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Palm Oil B20 Tests Slated for Malaysia (Int'l. Report)
Malaysian Palm Oil Board
Date: 2019-09-13
In Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) reports it and FGV Holdings Bhd will be embarking on a 6 month trial project involving the use of 20 pct palm biodiesel and 80 pct petroleum diesel blend (B20) for diesel vehicles.

The vehicle’s petroleum diesel engines will not be modified in any way to accommodate biodiesel fuel. The vehicles used for the project will be monitored in terms of their movements, fuel consumption of B20 and their maintenance costs. The B20 trial is intended to prove that using B20 will not affect vehicle engines.

Malaysia implemented B10 for its transportation sector beginning February and B7 for industrial sector in June this year in effort to reduce greenhouse gas emission released by diesel vehicles and to support the Palm oil industry. (Source: MPOB, New Strait Times, 12 Sept., 2019)Contact: Malaysian Palm Oil Board, www.mpob.gov.my

More Low-Carbon Energy News Palm Oil,  Biodiesel,  Malaysian Palm Oil Board,  


Consortium Funds Offshore Wind Anchorage Study (R&D, Funding)
National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium
Date: 2019-09-13
The new federally-funded U.S. National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium reports awarding its first contract to the U.S. DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The $300,000 award will support NREL's work on the economic feasibility of shared mooring lines to cut deep-water floating wind farm costs by connecting adjacent turbine platforms and distributing load, resulting in fewer anchors and considerable savings.

The DOE-created consortium is funded with $20 million to conduct research and development to address technological barriers and lower the costs and risks of offshore wind in the United States. To that end, DOE and Department of the Interior (DOI) identified the following research areas to facilitate the development of the U.S. offshore wind industry: wind plant technology advancement; wind resource and physical site characterization, and; installation, operations and maintenance, and supply chain technology solutions.

The Consortium is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA). (Source: National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium, ENR, 11 Sept., 2019)Contact: National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium, www.energy.gov › eere › national-offshore-wind-rd-consortium; NYSERDA, Alicia Barton, Pres., CEO, (518) 862-1090, www.nyserda.ny.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Wind R&D,  NYSERDA,  


BHP Plans Climate Change Investment, Greener Exec. Pay Pkg. (Int'l)
BHP Billiton
Date: 2019-09-13
In the Land Down Under, mining giant BHP Billiton is touting a five-year plan that will see the company spend $400 million on carbon capture and storage (CCS) and other technologies and measures to reduce carbon emissions. The plan also ties the group's executives remuneration packages closer to meeting environmental targets.

According to Group CEO Andrew Mackenzie, "For many years performance against emissions targets has been considered in BHP's executive remuneration plan. From next financial year we will clarify and strengthen this link and further reinforce the strategic importance of action to reduce emissions."

On Dec. 8, 2017, Dr. Fiona Wild, BHP VP for Sustainability and Climate Change, noted "We have knowledge of geology, markets and economics, so there's probably something we can bring to the table here in terms of our understanding around CCS to try to push this technology down the cost curve so it can be more readily available at scale and affordable costs." (Source: BHP, Western Australian, July, 2019) Contact: BHP Billiton, Dr. Fiona Wild, VP Sustainability and Climate Change, +61 3 9609 3333, www.bhpbilliton.com, www.bhp.com

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


Renewable Diesel Plant Considered for Port Arthur, Tex. (Ind. Report)
Valero, Darling Ingredients
Date: 2019-09-11
In the Lone Star State, San Antonio-headquartered Valero Energy Corp. reports it and Darling Ingredients Inc. are looking at engineering and development costs for a possible new renewable-diesel plant to be constructed in Port Arthur, Texas. The proposed 400 million gpy renewable diesel would also produce 40 million gpy of renewable naphtha.

Diamond Green Diesel -- a JV formed between a subsidiary of Valero and Irving, Texas-based low-carbon feedstock supplier Darling Ingredients Inc.-- would own and operate the new plant, which would be the first renewable diesel facility in Texas, as a 50-50 joint venture between Valero and Darling. With the proposed Port Arthur plant, Diamond Green Diesel's renewable diesel production would rise to roughly 1.1 billion gpy.

Investors are expected to make a final decision on the project in 2021, at which time construction could get underway for commissioning and operation in 2024.(Source: Valero, PR, 9 Sept. 12News ABC, Beaumont, Texas, 10 Sept., 2019) Contact: Valero Renewable Fuels, Joe Gorder, Pres., (800) 324-8464, www.valero.com; Darling Ingedients, Melissa A. Gaither, VP IR , (972) 281-4478, mgaither@darlingii.com, www.darlingii.com; Diamond Green Diesel, sales@diamondgreendiesel.com, www.diamondgreendiesel.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Diamond Green Diesel,  Renewable Diesel,  Valero,  Green Diesel,  Darling Ingedients,  


Univ. of Cyprus Promoting SWEL Wave Energy Converter (Int'l.)
University of Cyprus
Date: 2019-09-11
In Nicosia, University of Cyprus is touting a new Wave Energy Converter (WEC) called SWEL which was created by an R&D company based in Cyprus and the UK.

