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Adv. Biofuel Show Promise for Replacing Fossil Fuels (Ind. Report)
Advanced Biofuel
Date: 2020-08-31
A new study led by Colorado State University is predicting significant climate benefits stemming from the use of advanced biofuel technologies. Accounting for all of the carbon flows in biofuel systems and comparing them to those in grasslands and forests, the team found clear strategies for biofuels to have a net carbon benefit.

John Field, research scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Lab at CSU, said it has been a challenge for the biofuel industry to demonstrate commercial viability for cellulosic biofuels created from switchgrass and other non-edible plants.

The research team used modeling to simulate switchgrass cultivation, cellulosic biofuel production and carbon capture and storage (CCS), tracking ecosystem and carbon flows. Scientists then compared this modeling to alternative ways to store carbon on the land, including growing forest or grassland.

CCS technology is being used by at least one facility in Illinois that is processing corn to ethanol as a conventional biofuel to create ethanol, but these systems are not yet widespread. As part of the study, researchers created models to simulate what this would look like at a cellulosic biofuel refinery. "What we found is that around half of the carbon in the switchgrass that comes into the refinery becomes a byproduct that would be available for carbon capture and storage. The resulting byproduct streams of high-purity CO2 would not require much separation or clean-up before being stored underground," the study noted.

The research team analyzed three contrasting U.S. case studies and found that on land where farmers or land managers were transitioning out of growing crops or maintaining pastures for grazing, cultivating switchgrass for cellulosic ethanol production had a per-hectare mitigation potential comparable to reforestation and several-fold greater than grassland restoration.

Using switchgrass can be particularly helpful in parts of the country where planting more trees is not an option.

This research was partially funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the US DOE via the Center for Bioenergy Innovation, and the Sao Paulo Research Foundation in Brazil.

The study illustrates how deliberate land use choices support the climate performance of present-day cellulosic ethanol technology and how technological advancements and CCS addition could produce several times the climate mitigation potential of competing land-based biological mitigation schemes. These results affirm the climate mitigation logic of biofuels, consistent with their prominent role in many climate stabilization scenarios, the study concludes. (Source: Colorado State University, Green Car Congress, Aug., 2020) Contact: Colorado State University, Natural Resource Ecology Lab, John Field, (970) 491-1604, John.L.Field@colostate.edu, www.nrel.colostate.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Advanced Biofuel,  Cellulosic Biofuel,  Switchgrass,  


ISU Researchers See Anaerobic Digestion, RNG Potential (Ind. Report)
Iowa State University
Date: 2020-08-26
Iowa State University researchers are studying ways to increase farmer interest in and profits from anaerobic digestion (AD) and renewable natural gas (RNG) made from manure and other low-value biomass. The research team is aiming to help resolve technical, economic and social issues believed to be hindering the growth of AD technology in the US.

The researchers see abundant possibilities for RNG in Iowa and beyond to address greenhouse gas emissions and to diversify farm income and reduce pollution in the state's waterways.

The development of biofuels is a major recommendation in Iowa's 2016 energy plan and the state economic development authority's 2018 Biomass Conversion Action Plan which has been funding research into various anaerobic digestion techniques.

According to a 2013 National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) inventory, Iowa produces more manure than any other state but the sources are not sufficiently concentrated to make digestion feasible or economically profitable.

Researchers hope to enhance the efficiency, reduce the costs and create ancillary income streams that will persuade farmers in Iowa and beyond to add AD to their operations. To that end, the researchers will explore the use of mixed prairie grasses and winter cover crops, such as annual rye, for AD.

The project is funded with a $10 million grant from the USDA. (Source: Iowa State University, PR, Aug., 2020) Contact: Iowa State University, Prof. Lisa Schulte Moore, Natural Resource Ecology and Management, (515) 294-7339, , www.iastate.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Iowa State University ,  RNG,  Biogas,  Anaerobic Digestion,  


Proposed UK Biowaste-to-Energy Plant Drops Gasification (Int'l.)
Northacre Renewable Energy,Bioenergy Infrastructure Group
Date: 2020-06-19
In the UK, Reading-based waste-to-energy specialist Northacre Renewable Energy Limited reports it is changing the technology to be used in its proposed, £200 million, 243,000 tpy Westbury plant from gasification to a conventional moving grate combustion process primarily due to supply chain uncertainty caused by Brexit.

Northacre Renewable Energy Limited (NREL) is special purpose joint venture established to deliver the Northacre energy from waste facility in Westbury. NREL is jointly owned by Bioenergy Infrastructure Group, a UK independent power producer specialising in energy-from-waste and biomass facilities, and The Hills Group, a Wiltshire-based company with business activities including waste management, quarrying of aggregates and building new homes. BIG invests in a number of energy facilities across the UK, including the Hull Energy Works facility, Evermore Renewable Energy and Birmingham Bio Power. (Source: Northacre Renewable Energy, PR, Lets Recycle, 17 June, 2020) Contact: Northacre Renewable Energy, northacre@bioenergyinfrastructure.com, www.northacre-energy.co.uk: Bioenergy Infrastructure Group, +44 (0) 118 929 8350, info@bioenergyinfrastructure.com, www.bioenergyinfrastructure.co.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biowaste news,  Waste-to-Energy news,  Biomass news,  Bioenergy Infrastructure Group news,  


NREL Considering Blockchain and Renewable Energy (Ind. Report)
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Date: 2020-06-01
The US DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) reports it is exploring the possibilities of using blockchain for renewable energy. To that end, NREL will work with energy utility, Exelon, and the Energy Web Foundation (EWF) to research blockchain for community-based energy markets.

