Return to Today's Publications

 

Newsletter:
Date Range (YYYY-MM-DD) -
Company, Industry or Technology:
  Search Tips


Higher Biofuel Blends Infrastructure Grants Offered (Funding)
USDA
Date: 2020-05-19
In Washington, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports the launch of an online portal to begin accepting applications for Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) grants.

USDA plans to make available up to $100 million in competitive grants for activities designed to expand the sale and availability of ethanol and biodiesel fuels. The funds will be directly available to help transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities convert to higher ethanol and biodiesel blends by sharing the costs related to the installation of fuel pumps, related equipment and infrastructure.

Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program details HERE. Application information HERE.

(Source: USDA Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, 15 May, 2020) Contact: USDA, www.rd.usda.gov/hbiip

More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  Biofuel Blend,  Biofuel Infrastructure,  


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


Forest Service Details State-by-State Carbon Emissions (Ind. Report)
USDA Forest Service
Date: 2020-05-04
USDA Forest Service reports the release of its Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Removals from Forest Land, Woodlands, and Urban Trees in the United States, 1990-2018 report, a state-by-state overview of carbon emissions and related trends and details on deforestation and reforestation across the 49 continental states. Estimates of carbon movement from the atmosphere into living trees, dead wood, and soil as well as state-by-state estimates of emissions from forest fires is included.

The Forest Service scientists quantified the contribution of forests, harvested wood products, and urban trees to carbon capture and storage. They found that, collectively, these natural systems account for more than 95 pct of Earth's terrestrial carbon sink. The atmospheric carbon absorbed by forests, harvested wood, and urban trees is equal to more than 11 pct of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States each year between 1990 and 2018.

Download the Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Removals from Forest Land, Woodlands, and Urban Trees in the United States, 1990-2018 report HERE. (Source: USDA Forest Service, April, 2020) Contact: U.S. Forest Service, www.fs.usda.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  USDA Forest Service,  Carbon Emissions,  


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  • Biofuel Producers Left in the Lurch on $19Bn Aid Pkg (Ind. Report)
    USDA
    Date: 2020-04-22
    . "We don't have a fundamental way to help that (biofuel) sector," responded USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to the Trump administration's announced $19 billion aid package to farmers.

    Biofuels producers were not included in the aid package, although the sector consumes approximately 40 pct of America's total annual corn crop.

    In the 2018/2019 crop marketing year, (Sept. 1- Aug. 31) the U.S. grew more than 14.42 billion bushels (366 million metric tons) of corn. (Source: USDA, nexstar, 21 April, 2020)Contact: USDA, Sonny Perdue, Sec., www.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Sonny Perdue,  USDA,  Corn,  Corn Ethanol,  


    USGC: US Ethanol Available for Export During COVID-19 (Ind Report)
    U.S. Grains Council
    Date: 2020-04-15
    "While U.S. ethanol exports are up by 3 percent year-over-year according to new data from the USDA, the outbreak of COVID-19 will have structural impacts on demand for the rest of 2020. The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is working to keep end-users around the world informed on the status of the U.S. ethanol industry as the pandemic continues to develop.

    "USDA reported last week that U.S. ethanol exports increased slightly year-over-year to 812 million gallons (288 million bushels in corn equivalent) for the first six months of the marketing year (Sept. 2019-Feb. 2020). "Brazil remained the top export destination at 201 million gallons (71.3 million bushels in corn equivalent), despite a small decline due to the restructuring of Brazil's tariff rate quota (TRQ) and a strengthening U.S. dollar. The EU had a notable 28 pct increase from 2018/2019 imports at 79 million gallons (28 million bushels in corn equivalent).

    "These data points were not able to take into account the still-developing impacts of COVID-19 and oil production disputes, which have led to deep decreases in demand for gasoline and shifts in the relationship between oil and ethanol prices.

    "Compounding the overall demand decline, the lack of an agreement on crude production between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia sent shock waves across global energy markets and is contributing to shortages in a critical component to the industry -- storage.

    "To date, U.S. ethanol weekly ending stocks are at a record high, and the United States remains positioned to supply customers globally. (Source: US Grains Council, PR, 13 April, 2020) Contact: US Grains Council, Brian Healy, Global Ethanol Market Development, (202) 789-0789, (202) 898-0522, www.grains.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News U.S. Grains Council,  Ethanol,  


    Congressional Biofuels Caucus Seeking Direct Biofuels Industry Relief (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    USDA
    Date: 2020-04-13
    Iowa Congressman Steve King (R), a member of the Congressional Biofuels Caucus, reports he has signed the attached bi-partisan letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting that the USDA use "funds from the CARES Act to provide direct relief to the biofuels industry."

    Dear Secretary Perdue,

    "The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided USDA with additional resources to support farm income and prices during this economic downturn. The CARES Act included a reimbursement of $14 billion to the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), and $9.5 billion for the Secretary to respond to the economic impacts of COVID-19. As the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prepares to address financial hardship in agriculture, we urge you to use funds from the CARES Act to provide direct relief to the biofuels industry.

    "Demand for fuel is declining as states implement stay-at-home orders and discourage travel. This sudden shift in demand is worsening market conditions to the point ethanol plants are halting production. The biofuels industry is a vital market for the commodities our farmers produce, and USDA must take immediate action to ensure plants can retain skilled workers and continue production when market conditions improve.

    "The biofuels sector provides a direct and significant boost to the value of corn and soybeans. Ethanol plants purchase two out of every five bushels of U.S. corn and biodiesel producers use over 8 billion pounds of soybean oil a year. Ethanol plants produce dried distillers grains (DDGs) as a byproduct, providing livestock farmers with a low-cost, high-protein component of animal feed. To assist with the response to COVID-19, some ethanol and biofuels plants have volunteered to produce hand sanitizer and disinfectant products to address nationwide shortages. And, ethanol plants produce high purity carbon dioxide that is critical for medical facilities and food processing. The biofuels sector plays a large role in the livelihood of America's commodity and livestock producers, and biofuels plants are major employers in many rural communities.

    "USDA should take immediate action to stabilize the biofuels industry with resources provided by the CARES Act. We look forward to working with you on this issue as USDA assists producers through this challenging time. Thank you for considering this request." (Source: Congressman Steven King, KIOW Radio, 12 April, 2020) Contact: Rep Steve King, steveking.house.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  USDA,  


    Senators Seeking Ethanol Ind. Support (Editorials, Opinions & Asides)
    Ethanol,Chuck Grassley
    Date: 2020-04-10
    In a recent letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue Iowa's Sen. Chuck Grassley (R )and Sen. Joni Ernst(R) and a group of midwest senators, called for additional biofuel industry funding through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC).

    "As the country follows the advice of local and state governments and remain at home, motor fuel use has rapidly decreased. The decrease in fuel consumption has left (biofuel) production facilities little choice but to idle production or close completely.

