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Enefit Green Acquiring Finnish Wind Development (Int'l, M&A)
Enefit Green,Eesti Energia
Date: 2020-09-09
Tallnin, Estonia-headquartered Enefit Green, Eesti Energia's renewable energy subsidiary reports acquisition of the Tolpanvaara wind farm development from the Finnish state forest manager Metsahallitus. The 100-MW, 22-turbine Tolpanvaara wind farm will be owned by Enefit Green's Finnish subsidiary Tolpanvaara Wind Farm Oy.

Eesti Energia Group owns 20 wind farms, 4 cogeneration plants, 36 solar power plants, a wood pellet plant and a hydroelectric power plant. (Source: Enefit Green, ERR, 8 Sept., 2020) Contact: Enefit Green, Aavo Karmas, CEO, www.enefitgreen.ee; Metsahallitus, www.mesa.fi

More Low-Carbon Energy News Enefit Green,  Wind,  Eesti Energia,  Wind Finland,  


Notable Quotes
NRDC
Date: 2020-09-04
"Our two biggest global environmental challenges -- climate change and biodiversity loss -- are inextricably linked so keeping forests standing must be a priority of all governments.

"Much of the wood burned in UK power plants is cut down and shipped from ecologically sensitive forests in the US Southeast. Those forests are efficient and powerful carbon- capture systems and support unique wildlife found nowhere else in the world. But they can't serve that important purpose if the trees are cut and turned into wood pellets, and don't grow back for decades." -- Sasha Stashwick, Natural Resource Defense Council www.nrdc.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  NRDC,  


Waste Knot Fuel Pellet Plant Slated for Teesside (Int'l. Report)
Waste Knot Energy
Date: 2020-08-17
In the UK, London-headquartered Waste Knot Energy has secured funding from Gresham House's British Strategic Investment Fund (BSIF) for construction of its first fuel pelleting plant at distribution logistics firm AV Dawson's port facility in Teesside, Middlesbrough.

The plant will produce Waste Knot's "Green Knot" branded pellets using non-recyclable waste that would otherwise be destined for landfill. The high-calorific value of the pellets makes them a reliable, low-emission bulk alternative to coal and pet-coke for energy-intensive industries such as cement and steel.

When fully operational,the Waste Knot plant is expected to produce more than 240,000 tpy of fuel pellets. (Source: AV Dawson, BDaily, Aug., 2020) Contact: BSIF Greshham House, Ed Simpson, Fund Manager, Waste Knot Energy, +44 0 7808 964640, info@wasteknotenergy.com, www. wasteknotenergy.com; Gresham House, +44 20 3837 6270, www.greshamhouse.com; AV Dawson, +44 1642 219271, www.av-dawson.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Waste Knot Energy,  Pellet Fuel ,  


Fonterra's first wood pellet-fuelled plant will fire up in September
Fonterra
Date: 2020-08-10
Fonterra is one step away from pushing the go button on its first factory to convert from coal to wood pellet energy. The dairy company’s Te Awamutu plant in the Waikato is putting the finishing touches on the $11 million power source conversion which could be used as a blueprint for its other factories around the country. It was part of the company’s move to renewable energy and to reduce emissions as it worked towards net zero carbon emissions by 2050. When fully operational the new wood pellet burner will eliminate 84,000tpy of carbon emissions and reduce Fonterra’s coal energy consumption in New Zealand by 10 per cent. (Source: Fonterra Stuff NZ, 9 Aug., 2020) Contact: Fonterra, www.fonterra.com.nz

More Low-Carbon Energy News Fonterra news,  Wood Pellet news,  


Enviva Nails GA. Biomass Pellet Plant Purchase (Ind. Report, M&A)
Enviv
Date: 2020-08-07
Following up on our 22nd June report, Bethesda, Maryland-based woody biomass pellet specialist Enviva Partners LP is reporting completion of its previously announced acquisition of an industrial-scale, 800,000 metric tpy wood pellet production plant in Waycross, Georgia. The Waycross plant is now called "Enviva Pellets Waycross."

With this acquisition, Enviva operates nine wood pellet production plants and five deep-water export terminals across Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. Enviva's total annual wood pellet production capacity is approximately 4.9 million metric tpy. (Source: Enviva Partners, Aug., 2020) Contact: Enviva Partners, (240) 482-3856. ir@envivabiomass.com, www.envivabiomass.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Enviva,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  


Simec Atlantis Plans Conversion for Biomass Plant (Int'l. Report)
Simec Atlantis
Date: 2020-07-20
UK-based Simec Atlantis reports it is in talks with data center developer TechRE to re-purpose a coal-fired power station in Uskmouth, Wales to burn 50 pct woody biomass and un-recyclable plastic waste-derived fuel pellets. The Uskmouth power station is expected to generate 220MW of base-load electricity from this sustainable fuel source when fully converted.

The project will be developed in two phases -- conversion of the first 110 MW generation unit at the power station and upon commissioning a second unit will be converted to increase the station's total net output to 220MW. (Source: SIMEC Atlantis Energy, Website, 16 July, 2020) Contact: SIMEC Atlantis Energy, Tim Cornelius, CEO, +44 1633 292700, www.simecatlantis.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Simec Atlantis,  Biomass,  


Pinnacle Completes Woody Biomass Pellet Plant Upgrade (Ind. Report)
Pinnacle Renewable Energy
Date: 2020-06-22
In British Columbia, Vancouver-based Pinnacle Renewable Energy reports its Williams Lake facility has rebooted operations following months of capital upgrades.

The completed upgrades included equipment that can process wetter fiber. Instead of primarily relying on the shavings and sawdust of sawmills, the plant can also process up to 80,000 additional tpy of woody biomass debris, damaged and dead wood.

Between upgrades at the Williams Lake facility and the previously reported work on its Meadowbank facility in Quesnel, the company has invested roughly $30 million in the region over the past year.

(Source: Pinnacle, PR, Biomass Mag., 22 June, Contact: Pinnacle, Robt. McCurdy, CEO, (604) 270-9613, investors@pinnaclepellet.com, www.pinnaclepellet.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Pinnacle,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  


Enviva Purchasing Georgia, SC Wood Pellet Plants (M&A)
Enviva Biomass
Date: 2020-06-22
Bethesda, Maryland-based woody biomass pellet specialist Enviva reports it has agreed to purchase Georgia Biomass Holding 800 mtpy woody pellet plant in Waycross, Georgia, from innogy SE and one of its subsidiaries for $175 million cash subject to usual adjustments.

Enviva will also acquire Enviva Pellets Greenwood Holdings which, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, owns a pellet production plant in Greenwood, South Carolina, for $132 million and the assumption of a $40 million third-party promissory note. Enviva plans to invest $28 million to increase the Greenwood plant’s production capacity to 600,000 mtpy by the end of next year, according to the release. (Source: Enviva, PR June, 2020) Contact: Enviva, John Keppler, CEO, (301)657-5560), www.envivabiomass.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Enviva,  Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  


Notable Quotes -- DRAX, Woody Biomass and Carbon Emissions
DRAX
Date: 2020-06-01
"Once you move from local usage ... to extracting trees from distant countries and shipping them to a factory, you are adding quite a significant amount of additional CO2 to the atmosphere. It takes anything from several decades to centuries to recover through the growth (of new trees)." -- Michael Norton, Environment Programme Director, European Academies Science Advisory, May, 2020 Contact: EU European Academies Science Advisory Council, www.ec.europa.eu/knowledge4policy/organisation/easac-european-academies-science-advisory-council_en; DRAX, Will Gardiner, CEO, +44 0 1757 618381, www.draxpower.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  DRAX,  Woody Biomass,  Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  


DRAX Nears Coal to Woody Biomass Switchover (Int'l. Report)
DRAX
Date: 2020-06-01
Situated in Yorkshire, northern England, the Drax Group power plant will complete its switch next year after embarking on a journey almost a decade ago to use organic matter alongside the fossil fuel to slash carbon emissions. The Drax operation, providing four million households with electricity, sees CO2 emitted from burnt wood captured by newly planted trees.

