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$2Bn Hemp Bioethanol Plant Slated for BC (Ind. Report)
BC Hemp
Date: 2020-05-22
The Prince George, British Columbia-based BC Hemp Corporation has announced plans to construct a $2 billion hemp plant stover waste to-biofuel plant in the BCR industrial area. The plant is expected to produce between 60to 120 million lpy.

Few details were given . The announcement was made on a live Facebook video stream with the BC Resources Coalition. (Source: BC Hemp Corp,, Facebook, 22 May, 2020) Contact: BC Hemp , Remi Balaj, Pres., 250-596-1150, info@bchempcorporation.ca, www.bchempcorporation.ca

More Low-Carbon Energy News Hemp. Bioethanol,  Biofuel,  


Bio-bean Processing Coffee Ground Biofuel, Pellets (Int'l. Report)
Bio-bean
Date: 2020-05-19
In the UK, Cambridgeshire-based Bio-bean reports it is recycling roughly 7,000 tpy of used coffee grounds into solid pellet or log fuels for household and industrial use.

The coffee pellets burn about 20 pct hotter and 20 pct longer than wood logs, according to the company. Bio-bean's commercial biomass pellets are certified by the UK's Sustainable Fuel Register, while the coffee logs have "lower particulate emissions than most wood logs," the company notes.

Bio-bean has raised more than $7 million in funding since it's 2013 launch. was founded in 2013. (Source: Bio-bean, CNN, 15 May, 2020) Contact: Bio-bean, George May, CEO, +44 203 744 6500, +44 (0) 7979 495640, info@bio-bean.com, www.bio-bean.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Bio-bean,  Biofuel,  Biofuel Pellet,  


2020 Record Arctic Ozone Hole Closed, says WMO (Int'l. Report)
World Meteorological Organization
Date: 2020-05-04
In Geneva, Switzerland, the U.N. World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is reporting the 2020 record large "hole" caused by ozone-depleting substances in the Arctic atmosphere has closed. The springtime phenomenon previous record high was in 2011. (Source: World Meteorological Organization, CBC, Various Media, May, 2020) Contact: World Meteorological Organization, public.wmo.int/en

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


IMF Calls for Harmonized COVID-19, Climate Change Fight (Int'l.)
IMF
Date: 2020-05-01
Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) called for fiscal measures implemented by governments against the COVID-19 pandemic to be harmonized to combat climate change and ensure an environmentally sustainable recovery from the pandemic.

The IMF noted that if this recovery is to be sustainable the fight against the climate crisis must be part ov the effort. To that end, "when governments provide financial lifelines to carbon-intensive companies, they should mandate commitments to reduce carbon emissions" should be part of the agreement. Additionally, financial firms should be required to better disclose climate risks in their lending and investment portfolios, the IMF notes/

The IMF also noted better ways of pricing in climate risk should be found and a substantially higher carbon price is needed to encourage climate-smart investment and to accelerate the shift to cleaner fuels and more energy efficiency. IMF also notes the current global carbon price is only $2 per ton, way below the levels needed to keep global warming under 2 degrees Celsius, which the IMF estimated to be $75 per ton. (Source: IMF, The Nation, 30 April, 2020) Contact: IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, Dir., www.imf.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News IMF,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Tax,  


Enviva Biomass Touts 2020 Responsible Sourcing Policy (Ind. Report)
Enviva Biomass
Date: 2020-04-24
Bethesda, Maryland-based woody biomass pellet specialist Enviva is touting its 2020 Implementation Plans detailing the company's commitment to responsible and sustainable wood sourcing in accordance with strict environmental standards.

The 2020 Implementation Plans define the company's measurable goals in three sections -- sustainable forestry standards, verification and transparency, and conservation leadership across the U.S. Southeast, where the company owns and operates wood pellet production plants.

According to a release, in 2020, Enviva plans to publish its first Corporate Sustainability Report describing how the company works to deliver on its mission to displace coal, grow more trees and fight climate change, its current environmental impact and sustainability practices and its goals for continuous improvement in sustainability of its business in the long-term.

The company also plans to add 30,000 acres to the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) and/or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified land base. Enviva will also strengthen its existing partnership with The Longleaf Alliance to actively seek longleaf restoration through its wood sourcing on private and public lands in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Virginia and the Carolinas. The company will also assist in the conservation of 3,500+ acres of bottomland hardwood (BLHW) forests to meet the company's 10-year goal of conserving 35,000 acres of BLHW forests by 2030.

View Enviva's 2020 RSP Implementation Plans HERE. (Source: Enviva Biomass, PR, AP, 21 April, 2020) Contact: Enviva Holdings LP, Enviva Biomass, (301-657-5560), media@envivabiomass.com, www.envivabiomass.com

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


Ameresco Completing WHA Energy Efficiency Project (Ind Report)
Ameresco
Date: 2020-04-15
In the Bay State, Framingham-headquartered energy efficiency and renewable energy specialist Ameresco Inc., is reporting work is underway on the second stage of work totaling $13.5 million with the Worcester Housing Authority (WHA) through its existing energy performance contract. This second-phase project extends the term of Ameresco's work on behalf of WHA and builds on energy conservation measures the company implemented in 2008, bringing the total project value to $23.6 million affecting 15 of the WHA's federal developments.

Under the energy performance contract (EPC) this second phase includes interior and exterior lighting fixture upgrades, window replacement and improvements to three cogeneration units at other WHA developments. These improvements come at no upfront cost to WHA, which also receives incentives for efficiency improvements from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). (Source: Ameresco, Yahoo Finance, April, 2020) Contact: Ameresco, Bob Georgeoff, VP, (508) 661-2288, www.ameresco.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ameresco,  Energy Efficiency,  


FortisBC to Launch Third B.C. Landfill RNG Project (Ind. Report)
FortisBC
Date: 2020-04-15
In British Columbia, the utility FortisBC reports it will soon launch its third and largest landfill renewable natural gas (RNG) project in partnership with the city of Vancouver.

