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Australia Minerals Council Releases Climate Action Plan (Int'l)
Minerals Council of Australia
Date: 2020-06-24
In the Land Down Under, the Perth-headquartered Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) is touting its just unveiled Climate Action Plan outlining how the MCA and its members are taking action on climate change as part of the minerals sector's collective commitment to the Paris Agreement and its goal of net zero emissions globally and in Australia.

The MCA's Climate Action Plan is comprised of two components; an enduring 10-point framework to support the three core objectives -- enabling the potential of technology to decarbonise the minerals sector, increasing transparency in reporting, and sharing of practical knowledge on climate responses -- and a comprehensive three-year work plan with 30 activities.

The Climate Action Plan will be reviewed annually and publicly reported on to ensure it remains consistent with Australia's climate policy ambitions in support of the Paris Agreement, according to the MCA release. (Source: Minerals Council of Australia, Mining Weekly, Creamers, 22 June, 2020) Contact: Minerals Council of Australia, Tania Constable, CEO, info@minerals.org.au, www.minerals.org.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Australia Climate Change,  


New Tech Converts CO2 to Renewable Natural Gas (New Prod. & Tech.)
Southern California Gas Co., Pacific Gas and Electric , Opus 12
Date: 2020-06-24
Southern California Gas Co., Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and clean-tech startup Opus 12 are reporting further advancement of a new electrochemical technology that converts the CO2 content in raw biogas to pipeline-quality renewable natural gas (RNG). Opus 12's proprietary Polymer Electrolyte Membrane electrolyzer uses electricity to convert water and CO2 into renewable natural gas in one step.

While current biogas-upgrading technology removes the CO2 from biogas, this new technology captures the CO2 and converts it into additional renewable fuel. The new demonstration shows that improved catalyst activity could speed reactions by five times and nearly double conversion efficiency, making the technology commercially competitive with other new biogas upgrading methods, according to the release.

The 12-month R&D effort was funded by SoCalGas and PG&E, and builds on an initial 2018 feasibility study. (Source: PG&E, Market Screener, 22 June, 2020) Contact: Southern California Gas Co., (909) 307-7070, www.socalgas.com; Pacific Gas and Electric, www.pge.com; Opus 12, www.opus-12.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News RNG,  Biogas,  Southern California Gas ,  Pacific Gas and Electric,  Opus 12 ,  


Proposed UK Biowaste-to-Energy Plant Drops Gasification (Int'l.)
Northacre Renewable Energy,Bioenergy Infrastructure Group
Date: 2020-06-19
In the UK, Reading-based waste-to-energy specialist Northacre Renewable Energy Limited reports it is changing the technology to be used in its proposed, £200 million, 243,000 tpy Westbury plant from gasification to a conventional moving grate combustion process primarily due to supply chain uncertainty caused by Brexit.

Northacre Renewable Energy Limited (NREL) is special purpose joint venture established to deliver the Northacre energy from waste facility in Westbury. NREL is jointly owned by Bioenergy Infrastructure Group, a UK independent power producer specialising in energy-from-waste and biomass facilities, and The Hills Group, a Wiltshire-based company with business activities including waste management, quarrying of aggregates and building new homes. BIG invests in a number of energy facilities across the UK, including the Hull Energy Works facility, Evermore Renewable Energy and Birmingham Bio Power. (Source: Northacre Renewable Energy, PR, Lets Recycle, 17 June, 2020) Contact: Northacre Renewable Energy, northacre@bioenergyinfrastructure.com, www.northacre-energy.co.uk: Bioenergy Infrastructure Group, +44 (0) 118 929 8350, info@bioenergyinfrastructure.com, www.bioenergyinfrastructure.co.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biowaste news,  Waste-to-Energy news,  Biomass news,  Bioenergy Infrastructure Group news,  


Japanese Carbon Capture Tech to be Tested in Wyoming (Ind. Report)
Kawasaki Heavy Industries
Date: 2020-06-15
The state of Wyoming, Japan Coal Energy Center (JCOAL) and Kawasaki Heavy Industries are reporting an agreement to jointly advance a carbon capture test project to be conducted at the Wyoming Integrated Test Center at the Dry Fork Station power plant. The tests will cover JCOAL and Kawasaki's novel amines -- chemical compounds that naturally attract carbon dioxide -- use in carbon capture. The project is now under construction.

JCOAL operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan and is supported by more than 120 member coal-related businesses, including Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Nippon Steel and Toshiba. The organization works to promote overall coal activities, from coal mining to the field of coal utilization, toward a stable energy supply, sustainable economic growth and the reduction of the global environment emissions. (Source: Wyoming News Exchange, Laramie Boomerang, 12 June, 2020) Contact: Wyoming Integrated Test Center, 307-635-3573, info@wyomingitc.org, www.wyomingitc.org; JCOAL, www.jcoal.or.jp › eng; Kawasaki Heavy Industries, www.global.kawaski.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Kawasaki Heavy Industries,  JCOAL,  CCS,  Carbon Capture,  ,  


Brightmark Delivers RNG to Wisc. Offloading Station (Ind. Report)
Brightmark
Date: 2020-06-15
Following up on our 26th July, 2019 coverage, in the Land of Lakes, Dane County landfill reports receipt of its first shipment of renewable natural gas (RNG) from San Francisco-based Brightmark's (fka Brightmark Energy) recently completed manure digester project in the town of Vienna, Wisconsin.

The biogas, converted from 90,000 gpd of manure from local farms will be injected into the interstate transmission pipeline to be used as renewable fuel for RNG powered vehicles (Source: Brightmark, PR 15 June, 2020) Contact: Brightmark, Bob Powell, CEO, Kavitha Ramakrishnan, kavitha.ramakrishnan@brightmarkenergy.com, www.brightmarkenergy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Brightmark,  RNG,  Renewable Natural Gas,  


Rolls-Royce Focused on Net Zero Carbon by 2050 (Int'l Report)
Rolls-Royce
Date: 2020-06-08
In the UK, London-headquartered Rolls-Royce reports it has joined the UN Race to Zero campaign in the run up to COP26 slated for Glasgow in Nov., 2021, and reiterates its commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. To that end, Rolls Royce reports it will:
  • Align its business to the Paris Agreement goals, to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C;

  • Use its technological capabilities to play a leading role in enabling vital parts of the economy to get to net zero carbon by 2050, including aviation, shipping, rail, and power generation;

  • Continue and accelerate accelerate its R&D and investment in efficient products and novel solutions to the climate change challenge;

  • Drive changes in the efficiency of engines and work together with the fuels industry to significantly ramp up the availability of lower carbon alternative fuels.