The project will focus on enhancing coordination between utilities and consumers and finding ways to connect distributed energy resources (DERs) like solar panels to local distribution networks by using digital identity and hardware created by NREL's Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF).

NREL plans to leverage blockchain to create a scalable solution for electricity feeders, which can be customized as desired. Currently, they are running a virtual pilot that connects electric vehicles, smart appliances, batteries, and other components, to a blockchain.

NREL is a member of Blockchain for Optimized Security and Energy Management (BLOSEM), and provides expertise on accelerating blockchain adoption in the energy sector. The BLOSEM project is led by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and is funded by the Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium. (Source: NREL, COINGEEK, 30 May, 2020) Contact: NREL, Dane Christensen, dane.christensen@nrel.gov, www.nrel.gov; Excelon, www.exeloncorp.com; Web Foundation, www.energyweb.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News National Renewable Energy Laboratory ,  NREL,  Renewable Energy,  Exelon,  ,  


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

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

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

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


US-MAP Boosts Solar Perovskite Commercialization (Ind Report)
NREL
Date: 2020-05-04
NREL reports it has joined with the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds at the University of Washington, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Toledo to form the US Manufacturing of Advanced Perovskites Consortium (US-MAPPS).

While perovskite cells have shown promise in the lab, more work remains to be done to ensure that the technology is ready for commercial success, according to NREL. Manufacturing, durability, and sustainability remain challenges and will be the consortium's research focus. Members of US-MAP will share R&D, validation, and pilot manufacturing, which will reduce development costs and technology risks for potential investors.

US-MAP has six major US-based industry players as founding members: BlueDot Photonics, Energy Materials Corporation, First Solar, Hunt Perovskites Technologies, Swift Solar, and Tandem PV. (Source: NREL, Renewable Energy Mag., 1 May, 2020) Contact: NREL, Center for Materials Science, Joseph J. Berry, 303-384-7611, Joe.Berry@nrel.gov, | HERE; US-MAP, HERE

More Low-Carbon Energy News NREL,  perovskite,  Solar,  


BrainBox AI Raises $12Mn for Autonomous Building Tech (Ind Report)
BrainBox
Date: 2020-04-29
Montreal-based autonomous building technology specialist BrainBox AI reports raising $12 million to further deploy its ground-breaking AI technology for buildings across North America and abroad.

BrainBox AI technology combines deep learning, cloud-based computing and autonomous decision making to support a 24/7 self-operating building. BrainBox AI's solution enables a building's HVAC system to operate autonomously, in real-time, to generate up to a 25 pct reduction in total energy costs and a 20-40 pct reduction in carbon footprint.

In the 11 months since its launch to market in May 2019, BrainBox AI has installed its self-learning technology in over 15 million square feet of commercial properties, across 15 cities on 3 continents. The company has gained significant traction in its home market of Canada, and the recent raise will enable rapid expansion in both existing and new markets.

BrainBox AI works in collaboration with research partners including the US DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO), Montral's McGill University and others. (Source: BrainBox AI, PR , 28 April, 2020) Contact: BrainBox AI, Sean Neely, CEO and Co-Founder , 888 585 2630, www.brainboxai.com

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


NREL Claims 47.1 pct Solar Cell Efficiency Record (Ind. Report)
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Date: 2020-04-20
Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are touting an innovative "six-junction" solar cell using 140 layers of semiconductor materials to achieve a conversion rate of 47.1 pct -- breaking the previous record set by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and Soitec of 46 pct set back in 2014.

The NREL scientists produced a six-junction solar cell, combining sandwiching multiple layers of materials that were fine-tuned to convert different portions of the light spectrum into electricity. While the layered solar cell design will almost certainly be cost prohibitive to produce at commercial scale compared to conventional silicon cells, it may find use in more niche applications, the NREL team said. Generally, the super high-efficiency solar cells are limited for use in spacecraft and satellites, where performance, space and weight are a premium. However, the researchers highlight that cells with such high conversion efficiencies would be ideally used in concentrated solar plants.

The researchers trialled their nearly 50 pct efficient solar cells with concentrated sunlight, producing the equivalent of 143 suns of solar intensity. Using unconcentrated light, the six-junction solar cells were able to achieve a conversion efficiency of 39.2 pct, which was also a new world record. (Source: NREL,PR, 14 April, 2020) Contact: NREL, John Geisz, Research Scientist, 303-384-6474, John.Geisz@nrel.gov, www.enrel.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News National Renewable Energy Laboratory,  NREL,  Solar,  Solar Scell Efficiency,  


Penna. DEP Defends Gov. Wolf's RGGI Exec. Order (Ind. Report)
RGGI, Pa DEP
Date: 2020-02-28
Following up on our 4 Oct., 2019 coverage, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell has defended Gov. Tom Wolf's (D) executive order directing the agency to develop rules for joining RGGI, a cap and trade regional program that charges power producers for the pollution they emit.

McDonnell's comments came in response to concerns from the House Appropriations Committee over how the state's share of the RGGI programs quarterly auction program would be used by the state, relative to climate change issues rather than unrelated programs and projects.

Sec. McDonnell assured the Appropriations Committee "improvements to public transportation, installing energy efficient windows, insulation, or appliances, or building out alternative fuel vehicle infrastructure" were among the projects the RGGI funds would be applied to.

