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USN Produces Jet Fuel from Cellulosic Feedstocks (Ind. Report)
USN
Date: 2020-11-09
Researchers from the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) in China Lake, California have developed an efficient three-step process for the conversion of cellulosic feedstocks to both a valuable chemical precursor and high-performance jet fuel blendstock. Their paper appears in the journal ChemSusChem.

In it, the team describes the synthesis of sustainable methylcyclopentadiene and dimethyldicyclopentadiene (DMDCPD) via a three-step process consisting of aldol condensation; catalytic chemoselective hydrogenation; and dehydration.

Details available HERE. (Source: Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, Nov., 2020) Contact: Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, 7(((760 760-939-3511 60-939-3511 www.navair.navy.mil/nawcwd

More Low-Carbon Energy News Cellulosic news,  USN news,  Jet Biofuel news,  


New Solar Panel Design Ups Efficiency 125 pct (New Prod & Tech)
University of York
Date: 2020-10-28
In the UK, a study led by researchers from the University of York in partnership with NOVA University of Lisbon reports designing solar panels in checkerboard lines improves diffraction to increase light absorption by 125 pct and lead to the production of thinner, lighter and more flexible solar panels.

Solar-grade silicon -- used to create solar cells -- is energy intensive to produce, so creating slimmer cells and changing the surface design would make them cheaper and more environmentally friendly, the study notes. The study suggests the design principle could impact not only the solar cell or LED sector but also applications such as acoustic noise shields, wind break panels, anti-skid surfaces, biosensing applications and atomic cooling. (Source: University of York, The Week, 27 Oct., 2020) Contact: University of York, Dr Christian Schuster, Department of Physics, +44 (0) 1904 320 000, www.york.ac.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News University of York ,  Solar Cell,  Solar Cell Efficiency,  


IRFA Opposing Zero Emissions Vehicle Legislation (Reg, & Leg.)
IRFA
Date: 2020-10-26
In Washington, the Zero Emissions Vehicles Act Legislation recently introduced in the House and Senate calls for restricting the sale of passenger vehicles capable of utilizing biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel by 2025 with a complete ban in 2035.

Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw says the bill mandates electric cars but doesn't take into account electric cars don't have zero emissions. Shaw claims biofuels have a better carbon footprint with lower emissions than electric vehicles that are powered by coal and suggests the best way to cut emissions is to set reduction targets and let the fuel and vehicle market decide how to achieve those goals. (Source: IRFA, WNAX, 26 Oct., 2020) Contact: IRFA, Monte Shaw, Ecex. Dir., (515) 252-6249, (515) 225-0781 -- fax, www.iowarfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News IRFA,  Zero Emission Vehicle,  Transportation Emissions,  


National Biodiesel Foundation Grants to Support B100 (Ind. Report)
National Biodiesel Foundation,Optimus Technologies
Date: 2020-10-26
The Jefferson, Missouri-based National Biodiesel Foundation reports receipt of two DOE 2021 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program grants to support s the purchase of new vehicles equipped to run on 100 pct biodiesel (B100).

The first grant is in partnership with the District of Columbia (DC) Department of Public Works and DC Department of Water for the purchase of 24 short-haul utility replacement vehicles equipped with Selective Catalytic Reduction.

The Iowa project will replace a multi-purpose vehicle in both Ames and Des-Moines. All replacement vehicles will use Optimus Technologies' Vector system using 100 pct biodiesel supplied by Renewable Energy Group (REGI).

The projects include an educational and outreach component which will be provided by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and Greater Washington Regional Clean Cities Coalition and the Iowa Biodiesel Board and Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. (Source: National Biodiesel Foundation, PR, AgWires, 26 Oct., 2020) Contact: National Biodiesel Foundation, info@biodieselfoundation.org, www.biodieselfoundation.org; REGI, Katie Stanley, (515) 239-8184, Katie.Stanley@regi.com, www.regi.com; Optimus Technologies, Colin Huwyler, CEO, 412.727.8228, www.optimustec.com; Iowa Renewable Fuels AssociationI, Nathan Hohnstein, Policy Director , (515) 252-6249, (515) 225-0781 -- fax, www.iowarfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  National Biodiesel Foundation,  Biodiesel,  B100,  REGI,  Optimus Technologies,  


Auburn Arts Center Scores USGBC Gold Certification (Ind. Report)
US Green Building Council,Energy Efficiency
Date: 2020-10-05
In Alabama, Auburn University reports its Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center has been awarded US Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED Gold certification. The Center's energy efficiency and sustainability features include:
  • Reduced construction waste and pollution;

  • Reinforced use of public transportation, bicycles and fuel-efficient vehicles;

  • Improved storm water management for Auburn University and the city of Auburn through reduced rainwater surface runoff;

  • Reduced water and energy usage achieved with the use of high-efficiency fixtures and equipment and innovative building design;

  • Use of local and/or recyclable materials, and others. (Source: Auburn University, PR, Oct., 2020) Contact: Auburn University, Office of Communications and Marketing, www.auburn.edu; USGBC, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USGBC,  LEED Certification,  Energy Efficiency,  


  • Ethanol Industry Joint Statement On Brazil Ethanol TRQ Announcement (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Ethanol Tadiff
    Date: 2020-09-16
    The following is a joint statement from the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), Growth Energy, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). After expiring on August 31 and a 20 percent tariff was temporarily applied to all U.S. ethanol, Brazil's tariff rate quota (TRQ) has been extended for a further 90 days starting on Sept. 14.:

    "The U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association and the National Corn Growers Association believe the 90-day extension of the TRQ serves neither Brazil's consumers nor the Brazilian government's own decarbonization goals, especially while Brazil's ethanol producers continue to be afforded virtually tariff-free access to the U.S. market. The extension falls during Brazil's annual inter-harvest period when U.S. ethanol exports to Brazil are traditionally low, causing greater uncertainty for U.S. exporters looking to make selling decisions now for the traditionally higher Brazilian demand in the winter months. While the Brazilian ethanol market has not been fully reopened to imports, we appreciate the continued support and efforts of the U.S. government as we use this 90-day period to aggressively pursue an open and mutually beneficial ethanol trading relationship with Brazil.

    "The U.S. ethanol industry actively sought, through repeated dialogue with local industry and government, to illustrate the negative impacts of tariffs on Brazilian consumers and the Brazilian government's own decarbonization goals. However, it seems Brazil's government has left its own consumers to pay the price through higher fuel costs once again. While we would have preferred Brazil abandon its ethanol import tariffs entirely and resume its free trade posture on ethanol, which it held for several years before the TRQ, we view its decision to temporarily extend the TRQ on ethanol at the current level as an opportunity to continue discussions toward that end.