The utility will own and operate the system at the Delta landfill and pay the city of Vancouver for its gas, which will go back to the municipality to fuel its CNG trucks and for a central energy system serving residential and commercial customers in downtown Vancouver. FortisBC's two other biogas upgrading plants are in Salmon Arm, BC, and Kelowna, BC, which collectively generate 80,000 gigajoules per year. FortisBC is also awaiting British Columbia Utilities Commission approval for a landfill-to-gas project in Fraser-Fort George, BC.

British Columbia legislation requires capturing 75 pct of gas generated in landfills. (Source: FortisBC, Waste360, April, 2020) Contact: FortisBC, Scott Gramm, RNG Supply Manager, Douglas Stout, VP, Market Dev., www.fortisinc.com, www.fortisbc.com/RNG

More Low-Carbon Energy News Landfill Gas,  FortisBC,  Methane,  RNG,  


FortisBC, Fraser-Fort George Ink BC Landfill Gas Deal (Ind. Report)
FortisBC,Regional District of Fraser-Fort George
Date: 2020-03-25
In British Columbia, the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George board of directors is reporting approval of a planned expansion of the landfill gas collection system at the Foothills Boulevard Regional Landfill. "This project will increase the overall collection efficiency of the existing current landfill gas system and assist in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the landfill site," according to the release.

In 2019, the regional district inked a tentative agreement to sell landfill gas to FortisBC, which would be purified and injected into Fortis' natural gas network. Under that agreement, FortisBC would build and operate an approximately $8.5 million processing plant at the landfill and pay the regional district $75,000 to $145,000 per year for 75,000 to 125,000 gigagoules per year of gas when the plants is fully operational before the year end.

Diverting gas from the Foothills landfill into the FortisBC system would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3,500 to 5,700 tpy , according to the company. (Source: Regional District of Fraser-Fort George , Prince George Citizen, 23 Mar., 2020) Contact: FortisBC, Douglas Stout, VP, Market Dev. www.fortisinc.com, www.fortisbc.com/RNG; Regional District of Fraser-Fort George, (250) 960-4400, (250) 563-7520 - fax, district@rdffg.bc.ca, www.rdffg.bc.ca

More Low-Carbon Energy News Landfill Gas,  FortisBC,  Methane,  


NASA Space-based Quantification of per capita CO2 Emissions from Cities (Study Attached)
NASA
Date: 2020-03-09
"Urban areas are currently responsible for approximately 70 pct of the global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and rapid ongoing global urbanization is increasing the number and size of cities. Thus, understanding city-scale CO2 emissions and how they vary between cities with different urban densities is a critical task. While the relationship between CO2 emissions and population density has been explored widely in prior studies, their conclusions were sensitive to inconsistent definitions of urban boundaries and the reliance upon CO2 emission inventories that implicitly assumed population relationships.

The attached Space-based Quantification of per capita CO2 Emissions from Cities report provides the first independent estimates of direct per capita CO2 emissions (E pc) from space-borne atmospheric CO2 measurements from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) for a total 20 cities across multiple continents. The analysis accounts for the influence of meteorology on the satellite observations with an atmospheric model. The resultant upwind source region sampled by the satellite serves as an objective urban extent for aggregating emissions and population densities.

The study suggests that E pc declines as population densities increase, albeit the decrease in E pc is partially limited by the positive correlation between E pc and per capita gross domestic product.

Download the NASA Space-based Quantification of per capita CO2 Emissions from Cities study HERE. (Source: NASA, IOP, Environmental Research Letters, Open Access, Feb.,2020) Contact: NASA, www.nasa.gov/oco2; Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., 818-354-0307, janelee@jpl.nasa.gov, www.jpl.nasa.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News NASA,  Carbon Emissions,  


Nat. Solar Jobs Census Finds Solar Jobs in 2019 (Ind. Report)
The Solar Foundation
Date: 2020-02-26
According to the Washington-based not-for-profit Solar Foundation's just released 10th annual National Solar Jobs Census the U.S. solar industry employed nearly 250,000 workers in 2019, an increase of more than 5,600 jobs over 2018 and a resurgence in solar industry employment following two years of job losses in 2017 and 2018.

Since the first Solar Jobs Census was published, American solar jobs have increased 167 pct from just over 93,000 jobs in 2010 to 249,983 jobs in 2019. This job growth reflects the rapid expansion of the U.S. solar industry, driven by the plummeting cost of solar technologies and its increased popularity among individuals, businesses, and electric utilities.

In the five-year period between 2014 and 2019, solar employment increased 44 pct -- five times faster than job growth in the overall U.S. economy. Solar jobs also increased in 31 states in 2019, led by Florida, followed by Georgia, Utah, New York, Texas, Illinois, and Virginia.

Most of the solar job gains in 2019 were in installation and project development, which added about 7,000 jobs in 2019. Overall, this industry sector employs 162,126 solar workers, about 16,000 of these workers focus on battery storage. The solar manufacturing sector grew by just under 700 jobs to a total of 34,423. (Source: The Solar Foundation, KY3, 23 Feb., 2020) Contact: The Solar Foundation, Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director, www.thesolarfoundatioon.org; Solar Job Census, www.SolarJobsCensus.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  The Solar Foundation,  


Forest-Woody Biomass Carbon Benefits Stressed (Ind. Report)
US Industrial Pellet Association
Date: 2020-02-26
As previously reported, the Richmond, Virginia-based not-for-profit US Industrial Pellet Association (USIPA) is lauding the National Association of University Forest Resource Programs (NAUFRP) for its letter signed by more than 100 scientists and researchers calling on policymakers to consider key fundamentals related to forest-woody biomass and the benefits of wood energy.

The letter, which noted that the "carbon benefits of sustainable forest biomass are well established", cites a report from UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) which notes -- "In the long term, a sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit. Demand for wood helps keep land in forest and incentivizes investments in new and more productive forests, all of which have significant carbon benefits."

