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Hailey Idaho Releases GHG Study Results (Ind. Report)
Hailey
Date: 2020-12-18
In Idaho, the Hailey City Resiliency Coordinator Rebecca Bundy has released results of the city's 2020 Greenhouse Gas Inventory conducted in partnership with Local Governments for Sustainability, an international organization of more than 1,750 local and regional governments.

The study -- which began in January -- takes a holistic look at CO2 and methane emissions in the broader Ketchum, Sun Valley and Blaine County Idaho community. Using the most recent available data from utility companies, the study found residential and commercial emissions from natural gas and electricity made up 33 and 29 pct, respectively, of the total community greenhouse gas emissions. Transportation emissions from fossil fuels represented 30 pct, solid waste emissions, 5 pct and industrial emissions and natural gas leaks finished at 3 pct. The audit does not include data from Friedman Memorial Airport, which accounts for over 40 pct of the city's ground-level emissions.

Additionally, the city of Hailey is considering a standalone agreement with Idaho Power that would see the utility regularly update the city on renewable energy projects and provide the city with aggregated data on energy use starting in 2022.

The study is considered a starting point for the community's plan to transition to 100 pct renewable electricity by 2035. (Source: City of Hailey, Idaho Mountain Express, 16 Dec., 2020) Contact: City of Hailey, Rebecca Bundy, 208-788-4221, www.haileycityhall.org; Idaho Power, Megan Ronk, Director of Business Innovation and Dev., Local Governments for Sustainability, www.iclei.org

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


Equestrian Federation Wins IOC-Dow Carbon Action Award (Int'l.)
IOC-Dow Carbon Action Award,
Date: 2020-11-09
The Paris-headquartered International Equestrian Federation (FEI) reports it has again been awarded the IOC-Dow Carbon Action Award in recognition of the sustainability and greenhouse gas reduction efforts of sports organizations within the Olympic Movement.

To be recognized, organizations had to be signatories to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, which was launched by the IOC, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2018. Applicants are also required to present detailed data on their 2020 carbon footprint as well as information on their carbon management and reduction plans. (Source: FEI, Around the Rings, 7 Nov., 2020) Contact: FEI, +41 78 750 61 42, www.dei.org

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


Md, Va, N.Carolina Ink Offshore Wind Agreement (Ind. Report)
Offshore Wind
Date: 2020-11-02
The office of North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is reporting Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina have inked the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional Transformative Partnership for Offshore Wind Energy Resources, a memorandum of understanding to work together to promote the area as a hub for offshore wind energy, streamline the development of regional offshore wind resources, increase regulatory certainty, encourage manufacturing of component parts, reduce wind project costs through supply chain development and share information and best practices.

According to the U.S. DOE, the Atlantic Coast offshore wind project pipeline is estimated to support up to 86,000 jobs, $57 billion in investments and provide up to $25 billion in economic output by 2030. Moreover, along the coasts of the signatories' states, the net technical energy potential is roughly 900,000 GWh per year and the net technical resource capacity is approximately 245 GW.

The wind project pipeline totals more than 27 GW in the Atlantic Coast, and the DOE projects that the nation has the potential to develop 86 GW of offshore wind projects by 2050.

Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional Transformative Partnership for Offshore Wind Energy Resources details HERE. (Source: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, PR, AP, Chapelboro.com, 31 Oct., 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Offshore Wind,  


DNV GL Partner in Offshore Wind Coordination Project (Int'l.)
DNV GL,National Grid ESO
Date: 2020-10-19
DNV GL, the world's largest resource of independent energy experts and certification body, has been appointed by National Grid ESO as a lead partner in the Offshore Wind Coordination project in Great Britain.

The project will analyze a coordinated approach for offshore grid development and shape the future national strategy of Great Britain's offshore grid through feeding into the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy's (UKBESS) Offshore transmission network review. The UK regulator OFGEM is also participating in the project.

The project will review and recommend ways to improve how offshore wind farms are connected to the onshore transmission network. To that end, DNV GL will assess: technology availability (HVDC equipment); analyze technical and regulatory barriers and solutions; study implications on power system security and stability; develop offshore and onshore grid designs and; conduct societal cost-benefit analysis of the offshore grid.

As offshore infrastructure is anticipated to be shared among multiple projects, it is projected that a harmonized development approach will result in optimal utilization of infrastructure, higher integration of offshore wind energy, reduction of carbon emissions and consumer bills, and provision of operational benefits to the onshore grid. Offshore wind continues to be a key electricity source for the UK government and supports its commitment for the country to be net zero by 2050. (Source: DNV GL. National Grid ESO, Oct., 2020) Contact: DNV GL, www.dnvgl.com; National Grid ESO, www.natopnalgrideso.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News OFGEM,  DNV GL,  Offshore Wind,  National Grid ESO ,  


C40 Cities Commit to Green Investments, Fossil Fuel Cuts (Ind. Report)
C40 Cities
Date: 2020-09-30
In New York, 12 of the world's most influential cities representing over 36 million residents have signed on to C40 Groups Divesting from Fossil Fuels, Investing in a Sustainable Future declaration. The declaration champions fossil fuel-free, green finance as a key strategy for rebuilding equitable, sustainable urban economies and increasing resilience against future crises. Signatories pledge to use their financial might to promote a just and clean energy transition through concrete actions at the city, national and international levels.

Cities signing on to the new declaration -- Berlin, Bristol, Cape Town, Durban, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New Orleans, New York City, Oslo, Pittsburgh, and Vancouver -- commit to build momentum for fossil-free and sustainable investment by:

  • Taking all possible steps to divest city assets from fossil fuel companies and increasing financial investments in climate solutions to help promote decent jobs and a just and green economy.

  • Calling on pension funds to divest from fossil fuel companies and increasing financial investments in climate solutions to help promote decent jobs and a just and green economy.

  • Advocating for fossil-free and sustainable finance by other investors and all levels of government, including by promoting the importance of strong, long-term climate policies and demanding greater transparency.

    According to Energy Policy Tracker, more than $200 billion in COVID-19 recovery funds are being pledged to fossil fuels, though risky investments in coal, oil, and gas are key drivers of the climate emergency. Continued investment in fossil fuels drives emissions that endanger the Paris Climate Agreement goals, jeopardize efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C, and threaten to lock dangerous carbon emissions into economies.

    The Divesting From Fossil Fuels, Investing in a Sustainable Future declaration is a critical next step towards realizing the vision for a Global Green New Deal, announced last October at the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark. Endorsed by a broad coalition of business and labor leaders, youth activists, and civil society representatives, the Global Green New Deal reaffirms a commitment to protecting the environment, strengthening the economy, and building more equitable communities through inclusive climate action, according to the release.

