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PA. DEP Orders Natural Gas Well Methane Leak Repairs (Ind. Report)
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection,Range Resources
Date: 2020-01-17
In Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has laid down the law to Fort Worth-headquartered Range Resources ordering it to "once and for all" fix a faulty and leaking cement casing at the Harman Lewis Marcellus Shale natural gas well in Lycoming County, in north-central Pennsylvania.

The DEP claims the well has been leaking methane for the past 9 years -- since 2011. Range Resources disagrees with order and contends the methane contamination is from natural ground sources. The DEP contends the well's cement casing is defective, despite attempts in 2015 and 2016 to repair it, and has given Range Resources two months to submit a plan to reduce the methane gas migration and, after the department approves the plan, four months to submit a plan to successfully plug the well and a bore hole next to it. Range has 30 days to appeal the order to the Environmental Hearing Board, and probably will.

Editor's note: While carbon dioxide is typically painted as the bad boy of greenhouse gases, methane is reported to be roughly 30 times more potent as a heat-trapping gas. As temperatures rise, the relative increase of methane emissions will outpace that of carbon dioxide from these sources. (Source: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, TrbLive, Ap, 13 Jan., 2020)Contact: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, www.dep.pa.gov; Range Resources, www.rangeresources.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ,  Methane,  Range Resources,  


SaskPower CCS Facility Captured 616,000 tons in 2019 (Ind. Report)
SakPower
Date: 2020-01-10
On the Canadian Prairies, SaskPower reports its carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility at its Boundary Dam Power Station captured 57,590 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the month of December, for a total of 616,119 tonnes captured in 2019. The facility's average daily capture rate in December was 2,504 tonnes with a peak one-day capture rate of 2,863 tonnes. The facility was online 72 pct of the time, compared with an average of 70 pct for the previous 12 months.

Since first coming online in October 2014, the Boundary Dam CCS unit has captured 3,081,452 tonnes of CO2. (Source: Saskpower, Estevan Mercury, 9 Jan., 2020) Contact: SaskPower, Mike Marsh, (306) 566-2121, www.saskpower.com

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


Irving Cuts Climate Change, Emissions Commitment (Ind. Report)
Irving Oil
Date: 2019-12-23
St.John New Brunswick-based Irving Oil, Canada's largest carbon emitter has reportedly abandoned a previous pledge to cut carbon output by 17 pct from 2005 levels by 2020, in favor of a "keeping up with the Jones" approach of keeping its emissions and environmental performance competitive with its rivals.

In 2017, the 320,000 bpd Irving family owned refinery in St. John emitted just over 3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), according to Environment Canada. In effect, the company is no longer targeting an outright reduction in carbon emissions but is maintaining the status quo as dictated by the top 25 pct of rival refineries in Canada through 2025.

Founded in 1924, privately held Irving Oil operates Canada's largest refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, more than 900 fueling locations and a network of distribution terminals spanning Eastern Canada and New England. It also operates Ireland's only refinery, located in the village of Whitegate, according to Wikepedia. (Source: Irving Oil, Reuters, Chronicle Herald, 20 Dec., 2019) Contact: Irving Oil, www.irvingoil.com

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


Heriot-Watt Touts New Carbon Capture R&D (Int'l. Report)
Heriot-Watt University
Date: 2019-12-20
In the UK, chemical engineers from Heriot-Watt University are reporting a collaboration with a team of international researchers to design materials inspired by drug design tools used by the pharmaceutical industry that could synthesise new metal-organic framework materials (MOFs) -- porous crystals that combine metal nodes with organic linkers -- that can capture CO2.

The researchers conducted experiments that mimicked real industrial operations and compared the performance of their new materials with those that are currently commercially available. According to Dr Susana Garcia, Assoc. Dir., Heriot-Watt Research Centre for Carbon Solutions, "Instead of the conventional trial and error, we computer-generated 325,000 MOFs and identified the features of the best performers. We now have the tools to tailor-make a material that will separate carbon dioxide in the most economical way for a given source, like industrial emissions, and make it available for other purposes like carbon storage or as a resource for the chemical industry." (Source: Heriot-Watt University, PR, Engineer Live, 17 Dec., 2019) Contact: Heriot-Watt University, Dr Susana Garcia, Assoc. Dir., Heriot-Watt Research Centre for Carbon Solutions, www.hw.ac.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Capture,  Carbon Emissions,  


AI Enabled Device Captures CO2, Fights Climate Change (Ind. Report, New Prod & Tech)
Hypergiant
Date: 2019-12-18
Business Insider India is reporting researchers at Austin-Texas-based artificial intelligence (AI) specialist Hypergiant is touting its new EOS Bioreactor technology with Artificial Intelligence (AI).

EOS uses algae-based chemical process technology to capture greenhouse gases. EOS Bioreactor optimizes the growing environment for algae and captures carbon dioxide equivalent to an acre of trees.

"Hypergiant Industries is the AI industrial complex for leading global enterprises and governments. We help major institutions innovate with breakthrough machine intelligence-driven technology. The solutions, products, and companies we create support our customers on their mission to speed beyond norms and realize an exploded potential of the future we were promised through AI," according to the company website. (Source: Hypergiant, Mashable India, 17 Dec., 2019) Contact: Hypergiant, Daniel Haab, R&D Dir., (737) 808-4055, info@hypergiant.com, www.hypergiant.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News COs,  Algae,  Carbon Dioxide,  


