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New York City Green Roof Mandate and Grant Program (Attached)
New York City Green Roof
Date: 2020-05-20
In 2019 New York City passed the Climate Mobilization Act by New York City Council, a suite of legislation to combat the existential threat of climate change, targeting the development of clean energy infrastructure, greenhouse gas reduction, and improvements to ecosystem services through the implementation of green roofs city-wide .

New York City Green Roof Mandate and Grant Program details are HERE. (Source: living Architecture, 18 May, 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News New York City Green Roof ,  


Intel Targets 100 pct Renewables, Zero-Emissions by 2030 (Ind. Report)
Intel
Date: 2020-05-19
According to Santa Clara, California-headquartered Intel's just released environmental goals for 2030 the company aims to rely on renewable energy for all of its global electricity use and eliminate the trash and emissions by the end of the decade, or sooner.

To that end, is already recycling more than 90 pct of its trash, sending almost no hazardous waste to landfills, slashed its greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 30 percent since 2010 and plans to shave another 10 pct of the CO2 from its factories and generated from its electricity use -- 2.79 million metric tons in 2019. The company purchases enough renewable energy to cover more than 70 pct of its electricity use worldwide. (Source: Intel, The Verge, 14 May, 2020) Contact: Intel,www.intel.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Intel,  Carbon Emissions,  


Korea Mandating Bldg Energy Efficiency, Performance (Int'l Report)
Korea
Date: 2020-05-15
In Seoul, the government of South Korea is reporting planned mandatory energy efficiency-energy performance "Green Remodeling" standards for of public buildings to meet greenhouse gas emission standards and to save energy.

To that end, the government will establish a green remodeling road map that includes mandatory standards, step-by-step measures, and methods to upgrade building energy efficiency and performance. The government is also considering expanding interest support on the cost of private buildings, single-family homes and small-scale building upgrade projects.

The Korea Land and Housing Corp. has been designated as a "green remodeling center" to offer support and consultation on the program. (Source: Gov. of South Korea, Korea Land and Housing Corp., May, 2020) Contact: Korea Land and Housing Corp, www.lh.or.kr/eng/index.do

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


Nat Gas Futures Launches Emissions Mitigation Project (ind Report)
Natural Gas Futures
Date: 2020-05-15
Natural Gas Futures (NGF) is reporting a collaboration with FortisBC Inc., Seaspan Ferries Corporation, and Solaris Management Consultants Inc. to provide technologies for low-emissions engine systems, and quantitative emission characterization for inventory and policy development purposes.

To reduce the climate impacts of transportation systems, several approaches have been identified through which greenhouse gas (GHG) emission can be reduced, primarily through CO2 emission reduction. These approaches include electrification of powertrains, bio-derived fuels, and fuels with lower carbon content. For large engine applications (e.g., marine, stationary power generation, remote applications), electrification is not yet realizable, and bio-fuels carry energetic penalties and may require significant engine modifications. For such applications, natural gas (NG) and natural gas from renewable sources (RNG) are attractive alternatives because of their lower CO2 and NOx emissions, and the significant North American NG reserves.

While natural gas is an attractive engine fuel to reduce these pollutants, it can also result in exhaust-stream CH4 emissions, which have a global warming potential (GWP) 28 times that of CO2 (on a 100 year timescale). Thus, all GHG emissions must be considered to ensure that the benefits of NG and RNG are realized, without also incurring unintentional increases in GHG or other emissions. The key objectives of this project are to:

  • Characterize in-use emissions and engine operation from NG engines, with a particular focus on CH4, CO2, PM, and NOX, under real-world operating conditions.

  • Develop strategies for GHG and other emission reductions, under the partner's operational constraints.

    Provide data and guidance for policy development to support effective implementation of natural gas engines and ensure GHG reductions.

    The project has received $356,566 in research grant funding. (Source: Natural Gas Futures, 13 May, 2020) Contact: Natural Gas Futures, University of British Columbia, 604 827 0790 ngf@cerc.ubc.ca, www.naturalgas.apsc.ubc.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Natural Gas Futures,  Carbon Emissions,  


  • B.C. Building Performance Benchmarking Pilot Launched (Ind. Report)
    Open Green Building Society
    Date: 2020-05-11
    In British Columbia, more than 50 commercial real estate owners and managers have agreed to voluntarily measure, report and disclose their buildings' energy use and greenhouse gas gas emissions with Building Benchmark BC, an initiative of the Open Green Building Society. The initiative is funded by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and BC Hydro with support from the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia.

    The program is using Energy Star Portfolio Manager software which allows building owners to input and retrieve as well as software developed by OPEN Technologies that is able to compare and visualize the data.

    Participants in the program which launched in Jan. include the City of North Vancouver, City of Victoria, District of Saanich and Township of Langley, Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey and Metro Vancouver. (Source: Open Green Building Society, Construct Connect, May, 2020)Contact: Open Green Building Society, David Ramslie, Dir., info@opentech.eco, www.opentech.eco; Building Benchmarks BC, www.BuildingBenchmarkBC.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Building,  Building Energy Performance,  Energy Benchmark,  


    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,  


  • UCLA Studies Post Pandemic Emissions Possibilities (Ind. Report)
    UCLA
    Date: 2020-05-11
    In the Golden State, a team of University of California- Los Angeles (USCLA) is reporting the state can achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and thus prevent thousands of deaths annually.

    The researchers note that since millions of Californians began staying at home and off the roads in March, air quality in the Golden State has visibly improved but that once life returns to normal, air pollution levels will likely, but need not return to pre-pandemic levels.

    In a peer-reviewed study published May 4 the researchers describe a pathway for California to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution that taken together would prevent about 14,000 premature deaths from air pollution–related illnesses each year and help reduce climate change by 2050. In addition to the finding that approximately 14,000 premature deaths per year could be avoided in California by 2050, achieving net-zero emissions could also: reduce acute respiratory symptoms in 8.4 million adults; cut asthma exacerbation in 1 million children; decrease the number of lost work days by 1.4 million; and cut cardiovascular hospital admissions by 4,500 per.

    The reports notes that while all communities would benefit, the state's top 25 pct most-polluted census tracts would receive approximately 35 pct of the health benefits resulting from the projected improvements in air quality.

    The study also notes that unlike with the current COVID-19 crisis, achieving net-zero emissions post-pandemic would benefit the economy. By 2050, the monetary savings of greenhouse gas reductions will exceed the annual health care cost by $109 billion a year.. The study's authors intend their research to help state and local policymakers take bold action on climate change. This study was partially funded by the UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge, a university-wide initiative aimed at applying UCLA expertise and research to transform Los Angeles into the most sustainable megacity by 2050. (Source: UCLA FSPH, Lauren Miura, 4 May, 2020) Contact: UCLA Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering , www.jifresse.ucla.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UCLA,  Carbon Emissions,  Clean Air,  


    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,  


    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,  


    Reykjavik Announces Climate Change Related Funding (Int'l Report)
    Iceland
    Date: 2020-05-08
    In Reykjavik, the Icelandic government has announced several new environmental policies and proposals including grants totaling 550 million ISK ($3,750,000 US) to projects addressing climate change.