    C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, Inc. is a non-profit organization and is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. (Source: C40 Cities, PR, 22 Sept., 2020) Contact: C40 Cities Group, www.c40.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News C40 Cities,  Climate Change,  Renewable Energy,  


  • NATO Must Combat Climate Change (Opinions, Editorials & Aside)
    NATO
    Date: 2020-09-28
    "I (NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg) have been passionate about climate change all of my life. Now, as NATO Secretary General, it is my responsibility to address the threat climate change poses to our shared security.

    "Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time. As the planet heats up, our weather becomes wilder, warmer, windier and wetter, putting communities under pressure as sources of food, fresh water and energy are threatened.

    "Climate change threatens our security. So NATO must do more to fully understand and integrate climate change into all aspects of our work, from our military planning to how we exercise and train our armed forces. Climate change also makes it harder for NATO troops to keep people safe. Our soldiers work in some of the most difficult environments on earth. For example, NATO's training mission in Iraq where, this summer, temperatures regularly exceeded 50 degrees. It is essential that we adapt to this new reality. That means better combat gear, vehicles and infrastructure. And it means explicitly including climate change in NATO's work to improve the resilience of Allies and partners, something that we have been doing for decades in areas like infrastructure.

    "NATO and its member countries also have a responsibility to help reduce climate change by producing fewer emissions without compromising our core tasks. We have long focused on fuel efficiency to improve our military effectiveness. Reducing our dependency on fossil fuels, for instance by using solar panels to power military camps, will not just help combat climate change, it can make our troops and equipment more secure, by improving our ability to operate independently and flexibly.

    "Members of the NATO Alliance are taking a lead with plans to cut emissions from our armed forces through initiatives such as using biofuels, developing hybrid vehicles and improving the energy efficiency of bases and other infrastructure.

    "As many countries increasingly plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, NATO can also do more to help our armed forces contribute to this goal. It is time for NATO to raise its ambition and help drive down emissions. A first step could be to help our members measure their military emissions. The next step could be to agree voluntary cuts in their carbon emissions.

    "Climate change is making the world more dangerous. NATO's task is to preserve peace and keep us safe. So to fulfill our main responsibility, NATO must help to curb climate change for our security today and for the security of future generations." (Source: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, NATO NEWS, Die Welt, 27 Sept., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change news,  Carbon Emissions news,  NATO news,  


    Swiss Re Increases Internal Carbon Levy (Int'l. Report)
    Swiss Re
    Date: 2020-09-16
    As part of its efforts to transition to net-zero emissions in operations by 2030, Zurich-headquartered insurance and reinsurance firm Swiss Re reports it will increase its internal carbon levy to $100 per tonne as of 2021.

    The new levy, which is higher than the current levy of $8 per tonne CO2 set to gradually increase to $200 per tonne by 2030, will fund a compensation of residual operational emissions through carbon removal projects. The reinsurer will also further curb its flight emissions with a CO2 reduction target of 30 pct in 2021, relative to the 2018 benchmark.

    As previously reported, Swiss Re, a signatory of the Paris Pledge for Action and UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance founding member, plans to gradually cut underwriting to the most carbon-intensive oil and gas industries by 2023. (Source: Swiss Re, Reinsurance News, 15 Sept., 2020) Contact: Swiss Re, Christian Mumenthaler, CEO, www.swissre.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Internal Carbon Levy,  Carbon Tax,  


    Bank of Ireland Launches "Green" Bond Framework (Int'l. Report)
    Bank of Ireland
    Date: 2020-09-04
    In Dublin, the Bank of Ireland reports the launch of a framework that will enable the Bank to issue "Green" Bonds and finance additional renewable energy, green buildings, and clean transportation. This follows the 2019 launch of the Bank's Sustainable Finance Fund which has to date provided €600 million in green loans to home owners and businesses.

    Bank of Ireland's Responsible and Sustainable Business Initiatives include:

  • 50 pct carbon intensity reduction target for 2030 (on a 2011 baseline), within the Bank's operations and the 40 pct emissions reduction the Bank achieved since 2011.

  • €2 billion Sustainable Finance Fund encouraging and rewarding energy-efficient homes, investment in older properties to improve sustainability performance, and SME and agri investment in energy efficiency

  • The launch of Ireland's first Green Mortgage interest rate under which borrowers can receive a discount off fixed rate interest options -- from 1 to 10 years -- to finance the purchase, construction or renovation of residential buildings with an A-rated or to achieve an A-rated BER energy performance

  • Green Home Improvement Loan designed to fund energy efficient upgrades, borrowers offered loan a discounted rate for amounts from €2,000 to €65,000

  • Green Business Loan for businesses seeking to implement energy saving initiatives to reduce their energy costs and their carbon footprint

  • Providing finance to Renewable Energy projects which to date has provided the equivalent of 468,000 homes with renewable generated electricity

    In its effort to address climate change and climate change related risks, the Bank of Ireland became a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Banking in 2019 and a supporter of the Task Force on Climate-related Finance Disclosures (TCFD) in 2020. (Source: Bank of Ireland, PR, Finextra, 3 Sept., 2020) Contact: Bank of Ireland: Mark Spain, CSO, www.bankofireland.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Bond,  Renewable Energy,  Climate Change,  Energy Efficiency,  


  • ARPA-E Commits $16.5Mn for Biofuels Supply Chain Tech. (R&D)
    ARPA-E
    Date: 2020-09-04
    In Washington, the US DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) is reporting $16.5 million in funding for six projects as part of the Systems for Monitoring and Analytics for Renewable Transportation Fuels from Agricultural Resources and Management (SMARTFARM) program. These projects will develop technologies that bridge the data gap in the biofuel supply chain by quantifying feedstock-related GHG emissions and soil carbon dynamics at the field-level. These technologies will allow for improved efficiency in feedstock production and enable new ag-sector carbon removal and management opportunities.

    SMARTFARM teams will work to design and develop systems to quantify feedstock production life cycle GHG emissions at the field level reliably, accurately, and cost-effectively. Selected projects are capable of delivering a positive return on investment when field-level carbon emissions reductions are connected to associated biofuel carbon markets. The program also focuses on potential economic benefits to feedstock producers and future carbon management markets, potentially complementing yield-based revenues with incentives for input efficiency and restorative practices. This focus will also help to lay the groundwork for market structures to shift away from national averages and toward lower uncertainty field-based estimates for incentivizing efficiency and other services.

    Working to make the biofuel supply chain carbon-negative through the removal or sequestration of carbon would greatly improve biofuel's economic and environmental benefits. Achieving reductions in carbon emissions also encourages feedstock producers to adopt new technologies and practices to quantify their impact. SMARTFARM teams are working to develop robust quantification methods through these awards so that management practices can be linked to environmental and economic outcomes simultaneously.