  • Accelerate the development of new technologies and capabilities for future low emission products, including pioneering the electrification of flight;

  • Achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from operations and facilities by 2030, by using 100 pct renewable energy, closed loop manufacturing techniques on high value metals, and deploy our cutting-edge microgrid capabilities.

    The global Race To Zero campaign mobilizes a coalition of leading net zero initiatives, representing 449 cities, 21 regions, 992 businesses, 38 of the biggest investors, and 505 universities. These "real economy" actors join 120 countries in the largest ever alliance committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. Collectively these actors now cover nearly 25 pct of global CO2 emissions and over 50 pct GDP, according to the campaign website. (Source: Rolls Royce, Arabian Aeorspace News, 5 June, 2020) Contact: Rolls Royce, Warren East, CEO, www.rolls-royce.com: UN Race to Zero Campaign, www.unfccc.int/climate-action/race-to-zero-campaign

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Net Zero Carbon,  Carbon Emissions,  


  • Leclanche, Eneris Ink Battery Energy Storage Deal (Int'l. Report)
    Leclanche,Eneris Group
    Date: 2020-06-03
    Yverdon-Les-Bains, Switzerland-based energy storage specialist Leclanche SA is reporting a strategic reorganization which will convert the company into a market oriented, research-driven, software and systems integration company with expanded production and R&D capabilities based on a partnership agreement with Eneris Group. To that end, the Company and Eneris have signed three interrelated agreements under which:
  • Eneris will provide Leclanche with working capital financing of up to CHF 42 million ($43.6 million) to fully fund the business plan through June 2021;

  • Licensing of Leclanche's technology to Eneris against payment of a royalty fee of up to CHF 32 million ($33.2 million) according to an agreed-upon payment schedule. This licensing is non-exclusive on a right to use basis, with the freedom to carry out future developments. The licensing is applicable worldwide excluding India;

  • Creation of two manufacturing JVs in which Eneris will hold the majority of the share capital thanks to an investment in excess of CHF 53 million ($55 million) for a major capacity expansion programme: one in Germany for the production of cells and the other in Switzerland and Poland for the assembly of modules. A third is being considered for France.

  • Leclanche will sign a production offtake agreement with Eneris in which Eneris will reserve the required production capacity for Leclanche in the coming years; and

  • Leclanche will retain full ownership of its technology and continue to invest in R&D activities for cells, modules and Battery Management Systems (BMS). (Source: Leclanche, PR, June, 2020) Contact: Leclanche SA, www.leclanche.com; Eneris Group, www.eneris.pl/en/o-nas/eneris-group

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Leclanche,  Battery,  Energy Storage,  Eneris Group,  


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

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

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


    Phillips 66, Vitol Ink Humber Zero CO2 MoU (Int'l. Report)
    Phillips 66, Vitol
    Date: 2020-05-27
    Phillips 66, Uniper and Vitol-owned VPI Immingham have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to install post-combustion CO2 capture equipment on two of VPI Immingham's three gas-fired power generators and selected processing units at the Humber and Lindsay refineries, the companies said Tuesday.

    In a first phase, Humber Zero would capture 8 million metric tonnes per annum of CO2 emissions, with the potential to target 30 million mt CO2 emissions from the wider Humber Cluster to the west of Immingham. The Humber Zero decarbonization project would then seek to develop of a hydrogen hub producing both green and blue hydrogen . Wood Group, Imperial College of London and the University of Sheffield are also involved in the project, which is part of Innovate UK's Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund competition to deliver 2050 Net Zero objectives. (Source: Phillips 66, Platts, 19 May, 2020) Contact: Humber Zero, Jonathan Briggs , Project Director, Vitolwww.humberzero.co.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Phillips 66,  Vitol,  CO2,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Tire Giant Touts CO2 Emissions Reduction Targets (Int'l Report)
    Michelin
    Date: 2020-05-27
    French tire maker Michelin reports its CO2 emissions-reduction targets have been validated by Science Based Targets (SBT), a leading independent collaborative organisation in this field.

    Michelin aims to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by +38 pct by 2030 from a 2010 base year and to reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions from fuel and energy related activities; upstream and downstream transportation and distribution; and end-of-life treatment of sold products by +15 pct by 2030 from a 2018 base year. Michelin also commits that +70 pct of its suppliers by emissions covering purchased goods and services will have science-based targets by 2024. (Source: Michelin Group. PR, 21 May, 2020) Contact: Michelin Group, www.michelin.com; SBTi, www.sciencebasedtargets.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Michelin ,  Carbon Emissions,  GHG,  


    IMEA Offers Energy Efficiency Grant Funding (Funding)
    Illinois Municipal Electric Agency
    Date: 2020-05-22
    Nonresidential customers of the Naperville electric utility are invited to apply for the 2020 Naperville/Illinois Municipal Electric Agency electric efficiency program.

    The program for commercial, educational, nonprofit and institutional customers provides grant funding from the Springfield-headquartered Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA)for qualifying energy-related projects, including installation of LED lighting systems, refrigeration measures and variable-speed drives for HVAC pumps and motors. Projects can receive grant funding for up to 50 pct of the total project cost, up to $20,000. (Source: IMEA, Daily Herald, 19 May, 2020) Contact: IMEA, 217-789-4632, 217-789-4642 - Fax, imea@imea.org, www.imea.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    TOTAL, Equinor, Shell Agree on Carbon Capture Network (Int'l.)
    TOTAL, Equinor, Shell
    Date: 2020-05-19
    International Energy giants Equinor, Shell and TOTAL are reporting agreement on the planned $685 million Northern Lights -- North Sea carbon capture and storage (CCS) project.

    The project to be located off the Norwegian coast would capture and sequester 5 million tpy of CO2 from some of the EU's heaviest emitters.

    A final investment decision on the project hinges on approval by the Norwegian authorities and rubber-stamping by the EFTA Surveillance Authority.