Unlike other wave energy converters, the waves pass through the unit to generate power at a low cost in any wave environment. SWEL is expected to be tested officially in October in Ireland and again in April in France.

The pilot projects were introduced within the framework of Maestrale EU, a project that aims to lay the basis for maritime energy deployment strategies in the Mediterranean. MAESTRALE Project details HERE. (Source: EU Intereeg Mediterranean, Cyprus Mail, 10 Sept., 2019) Contact: University of Cyprus, Assistant Prof., Democratis Gregoriades, +357 22 894000, www.ucy.ac.cy

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wave Energy,  


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 ,  


  • Partners Tout Offshore Wind Transmission Concept (Int'l. Report)
    TenneT, EnBW,Orsted
    Date: 2019-09-09
    TenneT, EnBW and Orsted are reporting an alliance to implement a new concept for connecting offshore wind farms and converter platforms in the German North Sea -- Orsted's Borkum Riffgrund West 1 and Borkum Riffgrund 2 projects in Cluster 1 as well as the Northern Energy OWP West and EnBW He Dreiht wind farms in Cluster 7.

    Traditionally, projects feature a transformer platform which is connected to the converter platform for the transmission of electricity ashore. The new concept would avoid the construction of offshore substations and eliminate the need for costly export cable. (Source: TenneT, PR, 4Coffshore, 6 Sept., 2019) Contact: TenneT, Tim Meyerjurgens, Managing Director, +31 (0) 26 373 1112, www.tennet.org; EnBW, Frank Mastiaux, CEO, +49 721 63 14320, www.enbw.com; Orsted, Henrik Poulsen, CEO, Daniel Lerup, Inv. Relations, +45 99 55 97 22, www.orsted.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News TenneT,  EnBW,  Orsted,  Offshore Wind,  


    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,  


    Johnson County KY Scores $100K Energy Efficiency Grant (Funding)
    The Kentucky Department for Local Government
    Date: 2019-09-09
    The Kentucky Department for Local Government (DLG) is reporting the issuance of a $100,000 Energy Efficiency and Conservation grant of $100,000 to Johnson County for energy efficient upgrades to various public facilities through turn-key Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPC).

    The proposed ESPC work will deliver operational and energy savings and will include lighting upgrades, mechanical upgrades/retro-commissioning, building envelope and water conservation and others, according to the DLG statement.

    The EEC Grant program is a cooperative effort with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, Department of Energy Development and Independence to assist city and county governments to reduce energy consumption and lower overall utility costs. (Source: Kentucky Department for Local Government, Paintsville Herald, 6 Sept., 2019) Contact: Kentucky Department for Local Government, www.kydlgweb.ky.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency Funding,  


    Democrats Table Community Energy Savings Act of 2019 (Reg & Leg)
    Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2019-09-06
    In Washington, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and democratic Sens. Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Tina Smith are touting the introduction of the Community Energy Savings Program Act of 2019.

    The legislation is designed to address and intended to help homeowners lower household energy costs and mitigate climate change chaos. The Act, if passed into law, would provide low-interest financing for residential energy efficiency, renewable energy or energy storage upgrades -- reducing wasted energy and carbon pollution. These energy efficiency projects also help create good-paying jobs through the manufacturing and installation of materials used in energy efficiency upgrades.

    A summary of the Community Energy Savings Program is HERE. (Source: KTVZ, 7 Sept., 2019) Contact: Office of Sen. Jeff Merkley, (503) 326-3386, Fax - (503) 326-2900, www.merkley.senate.gov

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


    Energy Efficiency, Weatherization Upgrades Offered in Charlottesville (Ind. Report)
    Charlottesville Department of Utilities
    Date: 2019-09-06
    In the Tar Heel State, the Charlottesville Department of Utilities reports it is partnering with the Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) to create the Charlottesville Gas Energy Efficiency Program -- a pilot program free to income-qualified residents of Charlottesville and Albemarle County who are Charlottesville Gas customers.

    According to a release, the program will help residents reduce their utility costs, decrease the carbon footprint of the city and Albemarle County, and reduce household water consumption.

    Qualified residents will work with a LEAP Home Energy Coach, who will perform an energy audit of their home and select the most appropriate energy-efficiency measures. The no-cost program is open to both home owners and tenants. (Source: Charlottesville Department of Utilities, CBS19, 5 Sept., 2019) Contact: Charlottesville Department of Utilities, Irene Peterson , (434) 970-3812, peterson@charlottesville.org, www.charlottesville.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency Upgrade,  


    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,  


    Neste Opens Calif. Renewable Diesel Fueling Stations (Ind. Report)
    Neste
    Date: 2019-09-04
    Helsinki-headquartered renewable diesel producer reports the opening of three new cardlock renewable diesel commercial fueling stations in Northern and Central California' Neste's first California fueling station opened earlier this year, bringing the total number of commercial fueling stations to four.