Governor Wolf's executive order follows the implementation of aggressive clean energy targets announced last year, including a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent by 2025. Pennsylvania also became the 24th state to join the U.S. Climate Alliance -- a group formed in 2017 after President Donald Trump withdrew the nation from the Paris Agreement.

Critics of RGGI argue it will cripple Pennsylvania's economy, force fossil fuel plants into early retirement and drive up electricity prices. Critics note that Pennsylvania is the nation's number two natural gas producer and the region's top power exporter -- making it very different, economically, from the other RGGI participants. (Source: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, The Center Square, 26 Feb., 2020) Contact: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, www.dep.pa.gov; C RGGI, www.rggi.org

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


NREL Researching Potential Diesel Fuel Bio-Blendstock (R&D Report)
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Date: 2019-12-18
Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are reporting discovery of a novel oxygenate molecule that can be produced from biomass to be used as a blend for diesel fuel. The initiative focuses on improving fuel economy and vehicle performance while reducing emissions.

The team used corn stover-derived molecules as the starting point for a range of potential fuel candidates. From here, the researchers relied on predictive models to determine which molecules would be best to blend with and improve traditional diesel. With the goal of developing drop-in biofuels that work with existing infrastructure. The intention is to blend the 4-butoxyheptane molecule into diesel fuel at a mixture of 20 - 30 pct Initial results suggest the potential to improve ignition quality, reduce sooting and improve fuel economy of the base diesel at these blend levels.

NREL is working with Yale University, Argonne National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory as part of the US DOE Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines (Co-Optima) initiative which is funded by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Bioenergy Technologies.

Performance-Advantaged Ether Diesel Bioblendstock Production by a Priori Design, the initiative's research paper was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (Source: NREL,PR, Dec., 2019) Contact: NREL, Derek Vardon, Senior Research Engineer, (303) 384-7763, Derek.Vardon@nrel.gov, www.nrel.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News National Renewable Energy Laboratory,  


HPE, NREL Collaborate on Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
Hewlett Packard ,NREL
Date: 2019-11-20
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) reports they will collaborate with the US DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on the development of water and energy efficiency software for data centers.

HPE expects the three-year collaboration to train machine learning models to detect anomalies so that energy efficiency issues can be predicted and prevented. (Source: HPE, Storage Review, 18 Nov., 2019) Contact: HPE, www.hpe.com; NREL, www.nrel.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Hewlett Packard,  Energy Efficiency,  NREL ,  


RCAM Technologies Concrete Wind Foundation Project (Ind. Report)
RCAM Technologies
Date: 2019-11-20
US start-up RCAM Technologies reports it has been selected by and received funding from the National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium for contract negotiations as part of the consortium's second round of wind research and development projects. RCAM's award, which is one of two totaling $1.9 million, will go towards "proving the feasibility and advance the design" of the company's modular "3D Printing" concrete foundation.

The two-year project scope includes the conceptual design, preliminary design, and feasibility assessment of the fixed-bottom, suction-bucket support structure and heavy-lift-vessel alternative for the US DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 15MW reference turbine.

According to its website, RCAM Technologies was "founded to develop concrete additive manufacturing technologies initially for wind energy technologies -- RCAM's vision for wind energy is to develop land-based and offshore wind turbine towers and substructures up to 200-meter tall at half the cost of conventional tall tower technologies." (Source: RCAM Technologies, PR, 19 November, 2019) Contact: RCAM Technologies, Jason Cottrell, CEO, www.rcamtechnologies.com; National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium, www.energy.gov/eere/wind/national-offshore-wind-rd-consortium

More Low-Carbon Energy News Offshore Wind Foundation,  


Coalition Calls for 10 GW of Calif. Offshore Wind Power (Ind Report)
Equinor,Aker Solutions,NREL
Date: 2019-10-07
A new Offshore Wind California coalition of renewable energy companies is calling for the Golden State to commit to a goal of at least 10 GW of primarily floating offshore wind power in California waters by 2040.

The group that counts Equinor and offshore engineering company Aker Solutions among its members notes that U.S. East Coast states have about 22 GW worth of offshore wind commitments and are projected to see an estimated $70 billion in related supply chain spending by 2030.

The US DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates California's potential for offshore wind at about 112 GW, including about 8.4 GW in three Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) designated study areas. NREL also notes that floating wind platforms are a basic requirement for most of the state's offshore waters, which are too deep to support monopile or multi-leg jackets. (Source: NREL, Maritime Executive, Oct., 2019) Contact: NREL, www.nrel.gov; Aker Solutions, Fredrik Berge, Inv. Relations, +47 22 94 62 19, fredrik.berge@akersolutions.com, www.akersolutions.com; Equinor, Pal Eitrheim, VP New Energy Solutions, www.equinor.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Offshore Wind,  Floating Offshore Wind,  BOEM,  NREL,  Equinor,  Aker Solutions,  Offshore Wind,  


Consortium Funds Offshore Wind Anchorage Study (R&D, Funding)
National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium
Date: 2019-09-13
The new federally-funded U.S. National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium reports awarding its first contract to the U.S. DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The $300,000 award will support NREL's work on the economic feasibility of shared mooring lines to cut deep-water floating wind farm costs by connecting adjacent turbine platforms and distributing load, resulting in fewer anchors and considerable savings.

