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

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

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

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


Cubico Snares 50-MW Uruguay Wind Farm (Int'l Report, M&A)
Cubico Sustainable Investments
Date: 2020-01-17
In the UK, London-headquartered Cubico Sustainable Investments is reporting acquisition of a 50-MW wind park in the department of Flores, southwestern Uruguay from Astidey SA for an undisclosed consideration.

With the acquisition, Cubico has expanded its portfolio in Uruguay to 100 MW. Cubico's global portfolio across 11 countries totals 3.1 GW.(Source: Cubico Sustainable Investments, Website Press Release, 15 Jan., 2020) Contact: Cubico Sustainable Investments , Ricardo Diaz, contact@cubicoinvest.com, +44 (0)20 3805 3900, www.cubicoinvest.com; Asticy, www.astidey.com.uy

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Wind M&A,  


EC Cutting Industrial Carbon Cost Refunds (Int'l. Report)
EU,EC,EU ETS
Date: 2020-01-17
In Brussels, the European Commission (EC) is reporting a proposal to reduce the number of industries eligible for compensation for the costs incurred from their inclusion in the EU's carbon market Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). Under the proposal, reparations would be "conditional upon decarbonisation efforts by the companies concerned."

The industries affected by the proposal include: Iron ore mining; man-made fiber manufacturing; copper production; preparation and spinning of textile fibers; organic basic chemicals manufacturing; nitrogen compounds and fertilizer manufacturing; and mining of chemical and fertilizer minerals.

In a statement, the European Commission defended the The new state aid guidelines are inline with the European Green Deal which aims to cut global warming emissions, according to the EC release. (Source: EC, EURACTIV, 16 Jan., 2020)

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


USDA Seeks New Biofuels Infrastructure Program Input (Reg. & Leg)
USDA
Date: 2020-01-17
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking input on the creation of a new Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) to expand the availability of domestic ethanol and biodiesel by incentivizing the expansion of sales of renewable fuels.

This Request for Information (RFI) solicits information on options for fuel ethanol and biodiesel infrastructure, innovation, products, technology, and data derived from all HBIIP processes and/or science that drive economic growth, promote health, and increase public benefit.

Through this RFI, USDA seeks input from the public, including but not limited to: retail fueling stations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, fleet facilities, and similar entities with capital investments; equipment providers, equipment installers, certification entities and other stakeholder/manufacturers (both upstream and down); fuel distribution centers, including terminals and depots; and those performing innovative research, and/or developing enabling platforms and applications in manufacturing, energy production, and agriculture.

Access USDA RFI details HERE. (Source: USDA, 16 Jan., 2020)

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


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

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

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

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


Minn. Energy Efficiency Disclosure Ordinance in Force (Ind. Report)
Minneapolis
Date: 2020-01-15
The city of Minneapolis is reporting a city ordinance requiring one- and two-family homeowners to collect energy consumption and efficiency data before listing their homes for sale came into force Jan. 15, 2020.

Homeowners can comply with the ordinance by having a Truth In Sale of Housing (TISH) inspector collect the data during the mandatory pre-listing evaluation or by getting an energy audit from Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy's Home Energy Squad program.

In either case, an inspection evaluates a home's windows, heating system and attic and wall insulation and compiles the data into an "energy score" of the home's energy efficiency. The inspector will also prepare a report detailing the improvements a homeowner or homebuyer could -- but is not required to -- make, how much those improvements typically cost and how much could be saved annually by making them.

The Minneapolis Climate Action Plan calls for 75 pct of houses to undergo energy retrofits by 2025, and notes the city offers no financing for energy efficiency improvements. (Source: City of Minneapolis, Southwest Journal, Jan., 2020) Contact: www.minneapolismn.gov/ccs/ccs_tish; Home Energy Squad, www.homeenergysquad.net

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Building Energy Benchmarking,  


Welsh Woody Biomass Plant Undergoing Final Tests (Int'l Report)
Barry Biomass
Date: 2020-01-15
In Wales, the long delayed 86,000 tpy Barry Biomass waste woody biomass facility on Barry Island reports it is near completing its testing phase and has commissioned the plant's wood chipping system and designed to recover energy from pre-prepared mixed waste wood gasification turbine, generator set. The plants expects to go into full production later this year.

The 10 MW facility, which was financed by Aviva Investors, will process shredded mixed waste wood from households and industry, include items such as pallets, fence panels, cupboards and similar biomass. (Source: Barry Biomass, LetsRecycle.co, 14 Jan., 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  


US GAO to Investigate EPA RFS Small Refinery Exemptions, "Hardship Waiver" Program (Ind. Report, Reg. & Leg.)
RFS,U.S. Government Accountability Office
Date: 2020-01-15
On Capitol Hill, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has replied in the affirmative to a request from bi-partisan group of U.S House members led by Rep. Abby Finkenauer, (D-Iowa) -- Chairwoman, Subcommittee on Rural Development, Agriculture, Trade, and Entrepreneurship Committee on Small Business House of Representative -- urging the agency to examine the review and approval of small refinery exemptions (SREs), including the DOE's viability of scores for the 40 compliance year 2018 SRE applications that had been reviewed as of that date.

In its Jan. 10 reply, the GAO accepted the request as being within the scope of its authority and assigned Mark E. Gaffigan, managing director of Natural Resources and Environment to begin the investigation shortly.

"Granting more than 80 small refinery exemption waivers isn't just something this administration can sweep under the rug," Finkenauer said in a statement announcing the GAO investigation.

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: Office of US Rep. Abby Finkenaur, 10 Jan., 2020) Contact: Office of US Rep. Abby Finkenaur , https://finkenauer.house.gov/sites/finkenauer.house.gov; U.S. Government Accountability Office, (202) 512-3000, contact@gao.gov, www.gao.gov

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


Zimbabwe Biodiesel Project Finds Funding (Int'l Report, Funding)
IRENA
Date: 2020-01-13
Following up on our Dec 9th 2019 coverage, in Zimbabwe a planned jatropha bio-diesel processing plant in Mount Hampden is reported to have secured a $12 million concessionary loan repayable over 20-25 years from the IRENA Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.