    "The U.S. ethanol industry remains focused on expanding the global use of low-carbon ethanol, reducing barriers to trade and elevating its prominence in energy discussions. We remain eager to collaborate and cooperate with other nations that share in the vision of a free and open global ethanol market." (Source: U.S. Grains Council Website News, 14 Sept., 2020) Contact: USGC, Bryan Jernigan, 202-789-0789, bjernigan@grains.org, www.grains.org; Growth Energy, Leigh Claffey, lclaffey@growthenergy.org, www.growthenergy.org; RFA, Ken Colombini, kcolombini@ethanolrfa.org, www.ethanolrfa.org; NCGA, Liz Friedlander, (202) 326-0644, friedlander@ncga.com, www.ncga.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol Tariff,  Growth Energy,  RFA,  NCGA,  USGC,  


    RFA Offers EPA Advisory Committee Recommendations (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2020-09-11
    At a recent EPA Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Advisory Committee meeting Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) Pres. and CEO Geoff Cooper suggested the following steps the EPA needs to take immediately to support U.S. ethanol producers and rural America:

  • adopt the recent Tenth Circuit Court decision (Renewable Fuels Association et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency) nationwide;

  • deny all pending so-called "gap year" small refinery exemption (SRE) petitions;

  • decide the 31 pending SRE petitions for 2019 and 2020 according to the Tenth Circuit Court criteria;

  • publish the proposed rule for 2021 renewable volume obligations (RVOs);

  • as ordered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in ACEI v. EPA, restore the 500 million-gallon conventional renewable fuel volume that was illegally waived from the 2016 RFS requirements, (Source: RFA, AgWired, Sept., 2020 Contact: Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Advisory Committee, www.epa.gov/faca/farm-ranch-and-rural-communities-federal-advisory-committee-frrcc-membership; Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Association,  Ethanol,  Renewable Fuel,  Geoff Cooper,  


  • NCGA Helps Build Ethanol Blend Pumps, Infrastructure (Ind. Report)
    National Corn Growers Association
    Date: 2020-09-04
    In the Show Me State, the Chesterfield-headquartered National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) reports it is working with Austin, Texas-based Wayne Fueling Systems to produce and sell fuel pumps certified to deliver fuel containing up to 25 pct ethanol.

    As previously reported, NCGA also recently partnered with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), assisting fuel retailers in applying for the USDA Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). The $100 million program included $86 million to expand the availability of higher blends of ethanol, like E15 and E85.

    NCGA support for this program helped deliver program awareness and technical assistance for applications representing more than 1,100 fuel dispensers across 21 states and 222 locations dispensing more than 250 million gallons of gasoline annually. (Source: NCGA, Sept., 2020) Contact: NCGA, PR, Wayne Fueling Systems, (512) 388-8311, www.wayne.com; National Corn Growers Assoc., Mark Palmer, Renewable Fuels Dir., (636) 733-9004, (636) 733-9005-fax, corninfo@ncga.com, www.ncga.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Corn Growers Association,  Ethanol Blend,  E15,  E85 ,  


    Half of World's Oceans Affected by Climate Change (Ind. Report)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2020-08-24
    A study published in Nature Climate Change notes that since the 1950s, the oceans have absorbed roughly 93 pct of the energy entering the climate system, and while most of that heating has been observed near the ocean surface, rising temperatures are now permeating even the deep ocean.

    Data based on recent measurements and nearly a dozen climate models, suggests climate change has already impacted up to about half -- 20 to 55 percent -- of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Ocean basins. What's more, in just six decades, these human-induced changes in temperature and salinity could very well spread to 80 pct of the world's oceans.

    The data suggests that during the second half of the 20th century human-induced warming was responsible for most observed ocean changes -- "statistically" and "unambiguously" different from what would occur naturally. Heat and salt from the ocean surface are usually transported relatively slowly to the ocean's interior, which means that many of the deepest parts experience a lag in human-induced changes. Some deeper areas, however, circulate quicker, and thus respond faster to emissions.

    In the new model, for instance, the Southern Ocean, which is relatively well-ventilated, experienced human-induced changes quite quickly, showing up as early as the 1980s. In the Northern Hemisphere, oceans took a little longer to respond, with most changes calculated to appear sometime between 2010 and 2040. Together, by 2020, the model shows somewhere between 20 and 55 pct of the world's oceans had been altered by anthropogenic climate change. By mid-century, these changes could make up 50 to 60 percent of the world's oceans, and by 2080, 55 to 80 pct, according to the study published in Nature Climate Change. (Source: Science Alert, Nature Climate Change, Aug., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


    Eguana, Highlight Solar Partner on Energy Storage (Ind. Report)
    Eguana, Highlight Solar
    Date: 2020-08-17
    Eguana and Highlight Solar report they are partnering to bring the Evolve Energy Storage system to homeowners in the San Jose and San Francisco Bay Area of California.

    The Evolve Energy Storage system, available in both NMC and Cobalt free LFP lithium battery chemistries, allows new and existing residential solar owners to store excess solar power while increasing energy security and independence. Evolve is a cost-effective solution for homeowners to reduce energy costs and increase energy security while helping the environment.

    Evolve is a fully integrated residential energy storage system that includes the company's proprietary power electronics system, LG Chem low-voltage battery modules, and a comprehensive user interface. The system is rated at 5 kW AC output with a modular battery design based on a 6.5 kWh battery, which is scalable from 13 to 39 kWh in storage capacity. The NEMA 3R wall-mounted package is suitable for indoor and outdoor installations. The companies expect to install more than 1 MWh of energy storage systems over the next 12 months. (Source: Eguana Technologies, PR, Aug., 2020) Contact: HighLightSolar, Dean Alayleh, www.HighLightSolar.com; Eguana Technologies, Livio Filice, (905) 929-7522, livio.filice@eguanantech.com, www.eguanatech.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Eguana news,  Highlight Solar news,  Energy Storage news,  Solar news,  


    Biofuels Industry Notable Quote
    Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2020-08-17
    "If we're going to keep this (biofuels) industry viable, we're going to need help from Congress." -- Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., Iowa Renewable Fuels Assoc., 17 Aug., 2020) Contact: IRFA, Monte Shaw, Ecex. Dir., (515) 252-6249, (515) 225-0781 -- fax, www.iowarfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  Biofuel,  Ethanol,  


    RFA Report Details RFS Success (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    RFA
    Date: 2020-08-07
    Commemorating the 15th anniversary of Pres. George W. Bush's signing of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which created the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has released a report detailing how the industry has benefited the nation over the past decade and a half.

    "As you'll see in this report, the RFS has been a smashing success," said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. "In addition to decreasing reliance on imported petroleum, the RFS has reduced emissions of harmful tailpipe pollutants and greenhouse gases, lowered consumer fuel prices, supported hundreds of thousands of jobs in rural America, and boosted the agricultural economy by adding value to the crops produced by our nation's farmers." The report details how, since 2005:

  • Ethanol and co-product output has quadrupled, and the number of jobs supported by the industry has more than doubled;

  • Ethanol has contributed substantially to the agriculture sector, supporting corn prices and farm incomes;

  • Ethanol consumption has more than tripled, enhancing U.S. energy security while saving consumers money at the pump;

  • The use of ethanol has reduced greenhouse gas emissions and cleaned up air pollution;

  • "As ethanol production has increased, U.S. food price inflation has fallen and the number of people globally who are undernourished has declined.