Four of the plant's six reactors use wood pellets and a carbon-capture system, while Drax intends on becoming carbon negative by 2030, by removing more CO2 from the atmosphere than it emits. Drax adds that the switch, in line with UK government policy to ban the use of coal by 2025, allows it to keep the plant running and maintain 900 jobs. (Source: DRAX, France24, 30 May, 2020) Contact: DRAX, Will Gardiner, CEO, +44 0 1757 618381, www.draxpower.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News DRAX,  Woody Biomass,  


SBP Biomass Standards Review Underway (Ind. Report)
Sustainable Biomass Programme
Date: 2020-05-22
The Sustainable Biomass Programme (SBP) certification scheme reports the launch of its standards development process. As part of the process, SBP's six standards will be reviewed and revised by working groups, and revisions will be passed to a technical committee, prior to approval from the standards committee.

SBP-certified biomass accounted for a 61pc share of the EU-28 industrial wood pellet market, with 11.95mn t of biomass with SBP claims traded in 2019. There are now just over 270 SBP certificate holders in 25 countries, up from 210 at the end of 2019.

The Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP) is a certification system designed for woody biomass, mostly in the form of wood pellets and wood chips used in industrial, large-scale energy production. SBP was launched in 2015. (Source: Sustainable Biomass Program, Argus, 21 May, 2020) Contact: Sustainable Biomass Progra , Melanie Wedgbury, +44 (0)7734 793279, mkwedgbury@sbp-cert.org, www.sbp-cert.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biomass news,  Woody Biomass news,  Wood Pellet news,  


Bio-bean Processing Coffee Ground Biofuel, Pellets (Int'l. Report)
Bio-bean
Date: 2020-05-19
In the UK, Cambridgeshire-based Bio-bean reports it is recycling roughly 7,000 tpy of used coffee grounds into solid pellet or log fuels for household and industrial use.

The coffee pellets burn about 20 pct hotter and 20 pct longer than wood logs, according to the company. Bio-bean's commercial biomass pellets are certified by the UK's Sustainable Fuel Register, while the coffee logs have "lower particulate emissions than most wood logs," the company notes.

Bio-bean has raised more than $7 million in funding since it's 2013 launch. was founded in 2013. (Source: Bio-bean, CNN, 15 May, 2020) Contact: Bio-bean, George May, CEO, +44 203 744 6500, +44 (0) 7979 495640, info@bio-bean.com, www.bio-bean.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Bio-bean,  Biofuel,  Biofuel Pellet,  


Silver Membrane Carbon Capture Tech Touted (New Prod & Tech, Int'l.)
Newcastle University,
Date: 2020-05-08
In the UK, Newcastle University researchers are touting a new class of self-forming silver membrane to separate carbon dioxide from a mixture of gases. Operating like a coffee filter, it lets harmless gases, such as nitrogen, exit into the atmosphere and then the CO2 can be processed.

In a method never tried before and described in the research paper, aluminum oxide supports in pellet and tubular form were used to grow the silver membrane. Silver was added to the membrane, and the conditions experienced during operation forced the silver to grow within the membrane, bestowing higher performance.

The researchers used X-ray micro-computed tomography to look inside the membrane and confirm that the permeation of CO2 and O2 stimulated self-assembly of silver dendrites.

The researchers believe the system may be applicable for use in CO2 separation processes, either to protect the environment or in reaction engineering. Researchers also note "the performance of the membrane is at the level required to be competitive with existing carbon capture processes -- in fact, it would likely reduce the size of the equipment required significantly and potentially lower operating costs." (Source: Newcastle University, Website, Technology Networks, May 04, 2020) Contact: Newcastle University, Dr. Greg Mutch, www.ncl.ac.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Capture,  CCS,  


DRAX Launches Biomass Supply Chain Carbon Calculator (Int'l.)
Drax,DRAX
Date: 2020-05-08
In North Yorkshire, UK power generation company DRAX Group has launched a Biomass Carbon Calculator to help to decarbonize the production and transportation of biomass pellets, used for low carbon energy generation.

The Biomass Carbon Calculator is in line with the company's drive to become carbon-negative by 2030 and the UK's effort to achieve net-zero carbon by 2050.

The calculator, which will use real-time supply chain data to improve emission reporting and identify points where carbon reductions can be made, in compliance with the European Union's Renewable Energy Directive II. (Source: DRAX, Trade Media,6 May, 2020) Contact: DRAX, Will Gardiner, CEO, +44 0 1757 618381, www.draxpower.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Drax,  DRAX,  Woody Biomass,  Biomass Pellet,  Carbon Emissions,  


Enviva Biomass Touts 2020 Responsible Sourcing Policy (Ind. Report)
Enviva Biomass
Date: 2020-04-24
Bethesda, Maryland-based woody biomass pellet specialist Enviva is touting its 2020 Implementation Plans detailing the company's commitment to responsible and sustainable wood sourcing in accordance with strict environmental standards.

The 2020 Implementation Plans define the company's measurable goals in three sections -- sustainable forestry standards, verification and transparency, and conservation leadership across the U.S. Southeast, where the company owns and operates wood pellet production plants.

According to a release, in 2020, Enviva plans to publish its first Corporate Sustainability Report describing how the company works to deliver on its mission to displace coal, grow more trees and fight climate change, its current environmental impact and sustainability practices and its goals for continuous improvement in sustainability of its business in the long-term.

The company also plans to add 30,000 acres to the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) and/or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified land base. Enviva will also strengthen its existing partnership with The Longleaf Alliance to actively seek longleaf restoration through its wood sourcing on private and public lands in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Virginia and the Carolinas. The company will also assist in the conservation of 3,500+ acres of bottomland hardwood (BLHW) forests to meet the company's 10-year goal of conserving 35,000 acres of BLHW forests by 2030.

View Enviva's 2020 RSP Implementation Plans HERE. (Source: Enviva Biomass, PR, AP, 21 April, 2020) Contact: Enviva Holdings LP, Enviva Biomass, (301-657-5560), media@envivabiomass.com, www.envivabiomass.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wood Pellet,  Woody Biomass,  Enviva,  


USFS Announces Woody Biomass Energy Funding (Funding Report)
U.S. Forest Service
Date: 2020-04-24
The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) reports it has awarded a total of $7.62 million in matching fund grants to 35 projects as part of the agency's Wood Innovations Grant Program. Eight of those projects focus on renewable energy, while the remaining 27 focus on expanding markets for wood products.

The Wood Innovations Grant program advances innovations in wood energy and products that create jobs, revitalize local economies and support sustainable forest land management. Selected projects include:

  • Hoonah Indian Association: Hoonah, Alaska; Hoonah biomass design based on 2017 feasibility study;

  • Maine Energy Systems LLC: Bethel, Maine; Demonstration project for increasing whole house pellet heating clusters;

  • Red Lodge Mountain: Red Lodge, Montana; Red Lodge Mountain waste to warmth energy project;

  • Middle Niobrara Natural Resources District: Valentine, Nebraska; Middle Niobrara Natural Resources District headquarters heating project;

  • City of Prineville: Prineville, Oregon; Prineville renewable energy project engineering and design study;

  • Blue Mountain Lumber Products LLC: Pendleton, Oregon; Expanding forest biomass pellet manufacturing capacity;

  • Smokehouse Products LLC: Hood River, Oregon; Installation of wood chip dryer and processing equipment using renewable energy and heat provided by Wind River biomass utility;

  • Next Generation Wood Inc.: Hiwassee, Virginia; Market assessment for the expansion of biochar use and sales;

  • Long Falls Paperboard LLC: Brattleboro, Vermont; Long Falls Paperboard biomass combined-heat-and-power conversion project—flue gas condensation alternative to achieve maximum efficiency.

