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,
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, firstname.lastname@example.org,
www.nararenewables.org; Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels, LLC
Chris Whitworth,Dir. Project Dev., www.facebook.com/NWABiofuels; Gevo, Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, email@example.com, www.gevo.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News GEVO, Aviation Biofuel, Woody Biomass,
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,
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,
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,
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,
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.usda.gov, twitter.com/SecretarySonny
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, "Hardship" Waivers, Ethanol, Sonny Perdue, Trump,
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,
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 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
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,
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,
"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,
More Low-Carbon Energy News Hardship Waiver, Ethanol, Ethanol Blend, RFA, Sonny Perdue,
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,
"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,
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,
email@example.com; CFAES, (614) 292-6125, https://cfaes.osu.edu
More Low-Carbon Energy News Corn Stover, Ethanol, Cellulosic Ethanol,
"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, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.nfu.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change, National Farmers Union,
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,
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
(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,
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,
Promus Energy LLC, www.promusenergy.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Brightmark Energy, Biogas, Anaerobic Digestion,
"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,
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,
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,
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, email@example.com, www.aemetis.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Riverbank , Aemetis, USDA, Cellulosic Ethanol,
" 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,
The consortium will conduct and oversee 29 treatment and control sites across California and assess whether soil amendments -- pulverized rock, compost and biochar -- can bring additional carbon Capture and storage (CCS) co-benefits, such as improved crop and rangeland productivity and soil health to California growers and ranchers across diverse regions.
The sites range from croplands in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys to the Imperial Valley, as well as ranchlands from Marin County to Southern California.
In addition to UC Berkeley and UC Davis, the consortium also includes scientists from UC Merced, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and California State University, East Bay. The group will be working with the California Collaborative for Climate Change Solutions (C4S), Larta Institute, the Almond Board of California, commercial manufacturers of compost and biochar, ranchers and farmers, carbon offset registries, the USDA California Climate Hub, and UC Cooperative Extension. (Source: UC Davis, PR, 16 Jan., 2019) Contact: UC Davis, John Muir Institute of the Environment , Benjamin Houlton, Dir., (530) 752-7627, johnmuir.ucdavis.edu; California Strategic Growth Council, www.sgc.ca.gov,
UC Working Lands Innovation Center Grant Award, www.sgc.ca.gov/programs/climate-research/docs/20181221-CCR_Summary_2019CCR20007.pdf
More Low-Carbon Energy News UC Davis, CCS, CO2, Carbon Sequestration, Greenhouse Gas,
No-till farming is a way of growing crops or pasture from year to year without disturbing the soil through tillage. No-till is an agricultural technique which increases the amount of water that infiltrates into the soil, the soil's retention of organic matter and its cycling of nutrients.
The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 -- Farm Bill -- reauthorized many expenditures in the prior United States farm bill: the Agricultural Act of 2014. The $867 billion reconciled farm bill was passed by the Senate on December 11, 2018, and by the House on December 12, 2018. (Source: No-Till Farmer, Washington Post, USDA, Wikipedia, Jan., 2019)
But environmentalists say that burning trees releases CO2 previously trapped inside the plant. And when forests are cleared to produce energy, it can take them decades to regrow, if they ever do. The result is a power source that can generate more carbon dioxide emissions than the coal it is sometimes meant to replace.
On the down side, the EPA's own science advisers have warned that assuming biomass emissions are carbon neutral "is inconsistent with the underlying science."
The federal agencies joint letter is in response to a provision Congress added to a spending bill directing federal agencies to establish policies that "reflect the carbon neutrality of forest biomass for energy production." Even before that directive, under former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, the agency declared that it generally considered burning biomass for energy as carbon neutral.
The EPA has also proposed giving utilities credit for cutting carbon dioxide emissions when they replace some coal in power plants with biomass -- a substitution that would qualify as an efficiency upgrade under the EPA's proposed relaxation of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan curbs on greenhouse gas emissions from electricity.
(Source: HoumaToday, Herald, Various Media, Nov., 2018)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Neutral, Biomass, Woody Biomass,
The Forum boasted record attendance, including a diverse group of international members and guests. Discussions included updates from leading bio-process companies on new processes and commercial advances that can add value to the forest products industry. Highlights of the Forum included commercial progress of nanotechnology presented by keynote Sean Ireland, VP, Business Development for Fiberlean Technologies; evolutionary value added technologies for the chemical recovery cycle and soap removal / tall oil production; commercial progress of wood to bioproducts from Velocys, Ensyn, and Red Rock; and commercial progress for lignin conversion to end products.