    The report also includes historical perspective from RFA Senior Strategic Advisor Bob Dinneen, who led RFA through this important policy change. "We've probably all seen the Schoolhouse Rock version of 'How a Bill Becomes a Law', Dinneen writes. "It does a great job of explaining the legislative process. But it cannot capture the circuitous adventure and machinations that occur before an idea materializes into legislative language. That is particularly true when it comes to the 2005 Energy Bill and the Renewable Fuel Standard." (Source: RFA, 6 Aug., 2020) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFA,  RFS.Ethanol,  Renewable Fuels,  


  • JinkoSolar Claims Monocrystalline Silicon Cell Efficiency Record (Int'l)
    JinkoSolar
    Date: 2020-07-27
    Shangrao, China-based solar module manufacturer JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. is reporting the maximum solar conversion efficiency of its large-area N-type monocrystalline silicon solar cells reached 24.79 pct -- a world record for large-size contact-passivated solar cells. This result was independently confirmed by the Institute for Solar Energy Research in Hamelin (ISFH), Germany.

    The record-breaking mono-crystalline silicon solar cell was fabricated on a CZ mono-Si substrate with a practical size of 267.72cm2. Several advanced technologies have been implemented to achieve this new record of 24.79 pct, including passivating contact technologies, advanced diffusion system, surface passivation and advanced anti-reflection technologies, as well as material upgrades integrated into the cell process. The record-breaking mono-crystalline silicon solar cell will be gradually applied to product production, according to the release. (Source: JinkoSolar, PR, July, 2020) Contact: JinkoSolar, www.jinkosolar.com; Institute for Solar Energy Research in Hamelin, +49 5151 999100, www.isfh.de

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  Solar Cell Efficiency,  JinkoSolar,  


    ExxonMobil Touts Carbon Capture Material (New Prod. & Tech.)
    ExxonMobil
    Date: 2020-07-27
    Scientists from ExxonMobil, University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have discovered a new material that could capture more than 90 pct of CO2 emissions from natural gas-fired power plants, using low-temperature steam, requiring less energy for the overall carbon capture process.

    Laboratory tests indicate the patent-pending materials -- tetraamine-functionalised metal organic frameworks -- capture CO2 emissions up to six times more effectively than conventional amine-based carbon capture technology.

    By manipulating the structure of the metal organic framework material, the team of scientists and students demonstrated the ability to condense a surface area the size of a football field, into just one gram of mass -- about the same as a paperclip -- that acts as a sponge for carbon emissions, according to the release.

    "Through collaborations with strong academic institutions and national labs like UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, we are developing a portfolio of lower-emissions energy solutions. This provides yet another example of one of the many new materials ExxonMobil is researching to reduce CO2 in the production of energy," according to the release. (Source: ExxonMobil, Smart Energy, 26 July, 2020)Contact: ExxonMobil www.exxonmobil.com

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


    Ethanol and COVID-19 Pandemic -- Notable Quote
    RFA
    Date: 2020-07-17
    "The (COVID) impact on ethanol production and consumption exceeded 1.3 billion gallons. The usage of corn for ethanol production has been about 500 million bushels lower.

    "You're looking at a total of about $7 billion in reduced revenues for this year and another $2 billion in 2021." -- Scott Richman, RFA Chief Economist commenting on ethanol industry losses from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Scott Richman, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  RFA,  


    NAWCWD Awarded Biodiesel Production Patent (New Prod & Tech)
    Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division
    Date: 2020-07-17
    In the Golden State, scientists at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) in China Lake have been awarded a patent for breaking down lignocellulosic material into cheaper biodiesel using acid-catalyzed condensation of the food-grade flavor enhancer 2-tridecanone.

    The use of 2-tridecanone delivers a fuel with "comparable net heats of combustion (NHOCs) to conventional biodiesel, while maintaining derived cetane numbers between 82-91, values which are 20 - 30 units higher than conventional biodiesel and 40-50 units higher than petroleum--derived diesel fuel" , according to the release.

    NAWCWD has been conducting research on renewable jet fuels and high-density turbine fuels since 2007. (Source: NAWCWD, TechLink 16 July, 2020) Contact: NAWCWD, Dr. Ben Harvey , Heather Meylemans, 760-939-3511, www.navair.navy.mil/nawcwd

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


    NWF Supports Governors' Requests for RFS Relief (Ind. Report)
    AFPM
    Date: 2020-07-08
    According to a recent American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) blog posting, National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has become the most recent US EPA petitioner seeking a general waiver to reduce 2020 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance obligations.

    In a letter to the EPA' Administrator Andrew Wheeler, NWF President and CEO Collin O'Mara echoed the requests of six state governors and stressed the need for smaller biofuel mandates. In its letter, the AFPM noted:

  • "The RFS currently requires about 19 billion gal. of fuel derived from plants to be blended into gasoline. The overwhelming majority of that fuel is corn ethanol, and today 40 pct of the corn produced in the U.S. goes into our gas tanks."

  • "Increasing mandated blending levels increases the potential for further land conversion, presenting a marked threat to the battle against global climate change, with its consequent catastrophic effects on human health and the environment. Higher blends of ethanol necessitated by unrealistic RVOs diminish public health."

  • "In light of the clear and present danger to the environment, we join with the governors of six states in asking for a waiver to the RVO."

    The NWF letter concludes: “"In short, the corn ethanol mandate has led to the loss of important wildlife habitat, particularly in regions critical for monarch butterflies, ducks and other ground-nesting birds, and many other species -- threatening outdoor recreation opportunities as well as the economy. The mandate has also resulted in deteriorated water quality and harmful algal blooms in important surface waters as a result of increased farm runoff. Increasing mandated blending levels increases the potential for further land conversion, presenting a marked threat to the battle against global climate change, with its consequent catastrophic effects on human health and the environment. Higher blends of ethanol necessitated by unrealistic RVOs diminish public health. In light of the clear and present danger to the environment, we join with the Governors of six states in asking for a waiver to the RVO." (Source: National Wildlife Federation, AFPM, Hydrocarbon Engineering, 7 July, 2020) Contact: National Wildlife Federation, Colin O'Mara, CEO, www.nwf.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  Ethanol,  


  • TEP Touts Clean Energy Expansion Plan (Ind. Report)
    Tucson Electric Power
    Date: 2020-06-29
    Tucson Electric Power (TEP) is reporting plans to provide more than 70 pct of its power from wind and solar resources as part of a cleaner energy portfolio that will reduce carbon emissions 80 pct by 2035.

    The 15-year 2020 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) calls for a dramatic expansion of wind and solar power resources, supported by efficient natural gas fired generators and energy storage systems the retirement of TEP's remaining coal-fired power plants over the next 12 years. Key IRP elements include:

  • 2,457 MW of new wind and solar power systems, including 457 MW that will be coming online over the next year.

  • 1,400 MW of new energy storage systems.

  • A proposal to ramp down and ultimately retire two units at the coal fired Springerville Generating Station in 2027 and 2032.

  • Eliminating the use of surface water for power generation and a 70 pc treduction in groundwater use.

