CEO, +358 40 507 9660 , laura.aalto@hel.fi, www.hel.fi; Carbon Neutral Helsinki Initiative, Kaisa-Reeta Koskinen, Director, https://carbonneutralcities.org/cities/helsinki

    More Low-Carbon Energy News City of Helsinki,  Climate Change,  


    Austria Expecting Vehicle CO2 Emissions Increase (Int'l Report)
    Transportation Emissions
    Date: 2019-08-14
    In a press release Monday, the Vienna-based Austrian Traffic Club (VCO) noted the country is likely to miss its 2030 carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reduction target due in part to vehicle fuel use rises during the first half of 2019 -- about 10 million liters more fuel were used during the first six months of the year compared with the same period in 2018, indicating vehicle traffic will contribute to an increase in CO2 emissions.

    While petrol usage declined by 10 million liters to a total of about one billion liters, this was easily surpassed by a 20-million-liter increase in the use of diesel fuel, which totaled about 4 billion liters. According to this will have a more noticeable impact on emissions totals, given that diesel fuel causes about 13 pct more CO2 emissions than petrol. The Austrian government previously determined to reduce CO2 emissions to a total of 15.7 million tons by 2030. However, the total emissions have climbed for four consecutive years, up to 23.9 million tons in 2018.

    The VCO called for various initiatives to to bring the emissions totals down, including improved public transport and and expanding bicycle infrastructure to encourage people to make fewer short trips by car. (Source: Austrian Traffic Club, Xinhua, 13 Aug., 2019)

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


    Municipality of Waterloo Attacks GHG Emissions (Ind. Report)
    Waterloo
    Date: 2019-08-12
    In Ontario, the Regional Municipality of Waterloo reports it is aiming to join other regional centers -- the cities of Guelph and Markham -- in reaching Net Zero Carbon by 2050. To that end, in 2013 Waterloo developed Climate Action WR, a Climate Action Plan aimed at cutting the municipality's GHG emissions by 6 pct from 2010 levels by 2020 and 80 pct by 2050.

    Waterloo's 2015 emissions breakdown identified the transportation sector is the largest emitter of CO2 at 49 pct, followed by industrial, commercial, and institutional work places at 27 pct, residences at 18 pct, agriculture emitted 5 pct and waste management picked up the remaining 1 pct.

    Between 2010 and 2015 the Climate Action WR plan spearheaded 5.2 pct reduction in GHG emissions, the equivalent of 235,935 tonnes of CO2 emissions or 58,000 cars removed from the roads.

    Th meet its transportation-related GHG reduction goals, Waterloo has instituted a community bike and car share program, a light rail electric transit system and reduced bus traffic in the city. The municipality also established "green" building and energy efficiency standards, retrifited street lights to LED which are expected to reduce GHG emissions by 920 tpy. (Source: Municipality of Waterloo, Alternatives Journal, 3 Aug., 2019) Contact: Sustainable Waterloo Region, Tova Davidson,Executive Director, Samantha Tremmel, Acting Climate Action Manager, (519) 603-2223, www.sustainablewaterlooregion.ca

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


    Oslo Plans 95 pct Emissions Cut by 2030 (Int'l. Report)
    Oslor Norway,Carbon Emissions
    Date: 2019-08-12
    The Norwegian capital city of Oslo -- pop. 634,200 +- -- reports it has targeted a 95 pct reduction in carbon dioxide emission by the year 2030 but did not reveal the anticipated costs of reaching it goal. The target of 95 percent is compared to 2009 emissions.

    To reach its goal, the city government wants all vehicles in the city to be "emission free," although they did not want to go so far as to talk of an outright ban on petrol and diesel cars. Oslo is this year's European Green Capital and the municipality also wants to reduce car traffic overall by a third compared to 2015, emphasising public transport, bicycle paths and pedestrian walkways. The city has also a carbon capture and storage mechanism at a city waste incineration plant.

