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EU MEPs Call for Renewables, Energy Storage to Spur Decarbonization (Opinions, Editorials & Aside)
European Union,European Commission
Date: 2020-07-01
In Brussels, Members of the European Union Parliament (MEPs) Industry, Research and Energy Committee the Committee) have outlined their strategy for renewable energy, 'green' hydrogen, and energy storage, all of which play a crucial role in reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate change.

The Committee calls on the EC and member states to remove regulatory barriers that hamper the development of energy storage projects, such as double taxation or shortcomings in EU network codes. The Trans-European energy networks also need to be revised in order to improve eligibility criteria for those wishing to develop energy storage facilities.

MEPs also highlight the potential of hydrogen produced from renewable sources ("green hydrogen" ) and call on the EC to continue supporting research into and development of a hydrogen economy. The EC should also assess if retrofitting gas infrastructure to transport hydrogen is possible, as the use of natural gas is only of a transitional nature.

The committee also supports the EC's efforts to create European standards for batteries and to reduce dependence on their production outside of Europe. The EU's heavy dependence on importing raw materials from sources where extraction degrades the environment should be reduced through enhanced recycling schemes and by sourcing raw materials sustainably, possibly in the EU.

Finally, MEPs propose ways to boost other storage options, such as mechanical and thermal storage, as well as the development of decentralized storage through home batteries, domestic heat storage, vehicle-to-grid technology and smart home energy systems. The EC estimates that the EU will need to be able to store six times more energy than today to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

According to lead MEP Claudia Gamon, "Energy storage will be essential for the transition to a decarbonized economy based on renewable energy sources. As electricity generated by wind or solar energy will not always be available in the quantities needed, we will need to store energy. Apart from storage technologies that we already know work well like pumped hydro storage, a number of technologies will play a crucial role in the future, such as new battery technologies, thermal storage or "green" hydrogen. These must be given market access to ensure a constant energy supply for European citizens." (Source: European Union News, European Commission PR, 30 June, 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Agreement news,  Renewable Energy news,  Energy Storage news,  Hydrogen news,  


EU MEPs Call for Energy Storage to Spur Decarbonization (Opinions, Editorials & Aside)
European Union,European Commission
Date: 2020-07-01
In Brussels, Members of the European Union Parliament (MEPs) Industry, Research and Energy Committee have outlined their strategy for renewable energy and energy storage and their role in reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate change.

The Committee calls on the EC and EU's 27 member states to remove regulatory barriers that hamper the development of energy storage projects, such as double taxation or shortcomings in EU network codes. The Trans-European energy networks also need to be revised in order to improve eligibility criteria for those wishing to develop energy storage facilities. The MEPs also propose boosting mechanical thermal, and other other energy storage options as well as the development of decentralized storage through home batteries, domestic heat storage, vehicle-to-grid technology and smart home energy systems.

The committee also supports efforts to create European battery standards and battery recycling initiates and reduce dependence on their production outside of Europe.

Finally, the EC estimates the EU will need to be able to store six times more energy than today to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

According to lead MEP Claudia Gamon, "Energy storage will be essential for the transition to a decarbonised economy based on renewable energy sources. As electricity generated by wind or solar energy will not always be available in the quantities needed, we will need to store energy. Apart from storage technologies that we already know work well like pumped hydro storage, a number of technologies will play a crucial role in the future, such as new battery technologies, thermal storage or green hydrogen. These must be given market access to ensure a constant energy supply for European citizens." (Source: European Union News, European Commission PR, 30 June, 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Storage,  European Union,  European Commission,  Battery,  


EU MEPs Recommend Renewalbes, Energy Storage to Spur Decarbonization (Opinions, Editorials & Aside)
European Union,European Commission
Date: 2020-07-01
In Brussels, Members of the European Union Parliament (MEPs) Industry, Research and Energy Committee have outlined their strategy for renewable energy and energy storage and their role in reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate change.