    Of the total 550 million ISK, roughly 200 million ISK will be invested in projects aiming to naturally store carbon dioxide long-term in order to reduce levels of greenhouse gases in the earth's atmosphere. Carbon sequestration is a key part of the government's plan to achieve the Paris Climate Agreement's terms.

    Additional grants totaling 75 million ISK will support the creation of new birch forests; 25 million ISK will address land reclamation projects; 60 million ISK for land quality recovery schemes; and 20 million ISK will be dedicated to wetland recovery.

    A further 300 million ISK will be used to reduce Iceland's energy consumption and 50 million ISK has been earmarked for the government's recently launched climate fund to support climate change research and projects raising awareness of the impacts of global warming.

    The release notes the government aims to reduce carbon emissions by 40 pct by 2030. (Source: : Iceland Minister for the Environment, Reykjavik Grapevine, 1 May, 2020) Contact: Iceland Minister for the Environment, Gudmundur Ingi Guobrandsson, www.government.is/ministries/ministry-for-the-environment-and-natural-resources

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


    CVR Energy Considering Renewable Diesel Production (Ind. Report)
    CVR Energy
    Date: 2020-05-08
    Reuters is reporting Sugarland, Texas-based CVR Energy Inc. is looking to convert certain units in its petroleum refineries to renewable diesel production (RNG) to reduce its exposure to the cost of renewable fuel credits (RINs) which it estimate will come in at roughly $65 million to $75 million in 2020.

    The project, which would involve using excess hydrogen capacity and converting some desulfurization units for renewable diesel production, is still in its early stages, according to the company.

    The use of RNG as a transportation fuel has reportedly increased 291 pct over the past 5 years, displacing close to 7.5 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). That is the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent of driving 18.6 trillion miles in a typical passenger cat. It is the CO2 emissions equivalent of consuming 842 million gallons of gasoline. This equates to the total amount of fuel used by 63,171 transit buses every year, according to trade data. (Source: CVR Energy, Reuters 7 May, 2020) Contact: CVR Energy Inc., (281) 207-3200, www.cvrenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CVR Energy ,  Renewable Diesel,  RINs,  RNG,  


    ICAT Offers Buildings Efficiency Guidance Assessment (Int'l Report)
    New Climate Institute
    Date: 2020-05-06
    The Berlin-based New Climate Institute (ICAT) Buildings Efficiency Guidance provides guidance for assessing the greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts of buildings sector energy efficiency policies. The guidance provides a stepwise approach for estimating the effects of policy design characteristics and barriers associated with regulatory and financial support policies on GHG impacts.

    This guidance specifically covers regulatory and financial support policies that address both new building stock and existing building stock with retrofit. Users are guided on how to estimate the impacts of these policies for the residential sector, although this guidance may also be used for the commercial and public sectors. The guidance focuses on the assessment of impacts from built-in energy loads, including space heating, cooling, lighting and hot water. The guidance does not assess the impacts of appliances that are unrelated to heating, cooling and hot water.

    ICAT assessment guides help policymakers and other users assess the impacts of countries' climate policies and actions. They can play a critical role in providing the information needed for effective policymaking, for implementing the Nationally Determined Contributions and for preparing reports under the enhanced transparency framework of the Paris Agreement and on progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. (Source: ICAT, May, 2020) Contact: New Climate Institute, Carsten Warneke, +49 221 999 83 302 c.warnecke@newclimate.org , www. climateactiontransparency.org/icat-toolbox, www.newclimate.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News New Climate Institute ,  ICAT,  Paris Climate Accord,  Building Energy Efficiency,  


    €30,000 Energy Efficiency Award 2020 Seeks Submissions (Int'l)
    Deutsche Energie-Agentur
    Date: 2020-05-04
    In Berlin, the Deutsche Energie-Agentur (German Energy Agency) reports the launch of its Energy Efficiency Award 2020 and is seeking submissions from private and public organizations that will help companies cut energy consumption and emissions that have an impact on the climate.

    The €30,000 Energy Efficiency Award 2020 is focused on cutting industrial energy consumption, increasing energy efficiency, reducing emissions and generally stimulating the transition to clean energy. The award is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

    Companies of any size and from any industry in Germany or abroad can submit one or more competition entries in the following categories:

  • Complex energy efficiency projects -- For a long time, companies have been implementing multi-layered energy efficiency projects where a large number of measures have to be coordinated with one another. Here systematic thinking and integrated solutions are being sought.

  • From clever to digital / the broad spectrum of energy efficiency -- In this category, low-investment measures are being sought just as much as mature technologies, or digitally supported optimization using software solutions or artificial intelligence, e.g. as part of an energy management system.

  • Achieving more together -- Energy Services as enabler of the energy transition The involvement of service providers is particularly useful where ambitious ideas hit up against limited finances, resources or lack of expertise. Such involvement can range from conception, planning and implementation of a system to finance, system control and maintenance.

  • Concepts for carbon neutral companies -- Innovative ideas and new approaches for a green economy. The energy transition needs innovative ideas. Companies that pursue new approaches to reduce their energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, or conceive the energy transition in cross-sectoral or holistic terms.

    Download Energy Efficiency Award 2020 details at www.EnergyEfficiencyAward.de. (Source: Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH, May, 2020) Contact: Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH, Tom Raulien , +49 (0)30 66 777-652, +49 (0)30 66 777-699 - fax, raulien@dena.de; www.dena.de

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


  • Forest Service Details State-by-State Carbon Emissions (Ind. Report)
    USDA Forest Service
    Date: 2020-05-04
    USDA Forest Service reports the release of its Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Removals from Forest Land, Woodlands, and Urban Trees in the United States, 1990-2018 report, a state-by-state overview of carbon emissions and related trends and details on deforestation and reforestation across the 49 continental states. Estimates of carbon movement from the atmosphere into living trees, dead wood, and soil as well as state-by-state estimates of emissions from forest fires is included.

    The Forest Service scientists quantified the contribution of forests, harvested wood products, and urban trees to carbon capture and storage. They found that, collectively, these natural systems account for more than 95 pct of Earth's terrestrial carbon sink. The atmospheric carbon absorbed by forests, harvested wood, and urban trees is equal to more than 11 pct of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States each year between 1990 and 2018.

