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2019 Carbon Emissions Hold Steady, says EIA Report (Int'l. Report)
International Energy Agency
Date: 2020-02-17
The Paris-headuartered International Energy Agency (IEA) is reporting that despite global economic growth of 2.9 pct and two after two years of steady increases, worldwide CO2 emissions growth stalled at 33 gigatonnes in 2019. The leveling off is being partially attributed to the declining use of coal and an increase in renewable energy and natural gas.

The EIA report notes emissions from the power sector dropped to level last seen in the late 1980s, when the IEA estimates that electricity demand was one-third lower than today. (Source: IEA, Feb., 2020)Contact: International Energy Agency, Dr. Fatih Birol, Exec. Dir., +33 1 40 57 65 00, www.iea.org

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


Nationwide "Green" Mortgages Incentivize Energy Efficiency (Int'l.)
Nationwide Building Society
Date: 2020-02-12
In the UK, Swindon-headquartered Nationwide Building Society reports it will make £1 billion available in a range of new "green" mortgages to "kickstart" green home improvements and energy efficiency retrofitting efforts. The "green" mortgages will have preferential rates for those buying a new-build EPC A-rated home, and preferential rates starting from 1 pct for the first two years when borrowing up to £25,000 to make home improvements.

Nationwide is also calling on the government, home builders and lenders to create meaningful incentives for home energy efficiency and greener homes in general.

Nationwide Building Society is a British mutual financial institution, the seventh largest cooperative financial institution and the largest building society in the world with over 15 million members. Nationwide is one of over 40 members of the Green Finance Institute's Coalition for Energy Efficiency of Buildings, of which developing the market for financing net-zero carbon and climate-resilient homes is a "key objective. (Source: Nationwide Building Society, PR, 10 Feb., 2020) Contact: Nationwide Building Society, www.nationwide.co.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News Nationwide Building Society ,  


Advanced Economies Lowered Carbon Emissions in 2019 (Int'l Report)
IEA
Date: 2020-02-12
According the International Energy Agency (IEA), global energy-related carbon emissions stopped growing and remained unchanged at 33 gigatonnes in 2019 even as the world economy expanded by 2.9 pct. The drop was primarily due to declining emissions from electricity generation in advanced economies, an increased reliance on wind and solar power, the declining role of coal and an increase in natural use as well as increased nuclear power generation. Milder weather in several countries and slower economic growth in some emerging markets was also a factor, according to the IEA release.

The US recorded the largest emissions decline on a country basis, with a fall of 140 million tonnes -- 2.9 pct. US emissions are now down by almost 1 gigatonne from their peak in 2000. In 2019, EU emissions fell by 160 million tonnes, Japan's emissions dropped by 45 million tonnes, while Emissions in the rest of the world grew by close to 400 million tonnes -- with almost 80 pct of the increase coming from Asian countries where coal-fired power generation continued to rise. (Source: IEA, ESI Africa, 11 Feb., 2020) Contact: IEA, Dr Fatih Birol, Exec. Dir., +33 1 40 57 65 00, www.iea.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  IEA,  


Nationwide "Green" Mortgage Incentivises Energy Efficiency (Int'l.)
Nationwide Building Society
Date: 2020-02-10
In the UK, Swindon-headquartered Nationwide Building Society reports it will make £1billion available in a range of new "green" mortgages for "green" home purchases and home energy efficiency retrofitting. The "green" mortgages will have preferential rates for those buying a new-build EPC A-rated home, and preferential rates starting from 1 pct for the first two years when borrowing up to &poud;25,000 to make home improvements.

Nationwide is also calling on the government, home builders and lenders to create meaningful incentives for home energy efficiency and greener homes in general. Nationwide is calling for Government to commission an independent review of council taxes, explore how it could incentivize green home improvements, as well as transition the Help to Buy program to a Help to Green program. Nationwide also notes the government's Future Homes Standard is set to be introduced in 2025, introducing higher energy efficiency standards for new build homes.

Nationwide Building Society is a British mutual financial institution, the seventh largest cooperative financial institution and the largest building society in the world with over 15 million members. Nationwide is one of over 40 members of the Green Finance Institute's Coalition for Energy Efficiency of Buildings, of which developing the market for financing net-zero carbon and climate-resilient homes is a "key objective. (Source: Nationwide Building Society, PR, 10 Feb., 2020) Contact: Nationwide Building Society, www.nationwide.co.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News Nationwide Building Society,  "Green" Home,  "Green" Mortgage,  Energy Efficiency ,  


Poland Scores €140Mn for Climate Change Fight (Int'l. Report)
Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment
Date: 2020-02-10
TheFirstNews is reporting coal-dependent Poland will receive €140 million in grant funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment's Environment, Energy and Climate Change Programme. Under the funding agreement, Poland will invest a further €24.7 million in the effort.

The grant funds, which are aimed at addressing climate change though enhanced energy efficiency and increased use of renewable energy, will be targeted to local Polish governments, NGOs, higher education institutions and private enterprises. The project is aiming to cut the country's CO2 emissions by 600,000 tpy. (Source: Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, TheFirstNews (Poland), 17 Feb., 2020) Contact: Norway Environment, Energy and Climate Change Programme, www.regjeringen.no/en/dep/kld/id668

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


SMMPA Opting for Renewables to Cut Carbon Emissions (Ind. Report)
Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency
Date: 2020-02-10
The Rochester-based nonprofit power provider Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) reports it plans to produce 80 pct of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2030.

The agency gets much of its power from the coal-fired Sherco 3 power plant in Becker, Minn. SMMPA holds a 41 pct stake in the generating unit. But Sherco 3's majority owner, Xcel Energy, announced last year it intends to retire the plant in 2030. SMMPA notes that with the declining costs of wind and solar it makes sense to replace most of that coal-fired electricity with renewables -- probably an equal mix of wind and solar. The planned change would result in a 90 pct reduction in CO2 emissions from 2005 levels.

SMMPA currently sources over 20 pctof its power from renewable sources, Schoenherr said. It also gets carbon-free electricity from hydropower projects.

