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DOE Energy Storage Grand Challenge Program Launched (Ind Report)
Energy Storage Grand Challenge Program
Date: 2020-03-13
In Washington, the Trump administration DOE is touting the recently launched Energy Storage Grand Challenge Program aimed at accelerating the development of next-generation energy storage technology and creating and sustaining global leadership in energy storage utilization and exports by 2030. The Challenges goals are as follows:
  • Technology Development -- Establish ambitious, achievable performance goals, and a comprehensive R&D portfolio to achieve them;

  • Technology Transfer -- Accelerate the technology pipeline from research to system design to private sector adoption through rigorous system evaluation, performance validation, siting tools, and targeted collaborations;

  • Policy and Valuation -- Develop best-in-class models, data, and analysis to inform the most effective value proposition and use cases for storage technologies;

  • Manufacturing and Supply Chain --Design new technologies to strengthen U.S. manufacturing and recyclability, and to reduce dependence on foreign sources of critical materials; and
  • Workforce -- Train the next generation of American workers to meet the needs of the 21st century electric grid and energy storage value chain.

    Download DOE Energy Storage Grand Challenge program details HERE (Source: US DOE, Mar, 2020) Contact: Energy Storage Grand Challenge Program, www.energy.gov


  • DOE Ordered to Set Appliance Efficiency Standards (Ind. Report)
    DOE
    Date: 2020-03-13
    The Trump administration DOE has been ordered by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to impose energy efficiency, energy conservation standard upgrades for four set of appliances first proposed under the Obama Administration. Industrial air compressors, portable air conditioners, and uninterruptible power supplies or battery backup devices used to protect computers and other sensitive equipment are covered in the ruling.

    Under DOE's new rule, federal appliance energy efficiency upgrades must be "significant" -- defined under the rule as saving at least 0.3 quads of energy over 30 years or improving energy use by at least 10 pct above existing standards. (Source: US DOE, Heartland Institute, 12 Mar., 2020)

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


    California AG Led Coalition Challenges DOE Light Bulb Energy Efficiency Standards (Reg. & Leg.)
    DOE
    Date: 2020-03-02
    Reporting from Sacramento, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and a coalition of 16 attorneys general and the City of New York, have filed a lawsuit in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the the US DOE's Dec. 27, 2019 final determination rejecting stronger energy efficiency standards for common light bulbs.

    The DOE's "unlawful and ill-advised decision ignores direction from Congress to transition the nation to inexpensive, efficient, and widely available lighting sources. It would increase greenhouse gas emissions and consumers' energy costs," the suit claims.

    According to the California AG release, approximately three billion lighting sockets -- nearly half of all lighting sockets in U.S. homes -- contain bulbs affected by this proposal. DOE's decision directly impacts consumers who stand to lose significant energy savings.

    On December 27, 2019, DOE issued its final determination halting energy efficiency improvements to the lightbulbs in question, also known as General Service Incandescent Lamps (GSIL). It concluded that improved GSIL standards were not "economically justified." DOE's decision is part of an ongoing effort by the agency to stifle progress in energy efficiency. The agency's decision attempts to undermine a provision in federal law that moves retailers away from selling lightbulbs that do not meet the minimum standard of 45 lumens per watt. This decision would cost consumers $12 billion each year in lost electricity savings by 2025 -- a $100 loss per household per year, accoding the the California AG release.

    DOE's decision amounts to a failure to enact a stronger standard in violation of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act.

    Joining Attorney General Becerra in filing this lawsuit are the Attorneys General of New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia, as well as the City of New York. (Source: Office of California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, YubaNet, 26 Feb., 2020) Contact: Office of California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, www. oag.ca.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency.Light Buld Energy Efficiency,  


    Co-Optima Offers Biofuel, Bioenergy R&D Funding (Funding, R&D)
    US DOE Co-Optima Initiative
    Date: 2020-02-21
    The US DOE Co-Optima Initiative is overseeing a Directed Funding Opportunity (DFO) to apply the unique, world-class capabilities of the consortium toward addressing specific challenges identified by applicants from industry and academia.

    The Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) National Laboratory consortium is jointly sponsored by the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office and Vehicle Technologies Office. Co-Optima focuses on developing new high-performance fuels that, when combined with advanced combustion approaches, can boost engine efficiency and cut emissions.

    The Co-Optima DFO is seeking proposals that overcome key technical challenges to accelerating adoption of new fuel-biofuel blend stocks from renewable resources, enabling higher efficiency and lower emissions in on-highway vehicles. For this DFO, biofuel blendstocks, biofuel production, bio-blendstock/biofuel property R&D is of particular interest and importance.

    Selected projects are anticipated to range from $200,000 up to $300,000 of Co-Optima National Laboratory assistance over the project duration of 12-18 months. Up to $2,000,000 will be available for this call and Co-Optima anticipates a total of 7-10 projects will be selected for funding. Industry partners will fund their own labor, materials, and other expenses directly, which contribute toward a 20 pct minimum cost-share requirement.

    Directed Funding Opportunity for Collaboration with National Laboratories details HERE. (Source: Co-Optima, PR, 18 Feb., 2020) Contact: DOE Co-Optima, www.cooptima.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Fuel,  Low-Carbon Fuel,  Renewable Fuels,  Biofuel,  


    Sioux City Schools Awarded ENERGY STAR Certification (Ind. Report)
    ENERGY STAR
    Date: 2020-02-17
    In the Hawkeye State, the Sioux City Community School District (SCCSD) is reporting 21 of its buildings have earned US DOE 2019 ENERGY STAR certification for superior energy performance and efficiency.

    The ENERGY STAR is awarded based on actual, verified energy performance. (Source: Sioux City Community School District, SiouxLand, KCAU, 15 Feb., 2020) Contact: Sioux City Community School District, www.siouxcityschools.org

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


    US DOE Offering $125.5 Mn for Solar R&D Initiatives (Funding)
    US DOE
    Date: 2020-02-12
    The US DOE is reporting the availability of as much as $125.5 million financing for research and development projects focused on reducing the cost and enhancing the cooperativeness of domestic solar energy.

    Of the total, $39 million is earmarked for one or two projects seeking to develop a test site to speed up the commercialization of supercritical carbon dioxide power cycles used by concentrated solar power (CSP) plants. Up to 11 projects will qualify for a total of $30 million for developing community microgrids and boosting the cybersecurity for solar inverters and power plants.

