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Rutgers Awarded $1.3Mn for Offshore Wind Turbine Research (Funding)
Rutgers University
Date: 2019-10-11
In the Garden State, New Brunswick-based Rutgers University reports Professor Onur Bilgen, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, was recently awarded a U.S. DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), $1,356,872 grant for wind turbine research.

The ARPA-E's Aerodynamic Turbines Lighter and Afloat with Nautical Technologies and Integrated Servo-control (ATLANTIS) program focuses on three areas critical to the successful development of radically new floating offshore wind turbines (FOWT) -- new designs, new computer tools, and experiments that collect data to validate the FOWT designs and computer tools.

Bilgen and his team plans to use their software to design a FOWT that generates more electricity while using fewer materials to manufacture and reducing turbine maintenance and operational costs. (Source: Rutgers University, PR, 10 Oct., 2019) Contact: Rutgers University, Professor Onur Bilgen, 848-445-5869, o.bilgen@rutgers.edu, www.mae.rutgers.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Offshore Wind,  Floating Wind,  Rutgers,  


Green BLdg. Net-Zero Vacuum Insulation Touted (New Prod & Tech)
Bee Enterprises
Date: 2019-10-11
Vancouver-based Bee Enterprises Ltd. is touting a new patent pending vacuum insulation invention that incorporates vacuum panels that are rechargeable, repairable, and cheap>

The insulation and sound proofing Panels can offer as much as R60 per inch, but can be dropped instantly to R 5. The panels do not require hazardous materials either in the manufacture or installation and can be made with off the shelf, environmentally friendly materials.

It is now possible to eliminate heating and cooling costs with sustainable green super insulation made locally in low capital cost factories, while protecting worker and homeowner health, according to a company release. (Source: Bee Enterprises, PR, 10 Oct., 2019) Contact: Bee Enterprises Ltd., Larry Pierce, (250) 335-2189, ca.linkedin.com .company . bee-enterprises-ltd

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Insulation,  


CEMEX Plants Score EPA ENERGY STAR Certification (Ind. Report)
CEMEX
Date: 2019-10-11
Global building materials and cement company CEMEX USA is reporting two of its cement plants -- Miami and Brooksville South -- have been awarded US EPA ENERGY STAR® Certification for 2019, recognizing CEMEX's efforts in energy efficiency and sustainability.

These two CEMEX plants have been repeatedly certified by the EPA's ENERGY STAR® program for their conservation efforts. This year's recognition marks nine consecutive years of ENERGY STAR® Certification for CEMEX's Miami Cement Plant, while the Brooksville South Cement Plant has achieved the certification seven out of the last eight years. (Source: CEMEX, USA PR, 10 Oct., 2019) Contact: DOE Energy Star®, www.energystar.gov; CEMEX USA, www.cemexusa.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News ENERGY STAR,  Energy Eficiency,  CEMEX,  


Trump administration reaches regulatory deal on Renewable Fuel Standard
EPA,RFS
Date: 2019-10-09
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that President Donald Trump is promoting a new Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Under the agreement, the following actions will be undertaken by EPA and USDA. In a forthcoming supplemental notice building off the recently proposed 2020 Renewable Volume Standards and the Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021, EPA will propose and request public comment on expanding biofuel requirements beginning in 2020. EPA will seek comment on actions to ensure that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol be blended into the nation’s fuel supply beginning in 2020, and that the volume obligation for biomass-based diesel is met. This will include accounting for relief expected to be provided for small refineries; the EPA intends to take final action on this front later this year. In the most recent compliance year, EPA granted 31 small refinery exemptions. Building on the president’s earlier decision to allow year-round sales of E15, EPA will initiate a rule making process to streamline labeling and remove other barriers to the sale of E15; EPA will continue to evaluate options for RIN market transparency and reform; and USDA will seek opportunities through the budget process to consider infrastructure projects to facilitate higher biofuel blends. (Source: Talk Business & Politics , 7 Oct., 2019)

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


Lyonsdale Biomass Facility Demolition Behind Schedule (Ind Report)
ReEnergy
Date: 2019-10-09
Following up on our March 13th report of the closure of ReEnergy's former 22-mw woody biomass-to-electricity facility due to the loss of a contract to sell renewable energy certificates (RECs) to the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA), the 46-acre site and plant are still not completely demolished in preparation for the hand-over to the area development authority.

ReEnergy was recently granted an extension until Dec. 31 for completing the demolition and site cleanup, transferring the property and paying $22,000 in lieu of taxes. Two solar companies and a company that uses the pyrolysis high temperature process to turn wood into other products, have reportedly shown interest in the property.

ReEnergy owns and operates a biomass facility in Fort Drum, New York. (Source: Watertown Daily, NNY360, 7 Oct., 2019) Contact: ReEnergy Holdings, Sarah Boggess, Communications and Governmental Affairs, (518) 810-0200, sboggess@reenergyholdings.com, www.reenergyholdings.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News ReEnergy,  Lyonsdale,  Biomass,  Woody Biomass,  


GEVO CEO Comments on RFS Announcement (Opinions & Asides)
Gevo
Date: 2019-10-09
"Friday's (renewable fuels standard) announcement by the EPA is a step in the right direction and will hopefully put the RFS back on track after 31 oil refineries received exemptions back in August. I'm glad President Trump supported this step. A robust renewable fuel standard is important for our farmers, the biofuel industry, and reducing greenhouse gases. Every drop of biofuel we get into the market is a win and helps to change the conversation about what is possible from low carbon, sustainable biofuels.

"With Gevo it is possible, for example, to replace an entire gallon of transportation fuel with fuels that are renewable with net zero, or even carry a negative, GHG profile. That is a game changer. Good for farmers, good for consumers, good for the environment." -- Patrick Gruber, CEO, Gevo, 8 Oct., 2019 Contact: Gevo, Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, pgruber@gevo.com, www.gevo.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Gevo,  RFS,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  


EPA, USDA Agree to 15Bn Gal. Ethanol Blend Minimum (Ind. Report)
US EPA, USDA, Renewable Duel Standard
Date: 2019-10-07
On Friday in Washington, the Trump administration U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a long awaited agreement on the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and will now request public comment on expanding biofuel requirements beginning in 2020.