    Neste MY Renewable Diesel is a cost competitive, low-carbon fuel produced from 100 pct renewable and sustainable raw materials that cuts greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 pct compared to petroleum diesel. (Source: Neste, Various Trade Media, Biofuels Int'l, 29 Aug., 2019) Contact: Neste, +358 10 458 4128, www.neste.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Neste,  Renewable Diesel,  


    Cielo Reports Alberta Renewable Diesel Refinery Progress (Ind. Report)
    Cielo Waste Solutions
    Date: 2019-09-04
    Following up on our 5th August coverage, Vancouver-based Cielo Waste Solutions is reporting receipt of a $250,000 joint venture (JV) fee from Renewable U Lethbridge, following a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement. The full fee secures the territory of Lethbridge, Alberta and the surrounding 100km radius. Cielo and Renewable U Lethbridge plan to construct a renewable diesel refinery at the location.

    Under the deal, Renewable U will be responsible for financing the costs associated with the refinery, including site acquisition, construction and commissioning of the renewable diesel facility. Cielo will manage the refinery, overseeing its construction, commissioning and operation, for which it will receive a management fee equal to 7 pct of the JV costs, and will continue to receive management fees once operations begin. (Source: Cielo, Biofuels News, 2 Sept., 2019) Contact: Cielo Waste Solutions Corp., Don Allan, President & CEO, (403) 348-2972 Ext. 101, donallan@cielows.com, www.cielows.com; Renewable U Energy, Lionel Robins, CEO, www.motivateu.ca/renewableu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cielo,  Renewable Diesel,  


    Brampton Releases Energy, Emissions Management Plan (Ind. Report)
    City of Brampton
    Date: 2019-09-04
    In southern Ontario, the city of Brampton -- pop. 594,000 +- -- reports the release of its strategy for lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy conservation, and the city's goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 20 pct by 2024. The Brampton Energy and Emissions Management Plan 201-2024: A Zero Carbon Transition outlines how the city plans to achieve a zero-carbon transition for new and existing corporate facilities over the next five years. The plan focuses on minimizing emissions intensity, minimizing energy consumption, and maximizing cost recovery.

    Brampton is aiming foe a 30 pct emission reduction by 2030 and 80 pct by 2025. The interim target has been set to reduce GHG emissions by 20 per cent by 2024.

    In a release, the city notes has recovered $5.8 million in costs through energy-efficient programs, third-party funding, energy procurement and water rebates since 2014 and has introduced more than 13 renewable energy projects implemented 50 energy conservation projects in its effort to address emissions and climate change. (Source: City of Brampton, Brampton Guardian, 3 Sept., 2019) Contact: City of Brampton, 905.874.2130, www.brampton.ca

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


    Toledo Univ. Granted $750,000 for New Technology (Funding)
    University of Toledo
    Date: 2019-08-30
    In Ohio, the University of Toledo is reportedly slated to receive a $750,000 award from the U.S. DOE Efficiency and Renewable Energy for Energy Technology for the development of low-cost, unassisted photoelectrochemical water-splitting technology -- the process of separation of water into oxygen and hydrogen which has clean energy sector applications. The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy contributed to this project. (Source: University of Toledo Blade, 29 Aug., 2019) Contact: University of Toledo, (800) 586-5336, www.utoledo.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News New Technologies Funding,  


    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,  


    Harvard Mass. Opts for !00 pct Wind Energy (Ind. Report)
    National Grid
    Date: 2019-08-30
    In the Bay State, the town of Harvard Select Board reports it has, om behalf of the community's roughly 6,600 residents and businesses, approved a switch to 100 pct wind generated electricity. To that end, the towns present electric power supplier National Grid will be replaced by an as yet identified company whose electricity is generated entirely by the wind, and at a lower cost per kilowatt hour than their current rate. More than 120 other Massachusetts communities have enacted similar Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) plans. The town's initiative is in accordance with the state's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, which prescribes how much of a utility's electricity must come from renewable energy, but is cheaper than the 100 pct renewable plan.

    National Grid will remain the distributor, providing the transmission lines and equipment by which electricity is delivered, regardless of source. (Source: Town of Harvard, Harvard Press, 29 Aug., 2019) Contact: Town of Harvard, www.harvard.ma.us

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


    Salix Finances Edinburgh Energy Efficiency Upgrades (Int'l.)
    City of Edinburgh,Salix Finance
    Date: 2019-08-28
    In Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council reports it has invested £1.6 million of London-based Salix Finance Ltd. funding -- £800,000 provided by the council and £800,000 matching funding from Salix -- in energy efficiency projects across several city schools. The work was carried out using the London RE:FIT (energy efficiency) framework.

    The upgraded school technologies include: combined heat and power (CHP), LED lighting, boilers, and controls, all of which are expected to deliver better than £4 million in energy cost savings over the lifetime of the project.

    The upgrades were made possible thanks to funding from Salix Finance, an independent, government-funded organisation that provides interest-free loans to the public sector for energy efficiency projects. In addition to the school improvements, the council upgraded Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) and completed projects such as LED lighting upgrades to both the Edinburgh bus station and Councils Assembly Rooms, CCTV monitor upgrades to the City Chamber, and others. (Source: Edinburgh City Council, Scottish Construction Now, Aug., 2019) Contact: Salix Finance, +44 20 3102, 6900, www.salixfinance.co.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency Finance,  


    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,  


    Wessex Energy Offers Energy Efficiency Upgrade Loans (Int'l.)
    Wessex Energy
    Date: 2019-08-28
    In Bath and East Somerset, UK, the not-for-profit community lending organization Wessex Resolutions reports low-cost energy efficiency and renewable energy loans are now being offered to homeowners and residential landlords. The Wessex Energy Loans are offered at 4.2 pct fixed for the term of the loan and with flexible repayment arrangements.