    "The Northern Lights project could become the first step to develop a value chain for CCS, which is vital to reach the global climate goals of the Paris Agreement," according to Equinor Exec.VP Anders Opedal. (Source: Total, Equinor, Shell Oil, ReCharge, 15 May, 2020) Contact: Equinor, www.equinor.com; TOTAL, Investor Relations: +44 (0) 207 719 7962 l, ir@total.com, www.total.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News TOTAL,  Equinor,  Shell ,  Carbon Capture,  CCS,  


    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,  


    UK Energy Storage Specialist Gravitricity Raises £500,000 (Int'l.)
    Gravitricity
    Date: 2020-05-19
    In the UK, Edinburgh-based energy storage specialist Gravitricity, LTD, reports it has secured more than £500,000 from roughly 1,000 investors through its equity crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube.

    Gravitricity is developing a grid-scale mechanical energy storage technology that shares many of the best attributes of lithium batteries and pumped storage, which the company claims is offering fast, versatile electricity storage, which may be located exactly where it is required. "[The storage] will appeal to network-constrained users and operators, distribution networks and major power users and has potential to provide significant network benefits including reduced overall costs," according to the company. Gravitricity is now offering 11.31 pct in equity at a £4,053,090 pre-money valuation. (Source: Gravitricty, CrowdFund Insider, 18 May, 2020) Contact: Gravitricity, Ruth Apps, Business Dev., +44 131 554 6966, info@graitricity.com, www.gravitricity, com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Gravitricity,  Energy Storage,  


    Aussie Energy Efficiency Council Calls for Gov. Action (Int'l.)
    Autralia Energy Efficiency Council
    Date: 2020-05-13
    TIn the Land Down Under, the Energy Efficiency Council and the Property Council of Australia are calling on state and federal governments to prioritize energy efficiency projects and building energy performance projects to help restart the country's COVID-19 damaged economy.

    The Energy Efficiency Council is calling upgrading the energy performance of buildings and businesses in the manufacturing, resources and agriculture sectors as "shovel ready" ways to boost productivity and create well over 100,000 "job years' of work." (Source: Energy Efficiency Council of Australia, 11 May, 2020) Contact: Energy Efficiency Council of Australia, +61 (03) 9069 6588, info@eec.org.au, www.eec.org.au

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Sulzer Chemtech Announces Bio-Based Development Team (Int'l.)
    Sulzer Chemtech
    Date: 2020-05-13
    Winterthus, Switzerland-headquartered chemical separation technology specialist Sulzer Chemtech has announced the creation of a new global bio-based and renewables application development team focused on the conversion of renewable feedstocks into biochemicals and biofuels. The new unit will also help create the technology and engineering solutions to enable a successful transition towards sustainable processing and manufacturing activities.

    Sulzer notes it has participated in non-conventional biofuel production, plastics recycling and bio-based plastic commercial production projects. These include the Quantafuel (Norway) and Steelanol (Belgium) projects for the transformation of non-recyclable plastics and carbon rich waste gases into fuel. In addition, Sulzer's PLAnet venture offers turn-key production equipment and plants to obtain polylactic acid (PLA) from sugars or starches. (Source: Sulzer Chemtech, PR, BioMarkets, May, 2020) Contact: Sulzer Chemtech, Torsten Wintergerste, Division Pres., www.sulzer.com/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Sulzer Chemtech,  Biofuel,  Biofuel Feedstock,  Biochemical,  


    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 ,  


    Engie, Mirova Partner on French Biogas Projects (Int'l Report)
    Engie, Mirova
    Date: 2020-05-08
    Engie and asset manager Mirova have formed a strategic partnership, following Mirova's acquisition of a 50 pct stake in Dana Gas, a company operating 9 biogas plants owned and developed by Engie. According to Mirova, the transaction marked the first step of a "broader cooperation" to expand the Dana Gas asset portfolio.

    Mirova is investing through its €860 million Mirova-Eurofideme 4 fund dedicated to energy transition infrastructure projects, and is taking a significant position in France's biogas sector. Engie, including its subsidiary Engie Bioz, is a leading biogas operator in France and is active across the value chain, from project development and construction to project operation and energy sale. (Source: Engie, Bioenergy 7 May, 2020) Contact: Engie Bioz, www.engie.com/activites/renouvelables/biogaz

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Engie,  Mirova,  Biogas,  


    UMass Prof. Funded for Wind Blade Damage R&D (Funding, R&D)
    UMass Lowell
    Date: 2020-05-06
    In the Bay State, University of Massachusetts Lowell Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Murat Inalpolat is reporting receipt of $1.4 million in grant funding from the U.S. DOE to develop technology to detect wind blade cracking and splitting damage using sound.

    For the project, Inalpolat will mount wireless microphones inside blades, wireless speakers inside the turbine's cavity and another microphone near the turbine to monitor sound and identify damage from changes in audio frequencies, according to a UMass Lowell news release.

    "There is no other technology in today's market that can monitor the condition and safety of turbine blades while they are operating. Our proposed system is low-cost, reliable, robust and it can be installed on both new and existing wind turbines," Inalpolat said in the news release. The turbines are being tested at the state Wind Technology Testing Center in Charlestown, according to the release.

    Inalpolat's project is also supported by the National Science Foundation, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and UMass Lowell's WindSTAR research center. (Source: UMass Lowel, The Sun, 3 May, 2020) Contact: UMass Lowell, Murat Inalpolat, Assist. Prof. Mechanical Engineering, Murat_Inalpolat@uml.edu, www.uml.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Wind Turbine Blade,  UMass Lowell,  


    $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,  


    Serbia Earmarks €4.25Mn for Energy Efficiency in 2020 (Int'l.)
    Serbia
    Date: 2020-05-06
    Balkan Green Energy News is reporting the Serbian government has committed roughly €4.25 million for energy efficiency projects implemented by state authorities, local municipalities and other state agencies in 2020.

    The money can be used for building thermal insulation, HVAC upgrades and modernization, solar energy installations and energy efficient interior lighting projects as well as for project design work and training.

    The programs goals include: financing activities and measures for improving energy efficiency; realizing energy savings and rational use of energy by applying cost-effective technologies and products; increased use of renewable energy sources; reducing GHG emissions and increasing public awareness of the importance of energy efficiency. (Source: Balkan Green Energy News, 4 May., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    IEA Predicts Largest Ever GHG Emissions Decrease (Report Attached)
    International Energy Agency
    Date: 2020-05-04
    The latest data show that the drastic curtailment of global economic activity and mobility during Q1, 2020 pushed down global energy demand by 3.8 pct relative to the same period in 2019. If lock-downs last for many months and recoveries are slow across much of the world, as is increasingly likely, annual energy demand will drop by 6 pct in 2020, wiping off the last five years of demand growth. If efforts to curb the COVID-19 pandemic and restart economies are more successful, the decline in energy demand could be limited to under 4 pct, according to the report. However a bumpier restart, disruption to global supply chains, and a second wave of infections in the second part of the year could further curtail growth.