The agreement will ensure the blending of 15 billion gallons of ethanol with fuel supplies starting in 2020 and will also ensure the biomass-based diesel volume is met. EPA will also start the process for streamlining labeling and removal of other barriers for the sale of E15 fuel.

Among other changes, the EPA will begin to account for projected numbers of gallons exempted when coming up with Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) for refiners, which means greater certainty for farmers and producers. It will ensure that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol are blended into the nation's fuel supply starting in 2020. Additionally, the USDA will invest in infrastructure projects to facilitate higher blends of biofuel, such as E85. (Source: US EPA, McDonough County Voice, Various Other Media, 4 Oct., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Biofuel,  Ethanol Blend,  USDA,  US DOE,  


Mainstream, ENI Partnering for UK Offshore Wind Sites Bids (Int'l)
Mainstream Renewable Power
Date: 2019-10-07
Global renewable energy developer Mainstream Renewable Power reports it is partnering with Rome-based oil and gas giant Eni in preparation for the latest auction of leases for offshore wind-power sites in the UK.

The new co-operation agreement will allow Mainstream to comply with new rules for the fresh UK round of auctions under which bidders must have balance sheets worth at least £600 million ($740 million +-) over the past three years. (Source: Mainstream Renewable Power, Sunday Times, 6 Oct., 2019)Contact: Mainstream Renewable Power, Mainstream Renewable Power, Andy Kinsella, +353 (0) 1 290 2000, www.mainstreamrp.com; ENI, +39 06 598 21, +39 06 598 22141 - fax., www.eni.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Mainstream Renewable Power,  Eni,  Offhosre Wind,  


Notable Quotes on Trump's RFS Action
RFS,Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,
Date: 2019-10-07
"We welcome the (Trump RFS) proposal to restore integrity to the RFS. We will work with our champions and the White House to make sure the EPA's final rules ensure that a 15 billion-gallon RFS will actually be a 15 billion-gallon RFS. If that is accomplished, the integrity of the RFS will have been restored and President Trump's promise to protect and uphold the RFS will have been redeemed." - Monte Shaw, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, (Source: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, 5 Oct., 2019)Contact: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., info@IowaRFA.org, (515) 252-6249, www.iowarfa.org

"It's up to each individual entity, but the innovation of taking advantage of low-carbon markets. I think if we can differentiate ourselves within the state of North Dakota, to take advantage of those and be long survivors in this industry." - Gerald Bachmeier, CEO, Red Trail Energy (Source: Red Trail Energy, West Dakota Fox, 5 Oct., 2019) Contact: Red Trail Energy, 701-974-3308, www.redtrailenergy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  "Hardship" Waiver,  Ethanol.Ethanol Blend,  Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  Red Trail Energy,  


Pennsylvania Joining RGGI Cap-and-Trade Program (Ind. Report)
RGGI
Date: 2019-10-04
In Harisburg, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) reports he is beginning the process to enter the commonwealth into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the "first mandatory market-based program in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

The move is in keeping with the Governor's goal of reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 pct by 2025. The state Department of Environmental Protection will be tasked with drafting the proposed regulation.

The RGGI state include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Four of those states are led by Republican governors. Pennsylvania reportedly emits nearly as much carbon as the nine RGGI states combined. (Source: Pennsylvania Capital Star, 3 Oct., 2019) Contact: RGGI, www.rggi.org

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


EIA Data Questions RFS "Hardship" Waivers Effect on Ethanol Demand (Ind. Report)
EIA
Date: 2019-10-04
As previously reported, ethanol industry proponents have petitioned the EPA to cease issuing Small Refinery "Hardship" Exemptions (SREs) allowable under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The ethanol industry is trying to convince the EPA that the waivers are hurting their business and, therefore, the agency should stop issuing them.

Month-over-month, official government data tells a very different story. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the ethanol blend rate has remained within normal statistical variation, despite the flood of "hardship" waivers. EIA data shows:

  • The overall physical ethanol consumption for Q1 2019 (the most recent, complete data available) is higher than it was in 2018.

  • The average ethanol blend rate was higher in Q1 2019 (10.21 pct) than in Q1 2018 (10.09 pct).

  • In February 2019, the ethanol blend rate was 10.53 percent -- the highest in the 12 months preceding. And the March 2019 ethanol blend rate was 10.18 percent -- higher than the March 2018 blend rate of 9.75 percent.

    These blend rates have been stable for the past few years, underscoring the truth that ethanol demand is premised partially on the RFS, partially on demand for clean octane and partially on other factors -- not SREs.

    Similarly, when it comes to mid-level ethanol blends like E15, there is no data indicating that SREs are reducing demand. E15 and other mid-level ethanol blend sales have been growing all year and, in the case of E15, sales are higher at this point than they were last year, according to the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.

    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: American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), EIA, Business & Industry Connection, 3 Oct., 2019) Contact: AFPM, Derrick Morgan, Snr, VP, (202) 586-8800, www.afpm.org; EIA, www.eia.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  "Hardship" Waiver,  Ethanol.Ethanol Blend,  EIA,  


  • Global Bioenergies Advancing ISOPROD Project (Int'l. Report)
    Global Bioenergies
    Date: 2019-10-04
    Further to our 8th February coverage, Evry, France-based Global Bioenergies will soon be receiving €2.6 million and IBN-One €500,000 in the form of repayable advances, following last July's achievement of a technical and financial milestone in the isobutene (ISOPROD) project funded by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), which involves Global Bioenergies, Cristal Union cooperative sugar group and L'Oreal around the IBN-One first plant project.

    Global Bioenergies and Cristal Union created the IBN-One joint venture which was granted a license on Global Bioenergies' process and its planned construction and operation of the first commercial-scale renewable isobutene plant in France.