    Access Wood Innovations Grant Program details HERE (Source: US Forest Service, PR, 16 April, 2020) Contact: US Forest Service, www.fs.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News U.S. Forest Service,  Biomass,  Woody Biomass,  


  • DRAX Receives 100th US Woody Biomass Shipment (Ind. Report)
    DRAX
    Date: 2020-04-06
    In the UK, the DRAX Power Station in North Yorkshire is reporting receipt of its 100th shipment of woody biomass for power generation from its three woody biomass pellet plants in the southern US.

    Roughly two thirds of the 7.5 million tpy of sustainable biomass Drax uses comes from the company's US three pellet mills. Drax also has agreements with a number of other suppliers in the US and elsewhere around the world including in Canada, the Baltics and Portugal, according to a release. (Source: Drax, PR , April, 2020) Contact: Drax, Will Gardiner, CEO, +44 07712 670 888,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DRAX,  Woody Biomass,  Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  


    AEG Acquires NC Woody Biomass Facility (M&A, Ind. Report)
    Active Energy Group
    Date: 2020-04-01
    UK-based Active Energy Group (AEG) is reporting acquisition of 100 pct control and ownership of the sawmill and log export activities at AEG's industrial site in Lumberton, North Carolina.

    The Lumberton sawmill generates low-value waste products which Active Energy will use as feedstock for the production of CoalSwitch product and other black pellet fuels.

    The CoalSwitch product is made from woody biomass including pulp and saw mill by-products such as bark, sawdust and thinning, and wood which is over-age, under-quality, blow-down, beetle-kill, forest-fire damaged, or industrial waste. CoalSwitch can be burned by old, coal-fired generation facilities without the need for a retrofit. (Source: Active Energy Group, Various Media, Apr. 2020) Contact: Active Energy, Michael Rowan, CEO, +44 (0)20 3021 1500, www.active-energy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  Active Energy Group,  CoalSwitch,  Biomass,  Waste Biomass,  


    Enviva Says Pellet Business Unimpaired by COVID-19 (Ind. Report)
    Enviva
    Date: 2020-03-25
    In a statement, Bethesda, Maryland-based wood pellet supplier Enviva Holdings Inc Enviva has announced production at its wood pellet manufacturing plants and pellet shipments have been unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company noted it is monitoring guidance from the Center for Disease Control and other agencies and taking appropriate measures to protect employees and business continuity.

    Enviva Partners currently owns and operates seven wood pellet plants with a total production capacity of approximately 3.5 million mtpy. (Source: Enviva Holdings, Biomass Mag., 23 Mar.,2020) Contact: Enviva Holdings LP, Enviva Biomass, Dr. Jennifer Jenkins, VP, (301) 615-5560, jennifer@envivabiomass.com, www.envivabiomass.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enviva,  Wood Pellet,  Woody Biomass,  


    Forest-Woody Biomass Carbon Benefits Stressed (Ind. Report)
    US Industrial Pellet Association
    Date: 2020-02-26
    As previously reported, the Richmond, Virginia-based not-for-profit US Industrial Pellet Association (USIPA) is lauding the National Association of University Forest Resource Programs (NAUFRP) for its letter signed by more than 100 scientists and researchers calling on policymakers to consider key fundamentals related to forest-woody biomass and the benefits of wood energy.

    The letter, which noted that the "carbon benefits of sustainable forest biomass are well established", cites a report from UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) which notes -- "In the long term, a sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit. Demand for wood helps keep land in forest and incentivizes investments in new and more productive forests, all of which have significant carbon benefits."

    Reviewing more than 30 years of scientific research on forest biomass utilization, scientists from Yale, Harvard, and Georgia to Washington, Idaho, Berkeley and others identified four fundamentals for science-based decision-making on biomass energy production:

  • The carbon benefits of sustainable forest biomass energy are well established.

  • Measuring the carbon benefits of forest biomass energy must consider cumulative carbon emissions over the long term.

  • An accurate comparison of forest biomass energy carbon impacts with those of other energy sources requires the use of consistent time-frames in the comparison.

  • Economic factors influence the carbon impacts of forest biomass energy. (Source: The US Industrial Pellet Association, 25 Oct., 2019) Contact: The US Industrial Pellet Association, Deth Ginter, Exec. Dir., J. Marcus, (804) 775.5894, JMarcus@theusipa.org, www.theusipa.org; National Association of University Forest Resource Programs, www.naufrp.org

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


  • Virginia Grassroots Coalition Calls for Removal of Biomass-Fired Facilities from Renewable Portfolio Standard (Ind. Report)
    Virginia Grassroots Coalition
    Date: 2020-02-10
    In the Old Dominions State, a letter to the Virginia General Assembly from the Virginia Grassroots Coalition, with over 40 participating member groups, calls for the removal of biogass-fired power facilities from Virginia's renewable portfolio standard, as follows:
  • Though touted as a clean, environmentally safe alternative to fossil fuels, wood pellets are a carbon-intense, destructive and polluting industry based in flawed carbon accounting in international agreements;

  • Wood pellet material sourcing leads to massive deforestation of critical habitats, and Enviva alone is responsible for 50 acres a day of clear-cut land:

  • Pellet production facilities release dangerous air pollutants including particulate matter and volatile organic compounds putting surrounding communities at higher risk for health complications.

  • Burning wood pellets releases 65 pct more CO2 than coal per megawatt hour. In order to keep global climate change below 1.5 degrees Celsius, wood pellets must not be used as an energy alternative.

    The letter also notes UK-based researchers found last year that burning wood is a "disaster" for climate change because older trees release large amounts of carbon when they are burned and aren't always replaced with replanted forests. Even when trees are replaced, it can take up to 100 years to cultivate a wooded area that soaks up as much carbon as was previously released. And the fuel burned in shipping wood pellets to Europe is also a significant source of emissions. (Source: Virginia Grassroots Coalition, 9 Feb., 2020) Contact: Virginia Grassroots Coalition, www.virginiagrassroots.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  


  • Czech Firm Invests €80Mn in Woody Biomass Plants (Int'l. Report)
    GEEN Holding
    Date: 2020-02-03
    In the Czech Republic, Prague-headquartered GEEN Holding reports it will soon break ground on its third woody biomass power plant in Gospic, Croatia. The plant is expected to be fully operational and grid connected by mid 2021.

    In Decemeber 2019, GEEN announced it had three waste wood biomass-fired power plant in operation at a total cost of €80 million. was built.

    GEEN Holding a.s. is an energy, engineering and investment group which was formed by 31 companies. GEEN has six operating hydro, 10 photovoltaic power plants and e woody biomass plants in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, according to its website. (Source: GEEN Holding, Total Croatia News, 31 Jan., 2020) Contact: GEEN Holding, +420 511 111 950, geen@geen.eu, www.geen.eu

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


    Cycleenergy Acquires Innogy Biomass Pellet Plant (Int'l, M&A)
    Cycleenergy,Innogy
    Date: 2020-01-29
    Essen, Germany-based energy company Innogy is reporting the sale of its subsidiary NRW Pellets GmbH biomass pellet production plant in Erndtebruck, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, to Austria-based Cycleenergy Holding GmbH for an undisclosed price, effective 27 Jan., 2020.

    With this acquisition, Cycleenergy's portfolio includes three biomass plants and two pellet factories in Austria. (Source: Innogy, PR, Renewables, 28 Jan., 2020) Contact: Cycleenergy Holding GmbH, www.cycleenergy.com; Innogy, NRW Pellets, www.nrwpellets.nl

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wood Pellet,  Biomass Pellet,  Innogy,  


    Univ. Tenn. Peatland Carbon Processes Investigation Funded (Funding)
    University of Tennessee
    Date: 2020-01-27
    A UT microbiologist has received a portion of a $3.1 million grant from the US DOE to study how global warming could affect peatlands and their vast carbon stores in the future.