    Download the IEA Global Energy Review 2020 - The impacts of the COVID-19 Crisis on Global Energy Demand and CO2 Emissions Report HERE. (Source: International Energy Agency, April-May, 2020) Contact: International Energy Agency, www.iea.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GHGs,  Greenhouse Gas Emisions,  Climate Change,  


    Notable Quote -- Growth Energy Calls For Ethanol Industry Relief
    Growth Energy
    Date: 2020-04-27
    "We just went through the third week in a row that ethanol production hit a record-breaking low, even as stockpiles hit a new record-breaking high.

    "The evaporation of fuel demand due to COVID-19 has been a knock-out blow to biofuel plants across the heartland, who were already fighting an uphill battle against trade barriers, regulatory threats, and a flood of foreign oil.

    "Ethanol producers represent the heart of the rural economy, and when they're forced offline, the ripple effect can be felt across the agricultural supply chain, including farmers who are without a market for their crops, as well as meat packers and ranchers who rely on local ethanol plants for animal feed and carbon dioxide. With plans to support the oil and gas industries already in place, it's vital that policymakers give the same consideration to biofuel workers and farmers equally impacted by the disruptions to the motor fuel market." -- Emily Skor, CEO, Growth Energy, April 25, 2020 Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, Elizabeth Funderburk, (202) 545-4000, EFunderburk@GrowthEnergy.org, www.growthenergy.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy,  Emily Skoe,  Ethanol,  


    N.J. Plans Wind Innovation, New Development Institute (Ind Report)
    New Jersey Wind Council
    Date: 2020-04-27
    In the Garden State, the New Jersey Wind Council established by Governor Phil Murphy reports plans to create a Wind Innovation and New Development Institute (WIND) to serve as a center for education, research, innovation, and workforce training related to the development of offshore wind in New Jersey and the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. To that end the WIND institute will:

  • Establish a wind turbine technician occupation in New Jersey -- Wind turbine technicians are critical for industry growth and are in demand across the country. For each project, an individual original equipment manufacturer (OEM) requires dozens of wind turbine technicians to support installation and provide efficient turbine maintenance throughout the lifetime of the wind farm. New Jersey will need to train qualified wind turbine technicians to achieve Murphy's goal of producing 7,500 MW by 2035.

  • Expand the pipeline of trade workers with the skills and qualifications required for offshore wind;

  • Introduce a Global Wind Organization (GWO) Safety Certification program -- Working in the offshore wind industry requires workers on turbines, including wind turbine technicians, to complete the GWO's safety training. New Jersey currently does not provide GWO training.

    As previously reported, Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind is contributing $200,000 to clean energy research and educational outreach activities at New Jersey's Montclair State University's Clean Energy and Sustainability Analytics Center (CESAC). The company will also aid in the advancement of energy research initiatives, the development of educational events and stakeholder engagement activities.

    The Wind Council report is HERE. (Source: New Jersey Wind Council, Maritime Exec., 25 April, 2020) Contact: New Jersey Wind Council, www.nj.gov/governor/news/news/562020/approved/20200422a.shtml

    More Low-Carbon Energy News New Jersey BPU,  New Jersey Wind Council,  Wind,  


  • 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,  


  • Global Aviation Alternative Fuel Market Report Offered (Ind. Report)
    Aviation Biofuels
    Date: 2020-04-20
    The recently release Global Aviation Alternative Fuel market report from Report Hive is a comprehensive study focused on market influencing factors, competitive landscape, data, trends, information, and exclusive vital statistics of the market. The study investigates the Aviation Alternative Fuel industry competitors, distribution, Aviation Alternative Fuel growth potential, potentially disruptive trends, product innovations, market size value/volume on a regional, national and global level.

    The report identifies key industry and market players -- GE Aviation, Rolls-Royce, SkyNRG, Swedish Biofuels, UOP, Amyris, AltAir Fuels, Byogy Renewables, Fulcrum BioEnergy, Gevo, Sasol, Mobil, and Syntroleum Corporation -- their products and production capacity, market share and other relevant aviation alternative fuel data.

    Free Sample PDF (including full TOC, Tables and Figures) of the Global Aviation Alternative Fuel Market report HERE. Report purchase details HERE. (Source: Report Hive Research, April, 2020) Contact: Report Hive Research, 312-604-7084, sales@reporthive.com, www.reporthive.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aviation Biofuel,  


    OSU Releases Path to Carbon Neutrality Plan (Ind. Report)
    Ohio State University
    Date: 2020-04-17
    In Columbus, The Ohio State University (OSU) has released a plan to slash its carbon emissions in half within this decade, accelerating the university's ability to achieve full carbon neutrality by 2050.

    In 2008, Ohio State established the goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 through the Presidents' Climate Leadership Commitment. The university released its first Climate Action Plan in 2011 outlining actions the university could take to advance the carbon neutrality goal. As a result of those and other actions, through the 2019 fiscal year, the university decreased its carbon emissions by over 15 pct while still increasing the amount of built space by nearly 11 pct. The new Action Plan calls for:

  • Improving building energy efficiency;

  • Revising the university's Green Build and Energy Policy to more effectively control energy use as the university continues to grow and update its building spaces;

  • Extend on-campus solar PV and any future feasible technology for increased renewable power generation capacity;

  • Completing the existing university Green Fleet Action Plan and consider a future fuel switch from compressed natural gas to green hydrogen or renewable natural gas.

  • Create new incentives to reduce the impact of driving to and from campus, including expanding campus user access to electric vehicle fueling stations.

    This pace of activity is more aggressive than the International Panel on Climate Change's recommended carbon emission reductions necessary to avoid the most acute human impacts of climate change.

    Download the Path to Carbon Neutrality: Ohio State Climate Action Plan HERE (Source: Ohio State Univ., PR, 15 April, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ohio State University,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


  • "Europe's Largest" Solar Project Now Online in Spain (Int'l Report)
    Iberdrola
    Date: 2020-04-13
    Further to our 8th Jan. report, Madrid-headquartered renewable energy giant Iberdrola is reporting its 500MW, Nunez de Balboa PV project in Badajoz, Spain is now online.