Ethanol Producer Red Trail Energy Advancing CCS Project (Ind. Report)
Red Trail Energy
Date: 2019-12-13
Following on our June 16th coverage, Richardton, North Dakota-based corn ethanol producer Red Trail Energy LLC reports preparations for its carbon dioxide emissions underground storage project are underway with plans to drill a test well within the next few months. Depending on the tests results, Red Trail could start injecting CO2 by fall 2021, according to the company. (Source: Red Trail Energy, Star Tribune, 11 Dec., 2019) Contact: Red Trail Energy, Gerald Bachmeier, CEO, (701) 974-3308, www.redtrailenergy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Red Trail Energy,  Ethanol,  CCS,  Carbon Capture & Storage,  


ExxonMobil Contributes $1Mn to Promote Carbon Tax (Ind. Report)
EXXON, Climate Leadership Council
Date: 2019-12-09
The Americans for Carbon Dividends (ACD) political action group is reporting Houston-headquartered oil industry giant ExxonMobil Corp. has made a $1 million donation to ADC's lobbying campaign to promote a U.S. tax on CO2 emissions, a central factor in global warming. The contribution came less than a month after the oil giant agreed to contribute $100 million to oil companies' efforts to develop technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The ADC aims to spend $5 million on an initial lobbying campaign to win support for the tax, said , senior vice president at the group. PAC is looking to build legislative support for its carbon tax. It proposes an initial $40 a ton tax on carbon dioxide that would increase over time, with the money raised to be returned to consumers. The PAC has raised $1 million each from Exelon Corp, First Solar Inc and the American Wind Energy Association and expects to reach its goal of a $5 million in coming months. (Source: Exxon, Denton Daily, Reuters, 8 Dec., 2019) Contact: Climate Leadership Council, Greg Bertelsen, www.clcouncil.org; Americans for Carbon Dividends, www.afcd.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Leadership Council,  Exxon,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  


U.S. Energy-Related CO2 Emissions, 2018 Report (Ind. Report)
US Energy Information Administration
Date: 2019-12-09
The recently released U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 2018 Report examines economic trends and changes in fuel mix that influence energy-related CO2 emissions in the U.S. As a result, most of the CO2 emissions being discussed are the result of fossil fuel combustion or their use in the petrochemical and related industries, the report states.

In the short term, energy-related CO2 emissions are influenced by the weather, fuel prices and disruptions in electricity generation. In the long term, CO2 emissions are influenced by public policy, reduced costs and improved efficiencies of new technology, demand-side efficiency gains and economic trends, according to the report.

A major factor in recent reductions in the carbon intensity of electric generation in the U.S. is the reduced generation of electricity using coal while increasingly using natural gas. Natural gas emits less CO2 for the same amount of electricity generated, and non-carbon generation (including renewables), which do not emit the gas.

Between 2005 and 2018, EIA has calculated that cumulative U.S. C02 emissions reductions attributable specifically to shifts from coal to natural gas and to non-carbon generation totaled 4,621 million metric tons (MMmt). Of this total, 2,823 MMmt resulted from decreased use of coal and increased use of natural gas; 1,799 MMmt resulted from decreased use of coal and increased use of non-carbon generation sources.

Between 2005 and 2017, total U.S. electricity generation increased by almost 4 pct while related C02 emissions fell by 27 pct. During the same period, fossil fuel electricity generation declined by roughly 9 pct, and non-carbon electricity generation increased by 35 pct.

Download the U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 2018 Report HERE. (Source: US Energy Information Administration, 14 Nov., 2019) Contact: US EIA, www.eia.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2,  CO2 Emissions,  Natural Gas Emissions,  Climate Change,  


IBM Climate Change Policy Supports Early Climate Action and Carbon Tax (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
IBM
Date: 2019-12-06
"IBM has stated for more than a decade that climate change is a serious concern that warrants meaningful action on a global basis. Notwithstanding many important efforts, this remains the case today. The Earth's climate is warmer now than it was before the onset of the modern industrial era, and the increased temperature presents significant adverse risks which cannot be ignored. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide fuel this warming. According to scientists, the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere is now greater than it has been for the last several hundred thousand years. Compounding this circumstance is the fact that carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for quite a long time after having been emitted.

"Some may debate how this happened, but that doesn't change the need to address it. Although our collective use of fossil fuels for energy has enabled remarkable economic development, the use of fossil fuels has also resulted in substantial emissions of carbon dioxide, and the cost of these emissions has not been reflected in the price of energy. As a matter of policy, this should change.

"IBM is no newcomer to the realm of climate change. In 2017, we reaffirmed our support for the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global warming to below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels. Our commitment to the Paris Agreement builds on a long history of leadership in this space. In 1992 IBM helped the U.S. EPA launch the ENERGY STAR program. In 1994 we began to voluntarily disclose carbon dioxide emissions associated with IBM's consumption of energy and have done so annually now for 26 years. And in 2015, IBM was one of the first signatories to the American Business Act on Climate Pledge to demonstrate our support for the Paris Agreement.

"Performance is a key measure of commitment. IBM has reduced the carbon dioxide emissions associated with our consumption of energy by 32 pct since 2005. We are on track to achieve our goal of a 40 pct reduction by 2025, a rate consistent with what scientists say is needed to limit warming to between 1.5 and 2.0 degrees C. Energy conservation has been -- and remains -- a key ingredient for this. IBM continues to rigorously conserve energy equal to at least 3 pct of its annual consumption, something we have done for decades. Reducing consumption, when possible, is preferable to purchasing offsets.

"Responsible companies should also make transparent commitments regarding their consumption of renewable energy. Today, 38 pct of the global electricity IBM consumes comes from renewable sources, and we aim to increase this to 55 pct by 2025. Importantly, IBM does not rely upon the purchase of unbundled Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to offset its consumption of electricity from fossil fuels and thereby claim the company is a certain 'percent renewable.' Transparency matters in the transition away from carbon-based fuels, which is why our reporting about the use of renewables reflects our actual physical and matched consumption of renewable electricity.