  • Continued support for energy efficiency programs to reduce usage and peak power demands.

    TEP's CO2 emission reduction goal was developed in partnership with the University of Arizona's Institute of the Environment with input from a diverse group of customers, community leaders, local government representatives and environmental advocates. The target represents TEP's fair share of worldwide efforts to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius under the 2015 Paris Agreement. TEP's plan would reduce its CO2 emissions by 80 pct, according to the release.

    Download the TEP 2020 Integrated Resource Plan, HERE. (Source: TEP, PR, 26 June, 2020) Contact: TEP, Joseph Barrios , (520) 884-3725, jbarrios@tep.com, www.tep.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Tucson Electric Power,  Renewable Energ,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


  • Notable Quote from the RFA
    RFA,Biofuel
    Date: 2020-06-19
    "To say that the last year has been a roller coaster ride for the (ethanol-biofuels) industry would be an enormous understatement." -- Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO , Renewable Fuels Association Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFA ,  Geoff Cooper,  Ethanol,  Renewable Fuels,  


    ITHPP Touts Energy Storage Test Bench (Ind. Report)
    ITHPP
    Date: 2020-06-17
    French energy storage system devices specialist ITHPP is touting a test bench which will produce / simulate an overcurrent (according to customer specifications) to be applied to protection devices in order to determine its behavior and its ability to protect equipment and people. This test bench is designed to assess very high energy / high power protective devices operating at several hundred volts and thousands of amps, such as electric vehicle batteries (EV) and other direct current (DC) applications such as battery energy storage system (BESS) and for distributed energy resources (DER).

    The ITHPP test bench is specifically sized to replicate the effects of short-circuit in high DC for electrical vehicles and battery energy storage systems (BESS). The test bench operates on several types of current/voltage waveforms. The discharged parameter is modular and a human-machine interface system allows precise indications of the discharge parameters according to the settings. The bench is equipped with a shielded, non-flammable test chamber and includes a smoke evacuation system to eliminate risks linked to a faulty system under test. (Source: ITHPP, PR, Website, June, 2020) Contact: ITHPP, +33 (0 )5 65 33 43 30, www.ithpp-alcen.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Storage news,  


    RFA Urges Trump to Reject Refinery Waivers (Ind. Report)
    RFA
    Date: 2020-06-12
    "One year ago today, you visited Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in Council Bluffs to join us in celebrating a monumental achievement. At your direction, EPA had just completed regulatory changes finally allowing year-round sales of gasoline containing 15 pct ethanol (E15).

    "This long-awaited move unlocked the door to future demand growth for ethanol and corn. It also meant consumers would have increased access to cleaner and more affordable fuel options at the pump.

    "Just as expected, the marketplace responded quickly. In the year since the red-tape barrier was removed, E15 sales are up 50pct.

    "But E15 growth would have been exponentially larger if not for your EPA continuing to excuse oil refiners from their legal obligations to blend renewable fuels. As we told you a year ago, EPA's refinery waivers have caused devastating demand losses for ethanol and corn, and they under mine the expansion of E15.

    "Even after a federal court overturned some refinery waivers in January, your EPA continues to receive dozens of exemption requests from oil companies. EPA is now even considering giving retroactive waivers for years that pre-date your administration.

    "This needs to stop. It is hurting farmers, costing consumers, and derailing progress on energy and environmental security.

    "The economic pain in farm country caused by these refinery waivers was compounded this spring—first by the Saudi-Russia oil price war, and then by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of this 'perfect tsunami,' half of the ethanol industry was recently shut down, leading to layoffs across rural America. The ethanol industry and farmers are hurting like never before.

    Mr. President, we need your help. We ask that you stand up for the Renewable Fuel Standard. Please direct your EPA to abide by the January court ruling and end the abuse of the refinery waiver loophole.

    "You stood by us, farmers, and consumers when you directed EPA to allow year-round E15. Now, we humbly ask that you stand with us again and ensure ethanol demand is not eroded by illegal refinery waivers. Thank you,"

    Geoff Cooper, Pres. & CEO Renewable Fuels Associationwww.EthanolRFA.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS news,  Refinery Waivers news,  Biofuel Blend news,  RFA news,  


    Biofuel Leaders Question Retroactive RFS Exemptions (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2020-06-10
    In a 9 June letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, the Renewable Fuels Assoc. wrote:

    "We are writing to request further information about petitions reportedly received by the U.S. EPA from small refiners seeking exemption from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for past compliance years.

    "The petitions in question were discussed during your testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on May 20, 2020. On the same day, U.S. DOE Under Secretary Mark Menezes confirmed that EPA is 'send[ing] over' past-year petitions for DOE review. Mr. Menezes described the petitions as 'gap filings' intended to reconstitute after-the-fact a continuous string of exemptions for select oil companies 'to be consistent with the Tenth Circuit decision.'

    "This attempt to circumvent the courts and the RFS should be rejected out of hand. Even if EPA granted retroactive 'gap' exemptions without simultaneously returning the number of RINs associated with the exemption to the petitioner, such exemptions would be inconsistent with EPA's own policies and regulations, legal precedent, and Congressional intent.

    "These 'gap filings' appear to be little more than the latest in a string of oil industry tactics designed to subvert the law and sidestep a court order to uphold the RFS. Read the full letter HERE. (Source: Renewable Fuels Assoc., 9 June, 2020) Contact: RFA, www.fuelsamerica.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Association,  RFS Waiver,  RFS,  RFA,  Ethanol,  Ethanol Blend,  


    Northvolt Introduces Voltpack Energy Storage (New Prod & Tech)
    Northvolt,Vattenfall
    Date: 2020-05-29
    Stockholm-headquartered battery energy storage specialist Northvolt is reporting the launch of its new, modular Voltpack Mobile System which was jointly developed with Vattenfall.

    The new Voltpack Mobile System delivers up to 250 kW with a scalable capacity from 245 to 1225 kWh of available energy. The system scales through a central interface hub and can connect in parallel up to five self-contained Voltpacks, each containing three liquid-cooled, industrial-grade battery Voltpack Cores. The hub also serves as an interface for applications and houses inverter and auxiliary systems.

    The final validation of Voltpack Mobile System will be undertaken at Vattenfall's test and certification center in Alvkarleby, Sweden. (Source: Northvolt, InsideEVs, 23 May, 2020) Contact: Northvolt, Peter Carlsson, CEO, www.northvolt.com hi@northvolt.com, www.northvolt.com; Vattenfall, Magnus Hall, CEO, Pres, +46 8 739 5000, www.corporate.vattenfall.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Northvolt,  Energy STorage,  Vattenfall,  


    IRFA Seeks Legislative Biofuel Tax Action (Ind. Report, Reg & Leg)
    Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2020-05-29
    In the Hawkeye State, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) is calling for legislators to act on House File 2279 and Senate File 2403 that would extend and modernize fuel tax differentials for E15 and higher ethanol blends and B11 and higher biodiesel blends, which are set to expire on June 30, 2020.