    The &euro]300 million facility incorporates more than 1.4 million solar panels to generate sufficient energy to supply 250,000 people a year while preventing roughly 215,000 tpy of CO2 emissions. (Source: Iberdrola, Various Trade Media, 11 April, 2020) Contact: Iberdrola Renewables, Xabier Viteri, Dir. Renewables Business, www.iberdrolarenewables.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Iberdrola,  Solar,  


    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,  


    COVID-19 and climate change The COVID-19 crisis is having a direct impact on carbon emissions by reducing industrial activity and travel. Similarly, air quality has improved markedly in the UK and around the world, which will reduce the estimated 10 million people who die prematurely each year from poor air quality. In the absence of changes in behaviour, then a rebound would be expected which broadly depended on the strength of the economic recovery: a slow recovery would reduce emissions; a bounce-back would not. The tantalising question is whether employers and employees change their working practices and citizens change their personal ones.

    More home-working would mean reduced travel to work and a likely improvement in air quality as well as reduced carbon emissions. Greater use of online meeting capabilities (especially if they improve rapidly with rapid uptake) could reduce longer range transport including air traffic. Comprises a major part of the carbon emissions of organisations which work internationally.

    The response of government will be critical in determining the longer term impact. They could use the opportunity to advance green policies such as the development of low carbon technologies, a kind of ‘COVID-19 Green New Deal’. Now could be the time, for example, to really push ahead and use the fiscal stimulus to develop a 21st century transport infrastructure to connect our regions (including, for example, short-range electric aircraft) and fully finance the measures already outlined in the Agriculture and Environment Bills.

    This ‘Build Back Better’ approach is being discussed by influential groups including the We Mean Business coalition and McKinsey & Company.


    Date: 2020-04-10
    The COVID-19 crisis is having a direct impact on carbon emissions by reducing industrial activity and travel. Similarly, air quality has improved markedly in the UK and around the world, which will reduce the estimated 10 million people who die prematurely each year from poor air quality. In the absence of changes in behaviour, then a rebound would be expected which broadly depended on the strength of the economic recovery: a slow recovery would reduce emissions; a bounce-back would not. The tantalising question is whether employers and employees change their working practices and citizens change their personal ones.

    More home-working would mean reduced travel to work and a likely improvement in air quality as well as reduced carbon emissions. Greater use of online meeting capabilities (especially if they improve rapidly with rapid uptake) could reduce longer range transport including air traffic. Comprises a major part of the carbon emissions of organisations which work internationally.

    The response of government will be critical in determining the longer term impact. They could use the opportunity to advance green policies such as the development of low carbon technologies, a kind of ‘COVID-19 Green New Deal’. Now could be the time, for example, to really push ahead and use the fiscal stimulus to develop a 21st century transport infrastructure to connect our regions (including, for example, short-range electric aircraft) and fully finance the measures already outlined in the Agriculture and Environment Bills.

    This ‘Build Back Better’ approach is being discussed by influential groups including the We Mean Business coalition and McKinsey & Company. Society is showing how quickly it can adapt – can the momentum be maintained and used to help solve the pressing issues of air quality and climate change? (Source: Cranfield University, Press Release, April, 2020) Contact:Cranfield University, Neil Harris, Professor of Atmospheric Informatics , Centre for Environment and Agricultural Informatics , +44 (0) 1234 750111, www.cranfield.ac.uk The COVID-19 crisis is having a direct impact on carbon emissions by reducing industrial activity and travel. Similarly, air quality has improved markedly in the UK and around the world, which will reduce the estimated 10 million people who die prematurely each year from poor air quality. In the absence of changes in behaviour, then a rebound would be expected which broadly depended on the strength of the economic recovery: a slow recovery would reduce emissions; a bounce-back would not. The tantalising question is whether employers and employees change their working practices and citizens change their personal ones.

    More home-working would mean reduced travel to work and a likely improvement in air quality as well as reduced carbon emissions. Greater use of online meeting capabilities (especially if they improve rapidly with rapid uptake) could reduce longer range transport including air traffic. Comprises a major part of the carbon emissions of organisations which work internationally.

    The response of government will be critical in determining the longer term impact. They could use the opportunity to advance green policies such as the development of low carbon technologies, a kind of ‘COVID-19 Green New Deal’. Now could be the time, for example, to really push ahead and use the fiscal stimulus to develop a 21st century transport infrastructure to connect our regions (including, for example, short-range electric aircraft) and fully finance the measures already outlined in the Agriculture and Environment Bills.

    This ‘Build Back Better’ approach is being discussed by influential groups including the We Mean Business coalition and McKinsey & Company. Society is showing how quickly it can adapt – can the momentum be maintained and used to help solve the pressing issues of air quality and climate change? (Source: Cranfield University, Press Release, April, 2020) Contact:Cranfield University, Neil Harris, Professor of Atmospheric Informatics , Centre for Environment and Agricultural Informatics , +44 (0) 1234 750111, www.cranfield.ac.uk


    "COVID-19 Green New Deal" Touted (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Cranfield University
    Date: 2020-04-10
    According to a release from Cranfield University, "The COVID-19 crisis is having a direct impact on carbon emissions by reducing industrial activity and travel. Similarly, air quality has improved markedly in the UK and around the world, which will reduce the estimated 10 million people who die prematurely each year from poor air quality. In the absence of changes in behavior, then a rebound would be expected which broadly depended on the strength of the economic recovery: a slow recovery would reduce emissions; a bounce-back would not. The tantalizing question is whether employers and employees change their working practices and citizens change their personal ones.

    "More home-working would mean reduced travel to work and a likely improvement in air quality as well as reduced carbon emissions. Greater use of online meeting capabilities (especially if they improve rapidly with rapid uptake) could reduce longer range transport including air traffic which comprises a major part of the carbon emissions of organizations which work internationally.

    "The response of government will be critical in determining the longer term impact. They could use the opportunity to advance green policies such as the development of low carbon technologies, a kind of 'COVID-19 Green New Deal'. Now could be the time, for example, to really push ahead and use the fiscal stimulus to develop a 21st century transport infrastructure to connect our regions and fully finance the measures already outlined in the Agriculture and Environment Bills.