"Climate change is real, and that is why IBM supports a responsible plan to tax carbon emissions. It is also why IBM supports the Paris Agreement and is on track as a company to reduce emissions associated with our consumption of energy consistent with what scientists say is needed. And it is why we are making transparent our own use of renewable energy and aiming to increase that use substantially.

"The enormity of the challenge requires more than business as usual. Putting a price on carbon emissions requires a plan in which economies will keep growing, but in a way that addresses the risks of a changing climate. We believe the Climate Leadership Council plan is the best way to secure agreement for action, and IBM will work to build support for it with elected officials, corporate colleagues, and our fellow citizens." (Source: IBM-The Weather Company (an IBM company), 2 Dec., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News IBM,  Carbon Tax,  Climate Change,  


MIT Touts New Carbon Capture Technology (New Prod. & Tech.)
MIT
Date: 2019-12-04
In the Bay State, MIT engineers are reporting the creation of a device to trap carbon dioxide while consuming less energy and at a lower cost than current technologies, according details published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science.

The devise works much like a battery and absorbs the CO2 from the air that passes on its electrodes. And, unlike current carbon capture techniques, it works in a wide range of sizes ranges of concentrations. It could therefore be used to purify CO2 from flue gases from factories and power plants, or even extract it directly from the atmosphere.

The new MIT system contains two thin sheets of soft electrodes covered with two different chemical compounds. During charging, one of the compounds -- polyanthraquinone -- reacts with CO2 and incorporates the gas into the electrode. The idea is to let a stream of flue gas or air through the unit during charging to clean it of CO2. Once the electrode is saturated, the device would go into discharge mode and pure CO2 released could be compressed to be stored underground or used for the manufacture of fuels and other chemicals.

The system uses about one gigajoule of energy per ton of CO2 captured. Other existing methods can use up to 10 times more, according to Sahag Voskian, developer of the technology. (Source: MIT, Anthropocene Magazine, Tech Ballad, 1 Dec., 2019) Contact: MIT, Sahag Voskian, 617.253.4588, svoskian@mit.edu, www.hattongroup.mit.edu/sahag-voskian

More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2,  Carbon Captute,  MIT,  


PORTHOS Announces Rotterdam CCS Agreement (Int'l. Report)
Air Liquide, Air Products, ExxonMobil , Shell
Date: 2019-12-04
In the Netherlands, the Port of Rotterdam CO2 Transport Hub and Offshore Storage Project (PORTHOS) is reporting a non-binding agreement with Air Liquide, Air Products, ExxonMobil and Shell to collectively work on preparations for the capture, transport and storage of carbon dioxide in Rotterdam for eventual storage in empty gas fields beneath the North Sea.

The carbon capture will take place at Air Liquide, Air Products, ExxonMobil and Shell refineries and hydrogen production facilities in Rotterdam. The transport and storage of the CO2 beneath the North Sea will be prepared by Porthos.

The Netherlands has clear climate objectives: the emission of greenhouse gases must be reduced by 49 pct by 2030 and by 95 pct by 2050 compared with 1990. One way to achieve the climate objectives is to capture CO2 for use or for storage underground (CCUS). The national coalition agreement and the national Climate Agreement underline the importance of CCUS for the energy transition. (Source: PORTHOS, Gas World, Dec., 2019) Contact: PORTHOS, +31 6 2246 6553, info@rotterdamccus.nl. www.rotterdamccus.nl/en

More Low-Carbon Energy News Air Liquide,  Air Products,  CCS,  CCUS,  ExxonMobil ,  Shell ,  Carbon Capture,  


COP25 UN Climate Conference Underway in Madrid (Int'l. Report)
COP25,World Meteorological Organization
Date: 2019-12-02
With today's opening, some 25,000 delegates and heads of state will meet for the next two weeks in the Spanish capital city of Madrid for COP25, the annual UN international conference on the global climate challenge and to address related concerns best illustrated by last week's World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report that "world greenhouse gas concentrations rose again in 2018, with carbon dioxide levels hitting 407.8 parts per million, a new record in human history."

COP25 was originally scheduled for Brazil but moved to Chile after Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, widely criticized by environmentalists for his policies on the Amazon region, took office last January. However, following lengthy spells of civil unrest in Chile, the Sebastian Pinera government there announced in early November that the country was ceding the hosting of COP25 to Spain, four weeks before it was set to start.

Despite having given formal notice on withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, the U.S. will attendant the Madrid meeting. (Source: UN COP25, Various Media, 30 Nov., 20190 Contact: COP25, www.ifema.es/en/cop25; World Meteorological Organization, Petteri Taalas, Secretary General, +41 (0) 22 73 0811, www.wmo.int

More Low-Carbon Energy News COP25,  Climate Change,  World Meteorological Organization ,  


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

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

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

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

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

More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2,  Biofuel,  


UN: Greenhouse Gasses Reach Record High

Date: 2019-11-29
Atmospheric levels of climate-changing greenhouse gases hit a record high in 2018, “with no sign of a slowdown, let alone a decline,” the World Meteorological Organization said. In a report released Monday, the WMO said despite international pledges made under the Paris Agreement, the levels of carbon monoxide, methane and nitrous oxide all surged by higher amounts in 2018 than average for the past decade. The global average of carbon dioxide concentration reached 407.8 parts per million in 2018, up from 405.5 parts per million in 2017, the U.N. agency said. The concentration of methane was the highest recorded since 1998 while the levels of nitrous oxide, which is responsible for eroding the ozone layer was the highest ever recorded. "This continuing long-term trend means that future generations will be confronted with increasingly severe impacts of climate change, including rising temperatures, more extreme weather, water stress, sea level rise and disruption to marine and land ecosystems," according to a summary of the report. The report was released ahead of next month’s global climate summit in Madrid. “It is worth recalling that the last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of carbon dioxide was 3-5 million years ago," WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said. At the time, the Earth's temperature was as much as 5 degrees warmer and sea levels were as much as 65 feet higher than they are now, he said. (Source: WMO, VOA News 26 Nov., 2019)


WMO Warns of Record CO2 Levels -- Canada Falling Behind (Int'l.)
World Meteorological Organization
Date: 2019-11-27
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reports world wide CO2 and other greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere are at a record high and still rising faster than ever with no sign of slowing down.

