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Oregon Releases Clean Fuel Pathways Program (Ind. Report)
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Date: 2021-01-27
In Salem, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is touting its Clean Fuels Program that aims to reduce the lifecycle carbon intensity of transportation fuels that are used in the state.

The program measures the total emissions per unit of energy for many different fuels, using the framework created by the Oregon GREET model. Each individual transportation fuel has a "fuel pathway" assigned to its own unique carbon intensity value.

Download Oregon Clean Fuels Program details HERE . (Source: Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Jan., 2021) Contact: Department of Environmental Quality, Clean Fuels Program, 503-229-5388, OregonCleanFuels@deq.state.or.us, www.deq.or.us

More Low-Carbon Energy News Oregon Department of Environmental Quality ,  Alternative Fuel,  Clean Fuel,  Low-Carbon Fuel,  


Dakota Gasification Touts CCS Success (Ind. Report)
Basin Electric Power
Date: 2020-12-11
In North Dakota, Bismark-based Basin Electric Power Cooperative reports its subsidiary Dakota Gasification Company owned and operated Great Plains Synfuels Plant near Beulah has captured 40 million metric tons of CO2, a milestone in the synthetic natural gas production facilities' 20-year effort to lower the impacts of energy production.

As one of the world's largest carbon capture facilities, the Great Plains Synfuels Plant captures roughly 2 million metric tpy of CO2 using coal gasification and produces synthetic natural gas and other useful chemicals and fertilizers.

Basin Electric, a consumer-owned, regional cooperative that generates and transmits electricity to 140 member rural electric systems in nine states -- Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming -- serving about 3 million consumers. (Source: Basin Electric, PR, KX Net, 9 Dec., 2020) Contact: Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Paul Sukut, CEO and GM, www.basinelectric.com; Dakota Gasification, Dale Johnson, VP, COO, 701-223-0441, www.dakotagas.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Basin Electric Power,  


TradeFlow Capital Launches Climate Impact Strategy (Ind. Report)
Carbonfund,TradeFlow
Date: 2020-12-09
Singapore-headquartered TradeFlow Capital Management, the world's first Fintech-powered commodities trade enabler focused on SMEs, reports the launch of its Climate Impact Strategy that has the potential of offsetting millions of tons of carbon emissions while supporting SMEs globally by enabling their physical commodity import/export transactions.

As part of its wider Climate Impact Strategy, TradeFlow offsets carbon emissions generated by the transportation of the International Commodity transactions it enables through the Carbonfund.org Foundation and AirCarbon Exchange. (Source: TradeFlow Capital Management, PR, 7 Dec., 2020) Contact: TradeFlow Capital Management, www.tradeflow.capital; Carbonfund.org Foundation, www.carbonfund.org, AirCarbon Exchange, www.AirCarbon.co

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


Biofuels Coalition Challenges 2018 RFS Hardship Waivers (Ind. Report)
Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2020-12-09
A coalition of the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, National Biodiesel Board, American Coalition for Ethanol, and National Farmers Union have filed a brief to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging EPA's August 2019 decision to exempt 31 small refineries from their obligations to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in 2018.

The filing argues the EPA was not authorized to issue the exemptions and that it acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner in its decision.

As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance.

Download the coalition's brief HERE. (Source: Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, National Biodiesel Board, American Coalition for Ethanol, National Farmers Union, 8 Dec., 2020) Contact: National Farmers Union, Rob Larew, Pres., (202) 554-1600, www.nfu.org; Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS Hardship Waiver,  Renewable Fuels Association,  RFS,  National Farmers Union,  


DTU Researching Biomass Alternative Fuels (Int'l., R&D)
Technical University of Denmark
Date: 2020-12-07
The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in Lyngby is working with the Synfuel Project on a way to efficiently convert biomass and wind energy into green methanol. This methanol can then be used as fuel for ships. It can also be used to replace diesel and kerosene after processing.

Through this project, the university is offering a solution for storing energy from biomass and wind sources. It can then be used to make fuel for aircraft and ships, among other things. This technology is being developed with funding from the Innovation Fund Denmark.

According to DTU chemical engineering researcher Jesper Ahrenfeldt, the Synfuel project uses hydrogen in a Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell (SOEC) to make a liquid fuel. Synthesis gas is a mixture consisting of hydrogen gas and carbon monoxide that is released during the gasification of biomass. Straw was used for this in this project. (Source: technical University of Denmark, PR, 6 Dec., 2020) Contact: Denmark Innovation Fund, www.innovationsfonden.dk/en; DTU Energy, Synfuels Project, Professor Peter Vang Hendriksen, +45 46 775 725, pvhe@dtu.dk, www.dtu.dk/english, www.synfuel.dk

More Low-Carbon Energy News DTU,  Synfuel,  Alternative Fuel,  


DTU Researching Biomass Alternative Fuels (Int'l., R&D)
Technical University of Denmark
Date: 2020-12-06
The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in Lyngby is working with the Synfuel Project on a way to efficiently convert biomass and wind energy into green methanol. This methanol can then be used as fuel for ships. It can also be used to replace diesel and kerosene after processing. Through this project, the university is offering a solution for storing energy from biomass and wind sources. It can then be used to make fuel for aircraft and ships, among other things. This technology is being developed with funding from the Innovation Fund Denmark. According to DTU chemical engineering researcher, researcher Jesper Ahrenfeldt of DTU Chemical Engineering The Synfuel project uses the hydrogen in a Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell (SOEC) to make a liquid fuel.” Synthesis gas is mixed with hydrogen which is then converted into fuel. Synthesis gas is a mixture consisting of hydrogen gas and carbon monoxide that is released during the gasification of biomass. Straw was used for this in this project. The entire process is powered by wind energy. (Source: technical University of Denmark, PR, 6 Dec., 2020) Contact: Denmark Innovation Fund, www.innovationsfonden.dk/en; DTU Energy, Synfuels Project, Professor Peter Vang Hendriksen, +45 46 775 725, pvhe@dtu.dk, www.dtu.dk/english, www.synfuel.dk

More Low-Carbon Energy News Technical University of Denmark news,  


EPA Misses 2021 RFS RVO Announcement (Opinions & Asides)
Renewable Fuels Association,National Farmers Union
Date: 2020-12-02
Commenting on the US EPA's again missing the annual statutory deadline for the release of the RVOs, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper said:

"It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that EPA is missing its statutory deadline for publishing the final rule for 2021 RVOs, given that we still haven't even seen a proposed rule. And even if a proposed rule was released today, it would be next to impossible to have a final rule done by the end of the calendar year, or even by inauguration day.

"At this point, it likely makes more sense to let the new administration handle the 2021 RVO rulemaking process entirely. President-elect Biden has correctly noted that the RFS waivers granted by the current EPA have severely cut ethanol production, costing farmers income and ethanol plant workers their jobs. Thus, we are confident that the new EPA administrator, whoever that may end up being, will stop doing secret favors for oil refiners and ensure the RFS is implemented in a way that is consistent with the law and Congressional intent. We know it may take a few months for the new administration to get a final 2021 RVO rule done, but in the meantime, the statute is crystal clear that refiners must blend at least 15 billion gallons of conventional renewable fuel in 2021.

"So, while there may be some uncertainty around where the final advanced and cellulosic volume requirements may end up, the marketplace should be able to enter 2021 with some level of confidence around the conventional renewable fuel and biomass-based diesel requirements."