    The Wessex loans, which can be used for insulation, solar panel installation and other renewables and energy efficiency measures, range from £500 to £15,000 with repayment terms of between six months to 15 years. (Source: Energy at Home, Bath Echo News, 27 Aug., 2019) Contact: Energy at Home, www.energyathome.org.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency Loans,  


    House Reps Call for RFS "Hardship" Waiver Investigation (Ind Report)
    Biofuel,Renewable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2019-08-28
    In the nation's capitol, a dozen members of Congress, spurred on by Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa) have writtn to U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro urging the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine the review and approval of small refinery "hardship" waivers under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) , including the DOE's viability scores for the 40 waivers reviewed to date by the DOE for the 2018 compliance year.

    As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. Under the now vanquished administrator Greg Pruitt's direction, the EPA handed out 54 exemptions over two years and not a single request for an exemption was denied.

    Download the letter HERE. (Source: Office of Rep. Abby Finkenauer, 21 Aug., 2019) Contact: Office of Rep. Abby Finkenauer, (202) 225-2911, finkenauer.house.gov

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


    Colorado 150-MW Arriba Wind Farm Project Announced (Ind. Report)
    Holy Cross Energy,Guzman Energy
    Date: 2019-08-26
    Glenwood Springs, Colorado-based Holy Cross Energy (HCE) and Guzman Energy in Denver are reporting an agreement with NGC Partners to develop the 150-MW Arriba Wind Farm in Lincoln County, Colorado. HCE will purchase 100 MW of the project's total 150 MW output which is expected to come online in mid-2021.

    Guzman has the option to commission another 50 MW in increased project size, and expand its share of the project to 100 MW. HCE's is aiming to source 70 pct of its annual energy from clean and renewable sources without increasing power costs for their members.

    NGC Partners is an investment and asset management firm focused on the clean energy sector. (Source: Holy Cross Energy, Facebook, Twitter, 23 Aug., 2019) Contact: Holy Cross Energy, Bryan Hannegan, CEO, (970) 945-5491, www.holycross.com; Guzman Energy, (720) 778-2000, www.guzmanenergy.com; NGC Partners, +34 914 319 994, info@ngcpartners.com, www.ngcpartners.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Holy Cross Energy,  Wind,  


    DOE Releases Annual Wind Market Reports (Ind. Report)
    US DOE
    Date: 2019-08-26
    The U.S. DOE has released annual market reports documenting data and trends in wind installations, technologies, costs, prices, and performance through the end of 2018 for three sectors: utility-scale land-based, offshore, and distributed wind.

    According to the report, the utility-scale Land-Based Wind Sector had another strong year with 7,588 MW installed during 2018, accompanied by record low costs and prices. The U.S. distributed wind sector now stands at 1,127 MW from over 83,000 wind turbines across all 50 states. And the U.S. offshore wind industry has a pipeline of 25,824 MW in various stages of development. The report found:

  • The U.S. wind industry installed 7,588 MW of capacity last year, bringing total utility-scale wind capacity to over 96 gigawatts (GW).

  • Wind industry employment is at an all-time high, supporting 114,000 jobs

  • In total, 41 states operated utility-scale wind projects -- Texas leads the nation with nearly 25 GW of wind capacity, while California, Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma have more than 5 GW.

  • Wind energy provides 6.5 pct of the nation's electricity, more than 10 pct of total generation in 14 states, and more than 30 pct in Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

  • The trend of installing wind turbines that are larger and more powerful continued in 2018 and the price of wind energy being sold in long-term contracts is at an all-time low.

    The 2018 Distributed Wind Market report highlights include:

  • Distributed wind power is used at or near where it is generated, as opposed to wind power from wholesale generation, where power is sent to consumers via transmission lines and substations.

  • Employed by households, schools, farms, industrial facilities, and municipalities, distributed wind doesn't only refer to small-scale turbines; it includes any size turbine or array of turbines that generates power for local or on-site use.

  • U.S. wind turbines in distributed applications reached a cumulative installed capacity of 1,127 MW in 2018. This capacity comes from over 83,000 turbines installed across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.

  • The trend of using larger wind turbines in distributed applications continued in 2018. The average capacity of large-scale turbines installed in distributed applications in 2018 was 2.1 MW -- almost double the capacity of turbines used in 2003.

  • Commercial and industrial distributed wind projects increased in 2018, representing 29 pct of total project capacity. Distributed wind for utility customers remained the most prevalent use, representing 47 pct of capacity in 2018.

  • Of small wind turbines (100 kilowatts or less) deployed in the U.S., turbines of less than 1 kW are contributing an increasingly larger percentage of both the total number of turbines (99 pct) and capacity (47 pct) of small wind projects.