In a report released Monday, the WMO said despite international pledges made under the Paris Climate Agreement (COP 15), the levels of carbon monoxide, methane and nitrous oxide all surged by higher amounts in 2018 than average for the past decade. The global average of carbon dioxide concentration reached 407.8 parts per million in 2018, up from 405.5 parts per million in 2017, the U.N. agency said. The concentration of methane was the highest recorded since 1998 while the levels of nitrous oxide, which is responsible for eroding the ozone layer was the highest ever recorded. The report was released ahead of next month's global climate summit in Madrid.

This follows the overwhelming scientific consensus delivered earlier this month that the Earth is indeed facing a climate emergency. Over 11,000 scientists world wide, including 409 from Canada, signed a letter pleading for world leaders to take the crisis seriously, for the wealthy to change their habits and for those in denial to accept that global warming is human driven.

Specific to Canada, Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has committed Canada to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 and to reduce CO2 levels by 30 pct by 2030. In December 2018, Climate Change Canada projected Canada's total emissions by 2030 are only on track to be 19 pct below 2005 levels. (Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada,Various Media, Nov., 2019) Contact: Environment and Climate Change Canada, (800) 668-6767, www.canada.ca › environment-climate-change; World Meteorological Organization, www.public.wmo.int/en

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


Total, Qatar Univ. Partnering on Algae-Biofuel R&D (Int'l Report)
TOTAL, Qatar University
Date: 2019-11-20
French energy giant TOTAL and Qatar University's Center for Sustainable Development in Doha are reporting the launch of two research projects for the investigation of micro-algae for biofuels production and Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS). Both projects are sponsored by Total R & D Group and will be performed at Qatar University.

The partnership supports the investigation into sustainable solutions to support the increasing global requirements for biofuels, lubricants, and raw materials, whilst capturing carbon dioxide.

According to TOTAL, algae are sustainable sources of biomass which can be used for a multitude of applications including biofuels production and CO2 sequestration using non-arable lands. (Source: Qatar University, TOTAL, MENAFN, 19 Nov., 2019) Contact: TOTAL Research Center Qatar University, Yousef Al Jaber, Director, +974 4403 3333, www.qu.edu.qa; TOTAL, Marie-Noelle Semeria, Snr. VP, Group CTO, https://fr.linkedin.com › marie-noëlle-semeria-859b8897, www.total.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Algae,  Algae Biofuel,  TOTAL,  CCUS ,  


UK Carbon Credit Scheme to Incentivize Tree Planting (Int'l)
DEFRA
Date: 2019-11-06
In the UK, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is launching a new £50 million Woodland Carbon Guarantee scheme to boost tree-planting rates to combat climate change. The scheme promises landowners and farmers a long-term income stream to encourage them to create new woodlands.

The government is committed to planting 11 million trees by 2022, as part of its effort to hit net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 to tackle climate change.

Under the new scheme, farmers can sell the carbon dioxide they capture by growing trees in the form of Woodland Carbon Units (verified carbon credits) to the government for a guaranteed price every five or 10 years up to 2055/56. (Source: DEFRA, Farmers Weekly, 5 Nov., 2019) Contact: Woodland Carbon Guarantee, www.gov.uk/guidance/woodland-carbon-guarantee; DEFRA, www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-environment-food-rural-affairs

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


Pennsylvania Slashed Emissions 92 pct Since 1990 (Ind. Report)
Consumer Energy Alliance
Date: 2019-11-06
According to a Consumer Energy Alliance the Keystone State reduced its emissions by 92 pct since 1990, despite growing energy demand, production increasing by 11 times over, and an increase in natural gas plant processing 8 times between 2010 and 2017. Key findings of the study include:
  • 72 pct reduction in nitrogen oxides, a 92 pct decrease in sulfur dioxide, a 53 pct reduction in volatile organic compounds and a 17 pct drop in carbon dioxide emissions.

  • Pennsylvanians spent $3,108 for their energy needs in 2016 with at 25.6 pct of their income going to energy expenses. Residents saved more than $30 billion owing to clean energy and energy efficiency programmes, according to CEA's Energy Savings Report for Pennsylvania report.

    Review study analysis HERE. (Source: Consumer Energy Alliance, Nov., 2019) Contact: Consumer Energy Alliance, www.consumerenergyalliance.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Consumer Energy Alliance,  


  • Korean Corporations Urged to Cut GHG Emissions (Int'l Report)
    Korea
    Date: 2019-11-04
    The Korean Times is reporting Korean companies consume over 50 pct of the electric power generated from coal-fired power plants and contribute 30 to 40 pct of the country's greenhouse gas emissions. The Times notes that Korean companies, the main consumers of electricity generated by the coal-fired plants, need to transition to renewables but to date have been largely noncommittal to dropping fossil fuels.

    According to Kim Ji-seok, a climate and energy specialist at Greenpeace Seoul, "there are two ways for local companies to replace their energy sources with renewable energy. One is to build their own power plant and the other is to purchase the energy from a renewable resources power generator. However, the latter is not legal here. Besides, electric power generated by such plants accounts for only 3.5 pct of the total electricity used in Korea, which is way too small to meet market demand," Kim said.