The DOE-created consortium is funded with $20 million to conduct research and development to address technological barriers and lower the costs and risks of offshore wind in the United States. To that end, DOE and Department of the Interior (DOI) identified the following research areas to facilitate the development of the U.S. offshore wind industry: wind plant technology advancement; wind resource and physical site characterization, and; installation, operations and maintenance, and supply chain technology solutions.

The Consortium is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA). (Source: National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium, ENR, 11 Sept., 2019)Contact: National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium, www.energy.gov › eere › national-offshore-wind-rd-consortium; NYSERDA, Alicia Barton, Pres., CEO, (518) 862-1090, www.nyserda.ny.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Wind R&D,  NYSERDA,  


Stanford, DEWA Collaborate on Solar Energy R&D (R&D, Int'l)
DEWA,Stanford University
Date: 2019-08-07
In the UAE, the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) reports it's Research and Development Center will collaborate with California's Stanford University on radiation cooling to improve the efficiency and performance of solar panels. The research will include the utilization of autonomous robots in monitoring and maintaining solar power plants, and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to forecast the performance and production of photovoltaic solar plants in the short term.

The DEWA R&D Centre, situated at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, also has renewable and alternative energy co-operation agreements with the U.S. DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Spanish National Renewable Energy Centre, as well as the United Arab Emirates University and Khalifa University.

The UAE National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031 aims to position the UAE as a global leader in AI by 2031; the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 aims to diversify the country's energy mix and provide 75 pct of Dubai's total power output from clean sources by 2050. (Source: DEWA, MEP Middle East, Stanford, DEWA, Aug., 2019) Contact: DEWA, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO, www.dewa.gov.ae; Stanford, www.stanford.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News DEWA,  Solar,  Stanford,  PV,  


NREL Wind-Wildlife Mitigation Efforts Funded (Ind. Report)
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Date: 2019-07-12
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) reports it is one of nine organizations to receive US DOE funding to explore and develop technologies to reduce the environmental impacts of wind energy.

NREL will investigate and improve the effectiveness of ultrasonic acoustic deterrents that emit frequencies perceptible to bats to discourage them from approaching wind turbines.

Other technological innovations include thermal imaging cameras and specially developed radar technologies that detect and deter bats and other wildlife from approaching wind-turbine blades.

Identifying the best wind-wildlife mitigation technologies will enable more efficient and cost-effective wind energy projects. (Source: NREL,WindPower, 10 July, 2019) Contact: NREL, www.nrel.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News National Renewable Energy Laboratory,  Wind,  


ExxonMobil, Global Thermostat Partner on CCS Tech (Ind. Report)
ExxonMobil
Date: 2019-07-03
Irving, Texas-headquartered U.S. energy giant ExxonMobil is reporting an agreement with NYC-based Global Thermostat to advance carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology that can capture and concentrate CO2 emissions from the atmosphere and industrial sources with the goal of slowing climate change.

Should the technical readiness and scalability of the technology be determined, pilot projects at ExxonMobil facilities could follow, according to a MobilExxon press release.

As previously reported, ExxonMobil recently committed to spending as much as $100 million over 10 years with the U.S. DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) on research to bring lower-emission tech to commercial scale. (Source: ExxonMobil, PR, 1 July, 2019) Contact: ExxonMobil, Vijay Swarup, VP ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Co., William M. Colton, VP Strategic Planning, www.exxonmobil.com; Global Thermostat, Dr. Graciela Chichilnisky, CEO, 646-798-6217, www.globalthermostat.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News ExxonMobil,  CCS,  CO2 Emissions,  Carbon Capture,  


Centrica, NREL Partner on Hybrid Battery Storage (Ind. Report)
Centrica,NREL
Date: 2019-06-24
Centrica Business Solutions -- Centrica's distributed energy and power business -- reports it has joined forces with the US DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to study the integration of energy storage technologies.

Research will be conducted at NREL's Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) where the focus is on developing and demonstrating innovative energy systems and "second life" battery storage technologies. Second life batteries include batteries previously used in electric vehicles as a single unit for disparate applications. (Source: Centrica, NREL, newKerala, 23 June, 2019) Contact: Centrica Business Solutions, Fabio Mantovani, Director of Technology Strategy and Innovation, www.centrica.com; NREL, Martha Symko-Davies, Laboratory Program Manager, ESIF, www.nrel.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Centrica,  NREL,  Energy Storage,  Battery,  


ExxonMobil, Nat. Labs to Collaborate on Lower-Emissions R&D (R&D)
ExxonMobil
Date: 2019-05-10
Irving, Texas-headquartered oil industry juggernaut ExxonMobil reports it will invest as much as $100 million over 10 years to research and to develop advanced lower-emissions technologies in collaboration with the US DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).

The research aims to advance potential scalable technologies that improve energy efficiency, minimize greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce emissions from the production of fossil fuels and petrochemicals, according to ExxonMobil. Initial collaborative efforts will explore ways to bring biofuels and carbon capture and storage (CCS) to commercial scale across the power generation, transportation, and manufacturing sectors. (Source: ExxonMobil, GreenCar Congress, 9 May, 2019)Contact: Exxon Mobil, William M. Colton, VP Strategic Planning, www.exxonmobil.com

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


DOE Funds Wind Energy Environmental Research Projects (Funding)
US DOE Wind Energy Technologies Office
Date: 2019-03-15
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Wind Energy Technologies Office reports the allocation of $6.2 million for nine early-stage research projects expected to reduce environmental compliance costs and environmental impacts of offshore and onshore wind energy. With cost sharing, the projects are expected to total $9.5 million.

