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Univ. of Texas Touts New Battery Technology (New Prod. & Tech.)
University of Texas at Austin
Date: 2022-01-07
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin are reporting the creation of a stable battery that replaces lithium and cobalt in lithium-ion batteries and recharges as fast as a traditional lithium-ion battery and has the potential for a higher energy output than current battery technologies.

In order to work, the ions in batteries must travel between the negative charge anode and positive charge cathode while generating electricity. In previously used sodium-based batteries, the anodes can develop something known as dendrites. Lithium dendrites are formed when extra lithium ions accumulate on the anode surface and cannot be absorbed into the anode and can cause short circuits and lead to catastrophic failures and even fires or explosions.

This new sodium-based technology, which resists dendrite growth and recharges as fast as a lithium-ion battery, involves rolling a thin sheet of sodium metal onto an antimony telluride powder, then folding the sheet repeatedly to create a new anode material with a uniform distribution of sodium atoms that can resist the formation of dendrites and corrosion. This new process also makes the battery more stable with a charge rare similar to that of previous lithium-ion batteries and the potential for a higher energy capacity.

Download details HERE . (Source: University of Texas, Austin, National Science Foundation, Contact: University of Texas, Austin, www.utexas.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News University of Texas Austin news,  Battery news,  Lithium-Ion Battery news,  Energy STorage news,  


RFA: EPA Moving in Right Direction on RFS, But Must Reconsider Retroactive Cut to 2020 RVO (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2022-01-05
"In a virtual hearing on the U.S. EPA's proposed renewable volume obligations (RVO) for 2020 through 2022, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Geoff Cooper noted that EPA's proposal marks "an important and long-awaited step toward restoring order, integrity and stability to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program." However, Cooper noted in his testimony, there is plenty of room to improve the proposal before it is finalized.

"RFA supports the proposed volumes for 2022 for all categories of renewable fuel, and we specifically commend EPA for proposing to set the implied requirement for conventional renewable fuels at the statutory level of 15 billion gallons. We also support EPA's proposal to account for projected exempt volumes from small refineries when setting RVO percentages. And, RFA agrees with EPA that, in the interest of transparency, the Agency should release basic information about entities seeking exemptions from RFS compliance." Cooper also voiced RFA's strong support for EPA's related proposal to deny 65 pending small refinery exemption petitions. Unfortunately, however, EPA's proposed RVO for 2021 misses the mark and the proposed retroactive revision of the 2020 RVO would set a “dangerous precedent," Cooper said.

"As for the 2021 RVO and the proposed revision to the 2020 RVO, we have serious concerns about EPA's questionable use of its 'reset' authority. While we understand EPA has a statutory obligation to consider resetting future RFS volumes when certain thresholds are met, it does not appear Congress intended for EPA to use its reset authority for the purpose of retroactively addressing unforeseen market anomalies like COVID or weather-related disasters," Cooper said.

"Even if EPA's use of its reset authority to lower 2020 and 2021 volumes was justified, the agency grossly underestimated actual conventional ethanol consumption in 2021," Cooper said. The Energy Information Administration's latest data suggest 13.73 billion gallons of conventional ethanol were consumed domestically in 2021, more than 400 million gallons higher than assumed by EPA.

"When it comes to the impact of COVID on 2020 RFS compliance, the RVO already includes a self-correcting mechanism that caused actual renewable fuel volume requirements to adjust lower with reduced gasoline and diesel consumption. In addition, EPA has long been on the record opposing retroactive reductions in volumes. EPA has repeatedly stated that "Congress did not provide a means for correcting the percentage standards after November to ensure that the applicable volumes of renewable fuel are exactly met in a given compliance year. The agency has also previously taken the position that periodically and retroactively altering the standards would…inappropriately render the standards a moving target." (Source: RFA, Website PR, 4 Jan., 2021) Contact: RFA, Geoff Cooper, CEO, (202) 289-3835,www.EthanolRFA.org

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


terraPulse Tapped for Central Am. Forest Mapping (Ind. Report)
terraPulse, UNFCCC
Date: 2021-12-01
North Potomac, Maryland-headquartered terraPulse, a provider of artificial intelligence for monitoring large land areas, reports it has been selected by the countries of Belize, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic to map forest cover as part of a sweeping forest activity study funded by The World Bank The project is part of the REDD+ Readiness process, moderated by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which supports countries' efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and to foster sustainable management of forests.

Through the program, terraPulse will apply scientifically peer-reviewed AI to nearly forty years of satellite imagery to support the countries' monitoring of forest assets. The approach fuses data from local sources with global satellite data from NASA; the results will enable carbon modeling and the development of greenhouse gas inventories for the UN's Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) land sector initiative.

Founded in 2014, terraPulse develops cloud-based solutions for monitoring ecosystem change at local, national, and global scales. Using peer-reviewed methodologies that apply big data and machine-learning to satellite imagery, terraPulse has produced the world's first sub-hectare resolution maps of global tree-canopy cover, surface water, and urbanization. With unmatched speed, accuracy and granularity -- down to individual property parcels -- terraPulse enables governments, nonprofits, businesses, and academic institutions to monitor, protect and commercialize natural assets -- including the rapidly growing market for carbon offsets. (Source: terraPulse, PR 30 Nov., 2021) Contact: terraPulse, www.terrapulse.com; UNFCCC, www.unfccc,int

More Low-Carbon Energy News terraPulse,  UNFCCC,  Forest Carbon,  REDD+,  Carbon Offset,  


AFFECT Energy Efficiency, BESS Funding Announced (Funding)
Federal Energy Management Program
Date: 2021-12-01
In Washington, the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) is reporting the selection of federal agency projects to receive a combined total of $13 million in Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies (AFFECT) funding. The grants, which are expected to lead to more than $737 million when leveraged with energy performance contracts from private industry, include the following:
  • U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) -- USCG will implement the agency's first microgrid control system (MCS) coupled with solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery energy storage system (BESS) resilience energy conservation measures (ECMs), to provide 10 days of off-grid operation during a power disruption event.

  • Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic -- The project will provide a comprehensive approach to enhancing its climate change adaptation-resilience posture and energy efficiency across eight NIWC Atlantic sites located in South Carolina, Virginia, and Louisiana. NIWC will deploy solar PV and an MCS to enable renewable back-up generation while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

  • Internal Revenue Service -- Internal Revenue Service is pursuing a near-net zero, comprehensive energy efficiency and resilience project that will empower up to 30 days of off-grid operation in the event of utility power disruption, amplify energy efficiency to substantially reduce baseload energy use and corresponding GHG emissions, and deploy solar PV coupled with an MCS, BESS.

  • Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst -- A large-scale, wholistic energy efficiency and climate change adaption-resilience project will deploy 40 MW of solar PV combined with a 12-MWh BESS and two unique MCSs alongside a wide range of key energy efficiency and resilience ECMs.

  • DoE, Office of Science -- A new project will bundle comprehensive traditional energy efficiency ECMs and resilience technologies such as lighting, water fixtures, simple HVAC controls, solar PV, BESS, and pumped water storage to reduce energy use and GHG emissions.

  • U.S. DoD, Pentagon -- Project will implement improvements to energy and water efficiency, as well as resilience to climate change-attributed severe weather events, via a comprehensive list of ECMs that will reduce baseload energy and water use and GHG emissions while adding renewable energy technologies. The project will achieve a net GHG reduction cost-effectively via combined reductions in baseload electricity (49 pct), water (8 pct), and sewer costs (40 pct).

  • Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall -- The project will deploy an advanced, hybrid geothermal heat recovery chiller system coupled with energy efficiency and resilience ECMs to simultaneously reduce GHG emissions and address climate change adaptation-resiliency.

  • Eglin Air Force Base -- Within this integrated, comprehensive energy efficiency and resilience project, Eglin Air Force Base will implement various resilience ECMs including solar PV, an MCS coupled with a BESS, and natural gas generators while replacing aging chillers that serve critical loads such as data centers.

  • Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest -- A new project to integrate a cybersecurity-compliant MCS and 150-kW/600-kWh BESS with a total of 1.1 MW of solar PV to augment climate change adaptation-resilience, increase energy efficiency, and reduce GHG emissions, while allowing for full, continuous mission-critical operability of essential facilities and systems in the case of power disruption events.

  • GSA Region 4, Valdosta and Brunswick -- The project will deploy and demonstrate an advanced solar PV technology utilizing bifacial modules at two federal sites in Georgia, directly reducing GHG emissions and assisting GSA in meeting its internal agency commitment of achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2025. The project will also build out capabilities for these sites to consider implementing complementary resilience ECMs such as a MCS or BESS in the future. It will also validate an advanced, bifacial module solar PV technology, which if successful could be replicated and scaled throughout not only GSA Region 4 and the Southeast, but also more broadly across all GSA Regions nationwide.

  • GSA Region 7 -- This project will implement resilience ECMs including an MCS and BESS to boost climate change adaptation-resiliency, reduce GHG emissions by 47 pct, and provide the means to demonstrate GEB concepts such as advanced energy load-shifting and management, and demand response at sites in Laredo and Houston, Texas.

  • Joint Base Langley-Eustis -- This project will augment the capacity of a BESS to 1MW/4MWh, which will be coupled with a recommissioned energy management control system, cybersecurity-compliant MCS, and 1-MW solar PV array to meet the U.S. Air Forces' resilience requirements for energy performance contracts, allowing the base to shed noncritical energy loads and support mission-critical operations should climate change-induced severe weather such as hurricanes or other external forces result in an extended power disruption event.

    The project will also allow the joint base to reduce GHG emissions, improve energy efficiency, and provide peak shaving, demand response, energy time-of-use-shifting, dynamic frequency, and voltage regulation to reduce overall base electricity demand and energy costs.

  • Federal Aviation Administration -- A novel project to directly address federal building energy efficiency and load management, in coordination with their serving utility, to bundle electric vehicle supply equipment with a range of other energy efficiency and resilience ECMs including ground-mounted solar PV, LED lighting, HVAC upgrades, and variable frequency drives.

    The project will reduce GHG emissions by 89 pct by coupling electrification of buildings and transportation, which are key priorities of the Administration's decarbonization goals. (Source: US DOE Federal Energy Management Program, PR 1 Dec., 2021) Contact: US DOE, Federal Energy Management Program, www.energy.gov/eere/femp/2021-assisting-federal-facilities-energy-conservation-technologies-affect-federal-agency

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Federal Energy Management Program,  Energy Efficiency,  BESS,  Energy Storage,  


  • Growth Energy Supports Defend the Blend Act (Reg. & Leg.)
    Growth Energy
    Date: 2021-12-01
    Growth Energy has thanked politicians for introducing the Defend the Blend Act. that would prevent the US EPA from retroactively reducing past Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) which have already been finalised.

    Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor thanked Representatives Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and other co-sponsors. "We thank these Representatives for introducing the Defend the Blend Act, legislation that would offer more certainty in the marketplace, especially as we await the 2021 and 2022 RVOs from EPA. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was put into place to blend more low-carbon biofuels into our nation's transportation fuel supply and includes a built-in mechanism that adjusts for any changes in fuel demand. Retroactively changing RVO levels is completely unwarranted. It is unnecessary, adds uncertainty to the marketplace, and far exceeds EPA's legal authority," Skol said. (Source: Growth Energy, Website PR, 23 Nov., 2021) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Volume Obligations,  Growth Energy,  Renewable Volume Obligations,  RFA,  


    Univ. Calgary Developing Marine CO2 Removal Technology (R&D)
    University of Calgary
    Date: 2021-11-26
    In Alberta, Canada, the University of Calgary is reporting the school's Practical Electrochemical Air Capture (PEACH) research team of chemists, engineers, legal scholars, and geoscientists has received $100,000 funding from the Scotiabank Net Zero Research Fund to assess feasible approaches to their carbon dioxide removal (CDR) in marine regions.

    The PEACH team is focused on development and assessment of a new technology that could store atmospheric carbon long-term as bicarbonate in the ocean. The two-year project, which is now in technology development phase, introduces a novel approach to safely change near-surface seawater chemistry to promote natural uptake of carbon dioxide in the ocean. The team recognizes the importance of developing a platform while maintaining viable biospheres in the marine environment, aiming to develop their approach while maintaining the health and well-being of marine ecosystems. The project will consider everything from technical scaling to marine governance and policy in terms of CDR approaches.

    Recognizing this need for socially desirable solutions to climate change, professor Anna-Maria Hubert is a key part of the PEACH team, researching and advising on social policy, governance, and legal parameters. As a legal scholar with a background in international and environmental law, Hubert's work is concerned with how law and governance can develop to respond to emerging science and technologies. (Source: University of Calgary, PR, 16 Nov., 2021) Contact: University of Calgary, PEACH, Prof. Dr. Stephen Larter, PhD, Team Leader, (403) 220-7484, www.ucalgary.ca/prg/research/energy-transition/peach

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


    Union Jobs in Ethanol & Biodiesel Industries: An American Success Story (Report Attached)
    Reneable Fuels Association
    Date: 2021-11-19
    According to a new report by veterans of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. GSA and KPMG International, the U.S. biofuel industry supports more than 30,000 union jobs, primarily in agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and utilities, construction, professional and business services.

    The report notes that continued support for the ethanol and biodiesel industries will have a positive causal effect on union jobs, will help mitigate against a downward trend in U.S. union membership and is likely to increase the number of middle-wage and middle-skill union jobs in traditionally agricultural economies.”

    Download the Union Jobs in Ethanol & Biodiesel Industries: An American Success Story report HERE . (Source: RFA, Website PR, 11 Nov., 2021) Contact: RFA, Geoff Cooper, CEO, www.EthanolRFA.org

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


    ExxonMobil, Pertamina Considering CCS, CCUS Opportunities (Int'l.)
    ExxonMobil, Pertamina
    Date: 2021-11-03
    Reporting from COP26 in Edinburgh, Irving, Texas-based petroleum giant ExxonMobil and Indonesian state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina are reporting a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to evaluate the potential for large-scale deployment of low-carbon technologies including carbon capture and storage (CCS), carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) and low-carbon hydrogen in Indonesia.

    By jointly examining subsurface data, the companies expect to identify geologic formations suitable to safely store CO2, and the potential for safe, commercially viable utilization of CO2.

    ExxonMobil established its Low Carbon Solutions business to commercialize low-emission technologies such as those to be assessed in Indonesia. The business is also pursuing strategic investments in biofuels and hydrogen to bring those lower-emissions energy technologies to scale for hard-to-decarbonize sectors of the global economy. ExxonMobil's Low Carbon Solutions has an equity share in more than 20 new CCS opportunities around the world and plans to invest $3 billion on lower emission energy through 2025.