    "Farm income and prices for corn and other crop commodities are directly linked to the health of the renewable fuel industry. Ethanol plants use 40 percent of all corn grown in the United States. Among other feedstocks, biodiesel and renewable diesel producers currently use over 8 billion pounds of soybean oil a year, creating demand that adds 13 percent to the cash price of a bushel of soybeans.

    "We have seen a significant drop in the price of corn and soybeans because of the decline in demand. Keeping plants open is vital for our states and we ask that you use the authority given by Congress to assist the biofuel industry during extremely difficult times. We are supportive of the proposals the biofuel industry has put forward to reimburse feedstocks and also believe that adding additional CCC funds to the Higher-Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program will drive future biofuel demand,” the senators continued," the letter said. (Source: Various Media, Atlantic News Telegraph, 8 April, 2020)Contact: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), www.grassley.senate.gov; Sen. Joni Ernst, www.ernst.senate.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Chuck Grassley,  Ethanol,  


    Ethanol Biofuel Crop Data Sought by USDA NASS (Ind. Report)
    USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service
    Date: 2020-04-08
    The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has requested a revision and extension of a currently approved information collection that, in part, provides data on the production of biofuels from agricultural commodities. Data collected is used in the agency's various agricultural industrial reports (CAIR).

    NASS collects crop data on acres planted and harvested, production, price and stocks for these crops, along with the data on livestock.

    Download details HERE. (Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, April, 2020) Contact: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, 800-727-9540, www.nass.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  Ethanol,  


    Corn for Fuel Ethanol Hits 469Mn Bushels in Jan. (Ind. Report)
    USDA
    Date: 2020-04-01
    The USDA recently released its Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production Report for March, reporting that corn use for fuel ethanol production for January was down from the previous month, but up from January 2019.

    Total corn consumed for alcohol and other uses in January was 519 million bushels. Total corn consumption was down 2 pct from December 2019, but up 5 pctfrom January 2019. Corn use for fuel alcohol was at 469 million bushels, down 2 pct from the previous month, but up 6 percent from the same month of 2019. Corn consumed in January 2020 for dry milling fuel production and wet milling fuel production was 90 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

    Download the full Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production Report HERE. (Source: Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production Report, USDA, Mar., 2020) Contact: USDA, www.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  Corn,  Corn Ethanol,  Biofuel,  


    USDA Offers $100Mn Biofuels Infrastructure Grant Program, Increases Biofuels Fleet (Ind. Report, Reg. & Leg.)
    USDA
    Date: 2020-03-02
    In Washington,the USDA is reporting Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has directed the agency to acquire alternative fueled -- biodiesel, E85 -- vehicles (AFV) when replacing conventionally fueled vehicles. USDA owns and operates 37,000 vehicles and replaces approximately 3,000 every year.More specifically, the USDA will:
  • Acquire E85 or biodiesel-capable vehicles that meet USDA mission requirements;

  • Use station locator websites and applications to fuel with E15, E85, and biodiesel where available;

  • Prioritize the purchase of E15 for gasoline vehicles without E85 capability and the purchase of renewable diesel blends for diesel vehicles without B20 capability

  • For USDA locations that have in-house refueling pumps, coordinate with fuel vendors to acquire and provide biofuel blends, including E15, E85, B20 and higher biodiesel blends, and renewable diesel blends.

    These actions have the potential to increase USDA's annual consumption of E15 by up to 9 million gallons, E85 by 10 million gallons, and biodiesel and renewable diesel blends by up to 3 million gallons.

    The agency also announced it will offer $100 million in grant funding this year for the newly created Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) to help transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities install, retrofit, and/or upgrade fuel storage, dispenser pumps, related equipment and infrastructure to be able to sell ethanol and biodiesel.

    Download HBIIP program details HERE. Download the USDA order HERE. (Source: USDA, 28 Feb., 2020) Contact: USDA, Sonny Perdue, Sec.,www.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  Biofuel Fleet,  Biofuel,  Biodiesel,  Biofuel Infrastructure,  


  • "New USDA Mandate for Biofuels Should be Withdrawn" (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    USDA
    Date: 2020-02-24
    "When the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced its 'innovation agenda' to align USDA's resources, programs, and research to help the agriculture industry meet the 'climate demands of the future' the first reaction at Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) is that this looks and sounds far too much like more taxpayers subsidies for programs that already exist. According to an April 30, 2018 Government Accountability Office report, the Office of Management and Budget found $13.2 billion in climate change funding across 19 agencies in 2017. The GAO reviewed six agencies and found that 94 pct of their reported climate change funding went to programs that touch on, but aren't dedicated to climate change, such as nuclear energy research. The government should determine whether those are effective and consolidate or terminate ones that are not before creating costly new mandates and programs.

    "The plan to reach 30 pct for biofuels in 2050 is especially troubling. The USDA's historic approach to 'market-driven blend rates' has been to aggressively pursue unachievable biofuel mandates that put manufacturing jobs at risk, result in more emissions and create a reliance on foreign fuels. Ethanol is cheaper than gasoline and does not need a mandate. If the USDA is truly interested in 'market driven' approaches, it should advocate eliminating the renewable fuel standard (RFS) so that renewable energy can economically compete on its own, rather than trying to promote mandates that drive quantities of ethanol-laced fuels that consumers may not want, while putting jobs at risk and raising costs at the pump. In fact, the blend rate is gradually increasing despite falling renewable identification numbers and small refinery exemptions. This shows that ethanol is economic on its own and that markets, not mandates, should determine our nation's fuel mix.

    "Calling for a 30 pct biofuels goal for 2050 is not something that should be coming out of the Trump administration. It sounds like an objective of the $93 trillion Green New Deal which President Trump and every free market and taxpayers group including CAGW has said is both unachievable and devastating to the economy. The USDA should withdraw its proposal and the RFS should be eliminated."(Source: The Waste Watcher - Against Government Waste , 21 Feb. 2020) Contact: The Waste Watcher -Against Government Waste www.cagw.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  Biofuel Blend,  RFS,  


    Growth Energy Applauds Biofuel Targets in USDA's Agriculture Innovation Agenda (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Growth Energy
    Date: 2020-02-24
    "We applaud USDA for setting these clear goals for E15 (by 2030) and E30 (by 2050) and Growth Energy's members are ready to deliver ahead of their timetable. Biofuels are a critical piece of meeting the demands of our future transportation needs while lowering our carbon footprint.

    "Today's recognition by USDA and Secretary Perdue's unwavering support will help drive biofuel innovation in the coming years and decades. We look forward to continuing our longstanding working relationship with USDA to ensure that Americans across the country have expanded access to cleaner fuels like E15 and E30 at the pump."