    Global Bioenergies' conversion process is based on fermentation for renewable resources -- residual sugars, agricultural and forestry waste -- into isobutene, one of the petrochemical building blocks that can be converted into ingredients for gasoline, kerosene, LPG and plastics. (Source: Global Bioenergies, Green Car Congress, 3 Oct., 2019) Contact: Global Bioenergies, Marc Delcourt, CEO, +33 (0 )1 64 98 20 50, www.global-bioenergies.com; ADEME, www.ademe.fr; Crystal Union, www.cristal-union.fr

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Global Bioenergies,  ADEME,  Bioenergy,  Isobutene ,  


    Apex Clean Energy's Mich. Wind Project Gets the Nod (Ind. Report)
    Apex Clean Energy, DTE
    Date: 2019-10-02
    In Michigan, the Isabella County Planning Commission reports approval of Charlottesville, Virginia-based Apex Clean Energy's site plan for 82 of a planned 136 turbine turbine wind farm slated for construction in Nottawa and Gilmore townships.

    Site preparation is underway for an expected construction startup and completion in 2020. Apex Clean Energy epectd to sell the entire farm to DTE Energy. (Source: Apex Clean Energy, Morning Sun, 1 Oct., 2019)Contact: Apex Clean Energy, 434-220-7595, www.apexcleanenergy.com

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


    Diamond Green Diesel Plans $1.1Bn Expansion (Ind. Report)
    Diamond Green Diesel
    Date: 2019-10-02
    Honeywell is reporting the Valero Energy and Darling Ingredients joint venture Diamond Green Diesel facility in Norco, Louisiana, will invest $1.1 billion to expand its annual production capacity of renewable diesel using Honeywell UOP's Ecofining™ process technology to meet growing demand for renewable fuels in North America and Europe.

    Producing 275 million gpy of Honeywell Green Diesel™, Diamond Green Diesel is the largest commercial advanced biofuel facility in the US. The expansion, which will increase the facility's annual production by nearly 150 pct to 675 million gpy, will also produce about 60 million gpy of renewable naphtha when completed and operational in late 2021.

    Diamond Green Diesel's product is a qualified Advanced Biofuel under the US EPA Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). (Source: Honeywell, Hydrocarbon Engineering, Oct., 2019) Contact: Diamond Green Diesel, sales@diamondgreendiesel.com, www.diamondgreendiesel.com; Valero Renewable Fuels, Joe Gorder, Pres., (800) 324-8464, www.valero.com; Darling Ingedients, Melissa A. Gaither, VP IR , (972) 281-4478, mgaither@darlingii.com, www.darlingii.com; Honeywell UOP, Bryan Glover, VP Petrochemicals & Refining Technologies, www,uop.com

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


    EPA Halts RFS "Hardship" Waiver Changes (Ind. Report)
    RFS,"Hardship Waivers"
    Date: 2019-10-02
    It is being widely reported by Fox News and others that the EPA has stalled on updates to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) biofuels policy regarding biofuel blending "hardship" waivers (exemptions) that have been issued at near wholesale levels.

    The EPA appears to be acting on instructions from Trump who is no doubt preoccupied with his own whistleblower and impeachment worries.

    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: Fox News, Various Other Media, 2 Oct., 2019)

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


    Air France Touts Climate Impact Reduction Plans (Int'l. Report)
    Air France
    Date: 2019-10-02
    In an effort to counteract its climate impact, French carrier Air France reports it will offset 100 pct of the carbon emissions of its 500-odd daily internal flights by 2020, finance projects that support tree planting, forest protection and the global shift to low-carbon energy. The airline will also ban single-use plastics such as cutlery from local flights as from January, 2020, and start separating and recycling waste from October.

    The airline industry's carbon emissions, which at 285 grammes of CO2 emitted per kilometre travelled by each passenger, far exceed all other modes of transport, according to the European Environment Agency. Heavy duty transportation -- freight trucking, shipping and aviation -- represent more then 10 pct of global greenhouse gas emissions, says the World Resources Institute, a research body. (Source: Air France, AFP, The Local, 1 Oct., 2019)

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


    Maine Governor Calls for Carbon Neutrality by 2045 (Ind. Report)
    Maine
    Date: 2019-09-30
    Maine Governor Janet Mills (D) announced the signing of an executive order committing the Pine Tree State to carbon neutrality by 2045.

    The Governor's executive order requires the Maine Climate Council to provide recommendations no later than Dec. 1, 2020, on ways to achieve a carbon neutral economy in Maine by 2045. Under the order, the Maine state Department of Environmental Protection will develop a framework for accounting and tracking progress on greenhouse gas reduction, and reporting on such progress every other year. he order also directs that all actions taken to achieve carbon neutrality must grow Maine's economy and protect natural resources. (Source: Office of Gov. Janet Mills, The Ellsworth American, 25 Sept., 2019)Contact: Office of Gov. Janet Mills, www.maine.gov › governor › mills

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


    Corn Growers Praise, Plead Trump for RFS Action (Ind. Report)
    Trump
    Date: 2019-09-30
    In a recent letter to Pres. Donald Trump, corn grower organizations in 23 states called on the President to direct his administration's EPA to account for projected waivers beginning with the pending 2020 RFS volume rule and to simply uphold the law.

    "Dear President Trump,

    "We are writing on behalf of the more than 300,000 corn farmers across the country who are being negatively impacted by a perfect storm of challenges in rural America. The 31 new Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers to big oil companies, recently approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and bringing total waivers issued under your Administration to 85, could not have come at a worse time for agriculture.

    "Ethanol plants in several states, including Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota and Mississippi have closed or idled. These closures have cost 2,700 rural jobs and impacted demand for more than 300 million bushels of corn. Corn farmers are beginning harvest and continuing to lose markets to deliver their corn. Frustration in the countryside is growing.