    According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) CCS could mitigate as much as 15 pct of global emissions by 2040, and the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates global decarbonization efforts could be twice as costly without wide-scale CCS deployment. (Source: Exxon Mobil, PR 2 Nov., 2021) Contact: ExxonMobil, Media, (972) 940-6007, www.exxonmobil.com; Pertamina, pcc@pertamina.com, www.petramina.com; U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, www.ipcc.ch

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ExxonMobil,  Pertamina,  CCS,  Hydrogen. CCUS,  


    Talos Energy, TechnipFMC Partnering on US CCS (Ind. Report)
    Talos Energy, TechnipFMC
    Date: 2021-10-20
    In the Lone Star State, Houston-headquartered offshore oil and gas company Talos Energy reports it has entered into a long-term agreement with London, UK-based engineering specialist TechnipFMC to develop, accelerate and deliver technical and commercial solutions to Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects along the U.S, Gulf Coast. The alliance combines Talos's offshore operational and sub-surface experience with TechnipFMC's history in subsea engineering, system integration and automation and control. Talos is the operator of the only major offshore carbon sequestration hub in the U.S.

    Under the alliance, the companies will collaborate to progress CCS opportunities through the full lifecycle of storage site characterization, front-end engineering and design (FEED) and first injection through life of field operations. (Source: Talos Energy, 18 Oct., 2021) Contact: Talos Energy, 713-328-3000 , www.talosenergy.com; TechnipFMC, www.technipfmc.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Talos Energy news,   TechnipFMC news,  


    Renewable Fuels Association Touts New Website (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2021-10-01
    The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is touting its new redesigned website to provide access to important information and data more quickly, repackaged so it is easier to find. The streamlined website provides regularly updated market statistics and ethanol industry news, RFA studies, publications and infographics, and connections to RFA's increasingly popular social media accounts, according to the RFA release. (Source: Renewable Fuels Association, Website PR, 30 Sept., 2021) Contact: RFA, Geoff Cooper, CEO, www.EthanolRFA.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Association,  


    Hottest Month Ever Recorded, by the Numbers (Ind. Report)
    NOAA
    Date: 2021-08-16
    Following up on our 9th June report, according to new global data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information, July 2021 has earned the unenviable distinction as the world's hottest month ever recorded!

  • Around the globe -- The combined land and ocean-surface temperature was 1.67 degrees F (0.93 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees F (15.8 degrees C), making it the hottest July since records began 142 years ago. It was 0.02 of a degree F (0.01 of a degree C) higher than the previous record set in July 2016, which was then tied in 2019 and 2020.

  • The Northern Hemisphere -- The land-surface only temperature was the highest ever recorded for July, at an unprecedented 2.77 degrees F (1.54 degrees C) above average, surpassing the previous record set in 2012.

  • Regional records -- Asia had its hottest July on record, besting the previous record set in 2010; Europe had its second-hottest July on record-tying with July 2010 and trailing behind July 2018; and North America, South America, Africa and Oceania all had a top-10 warmest July.

  • Extreme heat and global climate change -- With last month's data, it remains very likely that 2021 will rank among the world's 10-warmest years on record, according to NCEI's Global Annual Temperature Rankings Outlook. Extreme heat detailed in NOAA's monthly NCEI reports is also a reflection of the long-term changes outlined in a major report released this week by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change offsite link.

    "Scientists from across the globe delivered the most up-to-date assessment of the ways in which the climate is changing. It is a sobering IPCC report that finds that human influence is, unequivocally, causing climate change, and it confirms the impacts are widespread and rapidly intensifying," according to NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. (Source: NOAA, 13 Aug., 2021) Contact: NOAA, Rick Spinrad, Ph.D., Administrator, www.noaa.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NOAA,  Climate Change,  


  • "Dear Mr. President, RFA Commits to Low-Carbon Fuel Performance Goals" (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2021-08-02
    In a recent letter to U.S. President Joe Biden, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) wrote: "As members of the RFA we share your vision for decarbonizing the transportation fuels sector and applaud your commitment to addressing climate change. We support your goals of achieving a 50 pct reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 and reaching net zero emissions economy-wide by 2050.

    "Low-carbon renewable fuels like ethanol are already helping our nation confront climate change by significantly reducing GHG emissions from the transportation sector. In fact, since 2008, the use of ethanol and other renewable fuels in the U.S. prevented nearly 1 billion metric tons of GHG from entering the atmosphere.

    "Today's ethanol already reduces GHG emissions by 52 pct, on average, when compared directly to gasoline. Furthermore, many of us (RFA members) are already producing advanced and cellulosic ethanol that is certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as providing a 65-75 pct GHG reduction compared to gasoline. But given the urgency of the climate crisis and the need to reasonably decarbonize, the RFA are committing today to the pursuit of the following carbon performance goals:

  • By 2030, ensure that ethanol reduces GHG emissions by at least 70 pct, on average, when compared directly to gasoline. This equates to a 33 pct reduction in ethanol's average carbon footprint from 45 grams CO2-equivalent per megajoule (g/MJ) today to about 30 g/MJ by 2030.

  • By 2050, ensure that ethanol achieves net zero lifecycle GHG emissions, on average. As ethanol producers continue to adopt carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) and other low- and no-carbon technologies between 2030 and 2050, U.S. ethanol can achieve net carbon neutrality, on average, by mid-century or even sooner.

    "Ethanol's carbon footprint continues to shrink rapidly, as new technology and innovation have improved the efficiency of the entire production process. In fact, a recent study by DOE scientists found that ethanol's carbon footprint shrunk by 23 percent between 2005 and 2019. While we are proud of these advances in efficiency and sustainability, many opportunities exist to deliver even greater GHG reductions in the near term," the letter noted. (Source: RFA, PR, 27 July, 2021) Contact: RFA, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Association news,  GHG Emissions news,  CCUS news,  Ethanol Low-Carbon Fuel news,  


  • DOE Releases Spawn of EnergyPlus Building Energy, Controls Modeling Software (Ind. Report)
    US DOE EERE
    Date: 2021-07-28
    The U.S. Department of Energy's Building Technologies Office, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in collaboration with Modelon and Objexx Engineering, have released the initial version of the Spawn of EnergyPlus (Spawn)

    Spawn is not a replacement for EnergyPlus, at least not in the foreseeable future. Although it does perform whole-building energy simulation, it targets new use cases in advanced controls, district systems, and grid integration.

    Spawn supports these new use cases by making fundamental use of coupled simulation via the Functional Mockup Interface standard. Spawn reuses the weather, envelope, lighting, and loads models from EnergyPlus and packages them as a single model. However, it replaces EnergyPlus' traditional, imperative, implicit, load-based HVAC and controls models with explicit declarative state-based models from the Modelica Buildings Library which are translated and automatically linked with the EnergyPlus model. By combining models in different configurations, Spawn is able to simulate either a single building or a collection of buildings linked by shared thermal, electrical, and control systems.

    Spawn also fundamentally leverages the Modelica, a standard for equation-based modeling. The use of Modelica to model HVAC and control introduces capabilities that are not found in traditional energy simulation engines such as EnergyPlus. The most significant of these is the ability to simulate physically realistic control sequences using the same specification that is used in controller implementations. The ability to use a single control specification for both energy simulation and implementation aims to bridge these traditionally separate domains and promote the use of high-performance control sequences. Modelica also enables modeling of novel HVAC and district system components and configurations. Spawn HVAC and control models have been developed as part of a multi-year international effort led by IEA EBC Annex 60 and IBPSA-World Project 1 to develop Modelica models for building and community systems.