    Download the Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Removals from Forest Land, Woodlands, and Urban Trees in the United States, 1990-2018 report HERE. (Source: USDA Forest Service, April, 2020) Contact: U.S. Forest Service, www.fs.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  USDA Forest Service,  Carbon Emissions,  


    IEA Predicts Largest Ever GHG Emissions Decrease (Report Attached)
    International Energy Agency
    Date: 2020-05-04
    The latest data show that the drastic curtailment of global economic activity and mobility during Q1, 2020 pushed down global energy demand by 3.8 pct relative to the same period in 2019. If lock-downs last for many months and recoveries are slow across much of the world, as is increasingly likely, annual energy demand will drop by 6 pct in 2020, wiping off the last five years of demand growth. If efforts to curb the COVID-19 pandemic and restart economies are more successful, the decline in energy demand could be limited to under 4 pct, according to the report. However a bumpier restart, disruption to global supply chains, and a second wave of infections in the second part of the year could further curtail growth.

    Download the IEA Global Energy Review 2020 - The impacts of the COVID-19 Crisis on Global Energy Demand and CO2 Emissions Report HERE. (Source: International Energy Agency, April-May, 2020) Contact: International Energy Agency, www.iea.org

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


    Maritime Carrier Completes GoodFuels Bio-Bunkering Trials (Int'l.)
    GoodFuels,Stena Bulk
    Date: 2020-05-01
    Gothenburg, Sweden-headquartered marine tanker operator Stena Bulk is reporting the satisfactory completion of its Bio Fuel Oil (BFO) trial with GoodFuels in a typical commercial operation. The fuel, which GoodFuels launched in 2018, reportedly cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 83 pct and substantially reduces SOX emissions, according to GoodFuels.

    Because it substantially reduces CO2 and SOX emissions, GoodFuels' Bio Fuel Oil further ensures marine shipping firms' compliance with the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) 2020 Sulphur Cap, Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction requirements and upcoming regulations to reduce carbon intensity from shipping. The success of this trial also underlines sustainable marine biofuel's potential within the marine fuel mix. (Source: Stena Bulk, Manifold Times, 28 April, 2020) Contact: Stena Bulk, Erik Hanell, Pres., CEO, +46 31 85 50 00, info@stenabulk.com, www.stenabulk.com; GoodFuels, Dirk Kronemeijer, CEO, +31 88 021 5100, info@goodfuels.com, www.goodfuels.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GoodFuels,  Marine Biofuel,  


    Dane County WI Adopts Community Climate Action Plan (Ind Report)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2020-04-29
    In Wisconsin, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi is touting the 2020 Dane County Climate Action Plan - Today's Opportunity for a Better Tomorrow (CAP) calling for a greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction of 50 pct countywide by 2030 with the goal of carbon-neutrality by 2050. The plan's goal to reduce GHG emissions by 50 percent by 2030 exceeds the 45 percent worldwide reduction goal set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030. CAP climate change emission reduction strategies include:
  • Increase electric vehicles sales (and transition heavy-duty trucks to electricity or renewable natural gas (RNG) vehicles.

  • Reduce vehicle miles traveled by shifting from driving alone to increase use of public transit, carpooling and biking.

  • Cut energy consumption by 2 pct per capita by 2030 by increasing the efficiency of old and new residential and commercial buildings.

  • Process 50 pct of livestock manure in anerobic digesters reducing GHG methane emissions, limiting phosphorus in area lakes and creating a new revenue source for farms.

    CAP notes these actions will result in major economic and health benefits, lead to energy security and great resilience to the harmful impacts of a changing climate, and address racial and economic equality to ensure the benefits of carbon reductions are equitably shared.

    In 2017, Parisi created the Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change (OECC) to lead public and private efforts across the county to address climate change. The OECC led by its director, Keith Reopelle, created the Council on Climate Change -- a work group of 38 local governments, energy utilities, businesses, and environmental and community organizations that provided input into the development of the CAP to reduce GHG emissions across all 61 cities, towns and villages as well as the private sector. (Source: Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change, Herald Independent, 26 April, 2020) Contact: Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change, Keith Reopelle, Dir., www.daneclimateaction.org

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


  • PA Municipalities Developing Climate Change Action Plans (Ind. Report)
    Pennsylvania Local Climate Action Assistance Program
    Date: 2020-04-29
    In the Keystone State, Indiana Borough reports it is developing plans to manage the risks of climate change impacts with tools and assistance provided by the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Local Climate Action Assistance Program.

    The program pairs the municipality with area university students to complete a community-wide Greenhouse Gas Inventory and climate planning template.

    Depending upon funding availability, the Pennsylvania DEP plans to offer the Local Climate Action Assistance Program to another 20 municipalities beginning this coming July. (Source: Pa. DEP, Indiana Gazette, 25 April, 2020) Contact: Pa. DEP Energy Programs Office, Heidi Kunka, hkunka@pa.gov; Pennsylvania Local Climate Action Assistance Programs, HERE

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Climate Change Mitigation Funding,  


    Cambodian Solar-Biomass Hybrid Power JV Announced (Int'l. Report)
    Aura Green Energy, WWB Corp
    Date: 2020-04-29
    Japan's Aura Green Energy Co. is reporting a 50-50 joint venture with solar panel system provider WWB Corp. for the construction of a rice husk fueled power generation plant that incorporates solar panels near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The biomass-solar hybrid power plant is expected to launch in 2021.

    The ¥400 million ($3.7 million) project will have a total of 1,500 kilowatts. Any surplus power is to be sold to the national grid or a local power company as an IPP. The project is partly subsidized by the Japanese government, at about ¥110 million under the Joint Crediting Mechanism, a greenhouse gas emission reduction plan to exchange reduced carbon dioxide emissions. (Source: Aura Green Energy, Khmer Times, Mainichi News, 28 April, 2020) Contact: WWB Corp., +81 3 64332789, www.enfsolar.com/directory/panel/48599/wwb; Aura Green Energy, +81 17-752-0682, www.gec.jp

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aura Green Energy,  Solar,  WWB Corp,  


    Trump Admin. Continues to Weaken Climate Change Laws Amid Pandemic (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2020-04-27
    "Most American are probably unaware of how aggressively the Trump administration is rolling back environmental laws. Just recently, the administration implemented a far-reaching climate change rollback that dismantled an Obama-era clean air standard. Unfortunately, that rollback, as well as other rollbacks, have received little media attention -- and understandably so -- because most news outlets are preoccupied with Covid-19.

    "However, this pandemic does not provide decision makers with a license to haphazardly reverse decades of environmental progress and climate change laws. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening as the administration is seemingly using the pandemic as a 'red herring' to gut numerous laws. This misguided attempt to undermine climate change policy is particularly troublesome especially when considering that 64 pct of Americans believe climate change is a serious threat and/or a crisis.