    "Corn farmers are not asking for a special deal. We are simply asking, as we have been for the past two years, that your EPA uphold the law. To effectively stop the harm caused by RFS waivers, EPA needs to account for projected waivers beginning with the pending 2020 RFS volume rule. Accounting for waivers in the annual RFS volume process restores integrity to the RFS. It also allows your Administration to continue granting waivers, as allowed by the law, while keeping the RFS whole."

    "While adding gallons and improving market access for higher blends of ethanol are all policies farmers appreciate and support, future waivers will continue to minimize the RFS, unless your Administration acts to account for waivers beginning this coming year first.

    "We were pleased to see press reports indicating that, following a meeting with farm-state lawmakers, an agreement had been reached to address the harm caused by waivers. With more than 4 billion gallons waived out of the RFS, we appreciate you listening to our elected representatives about what is needed to restore meaning to the RFS. Farmers across the country are anxiously awaiting the release of more details about this agreement. Ethanol plants will continue to close if you don't act soon, creating a rippling effect throughout the rural economy.

    "Corn farmers are appreciative of your past support for agriculture and ethanol. We especially appreciate your efforts to remove the barrier to year-round sales of E15, but EPA's current use of waivers undermines growth potential for higher blends of ethanol, reduces demand, lowers the value of our crop, and puts the outlook for the rural economy in jeopardy.

    "Mr. President, we firmly ask that you uphold your commitment to America's farmers and the RFS." (Source: Ag Ohio, Various Trade Media, Sept., 2019)

    Editor's Note: For our reader's convenience, we have underlined the few lines that actually call on Trump to honestly do his job and uphold the RFS. The remaining five paragraph's are, in our opinion, little more than flattery to the White House.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  "Hardship" Waivers,  Corn Ethanol,  


    European Energy Efficient Mortgage in Planning Stage (Ind. Report)
    Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2019-09-27
    Meeting in Brussels, the European Mortgage Industry -- including 47 key lending institutions, 17 national, European and International authorities and relevant market stakeholders -- is reportedly preparing to launch an Energy Efficient Mortgages Initiative (EEMI) pilot and are mobilizing European and global mortgage markets with a view to channeling private financing to "green" the building stock in the EU and beyond.

    The Energy Efficient Mortgages Action Plan (EeMAP) Initiative -- led by the European Mortgage Federation-European Covered Bond Council (EMF-ECBC), Ca' Foscari University of Venice, RICS, the Europe Regional Network of the World Green Building Council, E.ON and SAFE Goethe University Frankfurt -- aims to create an energy efficient mortgage through which home purchasers are incentivized to improve the energy efficiency of their building or acquire an already energy efficient property by way of favourable conditions linked to the mortgage.

    The assumption is that energy efficiency has a risk mitigation effect for banks as a result of the impact on a borrower's ability to service his/her loan and on the value of the property, a correlation which the EeMAP Initiative will seek to substantiate. (Source: Energy Efficient Mortgages Initiative, 26 Sept., 2019) Contact: Energy Efficient Mortgages Initiative Luca Bertalot, Energy Efficient Mortgages Initiative Coordinator , +32 2 285 4035, lbertalot@hypo.org , www.energyefficientmortgages.eu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Pittsburgh Firms Support Methane Emissions Ruductions (Ind. Report)
    Equitrans Midstream Corporation
    Date: 2019-09-27
    In the Steel City, Equitrans Midstream Corp. (ETRN) and EQM Midstream Partners LP (EQM) have come out in support of the US oil and gas industry's ongoing efforts to reduce methane emissions and therefore oppose the US EPA's proposed rollback of methane regulations.

    The EPA's April 2019 inventory report showed total methane emissions are down 15.8 pct since 1990 -- insufficient to achieve regulatory compliance on methane emissions in order to address the global impacts of climate change.

    ETRN and EQM currently utilize various methane mitigation methods across their operations and are evaluating additional enhancement and mitigation efforts, such as: expansion of the Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) programme; pneumatic controller upgrades; re-compression of pipeline gas prior to maintenance procedures; and upgrading existing stations with air or electric starts.

    ETRN is a member of the Environmental Partnership -- a voluntary reduction programme offered through the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the ONE Future Coalition of natural gas companies working together to voluntarily reduce methane emissions across the natural gas supply chain to 1 pct pct. (Source: ETRN, PR, Sept., 2019) Contact: Equitrans Midstream Corporation, Diana Charletta , Pres., CEO, www.equitransmidstream.com; EQM Midstream Partners, www.eqm-midstreampartners.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  EPA,  


    Automaker Participating in Spanish Biomethane Fuel Project (Int'l.)
    European Commission,Strategic Research Institute
    Date: 2019-09-25
    With the goal of boosting the circular economy, energy efficiency and emissions reduction, Spanish auto maker SEAT S.A. reports it will participate in the Life Landfill Biofuel project which will obtain renewable gas from municipal landfills. The project, which was recently approved by the European Commission, is intended to produce biomethane from an indigenous, abundant biomass energy source. The 4-year project is budgeted at €4.6 million of which the European Commission will provide 55 pct.

    SEAT is currently working on the Life Methamorphosis project to obtain biomethane from previously selected waste and animal slurry from a farm in Lleida, Spain. The new Life Landfill Biofuel project is a step further as the raw material originates directly from the landfill, without prior separation.

    Other project participants include FCC, IVECO, The University of Granada, the CARTIF Foundation, SYSADVANCE and Gasnam. SEAT previously developed a similar project with Aqualia to convert waste water into biofuel. (Source: SEAT S.A. Website, Strategic Research Institute, 24 Sept., 2019) Contact: Universitat de LLeida, Departament de Produccie Vegetal, www.pvcf.udl.cat; SEAT, www.seat.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Landfill Gas,  Biomethane,  Waste-to-Fuel ,  


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  • $2Bn Nfld. Biomass Storage, Alt. Fuel Plant Planned (Ind. Report)
    Synergy World Energy
    Date: 2019-09-23
    The Town of Lewisporte Harbour, Newfoundland, reports it is in talks with U.K.-based Synergy World Energy for the establishment of a roughly 289-hectare liquid fuels production and biomass storage facility.