National Farmers Union President Rob Larew added, "By punting a decision on 2021's RVOS to the next administration, EPA is introducing yet more uncertainty to the biofuels industry -- uncertainty that most farmers and biofuels producers can't afford right now. Despite promising again and again to uphold RFS, the Trump administration has consistently undermined the program with its misappropriation of small refinery exemptions, preferential treatment of oil corporations, and disregard for its legal responsibility to restore lost demand, all of which has cost America's farmers and biofuel producers dearly. To add insult to injury, fuel use -- and, consequently, ethanol use -- has dropped significantly during the pandemic, cutting deeply into profits.

"Trump's EPA has almost invariably fallen short in its handling of biofuels, and today's decision, or lack thereof, is no different. We sincerely hope Biden's EPA learns from their mistakes and takes biofuels policy in a much more promising direction." (Source: National Farmers Union, Renewable Fuels Association, FencePost, 30 Nov., 2020) Contact: National Farmers Union, Rob Larew, Pres., (202) 554-1600, www.nfu.org; Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Association,  RFS,  National Farmers Union ,  


Green Fuels, Aris Bioenergy Ink Indian Biodiesel MoU (Int'l. Report)
Green Fuels, Aris Bioenergy
Date: 2020-11-09
In the UK, Green Fuels Ltd. is reporting a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Mumbai, India-based Aris Bioenergy committing the two companies to a biodiesel refining joint venture in India.

Under the agreement, the two firms have formed a company to process used cooking oil into biodiesel using a Green Fuels FuelMatic GSX20 biorefinery to be located in an industrial zone between Mumbai and Pune.

The joint venture is currently in the tendering process to supply the offtake from this and future plants to India's three state-operated oil marketing companies. (Source: Green Fuels Contact: Green Fuels , James Hygate, CEO, +44 333 011 8522, www.greenfuels.co.uk; Aris Bioenergy, +91 7304745554, frontoffice@arisbioenergy.com, www.arisbioenergy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Fuels,  Aris Bioenergy,  Biodiesel,  


UK Farmers Aim for Carbon Neutrality by 2035 (Int'l. Report)
Barclays Bank
Date: 2020-10-19
In the UK, a Barclays Bank survey of 1,000 farmers has found that 83 pct of respondents believe they could be carbon-neutral by 2035 -- five years ahead of the 2040 target set by the National Farmers Union (NFU) -- while 16 pct claimed they were already carbon neutral.

The survey found the average farmer is set to invest more than £195,000 over the next decade on renewable energy, improvements to their waste and slurry management and other in agri-technologies to achieve greater efficiency and sustainability. The survey also suggests that Brexit could accelerate the process of farmers becoming carbon neutral as more than two-thirds of respondents believed it could increase their farm's competitiveness after the UK leaves the EU. (Source: Barclays Bank, Farmers Weekly, 19 Oct., 2020) Contact: Barclays Bank, www.barclays.co.uk

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


UK's Green Fuels Recognized for COVID Related Work (Int'l.)
Green Fuel
Date: 2020-10-02
In the UK, Green Fuels Ltd reports receipt of €86,000 ($100,000) in grant funding to support and amplify the impact of its work as a global producer of sustainable transport fuels and its work in addressing the immediate and long term challenges resulting from used cooking oil and other organic wastes collection for biofuel production on the global pandemic.

"Green Fuels has been pioneering the technology and chemistry of sustainable fuels since 2003. Waste-derived biodiesel is one of the most carbon-efficient fuels available, and Green Fuels equipment has displaced an estimated 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions (CO2 equivalents) to date. The company was founded from a desire to transition from the use of fossil fuels into net zero carbon fuels -- a mission that is embedded into everything we do," according to the company website. (Source: Green Fuels Ltd., PR Website, Sept., 2020) Contact: Green Fuels , James Hygate, CEO, +44 333 011 8522, www.greenfuels.co.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel news,  Biodiesel news,  


Gevo Inc. Offers Business Update (Ind. Report)
Gevo,GEVO
Date: 2020-09-11
Englewood, Colorado-headquartered Gevo, Inc. provided the following 8th Dept. update on its business and strategic plan:

  • Gevo recently raised approximately $46 million, net of expenses, from a Registered Direct Offering and approximately $16 million as a result of warrant exercises. This capital infusion substantially improves Gevo's ability to execute on its strategic plans.

  • Gevo continues to pursue a licensing and developer strategy that is expected to enable the construction of up to three production facilities and capacity expansions. The production facilities and expansions are needed to provide the product required under its existing and expected, future take-or-pay, off-take agreements. The licensing and developer strategy should reduce or eliminate the need for Gevo construction capital by utilizing project-level debt and third-party equity.

  • Gevo continues to seek a targeted capital raise of $200 million of project-level equity using a project financing structure to build up to three production facilities. The first expanded production facility or project is expected to be located at Gevo's current production facility located in Luverne, Minnesota.

  • As previously announced, Gevo engaged Citigroup Global Markets Inc. to lead a process to develop the three projects and procure the capital needed by Gevo to build up to three production facilities. Gevo expects it will take approximately one year to develop and close the financing for the first project. Assuming Gevo successfully closes on a financing in the next 12 months, Gevo would expect production of hydrocarbon fuels from the first project in late 2023 or early 2024.

    Additionally, Gevo noted it currently has approximately $81 million in cash on the balance sheet and will continue to develop the marketplace and try to create additional customer demand for its next generation of renewable premium gasoline, jet fuel and diesel fuel products that have the potential to achieve zero carbon emissions, while addressing the market need of reducing greenhouse gas emissions with sustainable alternatives. (Source: Gevo, PR, Website News, 8 Sept., 2020)Contact: Gevo Inc., Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, pgruber@gevo.com, www.gevo.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GEVO,  Gevo,  


  • GEVO Inc. Provides Business Update (Ind. Report)
    GEVO,Gevo
    Date: 2020-09-09
    Englewood, Colorado-headquartered GEVO Inc. provided the update on its business and strategic plan today, 8 Sept.:

  • GEVO recently raised approximately $46 million, net of expenses, from a Registered Direct Offering and approximately $16 million as a result of warrant exercises. This capital infusion substantially improves the company's ability to execute on its strategic plans.

  • GEVO continues to pursue a licensing and developer strategy that is expected to enable the construction of up to three production facilities and capacity expansions. The production facilities and expansions are needed to provide the product required under its existing and expected, future take-or-pay, off-take agreements. The licensing and developer strategy should reduce or eliminate the need for GEVO construction capital by utilizing project-level debt and third-party equity.

  • GEVO continues to seek a targeted capital raise of $200 million of project-level equity using a project financing structure to build up to three production facilities. The first expanded production facility or project is expected to be located at Gevo's facility in Luverne, Minnesota.

  • As previously announced, GEVO engaged Citigroup Global Markets Inc. to lead a process to develop the three projects and procure the capital needed by the company to build up to three production facilities. GEVO expects it will take approximately one year to develop and close the financing for the first project. Assuming Gevo successfully closes on a financing in the next 12 months, GEVO would expect production of hydrocarbon fuels from the first project in late 2023 or early 2024.