    Spawn-of-EnergyPlus details HERE. (Source: US DOE, PR, 27 July, 2021) Contact: DOE, www.energy.gov/eere/buildings

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US DOE EERE,  Building Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency Software,  DOE Building Technologies ,  DOE EnergyPlus ,  


    RFA Comments on Refiners' RFS Arguments Rejection (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2021-07-23
    The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) issued the following comments on the D.C. Circuit Court's July 16th rejection of arguments from oil refiners that the "Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) causes them economic hardship and therefore the EPA should have waived their 2019 RFS obligations." The court ruled on the follow specific points:

  • Severe Economic Harm Waiver -- The court rebuffed the refiners' argument that EPA should have waived the 2019 RFS requirements because East Coast refiners purportedly could not pass through their RFS compliance costs and thus experienced "severe economic harm." According to the Court, "Obligated parties assert that the 'pass-through' theory is flawed and that RFS requirements impose severe economic consequences on refiners in the Eastern United States. We reject this challenge. EPA reasonably concluded that obligated parties had failed to make the strong causal showing required to trigger the waiver. It was reasonable for EPA to conclude that RFS costs alone were not the primary driver of the refineries' economic difficulties", the Court added.

  • Inadequate Domestic Supply Waiver -- The court also shot down the refiners' claim that a waiver of 2019 RFS requirements would have been justified due to an "inadequate domestic supply" of renewable fuels to meet the standards. "EPA adequately explained its refusal to exercise the inadequate domestic supply waiver," the judges wrote.

  • Point of Obligation -- Refiners also argued that EPA should have used the 2019 RFS rule-making to change the point of obligation for RFS compliance from refiners and importers to fuel blenders. The court discarded that argument stating "Refiners have repeatedly but unsuccessfully urged EPA to include blenders in the point of obligation. EPA's decision not to undertake another reassessment in the 2019 rule-making was not an abuse of discretion."

  • Exported Renewable Fuel -- The Court similarly rejected refiner arguments that exported renewable fuels should count toward RFS compliance. "EPA at no point suggested that it was substantively reconsidering its longstanding policy concerning the treatment of exported renewable fuel, and it reasonably refused to consider obligated parties' arguments for changing that policy," the court ruled. (Source: Renewable Fuels Assoc., Website PR, 16 July, 2021) Contact: RFA, Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

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


  • Enchant Seeks Carbon Storage "Pore Space" Clarity (Ind. Report)
    Enchant Energy
    Date: 2021-07-19
    In New Mexico, Enchant Energy is calling for state lawmakers to consider legislation to clarify "pore space" ownership and related issues.

    Pore space -- the empty space between grains of rocks underground where the firm hopes to store carbon it would remove while running the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station with carbon capture technology -- starts just below the surface and can be used to sequester carbon dioxide by injecting the gas thousands of feet underground.

    Enchant Energy has been working with the City of Farmington to retrofit the San Juan Generating Station with carbon capture technology after current operations end next year.

    According to the company, pore space ownership is beneficial to the state by creating jobs, furthering economic development and generating taxes and payments from injection fees as well as defining ownership and conveyance without harming mineral rights. Montana, Oklahoma and Wyoming presently have pore space legislation. (Source: Enchant Energy, PR, Farmington Times, 17 July, 2021) Contact: Enchant Energy, Ciny Crane, CEO, 505-436-1828, www.enchantenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enchant Energy,  CCS,  Carbon Storage,  Carbon Sequestration,  


    Carbon Capture Shield, Inc - Reversing Climate Change Through Land Stewardship (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Carbon Capture Shield
    Date: 2021-07-09
    "What if it was possible to not only eliminate the entire human Carbon footprint, but also eliminate the use of toxic pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides (saving the bees); eliminate the use of inorganic chemical fertilizers (protecting our waterways); increase soil health and resilience (buffering against disease, drought, and flood) while improving the size, yield, and nutrient density of crops grown in such living soil (with as much as 500 pct increase in yield); all while creating a global network of smallholder farmers and connecting them to a corresponding global market of conscious consumers?

    "This is the express goal of (Washington, DC-based) Carbon Capture Shield, Incorporated; a Delaware C-Corp formed in 2021, by a team with decades of experience in global farming, renewable energy, and government contracting: To shift 1 billion acres of farmland to Regenerative Agriculture by 2030. According to co-founder and President, Darryl J. Nicke II, 'Antibiotics have saved millions of lives but they also cause many problems by upsetting the natural balance of microorganisms that live in our gut. Probiotics can reverse and even completely cure many diseases caused by such imbalances. Similarly, herbicides, pesticides, and even chemical fertilizers have destroyed the natural balance of life in the soil. By supplementing and restoring that natural balance, you return Earth's Surface to its natural healthy state. This is Earth's natural defense against human activity and pollution. This is Earth's Carbon Capture Shield.'

    "With a clear vision, they have begun Phase 01 of a 10-year, multi-phase plan to transform the way humans care for our shared home, starting in your own backyard - literally. Americans dump more than 60 million ppy of pesticides on their lawns. Fourteen of the most used lawn pesticides are neurotoxins and suspected carcinogens, yet this is where our children play. Not only that, but lawn fertilizers are also a major source of water pollution. The EPA reports that pollution from fertilizers is "one of America's most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems." This does not even consider the dire effects on bees, butterflies, and other pollinators who visit these toxic home gardens.

    "Numerous solutions have been found by farmers and researchers all around the planet, and Carbon Capture Shield aims to "bring these solutions home" to anyone with a lawn - by introducing a line of lawn and garden products that are non-toxic and protect the environment while fertilizing your soil and helping the microcosmos of Living Soil.

    "Phase 01 will supply education and solutions for anyone with a lawn, in the form of edutainment and consumer products. Carbon Capture Shield has launched this initiative to educate and empower both farmers and consumers! Using their ability to create engaging media to inspire an avid base of conscious consumers, they will then use this market demand to encourage wary farmers into adopting the protocols of Regenerative Agriculture, and thereby restore the environment through promoting and upholding stewardship by all landholders, large and small." (Source: Carbon Capture Shield Inc., PR, 8 July, 2021) Contact: Carbon Capture Shield Inc., Darryl J. Nicke II, Pres., 407 603 6417, djnicke@carboncaptureshield.com, www.carboncaptureshield.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Capture,  Carbon Capture Shield,  Soil Carbon,  CCS,  Climate Change,  Carbon Footprint,  


    JTA Transportation Hub Wins USGBC LEED Gold (Ind. Report)
    USGBC,LEED
    Date: 2021-06-04
    In the Sunshine State, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) reports its 67,000-square-foot multimodal transportation hub -- Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center at LaVilla -- has been awarded US Green Building Council LEED Gold certification.

    The JRTC at LaVilla received 63 out of 65 eligible credits for the Build Design and Construction category, which is used for new constructions or major renovations of existing spaces. LEED Gold certification requires between 60-79 credits.

    JRTC at LaVilla facility's energy efficiency LEED qualifying features include: LED lighting complete with occupancy sensors, dimming and daylight harvesting; low-flow plumbing fixtures; energy-efficient HVAC systems; an indoor air quality management plan; heat reflective cool roof; bio-swales, rain gardens and bio-retention areas to pre-treat surface water runoff from the site and reduce water used for irrigation by 50 pct; and other features. (Source: Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), PR, June, 2021) Contact: Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), 904-630-3181, www.jtafla.com; US Green Building Council, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

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


    Maxeon Touts Adhesive Rooftop Solar Panels (New Prod. & Tech.)
    Maxeon Solar Technologies
    Date: 2021-05-19
    Singapore-headquartered Maxeon Solar Technologies is touting its new Maxeon Air technology platform -- a frameless, thin, lightweight and conformable solar panel that can be time and cost effectively adhered directly to a roof without the need for racking or other mounting systems.