    Download SMARTFARM projects funding recipients and details HERE (Source: ARPA-E, Website PR, Sept., 2020) Contact: ARPA-E, Lane Genatowski, Dir., www.arpa-e.energy.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ARPA-E,  Biofuel,  Renewable Fuels,  


    Russia's Medvedev Urging EU Carbon Border Tax (Int'l. Report)
    Carbon Tax
    Date: 2020-08-26
    In Moscow, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday called for a EU carbon border tax to comply with international agreements on climate.

    "If the tax is imposed, there should definitely be an effort to keep it in compliance with the EU framework convention on climate and Paris Climate Agreement. We have to hold bilateral talks on this with the EU and via dedicated international platforms, such as the WTO, the agencies that deal with climate change and relevant conventions," Medvedev noted while speaking at a meeting on the potential impact of the tax on Russia.

    Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev is a Russian politician who is serving as Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia, headed by Vladimir Putin. He served as prime minister of Russia between 2012 and 2020. From 2008 to 2012, Medvedev served as president of Russia. (Source: Sputnik, 26 Aug., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  Border Carbon Tax,  


    World GBC Claims Net Zero Carbon Bldg. Growth (Int'l Report)
    World Green Building Council
    Date: 2020-08-19
    The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has announced that the total number of signatories to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment has reached 100, marking a doubling of participation in the programme in just over one year. The Commitment positions energy efficiency as a central component to achieving decarbonisation across global portfolios.

    Since inception, businesses and organizations signed up to the Commitment now cover nearly 6,000 assets, over 32 million sq-meter total floor area and $100 billion in annual turnover. By 2030, this means that the operational portfolio emissions of these Commitment signatories will be at net zero, affecting approximately 3.4 million tonnes of CO2 (tCO2e). (Source: World GBC, PR, Aug., 2020) Contact: World GBC, Cristina Gamboa, CEO, Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, www.worldgbc.org/thecommitment, www.worldgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News World Green Building Council,  Energy Efficiency,  Net Zero Carbon,  


    POET Increasing Bio-Based Industrial Alcohol Prod (Ind. Report)
    POET
    Date: 2020-08-12
    Sioux Falls, SD-based ethanol producer POET is reporting it will scale up production of industrial and beverage-grade alcohol and is making significant investments to enhance operations at its biorefinery in Leipsic, OH, and is in the design phase for modification of a second industrial-grade plant in Alexandria, IN that will come online in early 2021.

    POET is the world's largest producer of biofuels and has marketed various bio-based products including several animal feed solutions, renewable CO2, and JIVE, an eco-friendly asphalt rejuvenator and modifier. (Source: POET, Website News, Aug., 2020) Contact: POET, Jeff Broin, CEO, (605) 965-2200, www.poet.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News POET,  Ethanol,  


    Foundation for Climate Restoration Comments on Bipartisan CCS Legislation (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Foundation for Climate Restoration
    Date: 2020-08-10
    "This is a momentous occasion for the climate restoration movement. I commend the U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) on their bipartisan legislation to research and develop carbon capture and sequestration technologies. This is a necessary step that the Foundation for Climate Restoration (FCR) has been advocating for, and we are pleased to see a commitment to robust research and development of these technologies from both sides of the aisle.

    "The trillion tons of excess carbon in our atmosphere are the main driver of climate change. Therefore, even with net-zero emissions, which is critically important, we are not addressing 95 pct of the problem. Carbon capture technologies that remove this excess CO2, paired with uses for the captured carbon that are permanent, scalable, and financeable, must be our foremost commitment. This is critical to restoring a healthy, pre-industrial level of atmospheric carbon.

    The CREATE Act of 2020 recognizes the importance of research and development of carbon capture and sequestration through direct air capture, enhanced carbon mineralization, bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration, forest restoration, soil carbon management, and direct ocean capture. These avenues of capture and sequestration have enormous potential to remove the excess carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and restore a safe and healthy climate. We are thus thrilled at the bipartisan effort to mobilize and scale these restorative technologies. Removal of atmospheric carbon, in concert with net-zero emissions, will safeguard the planet and ensure its survival for future generations."

    (signed) Rick Parnell, CEO, Foundation for Climate Restoration (Source: Foundation for Climate Restoration, PR, Aug., 2020) Contact: Foundation for Climate Restoration, Rick Parnell, CEO, (650) 906-3016, www.f4cr.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Foundation for Climate Restoration,  Carbon Emissions,  CCS,  Climate Change,  


    SwRI Scores Zero-Emission Power Plant Design Funding (Ind. Report)
    SwRI
    Date: 2020-08-05
    In San Antonio, the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) reports receipt of $764,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop a zero-emission fossil fuel power plant that in-corporates a supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) power cycle, renewable energy, oxy-gen storage and carbon capture.

    SwRI is leading one of 12 teams that received a competitive award to conduct Phase 1 of ARPA-E's FLExible Carbon Capture and Storage (FLECCS) program. FLECCS sup-ports research to develop enabling technologies that better respond to grid conditions in a highly variable renewable energy environment, such as natural gas power generators . At the conclusion of Phase 1, a sub-set of teams will advance to Phase 2 of the pro-gram, receiving additional funding to focus on building components, unit operations and prototype systems. (Source: SwRI,PR, Eureka, Aug., 2020) Contact: SwRIDr. Jeff Moore, Research Leader, (210) 684-5111, www.swri.org; ARPA-E, Lane Genatowski, Director, arpa-e.energy.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News SwRI,  ARPA-E,  Zero-Emission,  Carbon Capture,  


    Grassley Seeks $3Bn for Iowa Ethanol Ind. Relief (Ind. Report)
    Chuck Grassley
    Date: 2020-07-31
    In Des Moines, Hawkeye State senator Chuck Grassley (R) is calling for the uncertain at best Republican Senate's COVID-19 relief proposal earmarking $20 billion for agriculture, should direct $3 billion to support the state's struggling ethanol industry.

    Iowa's ethanol industry can produce more than 4.1 billion gpy from more than 1.3 billion bushels of corn. This comes from the 42 corn ethanol plants and two cellulosic plants operating across the state. (Source: Office of Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Capital Dispatch, 30 July, 2020) Contact: Office of Sen. Chuck Grassley, www.grassley.senate.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Chuck Grassley,  Ethanol,  


    ACE Comments on COVID-19 Economic Relief Pkg, (Opinions & Asides)
    American Coalition for Ethanol
    Date: 2020-07-29
    Late yesterday, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled his coronavirus economic relief package including $20 billion in relief to be used by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in addition to the $14 billion in funding the previously enacted CARES Act provides USDA via the Commodity Credit Corporation account. This marks the next step toward supplying much needed assistance to the renewable fuels sector. American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings believes ethanol producers, considered 'processors' under any commonsense definition of the term, would be prime candidates to receive a portion of USDA's increased discretionary funds in this proposal. While Jennings welcomed the inclusion of the assistance, he urged for more specific language in the following reaction:

    "We are grateful Senate leaders have responded to our request for economic relief to biofuel producers in the phase four stimulus, however, Congress gave USDA the flexibility to provide relief for renewable fuel producers in the last package and USDA declined to exercise it. While Senator McConnell's bill is more specific about processors of ag commodities, it still leaves discretion to USDA which has so far failed to use the authority to support our industry.

