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Vietnam Implementing REDD+ Phase Two (Int'l. Report)
Vietnam, REDD+
Date: 2020-06-29
In Hanoi , the Vietnam Administration of Forestry under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has announced it will implement the second phase of the international REED+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) Vietnam Phase 2 (FCPF-2) program.

The FCPF-2 project aims to assist relevant agencies at the central level and in the six northern central Vietnam provinces to improve their institutional and technical capacity to prepare for the REDD+ implementation. It also supports the building of the emission reduction and transfer of the rights to emission reduction programme in the northern central region (ERPD) for 2018-2025, helping to carry out the national REDD+ action programme and the country's Nationally Determined Contribution under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

Phase 1, which ran from November 2016 to June 30, 2020, was implemented in Hanoi and the six northern central provinces at a total cost of $5.7 million (US) , including $5 million in non-refundable ODA capital from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF).

REDD+ is an international initiative aimed at providing financial and technical assistance for developing countries to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change impact via efforts against deforestation and forest degradation. Vietnam has participated in REDD+ since 2008, and more than 45 related projects have been implemented in the country to date. (Source: Vietnam Administration of Forestry, PR, 28 June, 2020) Contact: Vietnam Administration of Forestry, www.flegt.org/web/vietnam-administration-of-forestry

More Low-Carbon Energy News REDD+,  Deforestation,  Reforestation,  Climate Change,  


UK £80Mn Energy Efficiency Innovation Push Announced (Int'l.)
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Date: 2020-06-29
In London, the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is reporting almost £80 million in funding to support a range innovative projects aimed at upgrading building energy efficiency.

The new investment covers a wide range of programmes, with £30 million going towards the first phase of the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) aimed at energy intensive manufacturers such as car factories and steel plants; a further £25 million earmarked for heating networks and the remaining £24 million focused on new approaches for installing insulation for social housing at scale, rolling out heat pumps, and supporting the development of innovative green home finance products. The funding will enable various projects that use of modern smart technologies to cut energy consumption and energy costs across the UK. (Source: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, GreenBiz, 29 June, 2020) Contact: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Hon. Kwasi Kwarteng, Minister, www.gov.uk/government/people/kwasi-kwarteng

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Insulation,  Green Energy,  


CUHK Generates Biocatalysts for Biodiesel Prod. (New Prod & Tech)
Chinese University of Hong Kong
Date: 2020-06-26
In Hong Kong, supported by the Research Grants Council and the Innovation and Technology Fund, researchers at Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) are reporting development of a novel method for extracting enzymes from bacteria, which lowers the production cost and opens a new avenue for the enzymatic production of biodiesel.

Enzymes can act as a catalyst to produce biodiesel while generating less waste and requiring lower temperatures than traditional base catalysts. Enzymes are presently too expensive to compete with base catalysts because enzymes require tedious purification procedures and subsequent immobilization to be easily recycled and reused, according to the CUHK research report.

According to Dr. Bradley Heater, the lead author of the paper, "The real elegance of this technology is that the bacteria cells do all the hard work of producing the catalyst -- all we have to do is separate the crystals from the cell debris. Currently, we can use this method to produce an enzyme that converts waste cooking oil to biodiesel, but we should be able to trap other enzymes to perform different chemistry as well." (Source: Chinese University of Hong Kong, BioSpectrum Asia, 25 June, 2020) Contact: Chinese University of Hong Kong, Dr. Bradley Heater, Report Author, Prof. Michael Chan, +852 3943 1487, michaelchan88@cuhk.edu.hk, www.cuhk.edu.hk

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel,  Enzymes,  


LEEDCo Appeals Icebreaker Wind Deal Breaker Ruling (Ind. Report)
LEEDCo
Date: 2020-06-24
Following up on our 27th May report, Cleveland-based Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) is calling for the Ohio Power Sitting Board (OPSB) to reconsider its ruling that the 20.7 MW Lake Erie (offshore) Icebreaker Wind demo project cease operations every night from March until November, which renders the project "financially untenable", according to LEEDCo.

As previously reported, the project was reviewed by more than a dozen state and federal agencies including U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Ohio EPA, and others. It has the support of many environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Ohio Environmental Council. (Source: LEEDCo, Offshore Wind, 23 June, 2020) Contact: LEEDCo, Dave Karpinski, Pres., (216) 241-9201, www.leedco.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Lake Erie Energy Development Corp,  LEEDCo,  Offshore Wind,  


Northern Ireland GHG Statistics Show Steady Decrease (Int'l.)
Northern Ireland
Date: 2020-06-24
In the UK, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) recently released statistical bulletin on greenhouse gas emissions for Northern Ireland (NI) outlines slight decreases for period 1990-2018.

In 2018, Northern Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions were estimated to be 19.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent -- a decrease of 2 pct compared to 2017. The longer term trend showed a decrease of 20 pct compared to the base year 1990.

The largest sectors in terms of emissions in 2018 were agriculture at 27 pct, transportation with 23 pct, and power generation at 15 pct. The largest decreases, in terms of tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), were in the energy supply, waste management and residential sectors.

The decreases were driven by improvements in energy efficiency, fuel switching from coal to natural gas, which became available in the late 1990s, and the introduction of methane capture and oxidation systems in landfill management. Northern Ireland accounted for 4 pct of UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2018.

Details are HERE. (Source: DAERA, Farming Life,23 June, 2020) Contact: DAERA, www.dera-ni.gov.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News GHGs,  Greenhouse Gas,  Climate Change,  


SoCalGas, UCSB Tout Energy Efficiency Projects (Ind. Report)
SoCalGas, Southern California Gas
Date: 2020-06-22
In the Golden State, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) have announced completion of two joint energy efficiency projects that will save UCSB 66,000 therms per year of energy -- equal to removing about 350 metric tpy of greenhouse gas emissions.

Both projects were part of California's joint Energy Efficiency Partnership between state universities and investor-owned utilities. Over the last five years, SoCalGas has supported 184 energy-efficiency projects, saving university campuses 6,000,000 therms of energy -- a $6 million savings -- and providing more than $6,300,000 in incentives through this state program.

The first of the two UCSB projects began in 2018 as part of the university's high opportunity projects and programs (HOPP's) initiative. SoCalGas and Southern California Edison co-funded the project which investigated how best to update two important laboratories at the university.

The utilities conducted an energy management plan to document and list the savings, costs and measures to implement an energy efficient system. The utilities identified multiple measures to reduce energy consumption in the building's lighting and HVAC systems by installing occupancy sensors, wireless thermostats and low-power LED lights. The campus also added high efficiency dedicated natural gas boilers to each building. A new chilled water system including a cooling tower, and pumps were also installed. The project resulted in natural gas savings of 60,959 therms, and the university received an incentive from SoCalGas of $152,000.