    An additional $15 million will be shared by between * and 12 projects aimed at prolonging the lifespan of PV systems and cut hardware costs for plants using traditional silicon solar cells, as well as thin-film, tandem and perovskite cells. Innovative solar manufacturing projects, emerging technologies, solar farm siting and artificial intelligence applications for the solar sector will also qualify for funding under this offering. (Source: US DOE, Feb., 2020) Contact: US DOE, www.energy.gov › eere › office-energy-efficiency-renewable-energy, energy.gov/solar-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US DOE,  Solar,  ,  


    GE Developing Advanced PV Inverter Technology (Ind. Report, R&D)
    GE Research,
    Date: 2020-02-12
    GE Research, the central technology development arm for the General Electric Company is reporting receipt of $4.2 million in funding from the U.S. DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to help develop and deploy advanced grid-forming photovoltaic (PV) inverter control technologies to support higher amounts of solar power on the grid. GE will contribute $1.4 million to the project.

    The development of "grid-forming" controls will allow wind and solar inverters to form voltage and frequency levels like traditional generators, creating an opportunity for greater and more resilient integration of these resources into the grid. (Source: GE Research, PR, 7 Feb., 2020) Contact: DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office, energy.gov/solar-office; GE Research, www.ge.com › research

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GE Research,  PV,  US DOE SETO,  


    WMU Scores $9.6Mn for Li-Ion Battery RED (R&D, Funding)
    Western Michigan University
    Date: 2020-02-12
    In Kalamazoo, Western Michigan University (WMU) is reporting receipt of $9.6 million in US DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy grant funding for a new sustainable lithium-ion battery R&D project entitled "Enabling Advanced Electrode Architecture through Printing Technique."

    The project focuses on developing cost-effective manufacturing process for better lithium-ion batteries for various applications. The project is being led by assistant professor Dr. Qingliu Wu of WMU's Department of Chemical and Paper Engineering. (Source: Western Michigan University, WKZ, 10 Feb., 2020) Contact: Western Michigan University, Dept. of Paper and Chemical Engineering, (269) 276-3500 www.wmich.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Battery,  Energy Storage,  


    LLNL Envisions CO2 Cuts Without Cutting CA Oil Prod. (Ind. Report)
    Lawrence Livermore National Lab
    Date: 2020-02-07
    In the Golden State, a new study from the US DOE's Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) has found that California can bury or offset 125 MW per year of CO2 by 2045 through land management practices, waste material processing, capturing atmospheric CO2 and storing the gas deep underground without negatively impacting the state's oil production.

    The study also suggests the local economy might be able to avoid fallout from Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom's plan to achieve carbon neutrality, in part, by managing the decline of California's Kern-centric oil industry and Kern's previously recognized geologic underground carbon storage capacity.

    The LNL report -- Getting to Neutral: Options for Negative Carbon Emissions in California -- also notes the entire effort would cost less than $10 billion per year, or less than .05 pct of the state's economic output.

    According to the report, 84 megatons per year of CO2 emissions can be rerouted by creating biofuels from biomass and that carbon associated with such activities could then be buried. Another 25 megatons per year could be avoided by restoring woodlands, grasslands and wetlands, among other land-management practices. Additional savings could be pulled right out of the air using energy-intensive technology. (Source: Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Bakersfield.com,3 Feb., 2020) Contact: Lawrence Livermore National Lab, www.llnl.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Getting to Neutral: Options for Negative Carbon Emissions in California,  Lawrence Livermore National Lab ,  


    $18.8Mn DOE Funding for Low-Temp Geothermal R&D (R&D, Funding)
    US DOE EERE,
    Date: 2020-02-07
    The U.S DOE has announced an $18.8 million funding that will go towards six innovative R&D initiatives aimed towards:
  • Exploration RD&D -- Hidden Geothermal Systems in the Basin and Range; and
  • Advanced Energy Storage Initiative (AESI) -- Bi-directional Energy Storage Using Low-Temperature Geothermal Applications.

    The first topic aims to build on the success of the Geothermal Technologies Office's Play Fairway Analysis (PFA) initiative. The PFA technique is a method for discovering hidden hydrothermal systems in the Basin & Range region of the western U.S using known geologic factors associated with geothermal systems. By reducing the uncertainty of discovering geothermal systems in such settings, development and investment in the area can become more attractive.

    The second topic aims to enhance the resilience of energy systems through the use of Reservoir Thermal Energy Storage (RTES) technology particularly in low-temperature geothermal systems. Deep-Direct Use (DDU) for space heating is being considered as the best application of this technolgoy, as excess thermal energy during summer could be stored as a reserve for winter heating.

    Interested applicants may submit a letter of intent until February 28, 2020, 5 PM. Only those who have submitted the letter will be eligible for full applications, which will be accepted until April 6, 2020, 5 PM. (Source: U.S. Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies Office, 6 Feb., 2020) Contact: U.S. DOE Geothermal Technologies Office, geothermal@ee.doe.gov, egs@ee.doe.gov, www.energy.gov/eere/geothermal/geothermal-technologies-office-contacts-0

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


  • Pioneering EEaaS Providers, Navigator Touted (Ind. Report)
    CBRE, General Electric,Johnson Controls
    Date: 2020-02-03
    Nasdaq is reporting Johnson Controls, commercial real estate services provider CBRE, and industrial conglomerate General Electric Company have made investments in companies that provide Energy Efficiency as a Service (EEaaS) and perform energy efficiency upgrades under long-term contracts with private and public sector building owners.

    As defined by the US DOE, EEaaS is a pay-for-performance, off-balance-sheet type of finance structure that enables customers to implement energy and water efficiency projects with no up-front capital expenditure. The provider of the upgrades pays for project development, construction, and maintenance costs while the customer -- building owner -- makes service payments based on actual energy savings on a long-term basis.

    Access the Better Buildings Financing Navigator HERE. (Source: Various Media, Nsadaq News, 31 Jan., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  General Electric,  CBRE,  Johnson Controls,  


    DOE Finalizes Rule for Appliance Efficiency Standards (Ind. Report)
    DOE
    Date: 2020-01-29
    "There are a number of problematic Department of Energy (DOE) efficiency standards for home appliances. Perhaps worst of all is the one resulting in dishwashers taking hours to do the job. Fortunately, CEI's petition to modify the regulations to allow dishwashers that can finish a load in an hour or less is making headway at the agency, and it doesn't hurt that President Trump has expressed strong support for the effort. But even better than fixing bad regulations is preventing them from happening in the first place, and DOE's recent process rule, applicable to all future appliance rule-makings, contains a number of useful measures.

    "Most importantly, the agency will henceforth forbid standards that fail to deliver significant energy savings. Efficiency standards typically raise the upfront cost of the appliance, but presumably pay the consumer back in the form of lower energy bills -- unless the energy savings are too trivial.