    Additionally, the GEVO release noted it currently has approximately $81 million in cash on the balance sheet and will continue to develop the marketplace and try to create additional customer demand for its next generation of renewable premium gasoline, jet fuel and diesel fuel products that have the potential to achieve zero carbon emissions, while addressing the market need of reducing greenhouse gas emissions with sustainable alternatives. (Source: Gevo, PR, Website News, 8 Sept., 2020)Contact: Gevo Inc., Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, pgruber@gevo.com, www.gevo.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GEVO,  Isobutanol,  SAF,  Aviation Biofuel,  


  • Post Brexit UK Retaining EU CO2 Emissions Regulations (Int'l.)
    UK Department for Transport
    Date: 2020-08-19
    In London, according to a new Department for Transport consultation the UK will maintain a "regulatory regime as close to business-as-usual scenario for manufacturers and remain with EU regulation on CO2 emission standards" even after leaving the European Union at the end of this year.

    The consultation document includes proposals aimed at avoiding confusion, especially as the country's vehicle fleet is heavier than the 27 country EU fleets. Moving from the EU fleet average to a UK specific value would "immediately make regulatory targets more demanding for all manufacturers," the consultation document notes.

    When made into legislation as proposed, the UK will keep the EU's 15 pct CO2 emission reduction target for cars and vans from 2025, and a 37.5 pct reduction for cars and 31 pct for vans come 2030. Carmakers will face fines of £86 instead of €95 for every gram of CO2 exceeded. The limit is 95 grams per km, and manufacturers will still base their targets on the average weight of vehicles sold.

    Download the Department for Transport document details HERE. (Source: UK Gov. Department for Transport, electrive.com, Aug., 2020)

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


    EPA Urged to Stop Penalizing Ethanol Blends ( Editorials & Asides)
    Urban Air Initiative,American Coalition for Ethanol
    Date: 2020-08-17
    In Washington, the Urban Air Initiative (UAI) -- a coalition of state corn grower organizations -- along with the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) and the Clean Fuels Development Coalition last Friday filed comments asking the EPA not to penalize ethanol's ability to reduce carbon emissions.

    The EPA is proposing to penalize the current Tier 3 test fuel that all automakers will use to meet CO2 emission standards because it contains 10 pct ethanol. This Tier 3 test fuel lowers CO2 emissions compared to the prior E0 test fuel from 1975. The EPA is creating this new penalty against ethanol by manipulating test procedures to inflate the tailpipe CO2 emissions of vehicles certified as using E10. Since the penalty would presumably increase with higher ethanol volumes, this rule would be a major disincentive for automakers to transition to higher ethanol blends.

    "Basically ethanol can't win. First EPA ignores ethanol's ability to reduce toxic aromatics, and now it wants to penalize ethanol for being a more efficient, lower-carbon fuel additive. The EPA is making this more complicated than it needs to be. It's creating rules based on older, non-representative fuels in its testing. Plus, EPA has no authority to penalize a particular fuel. Automakers can take advantage of high octane ethanol but not if they are penalized before they even start. In short, let the market work," Urban Air President Dave VanderGriend commented.

    "EPA's anti-ethanol bias is not limited to how it has badly mismanaged the Renewable Fuel Standard, it extends to the Agency's proposal to artificially inflate CO2 emissions from vehicles being tested on E10 blends for Tier 3 Test Fuel Procedures," ACE CEO Brian Jennings commented. (Source: Urban Air Initiative, PR, 17 Aug., 2020) Contact: Urban Air Initiative, Dave VanderGriend, Pres., www. fixourfuel.com; Clean Fuels Development Coalition, 301-718-0077, www.cleanfuelsdc.org; American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, (605) 334-3381, www.ethanol.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  American Coalition for Ethanol,  ACE,  Urban Air Initiative,  Ethanol,  Ethanol Blend,  


    JetBlue Airline Claims Carbon Neutrality (Ind. Report)
    JetBlueNeste,CarbonFund
    Date: 2020-08-14
    Following up on our 1st Jan. coverage, U,S, air carrier JetBlue is reporting it is the first U.S. airline to achieve carbon neutrality for its domestic flights.

    As previously reported, JetBlue committed to off-setting global warming by investing in sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) from Neste, better advancements in engineering and partnerships with CarbonFund.org Foundation, South Pole and EcoAct to help offset carbon dioxide emissions. To date, the airline has offset 2.6 billion pounds of carbon dioxide with CarbonFund.org and hopes to offset 15-17 billion pounds each year -- equivalent to removing 1.5 million cars from the road.

    JetBlue will also partner with various renewable resource companies and foundations that specialize in solar and wind energy, forestry conservation and Landfill Gas Capture projects. (Source: JetBlue, PR, Travel Pulse, 13 Aug., 2020) Contact: JetBlue, David Barger, President, CEO, (718) 286-7900, www.jetblue.com; ; Neste, +358 10 458 4128, www.neste.com; CarbonFund, www.carbonfund.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News JetBlue,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Neutral,  CarbonFund ,  


    DTU Increases Biomass Biofuel Production (New Prod. & Tech)
    DTU
    Date: 2020-07-10
    In a recent Technical University of Denmark (DTU) synfuel research project, researchers succeeded in combining two known technologies -- thermal gasification of biomass and electrolysis that is utilized for the production of biofuel -- can produce more biofuel from the same amount of biomass, according to a DTU release.

    An electrolysis cell (solid oxide electrolysis cell, SOEC) developed jointly by DTU and Haldor Topsoe is used for electrolysis. In an SOEC, electricity from e.g. wind turbines is used to split water into its two constituents -- oxygen and hydrogen. The oxygen can be utilized in a thermal gasification process, where a biomass such as straw is broken down at high temperature. This creates synthesis gas -- a mixture of mainly hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide. The gas mixture can be used in the production of methanol when the hydrogen produced by the electrolysis is added. Methanol can be used directly as fuel or catalytically upgraded to more familiar fuels used in ships and aircraft.

    "In Synfuel, we have improved the two in technologies in several areas, and we've demonstrated that we can achieve higher utilization rates by combining the two technologies than when they run separately. We derive far more biofuel from the biomass resources and at the same time we can use surplus power from e.g. wind turbines to make fuel for heavy transport," says Professor Peter Vang Hendriksen, Synfuel project manager and Head of Section at DTU Energy.

    The Synfuel project was supported by Innovation Fund Denmark. Haldor Topsoe, Orsted, Energinet.dk, MIT, Aalborg University, Chalmers University of Technology, INSA Lyon, TU Berlin, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and others participated in the project. (Source: DTU, 10 July, 2020) Contact: DTU Professor Peter Vang Hendriksen, +45 46 77 57 25, pvhe@dtu.dk, www.dtu.dk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DTU,  Biomass,  Biofuel,  Syngas,  


    Repsol Planning Green Hydrogen SynFuels Plant (Int'l.)
    Repsol
    Date: 2020-06-15
    Madrid-based Spanish integrated energy company Repsol SA reports it is collaborating with Saudi Aramco and will construct a 10-MW, green-hydrogen plant to produce synthetic fuels at its Port of Bilbao refinery. The €60 million ($67.5 million) project is part of a larger €80-million decarbonization project that will include a carbon-capture project and a fuel-from- municipal waste plant. The project is expected to be completed and operational in 2024.