UCSB also installed an ozone laundry system to support its laundering of uniforms and sports gear for the university's athletic department which was eligible for a rebate from SoCalGas in the amount of $5,850 and will save the university about 5,880 therms of energy. (Source: SoCanGas, PR, Noozhawk, 19 June, 2020) Contact: SoCalGas, Brian Prusnek, Director of Customer Programs , (800) 427-2200, www.socalgas.com; UCSB, Jordan Sager, Energy Manager, 805-893-8000, www.ucsb.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Southern California Gas ,  Energy Efficiency,  


EPA Admin. Wheeler Comments on RFS Waivers -- Notable Quotes
RFS Waiver
Date: 2020-06-19
"I have talked personally with a number of small refiners all over the country -- (the agency is) working with them to see what we can do to help them during this time.

"We have extraordinary circumstances this year and we are looking at what relief we can provide everyone -- the ethanol industry is hurting as well." -- U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, 20 May, 2020

More Low-Carbon Energy News FRS Waiver,  Andrew Wheeler,  


India's EESL Investing in UK Energy Efficiency Market (Int'l.)
Energy Efficiency Services Limited
Date: 2020-06-19
India's Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of PSUs under the Ministry of Power, is reporting plans to invest £150 million this year in the UK and Ireland market. The investment, as part of EESL's UK joint venture EnergyPro Assets Limited (EPAL), will be focussed on decentralised energy systems that provide efficient power as well as heating and cooling. (Source: EESL, PTI, 17 June, 2020) Contact: Energy Efficiency Services Limited (India), www.eeslindia.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency Services Limited ,  


DOE EERE Funding Battery Manufacturing Innovation (R&D Funding)
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Date: 2020-06-19
In Washington, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Advanced Manufacturing Office is soliciting proposals from the National Laboratories and industry partners that pursue radical innovations for American battery manufacturing leadership. Under this opportunity, DOE will directly fund the National Laboratories to establish public-private partnerships that solve engineering challenges for advanced battery materials and devices, with a focus on de-risking, scaling, and accelerating adoption of new technologies.

The EERE Advanced Manufacturing Office and Vehicles Technologies Office will jointly invest up to $12 million in projects that address capability gaps for enhanced lithium-ion batteries, next-generation lithium-ion batteries, and next-generation lithium-based battery technologies through the following areas -- materials processing and scale-up; innovative advanced electrode and cell production; designer materials and electrodes; and formation.

Individual projects awards will range from $500,000 to $3 million over 24 to 36 months. A 50/50 cost-share will be required between DOE and the private partner, which can include an in-kind contribution.

Download details and contact information HERE .. (Source: DOE EERE, 18 June, 2020} Contact: DOE EERE, www.energy.gov/eere/funding/eere-funding-opportunities

More Low-Carbon Energy News Battery,  Energy StorageU.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy ,  


Winnipeg Launches Bldg. Energy Disclosure Project (Ind. Report)
City of Winnipeg
Date: 2020-06-19
On the Canadian prairies, the city of Winnipeg (pop. 817,000) reports the launch of its Building Energy Disclosure (benchmarking) Project for commercial and institutional buildings. The free program enables building owners to better understand their building's energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) performance by tracking a building's energy and GHG performance on ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager as well as disclose key building profile and performance metrics for inclusion on a public disclosure map.

Program participants will receive a personalized scorecard highlighting their building's key energy and GHG performance metrics, access to free educational workshops offered by the city and the Canada Green Building Council and assistance with identifying key building metrics including the creation of an ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account.

The program is made possible through a financial contribution from the Government of Canada's Department of Natural Resources.

Download Winnipeg Building Energy Disclosure Project Details HERE. (Source: City of Winnipeg, DCN-JOC News Services June 19, 2020) Contact: City of Winnipeg, www.winnipeg.ca/Sustainability/BEDP

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Benchmark news,  Building Energy news,  Energy Efficiency news,  


SD Senator Introduces RFS Pathway Biofuels Legislation (Re g & Leg)
Biofuel
Date: 2020-06-19
South Dakota Senator John Thune (R) has introduced bipartisan legislation that would help approve certain Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) pathway applications like corn fiber. The measure would compel the EPA to move forward on advanced biofuel applications rather than letting them sit idled at the agency awaiting action refinery applications for waivers move through the system, according to the Senator's release. (Soure: WNAX, 19 June, 2020) Contact: Senator John Thune, (202) 224-2321, (605) 348-7551, www.thune.senate.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Biofuel,  


Biodiesel Board Urges EPA to Reject RFS "Gap" Waivers (Ind. Report)
National Biodiesel Board
Date: 2020-06-19
The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) is urging EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to immediately reject the flood of 52 small refinery exemption petitions for previous years going back to 2011.

"EPA's consideration of small refinery exemption petitions going back to 2011 flies in the face of the recent 10th Circuit decision. By rolling back the clock, there appears to be no length EPA won't go to help refiners undermine the RFS. Make no mistake -- this handout to the oil industry comes at the expense of biodiesel producers and soybean farmers across the country, and particularly the Midwest. Allowing these gap filings renders the program completely unpredictable for renewable fuel producers. The agency must immediately reject these petitions to restore confidence that it will abide by the law in administering the RFS." NBB VP for Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik said.

NBB sent a June 1 letter to Administrator Wheeler saying, "EPA's first step upon receiving any petition for a small refinery exemption should be to evaluate its timeliness and validity before transmitting it to the Department of Energy." The letter makes the case that "gap" petitions or re-submissions of previously rejected petitions are inconsistent with the 10th Circuit's ruling. (Source: National Biodiesel Board, PR, NBB Website, 18 June, 2020) Contact: NBB, Kurt Kovarik, VP of Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.nbd.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board,  RFS,  RFS Waiver,  EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler ,  


Smarter Choices Helps SME Manufacturers Cut Energy Costs (Int'l.)
Smarter Choices
Date: 2020-06-17
In the UK, the Smarter Choices Group is reporting the launch of a pilot aimed at helping UK manufacturing SMEs to overcome current barriers to energy efficiency. The project is supported by the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy funding.

The Smarter Choices one-stop-shop digital platform will: showcase results from independent energy assessments; frame projects for financial review; provide a comprehensive offering with bundled access to financing; identify recommended and accredited contractors; integrate Measurement & Verification (M&V) technology and performance insurance; and others to support SME energy efficiency and cost cutting projects

Download Smart Choice details HERE. (Source: Smarters Choices Group, Production Engineer Solutions, 17 June, 2020) Contact: Smarter Choices Group, Dr. Joanne Wade, Chairperson, +44 ( 0) 207 7215031, info@smarter-choices.uk, www.smarter-choices.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency news,  


Real Estate Community's Role in City Climate Policy (Ind. Report)
Urban Land Institute
Date: 2020-06-15
"With leading cities refining their climate action plans and hundreds of more cities preparing to develop plans, the public and private sectors can unite around a set of principles to help accelerate progress toward these shared climate action goals. This recent report from ULI Greenprint, prepared in partnership with USDN, serves as a starting point for cities interested in engaging real estate leaders during the shaping of climate mitigation policies, and for real estate organizations to increase their understanding of the potential impact of these policies -- providing useful tools to help city officials and those in the real estate industry engage with each other in a meaningful and ongoing way.