    With the passage of either bill, Iowa will not only continue to support renewable fuels but put millions of dollars back into the road use tax fund each year for vital infrastructure projects, according to IRFA. "If the legislature allows the biofuel tax differentials to expire, not only will it raise prices on consumers at the pump, it will also hurt Iowa's farmers and biofuels producers who are suffering as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and trade disputes. Since the implementation of the current tax differential, we've seen biofuel blend sales increase dramatically, but with June 30 just around the corner, it is imperative the legislature take action now. Iowa cannot afford to take a step backward in promoting the use of renewable fuels," according to IRFA Policy Director Nathan Hohnstein, (Source: Iowa Renewable Fuels Assoc., 27 May, 2020) Contact: IRFA, Nathan Hohnstein, Policy Director , (515) 252-6249, (515) 225-0781 -- fax, www.iowarfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  Biofuel,  


    Finnish Developer Planning 1.3 GW of New Wind Power (Int'l.)
    Metsahallitus
    Date: 2020-05-27
    Finnish state-owned land developer Metsahallitus is reporting plans to develop 1.3 GW of new onshore wind power, 400 MW of which is presently under construction, on state lands by 2030. The push for additional wind energy is part of the country's drive towards carbon neutrality by 2035.

    To date Metsahallitus , which is responsible for the management of one third of Finland's surface area , has developed 650 MW of onshore wind power on Finnish state lands. (Source: Metsahallitus, Website, Montel, 25 May, 2020) Contact: Metsahallitus www.metsa.fi/web/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Finland Wind news,  


    Northvolt Introduces Voltpack Energy Storage (New Prod & Tech)
    Northvolt
    Date: 2020-05-27
    Stockholm-headquartered battery energy storage specialist Northvolt is reporting the launch of its new Voltpack Mobile System which was jointly developed with Vattenfall.

    The new Voltpack Mobile System is a modular and flexible system envisioned as an replacement to diesel generators as well as for powering remote electricity grids, reinforcing weak grids, supporting electric vehicle charging, and delivering grid services such as balancing power, flexibility, or other ancillary services.

    The Voltpack Mobile System delivers up to 250 kW with a scalable capacity from 245 to 1225 kWh of available energy. The system scales through a central interface hub, which can connect in parallel up to five self-contained Voltpacks, each containing three liquid-cooled, industrial-grade battery Voltpack Cores. The hub also serves as an interface for applications, and houses inverter and auxiliary systems. Multiple Voltpack Mobile Systems can be connected in parallel.

    The final validation of Voltpack Mobile System will be undertaken at Vattenfall's test and certification center in Alvkarleby, Sweden. Vattenfall will be the first to deploy the VMP. (Source: Northvolt, InsideEVs, 23 May, 2020) Contact: Northvolt, hi@northvolt.com, www.northvolt.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Northvolt,  Energy Storage,  Vattenfall,  


    Praj, Sekab E-Technology Partner on Advanced Biofuels (Int'l Report)
    Praj Industries,Sekab E-Technology
    Date: 2020-05-20
    Praj Industries and Ornskoldsvik, Sweden-based Sekab E-Technology AB are reporting an agreement to cooperatively upgrade and commercialize technology to produce advanced biofuels and bio-chemicals from forest residue as feedstock. As a part of this cooperation,

    The partnership will facilitate CO2 reduction by offering Bio-mobility solutions for the transportation industry in the form of advanced biofuels produced from softwood. Praj's Bio-Mobility platform promotes the use of renewable resources to produce low carbon transportation fuel modes of mobility, namely surface, air and water, according to Praj, a global process solutions company offering solutions to add significant value to bio-energy facilities, compressed biogas plants, wastewater treatment systems and others.

    Sekab is a Swedish Chemistry and Cleantex company that refine ethanol into biofuels and chemicals and develops biorefinery technology for new sustainable product possibilities based on cellulose raw materials, according to the company website. (Source: Praj Ind., Business Standard, 18 May, 2020)Contact: Praj Industries Ltd., +91 20 7180 2000 / 2294 1000, Jayant Godbole, Pres., Praj Americas, info@praj.net, www.praj.net; Sekab E-Technology AB, +46 (0)660-793 00, info@sekab.com, www.sekab.com/en/products-services/biorefinery

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Praj Industries,  Advanced Biofuel,  


    "It seems that the worst may be behind us" -- Notable Quote
    USDA,Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2020-05-19
    "We are starting to see some plants come back on line. We still have a long way to go to climb out of the hole that Covid-19 put us in."

    "Ethanol production fell to record lows during April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19 pandemic) but is showing modest signs of recovery. It seems that the worst may be behind us." -- Geoff Cooper, CEO, Renewable Fuels Association.

    Cooper was commenting on a 5-week high 3 pct rise in ethanol production the week ending May 8, to 25.9 million gpd -- 60 plants shuttered and many more working at reduced capacity. (Source: RFA, AgNewsWire. PR, Ethanol Report 5-15-20, 17 May, 2020) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Association,  Ethanol,  Biofuel,  


    ClearFlame Engine Tech. Newest RFA Member (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2020-05-15
    The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is reporting Chicago-based ClearFlame Engine Technologies has become their newest member. The company provides a patented set of modifications allow diesel engines to operate on 100 pct ethanol fuel as a substitute for petroleum diesel fuel.

    ClearFlame notes that opening the current diesel fuel market to use 100 pct ethanol fuel has the potential to add massive additional ethanol demand over time -- 50 percent replacement of all diesel fuel would require 34 billion gallons of additional ethanol fuel. (Source: RFA, ClearFlame Engine Technologies, PR, 13 May, 2020) Contact: ClearFlame, John Howell, VP of Business Dev., (508) 404-9398, john@clearflameengines.com, www.clearflameengines.com; Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Association,  RFA,  ClearFlame,  Ethanol,  


    USGBC Launches Global Economic Recovery Strategy (Ind. Report)
    US Green Building Council
    Date: 2020-05-15
    The US Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced a new strategy intended to leverage LEED -- and the communities implementing the rating system -- to support buildings and neighborhoods in a post-pandemic world.

    The Healthy People in Healthy Places Equals a Healthy Economy strategy promotes the idea that prioritizing the health of people, communities, and the planet is the fastest way to rebuild a healthier, more sustainable economy. USGBC is launching emergency guidance and upgrades to the LEED green building program to ensure that it reflects the realities that buildings, and more importantly, the people inside them, will face in the near future.

    Under the new initiative, USGBC will update current LEED strategies in LEED v4.1 that support indoor environmental quality, cleaning, occupant comfort, operations, better materials, and risk management, while finding opportunities to introduce new approaches given the current public health crisis.

  • Introduce new LEED strategies and launch new pilot credits to support social distancing, nontoxic surface cleaning, air quality, and infection monitoring.

  • Form CEO Advisory Councils to advise and support USGBC's CEO on how the organization, its programs, and the building and construction industries can prioritize sustainability in a post-pandemic world.

  • Accelerate the implementation of its USGBC Equity program to better address the social, health, and economic disparities within communities.