    Repsol's TechLab and Aramco have signed a memorandum of understanding to carry out the technological development of the project, which will combine green hydrogen generated from renewable sources with CO2 emissions from the refinery as raw materials. This will produce 3.6 million lpy of transportation fuel. (Source: Repsol SA, PR, S&P Global, 15 June, 2020) Contact: Repsol SA, Josu Jon Imaz, CEO, (+34) 91 753 8100, 91 753 8000, sacportal@repsol.com, www.repsol.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Repsol,  Synfuel,  Alternative Fuel,  Green Hydrogen,  Hydrogen,  Carbon Capture,  


    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,  


  • Renewable Fuels Coalition Comments on Admin's Not Seeking SRE Ruling Re-hearing (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Americans for Clean Energy
    Date: 2020-03-27
    Further to our 20th Jan. coverage, a coalition of the Renewable Fuels Association, National Corn Growers Association, American Coalition for Ethanol and National Farmers Union released the following statement:

    "We are pleased the Trump administration has decided not to side with oil refiners in seeking a re-hearing of this unambiguous and well-reasoned court decision in the Tenth Circuit. We trust this also means the administration does not plan to petition the Supreme Court for an appeal. Abiding by the court's ruling is the right thing to do at a time when our industries and rural America are already suffering from the effects of COVID-19, the Saudi-Russia oil price war and ongoing trade disputes.

    "We look to the RFS as a source of demand stability and certainty, especially in these troubling times. Requesting a re-hearing would have only prolonged uncertainty in the marketplace and exacerbated the pain and frustration already being experienced in the Heartland.

    "With this key milestone now behind us, we look forward to EPA applying the Tenth Circuit decision nationwide to all SRE (small refiner exemption) petitions, beginning with the 25 pending petitions for 2019 exemptions."

    The coalition also noted that fully restoring the integrity of the RFS means immediate action to restore 500 million gallons of inappropriately waived 2016 blending requirements, as ordered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. District in 2017. (Source: Various Media, The Fence Post, 25 Mar., 2020) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org; American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, (605) 334-3381 ext. 3389, www.ethanol.org; National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, Pres., (202) 554-1600, www.nfu.org; NCGA, (636) 733-9004, (636) 733-9005 -fax, corninfo@ncga.com, www.ncga.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Americans for Clean Energy,  RFS "Hardship" ,  Waivers,  Renewable Fuels Associatio,  National Farmers Union,  National Corn Growers Association,  American Coalition for Ethanol,  


    Oberon Fuels, SHV Energy Partner on Renewable DME (Ind. Report)
    Oberon Fuels,SHV Energy
    Date: 2020-02-12
    San Diego-based ultra-low-carbon, renewable dimethyl ether (rDME) transportation fuel producer Oberon Fuels reports it is partnering with the Netherlands-headquartered global propane fuel distributor SHV Energy to accelerate the use of renewable DME to reduce the carbon footprint of transportation fuel. The two firms will collaborate on: further developing DME fueling infrastructure and vehicle development; using SHV Energy's technical resources to test the use of rDME blended with propane, and; using SHV's global distribution network to facilitate greater use of rDME in numerous energy applications worldwide.

    Oberon Fuels, which raised over $30 million in private funding since 2010, received $2.9 million in California grant funding to upgrade its existing DME pilot facility to demonstration scale and facilitate -- the first production of rDME in the U.S., with a target production capacity of approximately 1.6 million gpy of DME.

    DME is approved as a renewable fuel under the U.S. EPA Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), and is eligible for RIN credits when made from biogas by the Oberon process. California Air Resources Board (CARB) has estimated that dairy manure converted to DME by the Oberon process has a CI of -278 gCO2e/MJ compared to ultra-low-sulfur diesel which has a CI of 100 gCO2e/MJ, according to the company. (Source: Oberon Fuels, PR, Feb., 2020) Contact: Oberon Fuels, Ruben Martin, CEO, 619.255.9361, 619.756.6470 - fax, info@oberonfuels.com www.obersonfuels.com; SHV Energy, Bram Graber, CEO, +31 (0) 23 5555 700, +31 (0) 23 5555 701 - fax., www.shvenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Oberon Fuels,  SHV Energy,  


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

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

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

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


    SkySpecs Raises $17Mn in Series C Round Funding (Funding Report)
    SkySpecs
    Date: 2019-12-23
    Ann Arbor, Michigan-based wind industry operations and maintenance solutions provider SkySpecs reports it has closed a $17 million series C round. The round was led by McRock iNFund LP and other new investors including Equinor Energy Ventures, and Evergy Ventures, the non-regulated investment affiliate of Evergy, the parent company of Kansas City Power & Light Company (KCP&L) and Westar Energy, Statkraft Ventures and others. To date, the company has raised $29 million.

    SkySpecs automates the operations and maintenance of wind energy assets through robotics, predictive analytics software, and industry expertise to enable better decision making and a higher degree of transparency into operational planning over the lifetime of a fleet. (Source: SkySpecs, PR, 20 Dec., 20919) Contact: SkySpecs, Theresa Trevor, Media, (734) 413-7346X777, theresa.trevor@skyspecs.com, www.skyspecs.com; Evergy Ventures, www.evergyventures.com; Equinor Energy Ventures, www.equinor.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News SkySpecs,  Wind,  


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

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

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

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

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


    DOE Offers $4Mn for High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (R&D, Funding)
    US DOE EERE,
    Date: 2019-11-08
    The US DOE reports the availability of the High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) Initiative with up to $4 million funding for new projects to support manufacturers in improving energy efficiency, increasing productivity, and accelerating manufacturing innovation.

    HPC4EI is seeking industry partners to work collaboratively with DOE's National Laboratories on projects that use high performance computing (HPC) to solve key technical challenges in the areas of manufacturing and mobility:

  • HPC for Manufacturing. High performance computing for manufacturing aims to advance innovative clean energy technologies, reduce energy and resource consumption, and infuse advanced computing expertise and technology into the manufacturing industry. The program seeks proposals that require HPC modeling and simulation to overcome impactful manufacturing process challenges resulting in reduced energy consumption and/or increased productivity.

  • HPC for Materials. High performance computing for materials aims to enhance the U.S. materials-development, fabrication, and manufacturing industries; and to investigate, improve, and scale methods that will accelerate the development and deployment of materials that perform well in severe and complex energy application environments. The program seeks proposals that will address key challenges in developing, modifying, and/or qualifying new or modified materials using HPC modeling, simulation, and data analysis. Eligibility for HPC4EI is limited to entities that manufacture products or operate systems in the United States. Selected projects will be awarded up to $300,000 to support computer cycles and work performed by the National Laboratory partners.

    Qualifying industry partner must contribute at least 20 pct of the funding for the project. Partners that have been previously funded under HPC4EI must provide at least 33.3 pct of the funding for the project.

    Since its inception in 2015, HPC4EI has funded 90 projects with more than 40 companies. (Source: US DOE EERE, PR, Green Car Congress, 5 Nov., 2019) Contact: US DOE EERE, www.energy.gov/eere

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US DOE EERE,  Energy Efficiency,  


  • Restoration Fuels' Woody Biomass Torrifaction Plant Preparing for Production (Ind Report)
    Restoration Fuels,
    Date: 2019-10-30
    Restoration Fuels, an Oregon benefit corporation, is reporting its woody biomass torrification plant in the community of John Day, Grant County, Oregon is expected to begin production in mid-November, 2020. The plant will turn forest waste, woody biomass into a product that can be burned for fuel.