"Each of the principles identified in this report is a distillation of recommendations identified during the Urban Land Institute's City and Real Estate Sustainability workshops, in which more than 60 public and private sector leaders participated. They are also grounded in the context of specific best practices in cities across the to create building-level climate mitigation policy.

"Each principle speaks to a specific strategy for creating successful climate mitigation policies at the local level, with an emphasis on what the city and real estate sector can do to better collaborate:

  • Calculate a baseline, then set interim and aspirational goals;
  • Involve stakeholders early and continuously;
  • Understand the business of real estate;
  • Align with the larger policy ecosystem;
  • Connect to a city's other social and economic goals;
  • Be comprehensive -- prioritize existing buildings and be flexible in achieving goals;
  • Foster a marketplace of support and ensure compliance, reward success, and accelerate transformation." (Source: Urban Land Institute, Website, June, 2020) Contact: Urban Land Institute, customerservice@uli.org, www.uli.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Climate Change Mitigation,  Urban Land Institute,  


  • Corrections Center Woody Biomass Project Scores $250,000 (Funding)
    US Forest Service
    Date: 2020-06-15
    The Washington State Department of Corrections is reporting receipt of $250,000 in U.S. Forest Service grant funding for a woody biomass energy project at the Larch Corrections Center.

    The $1.7 million project will include a biomass boiler and fuel handling system and is intended to offset use of fuel oil for heating and domestic hot water.

    Along with other energy-efficient upgrades, the biomass system could reduce the Larch Center's 74,000 gpy of fuel oil consumption to 2,470 gallons and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 91 pct, according to the release. (Source: Washington State Department of Corrections, The Reflector, 14 June, 2020)

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


    Swiss Air Passengers to Pay CO2 Tax on Tickets (Int'l. Report)
    SwissAir
    Date: 2020-06-12
    The Swiss parliament reports it has moved to impose an environmental tax of between CHF30 and CHF120 ($32 and $126) per ticket for flights departing Switzerland.

    The tax is expected to generate revenues of about CHF500,000 ($528.7 million) a year, half of which is to be refunded to Swiss citizens, according to a legal amendment under discussion in parliament. The legal amendment also includes a tax on fuel imports as well as the creation of a climate fund. (Source: Swissinfo, 10 June, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  SwissAir,  


    Alberta Abandons Provincial Energy Efficiency Agency (Ind. Report
    Alberta
    Date: 2020-06-12
    On the Canadian Prairies, the office of Alberta Environment Minister Jason Nixon has announced the closure of Energy Efficiency Alberta and the transfer of the 2017-vintage agency's $8-million budget into other departments or the current Emissions Reduction Alberta.

    Energy Efficiency Alberta received funding from a provincial carbon tax on gasoline and heating fuels. The agency issued initiatives and rebates on everything from solar panels to energy-efficient appliances, windows, insulation, LED light bulbs and low-flow shower heads. The rebates were cancelled last fall. (Source: Office of Alberta Environment Minister Jason Nixon , JWN, Canadian Press, 12 June, 2020) Contact: Alberta Environment Minister Jason Nixon, 780-427-2711, www.alberta.ca/minister-of-environment-and-parks.aspx

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


    DOE Better Buildings Initiative Trumpets Success (Report Attached)
    DOE Better Buildings Initiative
    Date: 2020-06-12
    In Washington, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Initiative 2020 Progress Report, the program has saved participants nearly $11 billion, avoid 105 million tons of CO2 emissions and cut water use by 8.5 billion gallons over the last decade.

    The program includes 32 Fortune 100 companies, 12 pct of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint and 13 pct of the nation's commercial building space. The program challenges businesses, manufacturers, cities, states, universities and school districts to improve building energy efficiency by at least 20 pct over a decade.

    Download the full report HERE. (Source: US DOE, June, 2020) Contact: US DOE, Better Buildings Initiative, www.betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE Better Buildings Initiative,  Energy Efficiency,  


    RFA Urges Trump to Reject Refinery Waivers (Ind. Report)
    RFA
    Date: 2020-06-12
    "One year ago today, you visited Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in Council Bluffs to join us in celebrating a monumental achievement. At your direction, EPA had just completed regulatory changes finally allowing year-round sales of gasoline containing 15 pct ethanol (E15).

    "This long-awaited move unlocked the door to future demand growth for ethanol and corn. It also meant consumers would have increased access to cleaner and more affordable fuel options at the pump.

    "Just as expected, the marketplace responded quickly. In the year since the red-tape barrier was removed, E15 sales are up 50pct.

    "But E15 growth would have been exponentially larger if not for your EPA continuing to excuse oil refiners from their legal obligations to blend renewable fuels. As we told you a year ago, EPA's refinery waivers have caused devastating demand losses for ethanol and corn, and they under mine the expansion of E15.

    "Even after a federal court overturned some refinery waivers in January, your EPA continues to receive dozens of exemption requests from oil companies. EPA is now even considering giving retroactive waivers for years that pre-date your administration.

    "This needs to stop. It is hurting farmers, costing consumers, and derailing progress on energy and environmental security.

    "The economic pain in farm country caused by these refinery waivers was compounded this spring—first by the Saudi-Russia oil price war, and then by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of this 'perfect tsunami,' half of the ethanol industry was recently shut down, leading to layoffs across rural America. The ethanol industry and farmers are hurting like never before.

    Mr. President, we need your help. We ask that you stand up for the Renewable Fuel Standard. Please direct your EPA to abide by the January court ruling and end the abuse of the refinery waiver loophole.

    "You stood by us, farmers, and consumers when you directed EPA to allow year-round E15. Now, we humbly ask that you stand with us again and ensure ethanol demand is not eroded by illegal refinery waivers. Thank you,"

    Geoff Cooper, Pres. & CEO Renewable Fuels Associationwww.EthanolRFA.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS news,  Refinery Waivers news,  Biofuel Blend news,  RFA news,  


    Biofuel Leaders Question Retroactive RFS Exemptions (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2020-06-10
    In a 9 June letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, the Renewable Fuels Assoc. wrote:

    "We are writing to request further information about petitions reportedly received by the U.S. EPA from small refiners seeking exemption from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for past compliance years.

    "The petitions in question were discussed during your testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on May 20, 2020. On the same day, U.S. DOE Under Secretary Mark Menezes confirmed that EPA is 'send[ing] over' past-year petitions for DOE review. Mr. Menezes described the petitions as 'gap filings' intended to reconstitute after-the-fact a continuous string of exemptions for select oil companies 'to be consistent with the Tenth Circuit decision.'

    "This attempt to circumvent the courts and the RFS should be rejected out of hand. Even if EPA granted retroactive 'gap' exemptions without simultaneously returning the number of RINs associated with the exemption to the petitioner, such exemptions would be inconsistent with EPA's own policies and regulations, legal precedent, and Congressional intent.