Reviewing more than 30 years of scientific research on forest biomass utilization, scientists from Yale, Harvard, and Georgia to Washington, Idaho, Berkeley and others identified four fundamentals for science-based decision-making on biomass energy production:

  • The carbon benefits of sustainable forest biomass energy are well established.

  • Measuring the carbon benefits of forest biomass energy must consider cumulative carbon emissions over the long term.

  • An accurate comparison of forest biomass energy carbon impacts with those of other energy sources requires the use of consistent time-frames in the comparison.

  • Economic factors influence the carbon impacts of forest biomass energy. (Source: The US Industrial Pellet Association, 25 Oct., 2019) Contact: The US Industrial Pellet Association, Deth Ginter, Exec. Dir., J. Marcus, (804) 775.5894, JMarcus@theusipa.org, www.theusipa.org; National Association of University Forest Resource Programs, www.naufrp.org

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


  • Enlight Acquiring Rights to Georgian Wind Project (M&A, Int'l.)
    Enlight Renewable Energy
    Date: 2020-01-31
    Tel Aviv-based Enlight Renewable Energy Ltd. is reporting it will acquire the rights to a 100-MW wind power project under development in the eastern European country of Georgia at a cost of €122.5 million ($135 million).

    Enlight Renewable Energy stands at the forefront of the green energy revolution. A leader in its field, the company is publically traded on TASE (Tel Aviv Stock Exchange). Since its foundation in 2008, Enlight has endeavored to create value through its energy and infrastructure initiatives. The company specializes in the initiation, development, financing, construction, management, and operation of projects involving the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources, according to the company website. (Source: Enlight Renewable Energy, Renewable, 30 Jan., 2020) Contact: Enlight Renewable Energy, Gilad Yavetz, CEO, +972 3 9008700, www.enlightenergy.co.il

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enlight Renewable Energy,  


    HollyFrontier Opts for Haldor Topsoe Ren. Fuel Tech. (Ind Report)
    Haldor Topsoe,HollyFrontier
    Date: 2020-01-31
    Following up on our December 11, 2019 coverage, Dallas-based independent petroleum refiner and marketer HollyFrontier Corporation is reporting the selection of Haldor Topsoe's HydroFlexTM technology to produce renewable diesel at its 125-million gpy Artesia, New Mexico refinery (Navajo Refinery). The company expects renewable diesel production to generate 600,000 LCFS credits in its first year.

    Under the agreement with Artesia Renewable Diesel Company LLC, a subsidiary of HollyFronteir, Topsoe will licence and supply basic engineering, proprietary equipment, catalysts, and technical services. The project is based on HydroFlex technology, which produces renewable fuels such as gasoline, diesel and sustainable aviation fuel, from all renewable feedstocks, according to the release. (Source: Haldor Topsoe, Energy Global, 29 Jan., 2020) Contact: Haldor Topsoe, Henrik Rasmussen, VP, www.topsoe.com; HollyFrontier Corp., George John Demiris, CEO, Craig Biery, Inv. Relations, 214-954-6510, www.hollyfrontier.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Haldor Topsoe,  HollyFrontier,  Renewable Fuel,  


    Kansas Gov. to Establish Independent Energy Council (Ind. Report)
    Kansas Legislature
    Date: 2020-01-29
    Gov. Laura Kelly (D) outlined intentions Tuesday to submit an executive reorganization order to the Kansas Legislature creating an independent "data-driven" state energy office to work on policy development and planning outside jurisdiction of the Kansas Corporation Commission. If passed by the legislature, the Council will come into force no later than July, 2020.

    The new energy office would work on formation of an energy marketplace that affordably and efficiently meets needs of business and residential consumers, strive to take advantage of two decades of success in wind power production and emphasize potential of energy efficiency programs. (Source: Office of Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, Hutchinson News, 28 Jan., 2020) Contact: Office of Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, www.governor.kansas.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Heritage Wind Plans 33-Turbine Barre NY Wind Farm (Ind. Report)
    Apex Clean Energy,Heritage Wind
    Date: 2020-01-22
    In the Empire State, Charlottesville, Virginia-based Apex Clean Energy's Heritage Wind unit is proposing a wind farm consisting of up to 33 wind turbines generating up to 184.8 megawatts of electricity in Barre.

    The project would include wind turbines, access roads, electrical collection lines, substations, permanent meteorological towers, an operations and maintenance building, and construction staging areas. As part of the project's Article 10 process, a Preliminary Scoping Statement was filed on March 16, 2018 with the state siting board. (Source: Heritage Wind, Batavia News, 21 Jan., 2020) Contact: Apex Clean Energy, 434-220-7595, www.apexcleanenergy.com; Heritage Wind, (231)935-3659, www.heritagewindenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Apex Clean Energy,  Wind,  Heritage Wind,  


    Stillwater Considers Energy Saving, Efficiency Upgrades (Ind Report)
    Ameresco
    Date: 2020-01-20
    In Minnesota, the Stillwater City Council reports it is considering an energy assessment and proposal from Framingham, Mass.-based renewable energy and energy efficiency specialist Ameresco. The Ameresco assessment projects that $700,000 -- $1,000,000 in energy efficiency upgrades to nine city owned facilities could significantly cut energy consumption as well as reduce energy and future maintenance costs. The savings would cover the cost of the infrastructure upgrades or the difference would be covered by Ameresco.

    Ameresco's proposed upgrades include: replacing fluorescent lighting with LEDs; occupancy controled lighting; installing mechanical insulation to pumps and piping; and building envelope improvements. (Source: City of Stillwater, 17 Jan., 2020) Contact: City of Stillwater, Mick Greiner,Facilities Manager, 651-430-8800, www.ci.stillwater.mn.us; Ameresco, Bob Georgeoff, VP, (508) 661-2288, www.ameresco.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ameresco,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Survey Finds American Climate Change Concerns Rising (Ind. Report)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2020-01-20
    A recently released survey conducted by the Yale University Program on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University's Center for Climate Change Communication has found 6 in 10 Americans are either "alarmed" or "concerned" by global warming -- tripling over the past five years to an all-time high. last five years and is now at an all-time high and a major shift in public perception of the issue. The two rganization have tracked American view on climate change-global warming since 2008.