    Oslo mayor Raymond Johansen described his city's goal as the "most ambitious climate strategy of any major city in the world," (Source: City of Oslo, ET Auto, AFP, 10 Aug, 2019) Contact: City of Oslo, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oslo

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


    Chevron Unveils Aussie CO2 Storage, Mitigation Project (Int'l)
    Chevron
    Date: 2019-08-09
    In the Land Down Under, Perth-based energy major Chevron Australia Pty Ltd. and its JV partners at the Gorgon LNG project, in Western Australia, are reporting the launch of the Gorgon carbon dioxide (CO2) injection system -- the world's largest greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation project. When fully operational, the CO2 injection facility will cut Gorgon's GHG emissions by about 40 pct or more than 100-million tonnes over the life of the project.

    The Gorgon facility incorporates features aimed at maximizing energy efficiency and minimizing GHG emissions, and in steady-state operations, is anticipated to have the lowest GHG emissions intensity of any LNG project in Australia. (Source: Chevron Australia, Mining Weekly, Creamer Media NZ, 8 Aug., 2019) Contact: Chevron Australia Pty Ltd, +61 8 9216 4000, www.chevron.com/about/contact

    More Low-Carbon Energy News LNG,  Chevron,  Carbon Storage,  CO2,  


    Vietnam Cement Producers Prepare for Carbon Tax Pilot (Int'l.)
    Carbon Tax
    Date: 2019-08-09
    In Hanoi, the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is reporting the planned 2020 launch of a one-year carbon tax pilot program that will affect 11 cement and 9 power production plants across the country.

    Under the scheme, cement producers and traders will be charged US$0.09/t of clinker, equivalent to US1.35/t of CO2. The tax is lower than the World Bank's Forest Carbon Partnership Facility pledge to pay for emission reduction efforts in North Central Region of US$5/t of CO2. The provinces running the tariff are expected to generate around US$7.4 million per year. (Source: Vietnam News Agency Bulletin, Global Cement News, 4 Aug., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cement,  Carbon Tax,  


    CarbonCure, Linde Announce Strategic Alliance (Ind. Report)
    CarbonCure Technology
    Date: 2019-08-09
    Nova Scotia-based Canadian clean technology innovator CarbonCure Technologies (CarbonCure) and industrial gases specialist Linde, the world's largest industrial gas supplier, have partnered to introduce CarbonCure Technology to Europe, Southeast Asia and Oceania.

    The CarbonCure Technology enhances the competitiveness of the concrete industry through improved production efficiency and sustainability. The technology injects a precise dosage of captured waste carbon dioxide (CO2) into concrete during production. Once introduced, the CO2 chemically converts to a nano-mineral, creating manufacturing efficiencies while reducing the concrete's carbon footprint.

    The CarbonCure Technology is presently installed in nearly 150 concrete plants in North America and Southeast Asia, with more than 2.3 million cubic meters of concrete supplying a wide range of construction projects from airports, roads to high-rise towers.

    CarbonCure, the world leader in carbon capture and utilization (CCU) technology used in the production of concrete, is on a pathway to reduce 500 megatons of CO2 emissions annually. CarbonCure technology is estimated to be a $400 billion market opportunity with the potential to reduce up to 1.4 gigatons of annual CO2 emissions by 2030, according to the Global CO2 Initiative. (Source: CarbonCure, PR, 8 Aug., 2019) Contact: CarbonCure Technologies, Robert Niven, CEO, (902) 442-4020, info@carboncure.com, www.carboncure.com; Linde, www.linde.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CCU,  Carbon Capture & Utilization,  CarbonCure Technology,  Concrete,  Linde,  Cement,  


    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,  


    Dominion Announces Energy Storage Pilot Projects (Ind Report)
    Dominion Energy Virginia
    Date: 2019-08-07
    In the Old Dominion State, Richmond-based utility holding company Dominion Energy Virginia is reporting four utility-scale battery storage pilot projects totaling 16 megawatts -- the largest projects of their kind in Virginia.