    "As I stated in my recent letter to Senators McConnell and Schumer, direct aid for biofuel producers is long overdue. That is why we support and urged inclusion of the Grassley-Klobuchar bill which makes direct assistance certain. Ethanol producers have acted as an economic bridge for U.S. farmers when they purchased corn before the extent of the pandemic was known. It is only fair to aid the ethanol industry which has fronted cash to farm economies.

    "We will continue to urge for more specific language in the final bill. Fortunately, momentum appears to be in our favor since both the House-passed Heroes Act and Senate proposal contain relief provisions. Now we need to ensure the legislative details are correct as there should be no reason direct assistance for ethanol producers doesn't make it in the final phase four bill. ACE urges grassroots advocates to contact their lawmakers and ask them to include biofuel producer relief in the final coronavirus relief package and to get it done before the August recess." (Source: American Coalition for Ethanol, 29 July, 2020) Contact: American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, (605) 334-3381, www.ethanol.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American Coalition for Ethanol,  Ethanol Biofuel,  


    MHI Unit Upgrading Tokyo Waste-to-Energy Plant Efficiency (Int'l.)
    Mitsubishi Heavy Industries,
    Date: 2020-07-27
    MHI Environmental & Chemical Engineering Co ., division of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firm Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, is reporting receipt of an order from Clean Authority of Tokyo to upgrade equipment and energy efficiency of the authority's 900 metric tpd, 22-Mw Minato waste-to-energy plant.

    In addition to plant heavy equipment renovations and replacements as needed, the facility will also be upgraded to utilize new motors and inverters for electric components to increase energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions by around 4 pct annually. The ¥7.6 billion ($72.2 million U.S.) project is scheduled for completion in January 2023. (Source: MHI Environmental & Chemical Engineering Co., Contact: MHI Environmental & Chemical Engineering Co., www.mhiec.co.jp

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Mitsubishi Heavy Industries news,  Energy Efficiency news,  


    DOE Announces $11.5Mn for FLExible CCS Program (Ind. Report)
    DOE ARPA-E
    Date: 2020-07-15
    In Washington, the U.S. DOE has announced $11.5 million in funding for 12 projects as part of Phase 1 of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy's (ARPA-E) FLExible Carbon Capture and Storage (FLECCS) program. FLECCS project teams will work to develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) processes that better enable technologies, such as natural gas power generators, to be responsive to grid conditions in a high variable renewable energy (VRE) penetration environment.

    FLECCS project teams are developing CCS retrofits to existing power generators as well as greenfield systems that intake fossil carbon-containing fuel like natural gas or bio-gas and output electricity. FLECCS Phase 1 teams will design, model, and optimize CCS processes that enable flexibility on a high-VRE grid. Later in the program, teams that move to Phase 2 will focus on building components, unit operations, and prototype systems to reduce technical risks and costs.

    In FLECCS Phase 2, up to $31 million in additional funding will be available for teams. At the conclusion of the Phase 1 period, teams will be down-selected based on an engineering design review and the projected economic impact of their Phase 1 projects on a future electricity grid. Selected teams will move on to receive additional funding, further develop their technologies and address Phase 2 challenges.

    Download a sampling of FLECCS projects and details HERE. (Source: US DOE ARPA-E, July, 2020) Contact: ARPA-E, Lane Genatowski, Director, arpa-e.energy.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE ARPA-E,  CCS,  


    Energy Efficiency Grants Available in Wyoming (Ind. Report)
    Wyoming Energy Authority
    Date: 2020-07-13
    In Casper, the Wyoming Energy Authority reports it will oversee the distribution of competitive federal grant funds to improve energy efficiency in buildings statewide.

    The State Energy Program provides several grant opportunities including the K-12 Schools Lighting Grants, the Small Business Energy Audits/Retrofit Grants and the Local Government Energy Retrofit Grants for local municipalities, schools and businesses hoping to conduct energy audits or retrofit their facilities to lessen utility costs and energy consumption. (Source: Wyoming Energy Authority, Casper Star Tribune, Contact: Wyoming Energy Authority, Ashlee Erickson, Program Coordinator, ashlee.erickson1@wyo.gov, www.wyoenergy.org; Wyoming State Energy Program, www.wyoenergy.org/2020-grants

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency news,  Energy Efficienct fundin news,  


    Nautilus Solar Snares Minnesota Community Solar Portfolio (M&A)
    Nautilus Solar Energy,
    Date: 2020-07-10
    Summit, New Jersey-based Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC is reporting the acquisition of a 10.4 MW community solar gardens portfolio of eight single axis tracker solar installation projects in Minnesota from ReneSola Power. The sites are expected to be operational by Q1 of 2021.

    Nautilus will be responsible for the project management, long-term asset management and maintenance services. ReneSola will be responsible for securing the subscribers. The energy generated by the projects will directly benefit qualified commercial and residential off-takers situated within Xcel Energy's service territory by providing energy cost savings as well as advancing Minnesota's 10 pct solar energy goal by 2030. (Source: Nautilus Solar Energy Website, June, 2020) Contact: Nautilus Solar, Cathy W. McAuliffe, Marketing Coordinator, Nautilus Solar Energy LLC, Jim Rice, Co-CEO, 908-795-3041, cathy@nautilussolar.com , www.nautilussolar.com; ReneSola, www.renesolapower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Nautilus Solar Energy,  Community Solar,  ReneSola,  


    Growing Climate Solutions Act calls for USDA to Lead Voluntary Carbon Credit Markets (Reg. & Leg.)
    USDA
    Date: 2020-07-08
    In Washington, the recently tabled Growing Climate Solutions Act, a bipartisan bill seeking to address climate change by placing the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in a leadership role over voluntary carbon credit markets would "break down barriers for farmers and foresters interested in participating in carbon markets so they can be rewarded for climate-smart practices," according to the bill's Senate co-sponsors. While proponents tout the benefits of voluntary conservation practices, critics say the approach will result in limited climate action rather than meaningful change.

    The bill creates a certification program at USDA so that farmers and forest landowners can better participate in voluntary carbon credit markets that can help land managers pay for conservation practices, which in turn could help to store carbon in soil, trees, and ecosystem restoration projects.