    "The process rule contains a new bright-line requirement that a new or amended standard must save an estimated 0.3 quadrillion BTUs over 30 years (or improve current efficiency by at least 10 percent). According to the agency, if this threshold had already been in place, 40 pct of the appliance rules would have never been enacted. These 40 pct are so useless that, in aggregate, they account for a mere 4 pct of the program's estimated energy savings. Thus, this provision would eliminate those standards most likely to impose more pain than gain for consumers.

    "Other provisions in the process rule allow for a more open and interactive regulatory process, rather than one that limits the manufacturers' input while the rule is being fashioned by the agency. The process rule is also judicially enforceable." (Source: US DOE, Competitive Enterprise Institute - Blog, 29 Jan., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Appliance Energy Efficiency Standards,  


    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,  


    DOE Announces $300Mn for Sustainable Transport R&D (R&D, Funding)
    US DOE
    Date: 2020-01-27
    The US DOE has announced three separate funding opportunities totaling nearly $300 million for sustainable transportation fuels, resources and technologies R&D.

    Funded through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the three FOAs will be issued on behalf of the three transportation offices: Vehicle, Fuel Cells, and Bioenergy Technology Offices. Brief summaries of the FOAs follow:

  • FY20 Vehicles Technologies Office (VTO) Multi-Topic FOA ($133M) -- Issued on behalf of DOE's VTO , topic areas within this FOA address priorities in advanced batteries and electrification; advanced engine and fuel technologies, including technologies for off-road applications; lightweight materials; new mobility technologies (energy efficient mobility systems), and alternative fuels technology demonstrations.

  • H2@Scale New Markets FOA ($64M) -- Issued on behalf of DOE's Fuel Cells Technologies Office (FCTO), topic areas within this FOA advance DOE's H2@Scale initiative. This investment will support innovative hydrogen concepts that will encourage market expansion and increase the scale of hydrogen production, storage, transport, and use, including heavy-duty trucks, data centers and steel production.

  • FY20 Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Multi-Topic FOA ($100M) -- Issued on behalf of DOE's BETO, topic areas within this FOA support the U.S. bioeconomy by reducing the price of drop-in biofuels, lowering the cost of biopower, and enabling high-value products from biomass or waste resources.(Source: USDOE, 25 Jan, 2020) Contact: US DOE BETO, energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuels,  Bioenergy,  DOE BETO,  DOE EERE,  


  • MSU Researching Green Algae Biofuel (R&D, Ind. Report)
    Missouri State University
    Date: 2020-01-24
    Missouri State University (MSU) reports professor Jianlin Cheng is working with the St. Louis-based Donald Danforth Plant Science Center to make green algae an efficient, cheap source of energy to replace fossil fuel.

    According to the MSU report, if enough green algae could be produced to cover half the state of Maine, for example, it could supply enough "green oil" to replace all of the petroleum used in the United States right now. According to the US DOE, the U.S. has the capacity to produce 5 billion gallons of fuel from algae per year by the year 2030, at a cost of $2.50 per gasoline gallon equivalent. To that end, "algal biomass will need to be produced from large-scale farming operations, similar to agricultural crops," the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy said in a statement.

    Cheng, a researcher with the Interdisciplinary Plant Group and director of Bioinformatic at MU, is adapting artificial intelligence to map the shapes and amino acids of proteins to help bioengineers change the structure of the algae and make it more less costly and more efficient for biofuel production.

    Cheng's project Deep Learning Prediction of Protein Complex Structures was supported by $167,797 from the US DOE. (Source: University of Missouri, The Columbian, 23 Jan., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Algae,  Algae Biofuel,  


    DOE Offering $75Mn for Bioenergy Crop R&D (R&D, Funding)
    US DOE
    Date: 2020-01-13
    In Washington, the US DOE has announced the availability of as much as $75 million in individual grants ranging from $1 million to $3 million over five years for research to develop of sustainable bioenergy crops that are "tolerant of environmental stress and resilient to changing environmental conditions." Funded research will focus on the genetic and physiological mechanisms influencing plant productivity and resource use, among other factors.

    Qualifying Universities, industry and non-profit research institutions will collaborator with DOE national laboratories and other federal agencies. (Source: USA DOE, PR, Jan., 2020)Contact: US DOE BETO, energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US DOE BETO,  Bioenergy Crop,  Bioenergy R&D,  


    Richardson Recognized for Fleet Alternative Fuels Use (Ind. Report)
    Clean Cities Coalition
    Date: 2020-01-03
    In the Lone Star State, the Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Coalition has recognized the City of Richardson for its efforts adoption of alternative fuels to reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency of fleet vehicles, according to the coalition's website.

    The awards are given on an annual basis. This is Richardson's fifth year in a row to win the Fleet Recognition Award, according to the city.

    Download US DOE Clean Cities Coalition program details HERE. (Source: Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities , Community Impact, 31 Dec., 2019) Contact: Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities, cleancities@nctcog.org, www.dfwcleancities.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Alternative Fuel,  Clean Cities Coalition,  


    IFB Comments on RFS 2020 Ruling (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Illinois Farm Bureau
    Date: 2019-12-23
    "Illinois farmers expected more than what EPA managed to deliver in its final supplemental rule. More than 1,600 Farm Bureau members told the agency in person and in writing that maintaining the integrity of the RFS only occurs by replacing each and every gallon in the annual Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) that is waived for the benefit of small oil refiners. The EPA seems to be missing a real opportunity to rebuild trust with farmers and the biofuels industry.

    "IFB also urges USDA to move quickly on an infrastructure package to accommodate higher blend levels."

    The Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) represents 75 pct of the state's farmers with membership of more than 386,291 and a voting membership of 79,159. Illinois is the nation's third-largest producer of ethanol with roughly 75 pct of it corn production being converted into ethanol. (Source: Illinois Farm Bureau, 21 Dec., 2019) Contact: Illinois Farm Bureau , t Richard Guebert, Jr, Pres. www.ilfb.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Biofuel,  Ethanol Blend,  USDA,  US DOE,  Renewable Volume Obligation ,  


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

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

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

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

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Renewable Energy Laboratory,  


    NIFA Supports Bio-jet Fuel Technology R&D (R&D Report)
    USDA,National Institute for Food and Agriculture
    Date: 2019-12-18
    In the Cornhusker State, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) is reporting receipt of grant funding from the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to support collaborative research by Washington State University and University of Nebraska-Lincoln on the use of camelina oilseeds and other vegetable oil crops in renewable bio-based jet fuel manufacturing.

    The research is aimed at developing new bio-based jet fuel manufacturing technology and crop feedstocks with vegetable oil compositions tailored for this technology.