    The $2 billion (US) project would include an 800 tpd plastics-to-fuel production facility, a 50-megawatt gasification steam turbine power plant a new deep-water cargo port with berths capable of handling up to three bulk carrier ships as well as a separate fuel loading dock, according to the company website. A sorting facility will be used for the separation of solid recovered fuel biomass (SRF). Solid recovered fuel is considered a high-quality alternative to fossil fuel and is produced from mainly commercial waste products, including paper, card, wood, textiles, and plastics. The $2 billion (US) with total power output planned at more than 235 megawatts by the end of the second phase, according to information found on the company website. (Source: Town of Lewisporte Harbour, Journal Pioneer, 23 Sept., 2019) Contact: Synergy World Energy, www.synergyworldwide.com › en-ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Synergy World Energy ,  


    World Biogas Assoc. Calls For Decarbonization Policies (Ind Report)
    World Biogas Association
    Date: 2019-09-20
    Following on from the recent publication of its Global Potential of Biogas report, which demonstrates that biogas could rapidly reduce world GHG emissions by 12 pct, the World Biogas Association (WBA) has issued recommendations to world governments, financial institutions and other key decision makers to support the industry becoming a key player in meeting Paris Agreement commitments and developing a low carbon circular economy.

    The WBA emphasizes the need to move away from fossil fuels and invest in the infrastructure and incentives required to build a powerful anaerobic digestion and biogas industry that will provide a stable and flexible source of clean energy, as well as bio-fertilisers for agriculture and a potent waste management and sanitation solution. The key recommendations focus around:

  • National pledges to reduce GHG emissions, including the removal of fossil fuel subsidies, through their Paris Agreement Nationally Determined Commitments, energy plans, net-zero targets by 2050 and increases in renewable energy production and consumption over the next decade.

  • The inclusion of AD into these pledges and at the core of circular economy strategies, with targets set for the production of biogas, AD included in all incentive policies and AD nominated as the preferred method of treatment for all biodegradable wastes.

  • Policies to increase biodegradable wastes capture, including the provision by local governments of separate food waste collections in both urban centers and rural areas, and mandatory food waste collection and treatment for businesses of a certain size, combined with increased AD capacity to process the new waste stream.

  • The development of a robust infrastructure to enable the collection and processing of feedstock in large communities as well as remote rural areas, its treatment through both large and small scale facilities, and distribution through a network of refueling points for biomethane as a transport fuel and injection points for gas going into the grid.

  • The management of digestate and implementation of regulations and standards for its safe trading and use.

  • Measures to ensure land is managed with due diligence to environmental impact and energy crops are integrated into production in the most sustainable way.

    The World Biogas Association is the global trade association for the biogas, landfill gas and anaerobic digestion (AD) sectors, dedicated to facilitating the adoption of biogas globally. It believes that AD and biogas technologies provide multifaceted opportunities to produce clean, renewable energy while resolving global issues related to development, public health and economic growth.

    Download the Global Potential of Biogas report HERE. (Source: World Biogas Association, PR, 19 Sept., 2019) Contact: World Biogas Association, David Newman, Pres., www.worldbiogasassociation.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News World Biogas Association,  Biogas,  Methane,  


  • Grassley Comments on EPA "Hardship" Waivers -- Notable Quote
    EPA,Chuck Gressley
    Date: 2019-09-18
    "We want 15 billion gallons to be 15 billion gallons -- so that means basically you can waive all you want to waive for small refineries, just make sure we get 15 billion gallons." -- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R--Iowa) commenting of the Trump EPA's RFS "hardship" waivers. (Source: Iowa Radio, EnergyAg Wired, 18 Sept., 2019) Contact: Sen. Chuck Grassley, www.grassley.senate.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Chuck Grassley,  RFS,  "Hardship" waivers,  Ethanol,  


    SEIA Considers Mass. DOER Solar Expansion Proposal (Ind Report)
    Mass. DOER
    Date: 2019-09-18
    In the Bay State, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) reports it has released plans to reform and expand the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program which incentivizes cost effective solar and promises to double the amount of solar in the commonwealth.

    To meet increasing customer demand for solar energy, DOER proposes adding 800 MW to the SMART incentive program, bringing the total to 2.4 gigawatts. The Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) supports this expansion but, in comments to regulators, is calling for even more capacity to be added to the program. To that end, DOER has proposed the dollowing regulatory clarifications and fixes:

  • DOER proposes clarifying SMART metering configurations when projects are paired with storage. The clarification will impact residential and larger scale projects. These issues have drawn the ire of utilities, regulators and solar firms for the past year. DOER guidance on metering is critical.

  • DOER proposes an increase to the stepped-up incentive for municipal projects. A higher incentive would make it easier for cities, towns and school districts to go solar. In addition, DOER proposes more time for municipal projects to meet certain milestones for qualification, recognizing that public projects almost always have to go through a bidding process. SEIA agrees with the intent of this proposal.

  • Fixing compensation for solar projects serving on-site energy needs. Based on the current regulatory framework, some projects without a net metering allocation get reduced values. DOER proposes expanding the use of certain credits and changing the way energy compensation is calculated.

    According to SEIA, the most troubling aspects of DOER's plans involve the treatment of community solar projects, including a proposed five-fold increase in penalties for larger scale solar projects on certain lands. DOER calls for the new penalties to apply to a broader swath of community solar projects and for changes to apply to projects already in development. These proposals would have a negative impact on the community solar market. Increased penalties will halt solar development, with penalties ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars to many millions, according to SEIA. (Source: Mass. DOER, Solar Energy Industries Assoc., 16 Sept., 2019)Contact: Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, (617) 626-7300, doer.energy@mass.gov, www.mass.gov/doer; SEIA, Abigail Ross-Hopper, CEO, (202) 682-0556, info@seia.org, www.seia.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Mass. DOER,  Solar,  SEIA,  


  • Utilities Coalition Challenging Trump's ACE Plan (Ind. Report)
    Power Companies Climate Coalition
    Date: 2019-09-18
    Reuters is reporting New York-based Con Edison and eight other U.S. utilities -- the Power Companies Climate Coalition -- have filed a legal challenge to the Trump administration's Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants. Trump's plan replaces the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan that would have cut power plant carbon emissions by more than a third from 2005 levels by 2030 by virtually eliminating coal-fired power production.