    "This 'Build Back Better' approach is being discussed by influential groups including the We Mean Business coalition and McKinsey & Company. Society is showing how quickly it can adapt -- can the momentum be maintained and used to help solve the pressing issues of air quality and climate change? (Source: Cranfield University, Press Release, April, 2020) Contact:Cranfield University, Neil Harris, Professor of Atmospheric Informatics , Centre for Environment and Agricultural Informatics , +44 (0) 1234 750111, www.cranfield.ac.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  COVID-19,  


    International Universities Climate Alliance Growing (Int'l Report)
    International Universities Climate Alliance
    Date: 2020-04-08
    In the Land Down Under, the University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney), which is facilitating the establishment of the International Universities Climate Alliance (IUCA), reports that in its first year it has invited 40 of the world's leading universities on climate research to join the Alliance.

    IUCA members will work across climate change science, impact, mitigation strategies and adaptation to further and communicate research on the most effective means to meet the unprecedented global challenge of climate change.

    (Source: University of New South Wales, Mirage News, 7 April,2020) Contact: International Universities Climate Alliance, www.universitiesforclimate.org; University of New South Wales, www.unsw.edu.au

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Global Warming,  


    Energy Savings "GridRewards" Campaign Launched (Ind. Report)
    Sustainable Westchester, Logical Buildings
    Date: 2020-04-08
    In the Empire State, Sustainable Westchester, a nonprofit consortium of Westchester municipalities, reports it has partnered with Livingston, New Jersey-based smart building software and solutions specialist Logical Buildings to launch the first-of-its-kind GridRewards campaign.

    Logical Buildings SmartKit AI is a NYSERDA qualified Real Time Energy Management system and service platform that reduces energy and operating costs by 10 to 20 pct and optimizes performance of building systems, according to the company website.

    GridRewards provides a cash-back incentive for energy saving actions such as dimming lights, avoiding electric hot water heating, energy efficient lighting, shifting dish washing and laundry activities to low electric power demand periods, and others.

    GridRewards complements Sustainable Westchester's portfolio of energy solutions which includes the Westchester Power Program, the New York State model for Community Choice Aggregation, Community Solar for residents and municipalities and HeatSmart, efficient clean heating & cooling solutions for commercial and residential properties. (Source: Sustainable Westchester, April, 2020) Contact: Sustainable Westchester, Maria Genovesi, Director of Marketing, Communication & Outreach, (914) 242-4725 x104, maria@SustainableWestchester.org, www.sustainablewestchester.org; Green Button Initiative, www.greenbuttondata.org; Logical Buildings, Jeff Hendler, CEO, 908 517 3730 , www.logicalbuildings.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Sustainable WestchesterEnergy Efficiency,  


    BofA Addresses Climate Change Beyond Bus-as-Usual (Ind. Report)
    Bank of America
    Date: 2020-04-08
    Following up on our 24th Jan. report, the Bank of America's Alex Liftman, global environmental executive, believes “significantly accelerating progress on addressing big global issues like climate change requires going beyond business-as-usual financing to find innovative approaches that can help attract a larger share of capital from a broader set of investors."

    In January, BofA reported it achieved carbon neutrality a year ahead of schedule by reducing their location-based emissions by 52 pct since 2010, by purchasing 100 pct of their electricity from renewable sources, and, for unavoidable emissions, purchasing high-quality, third-party verified carbon credits. The bank also plans to transition away from purchasing unbundled renewable energy credits (RECS).

    Under its Environmental Business Initiative (EBI), the bank has deployed $145 billion to low-carbon sustainable activities since 2007, with another $300 billion committed to these efforts until 2030. (Source: Bank of America, April, 2020) Contact: Bank of America, www.bankofamerica.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bank of America,  Climate Change,  Carbon Neutral,  


    Charting the Course to Net-Zero Industrial Emissions (Ind Report)
    Applied Energy,Resources for the Future
    Date: 2020-04-06
    A recent study from a team of researchers at Energy Innovation and Resources for the Future has found that it is possible -- and critical -- to bring industrial greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2070.

    The study assesses the range of technologies and policies interventions available to enable global industry decarbonization. The paper noted that the industrial sector was responsible for 33 pct of global GHG emissions in 2014 -- including process emissions and indirect emissions from purchased electricity -- and that cutting emissions from this sector is critical to meeting international climate goals, such as those set by the Paris Agreement.

    The paper finds that governments can accelerate research and development in sustainable manufacturing and incentivize new technology deployment and market scale-up through policy mechanisms such as R&D support, emissions standards, carbon pricing, and government procurement of low-carbon materials and industrial products. The paper also finds that, when used together, the right technologies and policies enable net-zero industrial GHG emissions by 2070. It particularly examines the role of the following technologies, innovation areas, and policy interventions that can be part of the emissions reduction strategy:

  • Electrification, use of hydrogen, energy efficiency, and carbon capture;

  • Material efficiency, longevity, re-use, material substitution, and recycling;

  • Specific technologies for iron and steel, cement, and chemicals and plastics:

  • Carbon pricing, research support, standards, government purchases, data disclosure. (Source: Resources for the Future, Applied Energy, Technology Network, 2 April, 2020) Contact: Resources for the Future, Dallas Burtraw, 202.328.5000, 202.939.3460 - fax., info@rff.org, www.rff.org; Energy Innovation, Jeffrey Rissman, 415-799-2176, www.energyinnovation.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Innovation ,  Net-Zero Carbon,  Carbon Emissions,  Resources for the Future,  


  • Notable Quotes on Transportation Emissions
    International Union of Railways.
    Date: 2020-04-03
    "If we want to reduce the consequences of global warming, which are now quite inevitable, we have to act fast and act now.

    "If we continue to cherish a transport model based on individual vehicles that consume both non-renewable resources and contribute to global warming, it will be quite difficult to curb the rise in temperatures on our planet.

    "Transport, in its broadest terms, is responsible for 24 pct of energy related greenhouse gas emissions but rail today is four-times less carbon emitting than the other modes and has a really important part to play." -- Francois Davenne, Director General, International Union of Railways. Contact: International Union of Railways, www.uic.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Transportation Emissions,  


    DOE Offering $22Mn for Carbon Capture R&D (R&D Funding)
    US DOE, US DOE Office of Science
    Date: 2020-04-03
    The US Department of Energy (DOE) reports it will provide up to $22 million for carbon capture (CC) research. The funding will come from the DOE's Office of Science ($12 million) and the DOE's Office of Fossil Energy will supply $10 million.