SMMPA provides electricity to 18 city-owned utilities, mostly in the southern and central parts of the state, including Rochester, Austin, Owatonna and Mora. (Source: SMMPA, MN Public Radio. 7 Feb., 2020) Contact: SMMPA, Dave Geschwind, Exec. Dir., CEO, 507-285-0478, www.smmpa.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency ,  SMMPA,  ,  


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

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

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

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

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

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  


  • EU Emissions Tumble as Nat. Gas, Renewables Replace Coal (Int'l.)
    Agora Energiewende
    Date: 2020-02-07
    According to a new joint report by two European climate think-tanks -- Agora Energiewende in Berlin, Germany and Sandbag in the UK -- the European power sector emitted 12 pct less carbon dioxide in 2019 than during the prior year, suggesting the continent has sped up its shift away from fossil fuel energy sources. During the same period, the share of energy from renewables increased to almost 35 pct.

    According to the report, emissions fell last year by 120 million tonnes as power generation from hard coal declined in every European Union country and sank by 24 pct overall to be replaced in nearly equal measure by natural gas and renewable energy. Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK accounted for 80 percent of the decline in energy produced from hard coal which is no longer cost competitive with natural gas and renewable energy.

    Download the Sandbag report HERE (Source: Sandbag, Al Jazeera, Feb., 2020) Contact: Agora Energiewende, www.agoraenergiewende.de; Sandbag, www.sandbag.org.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Sandbag,  Coal,  Carbon Emissions,  EU Emissions,  


    NWO Earmarks €1.1Mn for Offshore Wind Study (Int'l Report)
    Dutch Research Council
    Date: 2020-02-07
    As part of its PhD@sea program, the Dutch Research Council (NWO) reports it has earmarked €1.1 million for research into the feasibility of novel technologies for large-scale offshore wind energy production, offshore storage and transport alternatives. The aim is to examine the technical challenges while taking into account explicit market, legal/regulatory and spatial planning considerations.

    The PhD@sea program, which focuses on cross-disciplinary research projects that can help realize the planning, operation, and maintenance of offshore wind farms, works with the University of Groningen, the University of Utrecht, Ocean Grazer B.V., Loyens & Loeff, New Energy Coalition, NOGAT, NOORDGASTRANSPORT, Vattenfall, Siemens Nederland, TNO, Dutch Energy Law Association NeVER, NOGEPA, and TenneT. (Source: Dutch Research Council, offshorewind.biz, 6 Feb., 2020) Contact: Dutch Research Council, +31 (0)70 3440640, +31 (0)70 3850971 - fax, nwo@nwo.nl, www.nwo.nl

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Offshore Wind,  


    Notable Climate Change Quote from the Land Down Under
    Australia Climate Change
    Date: 2020-02-03
    "You (Australia) are the keepers of an extraordinary section of the surface of this planet, including the Barrier Reef, and what you say, what you do, really, really matters. And then you suddenly say: 'No it doesn't matter ... it doesn't matter how much coal we burn ... we don't give a damn what it does to the rest of the world." -- Sir David Attenborough, an English broadcaster and natural historian commenting on Australia's attitude to addressing climate change. (Source: Business Insider Australia, Sept., 2019) Contact: Sir David Attenborouhj, www.imdb.com/name/nm0041003

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Australia Climate Change news,  


    Renewables Funding Proposed for VA. Brownfield, Coal Sites (Funding)
    Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy
    Date: 2020-01-31
    In the Old Dominion State, under the proposed House Bill 754 presently before the General Assembly, the Virginia Brownfield and Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Fund would provide up to $35 million annually for solar, wind and geothermal projects on brownfields and former coal sites.

    As proposed, the program would award grants on a competitive basis in the amounts of $500 per kilowatt of nameplate capacity from renewable energy sources on land that was previously mined for coal and $100 per kilowatt of nameplate capacity from renewable energy sources on brownfields. Grants would not be allowed to exceed $10 million for a single coal mine project and $5 million for a brownfield project not on previously mined land, according to the bill. Total allocations from the program would be capped at $35 million in a given year.

    The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy would administer the program and work with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to develop criteria for grant awards. (Source: Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, Bristol Herald Courier, 30 Jan., 2020) Contact: Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, 276-523-8100, www.dmme.virginia.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy Funding,  


    Green Alliance Balancing the Energy Equation -- Three Steps to Cutting UK Demand (Int'l. Ind. Report)
    Green Alliance
    Date: 2020-01-31
    "In June 2019, the UK became the world's first major economy to legislate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050. This amended the previous target of 80 pct reduction on 1990 levels, which was set out in the Climate Change Act of 2008. Both were passed by large cross party majorities.

    "But government policy is failing to match these world leading ambitions. In fact, the House of Lords appended a 'regret motion' to the net-zero legislation, expressing concern that the government had provided 'little detail on how the emissions target will be met'.

    "Even before the new target was adopted, the UK was not on course to hit its lower target. That is in spite of proposals in The clean growth strategy, which was meant to show how the UK government would meet its legally binding fourth and fifth carbon budgets. In the light of the net zero commitment, this strategy is due to be reviewed and bold new policies have been promised.

    "Most approaches to reduce emissions have relied on decarbonising energy supply, phasing out coal and drastically reducing the price of renewable energy. However, this ignores the potential contribution and benefits of the other side of the energy equation -- demand reduction, improved energy efficiency and flex energy demand.

    "Even without much government intervention, demand reduction has a proven and profitable track record. Energy efficiency has been directly responsible for 25 pct of the UK's economic growth since 1971, And, globally, 90 pct of the decoupling of emissions and economic growth has come from reducing the energy intensity of the economy, rather than reducing the carbon intensity of energy generation."

    Download the Balancing the Energy Equation -- Three Steps to Cutting UK Demand Report HERE ], (Source: Green Alliance, Jan., 2020) Contact: Green Alliance, +44 020 7233 7433, ga@green-alliance.org.uk, www.green-alliance.org.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UK Green Alliance,  Net-Zero Carbon,  


    Stockholm Planning Carbon-Negative District Heating (Int'l.)
    Stockholm Exergi,Fortum
    Date: 2020-01-29
    In Sweden, Stockholm Exergi, a joint venture between Helsinki, Finnish utility Fortum Oyi and the city of Stockholm, reports it is looking to make Swedish capital's district heating the world's first to become carbon negative.

    To that end, the company this spring will close its last coal-fired boiler and has replaced most of its coal-based production with biofuels. The company is also investigating the implementation of carbon capture systems to achieve a positive carbon footprint by 2040.