The loan will finance the construction of a bio-diesel plant an the cultivation of additional Jatropha plants in Mudzi. (Source: IRENA, Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority, Sunday Mail, Bulawayo24News, Jan., 2020)Contact: Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority, www.zera.co.zw; IRENA Abu Dhabia Fund for Development, www.irena.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Jatropha,  Biodiesel,  Zimbabwe,  IRENA ,  


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

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

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

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

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


Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for the (CLEAN) Future Act Released (Reg. & Leg. Report)
Climate Change
Date: 2020-01-10
In the nation's capitol, U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.) has released the legislative framework of the draft Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for the (CLEAN) Future Act -- an ambitious new climate plan to ensure the U.S. achieves net-zero greenhouse gas pollution and 100 pct clean energy no later than 2050. The draft bill incorporates both proven and novel concepts, presenting a set of policy proposals that will put the U.S. on the path to a clean and prosperous economy. Specific to carbon emissions and climate change, the draft legislation:
  • Directs all federal agencies to use all existing authorities to put the country on a path toward net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It does not stipulate which energy sources or strategies qualify, instead taking a technology-inclusive approach to reaching net-zero emissions by mid-century. To ensure federal agencies' collective efforts remain on track, the draft legislation directs the EPA to evaluate each agency's plans, make recommendations and report on progress each year.

  • Empowers the states to complete the transition to a net-zero economy, based on the existing federalism model in the (Obama administration) Clean Air Act. The bill sets a national climate standard of net-zero greenhouse gas pollution in each state by 2050. States are then granted flexibility to develop plans to meet the 2050 and interim standards based on their policy preferences, priorities and circumstances. Each state must submit a climate plan to EPA, which then reviews and approves or disapproves each plan.

  • Establishes a National Climate Bank to mobilize public and private investments in low- and zero-emissions energy technologies, climate resiliency, building efficiency and electrification, industrial decarbonization, grid modernization, agriculture projects, and clean transportation.

  • The draft legislation reduces transportation emissions, the largest source of GHG emissions, by improving vehicle efficiency, accelerating the transition to low- to zero-carbon fuels and building the infrastructure needed for a clean transportation system. The bill directs EPA to set new, increasingly stringent greenhouse gas emission standards for light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, including off-road modes of transportation. (Source: Office of Congressman Frank Pallone Jr., Jan., 2020) Contact: Congressman Frank Pallone Jr , Chairman, Energy and Commerce Committee, (202) 225-4671 (202) 225-9665 - fax, https://pallone.house.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  


  • Vermont Reports Slow Progress on Cutting Emissions (Ind. Report)
    Vermont Climate Change
    Date: 2020-01-10
    In Montpelier, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation is reporting the issuance of its Vermont Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and Forecast: Brief 1990–2016 report. According to the report, while greenhouse gas emissions for Vermont in 2016 were down 4 pct from 2015 levels, they’re still 13 pct above 1990 levels.

    The report notes that most of the state's GHG emissions reductions came from the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, with small decreases in waste and agricultural sectors. Meanwhile, increases were seen from the industrial processes, fossil fuel industry and transportation sectors. To uphold the Paris Climate Agreement, the state needs to cut greenhouse gas emissions somewhere between 26 pct to 28 pct below 2005 levels by 2025, the report notes.

    Download the report HERE. (Source: Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conservation, Rutland Herald, 8 Jan., 2020) Contact: Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conservation , Emily Boedecker, Commissioner, 802-828-1556, https://dec.vermont.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Vermont Climate Change,  Agreement,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


    JetBlue Going Green with Carbon Offsets and Neste (Ind. Report)
    FetBlue,Neste
    Date: 2020-01-08
    U.S. air carrier JetBlue reports as of July, 2020 it will offset jet fuel CO2 emissions from all domestic flights. The airline will also use sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on flights departing San Francisco International Airport, beginning in July.

    JetBlue has run targeted offset programs since 2008, addressing a total of 2.6 billion pounds of emissions. The new program aims to offset 15-17 billion pounds each year.

    JetBlue will also continue to partner with Carbonfund.org -- a leading U.S. based nonprofit carbon reduction and climate solutions organization. Since 2008, JetBlue has offset more than 2.6 billion pounds of CO2 emissions in partnership with Carbonfund.org. JetBlue's new carbon offsetting partners now also include established experts in the space -- EcoAct and South Pole. JetBlue has also contracted with sustainable aviation fuel producer Neste to help fuel its fleet beginning in mid-2020. (Source: JetBlue, PR, BusinessWire, Jan., 2020) Contact: JetBlue, David Barger, President, CEO, (718) 286-7900, www.jetblue.com; ; Neste, +358 10 458 4128, www.neste.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News JetBlue,  Aviation Emissio ns,  Carbon Offset,  Neste,  Aviation Biofuel,  


    Suncor Challenges EPA RFS Waiver Denial (Ind. Report, Reg & Leg)
    Suncor Energy
    Date: 2020-01-08
    Denver-based Suncor Energy U.S.A. Inc., a unit of Calgary, Alberta-based Suncor Energy, reports it has filed an appeal of the US EPA's October 2019 decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver. The agency recently finalized a rule designed to account for biofuel gallons waived from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

    In its appeal, Suncor, which received waivers for what were previously two refineries in Commerce City, Colorado, argued the agency's action was "arbitrary, capricious, and not otherwise in accordance with law." The EPA reportedly rejected Suncor's petition because the refineries no longer meet EPA's definition of a small refinery, which produces 75,000 bpd or less. Suncor previously received waivers for what were two small refineries, one that produced nearly 33,000 bpd and another at nearly 67,000 in 2018. The refineries were among the original facilities to receive waivers in 2006.