    "These 'gap filings' appear to be little more than the latest in a string of oil industry tactics designed to subvert the law and sidestep a court order to uphold the RFS. Read the full letter HERE. (Source: Renewable Fuels Assoc., 9 June, 2020) Contact: RFA, www.fuelsamerica.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Association,  RFS Waiver,  RFS,  RFA,  Ethanol,  Ethanol Blend,  


    Alabama Issues Weatherization, Energy Efficiency Grants (Funding)
    Alabama
    Date: 2020-06-08
    In Montgomery, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) reports the awarding of $3.2 million to 14 community agencies as part of the state's Weatherization Assistance Program. The program provides funds to improve the energy efficiency and lower energy costs for qualifying homes. Priority is given to people with disabilities, the elderly and low-income households with children.

    Under the program, qualifying homes receive an energy audit to determine the most cost-efficient measures. Common improvements include installing extra insulation in the attic, walls and floor; sealing air leaks around doors and windows; repairs or tune-ups for air conditioning and heating units; and replacing incandescent light bulbs with high-efficiency bulbs.

    The grants, which are administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, are drawn from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Energy. (Source: Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, PR, 8 June, 2020) Contact: Governor Kay Ivey, governor.alabama.gov; Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, adeca.alabama.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency news,  Weatherization news,  


    UK Building Society Offers Energy Efficiency Mortgage (Int'l.)
    Saffron Building Society
    Date: 2020-06-05
    Sussex, UK-based Saffron Building Society is reporting the launch of a "green" mortgage following a Government Green Finance Strategy campaign to encourage "green financial products."

    Saffron's Retro-Fit Mortgage is designed to encourage borrowers to upgrade current housing stock to a better energy efficiency rating (EPC). The initial interest rate is 1.47 pct fixed until 30/11/2022 followed by a 1 pct discount off the standard variable rate (SVR), currently 5.39 pct variable for the rest of the mortgage. The mortgage is available as Repayment (Capital and interest) up to 80 pct LTV or interest only up to 70 pct LTV, with a repayment vehicle in place (Source: Saffron Building Sciety, PR, June, 2020) Contact: Saffron Building Society, Laura Bright, +44 0 1799 522211, www.saffronbs.co.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Green Mortgage,  


    States Challenging Trump's Clean Car Standard Rollback (Ind. Report)
    Clean Air Act
    Date: 2020-06-03
    In Sacramento, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, leading a multistate coalition, has filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration's disastrous final rule rolling back the nation's Clean Car Standards requiring appropriate and feasible improvements in fuel economy and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from passenger cars and light trucks.

    The Trump Administration's "misguided" Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles (SAFE) rule stops Clean Car Standards progress in its tracks, despite the fact that the auto industry was currently on track to meet or exceed the Clean Car Standards, according to the release.

    The coalition will argue the Trump administration's rule unlawfully violates the Clean Air Act, the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, and that the Trump Administration's rollback of the nation's Clean Cars Standards is unlawful because, among other things, the EPA and NHTSA's rollbacks violate the statutory text and congressional mandates they are bound by; and the EPA and NHTSA improperly and unlawfully relied on an analysis riddled with errors, omissions, and unfounded assumptions in an attempt to justify their desired result.

    In filing the lawsuit, Attorney General Becerra is joined by the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. The California Air Resources Board, the Cities of Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Denver, and the Counties of San Francisco and Denver also joined the coalition in filing the lawsuit. (Source: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, PR, 27 May, 2020) Contact: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Vehicle Enissions,  Mibile Emissions,  Clean Air Act,  


    U.S. Treasury, IRS Regulations Help Businesses Claim Carbon Capture Credits (Ind. Report, Reg. & Leg.)
    Carbon Capture
    Date: 2020-06-01
    In Washington, the US Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service this week issued proposed regulations to help businesses understand how legislation passed in 2018 may benefit those claiming carbon capture credits. The proposed regulations provide guidance regarding two new credits for carbon oxide captured using equipment originally placed in service on or after February 9, 2018, allowing up to: $50 per metric ton of qualified CO2 for permanent sequestration, and up to $35 for Enhanced Oil Recovery purposes.

    Neither of these new credits is subject to a limitation on the number of metric tons of qualified carbon oxide captured. The new law also expanded carbon capture to include "qualified carbon oxide". Prior to the change in law, carbon capture was limited to a total of 75,000,000 metric tons of qualified carbon oxide.

    The proposed regulations address procedures to determine adequate security measures for the geological storage of qualified carbon oxide, exceptions to the general rule for determining who the credit is attributable to, procedures for a taxpayer to make an election to allow third-party taxpayers to claim the credit, standards for measuring utilization of qualified carbon oxide and rules for credit recapture.

    In Notice 2020-12, the IRS provides guidance to help businesses determine when construction has begun on a qualified facility or on carbon capture equipment that may be eligible for the carbon capture credit. This notice provides broad guidance in lieu of taxpayers requesting private letter rulings in this area.

    In Revenue Procedure 2020-12, the IRS creates a safe harbor for the allocation rules for carbon capture partnerships similar to the safe harbors developed for partnerships receiving the wind energy production tax credit and the rehabilitation credit. The safe harbor simplifies the application of carbon capture credit rules to partnerships able to claim the credit. (Source: US IRS, US Treasury Dept., MyChesCo, 30 May, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Oxide,  Carbon Monoxide,  CO2,  Carbon Capture,  CCS,  Carbon Credit,  


    ITM Motive to Build, Own, Operate H2 Fueling Stations (Int'l.)
    ITM Power
    Date: 2020-06-01
    In the UK, Sheffield-headquartered ITM Power reports it is establishing ITM Motive as a separate, wholly owned subsidiary that will own and operate a network of 8 hydrogen refueling stations, which will expand to 11 by the end of 2020. Each station incorporates an ITM Power electrolyzer and a Linde IC90 compression, storage and dispensing system. UK and EU funding to support the project has been arranged, according to the release.

    ITM Power manufactures integrated hydrogen energy solutions for grid balancing, energy storage and the production of renewable hydrogen for transport, renewable heat and chemicals. (Source: ITM Power, Website, Green Car Congress, June, 2020) Contact: ITM Power, +44 (0)114 244 5111, www.itm-power.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ITM Power news,  Hydrogen Fuel news,  


    Biofuel Quotas to Get Small Lift Under Draft of EPA Plan

    Date: 2020-05-29
    (Bloomberg) -- The Environmental Protection Agency has drafted a plan to slightly lift biofuel-blending targets next year, while so far skirting potentially controversial decisions about exempting refineries from U.S. mandates to use plant-based fuels, according to three people familiar with the matter. Under a proposed rule now undergoing White House review, the EPA would require refiners to use 5.17 billion gallons of advanced biofuels in 2021, up from 5.09 billion gallons this year, according to two of the people. That would include 670 million gallons of cellulosic renewable fuels, such as those made from crop residue, switchgrass and biogas harvested at landfills, up from 590 million gallons required this year. The EPA is expected to propose the quotas in coming months, and under federal law faces a Nov. 30 deadline to finalize the targets. Representatives of the EPA did not immediately respond to requests for comment. (Source: Yahoo, Bloomberg, 19 May, 2020)


    EPA Asked to Review Ethanol's Public Health Benefits (Ind Report)
    Urban Air Initiative
    Date: 2020-05-29
    The Kansas-based Urban Air Initiative has called for the EPA Science Advisory Board COVID-19 Review Panel to look at the research that shows the impact gasoline additives have on tailpipe emissions and air pollution.