    Fortum Oyi is also testing carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology in Oslo at its joint venture Fortum Oslo Varme. Both the Stockholm and Oslo projects are partnering with the Northern Lights initiative, which is studying carbon storage in the bedrock of the North Sea. (Source: Stockholm Exergi, Recharge, 28 Jan., 2020) Contact: Stockholm Exergi, www.stockholmexergi.se; Fortum Oyi, www3.fortum.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  Fortum,  Carbon Negative,  Carbon Emissions,  Stockholm,  


    Green Hydrogen Coalition Announces US Launch (Ind. Report)
    Green Hydrogen Coalition
    Date: 2020-01-29
    The Green Hydrogen Coalition (GHC), a US 501c3 non-profit charitable organization focused on building top-down momentum for scalable green hydrogen projects that leverage multi-sector opportunities to simultaneously scale supply and demand, is reporting its official launch.

    The GHC aims to facilitate policies and practices that advance green hydrogen production and its use in all sectors where it will accelerate a carbon free energy future.

    GHC founders and supporters include: Intersect Power, 8minute Solar Energy, SoCalGas and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), according to its website. (Source: Green Hydrogen Coalition, H2View, 28 Jan., 2020) Contact: Green Hydrogen Coalition, info@ghcoalition.org, www.ghcoalition.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Hydrogen,  Green Hydrogen,  


    HyperSolar Expects Pilot Plant Completion This Spring (Ind Report)
    Green Hydrogen Coalition
    Date: 2020-01-29
    In the Golden State, Santa Barbara-based HyperSolar, Inc., the developer of a breakthrough technology to produce renewable hydrogen using sunlight and water, is reporting it's Gen 1 product manufacturing pilot plant is slated for completion in late Spring, 2020.

    "HyperSolar is developing a breakthrough, low cost technology to make renewable hydrogen using sunlight and any source of water, including seawater and wastewater. Unlike hydrocarbon fuels, such as oil, coal and natural gas, where carbon dioxide and other contaminants are released into the atmosphere when used, hydrogen fuel usage produces pure water as the only byproduct. By optimizing the science of water electrolysis at the nano-level, our low cost nanoparticles mimic photosynthesis to efficiently use sunlight to separate hydrogen from water, to produce environmentally friendly renewable hydrogen. Using our low cost method to produce renewable hydrogen, we intend to enable a world of distributed hydrogen production for renewable electricity and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles," according to the company website. (Source: HyperSolar, PR, 28 Jan., 2020) Contact: HyperSolar, Tim Young, CEO, info@hypersolar.com, www.hypersolar.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News HyperSolar,  Sola,  Renewable Hydrogenr,  


    Court Disqualifies Recent RFS "Hardship" Waivers (Reg & Leg.)
    Renewable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2020-01-27
    It is being widely reported that a U.S. appeals court has ordered the EPA to reconsider three recently issued Renewable Fuel Standard small refinery "hardship waivers" on the grounds that the refineries did not qualify for the waivers and their issuance was "flawed."

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit dated Jan. 24 came after a coalition of biofuel industry groups had challenged the 2016 exemptions for Holly Frontier's Woods Cross and Cheyenne refineries, as well as CVR Energy's Wynewood refinery.

    The court ruled the EPA overstepped its authority and errored in granting the waivers because the refineries had not received exemptions in the previous year. The court said the RFS is worded in such a way that any exemption granted to a small refinery after 2010 must take the form of an "extension".

    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 (Source: Successful Farming, Various Media, Reuters, 25 Jan., 2020)

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


    SG Preston Drops Interest Philly Refinery Redevelopment (Ind. Report)
    SG Preston,Philadelphia Energy Solutions
    Date: 2020-01-22
    In the Keystone State, Philadelphia-headquartered bioenergy developer SG Preston reports it intends to apply its expertise in partnership with leading environmental sustainability investment initiatives to target and convert large-scale industrial sites occupied by traditional industries such as coal power and petroleum refining -- the fire-damaged Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery being an example although Reuters has reported SG Prestion is not now pursuing that opportunity despite its reported previous interest.

    The company's industrial site conversions will focus on re-developing these sites to produce renewable fuels and clean power, while also partnering with institutions with a track record of actively, and diligently remediating the environmental contamination of the sites, according to the company's website.

    SG Preston's strategic goal is to develop 1.2 billion gallons of renewable biofuels to help major stakeholders in the transportation, aviation jet fuel and related industries meet their strategic goals, according to its website.

    S.G. Preston earlier unveiled plans to buy the PES plant and to ... (Source: SG Preston Website, Jan., 2020) Contact: SG Preston, Randy LeTang, CEO, (215) 278-6001, (215) 734-2401 – fax, www.sgpreston.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News SG Preston,  Biofuel,  Ethanol,  Philadelphia Energy Solutions,  


    Maritime Shipping Decarbonization Costs Explored (Report Attached)
    Energy Transitions Commission
    Date: 2020-01-22
    A new study by University College London's University Maritime Advisory Services (UMAS) and Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) prepared for the Global Maritime Forum for the Getting to Zero Coalition, estimates the cost of cutting the maritime shipping industry's CO2 emission by 50 pct between 2030 and 2050 would come in at roughly $1-1.4 trillion -- that's $50 billion to $70 billion per year for 20 years. To fully decarbonize by 2050, this will require further investments of some $400 billion over 20 years, bringing the total to $1.4 trillion to $1.9 trillion.

    The report notes these figures should be viewed in the context of annual global investments in energy, which in 2018 alone amounted to $1.85 trillion. The global shipping fleet accounts for 2.2 pct of CO2 emissions.

    Download the The Scale of Investment Needed to Decarbonize International Shipping study HERE. (Source: Global Maritime Forum, PR, GreenCar Congress, 21 Jan., 2020) Contact: Global Maritime Forum, www.globalmaritimeforum.org; Energy Transitions Commission, www.energy-transitions.org; University Maritime Advisory Services, +44 20 3108 5965, www.u-mas.co.uk; University Maritime Advisory Services, www.u-mas.co.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Maritime Emissions,  


    Salt River Project Seeking Solar Energy Bids (Ind. Report)
    Salt River Project
    Date: 2020-01-22
    In Arizona, Salt River Project, one of the state's largest utilities, reports it is seeking bids for the construction of solar power plant, including 200 megawatts from Navajo Nation facilities.