According to DOE, the projects will develop technology solutions to environmental siting and operational challenges to reduce project permitting time and costs, increase the certainty of project development outcomes and provide more deployment options at reduced costs. Three projects by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), American Wind Wildlife Institute of Washington and Stantec Consulting Services of Topsham will receive $2.3 million to further the advancement of smart curtailment strategies to minimize energy loss from curtailment and wind farm environmental impacts to bats. $1.4 million will be awarded to National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of Golden, General Electric Renewable Energy of Greenville and the Iowa State University of Ame for projects dedicated to advancing the commercial readiness of bat deterrent technologies to minimize the need for curtailment.

The remaining $2.5 million will be allocated to SMRU Consulting of Friday Harbor, Oregon State University of Corvallis and Western EcoSystems Technology of Cheyenne to develop and validate pre- and post-construction monitoring and mitigation solutions for the offshore wind environment to ease regulatory barriers to deployment. (Source: US DOE Wind Energy Technologies Office, offshoreWIND .biz, 14 Mar., 2019) Contact: US DOE Wind Energy Technologies Office, Phone: (202) 586-5348, www.energy.gov/eere/wind/wind-energy-technologies-office

More Low-Carbon Energy News US DOE,  Wind,  EPRI,  


ASE Responds to Trump's Budget Plan to Cut Energy Efficiency Programs (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Alliance to Save Energy
Date: 2019-03-13
The Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) has released a statement in response and opposition to the Trump administration's FY 2020 budget proposal calling for deep cuts to energy efficiency programs at the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and others including: Advanced Manufacturing Office; Building Technologies Office; ENERGY Star program; Vehicle Technologies Office; the Federal Energy Management Programme; the State Energy Program; The Weatherization Assistance Program; the National Laboratories -- SANDIA, NREL, Ames Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory; ARPA-E and others.

"This proposal would take an axe to innovation in our energy sector, cutting critical research funds and energy efficiency investments that have a proven track record of reducing energy costs for consumers and businesses" said Jason Hartke. "We look forward to working with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to fight for these programs in the coming months." Hartke added that there is no room for complacency, because this is an existential threat to the backbone of energy efficiency and all of its many economic and environmental benefits. Even if the endgame for the administration is more modest cuts negotiated with Congress, that is still a major threat. These programs are among the smartest investments the federal government makes, and they should be made stronger, not weaker." (Source: Alliance to Save Energy, PR, 12 Mar., 2019) Contact: Alliance to Save Energy, Jason Hartke, Pres., (202) 857-0666, www.ase.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Alliance to Save Energy,  Energy Eficiency,  


NREL High on U.S. Floating Solar Potential (Ind. Report)
NREL
Date: 2019-01-07
According to Floating PV: Assessing the Technical Potential of Photovoltaic Systems on Man-Made Water Bodies in the Continental U.S., a recent study from the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), floating pv solar (FPV) projects across more than 24,000 man-made US reservoirs could generate approximately 10 pct of the nation's annual electricity production and, at the same time, reduce the land requirements for conventional ground mount PV power plants by at least 2.1 million hectares. (Source: NREL, PV Tech, Jan., 2018) Contact: NREL, Jordan Macknick, Research Team Leader, www.nrel.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News NREL,  Solar,  Floating Solar,  


NREL, Forest Concepts Collaborate on Biofuel Feedstocks, Biomass Conversion (R&D, Ind. Report)
Forest Concepts
Date: 2018-12-12
Recognizing the importance of enhancing biomass conversion processes for industry, a team of NREL scientists partnered with Auburn, Washington-based Forest Concepts to perform detailed thermochemical conversion simulations for biomass feedstocks. The simulations relate feedstock attributes to expected product yields and necessary pyrolysis conversion process conditions. The work by NREL will allow Forest Concepts to better convey the value of their feedstocks to biorefinery customers.

Forest Concepts, a manufacturer of precision woody and herbaceous feedstocks for bioenergy and bioproduct applications, leveraged NREL's capabilities in biomass conversion modeling to help quantify the impact of their feedstock characteristics based on various particle shapes and sizes. The NREL team is part of the Consortium for Computational Physics and Chemistry (CCPC), which uses high-performance computing to support the U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO).

Prior to the development of the NREL models, Forest Concepts provided feedstock pricing based on volume and size of the biomass particle. Using the NREL models, Forest Concepts can now provide information to their customers such as standardized performance, required conversion conditions, and expected yields based on the size and shape of feedstock particles.

BETO recognized early on the value of developing detailed biomass feedstock particle models to understand how the properties of each particle impact the yield and composition products from the conversion process. Moving forward, these capabilities will be leveraged by the newly established Feedstock-Conversion Interface Consortium (FCIC) whose mission is to quantify, understand, and manage variability in biomass from field through downstream conversion and to understand how biomass composition, structure, and behavior impact system performance.