    Maxeon Air panels will be featured in selected projects in Europe in the second half of 2021. The first installations will target roofs that are not engineered to support the weight of conventional solar systems. In Europe alone, there is an un-served annual market for low-load roofs of over 4 GW, the company estimates.

    Maxeon IBC solar cell panel's factory integrated adhesive layer enable installation directly on a roof surface without metal frame racking, anchors or ballast. The cells incorporate a solid metal foundation and stress relieved cell interconnects that protect against corrosion and enables fault tolerant circuits that allow energy flow and have the unique ability to share current in reverse bias voltage while shaded, avoiding damaging or dangerous high temperatures.

    The product is slated to be commercially available beginning in Q1, 2022. (Source: Maxeon Solar Technologies, PR, Solar Builder, 18 May, 2021) Contact: Maxeon Solar Technologies, Jeff Waters, CEO, www.maxeon.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Maxeon Solar Technologies news,  Colar Cell news,  Solar Panel news,  Rooftop Soler news,  


    PEG Wins ENERGY STAR® Sustained Excellence Award (Ind. Report)
    PEG LLC, ENERGY STAR
    Date: 2021-04-14
    Fairfax, Virginia-based energy efficiency, engineering, environmental, and management consulting firm PEG, LLC reports it has received the 2021 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award from the U.S. EPA and the U.S. DOE for the fifth consecutive year.

    PEG specializes in building energy performance, green building program compliance, building diagnostics, environmental and code compliance, thermal performance, HVAC design and operation, and construction defect.

    ENERGY STAR® is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions. Since 1992, ENERGY STAR and its partners helped American families and businesses avoid more than $450 billion in energy costs and achieve 4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions. (Source: PEG, LLC, PR, 13 Apr., 2021) Contact: PEG LLC, JoAnn Spence, President and CEO , www.pegenv.com: DOE ENERGY STAR, www.energystar.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ENERGY STAR,  Energy Efficiency,  


    CO2, Methane Emissions Surged in 2020 (NOAA Ind. Report)
    NOAA
    Date: 2021-04-09
    In Washington, just released research from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has found carbon dioxide and methane -- which is nearly 30 times more potent at trapping heat within the atmosphere than CO2 -- emissions surged in 2020.

    Research data collected at remote NOAA sampling locations indicated the global surface average for CO2 was 412.5 parts per million last year -- a 2.6 ppm increase. The global increase rate constituted the fifth-highest on record for a single year, after 1987, 1998, 2015 and 2016, according to NOAA. Atmospheric methane's annual increase for 2020 was 14.7 parts per billion, the largest in the 37 years NOAA has measured it. (Source: NOAA Research News, Website PR, 7 Apr., 2021) Contact: NOAA, oar.communications@noaa.gov, www. research.noaa.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2,  Mathane,  NOAA,  


    Minn., California and Iowa E15 Sales on the Rise (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2021-04-09
    The Iowa Department of Revenue is reporting sales of E15 jumped 24 pct in Iowa in 2020 , despite the pandemic-related drop in overall fuel consumption. Iowa retailers sold 60.59 million gallons of E15 in 2020, up from 48.96 million gallons in 2019 and more than double the 2017 volume of E15 sales, despite a 14.3 pct drop in the state's overall petroleum consumption from 2019 levels.

    Similarly, recent data from the Minnesota Department of Commerce showed 2020 E15 sales there nearly held steady with 2019 sales levels, despite the pandemic. Minnesota E15 sales were 93.46 million gallons, down 4 pct from 97.40 million gallons in 2019.

    On the west coast, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) noted 40.37 million gallons of E85 were sold in the Golden State in 2020, down 0.6 pct from the 40.6 million gallons sold in 2019. (Source: Iowa Department of Revenue Renewable Fuels Association, CARB, Biofuels News, 8 Apr., 2021) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFA,  FlexFuel,  E15,  E85,  Biofuel Blend,  


    Battery Nanomaterial Tech Startup Raises $3Mn (Int'l. Funding)
    Nanom
    Date: 2021-04-05
    Reykjavik, Iceland headquartered battery nanomaterials specialist Nanom reports it has raised $3 million in seed funding for its process technology that boost battery performance and expects to announce its partners in the next few months.

    The nanomaterial process technology has provided a 9x improvement for the Nickel-Iron batteries used in a wide range of large-scale energy storage devices, transportation and other applications. The technology can also be used to create solid state batteries with carbon fibre and a silk interposer treated with an electrolyte. This can be used to create batteries in the structure of electric vehicles such as cars and boats. The company has already created a pilot project where a 1 meter electric boat was constructed where the hull of the boat became the battery.

    The nanoparticle process generates particles that are many orders-of-magnitude more effective in increasing energy surface in existing batteries by mixing them into the slurry that is a standard part of all battery manufacturing lines. Nanom has achieved scale in its manufacturing process and can already satisfy the requirements of battery markets which is a key challenge for nanoparticle production, according to the company release. (Source: Namon, PR, eeNews Europe, 5 Apr., 2021) Contact: Nanom, Armann Kojic, CEO, +354 776 7555, 650 427 9060 – California Office, n@nnom.com, www.nnom.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Battery Energy Storage,  


    ABC Touts Fastest Growing US Biogas Businesses (Ind. Report)
    American Biogas Council
    Date: 2021-03-26
    American Biogas Council (ABC) has identified the following companies as the eight fastest growing biogas businesses in the US as determined by gross revenue growth from 2019 to 2020: DMT Clear Gas Solutions, www.dmt-cgs.com; DVO Inc., www.dvoinc.com; EnviTec Biogas, www.envitec-biogas.com; Evonik, www.corporate.evonik.com/en; Greenlane Biogas, www.greenlanebiogas.com; Nacelle, www.nacellesolutions.com; Paques Environmental Technologies , www.en.paques.nl; and PlanET Biogas , www.planet-biogasusa.com .

    Collectively, revenue from the fastest eight grew by more than 300 pct. from 2019 through 2020. ABC notes there are presently 2,200 operating biogas projects across all 50 states. (Source: American Biogas Council, PR, 24 Mar., 2021) Contact: American Biogas Council, Patrick Serfass, Executive Director, 202-904-0220, 202-640-6595, info@americanbiogascouncil.org, www.americanbiogascouncil.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American Biogas Council,  Biogas,  


    Biogas Council Touts Fastest Growing Biogas Businesses (Ind. Report)
    American Biogas Council
    Date: 2021-03-17
    In Washington, the American Biogas Council is reporting the following eight companies as the fastest growing biogas businesses in the U.S., based on 2019-20 gross revenue growth: DMT, DVO, Inc., Envitec Biogas, Evonik, Greenlane Biogas, Nacelle, Paques Environmental Technologies, and PlanET Biogas. Collectively, revenue from the fastest eight grew by more than 300 pct.

    According to the Council release, the US biogas industry presently has 2,200 operating projects in all 50 states. Biogas systems recycle organic material into renewable energy and soil products. Because each year the US generates millions of tons of manure, agricultural waste and food scraps, plus billions of gallons of wastewater every day, the potential to build new biogas systems to manage those large volumes of organic waste is enormous. At least 15,000 new systems could be built, catalyzing an estimated $45 billion in new capital deployment along with 374,000 short-term construction jobs to build the new systems and 25,000 permanent jobs to operate them. This number of systems could produce enough energy to power 7.5 million American homes and reduce emissions equivalent to removing up to 15.4 million passenger vehicles from the road, in addition to many other benefits. (Source: American Biogas Council, Website PR, Mar., 2021) Contact: American Biogas Council, Patrick Serfass, Executive Director, 202-904-0220, 202-640-6595, info@americanbiogascouncil.org, www.americanbiogascouncil.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biogas,  Biogas,  Anaerobic Digestion,  American Biogas Council,  


    EPA Changes Course on RFS "Hardship" Waivers (Reg & Leg.)
    EPA, Renewable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2021-02-24
    In Washington, the US EPA reports it will support a January 2020 decision by the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and farm groups lawsuit over "improperly granted" renewable fuel standard (RFS) "hardship" waivers granted to oil refineries under the Trump administration. The lawsuit is expected to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court this spring.