    The four proposed Central Virginia-based lithium-ion projects will cost approximately $33 million to construct and will provide key information on distinct use cases for batteries on the energy grid. Pending SCC approval, the pilots would be evaluated over a five year period once operational as currently expected in December 2020. The projects include:

  • Two battery systems totaling 12 MW at the Scott Solar facility in Powhatan County that will demonstrate how batteries can store energy generated from solar panels during periods of high production and help optimize the power produced by the solar facility.

  • A 2-MW battery at a substation in Ashland will explore how batteries can improve reliability and save on equipment replacement costs by serving as an alternative to traditional grid management investments such as transformer upgrades, necessary to serve customers during times of high energy demand.

  • A 2-megawatt battery at a substation in New Kent County serving a 20-MW solar facility will show how batteries can help manage voltage and loading issues caused by reverse energy flow, to maintain grid stability.

    Dominion notes it expects to cut generating fleet CO2 emissions 80 pct by 2050 and reduce methane emissions from its gas assets 50 pct by 2030. (Source: Dominion Energy, PR, Aug., 2019) Contact: Dominion Energy, Mark D. Mitchell, vice president – generation construction www.dominionenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Dominion Energy Virginia,  Battery Energy Storage,  


  • Climate-specific Tech Packages Help Cut Ag GHG Emissions (Int'l)
    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    Date: 2019-08-07
    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in cooperation with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports it has identified ways to reduce agricultural GHG emissions under various climate conditions using isotopic techniques.

    When farmers apply fertilizer to their crops, plants convert the fertilizer into the nutrients the plants need to flourish. Some of the by-products related to these processes are released as GHGs -- nitrous oxide (N2O), carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) -- and the overuse of fertilizer is leading to the release of excessive amounts of GHGs. According to the FAO, agriculture, forestry and other land use make up close to a quarter of GHGs, and the use of synthetic fertilizers accounts for 12 pct of total agriculture GHG emissions.

    These gases trap heat in the atmosphere, contributing to global warming and thereby altering the conditions under which food crops grow, affecting not only crop yields, but also food quality and food security. The release of N2O is particularly worrying because it's 300 times more powerful than CO2 in trapping heat, and 16 times more powerful than CH4 and can therefore greatly contribute to climate change mitigation strategies.

    Nuclear techniques offer substantial advantages over conventional techniques for measuring GHG emissions. By adding nitrogen fertilizers labelled with stable isotope nitrogen-15 as a tracer, scientists can track the isotopes and determine how effectively the crops are taking up the fertilizer. The isotope is also used to quantify the amount of nitrogen that crops can acquire from the atmosphere through biological nitrogen fixation process.

    The carbon-13 stable isotope technique, using the natural abundance of carbon-13 in the environment, allows researchers to evaluate soil quality and sources of carbon sequestered in the soil. This helps identify how various combinations of crop rotation, tillage and ground cover can enhance productivity and improve the efficiency with which increasingly scarce resources, such as water and chemical nutrients, are used. Carbon-13 is tracked to determine the movement and origin of carbon dioxide and methane. (Source: International Atomic Energy Agency, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 6 Aug., 2019) Contact: UN Food & Agriculture Organization, www.fao.org; International Atomic Energy Agency, www.iaea.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GHG,  Greenhouse Gas Emissions,  ,  


    Bay State Municipal Power Plants Cutting CO2 Emissions (Ind. Report)
    Municipal Electric Association of Massachusetts
    Date: 2019-08-07
    Fuel Mix and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Municipal Light Plants in Massachusetts, an Anaysis Group study commissioned by the Municipal Electric Association of Massachusetts has found that the Bay State's Municipal Light Plants are leading the state and the New England region in reducing carbon emissions in their power portfolio.