    The 2018 Offshore Wind Technologies Market Report found:

  • The U.S. offshore wind project development pipeline grew to a potential generating capacity of 25,824 MW across 13 states, including the Block Island Wind Farm commissioned in 2016.

  • Projects totaling 21,225 MW have exclusive site control -- a lease or other contract to develop the site. Most of these projects are on the Eastern seaboard, with one in the Great Lakes.

  • California and Hawaii have several early-stage floating offshore wind projects in the planning phase.

  • The DOI Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) auctions for three lease areas off the coast of Massachusetts brought in winning bids of $135 million indicating strong interest and confidence in the U.S. offshore wind market.

  • Offtake prices for the first commercial-scale U.S. offshore wind project -- Vineyard Wind off the coast of Massachusetts -- came in lower than expected at $65–$75 per MWh.

  • Technology trends toward larger turbines continued, with offshore turbines installed globally in 2018 averaging 5.5 MW, and turbines with capacities of 10- 12 MW coming to market in the next couple years. (Source: DOE Wind Energy Technologies Office., 23 Aug., 2019) Contact: DOE Wind Energy Technologies Office, www.energy.gov/eere/wind/wind-energy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  


  • Consumers Willing to Pay More for Net-Zero Energy (Ind. Report)
    Propane Education & Research Council
    Date: 2019-08-26
    A recent survey by the Propane Education & Research Council of 2,200 U.S. adults planning to purchase, remodel or build a home, found most have a favorable opinion of Net-Zero Energy (NZE) homes. Of those surveyed, 83 pct of purchasers would consider an NZE home even if it meant paying more -- cost savings and environmental benefits of NZE homes being the prime motivation.

    Of the survey respondents planning to remodel their existing homes, 81 pct said they'd be willing to pay 20 pct to 30 pct more on the cost of their projects to achieve NZE.

    Construction professionals estimate, on average, that it would cost 36 pct more for a home to meet ZNE standards compared to a standard home. (Source: Propane Education & Research Council, Realty Business News, 25 Aug., 2019) Contact: Propane Education & Research Council, www.propane.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Net-Zero Energy,  Energy Conservation,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Trump Ups RFS Biofuels Quota to Placate Farm States (Ind Report)
    Trump. EPA
    Date: 2019-08-26
    Bloomberg is reporting President "The Donald" Trump, seeking to avoid political fallout in U.S. farm states essential to his re-election, last week ordered federal agencies to change, or simply rescind, many of the 80 or more recently issued "hardship" waivers relieving some oil refineries of requirements to use biofuel such as corn-based ethanol.

    Trump and his team have since apparently decided they wouldn't, or couldn't make changes to just-issued waivers without risking the wrath of the oil companies, which may also be crucial to his reelection plans. And so, to resolve his self inflicted predicament, Trump has ordered a boost in biofuels quotes to make up for expected exemptions beginning in 2021. In other wards, The Donald is trying to cover his political butt while siding with the farmers and at the same time ignoring his previous commitments to the ethanol sector.

    As previously noted, "hardship" waivers were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. Under the now vanquished administrator Greg Pruitt's direction, the EPA handed out 54 exemptions over two years and not a single request for an exemption was denied. (Source: Bloomberg, 26 Aug., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  EPA,  RFS,  "Hardship" Waiver,  


    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,  


    Syzygy Raises 5.8Mn for Renewables-Powered Reactor (Funding)
    Syzygy Plasmonics Inc
    Date: 2019-08-23
    In the Lone Star State, Houston area-based 2017 startup chemicals firm Syzygy Plasmonics Inc. reports it has raised $5.8 million in Series A funding to continue work on a photocatalytic chemical reactor that runs on light from renewable power rather than heat from burning fuel.

    Syzygy's technology is based on technology licensed from Rice University in Houston, and is the world's highest performance photocatalyst and the cost and carbon emissions in the production process for various major chemicals such as fuel, fertiliser and plastic. according to the company. (Source: Syzygy Plasmonics Inc. Renewables Now, 20 Aug., 2019) Contact: Syzygy Plasmonics Inc., Trevor Best, CEO, info@plasmonics.tech, www.plasmonics.tech

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Syzygy Plasmonics,  ,  


    Gexa Energy Switches to 100 pct Renewable Energy (Ind. Report)
    Gexa Energy,NextEra Energy Resources
    Date: 2019-08-23
    Houston-based electric power retailer Gexa Energy LP reports it is proceeding with its plans to provide 100 pct renewable energy to residential customers at no additional cost.

    As a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, the world's largest generator of wind and solar energy, Gexa Energy operates more than 17,000 MW of wind and solar generation in North America and has over $20 billion invested in clean, renewable energy technologies. (Source: Gexa Energy LP, 21 Aug., 2019) Contact: Gexa Energy LP, Brian Lundrum, Pres., (866) 329-4392, www.GexaEnergy.com; NextEra Energy, info@nextrenewables.com, www.nextrenewables.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Gexa Energy,  NextEra Energy Resources,  Renewable Energy,  


    Stony Brook Scores $79Mn for Energy Efficiency Upgrades (Funding)
    Stony Brook University ,New York Power Authority
    Date: 2019-08-23
    Stony Brook University, part of the SUNY system, is reporting receipt of $79 million in comprehensive energy efficiency upgrades funding from New York State.