    The EPA under Trump issued 85 retroactive small refinery exemptions for the 2016-2018 compliance years, undercutting the renewable fuel volumes by a total of 4 billion gallons, according to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA)

    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 (Source: US EPA, 22 Feb., 2021)Contact: RFA, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFA,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  "Hardship Waiver",  Ethanol Blend,  


    POET Applauds Iowa Governor's Drive to E15 by 2025 (Ind. Report)
    POET
    Date: 2021-02-12
    In Souix Falls, South Dakota, POET applauded Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds' proposed legislation to speed the statewide adoption of higher biofuel blends and make E15 the standard fuel option by 2025.

    According to POET Founder and CEO Jeff Broin, "Iowa has always been a major champion for biofuels, and we applaud Governor Reynolds for taking that forward-thinking leadership to the next level with E15. Passing legislation for an E15 standard could lay the foundation for the entire nation. E15 in Iowa would add nearly 30 million bushels of grain demand each year, grow thousands of jobs across the state and inject millions into Iowa’s economy," Broin continued.

    "It would boost farm incomes across the Midwest, grow dependable domestic markets, and be a critical step in securing America's energy independence. Make no mistake -- we need to return to our roots and once again get our energy from the surface of the Earth, and America's farmers will play a pivotal role in the climate solution. Federal and state leaders looking to take action on climate and clean air should start with plant-based biofuels like bioethanol, which is 46 pct cleaner than gasoline from farm to freeway and displaces toxic chemicals in gasoline linked to cancer and other serious health problems," Broin concluded. (Source: POET, PR, 8 Feb., 2021)Contact: POET, Jeff Broin, CEO, (605) 965-2200, www.poet.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News POET,  Biofuel,  Ethanol,  E15,  Ethanol Blend ,  


    WELTEC BIOPOWER Joins American Biogas Council, Promotes biomethane/RNG Production (Int'l. Report)
    WELTEC BIOPOWER,American Biogas Council
    Date: 2021-02-10

    Vechta, Germany-based biogas plant manufacturer, and the developer of over 300 anaerobic digestion plants, WELTEC BIOPOWER GmbH reports it has joined of the American Biogas Council (ABC). The Washington-based association has been campaigning for the interests of the American biogas industry since 2010. The ABC represents biogas and biomethane plant operators, research institutions, municipal suppliers and manufacturers along the biogas supply chain.

    WELTEC has expertise in using the climate-neutral gas. Through their own portfolio of plants in Europe, the company generates 3,53 billion cubic feet of biogas annually, which is upgraded to RNG for gas grid injection. In addition, the use of RNG is everyday practice at many other plant locations. For example, a biogas plant built by WELTEC in Finland, uses biomethane to refuel trucks, and another plant in France refuels CNG/RNG tractors. (Source: WELTEC BIOPOWER GmbH, PR, 9 Feb., 2021) Contact: WELTEC BIOPOWER GmbH, +49 4441 99978-0, +49 4441 99978-8 -- fax, info@weltec-biopower.de, www.weltec-biopower.de; American Biogas Council, Patrick Serfass, Exec. Dir., (202) 640-6595, info@americanbiogascouncil.org, www.AmericanBiogasCouncil.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News WELTEC BIOPOWER,  Biogas,  Anaerobic Digestion,  American Biogas Council,  


    RFA to Assist Retailers with HBIIP (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    USDA, HBIIP
    Date: 2021-02-05
    "When the USDA Rural Development office announced the reopening of its Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) funding opportunity and gave retailers one more shot at a grant award, it set a tight 30-day application period that ended January 19.

    "In the first HBIIP funding opportunity, the Renewable Fuels Association was able to assist applicants secure funding in 22 states which will result in over $50 million in new ethanol infrastructure and bring almost 1,200 new blender dispensers to the marketplace. RFA was front-and-center once again on this second round, working up to the final hour to assist as many retailers as we could. In the end, we helped 11 companies in seven states submit applications for 47 locations that could result in 233 new higher blend dispensers where consumers can enjoy the benefits of higher ethanol blends.

    "According to the USDA, HBIIP was created to increase significantly the sales and use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel by expanding the infrastructure for renewable fuels. The program is also intended to encourage a more comprehensive approach to market higher blends by sharing the costs related to building out biofuel-related infrastructure.

    "For retailers, HBIIP can provide the extra support needed to bring higher blends into their marketplace. The cost-share grants provide up to 50 percent of total eligible project costs, not to exceed $3 million per applicant. The program will share the costs related to the upgrading of fuel dispensers (gas and diesel pumps), associated ancillary equipment, and other infrastructure necessary for a location to ensure the environmentally safe availability of fuel containing ethanol blends greater than 10 percent such as E15 and E85 or fuel containing biodiesel blends greater than 5 percent.

    "We're looking forward to seeing this new round of grants announced and fulfilled, so we can help retailers move more low-carbon ethanol into fuel tanks around the country. For those retailers that might have missed out on this funding opportunity, there are some states and individual renewable fuel advocates that offer funding throughout the year. Please reach out to RFA for assistance in navigating these opportunities." (Source: Renewable Fuels Association , 3 Feb. 2021) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Cassie Mullen, Dir. Market Development, www.ethanolrfa.org

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


    Ethanol Ind. Leaders Comment on EPA's Last Minute RFA "Hardship" Waivers (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    RFS Waivers
    Date: 2021-02-01
    On Jan 19, the Trump administration's Andrew Wheeler-led EPA approved three small refinery "hardship" waivers to reverse one denial from 2018 and granting two for the 2019 compliance year. The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) was quick to respond with a petition for review and an emergency motion to stay EPA's action.

    "Based on empirical evidence from SREs improperly granted in other compliance years, the new 2018-2019 SREs will likely have a sudden, negative impact on both ethanol sales volumes and prices. This would be devastating to America's ethanol producers, many of which are already on the brink of closure due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This action by EPA is completely without legal merit," RFA Pres. and CEO Geoff Cooper Noted:

    "This midnight-hour attempt by the Trump administration to damage the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and sabotage the ethanol industry's recovery from the COVID pandemic simply cannot be allowed to prevail. With just hours remaining in his shameful term as EPA administrator, Wheeler couldn't stop himself from doling out a few more Clean Air Act compliance exemptions to his well-connected friends. But the fact remains that this action by EPA is completely without legal merit. It flouts both the statute and recent court decisions that clearly limit EPA's authority and ability to grant these exemptions. And while this action comes as one last sucker punch from the Trump administration, we are confident it will be a hollow victory for the politically connected oil companies receiving today's waivers, as the new Biden administration will most certainly act quickly to restore the volumes erased by these waivers," RFA president and CEO Geoff Cooper said.

    "Farm families and biofuel workers across the country have worked tirelessly to make a living over the past few months despite a global pandemic. And yet, the Trump administration's SRE abuse has piled on to the uncertainty and difficulty that rural Americans are facing every day," according to Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor.