    The study notes state-wide almost 94 pct of the power owned or contracted for by Municipal Light Plants come from sources that do not emit greenhouse gases. When including the market purchases, the MLP portfolio is about 75 pct non-emitting compared to the New England region at 57 pct and the Massachusetts investor owned utilities at only about 47 pct.

    According to Hudson Light General Manager Brian Choquette, "this study is critically important as it shows that MLPs, with local control at the municipal level, are leading the way in achieving the State's Greenhouse Gas goals." (Source: Analysis Group, Wicked Local Hudson, 6 Aug., 2019)Contact: Analysis Group, www.analysisgroup.com; Municipal Electric Association of Massachusetts, www.meam.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  


    Mitsui Looks to Synthetic Methane to Cut Shipping Emissions (Int'l)
    Mitsui O.S.K.
    Date: 2019-08-05
    Tokyo-headquartered maritime shipping firm Mitsui O.S.K. (MOL) reports it will focus on reducing its shipping operation CO2 emissions by using synthetic methane as an alternative to current fossil-based bunker fuels.

    With the same focus, the company has also joined the Carbon Capture and Reuse (CCR) Study Group which is looking into the implementation of effective carbon neutral measures to reduce the use of fossil fuels by offering alternative energies such as synthetic methane, which is generated by combining CO2 generated by industries with renewable energy-derived hydrogen. (Source: MOL, Bunkerspot, Aug., 2019) Contact: Mitsui O.S.K. (MOL), Junichiro Ikeda, Pres., CEO, www.mol.co.jp/en; Carbon Capture and Reuse Study Group, www.hitachizosen.co.jp/english/release/2016/11/002421.html

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Captureand Reuse,  Mitsui,  Methane,  


    Delta, Air France, KLM, Virgin Atlantic Adopt Carbon Offsetting (Ind. Report, Int'l Report)
    Delta, Air France, KLM,Vigin Atlantic
    Date: 2019-08-05
    International Air carriers Delta, Air France, KLM and Virgin Atlantic report they will offset more than 1,800 metric tons of carbon emissions from more than 15,000 flights to and from Chicago during the 2019 GBTA airline industry trade show. Most of the carbon-offsets will be by way of purchases that fund the International Small Group and Tree Planting program (TIST).

    TIST encourages subsistence farmers to improve their local environment and farms by planting and maintaining trees on degraded and/or unused land in India, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. As the trees grow, carbon captured is quantified and verified and certified greenhouse gas credits are sold in the global carbon market. More than 88,000 farmers in four countries have successfully planted 18 million trees and captured nearly five million metric tons of carbon dioxide to date.

    Additionally, Delta is now piloting a program to build in carbon offsets for corporate accounts and is looking to expand. Since 2005, delta has cut its carbon emissions 11 pct as part of its goal of achieving carbon-neutral growth and reducing carbon emissions by 50 pct by 2050.

    Since 2011 Air France reduced its CO2 emissions by 20 pct(g.CO2/passenger/km). KLM is reducing CO2 emissions by investing in fuel-efficient aircraft, using sustainable fuel and by offsetting emissions and other initiatives. For its part, Virgin Atlantic's "Change is in the Air" program primarily focuses on climate action, supply chain activities and nonprofit partnerships. In 2007 Virgin targeted of 30 pct reduction in CO2 (by passengers and cargo carried) by 2021. (Source: DTNews, 5 Aug., 2019) Contact: International Small Group and Tree Planting, www.tist.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aviation Emissions,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Offset,  


    Mitsui Looks to Synthetic Methane Marine Fuel (Int'l)
    Mitsui
    Date: 2019-08-05
    Tokyo-headquartered maritime shipping firm Mitsui O.S.K. (MOL) reports it will focus on reducing its shipping operation CO2 emissions by using synthetic methane as an alternative to current fossil-based bunker fuels.