    Steven Wilhelm, the Kenneth and Blaire Mossman Professor of Microbiology, is part of a team led by Jean-Philippe Gibert, a food web expert and assistant professor of biology at Duke University. Wilhelm's co-investigators include David Weston and Dale Pelletier, staff scientists in the Biosciences Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Jonathan Shaw, professor of biology at Duke. In the three-year project, the group will study and model the effects of warming on the complex network of bacteria, protists, and viruses that interact with peat moss.

    Peat moss plays a key role in slowing climate change by keeping 370 million metric tpy of CO2 out of the atmosphere -- equivalent to the emissions from nearly half the car traffic in the US.

    Though peatlands cover just 3 pct of the Earth's surface they store twice as much carbon as all the world's forests. Over hundreds or thousands of years, Sphagnum and other peatland plants pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere as they grow, trapping the carbon inside layers of partially decayed plant material up to 20 feet deep. But warming trends could put that carbon storage at risk. Rising temperatures could thaw or dry out peat wetlands, making them more prone to decay and wildfires. Decomposing or burning plants mean the heat-trapping gas long locked up in peatlands could be released, accelerating the global warming process.

    To better predict the impacts of warming on peatlands and the carbon they contain, the team is studying a set of players they say are largely overlooked: microbes. Their previous work suggests that under future warming, the community of microbes and other tiny organisms that grow in and around peat mosses could shift balance, which could affect the ability of peatlands to sequester carbon. (Source: University of Tennessee, Knoxville, PR, 27 Jan., 2020) Contact: University of Tennessee, Karen Dunlap, 865-974-8674, kdunlap6@utk.edu, Amanda Womac , 865-974-2992, awomac1@utk.edu, www.utk.edu; Duke University, Robin Smith, (919-681-8057, robin.a.smith@duke.edu, www.duke.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Peatland,  Carbon Storage,  Carbon Sequestration,  Carbon Emissions,  University of Tennessee,  


    Pinnacle Ship Charter to Deliver Wood Pellets to Japan (Ind Report)
    Pinnacle Renewable Energy
    Date: 2020-01-20
    In British Columbia, Vancouver-based Pinnacle Renewable Energy reports it has inked a new 40,000 deadweight-ton ship charter for the delivery of its industrial wood pellets from British Columbia, Canada to customers in Japan where it has signed three wood pellet contracts within the last six months, according to the company release. (Source: Pinnacle Renewable Energy, Bioenergy, 20 Jan., 2020) Contact: Pinnacle Renewable Energy, Pinnacle Pellet, Robert McCurdy, CEO, (604) 270-9613, investors@pinnaclepellet.com, www.pinnaclepellet.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Pinnacle Renewable Energy,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  


    Enviva Forest Conservation Fund Protects N.C. Watershed (Ind Report)
    Enviv
    Date: 2020-01-17
    Bethesda, Maryland-based wood pellet supplier Enviva Holdings Inc is reporting an important piece of the Little River watershed in the North Carolina Piedmont region will be protected for years to come in part through the help of a $20,000 grant from the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund to the Three Rivers Land Trust. The Fund’s support leveraged another $660,000 in external funding, allowing the Land Trust to purchase a permanent conservation easement on approximately 230 acres adjacent to another conservation site that protects one of the few remaining bogs in the Piedmont region. The property is a unique landscape with high ecological and conservation value and contains a mix of bottom land hardwoods and long leaf pine forests.

    According to its website, the Fund's goal is to be a catalyst for investments in critical forest and habitat conservation in the North Carolina coastal plain and southeastern Virginia region. More than three years into the planned 10-year partnership, seventeen projects have been funded with a total commitment of over $2 million including the grant announced today. When these projects are completed, the Fund will have protected an estimated 24,500 acres of sensitive wetland forest and other habitats. (Source: U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, 16 Jan., 2020) Contact: U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities , 864.233.7646, 864.235.3842 - fax, info@usendowment.org, www.usedndowmwnt.org; : Enviva Holdings LP, Enviva Biomass, Dr. Jennifer Jenkins, VP, (301) 615-5560, jennifer@envivabiomass.com, www.envivabiomass.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enviva,  Wood Pellet,  Woody Biomass,  


    State ‘net energy’ proposal raises static among developers

    Date: 2019-12-31
    A proposal that would require new commercial construction projects in Massachusetts to use only renewable energy has opponents and proponents drawing a line in the sand. Supporters say the net zero net energy proposal is needed to address global warming more quickly. Opponents argue that there is not sufficient technology and capacity to increase electrification to meet the demand. Opponents also say the proposal would greatly diminish housing development during the state’s housing crisis and that electricity bills for tenants would skyrocket. “As housing costs continue to skyrocket, we need more housing. To add an additional cost to housing production is essentially a barrier ... We’ll see a slowdown in housing production,” said Tamara Small, CEO of Needham-based NAIOP, the state’s commercial real estate development association. NAIOP has about 1,700 members in Massachusetts. The proposal basically requires new commercial construction and significant commercial renovations to generate as much renewable energy as needed on-site. What can’t be generated on-site can be purchased off-site. Only energy from solar, wind and hydro would be allowed. The use of all fossil fuels, including natural gas, propane, oil, coal and wood pellets, would be banned. While the proposal is primarily for commercial construction, it would affect some housing as well. The exemptions are single-family houses, multifamily homes of three stories or less, and mobile and modular homes. The proposal was written by the American Institute of Architects and submitted to the International Code Council to be considered for codes being compiled for 2021. All 50 states adopt some version of ICC’s residential, commercial and other codes. The AIA’s Massachusetts Chapter in November also submitted the proposal to the Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards for consideration for inclusion in the 10th edition of the state’s building code. Massachusetts in 2009 became the first state to adopt a “stretch code,” an enhancement to its base building energy code that provides for more energy-efficient construction. To be designated as a Green Community, municipalities have to comply with the stretch code. While the stretch code initially resulted in a 10% jump in energy efficiency, that has decreased after two subsequent editions of the code, in part because the base energy code has gotten more efficient. “Now about 80% of the 351 cities and towns have become designated as Green Communities. A good majority are saying we need to take the next step, which is net zero,” Nunnari said. This would be another tool in their quest toward mandating a higher level of energy efficiency, he added. The hope, he said, is if ICC agrees to include the proposal in its 2021 documents, all 50 states would have the opportunity to adopt the net zero regulation or amend it to their liking. California, he noted, has already imposed a net zero energy requirement for new residential and commercial buildings by 2030. Similar regulations are being considered by several other states and regions, he said. The proposal has the backing of several hundred organizations. (Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette, 28 Dec., 2019)


    $100Mn Woody Biomass Pellet Plant Slated for Alabama (Ind. Report)
    Westervelt,Pinnacle Renewable Energy
    Date: 2019-12-30
    In "The Heart of Dixie", Tuscaloosa-based Westervelt Co. reports it is partnering with Vancouver, B.C.-based Pinnacle Renewable Energy to construct a woody biomass-wood pellet production plant in the city of Demopolis. The 360,000 metric tpy plant is aiming for an early 2021 startup, according to a statement.

    Pinnacle will reportedly hold a 70 pct stake in the plant, Westervelt will hold 20 pct and Two Rivers Lumber Co. which will supply the plant with sawmill waste for pellet production, will hold the remaining 10 pct. (Source: Westervelt Co., Various Media, San Francisco Chronicle, 28 Dec., 2019) Contact: Westervelt, Brian Luoma, CEO, 205-562-5800,www.westerveldtlumber.com; Pinnacle Renewable Energy, Pinnacle Pellet, Robert McCurdy, CEO, (604) 270-9613,investors@pinnaclepellet.com, www.pinnaclepellet.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Westervelt,  Pinnacle Renewable Energy ,  Wood pellet,  


    Pinnacle Reports Woody Biomass Fibre Supply Agreement (Ind. Report)
    Pinnacle Renewable Energy
    Date: 2019-12-16
    In British CVolumbia, Vancouver-based Pinnacle Renewable Energy is reporting a three-year fiber supply agreement with forest management company Alkali Resource Management Ltd. (ARM) under which ARM will process, store and deliver woody biomass harvest residuals to Pinnacle for use at its Williams Lake facility in British Columbia.