    The state-run Korean Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO), which controls the majority of the country's electric power generation, is reportedly slow to adopt renewables. Another major factor attributing to high rate of greenhouse gases in Korea is the auto industry with Hyundai and Kia Motors emitting 401 million gross tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2018. (Source: Korea Times, Nov., 2019)

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


    Va. Citizens Climate Lobby Supports Carbon Tax (Ind Report)
    Citizens Climate Lobby
    Date: 2019-11-04

    In Blacksburg, Virginia, the global not-for-profit, nonpartisan Citizens Climate Lobby of the New River Valley has come out in support of the recently tabled Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act [H.R. 763], a national carbon tax as introduced in the US the House of Representatives.

    The Act imposes a fee of $15 per metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions assessed on fossil fuels as far upstream as possible. It is estimated that the policy will reduce America's CO2 emissions by 40 pct within the first 12 years and will create 2.1 million new jobs.

    The Citizens Climate Lobby aims to empower citizens to create political will and address the climate crisis with a national carbon tax and dividend policy through a program of "levers of political will" -- government lobbying, media relations, grassroots outreach and chapter development. (Source: CCL, Roanoake Times, 3 Nov., 2019) Contact: CCL, www.citizensclimatelobby.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Citizens Climate Lobby,  Climate Change,  Carbon Tax,  


    Holland Fine-Tunes Climate Change Plan with Energy Efficiency (Ind Report)
    Holland Michigan
    Date: 2019-11-04
    In Michigan, the city of Holland (pop. 35,000 +-) reports it is upgrading its Community Energy Plan -- the city's strategy to bring per capita GHG emissions down to 10 metric tons of carbon dioxide per capita over 40 years.

    With the recent the decommissioning of the coal-powered James DeYoung power plant and the opening of the Holland Energy Park natural gas plant, the city has already cut emissions from 24 metric tons per capita in 2010 to an estimated 17 metric tons as of 2017. Moving forward the the city plans retrofitting all city buildings for better energy efficiency, replacing streetlights with LEDs to cut energy costs, further cutting the use of fossils fuels and increasing reliance on renewable energy sources, and refining its Energy Plan to include:

  • reaching a total of 1,000 homes retrofitted through the Home Energy Efficiency Retrofit program

  • growing capacity so that an additional 250 homes can be retrofitted annually

  • create local residential, commercial and industrial Energy Waste Reduction programs to replace expiring state programs

  • pilot and then study district heating at the Holland Civic Center to determine its effectiveness

  • achieve the highest rate of per-capita electric vehicle ownership in the state, twice the state average

  • draft a five-year plan for adapting the city's infrastructure for autonomous vehicles

  • secure a $3 million endowment for the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute.

    If all interim goals for 2021 are met, the changes are predicted to bring CO2 emissions levels down to 15.75 metric tons per capita. With 82 percent of the city's electricity delivered to commercial or industrial facilities, Holland's business sector will be key to the continued progress toward its goals. (Source: City of Holland, Holland Sentinel, 3 Nov., 2019)

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


  • Warrens Group Investing in Biomethane Powered Fleet Int'l Report)
    Warrens Group
    Date: 2019-11-01
    In the UK, Newton Aycliffe-based agricultural and food waste recyling specialist Warrens Group reports it is upgrading its vehicles fleet to run on biomethane gas. The business, which is committed to converting all of its distribution operations to fossil-free sources by 2025, says the switch will generate 84 pct less carbon dioxide than diesel.

    The vehicles make Warrens the first food waste recycling company in the UK to power its HGV waste collection vehicles with biogas converted directly from its own food waste customers.

    The company took delivery of our first bio-fueled vehicle in September last year. The new biomethane powered trucks will be in operation six days a week, with refueling carried out on site at the Newton Aycliffe facility.(Source: Warrens Group, Business UpNorth, 30 Oct., 2019) Contact: Warrens Group, Antony Warren, +44 1388 488225, www.warrens-group.com

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


    Danish Scientists Tout Biogas Aviation "Electro Fuel" (Int'l Report)
    University of Southern Denmark
    Date: 2019-10-30
    In Odense, University of Southern Denmark esearchers are reporting the production of sustainable, green aviation fuel from readily available carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and biogas.

    The idea is that biogas from manure, straw, food waste or wastewater is supplied to hydrogen, which is obtained by splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen through electrolysis. The resultant "electro fuels" can be used for climate-friendly alternatives including aviation fuel. The report was prepared in collaboration with the Nordic aviation industry and engineering consultancy agency NIRAS. (Source: University of Southern Denmark, NIRAS, Xinhua, 29 Oct., 2019) Contact: University of Southern Denmark, Prof. Henrik Wenzel, +65 507 374, +65 507,454, henrik.wenzel@kbm.sdu.dk, www.sdu.dk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aviation Biofuel,  Biogas,  


    SUVs Follow Only Power Sector in Rising CO2 Emissions (Ind. Report)
    International Energy Agency
    Date: 2019-10-23
    According to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs), which account for roughly 40 pct of all vehicle sales, are the second-highest contributor to the increase in global CO2 emissions since 2010. The figure stood at less than 20 pct a decade ago.

    The increase in emissions from SUVs is behind the power sector, but ahead of heavy industries, trucks, aviation and shipping. Carbon dioxide emissions from other internal combustion engine cars has decreased. The report also states that between 2010 and 2018, SUVs were responsible for increasing the oil demand from passenger cars by 3.3 million barrels a day. SUVs are said to consume a quarter more energy than medium-size cars. (Source: International Energy Agency, Team-BHP, 22 Oct., 2019) Contact: International Energy Agency, www.iea.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News International Energy Agency,  Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  


    CEA Reports Falling Empire State Emissions (Ind. Report)
    Consumer Energy Alliance
    Date: 2019-10-16
    The Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) recently released analysis of U.S. government emissions data that looks at key pollutants and the overall environmental improvements seen across New York, shows that statewide emissions have fallen by as much as 95 pct since 1990 even as the state’s energy demand remained strong and natural gas usage surged.