    The review panel asked the question, "Does long term exposure to pollution increase the susceptibility of respiratory viruses like COVID-19?" Studies show that 40 pct of particulate emissions in urban areas come from gasoline vehicles. Most of these particulate emissions come from hydrocarbon based additives (aromatics) added to gasoline to boost octane. Ethanol has the ability to reduce the amount of aromatics in fuel, reducing tailpipe emissions.

    UAI urged the panel to review the EPA's emissions model called the Motor Vehicle emission Simulator (MOVES) Model. For years UAI has raised concerns that the MOVES Model does not use real world fuel properties when assessing gasoline emissions. (Source: Urban Air Initiative, May, 2020) Contact: Urban Air Initiative, Steve Vander Griend , Director, Fuels and Combustion Research, info@urbanairinitiative.com, www.ficourfuel.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Urban Air Initiative,  Ethanol,  


    Oregon DEQ Submits Emission Reduction Plans (Reg & Leg)
    Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
    Date: 2020-05-29
    The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) reports it has submitted detailed information to Gov. Kate Brown on how it plans to carry out her March 10 executive order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state. The DEQ submissions outline the processes the agency will use beginning later this year for developing rules, policies and strategies to accomplish the governor's emission reduction goals.

    The reports to the Governor focus on areas where significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved. Combined with actions by other state agencies, these steps represent Oregon's most comprehensive effort to date to stem the harmful effects of greenhouse gas pollution. The steps include:

  • Establishing a Cap and Reduce program, which will establish a regulatory program to require reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in three broad areas;

  • Expanding DEQ's already successful Clean Fuels Program , which requires the state's transportation fuel suppliers to provide the people of Oregon with fuels that are less carbon intensive;

  • Working with ODOT and other Oregon agencies to implement other strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks, including emissions standards for trucks and programs for large employers to help reduce driving;

  • Developing ways to capture more methane from Oregon landfills, which are a significant contributor to climate change;

  • Reducing avoidable food waste to prevent the environmental burdens of food production, distribution, refrigeration, preparation and final disposal, while also strengthening efforts to recover unavoidable food waste through anaerobic digestion and composting. (Source: Oregon Department of Environmental Quality , PR, Website, May, 2020) Contact: Oregon Department of Environmental Quality , Richard Whitman, Dir., Harry Esteve, Communications, 503-951-3856, esteve.harry@deq.state.or.us, www.deq.state.or.us

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Oregon Department of Environmental Quality,  Carbon Emissions,  Emission Reductions,  


  • ITM Power Launches ITM Motive Energy Storage Div. (Int'l.)
    ITM Power
    Date: 2020-05-27
    In the UK, North Yorkshire-based ITM Power Ltd. is touting ITM Motive, a separate new business division to manage the company's refueling and energy storage assets.

    The company received UK and EU funding to support the construction and deployment costs and has signed an agreement with Shell to deploy the technology. (Source: ITM Power, Website, May, 2020) Contact: ITM Power, Dr Duncan Yellen, Managing Dir., +44(0) 114 244 5111, www.itm-power.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Storage,  ITM Power,  


    ITM Power Launches ITM Motive Energy Storage Div. (Int'l.)
    ITM Power
    Date: 2020-05-20
    North Yorkshire-based ITM Power Ltd. has launched ITM Motive, a separate new business division for the management of the company's energy storage and network of eight publicly accessible hydrogen refuelling stations, which will expand to 11 by the end of 2020.

    ITM Power has received UK and EU funding to support construction and deployment costs and has signed an agreement with Shell to deploy the technology on its forecourts. (Source: ITM Power, Website, May, 2020) Contact: ITM Power, Dr Duncan Yellen, Managing Dir., +44(0)114 244 5111, www.itm-power.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ITM Power news,  Energy Storage news,  


    Higher Biofuel Blends Infrastructure Grants Offered (Funding)
    USDA
    Date: 2020-05-19
    In Washington, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports the launch of an online portal to begin accepting applications for Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) grants.

    USDA plans to make available up to $100 million in competitive grants for activities designed to expand the sale and availability of ethanol and biodiesel fuels. The funds will be directly available to help transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities convert to higher ethanol and biodiesel blends by sharing the costs related to the installation of fuel pumps, related equipment and infrastructure.

    Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program details HERE. Application information HERE.

    (Source: USDA Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, 15 May, 2020) Contact: USDA, www.rd.usda.gov/hbiip

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  Biofuel Blend,  Biofuel Infrastructure,  


    Scout Clean Energy 600-MW Horse Heaven Wind Farm (Ind. Report)
    Scout Clean Energy
    Date: 2020-05-19
    Boulder, Colorado-based renewable energy developer, owner and operator Scout Clean Energy reports it will apply for a conditional use permit from Benton County, Washington for its 600-MW Horse Heaven Wind Farm project south of Kennewick later this year.

    The project is expected to incorporate as many as 212 GE wind turbines at a total cost of $850 million and generate sufficient energy for approximately 140,000 homes when fully operational in 2022.

    Horse Heaven Wind Farm is subject to regulatory review under the Washington State Environmental Policy Act, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (Source: Scout Clean Energy, Facebook, Tri Cities Journal of Business, May, 2020)Contact: Scout Clean Energy, Michael Rucker, CEO, (303) 284-7566, michael@scoutcleanenergy.com, www.scoutcleanenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Scout Clean Energy ,  Wind,  


    Ill. EPA Awards Waste Water Plant Efficiency Funding (Funding)
    Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
    Date: 2020-05-19
    In Springfield, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) Office of Energy reports the awarding of $422,250 in energy efficiency grant funding to four Illinois wastewater treatment facilities.

    The $422,250 in grant funding will be leveraged by an estimated $16,018,574 in matching funds being applied toward the projects from the four grantees: the City of Anna, Union County, $52,250; City of Rock Island, Rock Island County, $45,000; Village of Romeoville, Will County, $200,000; and Thorn Creek Basin Sanitary District, Chicago Heights, Cook and Will counties, $125,000.

    The grants will enable the municipal organizations to make energy efficiency upgrades to wastewater equipment identified by previous energy audits, in some cases audits were provided at no-cost by the Office of Energy. These grants are expected to save the grantees 2,431,955 kWhs of energy annually for significant money savings. (Source: Illinois EPA, Gazette Democrat, 15 May, 2020) Contact: Illinois EPA, Wastewater Treatment Plant Energy Efficiency Program, www2.illinois.gov/epa/topics/water-quality/Pages/default.aspx

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Waste Water,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Jamestown Considers $1.9Mn Energy Efficiency Investment (Ind. Report)
    Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2020-05-19
    In the Empire State, the Jamestown City Council reports it is considering a $1,950 million agreement with Stark Tech Group for energy efficiency upgrades to city facilities that would save the city of roughly 30,000 residents approximately $78,000 per year in energy costs.