    Pinnacle produces sustainable industrial wood pellet fuel for large-scale thermal power generators as a greener alternative to produce reliable baseload renewable power. The Company operates eight industrial wood pellet production facilities in western Canada and one in Alabama, and owns a port terminal in Prince Rupert, B.C. Pinnacle has entered into long-term take-or-pay contracts with utilities in the U.K., Europe and Asia that represent an average of 108% of its production capacity through 2026. (Source: Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc., PR,CNW, 16 Dec., 2019) Contact: Pinnacle Renewable Energy, 877-737-4344, investors@pinnaclepellet.com, , www.pinnaclepellet.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Pinnacle Renewable Energy news,  Woody Biomass news,  Wood Pellet news,  


    Packard Foundation Warns Put a Brake on Bioenergy by 2050 to Avoid Negative Climate Impacts (Ind. Report)
    Packard Foundation
    Date: 2019-12-09
    According to the newly released Global Change Biology study from the Los Altos, California-based David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the burgeoning bioenergy sector must peak and decline in the next 30 years to alleviate extreme pressure on land. The study researchers assert that projections envisioning the use of biomass from crops, trees or grasses for fuel through 2100 overlook the technology's high carbon footprint and excessive land use.

    An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released last year found that many scenarios capable of reducing the threat of climate change relied heavily on bioenergy, predicting that energy from biomass could make up 26 pct of primary energy in 2050 -- up from 10 pct in 2020 -- and predicting that solar and wind combined would likely only account for 22 pct. Those scenarios often relied on significant use of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), which involves growing trees across a large area of land to produce wood pellets burned for energy, then capturing and sequestering the carbon emissions. In its analysis, though, the IPCC found significant challenges associated with a high reliance on bioenergy, noting in particular that the vast areas of land required to produce biomass for energy would compete with food production and other human needs.

    The Global Change Biology assessment examine a flurry of recent reports that suggest even more problems with large-scale bioenergy projects reliant on large tracts of land, and also show that more cost-effective alternatives will be available in the coming decades. Pulling from these recent studies, the authors establish three reasons why large-scale bioenergy must and can peak and decline in the next 30 years:

  • Large-scale bioenergy emits carbon. Carbon emissions from bioenergy can be greater in the near-term than emissions from the fossil fuels it is replacing, undermining the assumption that bioenergy is always a relatively low-emission and low-cost form of energy. Burning wood pellets, for example, creates a "double climate problem." Manufacturing and shipping wood pellets entails substantial emissions of fossil CO2, and it can take decades or centuries for harvested areas to return to pre-harvest carbon stocks.

  • Large-scale bioenergy puts a squeeze on land. Land is already a scarce resource, and it will become even scarcer with time due to an increase in the human population and a rise in the appreciation of the conservation value of natural and mostly-natural ecosystems--even if agricultural yields continue to increase. Because land is so limited, we should use it as efficiently as possible for energy production. In contrast to land-intensive bioenergy, the amount of electricity that can be produced from a hectare of land using photovoltaics is at least 50-100 times that from biomass.

  • Large-scale bioenergy is inferior to other solutions. And, by mid-century, land-intensive bioenergy will face fierce competition from superior technologies such as wind and solar energy, the development of efficient storage and other flexibility solutions, and the advent of more effective carbon removal technologies such as direct air capture with carbon storage.

    The assessment comes at a time when the bioenergy industry is ramping up worldwide, with the EU in the lead. Bioenergy currently accounts for 10 pct of the world's energy, and 50 pct of our renewable energy. In the EU, bioenergy accounts for two-thirds of all renewable energy (nearly half from wood). Two-thirds of the EU's "20 pct Renewable Energy by 2020" target depends on bioenergy. And the bloc is also about to greenlight the conversion of five large coal plants to bioenergy plants that burn imported wood pellets from overseas forests.

    Land-intensive electrical power projects in particular are picking up steam as governments and industry leaders seek to transform disused coal factories into new profit centers. Between 2006 and 2015, the production of wood pellets for biomass energy use quadrupled to 26 million tons. Worldwide, demand for globally traded wood pellets destined for use in phased-out coal plants or new dedicated bioenergy plants is expected to rise 250 pct by 2027.

    The study lays out a bioenergy trajectory that policymakers can use to encourage sustainable bioenergy while also opening the door for new technologies to replace land-intensive bioenergy in the very near future. These recommendations include improved accounting of the actual carbon emissions associated with the use of biomass, favoring biomass from waste, residues or land management practices that enhance carbon storage, and providing incentives for energy storage, direct air capture technologies, and low-carbon alternatives to fossil fuels. Above all, the authors argue that bioenergy projects should be avoided if they involve natural forests, such as converting natural forests to bioenergy plantations, or use land best suited for food crops. And the authors caution that claims that bioenergy projects are a zero-carbon form of energy should be met with skepticism.

    The Packard Foundation through 2020, will have awarded nearly $1 billion in grants to reduce carbon emissions, one of the its greatest program commitments in its 55-year history. (Source: David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Dec., 2019) Contact: David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Walt Reid, Director Conservation and Science Program, Report Author, 650-948-7658, www.packard.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioenergy,  CO2,  CCS,  Biofuels,  Carbon Emissions,  


  • Enviva Alabama Pellet Plant Environ. Permit Approved (Ind. Report)
    Enviva
    Date: 2019-12-04
    Further to our October 11th edition, Bethesda, Maryland-based wood pellet supplier Enviva Holdings, LP, the world's largest producer of wood pellets, is reporting receipt Alabama Department of Environmental Management permitting to construct a new facility in Alabama, US. The new $175 million facility at the Port of Epes Industrial Park in Sumter County is expected to produce around 1,150,000 metric tpy wood pellets from locally sources woody biomass wastes. Construction is expected to break ground in early 2020. (Source: Enviva, Bioenergy, Dec., 2019) Contact: Enviva Holdings LP, Enviva Biomass, Dr. Jennifer Jenkins, VP, (301) 615-5560, jennifer@envivabiomass.com, www.envivabiomass.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enviva,  Wood Pellet,  Woody Biomass,  


    $2M Invested in NY ANCA Energy Efficiency Projects (Ind. Report)
    Adirondack North Country Association
    Date: 2019-11-25
    In the Empire State, the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) is touting completion of two New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) programs -- the Cleaner Greener Communities (CGC) One Stop Shop (OSS) Program and the Clean Energy Communities (CEC) Program, both of which are designed to help municipalities reduce costs and increase energy efficiency. Together, the CEC and OSS programs provided over $2M in energy efficiency project funding to the region, according to the ANCA release.

    The OSS program included the creation of four Energy Circuit Rider (ECR) positions and the development of tools and resources. ANCA was awarded the OSS grant in 2015 as part of NYSERDA's Cleaner Greener Communities Program which has assisted 195 North Country communities in completing a variety of clean energy projects including: LED lighting upgrades; building envelope improvements; battery energy storage feasibility studies; net zero design; pellet boiler installations; LED streetlight conversions; electric vehicle charging station installation; solar siting and solar installations.

    Starting in 2016, ANCA's ECRs led an outreach campaign through the CEC program, providing technical and financial support for 35 North Country communities and assisted each in the adoption of at least four of ten "high impact action items" determined by the State as important first steps in achieving its clean energy goals.