    Growth Energy is the leading biofuel trade association in the country. We represent producers and supporters of ethanol who are working to bring consumers better choices at the fuel pump, grow America's economy, and improve the environment for future generations. Our growing membership base now represents nearly half of all American ethanol plants along with many of the largest and most prominent fuel retailers in the country and the industry's top associate members whose businesses support the ethanol industry, according to the Growth Energy website.(Source: Growth Energy, 21 Feb., 2020) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, Elizabeth Funderburk, (202) 545-4000, EFunderburk@GrowthEnergy.org, www.growthenergy.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  Growth Energy,  Biofuel,  Biofuel Blens,  RFS,  


    Trump USDA Announces 30 pct Biofuel Goal for 2050 (Ind. Report)
    USDA
    Date: 2020-02-21
    In Washington, as part of a new department-wide sustainability initiative the USDA is reported to have announced a goal for biofuels to make up 30 pct of U.S. transportation fuels by 2050.

    Under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) refineries are presently required to blend 20.09 billion gallons of biofuel in 2020 – roughly 10 pct of projected crude oil production, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. (Source: KLO, Various Media, Reuters, 20 Feb., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA news,  RFS news,  Ethanol news,  Ethanol Blend news,  


    NBB Supports USDA Biodiesel Infrastructure Program (Ind. Report)
    National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2020-02-03
    In response to the USDA's request for information on the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) noted: "Investments would be best served on opportunities that would afford the greatest additional volumes of biodiesel to enter the marketplace. The greatest barriers to biodiesel distribution are at the terminal and pipeline terminal level, as well as railways to reach distribution centers."

    NBB VP of Federal Affairs, Kurt Kovarik noted NBB is "grateful to the USDA for following through on a pledge to support infrastructure projects that facilitate higher biofuel blends. "American consumers are increasingly demanding access to clean, low-carbon, advanced biofuels, like biodiesel. We look forward to working with the USDA to strengthen the market for higher blends of biodiesel," Kovarik added. (Spource, NBB, NAFB, 1 Feb., 2020) Contact: NBB, Kaleb Little, Dir. Communications, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board,  


    USDA Seeks New Biofuels Infrastructure Program Input (Reg. & Leg)
    USDA
    Date: 2020-01-17
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking input on the creation of a new Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) to expand the availability of domestic ethanol and biodiesel by incentivizing the expansion of sales of renewable fuels.

    This Request for Information (RFI) solicits information on options for fuel ethanol and biodiesel infrastructure, innovation, products, technology, and data derived from all HBIIP processes and/or science that drive economic growth, promote health, and increase public benefit.

    Through this RFI, USDA seeks input from the public, including but not limited to: retail fueling stations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, fleet facilities, and similar entities with capital investments; equipment providers, equipment installers, certification entities and other stakeholder/manufacturers (both upstream and down); fuel distribution centers, including terminals and depots; and those performing innovative research, and/or developing enabling platforms and applications in manufacturing, energy production, and agriculture.

    Access USDA RFI details HERE. (Source: USDA, 16 Jan., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  Biofuel,  Biofuel Infrastructure,  


    USDA Adv. Biofuel Payment Program Final Rule Released (Ind. Report)
    USDA
    Date: 2020-01-03
    The USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service has released a final rule for the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program. The program provides quarterly payments to producers of eligible advanced biofuels. To be eligible for payments, the advanced biofuels produced must be derived from renewable biomass other than corn kernel starch at a biorefinery located in the U.S.

    Download the full Advanced Biofuel Payment Program HERE (Source: USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA, 27 Dec., 2019) Contact: Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Bette Brand, Admin., (202) 690-4730, 202-690-4737 - fax., www.rd.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  RFS,  Advanced Biofuel,  


    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 ,  


    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,  


    Nebraska Rural Energy Efficiency Grants Announced (Funding)
    USDA Rural Developement
    Date: 2019-12-13
    In the Cornhusker State, USDA Rural Development Nebraska is reporting nearly $925,000 in grant funding to 14 ag producers and rural-based businesses for renewable energy and energy efficiency efficiencies projects.

    The individual grants, which range from $381,750 to $2,421, are being funded through the Rural Energy for America Program. (Source: USDA Rural Development Nebraska, PR Dec., 2019) Contact: USDA Rural Development Nebraska, Karl Elmshaeuser, Dir., 402-437-5551, www.rd.usda.gov; Rural Energy for America Program, www.ggs-greenhouse.com/blog/reap-energy-grant?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIs8_m44mz5gIVC1YMCh0jKgeOEAAYASAAEgL_8_D_BwE

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA Rural Development ,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency Grants,  


    TCL&P Seeking $1.8Mn for Energy Efficiency Grants (Ind. Report)
    Traverse City Light & Power
    Date: 2019-12-02
    In Michigan, Traverse City Light & Power (TCL&P) reports its Board of Directors has approved a resolution seeking a $1.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Rural Development's Rural Energy Savings Program.

    If granted, the funds would support TCL&P's on-bill financing program allowing customers to borrow up to $30,000 at no interest for 10 years for renewable energy and energy efficiency installations and upgrades. The repayment, plus a $5 administration fee, would be secured through a lien on the property and added to the customer's monthly power billing.

    Qualifying borrowers could use the money for everything from insulation upgrades to new windows to renewable energy projects like rooftop solar, as previously reported.

    TCL&P executive director Tim Arends previously touted the idea as a way to help curb the utility's peak energy demand. The USDA gave tentative approval to the utility's application, as previously reported. (Source: Traverse City Light & Power, Traverse City Record Eagle, 1 Dec., 2019)Contact: Traverse City Light & Power, Tim Arends, 231-922-4940, www.tclp.org

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


    Forest Preservation, CO2 Sequestration Partnership Touted (Ind Report)
    Nature Conservancy,USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
    Date: 2019-11-15
    The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Nature Conservancy (TNC) are reporting their partnership to support sustainable forests and carbon market development and the creation of the Healthy Forest Reserve Program (HFRP).

    The program offers financial assistance in the form of easement payments for specific conservation actions on private forest and tribal lands in Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky. Under the program, landowners develop a carbon forest project with TNC and get assistance with carbon credit development and marketing as well as some potential additional income from the sale of credits.

    The program offers a 30-year term and permanent easement options for private landowners or a 30-year contract for tribal lands. The USDA will pay 75 pct of the value of the land enrolled in 30-year easements plus 75 pct of the average cost of the approved conservation practices. Landowners who select the permanent easement option can get 100 pct of the easement value of the enrolled property. (Source: NRCS, Nature Conservancy,CBS 19, 13 Nov., 2019) Contact: Nature Conservancy, Steve Lineman or Greg Meade, (276) 676-2209, (703) 841-5300, www.nature.org; USDA NRCS, Easement Program Manager Diane Dunaway, (804) 287-1634 www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/fl

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Nature Conservancy,  Reforestation,  USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service,  


    State Renewable Energy Growth Rankings Released (Ind. Report)
    Smart Asset
    Date: 2019-10-21
    In a recent state-by-state report on renewable energy activity, Smart Asset found the overall nationwide growth in renewable energy production has generally increased.