    The analysis demonstrates to policy leaders and anti-development activists that the state's hastily passed Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) can ensure energy production and sound environmental stewardship at the same time. This policy plan came as New York had a marked increase in consumption from 2017 to 2018 in both residential and commercial end-users. These facts show, despite ideologically driven attempts to shame energy development, many of the emissions reductions are the fruit of ongoing innovation, technology and the increased use of natural gas and nuclear energy in the Empire State's energy mix.

    CEA's analysis found that from 1990 to 2017, New York's emissions of key pollutants have decreased across the board, with a: 73 pct reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx); 95 pct reduction in sulfur dioxide (SO2);13 pct reduction in volatile organic compounds (VOCs); and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions declined by 22 pct. The CEA analysis notes these reductions and improvements occurred while more than 78 pct of the state's energy needs were being fueled by oil and natural gas.

    This analysis follows CEA's Energy Savings Report for New York consumers, which found that families, small business and manufacturers across the state saved almost $30.9 billion thanks to low-cost energy over the past decade. This is essential for New York as one of the top five energy consuming states in the nation, where one in four households heat with oil and 40 pct of the state's electricity generation is powered by natural gas. (Source: Consumer Energy Alliance, Website, 15 Oct., 2019) Contact: Consumer Energy Alliance, Wendy Hijos, CEA NY State Director, Emily Haggstrom, (720) 582-0242, ehaggstrom@consumerenergyalliance.org, www,consumerenergyalliance.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Consumer Energy Alliance,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Melting Arctic Permafrost Impact Costs Pegged at $70tn (Int'l)
    VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Date: 2019-09-27
    As previously reported, a study of the economic consequences of a melting Arctic from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) in Espoo has found that the release of methane and CO2 from thawing permafrost will accelerate global warming and add up to $70 trillion to the worlds climate bill.

    The study authors contend their study is the first to calculate the economic impact of permafrost melt and reduced albedo -- a measure of how much light that hits a surface is reflected without being absorbed -- based on the most advanced computer models of what is likely to happen in the Arctic as temperatures rise.

    The study notes that on the current trajectory of at least 3 degree C of warming by the end of the century, melting permafrost is expected to discharge up to 280 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide and 3 gigatonnes of methane, which is 10 to 20 times more damaging to the the afmosphere than carbon dioxide. This would increase the global climate-driven impacts by $70 trillion between now and 2300, the report concludes. (Source: VIT, Weekened Leader, 22 April, 2019) Contact: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, +358 20 722 111, +358 20 722 7001 - fax., www.vttresearch.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland news,  VTT news,  Climate Change news,  Methane news,  


    Stora Enso Addresses Construction CO2 Emissions (Int'l. Report)
    Stora Enso
    Date: 2019-09-25
    In Stockholm, Stora Enso reports it is participating in the World Green Building Week, the largest annual and global communication campaign on sustainable buildings organized by the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC).

    Stora Enso develops and produces solutions based on wood and biomass for a range of industries and applications worldwide, leading in the bioeconomy and supporting our customers in meeting demand for renewable eco-friendly products.

    "Stora Enso has helped us lead the change towards a building sector that meets the decarbonization goals of the Paris Agreement, addressing both operational and embodied emissions. As a campaign ambassador and advocate for new policies such as the EU's 'Level(s)' framework that seek to mainstream life-cycle assessment, they are evidence to politicians that the sector is ready to deliver net zero carbon," according to James Drinkwater, Director of WorldGBC's Europe Regional Network.

    Carbon dioxide emissions from construction materials -- mostly cement and steel -- account for approximately 11 pct of all global emissions. Stora Enso has also supported the creation of the WorldGBC's Bringing embodied carbon upfront report that highlights the importance of emissions from materials.

    The World Green Building Council (WGBC) is the world's largest international organisation promoting the practice of sustainable building. Stora Enso Wood Products joined WGBC in 2017. (Source: Stora Enso, PR, 24 Sept., 2019) Contact: Stora Enso Wood Products Div., Jari Suominen, Div. Head, +43-664-6183907, jari.suominen@stroaenso.com, www.storaenso.com; World Green Building Council, James Drinkwater, www.worldgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  Building Sustainability,  ,  Stora Enso,  World Green Building Council,  


    UAE Supports Caribbean's Largest Renewables Project (Ind. Report)
    UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund
    Date: 2019-09-23
    In Abu Dhabi, the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund, (UAE-CREF) has announced a $5.7 million commitment and partnership to restore power to the Caribbean island of Barbuda -- one of the 2 major islands that make up the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda -- following the near-total destruction of the island after Hurricane Irma struck in September 2017. The funds will support Antigua and Barbuda through the largest renewable energy initiative of its kind in the Caribbean region.

    The project will be executed by the UAE-CREF in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, and Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), responsible for project design and implementation. The plant will displace an estimated 260,000 litres of diesel fuel per year, saving the Government of Antigua and Barbuda $320,000 and offsetting 690 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. (Source: Emirates News Agency, 22 Sept., 2019) Contact: UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund, www.sustainabledevelopment.un.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund,  


    DOE Invests $56Mn in Coal Technology Projects (R&D, Funding)
    US DOE,DOE Office of Fossil Energy
    Date: 2019-09-23
    The U.S. DOE is announcing 32 winners for $56.5 million in federal funding for cost-shared R&D projects for advanced coal technologies and research under six separate funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). The projects further the (Trump) Administration's commitment to strengthening clean coal technologies and cover a range of topics, including carbon capture, utilization, and storage; rare earth element recovery; coal to products; crosscutting coal R&D; steam turbine efficiency; and advanced materials. The awards are as follows:
  • $10 million for ten projects under DE-FOA-0001992, Maximizing the Coal Value Chain. The projects will develop innovative uses of domestic coal for upgraded coal-based feedstocks used to produce power and make steel and for producing high-value products from coal or coal by-products.