    The research team will use camelina as an oilseed platform to develop vegetable oil formulations with shorter carbon chains that are better suited for the processing technology. These genetic strategies will be transferred to other vegetable oil feedstocks, such as soybean and oil-rich sorghum, which are currently being developed by university faculty for the U.S. DOE Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI).

    Research at UNL builds on prior US DOE and Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research'funding. (Source: University of Nebraska, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, UNL IANR NEWS, 17 Dec., 2019) Contact: UNL Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 402-472-2081, www.unl.edu; National Institute for Food and Agriculture, www.nifa.usda.gov; U.S. DOE Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation, www.cabbi.bio

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Camelina,  Oilseed,  USDA,  National Institute for Food and Agriculture,  


    GRYFN, Purdue Univ. Partnering on Sorghum Biofuel Crop (R&D)
    GRYEN
    Date: 2019-12-09
    West Layfayette, Indiana-based drone technolgy pioneer GRYFN, which was formed by eight Pudue University professors, reports it is partnering with Purdue to research the rapid genetic improvement and production of sorghum crops for biofuel with $4.5 million in grant funding from the US DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.

    Multi-sensor, drone data-collection tech enables breeders to scale research operations and empowers them with precise, repeatable analytic solutions for high throughput phenotyping in the field. GRYFN is using the technology licensed through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. (Source: GRYFN, Drone Life, Dec., 2019) Contact: Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization, www.prf.org; GRYFN, Matt Bechdol, (260) 553-9993, info@gryfn.io, www.gryfn.io

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Sorghum Biofuel,  


    Univ. Wyoming Coal Plant Carbon Capture R&D Funded (Funding)
    University of Wyoming
    Date: 2019-12-06
    In the Cowboy State, the Casper Star-Tribune is reporting the US DOE will partner with and fund University of Wyoming researchers in Laramie with $5 million to study the economics and technology behind carbon capturing at two of the state's coal-fired power plants -- the Dave Johnston power plant in Glenrock and the Naughton power plant in Kemmerer.

    To advance the project, the University Energy Resources Council is seeking proposals for the construction of coal-based generation technology that can collect carbon emissions. Proposals until be accepted until 5 p.m. Feb. 14, 2020. (Source: University of Wyoming, Casper Star-Tribune, News Observer, AP, 4 Dec., 2019) Contact: University of Wyoming Energy Resources Council, Trish Steger, Executive Administrative Assistant, 307-766-6897, Fax: 307-766-6701, psteger@uwyo.edu, www.uwyo.edu/ser/about-us/energy-resources-council, www.uwyo.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News University of Wyoming ,  CO2,  Carbon Capture,  


    ENERGY STAR Redefines "Smart" Home Products (Ind. Report)
    EPA, ENERGY STAR
    Date: 2019-12-06
    The US DOE ENERGY STAR® has released its new program requirements for "smart home" connected products included in Smart Home Energy Management Systems (SHEMS), including lighting and HVAC voice control.

    With SHEMS, ENERGY STAR has "gone from defining products that are energy-efficient to defining a service and smart home service providers that will result in energy savings." (Source, ENERGY STAR, Home Accest, HAT, 5 Dec., 2019) Contact: EPA ENERGY STAR, www.energystar.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ENERGY STAR,  Energy Efficient Ligh,  


    ORNL Process Sustainable Fuel Viability Studied (Ind. Report, R&D)
    Vertimass,ORNL
    Date: 2019-12-02
    A technology developed at the U.S. DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and scaled up by Irvine, California-based Vertimass LLC to convert ethanol into fuels suitable for aviation, shipping and other heavy-duty applications can be price-competitive with conventional fuels while retaining the sustainability benefits of bio-based ethanol, according to a new analysis.

    ORNL worked with technology licensee Vertimass and researchers at 10 other institutions on a technoeconomic and a life cycle sustainability analysis of the process -- single-step catalytic conversion of ethanol into hydrocarbon blendstocks that can be added to jet, diesel, or gasoline fuels to lower their greenhouse gas emissions. This new technology is called Consolidated Dehydration and Oligomerization (CADO).CADO.

    The analysis, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that this single-step process for converting wet ethanol vapor could produce blend-stocks at $2/gigajoule (GJ) today and $1.44/GJ in the future as the process is refined, including operating and annualized capital costs. Thus, the blend-stock would be competitive with conventional jet fuel produced from oil at historically high prices of about $100/barrel. At $60/barrel oil, the use of existing renewable fuel incentives result in price parity, the analysis found.

    The conversion makes use of a type of catalyst called a zeolite, which directly produces longer hydrocarbon chains from the original alcohol, in this case ethanol, replacing a traditional multi-step process with one that uses less energy and is highly efficient. The conversion operation could be integrated into new biofuels plants or installed as bolt-on technology to existing ethanol plants with minimal new capital investment, the researchers noted.

    The project was supported by the Center for Bioenergy Innovation at ORNL, which in turn is supported by the DOE Office of Science. Scale-up R&D were supported in part by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and by Vertimass. (Source: ORNL, PR, NewsWise, Nov., 2019) Contact: US DOE Office of Science, www.energy.gov/science; DOE Center for Bioenergy Innovation (CBI) at ORNL , Brian Davison, Chief Science Officer, Vertimass LLC, John Hannon, CEO, www.vertimass.com; DOE EERE Bioenergy Technologies Office, www.energy.gov › eere › bioenergy

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ORNL,  Biofuel,  Ethanol,  Vertimass,  


    DOE Supports Lehigh Bldg. Thermal Battery R&D (R&D, Funding)
    Lehigh University
    Date: 2019-11-27
    According to Carlos Romero, director of Lehigh University's Energy Research Center (ERC) in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the addition of renewable energy into the electrical grid is forcing conventional power plants to adapt to new power generation realities. To address the new realities, an interdisciplinary team, promoted by Lehigh's Institute for Cyber Physical Infrastructure and Energy (I-CPIE), is launching a project on thermal energy storage (TES) for applications in fossil-fired power plants.

    The team matches the ERC's expertise in power generation and energy with appropriate expertise in civil engineering within Lehigh's Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems (ATLSS) Engineering Research Center.

    Other project partners include: Advanced Cooling Technologies Inc., Dominion Energy-Virginia, Slaw Precast (concrete), Nycon (steel fiber), Hanson Cement and others.

    The research group recently received a three-year, $2 million grant from the US DOE Transformative Power Generation Program to support the design, engineering, optimization, and testing of the Lehigh team's heat Thermal Energy Storage (TCM-TES) concept. (Source: Lehigh University Energy Research Center, PR, Nov., 2019) Contact: Lehigh University, Energy Research Center, Carlos E. Romero Director and Principal Research Scientist, (610) 758-4092, cerj@lehigh.edu, www.lehigh.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Storage,  Battery,  


    US DOE Funding Methanol Carbon Capture Project (Ind. Report)
    Southern California Gas ,Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
    Date: 2019-11-27
    Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and the Richland, Washington-based US DOE Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are reporting receipt of $300,000 in US DOE funding to design, fabricate and demonstrate a modular Integrated CO2 Capture and Conversion to Methanol (ICCCM) prototype for the combined capture and conversion of CO2 into methanol at an industrial CO2 source -- electric generation or anaerobic digestion facility.