    At full capacity, the $17.5 million plant at the Malheur Lumber mill is expected to produce 80,000-90,000 tpy of torrefied wood. The plant is partially funded by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities with some development expenses provided by the Forest Service and air pollution-reducing equipment funded by the Governor's Strategic Reserve Fund.

    Restoration Fuels is in discussions with utilities from Europe and Asia and several power plants in the United States as possible customers. (Source: Restoration Fuels, Blue Mountain Eagle, Bend Bulletin, 28 Oct., 2019) Contact: Restoration Fuels, Matt Krumenauer, CEO, info@restorationfuels.com, www.restorationfuels.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Torrified Wood,  Woody Biomass,  


    Actiu HQ Awarded WELL v2, LEED Platinum Cert. (Int'l. Report)
    USGBC,Well Building
    Date: 2019-10-16
    Castalla (Alicante), Spain-headquartered furniture design and manufacturer Actiu reports it has become the fifth office complex in the world to receive the Well v2 Platinum certification and the first in the world to hold both WELL v2 Platinum and US Green Building Council LEED Platinum.

    The WELL v2 Platinum Certification, granted by the Well Building Institute (IWBI) and audited at Actiu by CBRE, accredits, through a rating system for buildings and communities, to what extent these spaces have been built to ensure the health and well-being of its occupants.

    This accreditation, together with the one achieved in 2017 when the company's headquarters in Castalla consolidated its LEED Platinum Certification (before that, LEED Gold in 2011) due to its Technology Park's sustainable architecture, has made it the first industry in the world to gain these two international awards. (Source: Actiu, infurma, International Habitat News, Oct., 2019) Contact: Actiu, +34 966 560 670 www.actiu.com/en; US Green Building Council, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org; International WELL Building Institute, +646.883.5001, +646.607.1058, info@wellcertified.com, www.wellcertified.com

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


    UK Farmers Union Launches Carbon-Netral by 240 Plan (Int'l. Report)
    UK National Farmers Union
    Date: 2019-09-11
    In the UK, according to the National Farmers' Union (UFU) the farming industry creates 10 pct of the UK's emissions but can reduce gases almost completely by 2040 -- a decade ahead of the government's overall zero emissions target -- with its three-part carbon emissions reduction roadmap.

    The NFU programs calls for: improved productivity, increasing the number of trees and hedges; growing more "energy" crops, applying farm chemicals more precisely, using satellite technology, capturing methane from manure for power, and others. (Source: UK National Farmers' Union, BBC News, 10 Sept., 2019) Contact: UK National Farmers' Union, Minette Batters, Pres., +44 024 7685 8500, www.nfuonline.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Neutral,  UK National Farmers Union,  


    American Green Fuels Cutting Biodiesel Production (Ind. Report)
    American GreenFuels,Kolmar
    Date: 2019-08-28
    In New Haven, Conn., waste restaurant cooking oil-to- biodiesel producer American Green Fuels/Kolmar, fka American Green Leaf, reports it is reducing projected production at its New Haven plant for Q4 2019. The company noted uneconomical feedstock prices and continued policy uncertainty from both Congress and the EPA were factors in its production slowdown. (Source: American Green Fuels/Kolmar, New Haven Independent, 25 Aug., 2019) Contact: American Green Fuels/Kolmar, Kevin Luddy, CFO, Mikulas Gasparik, VP Operations, (203) 873-2149, www.americangreenfuels.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American GreenFuels,  Kolmar,  Biodiesel,  


    Brightmark Energy Acquires Wisconsin Dairy Biogas Project
    Brightmark Energy,CLean Fuel Partners
    Date: 2019-07-26
    Following up on our 8th April coverage, San Francisco-based renewable energy development company Brightmark Energy reports the purchase of a 90,000 gpd dairy waste anaerobic digester project in Dane County , Wisconsin, from Clean Fuel Partners. Clean Fuel Partners will continue its work on the project by providing operations and maintenance support.

    The Dane County facility is the first such facility in the United States designed to receive biogas from multiple off-site locations and connect that renewable gas with RNG stations locally and across the nation.

    When fully operational the project is expected to produce sufficient renewable natural gas (RNG) to replace at least 50,000 MMBtu of conventional natural gas each year.(Source: Brightmark, 25 July, 2019) Contact: Brightmark Energy, Bob Powell, CEO, (415) 689-8395, info@brightmarkenergy.com, www.brightmarkenergy.com; Clean Fuel Partners, John Haeckel, Founder and CEO, (608) 957-7995, info@cleanfuelpartners.com, www.cleanfuelpartners.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Brightmark Energy,  anaerobic digester,  Clean Fuel Partners,  


    EPA's RFS Obligations Another Setback for American Farmers, says NFU (Ind. Report)
    NFU,EPA,RFS
    Date: 2019-07-19
    The US EPA's recently proposed renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for the year 2020 would set required biofuel use at 20.04 billion gallons next year, a marginal increase over this year's 19.92 billion gallons. The difference is primarily attributable to an expansion of cellulosic biofuel, from 420 million to 540 million gallons. The rule maintains the current 15-million-gallon target for corn ethanol, according to a NFU release.

    In the face of the EPA's proposal, the National Farmers Union (NFU) has expressed its disappointment in the almost unlimited issuance of RFS refinery "hardship waivers", the newly released RVO's and the that the agency's failure not only to factor the lost demand into its proposed RVOs but to increase biofuel use at all. "At every turn, EPA and this (Trump) administration have undermined the intent of RFS and destroyed demand for billions of gallons of ethanol", NFU President Roger Johnson added. (Source: The Cattle Site, National Farmers Union, PR, July, 2019) Contact: National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, Pres., (202) 554-1600, www.nfu.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS news,  NFU news,  National Farmers Union news,  "Hardship Waiver" news,  


    UK NFU Calls for E10 Ethanol-Petrol Blend (Int'l Report)
    UK NFU
    Date: 2019-07-19
    In Warwickshire, the UK National Farmers Union (NFU) is calling for the introduction of E10 -- ethanol from wheat and sugar beet -- petrol. This is opposed to the current proportion that limits the content of bioethanol to a maximum of 5 pct (E5).

    The call comes as an All-Party Parliamentary Group for British Bioethanol (APPG) issued a report urging the Department of Transport to prioritize the introduction of E10.

    According to NFU Combinable Crops board chairman Tom Bradshaw, "Increasing the bioethanol content in fuel is a win-win for the environment, farmers and the economy. The industry is desperate to see both Vivergo and Ensus plants back up and running so they can continue to convert British wheat into bioethanol. But at the moment there simply isn't enough demand to keep these plants going." Bradshaw added, "Now is the time for legislative action. Farmers want to help deliver renewable fuel for the nation but the government needs to step up and provide supportive policy, especially if we are to hit their target of becoming a net zero economy by 2050." (Source: FarmingUK, GIZMODO, 18 July, 2019) Contact: UK NFU, +44 024 7685 8500, www.nfuonline.com; All-Party Parliamentary Group for British Bioethanol, info@britishbioethanol.com, www.britishbioethanol.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News E10,  Biofuel Blend,  


    Climate Emergency Declaration Triggers £500Mn Divestment (Int'l)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2019-07-17
    Last month in the UK, sfter declaring a "Climate Emergency" the Welsh city of Swansea's pension fund management reports it is moving £500 million of it £2 billion pension fund to Blackrock's ACS World Low Carbon Equity Tracker Fund -- a low-carbon index by the end of this month, July, 2019.