    According to the company's website, since 2006, Suncor has been making a significant impact in Canada's emerging biofuels industry. Suncor is using revenues from oil sands development to invest in biofuels, particularly ethanol produced from corn. Ethanol is a cleaner burning, renewable resource. The ethanol production industry is expanding in Canada and the United States. New government regulations require that a percentage of ethanol be blended into fuels to reduce the environmental impacts of vehicle emissions. Suncor operates Canada's largest ethanol facility -- the St. Clair Ethanol Plant in the Sarnia-Lambton region of Ontario. (Source: Suncor Energy, DTN, 6 Jan., 2019) Contact: Suncor Energy USA, 303-793-8000, www.suncor.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Suncor Energy ,  RFS,  "Hardship Waiver",  


    Minn. Communities Adopt Building Energy Benchmarking (Ind Report)
    Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2020-01-08
    In the Badger State, the cities of Edina and St. Louis Park are reporting the adaptation of energy benchmarking to help landlords reduce natural gas and electricity consumption. They join more than 30 cities across the country that have benchmarking ordinances to reduce energy consumption and cut related costs.

    In adopting energy benchmarking, both suburbs sought assistance from the Efficient Buildings Collaborative, a Hennepin County program that helps Minnesota municipalities develop energy benchmarking policies. Next summer, both cities will ask commercial, government and apartment owners to submit data that will eventually include properties of 25,000 square feet or larger. The suburbs will use the U.S. EPA's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, a free online tool, and receive technical assistance from Denver-based Overlay Consulting.

    According to St. Louis Park's director of Building and Energy, Brian Hoffman, benchmarking should be a significant asset in helping his city achieve its goal of cutting energy consumption by 30 pct in large commercial buildings by 2030. (Source: City of Edina, City of St. Louis Park, Finance & Commerce, 6 Jan., 2019) Contact: City of Edina, www.edinamn.gov; St. Louis Park, Brian Hoffman, Director of Building and Energy, 952.924.2584, bhoffman@stlouispark.org, www.stlouispark.org

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


    Valero, AFPM Seek "Point of Obligation" Clarification (Reg & Leg)
    Valero Energy ,American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers
    Date: 2020-01-08
    San Antonio-headquartered Valero Energy Corp., the second-largest U.S. oil processor by capacity, and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers organization have filed a court petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to determine whether the U.S. EPA is required to consider petitions to change the "point of obligation" under the Clean Air Act's Renewable Fuel Standard.

    The petition notes: "The Clean Air Act's Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program requires EPA to undertake annual notice-and-comment rule making to determine a 'renewable fuel obligation' for the nation's transportation fuel supply. The first of three annual 'required elements' is to determine the point of obligation -- i.e., to ensure that the obligation shall be applicable to refineries, blenders, and importers, as appropriate. EPA admits that it initially placed the point of obligation on refineries and importers, but not blenders, for reasons of administrative convenience. EPA has repeatedly refused to re-examine that placement in annual rule making, and it denied petitions for rule making seeking reconsideration out-side the statutorily-mandated annual assessment."

    The petition specifically questions: whether the requirement that EPA "shall" make a "calendar year" determination of the "appropriate" point of obligation requires EPA to consider in each annual rule whether the point of obligation remains appropriate.The petition also questions whether EPA can evade the annual duty by partitioning the point of obligation into a one-time collateral proceeding that ignores key evidence,relies primarily on the agency's own convenience, and claims more deference from a reviewing court than an annual rule would receive. (Source: AFPM Website, Valero Energy, Ethanol Producer, 6 May, 2019) Contact: American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, www.afpm.org; Valero Renewable Fuels, Joe Gorder, Pres., (800) 324-8464, www.valero.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers ,  RFS,  Point of Obligation,  Valero Energy ,  


    Refiners Raise Clean Fuel to IMO Standard (Int'l. Report)
    International Maritime Organisation
    Date: 2020-01-06
    Reuters is reporting global oil refiners have "upgraded processing units and adjusted operations to raise output of low-sulphur residual fuels and marine gasoil (MGO) to prepare for stricter shipping fuel standards that kick in on Jan.1, 2020."

    The new London-based International Maritime Organization (IMO) standards prohibit the use of fuels containing more than 0.5 pct sulphur, compared with 3.5 pct through the end of December, unless the ship is equipped with exhaust-cleaning "scrubbers".

    The shipping industry consumes about 4 million bpd of marine bunker fuels, and the rule changes will impact more than 50,000 merchant ships globally, opening a significant new market for fuel producers. (Source: International Maritime Organization, Gulf Today, Reuters, 31 Dec., 2019) Contact: International Maritime Organization, Stefan Micallef, Director of Marine Environment Division, +44 (0) 20 7735 7611, www.imo.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Low-Sulphur Fuel,  Alternative Fuel,  Gasoil,  IMO,  Maritime Fuel,  Shipping Fuel,  Bunker Fuel,  


    UK DfT Announces Biofuel Projects Funding (Int'l. Report)
    UK Department for Transport
    Date: 2020-01-06
    In London, the UK Department for Transport (DfT) has announced funding for four British plants producing biofuels from feedstock including household waste, unused straw from farmland and old wood.

    According to the DfT release, two of the projects are being funded under the government's £20 million Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition (F4C).

    KEW Projects and Rika Biogas have been awarded a share of £6.5 million for the production of biofuel for trucks. The KEW project will also begin research on aviation biofuel.

    Tow additional projects being funded under the £25 million Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Competition (ABDC) are in the final stages of development. This includes Nova Pangaea Technologies which will focus on the production of bio-ethanol from wood waste that can be blended with existing petrol used in road transport.

    These latest investments build on the government's push to go further and faster to harness innovation, drive down emissions and improve air quality -- including through the ground-breaking Transport Decarbonisation Plan which will set out plans to end the UK's transport emissions by 2050, according to the DfT website. (Source: Gov. of UK, DfT Website, Jan., 2019)Contact: UK Department for Transport, www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-transport

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Department for Transport,  Biofuel,  


    Hydrogen Gas Specialist Looses NB Power Funding (Funding)
    JOI Scientific,NB Power
    Date: 2020-01-03
    In Fredericton, the New Brunswick Department of Energy and Resource Development is reporting the provincial utility NB Power has ceased its ongoing financial financial support of Merrit, Florida-based hydrogen gas developer JOI Scientific.