    More specifically, the report found While West Virginia's renewable energy production decreased from 2013 to 2017 -- one of only nine states for which that is the case. The remaining 41 states all increased renewable energy production over that time period, and the average increase in production across all states is greater than 25 pct.

    California, Rhode Island, Oregon, Arizona, North Carolina, New York, Iowa, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Nevada are the top 10 in that order while southern states -- Arkansas, Delaware, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama and West Virginia -- dominate the bottom 10.

    In determining its ranking, the report considered: renewable output as a percentage of total energy production; 5-year change in renewable energy output; per-capita carbon emissions; 5-year change in carbon emissions; number of policies and incentives encouraging renewable energy development; total USDA energy investments; and average USDA funding per program. (Source: Smart Asset 10.14.2019, VermontBiz, 16 Oct., 2019)Contact: Smart Asset, www.smartasset.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  


    Trump administration reaches regulatory deal on Renewable Fuel Standard
    EPA,RFS
    Date: 2019-10-09
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that President Donald Trump is promoting a new Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Under the agreement, the following actions will be undertaken by EPA and USDA. In a forthcoming supplemental notice building off the recently proposed 2020 Renewable Volume Standards and the Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021, EPA will propose and request public comment on expanding biofuel requirements beginning in 2020. EPA will seek comment on actions to ensure that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol be blended into the nation’s fuel supply beginning in 2020, and that the volume obligation for biomass-based diesel is met. This will include accounting for relief expected to be provided for small refineries; the EPA intends to take final action on this front later this year. In the most recent compliance year, EPA granted 31 small refinery exemptions. Building on the president’s earlier decision to allow year-round sales of E15, EPA will initiate a rule making process to streamline labeling and remove other barriers to the sale of E15; EPA will continue to evaluate options for RIN market transparency and reform; and USDA will seek opportunities through the budget process to consider infrastructure projects to facilitate higher biofuel blends. (Source: Talk Business & Politics , 7 Oct., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump. RFS news,  Renewable Fuel Standard news,  "Hardship" Waiver news,  


    WSU Research Contributes to Aviation Biofuel Project (Ind. Report)
    Washington State University,GEVO
    Date: 2019-10-07
    Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels, LLC (NWABF) reports it is working with Washington State University's Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA), a project that established the availability and sustainability of woody biomass/forest residues as a feedstock for the production of aviation biofuels using Boulder, Colorado-based GEVO technology, The planned biorefinery, which is expected to go into production in 2023, would be constructed at Aberdeen, Washington.

    As previously reported, Delta Air Lines, in partnership with NWABF, is investing $2 million to assess the biofuel refinery project's feasibility. Additionally, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture funded NARA with $39.5 million over 5-years. (Source: Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels, LLC (NWABF), Washington State Univ. Evergreen, 3 Oct., 2019) Contact: Washington State University, NARA, Ralph Cavalieri, (509) 335-5581, cavalieri@wsu.edu, www.nararenewables.org; Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels, LLC Chris Whitworth,Dir. Project Dev., www.facebook.com/NWABiofuels; Gevo, Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, pgruber@gevo.com, www.gevo.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GEVO,  Aviation Biofuel,  Woody Biomass,  


    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,  


    WIU Funded for Pennycress Biofuel Research (Ind. Report, Funding)
    Western Illinois University
    Date: 2019-09-18
    Western Illinois University (WIU) reports agriculture professor Win Phippen has been awarded a $10 million USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant to investigate the use of pennycress as a new cash cover crop and biofuels feedstock.

    Researchers from Illinois State University, the Ohio State University, the University of Wisconsin at Platteville and the University of Minnesota will join Phippen's team.

    The integrated pennycress crop program will focus on improving pennycress genetics for plant breeding and preservation, agronomic management, ecosystems and supply chain management for post-harvest seed control, with the goal of commercially launching pennycress as a cash cover and biofuels crop in 2021. St. Louis-based CoverCress Inc. is working closely with Phippen and his team for some of the breeding and post-production side of the research.

    The end goal is to produce 50 billion gallons of biofuel in the next 25 years. (Source: Western Illinois University, Journal-Courier, 18 Sept., 2019) Contact: Western Illinois University, Prof. Win Phippen, (309) 298-1251, WB-Phippen@wiu.edu; CoverCress Inc., Funded for www.covercress.com; USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, https://nifa.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Pennycress news,  Biofuel news,  


    Delta Invests $2Mn in Forest Biomass Biofuel Study (Ind. Report)
    Delta Air Lines,Northwest Advanced Bio-fuels
    Date: 2019-09-18
    U.S. air carrier Delta Air Lines reports it is partnering with Northwest Advanced Bio-fuels (NWABF) for a $2 million study to determine the feasibility of building a facility in Washington State to produce sustainable aviation fuel and other biofuel products.

    The facility would utilize forestry waste and wood "slash" to produce sustainable fuels. The result would qualify under an approved carbon-reducing pathway recognized by the American Society of Testing and Materials.

    Delta expects the study to be completed by the middle of 2020, at which time it will "evaluate the next steps in moving forward with the project's development" with the expectation that the project would be in production by the end of 2023. Biofuels produced at the facility could provide around 10 pct of the airline's annual jet fuel consumption in the West Coast region.

    As previously reported, Delta operated its first carbon-neutral delivery flight, using biofuels on a new A321. The airline also purchases offsets for domestic flights into and out of seven high-traffic airports. (Source: Delta, Air Travel, Sept., 2019) Contact: Delta, Graeme Burnett, VP Fuel Management, www.delta.com; Northwest Advanced Bio-fuels, Dave Smoot, www.nifa.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  Biofuel,  Aviation Biofuel,  Delta Air Lines,  


    USDA REAP Announces Rural Energy Grant Funding (Funding)
    USDA, REAP
    Date: 2019-08-30
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) reports it will award a total of $9.3 million in grant funding for energy costs reduction to farmers, ag producers, rural-based businesses and institutions in 49 states and Puerto Rico.

    Congress appropriated $50 million for REAP grants and loan guarantees in fiscal year 2019. REAP funding can be used for energy audits, renewable energy systems including biomass, geothermal, solar, hydropower biomass and others as well as energy efficiency upgrades such as HVAC energy efficiency improvements, insulation, lighting and refrigeration. (Source: USDA, Farm & Dairy, 29 Aug., 2019) Contact: USDA, (202) 690-4730, (f) 202-690-4737, www.rd.usda.gov; REAP, www.rurdev.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  Renewable Energy,  Energy Efficiency,  REAP,  


    Sonny Says Trump Will Take Action on Ethanol Waivers -- Whatever That Means? (Ind. Report)
    RFS,Sonny Perdue
    Date: 2019-08-30
    Speaking Wednesday in Decatur, Illinois -- corn country -- U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said President Trump will "take action to soften the effects of oil refinery exceptions for blending corn-based ethanol in motor fuel." It is "disappointing" that the Trump EPA granted the waivers, Sec. Perdue added.