    As recently as 2014, the percentage of Americans categorized as "dismissive" of global warming was roughly the same as those who were "alarmed" -- around 11 to 12 pct. But in the years since, the ranks of those who believe global warming is not happening or caused by humans has fallen to just 10 pct. Over the same time, people who are most worried about global warming and support measures to reduce heat-trapping carbon pollution grew to 31 pct of those surveyed and mow outnumber the dismissive crowd by more than 3-to-1.

    (Source: Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, CNN, Mercury News, 17 Jan., 2020) Contact: Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, Anthony Leiserowitz, Dir., www.climatecommunication.yale.edu; George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, www.climatechangecommunication.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Global Warming,  


    Ameresco, New Bedford Housing Authority Ink $12Mn EPC (Ind Report)
    Ameresco,New Bedford Housing Authority
    Date: 2020-01-13
    In the Bay State, Framingham-headquartered energy efficiency and renewable energy specialist Ameresco and the New Bedford Housing Authority are reporting a $12.7 million Energy Performance Contract (EPC) that is expected to save the Housing Authority $19.6 million in energy and water cost savings over its sixteen-year term.

    The project, which involves 15 public housing developments encompassing close to 1,500 households, includes water conservation, exterior and common-area lighting upgrades, boiler replacements, and roof-top mounted solar installations in conjunction with significant incentives available from the Commonwealth's Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program.

    With more than 30 years of experience, Ameresco has implemented improvements for over 130,000 households under performance-based energy and water services contracts, according to the company. (Source: Ameresco, New Bedford Housing Authority, Framingham Source, 12 Jan., 2020) Contact: New Bedford Housing Authority, 508-997-4829; Ameresco, Bob Georgeoff, VP, (508) 661-2288, www.ameresco.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ameresco,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Rail Tie Wyoming Wind Seeks WAPA Interconnection (Ind Report)
    ConnectGen Albany County ,WAPA
    Date: 2020-01-13
    The Lakewood, Colorado-based Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) reports its considering ConnectGen Albany County LLC's proposed 151-turbine, 504-MWW Rail Tie Wind Project in the town of Tie Siding, Wyoming.

    WAPA is evaluating ConnectGen's interconnection request to connect the Rail Tie Wind Project to WAPA's existing Ault-Craig 345-kilovolt line in Albany County, Wyoming.

    Because this project involves an action by the federal government, WAPA will prepare an environmental impact statement for the interconnection request and proposed wind project in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

    In addition to the turbines, the proposed project would include access roads, collection lines, substations, control buildings, meteorological towers and other related infrastructure. If WAPA decides to approve the interconnection request after the environmental process is complete, WAPA would construct, own, operate and maintain a connection with the existing transmission line and a switch yard to control power flow onto the existing line. (Source: WAPA, PR, North Forty News, 11 Jan., 2020) Contact: WAPA, 720-962-7000, RailTieWind@wapa.gov, www.wapa.gov; ConnectGEN LLC, (346) 998-2020, www.connectgenllc.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  WAPA,  ConnectGen ,  


    Enel Announces US Wind, Solar Project Startups (Ind Report)
    Enel Green Power North America
    Date: 2020-01-06
    Enel Green Power (EGP) reports it has begun operations at two renewable energy plants in the United States. The projects include the first 252 MW phase of the 497-MW Roadrunner solar project in Upton County, Texas, and the 66 MW Whitney Hill wind power project developed by Swift Current Energy in Logan County, Illinois.

    This announcement follows the recent start of operations of 450 MW of EGP's High Lonesome wind farm in Texas bringing the company's total new renewable capacity added in the US in 2019 to nearly 800 MW with another 1 GW currently under construction across six renewable energy projects. (Source: Enel Green Power North America, PR, reve,3 Jan., 2019) Contact: Enel Green Power North America, Georgios Papadimitriou, Connor Branch, Bus. Dev., (978) 681-1900, www.enelgreenpower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enel Green Power North America,  Wind,  


    Disappointed COP25 Participant Quotes (Opinions and Asides)
    COP25
    Date: 2019-12-16
    "Never have I seen such a disconnect between what the science requires and what the climate negotiations are delivering in terms of meaningful action. Most of the world's biggest emitting countries are missing in action and resisting calls to raise their ambition." -- Alden Meyer, Union of Concerned Scientists, Director of Strategy and Policy

    "The US has not come here in good faith. They continue to block the world's efforts to help people whose lives have been turned upside down by climate change."

    "Developing countries came to this climate conference with the expectation that the people who have lost their crops to drought, or who have lost their homes to cyclones, will finally get help from the UN system. Instead, they have faced bullying, arm-twisting and blackmail. Rich countries most responsible for the crisis have refused to provide a single penny of new money to support communities to recover from the devastation caused by increasingly frequent and severe climate disasters." -- Harjeet Singh, ActionAid Climate Lead

    "Major players who needed to deliver in Madrid did not live up to expectations. But thanks to a progressive alliance of small island states, European, African and Latin American countries, we obtained the best possible outcome, against the will of big polluters." -- Laurence Tubiana, European Climate Foundation, CEO, France's Top Climate Negotiator and Architect of the Paris Agreement.

    "The only thing more disastrous than the state of UN climate negotiations at COP 25 is the state of the global climate. This is nothing less than a breakdown in the Paris Agreement. This is not climate leadership, this is a betrayal of humanity and future generations," -- Eric Holthaus, Meteorologist

    "What's happening today at COP 25 is a clear and present threat to civilization itself. The Trump administration and its fossil fuel allies around the world have sabotaged the Paris Agreement -- the only global treaty we have to fight climate change. This is a betrayal of humanity.