    The planned improvements include: cool planting and boiler upgrades for the city Municipal Building; heating plant upgrade for the Public Works Department; lighting upgrades for the city Municipal Building, fire stations, Public Works and other buildings and locations. (Source: City of Jamestown, Post-Journal, 18 May, 2020) Contact: Stark Tech Group, Todd Hanson , www.starktechgroup.com; City of Jamestown, NY, Energy Efficiency Programs, (716) 661-1660, www.jamestownbpu.com/178/Efficiency-Programs, www.jamestownny.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    DOI Approves $1Bn Gemini Solar Project in Nevada (Ind. Report)
    Arevia Power,U.S. Department of the Interior
    Date: 2020-05-15
    The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) reports its approval of Redwood City, California-based Arevia Power's planned 690-MW Gemini Solar Project in Nevada.

    The approximate $1 billion project, which includes 380 MW of battery storage, will serve NV Energy, part of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate, as the utility works to meet the Silver State's 50 pct by 2030 and 100 pct clean energy by 2050 mandate. The project's power would feed Las Vegas and potentially additional areas in Southern California. (Source: US DOI, GTM. 11 May, 2020) Contact: U.S. Department of the Interior, www.doi.gov; NV Energy, Doug Cannon, Pres., CEO, Kristen Saibini, Corporate Communications,, 775-834-3891, ksaibini@nvenergy.com, www.nvenergy.com; Arevia Power, Ricardo Graf, CDO, 917-653-8116, ricardo@areviapower.com, www.areviapower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Arevia Power,  Solar,  U.S. Department of the Interior ,  


    Sulzer Chemtech Announces Bio-Based Development Team (Int'l.)
    Sulzer Chemtech
    Date: 2020-05-13
    Winterthus, Switzerland-headquartered chemical separation technology specialist Sulzer Chemtech has announced the creation of a new global bio-based and renewables application development team focused on the conversion of renewable feedstocks into biochemicals and biofuels. The new unit will also help create the technology and engineering solutions to enable a successful transition towards sustainable processing and manufacturing activities.

    Sulzer notes it has participated in non-conventional biofuel production, plastics recycling and bio-based plastic commercial production projects. These include the Quantafuel (Norway) and Steelanol (Belgium) projects for the transformation of non-recyclable plastics and carbon rich waste gases into fuel. In addition, Sulzer's PLAnet venture offers turn-key production equipment and plants to obtain polylactic acid (PLA) from sugars or starches. (Source: Sulzer Chemtech, PR, BioMarkets, May, 2020) Contact: Sulzer Chemtech, Torsten Wintergerste, Division Pres., www.sulzer.com/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Sulzer Chemtech,  Biofuel,  Biofuel Feedstock,  Biochemical,  


    2018 Vehicles Met 2018 GHG Targets, says US EPA Report (Ind. Report)
    US EPA
    Date: 2020-05-13
    According to the 2019 EPA Automotive Trends Report, the average estimated CO2 emission rate for all model year 2018 vehicles in the U.S. fell by 4 grams per mile to 353 g/mi and fuel economy increased very slightly by 0.2 mpg over 2017 levels to 25.1 mpg -- a record high. The reports notes that since 2004, auto CO2 emissions and fuel economy have improved in 12 out of 14 years and have repeatedly achieved new records.

    Average estimated real-world auto CO2 emissions are projected to fall 6 g/mi to 346 g/mi and fuel economy is projected to increase 0.4 mpg to 25.5 mpg. All the large manufacturers -- with production of more than 150,000 in model year 2018 -- ended the 2018 model year in compliance with the GHG target program, the report noted.

    Download the 2019 EPA Automotive Trends Report HERE (Source: US EPA, Auto Service World, 11 May, 2020)

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


    Form Energy, Great River Energy Storage Pilot Launched (Ind. Report)
    Form Energy, Great River Energy
    Date: 2020-05-11
    Somerville,Mass.-based grid energy storage specialist Form Energy reports it is partnering with Minnesota-based utility Great River Energy to jointly deploy a 1MW / 150MWh pilot project in Cambridge, MN. Great River Energy is Minnesota's second-largest electric utility and the fifth largest generation and transmission cooperative in the U.S.

    This system will be the first commercial deployment of Form Energy's proprietary grid-connected aqueous air battery system.

    In preparation for the pilot, Form Energy conducted a portfolio optimization study of Great River Energy's unique system characteristics with Formware™, a proprietary software analytics platform design to help energy planners model future grids. Formware™ was purpose-built to model high penetration renewables at the system level and determine how all types of storage enable cost-effective renewable energy integration.

    Since its 2017 founding, Form Energy has raised over $50 million in funding. (Source: Form Energy, PR, 8 May, 2020) Contact: Form Energy, Mateo Jaramillo, CEO, www.formenergy.com; Great River Energy , Vice President and Chief Power Supply Officer Jon Brekke. www.greatriverenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Great River Energy,  Energy Storage ,  


    Trump Urged to Reject Waiver Requests (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    EPA,Renewable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2020-05-11
    In the nation's capitol, a bipartisan group of 24 U.S. senators -- including Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Tina Smith(D-Minn) Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich) have written the following to the White House:

    "We are writing to urge you to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and immediately reject the requests for a waiver of the RFS under Section 211(o)(7) of the Clean Air Act recently received by the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) from five state governors.

    "Across our states, biofuels lower fuel prices, create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the new energy economy, many of which are in rural areas, provide an important market for farmers, cut our reliance on foreign oil, reduce emissions and harmful air pollutants, and provide critical inputs to our food supply.

    "Our nation is facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the global health pandemic caused by COVID-19, with the impacts being felt across all of society. Waiving the RFS would cause further harm to the U.S.economy, especially our most vulnerable rural communities. It would also exacerbate the effects experienced by the biofuel sector as a result of COVID-19, causing far-reaching detrimental impacts on employment, farmers, food security, fuel prices, and the environment. The resiliency of America's renewable fuel industry has already suffered as a result of the EPA's drastic expansion of the small refinery waiver program in recent years.

    "The U.S. Department of Homeland Security identified the biofuels sector as an essential critical infrastructure workforce during the COVID-19 response. However, as motor fuel demand has plummeted, prices have slumped to record lows and producers are suffering heavy losses. At this point more than 70 ethanol facilities with an annual production capacity of 6.1 billion gallons have been fully idled, and approximately 70 more plants have reduced their operating rates by a combined amount of 1.9 billion gallons annualized. At least 46 pct of the ethanol industry's total production capacity is now idled, and eight biodiesel and renewable diesel facilities remain offline. Highly-skilled jobs across the country are being lost at an alarming rate.