    The bill's lead sponsor, Senator Mike Braun, (R-IN) serving on the Senate Agriculture Committee, is joined by Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), along with Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI.) The American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Union, National Milk Producers Federation, Environmental Defense Fund, World Wildlife Fund, McDonald's, and Microsoft are among the bill's supporters. (Source: Daily Yonder, 7 July, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Credit,  USDA,  Carbon Credit Market,  


    Portland, S. Portland Call for 100 pct Renewables (Ind. Report)
    City of Portland,South Portland
    Date: 2020-07-06
    In Maine, the city of South Portland and the city of Portland are reporting the continuance of their One Climate Future, a comprehensive action plan to advance shared municipal energy priorities, including preparation for an eventual phasing out natural gas use and requiring more sustainable and renewable heating options.

    As previously reported, the two cities' joint Municipal Energy Priorities 2020 aims for increasing data-gathering on energy use in privately owned buildings, and upgrading the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code requiring builders to meet higher standards for energy efficiency and sustainability. The cities have also committed to using only renewable energy for municipal operations by 2040 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 pct citywide by 2050. (Source: City of Portland, Herald-News, July, 2020) Contact: City of South Portland, Julie Rosenbach, Sustainability Director, www.southportland.org; City of Portland, Jon Jennings, City Mgr., Troy Moon, Sustainability Coordinator, (207) 874-8685, www.portlandmaine.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News City of Portland,  South Portland,  Renewable Energy,  


    Portland, S. Portland Tout Climate Action Partnership (Ind. Report)
    City of Portland,South Portland
    Date: 2020-07-06
    In Maine, the city of South Portland and the city of Portland are reporting the continuance of their One Climate Future, a comprehensive action plan for both cities shared municipal energy priorities, including preparation for an eventual phasing out natural gas use and requiring more sustainable and renewable heating options.

    As previously reported, the two cities' joint Municipal Energy Priorities 2020 plan aims for increasing data-gathering on energy use in privately owned buildings, and upgrading the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code requiring builders to meet higher standards for energy efficiency and sustainability. The cities have also committed to using only renewable energy for municipal operations by 2040 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 pct citywide by 2050. (Source: City of Portland, Herald-News, 6 July, 2020) Contact: City of South Portland, Julie Rosenbach, Sustainability Director, www.southportland.org; City of Portland, Jon Jennings, City Mgr., Troy Moon, Sustainability Coordinator, (207) 874-8685, www.portlandmaine.gov/475/City-Manager

    More Low-Carbon Energy News City of Portland,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  Energy Efficiency,  Renewable Energy,  


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

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Biofuel,  


    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,  


    UK's Assura Joins Global Net Zero Buildings Commitment (Int'l.)
    Assura
    Date: 2020-06-10
    In the UK, Harrington-headquartered primary care property specialist Assura plc reports it was among 95 signatories to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, which aims to see 100 percent uptake of net zero carbon buildings by 2050. The Commitment was made through the World Green Building Council.

    Sixty-two of the 96 Commitment participants are businesses and organisations, and collectively their action alone will reduce more than 3.3 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

    Assura, which owns more than 570 primary care buildings in the UK, is committed to ensuring all buildings they own, occupy and/or develop will operate at net zero carbon by 2030, or earlier, the company says. (Source: Assura plc , PR, 9 June, 2020) Contact: Assura plc, , Jonathan Murphy, CEO, www,assuraplc.com; World Green Building Council, www.worldgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Net Zero Carbon news,  World Green Building Council news,  


    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,  


  • Appalachian Power 2020 ENERGY STAR Partner Recipient (Ind. Report)
    Appalachian Power,American Electric Power
    Date: 2020-04-24
    In the Old Dominion State, Roanoke-based Appalachian Power Co., a unit of Columbus, Ohio-headquartered American Electric Power (AEP), reports receipt of the 2020 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award for its leadership in energy efficiency and the ENERGY STAR program. Appalachian started offering energy efficiency programs in 2011.

    The ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award recognizes ENERGY STAR partner businesses and organizations in good standing that demonstrate superior leadership, innovation and commitment to environmental protection through energy efficiency and ENERGY STAR. (Source: Appalachian Power, Smith Mountain Eagle, 21 April, 2020) Contact: Appalachian Power, Kelly Marlowe, Energy Efficiency Coordinator, www.appalachianpower.com; ENERGY STAR, www.energystar.gov; American Electric Power, Nicholas K. Akins, Pres., (614) 716-1000, www.aep.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Appalachian Power,  ENERGY STAR,  American Electric Power,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Rodan Energy Solutions Opens US Office in N.J. (Ind. Report)
    Rodan Energy Solutions
    Date: 2020-04-22
    Mississauga, Ontario-headquartered energy management specialist Rodan Energy Solutions is reporting the opening an office in Princeton, New Jersey.

    Rodan Energy is a leading North American energy management company delivering innovative solutions to large power producers, distributors, and consumers. Rodan Energy Solutions USA office is in Princeton, New Jersey.(Source: Rodan Energy Solutions, PR, 15 April, 2020) Contact: Rodan Energy Solutions, Shamaila Siddique, Marketing Coordinator, 905-625-9900 ext. 241, shamaila.siddique@rodanenergy.com, John Carroll, US Managing Dir., www.rodanenergy.com

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


    Senators Seeking Ethanol Ind. Support (Editorials, Opinions & Asides)
    Ethanol,Chuck Grassley
    Date: 2020-04-10
    In a recent letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue Iowa's Sen. Chuck Grassley (R )and Sen. Joni Ernst(R) and a group of midwest senators, called for additional biofuel industry funding through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC).

    "As the country follows the advice of local and state governments and remain at home, motor fuel use has rapidly decreased. The decrease in fuel consumption has left (biofuel) production facilities little choice but to idle production or close completely.

    "Farm income and prices for corn and other crop commodities are directly linked to the health of the renewable fuel industry. Ethanol plants use 40 percent of all corn grown in the United States. Among other feedstocks, biodiesel and renewable diesel producers currently use over 8 billion pounds of soybean oil a year, creating demand that adds 13 percent to the cash price of a bushel of soybeans.

    "We have seen a significant drop in the price of corn and soybeans because of the decline in demand. Keeping plants open is vital for our states and we ask that you use the authority given by Congress to assist the biofuel industry during extremely difficult times. We are supportive of the proposals the biofuel industry has put forward to reimburse feedstocks and also believe that adding additional CCC funds to the Higher-Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program will drive future biofuel demand,” the senators continued," the letter said. (Source: Various Media, Atlantic News Telegraph, 8 April, 2020)Contact: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), www.grassley.senate.gov; Sen. Joni Ernst, www.ernst.senate.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Chuck Grassley,  Ethanol,  


    VTT Coordinating Bioflex-Eranet Biomass-Fuel Project (Int'l Report)
    VTT,Neste,Valmet,Wartsila
    Date: 2020-04-08
    The Research Institutes of Sweden's Finland Bioflex-Eranet Project and VTT Technical Research Center report they are investigating are the suitability of biomass and waste plastic-based fuel oils for marine engines.