    SRP is aiming for 1,000 MW of new solar, natural gas and other renewable energy by 2025, as part of its transition away from coal fired power generation. (Source: SRP, Farmington Daily Times, Durango Herald, 20 Jan. 2020) Contact: SRP, Mike Hummel, CEO, Scott Harelson, Scott.Harelson@srpnet.com, www.srpnet.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Salt River Project ,  Solar,  


    Notable Quote -- Bill Gates Comments on De-Carbonization
    Micorsoft,Bill Gates
    Date: 2020-01-20
    "We should discuss soil as much as we talk about coal. De-carbonizing the way we generate electricity would be a huge step, but it won't be enough if we don't reach zero net emissions from every sector of the economy ... that includes the agriculture, forestry, and land use sector, which is responsible for 24 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions." -- Bill Gates.

    Bill Gates is an American business magnate, investor, author, philanthropist, and humanitarian best known as the principal founder of Microsoft Corporation. Gates' fortune is estimated at $100 billion. (Source: Bill Gates, Gates Notes, CIRCASA, 3 April, 2019)Contact: Gates Notes www.gatesnotes.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Microsoft,  Bill Gates,  Decarbonization,  


    Neste SAF Aviation Fuels Available in Zurich (Int'l. Report)
    SAF Aviation Fuels
    Date: 2020-01-20
    Reporting from Switzerland, a coalition of groups representing business jet operators, manufacturers and fuel suppliers has announced private jet airplanes departing this week's World Economic Forum in Davos will be able to fuel their planes with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at Zurich airport.

    Neste, the world's largest producer of renewable diesel and renewable jet fuel refined from waste and residues, will deliver the SAF to Zurich Airport. It will be the first time SAF will be available in Switzerland.

    This SAF jet fuel initiative comes with an offsetting plan. Business-jet operators using conventional fuel at airports in or around New York, Boston and Washington where the SAF variety isn't available can opt for an equivalent amount to be used on flights leaving from Van Nuys airport near Los Angeles, according to the statement. (Source: Neste, Yahoo Canada, Bloomberg, 20 Jan., 2020) Contact; Neste, +358 10 458 4128, www.neste.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Neste,  SAF Aviation Fuels,  


    Daybreak Proposes AZ Pumped-Hydro Energy Storage (Ind. Report)
    Daybreak Power
    Date: 2020-01-20
    In the Old Dominion State, Vienna-based gigawatt-scale energy storage projects developer Daybreak Power Inc. is reporting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has accepted the company's application for a preliminary permit for its proposed $3.6 billion, 2,200 MW Navajo Energy Storage Station at the retired Navajo Generating Station coal plant near Page, Arizona.

    The Navajo Energy Storage Station (NESS) is a pumped storage hydropower facility that would use water from Lake Powell and a new reservoir on a plateau above the lake to create a gigantic battery. The facility would use solar and wind energy to pump water to the upper reservoir, then release it through turbines to generate 10 hours of renewable energy each day to power cities in California, Arizona and Nevada.

    The NESS facility is Daybreak's second huge energy storage project, following its proposed 1,540 MW Next Generation Pumped Storage facility that would utilize water from Lake Mead and transmission infrastructure near Hoover Dam, according to the release. (Source: Daybreak Power,PR, Website, 17Jan., 2020) Contact: Daybreak Power, Jim Day, CEO, 703-624-4971,jim@gaybreakpower.com, www.daybreakpower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Pumped Hydro,  Daybreak Power,  Battery,  Energy Storage,  


    Tri-State Touts Renewable Energy Projects (Ind. Report)
    Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association
    Date: 2020-01-17
    Westminster, Colorado-headquartered wholesale power provider Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc. (Tri-State) reports it is contracting for a new solar power project in Moffat County and others in western Colorado as it works to end its coal-fired power generation in the state. The company also announced new renewable energy projects in Colorado and New Mexico that, along with its existing renewable power generation and previously announced projects that have yet to be built, will result in half of the energy consumed by its local cooperatives coming from renewable sources by 2024.

    Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc is a not-for-profit cooperative power supplier to 46 members including 43 electric distribution cooperatives and public power districts in four states that together power to more than a million electricity consumers across nearly 200,000 square miles of the western U.S. (Source: Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association , PR, 16 Jan., 2020) Contact: Tri-State, Duane Highley, CEO, 303-452-6111, www.tristategt.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Solar,  


    World Fuel Services , World Energy
    Date: 2020-01-17
    World Energy, World Fuel Services to increase availability of sustainable aviation fuel World Energy and World Fuel Services have launched a World Economic Forum (WEF) Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) programme designed to increase SAF availability and supply chain efficiency within the aviation industry. The programme will be available for business jets travelling to the WEF 50th annual meeting, enabling lower carbon emissions on all flights departing from Jet Aviation’s facilities at Teterboro (TEB), Boston/Bedford (BED) or Dulles International (IAD) to Davos in Switzerland for the event in January. While Jet Aviation does not offer SAF at the three airports, the WEF SAF programme allows fuel consumers at these locations to opt-in and claim SAF environmental benefits. Under the programme, for each gallon of conventional fuel purchased at TEB, BED or IAD, an equivalent amount of conventional fuel will be replaced with SAF on flights departing from Jet Aviation’s Van Nuys (VNY) airport in California. Members of the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Coalition include the European Business Aviation Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the International Business Aviation Council, the National Air Transportation Association and the National Business Aviation Association. World Fuel Services and World Energy will continue to work with strategic partners to expand the SAF programme to address the increasing demand for cleaner-burning, low-carbon aviation fuels.(Source: World Energy, World Fuel Services, Biofuels Int’l., 16 Jan., 2020) Contact: World Energy, Darren Fuller, vice-president of business development for business aviation at World Fuel Services.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News World Fuel Services news,  World Energy news,  SAF news,  Aviation Biofuel news,  


    Rebound's Energy-Efficient Cooling Technology Raises $5Mn (Funding)
    Rebound Technologies
    Date: 2020-01-17
    In Denver, Rebound Technologies, developer of an energy-efficient and more cost-effective alternative to traditional vapor compression cooling systems, reports the closing of a $5 million Series A financing. The lead investors were Clean Energy Ventures and Skyview Ventures, with participation from Autodesk Foundation, the philanthropic investing arm of multinational software corporation Autodesk.