    NB Power had pumped $13 million into the company and reportedly continues to lease a lab space for the company that cost about $20,000 a month.

    The company, which claims its "Hydrogen 2.0" technology isolates hydrogen gas from seawater, which can then be burned to create clean energy, failed to prove its technology by a December 31, 2019 deadline. (Source: NB Power, GlobalNews, 31 Dec., 2019) Contact: NB Power, Gaetan Thomas, CEO, Marc Belliveau, Communications, (506) 458-4203, www.nbpower.com; JOI Scientific, 209-787-3564, info@joiscientific.com, www.joiscientific.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Hydrogen,  NB Power,  


    Franklin County Promotes Bldg. Energy Efficiency Program (Ind Report)
    Franklin County Regional Housing & Redevelopment Authority
    Date: 2020-01-03
    In the Bay State, the Franklin County Regional Housing & Redevelopment Authority is touting its Housing Rehabilitation Program. The program is designed to provide income-eligible homeowners with interest-free, deferred payment loans to correct health and safety code deficiencies and to improve home energy efficiency. The program is partially through Community Development Block Grants. Eligibility is based on household annual gross income and occupancy.

    Eligible home improvements include: electrical and plumbing upgrades, structural repairs, accessibility modifications, septic repairs or replacement, heating and hot water system repairs or replacement, replacing windows, roof repairs or replacement, wells, lead paint abatement, insulation and weatherization and other energy efficiency upgrades. (Source: Franklin County Regional Housing & Redevelopment Authority, Town of Hawley, Greenfield Recorder, 31 Dec., 2019) Contact: Franklin County Regional Housing & Redevelopment Authority, 413-863-9781, www.fcrhra.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Energy Efficiency Now Key to NM GSD Building Leases (Ind. Report)
    New Mexico General Services Department
    Date: 2020-01-03
    In Santa Fe, the New Mexico General Services Department (GSD) reports it is now considering a building's energy efficiency, energy efficiency recycling programs, eco-friendly cleaning products, solar energy installations and other environmentally focused measures when leasing office space.

    To that end, the agency asks prospective property managers to list eco-friendly attributes of their spaces. The environmental measures will be scored by an evaluation team, which also will consider lease costs, property locations, building quality and available parking. (Source: New Mexico General Services Department , WRAL, 2 Jan., 2019) Contact: New Mexico General Services Department, Ken Ortiz, Sec., 505-827-2000, www.generalservices.state.nm.us

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Building Energy Efficiency,  


    The finalized rule incorporates the Wheeler plan

    Date: 2019-12-31
    that merely estimates future small refinery waivers based on DOE recommendations, according to Iowa Corn Growers Association. ICGA supports a simple, mathematical solution by averaging the past three years of actual waivers granted, then adding those gallons back into the RFS. ICGA’s supported resolution would have created market certainty, so as not to rely on the EPA or DOE Administrators for their annual decisions. “Apparently President Trump doesn’t care about his promise to Iowa’s farmers. He had the opportunity to tell his EPA to stick to the deal that was made on Oct. 4,” said ICGA President Jim Greif. “I can say for certain that ICGA pushed for a positive outcome, and we didn’t go down without a fight.” “The Environmental Protection Agency seems to be more concerned with politics than cleaner-burning, healthy air with renewable fuels. It was as simple as following the original Oct. 4 agreement with our elected officials and here we are with empty promises and no market certainty,” said Kelly Nieuwenhuis, ICGA member from Primghar and Chair of the Iowa Corn Industrial Usage and U.S. Production committee. During the comment period for the supplemental rule, ICGA sent out two calls to action with one directed at the EPA and the other at the President. Altogether the calls to action gathered over 1,000 farmer comments. Additionally, ICGA held a press conference along with other biofuels groups, worked with our entire delegation of public leaders, as well as attended roundtables, townhall meetings and EPA’s public hearing in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The final push was a meeting by ICGA with the director of the U.S. National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, at the White House earlier this week. (Source: High Plains Journal, 29 Dec. 2019)


    Ethanol and Economics -- Notable Quote
    Ethanol
    Date: 2019-12-30
    "Area (Nebraska) Republicans are unhappy with the EPA's latest ethanol blending rules. They shouldn't be surprised. When you entrust a bureaucracy with managing the supply of a product, it's going to follow the money, which in this case would be the refiners. Republicans should stick to their principles and let market forces -- in other words, the consumer -- decide what blend should come out of the pump." -- Andrew Best, Omaha World-Herald, 29 Dec., 2019

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  


    Thailand Enforcing New Building Energy Efficiency Code (Int'l.)
    Thailand's Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency
    Date: 2019-12-30
    In Bangkok, the Thailand Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE) reports it will this year implement rules under which new buildings of 10,000 square metres or more will be required to comply with the National Building Energy Code (BEC), an internationally recognized energy-saving standard. The new BEC standard covers the level of thermal transfer and energy requirements of electronic equipment, particularly air conditioners and light bulbs.