  • $11.9 million under DE-FOA-0001996, Advancing Steam Turbines for Coal Boilers. The two projects selected under this FOA seek to improve the performance of steam-based power cycles, resulting in lower cost electricity with reduced emissions per megawatt-hour from coal fueled boilers.

  • $9.3 million for ten projects under DE-FOA-0002001, Crosscutting Research for Coal-Fueled Power Plants. This effort supports DOE's Crosscutting Research Program, which develops technologies that can be applied to a range of fossil energy uses.

  • $5 million under DE-FOA-0002002, Advanced Materials for High-Efficiency, Flexible and Reliable Coal-Fueled Power Plants. DOE selected five projects to support its Crosscutting Research program, which fosters the development and deployment of innovative systems for improving efficiency and environmental performance.

  • 3 projects will receive up to $15 million under DE-FOA-0002003, Process Scale-Up and Optimization/Efficiency Improvements for Rare Earth Elements (REE) and Critical Materials (CM) Recovery from United States Coal-Based Resources.

  • 2 projects will receive $5.3 million under DE-FOA-0001998, Transformational Sensing Systems for Monitoring the Deep Subsurface. This award seeks to reduce uncertainty of and enable real-time decision-making associated with subsurface carbon dioxide (CO2) storage. The selected projects support DOE's Carbon Storage Research Program by improving characterization and prediction of subsurface fluid movement and enhancing real-time measurement of critical subsurface properties.

    DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)will manage the selected projects. (Source: US DOE, 20 Sept., 2019) Contact: US DOE Office of Fossil Energy, www.energy.gov/fe; NETL, www.netl.doe.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE Office of Fossil Energy,  NETL,  Coal,  Clean Coal,  US DOE,  


  • Technion Claims New H2 Production Technology (New Prod & Tech)
    Israel Institute of Technology
    Date: 2019-09-18
    Researchers at the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) are reporting development of an efficient, inexpensive, environmentally-friendly and safe hydrogen (H2) production technology.

    Currently, most hydrogen production is derived from fossil fuel, and its production involves processes that emit carbon dioxide (CO2) -- which accelerates global warming. The main alternative so far is water electrolysis, where two electrodes -- anode and cathode -- are placed in alkaline or acid enriched water that increases conductivity. In response to passing an electrical current between the electrodes, the water molecules (H2O) are broken down into their chemical elements, such that hydrogen gas (H2) is produced near the cathode and oxygen (O2) is produced near the anode.

    The energy efficiency of electrolysis is only about 75 pct and requires high electricity consumption. The new Technion E-TAC water splitting technology, improves hydrogen production efficiency to 98.7 pct and significantly reduces CO2 emissions.

    Worldwide, about 65 million tpy of hydrogen is produced worth about $130 billion. (Source: Israel Institute of Technology, China.org.cn, Xinhua, 15 Sept., 2019) Contact: Israel Institute of Technology, www.technion.ac.il

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Hydrogen,  Alternative Fuel,  


    CO2 Solutions Working Through Bankruptcy Process (Ind. Report)
    CO2 Solutions Inc
    Date: 2019-09-18
    Quebec-based enzyme-enabled carbon capture specialist CO2 Solutions Inc reports it has filed a notice of intention to make a proposal pursuant to the provisions of Part III of the Canadian Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. Ernst and Young Inc. has been appointed as trustee and will assist CO2 Solutions in its restructuring efforts.

    CO2 Solutions' technology lowers the cost barrier to Carbon Capture, Utilization and Sequestration (CCUS) positioning it as a viable CO2 mitigation tool, as well as enabling industry to derive profitable new products from these emissions. The company has an extensive patent portfolio covering the use of carbonic anhydrase, or analogues thereof, for the efficient post-combustion capture of carbon dioxide with low-energy aqueous solvents. (Source: CO2 Solutions, Inc., PR, CNW/Telbec, Sept. 16, 2019) Contact: CO2 Solutions Inc., Richard Surprenant, CEO, Jeremie Lavoie, (418) 842-3456, ext. 223, jeremie.lavoie@co2solutions.com, www.co2solutions.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2 Solutions Inc.,  Carbon Capture,  CO2,  CCUS,  


    Fifth Ill. Coal-Fired Power Plant Closure Announced (Ind Report)
    Vistra Energy
    Date: 2019-09-18
    In Illinois, Irving, Texas-headquartered Vistra Energy on Monday reported it will shut-down the coal-fired E.D. Edwards power plant -- reportedly among the state's dirtiest such facilities -- south of Peoria within three years. The closure will eliminate the millions of pounds of carbon dioxide the coal plant emitted each year, an amount equivalent to taking more than 337,000 cars off the road.

    The closure resolves a six-year old federal lawsuit filed by environmental groups, which documented various power plant owners failure to install modern pollution-control equipment. Four other Illinois coal-fired power plants -- Coffeen Power Plant, Duck Creek Power Plant in Canton, Havana Power Plant, and Hennepin Power Plant -- will be closed by the end of the tear in order to comply with the Illinois Pollution Control Board's (IPCB) recently approved revisions to the Multi-Pollutant Standard rule. (Source: Various Media, Chicago Tribune, 16 Sept., 2019) Contact: Vistra Energy, Curtis Morgan, CEO, www.vistraenergy.com

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


    Maine Scores $2.5Mn in Latest RGGI Auction (Ind. Report)
    RGGI
    Date: 2019-09-16
    In Augusta, the Maine Public Utilities Commission report Maine has received nearly $2.5 million in the latest Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) auction of carbon dioxide emission allowances.