    The improvements, part of an initiative by SUNY and the New York Power Authority, would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 28,000 tpy and save the university roughly $6 million per year in energy and maintenance costs, according to a release.

    Funded energy efficiency upgrades include: lighting, HVAC, and building management systems in various campus buildings such as residence halls, science buildings and hospital.

    The university previously received more than $500,000 in energy efficiency rebates from PSEG Long Island, according to the statment. (Source: Stoney Brook Univ., Long Island Business News, Aug., 2019) Contact: Stoney Brook University, www.stoneybrook.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Stony Brook University ,  SUNY,  New York Power Authority,  


    dynaCERT Touts Fuel, Emissions Reduction Technology (Ind. Report)
    dynaCERT
    Date: 2019-08-23
    York, Ontario-based next generation Carbon Emission Reduction Technology developer dynaCERTdynaCERT Inc.-- the CERT in dynaCERT stands for Combustion Emission Reduction Technology -- reports it is advancing global sales of HydraGEN™ (HG), the next generation of Carbon Emission Reduction Technology for diesel engines.

    Independent TUV testing of dynaCERT HG units confirms emission reduction in NOx of 55 pct, CO of 50 pct, and particulate matter of 75 pct, all while saving fuel, providing better torque, and lowering maintenance costs, according to the company.

    dynaCERT has also initiated Carbon Credit applications for its HG Technology and engaged UK-based International Environmental Partners Ltd for that effort. (Source: dynaCERT, PR, Aug., 2019) Contact: dynaCERT Inc., Jim Payne, CEO, (416) 766-9691 x 2, jpayne@dynaCERT.com, www.dynaCERT.com

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


    Oklahoma Follows Only Texas Nat. Wind Energy Growth (Ind. Report)
    Environment America Research & Policy Center,Frontier Group
    Date: 2019-08-23
    According to the just released Renewables on the Rise 2019 -- A Decade of Progress Toward a Clean Energy Future report from the Environment America Research & Policy Center and the Frontier Group, Oklahoma, with over 70 entities selling electricity, played second fiddle only to Texas when it came wind energy power generation. The report also noted the Sooner State was among the top 20 states when it comes to energy efficiency improvements over the past decade.

    at the Environment America Research & Policy Center, one of the entities that generated the report, attributed Oklahoma's ranking in that category to energy efficiency programs offered to Oklahoma customers. The report notes that the continuing decline in per-capita energy consumption and the drop in renewable energy costs and prices have fostered continued growth in the wind energy sector, and is expected to continue doing so. (Source: Environment America Research & Policy Center, The Oklahoman, 22 Aug., 2019) Contact: Environment America Research & Policy Center, Rob Sargent, Energy Program Director, www.environmentamericacenter.org; Frontier Group, www.frontiergroup.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Environment America Research & Policy Center ,  Frontier Group,  Wind,  Oklahoma Wind,  


    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,  


    Philly Switching 100,000 Streetlights to "Smart" LEDs (Ind Report)
    Philadelphia Energy Office
    Date: 2019-08-23
    In the City of Brotherly Love, the Philadelphia Energy Office reports it will issue a call for vendors to convert all 100,000 city streetlights to energy efficient LEDs over a two to three year time frame. The aim is to reduce the city's carbon footprint and to lower the city's $15 million annual street lighting expense by 40 pct. The LED conversion is expected to cost between $50 million to $80 million, which would likely be covered by a bond issue. (Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, 22 Aug., 2019) Contact: Philadelphia Energy Office, Adam Agalloco, Dir., www.phila.gov/departments/office-of-sustainability/about/energy-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News LED Light,  LED Streetlight,  ,  


    Trump Dumps on Auto Giants for Backing Stricter Vehicle Emissions Regulations (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Trump
    Date: 2019-08-23
    Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford would be "very disappointed if he saw his modern-day descendants wanting to build a much more expensive car, that is far less safe and doesn't work as well, because execs don't want to fight California regulators" (over vehicle emissions legislation).

    "The Legendary Henry Ford and Alfred P. Sloan, the Founders of Ford Motor Company and General Motors, are 'rolling over' at the weakness of current car company executives willing to spend more money on a car that is not as safe or good, and cost $3,000 more to consumers. Crazy! -- President "The Donald" Trump, Aug., 2019.

    Ford, GM, Honda, BMW and Volkswagen -- which interestingly was recently paid a more than $10 billion fine for deliberately skewering their vehicle emissions tests and cheating on excessive emissions levels -- have all struck a voluntary deal with California on emissions rules, defying Trump's bid to strip the state of its right to fight climate change by setting its own standards. According to California attorney general Xavier Becerra, Trump's proposed rules would create an extra 540 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gases. (Scource: City A.A., 22 Aug., 2019)

    Editor's Note: It's hard not to ask -- "When will the Trump circus end?"

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Vehicle Emissions,  Trump,  


    IFC, Bank Windhoek Introduce Green Building Software (Int'l.)
    International Finance Corporation
    Date: 2019-08-21
    In Namibia, Bank Windhoek and the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) are reporting the joint introduction free to use Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) green building certification system for emerging markets.