USDA Administrator Bette Brand attended the meeting and tour. "The USDA recognizes the importance of the partnership between government and private industry designed to bridge the early financial issues of start-up companies in the biorenewable area that we believe will help improve economies in rural communities," said Ms. Brand ommented. Meeting attendees participating in USDA programs included Velocys, Ensyn, Red Rock Biofuels, REG, and American Biocarbon.
Masood Akhtar, President of BDC commented, "In BDC's view, it is important for the government to be confident in the companies they financially assist, and the scale up requirements of the USDA have been critical to the success of new start up companies." "The success of the BDC meeting is due to a combination of the mission of the organization, the make-up and participation of the membership and guests, and the ingenuity and progress of the entrepreneurial management teams in the up and coming bio-industry," Akhtar concluded. (Source: BDC, PR, Oct., 2018) Contact: BDC, Ben Thorp, Chairman, (804) 743-3105, Ben.Thorp@biorenewabledc.org, www.biorenewabledc.org; Velocys, Jeff McDaniel, VP, (614) 733-3300, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.velocys.com; ThermoChem Recovery International, Chris Doherty, VP, (410) 525-2400,
More Low-Carbon Energy News Biorenewable Deployment Consortium, Velocys, ThermoChem Recovery International ,
The new plaintiffs contend they have a "fundamental right to be left alone free from human interference in the wilderness" and are asking a federal court to rule that the U.S. government is violating that right by contributing to a dangerous concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and thus created a dangerous atmosphere. The lawsuit specifically names the U.S. Department of Interior, the USDA, the EPA, Department of Defense and other agencies.
The new lawsuit is taking a new tack.
While the first suit focuses on constitutional rights to life, liberty and property and protection of public trust resources, the new suit focuses on "the simple right to be let alone, the right long recognized and protected under banners like privacy and liberty," according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
(Source: Animal Legal Defense Fund, Oregonian, 22 Oct., 2018) Contact: Animal Legal Defense Fund, (707) 795-2533, https://aldf.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Kid, Climate Lawsuit, Climate Change,
The USDA REAP grant program, entitled Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Loans and Grants, provides financial assistance to agricultural producers and small businesses to upgrade renewable energy systems in rural areas.
(Source: USDA Rural Energy for America Program, Angus King, 12 Sept., 2018) Contact: USDA REAP, www.rurdev.usda.gov
More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA REAP, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy,
In its proposed rule Renewable Fuel Standard Program Standards for 2019 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2020, the EPA proposes the Renewable Fuel Volume Obligations (RVOs), the analytical support in setting those RVOs, the setting of the percent standards to achieve those RVOs and an assessment of the cost of implementation.
The USDA stresses that it does not disagree with the appropriateness of the use of the cellulosic waiver authority in lowering the total and cellulosic standards, but disagrees with the newly stated constraints the EPA places on the agency when those waivers are applied. These comments also address the inconsistencies between the cost and the percent standard approaches, which have historically failed to achieve the RVO standard set in the analysis and rule making.
Download Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program details HERE. (Source: USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Aug., 2018) Contact: USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service, www.rd.usda.gov/about-rd/agencies/rural-business-cooperative-service
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The EDF facilitated the development and sale of the credits with the help of a Conservation Innovation Grant from the USDA. Natural Capital Partners purchased the credits on behalf of its client Microsoft, which began a carbon neutrality program in 2012.
Grassland carbon credits reward landowners for retaining soil carbon and avoiding the emissions associated with converting grasslands into croplands. Grassland projects also provide ecosystem benefits such as habitat for threatened species.
The Climate Action Reserve's Grassland Project Protocol uses biogeochemical modeling and emissions factors to quantify carbon that would be released from the soil if the land were tilled. (Source: EDF, Aug., 2018) Contact: Environmental Defense Fund, www.edf.org;
Southern Plains Land Trust, https://southernplains.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Environmental Defense Fund news, Carbon Credit news, Carbon Sink news,
Profitability is a huge concern for Iowa's corn farmers now facing the fifth consecutive year of declining farm incomes while facing high levels of uncertainty due to ongoing trade disputes and disruptions in the ethanol markets.
The Iowa Corn Farmers Association's message to the Trump administration was clear -- "Corn farmers prefer to have market access to compete in a global marketplace, not rely on government assistance, for their livelihoods. Remove unnecessary trade barriers and restore our access to international markets." (Source: Iowa Corn Growers Association, PR, 27 Aug., 2018)Contact: Iowa Corn Growers Association, (515) 225-9242, www.iowacorn.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Corn, USDA, Corn Ethanol,
Between 2006 and 2016, fuel ethanol production more than doubled after the Energy Policy Act of 2005 created the Renewable Fuel Standard. By 2010, most of the gasoline sold in the U.S. was blended with 10 pct ethanol.