    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. (Source: RFA, Growth Energy, AgriNews, 30January, 2021) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org; RFA, Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  Biofuel,  Biofuel Blend,  RFA,  Growth Energy,  RFS,  "Hardship" Waivers,  ,  


    Iowa Ethanol Production Down 500Mn Gallons in 2020 (Ind. Report)
    Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2021-01-27
    According to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA), while biodiesel production in the Hawkeye State held steady in 2020, the state produced half a billion gallons less ethanol than just the year before. According to IRFA's annual economic impact study, ethanol and biodiesel production contributes nearly $4 billion in state gross domestic product (GDP) supports 37,000 direct and indirect jobs, and boosts Iowa household income by $1.8 billion. (Source: IRFA, PR, 22 Jan., 2021) 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,  


    Novel Biofuel Recovery Process Investigated (New Prod. & Tech.)
    Imperial College London
    Date: 2021-01-20
    In the UK, Imperial College London, Livingstone Group researchers, in collaboration with BP, report development of a cost-effective and energy-efficient membrane-based extraction method that reduces energy requirements by 25 pct and produces ten times more transportation biofuel with more than 99.5 pct purity.

    Researchers chose 2-ethyl-hexanol (2EH) as the extractant based on several attractive properties including water-immiscibility, high boiling point, low viscosity, and high partition coefficient for the target product. A high partition coefficient of extractant increases the effective driving force of membrane-based extraction and improves productivity. Additionally, 2EH is inexpensive and readily available.

    The membrane separates the fermentation broth from the extractant 2EH, which is highly selective but toxic to microorganisms. Alcohol product can be extracted through the membrane keeping the alcohol concentration low at the fermentation broth, preventing toxicity and promoting biofuel production. Furthermore, the membrane enables continuous production leading to increased productivity compared to conventional techniques.

    Imperial College is further developing the technology by scaling up membrane fabrication and immobilizing microorganisms, working to reduce the thin-film layer to improve extraction rate and investigating the effects of temperature on the extractant. (Source: Imperial College London, PR, Chem Engineer, Jan., 2021) Contact: Imperial College London, Andrew Livingston, Professor of Chemical Engineering, +44 (0)20 7589, 5111www.imperial.ac.uk/livingston-group

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Imperial College London,  Biofuel,  


    DOE Funding Fossil-Based Hydrogen Projects (R&D, Funding)
    DOE Office of Fossil Energy
    Date: 2021-01-18
    In Washington, the U.S. DOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE) reports the availability of $160 million funding to help recalibrate the Nations fossil-fuel and power infrastructure for decarbonized energy and commodity production. The funding, for cost-shared cooperative agreements, is aimed to develop technologies for the production, transport, storage, and utilization of fossil-based hydrogen, with progress towards net-zero carbon emissions.

    Fossil fuels currently provide the lowest cost pathway for producing hydrogen, according to cost data in a recent DOE/FE Hydrogen Strategy Document. The U.S. will authorize advanced and novel technologies capable of improving the performance, reliability, and flexibility of methods to produce, transport, store, and use hydrogen. When coupled with carbon capture and storage (CCS), low-cost hydrogen sourced from fossil energy feedstocks and processes will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of these processes and enable progress toward hydrogen production with net-zero carbon emissions.

    Funding is available for significant advancements in the following program areas:

  • Net-Zero or Negative Carbon Hydrogen Production from Modular Gasification and Co-Gasification of Mixed Wastes, Biomass, and Traditional Feedstocks -- The objective is to advance gasification technologies capable of improved performance, reliability, and flexibility to produce net-zero or negative carbon hydrogen by readily accommodating integration of pre-combustion carbon capture. An additional objective is utilizing low-cost and negative-cost feedstock materials, along with traditional feedstocks, to produce low-cost net-zero carbon fuels and chemicals.

  • Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell Technology (SOEC) Development -- The objective is to develop new or modified materials for SOECs and improve understanding of degradation mechanisms in SOECs for efficient and cost-effective production of hydrogen.

  • Carbon Capture -- The objective is to complete the initial design of a commercial scale carbon capture, storage, and utilization (CCUS) system that separates and stores more than 100,000 tpy net carbon dioxide of 95 pct purity, with 90 pct+ carbon capture efficiency, from a steam methane reforming (SMR) or autothermal reforming (ATR) plant producing 99.97 pct H2 from natural gas.

  • Advanced Turbines -- The objective is to advance the performance of gas turbine combustion systems fueled with high purity hydrogen, hydrogen and natural gas mixtures and other carbon neutral fuels (e.g., ammonia). An additional objective is to demonstrate a hydrogen-fueled rotating detonation engine in a gas turbine.

  • Natural Gas-Based Hydrogen Production -- The objective is to develop transformative natural gas decarbonization technologies to produce zero- or negative-carbon hydrogen, to meet the needs of future hydrogen markets.

    li> Hydrogen Pipeline Infrastructure -- The objective is to develop technologies that improve the cost and performance (e.g., resiliency, reliability, safety, integrity) of hydrogen transportation infrastructure, including pipelines and compression stations.

  • Subsurface Hydrogen Storage -- The objective is to develop technologies to improve the cost and performance (efficiency, safety, integrity) of subsurface hydrogen storage.

    The FOA will be used to solicit R&D for specific areas of interest aligned with the above seven program areas. Successful applications will be of different monetary values and project durations. Projects will be managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NRTL).

    Download the HYDROGEN STRATEGY -- Enabling A Low-Carbon Economy document HERE. (Source: U.S. DOE Office of Fossil Energy DOE, PR, 15 Jan., 2021) Contact: U.S. DOE Office of Fossil Energy, 202-586-6660, www.energy.gov/fe/office-fossil-energy

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Hydrogem,  DOE Office of Fossil Energy ,  


  • Global Grasslands Contribute to Climate Warming (Study Attached)
    Climate Change,International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
    Date: 2021-01-08
    Grasslands play a critical role in carbon sequestration. But a recent study -- Climate Warming from Managed Grasslands Cancels Cooling Effect of Carbon Sinks in Sparsely Grazed and Natural Grasslands -- found human activity is causing grasslands to become a source of greenhouse gas emissions.

    According to the USDA Climate Change Resource Center, grasslands cover approximately 25 pct of the earth's surface, contain nearly 12 pct of the land-based carbon stocks and are essential in supporting food and livestock production. Yet, citing the expansion of pasture lands and higher livestock numbers, researchers warn current management of grasslands is accelerating climate change.

    Until recently, natural and managed grasslands emitted and removed an equal amount of greenhouse gases, canceling each other out. Researchers from the Austria-based International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) investigated how these fluctuations in greenhouse gases have contributed to climate change in both managed pastures and natural grasslands, between the years of 1750 and 2012. The IIASA researchers found that the ability for natural and sparsely grazed grasslands to absorb more carbon has intensified while grasslands heavily managed by humans became a source of greenhouse gases, emitting similar quantities of greenhouse gases to that of croplands.

    While nearly half of all temperate grasslands and 16 pct of tropical grasslands have been transformed for agricultural or industrial use and conserving grasslands to preserve soil health and reduce emissions from managed grasslands could deliver a significant reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the study.

    Download the Climate Warming from Managed Grasslands Cancels Cooling Effect of Carbon Sinks in Sparsely Grazed and Natural Grasslands report HERE. (Source: Nature Communications, EcoWatch, 6 Jan., 2020) Contact: USDA Climate Change Resource Center, www.fs.usda.gov/ccrc; International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, www.iiasa.ac.at

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


    Univ. of Wyoming Releases Carbon Storage Study (Ind. Report)
    University of Wyoming
    Date: 2020-12-30
    The University of Wyoming, in partnership with West Virginia University of Law and the U.S. Energy Association (USEA) has released a comparative study for the U.S. DOE identifying the regulatory shortcomings slowing the deployment of carbon dioxide utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies. The study findings could help eliminate regulatory blindspots that pop up when projects are proposed with federal or private surface and subsurface interests.