    According to the filing, Trump's Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule undermines efforts already under way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by investing in renewable energy, electric vehicle infrastructure and energy efficiency and other clean technologies.

    ACE allows states three years to devise their own plans to cut emissions mainly by encouraging coal-fired power plants to improve efficiency.

    The coalition members include: Con Edison, Exelon Corp, National Grid, PG&E Corp, Public Service Enterprise Group Inc, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Seattle City Light, Sacramento Municipal Utility District and New York Power Authority. (Source: Con Edison, Guardian, Reuters, 16 Sept., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Power Companies Climate Coalition,  Obama Clean Power Plan,  Affordable Clean Energy Plan ,  


    Trump Plan Would Boost Biofuel Quotas 10 pct in 2020 (Reg & Leg)
    Teump
    Date: 2019-09-16
    Reuters is reporting U.S. Pres. Trump has tentatively approved a plan to increase the amount of biofuels that oil refiners are required to blend each year to compensate for the large number of financial "hardship" exemptions granted to "small" -- 75,000 bpd or less -- refiners by the EPA.

    Under the plan, the EPA will calculate a three-year rolling average of total biofuels gallons exempted under its Small Refinery Exemption program and add that figure to its annual biofuel blending quotas each year -- about 1.35 billion gallons in 2020. That would come in addition to a tentative agreement to boost 2020 blending volumes by 1 billion gallons, including 500 million gallons for conventional biofuels like corn-based ethanol and 500 million gallons for advanced biofuels like biodiesel, according to the Reuters report.

    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: Reuters, Various Media, 16 Sept., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  "Hardship" Waiver,  Ethanol Blend,  


    Galway Adopts Statutory Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (Int'l)
    Galway,Climate Change
    Date: 2019-09-16
    In Ireland, the City of Galway City Council is reporting the adoption of a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for the period from 2019 to 2024. The strategy aims to prepare the city of roughly 90,000 residents for, and to mitigate the effects of climate change.

    The Strategy contains 31 individual adaptation actions covering governance and support, critical infrastructure and buildings, natural and cultural capital, water resources, flood risk management, and community services. These adaptation measures will be implemented over the next ten years to help cope with climate change.

    The adoption of the Climate Adaptation Strategy 2019-2024 is mandated under the National Adaptation Framework, requiring all Local Authorities to have such a plan in place by the end of September 2019. (Source: City of Galway, www.galwaycity.ie; National Adaptation Framework, www.dccae.gov.ie

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


    NCGA Take Legal Action To Support E15 (Ind. Report, Reg & Leg)
    National Corn Grower’s Association
    Date: 2019-09-16
    The Chestrfield, Missouri-based National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) reports it has moved to intervene in an effort by big oil to challenge the EPA's final RVP rule by filing a motion in support of the and the final rule allowing for year-round sales of E15. If successful, the oil industry's lawsuit would overturn the E15 rule

    The NGCA has been a long-time advocates of removing the unnecessary and outdated barrier to year-round E15, which took several years to accomplish. This present action is a continuation of NCGA efforts to increase corn grind by expanding the sales of higher ethanol blends. NCGA will be joining efforts with other ethanol advocates as the legal process continues. (Source: NCGA, High Plains Journal, 15 Sept., 2019) Contact: NCGA, (636) 733-9004, (636) 733-9005 -fax, corninfo@ncga.com, www.ncga.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NCGA,  E15,  Ethanol,  Ethanol Blend,  


    UAE Plans 70 pct Carbon Emissions Reduction (Int'l Report)
    Abu Dhabi,Carbon Emissions
    Date: 2019-09-13
    In Abu Dhabi, the UAE Energy Ministry reports the oil-soaked nation is planning to generate 50 pct of its energy from renewable sources and slash its carbon emissions by 70 pct by the year 2050 while not "diminishing its role as a supplier of hydrocarbons."

    To that end, in February 2018, Abu Dhabi created the Department of Energy to act as a regulator and policy maker for the country's energy sector. The country also implemented significant structural reforms in the energy sector and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company Group (ADNOC) has announced plans to invest $1.8bn by 2023 in carbon capture and storage (CCS) and other measures to reduce carbon emissions.(Source: ADNOC, Oil & Gas, Sept., 2019) Contact: ADNOC Group, www.adnoc.ae

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Penna. Promoting Alternative Fuels Corridors (Ind. Report)
    Alternative Fuel
    Date: 2019-09-13
    In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania officials report the Keystone State is participating in the U.S. Department of Transportation's Alternative Fuel Corridors program aimed at reducing electric vehicle range anxiety by filling in charging station gaps and increasing the availability CNG, propane, ethanol and other alternative fuels outside its major cities.

    The Alternative Fuel Corridors program was created in 2015 under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act which authorized $305 billion through 2020 to make infrastructure upgrades, including a provision to designate national road corridors for electric vehicle charging and alternative fuels fueling stations. More than 135,000 miles of highway in 46 states and Washington D.C. are presently in various stages of participation in the program.

    Pennsylvania, which has designated 1,813 miles of Alternative Fuel Corridors, is also participating in the Transportation Climate Initiative, a regional collaboration among 12 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and Washington D.C. working to reduce transportation carbon emissions. (Source: Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation, Energy News, 12 Sept., 2019) Contact: Transportation Climate Initiative, www.transportationandclimate.org/content/about-us; Alternative Fuels Corridors, www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/alternative_fuel_corridors

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Alternative Fuel,  


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

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

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

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


    Energy Brokerage Joins EPA Green Power Partnership (Ind Report)
    Green Energy Solutions
    Date: 2019-09-13
    Privately held energy brokerage and advisory firm Green Energy Solutions, LLC reports it has joined the U.S. EPA's Green Power Partnership. The company is using about 87,600 kWh of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 20 pct of Green Energy Solution's electricity use -- equivalent to the annual electricity use of 8 average American homes.