    RGGI member states include Delaware, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pulled the Garden State out of the group whicg caps carbon dioxide emissions from power plants to reduce air pollution. Companies then purchase allowances at auctions that allow them to emit a certain amount of CO2 gas from power plants generating over 25 megawatts of electricity.

    RGGI generates revenue for all nine states, which had reduced CO2 emissions by over 50 pctsince 2007. Maine Public Utilities Commission Administrative Director says the latest auction reached the milestone of selling the one billionth emission allowance. Maine has received $108.6 million in revenue since 2007 that's financed rate relief, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. (Source: Maine Public Utilities Commission, WABI Contact: Maine Public Utilities Commission, 207-287-3831, www.maine.gov › mpuc; RGGI, (212) 417-3179, www.rggi.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RGGI,  Carbon Emissions,  


    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,  


    Chinese Data Center Emissions on the Rise (Int'l. Report)
    Greenpeace East Asia
    Date: 2019-09-11
    According to a report by Greenpeace and the North China Electric Power University, in 2018, China's data centers consumed just over 2 pct of the country's power production and produced 99 million metric tons of carbon dioxide -- equivalent of about 21 million cars on the road. Of the 44 data centers surveyed for the report, 39 were powered by coal fired electricity.

    The report predicts that within 5 years China's data center carbon emissions will spike from 99 million to 163 million metric tons -- the equivalent of 35 million vehicles.

    Download the Greenpeace East Asia Powering the Cloud: How China's Internet Industry Can Shift to Renewable Energy report HERE. (Source: Greenpeace East Asia, CNN, 10 Sept., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  


    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,  


    Biological Carbon-Neutral Jet Fuel Additive Touted (Ind. Report)
    University of Idaho,USAF
    Date: 2019-09-06
    In Moscow, Idaho, University of Idaho and U.S. Air Force (USAF) researchers partnered to study a jet fuel additive report finding a substance which lowers the freezing point and improves the performance of jet fuel. The additive also cleans the fuel tank, adds antistatic properties to the fuel and begins to freeze at minus 58 degrees Celsius. Jet A, the most commonly used jet fuel, freezes solid at minus 40 degrees Celsius, the researchers stated.

    The substance the team is studying as a jet fuel additive is entirely made of biological material. This makes the additive carbon neutral -- it continues the carbon cycle instead of adding excess carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Initially, the team was working to create a jet fuel, not an additive.

    . The researchers are participating in an AFWERX grant program and have been awarded $25,000 to continue their research. (Source: University of Idaho Argonaut , 5 Sept., 2019)Contact: Univ. of Idaho, 208-885-6111, www.uidaho.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Jet Fuel,  Alternative Fuel,  USAF,  


    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,  


    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,  


    UK Investing £1.4Bn in Global GHG Emissions Fight (Int'l)
    Green Climate Fund
    Date: 2019-08-28
    The Environmental Journals is reporting the UK will spend £1.44 billion over the next four years to help developing countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The UK contributed £724 million between 2014 and 2019.

    Over 40 countries are currently funding similar projects through the Green Climate Fund (GCF) which has provided a total of $5.2 billion and mobilized over $13.5 billion of private sector and other co-investment for projects to reduce emissions and protect and preserve natural habitats in the developing world. GCF projects are expected to remove the equivalent of 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. (Source: Environmental Journal, Thomas Barrett, 27 Aug., 2019) Contact: Green Climate Fund, +82 32 458 6059, info@gcfund.org, www.greenclimate.fund

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


    Biden's Climate Plan in a Nutshell (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2019-08-26
    US Democratic former V.P. and 2020 presidental hopeful Joe Biden, like every candidate, has released his plan to address the climate change crisis.

    Biden's $1.7 trillion plan calls for a $400 billion over ten years investment in R&D targeted at: grid-scale storage; small modular nuclear reactors; zero net energy buildings; using renewables to produce carbon-free hydrogen; decarbonizing industrial heat needed to make steel, concrete, and chemicals; leveraging agriculture to remove carbon dioxide from the air; and sequestering carbon dioxide from power plants deep underground. A climate adaptation agenda.

    Biden's plan has all the usual "shoutouts to climate justice and protection for fossil-fuel workers who lose their jobs" and a program to "rally the world" to address climate change and reach zero-emissions by 2050. See the former Vice-President's website for details. (Source: Mother Jones, 24 Aug., 2019) Contact: Joe Biden, www.joebiden.com/climate

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


    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,  


    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,  


    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,  


    Entergy Awards Roseburg $1.3Mn for Energy Efficiency (Ind Report)
    Entergy Arkansas
    Date: 2019-08-19
    Springfield, Oregon-based wood products manufacturer Roseburg Forest Products reports receipt of $1,366,392.00 incentives from the Entergy Arkansas Entergy Solutions Program. The program provides technical and financial support to help Entergy Arkansas customers identify and implement projects that reduce energy usage.

    The Roseburg MFD El Dorado Arkansas plant partnered with Entergy Arkansas on interior and exterior energy efficient lighting, lighting controls and variable speed drive fans. The plant also enrolled in Entergy Arkansas's Large Commercial and Industrial Solutions Program.

    The plant's energy efficieny improvements are saving 9,127,704 kWh annually, which is the equivalent to eliminating the carbon dioxide emissions from 726,304 gallons of gasoline, according to EPA calculations. (Source: ElDorado News Times, 17 Aug., 2019) Contact: Entergy Arkansas, www.entergy-arkansas.com/energy efficiency; Roseburg Forest Products, www.roseburg.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Entergy Arkansas,  Energy Efficiency,  


    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,  


    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,  

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