    With the same focus, the company has also joined the Carbon Capture and Reuse (CCR) Study Group which is looking into the implementation of effective carbon neutral measures to reduce the use of fossil fuels by offering alternative energies such as synthetic methane, which is generated by combining CO2 generated by industries with renewable energy-derived hydrogen. (Source: MOL, Bunkerspot, Aug., 2019) Contact: Mitsui O.S.K. (MOL), Junichiro Ikeda, Pres., CEO, www.mol.co.jp/en; Carbon Capture and Reuse Study Group, www.hitachizosen.co.jp/english/release/2016/11/002421.html

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane news,  Synthetic Methane news,  Misui news,  Marine Fuel news,  


    Calix Reports CO2 Capture Technology Test Success (Int'l Report
    Calix
    Date: 2019-08-02
    NSW Australia-based Calix Ltd. is reporting Project LEILAC (Low Emissions Intensity Lime And Cement), featuring Calix's CO2 capture technology for lime and cement, has been commissioned and is operating after preliminary testing at Heidelberg Cement's plant at Lixhe in eastern Belgium.

    The project consortium includes the world's largest lime and cement companies, with Calix as the core technology provider and project leader.

    Construction of the €21 million project was completed in early May. The project, which received €12 million from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, is part of the EU's target of reducing CO2 emissions by 80 pct below 1990 levels by 2050. To that end, European cement industry needs to deploy carbon capture across 60 pct of its plants.

    Calix's patented "Direct Separation" carbon capture technology will enable Europe's cement and lime industries to reduce their CO2 emissions dramatically without significant energy or capital penalty. The technology works on both lime and cement meal, with calcination near to target levels and CO2 of more than 95 pct purity successfully separated at the top of the reactor, although not yet at full design capacity. which will be tested until the end of 2020. (Source: Calix, Manufacturing Mag., 1 Aug., 2019) Contact: Calix, Mark Sceats, CEO, +61 (2) 8199 7400, www.calix.com.au

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Calix,  Carbon Capture,  Cement,  


    ArcelorMittal Lauded for Carbon Innovations (Int'l Report)
    ArcelorMittal
    Date: 2019-08-02
    Belgium-based iron ore, metallurgical coal and steel maker ArcelorMittal reports Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) has ranked ArcelorMittal first in low-carbon innovations, transition opportunities, data transparency, renewable energy use, and board and executive climate management. The steel and mining company, which ranked fifth in the CDP's 2016 report, was rated second overall in the latest report.

    The new CDP report is based on detailed analysis across a range of carbon and transitional indicators that could have a significant impact on company performance.

    ArcelorMittal recently announced its ambition to cut CO2 emissions globally and be carbon-neutral in Europe by 2050. The company is currently aiming for an 8 pct carbon footprint reduction by 2020. (Source: ArcelorMittal, Noria News, Reliable Plant, July, 2019) Contact: ArcelorMittal, Alan Knight, Corporate Responsibility GM, +32 9 347 31 11, www.corporate.arcelormittal.com; CDP, Lance Pierce, Pres. North America, (212) 378 2086, info.northamerica@cdp.net, www.cdp.net

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ArcelorMittal,  Carbon Footprint,  CDP,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  


    GEVO Trialing LocusAG Technology to Amplify Soil Carbon Sequestration (Ind Report)
    GEVO
    Date: 2019-08-02
    Englewood, Colorago-headquartered biobutanol and biofuels specialist GEVO Inc. is reporting a partnership with Locus Agricultural Solutions® (LocusAG) to trial a new technology to improve the capture of soil carbon, reduce applied nitrogen fertilizer needs and improve crop yields.

    LocusAG's Rhizolizer® line of fresh, non-GMO soil probiotic treatments have been used to treat 40,000 commercial agriculture acres across several crops, with positive results in improving crop productivity, crop quality, vigor and sustainability. Treatments are now being tested on Gevo's 30-acre farm co-located at its Luverne, MN ethanol facility.