    "Surfrider believes it is unconscionable to gut environmental laws while most Americans are deeply concerned about the global pandemic and will be less likely to engage in civics. Not only are these rollbacks underhanded, but they contribute more air and water pollution which will impact residents with health conditions, making them more susceptible to Covid-19. A new Harvard study found that air pollution can be significantly linked to higher rates of death in people with Covid-19.

    "It should be noted that some rollbacks were proposed prior to Covid-19, and are part of a broader pattern of environmental deregulation under the Trump administration. Yet, the most recent rollback is particularly troubling because it dramatically weakens vehicle emissions standards that were hard-fought over the past decade. Another attempt to undermined climate change efforts came when the administration proposed to revoke California's authority's to set higher air quality standards than the federal government. Of course, California promptly sued and the case is making its way through the courts.

    "The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a paramount environmental law that mandates climate change review, has also become another target. The Trump administration brazenly proposed a rule that climate change impacts should not be considered under NEPA. The proposal has met significant opposition in Congress where a Democrat and Republican co-authored a bipartisan sign on letter opposing the administration's plan. Moreover, the courts have a long history of requiring government agencies and businesses to weigh climate change impacts during decision-making and implementing large projects.

    "Then there are oil and gas production rollbacks. For years, the DoI has drastically weakened offshore drilling safety regulations. To add insult to injury, the administration launched a controversial plan to open up roughly 90 pct of U.S. waters to oil drilling, which Surfrider and our partners have helped stall. Most recently, the administration auctioned off 78 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to oil/gas producers despite cries to halt sales until after the pandemic.

    "Right now, our global community is experiencing two crises -- Covid-19 and climate change -- and we should be applying the same lessons to each crisis. While times have been challenging the past several weeks, there are positive lessons to embrace that relate to climate change:

  • Global society can work together to stave off 'worst case scenarios.' With sufficient leadership, we can take the necessary (albeit painful) collective steps to avoid catastrophe. A similar global response is needed to tackle climate change.

  • There is undeniable strength in science. At first, Covid-19 was framed as being no worse than the flu (some alluded it was a hoax). Once clear facts and science were embraced, the situation was taken more seriously.

  • A deeper appreciation for nature is emerging. Since people have been staying home, the great outdoors has never been so appealing.

  • The earth has appreciated the pause. Satellites images show air pollution over major worldwide cities has significantly dropped. In fact, in the northeast U.S. there was a 30 pct drop in pollution.

    Needless to say, it shouldn't take a global pandemic for us to make bold reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The threats posed by climate change have become abundantly clear and the solutions are right in front of us. Please join Surfrider in opposing environmental rollbacks and urging our government leaders to take bold action on climate change. (Source: Surfrider Foundation, Sefanie Sekich-Quinn, Blog, 23 April, 2020) Contact: Surfrider Foundation, Stefanie Sekich-Quinn, California Policy Manager, ssekich@surfrider.org, www.surfrider.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


  • US Greenhouse Gas Emission Down 27 pct Since 2005 (Ind. Report)
    Greenhouse Gas Emissions,EPA
    Date: 2020-04-27
    According to the just released US EPA 2020 Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks report on nationwide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, since 2005, national GHG emissions have fallen by 10 pct and power sector emissions have dropped by 27 pct -- even as our economy grew by 25 pct.

    From 2005 to 2018, total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions fell by 12 pct. In contrast, global energy-related emissions increased nearly 24 pct from 2005 to 2018. (Source: EPA, 25 April, 2020)

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


    Harvard's $40.9Bn Endowment Aims for Carbon Neutrality (Ind Report)
    Harvard College
    Date: 2020-04-24
    In Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University is reporting a new pledge to reduce carbon and other GHG emissions by monitoring its $40,9 billion endowment investment portfolio with a view to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The net-zero pledge is a first among U.S. endowments. Harvard's is the world's largest educational endowment fund.

    The university's governing body, the Harvard Management Company (HMC), which administers the endowment, plans to reach net-zero by 2050 through a collaboration with faculty and other experts and careful work with asset managers to examine their portfolio's transparency and emission levels. HMC expects to formulate detailed plans to achieve net-zero emissions before the year end.

    Harvard's new pledge aligns with HMC's sustainable-investing framework, which was adopted in 2014 when Harvard signed on to the U.N.-sponsored Principles for Responsible Investment, a six-point outline for a global standard. (Source: Harvard Gazette, 21 April, 2020) Contact: Harvard Management Company, www.hmc.harvard.edu

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


    ICE Global Carbon Futures Index Exchange Launched (Ind. Report)
    ICE Global Carbon
    Date: 2020-04-24
    Exchange operator ICE reports the launch of a new carbon market index, joining a growing number of companies seeking to track allowance prices in the world's major greenhouse gas emissions trading systems.

    The new ICE Global Carbon Futures Index is made up of prices from the EU ETS, the California-Quebec Market and RGGI markets which together represent some of the largest regional economies in the world. To date, 46 nations and more than 30 cities, states and regions have imposed a price -- carbon tax -- on carbon emissions.(Source: ICE, 23 April, 2020) Contact: ICE Global Carbon, www.theice.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ICE Global Carbon,  Carbon Market,  


    China Joins IEA Bioenergy Tech Collaboration Programme (Int'l.)
    IEA Bioenergy
    Date: 2020-04-24
    The IEA Bioenergy Technology Collaboration Programme (TCP) is reporting the People's Republic of China has joined the TCP, bringing the number of contracting parties to 26. China National Renewable Energy Centre (CNREC) plans to join two IEA Bioenergy tasks -- Energy from Biogas (Task 37) and Climate and sustainability effects of bioenergy within the broader bioeconomy (Task 45).

    According to IEA data, in 2019 China accounted for over half of bioenergy additions in the power sector (4.7 GW) and is the third largest global producer of fuel ethanol. In 2018 heat and electricity derived from solid biomass accounted for approximately 186,000 jobs and approximately 145,000 for biogas.

    IEA Bioenergy's vision is to achieve a substantial bioenergy contribution to future global energy demands by accelerating the production and use of environmentally sound, socially accepted and cost-competitive bioenergy on a sustainable basis, thus providing increased security of supply whilst reducing greenhouse gas emissions from energy use, according to its website.

    The China National Renewable Energy Centre (CNREC) is the national institution for assisting China's energy authorities in renewable energy (RE) policy research, and industrial management and coordination. CNREC will research RE development strategy, planning, policy and regulation; coordinate, regulate and implement industrial standardization; keep track of the development trend for RE industry and technology; push the establishment and improvement of the system for RE technology and product testing and certificating; implement, monitor and assess national pilot projects; manage and coordinate international and regional cooperation etc. (Source: IEA Bioenergy , PR 23 April, 2020) Contact: IEA Bioenergy, www.ieabioenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News IEA Bioenergy,  Biomass,  Biofuel,  Bioenergy,  


    Frederick, Md. Commits to Net-Zero Emissions by 2050 (Ind Report)
    City of Frederick
    Date: 2020-04-20
    The city of Frederick, Maryland, (pop. 72,500 +-) reports it has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 50 pct of 2010 levels by 2030 and 100 pct by 2050, and to take all efforts to safely draw down carbon from the air.