    The new rule, which is expected to come into force early in 2020, is part of the government's commitment to improve the energy-efficiency standard in new buildings and to cut energy consumption in older buildings by a minimum of 10 pct in 2020. (Source: Thailand DEDE, SDD, 18 Dec., 2019) Contact: Thailand Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency, Tel +66 2222 4102-9, +66 2223 0021-9 +66 2226 3943 - fax., weben.dede.go.th

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Wheeler Disappoints Corn Growers, RFS Advocates (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Volume Obligations
    Date: 2019-12-30
    The High Plains Journal is reporting corn growers and renewable fuel standard (RFS) advocates were more then a little disappointed by the recent EPA Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) rule as signed on Dec. 19 by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

    "I'm disappointed the EPA chose to ignore the concerns voiced by renewable fuels producers, farmers and consumers. The flawed formula used to account for waived gallons creates unnecessary uncertainty in our markets, detrimental to so many across rural America. We must continue to work together to hold the EPA accountable for ensuring the 15 billion gallons mandated by the RFS are met. We must also continue to invest in infrastructure that builds demand and increases the availability of higher blends of biodiesel and ethanol across the state of Iowa."-- Mike Naig, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

    The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship administers the Iowa Renewable Fuel Infrastructure program, which offers cost-share grants to help fuel retailers install infrastructure to increase the availability of ethanol and biodiesel. To date, the program has distributed or obligated over $33 million with $200 million added in private economic activity. (Source: Iowa Department of Agriculture, High Plains Journal, 29 Dec. 2019) Contact: Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Mike Naig, Sec., 515-281-5321, www.iowaagriculture.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ANdrew Wheeler,  Renewable Volume Obligations,  RVO,   RFS,  "Hardship" Waiver,  Ethanol.Ethanol Blend,  EIA,  


    Ruling Awaited on Trump Lightbulb Efficiency Rollback (Ind. Report)
    Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2019-12-30
    Cronkite News at Arizona State University is reporting the Trump administration's plan to roll back Obama-era stricter regulations on energy-efficient lightbulbs may have put environmentalists and some utility companies on the same side of an issue. The Obama-ear new, tougher rules were set to take effect Jan. 1, 2020.

    In October, the Trump DOE announced it would not impose the new rules, framing the decision as one of choice for consumers who were already moving in the direction of energy-efficient bulbs on their own. The department doubled down Friday, with a notice in the Federal Register that it has determined tougher restrictions on general service incandescent lamps "would not be economically justified." When Trump signed the rollback in October, he criticized the rules for forcing consumers to buy a "much more expensive bulb that doesn't have a good-looking light."

    The Trump plan to roll back the tighter rules was challenged in court by 15 states -- NEW YORK, CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, CONNECTICUT, ILLINOIS, MARYLAND, MAINE, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, NEW JERSEY, NEVADA, OREGON, VERMONT, and WASHINGTON, the COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, the DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,and the CITY OF NEW YORK. The NRDC has joined multiple environmental groups in a separate lawsuit. To date, the courts have allowed the rollback to proceed. (Source: Cronkite News, Arizona State University, 27 Dec., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Lightbuld Efficiency,  


    IFB Comments on RFS 2020 Ruling (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Illinois Farm Bureau
    Date: 2019-12-23
    "Illinois farmers expected more than what EPA managed to deliver in its final supplemental rule. More than 1,600 Farm Bureau members told the agency in person and in writing that maintaining the integrity of the RFS only occurs by replacing each and every gallon in the annual Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) that is waived for the benefit of small oil refiners. The EPA seems to be missing a real opportunity to rebuild trust with farmers and the biofuels industry.

    "IFB also urges USDA to move quickly on an infrastructure package to accommodate higher blend levels."

    The Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) represents 75 pct of the state's farmers with membership of more than 386,291 and a voting membership of 79,159. Illinois is the nation's third-largest producer of ethanol with roughly 75 pct of it corn production being converted into ethanol. (Source: Illinois Farm Bureau, 21 Dec., 2019) Contact: Illinois Farm Bureau , t Richard Guebert, Jr, Pres. www.ilfb.org

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


    Euglena Demos Growing Algae for Jet Biofuels (Int'l. Report)
    Euglena
    Date: 2019-12-23
    Further to our 5th November, 2018 coverage, Japanese biotechnology company Euglena Co. and major trading house Itochu Corp. are reporting the launch of demonstration projects in Indonesia and Colombia to grow euglena microalgae to be used for the production of biofuel.

    The Euglens's Yokohama facility has a production capacity of 125 kiloliters per year (33,000 gpy) of jet biofuel and ASTM certified biodiesel, increasing to 250,000 kiloliters (66,000 gpy) by 2025.

    Euglena has partnered with aviation group ANA Holdings with the aim of fueling ANA commercial international flights as well as to offer bio jet fuel to other air carriers departing Japanese airports. ANA will support euglena to develop the airport infrastructure to supply aircraft. (Source: Euglena, Nikkei, 3 Nov., 2018) Contact: Euglena, Mitsuru Izumo, CEO, www.euglena.jp/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Euglena.Microalgae,  Al;gae Biodiesel,  Jet Biofuel,  


    Windar Scores €500,000 for Wind LiDAR Project (Int'l Funding)
    Windar Photonics
    Date: 2019-12-23
    In Copenhagen, Danish LiDAR systems specialist Windar Photonics plc is reporting receipt of €500,000 in funding from the Danish Energy Technology Department. The company also received €1.4 million from the Technical University of Denmark and a "leading" European wind turbine manufacturer.

    Windar's technology helps detect wind and rain damage to operating wind turbines. (Source: Windar Photonics , Alliance News, Morningstar, 19 Dec., 2019) Contact: Contact: Windar, Jorgen Korsgaard Jensen, Interim CEO, +45 2055 5599, www.windarphotonics.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Windar Photonics ,  Lidar,  


    Trump Breaks Promise With RVOs, says NFU (Ind. Report)
    RFS,EPA,National Farmers Union
    Date: 2019-12-23
    In Washington, the US EPA's just released final renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for the year 2020 is already drawing flak.

    As outlined, RVOs will account for a portion of the 4 billion gallons of demand for biofuels eliminated over the past three years due to the rampant misappropriation of small refinery "financial hardship" sexemptions (SREs). Rather than determine relief using an actual three-year average of exempted gallons, the agency has instead used much lower values recommended by the DOE The former would have increased the amount of biofuels in the transportation sector by approximately 1.35 billion gpy, while the latter will increase it by just 770 million gpy.