    Over the next two years, the project will evaluate the compatibility of certain catalysts and solvents, design and build and test a reactor a project that would advance the development of Integrated CO2 Capture and Conversion to Methanol (ICCCM). SoCalGas has spent more than $10 million on the research and development of low or zero carbon technologies in the last three years. (Source: SoCalGas, Energy Global, 26 Nov., 2019) Contact: SoCalGas, Yuri Freedman, Senior Director of Business Development, www.socalgas.com; PNNL, Dr. David Heldebrant, www.pnnl.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methanol,  Carbon Capture,  ,  Southern California Gas ,  Methanol,  Pacific Northwest National Laboratory,  


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

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

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


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

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

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

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Offshore Wind Foundation,  


    Syracuse Funded $1.4 Mn for Building Energy Modeling (Funding)
    Syracuse University
    Date: 2019-11-15
    The Syracuse University College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) is reporting receipt of $1.4 million in US DOE funding to support a three-year project called Aerial Intelligence for Retrofit Building Energy Modeling (AirBEM). The funding will allow Syracuse researchers to extend their collaborations to develop an innovative system that improves energy modeling of existing buildings and building interiors using "aerial intelligence" acquired by drones equipped with infrared sensors and onboard processors to audit the exterior envelope. The drones will use computer vision algorithms to detect both materials and heat transfer anomalies, which suggest construction defects, such as air leaks.

    The concept for AirBEM originated at Syracuse University with initial seed funding from SyracuseCoE. Subsequently, AirBEM collaborators developed the concept using additional support from the Office of Research, the Campus as a Laboratory for Sustainability program and others. (Source: Syracuse University, 14 Nov., 2019) Contact: Syracuse University, Assoc. Prof. Senem Velipasalar, Assoc. Prof., Edward Bogucz, (315) 443-1870, www.syracuse.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Syracuse University,  Energy Efficiency,  Build Energy,  


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  • Vertimass Aviation Biofuel R&D Funded (R&D, Funding Report)
    Vertimass
    Date: 2019-11-08
    Irvine, California-based Vertimass LLC is reporting receipt of a cost-shared award of up to $1.4 million from the US DOE EERE Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) to optimize and commercialize jet biofuel production compatible with the current jet fuel infrastructure.

    Existing US ethanol production plants currently have the capacity to produce approximately 16 billion gpy, a level that saturates current use as 10 pct blends with gasoline. However, the new Vertimass catalyst breaks that barrier by producing a hydrocarbon that can be blended at much higher levels. In addition, while ethanol has been traditionally considered too low in energy density for use as a jet fuel, the Vertimass catalyst can overcome that issue.

    Initial tests indicate the Vertimass fuels (Vertifuels) are compatible for blending with gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels with no engine modifications, but further tests are underway for ASTM certification.

    Vertimass is working with the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI), Sandia National Laboratory (SNL), TechnipFMC, and the University of California, Riverside (UCR). (Source: Vertimass LLC, EngineerLive, 7 Nov., 2019) Contact: Vertimass LLC, John Hannon, CEO, www.vertimass.com; DOE EERE Bioenergy Technologies Office, www.energy.gov › eere › bioenergy

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE EERE Bioenergy Technologies Office,  Vertimass,  Jet Biofuel,  Aviation Biofuel,  Biofuel,  


    DOE Issues 2019 Concentrated Solar Power R&D Awards (Ind. Report)
    DOE EERE
    Date: 2019-11-08
    The U.S. DOE is reporting the funding selections for $128 million in new projects to advance solar technologies. Through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE EERE) Solar Energy Technologies Office, DOE will fund 75 innovative research projects that will lower solar electricity costs while working to boost solar manufacturing, reduce red tape, and make solar systems more resilient to cyber attacks. Selections are in the following areas:
  • Photovoltaics Research and Development -- $23.6 million for 21 projects;

  • Concentrating Solar Power Research and Development -- $30 million for 13 research projects;

  • Balance of Systems Soft Cost Reduction -- $17.6 million for 19 research projects;

  • Innovations in Manufacturing: Hardware Incubator -- $6.8 million for 7 research projects;

  • Advanced Solar Systems Integration Technologies -- $50 million for 15 research projects.

    Recipients list and other details are HERE.(Source: US DOE EERE, PR, reve, Nov., 2019) Contact: US DOE EERE, www.energy.gov/eere

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE EERE,  DOE EERE,  Solar,  Concentrated Solarr,  


  • NRDC Fighting DoE Lightbulb Standards Rollback (Reg. & Leg.)
    NRDC,Earthjustice
    Date: 2019-11-06
    The NYC-headquartered Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Earthjustice, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and others have filed suit against the US DoE for its rollback of established light bulb efficiency standards in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. According to the NRDC, the "DOE's latest rollback follows a pattern of repeatedly delaying, stalling, and weakening energy efficiency requirements."

    In 2007, Republican President George W. Bush signed bipartisan legislation to phase out inefficient incandescent and halogen light bulbs by 1 January 2020. The first tier of standards (phased in between 2012 and 2014) required light bulbs to use 25 to 30 pct less energy than old-style incandescent bulbs. The second tier was due to become effective in 2020, requiring everyday "general service" light bulbs to use about 65 pct less energy.

    The lawsuits contend the Trump administration's DoE acted illegally in reversing its 2-year-old rules expanding the types of bulbs required to become more energy efficient as of 1 January 2020, under a law passed by Congress in 2007.

    DOE announced this year that it was reversing that decision even though almost 64,000 comments were registered against the rollback, including 37 major electric utilities serving 55 million customers in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Five lighting companies, and their trade association support the DoE's rollback. (Source: NRDC, Smart Energy, Nov., 2019) Contact: NRDC, Kit Kennedy, Snr. Dir. Climate and Clean Energy Programme, 212.727.2700, nrdcinfo@nrdc.org, www.nrdc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NRDC,  Earthjusice,  Light Bulb Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Bipartisan Wind Energy R&D Act of 2019 Introduced (Reg. & Leg.)
    US DOE Office of Wind Energy
    Date: 2019-11-01
    In the nation's capitol. U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has proposed the bipartisan Wind Energy Research and Development Act of 2019, S. 2660 aimed at establishing a grant program for wind energy research, development and demonstration.