    The BioFlex project, which is being coordinated by VTT, has a budget of €1.6 million and is co-financed by Business Finland and VTT. Participating companys include Auramarine, Fortum, Neste, Pohjanmaan Hyotyjatekuljetus, Polartek, St1, Valmet and Wartsila. (Source: VTT, PortNews, 7 April, 2020) Contact: Finland Bioflex Project, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Susanne Paulrud, Project Coordinator, +46 10 516 50 00, www.bioflex-eranet.eu/about-the-project, www.ri.se; VTT Technical Research Centre, Nils-Olof Nylund, +358 400 703 715, nils.olof.nylund@vtt.fi, www.vttresearch.com; Neste, +358 10 458 4128, www.neste.com; Valmet, +358 4 0 505 2001, www.valmet.com; Wartsila Energy, +33 6 7889 2182, www.wartsila.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News VTT,  Neste,  Valmet,  Wartsila,  


    Ill. County Participating in LEED for Cities and Communities Sustainability Program (Ind. Report)
    USGBC
    Date: 2020-03-09
    In Illinois, the Kane County Dept. of Resource Management reports the county is one of 20 agencies nationwide -- and the only one in Illinois -- awarded a US Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED for Cities and Communities program grant to tackle larger-scale energy efficiency and sustainability objectives with help from regional partners.

    The LEED for Cities and Communities program offers participants access to a performance platform, educational tools and professional liaison to support LEED certification, according to the USGBC website.

    The grant program, which also receives support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, allows county leaders to measure how their sustainability efforts fare both internally and globally. The program provides an award package to communities that have shown commitment in addressing climate change, resilience and social equity.

    Each recipient receives an annual silver membership to the Green Building Council; registration and certification review fees in the LEED Cities and Communities program; access to the Arc platform that encourages improvement and benchmarking; and the availability of online educational resources, project management tools and monthly conference calls. (Source: US BC, Daily Herald, 7 Mar., 2020) Contact: Kane County Resource Management, Jessica Mino, Management Coordinator, 630-208-8665, minojessica@co.kane.il.us​, www.county ofkane.org; USGBC LEED for Cities and Communities Program, www.usgbc.org/leed/rating-systems/leed-for-cities, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USGBC,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Bi-Partisan Legislation to Lower Energy Costs, Emissions (Reg & Leg)
    Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2020-03-06
    U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced an amendment to add the voluntary building codes sections of their legislation, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (Portman-Shaheen), to the energy bill currently under consideration on the Senate floor.

    This building codes amendment focuses on encouraging the construction of new homes and buildings to be more energy-efficient without any mandates. The adoption of updated model building energy codes, as well as states' review of updated model building energy codes, are voluntary.

    The provisions in this amendment were included in the Portman-Shaheen energy efficiency measure that has been approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on a bipartisan basis five separate times and passed the full Senate by a bi-partisan vote of 85-12 in 2016.

    A recent economic and environmental impact analysis by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) found that over the lifetime of the legislation through 2050, the Portman-Shaheen building codes provisions will: save consumers $41.4 billion on their energy bills; Cut CO2 emissions by 1.18 billion metric tons, which is the equivalent of taking 3.1 million cars off the road each year for 30 years; and save 28 quadrillion Btu of energy. (Source: US Sen. Robb Portman, PR, 5 Mar., 2020) Contact: US Sen. Robb Portman, www.portman.senate.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  ACEEE,  


    "Listening to the Candidates Debate" Climate Change (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2020-03-04
    "Invest in sustainable, resilient infrastructure to meet the energy demands of the 21st century. Set aggressive sector-specific standards to rapidly decarbonize across every sector of our economy. Encourage our farmers to adopt climate-friendly sustainable agriculture practices. Conserve our public lands and make them part of the climate solution. Craft international economic policies that encourage countries around the world to reduce emissions." -- Sen. Elizabeth Warren, U.S. senator from Massachusetts since 2013 and former law school professor specializing in bankruptcy law.

    "Commit to reducing emissions throughout the world, including providing $200 billion to the Green Climate Fund, rejoining the Paris Agreement, and reasserting the United States' leadership in the global fight against climate change. Transform our energy system to 100 percent renewable energy and create 20 million jobs needed to solve the climate crisis." -- Sen. Bernie Sanders, 16 years as Vermont's congress member in the House of Representatives.

    "Restore America's leadership in fighting the global climate crisis and propel the U.S. toward a 100 pct clean energy future while making environmental justice a national priority. Ensure 100 pct of new vehicles are pollution-free by 2035, 'green' our buildings and invest in projects to reduce and protect against climate impacts, including wildfires." -- Michael Bloomberg, NY business tycoon, philanthropist and three term mayor of New York City.

    "We must turbocharge our efforts to address climate change and ensure that every American has access to clean drinking water, clean air, and an environment free from pollutants. Reduce greenhouse emissions and speed the transition to low-carbon shipping aviation and electric cars." -- Joe Biden, Former senator from Delaware and two-term Vice President under President Barak Obama.

    The above talking points are sourced from each candidate's website. Each candidate's position is posted in no particular order of preference and no endorsement for any candidate is intended.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


    Charlotte Participating in "Green Tariff" Solar Project (Ind Report)
    Charlotte,Duke Energy
    Date: 2020-02-28
    In North Carolina, the city of Charlotte City Council reports it will participate in the construction of a 35-MW solar farm expected to generate sufficient power for 10,000 homes in Iredell County. The project, which will be developed and constructed by Carolina Solar Energy and Ecoplexus, is expected to be operating by 2022.

    With 860,000 +- residents, Charlotte will be the most populous U.S. city to obtain renewable energy through a utility "green tariff" such as Duke's Green Source Advantage program that lets large customers negotiate directly with solar developers.

    Under the program, customers enter into trilateral agreements among the customer, the solar developer and Duke. Duke buys the solar energy generated by the projects and credits the customer's account. The customer keeps renewable energy certificates that prove that a percentage of its energy use is from a renewable source. (Source: City of Charlotte, Tribune News Serv. 27 Feb.,2020) Contact: City of Charlotte, Heather Bolick, Energy and Sustainability Coordinator, www.charlottenc.gov; Duke Energy North Carolina, Stephen De May, Pres., www.duke-energy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Duke Energy,  Solar,  Renewable Energy,  


    Grants to Promote Wisc. School Solar Installations (Ind Report)
    Midwest Renewable Energy Association
    Date: 2020-01-27
    In Wisconsin, the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) reports it will provide grants of $20,000 each to up to 100 schools to install a solar module on their campus.