    "Biofuel plant closures have ripple effects through the U.S. economy. Farm income is directly linked to the health of the renewable fuel industry. Plant shutdowns are causing commercial CO2 supply shortages and inhibiting the ability of meat packers and other food sectors to refrigerate, preserve,and supply food and beverages at current, affordable rates. Ethanol plants also produce low cost, high-protein animal feed (distillers grains). Supply shortages as a result of biofuel plant closures are impacting livestock feed procurement, rations, and prices. Biodiesel producers provide value to surplus and waste oils, fats and greases from food, feed and other biofuel production. Without the biodiesel industry, excess feedstocks will clog the supply chain, causing livestock producers to potentially raise prices for consumers. Removing biofuels from gasoline and diesel will also lead to an increase of greenhouse gas emissions, particulate matter, and toxics-causing degradation to our air quality.

    "Recent requests for a waiver of the RFS are unjustified and clearly do not satisfy the rigorous requirements necessary for EPA consideration. RFS waivers can only be granted by EPA if there is a demonstration of 'severe harm' to the economy or environment of a state, region or the United States that is directly caused by the RFS. None of these standards are met today and the following reasons clearly demonstrate the case for rejecting the waiver requests:

  • Challenging market conditions in the oil sector are the directresult of oversupply from international competitors combined with falling gasoline, diesel and jet fuel demand as a result of the COVID-19, not the RFS.

  • The RFS already accommodates demand reductions and provides flexibility to reflect the reality of motor fuel demand. EPA translates the annual RFS requirements into a percentage share of gasoline and diesel. Thus, the existing structure of the RFS regulations already results in an oil refiner's renewable volume obligations being proportionally reduced if overall motor fuel demand drops over the year

  • EPA has repeatedly found that RIN prices do not negatively impact refiners, a position reinforced by the 10th Circuit court in January 200. In addition, a record-large supply of RINs is available to refiners today, largely as a consequence of EPA's abusive expansion of the small refinery exemption program, so the threat of high RIN prices is currently non-existent.

    "We urge you to direct the EPA to reject all calls to waive the RFS. The RFS is more important now than ever as farmers, the biofuel sector, and rural America struggle to remain operational during the COVID-19 crisis." (Source: US Senate, 8 May, 2020)

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


  • Bankrupt Philly Refiner Offered Cap on RFS Obligation (Ind Report)
    Philadelphia Energy Solutions
    Date: 2020-05-11
    The Trump administration has offered to place a $10 million cap on bankrupt Philadelphia Energy Solutions' biofuel blending obligations, effectively cutting the refiner's regulatory liability by more than 70 pct and freeing more cash for the company's creditors. Under the deal PES will either surrender 161.8 million biofuel blending credits (RINs) valued at roughly $35 million or pay up to $10 million to meet its RFS obligations, according to Reuters.

    The Trump EPA previously waived $350 million in biofuels compliance costs for PES after its initial bankruptcy in 2018.

    As reported in Jan., Philadelphia-headquartered bioenergy developer SG Preston dropped its previously expressed interest in redeveloping the shut-down fire-damaged 335,000 bpd Philadelphia refinery, which is now being sold by creditors for $252 million and redeveloped under a bankruptcy court approved plan. (Source: Various Media,Reuters, May, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Philadelphia Energy Solutions,  RFS,  Biofuel Blend,  RINs,  


    EPA Aircraft GHG Rule Proposal in White House Hands (Reg & Leg)
    EPA
    Date: 2020-05-11
    In the nation's capitol, the EPA reports its first-ever proposed rule on aircraft greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review.

    The proposed rule builds on the EPA's 2016 finding that aviation emissions endanger public health and welfare. Unfortunately, the new rules proposal comes at a time when the airlines are struggling because of the COVID-19 crisis and can ill afford potentially expensive new obligations.

    Internationally, the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has set its own GHG emissions reductions calling for an emissions freeze to be met through more energy efficient aircraft, increased use of biofuels and other "low-carbon" fuels, improved airline operations or the purchase of approved offsets.

    The U.S., an ICAO member, has agreed to impose the freeze in 2021. The freeze, which becomes mandatory in 2027, is calculated on the average of 2019 and 2020, so the baseline is plummeting thanks to COVID-19. The industry now prefers that the baseline be based on 2019 alone, which is much more in line with their initial expectations.

    Environmental groups claim ICAO provisions as too weak and oppose the baseline adjustments requested by the airlines and call for "technology forcing" EPA measures that go beyond ICAO. (Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute, 8 May, 2020)Contact: ICAO, Secretary General Fang Liu, www.icao.in

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


    Windsourcing.com Launches Europe-wide B2B Online Shop (Int'l.)
    Windsourcing
    Date: 2020-05-08
    Wind turbine after-sales market repair and parts distributor Windsourcing.com reports it is now offering its product range for purchase in a B2B online shop throughout Europe.

    Associated with this are further service advantages, such as the display of the stock availability of all products, in order to guarantee the buyer planning security for necessary orders. Products offered include corrosion protection coating systems for on- and offshore wind turbines; adhesives and sealants; rotor blade repair materials; as well as hydraulic and electrotechnical products. Unavailable products can be ordered. Windsourcing.com counts 3M, Akzo Nobel, Sika, ABB, Vestas, Siemens and many more among its customers. (Source: Windsourcing, PR, Website, 4 May, 2020) Contact: Windsourcing, +49 (0) 40 - 9876 88 00+49; www.windsourcing.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Windsourcing,  Wind,  


    Silver Membrane Carbon Capture Tech Touted (New Prod & Tech, Int'l.)
    Newcastle University,
    Date: 2020-05-08
    In the UK, Newcastle University researchers are touting a new class of self-forming silver membrane to separate carbon dioxide from a mixture of gases. Operating like a coffee filter, it lets harmless gases, such as nitrogen, exit into the atmosphere and then the CO2 can be processed.

    In a method never tried before and described in the research paper, aluminum oxide supports in pellet and tubular form were used to grow the silver membrane. Silver was added to the membrane, and the conditions experienced during operation forced the silver to grow within the membrane, bestowing higher performance.

    The researchers used X-ray micro-computed tomography to look inside the membrane and confirm that the permeation of CO2 and O2 stimulated self-assembly of silver dendrites.

    The researchers believe the system may be applicable for use in CO2 separation processes, either to protect the environment or in reaction engineering. Researchers also note "the performance of the membrane is at the level required to be competitive with existing carbon capture processes -- in fact, it would likely reduce the size of the equipment required significantly and potentially lower operating costs." (Source: Newcastle University, Website, Technology Networks, May 04, 2020) Contact: Newcastle University, Dr. Greg Mutch, www.ncl.ac.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Capture,  CCS,  


    energyOrbit Energy Efficiency Report Reveals Savings (Ind. Report)
    energyOrbit
    Date: 2020-05-08
    A new Energy Efficiency Impact Report from San Francisco-based cloud energy efficiency and Demand-Side Management specialist energyOrbit unveils the energy and cost savings for residents and businesses by aggregating data from its customers, including utility companies and other energy efficiency (EE) organizations.

    The report notes that $3.7 billion in incentives were paid to businesses and households and benefited customers participating in energy rebate programs. Enterprises also contributed to a cleaner atmosphere, taking the equivalent of 3.6 million passenger cars off the road, while avoiding 16.7 million metric tons of COշ.