    Collins also cosponsored an act to reauthorize and expand the DOE Office of Wind Energy and to award competitive grants to improve the energy efficiency, reliability, and capacity of wind energy generation.

    If enacted, the measure would direct the U.S. Energy Secretary to award competitive grants to improve land-based and offshore blade, generator, tower, and support designs and transformational technologies for harnessing wind energy, including airborne wind energy generators; increase recycling and reuse of wind-energy components; and reduce the costs of permitting, construction, and operation and maintenance of wind energy systems, among other provisions, according to a bill summary. (Source: Office of Sen. Susan Collins, Ripon Advance News Service , 30 Oct., 2019) Contact: US DOE Office of Wind Energy, www.energy.gov/eere/wind/wind-energy-technologies-office; Sen. Susan Collins, www.collins.senate.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US DOE Office of Wind Energy,  Wind,  


    US DOE Granting $28Mn In Funding For Wind R&D (Funding, R&D)
    US DOE
    Date: 2019-10-28
    In Washington, the US DOE reports it will allocate $28 million in funding to to 13 projects aimed at wind energy cost reductions, with a focus on offshore, distributed and onshore utility-scale wind.

    Of the total, as much as $10 million will go to two offshore wind technology demonstration projects -- Lake Erie Energy Development Corp (LEEDCo) will deploy innovative sensing technologies for tracking bird activity near wind turbines, while the University of Maine will develop a floating substructure design for a 10 MW -- 12 MW wind turbine and install it at a project off Maine.

    Roughly $7 million will support the testing of innovative offshore wind technologies at national-level testing facilities, with the funding to be shared by six projects including Clemson University which is aiming to improve offshore wind turbine nacelle testing. In another project, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Centre in Boston is seeking to upgrade its testing facility to make possible the structural testing of wind turbine blades with lengths of between 85 metres and 120 metres.

    Other recipients include Oregon State University of Corvallis for tests on the combined effects of wind and waves on floating offshore wind turbines. Four of the 13 selected projects will receive a total of $6 million to support rural utilities by developing technologies that integrate wind with other distributed energy resources. (Source: US DOE, 23 Oct., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US DOE,  Wind,  


    OxEon Energy Among DOE Bioenergy Grant Recipients (Funding)
    OxEon Energy.
    Date: 2019-10-21
    Last week's US DOE report of $73 million in total grant funding for 35 bioenergy R&D projects included Salt Lake City area-based OxEon Energy Llc.

    OxEon is proposing an efficient method of producing biofuel from dairy-yogart manufacturing process biological wastes from a yogurt plant in Idaho. OxEon instruments will break down biogas released by decomposing waste into carbon monoxide and hydrogen gas, the building blocks of hydrocarbons, then put these blocks together into usable hydrocarbon fuels.

    OxEon Energy LLC was started in 2017 and has had significant success in attracting commercial, state, and federal government business utilizing its core capabilities in energy transformation technologies. The company expects further growth in its core technologies of high temperature electrolysis, hydrocarbon reforming, synthetic fuel production and power generation by high temperature fuel cells, according to the company website. (Source: OxEon Energy Llc, Utah Public Radio, 16 Oct., 2019)Contact: OxEon Energy, Lynn Frost, CEO, 801-677-3000, www.oxeonenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Biogas,  


    Texas Tech Prof. Funded to Improve Chemical Plant Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report, Funding)
    Texas Tech University
    Date: 2019-10-07
    Texas Tech University chemical engineering professor Chau-Chyun Chen, the Jack Maddox Distinguished Engineering Chair in Sustainable Energy, is investigating chemical plant design and construction in an effort to make them smaller and more energy efficient.

    In support of that effort, Prof. Chau-Chyun Chen has been awarded a four-year $1.1 million grant from the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Manufacturing Institute, a public-private partnership between the US DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

    Chen and his team will work to advance the process simulation software used when designing these chemical plants that physically require less space use less energy.

    Project partners include: Savannah River National Laboratory,Georgia Institute of Technology, Dow Chemical Company and others. (Source: Texas Tech University, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 30 Sept., 2019) Contact: Texas Tech University, Prof. ChauChyun-Chen, (806) 834-3098, chauchyun.chen@ttu.edu, www.depts.ttu.edu/che/groups/chengroup

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    EPA, USDA Agree to 15Bn Gal. Ethanol Blend Minimum (Ind. Report)
    US EPA, USDA, Renewable Duel Standard
    Date: 2019-10-07
    On Friday in Washington, the Trump administration U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a long awaited agreement on the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and will now request public comment on expanding biofuel requirements beginning in 2020.

    The agreement will ensure the blending of 15 billion gallons of ethanol with fuel supplies starting in 2020 and will also ensure the biomass-based diesel volume is met. EPA will also start the process for streamlining labeling and removal of other barriers for the sale of E15 fuel.

    Among other changes, the EPA will begin to account for projected numbers of gallons exempted when coming up with Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) for refiners, which means greater certainty for farmers and producers. It will ensure that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol are blended into the nation's fuel supply starting in 2020. Additionally, the USDA will invest in infrastructure projects to facilitate higher blends of biofuel, such as E85. (Source: US EPA, McDonough County Voice, Various Other Media, 4 Oct., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Biofuel,  Ethanol Blend,  USDA,  US DOE,  


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

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

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

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


    US DOE Awards $73Mn for Bioenergy, Biofuel R&D Projects (Funding)
    US DOE EERE
    Date: 2019-10-04
    The U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) this week announced $73 million in R&D funding for 35 bioenergy projects aimed at producing affordable biofuels including renewable-gasoline, -diesel, and -jet fuels that are compatible with existing fueling infrastructure and vehicles.

    According to the DOE, the US has the potential to create 1 billion dry tonnes of non-food biomass without disrupting existing agricultural markets. It is an underutilized resource with the potential to produce up to 50 billion gallons of biofuels -- roughly 25 pct of U.S. transportation fuels. (Source: US DOE, DEI, 3 Oct., 2019) Contact: US DOE EERE, www.energy.gov/eere

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioenergy,  DOE EERE,  Biofuel,  


    ICAST Completes Multifamily Housing Efficiency Retrofits (Ind. Report)
    International Center for Sustainable Technology
    Date: 2019-09-30
    The Lakewood, Colorado-based not-for-profit International Center for Sustainable Technology (ICAST) is reporting completion of energy-efficiency upgrades to nearly 1,000 multifamily buildings, for a reported savings of 7.4 million kWh, 850,000 therms, and nearly $2 million in utility cost savings.