    California, New Mexico and New Jersey are among the top states, where at least 10 pct of schools have have solar power installations. Wisconsin is ranked ninth on the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) list of states with school solar installations. SEIA notes more than 5,000 U.S. schools use solar power and have doubled their solar capacity in the past five years. (Source: Midwest Renewable Energy Association, WXPR, Public Radio, 23 Jan., 2020) Contact: Midwest Renewable Energy Association, Amanda Schienebeck, Solar Program Coordinator, 715-592-6595, www.midwestrenew.org; SEIA, www.seia.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News SEIA,  Solar,  Midwest Renewable Energy Association,  


    Saint Jean Carbon Announces Graphene Related Projects (Ind Report)
    Saint Jean Carbon
    Date: 2019-12-30
    Oakville, Ontario-headquartered carbon science and energy storage specialist Saint Jean Carbon Inc. reports it has been awarded two graphene related projects from K-Technology USA Inc.

    The first project is the development of superconducting wire based on Saint Jean's provisional patent application for the development of a diamagnetic superconducting wire. The second project is to develop a waste energy capture system patented by K-Technology. The project entails the rewiring of the motors (4) on a drone with Saint Jean hyper-conducting wire and engineering an alternator re capture system to recharge the batteries. Both projects are moving along on time and are expected to be completed in early 2020. (Source: Saint Jean Carbon, PR, 23 Dec., 2019) Contact: Saint Jean Carbon Inc. Paul Ogilvie, CEO and Director, (905) 844-1200, info@saintjeancarbon.com, www.saintjeancarbon.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Saint Jean Carbon,  Battery,  Energy Storage,  


    FOA Helps Countries Meet COP15 Forest, Climate Commitments (Int'l)
    Food and Agriculture Organization
    Date: 2019-12-11
    The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has announced a new $7.1 million forestry management initiative to help 26 Asian, African and Latin American nations provide improved data on forest health and management as well as land use -- a key pledge of all State signatories to the COP15 Paris Climate Agreement.

    The Paris Agreement calls on countries to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low-carbon future. This includes regular reports every five years on emissions levels and emission reduction initiatives, forest and soil health data and an assessment of progress in addressing these issues.

    The FAO program will be widely available to universities, the private sector and intergovernmental organizations. (Source: UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Guardian Blog, Dec., 2019) Contact: Food and Agriculture Organization, www.fao.org

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    ISO Recommends Carbon Tax to Meet Renewables Goals (Ind Report)
    IOS New England
    Date: 2019-11-27
    IOS New England, the operator of the New England electricity grid is telling the region's political leaders that if they want to quickly add more renewable energy into the system, they should put a price-tax on carbon emissions or institute other market mechanisms.

    The ISO's comments were in response to a letter from a group of New England senators upbraiding ISO for failing to support the region's renewable energy goals, and preserving the fossil fuel status-quo.

    ISO countered that the integration of renewable resources has always been one of the organization's goals when existing fossil fuel generators are retired. Setting a system-wide price on carbon-emissions would be the most effective way to move that ahead, the ISO said. (Source: IOS New England, Maine Public Radio, 26 Nov., 2019) Contact: ISO New England, Gordon Van Welie, CEO, www.iso-ne.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News IOS New England,  Carbon Price,  Carbon Tax,  Renewable Energy,  


    Plymouth Skips Minnesota GreenStep Cities (Ind. Report)
    Minnesota GreenStep Cities
    Date: 2019-11-15
    In Minnesota, the city of Plymouth city council reports the city will not enroll in the Minnesota GreenStep Cities program. GreenStep Cities is a voluntary program designed to help cities meet their sustainability goals.

    GreenStep Cities is a voluntary program from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency that launched in 2010. The program was originally designed as a way to help cities meet their energy reduction goals but evolved to involve environmental best practices across the board, according to Minnesota GreenStep Cities Program Coordinator Philipp Muessig.

    Minnesota GreenStep Cities is a voluntary challenge, assistance and recognition program to help cities achieve their sustainability and quality-of-life goals. This free continuous improvement program, managed by a public-private partnership, is based upon a menu of 29 optional best practices. Each best practice can be implemented, as decided by city elected officials, staff and community members, by completing one or more actions at a 1, 2 or 3-star level, from a list of four to eight actions. These voluntary actions are tailored to all Minnesota cities, focus on cost savings and energy use reduction, and encourage civic innovation

    The program is a voluntary way for cities to receive help as they implement some best practices GreenStep has identified as useful and beneficial for Minnesota cities. Cities choose which practices they want to implement and whether or not they want to complete each step, according to the GreenStep program website. (Source: City of Plymouth, swnewsmedia, Nov., 2019) Contact: Minnesota GreenStep Cities, Philip Muessig, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 651/757-2594 or 800/657-3864, Philipp.muessig@state.mn.us, www.greenstep.pca.state.mn.us

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Hawaiian Counties Drive to Renewable Fuels Funded (Funding)
    Kauai County
    Date: 2019-11-04
    Several counties in the Aloha State are getting $316,494 in Volkswagen Mitigation Settlement funds and $474,474 in cost sharing funds under the $2.5 million EPA Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) to boost their municipal fleets transitions to 100 pct renewable energy and fuels.

    The DERA grant is part of more than $9 million in nationwide funding to replace older diesel school buses with newer, cleaner fuel vehicles.

    Converting vehicles away from diesel and updating fleets is another step toward the state's goal of running municipal fleets on 100 pct renewable fuels and energy. In December 2017, four counties committed to make the move toward 100 pct renewable fuel sources in fleets, and three of those counties upped the time frame by 10 years during that agreement. Kauai County committed to transition away from the use of fossil fuels by 2035 and also committed to funding an EV charger incentive program in 2020 to help encourage installation of EV chargers around the island. (Source: The Graden Island. 4 Nov., 2019) Contact: Kauai County, Energy and Sustainability Coordinator Ben Sullivan, 808-241-4188, www.kauai.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable fuel news,  


    SEIA Urges Renewable Energy Extension Act Passage (Reg. & Leg.)
    SEIA
    Date: 2019-10-30
    "As organizations representing citizens, consumers, and businesses in all 50 states, we write to ask you to cosponsor H.R. 3961 introduced by Congressman Thompson and Congressman Cook or S.2289 introduced by Senator Cortez-Masto. Both bills would continue the Section 48 and Section 25D Investment Tax Credit (ITC) at the 30 pct level for five years.

    "The federal ITC has been a critical innovation policy creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, lowering electricity prices for families and businesses, reducing carbon emissions, and maintaining America's competitive edge in emerging energy technologies. With the ITC set to begin ramping down in 2020, now is the time to continue this important policy."

    Download the SEIA letter HERE. Join SEIA's campaign to extend the ITC: seia.org/defendtheitc. (Source: SEIA, 29 Oct., 2019) Contact: SEIA, www.seia.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News SEIA,  Solar,  


    SWEPCO Issues $82,000 LED Lighting Upgrade Incentive (Funding)
    Southwestern Electric Power
    Date: 2019-10-16
    Shreveport, Louisiana-based Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO), an American Electric Power (AEP) Company, is reporting payment of a $94,987.74 incentive check to Texarkana Aluminum for an energy efficient LED lighting project at its aluminum mill in Texarkana, Texas.