The Committee calls on the EC and the EU 27 member states to remove regulatory barriers that hamper the development of energy storage projects, such as double taxation or shortcomings in EU network codes. The Trans-European energy networks also need to be revised in order to improve eligibility criteria for those wishing to develop energy storage facilities. The MEPs also propose ways to boost other storage options, such as mechanical and thermal storage, as well as the development of decentralised storage through home batteries, domestic heat storage, vehicle-to-grid technology and smart home energy systems. The committee also recommends European battery standards recycling initiates and reducing the EU's dependence on batteries produced outside of Europe. Finally, The EC estimates the EU will need to be able to store six times more energy than today to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

According to lead MEP Claudia Gamon, "Energy storage will be essential for the transition to a decarbonised economy based on renewable energy sources. As electricity generated by wind or solar energy will not always be available in the quantities needed, we will need to store energy. Apart from storage technologies that we already know work well like pumped hydro storage, a number of technologies will play a crucial role in the future, such as new battery technologies, thermal storage or green hydrogen. These must be given market access to ensure a constant energy supply." (Source: European Union News, European Commission PR, 30 June, 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  Energy Storage,  European Union,  European Commission,  


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


Milking the Plant Report 13 Dairy Companies Produce More Emissions than the Entire State of Florida! (Ind. Report Attached)
Institute of Agriculture & Trade Policy
Date: 2020-06-22
Thirteen of the world's largest dairy corporations combined to emit more greenhouse gases in 2017 than major polluters BHP, the Australia-based mining, oil and gas giant or ConocoPhillips, the U.S.-based oil company. Unlike growing public scrutiny on fossil fuel companies, little public pressure exists to hold global meat and dairy corporations accountable for their emissions, even as scientific evidence mounts that our food system is responsible for up to 37 pct of all global emissions, according to the attached report.

The report notes "the total combined emissions of the largest dairy corporations rose by 11 pct in just two years (2015-2017) since we last reported on them. Even as governments signed the Paris Agreement in 2015 to significantly rein in global emissions, these companies’ increase of 32.3 million tonnes (MtCO2eq) of GHGs equates to the pollution stemming from 6.9 million passenger cars driven in one year (13.6 billion litres or 3.6 billion gallons of gasoline). Some dairy companies increased their emissions by as much as 30 pct in the 2015-17 period."

Download the Milking the Planet Report HERE. (Source: Institute of Agriculture & Trade Policy (IATP), 15 June, 2020) Contact: IATP. www.iatp.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News GHGs news,  CO2 news,  Greenhouse Gas Emissions news,  


Infosys Takes The Climate Pledge (Int'l., Ind. Report)
Climate Pledge
Date: 2020-06-17
Amazon is reporting Bengaluru, India-headquartered business consultancy Infosys Ltd has signed on to The Climate Pledge.

The Climate Pledge calls on new signatories to be net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040 -- a decade ahead of the Paris Climate Accord's goal of 2050. It also calls for signatories to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis; implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement through real business changes and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions and other carbon emission elimination strategies; and neutralize any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially-beneficial offsets to achieve net zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.

Infosys, which is one of the first companies to place an internal price on carbon, has an energy efficiency program that helped reduce its per-capita electricity consumption by 55 pct , and has invested in community-based emission reduction projects to help meet its net zero carbon goal. (Source: Amazon, PR, Business Wire, 16 June, 2020) Contact: Infosys, Salil Parekh, CEO, www.infosys.com; The Climate Pledge, www.theclimatepledge.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Pledge news,  Infosys news,  Climate Chnage news,  Carbon Emissions news,  Paris Climate Agreement news,  


OGUK Aiming for Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050 (Int'l. Report)
Oil and Gas UK
Date: 2020-06-17
In the UK, the London-based industry group Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) reports it plans to cut its emissions to net zero by 2050 and to halve greenhouse gas emissions arising from exploration and production work on the UK Continental Shelf by 2030 -- then deliver a 90 pct emissions cut by 2040.

To that end, OGUK aims to change its operations including reductions in flaring and venting, and major capital investment programmes aimed at using electricity rather than gas to power offshore facilities. The current OGUK targets would see the removal of over nine million tonnes of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions from its operations over the next decade.