    The Green Power Partnership program helps increase green power use among U.S. organizations to advance the American market for green power and development of those sources as a way to reduce air pollution and other environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The Partnership currently has 1,500 Partners using more than 60 billion kWh of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500reg; companies; small and medium sized businesses; local, state, and federal governments; and colleges and universities. (Source: Green Energy Solutions LLC, EPA, Sept., 2019) Contact: Green Energy Solutions, Green Energy Companies, (646) 357-3137 , info@greenenergycompanies.net, www.greenenergycompanies.net; Green Power Partnership, www.epa.gov/greenpower

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


    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,  


    Burlington Releases Net Zero Energy Roadmap (Ind. Report)
    City of Burlington
    Date: 2019-09-11
    In Vermont, the city of Burlington (pop. 43,000 +-) and the Burlington Electric Department (BED) are reporting release of the city's Net Zero Energy Roadmap, a study of four strategic pathways for the city to become a Net Zero Energy city by 2030. The City also reported it has begun putting the report's strategies into action and has launched a slate of new programs and initiatives designed to help Burlington achieve it Net Zero Energy climate goal.

    To reach Net Zero Energy by 2030, the study calls for Burlington to reduce total energy use and increase electrification across the electric, heating, and ground transportation sectors, while continuing to source all of its electricity from renewable generation. The Roadmap identifies important criteria to achieve that goal, including: efficient electric buildings, increased adoption of electric Vehicles (EVs), implementing a district energy system that could reduce fossil fuel consumption by 15 pct, and developing alternative transportation systems and programs.

    In response to the city program, Burlington Electric Department announced a slate of new programs and incentives that build on existing initiatives and focus on both building electrification and energy efficiency and transportation, lowering energy consumption and electric rates. (Source: City of Burlington, PR, Sept., 2019) Contact: City of Burlington, Jennifer Green, Director of Sustainability, www.burlingtonvt.gov; Burlington Electric Department, Darren Springer, Gen. Manager, www.burlingtonelectric.com/NZE

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Zero-Energy,  City of Burlington,  Energy Efficiency,  


    No-Deal Brexit Means Lower Carbon Tax for UK Industries (Int'l)
    Carbon Tax
    Date: 2019-09-11
    In the UK, the Herald Media is reporting PM Boris Johnson's government is preparing to impose a tax of £16 per ton of carbon, if the country exits the European Union without a deal on the 31st of October.

    This tax would come into effect from the 4th of November, and would apply to all stationary installations that are currently subject to the EU ETS.

    If the UK were to leave the EU without a deal, the country will also not be subject to the 28-member European Union's Emissions Trade System (EU ETS) which is key to the EU and its member nations meeting emission reduction obligations.

    While UK businesses currently pay a carbon tax rate of £26 under the EU ETS, a "No Deal Brexit" carbon tax would result in a £10 cut in the carbon tax rate and would be profitable for UK industries. (Source: Herald Media, 10 Sept., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  Carbon Tax,  Carbon Emissions,  


    NBB's EPA RFS "Hardship" Waivers Challenge Nixed (Reg & Leg)
    NBB,National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2019-09-09
    In the nation's capitol, the US Court of Appeals has announced it will not review the Trump administration US EPA's refusal to account for its granting of numerous retroactive Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) "hardship" waivers, as challenged by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).

    The Court nixed the NBB's appeal on the grounds that the biofuel industry did not comment on the topic or give the EPA sufficient opportunity to address those comments. (Source: NBB, Biofuels News, 9 Sept., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NBB,  Biodiesel,  RFS,  "hardship" Waivers,  


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

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

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

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


    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,  


    Conn. Gov. Announces 100 pct Renewable Energy Goal (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Energy
    Date: 2019-09-06
    In Hartford, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) has announced plans to eliminate the state's dependence on fossil fuels by 2040. The governor put forward this goal in his third executive order since taking office in January. The executive order requires the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to develop strategies to achieve a 100 pct zero carbon -- renewable energy -- target for the state's electric power sector by 2040.

    The Governor's Council on Climate Change (GC3) was created by an Executive Order in 2015 and tasked with formulating strategies to help the state meet its 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act and the 2018 Act Concerning Climate Change Planning and Resiliency.

    The first act set out to reduce GHG emissions to 10 pct below 1990 levels by January 2020 and to 80 pct below 2001 levels by January 2050, while the second act aimed to reduce GHG emissions by 45 percent from a 2001 baseline by 2030, based on a GC3 recommendation. According to the newest executive order, the GC3 will be responsible for monitoring the execution of its proposed strategies and will submit a report to the administration on its implementation progress by Jan. 15, 2021. The GC3 will also develop a climate adaptation strategy in consultation with other state agency. (Source: Office of Gov. Ned Lamont, Yale News, 5 Sept., 2019) Contact: Office of Gov. Ned Lamont, twitter.com/GovNedLamont

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  


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

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

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

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


    Great Barrier Reef "Very Poor" Outlook Due to Climate Change (Int'l)
    Great Barrier Reef
    Date: 2019-09-04
    In the Land Down Under, Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is reporting the Great Barrier Reef's long-term outlook has been dropped from "poor" to "very poor" due to the effects of climate change. The Authority's report calls for urgent action on climate change and other threats to the Great Barrier Reef, the largest such reef in the world.

    Rising sea temperatures and marine heat waves are doing the most damage to the reef's health, and if nothing is done to stop the current rate of global warming, the reef will be irreparably damaged, the report notes. Beside climate change, the reef is also suffering due to coastal development, direct human use, such as illegal fishing, and land-based run-off from agriculture.

    On 30th April, 2018, we reported the Australian federal government is allotting $500 million -- the largest single environmental protection package in the nation's history -- to help protect the Great Barrier Reef from climate change and other treats.