    Scientists are working to find commercial ways to capture and store CO2 underground. But CO2 can also be used at oil fields, by injecting it into reservoirs to remove residual oil that traditional drilling processes could not extract. Researchers note policy makers need to know both the legal and regulatory obstacles facing energy developers trying to advance these technologies. For examples, developers hoping to establish these technologies on federal, state or private lands can run into issues involving land, mineral, pore space or water rights, pipeline regulations, eminent domain or limits to CO2 storage regulation, among others, according to the report.

    Recent federal incentives could accelerate the advancement of CO2 storage and utilization across the 12 states studied. For one, in 2018 Congress revised Section 45Q of the tax code to provide more favorable tax incentives to companies engaged in carbon capture and sequestration. The 45Q federal tax credit is given to companies for each ton of CO2 they sequester in the ground. Since then, the program has received feedback from potential claimants, and the Internal Revenue Service recently proposed rules to regulate the program. (Source: University of Wyoming, PR, US Energy Association, Dec., 2020) Contact: US Energy Association, (202) 312-1230, www.usea.org; University of Wyoming, School of Energy Resources, Holly Krutka, Exec. Dir., (307) 766-1121, hkrutka@uwyo.edu, www.uwyo.edu/ser

    More Low-Carbon Energy News University of Wyoming,  CCS,  CCUS,  U.S. Energy Association ,  


    Impact of COVID-19 on the Ethanol Industry (RFA Report Attached)
    Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2020-12-28
    According to a Renewable Fuels Association Impact of COVID-19 on the Ethanol Industry report released Dec. 9, the COVID-19 pandemic has cost ethanol producers $3.8 billion in losses due to restricted driving and less ethanol-blend gasoline consumption.

    By April, the low point in both production and consumption of ethanol had fallen by 50 pct from the previous year. Volumes rebounded from that point but never reached "normal" levels. In the first week of December, consumption of both gasoline and ethanol fell to their lowest points since May, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.

    The cumulative decline in ethanol production is estimated to have been 2 billion gallons from March to November 2020. The ethanol industry's usage of corn has been reduced by 700 million bushels.

    Access the RFA's Impact of COVID-19 on the Ethanol Industry report HERE. (Source: Renewable Fuels Association, High Plains Journal, 27 Dec., 2020) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, (202) 289-3835,www.ethanolrfa.org

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


    RFA CEO Comments on COVID-19 Relief Package (Opinions & Asides)
    RFA
    Date: 2020-12-28
    "As Congress debates another COVID-19 relief package, we implore policymakers to consider the devastating economic impact the pandemic has had on renewable fuel producers. Our new analysis provides an in-depth look at how rural communities have suffered.

    "The decrease in ethanol production has idled or permanently closed plants across the heartland and caused job losses in rural communities where good employment is often hard to find.

    "As an industry deemed critical and essential to America, we call on Congress to act swiftly to provide some targeted relief to our nation’s renewable fuels industry." -- Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, (202) 289-3835,www.ethanolrfa.org

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


    18-Mile Solar Paneled Road Surface Unveiled in Ga. (Ind. Report)
    French National Solar Energy Institute
    Date: 2020-12-14
    In Gwinette County, Georgia, the city of Peachtree Corners -- "the nation's first smart city environment powered by real-world infrastructure and next-generation connectivity" -- reports the installation of a new solar roadway system that generates more than 1,300 kWh per year of energy for a solar-powered EV charging station located at city hall. The 18-mile installation is the first road surface-powered solar panels to be activated in a U.S. city.

    The Wattway solar roadway panels, manufactured by French highways engineer and transportation innovator Colas Group in partnership with the French National Solar Energy Institute, were engineered to be more durable and efficient for a 21 pct performance increase over previously deployed panels. (Source: City of Peachtree Corners, AllOnGeorgia. 13 Dec., 2020) Contact: Colas Group, www.colas.com/en/group; French National Solar Energy Institute, www.ines-solaire.org; Peachtree Corners, www.peachtreecornersga.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  Roadway Solar,  


    RFA Bemoans Falling Flex Fuel Vehicle Offerings (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2020-12-11
    Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network reports the following comments on the decline of Flex Fuel Vehicles from the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) VP for Industry Relations Robert White:

    "Unfortunately, changes that were made to CAFE credits, which are Corporate Average Fuel Economy credits that the automakers received for years to make flex fuel vehicles, was changed during the Obama Administration to be phased out for flex fuel vehicles. They really aimed at incentivizing electric vehicles.

    "We knew this was coming ... We have seen it in the last few model years, but we are really down to just 11 models of flex fuel vehicles coming from just Ford and General Motors. That's a strong dive from where we once were at 80 different models across eight manufacturers.

    "We're sure doing all we can to reverse that trend. There were some recent comments to the federal government on how to incentivize the return of those vehicles. I also think there is just genuine consumer interest. The automakers are no doubt hearing from more people. We have record people converting their vehicles to make them flex fuel now than we have ever seen. It's an astonishing new market."

    According to the RDA, only 11 flex fuel models will be on the market in 2021 with five of those models available only to fleet purchasers. (Source: RFA, Iowa Agribusiness Radio, 9 Dec., 2020) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Robert White, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

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


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

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

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

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

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


    NAIT Innovation Centre Earns CaGBC LEED Gold (Ind. Report)
    Canada Green Building Council
    Date: 2020-12-04
    In Edmonton, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is reporting its Productivity and Innovation Centre has achieved LEED Gold certification from the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).

    The building's LEED qualifying features include: green cleaning supplies and housekeeping program; low emissions paint, surfaces and floor coverings; low-flow plumbing fixture that deliver 30 pct reduction in water consumption; 90 pct of construction waste recycled; solar panel arrays; 40 pct reduction in energy costs, and others. (Source: NAIT, PR, Dec., 2020) Contact: NAIT, 780.471.6248, techlife@nait.ca, www.nait.ca; Canada Green Building Council, (866) 941-1184, info@cagbc.org, www.cagbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Canadian Green Building Council,  LEED Certification,  Energy Efficiency,  


    SFU Sustainable Energy School Scores LEED Gold (Ind. Report)
    sdu, cANADA gREEN bUILDING cOUNCIL
    Date: 2020-12-04
    In Burnaby, British Columbia, Simon Fraser University (SFU) School of Sustainable Energy Engineering reports it recently completed 220,000 sq-ft Surrey Campus building has earned Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC) LEED Gold certification for sustainable design and operations.

    The five-storey building incorporates 330 precast white cement panels with reflective surfaces organized around the light filled atrium and live trees at varying levels. The building incorporates various LEED qualifying energy efficiency features and underground parking, modern wet and dry teaching labs, classrooms, study spaces, faculty offices, meeting rooms and a 400-seat lecture hall. The project was partially funding through the federal government's Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) and matched by the Province of British Columbia. (Source: Simon Fraser University, PR, Construction Business, 1 Dec., 2020) Contact: Simon Fraser University, Larry Waddell, Chief Facilities Officer, www.sdu.ca; Canada Green Building Council, (866) 941-1184, info@cagbc.org, www.cagbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Canada Green Building Council,  Energy Efficiency,  LEED Certification,  


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    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 ,  

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