    Rebound's IcePoint® technology reportedly uses significantly less energy than traditional methods, improves the freezing efficiency of cooling systems by 35 pct and potentially prevents 681 MMT of greenhouse gas emissions annually from the cooling sector by 2050.

    Rebound will use the new capital to install its first industrial-scale systems with food manufacturers and cold storage logistics companies in North America. The company previously received funding from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and a group of seed investors including PRIME Coalition, Closed Loop Ventures, and Investors' Circle. About Rebound Technologies. (Source: Rebound Technologies, PR, 16 Jan., 2020)Contact: Rebound Technologies, Kevin Davies, CEO, www.rebound-tech.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Ocean Renewable Energy Action Coalition Launched (Int'l Report)
    Ocean Renewable Energy Action Coalition
    Date: 2020-01-15
    An international Ocean Renewable Energy Action Coalition has been formed to advance sustainable deployment of ocean-based renewable energy -- offshore wind, floating solar, tidal and wave power -- and at the same time mitigate the impacts of climate change while meeting roughly 10 pct of the annual greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed by 2050 to keep global temperatures under 1.5 degreeC above pre-industrial levels, according to a report released by the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy. Most of this climate change mitigation potential is expected to come from offshore wind.

    The Action Coalition includes MHI Vestas, Orsted, Equinor, CWind, Global Marine Group, JERA, Shell, Mainstream Renewable Power, Siemens Gamesa, TenneT and The UK Crown Estate.

    Download the The Ocean as a Solution to Climate Change -- Five Opportunities for Action Report HERE. (Source: High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, Various Media, Maritime Executive, 13 Jan., 2020) Contact: High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, www.oceanpanle.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ocean Energy,  


    A Clean Fuels Policy for the Midwest -- Great Plains Institute White Paper (Ind. Report)
    Great Plains Institute
    Date: 2020-01-10
    The Midwestern Clean Fuels Initiative, facilitated by the Minneapolis-based non-partisan, not-for-profit Great Plains Institute, is a broad coalition of fuels producers and marketers, nonprofit and research organizations, scientists, engineers, and agriculture and industry stakeholders. The coalition works to create economic benefits for the region through policy, research, and education on the production and use of cleaner fuels. In addition to economic benefits, the use of cleaner fuels will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy security,improve water, air, and soil quality.

    The Great Plains Institute (GPI) combines a consensus-building approach, expert knowledge, research and analysis, and local action to find and implement lasting solutions, according to its website.

    Download A Clean Fuels Policy for the Midwest HERE. (Source: Great Plains Institute, Jan., 2020) Contact: Great Plains Institute, Rolf Nordstrom, CEO, (612) 278-7150, rolfnordstrom@gpisd.net, www.betterenergy.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Great Plains Institute,  Clean Fuel,  Biofuel,  


    Omaha Public Power District Commits to Net-Zero Carbon (Ind Report)
    Omaha Public Power District
    Date: 2020-01-08
    In the Cornhusker State, the Omaha Public Power District OPPD) reports it aims to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

    Although the customer-owned utility generates most of its power from coal-fired plants, power from renewables jumped from 4 pct in 2010 to nearly 32 pct in 2018. OPPD is also planning to convert some of its coal facilities to natural gas to help it reach it net-zero carbon goal. (Source: OPPD, Net News, 6 Jan., 2019) Contact: OPPD, Tim Burke, Pres., CEO, Mary Fisher, VP Energy Production , Russ Barker, Director of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs, (877) 536-4131, www.oppd.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News OPPD,  Net-Zero Carbon,  Omaha Public Power District,  


    Moscow says Nyet to Fossil Fuel Reductions (Int'l. Report)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2020-01-08
    The Barents Observer is reporting Russia's response to climate change includes no measures aimed at reducing fossil fuels extraction. On the contrary, the country intends to continue to boost production of the world's top climate change triggering hydrocarbons -- oil, gas and coal.

    In 2019, Russian oil production totaled 560 million tons, natural gas amounted to 738 billion cubic meters, and coal production increased to 440,7 million tonnes -- a 30 pct increase over a seven year period -- and is expected to reach as much as 670 million tonnes within 15 years.

    Since the mid-1970s, Russian air temperatures have increased by an average of 0,47 degree С per decade, which is 2,5 times more than the average global temperature increase. Other climate change impacts include more extreme weather, the melting of permafrost, more drought and flooding, loss of biodiversity, infectious diseases outbreaks and a the violation of the entire environmental balance.

    Even so, the Kremlin reportedly has no coherent plan to fight climate change and, as noted in its 2019 Energy Doctrine, the Kremlin asserts Russia's position as an energy superpower is challenged by international efforts to combat climate change and the rapid shift to a "green economy" must be perceived as a foreign policy challenge and an issue of concern. (Source: Barents Observer, 6 Jan., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Fossil Fuel,  


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

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

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


    Richardson Recognized for Fleet Alternative Fuels Use (Ind. Report)
    Clean Cities Coalition
    Date: 2020-01-03
    In the Lone Star State, the Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Coalition has recognized the City of Richardson for its efforts adoption of alternative fuels to reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency of fleet vehicles, according to the coalition's website.

    The awards are given on an annual basis. This is Richardson's fifth year in a row to win the Fleet Recognition Award, according to the city.

    Download US DOE Clean Cities Coalition program details HERE. (Source: Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities , Community Impact, 31 Dec., 2019) Contact: Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities, cleancities@nctcog.org, www.dfwcleancities.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Alternative Fuel,  Clean Cities Coalition,  


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

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

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


    Austrian Coalition Proposes Carbon Tax, 2040 Carbon Neutrality (Int'l.)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2020-01-03
    In Vienna, the Austrian People's Party (OVP) and the Greens party candidates are touting their coalition "Green Deal" under which Austria would impose a carbon tax and seek to be carbon neutral by 2040.