    Perdue either couldn't or wouldn't say what action the president will or might take, but noted that Trump believes the EPA waivers were "way overdone." Ethanol advocates contend that oil refinery waivers have reduced ethanol production by 2.6 billion gallons since Trump moved into the White House.

    When grilled on the Trump administration's biofuels, trade and Renewable Fuel Standard and related policies Perdue replied "EPA will continue to consult with our federal partners on the best path forward to ensure stability in the Renewable Fuel Standard. The president will always seek to engage with stakeholders to achieve wins for the agriculture and energy sectors." So sayeth Sonny!(Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, CBS, Various Media, 28 Aug., 2019) Contact: Office of US Sec of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, (202) 720-2791, feedback@oc.usda.gov, www.usda.gov, twitter.com/SecretarySonny

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  "Hardship" Waivers,  Ethanol,  Sonny Perdue,  Trump,  


    USDA Invests in Energy Efficiency Improvements ... Seven Businesses In New Mexico Among Recipients
    USDA Rural Development
    Date: 2019-08-25
    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Bette Brand has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding grants for projects in all states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to reduce energy costs for farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses and institutions. Under today’s announcement, USDA is investing $9.3 million through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects across the nation. Congress appropriated $50 million for REAP grants and loan guarantees in fiscal year 2019. USDA will make additional funding announcements in the REAP program in coming weeks. Recipients can use REAP funding for a variety of needs, such as conducting energy audits and installing renewable energy systems such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower and solar. Funds also can be used to make energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration. This announcement includes, seven businesses in rural New Mexico that received funding to purchase energy saving systems. Listed below are the REAP investments made for seven rural businesses in rural New Mexico: • CIA Inc. an insurance company in Ruidoso will receive $9,236 to install a solar array system at that company's building, which will save $1,849 in the company's electric bill every year. • Conley's Lumber Mill in Española will receive $7,897 to install a solar array system at the lumber mill. By installing the solar power system, the company will save $1,857 per year in electricity, which is a 100 percent of the electricity used by the lumber mill for its business. • Four Peaks Energy LLC of Sunland Park will receive $20,000 to upgrade its lighting, HVAC system, and Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) (connected to motors) insulation upgrades, and an environmental shade screen at the Camino Real Landfill Facility. This project will save $17,638 per year in electricity costs. • Pamela N. MacArthur of Rancho De Taos will receive $2,811 to install a solar array system for her horse boarding facility. The solar array will save $529 per year in electricity costs, which is equal to 103 percent of the yearly energy usage for the business. • Joseph J. Mathieu of Deming will receive $7,500 to install LED lighting and energy efficient windows at his Denny’s Restaurant. By installing the energy efficient systems $9,987 in electricity will be saved yearly. • Roxie Properties LLC of Santa Rosa will receive $18,711 to install a solar array system at the El Rancho Motel. The new solar power array will save $5,122 per year in electricity costs for the business. • Taos Veterinary Clinic PC of Taos will receive $ 11,021 to install a solar array system. By installing the solar panels, the business will save $3,796 per year in electricity or a 103 percent of the electricity used by the veterinary clinic.

    To view the report in its entirety, view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB). USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. (Source: USDA, 25 Aug., 2019) Contact: USDA Rural Development, www.rd.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA Rural Development news,  Energy Efficiency news,  


    USDA Reports on Argentinian Ethanol, Biodiesel Production (Int'l.)
    USDA
    Date: 2019-08-09
    The USDA is reporting Argentina's fuel ethanol production and consumption remains stable with 2019 forecast at 1.1 billion liters with no trade expected and the E12 mandate blend near 11.5 pct.

    Biodiesel production in 2019 is projected to drop 9 pct year-over-year to 2.5 billion liters, following a 15 pct drop in 2018 with declining exports and production capacity use falling to 50 pct. Domestic consumption reflects little change at 1.3 billion liters, a near record high since 2017 but with no sustained upward movement since the B10 mandate was essentially met.

    Exports are forecast at 1.2 billion liters, down 400 million liters from last year. Argentina's duty-free quota of 1.36 billion liters with a minimum set price to the EU is not expected to fill this year. No biodiesel exports are expected in 2019 to the US despite its preliminary lowering of countervailing duties due to remaining anti-dumping duties. (Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, GAIN Network, 7 Aug., 2019) Contact: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, gain.fas.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Fuel Ethanol,  Argentina Ethanol,  


    China's Ethanol Policy Remains Muddled, says USDA (Int'l. Report)
    USDA Foreign Agricultural Service
    Date: 2019-08-09
    Although Beijing's push to improve air quality is emerging as the major driver for expanded fuel ethanol production and use, Chinas ethanol policy in 2019 remains a patchwork of provincial and municipal-level policies, according to a USDA report.

    China's central and provincial authorities have not renewed subsidies for ethanol production. Without clear incentives and enforceable compliance measures, the country's ethanol industry will struggle to raise the level of biofuels use in transportation fuels to meet China's E10 goal by 2020. As a result of restrictive ethanol investment and trade policies, China will most likely achieve a blend rate of only 3.0 to 3.5 pct by 2020. Biodiesel remains neglected except for a limited program in Shanghai, the USDA report claims. (Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, GAIN Network, 7 Aug., 2019) Contact: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, gain.fas.usda.gov


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

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

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

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


    USDA REAP Announces New Renewable Energy Funding (Funding)
    Rural Energy for America Program
    Date: 2019-07-15
    The USDA Secretary for Rural Development, Joel Baxley, reports the agency's awarding of 58 grants for projects in 17 states to help reduce energy costs and increase energy efficiency for small rural businesses, farmers and agricultural producers. The grants are being issued through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for which Congress appropriated $50 million in fiscal year 2019.

    Under the present announcement, USDA is investing $1 million in renewable energy projects. The REAP grant funding can be used for energy audits and renewable energy systems such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower and solar, or for energy efficiency improvements to HVAC systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration, and others. (Source: USDA, Elko Daily Free Press, 11 July, 2019) Contact: USDA Rural Energy for America Program, www.rurdev.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Rural Energy for America Program,  Renewable Energy,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Senators Want Ag Sec. Out of RFS "Hardship Waiver" Decision Process (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    RFS
    Date: 2019-07-03
    Following up on our June 12 coverage, DTN Progressive Farmer is reporting thirteen Republican senators from oil-producing states are calling for President Trump to keep Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue out of EPA Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) small refinery "hardship waiver" decision-making process which the Senators claim the Agriculture Secretary has no authority. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA administrator decides, after consulting with the Energy secretary, which refiners receive or are denied a hardship waiver, the Senators note.