    According to LocusAG, the treatments have the potential to amplify crop soil carbon sequestration by up to an additional 3 to 6 metric tpy of CO2 equivalents per acre while increasing crop yields and grower profits. (Source: GEVO, PR, Newswire, 31 July, 2019) Contact: LocusAG, Paul Zorner, CEO, www.LocusAG.com; Gevo, Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, pgruber@gevo.com, www.gevo.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GEVO,  Soil Carbon,  Carbon Sequestration,  


    ETH Zurich, Total Convert CO2, H2 to Methanol (Ind. Report)
    ETH Zürich, Total
    Date: 2019-07-31
    Swiss researchers at ETH Zurich and the Paris-headquartered oil and gas giant Total report they've developed a new catalyst that efficiently converts CO2 and hydrogen (H2) directly into methanol and have jointly filed for a patent on the technology. Offering realistic market potential, the technology paves the way for the sustainable production of fuels and chemicals, the release claims.

    The core of the new approach is a chemical catalyst based on indium oxide, which was developed by Javier Perez-Ramírez, Professor of Catalysis Engineering at ETH Zurich, and his team. The team of scientists have now succeeded in boosting the activity of the catalyst significantly, without affecting its selectivity or stability. They achieved this by treating the indium oxide with a small quantity of palladium.

    The CO2 may be extracted from the atmosphere or—more simply and efficiently—from the exhaust discharged by combustion power plants. Even if fuels are synthesized from the methanol and subsequently combusted, the CO2 is recycled and thus the carbon cycle is closed.

    Total now plans to scale up the approach and potentially implement the technology in a demonstration unit over the next few years. Methanol can be converted into fuels and a wide variety of chemical products, including those that today are mainly based on fossil resources. (Source: ETH Zurich, PR, Green Car Congress, 30 July, 2019) Contact: ETH Zurich, +41 44 632 03 52, www.up.ethz.ch

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ETH Zurich,  Total,  Methanol,  CO2,  


    Swiss Researchers Tout CO2 Membrane Filter (New Prod & Tech)
    Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
    Date: 2019-07-29
    In Switzerland, researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)reporting development of a new class of high-performance membranes that exceed post-combustion carbon capture targets by a significant margin. The membranes are based on single-layer graphene with a selective layer thinner than 20 nm, and have highly tunable chemistry, meaning that they can pave the way for next-generation high-performance membranes for several critical separations.

    Current membranes are required to exceed 1000 gas permeation units (GPUs), and have a CO2/N2 separation factor above 20 -- a measure of their carbon-capturing specificity. The EPFL developed membranes show six-fold higher CO2 permeance at 6,180 GPUs with a separation factor of 22.5. The GPUs shot up to 11,790 when the scientists combined optimized graphene porosity, pore size, and functional groups (the chemical groups that actually react with CO2), while other membranes they made showed separation factors up to 57.2.

    Carbon capture can be done using high-performance membranes, which are polymer filters that can specifically pick out CO2 from a mix of gases, such as those emitted from a factory's flue. These membranes are environmentally friendly, they don't generate waste, they can intensify chemical processes, and can be used in a decentralized fashion. They are now considered as one of the most energy-efficient routes for reducing CO2 emissions. (Source: Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne Graphene-Info, Energy & Environmental Science, phys.org, July, 2019)Contact: Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Kumar Varoon Agrawal, www.epfl.ch/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2,  Graphene,  Carbon Capture,  ,  


    UK Exploring Funding Options to Drive Renewables, CCUS (Int'l)
    Low-Carbon Energy, UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
    Date: 2019-07-29
    In London, the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is touting renewable and nuclear energy fund proposals it says are critically important in reaching net-zero emissions. The proposals explore the use of the Regulated Asset Base (RAB) finance approach to attract significant private investment in major infrastructure projects like the Thames Tideway Tunnel which used the RAB model to reduce the cost of financing and risk for developers while limiting the long term impact on consumer energy costs.