    The deal still needs to be approved at a Greens party congress. (Source: Various Media, DW, Jan., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  Carbon Neutral,  


    State ‘net energy’ proposal raises static among developers

    Date: 2019-12-31
    A proposal that would require new commercial construction projects in Massachusetts to use only renewable energy has opponents and proponents drawing a line in the sand. Supporters say the net zero net energy proposal is needed to address global warming more quickly. Opponents argue that there is not sufficient technology and capacity to increase electrification to meet the demand. Opponents also say the proposal would greatly diminish housing development during the state’s housing crisis and that electricity bills for tenants would skyrocket. “As housing costs continue to skyrocket, we need more housing. To add an additional cost to housing production is essentially a barrier ... We’ll see a slowdown in housing production,” said Tamara Small, CEO of Needham-based NAIOP, the state’s commercial real estate development association. NAIOP has about 1,700 members in Massachusetts. The proposal basically requires new commercial construction and significant commercial renovations to generate as much renewable energy as needed on-site. What can’t be generated on-site can be purchased off-site. Only energy from solar, wind and hydro would be allowed. The use of all fossil fuels, including natural gas, propane, oil, coal and wood pellets, would be banned. While the proposal is primarily for commercial construction, it would affect some housing as well. The exemptions are single-family houses, multifamily homes of three stories or less, and mobile and modular homes. The proposal was written by the American Institute of Architects and submitted to the International Code Council to be considered for codes being compiled for 2021. All 50 states adopt some version of ICC’s residential, commercial and other codes. The AIA’s Massachusetts Chapter in November also submitted the proposal to the Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards for consideration for inclusion in the 10th edition of the state’s building code. Massachusetts in 2009 became the first state to adopt a “stretch code,” an enhancement to its base building energy code that provides for more energy-efficient construction. To be designated as a Green Community, municipalities have to comply with the stretch code. While the stretch code initially resulted in a 10% jump in energy efficiency, that has decreased after two subsequent editions of the code, in part because the base energy code has gotten more efficient. “Now about 80% of the 351 cities and towns have become designated as Green Communities. A good majority are saying we need to take the next step, which is net zero,” Nunnari said. This would be another tool in their quest toward mandating a higher level of energy efficiency, he added. The hope, he said, is if ICC agrees to include the proposal in its 2021 documents, all 50 states would have the opportunity to adopt the net zero regulation or amend it to their liking. California, he noted, has already imposed a net zero energy requirement for new residential and commercial buildings by 2030. Similar regulations are being considered by several other states and regions, he said. The proposal has the backing of several hundred organizations. (Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette, 28 Dec., 2019)


    IPL Retiring Two Coal-Fired Units at 1,700-MW Plant (Ind Report)
    Indianapolis Power & Light
    Date: 2019-12-30
    In the Hoosier State, Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL)Co., a utility unit of Arlington, Virginia-based AES Corp, is reporting plans to scuttle two of the four coal-fired units at its 1,700-MW Petersburg Generating Station south of Indianapolis.

    The shutdown is part of the utility's 20-year strategy for power generation that all electric utilities are required to file every three years.

    The Petersburg station has been described as a "super polluter" of sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide particulate matter and sulfuric mist and has accumulated more than a dozen environmental violations in the past five years, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.

    In 2017, the Indianapolis City-County Council passed a resolution that called for a reduction in carbon emissions, increased energy efficiency and renewable energy use. City officials later created a plan for the city to be powered by 100 pct renewable energy by 2050. (Source: Indianapolis Power & Light, Journal Review, 28 Dec., 2019) , Contact: City of Indianapolis, City Council, (317) 327-4242, www.indy.gov; Indianapolis Light & Power, Vince Parisi, CEO, www.iplpower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Indianapolis Power & Light,  Carbon Emissions,  Coal,  


    Netherlands Court Upholds Major CO2 Emissions Cuts (Int'l. Report)
    Netherlands,Climate Change
    Date: 2019-12-23
    At the Hague, the highest court in the Netherlands, the Supreme Court, is reported to have upheld a ruling requiring the government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 pct of 1990 levels by the end of 2020 -- a target that surpasses European Union emissions reduction targets. By the end of 2018, the country's emissions were down only 15 pct for a 10 pct shortfall on 1990 levels.

    In June this year, the government announced plans to trim the country's GHG emissions by 49 pct by 2030 and phasing out coal-fired power generation starting in 2020. (Source: EU News, Various Media, BBC, 20 Dec., 2019)

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


    Madrid Climate Talks failed! What Now? asks Amnesty International (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    COP25,Amnesty International
    Date: 2019-12-20
    " 'What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? NOW!!!' If you have been to just one climate march in your life, you will have certainly heard this slogan. It has become omnipresent whenever people are expressing concerns over the climate crisis. Behind this simple chant, there are deep demands rooted in human rights principles. There is the call for fast climate action by government and corporations, to avoid even more catastrophic human rights impacts than what we are seeing now. There is the appeal to wealthier industrialized states which have contributed the most to the climate crisis to step up and pay up in order to redress some of the injustices accentuated by climate change. There is the reminder that climate action needs to have people's participation and human rights, including Indigenous peoples' rights, at its centre. At all costs it needs to avoid human rights violations and contribute to making society a more equal, just and inclusive place for all.

    "Yet human rights considerations still play a marginal role in climate negotiations. The outcomes of the Madrid climate talks (COP25) are just another proof of it. Following a year of school climate strikes and mass mobilization in many countries of the world, states were expected to act in line with the urgency proved by scientists and increasingly felt by people. Instead, most wealthier countries and other high emitting countries remained stuck in selfish and short-sighted considerations which prevented real progress.

    "While the final COP25 decision recognized the urgency of enhancing climate action, it failed to set a clear obligation for states to come up with ambitious national climate plans in 2020 capable of keeping the global average temperature rise below 1.5 degrees C. This shows a complete disregard for the human rights of people who will be most affected by spiking climate impacts. For millions of people around the world, the formulation and, above all, the implementation of strong climate plans simply means a difference between life and death.

    "Wealthy countries are responsible for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions and have for years profited from them, while people in poorest countries are suffering most of the damages inflicted by the climate crisis. In Madrid, they had the opportunity to recognize this historic imbalance and accept their duty to pay for the devastation already wreaked by climate impacts such as cyclones, droughts and sea-level rise. Instead, they opposed the mobilization of new and additional resources to support affected people. This in practice means turning their back to the almost 4 million people who have lost their homes, livelihoods or access to public services in the two cyclones in Mozambique earlier this year, or to residents of Pacific islands in urgent need of relocation due to sea-level rise.