Among the top six ethanol producing states, Iowa can produce more than 102 million bpy of fuel ethanol for about 19 pct of total U.S. ethanol production.
Nebraska's production capacity of more than 50 million barrels of fuel ethanol is the second-highest, followed by Illinois at up to 40 million bpy. Minnesota has an ethanol production capacity of 28 million bpy followed by Indiana and South Dakota at 27 million bpy of ethanol annually. (Source: US EIA, Tax, Business & Politics, 15 Aug., 2018) Contact: US EIA, www.eia.gov
More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol, Corn Ethanol, EIA,
Construction on the cellulosic ethanol plant, which will use LanzaTech technology to convert orchard and agriculture waste into ethanol, could bet underway this year, subject to a pending USDA loan guarantee.
(Source: Aemetis, Ethanol Producer, Other Media, 14 Aug., 2018) Contact: Aemetis, Eric McAfee, CEO , Todd Waltz, (408) 213-0940, email@example.com, www.aemetis.com; LanzaTech, Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO, (630) 439-3050, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.lanzatech.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Aemetis, LanzaTech, Cellulosic Ethanol,
The 100-acre Natchez biorefinery will use Velocys' technology to produce low-carbon transportation fuels from the wood wastes of lumbering operations and tree plantations. The plant is expected to convert locally-sourced woody biomass waste into enough renewable fuel to meet the annual demands of running around 40,000 diesel and gasoline trucks.
(Source: Velocys Plc, PR, 7 Aug., 2018)Contact: Velocys Plc, David Pummell, CEO, +44 1235 841 700, (713) 275-5840 -- Houston Office, email@example.com, www.velocys.com
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The program provides loan guarantees of up to $250 million to fund the development, construction, and retrofitting of commercial-scale biorefineries using eligible technology. It can also be used to help fund the development of biobased product manufacturing facilities that use technologically new commercial-scale processing and manufacturing equipment to convert renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries into end-user products on a commercial scale.
Download details and Notice of Solicitation of Applications for the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program
HERE. (Source: USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Aug., 2018) Contact: USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service, www.rd.usda.gov/about-rd/agencies/rural-business-cooperative-service
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According to the AEA, nonresidential buildings consume more than half the building energy use in Alaska, and the majority of these buildings are privately owned. The Commercial Building Energy Audit program is designed to pay up to 75 pct of the cost of an ASHRAE level 1+ energy audit performed on privately owned commercial buildings. The audit cost is set by the building size and ranges from $600 for buildings up to 3,000 square feet up to $2,100 for buildings over 20,000 square feet.
The AEA reports that results of past similar programs indicate average energy savings of roughly 1/3 resulting from economic efficiency investments with average simple paybacks of just over six years. (Source: Alaska Energy Authority , The News, 2 Aug., 2018) Contact; Alaska Energy Efficiency Map, www.akenergyefficiencymap.org, Alaska Energy Authority, (888) 300-8534, www.akenergyauthority.org
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The report estimates that Missouri could save up to 6.5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year -- more than twice the amount of emissions the city of Columbia emits in a year.
Agriculture represents the U.S.'s fifth largest contributor to climate change, according to the EPA. In 2016, the USDA gave $1.7 million to farmers to help plant more cover crops.
Download the full
Climate-Smart Farming in the Show Me State report HERE. (Source: Climate Central, St.Louis Public Radio, 27 July, 2018) Contact: Climate Central, www.climatecentral.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,
The concept for the barley biofuel was developed and pilot tested by Montana Microbial Products in partnership with the USDA.
Midwest AgEnergy's project would study the feasibility of barley biofuels and conduct initial engineering and design work for scaling production to a commercial level.
(Source: Midwest AdEnergy LLC, Bismark Tribune, 21 July, 2018) Contact: Midwest AgEnergy LLC, Jeff Zueger, CEO, (701) 442-7500, www.midwestagenergy.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Midwest AgEnergy Group , DDGs, Ethanol,
The EDF facilitated the development and sale of the credits with the help of a Conservation Innovation Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Natural Capital Partners purchased the credits on behalf of its client Microsoft, which began a carbon neutrality program in 2012.
Grassland carbon credits reward landowners for retaining soil carbon and avoiding the emissions associated with converting grasslands into croplands. Grassland projects also provide ecosystem benefits such as habitat for threatened species.