    "For so many people gripped by devastating floods, fires, and storms, time is up. And instead of helping them, rich countries hold on to your dollars and hold up loss and damage. Public mobilizations are swamping the streets. The status quo you are working so stubbornly to protect is not working for people or the planet." -- Catherine Abreu, Climate Action Network Canada

    (Source: COP25 Wrap-Up, Various Media, 15 Dec. 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP25,  Climate Change,  


    HollyFrontier Plans 125Mn GPY Renewable Diesel Plant (Ind Report)
    HollyFrontier
    Date: 2019-12-11
    In the Lone Star State, Dallas-based independent petroleum refiner and marketer HollyFrontier Corporation reports it will construct a new 125-million gpy renewable diesel (RD) from soybean oil and other feedstocks unit at its Artesia, New Mexico refinery (Navajo Refinery). The company expects renewable diesel production to generate 600,000 LCFS credits in its first year.

    The RDU project, corresponding rail infrastructure and storage tanks, is estimated to come in at $350 million upon completion in Q1, 2022.

    HollyFrontier owns and operates refineries in Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah and markets its refined products principally in the Southwest US, the Rocky Mountains extending into the Pacific Northwest and in other neighboring Plains states. (Source: HollyFrontier, PR, 9 Dec., 2019) Contact: HollyFrontier Corp., George John Demiris, CEO, Craig Biery, Inv. Relations, 214-954-6510, www.hollyfrontier.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News HollyFrontier,  Renewable Diesel ,  


    Ag Groups Petition for Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension (Reg & Leg)
    Biodiesel
    Date: 2019-12-11
    The Fence Post is reporting eleven farm-oriented trade associations on Friday pleaded with Congress to extend the biodiesel tax credit.

    "There is broad bipartisan support for the biodiesel tax credit, and we believe that Congress can, and must, pass an immediate extension before returning home at the end of the year.

    "The future of the credit has been unclear for nearly two years. Since the start of the year, producers have cut back production, investments in new technologies and facility upgrades, and purchases of raw materials.

    "Now, at least 10 biodiesel plants have closed or stopped production, furloughing several hundred workers; the states impacted include Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Texas. The economic fallout impacts more than 7,500 total jobs across the U.S. economy. Without an immediate extension of the tax credit, we anticipate widespread plant closures, more production cutbacks, and significant job losses," the groups said in their appeal. (Source: The Fence Post, 9 Dec., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel,  NBB,  Biodiesel Tax Credit ,  


    Atmospheric GHG Concentrations Hit Another High (Ind. Report)
    Global Atmosphere Watch
    Date: 2019-12-02
    The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Greenhouse Gas Bulletin is reporting globally averaged concentrations of CO2 reached 407.8 parts per million (PPM) in 2018, up from 405.5 ppm in 2017. Methane and nitrous oxide also surged by higher amounts than during the past decade.

    The increase in CO2 from 2017 to 2018 was close to that observed from 2016 to 2017 and just above the average over the last decade. Global levels of CO2 crossed the symbolic and significant 400 ppm benchmark in 2015.

    Additionally, since 1990, there has been a 43 pct increase in total radiative forcing -- the warming effect on the climate -- by long-lived greenhouse gases. CO2 accounts for about 80 pct of this, according to figures from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Annual Greenhouse Gas Index. (Source: WMO, Nov., 2019) Contact: WMO, Clare Nullis, Media,, +41 79 709 13 97, cnullis@wmo.int, www.wmo.int; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, www.noaa.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ,  Global Atmosphere Watch,  


    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 ,  


    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,  ,  


    Notable Climate Change Quote from the WMO
    World Meteorological Organization
    Date: 2019-11-27
    "Climate change causes and impacts are increasing rather than slowing down. Sea level rise has accelerated and we are concerned that an abrupt decline in the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets will exacerbate future rise. As we have seen this year with tragic effect in the Bahamas and Mozambique, sea level rise and intense tropical storms led to humanitarian and economic catastrophes." -- Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Co-chair of the United Nations Climate Action Summit. Contact: World Meteorological Organization, www.public.wmo.int/en

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


    EU4Energy Assisting in Bldg. Energy Performance Cert. (Int'l)
    EU4Energy
    Date: 2019-11-20
    Reporting from Tbilisi, the EU Energy Community secretariat has announced consultations with Georgian stakeholders aimed at developing the skills and competencies needed to use a tool that calculates the energy performance of buildings.

    The tool, which was developed within EU4Energy Governance project, takes into account different climatic zones, automates the calculation of insulating efficiency values for windows and walls and considers the use of renewables when issuing certificates of energy performance. These certificates include the reason they were issued, the building category, primary energy (measured energy consumption for heating in recent years), the share of energy from renewables, the energy efficiency class (A to G) and proposed measures for improving energy performance.

    Previously this year, the EU4Energy Governance project developed national regulations on certifying the energy performance of buildings and a template of the energy performance certificate for Georgia. The assistance is part of EU4Energy support for the country in fulfilling its commitments under the Energy Community Treaty, following the draft Law on the Energy Performance of Buildings of Georgia developed with EU4Energy support in early 2018, the adoption of which is pending. (Source: EU4Energy, euneighbours.eu, 19 Nov., 2019) Contact: EU4Energy, www.eu4energy.iea.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EU4Energy,  


    HollyFrontier Planning 125Mn GPY Renewable Diesel Unit (Ind. Report)
    HollyFrontier
    Date: 2019-11-18
    In the Lone Star State, Dallas-based independent petroleum refiner and marketer HollyFrontier Corporation is reporting a planned 125 million gpy renewable diesel unit (RDU) to process soybean oil and other renewable feedstocks into renewable diesel. This investment will provide HollyFrontier the opportunity to meet the demand for low-carbon fuels while covering the cost of our annual RIN purchase obligation under current market conditions.