    To that end, the city will establish a Climate Emergency Mobilization work group of scientists and academic experts, relevant city departments, and others to formulate recommendations and steps to meet the city's goals. (Source: City of Frederick, Frederick News-Post, 17 April, 2020) Contact: City of Frederick, www.cityoffrederickmd.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Net-Zero Emissions,  


    Seattle Cutting CO2 Emissions, Funding "Blue Carbon" Research Project (Ind. Report)
    Port of Seattle, US Gain
    Date: 2020-04-17
    In Washington State, the Port of Seattle Commission reports approval of a 10-year Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) supply contract with U.S. Gain to enable the Port to reach its 2030 goal to cut carbon emissions by 50 pct almost a decade early.

    The $23 million contract allows the Port to purchase sufficient fuel to heat 55 pct of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) terminal and to power 100 pct of its bus fleet to reach its 50 pct port-wide carbon reduction goal. The fuel delivery begins October 1, 2020.

    Natural gas accounts for 75 pct of the Port's annual climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions. This contract will result in the reduction of approximately 11,000 tpy of emissions the Port directly produces -- equivalent to heating 4,000 Seattle homes or taking 2,400 passenger vehicles off the roads each year of the contract.

    Port Commissioners also approved an Inter-local agreement with the Washington State Departments of Ecology and Natural Resources for the Smith Cove "Blue Carbon" pilot project. Blue Carbon is the carbon stored in coastal ecosystems of mangroves, tidal marshes and sea grass meadows contain large stores of carbon deposited by vegetation and various natural processes over centuries. These ecosystems sequester and store more carbon per unit area than terrestrial forests. The goal of the study is to evaluate how well transplanted kelp and eelgrass offshore of Smith Cove Park sequester carbon and reduce ocean acidification associated with carbon concentrations. (Source: Port of Seattle, PR, Travel Daily News, 16 April, 2020) Contact: US Gain, Bryan Nudelbacher, Dir. RNG Business Development, 920.381.2190, www.usgain.com; Port of Seattle Commission, 206-787-3034, www.portseattle.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Blue Carbon,  US Gain,  Port of Seattle ,  Renewable Fuel,  


    Alternative Fuels for Int'l Shipping Study Launched (Int'l)
    Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Maritime Institute
    Date: 2020-04-17
    In Singapore, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) are reporting release of their 12-month study covering the technological, environmental and economic considerations in adopting alternative fuels.

    The comprehensive study evaluates the characteristics of liquefied natural gas (LNG), methanol, biodiesel, and hydrogen, and outlines ways to incorporate them into existing ship systems. The study also provides short-, medium- and long-term measures, for shipping companies to overcome challenges in incorporating alternative fuels into their value chain and outlines how companies can use alternative fuels to help meet the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) long-term greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets of at least 50 pct, compared to the levels in 2008.

    Download the Alternative Fuels for International Shipping studyHERE.(Source: NTU, SMI, Sea News, 16 April, 2020) Contact: NTU, Dr. Prapisala Thepsithar , Professor Louis Phee, Dean of College of Engineering, +65 6791 1744, www.ntu.edu.sg; Singapore Maritime Insitute, +65 6270 2885, www.maritimeinstitute.sg

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Maritime Alternative Fuel,  


    Japan's GHG Emission Reductions Missing Paris Target (Int'l Report)
    Japanese Environment Ministry
    Date: 2020-04-15
    In Tokyo, the Japanese Environment Ministry reported the country's greenhouse gas emissions fall 3.9 pct in fiscal 2018 from the previous year, thanks in part to an increased reliance on nuclear energy.

    According to the Ministry release, the equivalent of 1.24 billion tons of CO2 was emitted in the year ended March 2019, a fifth annual decline and representing a low among comparable data going back to fiscal 1990.

    Emissions fell 12 pct compared with fiscal 2013, against its Paris Climate Agreement pledge for a 26 percent reduction by fiscal 2030, a target that Japan has itself said is not ambitious enough.

    While many of Japan's nuclear reactors were taken offline in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima crisis, output from the nine active units doubled from the previous year, reducing the need for coal, an increase in renewable energy and low demand for household heating due to a relatively warm winter, all contributed to the drop in CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, Japan's emissions of ozone-depleting hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) rose 4.7 percent from the previous year. (Source: Japanese Environment Ministry, PR, 13 April, 2020) Contact: Japan Environment Ministry, +81-(0)3-3581-3351, www.env.go.jp/en/moemail, www.env.go.jp/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2,  Carbon Emissions,  Paris Climate Agreement,  HFC,  


    When Will Climate Change Overwhelm the Ecosystem? (Ind. Report)
    Climate Action Alliance of the Valley
    Date: 2020-04-13
    In the Old Dominion State, the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley has noted a new CarbonBrief (8 April, 2020) study that addresses the question of "when the effects of climate change will begin to overwhelm ecosystems." The results suggest that unmitigated greenhouse gas emissions would expose tropical ocean ecosystems to potentially catastrophic temperature rise by 2030 and tropical forests by 2050.

    In a seperate study the Microbial Ecology Journal found that the ability of the North Atlantic to take up and sequester CO2 "appears to be smaller than has been assumed in climate modeling." (Source: Climate Action Alliance of the Valley, 11 April, 2020) Contact: Climate Action Alliance of the Valley, www.climateactionallianceofthevalley.org

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


    Va.Governor Inks Virginia Clean Economy Act (Reg. & Leg. Report)
    Governor Ralph Northam
    Date: 2020-04-13
    Following up on our 11th March coverage, in the Old Dominion State, the Office of Governor Ralph Northam (D) reports the Governor has signed the Virginia Clean Economy Act into law. The legislation covers energy efficiency promotions and puts a timeline standard stating that coal-fired plants are to close by 2024, and Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power will be 100 pct carbon-free by 2045 and 2050, respectively. Under the Act:
  • Energy companies will pay penalties for not meeting the Act’s objectives and the revenue from the penalties will go towards job training and programs in disadvantaged communities.;

  • There will be a reduction of energy burned for low-income users and all energy-efficient standards and pilot programs are to be “in the public interest.”

  • 5,200 megawatts of offshore wind generation to harvest energy for generating electricity is "in the public interest." Distributed generation facilities including solar power, will have 16,100 megawatts of solar and onshore wind generation as it is also considered "in the public interest."

  • Net metering will be used, which credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid making it easier for the growth of rooftop solar power in the Commonwealth.