    For the Office of Science funding, DOE National Laboratories are invited to submit proposals for breakthrough research in materials and chemical sciences. The Office of Fossil Energy funding opportunity focuses on both the applied development of new materials and the field testing of CC prototypes. (Source: US DOE, GasWorld, 2 April, 2020) Contact: US DOE Office of Fossil Energy, Steven Winberg, www.energy.gov/fe; US DOE Office of Science, Dr.Chris Fall, Dir., www.energy.gov/science

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Capture,  Office of Fossil Energy,  DOE Office of Science ,  


    Gravitricity Energy Storage Scores Innovat UK Funding (Int'l Funding)
    Gravitricity, Innovate UK
    Date: 2020-04-03
    In the UK, Edinburgh-based energy storage start-up Gravitricity is reporting receipt of £300,000 from Innovate UK's Energy Catalyst programme to explore the possible use of its energy storage technology in South African gold mines.

    Gravitricity's innovative energy battery works by raising multiple heavy weights -- totaling up to 12,000 tonnes -- in a deep shaft and releasing them when energy is required. The system can store energy at half the lifetime cost of lithium-ion batteries, according to the company. (Source: Gravitricity, UKTN, 3 April, 2020) Contact: Gravitricity, Charlie Blair, +44 131 554 6966, info@gravitricity.com, www.gravitricity.com; Innovate UK, Ruth McKernan, CEO, +44 (0) 7766 901150, foi@innovateuk.gov.uk, www.innovateuk.gov.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Storage,  Innovate UK,  


    AEG Acquires NC Woody Biomass Facility (M&A, Ind. Report)
    Active Energy Group
    Date: 2020-04-01
    UK-based Active Energy Group (AEG) is reporting acquisition of 100 pct control and ownership of the sawmill and log export activities at AEG's industrial site in Lumberton, North Carolina.

    The Lumberton sawmill generates low-value waste products which Active Energy will use as feedstock for the production of CoalSwitch product and other black pellet fuels.

    The CoalSwitch product is made from woody biomass including pulp and saw mill by-products such as bark, sawdust and thinning, and wood which is over-age, under-quality, blow-down, beetle-kill, forest-fire damaged, or industrial waste. CoalSwitch can be burned by old, coal-fired generation facilities without the need for a retrofit. (Source: Active Energy Group, Various Media, Apr. 2020) Contact: Active Energy, Michael Rowan, CEO, +44 (0)20 3021 1500, www.active-energy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  Active Energy Group,  CoalSwitch,  Biomass,  Waste Biomass,  


    Maine Enacts Renewable Biomass, Chemicals Tax Credit (Ind. Report)
    Maine Tax Credit
    Date: 2020-03-27
    In Augusta, Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) has signed into law legislation establishing an 8 cent per pound tax credit for chemicals produced from renewable biomass via a biological conversion, thermal conversion or combination of the two technologies. The resulting renewable chemical must be sold or used for the production of chemical products, polymers, plastics, or formulated products.

    Eligible products must have at least 95 pct bio-based content and cannot be sold or used for the production of food, feed or fuel. Exceptions are allowed for cellulosic sugars used to produce aquaculture feed and food additives, supplements, vitamins, nutraceuticals or pharmaceuticals that do not provide caloric value and are not considered food or feed.

    The tax credit comes into force Jan. 1, 2021. Download full copy of the bill H.P. 1213 - L.D. 1698 An Act To Create Jobs and Slow Climate Change by Promoting the Production of Natural Resources Bioproducts HERE. (Source: Office of Maine Governor Janet Mills, 18 Mar., 2020) Contact: Office of Maine Gov. Janet Mills, 207-287-3531, www.maine.gov/governor/mills/contact

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Chemical,  Biomass,  


    UQ Study Bullish on CCS Hub Project (Int'l. Report)
    University of Queensland
    Date: 2020-03-25
    In the Land Down Under, a study from the University of Queensland has found that deep emission cuts might be achieved by establishing a large-scale CCS 'Hub' scheme built around retrofitting existing modern, supercritical coal power plants in Queensland areas notionally identified for their storage potential in the deepest part of the Surat Basin.

    Study leader Professor Andrew Garnett, a former Shell and Schlumberger executive, said the sooner that CCS was realized in the roughly 35-year lifespan of these power stations the greater the impact of the initiative. Garnett estimates three to four years might be required commercial feasibility and engineering activities followed by a sequential build-out over several years during which emissions could be cut by roughly 13 million tpy -- equivalent to taking 2.8 million cars off the road each year.

    The 3-year $5.5 million project is funded by the Australian Government through the Carbon Capture and Storage Research Development and Demonstration (CCS RD&D) programme, by Coal 21 and The University of Queensland (Source: The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project, UQ News, 24 Mar., 2020) Contact: UQ CCS Program, Professor Andrew Garnett , Director, + 61 (7) 3346 4101, naturalgas@uq.edu.au, www.natural-gas.centre.uq.edu.au, www.uq.edu.au

    More Low-Carbon Energy News University of Queensland,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  CCS,  Carbon Capture & Stroage,  


    Emissions Impact of Coronavirus Lockdowns (Int'l. Report Attached)
    European Space Agency,Visual Capatlist
    Date: 2020-03-23
    "There's a high chance you're reading this while practicing social distancing, or while your corner of the world is under some type of advised or enforced lockdown. While these are necessary measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, such economic interruption is unprecedented in many ways resulting in some surprising side effects.

    "Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions, a major air pollutant, are closely linked to factory output and vehicles operating on the road. As both industry and transport come to a halt during this pandemic, NO2 emissions can be a good indicator of global economic activity -- and the changes are visible from space. These images from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), as well as satellite footage from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), show a drastic decline in NO₂ emissions over recent months, particularly across Italy and China."

    Download the Emissions Impact of Coronavirus Lockdowns images HERE. (Source: European Space Agency, Visual Capitalist, 21 Mar., 2020) Contact: European Space Agency, +33 1 53 69 76 54, www.esa.int

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Space Agency,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


    Manchester Plans Stress Increased Energy Efficiency (Int'l. Report)
    City of Manchester
    Date: 2020-03-02
    In the UK, the city of Manchester (pop. 2.8 million), in keeping with its pledge to reach net-zero carbon by 2038, has issued a call to "collective action" on the climate crisis with proposals to halve its greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, primarily through increased energy efficiency.