    The Swansea City and Council Pension Fund, the largest in Wales, is the latest local authority pension fund to divest from fossil fuels, with plans to reduce its exposure by up to 50 pct by 2022. The fund seeks to invest in green infrastructure projects -- renewable energy, alternative fuels and clean technology -- that both optimize returns and deliver positive environmental outcomes. (Source: Swansea City and Council Pension Fund, Pensions Expert, 16 July, 2019) Contact: Swansea City and Council Pension Fund, www.swanseapensionfund.org.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


    EPA's RFS Obligations Another Setback for American Farmers, says NFU (Ind. Report)
    RFS,EPA,National Farmers Union
    Date: 2019-07-08
    Last Friday, the EPA released its proposed renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for the year 2020. The proposal would set required biofuel use at 20.04 billion gallons next year, a marginal increase over this year's 19.92 billion gallons. The difference is primarily attributable to an expansion of cellulosic biofuel, from 420 million to 540 million gallons. The rule maintains the current 15-million-gallon target for corn ethanol.

    In the face of the EPA's proposal, the National Farmers Union (NFU) has expressed its disappointment in the almost unlimited issuance of RFS refinery "hardship waivers", the newly released RVO's and the that the agency's failure not only to factor the lost demand into its proposed RVOs but to increase biofuel use at all.

    "At every turn, EPA and this (Trump) administration have undermined the intent of RFS and destroyed demand for billions of gallons of ethanol", NFU President Roger Johnson added. (Source: The Cattle Site, National Farmers Union, PR, 8 July, 2019) Contact: National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, Pres., (202) 554-1600, www.nfu.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News "Hardship Waiver",  RFS,  National Farmers Union,  Biofuel,  Ethanol Blend,  


    Oberon Fuels Planning Renewable Dimethyl Ether Production (Int'l)
    Oberon Fuels,California Energy Commission
    Date: 2019-07-01
    In the Golden State, San Diego-based clean transportation fuel producer Oberon Fuels is reporting receipt of almost $2.9 million in grant funding from the California Energy Commission (CEC). The funding is in support of a project to produce the the state's first renewable dimethyl ether (rDME), an economic fuel and key step in the development of a California-based, renewable hydrogen (rH2) pathway to zero-emission mobility fuel.

    Oberon plans to upgrade its existing DME pilot facility to demonstration scale to facilitate the first production of this renewable fuel. The company will test modified diesel trucks fueled with rDME, assess the feasibility of converting renewable methanol into rDME and developing associated fueling infrastructure, alongside commercial partners. (Source: Oberon Fuels, Bioenergy Insight, 1 July, 2019) Contact: Oberon Fuels, Rebecca Boudreaux, Pres., (619) 255-9361, Fax - (619)756-6470, info@oberonfuels.com, www.oberonfuels.com; California Energy Commission, (916) 465-4500, www.energy.ca.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DME,  Oberon Fuels,  California Energy Commission,  


    NASA, SpaceX Report Green Propellant Infusion Mission (Ind. Report)
    NASA,SpaceX
    Date: 2019-06-12
    NASA is reporting development of a cost-effective, non-toxic fuel that will be used in a future Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) launch of Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) Falcon Heavy spacecraft.

    The safe to handle green fuel, which features a mixture of hydroxyl ammonium nitrate and an oxidizer, was developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory in California. The new fuel also delivers almost 50 pct better performance than hydrazine, allowing a spacecraft to travel for a longer period of time even with minimal fuel onboard.

    According to Sacramento-headquartered Aeorojet Rocketdyne, the company that developed the propulsion system for the GPIM, the company will focus on building similar systems that can cater the new green fuel. (Source: NASA, International Business Times, 11 June, 2019) Contact: Aeorojet Rocketdyne, Fred Wilson, www.rocket.com; NASA, (818) 354-4321, www.jpl.nasa.gov, www.nasa.gov; SpaceX, www.spacex.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aeorojet Rocketdyne,  NASA,  


    HM3 Bioenergy Biomass Plant Plan Scores USFS Funding (Funding)
    USFS,HM3 Energy,
    Date: 2019-06-05
    The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is reporting the issuance of grant funding to Gresham, Oregon-based HM3 Energy, a company focused on biomass energy, for a feasibility study for a $4 million woody biomass fired power plant in northern Arizona.

    HM3 Energy's torrefaction technology converts biomass such as wood or grain into a coal-like material, according to the company.

    The number of unnaturally severe wildfires in forests and range lands has dramatically increased in recent years, with devastating impacts on forests, wildlife, watersheds and communities. By culling out small diameter trees and performing prescribed burns, forest managers are trying to restore forests back to their former natural state, before all wildfires were suppressed. Progress, however, is painfully slow. With little to no market for the slash left after thinning operations, it is usually piled and burned. These pile burns cost forest managers money and severely impact surrounding air quality in rural communities.

    HM3 Energy's torrefaction and densification technologies provide a solution to this "biomass bottleneck" by creating a profitable market for the forest slash, turning it into energy dense torrefied wood briquettes that can directly replace coal or wood pellets for dispatchable, baseload electric power generation. The ability to use biomass instead of clean wood chips makes TorrB® torrefied briquettes competitive in price with raw pellets at the coal-fired plant burner tip, according to the company website. (Source: HM3 Energy, KJZZ/Rio Salado College, 3 June, 2019) Contact: HM3 Energy, Hiroshi Morihara, CEO, (503) 674-3380, www.hm3energy.com; U.S. Forest Service, www.fs.fed.us

    More Low-Carbon Energy News HM3 Energy,  Biomass,  Woody Biomass,  USFS,  


    NFU Encouraged by First Step to Address Climate Crisis (Ind. Report)
    National Farmers Union
    Date: 2019-05-27
    In recent U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry hearings on climate change and the agricultural sector, climate change and the agricultural sector. National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson thanked the committee for addressing the deleterious effects of climate change on the agricultural industry and emphasized the need for federal policies that assist farmers with the implementation of practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, sequester carbon, and build resilience to extreme weather events:

    "Climate change is not a future or hypothetical issue for family farmers and ranchers -- they are already suffering its effects every day. Higher average temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, and more frequent and severe natural disasters have added several more layers of uncertainty to the already difficult job of food production. As the climate continues to change, we can only expect the challenges to multiply. This serious and immediate problem requires serious and immediate action -- and we are glad that the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry is taking the first steps by holding this hearing.

    "Though the agricultural sector is among the most directly impacted by climate change, it is also among the most capable of mitigating and adapting to its effects. Farmers and ranchers are not only able to cut greenhouse gas emissions on their operations, but they can also offset greenhouse gas emissions from other sectors by sequestering carbon in the soil, growing biofuels, and engaging in on-farm energy production. Many of the USDA's existing conservation programs support these important efforts with financial and technical assistance. We encourage Congress to continue providing farmers with the tools they need by expanding and enhancing these programs. Additionally, we recommend robust investments in public agricultural research as well as the creation of market-based incentives for climate-smart practices.

    "Farmers Union members understand the urgent threat that climate change poses to agriculture, and they want to do everything they can to lessen the damage. But this work isn't free or easy -- it often requires significant time, money, and expertise. We look forward to working with you to identify policies and solutions that help family farmers and ranchers achieve their sustainability goals."