    The government will partner with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation in an agreement worth $444 million to mitigate the effects of climate change. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and The Department of the Environment and Energy will also receive $56 million in additional funding. $100 million will be used for reef restoration science and $40 million will be spent for monitoring the health of the reef system.

    In a recently published study, researchers revealed the extent of damage caused by global warming on the reef system. Investigations showed that two successive heat waves killed nearly half of the corals in the most pristine part of the Great Barrier Reef. (Source: The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, New Scientist, Sept., 2019) Contact: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Josh Thomas, CEO, www.gbrmpa.gov.au; Great Barrier Reef Foundation, www.barrierreef.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Great Barrier Reef,  Climate Change,  


    White Oak Reports Commercial PACE Finance Program (Ind. Report)
    White Oak Global
    Date: 2019-09-04
    San Francisco-based White Oak Global Advisors, LLC is reporting the California Statewide Communities Development Authority (CSCDA) has named White Oak as a commercial PACE Program Administrator for the CSCDA's Open PACE Program.

    White Oak will provide up to 100 pct financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, and seismic retrofit projects on commercial real estate, and is seeking to fund projects ranging in size from $500,000 to $150 million.

    Using the innovative PACE structure, financing obligations are repaid through property tax bills. Repayment schedules will match the useful life of projects, and White Oak aims to provide customized solutions for the unique capital needs of each project. (Source: White Oak Global Advisors, PR, 4 Sept., 2019) Contact: White Oak Global Advisors, Andre Hakkak, CEO, InvestorRelations@whiteoaksf.com , www.whiteoaksf.com; California Statewide Communities Development Authority, www.cscda.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News PACE,  Energy Efficiency,  PACE Dinancing,  


    Notable Quote
    POET, EPA
    Date: 2019-08-30
    "The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was designed to increase the use of clean, renewable biofuels and generate grain demand for farmers. Our industry invested billions of dollars based on the belief that oil could not restrict access to the market and EPA would stand behind the intent of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Unfortunately, the oil industry is manipulating the EPA and is now using the RFS to destroy demand for biofuels, reducing the price of commodities and gutting rural economies in the process." -- Jeff Broin, CEO, POET Contact: POET, Jeff Broin, CEO., (605) 965-2200, www.poet.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News POET,  EPA,  "Hardship" Waivers,  RFS,  


    UK Commits £1.44Bn to Climate Change Fight (Int'l. Report)
    G7
    Date: 2019-08-30
    At the conclusion of the Biarritz G7 Summit, the Uk announced it would increase its contribution to cutting carbon emissions in the developing world to £1.44 billion over the next foru years. The UK's previous contribution of £720 million between 2014 and 2019 came from the UK's Green Climate Fund (GCF). The GCF supports projects to protect and preserve natural habitats in the developing world, including in the Amazon where fires continue to rage.

    The newly announced £1.44 billion funding, which will come from the UK aid budget and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), will be earmarked for tackling climate change, including wildfires.

    During the Summit meeting, the G7 agreed to support a medium-term reforestation plan which will be unveiled at the UN in September. (Source: G7 Release, Various Media, Daily Mail, 27 Aug., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News G7,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emission ,  


    POET Idling Cloverdale Corn Ethanol plant (Ind. Report)
    POET, EPA
    Date: 2019-08-30
    Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based ethanol producer POET reports it is idling its Clverdale, Indiana bioprocessing facility due the EPA's policies on RFS "hardship" waivers. The shutdown will take several weeks after which time the plant, which normally processes 30 million bpy, will stop processing corn for ethanol production.

    POET already has cut production at half of its biorefineries with the biggest impact being felt at its Iowa and Ohio plants where corn processing will drop by an additional 100 million bushels. (Source: POET, The Messenger, 29 Aug., 2019) Contact: POET, Jeff Broin, CEO, (605) 965-2200, www.poet.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News POET,  EPA,  "Hardship" Waivers,  RFS,  


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

    More Low-Carbon Energy News New Technologies Funding,  


    USDA REAP Announces Rural Energy Grant Funding (Funding)
    USDA, REAP
    Date: 2019-08-30
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) reports it will award a total of $9.3 million in grant funding for energy costs reduction to farmers, ag producers, rural-based businesses and institutions in 49 states and Puerto Rico.

    Congress appropriated $50 million for REAP grants and loan guarantees in fiscal year 2019. REAP funding can be used for energy audits, renewable energy systems including biomass, geothermal, solar, hydropower biomass and others as well as energy efficiency upgrades such as HVAC energy efficiency improvements, insulation, lighting and refrigeration. (Source: USDA, Farm & Dairy, 29 Aug., 2019) Contact: USDA, (202) 690-4730, (f) 202-690-4737, www.rd.usda.gov; REAP, www.rurdev.usda.gov

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


    Sonny Says Trump Will Take Action on Ethanol Waivers -- Whatever That Means? (Ind. Report)
    RFS,Sonny Perdue
    Date: 2019-08-30
    Speaking Wednesday in Decatur, Illinois -- corn country -- U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said President Trump will "take action to soften the effects of oil refinery exceptions for blending corn-based ethanol in motor fuel." It is "disappointing" that the Trump EPA granted the waivers, Sec. Perdue added.

    Perdue either couldn't or wouldn't say what action the president will or might take, but noted that Trump believes the EPA waivers were "way overdone." Ethanol advocates contend that oil refinery waivers have reduced ethanol production by 2.6 billion gallons since Trump moved into the White House.

    When grilled on the Trump administration's biofuels, trade and Renewable Fuel Standard and related policies Perdue replied "EPA will continue to consult with our federal partners on the best path forward to ensure stability in the Renewable Fuel Standard. The president will always seek to engage with stakeholders to achieve wins for the agriculture and energy sectors." So sayeth Sonny!(Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, CBS, Various Media, 28 Aug., 2019) Contact: Office of US Sec of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, (202) 720-2791, feedback@oc.usda.gov, www.usda.gov, twitter.com/SecretarySonny

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

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