  • Call for ideas and perspectives from the broader market on how LEED and healthy spaces can evolve given the current public health crisis.

  • Adapt a review process for LEED and other green business certification programs, and amend its LEED process to incorporate the lessons learned.

  • Publish a series of best practice guidance reports to help project teams assist their occupants as they re-enter their spaces.

    According to USGBC, refining LEED strategies and providing guidance that clearly communicates the economic, health, and environmental benefits of sustainable buildings, communities and cities to people -- especially during this time of uncertainty -- will be a priority. (Source: USGBC, Env..Energy Leader, 13 May, 2020) Contact: US Green Building Council, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US Green Building Council,  


  • Eguana Technologies Scores $2.4Mn in New US Orders (Ind. Report)
    Eguana Technologies
    Date: 2020-05-11
    CALGARY, Alberta, May 05, 2020 -- Calgary, Alberta-based high performance residential and commercial energy storage systems developer and manufacturer Eguana Technologies is reporting receipt of $2.4 million in new orders, predominantly for Hawaii and California, which are expected to ship over the next 2-3 months.

    The Company has also notes it has expanded its relationship with CED Greentech branches throughout Southern California -- San Diego, Riverside, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange County, and Coachella Valley. Over the next 90 days, Eguana will launch its Evolve into Northern California with a focus on regions that were heavily impacted by the forest fires.

    Home Energy Storage Systems Evolve is a fully-integrated residential energy storage system that includes the company's proprietary power electronics system, LG Chem low-voltage battery modules, and a comprehensive user interface. The system is rated at 5KW AC output with a modular battery design based on a 6.5 kWh battery, which is scalable from 13 to 39kWh in storage capacity. (Source: Eguana Technologies, PR, 7 May, 2020) Contact: Equana Technologies, Justin Holland CEO, (416) 728.7635, Justin.Holland@EguanaTech.com, www.EguanaTech.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Eguana Technologies ,  Energy Storage,  


    RFA CEO Comments on USDA $100Mn Infrastructure Grant Program (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2020-05-08
    "U.S. ethanol producers today are facing the worst economic conditions in the industry's 40-year history due to COVID-19, and they need immediate emergency relief to survive this catastrophe. Once the pandemic is over and fuel markets are showing signs of recovery, expanding infrastructure via the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program will be important to the long-term future of the ethanol industry and rural America.

    "We thank the USDA for its efforts to support the future of renewable fuels." -- Geoff Cooper, CEO, Pres., Renewable Fuels Association

    Cooper was commenting on the USDA's just announced $100 million grant program for activities designed to expand the availability and sale of higher blends of ethanol like E15 and E85, as well as other renewable fuel blends. (Source: RFA, PR, Various Media, 4 May, 2020) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  USDA,  Ethanol Infrastructure,  Renewable Fuels Association ,  


    $100Mn Biofuel Blends Infrastructure Incentives Available (Funding)
    USDA,Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2020-05-06
    In the Nation's capital, the USDA reports it intends to make up to $100 million available in competitive grants under the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program to support activities designed to expand the availability and sale of ethanol and biodiesel.

    According to the USDA release, funds will be made directly available to assist transportation and fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities with converting to higher ethanol and biodiesel blends by sharing the costs related to and/or offering sales incentives for the installation of fuel pumps, related equipment and infrastructure. distribution facilities.

    Of the total $100 million, $86 million will be available for implementation activities related to ethanol blends above E10 and $14 million will be available for implementation activities related to blends of biodiesel above B5. Grants for up to 50 percent of total eligible projects costs, up to $5 million, are available to vehicle fueling facilities, including local fueling stations/locations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, fleet facilities, fuel terminal operations, midstream partners and/or distribution facilities.

    The agency expects the $100 million in funding to support approximately 150 awards and provide assistance to approximately 1,500 locations.

    As an aside, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper offered the following statement in response: "U.S. ethanol producers today are facing the worst economic conditions in the industry's 40-year history due to COVID-19, and they need immediate emergency relief to survive this catastrophe. Once the pandemic is over and fuel markets are showing signs of recovery, expanding infrastructure via the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program will be important to the long-term future of the ethanol industry and rural America. We thank the USDA for its efforts to support the future of renewable fuels." (Source: USDA, May, 2020)Contact: USDA, Sonny Perdue, Sec., www.usda.gov; Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Association,  USDA,  Biofuel,  Biofuel Blend,  


    Wyoming Carbon Storage Project Scores $15.2Mn Funding (Funding)
    University of Wyoming, Basin Electric
    Date: 2020-04-24
    Plans for a commercial-scale geological carbon dioxide storage complex near Basin Electric Power Cooperative's 385-MW Dry Fork Station and the Wyoming Integrated Test Cente near Gillette have been boosted with a $15.2 million award from the U.S. DOE, National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). Bismark, ND-based Basin Electric Power Cooperative is contributing $1.5 million to the project and University of Wyoming's School of Energy Resources (SER) cost-sharing contribution is $2.4 million. The project is intended to more than 50 million metric tons of CO2 underground.

    The three-year, $19.1 million project is the third phase under the DOE Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE) initiative, which seeks to help mitigate CO2 emissions from consumption of fossil fuels. No CO2 will be injected during this stage. The Dry Fork Station project and others selected by the agency aim to develop integrated carbon capture and storage complexes that are constructed and permitted for operation between 2025 and 2030.

    Over the next three years, the project partners intend to conduct rigorous, commercial-scale surface and subsurface testing, data assessment and modeling; prepare and file permits for construction with Wyoming's Department of Environmental Quality; integrate this project with a separately funded CO2 capture study by Membrane Technology and Research Inc. (MTR); and conduct the required National Environmental Policy Act analyses in support of eventual commercialization of the site. Other project participants include: Advanced Resources International Inc.; Carbon GeoCycle Inc.; Denbury Resources Inc.; Los Alamos National Laboratory; and Schlumberger. Other UW participants are the Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute, the College of Business and the College of Law.

    The Powder River Basin produces about 40 pct of all coal consumed in the United States, and is also home to existing CO2 pipelines for oil and gas operations, including fields suitable for use of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery. (Source: University of Wyoming, 23 April, 2020) Contact: University of Wyoming, Carbon Management Institute , Scott Quillinan, Project Manager, (307) 766-1121, www.uwyo.edu; Basin Electric Power, Paul Sukut, CEO, Matt Greek, Snr. VP Technology R&D, (701) 223-0441, www.basinelectric.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Basin Electric,  Carbon Storage,  NETL,  University of Wyoming,  


    73 US Ethanol Plants Idled (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2020-04-24
    According to the ethanol trade group, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), of the 204 operating ethanol plants in the U.S., 73 plants are now idled and another 71 plants have reduced production as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. RFA estimates that ethanol production could fall by around 3bn gallons in 2020, a nearly 20 percent cut from previously expected levels.