    The first 18 communities to achieve CEC designation were awarded $50K-$250 to complete clean energy projects. To date, 19 North Country municipalities have been designated CEC Communities. (Source: ANCA, Adirondack Almanac, 24 Nov., 2019) Contact: ANCA, (518) 891-6200 , energy@adirondack.org, www.adirondack.org; NYSERDA Designated Clean Energy Communities, www.nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/Programs/Clean-Energy-Communities/Designated-Clean-Energy-Communities

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NYSERDA,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Drax Upping Woody Biomass Pellet Production (Int'l., Ind. Report)
    DRAX
    Date: 2019-11-22
    In the UK, power producer Drax Group plc, through its Drax Biomass subsidiary, report it plans to increase its present 1.5 million mtpy wood pellet production to 5 million mtpy by 2027. The company's three U.S plants will increase production by by 350,000 metric tpy over the next two years. Drax notes it is also looking at developing an additional 3 million mtpy of capacity over the next seven years.

    According to a company statement, Drax produced 650,000 metric tons of wood pellets during the first half of 2019, a sligth drop from the same period in 2018. The company also noted the expansion in biomass capacity would allow it to develop an unsubsidized biomass generation business by 2027. (Source: DRAX, Biomass, 20 Nov., 2019) Contact: DRAX, Will Gardiner, CEO, +44 0 1757 618381, www.draxpower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DRAX,  Woody Biomass,  Biomass,  


    New York Woody Biomass Heating System Commissioned (Ind. Report)
    NYSERDA
    Date: 2019-11-22
    In the Empire State, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Adirondack Park Agency, and New York State Police are reporting the commissioning of a woody biomass pellet-fired heating system at the State Office Campus in Ray Brook.

    The $3 million project, developed in partnership with DEC, State Police, APA, the New York Power Authority and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's (D) BuildSmart NY program, which calls for a 20 pct reduction in energy consumption by all state agencies by 2020. The installation is also expected to cut annual energy costs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 391 tpy.

    NYSERDA provided more than $500,000 for the project with the balance split by the three benefiting state agencies. (Source: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, NYSERDA, 19 Nov., 2019) Contact: NYSERDA, Alicia Barton, Pres., CEO, (518) 862-1090, www.nyserda.ny.gov; New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, www.dec.ny.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NYSERDA,  Biomass Heat,  Woody Biomass,  


    Planned Newfoundland Wood Pellet Plant Still Inactive (Ind. Report)
    Active Energy
    Date: 2019-11-06
    Following up on our 24th May, 2017 coverage, London, UK-based Active Energy PLC's planned and long delayed proposed woody biomass-pellet plant on Newfoundland's Northern Peninsula is "far from a done deal but isn't dead in the water", according to Provincial Minister Gerry Byrne.

    Active Energy's Newfoundland subsidiary Timberlands secured timber rights a year ago but to date no timber has been cut or delivered to the proposed project which has not yet broken ground. The provincial government issued two five-year commercial cutting permits to the company in November 2018 to harvest 100,000 cubic mpy of timber for the wood pellet plant in Hawke's Bay.

    Active energy is best known for its CoalSwitch product which is made from woody biomass including pulp and saw mill by-products such as bark, sawdust and thinnings, and wood which is over-age, under-quality, blow-down, beetle-kill, forest-fire damaged, or industrial waste. CoalSwitch can be burned by old, coal-fired generation facilities without the need for a retrofit. (Source: Active Energy, CBC, Nov., 2019) Contact: Active Energy Group PLC, Richard Spinks, CEO, +44 (0)20 3021 1500, www.active-energy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Active Energy,  Biomass,  


    Forest-Woody Biomass Carbon Benefits Stressed (Ind. Report)
    US Industrial Pellet Association
    Date: 2019-10-28
    The Richmond, Virginia-based not-for-profit US Industrial Pellet Association (USIPA) is lauding the National Association of University Forest Resource Programs (NAUFRP) for its letter signed by more than 100 scientists and researchers calling on policymakers to consider key fundamentals related to forest-woody biomass and the benefits of wood energy.

    The letter, which noted that the "carbon benefits of sustainable forest biomass are well established", cites a report from UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) which notes: "In the long term, a sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit. Demand for wood helps keep land in forest and incentivizes investments in new and more productive forests, all of which have significant carbon benefits."

    Reviewing more than 30 years of scientific research on forest biomass utilization, scientists from Yale, Harvard, and Georgia to Washington, Idaho, Berkeley and others identified four fundamentals for science-based decision-making on biomass energy production:

  • The carbon benefits of sustainable forest biomass energy are well established.

  • Measuring the carbon benefits of forest biomass energy must consider cumulative carbon emissions over the long term.

  • An accurate comparison of forest biomass energy carbon impacts with those of other energy sources requires the use of consistent time-frames in the comparison.

  • Economic factors influence the carbon impacts of forest biomass energy. (Source: The US Industrial Pellet Association, 25 Oct., 2019) Contact: The US Industrial Pellet Association, Deth Ginter, Exec. Dir., J. Marcus, (804) 775.5894, JMarcus@theusipa.org, www.theusipa.org; National Association of University Forest Resource Programs, www.naufrp.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News IPCC,  US Industrial Pellet Association ,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  


  • US Wood Pellet Shipments to Netherlands €11.4Bn Subsidized (Int'l)
    Woody Biomass,Wood Pellet,Enviv,RWE
    Date: 2019-10-28
    Electricity power producer RWE and others will reportedly import thousands of tonnes of wood pellets from the US next year to burn in Dutch biomass power plants, with the help of a reported €11.4 billion of government subsidy. In total, 628 biomass installations in the Netherlands will receive subsidies, of which €2.6 billion is going to the RWE power plants in Geertruidenberg and Eemshaven, the paper said.

    One US wood pellet producer -- Enviva in North Carolina -- has a contract to ship at least 200,000 tpy of wood pellets to RWE between 2020 and 2024. As previously noted, the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) warns governments should stop subsidizing biomass power plants because it is unsustainable. In addition, "burning wood does not produce very much energy and the net amount of CO2 which is released is greater than when burning coal or gas," the researchers said. It also noted that CO2 released by burning the wood pellets in the Netherlands is registered to the US which is a misleading "book-keeping trick imperiling the climate," according to the Dogwood Alliance. (Source: DutchNews.nl, 28 Oct., 2019) European Academies Science Advisory Council, www.easac.eu; Enviva Holdings LP, Enviva Biomass, Dr. Jennifer Jenkins, VP and CSO, www.envivabiomass.com; RWE, www.rwe.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enviva,  Wood Pellet,  Woody Biomass,  RWE,  


    Re-Gen Waste Expanding Irish Waste-to-Fuel Facility (Int'l.)
    Re-Gen Waste
    Date: 2019-10-23
    Newry, Ireland-headquartered waste management specialist Re-Gen Waste Ltd. reports it has invested £5 million ($6.4 million) to develop and expand its alternative fuel production facility at Carnbane industrial estate, Newry. The expanded facility is expected to reach full production by next month.

    The company presently exports 80,000 tpy of solid recovered fuel (SRF) but will now manufacture higher calorific value pellets and baled material for export to the European cement and steel industries. Joseph Doherty, managing director.(Source: Re-Gen Waste Ltd., Cement News, 22 Oct., 2019) Contact: Re-Gen Waste Ltd., Joseph Doherty, Managing Director, +44 28 3026 5432, www.regenwaste.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Alternatiove Fuels,  


    Finger Lakes Climate Fund Touts Carbon Offsets Project (Ind Report)
    Finger Lakes Climate Fund
    Date: 2019-10-14
    In the Empire State, the Ithaca-based Finger Lakes Climate Fund is touting an online carbon offsetting calculator program that allows donors to estimate their carbon pollution and pay a corresponding amount to support local clean energy, energy efficiency and climate related projects.

    The Finger Lakes Climate Fund works to promote clean energy projects in the Finger Lakes area while strengthening the regional economy while offsetting greenhouse gas emissions from buildings or travel.