FCIC is an integrated and collaborative network of eight national laboratories dedicated to addressing technical risks and understanding how biomass properties influence collection, storage, handling, preprocessing and conversion technologies with the goal of improving the overall operational reliability of integrated pioneer biorefineries. (Source: NREL, PR, 10 Dec., 2018) Contact: NREL, Peter Ciesielski, Scientist, www.nrel.gov; US DOE BETO, energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office; Forest Concepts, James H. Dooley, CTO, (253) 333-9663, www.forestconcepts.com; Feedstock-Conversion Interface Consortium, https://fcic.inl.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News NREL,  Forest Concepts,  Bioenergy,  Biofuel,  Biomass,  BETO ,  


CSU, NREL Lead $2.1Mn CO2 Utilization for Algae Biofuels R&D (R&D)
Colorado State University,NREL
Date: 2018-10-31
Following up on our October 4, 2017 coverage, a team of five Colorado State University (CSU) and three National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) researchers are reporting a $2.1 million, 3-year effort to increase algae yield for biofuel production by improving carbon dioxide utilization. For the research, New Belgium Brewing will provide CO2 from their fermentation processes, and Qualitas Health, a producer of omega-3 nutraceuticals from algae, will help test the improved CO2 delivery technology. The aim is to improve delivery of CO2 to algae and enhance algae's consumption of the CO2.

The project is being funded by the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy in a collaborative effort to improve the cost-competitiveness and environmental sustainability of microalgae-based fuels and products. (Source: CSU, NREL, Various Media, Oct., 2018) Contact: Colorado State University, Prof. Ken Reardon, kenneth.reardon@colostate.edu, www.colostate.edu; US DOE BETO, energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office

More Low-Carbon Energy News Colorado State University,  NREL,  Algae,  CO2,  Biofuel,  


UA Tech Park to Mentor DOE Solar Tech Competition (Ind. Report)
University of Arizona Tech Park
Date: 2018-08-22
The University of Arizona Tech Park reports it has been selected by the federal government to act as a "mentor organization" to companies taking part in the $3 million American-Made Solar Prize competition.

The Tech Park will be a "connector" organization for the American-Made Solar Prize which is directed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and funded by the U.S. DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office. As many as 52 companies can win prize money from the competition, with prizes ranging between three levels that are differentiated by how close the product is to market. (Source: University of Arizona, PR, 20 Aug., 2018) Contact: University of Arizona Tech Park, Bruce Wright, VP, https://techparks.arizona.edu; DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office, www.energy.gov/eere/solar/solar-energy-technologies-office

More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  


New ASHRAE President Focused on Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
ASHRAE
Date: 2018-07-27
Speaking in Houston, new ASHRAE -- American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers -- president Sheila Hayter announced that the orgaization's theme "Building Our New Energy Future" will focus on the role of buildings in the evolution of smart grids and renewable energy. "ASHRAE will play a key role in accelerating the use of innovative technologies as we move toward greater energy efficiency and healthier buildings,” Hayter noted.

While serving ASHRAE president, Hayter will continue her role as a group manager with the DOE NREL in Golden, Colorado, as well as chair of ASHRAE's board of directors and executive committee. (Source: ASHRAE, PR, July, 2018) Contact: ASHRAE, (800) 527-4723, www.ashrae.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News ASHRAE,  Energy Efficiency,  


Pruitt's Resignation Letter Revealed (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
EPA,Scott Pruitt
Date: 2018-07-09
"Mr. President, it has been an honor to serve you in the Cabinet as Administrator of the EPA. Truly, your confidence in me has blessed me personally and enabled me to advance your agenda beyond what anyone anticipated at the beginning of your Administration.

" Your courage, steadfastness and resolute commitment to get results for the American people, both with regard to improved environmental outcomes as well as historical regulatory reform, is in fact occurring at an unprecedented pace and I thank you for the opportunity to serve you and the American people in helping achieve those ends.

That is why it is hard for me to advise you I am stepping down as Administrator of the EPA effective as of July 6. It is extremely difficult for me to cease serving you in this role first because I count it a blessing to be serving you in any capacity, but also, because of the transformative work that is occurring. However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us.

"My desire in service to you has always been to bless you as you make important decisions for the American people. I believe you are serving as President today because of God's providence. I believe that same providence brought me into your service. I pray as I have served you that I have blessed you and enabled you to effectively lead the American people. Thank you again Mr. President for the honor of serving you and I wish you Godspeed in all that you put your hand to.

Your Faithful Friend, Scott Pruitt" (Source: Various Media, 6 July, 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Scott Pruitt,  EPA,  


Alta Devices Claims Solar Efficiency Record (Ind. Report)
Alta Devices
Date: 2018-07-03
In a press release, Sunnyvale, California-based Alta Devices, a Hanergy company, reports its most recent single junction solar cell has been certified by NREL as being 28.9 pct efficient -- a new record for this type of solar cell.

This breakthrough, combined with the unique thinness and flexibility of Alta's cells, redefines how solar technology can be used to empower autonomy in many applications.

criteria. (Source: Alta Devices, BusinessWire, 2 July, 2018) Contact: Alta Devices Jian Ding, CEO, Rich Kapusta, Marketing, (408) 585-2050, info@altadevices.com, www.altadevices.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Alta Devices,  Solar,  Solar Cell Efficiency,  


Growth Energy Comments on EPA, USDA RFS Meeting (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Growth Energy
Date: 2018-05-25
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor released the following statement before Thursday's meeting between the US EPA and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to discuss President Trump's plan to preserve U.S. biofuel production:

"We're pleased the USDA is taking up the president's call to action and pressing for an immediate E15 fix, before the start of the summer driving season. As Secretary (Sonny) Perdue has noted, a flood of illegitimate waivers from the EPA has resulted in 'demand destruction' for U.S. farmers at a time when rural communities can least afford it. Even petroleum giants like Marathon are now expecting 'small refinery' handouts.

"Regulators should, instead, focus on the president's plan to reallocate lost biofuel gallons that were siphoned away by EPA waivers. President Trump promised to protect statutory targets under the Renewwable Fuel Standard (RFS), and we support Secretary Perdue's efforts to ensure the EPA upholds that commitment to rural families.