    The RFA also notes 2020 U.S. ethanol sales could fall by more than $10 billion and the ethanol industry's contribution to gross GDP could fall by nearly one third. (Source: RFA, ICIS, 20 April, 2020) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Associatio,  RFA,  Ethanoln ,  


    Military Veterans Major Ethanol Industry Employees (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Fuels Association,
    Date: 2020-03-30
    2020 U.S. Energy and Employment Report, a new study from the National Association of State Energy Offices and Energy Futures Initiative has found the U.S. ethanol industry employs a significantly more military veterans than any other segment of the energy industry -- roughly one in five ethanol industry employees is a veteran.

    Per 100 workers, the ethanol industry employs more than twice as many veterans as the petroleum, natural gas, nuclear, coal, and wind energy sectors. (Source: Renewable Fuels Association, 24 Mar.,2020) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  Renewable Fuels Association,  ,  


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

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

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

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

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

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


    Notable Quote on Renewable Fuels Production
    RFA,Biofuel
    Date: 2020-03-25
    "It looks to us like we're nearing 2 billion gallons of (renewable fuel) capacity on an annualized basis that was operating as recently as a month ago that we think by the end of this week will be offline." -- RFA President Geoff Cooper commenting on production cuts due to declined demand. Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFA ,  Geoff Cooper,  Ethanol,  Renewable Fuels ,  


    Renewable Fuels Coalition Urges EPA to NOT Appeal Court "Hardship" Waiver Decision (Ind. Report, Reg. & Leg.)
    American Coalition for Ethanol
    Date: 2020-03-20
    With the need for a decision only days away, the Renewable Fuels Association, National Corn Growers Association, American Coalition for Ethanol and National Farmers Union -- the coalition that scored a unanimous court decision against the U.S. EPA -- is now calling for the agency to not appeal the decision.

    The coalition took the EPA to court and won over several "hardship" exemptions the EPA granted to small refineries, releasing them from their renewable fuel obligations in 2016 and 2017. The Trump Administration sought and secured an extension of the appeal deadline until Tuesday, March 24, this year.

    "With the renewable fuels industry reeling from coronavirus, trade disputes and small refinery exemptions, now is certainly not the time for the Trump administration to take any action that would cause further pain for ethanol producers or the farmers that supply them. The best thing they could do to support our industry and keep ethanol plants open is to announce immediately that they will not appeal," the coalition wrote.

    As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. Under the now vanquished administrator Greg Pruitt's direction, the EPA handed out 54 exemptions over two years and not a single request for an exemption was denied.Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, the nation's oil refineries are required to blend billions of gallons of biofuels such as ethanol into the fuel or buy credits from those that do. But the EPA can waive their obligations if they prove compliance would cause them financial distress. (Source: American Coalition for Ethanol , Various Trade Media, 18 March 2020) Contact: U.S. Grains Council, Tom Sleight, Pres., (202) 789-0789, (202) 898-0522, www.grains.org; Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org; American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, (605) 334-3381 ext. 3389, www.ethanol.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American Coalition for Ethanol,  RFS,  "Hardship Wiver",  Renewable Fuel ,  


    BC Carbon Capture Storage Assessment Completed (Ind. Report)
    TGS
    Date: 2020-03-13
    Global geoscience data for exploration & production specialist TGS reports completion of a Geological Carbon Storage Atlas for British Columbia (Canada) for a major oil and gas company. The study provides the most up-to-date understanding of geological carbon storage locations, onshore and offshore, throughout the province of British Columbia.

    Through collaboration with its partner Canadian Discovery Limited, TGS leveraged its world-class basin evaluation expertise, subsurface data library, and geological knowledge and experience through working in British Columbia, to create a framework for carbon storage assessment and atlas for potential storage locations, according to the TGS release. (Source: TGS. Strategic Research Institute, SteelGuru,, Gasoil News , 12 Mar., 2020) Contact: TGS, Katja Akentieva, Global.Marketing@tgs.com, www.tgs.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  Carbon Storage ,  


    SANEDI Funded for Cool Roof Energy Efficiency Initiative (Int'l.)
    South African National Energy Development Institute
    Date: 2020-02-19
    Having been awarded a $100 000 grant by the international Million Cool Roofs Challenge last year to deploy solar-reflective roof coatings, the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) is now rolling out this low-tech cooling solution to communities across the country. The international Million Cool Roofs Challenge is expected to issue an additional $1 million grant to another African country team for rapid deployment of cool roofs.

    This initiative is driven by the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Programme (K-CEP) with the aim of rapidly scaling up the deployment of highly solar-reflective "cool" roofs that can reduce indoor daytime temperatures by almost 10 degrees C, while cutting air condition energy consumption and costs in low-cost housing. (Source: SANEDI, PR, 19 Feb., 2020) Contact: SANEDI, Denise Lundall, Project Officer, Energy Efficiency Cool Surfaces, +27 11 038 4300, www.sanedi.org.za; international Million Cool Roofs Challenge, team@coolroofschallenge.org,www.coolroofschallenge.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Cool Roof,  


    Heriot-Watt Univ. Funded for UK CCS Mapping Project (Int'l. Report)
    Heriot-Watt University
    Date: 2020-02-07
    In the UK, Heriot-Watt University reports its researchers led by Professor John Underhill are to map out the UK's best sites for carbon capture by studying the geology of depleted gas fields in the North Sea. The team will use data from the Oil and Gas Authority's (OGA) National Data Repository (NDR), which was opened up to access for the first time in 2019.

    Prof. Underhill believes the southern North Sea is one of the UK's most promising options for large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS).

    The £1.4 million study, which is funded by the Oil and Gas Technology Centre's (OGTC) Subsurface Solution Centre and matched funding from industry and Heriot-Watt University, is intended to help policymakers determine the most suitable CCS sites. (Source: Heriot-Watt University Website, insider.co.uk, 5 Feb., 2020) Contact: Heriot-Watt University, Prof. John Underhill, Dr Susana Garcia, Assoc. Dir., Heriot-Watt Research Centre for Carbon Solutions, www.hw.ac.uk; Oil and Gas Technology Centre, +44 1224 063200, www.theogtc.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Heriot-Watt University,  CCS,  Carbon Storage,  Carbon Sequestration,  


    E15 Sales Surge After Removal of Regulatory Barrier (Report Attached)
    Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2020-02-07
    New analysis from the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has revealed that around 500 million gallons of E15, a blend of 15% ethanol fuel, were sold across the US I 2019, setting a new record. The review, carried out by, extrapolated the Minnesota data nationally, finding that 499 million gallons of E15 were sold in 2019. This volume contained 75 million gallons of ethanol.

    The data also suggests that the impact of small refinery "hardship" waivers under the RFS took a toll on the industry. On a per-station basis, sales of E15 were lower in the first few months of 2019 than during the same period the year before. This change can be attributed to the fact that the EPA granted numerous exemptions under the RFS to small refineries, causing the price of RFS compliance credits (RINs) to fall. thus reducing the incentive for retailers to offer blends of fuel with higher ethanol content, reducing their ability to discount higher blends relative to gasoline.