    Carbon offset donations are used for grants to fund energy efficiency projects and renewables that would not otherwise be possible in low-to-moderate income households in the Finger Lakes region. These grants help pay for insulation, air sealing, energy efficient heating equipment such as heat pumps and pellet stoves, solar panels, and other upgrades to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

    The Finger Lakes Climate Fund is also investigating other cost-effective local carbon offset projects such as soil carbon farming. (Source: Finger Lakes Climate Fund, Yale Climate Connection, Oct., 2019) Contact: Finger Lakes Climate Fund, www.fingerlakesclimatefund.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon OffsetsEnergy Efficiency,  Renewables,  GHG,  Climate Change,  


    Enviva Planning Alabama Wood Pellet Plant (Ind. Report)
    Enviva
    Date: 2019-10-11
    Bethesda, Maryland-based wood pellet supplier Enviva Holdings, LP, the world's largest producer of wood pellets, reports it will construct a new production plant in Livingston, Alabama. The facility would use a mix of locally sourced softwood and woody biomass scrap to produce more than 3.5 million metric tpy of wood pellets.

    Construction on the roughly $175 million plant is slated to get underway early next year for a mid-2021 commissioning and startup. Enviva owns and operates eight plants in the Southeastern US. (Source: Enviva, Oct., 2019) Contact: Enviva Holdings LP, Enviva Biomass, Dr. Jennifer Jenkins, VP and CSO, www.envivabiomass.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enviva,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  


    Associations Call for Canadian Clean Fuel Strategy (Ind. Report)
    Wood Pellet Association of Canada
    Date: 2019-09-13
    Advanced Biofuels Canada, Canadian Biogas Association, Canadian Gas Association, Electric Mobility Canada and Wood Pellet Association of Canada are forecasting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions of over 50 million metric tons (Mt) per year by 2030 through greater production and use of renewable energy in Canada.

    Collectively, the associations say they represent technologies that can, with the right policy measures in place, exceed the proposed federal Clean Fuel Standard's objective of 30 Mt of annual GHG emission reductions by 2030.

    To that end, the associations are calling on the Canadian federal government to adopt a Clean Fuel Strategy by 2020. The strategy would include setting a clear path to clean and renewable fuel use by 2030 by: establishing clear market signals for clean fuels and electric vehicles; aligning clean and renewable fuel regulations to meet targeted clean fuel and EV use; establish clean fuel program funding to support clean and renewable fuel production capacity and infrastructure investments, and support EV adoption; and Support research and development programs to maintain Canadian leadership in clean fuel technologies and innovation. (Source: Wood Pellet Association of Canada, Biomass Mag., Sept., 2019) Contact: Wood Pellet Association of Canada, www.pellet.org; Canadian Biogas Association, (613) 822-1004, www.biogasassociation.ca; Advanced Biofuels Canada, Ian Thompson, Pres., (604) 947-0040, ithomson@advancedbiofuels.ca, www.advancedbiofuels.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Advanced Biofuels Canada,  Canadian Biogas Association,  Wood Pellet Association of Canada,  Clean Fuel,  Biofuel,  


    WPA Takes Canadian Clean Fuel Standard to Task (Ind Report)
    Wood Pellet Association of Canada
    Date: 2019-09-09
    Since 2017, the government of Canada has been developing the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS), a low carbon fuel standard-type policy, to reduce the life-cycle carbon intensity of fuels and energy used in Canada. The CFS aims to achieve 30 million tonnes CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) of annual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2030.

    The Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) has been providing input to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) as it works to design and shape the CFS. And, upon review of ECCC's proposed regulatory approach, WPAC is seriously concerned that the government will not allow end-use fuel switching in the buildings/stationary fuel use sector.

    WPAC believes it is unfair for ECCC to recognize fuel switching from gasoline to electricity or hydrogen in transportation, but not to recognize switching from heating oil to solid biofuels -- wood pellets or chips -- for Canada's second largest renewable energy product -- solid biomass heating. To that end, WPAC made the following representations to ECCC:

  • One of the three primary objectives of the CFS is low-cost compliance. By prohibiting recognition of fuel switching for stationary applications, ECCC will actually significantly increase the cost of CFS compliance, exclude the forest sector from participation in the short-term, and inhibit investment in the most proven commercial technology for displacement of heating oil -- wood pellet and chip boilers.

  • Canada consumes approximately three billion lpy of heating oil, the majority of which is consumed by Canadians in rural and Atlantic Canada. The latter accounts for 44 pct of heating oil consumption in the residential sector and 50 pct of heating oil consumption in the commercial/institutional sectors. Rural and Atlantic Canada also have among the lowest per capita income. ECCC's proposed regulatory approach will make CFS compliance for these low-income areas significantly more expensive than for those living in cities.

  • Under ECCC's proposed regulatory approach, the principal mechanism for ensuring compliance from heating oil primary suppliers will be to blend renewable diesel with heating oil. Since heating oil has low carbon intensity (CI) relative to other liquid fuels and much of the crude used to produce heating oil is sourced from outside of Canada, there is less opportunity for upstream reductions than with other liquid fuels. The 2030 target of 74 g CO2e/MJ is less than heating oil combustion emissions, meaning upstream efficiency improvements will be insufficient to meet the requirements. The only heating oil-miscible fuel that can also be stored outside in winter, as is often the case with heating oil, is renewable diesel.

  • Renewable diesel has a useful heat fuel cost of $65-82 per gigajoule (GJ) ($234-295 per MWh. In contrast, wood pellets, at $300-350 per tonne for residential sales, have a useful heat fuel cost of $20-24 per GJ. Wood pellets also have half the of default renewable diesel (29 g CO2e/MJ). Wood chips are half the carbon intensity of wood pellets which means, on an implied carbon price basis and assuming wholesale $0.75 per litre for heating oil, blending renewable diesel with heating oil has a fuel cost of $630/ per tonne CO2e to 884 per tonne CO2e. Switching from heating oil to wood pellets saves money on a fuel basis, in addition to avoiding taxes on heating oil. In this case, there is little reason to implement a complex policy such as the CFS.

  • Despite the billions of dollars invested in lignocellulosic liquid transportation biofuels, all technologies are still pre-commercial -- especially forest feedstock-based liquid transportation biofuels due to the recalcitrant structure of wood fibre. Co-processing of pyrolysis oil or biocrude in existing oil refineries at a meaningful volume will not occur before 2030. The forest sector represents over 75 pct of annually-available biomass resources in Canada and its exclusion from participation in the liquids class will dramatically increase the cost of fuel, especially in rural communities where wood chips and bioheat are a cost efficient and convenient source of energy. (Source: WPAC, Canadian Biomass, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 26 Aug., 2019) Contact: Wood Pellet Association of Canada, Gordon Murra, Exec. Dir., ; Environment and Climate Change Canada, www.canada.ca › environment-climate-change

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Environment and Climate Change Canada,  Wood Pellet Association of Canada,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet ,  


  • PetroBio Converting Tomato Grower from Nat Gas to Bioenergy (Int'l.)
    PetroBio,Maartens
    Date: 2019-09-06
    Goteborg, Sweden-based engineering company PetroBio reports it has been commissioned to convert the energy production at the Dutch tomato grower Zonnekreek Tomato in Groningen from natural gas to renewable bioenergy. The project is expected to be completed and commissioned by the year end.

    According to PetroBio, its "traditional market has been mainly the Nordic countries but since merging with the Belgian biofuel company VYNCKE in January 2018 the opportunities to take market shares in Europe have increased significantly." Via VYNCKE's European customer base PetroBio were able to establish contact with the Dutch pellet manufacturer Maartens and the tomato grower Zonnekreek Tomato. Maartens is responsible for funding and contracting the entire combustion equipment. The project is partly financed by the Dutch government as part of the incentive programme to encourage businesses to switch from combusting natural gas to biofuels. The plant in Holland is planned to be up and running at the end of 2019. (Source: PetroBio, Energy Global, 4 Sept., 2019) Contact: PetroBio AG, +46 31 335 49 50, www.petro.se

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Maartens,  PetroBio,  Natural Gas,  Biogas,  Wood Pellet,  


    Irish Bio-coal Developer Raises £ 2Mn (Int'l. Report, Funding)
    Silform Technologies
    Date: 2019-08-23
    On the Emerald Isle, Belfast-based Silform Technologies reports it has raised £2 million ($2.5 million +-) from the Bank of Ireland to establish a pilot factory in Northern Ireland for its unique process that turns coal mine waste into industrial fuel.