    The RAB funding model could also be used to reduce the costs of carbon dioxide storage. A funding model similar to the Contracts for Difference scheme, which provides developers with a set price for low-carbon electricity will be explored alongside other options to deliver investment in Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) power projects while cutting emissions. The government aims to roll out the technology at scale by the 2030s, subject to costs coming down, as part of its commitment to become a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

    To that end, the government has committed £170 million towards deploying technologies like carbon capture and hydrogen networks in industrial clusters to support establishment of the world's first net-zero industrial cluster by 2040. Additionally, industry will consider investing up to £261 million in new technologies to reduce emissions. Plans have also been announced to make it easier to recycle oil and gas infrastructure for use in CCUS projects, including using some of the 20,000 km of pipelines and depleted oil and gas reservoirs to transport and store CO2. Great Britain is aiming to completely phase out coal by 2025. (Source: UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) , PR, 23 July, 2019) Contact: BEIS, +44 0 20 7215 5000, enquiries@beis.gov.uk, www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-energy-and-industrial-strategy

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CCUS,  CCS,  CO2,  Carbon Dioxide,  Net-Zero Emissions,  BEIS,  


    Toyota NA to Cut Carbon Emissions Through VPAAs (Ind Report)
    Virtual Power Purchase Agreement,
    Date: 2019-07-29
    Japanese auto giant Toyota Motor North America reports it is committing to aggressively reduce its carbon output in the US by entering into Virtual Power Purchase Agreements (VPPAs) to reduce operation emissions by up to 40 pct over the next 3 years. The company plans to cut overall emissions from plant operations to zero by the year 2050.

    Under the VPPAs, which the company expects to commence later this year, Toyota NA will contract with renewable energy providers to generate wind and solar power that will be provided directly to regional electric grids. The supply of renewable power is expected to reduce use of fossil fuels and emissions. By powering its operations from the enhanced grid and applying Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) earned by funding the generation of renewable electricity, Toyota expects to substantially offset emissions from its North American facilities. This VPPA endeavor supports the company's Environmental Challenge 2050 which sets out the following global objectives:

  • 90 pct reduction in global average CO2 emissions from new vehicles vs. 2010 levels;
  • complete elimination of CO2 emissions from the entire vehicle life cycle; zero emissions at all manufacturing plants worldwide;
  • minimizing water usage and implementing water discharge management protocols;
  • promoting global deployment of end-of-life vehicle treatment and recycling, and;
  • connecting and promoting nature conservation activities outside of the Toyota Group in the communities where it operates. (Source: Toyota NA, Auto Connected Car News, 24 July, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Toyota,  CO2,  Virtual Power Purchase Agreement,  CERs,  


  • EgyptAir Operates Record Sustainable Jet Fueled Flight (Int'l.)
    EgyptAir, World Energy,
    Date: 2019-07-29
    In Cairo, Egypt's national air carrier, EgyptAir is reporting receipt of its newest Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. The Dreamliner flew 10,973 kilometres from Seattle to Cairo fueled solely by sustainable aviation fuel to become the world's longest sustainable flight.

    EgyptAir is the first operator to use Boeing's new sustainable fuel delivery program that gives airlines the option to pick biofuel for aircraft delivery flights. Sustainable aviation fuels have been shown to help reduce aircraft CO2 emissions by up to 80 per cent. The biodiesel biofuel used to power the Dreamliner was created from agricultural waste by Boston-headquartered World Energy at its Paramount, California facility which was designed to produce renewable jet fuel on a commercial scale. (Source: EgyptAir, N Lifestyle, 28 July, 2019) Contact: World Energy, 617-889-7300, Fax: 617-887-2411, info@worldenergy.net, www.worldenergy.net

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EgyptAir,  Jet Biofuel,  Aviation Biofuel,  World Energy ,  

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