    The RDU, along with corresponding rail infrastructure and storage tanks, is estimated to have a total capital cost of $350 million, and is expected to be completed in Q1 of 2022. The RDU will be funded with cash on hand and is expected to generate an internal rate of return between 20 pct and 30 pct.

    HollyFrontier owns and operates refineries located in Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah and markets its refined products principally in the Southwest U.S., the Rocky Mountains extending into the Pacific Northwest and in other neighboring Plains states. (Source: HollyFrontier, PR, 18 Nov., 2019) Contact: HollyFrontier Corp., George John Demiris, CEO, Craig Biery, Inv. Relations, 214-954-6510, www.hollyfrontier.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News HollyFrontier,  Renewable Diesel ,  


    NRDC Fighting DoE Lightbulb Standards Rollback (Reg. & Leg.)
    NRDC,Earthjustice
    Date: 2019-11-06
    The NYC-headquartered Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Earthjustice, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and others have filed suit against the US DoE for its rollback of established light bulb efficiency standards in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. According to the NRDC, the "DOE's latest rollback follows a pattern of repeatedly delaying, stalling, and weakening energy efficiency requirements."

    In 2007, Republican President George W. Bush signed bipartisan legislation to phase out inefficient incandescent and halogen light bulbs by 1 January 2020. The first tier of standards (phased in between 2012 and 2014) required light bulbs to use 25 to 30 pct less energy than old-style incandescent bulbs. The second tier was due to become effective in 2020, requiring everyday "general service" light bulbs to use about 65 pct less energy.

    The lawsuits contend the Trump administration's DoE acted illegally in reversing its 2-year-old rules expanding the types of bulbs required to become more energy efficient as of 1 January 2020, under a law passed by Congress in 2007.

    DOE announced this year that it was reversing that decision even though almost 64,000 comments were registered against the rollback, including 37 major electric utilities serving 55 million customers in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Five lighting companies, and their trade association support the DoE's rollback. (Source: NRDC, Smart Energy, Nov., 2019) Contact: NRDC, Kit Kennedy, Snr. Dir. Climate and Clean Energy Programme, 212.727.2700, nrdcinfo@nrdc.org, www.nrdc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NRDC,  Earthjusice,  Light Bulb Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency,  


    B.C.Introduces Climate Change Accountability Act (Reg & Leg)
    British Columbia, Climate Change
    Date: 2019-11-01
    On Wednesday in Victoria, the British Columbia NDP Environment Minister George Heyman is reporting recently introduced legislation could, if passed, require annual reports on how much the province is spending to fight climate change, and whether that money is reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    The new Climate Change Accountability Act would also lead to interim greenhouse gas emission targets and sector-specific targets with a goal of keeping B.C. on track to meet its 2030 CleanBC greenhouse gas reduction commitments. The legislation would also establish an independent advisory panel to the minister.

    The NDP government's CleanBC climate change plan targets a 40 pct reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2007 levels by 2030, increasing to60 pct by 2040 and 80 pct by 2050. (Source: Office of B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman, The Province, Post Media, 30 Oct., 2019) Contact: B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman, (604) 775- 2453, george.heyman.mla@leg.bc.ca, www.georgeheymanmla.ca

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


    $150Mn IFC Fund Supports Ukraine Energy Efficiency (Int'l Report)
    International Finance Corporation
    Date: 2019-11-01
    The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank, reports it is providing up to $150 million (€134,36 million) to assist sustainable energy investments in Ukraine. The IFC financing initiative follows the launch of a new Ukraine wholesale energy market in July 2019 -- a necessary move to qualify for EU Commission assistance. The energy market launch led to higher electric power costs for Ukraine's large and reportedly inefficient and outdated industrial sector. (Source: IFC, Smart Energy, 31 Oct., 2019)Contact: World Bank International Finance Corporation, Georgina Baker, VP Europe, www.ifc.org

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


    Forest-Woody Biomass Carbon Benefits Stressed (Ind. Report)
    US Industrial Pellet Association
    Date: 2019-10-28
    The Richmond, Virginia-based not-for-profit US Industrial Pellet Association (USIPA) is lauding the National Association of University Forest Resource Programs (NAUFRP) for its letter signed by more than 100 scientists and researchers calling on policymakers to consider key fundamentals related to forest-woody biomass and the benefits of wood energy.

    The letter, which noted that the "carbon benefits of sustainable forest biomass are well established", cites a report from UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) which notes: "In the long term, a sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit. Demand for wood helps keep land in forest and incentivizes investments in new and more productive forests, all of which have significant carbon benefits."

    Reviewing more than 30 years of scientific research on forest biomass utilization, scientists from Yale, Harvard, and Georgia to Washington, Idaho, Berkeley and others identified four fundamentals for science-based decision-making on biomass energy production:

  • The carbon benefits of sustainable forest biomass energy are well established.

  • Measuring the carbon benefits of forest biomass energy must consider cumulative carbon emissions over the long term.

  • An accurate comparison of forest biomass energy carbon impacts with those of other energy sources requires the use of consistent time-frames in the comparison.