    Developed and created by the IFC, EDGE is a measurable way for builders to optimize their designs, leading to a more investment-worthy and marketable product. EDGE helps project design teams and owners identify and assess the most cost-effective ways to incorporate energy and water saving options into nuilding projects.

    In December 2018, Bank Winhoek and IFC collaborated to develop the Bank's Green Bond Framework for the Green Bond. The Bank obtained additional sources of funding for its green lending activities by raising funds in the debt market through a local Green Bond issuance, of which the proceeds will be used solely to finance eligible green projects and assets throughout Namibia. (Source: IFC, Bank Windhoek, New Era, 20 Aug., 2019) Contact: Bank Windhoek, www.bankwindhoek.com.na; World Bank International Finance Corporation, www.ifc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News International Finance Corporation ,  


    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,  


    Tesla Ready to Rent Residential Rooftop Solar Arrays (Ind. Report)
    Tesla
    Date: 2019-08-21
    Tesla announced through a series of tweets byTesla CEO Elon Musk, using social media as his messenger, has re-launched its Tesla Solar business by offering "cookie-cutter" solar systems to rent in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Mexico. The rental options range from roughly $65 to $195 per month the following sized unites: Small -- 3.8 kW, ideal for a 1,000- to 2,000-sq-ft home; Medium -- 7.6 kW, ideal for a 2,000- to 3,000-sq-ft home; and Large -- 11.4 kW, ideal for a 3,000+-sq-ft home.

    There is no upfront installation cost, no long-term contract, and the monthly rental payment can be canceled at any time. If homeowners want to remove the rented solar system, it will cost $1,500. There is no specification of what happens to the system if homeowners don't want to remove it but also don't want to pay the monthly rental fee. A Powerwall battery unit is not included but can be purchased -- not rented -- separately. (Source: Tesla, Various Social Media, Aug., 2019) Contact: Tesla, www.tesla.com/solar

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Tesla,  Solar,  Tesla Solar,  


    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,  


    Notable Quotes -- Iowa Republicans Comment on "Hardship" Waivers
    EPA
    Date: 2019-08-19
    "It is unconscionable for Administrator (Andrew) Wheeler's EPA to continue to gut the RFS through small refinery exemptions while padding the pockets of oil refiners." -- Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R)

    "This is a small step in the right direction, but I'm very skeptical that every company receiving waivers truly needs them." -- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)

    "I'm committed to holding EPA accountable and ensuring they not only uphold the intent of the RFS but that they're more transparent and forthcoming in this exemption process." -- Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)

    As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and those that suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. (Source: Various Media, Fort Dodge Messenger, 18 Aug., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  "Hardship" Waivers",  Ethanol,  


    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,  


    Norwegian Startup Plans $4.5Bn Nordic Battery Hub (Int'l. Report)
    Freyr AS
    Date: 2019-08-19
    Norwegian startup battery specialist Freyr AS is reporting plans to construct Europe's first battery gigafactories in the municipality of Rana in northern Norway at an initial cost of 40 billion-krone ($4.5 billion).

    The company also plans to construct a 600-MW wind farm which is projected to cut the gigafactory's energy costs by 24 pct.

    Freyr is presently in a fund raising and permitting mode and has received a €7.25 million ($8.1 million) investment from EIT InnoEnergy. The company aims to raise as much as €25 million in additional funding within the next 12 months. Subject to funding and permitting success, production would start in 2023. (Source: Freyr AS, Bloomberg, Aug., 2019) Contact: Freyr AS, info@freyrbattery.com, www.freyrbattery.no

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Freyr AS,  Battery,  Energy Storage,  


    NYSERDA Funding NYPA Energy Efficiency, Infrastructure Costs Research (Ind. Report)
    NYSERDA,NYPA
    Date: 2019-08-16
    The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is reporting a series of research projects aimed at improving the efficiency of power systems and removing potential transmission obstacles that can be faced by New York State utilities. The following research projects will be funded with $1.5 million from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) :
  • Underground Cable Advanced Monitoring and Diagnostic System Demonstration. In an effort to reduce the potential for underground cable leakage and prevent fault problems, this project will demonstrate and evaluate a real-time system that will monitor cathodic protection and assess dissolved gas analysis (DGA) of high pressure fluid-filled (HPFF) cables. About 14 monitoring sensors will be installed in NYPA Westchester County manholes and the DGA analyzer will be installed at the Eastern Garden City substation on Long Island;

  • Optimized Forecasting Solution for Advanced Overhead Line Demonstration. A new technology that predicts how much power a transmission line can carry will be demonstrated and evaluated for its potential in reducing transmission bottleneck challenges. About 15 weather sensors will be installed on NYPA lines along the 70-mile Moses-Wills-Plattsburgh transmission circuit and the WindSim Power Line Optimization Solution (WPLS) system will be demonstrated on a NYPA server;

  • DeepGrid: A Deep Learning Computing System for Resilient Grid Operations. This project proposes to develop a Deep Learning (DL)-based tool capable of identifying and predicting system issues, alerting operators and recommending possible solutions. Working with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NYPA will combine model-based power system simulation with early warnings from data and applications to improve timely decision making;