    "We strongly oppose giving the Secretary (Perdue) any role in the decision-making process over the petitions. We would view any decisions to further delay, reduce, or deny hardship relief to small refineries, or reallocate the obligations of small refineries to other refineries, as the result of the Secretary of Agriculture's impermissible interference. We are confident that others, including the federal courts, would do the same," the thirteen Senators wrote.

    The small-refinery exemptions have reduced ethanol use by about 2.6 billion gallons, and 38 refiners are waiting for EPA to decide on new exemptions.

    Senators writing the letter included Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) as well as senators representing Louisiana, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

    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. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct (Source: Various Media, DTN, Progressive Farmer, July, 2019) Contact: Office of Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue,(202) 720-2791, feedback@oc.usda.gov, www.usda.gov/contact-us

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Hardship Waiver,  Ethanol,  Ethanol Blend,  RFA,  Sonny Perdue,  


    REAP Helps Rural Enterprises Cut Energy Costs (Funding)
    Renewable Energy for America Program
    Date: 2019-06-26
    In Washington, the USDA Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) has announced $266,490 in grant funding to eight Oregon applicants, $40,589 to Idaho applicants and $16,981 to Washington projects to help farm applicants for energy efficiency measure to help cut energy costs. Nationwide, the USDA awarded $1 million through REAP across 17 states and Puerto Rico.

    REAP grants are divided into two categories. The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Program awards money for renewable energy developments and efficiency improvements, while the Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Program allows recipients to conduct energy audits and provide assistance for farms and rural businesses. Congress appropriated $50 million for REAP grants and loan guarantees in fiscal year 2019. (Source: USDA Rural Dev., Capital Press, 25 June, 2019) Contact: USDA REAP, rurdev.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA REAP,  Energy EfficiencyRenewable Energy for America Program,  


    EPA Admonished to Update Ethanol, GHG Emissions Science ( Ind. Report, Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    EPA,Ethanol
    Date: 2019-06-26
    In response to the Trump administration EPA's rejection of calls to update GHG calculations based on technological advancements in ethanol production, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators led by Chuck Grassley (R. Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D. Ill.) -- both members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry -- issued the following statement urging the EPA to update an outdated environmental analysis on ethanol in order to "improve foreign sales opportunities."

    "During the past five years, ethanol has been the fastest-growing agricultural export. As more nations adopt policies for lower-emission vehicle fuels, domestically produced ethanol can provide an immediate solution for their goals. We assert that there is little justification for EPA to maintain such an outdated calculation that otherwise could be easily corrected with existing, available analysis -- and straightforwardly address an unnecessary obstacle to international trade," the Senators wrote.

    "Peer-reviewed science conducted by the USDA has affirmed that U.S. ethanol lowers greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 39-43 pct versus gasoline. EPA has rejected all calls to update these calculations, instead using nearly 10-year-old data, which ignores the technological advancements in ethanol production", the Senators said.

    The Senators called for the EPA to adopt the scientific model Greenhouse Gas & Regulated Emissions & Energy Use in Transportation (GREET) developed by the DOE Argonne National Laboratory, after studying 100 fuel production pathways and 85 vehicle systems to measure the life-cycle carbon emissions of vehicle fuels. More than 30,000 organizations worldwide use the updated GREET model, including the FAA, NASA, Ford and GM, BP and others. EPA does not use the updated model. (Source: Office of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa),Feedstuffs, 25 June, 2019) Contact: Office of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), www.grassley.senate.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA,  Chuck Grassley,  GHGs,  Ethanol,  


    USDA Funds Hoosier Farms, Ag Producers Energy Efficiency (Funding)
    USDA
    Date: 2019-06-12
    In Indianapolis, the USDA State Director for Indiana is reporting a total of $109,195 in grant funding fto eight businesses for projects that will reduce energy costs in the Hoosier state. Among the recipients:
  • Commercial real estate leasing firm Home Sweet Home Properties, LLC will receive $1,669 for LED lighting upgrades and $14,109 for the purchase and installation of a 22.44 kwh solar array

  • Premier Roofing & Construction, LLC $14,476 for a 12.6 kW solar array.

  • The 18-member Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative will receive $25,000 for various energy efficiency projects throughout central and southern Indiana.

  • N & L Pork, Inc. will receive $20,000 for a 111-kW solar array.

  • The Darrel G. Erb farm will receive $12,441 to make energy efficiency improvements and Bowman & Bowman Farms, Inc. will receive $20,000 for a 37-kW solar array.

    The grants are funded through the 2002 U.S. Farm Bill Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). (Source: USDA, www.rd.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  


  • Ohio State Tests Ag Waste-to-Ethanol Process (R&D, Funding)
    Ohio State University
    Date: 2019-05-29
    In Columbus, Associate Professor Ajay Shah, an agricultural engineer with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) is testing a method that could cut the cost of collecting and delivering corn plant material corn stover) for ethanol production by up to 20 pct..

    Shah received $1 million in USDA grant funding to test the effectiveness of a new method that harvests and transports corn plants intact, the ears together with the stalks, and will work with farm equipment companies to develop machinery that could be commercialized.

    The system testing involves harvesting the corn plant so the ears and a portion of the stalks are not separated in the field but are transported as a single package to the biorefinery. Separating the corn kernels from the rest of the plant requires a combine, which is expensive and currently used in the field only a few months of the year. If, instead, farmers collected and baled the cobs and stalks at the same time, they could be stored and a stationary machine that separates the grain from the rest of the plant could operate throughout the year, maximizing its use. (Source: Ohio State Univ., AgCUE Online, 28 May, 2019) Contact: Ohio State Univ., College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), Assistant Prof., Ajay Shah, (330) 263-3858, shah.971@osu.edu; CFAES, (614) 292-6125, https://cfaes.osu.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Corn Stover,  Ethanol,  Cellulosic Ethanol,  


    NFU Encouraged by First Step to Address Climate Crisis (Ind. Report)
    National Farmers Union
    Date: 2019-05-27
    In recent U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry hearings on climate change and the agricultural sector, climate change and the agricultural sector. National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson thanked the committee for addressing the deleterious effects of climate change on the agricultural industry and emphasized the need for federal policies that assist farmers with the implementation of practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, sequester carbon, and build resilience to extreme weather events:

    "Climate change is not a future or hypothetical issue for family farmers and ranchers -- they are already suffering its effects every day. Higher average temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, and more frequent and severe natural disasters have added several more layers of uncertainty to the already difficult job of food production. As the climate continues to change, we can only expect the challenges to multiply. This serious and immediate problem requires serious and immediate action -- and we are glad that the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry is taking the first steps by holding this hearing.