    National Farmers Union (NFU), a strong proponent of biofuels and the RFS, reports it was disappointed with EPA's proposal when it was first released and urged the agency to account for all 4 billion gallons worth of demand in the final rule. In a statement, NFU Vice President of Public Policy and Communications Rob Larew restated the organization's mounting frustration with the administration's destructive approach to biofuels policy.

    The NFU NFU represents more then 200,000 family farmers, fishers and ranchers across the country, with formally organized divisions in 33 states. (Source: National Farmers Union, Aberdeen News, 20 Dec., 2019) Contact: National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, Pres., (202) 554-1600, www.nfu.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  EPA,  National Farmers Union,  


    SETO Awards Eaton $3Mn for Solar, Storage R&D (Ind. Report, R&D)
    DOE SETO
    Date: 2019-12-20
    Cleveland-headquartered power management specialist Eaton Corp is reporting receipt of $3 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to pursue research and development initiatives that enable more widespread adoption of solar power and energy storage.

    Eaton's research will focus on developing a real-time controller for behind-the-meter distributed energy resources and loads, such as solar generation and battery storage. The project will integrate data from smart meters to enable enhanced grid services that improve reliability in distribution systems with high solar penetration.

    The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Electric Power Research Institute, Pecan Street, Provo City Power and Commonwealth Edison will participate in Eaton's research. m will work with existing utility infrastructure.

    SETO supports early-stage R&D to improve the affordability, reliability, and performance of solar technologies on the grid. (Source: Eaton, PR, BusinessWire, 19 Dec., 2019) Contact: Eaton, Cara Klaer, Media, (248) 226-1755, CaraLKlaer@eaton.com, www.eaton.com; DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office, www.energy.gov/eere/solar/solar-energy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Eaton Corp,  SETO,  U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies ,  


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

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

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


    Broco Inks Beantown B20 Heating Oil Contract (Ind Report)
    Broc Oil, REGI,B20
    Date: 2019-12-20
    In the Bay State, Haverhill-headquartered Broco Oil reports it has contracted to provide Renewable Energy Group (REGI) produced biodiesel-blended heating oil to Boston city-owned buildings and municipal facilities.

    Under its contract, Broco will deliver an estimated 90,000 gpy of B-20 heating oil that will reduce the City's CO2 equivalent (CO2e) building emissions by 322,560 ppy -- equivalent GHG emissions of 357,728 passenger vehicle miles according to the U.S. EPA. (Source: Broco Oil, PR, 17 Dec., 2019) Contact: Broc Oil, www.brocoil.com: Renewable Energy Group, Marc MacLean, 603-812-1248, marc.maclean@regi.com, www.regi.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel,  Biodiesel Blend,  B20,  Renewable Energy Group,  B20 ,  


    White House Confirms 2020 Biofuel RVO Plan (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2019-12-20
    Reuters is reporting the Trump administration plans to stick with its proposed 2020 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) biofuel blending requirements as proposed in October, despite the farming sector's complaint that the plan does too little for corn growers.

    Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) oil refiners are required to blend some 15 billion gpy of corn-based ethanol into their gasoline, but small facilities can be exempted if compliance would hurt them financially.

    The October proposal was intended to placate corn growers and compensate the biofuel industry for the administration's expanded use of refinery exemptions, but which the industry has largely panned as insufficient, according to Reuters. The EPA's October plan would raise the biofuels volumes that some refineries must blend in 2020 based on DOE recommendations for volumes that should be exempted.

    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. (Source: Reuters, Various Media, 19 Dec., 2019)

    For details see our Oct. 21 report as follows -- Proposed Volumes for 2020 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021. The Trump administration EPA has issued the attached supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking seeking additional comment on the recently proposed rule to establish the cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel volumes for 2020 and the biomass-based diesel volume for 2021 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.

    The notice does not change the proposed volumes for 2020 and 2021. Instead, it proposes and seeks comment on adjustments to the way that annual renewable fuel percentages are calculated. Annual renewable fuel percentage standards are used to calculate the number of gallons each obligated party is required to blend into their fuel or to otherwise obtain renewable identification numbers (RINs) to demonstrate compliance.

    Specifically, the agency is seeking comment on projecting the volume of gasoline and diesel that will be exempt in 2020 due to small refinery exemptions based on a three-year average of the relief recommended by the BOE, including where DOE had recommended partial exemptions. The agency intends to grant partial exemptions in appropriate circumstances when adjudicating 2020 exemption petitions. The agency proposes to use this value to adjust the way it calculates renewable fuel percentages. The proposed adjustments would help ensure that the industry blends the final volumes of renewable fuel into the nation's fuel supply and that, in practice, the required volumes are not effectively reduced by future hardship exemptions for small refineries. Consistent with the statute, the supplemental notice seeks to balance the goal of the RFS of maximizing the use of renewables while following the law and sound process to provide relief to small refineries that demonstrate the need.

    Download the Renewable Fuel Standard Program -- Proposed Volumes for 2020 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021 HERE. Contact: EPA Renewable Fuel Standard, 800-385-6164, www.epa.gov/fuels-registration-reporting-and-compliance-help/forms/fuels-program-helpdesk

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


    Green Climate Fund Supports Caribbean Climate Readiness (Int'l.)
    Caribbean Natural Resources Institute
    Date: 2019-12-18
    Efforts to enhance civil society's access and capacity to deliver climate finance and build resilience in the Caribbean have been bolstered by a $1.29 million grant from the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

    The GCF grant will be implemented by the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) in collaboration with national designated authorities and leading civil society organizations in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States from 2020-2022. It aims to build the capacity of civil society organizations, including their knowledge, skills and organizational structures, to access climate finance and deliver climate change adaptation and mitigation projects. It also seeks to strengthen institutional mechanisms to enable civil society voice and participation in climate change decision-making nationally and regionally.

    CARICOM members include Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Suriname.