    The NFU advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. (Source: National Farmers Union, Website, May, 2019) Contact: National Farmers Union, Hannah Packman, (202) 559-9890, hpackman@nfudc.org, www.nfu.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  National Farmers Union,  


    Co-Op Acquiring Terra Grain Fuels SK Ethanol Plant (M&A)
    Federated Co-Op Limited
    Date: 2019-05-24
    On the Canadian prairies, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-headquartered Federated Co-Op Limited reports it is acquiring Terra Grain Fuels' 150 million lpy grain ethanol production facility near Belle Plaine, Saskatchewan. Terra Grain Fuels. The plant purchases around 400,000 metric tonnes of locally sourced grain and other starch-rich crops from more than 400 producers to fuel its ethanol production.

    The sale is expected to close by the end of the month pending certain closing conditions. (Source: Federated Co-Op Limited, CTV, Other 22 May, 2019) Contact: Federated Co-Op Limited, Cal Fichter, VP, (306) 244-3311, (306) 244-3403 - fax, inquiries@fcl.crss, www.fcl.crs; Terra Grain Fuels, (306) 345-2280, www.terragrainfuels.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Terra Grain Fuels,  Ethanol,  


    SODRA Earmarks €1.9Mn for Sustainable Transport Solutions (Int'l)
    Sodra,Silva Green Fuel
    Date: 2019-03-27
    Further to our April 11, 2018 coverage, Vaxjo, Sweden-based forest products and lumber producer cooperative SODRA reports it has earmarked €1.9 million to cover additional costs related to the development of fossil-free transport fuel solutions and to reach its 2016 fossil-free transportation targets by 2030.

    SODRA previously committed to investing in liquid biofuel production through its joint ventures SunPine and Norway's Silva Green Fuel, as well as by producing its own biomethanol. SunPine was first in the world to extract biodiesel from crude tall oil. (Source: SODRA, 26 Mar., 2019) Contact: Sodra, Henrik Brodin, Project Mgr., +46 (0) 70 646 33 37, www.sodra.com; SunPine, +46 911 23 28 00, www.sunpine.se/en; Silva Green Fuel, + 47 24 06 70 00, www.silvagreenfuel.no

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Silva Green Fuel,  SunPine,  Clean Transportation Fuel,  Sodra,  Biofuel,  


    Dandelion Raises $16Mn for Home Geothermal Systems (Ind. Report)
    Dandelion Energy
    Date: 2019-02-13
    New York-based geothermal startup Dandelion reports it has secured $16 million in financing from GV (fka Google Ventures) and Comcast Ventures, with participation from Lennar Corporation and previous investors NEA, Collaborative Fund, Ground Up, and Zhenfund, among others. The new funding, which brings the company's total capital raised to $23 million, will be used for R&D, the opening of a warehouse and to fuel growth.

    The Series A funding comes after Dandelion's acquisition of Geo-Connections, a geothermal software-as-a-service company that develops the underlying technology used in geothermal systems, and precedes the broad launch of Dandelion's "Dandelion Radiate" product that works with traditional radiators. According to Dandelion, its system is four times more efficient than furnaces, almost twice as efficient as traditional air condition systems, and costs between $20,000 to $25,000 to install. (Source: Dandelion, Contact: Dandelion, Kathy Hannun, CEO, info@dandelionenergy.com, https://dandelionenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Geothermal,  Dandelion Energy,  


    Alabama CFC to Lobby Feds on Alternative Fuels (Ind. Report)
    Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition
    Date: 2019-02-08
    Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition (CFC) reports it will join other clean transportation leaders representatives next week in Washington D.C. in an effort to educate and lobby federal policymakers on the benefits of expanding alternative fuels.

    "Despite the recent drop in gasoline prices, gas prices remain extremely volatile and we continue to send more than $200 billion per year to OPEC and other nations for oil," said Mark Bentley, Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition's executive director. "We are going to Washington to help our representatives understand that Alabama and the United States must aggressively expand our use of alternatives to petroleum-based fuel if we are to stabilize gas prices, decrease our reliance on foreign oil and maintain and create domestic jobs in the transportation energy industry."

    There are approximately 1.8 million alternative fuel vehicles currently on the road in the United States and nearly 70,000 alternative fueling stations, according to the US DOE. (Source: Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition, Alabama Reporter, 7 Jan., 2019) Contact: Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition, Mark Bentley, (205) 402-2755, www.alabamacleanfuels.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition,  Alternative Fuel,  


    American GreenFuels' Bioheat® Reduces CO2 Emissions (Ind. Report)
    American GreenFuels
    Date: 2018-12-19
    New Haven, Conn.-based biodiesel producer American GreenFuels, LLC is touting its You Are What You Heat campaign to promote their biodiesel Bioheat® blended heating oil -- a renewable, lower carbon cleaner-burning alternative to diesel fuel.

    According to American GreenFuels, Bioheat® provides greenhouse gas savings of minimum 78 pct up to 93 pct as compared with ultra low sulfur heating oil and meets ASTM D6751 specification standards. (Source: American GreenFuels, LLC, PR, 18 Dec., 2018) Contact: American GreenFuels, Raf Aviner, Pres., www.AmericanGreenFuelsCT.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American GreenFuels,  Biofuel,  Biodiesel,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Solar-plus-Storage Added to O'ahu Renewables Lineup (Ind. Report)
    Hawaiian Electric
    Date: 2018-12-19
    In Honolulu, Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) is reporting another solar-plus-storage project is now planned for O'ahu, joining three other grid-scale solar projects recently selected by HECO in a procurement effort to expand the Aloha State's renewable energy portfolio.

    The 12.5-MW solar array will be in West O'ahu and include a 50-MWh storage system, details of which will be released at a leter date.

    Hawaiian Electric is currently negotiating PPAs with developers of the solar projects to set the terms for them to sell electricity to the utility. The goal is to complete the agreements so the projects can take advantage of federal tax credits. Final terms will be announced when the agreements are submitted to the Public Utilities Commission for review.

    Including the latest project, there are now five major grid-scale projects announced for O'ahu in recent weeks, part of the largest infusion of renewable energy in state history. The projects -- four solar and one wind project -- are designed to generate 186 megawatts, displacing an estimated 800,000 barrels of oil annually. Previously announced projects on O'ahu include: Kunia Solar, 52 MW with 218 MWh storage; Mililani Solar, 39 MW with 156 MWh storage; Waipio Solar, 36 MW with 144 MWh storage; and Palehua Wind, 46.8 MW. Several other major renewable projects totaling 154 MW are under construction or awaiting permitting on O'ahu. (Source: Hawaiian Electric, PR, 18 Dec., 2018) Contact: Hawaiian Electric, www.hawaiianelectric.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Hawaiian Electric,  Solar,  Energy STorage,  


    Sino-Dutch Researchers Tout Cleaner Coal-to-Liquid Fuel (Int'l)
    Eindhoven University of Technology
    Date: 2018-11-28
    In Beijing, the National Institute of Clean-and-Low-Carbon Energy and Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands are touting a breakthrough which they claim cuts and captures the CO2 emissions and improves the financial viability of coal to liquid (CTL) fuels.