    Silform's technology includes a formula and process that process coal mine waste into a water resistant pellet fuel. The company is also developing a pellet that mixes 30 pct biomass "biocoal" with 30 pct less CO2 emissions compared with traditional coal and 70 pct more calorific value compared to pure wood Biomass pellets.

    The Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Growth Fund (NI) fundg will establish the plant and also scale-up R&D on broader applications of the technology and products. (Source: Silform Technologies, PR, Irish Times, 22 Aug., 2019) Contact: Silform Technologies, +44 28 9446 3759, www.silform.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Silform Technologies,  Coal,  Bio-coal,  Biomass,  


    Burning Sustainably Managed Forest Woody Biomass Increases CO2 Pollution for 40+ Years, SELC Report Finds (Ind. Report)
    Southern Environmental Law Center
    Date: 2019-08-14
    A new report by Spatial Informatics Group, LLC (SIG), commissioned by the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and the National Wildlife Federation, takes a closer look at the carbon profile of wood pellets produced at Drax's three U.S. wood pellet mills.

    The report found that the accumulated emissions of burning wood pellets from these U.S. mills to produce electricity in the UK increases carbon pollution in the atmosphere for more than 40 years -- well beyond the time-frame identified by the IPCC as critical for carbon reduction.

    Download the report details HERE. (Source: Southern Environmental Law Center, 12 Aug., 2019) Contact: Southern Environmental Law Center, www.southernenvironment.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biomass,  Woody Biomass,  Carbon Emissions,  Southern Environmental Law Center,  


    EU Woody Biomass,Wood Pellet Demand Rising (Int'l Report)
    Woody Biomass,Wood Pellet
    Date: 2019-08-07
    According to a recent report from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service's Global Agricultural Information Network, the European Union (EU) market for wood pellets will likely grow this year but future expansions could be limited by sustainability requirements introduced by the 28 individual EU member states.

    The report notes nearly half of the EU's renewable energy is presently generated from the combustion of solid biomass -- wood chips and pellets -- not including municipal solid waste. The EU consumed an estimated 27.35 million metric tons of wood pellets in 2018, with consumption projected to rise to 30 million metric tons this year. According to the report, the EU's 656 wood pellet plants are expected to produce 18.1 million metric tons of wood pellets this year and imports are expected to rise from 10.355 million metric tons in 2018 to 12.2 million metric tons in 2019.

    Report details are HERE. (Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service's Global Agricultural Information Network, July, 2019) Contact: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service's Global Agricultural Information Network, gain.fas.usda.gov

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


    Irish Regulator Stymies Peat-to-Woody Biomass Conversion (Int'l)
    Bord na Mona
    Date: 2019-07-24
    In Dublin, the regulatory development and planning board -- Bord Pleanala -- reports it has denied permission for state-owned energy company Bord Na Mona's planned conversion of a peat-burning power plant at Shannonbridge, Co Offaly, to co-fire with biomass from 2021 until the end of 2027 when its existing peat permit expires. The plant would then be fully biomass fired with 37,000 tpy of woody biomass imported from Australia.

    The regulatory board cited the "potential negative impacts on the environment and the inadequacy of the indigenous biomass supply and high dependence on imported biomass that would be contrary to both EU and national climate and energy policy" for its refusal. The regulatory board also noted previous schemes to establish a domestic source of energy crops such as willow and miscanthus have failed.

    The Irish government's national climate and energy policy calls for a complete phase out of coal and peat fired electricity generation by 2030. (Source: An Bord Pleanala, Green New.ie, 23 July, 2019)Contact: An Bord Pleanala, www.pleanala.ie; Bord na Mona Plc, Mike Quinn, CEO, Patrick Madigan, Bioenergy Division, +353 45 439000, www.bordnamona.ie

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bord na Mona,  Peat,  Woody Biomass,  Biomass Pellet,  


    Pinnacle Inks Japanese, Korean Biomass Pellet Deals (Ind. Report)
    Pinnacle Renewable Energy
    Date: 2019-07-15
    Richmond, British Columbia-headquartered woody biomass pellet producer Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc is reporting a new long-term, take-or-pay off-take contracts with Mitsubishi Corporation, a global integrated business enterprise in Japan and with GS Global Corporation, a biomass power producer in that country.

    Under the terms of the Mitsubishi contract, Pinnacle will supply 110,000 to 120,000 metric tpy of industrial wood pellets beginning in 2021. For the Sout hKorean contract, Pinnacle will supply 100,000 metric tpy of industrial wood pellets to GS beginning in 2022.

    Pinnacle Renewable Energy is a rapidly growing industrial wood pellet manufacturer. The company produces sustainable fuel for renewable electricity generation in the form of industrial wood pellets, according to the company. (Source: Pinnacle Renewable Energy, PR, Lesprom Network, 15 July, 2019) Contact: Pinnacle Renewable Energy, Pinnacle Pellet, Robert McCurdy, CEO, (604) 270-9613, www.pinnaclepellet.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Pinnacle Renewable Energy,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  


    Notable Quote -- Woody Biomass and the EPA's ACE Rules
    Biomass
    Date: 2019-06-26
    "In a bit of an Orwellian logic, the (Trump) EPA's recently finalized ACE (Affordable Clean Energy) rules ... ignore the basis for why using biomass for power and heat is the principal pathway for decarbonization in most other developed countries. By only counting the CO2 emission at the source and ignoring the continuous adsorption of CO2 by sustainably managed forests, the EPA has excluded a proper consideration of the dynamics that keep the net CO2 added into the atmosphere neutral or even negative.

    "In Europe, wood pellets and wood chips are recognized as low carbon fuels because a full life-cycle analysis shows that under well-crafted (and necessary) sustainability criteria, the combustion of those fuels is carbon neutral. The supply chain carbon footprint accounting, given that fossil fuel are used in transportation and in the electricity used to upgrade the biomass into pellets, typically yields an 85 percent or more reduction in net CO2 added to the atmosphere. Because of the carbon benefits, biomass derived fuel makes up about 60 percent of the total renewable energy in the EU28." -- William Strauss, Pres, FutureMetrics, June 24, 2019

    Bethel, Maine-based FutureMetrics released the above statement criticizing the Trump Administration EPA's Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Program for its treatment of biomass and calling the program's discussion of how to measure CO2 emissions "misguided."

    The ACE program, which replaces Obama's Clean Power Plan, specifies that biomass co-firing is not compliant with the ACE program. Contact: FutureMetrics LLC, William Strauss, 207-824-6702, 207-357-8708 Cell, WilliamStrauss@FutureMetrics.com, www.futuremetrics.info

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  CO2 Emissions,  


    Shuttered BC Sawmill Slatted for Wood Pellet Production (Ind. Report)
    Boreal BioEnergy,
    Date: 2019-06-17
    A sawmill in McBride, B.C., that shutdown 13 years ago is getting a new life as a wood pellet plant. Vancouver-headquartered forestry company Boreal BioEnergy Corp. is reporting the acquisition of a long-shuttered saw mill facility in McBride, B.C. for redevelopment into a torrefied (black) wood biomass pellet production plant.

    Construction is slated to get underway early next year for startup and production in late 2020. When fully operational the plant will produce up to 250,000 tpy of "black pellets." The plant's first shipment of wood pellets is scheduled to arrive in Japan in 2021. (Source: Boreal Bioenergy, CBC News, 14 June, 2019) Contact: Boreal Energy, Bruce Halase Managing Director Business Development, (604) 324-9916 ext. 104, bruce.halase@borealbioenergy.com, www.borealbioenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Boreal BioEnergy,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  

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