A total of 18.3 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases were emitted from upstream oil and gas operations in 2018 -- 4 pct of total UK emissions. (Source: OGUK, Engineering & Technology, 16 June, 2020) Contact: OGUK, +44 (0) 1224 577250, communications@oilandgasuk.co.uk, www.oilandgasuk.co.uk

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


First Carbon Fiber Reinforced Concrete Bldg. Touted (Int'l,)
Technical University of Dresden
Date: 2020-06-15
In Germany, the Technical University of Dresden is touting "Carbonhaus" as the world's first building made from carbon fiber reinforced concrete ,

The €5-million, 2,200 sq-ft building consists of a precast box and a double-curved roof made possible with the use of lightweight and pliable carbon fiber composite materials. The carbon provides the tensile strength of steel at one-quarter the weight, is more durable than steel , energy efficient and saves up to 70 pct in greenhouse gas emissions. The project is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

(Source: Technical University of Dresden, Composites Manufacturing, 12 June, 2020) Contact: Institute of Concrete Construction Technical University Dresden, Manfred Curbach, +49 351 463-0, www. tu-dresden.de/bu/bauingenieurwesen/imb/?set_language=en

More Low-Carbon Energy News Technical University of Dresden news,  Concrete news,  Carbon Fiber news,  Energy Efficiency news,  


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

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

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

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


Poland's Carbon Emissions Reductions Analyzed (Int'l. Report)
Poland Carbon Emissions
Date: 2020-06-15
U.S.-based global management consultancy McKinsey & Company is reporting Poland is able to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 91 pct and increase carbon uptake just enough to compensate for the remaining 9 pct of 2017 levels at a cost of roughly €380 billion.

Poland's emissions arise mainly from: industry --22 pct; transportation --15 pct; buildings -- 11 pct; agriculture -- 11 percent; and power production 38 pct. Approx. 77 pct of the county's electric power is from coal fired stations. To achieve climate neutrality, the share of coal in Poland's energy mix must be reduced by almost 95 pct. and the share of renewable energy would have to be increased by 80 pct, according to the report. (Source: McKinsey & Company, Warsaw Business Journal, 14 June, 2020) Contact: McKinsey & Company, www.mckinsey.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  


Rolls-Royce Focused on Net Zero Carbon by 2050 (Int'l Report)
Rolls-Royce
Date: 2020-06-08
In the UK, London-headquartered Rolls-Royce reports it has joined the UN Race to Zero campaign in the run up to COP26 slated for Glasgow in Nov., 2021, and reiterates its commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. To that end, Rolls Royce reports it will:
  • Align its business to the Paris Agreement goals, to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C;

  • Use its technological capabilities to play a leading role in enabling vital parts of the economy to get to net zero carbon by 2050, including aviation, shipping, rail, and power generation;

  • Continue and accelerate accelerate its R&D and investment in efficient products and novel solutions to the climate change challenge;

  • Drive changes in the efficiency of engines and work together with the fuels industry to significantly ramp up the availability of lower carbon alternative fuels.

  • Accelerate the development of new technologies and capabilities for future low emission products, including pioneering the electrification of flight;

  • Achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from operations and facilities by 2030, by using 100 pct renewable energy, closed loop manufacturing techniques on high value metals, and deploy our cutting-edge microgrid capabilities.

    The global Race To Zero campaign mobilizes a coalition of leading net zero initiatives, representing 449 cities, 21 regions, 992 businesses, 38 of the biggest investors, and 505 universities. These "real economy" actors join 120 countries in the largest ever alliance committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. Collectively these actors now cover nearly 25 pct of global CO2 emissions and over 50 pct GDP, according to the campaign website. (Source: Rolls Royce, Arabian Aeorspace News, 5 June, 2020) Contact: Rolls Royce, Warren East, CEO, www.rolls-royce.com: UN Race to Zero Campaign, www.unfccc.int/climate-action/race-to-zero-campaign

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


  • WMO Reports New Climate Change Record Highs (Int'l. Report)
    World Meteorological Organization
    Date: 2020-06-08
    According to the Geneva, Switzerland-based World Meteorological Organization (WMO) May, 2020, was the warmest month on record worldwide, with one observing station reporting CO2 levels hitting a record high.

    The WMO release notes that although lock-downs due to the COVID-19 virus have led to improvements in air quality and cleaner skies in many places the effects are temporary and the pandemic will not have a long-term affect on climate change. The WMO also notes the long term and economic slowdown from COVID 19 is not a substitute for sustained and coordinated climate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    "Unfortunately carbon dioxide concentrations measured at the Mauna Loa observing station in Hawaii reached a new record in May," the WMO noted. The most above-average temperatures were recorded over parts of Siberia where they were up to 10 degrees C above average. Records also were shattered in Alaska and Antarctica, according to the WMO release. (Source: WMO, Newsgram. 6 June, 2020) Contact: WMO, Clare Nullis, spokesperson, public.wmo.int/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News World Meteorological Organization ,  Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  Climate Change,  


    Bureau Veritas, Shell Ink Global GHG Reduction Agreement (Int'l.)
    Bureau Veritas
    Date: 2020-06-05
    In Paris, laboratory testing, inspection and certification services provider Bureau Veritas reports the signing of a global framework agreement intended to help global energy and petrochemicals giant Shell reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from operations.