    "Similarly, states were once again unable to reach an agreement on mechanisms allowing countries to trade emission reductions. Countries like Australia, Brazil and China continued to push for loopholes which would have ultimately resulted in weakening the effects of climate mitigation measures, in violation of the rights of those who stand most at risk from climate impacts.

    "Also, worryingly, there was insufficient willingness from states to include explicit reference to human rights safeguards in carbon trading rules. Such guarantees are necessary to ensure that negative human rights impacts can be assessed and addressed prior to adopting climate mitigation projects and that people directly impacted by carbon market projects have a say in shaping such measures. This is a very strong demand from Indigenous peoples, as they too often have paid the price of ill-conceived climate projects, such as hydroelectric dams or biogas initiatives initiated without their free, prior and informed consent and resulting in forced evictions, water contamination, or permanent damage to their cultural rights.

    "What came out of this last round of climate negotiations paints a grim picture. It was certainly a source of frustration at COP25, prompting civil society observers to take a massive direct action inside the negotiation venue on 11 December. This move was met with an unprecedented decision by UN security officers to expel more than 300 observers for the day.

    "In 2020 we need to step up our game. We need to forge strong coalitions at national level to demand ambitious and human rights-compliant climate action that achieves a just transition away from fossil fuels. We need to mobilize like never before. The world's most important struggle needs the world's most powerful, diverse and united people's mass movement ever assembled. As the year ends, we can all start 2020 by making our new or renewed commitment to climate justice our New Year's resolution." (Source: Amnesty International, 17 Dec., 2019) Contact: Amnesty International, www.amnesty.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP25,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  


    "Ending Coal Industry Will Not Lower Carbon Emissions", says Aussie Opposition Leader (Int'l. Report)
    Australia, Coal
    Date: 2019-12-11
    In the Land Down Under, Australian opposition labour party leader Anthony Albanese, has announced his support for the Australian coal industry and declared that "putting an end to the (coal) industry will not lower carbon emissions." The labour leader noted "We've got to consider what the actual outcome is from any proposal, and the proposal that we immediately stop exporting coal would damage our economy and would not have any environmental benefit."

    Australia is the world's second largest coal exporter shipping 208 million tonnes of thermal coal in 2018, acording to Australian government data. (Source: Xinhua, 9 Dec., 2019) Contact: Hon Anthony Albanese MP – Parliament of Australia, +61 2 9564 3588, www.aph.gov.au › A_Albanese_M

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  • Hydro-Quebec Decrbonization Effort Supports Clean Hydrogen (Ind Report)
    Hydro-Quebec
    Date: 2019-12-09
    Hydro-Quebec operates some 60 hydroelectric generating stations, making it one of the largest hydroelectricity producers in the world. Decarbonizing the economy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is one of the company's priorities.

    Hydro-Quebec's Strategic Plan 2020-2024 identifies various applications for clean hydrogen, including renewable natural gas (RNG), carbon-neutral synthetic hydrocarbon fuels, and others Overall, GHG emissions from Quebec hydropower (run-of-river generating stations and generating stations with reservoirs) are similar to those from wind, five times lower than those from photovoltaic solar, 50 times lower than those from natural gas-fired plants and 70 times lower than those from coal-fired plants. (Source: HydroQuebec, Green Car Congress, Dec., 2019) Contact: Hydro-Quebec, Marc-Antoine Pouliot, (514) 289-5005, www.hydroquebec.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Hydro-Quebec,  Hydrogen,  Clean Hydrogen,  RNG,  Wthanol,  


    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,  


    ACENY Promotes Case for Carbon Pricing at the NYISO Ind Report)
    Alliance for Clean Energy New York
    Date: 2019-12-09
    Reporting from Albany, the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACENY) has released The Case for Carbon Pricing at the NYISO, a new paper laying out the arguments for New York to integrate the cost of carbon pollution into the State's wholesale electricity market. ACENY is hoping the State will align the markets with New York's ambitious renewable energy goals.

    The Case for Carbon Pricing at the NYISO, puts forth clear arguments in favor of Carbon Pricing:

  • Carbon Pricing will set an example for the Nation of how carbon policy can align with markets;
  • It will complement NY's new climate law and make it more likely that NY's ambitious goals will be met;
  • Lower the costs that would otherwise be paid by state agencies in achieving the Empire State's goals, lower the costs the State needs to invest in transmission, and lower the overall costs of achieving the climate law's mandates; and
  • Be able to be implemented quickly and cost-effectively, with little to no consumer impact, if it has NYS support.

    ACENY is a broad coalition dedicated to promoting clean energy, energy efficiency, a healthy environment, and a strong economy for the Empire State, and is New York's premier advocate for the rapid adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. (Source: ACENY, Dec., 2019) Contact: ACENY, Anne Reynolds, Executive Director, 518.432.1405 x222 (o), 518.248.4556 (m), areynolds@aceny.org, www.aceny.org; NYISO, www.nyiso.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Alliance for Clean Energ,  NYISOy New York,  Carbon Price,  Carbon Tax,  


  • Univ. Wyoming Coal Plant Carbon Capture R&D Funded (Funding)
    University of Wyoming
    Date: 2019-12-06
    In the Cowboy State, the Casper Star-Tribune is reporting the US DOE will partner with and fund University of Wyoming researchers in Laramie with $5 million to study the economics and technology behind carbon capturing at two of the state's coal-fired power plants -- the Dave Johnston power plant in Glenrock and the Naughton power plant in Kemmerer.

    To advance the project, the University Energy Resources Council is seeking proposals for the construction of coal-based generation technology that can collect carbon emissions. Proposals until be accepted until 5 p.m. Feb. 14, 2020. (Source: University of Wyoming, Casper Star-Tribune, News Observer, AP, 4 Dec., 2019) Contact: University of Wyoming Energy Resources Council, Trish Steger, Executive Administrative Assistant, 307-766-6897, Fax: 307-766-6701, psteger@uwyo.edu, www.uwyo.edu/ser/about-us/energy-resources-council, www.uwyo.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News University of Wyoming ,  CO2,  Carbon Capture,  


    Cargill Expands, Confirms Climate Change Commitments (Ind. Report)
    Cargill
    Date: 2019-12-04
    Minneapolis-headquartered agriculture industry giant Cargill reports it has adopted a Scope 3 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in its global supply chains by 30 pct per ton of product by 2030.