    The GCF is a funding mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that supports climate change adaptation and mitigation in developing countries. The GCF's Readiness Support and Preparatory Grant Facility, which supports capacity building to enhance design and delivery of adaptation and mitigation projects, provided the $1.29 million grant. (Source: Caribbean Natural Resources Institute, St.Lucia News, 16 Dec., 2019) Contact: Green Climate Fund, +82.32.458.6059, info@greenclimate.fund, www.greenclimate.fund

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


    U.S. Public Lands GHG Limits Legislation Introduced (Reg & Leg)
    Greenhouse Gas,Center for Biological Diversity
    Date: 2019-12-18
    Bill Would Pause New Fossil Fuel Leasing, Tie Future Fossil Fuel Permits to Carbon Sequestration WASHINGTON— In Washington, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.)has introduced legislation aiming to set an overall cap on greenhouse gas emissions from public lands and to achieve "net zero" emissions from public lands by 2040.

    The legislation would temporarily pause all new fossil fuel leasing on public lands until the Department of the Interior develops a comprehensive strategy to achieve "net zero" emissions on these lands.

    If interim benchmarks for greenhouse gas emissions reductions are not met by 2025, fossil fuel leasing, as well as drilling and other permits to develop fossil fuels on existing leases, would be curtailed until the bill's targets were achieved. Unfortunately the legislation fails to permanently end new fossil fuel leasing which would be allowed to continue even beyond 2040 if emissions resulting from federal lands fossil fuel use were sufficiently offset by carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), forest regrowth and other land-use changes, or by the deployment of large-scale renewable energy facilities on public lands.

    The federal government owns roughly 640 million acres, about 28 pct of the 2.27 billion acres of land in the United States. Four major federal land management agencies administer 610.1 million acres of this land (Source: Center for Biological Diversity, 17 Dec., 2019) Contact: Center for Biological Diversity, www.biologicaldiversity.org

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


    Caribou, SUNY Developing Organic Waste-to-Fuels Gasifier (Ind Report)
    Caribou Biofuels
    Date: 2019-12-16
    Biomass process systems provider Caribou Biofuels has teamed up with the Research Foundation for the State University of New York (SUNY) to further develop and commercialize a rotary gasifier that converts combustible organic waste into both gaseous and liquid fuels. The technology was invented at SUNY Cobleskill Prof.David Waage with US EPA and DOD funding.

    This year, SUNY Cobleskill received $1.6 million in grant funding from the two government agencies to build and demonstrate a fully automated, portable rotary gasifier system that will produce 60 kilowatts of ppd from roughly 2 tpd of feedstock at a military base in the US.

    Caribou Biofuels will work with SUNY Cobleskill, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Scaled Power and the Joint Bioenergy Institute to to develop the mobile biomass processing system. (Source: SUNY, Caribou Biofuels, Biofuels, 13 Dec., 2019) Contact: SUNY Cobleskill, Prof.David Waage, 518-255-5312, waagedj@cobleskill.edu, www.cobleskill.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Caribou Biofuels ,  


    Biorefining Startup Chrysalix Technologies Scores Funding (Int'l)
    Chrysalix Technologies,Imperial College London
    Date: 2019-12-13
    Imperial College London reports its spin-out company Chrysalix Technologies has been awarded €2.3 million in grant funding from the European Innovation Council's Accelerator programme as well as additional investment from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and others investors.

    Chrysalix Technologies BioFlex process uses waste wood and agricultural by-products as well as sustainably grown biomass to produce bioplastics, biofuels, biomaterials and greener chemicals. The process separates the different naturally occurring chemical components of wood, which are lignin, cellulose, and hemicelluloses. Once isolated individually, these components can then be used for a variety of applications such as as bio-chemicals, precursors for plastics or as new materials themselves , according to the company website. (Source: Chrysalix Technologies, Imperial College London, PR, 12 Dec., 2019) Contact: Imperial College London, www.imperial.ac.uk; Chrysalix Technologies, Twitter: @ChrysalixTech, info@chrysalixtechnologies.com, www.chrysalixtechnologies.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Imperial College London,  ,  Biorefining,  


    EGLE Offers Alt. Fuel Vehicle, Engine Grants (Ind. Report)
    Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy
    Date: 2019-12-13
    In Lansing, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) is reporting the availability of a total of $450,000 for clean diesel and alternative fuel engine and equipment replacement projects under the 2020-21 Michigan Clean Diesel Program RFPa competitive grant request for proposal (RFP).

    The 2020-21 Michigan Clean Diesel Program RFP targets efforts to replace old diesel equipment, vehicles, and engines with new alternative fuel or hybrid versions. Applicants can be cities, townships and villages; county government agencies; public school districts; private schools; public transit agencies; port authorities; metropolitan planning organizations; nonprofit organizations; or private businesses. (Source: Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy , PR, 11 Dec., 2019) Contact: Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, 800-662-9278, www.michigan.gov › egle

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Alternative Fuel,  


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

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


    Eversource Utility Aims for 2030 Carbon-Neutrality (Ind. Report)
    Eversource
    Date: 2019-12-13
    New England's largest investor-owned utility, Eversource Energy reports it plans to reduce carbon emission and become carbon-neutral across all departments and operations by 2030.

    To that end, Eversource will reduceenergy use by improving the efficiency of its 69 facilities and reducing fleet emissions of its 5,200 vehicles, continue to enhance the electric transmission and distribution system to reduce line losses, reduce sulfur hexafluoride (a potent ghg) in gas-insulated electric switchgear, and replace remaining bare steel and cast-iron natural-gas distribution main lines to improve safety and help prevent methane leaks.

    Eversource previously reduced its carbon emissions through a 2018 divestiture of all its remaining fossil-generation facilities. (Source: Eversource: BusinessWest, 11 Dec., 2019) Contact: Eversource, Jim Judge, CEO, Lee Olivier, EVP of Strategy and Business, www.eversource.com

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


    WA EPA Rethinking Industrial CO2 Emissions Legislation (Int'l)
    Western AustraliaEnvironmental Protection Authority
    Date: 2019-12-11
    Western Australia's (WA) state environmental watchdog Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) reports it has dropped a controversial recommendation requiring all new and expanding natural resource-based projects emitting more than 100,000 tpy of CO2 to entirely offset those emissions.