    As part of the upgrade, the mill installed more than 200 LED fixtures. The SWEPCO incentive will help cover some of the upfront costs of this project, which has an expected payback period of less than two years with an annual savings of roughly $82,000.

    This project is part of SWEPCO's Commercial Standard Offer Program. (Source: SWEPCO, PR, 15 Oct., 2019) Contact: Southwestern Electric Power Co., Malcolm Smoak, Pres., CEO, Mike Nix, Energy Efficiency and Consumer Program Coordinator, www.swepco.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Southwestern Electric Power Co.,  Energy Efficiency,  LED Light,  


    WGBC Adds 63 Net-Zero Carbon Bldg. Signatories (Int'l Report)
    World Green Building Council
    Date: 2019-10-02
    The World Green Building Council (WGBC) is reporting 63 new signatories have joined the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment and pledged to ensure their own portfolios of buildings operate at net-zero carbon by 2030. Additionally, some cities, states and regions have pledged to enact regulations to ensure all new buildings operate at net zero carbon from 2030 and all buildings, including existing, operate at net zero carbon by 2050.

    The Commitment positions energy efficiency as a central component to achieving decarbonization across global building portfolios, in addition to generating and procuring renewable energy to meet reduced energy demand. The WGBC notes energy efficiency is the most cost effective, best practice approach to ensuring buildings are fit for purpose, future-proofed against climate impacts and, provide healthy and comfortable environments.

    Six states and regions as well as 26 cities, including Oslo, Heidelberg and Melbourne. are among the new participants. (Source: World Green Building Council, Oct., 2019)Contact: World Green Building Council, James Drinkwater, www.worldgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Net-Zero Carbon,  World Green Building Council,  Net Zero Carbon,  


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

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

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

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Biomass Residues to Fischer-Tropsch Products Validated (Ind Report)
    Fischer-Tropsch
    Date: 2019-09-27
    The EU news agency CORDIS is reporting production of biofuel by gasification of biomass residues has been successfully validated in the EU's COMSYN project in September. The process performance was verified with bark in an 80 hour-long test run by the Helsinki-headquartered VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd (VTT) -- the project coordinator.

    The syngas conversion to Fischer-Tropsch (FT) products was conducted by Karlsruhe, Germany-based IneraTec GmbH. The test studied and verified the performance of the gas cleaning train and the entire synthesis process with real wood-derived gasification gas. (Source: CORDIS, EU COMSYN Project, 26 Sept., 2019) Contact: EU COMDYN Project, www.comsynproject.eu; VTT Technical Research Centre, Nils-Olof Nylund, +358 400 703 715, nils.olof.nylund@vtt.fi, www.vttresearch.com; IneraTec GmbH, +49 721 86484460, www.ineratec.de

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Syngas,  COMSYN,  VTT,  Fischer-Tropsch,  Syngas,  


    "No Climate Emergency" says CLINTEL (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    CLINTEL
    Date: 2019-09-27
    Previously this wekk in New York, the newly launched Netherlands-based Climate Intelligence Foundation (CLINTEL), a global network of 500 prominent climate deniers, scientists and professionals, declared "there is no climate emergency" to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

    Professor Guus Berkhout of The Netherlands, who organized the Declaration, said: "So popular is the Declaration with scientists and researchers worldwide that signatories are flooding in not only from within Europe but also from other countries such as the United States and Canada, Australia and New Zealand."

    The group warns the U.N. that "the general-circulation models of climate on which international policy is at present founded are unfit for their purpose" and that the "models which have predicted far more warming than they should are not remotely plausible as policy tools in that in that they ... exaggerate the effect of greenhouse gases such as CO2 and ignore the fact that enriching the atmosphere with CO2 is beneficial."

    The CLINTEL letter invites the Secretary-General to work with the CLINTEL global network to organize a constructive, high-level meeting between world-class scientists on both sides of the climate debate in early 2020. (Source: CLINTEL, Sept., 2019) Contact: CLINTEL, Professor Guus Berkhout, +31 651214 737 guus.berkhout@clintel.org, www.clintel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  CLINTEL,  


    Mass. House OKs Community Climate Resiliency Funding (Funding)
    Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
    Date: 2019-07-31
    In Boston, the Massachusetts House of Representatives reports the unanimous passage of legislation investing $1.3 billion to help Bay State communities fund infrastructure projects aimed at fighting climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    The legislation establishes a $1 billion, 10-year grant "GreenWorks" program to fund clean energy, energy efficiency, and climate change resiliency measures that cut greenhouse gas emissions, fortify infrastructure and reduce municipal costs. The legislation also invests $325 million in other municipal green projects including:

  • $100 million for investments in municipal microgrid energy systems;
  • $125 million for electric vehicles in municipal or regional transit authority fleets;
  • $20 million for the hiring of sustainability coordinators to develop and manage municipal projects resulting for the GreenWorks program;
  • $50 million to establish the Green Resiliency Fund to offer low-interest loans for municipalities when pursuing GreenWorks projects; and
  • $30 million for the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources' MOR-EV electric vehicle rebate program.

    The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs will administer the program, which is funded through the issuance of bonds. The bill was forwarded to the Senate for approval. (Source: Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Wicked Local Beverly, 29 July, 2019) Contact: Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, www.mass.gov/orgs/executive-office-of-energy-and-environmental-affairs

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Mass GreenWorks,  


  • Diamond Generating Exploring Lake Erie Wind Project (Ind Report)
    Diamond Generating Corporation
    Date: 2019-07-31
    Los Angeles, California-based Mitsubishi subsidiary Diamond Generating Corporation is proposing construction of 50 or more wind turbines in Lake Erie, offshore of Buffalo, and is presently holding public meetings to that end.

    On Monday, NY State Senator Chris Jacobs came out in opposition to Diamond Generating's Lake Erie wind farm plans although no proposals for the project have officially been filed with the state. The senator noted he was declaring his opposition for a variety of reasons before the company's plan was released because large scale energy projects can easily pass through the state under Article 10 allows projects to proceed without local approval. Another legislator, US Congressman Chris Collins, is expected to announce federal action to stymie the Lake Erie project on a federal level.

    In Cleveland, LEEDCo -- a long delayed Lake Erie offshore wind project first proposed in 2009 -- has finally jumped through all the hoops and been OK'd by the Army Corps of Engineers. Construction there is expected to begin in 2022. (Source: WKBW, Buffalo, 29 July, 2019) Contact: Diamond Generating Corp., (213) 473-0080 info@dgc-us.com, www.dgc-us.com; LEEDCo, Lorry Wagner, Pres., (216) 241-9201, www.leedco.org

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

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