  • The state will establish a carbon cap-and-trade program to reduce emissions from power plants in compliance with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). (Source: Office of Governor Ralph Northam, Website, WAVY.com. 12 April, 2020) Contact: Office of Governor Ralph Northam, 804-786-2211, www.governor.virginia.gov/constituent-services/communicating-with-the-governors-office, www.governor.virginia.gov; RGGI, www.rggi.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  RGGI,  Carbon Emissions,  Renewable Energy,  Energy Efficiency,  


  • Notable Quote from Shell CEO
    Shell Oil
    Date: 2020-04-13
    "All of society, from consumers, to businesses, to governments, recognised the need to accelerate global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions." -- Ben van Beurden, Shell Oil, CEO April, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News SHell Oil,  GHGs,  Carbon Emissions,  


    San Ramon, Calfif. Retail Center Scores LEED Platinum Ind. Report)
    US Green Building Council
    Date: 2020-04-13
    In the Golden State, the City Center Bishop Ranch retail center in San Ramon reports receipt of US Green Building Council LEED Platinum certification for energy efficiency. LEED qualifying features, programs and improvements include:
  • Promoting water efficiency and biodiversity by planting drought-tolerant and native plants throughout the center's landscaping and using reclaimed water for all landscaping.

  • Installing water-efficient fixtures that allow the center to use 36 pct less water indoors than typical buildings of the same size.

  • Reducing energy use by 48 pct compared to typical outdoor lifestyle/retail buildings of the same size -- equal to 1,112 metric tpy of greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Acquiring 25 pct of the building's energy from a solar PV array.

  • Diverting 98 pct of the center's construction and demolition waste from landfills through recycling or salvaging and using regionally sourced and recycled materials used in construction.

  • Incorporating zero or low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) finish materials (Source: City Center Bishop Ranch, USGBC, Danville San Ramon News, 12 April, 2020) Contact: City Center Bishop Ranch, www.citycenterbishopranch.com US Green Building Council, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US Green Building Council,  LEED Certification,  Energy Efficiency,  


  • Berlin's ecoworks GmbH Raises €5Mn (Int'l, Ind. Report)
    ecoworks
    Date: 2020-04-10
    In Germany, Berlin-based startup ecoworks GmbH, a pioneer in the rapid modernization and upgrading of apartment building for greater energy efficiency, reports it has raised €5 million in seed financing.

    The company aims to reduce the total energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions using factory-produced facade and roof elements and per-assembled building technologies that reduce the amount of work required in completing a project by a whopping 80 pct. With its processes, ecoworks converts an inefficient building into a "de-centralised and small power plant by installing photovoltaic systems, thermal reservoirs, and heat pumps that generate more energy than needed by the building's occupants." The surplus green energy is fed into the public power grid. (Source: ecoworks GmbH, silicon canals, 7 April, 2020) Contact: ecoworks GmbH, www.ecoworks.tech

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


    Climate Software Developer ClimateView Raises $2.5Mn (Int'l.)
    ClimateView,
    Date: 2020-04-10
    ClimateView, a Swedish software development company working on monitoring and visualization tools for greenhouse gas emissions, reports it has raised $2.5 million in its latest round of financing.

    ClimateView's software gives cities a window into their emissions, emissions levels and other sustainability and resilience information enabling them to plan accordingly for how best to proceed with decarbonization efforts and climate change mitigation plans. ClimateView's software provides a central hub of all development, emissions, and projected urban planning data to accelerate the planning process.

    The company's premier project has been its work with the Swedish Climate Policy Council, which used the ClimateView software and suite of services to release a publicly available digital roadmap using the company's Panorama software. (Source: ClimateView, NewsDio, April, 2020) Contact: ClimateView, Tomer Shalit, CEO, tomer@ climateview.global, www.climateview.global

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  C;imate Software,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change Mitigation,  


    Notable Quotes -- Carbon Markets and Carbon Emissions
    EU ETS
    Date: 2020-04-08
    "This (COVID-19 pandemic) is a perfect storm for Europe's carbon market, and it may well lead to some challenging questions about its role in Europe's decarbonisation strategy once the COVID-19 crisis has passed." -- Coralie Laurencin, IHS Markit Dir. (Note: Europe's carbon price has dropped 40 pct since early March when they were still trading at roughly €24 ($26) per metric ton to €16-18 per metric ton. In 2019 the high was €29 per metric ton.)

    "All of society, from consumers, to businesses, to governments, recognised the need to accelerate global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," -- Ben van Beurden, CEO,Shell Oil, April, 2020

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Market,  EU ETS,  


    Charting the Course to Net-Zero Industrial Emissions (Ind Report)
    Applied Energy,Resources for the Future
    Date: 2020-04-06
    A recent study from a team of researchers at Energy Innovation and Resources for the Future has found that it is possible -- and critical -- to bring industrial greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2070.

    The study assesses the range of technologies and policies interventions available to enable global industry decarbonization. The paper noted that the industrial sector was responsible for 33 pct of global GHG emissions in 2014 -- including process emissions and indirect emissions from purchased electricity -- and that cutting emissions from this sector is critical to meeting international climate goals, such as those set by the Paris Agreement.

    The paper finds that governments can accelerate research and development in sustainable manufacturing and incentivize new technology deployment and market scale-up through policy mechanisms such as R&D support, emissions standards, carbon pricing, and government procurement of low-carbon materials and industrial products. The paper also finds that, when used together, the right technologies and policies enable net-zero industrial GHG emissions by 2070. It particularly examines the role of the following technologies, innovation areas, and policy interventions that can be part of the emissions reduction strategy:

  • Electrification, use of hydrogen, energy efficiency, and carbon capture;

  • Material efficiency, longevity, re-use, material substitution, and recycling;

  • Specific technologies for iron and steel, cement, and chemicals and plastics:

  • Carbon pricing, research support, standards, government purchases, data disclosure. (Source: Resources for the Future, Applied Energy, Technology Network, 2 April, 2020) Contact: Resources for the Future, Dallas Burtraw, 202.328.5000, 202.939.3460 - fax., info@rff.org, www.rff.org; Energy Innovation, Jeffrey Rissman, 415-799-2176, www.energyinnovation.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Innovation ,  Net-Zero Carbon,  Carbon Emissions,  Resources for the Future,  


  • Ricoh Earns ENERGY STAR® Sustained Excellence Award (Ind Report)
    ENERGY STAR
    Date: 2020-04-06
    Malvern, Penna.-based imaging equipment specialist Ricoh USA, Inc. is reporting receipt of the 2020 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award for the fifth consecutive year.

    The ENERGY STAR® award recognizes Ricoh's work to foster environmental sustainability in its operations and promoting sustainability and energy efficiency to its customers, employees and the larger business community.