  • Economic factors influence the carbon impacts of forest biomass energy. (Source: The US Industrial Pellet Association, 25 Oct., 2019) Contact: The US Industrial Pellet Association, Deth Ginter, Exec. Dir., J. Marcus, (804) 775.5894, JMarcus@theusipa.org, www.theusipa.org; National Association of University Forest Resource Programs, www.naufrp.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News IPCC,  US Industrial Pellet Association ,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  


  • Gulfstream Flies First SAF-Blend Flights (Ind. Report)
    Gukfstream
    Date: 2019-10-21
    Savannah, Georgia-headquartered Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. reports the Gulfstream G650ER, Gulfstream G600, Gulfstream G500, Gulfstream G550 and Gulfstream G280 made the company's first carbon-neutral flights, traveling from Savannah, Ga., to Las Vegas using a combination of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

    The flights used a 30/70 blend of low-carbon, drop-in SAF and traditional, petroleum-based Jet A fuel. The emissions associated with using 70 pct Jet A were more than offset by the company's purchase, for a per-flight-hour fee, of verified emission reduction (VERs) credits through a third-party offset provider. The offsets represented more than 200 percent of the carbon emitted during the trip. (Source: Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., PR, 21 Oct., 2019) Contact: Gulfstream Aerospace, www.culfstream.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News SAF,  Aviation Biofuel,  


    Velocys, Oxy Agree On Woody Biomass-to-Fuels CCS (Ind. Report)
    Velocys,Bayou Fuels
    Date: 2019-10-11
    UK-headquartered landfill gas-to-liquid fuels and chemicals producer Velocys Plc and its subsidiary Velocys, Inc. is reporting an agreement with Occidental Petroleum subsidiary Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, LLC (Oxy) under which Oxy will capture and store CO2 from Velocys' planned Bayou Fuels waste woody biomass-to-fuels project in Natchez, Mississippi.

    According to OXY, it is uniquely positioned to transport and store the CO2 by leveraging Occidental's industry leadership in CO2 storage and utilization for enhanced oil recobery (EOR). (Source: Velocys, gasworld, 19 Oct., 2019)Contact: Velocys Plc, David Pummell, CEO, +44 1235 841 700, (713) 275-5840 -- Houston Office, info@velocys.com, www.velocys.com; Oxy Low Carbon Ventures LLC, www.oxy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Velocys,  Biofuel,  Biorefinery,  Waste-to-Fuel,  Bayou Fuels,  


    Texas Tech Prof. Funded to Improve Chemical Plant Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report, Funding)
    Texas Tech University
    Date: 2019-10-07
    Texas Tech University chemical engineering professor Chau-Chyun Chen, the Jack Maddox Distinguished Engineering Chair in Sustainable Energy, is investigating chemical plant design and construction in an effort to make them smaller and more energy efficient.

    In support of that effort, Prof. Chau-Chyun Chen has been awarded a four-year $1.1 million grant from the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Manufacturing Institute, a public-private partnership between the US DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

    Chen and his team will work to advance the process simulation software used when designing these chemical plants that physically require less space use less energy.

    Project partners include: Savannah River National Laboratory,Georgia Institute of Technology, Dow Chemical Company and others. (Source: Texas Tech University, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 30 Sept., 2019) Contact: Texas Tech University, Prof. ChauChyun-Chen, (806) 834-3098, chauchyun.chen@ttu.edu, www.depts.ttu.edu/che/groups/chengroup

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Ameresco Begins Phase Two MUSC Efficiency Upgrades (Ind. Report)
    Ameresco
    Date: 2019-09-30
    In the Bay State, Framingham-headquartered energy efficiency and renewable energy specialist Ameresco, Inc. is reporting work is underway on the second phase of a $43 million, comprehensive energy savings performance contract (ESPC) energy savings project at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).

    Ameresco's work will include replacement of campus lighting fixtures with high-efficiency LEDs, installation of building automation and control systems, upgrading HVAC systems and chiller plant optimization, an equipment operation and maintenance training program for MUSC employees, and others. (Source: Ameresco, Bus.Wire, 30 Sept., 2019) Contact: Ameresco, Bob Georgeoff, VP, (508) 661-2288, www.ameresco.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ameresco,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Soros Major Climate Strike Funder (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    George Soros
    Date: 2019-09-30
    According to Breitbart, last week's Global Climate Strike was partially funded by Hungarian-American investor and philanthropist billionaire investor George Soros.

    Environmental groups active in the climate change issue reportedly received close to $25 million from George Soros between 2000-2017 through his Open Society Network, according to Breitart's 28 Sept. coverage. (Source: Breitbart, 28 Sept., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


    Biodiesel Fueling Specialist Wins $1Mn 76West Prize (Ind Report)
    Optimus Technologies,NYSERDA
    Date: 2019-09-27
    The office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) reports Pittsburgh--based truck biodiesel fueling systems manufacturer Optimus Technologies is the $1,000,000 first prize winner in the 76West Clean Energy Competition. The 76West competition supports growing clean energy businesses to foster economic development, according to the release.

    A total of $2.5 million was competitively awarded to six companies. A $500,000 winner and four $250,000 winners were also named as part of the competition, which is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

    Other winners included: Radical Plastics of Marblehead, Massachusetts; Buffalo NY-based CleanFiber; Cambridge Crops of Somerville, Massachusetts; Carbon Upcycling Technologies of Calgary, Alberta; and ProsumerGrid of Atlanta, Georgia. (Source: Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Business Journal News Network, 25 Sept., 2019) Contact: 76West, www.nyserda.ny.gov/All Programs/Programs/76west; Optimus Technologies, Colin Huwyler, CEO, Ian Winner, (412) 727-8228x6, ian.winner@optimustec.com, www.optimustec.com; Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), www.governor.ny.gov, www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form; NYSERDA, www.nyserda.ny.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Andrew Cuomo,  Optimus Technologies,  Biodiesel,  


    Notable Climate Change Quotes
    Climate Change, World Meteorological Organization
    Date: 2019-09-25
    "Climate change causes and impacts are increasing rather than slowing down. Sea level rise has accelerated and we are concerned that an abrupt decline in the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets will exacerbate future rise. As we have seen this year with tragic effect in the Bahamas and Mozambique, sea level rise and intense tropical storms led to humanitarian and economic catastrophes." -- Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Co-chair of the United Nations Climate Action Summit. Contact: World Meteorological Organization, www.public.wmo.int/en

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


    Locus Bio-Energy Opens TX. Innovation Center, HQ (Ind. Report)
    Locus Bio-Energy Solutions
    Date: 2019-09-23
    In the Lone Star State, oil technology specialist Locus Bio-Energy Solutions is reporting the opening of its 7,117-square-foot oil innovation center and headquarters building in The Woodlands.