"There is no reason to delay action or attach unrelated gimmicks designed to benefit a few refinery owners. EPA Administrator (Scott) Pruitt should stand by his word in 2017, when he vowed not to pursue an export scheme that would cannibalize demand for U.S. biofuels, destroy farm income, and spark retaliatory tariffs against the entire fuel and farm supply chain." (Source: Grwoth Energy, SCD, 24 May, 2018)Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy,  Biofuel,  


MIT, NREL Study Carbon Tax Effectiveness Scenarios (Ind. Report)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Date: 2018-04-11
According to researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a carbon tax on the use of fossil fuels coupled with returning the generated tax revenue to the public in one form or another, can be an effective way to curb GHG emissions and, depending on the mechanism chosen, could be fair and not hurt low-income households.

In reaching their conclusion, the researchers considered carbon taxes at $25 and $50 per ton of carbon emissions produced and two rates of increase -- 1 pct or 5 pct per year -- as well as three different approaches to dispensing the revenue: an equal rebate to every household; a tax break for individuals; or a corporate tax break.

The study showed that even the lowest taxation rates could lead to reductions sufficient to meet the U.S. near-term commitment under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. However, the most efficient way of achieving those reductions, in terms of overall impact on the economy, is to use the revenue to reduce taxes on corporate profits or investment income. Rebating equal payments across the board was found to be the least efficient and individual tax breaks came in somewhere in between on both criteria. The researchers suggest a combination of tax breaks to corporations and rebates to the low-income families most affected by the tax could virtually eliminate the regressive aspects of the tax at very little cost in overall efficiency as well as be politically acceptable.

Their analysis indicates that starting with a $50 per ton carbon tax and increasing it by 5 pct per year would lead to a 63 pct reduction in total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. (Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PR, AAAS, 5 April, 2018) Contact: MIT, Sloan School of Management, John Reilly, energy.mit.edu/profile/john-reilly

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  Massachusetts Institute of Technology,  Carbon Emissions,  


KULR, NREL Touting Li-ion Battery Technology Deal (Ind. Report)
KULR Technology
Date: 2018-03-28
Campbell, California-based KULR Technology announced today that it has reached agreement with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to be the exclusive manufacturing and distribution partner for the patented Internal Short Circuit (ISC) device which causes predictable battery cell failures in widely-used lithium-ion batteries.

KULR's core technology is a proprietary, vertically-aligned carbon fiber cooling material that is lighter, more flexible and more efficient than traditional thermal management products. KULR carbon fiber has virtually unlimited commercial and industrial applications for battery safety, reducing heat and increasing the longevity of electronic components and increasing the efficiency of energy storage. (Source: KULR Technology, 27 Mar., 2018) Contact: KULR Technology, (408) 675-7002x101, contact@kulrtechnology.com, www.kulrtechnology.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Storage,  KULR Technology,  Battery,  Energy STorage,  


CT Green Bank Accepts Aurora Solar Remote Shading Simulation Software (Ind. Report)
Aurora Solar,CT Green Bank
Date: 2018-01-17
North Vancouver, BC-based Aurora Solar Technologies reports the Connecticut Green Bank has joined rebate authorities around the country in declaring Aurora's remote shading simulation software an acceptable replacement for onsite inspections previously required when applying for rebates associated with solar system installations.

Aurora's technology incorporates the measurements of a site's solar potential as part of a standardized "Solar Shade Report" that consolidates all the information solar companies need in making financing, installation and rebate decisions.

Rebate authorities that accept Aurora's remote shading include: CT Green Bank; New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); Rhode Island Renewable Energy Fund; Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC); New Jersey Clean Energy Fund; City of Roseville Residential Solar Energy Program; Oncor; and the Energy Trust of Oregon. The US National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) has also validated Aurora's shade reports as statistically equivalent to on-site measurements. (Source: CT Green Bank, Aurora Solar, Solar Power World, 11 Jan., 2018) Contact: Connecticut Green Bank, Bryan Garcia, Pres., CEO, (860) 563-0015, www.ctcleanenergy.com; Aurora Solar Technologies, Michael Heaven, CEO, Pres., (778) 241-5000, info@aurorasolartech.com , www.aurorasolartech.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Aurora Solar,  Solar,  Renewable Energy,  CT Green Bank,  


Aussie GHG Emissions Reach Record Highs (Int'l Report)
NDEVR Environmental
Date: 2017-12-13
In the Land Down Under, Australia's emissions over the past year were the highest on record, when relatively unreliable emissions from land use are excluded and despite a rise in wind energy power generation and a drop in fossil fuel power generation emissions, according to the carbon consultancy NDEVR Environmental.

On the other hand, emissions from transport were at record levels, with jumps in the use of diesel and aviation fuel. Emissions in all other sectors either remained stable or increased slightly, according to NDEVR Environmental. (Source: NDEVR Environmental, Guardian, 10 Dec., 2017) Contact: NDEVR Environmental, +61 3 9865 1400, Fax. +61 3 9865 1499, environment@ndevr.com.au, www.ndevr.com.au


Solar Smart Windows Break 11 pct Efficiency (New Prod & Tech)
NREL
Date: 2017-12-04
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, (NREL) reports it has demonstrated a prototype of a perovskite solar powered smart window that lowers building temperatures by shifting from clear to opaque under strong sunlight. When the shift to opaque occurs, the solar prototype begins electricity production. The prototypes tested reached up to 11.3 pct efficiency, NREL says.