    The EPA ENERGY STAR program is a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. To date, tens of thousands of buildings and plants across all fifty states have earned the ENERGY STAR®. (Source: Ricoh Americas, MyChessCo, ENERGY STAR, April, 2020) Contact: Ricoh Americas, Donna Venable, Exec. VP, www.ricoh-usa.com; EPA ENERGY STAR, www.energystar.gov

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


    Agave Biofuel Potential Studied in Australia (Int'l. Report, R&D)
    University of Sydney
    Date: 2020-04-03
    Researchers from the University of Sydney, University of Adelaide and the UK's University of Exeter have analyzed the potential to produce bioethanol from the agave plant -- a high-sugar succulent commonly grown in Mexico and used for tequila. Agave is now being grown as a biofuel source in the Atherton Tablelands in Queensland, Australia, by agribusiness company MSF Sugar.

    The study noted bioethanol yield of 7,414 litres a hectare each year is achievable with five-year-old agave plants. The study also found that sugarcane yields 9,900 litres per hectare each year. However, agave beats sugarcane on a number of measures, including fresh water eutrophication, marine ecotoxicity and water consumption. The project also found agave uses 69 pct less water than sugarcane and 46 pct less water than corn for the same yield. The economic analysis suggests that a first generation of bioethanol production from agave is currently not commercially viable without government support, given the recent collapse in the world oil price.

    The study concluded bioethanol derived from agave is superior to that from corn and sugarcane in terms of water consumption and quality, greenhouse gas emissions, as well as ethanol output.. (Source: Spirits Business, April, 2020) Contact: MSF Sugar, www.msfsugar.com.au; University of Exeter, Dr Xiaoyu Yan, +44 01326 259485, www.exeter.ac.uk; University of Sydney, Daniel Tan, www.sydney.edu.au/research/opportunities/supervisors/1115

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Agave news,  Biofuel news,  Bioethanol news,  


    Notable Quotes on Transportation Emissions
    International Union of Railways.
    Date: 2020-04-03
    "If we want to reduce the consequences of global warming, which are now quite inevitable, we have to act fast and act now.

    "If we continue to cherish a transport model based on individual vehicles that consume both non-renewable resources and contribute to global warming, it will be quite difficult to curb the rise in temperatures on our planet.

    "Transport, in its broadest terms, is responsible for 24 pct of energy related greenhouse gas emissions but rail today is four-times less carbon emitting than the other modes and has a really important part to play." -- Francois Davenne, Director General, International Union of Railways. Contact: International Union of Railways, www.uic.org

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


    EPA 2020 ENERGY STAR® Winners Recognized (Ind. Report)
    ENERGY STAR
    Date: 2020-04-01
    The U.S. EPA and the DOE are honoring 191 ENERGY STAR partners -- including Fortune 500 companies, schools, retailers, manufacturers, home builders, and commercial building owners and operators -- that have demonstrated national leadership in cost-saving energy efficient solutions.

    Recipients of the 2020 ENERGY STAR Awards come from 37 states and include: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Energize Connecticut -- statewide energy efficiency initiative in partnership with Eversource Energy and AVANGRID, HP, Palo Alto, CA, NY-based global financial service company MetLife, Faifax, Virginia-based home energy rating company Patuxent Environmental Group, and the electric utility Public Service Company of Oklahoma in Tulsa, and others.

    Since 1992, the ENERGY STAR program and its thousands of partners have helped save more than 4 trillion kWh of electricity and achieve over 3.5 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions. In 2018 alone, ENERGY STAR and its partners helped Americans avoid nearly $35 billion in energy costs. (Source: US EPA, 30 Mar., 2020) Contact: EPA ENERGY STAR®, www.energystar.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ENERGY STAR,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Inmarsat Joins Asian Shipping Decarbonization Initiative (Int'l.)
    Inmarsat, IMO
    Date: 2020-04-01
    UK-based Global satellite communications provider Inmarsat has taken the role of a founding member in Asia's first decarbonising shipping initiative. The Singapore-based initiative is part of the Trade and Transport Impact (TTI) programme from venture development firm Rainmaking to bring global startups together to look into meeting UN targets on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

    Backed by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the initiative expects to identify more than 1,000 projects offering models to tackle decarbonisation, with selected startups to be matched with maritime industry leaders willing to build collaborative pilot projects.

    Other initiate participants include Cargill, DNV GL, Hafnia, Mitsubishi Corp's subsidiary MC Shipping, Vale, and Wilhelmsen.

    The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is targeting a 50 pct cut in shipping GHG emissions by 2050, and average carbon intensity (CO2 per tonne-mile) reductions of 40 pct by 2030 and 70 pct by 2050 compared to 2008 figures. (Source: Inmarsat, Seatrade, Mar., 2020) Contact: Inmarsat, +44 (0)20 7728 1000 -- London, +65 6499 5050 -- Singapore, maritime@inmarsat.com, www.inmarsat.com; IMO, Stefan Micallef, Director of Marine Environment Division, +44 (0) 20 7735 7611, www.imo.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Maritime Emissions,  IMO,  Shipping Emissions,  ,  


    ORNL Touting New Sustainable, Low Cost Fuel Tech (New Prod & Tech)
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory
    Date: 2020-03-30
    The US DOE Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), working with Vertimass LLC, a licensee of the technology, reports development of Consolidated Dehydration and Oligomerization (CADO), a new technology to turn ethanol into competitively priced sustainable fuels.

    The single step CADO process is capable of converting vapor of wet ethanol into hydrocarbon blendstocks competitively priced at $2/gigajoule that can be blended with gasoline, diesel, or jet fuels to diminish emissions of greenhouse gases.

    The conversion procedure of fuel uses zeolite, a kind of catalyst, to create actual loner chains of hydrocarbons from ethanol (alcohol). The process substitutes the traditional multi-step processes and uses less energy. (Source: ORNL, PR, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Daily Facts & Trends, 29 Mar., 2020) Contact: US DOE Office of Science, www.energy.gov/science; ORNL Center for Bioenergy Innovation, Brian Davison, Chief Science Officer, 865-576-7658, www.ornl.gov; Vertimass LLC, John Hannon, CEO, www.vertimass.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Oak Ridge National Laboratory,  Alternative Fuel,  Sustainable Fuel,  


    Russia Announces New Emissions Targets (Int'l. Report)
    Russian Ministry of Economic Development
    Date: 2020-03-30
    In Moscow, the Russian Ministry of Economic Development has, after extended procrastination and posturing, released a draft plan under which Russia, the world's fifth largest GHG emitter, would cut greenhouse gas emissions by one-third of 1990 levels by 2030.

    Under the plan Russian emissions are projected to rise to the equivalent of 2.08 billion tons of carbon dioxide by 2030 - 67 pct of the 3.11 billion tons recorded in 1990.