    "Though the agricultural sector is among the most directly impacted by climate change, it is also among the most capable of mitigating and adapting to its effects. Farmers and ranchers are not only able to cut greenhouse gas emissions on their operations, but they can also offset greenhouse gas emissions from other sectors by sequestering carbon in the soil, growing biofuels, and engaging in on-farm energy production. Many of the USDA's existing conservation programs support these important efforts with financial and technical assistance. We encourage Congress to continue providing farmers with the tools they need by expanding and enhancing these programs. Additionally, we recommend robust investments in public agricultural research as well as the creation of market-based incentives for climate-smart practices.

    "Farmers Union members understand the urgent threat that climate change poses to agriculture, and they want to do everything they can to lessen the damage. But this work isn't free or easy -- it often requires significant time, money, and expertise. We look forward to working with you to identify policies and solutions that help family farmers and ranchers achieve their sustainability goals."

    The NFU advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. (Source: National Farmers Union, Website, May, 2019) Contact: National Farmers Union, Hannah Packman, (202) 559-9890, hpackman@nfudc.org, www.nfu.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  National Farmers Union,  


    Woody Biomass Feedstock Logistics Study Funded (Funding)
    Woddy Biomass,USDA
    Date: 2019-05-13
    Researchers at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) are reporting receipt of $1 million in USDA grant funding to investigate the key parameters for high-quality, year-round woody biomass feedstock logistics systems for commercialized biorefineries in the Southeastern U.S.

    The 3-year study is intended to expedite the development of a commercialized cellulosic biofuel sector by improving the efficiency of the logistics systems of woody biomass feedstock required for biofuel production.

    The study will determine woody biomass quality in the Southeast and identify the relationship with conversion performance. Additionally, the cost and energy use for woody biomass feedstock size reduction through both conventional and advanced technologies will be obtained at an industrial scale, and the cost and quality of the feedstock will be incorporated to address the challenges of balancing cost and quality in feedstock logistics for scaling up biofuel production.

    The study includes the evaluation of alternative pre-processing technologies in feedstock logistics systems for hardwood logging residues and an energy crop -- hybrid poplar -- to supply biofuel production.

    The UTIA multidisciplinary research team includes agricultural economists, forest scientists, chemists, and biosystems engineers, with collaboration from a bioenergy company, Proton Power, Inc., and a biomass research and development company, Forest Concepts, LLC. (Source: University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, Bioenergy Insight, 13 May, 2019) Contact: University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, (865) 974-6756, https://ag.tennessee.edu/Pages/default.aspx

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  Biofuel,  


    USDA Forest Service 2019 Wood Innovation Grants Announced (Funding)
    USDA,USFS
    Date: 2019-05-10
    On May 7, the USDA Forest Service awarded over $8.9 million in matching funds through the Wood Innovations Grant program to 39 business, university, nonprofit and tribal partners in 20 states.

    This year the Forest Service received 140 proposals, demonstrating the expanding interest in using wood in traditional and unconventional ways as an innovative building material or a renewable energy source. Of the 41 projects selected, 29 focus upon expanding markets for wood products and 12 seek to increase markets for wood energy. Some of the proposed projects will help fuel small-scale, combined heat and power projects and biochar market development.

    Projects will take place in 20 states including Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

    The Forest Service notes that over the past decade, low harvest rates, aging forests, mortality from insect and disease infestations, and extreme weather events have combined to create conditions prime for catastrophic wildfires. These grants support the development of consumer products that use the excess forest material.Download information on the Forest Service Wood Education and Resource Center HERE. (Source: U.S. Forest Service, PR, 8 May, 2019) Contact: U.S. Forest Service, www.fs.usda.gov

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


    Brightmark Touts Dairy Anaerobic Digestion Biogas Project (Ind Report)
    Brightmark Energy
    Date: 2019-04-08
    San Francisco-headquartered Brightmark Energy is touting the launch of its recently completed biogas project in Yakima County, Washington. The anaerobic digester project will convert 150,000 gpd of dairy cattle manure waste from up to 7,000 cows into 160,000 MMBtu of renewable natural gas (RNG) and other products each year.

    Collaborating as Augean Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), Brightmark Energy, Promus Energy, and DeRuyter Dairies developed the project. Brightmark Energy will manage the joint venture and Promus Energy, the original developer, will serve as the project manager.

    he Augean biogas project is supported by a $1.4 million in grant funding from Yakima County and a $500,000 Rural Energy for American Program (REAP) grant from the USDA.

    Brightmark is currently developing similar biogas projects in New York, Wisconsin, Florida, and Minnesota, and is seeking feedstock suppliers with an interest in collaborating on waste to energy projects. The company develops, owns and operates waste and energy projects.

    Promus Energy LLC, based in Washington State and New Mexico, was launched in 2010 to convert organic wastes into low carbon intensity, high-value renewable products, focusing specifically on dairy-derived renewable natural gas (RNG) and recovery of nutrients and fiber. (Source: Brightmark Energy, PR, 6 April, 2019) Contact: Brightmark Energy, Bob Powell, CEO, (415) 689-8395, info@brightmarkenergy.com; http://brightmarkenergy.com; Promus Energy LLC, www.promusenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Brightmark Energy,  Biogas,  Anaerobic Digestion,  


    USDA Study Shows Significant GHG Benefits of Ethanol Compared with Gasoline (Report Attached)
    USDA
    Date: 2019-04-03
    The Greenhouse Gas Benefits of Corn Ethanol -- Assessing Recent Evidence, a new study from the USDA finds greenhouse gas emissions from corn-based ethanol are about 39 pct lower than gasoline. The study also states that when ethanol is refined at natural gas-powered refineries, the GHG emissions are even lower, around 43 pct below gasoline.

    "These new findings provide further evidence that biofuels from America's heartland reduce greenhouse gases even more than we thought, and that our farmers and ethanol plants continue to become more efficient and effective," said Secretary Sonny Perdue. "Expanding the sale of E15 year-round will provide consumers with more choices when they fill up at the pump, including environmentally friendly fuel with decreased emissions. I appreciate EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler moving expeditiously to finalize the E-15 rule before the start of summer driving season," Perdue added.

    The study, led by Dr. Jan Lewandrowski of USDA's Office of the Chief Economist, and published in the journal Biofuels, supports findings of other research that ethanol has a significantly better GHG profile than previously estimated.

    The study attributes much of these additional benefits to revised estimates of the impacts of land-use change as a result of demand for ethanol. Where previous estimates anticipated farmers bringing additional land into production as a result of increased corn prices, recent analysis finds only modest increases in crop acreage. Additional improvements at ethanol refineries, combined with on-farm conservation practices that reduce GHG emissions, such as reduced tillage and cover crops, have further decreased emissions associated with corn ethanol. The study projects that with added improvements in refineries and on farms, a reduction of over 70 pct in lifecycle emissions is possible by 2022.