    The 3 year work contract , which was funded by the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Building Technologies Office (BTO), was intended to spur the growth of energy efficiency in the small and medium commercial building sector -- less than 100,000 square feet in gross floor area -- but accounts for over half of the energy used in the commercial sector, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey.

    At the start of the project, ICAST operated in two states, improving energy in about 100 multifamily buildings per year. ICAST has eight affiliates providing energy-efficiency services to the multifamily sector in four states and seven cities. (Source: US DOE EERE, ICAST, PR, 30 Sept., 2019) Contact: US DOE EERE, www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/zero-energy-ready-home; ICAST, 866.590.4377, info@icastusa.org, www.icastusa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE EERE,  International Center for Sustainable Technology,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Better Buildings, Better Plants Partners Save $6.7Bn (Ind. Report)
    US DOE EERE
    Date: 2019-09-27
    The US DOE is reporting the more than 220 organizations that participate in its Better Buildings, Better Plants program have cumulatively saved $6.7 billion in energy costs and more than 1.3 quadrillion BTUs of energy. These partners have more than 3,200 facilities and represent roughly 12 pct of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint.

    Through the Better Buildings, Better Plants partnership, managed by DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, DOE works with partners who have set ambitious energy, water and/or waste reduction goals. As of 2019, partners have now met and exceeded 60 energy goals. All partners share their energy performance data and solutions with other companies, helping to expand innovation and savings throughout the industrial sector.

    Read the full 2019 Better Plants Annual Progress Update HERE. (Source: US DOE, Better Plants Challenge, 26 Sept., 2019) Contact: US DOE, Better Plants Challenge, https://betterbuildingsinitiative.energy.gov/better-plants/challenge

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Better Buildings,  Better Plants,  Energy Efficiency ,  


    DOE Invests $56Mn in Coal Technology Projects (R&D, Funding)
    US DOE,DOE Office of Fossil Energy
    Date: 2019-09-23
    The U.S. DOE is announcing 32 winners for $56.5 million in federal funding for cost-shared R&D projects for advanced coal technologies and research under six separate funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). The projects further the (Trump) Administration's commitment to strengthening clean coal technologies and cover a range of topics, including carbon capture, utilization, and storage; rare earth element recovery; coal to products; crosscutting coal R&D; steam turbine efficiency; and advanced materials. The awards are as follows:
  • $10 million for ten projects under DE-FOA-0001992, Maximizing the Coal Value Chain. The projects will develop innovative uses of domestic coal for upgraded coal-based feedstocks used to produce power and make steel and for producing high-value products from coal or coal by-products.

  • $11.9 million under DE-FOA-0001996, Advancing Steam Turbines for Coal Boilers. The two projects selected under this FOA seek to improve the performance of steam-based power cycles, resulting in lower cost electricity with reduced emissions per megawatt-hour from coal fueled boilers.

  • $9.3 million for ten projects under DE-FOA-0002001, Crosscutting Research for Coal-Fueled Power Plants. This effort supports DOE's Crosscutting Research Program, which develops technologies that can be applied to a range of fossil energy uses.

  • $5 million under DE-FOA-0002002, Advanced Materials for High-Efficiency, Flexible and Reliable Coal-Fueled Power Plants. DOE selected five projects to support its Crosscutting Research program, which fosters the development and deployment of innovative systems for improving efficiency and environmental performance.

  • 3 projects will receive up to $15 million under DE-FOA-0002003, Process Scale-Up and Optimization/Efficiency Improvements for Rare Earth Elements (REE) and Critical Materials (CM) Recovery from United States Coal-Based Resources.

  • 2 projects will receive $5.3 million under DE-FOA-0001998, Transformational Sensing Systems for Monitoring the Deep Subsurface. This award seeks to reduce uncertainty of and enable real-time decision-making associated with subsurface carbon dioxide (CO2) storage. The selected projects support DOE's Carbon Storage Research Program by improving characterization and prediction of subsurface fluid movement and enhancing real-time measurement of critical subsurface properties.

    DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)will manage the selected projects. (Source: US DOE, 20 Sept., 2019) Contact: US DOE Office of Fossil Energy, www.energy.gov/fe; NETL, www.netl.doe.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE Office of Fossil Energy,  NETL,  Coal,  Clean Coal,  US DOE,  


  • DOE Announces $110Mn Grant Funding for CCUS R&D (R&D Funding)
    US DOE,NETL
    Date: 2019-09-16
    The U.S. DOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has announced approximately $110 million in federal funding for cost-shared R&D projects under three funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). Approximately $75M is for awards selected under two FOAs announced earlier this fiscal year; $35M is for a new FOA.

    These FOAs further the (Trump) Administration's commitment to strengthening coal while protecting the environment. Carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) is increasingly becoming widely accepted as a viable option for coal-fired energy sources or gas-fired power plants and other industrial sources to lower their CO2 emissions.

    Under the first FOA award, Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) Studies for Carbon Capture Systems on Coal and Natural Gas Power Plants, DOE has selected nine projects to receive $55.4 million for cost-shared R&D. The selected projects will support FEED studies for commercial-scale carbon capture systems.

    Under the second FOA award, Regional Initiative to Accelerate CCUS Deployment, DOE selected four projects to receive up to $20 million for cost-shared R&D. The projects also advance existing R&D by addressing key technical challenges; facilitating data collection, sharing, and analysis; evaluating regional infrastructure; and promoting regional technology transfer.

    Under the new FOA, , DOE is announcing up to $35 million for cost-shared R&D projects that will accelerate wide-scale deployment of CCUS through assessing and verifying safe and cost-effective anthropogenic CO2 commercial-scale storage sites, and carbon capture and/or purification technologies. These types of projects have the potential to take advantage of the 45Q tax credit for each ton of CO2 sequestered or utilized. The credit was recently increased to $35/metric ton for enhanced oil recovery and $50/metric ton for geologic storage.

    Projects selected under this new FOA shall perform the following key activities: complete a detailed site characterization of a commercial-scale CO2 storage site (50 million metric tons of captured CO2 within a 30 year period); apply and obtain an underground injection control class VI permit to construct an injection well; complete a CO2capture assessment; and perform all work required to obtain a National Environmental Policy Act determination for the site.

    DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory NETL) will manage the selected projects. (Source: US DOE, Office of Fossil Energy, PR, 13 Sept., 2019)Contact: US DOE Office of Fossil Energy. www.energy.gov/fe/foa-2058-front-end-engineering-design-feed-studies-carbon-capture-systems-coal-and-natural-gas, www.energy.gov/fe; NETL, www.netl.doe.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NETL,  CCS,  US DOE,  CCUS,  CO2,  Office of Fossil Energy,  


    Trump DOE Dumps Inefficient Bulbs Phase-Out (Ind. Report)
    US DOE
    Date: 2019-09-06
    The New York Times and other media are reporting the Trump administration DOE has released new rules that annul Bush-era requirements on energy-saving light bulbs. The Bush-era regulation was to come into force on Jan. 1, 2020.