    The company also has operations in Midland, Texas and Worthington, Ohio. Work at the innovation center will focus on the company's AssurEOR bio-surfactant treatment program. (Source: Locus Bio-Energy Solutions, 22 Sept., 2019) Contact: Locus Bio-Energy Solutions, Jonathan Rogers, CEO, (855) 503-0080, www.locusbioenergy.com


    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,  


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Efficiency Projects Cut School's Energy Use 43 pct (Ind. Report)
    Ameresco
    Date: 2019-09-09
    In Montana, Kalispell Public Schools is reporting completion of approximately $4 million in energy efficiency and energy saving projects. The upgrades included switched out approximately 29,000 fluorescent and halogen bulbs to energy-efficient LEDs for a 43 pct reduction in energy usage across the school district. Other projects included water efficiency retrofits, HVAC improvements; boiler and domestic hot water heater replacements, and others. The upgrades delivered a nealy 15 pct reduction in natural gas usage, an 18 pct drop in electrical demand and a 13 pct water usage, excluding irrigation, by 21 pct.

    Projects were completed under Energy Performance Contracts (EPC) and funded through zero-interest U.S. Department of Education Qualified Zone Academy Bonds, grants, rebates and some district funds. The projects were completed by energy efficiency and renewable specialist Ameresco. (Source: Daily Inter Lake, 7 Sept., 2019) Contact: Ameresco, Bob Georgeoff, VP, (508) 661-2288, www.ameresco.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Ameresco,  


    Duke, SolAmerica Commission Nine Georgia Solar Plants (Ind. Report)
    Duke Energy,SolAmerica
    Date: 2019-08-28
    Duke Energy Renewables is reporting commissioning of 9 Georgia solar power plants totaling 14.1 MW under a partnership with Atlanta-based SolAmerica Energy. The nine projects, which range from 960 kW and 2.3 MW, were developed under an engineering, production and procurement (EPC) agreement between REC Solar, a unit of Duke Energy Renewables, and SolAmerica. The complex's 54,590 photovoltaic (PV) panels will generate electricity and renewable attributes that will be sold under a 35-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Georgia Power, as part of the latter's Renewable Energy Development Initiative. (Source: Duke Energy, Renewables, 26 Aug., 2019) Contact: Solamerica Energy, 404-351-8175, www.solamericaenergy.com; Duke Energy Renewables, Rob Caldwell, Pres, (704) 594-6200, rob.caldwell@duke-energy.com, www.duke-energy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Duke Energy Renewables,  Solar,  


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NBB,  Biodiesel,  


    Neste Introduces IMO 2020 Compliant Maritime Fuel (Int'l Report)
    Neste
    Date: 2019-08-16
    Helsinki-headquartered Neste, the world's largest producer of renewable diesel fuel reports it will introduce Neste Marine 0.5 , a new fuel before the year end.

    The new fuel will help maritime shippers comply with the International Maritime Organization's 2020 sulfur cap of 0.5 pct to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions, effective 1 Jan, 2020. Neste Marine 0.5, which is manufactured at the company's refinery in Porvoo, Finland, will be available at yet to be announced locations in Northwest Europe.

    In other Neste news, the company announced it is partnering with Valdosta, Georgia-based McCall Companies to distribute its branded Neste MY Renewable Diesel in Oregon, which implemented clean fuels standards in 2016. (Source: Neste, Biodiesel Mag., 15 Aug., 2019) Contact: Neste, +358 10 458 4128, www.neste.com; McCall Companies CEO Kevin Jones, CEO, 229.242.2551, Fax - 229.244.8358, mail@mccallinc.com, www.mccallinc.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Neste,  Maritime Fuel,  Marine Fuel,  IMO ,  


    Ameresco Nails School Dist. Energy Efficiency Project (Ind. Report)
    Ameresco
    Date: 2019-08-14
    In the Golden State, Framingham, Mass.-based energy efficiency and renewable energy specialist Ameresco is reporting completion of an energy efficiency project with Lynwood Unified School District. The completed project is expected to cut the district's utility costs roughly $234,000 per year.

    The two-phased project began in August 2015 and reached commercial operations in February 2019. Seven of the district’s least energy efficient elementary schools, along with its administrative office building, were retrofitted with LED lighting, web-based energy management, wireless lighting control systems and upgraded HVAC systems. (Source: Ameresco, Renewable Energy, 13 Aug., 2019) Contact: Ameresco, Bob Georgeoff, VP, (508) 661-2288, www.ameresco.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ameresco,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Moody AFB, Schneider Elec. Ink $11.2Mn, ESPC Energy Efficiency Contract (Ind. Report)
    Moody Air Force Base
    Date: 2019-08-09
    The USAF Moody Air Force Base in Lowndes County, Georgia reports inking an $11.2 million energy efficiency and infrastructure improvement project energy savings performance contract (ESPC) contract with Schneider Electric that is expected to generate more than $21 million in energy savings over the next 23 years.

    The project includes a 2.5 MW on-site solar array that will allow the base to move away from nuclear, coal and gas energy sources, as well as:

  • expands the base's energy management controls system (EMCS) for increased visibility of energy use;

  • upgrades and replaces current interior and exterior lighting systems with LED technology;

  • updates HVAC/Variable Frequency Drive systems to improve air quality and comfort for airmen;

  • replaces transformers for enhanced energy efficiency and added resilience and reliability.

    The project is expected to be completed within 18 months.(Source: Moody Air Force Base, PR, Aug., 2019) Contact: Moody Air Force Base, Don Montgomery, Energy Manager, 229-257-4211, www.military.com/base-guide/moody-air-force-base/contact/welcome--visitors-center/7293; Schneider Electric, Mark Nolan, Director, Marketing, www.schneider-electric.us

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency ,  Schneider Electric,  Solar,  Energy Management,  

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