    Methane emissions are a major component of indirect greenhouse gas emissions generated along the oil and gas value chain. Shell has set a target to maintain methane emissions intensity below 0.2 pct by 2025. Bureau Veritas will provide support and help enable the company meet that target. (Source: Bureau Veritas, PR, 4 June, 2020 Contact: Bureau Veritas, Bruno Ferreyra, , Exec. VP., Delphine Doungouss, Media, +33 (0)1 55 24 70 95, Delphine.doungouss@bureauveritas.com, www.bureauveritas.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bureau Veritas,  Shell Oil,  GHG,  Greenhouse Gas,  CO2,  Methane,  


    Endesa SA Recognized for Cutting Carbon Footprint (Int'l, Report)
    Endesa SA
    Date: 2020-06-05
    In Madrid, the Spanish utility Endesa reports it is the only company in the Spanish energy sector to be awarded the Spanish Ministry for Ecological Transition's Climate Change Office's "Calculate+Reduce+Compensate" triple seal for registering its Carbon Footprint for or two consecutive years.

    Endesa was recognized for its commitment and effort in calculating its carbon footprint and compensating for it through the 'Endesa Forest' initiative for the restoration of forests in degraded or burned areas.

    The Ministry's Carbon Footprint Register is compiled by the Ministry for Ecological Transition, through the Spanish Climate Change Office (OECC). Companies can register voluntarily, and the register consists of three sections: carbon footprint and commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions; CO2 absorption projects; and carbon footprint compensation. The objective of this register is to contribute to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, to increase absorption by carbon sinks in the Spanish national territory and thus to facilitate compliance with international commitments assumed by Spain relating to climate change.

    Endesa has cut its CO2 emissions 66 pct since 2005 and aims for a 70 pct cut by 2030 compared to 2017 emissions levels. (Source: Endesa SA , 3 June, 2020) Contact: Endesa SA, www.endesasa.com; Spanish Climate Change Office, www.ctc-n.org/about-ctcn/national-designated-entities/spanish-climate-change-office-ministerio-de-agricultura

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Endesa,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Footprint,  


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

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

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

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

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


    Glencoe Commits to 30 pct Emissions Cut by 2035 (Int'l Report)
    Glencore
    Date: 2020-06-01
    In its February 2020 climate change position paper, Barr, Switzerland-headquartered mining and metals giant Glencore Plc committed to supporting the transition to a low carbon economy and to reducing its scope 3 emissions -- included the natural depletion of the its oil and coal resource base over time.

    The company notes it stands by its target of a 30 pct cut in scope 3 emissions by 2035 and expects to achieve a 10 pct reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 compared to a 2016 base line. The company is expected to announce new longer-term scope 1 and 2 targets that support the Paris Climate Agreement goals during the course of the year. (Source: Glencore, The Independent, 29 May, 2020) Contact: Glencore, www.glencore.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  • Faurecia Taps Schneider Electric to Reach Carbon Neutrality (Int'l.)
    Schneider Electric
    Date: 2020-05-27
    Nanterre, France-based automotive technology company Faurecia Group reports the selection of France's Schneider Electric as a preferred partner to support its commitment to decarbonize its operations and reach CO2 neutrality by 2025.

    A significant part of greenhouse gas emissions in Faurecia's 300 worldwide operations are direct emissions from controlled facilities and indirect emissions from energy procured (scopes 1 and 2 respectively). The first stage of the program will include both purchasing energy produced with low-carbon fuels or from renewable sources, and reducing energy used by adopting innovative digital solutions for efficiency and heat recovery. In addition to this first milestone of CO2 neutrality in scopes 1 and 2 in 2025, Faurecia is also targeting CO2 neutrality in controlled emissions in 2030 and CO2 full neutrality by 2050. (Source: Schneider Electric, PR, 21 May, 2020) Contact: Faurecia, www.faurecia.com; Schneider Electric, www.se.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Schneider Electric,  CO2,  Carbon Neutral,  


    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,  


    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,  


    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,  


    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,  


    €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,  


    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,  


  • 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,  


    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 ,  


    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,  


    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,  

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