    The requirement prompted a major backlash from the mining and oil and gas industries, who warned the proposal would threaten jobs and projects. The government caved to the objections and a new round of consultation on less stringent industrial emissions is now underway. (Source: WA EPA, Various Media, ABC Australia, 9 Dec., 2019)Contact: WA Environmental Protection Authority, www.epa.wa.gov.au

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2,  Carbon Emissions,  Austarlia Carbon Emissions,  


    DC High-Performance Building Hub Launched (Ind. Report)
    Clean Energy DC Plan
    Date: 2019-12-11
    In the nation's capital, DOEE reports the June, 2019, awarding of grant funding to a team led by the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) to develop and operate a High-Performance Building Hub. The Hub will support owners, developers, builders, and designers as they seek to comply with the District's new green building requirements and related policy objectives.

    The Hub will advance the Clean Energy DC Plan and the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act of 2018, as well as provide education on the District's Building Energy and Green Construction Codes. The Hub will draw from examples such as the New York City Building Energy Exchange, the Vancouver Zero Emission Building Exchange, and BloxHUB in Copenhagen to support the building and building energy efficiency industries. IMT.org to sign up for updates. (Source: DC.gov, Department of Energy & Environment, Dec., 2019) Contact: High-Performance Building Hub, Kate Johnson, katherine.johnson@dc.gov, IMT, www.imt.org; Clean Energy DC Plan, www.doee.dc.gov › cleanenergydc

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


    Notable Quotes -- "The Donald" Rambles On -- Enough Trump Already!
    Trump
    Date: 2019-12-09
    "We have a situation where we're looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of bathrooms where you turn the faucet on -- and in areas where there's tremendous amounts of water, where the water rushes out to sea because you could never handle it, and you don't get any water. You turn on the faucet and you don't get any water. They take a shower and water comes dripping out. Just dripping out, very quietly dripping out," the President continued, lowering his voice as he spoke about the drips. "People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once.

    "They end up using more water. So (the) EPA is looking at that very strongly at my suggestion.

    "You go into a new building or a new house or a new home and they have standards only you don't get water. You can't wash your hands practically, there's so little water comes out of the faucet. And the end result is you leave the faucet on and it takes you much longer to wash your hands.

    "There may be some areas where we'll go the other route -- desert areas -- but for the most part you have many states where they have so much water -- it comes down, it's called rain. They don't know what to do with it "So we're going to be looking at opening up that I believe. And we're looking at changing the standards very soon." -- Pres. “The Donald” Trump speaking at a recent roundtable on deregulatory actions.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  


    Notable Quotes -- "The Donald" Rambles On -- Enough Trump Already!
    Trump
    Date: 2019-12-09
    "We have a situation where we're looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of bathrooms where you turn the faucet on -- and in areas where there's tremendous amounts of water, where the water rushes out to sea because you could never handle it, and you don't get any water. You turn on the faucet and you don't get any water. They take a shower and water comes dripping out. Just dripping out, very quietly dripping out," the President continued, lowering his voice as he spoke about the drips. "People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once.

    "They end up using more water. So (the) EPA is looking at that very strongly at my suggestion.

    "You go into a new building or a new house or a new home and they have standards only you don't get water. You can't wash your hands practically, there's so little water comes out of the faucet. And the end result is you leave the faucet on and it takes you much longer to wash your hands.

    "There may be some areas where we'll go the other route -- desert areas -- but for the most part you have many states where they have so much water -- it comes down, it's called rain. They don't know what to do with it "So we're going to be looking at opening up that I believe. And we're looking at changing the standards very soon." -- Pres. "The Donald" Trump speaking at a recent roundtable on deregulatory actions.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Diamond Green Diesel Seeks Ren. Diesel Pathways Cert. (Ind. Report)
    Diamond Green Diesel
    Date: 2019-12-06
    Diamond Green Diesel -- a JV formed between a subsidiary of Valero and Irving, Texas-based low-carbon feedstock supplier Darling Ingredients Inc. -- reports it has filed an application with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) seeking carbon intensity (CI) certification for the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) of renewable diesel (RD) pathways from distillers corn oil; rendered animal fat; and used cooking oil (UCO) at the Diamond Green Diesel LLC facility in Norco, Louisiana.

    The Norco plant uses the UOP Ecofining Process to produce renewable diesel. The process hydrogenates triglycerides and free fatty acid feedstocks which are then isomerized to create a high-quality hydrocarbon fuel (RD). In addition to RD, the process produces a liquid petroleum gas vapor stream (LPG vapor); a liquid petroleum liquid stream (naphtha LPG); and a purge gas stream. All of the co-product streams go to the adjacent Valero oil refinery to be separated into fuel gas, propane, and naphtha through a distillation process. For the purposes of the CI certification, displacement credit was given to the fuel gas used as fuel gas for hydrogen production at the Valero refinery.

    Producing 275 million gpy of Honeywell Green Diesel™, Diamond Green Diesel is the largest commercial advanced biofuel facility in the US. (Source: Diamond Green Diesel,Green Car Congress, 5 Dec., 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 Diamond Green Diesel,  


    ENERGY STAR Redefines "Smart" Home Products (Ind. Report)
    EPA, ENERGY STAR
    Date: 2019-12-06
    The US DOE ENERGY STAR® has released its new program requirements for "smart home" connected products included in Smart Home Energy Management Systems (SHEMS), including lighting and HVAC voice control.

    With SHEMS, ENERGY STAR has "gone from defining products that are energy-efficient to defining a service and smart home service providers that will result in energy savings." (Source, ENERGY STAR, Home Accest, HAT, 5 Dec., 2019) Contact: EPA ENERGY STAR, www.energystar.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ENERGY STAR,  Energy Efficient Ligh,  

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