The Climate Action Reserve's Grassland Project Protocol uses biogeochemical modeling and emissions factors to quantify carbon that would be released from the soil if the land were tilled. Offsets are then generated for preserved belowground soil carbon, avoided use of nitrogen-based fertilizers and avoided use of carbon-emitting machinery for crop cultivation. (Source: EDF, 17 July, 2018)
Contact: Environmental Defense Fund, www.edf.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Environmental Defense Fund, USDA, Carbon Credit,
Biofuels Digest noted that the Aemetis Riverbank project combines the best technology from leading technology providers LanzaTech and InEnTec with the local availability of waste orchard wood and other feedstock that can be used to produce Aemetis' high value cellulosic ethanol and valuable byproducts.
Aemetis owns and operates a 60 million gallon per year ethanol production facility in California's Central Valley, near Modesto. Aemetis also owns and operates a 50 million gpy renewable chemical and advanced fuel production facility in India producing distilled biodiesel and refined glycerin for the Indian, US and European markets. The company also operates an R&D laboratory, and holds a portfolio of patents and related technology licenses for the production of renewable fuels and biochemicals. (Source: Aemetis, PR, 19 June, 2018) Contact: Aemetis, Todd Waltz, (408) 213-0940, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.aemetis.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel, BiochemicalAemetis, Ethanol, Cellulosic Ethanol, Biofuel,
Third-party verified Biobased Product Label is administered through the USDA BioPreferred Program, which aims to increase the development, purchase, and use of biobased products.
According to the USDA, biobased products contributed $393 billion to the U.S. economy in 2014, directly and indirectly supported 4.2 million jobs, and displaced up to 6.8 million barrels of oil.
The BioPreferred Program spans a diverse range of applications including lubricants, cleaning products, chemicals, and bioplastics. More than 3,000 products have earned the USDA Certified Biobased Product label, (Source: Kesussler Inc., PR, 12 June, 2018)
Contact: Kreussler Inc.
Richard Fitzpatrick, VP,
(603) 721-9478, email@example.com, www.kreussler.com;
USDA BioPreferred® Program,
Vernell Thompson, 202.720.4145, Vernell.Thompson@dm.usda.gov;
visit www.kreussler.com, SOURCE Kreussler Inc.
USDA Certified Biobased Product Label, www.biopreferred.gov, http://twitter.com/BioPreferred.
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"The nation's corn growers thank Senator Chuck Grassley, Senator Joni Ernst and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue for their advocacy and steadfast support for farmers, rural communities and renewable fuels. We greatly appreciate their efforts.
"With the expectation that the Administration was preparing to take drastic actions to unravel the RFS, farmers are very pleased those actions have been set aside and strongly encourage the Administration to keep the President's commitment to America's farmers and (leave) the RFS intact." (Source: NCGA, Wisc. AgConnection, 7 June, 2018) Contact: National Corn Growers Association, Kevin Skunes, Pres., (202) 326-0644, www.ncga.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, Biofuels, NCGA,
The university is collaborating with Spark Northwest, a Seattle-based nonprofit organization dedicated to renewable energy development. Funding will be provided by the USDA over two years, beginning this fall.
The grant positions the university for future USDA funding at the "energy-food-water-climate nexus" including precision agriculture, field drones and sensors and digitizing data.
((Source: George Fox University, Capital Press, 5 June, 2018) Contact: George Fox University,
Bob Harding, Dean of the College of Engineering , (503)538-8383, www.georgefox.edu
More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy,
"We're pleased the USDA is taking up the president's call to action and pressing for an immediate E15 fix, before the start of the summer driving season. As Secretary (Sonny) Perdue has noted, a flood of illegitimate waivers from the EPA has resulted in 'demand destruction' for U.S. farmers at a time when rural communities can least afford it. Even petroleum giants like Marathon are now expecting 'small refinery' handouts.
"Regulators should, instead, focus on the president's plan to reallocate lost biofuel gallons that were siphoned away by EPA waivers. President Trump promised to protect statutory targets under the Renewwable Fuel Standard (RFS), and we support Secretary Perdue's efforts to ensure the EPA upholds that commitment to rural families.
"There is no reason to delay action or attach unrelated gimmicks designed to benefit a few refinery owners. EPA Administrator (Scott) Pruitt should stand by his word in 2017, when he vowed not to pursue an export scheme that would cannibalize demand for U.S. biofuels, destroy farm income, and spark retaliatory tariffs against the entire fuel and farm supply chain." (Source: Grwoth Energy, SCD, 24 May, 2018)Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy, Biofuel,