    The full RFA analysis is HERE (Source: RFA, 4 Feb., 2020) Contact: RFA, Scott Richman, Economist, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Association,  RFA,  Ethanol,  Ethanol Blend,  


    Notable Climate Change Quote from the Land Down Under
    Australia Climate Change
    Date: 2020-02-03
    "You (Australia) are the keepers of an extraordinary section of the surface of this planet, including the Barrier Reef, and what you say, what you do, really, really matters. And then you suddenly say: 'No it doesn't matter ... it doesn't matter how much coal we burn ... we don't give a damn what it does to the rest of the world." -- Sir David Attenborough, an English broadcaster and natural historian commenting on Australia's attitude to addressing climate change. (Source: Business Insider Australia, Sept., 2019) Contact: Sir David Attenborouhj, www.imdb.com/name/nm0041003

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Australia Climate Change news,  


    Biofuels Ind. Groups Applaud Court's RFS Waiver Ruling (Ind Report)
    Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2020-01-29
    Further to Monday, 27 Jan. coverage -- Court Disqualifies Recent RFS "Hardship" Waivers -- the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and other biofuel industry groups are praising the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling striking down three small refinery "hardship" exemption waivers.

    The court ruled the EPA cannot "extend” exemptions to any small refineries whose earlier, temporary exemptions had lapsed" as was the case in the three over ruled exemptions.

    Geoff Cooper, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA)noted: "The Court has affirmed our long-held position that EPA's recent practices and policies regarding small refinery exemption extensions were completely unlawful. And while the decision addresses three specific exemptions, the statutory interpretation issues resolved by the court apply much more broadly."

    As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. Under the now vanquished administrator Greg Pruitt's direction, the EPA handed out 54 exemptions over two years and not a single request for an exemption was denied. (Source: Various Media, Agri-Pulse, 28 Jan., 2020) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Association,  RFA,  RFS,  "Hardship" Waiver,  Ethanol Blend,  


    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,  


    China Scraps National E10 Ethanol Blend Program (Int'l. Report)
    China’s National Development and Reform Commission
    Date: 2020-01-10
    In Beijing, it is being widely report that China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has suspended its planned implementation of a nationwide E10 gasoline-ethanol blend program due to a sharp decline in the country's corn stocks and limited biofuel production capacity.The few provinces that have already implemented full or partial blends will, however, continue the program.

    In 2018, China was the eighth-biggest market for U.S. ethanol exports, taking up 52.9 million gallons of the corn-based fuel, according to the RFA. Reaching the 2020 target would have required about 15 million tonnes of the biofuel annually, more than four times current output, or some 45 million tonnes of corn -- roughly 16 pct of the country's current consumption, according to Reuters. (Source: BOE Report, ETAuto, Reuters, 8 Jan., 2020) Contact: China National Development and Reform Commission, en.ndrc.gov.cn

    More Low-Carbon Energy News E10,  Biofuel Blend,  China Biofuel,  Ethanol,  China National Development and Reform Commission ,  


    Sutdy Examines Farming as CO2 Absorber (Ind. Report)
    University of Virginia
    Date: 2019-12-11
    A recently released study from the University of Virginia notes that farming, agriculture and other land practices presently contribute around 11 gigatons to CO2 emissions per year -- roughly one quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. However, the study argues that the land could actually be converted into an absorber of carbon, given the right conditions.

    Among the measures recommended by the study were richer countries transitioning to plant-based diets and reducing food waste, while aiding poorer nations to curb deforestation and restore degraded land. If a concerted global effort was made, land could be absorbing three gigatons of carbon by 2050, turning one of our biggest liabilities into a helping hand in the fight against climate change. The study also recommends:

  • 95 pct reduction in deforestation and land degradation by 2050. This would include more robust conservation policies in developing tropical countries, as well as the conversion of coastal wetlands into protected areas and the prohibition of peatland burning.

  • 25 pct reduction in agricultural emissions by 2050. This would include introducing synthetic or organic fertilizers, enhancing the water-agriculture interface in places where rice cultivation is a primary industry and managing emissions from fermentation and manure.

  • 50 pct adoption of plant-based diets by 2050. This would involve encouraging a healthier diet through consumer campaigns and governmental policies, as well as the development of new foodstuffs to entice unconvinced consumers.

  • 50 pct reduction of current level of food waste by 2050. This would involve tightening up gaps in the supply chain, improving consumer awareness through advertising campaigns and enhancing refrigeration and distribution capabilities in the developing world.

  • Restoration of forests, coastal wetlands and drained peatlands. This would involve financing ecosystem services, improving in local and national conservation policies and investing in restoration practices.

  • Improving forestry and agroforestry management. This would include optimising current forestation conservation process and integrating agroforestry into lands currently used for agriculture and grazing.

  • Enhancing soil carbon sequestration capabilities. This would include controlling soil erosion, reducing tillage of the land and restoring degraded soils, as well as the application of biochar where appropriate.

  • Deploying bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) in developed countries. This would involve investing into the research and development of BECCS technologies and deploying them in relevant sites. (Source: University of Virginia, Environmental Technology, 1 Dec., 2019) Contact: University of Virginia, Stephanie Roe, Environmental Researcher, Report Lead Author, 434-924-7761, www.evsc.as.virginia.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon,  Carbon Storage,  


  • Solar Roadways Touts S4R LED Solar Panels (New Prod. & Tech.)
    Solar Roadways
    Date: 2019-12-02
    Sandpoint, Idaho-headquartered Solar Roadways is touting the first installation of its modular S4R solar panels at the Jeff Jones Town Square in Sandpoint. The new roadway surface mounted panels should be available to customers in the first quarter of next year, according to the release.

    The LED equipped, non-skid surface, low-glare 50-watt panels -- Solar Roadways' first commercially available product -- are manufactured from all recycled materials -- under contract in Ohio where the company has a development, contracts and installations team, according to the company. (Source: Solar Roadways, PR, 30 Nov., 2019) Contact: Solar Roadways, Scott and Julie Brusaw, customers@solarroadways.com, www.solarroadways.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar Roadways,  Solar,  


    YVR Launches BioPortYVR Jet Biofuel Supply Effort (Ind. Report)
    Vancouver Airport Authority
    Date: 2019-12-02
    In British Columbia, the City of Vancouver Airport (YVR), Canada's second busiest airports, reports it is aiming to develop a biofuel supply chain to reduce conventional aviation kerosene fuel emissions.

    To that end, the Vancouver Airport Authority has partnered with the Green Aviation Research and Development Network, the Waterfall Group and Netherlands-based SkyNRG -- a consortium of companies that source and market aviation biofuels -- to launch BioPortYVR, a new project to develop a source and pipeline for biofuels for YVR and other regional airports. (Source: Vancouver Airport Authority (YVR), Burnaby Now, Nov.28, 2019) Contact: Vancouver Airport Authority, Marion Town, Env. Affairs, 604-207-7077, 604-207-7070 - fax., customercallcentre@yvr.ca, www.yvr.ca; SkyNRG, Maarten van Dijk, Director, Merel Laroy, +31 6 3083 3505, merel@skynrg.com, www.skynrg.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aviation Biofuel,  SkyNRG,  

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