    The study is available for download HERE. Additional information on the greenhouse gas profile of biofuels is available at www.usda.gov/oce/oeep. (Source: USDA, 2 April, 2019) Contact: USDA, www.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  Ethanol,  Corn Ethanol,  Carbon Emissions,  GHGs,  


    2018 U.S. Ethanol Exports Rise to Record High (Ind. Report)
    USDA
    Date: 2019-03-08
    According to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) recently 2018 total export numbers, US ethanol exports topped 1.70 billion gallons in 2018 -- a 23 pct increase over 2017 figures -- while ethanol co-products like distiller's dried grains (DDGs) with solubles (DDGS) exports grew 7 pct.

    Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor notes the increase in ethanol exports over the past three years is due in part to expanded role that ethanol-blended fuels play in helping countries around the world achieve their economic and environmental goals.

    Growth Energy expects the global demand for the cleaner, more affordable fuel blend will continue to rise in 2019.(Source: Growth Energy, USDA, Various Media, HoosierAg, 6 Mar., 2019) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org; USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, www.fas.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  USDA,  Growth Energy,  


    USGC Wins $14Mn for Feed Grains, Ethanol Promotion (Funding)
    U.S. Grains Council
    Date: 2019-02-25
    The Washington, D.C. headquartered U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is reporting receipt of almost $14 million in funding from USDA's Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) Program to help expand the organization's global footprint and dramatically increase its promotion for ethanol and other feed grains products. The program is part of a larger "trade aid" package in the wake of new tariffs and global market uncertainty.

    The Council was awarded just under $14 million from the one-time program, which granted a total of $200 million for organizations working in overseas market development for U.S. agriculture and food products Much of the funding will be used to dramatically expand the Council's ethanol programs, which it coordinates with corn and sorghum checkoff organizations, Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association, as well as USDA.

    The funding will build upon existing market development and marketing programs operated with support from Council members and USDA through the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development program. (Source: US Grains Council, PR, 23 Feb., 2019) Contact: U.S. Grains Council, (202) 789-0789, (202) 898-0522, www.grains.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News U.S. Grains Council,  Ethanol,  


    USDA Commits to $125Mn Aemetis Riverbank Biorefinery (Funding)
    Aemetis
    Date: 2019-02-13
    Following up on our 24th January coverage, Cupertino, California-based Aemetis, Inc. is reporting the USDA has issued a Conditional Commitment under the 9003 Biorefinery Assistance Program to guarantee a $125 million, 20-year loan to company's cellulosic ethanol plant to be built in Riverbank, California. The Riverbank plant is designed to convert orchard, forest and other biomass waste into cellulosic ethanol with below zero carbon emissions.

    The Riverbank biorefinery project recently won a $12 million California state tax waiver and a $5 million California Energy Commission Notice of Proposed Award. Preliminary engineering for the project has been completed and construction is expected to get underway in mid-2019. (Source: Aemetis, PR, 12 Feb., 2019) Contact: Aemetis, Eric McAfee, CEO , Todd Waltz, (408) 213-0940, investors@aemetis.com, www.aemetis.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Riverbank ,  Aemetis,  USDA,  Cellulosic Ethanol,  


    American Coalition for Ethanol Presses Senate on EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler's Confirmation (Opinions, Editorial & Asides)
    American Coalition for Ethanol
    Date: 2019-02-01
    The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) submitted the following letter to US Senators regarding acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler's confirmation:

    " As the Senate proceeds to consider the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), I write to encourage you to secure tangible documentation from Mr. Wheeler that EPA will resolve two critically important issues before casting your confirmation vote: finalizing a legally -defensible Reid vapor pressure (RVP) rule to allow E15 use year-round before June 1, and reallocating ethanol blending obligations waived for 2016 and 2017 through the Small Refinery Exemption (SRE) provision of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

    "I urge you hold Acting Administrator Wheeler to this high standard because of the harm done to renewable fuels by former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Prior to his confirmation by the Senate, Mr. Pruitt pledged to support the RFS as the law of the land and the President's commitment to expanding ethanol use. However, while leading EPA, he undermined the RFS through an unprecedented number of backdoor refinery waivers which erased more than 2 billion gallons of ethanol blending obligations between 2016 and 2017. Furthermore, he refused to reallocate those blending obligations to other refiners, as called for under the law, and failed to initiate a rulemaking to allow E15 use year-round despite the fact it is a priority for the President. EPA's broken promises and abuse of the RFS compel Acting Administrator Wheeler to repair the damage by reallocating the blending obligations and finalizing a legally-defensible rule to allow E15 use year-round before June 1.

    "During his recent confirmation hearing, Acting Administrator Wheeler assured Environment and Public Works committee members that EPA is 'still on schedule to issue a final rule allowing year-round E15 sales' but added there 'may be a slight delay' due to the recent government shutdown. The shutdown is not a credible excuse for a delay in the E15 rulemaking. In fact, recent history proves the Trump Administration can expedite high-priority rulemakings.

    "Take for example the USDA newly-proposed work requirements for recipients of supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits. In December, as Congress was negotiating the Farm Bill, the Senate insisted that House conferees drop new food stamp work requirements from the final legislation. In response, to secure enough Republican votes in the House of Representatives to pass the Farm Bill conference report, USDA put forward a rulemaking to impose the work requirements through executive action. The Farm Bill conference report was adopted by Congress on December 12. The President waited to sign the Farm Bill until December 20, the same day USDA published the SNAP work requirement rulemaking.

    "In just eight days USDA was able to issue a rule at the direction of the President to fulfill a promise to Republicans in the House of Representatives. It has been more than 100 days since the President Directed EPA to initiate a rulemaking to allow E15 use year-round. What is taking EPA so long to act? There is no better way to guarantee the RVP rule and reallocation of refinery waivers are addressed than by insisting Mr. Wheeler provide tangible evidence of his intentions on these issues prior to voting to confirm him.

    "The RVP rule is particularly time-sensitive. Under EPA's existing and outdated RVP regulations, E15 cannot be sold in most areas of the country from June 1 to September 15, leaving just four short months from today to complete the rulemaking process. Unfortunately, EPA needlessly plans to combine the RVP rule with reforms to the way Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) are handled under the RFS. RIN reforms are highly-controversial among oil refiners so EPA's proposal will likely pit refiners against each other, causing a protracted dispute. If RIN reforms prevent EPA from finishing the RVP rule by June 1, it will result in another summer that E15 cannot be sold in many parts of the country when fuel demand is at its peak. Acting Administrator Wheeler should be encouraged to decouple RIN reforms from the RVP rule to ensure E15 can be offered for sale by June 1." (signed) Brian Jennings, CEO American Coalition for Ethanol. (Source: ACE, 29 Jan., 2019)Contact: American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, Ron Lamberty, VP, (605) 334-3381, https://ethanol.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ANdrew Wheeler,  American Coalition for Ethanol,  Andrew Wheeler,  Ethanol.Ethanol Blend,  

    Showing 1 to 50 of 103.

    Go to page:
    1 2 3