    To that end, Cargill is focused on targeted supply chain interventions, programming and policy solutions benefiting farmers, customers and the broader food system including: accelerating sustainable progress in beef, advancing soil health, reducing carbon for sustainable shipping and Protecting forests in partnership with farmers . Cargill has also reinforced its intent to prioritize climate change concerns through pledging to the CEO Climate Statement, signing on to the We Are Still In coalition to continue supporting the Paris Climate Accord and convening at this week's UN Climate Change Conference COP25 in Madrid.

    The commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from its global supply chain by 30 pct per ton of product by 2030, in combination with the previously announced operational goal to reduce absolute emissions by 10 pct , has been approved by the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi), a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). (Source: Cargill, PR, 3 Dec., 2019) Contact: Cargill, David MacLennan, CEO, Frank van Lierde, Exec. VP, www.cargill.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP25,  Cargill,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


    Wa. Post Comments on China, COP25 (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    COP25
    Date: 2019-12-04
    "China is already the world's carbon-emitting leader, emitting nearly twice the levels of America in second place, and it is building up its lead. And in 2019, China's only significant climate change accomplishment was its slaughter of 100 million methane-producing pigs. But of course, that wasn't about climate change; it was about restraining a swine flu outbreak.

    "And things are set to get worse as China opens dozens of new coal-fired power plants. China's carbon output is heading even higher in 2020, even as America's is projected to decline. This speaks to something: Chinese President Xi Jinping is lying when he says he takes climate change seriously. His dirty coal plants and opposition to European carbon tariffs, evidence Xi's global economic and political ambitions come first.

    "The COP25 community doesn't seem to care. Instead, this week's summit has opened with a range of thinly veiled jabs at the United States. This, even though America is leading the world in reducing its carbon emissions.

    "Why the choice to attack America and ignore China? Because most nations prefer pomp to practicality on this issue. They know they can attack America but keep trading with America. But it's not so simple when it comes to China. These nations know that China views trade through the distinct prism of Xi's mercantilist worldview. And led by President Emmanuel Macron of France, the European Union is keen to keep Beijing happy in order to maintain Chinese investment and trade deals. The contrast here between European leaders' rhetoric and activists' demands is striking.

    "But it doesn't change the exigent truth. Until COP25 puts China front and center in its carbon reduction sights, these summits will continue to produce nothing but hot air." (Source: Washington Post, 3 Dec., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP25,  Climate Change,  


    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,  


    CO2 Emissions Down Slightly in the Land Down Under (Int'l. Report)
    Auistralia,Climate Change
    Date: 2019-12-02
    According to the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy, year to June, Australia emitted 532 million tons of CO2 and equivalent greenhouse gases (Mt CO2 -e), a .01 pct drop from the previous 12-month period.

    Agricultural emissions exerted the strongest downward pressure, falling 5.9 pct on the previous year to 67.4 Mt CO2-e, driven by decimated livestock numbers as a result of both drought and this year's floods in northern Queensland. Electric power generation contributed 179.9 Mt CO2 -e, down 1.2 pct for the year and 1.8 pect for the quarter, although it remained by far the biggest single source of greenhouse gas emissions.

    The Department credited increased use of renewable energy and decreases in coal and natural gas power generation for falling emissions levels. Transport sector emissions also fell by 0.5 pct while emissions in all other sectors increased. Fugitive emissions rose 4.4 pct as a result of escaped methane during the natural gas extraction process. Emissions from fossil fuels burned directly by industry increased 3.6 pct.

    Australia's Paris Climate Accord targeted of 26 to 28 pct below 2005 levels by 2030. Currently, Australia's emissions are 12.5 per cent below 2005 levels. (Source: Australian Department of the Environment and EnergyFinancial Review, 29 Nov., 2019) Contact: Australian Department of the Environment and Energy, 1800 057 590, www.environment.gov.au

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


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

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

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

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


    Climate Change Loss and Damage Costs Assigned (Int'l. Report)
    Climate
    Date: 2019-11-27
    A week ahead of a U.N. climate summit in Madrid, a coalition of more than 100 environmental groups is claiming that, based on their historic greenhouse gas emissions, the U.S. and E.U. should be held jointly responsible for 54 pct of funding owed to developing nations already dealing with extreme flooding, droughts and mega-storms rendered more frequent and intense by global warming. The "loss and damage" inflicted by climate change is predicted to hit $300 billion per year within a decade.

    The coalition found the U.S., the "largest polluter in history", should contribute at least 30.4 pct of loss and damage funding; the E.U. should pay 24 pct, while China, the largest current emitter, was obliged to fund 10.4 pct. The groups also noted the world's richest 10 pct cause 50 pct of emissions, while the world's poorest 50 pct cause 10 pct of emissions. (Source: Various Media, Globe Post, 25 Nov., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


    Bay State AG Pushes Back on Trump EPA's Planned Methane Regulations Rollback (Reg. & Leg.)
    Methae, EPA
    Date: 2019-11-25
    Reporting from Boston, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on Friday last joined a coalition of 20 state attorneys general in calling on the Trump administration EPA to "withdraw its illegal attempt to gut Obama era regulations that limit methane emissions and other harmful pollutants from new, reconstructed and modified sources in the oil and natural gas sector" -- the largest industrial source of environmentally damaging methane emissions.

    The coalition contends the EPA's unlawful proposal to rescind the Obama era methane regulation will threaten public health and the environment by increasing extremely harmful methane emissions, smog-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs), benzene, formaldehyde and others.

    The Obama era 2015 rule is projected to reduce 300,000 tons of methane, 150,000 tons of VOCs, and 1,900 tons of hazardous air pollutants in 2020 alone. The rule will protect the environment and save businesses money with a net benefit of $35 million in 2020 and $170 million in 2025. On the other hand, the EPA's estimates show their planned proposal will increase methane emissions and VOCs by hundreds of thousands of tons through 2025!

    Joining AG Healey are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia, as well as the City of Chicago, the City and County of Denver, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. (Source: Office of Mass. AG, STL News, 23 Nov., 2019) Contact: Office of Mass. AG, (617) 727-2200, www.mass.gov/orgs/office-of-attorney-general-maura-healey

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Methane Emissions,  EPA Methane Emissions Rollback,  

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