    The key is a new type of catalyst to be used in the Fischer-Tropsch reactor, the part of the process in which carbon monoxide and hydrogen are converted into liquid hydrocarbons. In the CTL process coal is first converted to syngas -- a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen -- and then to a liquid. Some of the CO is taken out of the syngas by converting it to CO2, in a process called water-gas shift. The researchers discovered that the CO2 release is triggered because the iron-based catalysts in the reactor are not pure. Accordingly, the researchers developed an alternative catalyst using a type of iron carbide -- epsilon iron carbide -- which they say generates almost no CO2 at all. Any that is been produced can be easily removed at the water-gas shift stage.

    The researchers expect the new catalyst will play a role in the future energy and basic chemicals industry. The feedstock will not be coal or gas, but waste and biomass. Syngas will continue to be the central element, as it is also the intermediate product in the conversion of these new feedstocks. (Source: National Institute of Clean-and-Low-Carbon Energy Cosmos, Oct., 2018)Contact: National Institute of Clean-and-Low-Carbon Energy, www.nicenergy.com/en; Eindhoven University of Technology, www.tue.nl/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Alternative Fuel,  Synfuel,  


    American Green Fuels/Kolmar Expands Production (Ind. Report)
    American Green Fuels, American Green Leaf
    Date: 2018-10-19
    In New Haven, Conn., waste restaurant cooking oil-to- biodiesel producer American Green Fuels/Kolmar, fka American Green Leaf, reports it has increased biodiesel production over the past year from 20 million gpy to 36 million gpy with the aid of a $20 million infusion of private investment for upgrades and new equipment.

    When it opened in 2013, American Green Leaf received start-up support from the state Department of Economic and Community Development. The operation was acquired in 2015 by Bridgeport-based Kolmar, a commodities trading firm and an original American Green Leaf partner. (Source: American Green Fuels/Kolmar, New Haven Independent, 17 Oct., 2018) Contact: American Green Fuels/Kolmar, Kevin Luddy, CFO, Mikulas Gasparik, VP Operations, (203) 873-2149, www.americangreenfuels.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American Green Fuels,  Biodiesel,  American Green Leaf,  


    Notable Quote -- RFS "Hardship" Waivers Hurting Ethanol Demand
    EPA,National Farmers Union
    Date: 2018-09-12
    "The farmers are the ones at the end of the day who are really not the winners in all of this, and it's very contrary to what the president and this administration has said that they support. They have talked extensively about supporting farmers but the actions from this EPA about the small refinery exemptions have not been supportive."

    "We're obviously at a time right now where we're very concerned about our lack of export markets and so it's really important that this administration continues to support farmers, continue to support the renewable fuels industry by the Renewable Fuel Standard." -- Anne Steckel, Biofuels Advisor with the National Farmers Union, speaking on the US EPA RFS "Hardship" waivers for refiners.

    According to EPA data, nearly 50 waivers were granted in 2016 and 2017, wiping out 2.2 billion gallons of blending obligations. "Hardship waivers" were intended for refineries that produced 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. (Source: Public News Service, 14 Aug., 2018) Contact: National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, Pres., (202) 554-1600, https://nfu.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA "Hardship Waiver" news,  RFA news,  NFU news,  


    Ocean Renewable Power Seeking Tidal Power Investors (Ind. Report)
    Ocean Renewable Power
    Date: 2018-08-31
    In Maine, Portland-based alternative energy startup Ocean Renewable Power Co. reports it is seeking a tide of investment capital to advance its unique RivGen -- in stream -- and TidGen -- tidal -- marine power turbines.

    The company is seeking $12 million in private investment in addition to a recent $6 million infusion. An initial funding round will be followed by a push for another $18 million earmarked for production startup, commercialization and marketing.

    In 2017, marine energy reportedly attracted only $200 million in investments worldwide; solar energy drew $161 billion and wind attracted $107 billion, according to Bloomberg's 2018 New Energy Finance investment report. (Source: Ocean Renewable Power, Portland Press Herald, 28 Aug., 2018) Contact: Ocean Renewable Power, Chris Sauer, CEO, 207.772.7707, www.orpc.co

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ocean Renewable Power,  Tidal Power,  Ocean Power ,  


    Notable Quote -- RFS "Hardship" Waivers Hurting Ethanol Demand
    National Farmers Union
    Date: 2018-08-17
    "The farmers are the ones at the end of the day who are really not the winners in all of this, and it's very contrary to what the president and this administration has said that they support. They have talked extensively about supporting farmers but the actions from this EPA about the small refinery exemptions have not been supportive."

    "We're obviously at a time right now where we're very concerned about our lack of export markets and so it's really important that this administration continues to support farmers, continue to support the renewable fuels industry by the Renewable Fuel Standard." -- Anne Steckel, Biofuels Advisor with the National Farmers Union, speaking on the US EPA RFS "Hardship" waivers for refiners.

    Farmers nationwide say the EPA is undercutting the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and hurting farmers by granting too many "hardship" exemptions for small oil refineries. According to EPA data, nearly 50 waivers were granted in 2016 and 2017, wiping out 2.2 billion gallons of blending obligations.

    As previously reported, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. (Source: Public News Service, 14 Aug., 2018) Contact: National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, Pres., (202) 554-1600, https://nfu.org

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


    UK University Touting Concrete Energy Storage (New Prod & Tech)
    Lancaster University
    Date: 2018-08-10
    Scientists at Lancaster University are touting a new type of concrete that is infused with potassium ions, which allow it to store electricity for long periods of time. When energy production levels drop, the concrete would kick in and power a house using the reserve of stored energy.

    Batteries work by transferring charged particles (ions) from one side to the other -- storing energy in a chemical medium that can later be released. The Lancaster researchers found that charged ionscan also flow through a crystalline structure -- like concrete -- accumulating on one side. This physically 'traps' the energy and does not require the use of chemicals, making the potassium-infused concrete technically a capacitor, not a battery.

    According to the technology developer Prof. Mohamed Saafi, capacitors hold less energy by volume than batteries, but there is far more volume available if the new form of concrete was to be widely used as a building material.

    The technology is still small-scale and requires more research before it can become commercially viable. The university has a ten-year plan to bring the special concrete to mass-market where it could be used in buildings and other structures that could then be taken off the grid. that could be removed from the grid. (Source: Composite Structures. Daily Mail, Lancaster University, 6 Aug., 2018) Contact: Lancaster University, Engineering Prof. Mohamed Saafi, www.lancaster.ac.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Storage,  Battery,  Capacitor,  


    RenFuel Touting LIGNOL® Drop-In Biofuel (Ind. Report)
    RenFuel
    Date: 2018-06-18
    RenFuel AB, a producer of lignin oil (LIGNOL) from lignin in "black liquor" waste from the pulp industry, is touting LIGNOL® which can be mixed to any degree with fossil gasoline, diesel and kerosene aviation fuel thus providing tangible solutions to reduce CO2 emissions from fuels.

    LIGNOL can be refined in conventional refineries to produce renewable gasoline and diesel, and can be distributed in existing distribution channels as a drop-in fuel for all types of current combustion engines.

    The finished LIGNOL oil product has a greenhouse gas reduction of about 90 pct compared to equivalent fossil oil. Sockholm-headquartered RenFuel is a 2012 Uppsala University spin-out with 15 patent "families" and patents in over 40 countries. (Source: RenFuel AB, PR, Government Europa, June, 2018) Contact: RenFuel AB, +46 70 680 94 30, info@renfuel.se, www.renfuel.se

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RenFuel.Lignin,  Biofuel,  Drop-in Biofuel,  

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