    By 2050, the draft plan projects emissions would fall to 1.99 billion tons -- 64 pct of 1990 levels -- and Russia would not become carbon neutral until much later than its original 2050 target.

    Details of the draft plan are expected to be included in Russia's updated Paris Climate Agreement climate action plan to be submitted to the UN later this year. The Kremlin previously pledged a 25 pct cut in emissions. (Source: Russian Ministry of Economic Development, Bellona, Mar., 2020)

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


    COVID-19 Lockdown Drops EU GHG Emissions 24 pct (Int'l. Report)
    Independent Commodity Intelligence Services
    Date: 2020-03-30
    According to global commodities markets and data specialist Independent Commodity Intelligence Services ICIS) , European greenhouse gases (GHGs) as regulated under the EU Emissions Trading System (EUETS) will likely drop 24.4 pct in 2020 because of the widespread COVID-19 pandemic lock-downs.

    Access the ICIS Early Impact Assessment HERE (Source: ICIS, Mar., 2020) Contact: ICIS, Anie Begum, Brand & Communications Manager +44 20 7911 3126, anie.begum@icis.com, (888) 525-3255 -- General Inquiries, clientsuccess@icis.com, www.icis.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Greenhouse Gas Emissions,  GHGs,  EUETS,  


    KeHE Switching to Clean Energy Fuels Redeem™ RNG (Ind. Report)
    Clean Energy Fuels
    Date: 2020-03-27
    Naperville, Illinois-based employee-owned KeHE Distributors, a leading natural & organic, fresh and specialty food distributor, reports it will begin fueling its vehicles in California with Clean Energy Fuels Corp.'s Redeem™ renewable natural gas (RNG) this year.

    Redeem™ RNG has been proven to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 70 pct versus diesel. Clean Energy's Zero Now initiative details are HERE. (Source: KeHE, PR, 24 Mar., 2020) Contact: KeHE, Ari Goldsmith, VP Marketing, ari.goldsmith@kehe.com, www.kehe.com; Clean Energy Fuels, Chad Lindholm, VP, www.cleanenergyfuels.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Energy Fuels ,  RNG,  Renewable Natural Gas,  


    KIT Atmospheric CO2-to-Carbon Black Pilot Underway (Int'l, R&D)
    NOCEC,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
    Date: 2020-03-27
    In Germany, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is reporting the NECOC Technologies for Negative Greenhouse Gas Emissions Research Project is now under way.

    In the NECOC research project, an integrated pilot plant is being constructed to test a new process for reducing the greenhouse gas CO2 in the atmosphere and to produce carbon black -- a high-quality, solid carbon with industrial applications.

    Project partners include INERATEC GmbH, a spinoff of KIT, and Climeworks AG, a spinoff of ETH Zurich. The research project, scheduled for a duration of three years, is funded with a total of €1.5 million by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). (Source: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 25 Mar.,2020)Contact: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Professor Thomas Wetzel of the Institute of Thermal Process Engineering, Martin Heidelberger, +49 721 608-21169, martin.heidelberger@kit.edu, www.kit.edu, www.tvt.kit.edu/21_3547.php; Climeworks AG, Jan Wurzbacher and Christoph Gebald, co-founder and co-CEO, +41 44 533 2999, www.climeworks.com; ETH Zurich, +41 44 632 03 52, www.up.ethz.ch

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ETH Zurich,  Climeworks,  Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  Carbon Black,  NOCEC,  Karlsruhe Institute of Technology,  Carbon Black,  


    WA Recognizes Forestry's Role in Climate Change Solution (Ind Report)
    Washington State
    Date: 2020-03-27
    In Olympia, Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) has signed into law ESSHB 2528, legislation establishing a state policy recognizing and supporting the complete forest products sector -- landowners, mills, bioenergy, pulp and paper, harvesting and transportation infrastructure necessary to continue sustainable forestry, production and transportation of the state's wood products -- as an "essential part of the climate solution." The legislation comes into force 90 days after March 12th, when the session ended.

    Washington State's private forests and wood products sector sequesters 12 pct of the state's carbon emissions, and working forests play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gases, according to the Washington Forest Protection Association. (Source: Washington Forest Protection Assoc., PR, 25 Mar., 2020) Contact: Washington Forest Protection Association, www.wfpa.org; American Forest Resource Council, www.amforest.org; Office of Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee, Communications Office, Tara Lee, (360) 902-4136, www.governor.wa.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Gov. Jay Inslee,  Forestry,  Climate Change,  


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

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

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

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


    Concrete Solutions to Lower GHG Emission, Air Pollution (Ind Report)
    UC Davis
    Date: 2020-03-25
    According to a study from the University of California-Davis, concrete production contributes 8 pct of global greenhouse gases and caused $335 billion per year in damages while strategies to reduce the concrete sector's global GHG emissions could, under some scenarios, increase local air pollution and related health damages.

    While CCS technologies could reduce GHG emissions from concrete production by as much as 28 pct , the study found it could actually increase human health impacts from air pollutants unless the technology itself is powered by clean energy.

    Cement production is responsible for about 32 pct of the total climate damages and 18 pct of health damages of making concrete. That is followed by aggregate production, which is responsible for 34 pct of health damages and 4 pct in climate damages.

    To reduce these impacts, the study suggests the following readily implementable methods to reduce climate damages: cleaner combusting kiln fuel; increase use of limestone filler or other low-impact mineral additions to partially replace cement; clean renewable energy; amine scrubbing and calcium looping which could reduce climate damage costs over 50 pct and 65 pct respectively. They are not yet readily implementable but may become so in the future.

    While the effectiveness of strategies varies by region, the study says that overall, a mixture of the strategies could reduce climate and health damages by 85 pct and 19 pct respectively. (Source: UC Davis, Nature Climate Change, Daily Democrat, UC Davis, Mar., 2020) Contact: UC Davis, Assist. Prof.,Frances Moore, UCD Department of Environmental Science and Policy, fmoore@ucdavis.edu, www.ucdavis.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Concrete,  Cement,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  UC Davis,  


    Vietnam Legislation Aimed at Fighting Climate Change (Int'l.)
    Vietnam
    Date: 2020-03-20
    In Hanoi, the government of Vietnam reports the introduction of legislation to reduce the country of 98,000 resident's reliance on coal and advance its greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals, as per the Paris Climate Accord.

    The four-pronged legislation includes; cap and trade; a ban on chemicals that destroy the ozone; corporate emission reporting rules; and a database of both emissions and the measures to decrease them. The legislation includes measures to decrease emissions by focusing on reforestation, creating a domestic carbon credit market, and drastically cut coal consumption which presently generates almost one-third of the country's electric power -- figure projected to increase by five times by 2030. (Source: Various Media, VOA Khymer, 19 Mar., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  Coal,  Paris Climate Accord,  Vietnam Emissions,  

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