  • Low Frequency Alternative Current Transmission Line. This project will investigate the possibility of deploying low frequency AC (LFAC) transmission lines to increase power transfer capability. LFAC significantly improves stability, reduces voltage drop along the line, and offers the possibility to reroute power from congested to underutilized transmission corridors. The approach also has competitive advantages for collection of energy from off-shore wind generators using an underground multi-terminal system with a single point of interface to the main grid. (Source: NYPA, Clarion, 16 Aug., 2019) Contact: NYSERDA, Alicia Barton, Pres., CEO, (518) 862-1090, www.nyserda.ny.gov; NYPA, Gil C. Quiniones, CEO , Pres., www.nypa.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NYSERDA,  NYPA,  Energy Efficiency,  


  • Chinese Solar Energy Prices Hit Grid Parity (Int'l. Report)
    China Solar Energy
    Date: 2019-08-16
    China has reportedly reached a "tipping point" where home-generated solar is cheaper than electricity generated from the national grid.

    In March, a Chinese report noted that in 74 pct of cases, building new solar and wind capacity in a given area was cheaper than maintaining an existing coal-powered plant. Where levelized costs for wind reach $15 per MWh and $28 per MWh for solar, marginal costs for existing plants can jump as high as $104 per MWh.

    China is aiming to consume 20 pct of its energy from non-fossil fuels by 2030. (Source: Xinhua, Inverse, 14 Aug., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News China Solar,  Solar,  


    Energy Vault Scores $110Mn Softbank Investment (Ind. Report)
    Energy Vault, Softbank
    Date: 2019-08-16
    Tokyo-based Softbank Group is reporting a $110 million investment in Switzerland-based energy storage specialist Energy Vault. Energy Vault, which launched in 2018, is presently partnered with Mexican materials company CEMEX and Tata Power Company in India.

    According to Energy Vault, its technology enables renewable energy to be stored in 35-ton bricks and delivered as baseload power for less than the cost of fossil fuels at any time.

    The global energy storage market is expected to reach 22.2 GW in 2023, from nearly 5 GW at the end of 2018, according to a GlobalData report. . (Source: Softbank, greentechlead, 15 Aug., 2019) Contact: Energy Vault, Robert Piconi, CEO, media@energyvault.ch, www.energyvault.ch SoftBank Group, www.softbank.jp/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Softbank,  Energy Vault,  Energy Storage,  


    US Sen. Booker to Propose Climate Stewardship Act (Reg & Leg)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2019-08-16
    In Washington, US presidential wannabe Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) is reportedly set to table the Climate Stewardship Act, climate change related legislation that would fund the planting of 4.1 billion trees by 2030 and 16 billion by 2050. Booker's proposed legislation is intended to address climate change, reduce carbon emissions and energy use, and create more than 200,000 forestry jobs in the first ten years.

    The Climate Stewardship Act will be presented in September.

    The new trees will cover up to 64 million acres and will capture more than 13 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide by the end of the century -- equivalent to more than two full years of the country's current greenhouse gas emissions. Approximately 400 million trees will be planted in urban areas to provide cooling effects on heatwaves and help urban residents to reduce their energy usage. The Act will also establish a Reforest America cost-share programme, the Urban Wood initiative, the Stewardship Corps and provide funding to the US Forest Service and the Department of Interior. (Source: Office of Sen. Cory BookerVarious Media, Smart Energy, 15 Aug., 2019)Contact: Office of Sen. Cory Booker, https://twitter.com/CoryBooker

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cliamate Change,  Afforestation,  Reforestation,  


    French Energy Major Joins Nat. Carbon Capture Center (Ind. Report)
    National Carbon Capture Center
    Date: 2019-08-16
    The U.S. DOE National Carbon Capture Center reports French energy major player TOTAL has joined its ranks. TOTAL is the second major oil and gas producer to sponsor the center -- following ExxonMobil in 2018. Active in more than 130 countries, TOTAL produces and markets fuels, natural gas and low-carbon electricity.

    The National Carbon Capture Center serves as a neutral research and testing facility to advance technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil-based power plants.

    Through the evaluation of over 60 technologies, the Center has already reduced the projected cost of carbon capture from fossil generation by one-third, according to the Center which is currently adding infrastructure to expand testing of carbon capture technologies for natural gas power plants.

    National Carbon Capture Center partners include DOE and its National Energy Technology Laboratory, American Electric Power, ClearPath, the Electric Power Research Institute, ExxonMobil, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Tennessee Valley Authority, Peabody Energy and Wyoming Infrastructure Authority.

    The National Carbon Capture Center is operated by the Southern Company and to date has worked more than 30 organizations from seven countries to evaluate and scale up emerging carbon capture technologies. (Source: National Carbon Capture Center , PR, AAAS, 15 Aug., 2019) Contact: National Carbon Capture Center, John Northington, Dir., Marc Willis, (202) 586-3628, marc.willis@hq.doe.gov, www.nationalcarboncapturecenter.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News TOTAL,  National Carbon Capture Center,  TOTAL,  Carbon Capture,  


    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 ,  

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