    For its report, energyOrbit tallied data from investor-owned utilities, municipalities, cooperatives and third-party implementers in the U.S. and Canada since 2008. The numbers have been charted in two areas: Total Energy Savings and Incentive Payments. The report also highlights the following savings reference points: Annual electricity use of 2.8 million homes; 4.4 coal-fired plants not in use; 3,600 wind turbines running for a year; 22 million acres of U.S. forests planted in one year , and 54 percent of New York City electricity consumption per year.

    As of 2019, energyOrbit has helped utilities and third-party implementers manage more than 24 TWh of electricity savings. Additionally, 11 GW of peak demand has been reduced by efficiency measures tracked by energyOrbit. Additionally, over $3.7 billion in incentives have been managed and prepared for payment. (Source: energyOrbit, PR, 5 May, 2020) Contact: energyOrbit, Udi Merhav, CEO , 866-628-8744, www.energy-orbit.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News energyOrbit,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Management,  


    Fraunhofer Touts Marine Biofuel Progress (New Prod & Tech, Int'l)
    Fraunhofer Institute
    Date: 2020-05-08
    In Oberhausen, Germany, Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT researchers are touting a new marine fuel made by converting bioethanol into diesel, gasoline or jet fuel that have nearly the same properties as fossil fuels and reduces soot emissions and other greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30 pct compared to fossil fuel.

    Lead researcher Dr. Andreas Menne, a mechanical engineer who heads up the Biorefinery and Biofuels department and his colleagues are aiming to mitigate marine diesel's adverse impact on the climate with a new technology.

    The UMSICHT researchers are producing up to 20 liters of the new biofuel a week in an experimental plant. The feedstock is bioethanol sourced from wheat straw. Although the synthetic diesel is still more expensive than diesel made of petroleum, it is ready to go to market, according to the release. (Source: Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology, 7-May, 2020 ) Contact: Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology, Dr. Andreas Menne, +49 208 85980 www.umsicht.fraunhofer.de/en.html

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Fraunhofer Institute,  Biofuel,  Marine Biofuel,  Maritime Biofuel,  


    Lystek Demonstrates New Anaerobic Digestion Tech. (Ind. Report)
    Lystek International,California Energy Commission
    Date: 2020-05-08
    Cambridge, Ontario-headquartered Lystek International Limited reports it is working with the Goleta California Sanitary District (GSD)and the California Energy Commission (CEC) on a project that separates and co-digests organic food waste in a mobile skid-mounted anaerobic digester.

    For the CEC funded project the digesters are being fed at variable rates to verify and document the level of biogas generation from the food waste collected and provide "real-world information that other wastewater and solid waste professionals can use to determine how best to manage SSO and food waste material."

    In the coming months, Lystek will submit the results from the first phase of the project to the CEC. The next steps will include investigating the use of the company's patented low-temperature thermal hydrolysis process, LystekTHP, and the LysteMize refeed process for AD optimisation. According to the company, this allows for post-digestion processing of biosolids and the recirculation of the processed material, providing an improved biogas yield and increased energy generation. (Source: California Energy Commission, (916) 465-4500, www.energy.ca.gov; Lystek International Limited, May, 2020) Contact: Lystek International Ltd., James Dunbar, Bus. Dev, GM, (226) 444-0186, (888) 501-6508, (707) 430-5500 -- Calif., info@lystek.com, www lystek.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News California Energy Commission ,  Lystek International,  Anaerobic Digester,  


    RNG Transportation Fuel Use on the Rise (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Natural Gas
    Date: 2020-05-08
    According to Advanced Clean Tech News, the volume of renewable natural gas (RNG) as an on-road transportation fuel has grown by 39 pct since NGVs were first introduced in the 1990s.

    Natural gas vehicles (NGV) were first certified to California's ultra-low and super ultra-low emission standards the 1990s and natural gas technology has broken the ultra-low NOx barrier with engines certified to levels that are 90 pct cleaner than the most stringent U.S. EPA standards for oxides of nitrogen.

    According to California Air Resources Board (CARB) RNG fuel has the lowest EER-adjusted carbon intensity of any on-road motor fuel, as low as -400. (Source: CARB, Advanced Clean Tech News, May, 2020) Contact: CARB, Richard Perry, CEO, Melanie Turner, Information Officer, (916) 322-2990, melanie.turner@arb.ca.gov, www.arb.ca.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Natural Gas,  RNG,  California Air Resources Board ,  


    IPPCA Supports Philippine Ethanol Blending Suspension (Int'l.)
    Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association
    Date: 2020-05-06
    In Manila, the Philippines, the Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association (IPPCA) has come out in support of the Philippine Department of Energy's suggested diversion of biofuel production into the creation of ethyl alcohol on the grounds that "diverting it [biofuels] to ethyl alcohol, or even as alcohol beverage, will be more beneficial for the economy."

    Under 2006 legislation, the Philippines mandates a 10 pct bioethanol-gasoline blend rate. The energy Department noted "Let's use the ethanol to produce alcohol and since the price of oil is low, we can use 100 pct gasoline." Under the country's Biofuels Act, prohibits the "diversion of biofuels, whether locally produced or imported, to purposes other than those envisioned in the Act." (Source: Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association, Business World, 5 May, 2020) Contact: Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association, www.facebook.com/pages/category/Nonprofit-Organization/Independent-Philippine-Petroleum-Companies-Association-IPPCA-120279771348470

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,   Ethanol Blend,  Philippine Ethano,  Biofuel Blendl Blend,  


    New Mexico CCS Project Scores $22Mn in Funding (Funding Report)
    New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology,
    Date: 2020-05-06
    The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech) is reporting the carbon capture project at San Juan Generating Station has scored $22 million in cooperative funding for a northwest New Mexico site analysis.

    Data and analyses produced under the funding agreement will be used to prepare, submit and attain a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency to potentially construct a CO2 injection well, that would allow for geologic sequestration of 50 million metric tonnes of CO2. Of the total funding, $17.5 million came from the US DOE and $4.5 million is in cost sharing from the other parties to the agreement. (Source: New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, PR, 4 May, 2020) Contact: New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Dr. Robert Balch , Petroleum Recovery Research Centre , 575-835-5434, www.nmt.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology,  ,  


    B&V Wins Hong Kong Wood Biomass-Recycling Project (Int'l Report)
    Black & Veatch
    Date: 2020-05-06
    In Hong Kong, the Environmental Protection Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region reports the appointment of Overland Park, Kansas-headquartered Black & Veatch (B&V) as "owner's engineer" of the city's 24 tpd woody waste recycling pilot plant.

    Black & Veatch Hong Kong will review the technology, market, environmental and regulatory aspects of the project's proposed biochar plant and prepare a reference design, assist in procurement, construction, testing and commissioning.

    Woody waste recycling is key to the city of roughly 7.5 million residents bio-waste management strategy. (Source: Black & Veatch, PR, Chemical Eng., 4 May, 2020) Contact: Black & Veatch Hong Kong, James Chan, Project Director, 913 458 2000, www.bv.com/locations/hong-kong-sar

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Black & Veatch ,  Woody Biomass ,  

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