One potential smart window feature is the darkening of windows to minimize heat coming into a structure. Heating, cooling, and ventilation of commercial structures is up to 80 pct of their energy costs. (Source: NREL, electrk, 29 Nov., 2017)Contact: NREL, www.nrel.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar Window,  Solar,  NREL,  Energy Efficiency,  


ICS Forecasting Carbon-Free Shipping after 2050 (Int'l)
International Chamber of Shipping
Date: 2017-11-10
In Bonn, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) announced its vision for a carbon-free fleet in the second half of the century and proposed that International Maritime Organization (IMO) member states adopt a "suitably ambitious goal" for a reduction in carbon emissions, based on an "agreed percentage."

In addition to any climate measures that IMO may adopt, unrelated regulatory initiatives are likely to lead to emissions reductions in the near term due to "significant increases in marine fuels and the switch by the entire world fleet to low sulphur fuels." "This should greatly incentivize, to the extent this is possible, the further reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by ships.," the ICS says. (Source: International Chamber of Shipping , MarExec,, 7 Nov., 2017) Contact: IMO, Stefan Micallef, Director of Marine Environment Division, +44 (0) 20 7735 7611, www.imo.org; International Chamber of Shipping, www.ics-shipping.org International Chamber of Shipping,

More Low-Carbon Energy News International Chamber of Shipping,  IMO ,  


SimPath Touts Possible Biofuel Breakthrough (New Prod & Tech)
SimPath,ORNL
Date: 2017-10-25
Knoxville, Tennessee-headquartered startup SimPath reports it has licensed a pioneering cloning system developed by the US DOE Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). NREL's system generates and assembles the biological building blocks necessary to synthetically bio-engineer fuels economically and efficiently. SimPath will develop the cloning system further to improve ORNL's method into a multi-gene DNA assembly kit that includes a software package for customers using synthetic biology techniques.

ORNL developed the cloning system to aid studies of drought-resistant plants that rely on a water-saving form of photosynthesis, a system that has already brought about a 50 pct increase in production.

ORNL and SimPath will continue to partner on the cloning tool, using feedback from SimPath's customers to enhance the system and fine-tune characteristics such as shelf-life, which determines the viability of live products. (Source: SimPath, ORNL, Bio-based World News, 23 Oct., 2017) Contact: SimPath, Robert Moseley, Pres., info@ simpathinnovations.com, http://simpathinnovations.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  ORNL,  


CSU Funded for Better Algae Biofuels R&D (Funding, R&D)
Colorado State University
Date: 2017-10-04
Colorado State University scientists are reporting receipt of as much as $3.5 million over three years in US DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) funding for Rewiring Algal Carbon Energetics for Renewables aimed at improving how algae-based biofuels and bioproducts are made. The overall project goal set by the Department of Energy is to double the yield of biofuel precursors from algae to about 3,700 gallons per acre per year.

Strategies to be used by the team to meet this goal include increasing algal cultivation productivity, optimizing biomass composition, and extracting and separating different types of algal lipids to reduce the cost of upgrading them to renewable diesel.The study will be led by scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado.

The researchers will use an algae species called Desmodesmus armatus, and will focus on fundamental processes of efficiently channeling carbon dioxide into useful fuel intermediates. The project will work to ferment carbohydrates in the algal cells into chemicals of interest, including ethanol, as well as a fuel precursor called 2,3 butanediol.

Other partners on the project will work on the algae-to-bioproduct life cycle, including modification of growing pond conditions, and separating algal solids from water to remove lipids.

The multidisciplinary team includes CSU's Ken Reardon, professor of chemical and biological engineering; Graham Peers, associate professor of biology; and Jason Quinn, assistant professor of mechanical engineering; along with partners at National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Colorado School of Mines, Arizona State University, Utah State University, and representatives from industry. San Diego-based Sapphire Energy is a project partner and has pioneered the use of D. armatus for biofuels. (Source: Colorado State University, PR, 2 Oct., 2017) Contact: Colorado State University, Prof. Ken Reardon, kenneth.reardon@colostate.edu, www.colostate.edu; US DOE BETO, energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office

More Low-Carbon Energy News Colorado State University,  Sapphire Energy,  Algae,  Algal Biofuel,  BETO,  


$15Mn DOE Funding for Integrated Biorefineries R&D (Funding, R&D)
DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office, BETO
Date: 2017-09-22
In Washington, the US Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA are reporting the awarding of as much as $15 million to eight projects seeking to enhance the operations of integrated biorefineries and resolve R&D challenges needed for the "successful scale-up and reliable operations" of integrated biorefineries (IBRs). Other objectives will be to cut capital and operating costs and support the production of advanced or cellulosic biofuels and higher-value bioproducts.

The projects will focus on: continuous handling of solid materials and feeding systems to reactors under various operating conditions; high-value products from waste in an integrated biorefinery; industrial separations within an integrated biorefinery; and analytical modeling of solid materials and reactor feeding systems.

Thermochemical Recovery International Inc, Texas A&M Agrilife Research, White Dog Labs, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the South Dakota School of Mines, Forest Concepts, Clemson University and Purdue University are among the funding recipients. (Source: US DOE, BETO, Renewables Now, Others, 21 Sept., 2017) Contact: US DOE BETO, energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office; USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, https://nifa.usda.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biorefinery,  DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office,  BETO,  

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