    . The new rules could make less-efficient bulbs for certain fixtures more common, potentially contributing to man-made climate change by increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Politically, it's part of the Trump administration's efforts to roll back climate and other environmental regulations. Energy conservation groups are expected to mount challenges to the Trump administration's move that is widely thought to border on "senseless." (Source: US DOE, NYT, 4 Sept., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficient Light,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Trump DOE Nixes Inefficient Bulbs Phase-Out (Ind. Report)
    DOE
    Date: 2019-09-04
    The New York Times and other media are reporting the Trump administration DOE has released new rules that annul Bush-era requirements on energy-saving light bulbs. The Bushera regulation was to come into force on Jan. 1, 2020.

    . The new rules could make less-efficient bulbs for certain fixtures more common, potentially contributing to man-made climate change by increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Politically, it's part of the Trump administration's efforts to roll back climate and other environmental regulations. Energy conservation groups are expected to mount challenges to the Trump administration's move that borders on senseless. (Source: US DOE, NYT, 4 Sept., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficient Light,  


    US DOE Promoting Zero Energy Ready Homes Program (Ind. Report)
    US DOE EERE
    Date: 2019-08-28
    The US DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is touting it Zero Energy Ready Homes Program which it claims "offers a superior homeowner experience."

    According to the agency, Zero Energy Ready homes last longer because its requirements combine the best of building science with the latest technologies and systems, innovative building practices, and risk management solutions.

    Every certified Zero Energy Ready Home: breathes better with a comprehensive package of indoor air quality features; provides complete top-to-bottom water protection; incorporate DOE ENERGY STAR products throughout; ensures quality with independent verification, testing, and diagnostics; and delivers $10,000s of utility bill savings over the life of a mortgage, the agency release noted. (Source: US DOE EERE, PR, Aug., 2019) Contact: US DOE EERE, www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/zero-energy-ready-homes; ENERGY STAR, energystar.gov/about

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


    NYSERDA Launches Second Phase of Home Energy Efficiency Rating Pilot (Ind. Report)
    NYSERDA
    Date: 2019-08-23
    Following up on our March 4th coverage, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is reporting the launch of the second phase of its multi-year Home Energy Rating Pilot (Pilot), the first phase of which was launched in February, 2019.

    Under the programme, licensed home inspectors will deliver home energy ratings to home buyers as part of the pre-purchase inspection -- an independent third-party examination report detailing the condition of a home. The aim is to help purchasers understand the efficiency, comfort, and value of the home they are considering purchasing.

    Home energy ratings are similar to vehicle miles per-gallon ratings, providing easy-to-understand visual reports that provide insight into how a home performs in areas like insulation, air sealing, heating and cooling efficiency, and water heating efficiency. With nearly 60 pct of home buyers considering a property that needs renovating, a home energy rating can provide a roadmap of energy efficiency opportunities that can be made after the purchase is complete.

    Under the NYSERDA program, two home energy rating systems will be piloted: the US DOE Home Energy Score and the Pearl Home Certification from Pearl, a private residential energy efficiency certification firm. The pilot is being implemented in four phases through 2020.

    Programme funding is from the state's 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund. (Source: NYSERDA, PR, 22 Aug., 2019) Contact: NYSERDA, Alicia Barton, Pres., CEO, (518) 862-1090, www.nyserda.ny.gov; Pearl Home Certification, Cynthia Adams, CEO, (888) 557-5543, www.pearlcertification.com; US DOE Home Energy Score, www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/downloads/home-energy-score

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Pearl Home Certification,  NYSERDA,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Amazon Rainforest CO2 Capacity Investigated (Ind. Report)
    LBNL, US DOE
    Date: 2019-08-21
    The US DOE Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and an international team of researchers addressing the "Amazon Forest Response to CO2 Fertilization Dependent on Plant Phosphorus Acquisition," has raised the issue and asked the question, "How long will the Amazon rainforest continue to act as an effective carbon sink?"

    The study, published August 5 in the journal Nature Geoscience, found that accounting for phosphorus-deficient soils reduced projected CO2 uptake by an average of 50 pct in the Amazon, compared to current estimates based on previous climate models that did not take into account phosphorus deficiency. The Amazon Basin is critical to help mitigate climate change due to its trees absorbing around a quarter of the CO2 released each year from the burning of fossil fuels.

    According to Berkeley Lab research scientist and study co-author Jennifer Holm, "Most predictions of the Amazon rainforest's ability to resist climate change are based on models that have outdated assumptions; one of those is that a sufficient supply of nutrients such as phosphorus exist in soils to enable trees to take in additional CO2 as global emissions increase," said . "But in reality the ecosystem is millions of years old, highly weathered, and therefore depleted of phosphorus in many parts of the Amazon."

    Agriculture, forestry, and other types of land use account for 23 pct of human-caused GHG emissions, yet at the same time natural land processes absorb the equivalent of almost a third of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry, according to the recently released International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on land and climate interactions. (Source: DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, PR, Eureka Alert, 20 Aug., 2019) Contact: US DOE Office of Science, energy.gov/science; LBNL, Jennifer Holm, Research Scientist and Study Co-author, www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-holm-265600b, www.lbl.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News LBNL,  Rainforest,  CO2,  Carbon Sink,  Climate Change,  


    Wind Tech Advancements Depress Wind Energy Costs (DOE Report)
    WindLBNL
    Date: 2019-08-14
    Wind Technologies Market Report, a just released U.S. DOE report prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) notes that with prices averaging below 2 cents per kWh for newly built projects, wind energy is competitive with other generation sources.

    "Wind energy prices -- particularly in the central United States, and supported by federal tax incentives -- are at all-time lows, with utilities and corporate buyers selecting wind as a low-cost option," according to LBNL Senior Scientist Ryan Wiser.

    Report highlights include: wind power capacity additions continued at a robust pace in 2018; larger turbines are enhancing wind project performance; low turbine pricing continues to push down installed project costs; wind energy prices are at historical lows; the grid-system value of wind has declined over the last decade but rebounded over the last two years; and the domestic supply chain for wind equipment is diverse.

    BNL's contributions to this report were funded by the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. BNL is a multiprogram national laboratory, managed by the University of California for the U.S. DOE Office of Science.

    Download the Wind Technologies Market Report HERE (Source: US DOE LBNL, Aug., 2019) Contact: DOE Office of Science, www.energy.gov/science/office-science; LBNL, emp.LBNL.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Wind Energy,  

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