    To that end, the city council wants to retrofit and upgrade the energy efficiency of as many of the 350 city-owned buildings, install solar and wind energy generation capacity on city owned sites and housing complexes, complete the ongoing replacements of the city's street lighting with energy efficient LED lighting, promote energy conservation, incentivize cleaner and more efficient transportation and other energy efficiency initiatives.

    Under the plan, the city council will work with and continue to fund the Manchester Climate Change Agency to establish community-wide climate change related engagement activities and to encourage businesses to improve their energy efficiency reduce their carbon footprint. (Source: City of Manchester, Manchester Evening News, Mar.,2020) Contact: Manchester Climate Change Agency, www.manchesterclimate.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Cdn. Farmers Hammered by Carbon Tax, Survey Finds (Ind. Report)
    Canadian Federation of Independent Business
    Date: 2020-03-02
    A recently released report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has found that 82 pct of Canadian farmers say the federal carbon tax is negatively impacting their business. On average, farmers estimate they will pay almost $14,000 in federal carbon taxes in the first year it applies to them -- April 1st, 2019 to March 31st, 2020). The report also found:
  • Farmers care about the environment: When asked what motivates their business to implement measures to improve environmental quality, 87 pct of Canadian farmers said they were motivated by their own personal views;

  • 78 pct of Canadian farmers have taken action in the last several years to lessen their environmental impact;

  • 93 pct of farmers in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario agree the federal government should not charge GST (five per cent sales tax) on the federal carbon tax as it currently does;

  • Farmers cannot pass the federal carbon tax costs on to their customers, despite the government's assurances: 83 per cent of farmers in the field crop sector said they would be able to pass on less than 10 per cent of the federal carbon tax costs to customers between April 1st, 2019 and March 31st, 2020. Over 78 per cent of these farmers will have to absorb the entire cost.

    To address the issue, CFIB recommends the federal government:: exempt natural gas, propane, and aviation fuel used by farmers for farming activities such as drying grain, heating livestock facilities, or spraying crops from the federal carbon tax, including those farm expenses from 2019; end the practice of charging GST on the federal carbon tax; stop further increases in the overall tax burden (e.g. CPP and carbon tax) on farmers; and work to improve Canada's overall tax and regulatory competitiveness in the agriculture sector. (Source: CFIB, Weyburn Review, 26 Feb., 2020) Contact: CFIB, Marilyn Braun-Pollon, VP Western Canada and Ari-Business, 416-222-8022, 844-242-4400, 416-222-4337 - fax, www.cfib-fcei.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Canadian Federation of Independent Business,  Carbon Tax,  Canada Carbon Tax,  


  • Manchester Plans to Halve GHG Emission by 2025 (Int'l. Report)
    City of Manchester
    Date: 2020-03-02
    In the UK, the city of Manchester (pop. 2.8 million), in keeping with its pledge to reach net-zero carbon by 2038, has issued a call to "collective action" on the climate crisis with proposals to halve its greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.

    To that end, the city council wants to retrofit as many of the 350 city-owned buildings with more efficient technology, install solar and wind energy generation capacity on city owned housing sites and complexes, and complete the ongoing replacements of the city's street lighting with low energy LED lighting. The city will also invest roughly £10 million to replace diesel power fleet vehicles with alternative fuel and electric vehicles. City staff will also be incentivized to use cleaner transportation and to conserve energy.

    The council also intends to plant 2,000 trees, hedge trees and four community orchards per year beginning this year. The city's existing tree coverage stores 124,330 tonnes of carbon, absorbs 4,980 tonnes and removes 84 tonnes of pollution, according to the city release.

    Under the plan, the city council will work with and continue to fund the Manchester Climate Change Agency to establish community-wide climate change related engagement activities and to encourage businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and sign up to the zero-carbon ambition. (Source: City of Manchester, Manchester Evening News, Mar.,2020) Contact: Manchester Climate Change Agency, www.manchesterclimate.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Unpacking the Climate Potential of Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
    York University
    Date: 2020-02-26
    Estimates of the technologically and economically achievable potential for energy efficiency improvements in Canada are significant. Modelling by the International Energy Agency for example, suggests that under ambitious policy scenarios, Canada's GHG emissions could be reduced by approximately 200 million tpy of CO2e -- 28 pect of current emissions -- and with cumulative savings of $1.1 trillion between 2017 and 2050

    In addition to offering the potential to make major contributions to a low-carbon sustainable energy transition, energy efficiency improvements can reduce energy costs to consumers, avoid the adverse environmental and social impacts of new energy supplies, improve productivity, strengthen energy security and enhance the resilience of energy systems to the impacts of climate change.

    Despite their benefits, energy efficiency initiatives have struggled to achieve their full technological and economic potential to reduce to energy demand. These failures have been due to a range of market, institutional, financial, policy, regulatory, behavioural and informational barriers.

    In recent years, new challenges have emerged beyond these traditional and well-understood obstacles. Changes in policy direction, often flowing from changes in governments, have resulted in significant retrenchments, and in some cases wholesale dismantlings, of energy efficiency strategies in North America. The Government of Ontario's decision to terminate its "Conservation First" strategy in March 2019 was among the most dramatic of these developments, but far from unique.

    This study seeks to understand the dynamics behind these developments and to identify potential strategies and design principles to inform the development of more effective and resilient governance structures for energy efficiency in Canada. Specifically, the study examines a series of cases in which commitment and consensus around energy efficiency faltered, threatening the stability and, at times, the existence, of energy efficiency programming in a variety of Canadian (BC, Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) and the U.S. (Maine, Connecticut and Indiana) jurisdictions.

    Download the York University Unpacking the Climate Potential of Energy Efficiency study HERE. (Source: York University, Sustainable Energy Initiative, Feb., 2020) Contact: York University, sei.info.yorku.ca, www.yoku.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Climate Change,  


    Stop Tropical Forest Loss or Paris Accord Impossible (Report Attached)
    Wildlife Conservation Society
    Date: 2020-02-26
    The Washington, DC-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) recently published a study in the journal Science Advances suggesting intact tropical forest loss from 2000 to 2013 will result in over 626 pct more long-term carbon emissions through 2050 than previously thought. The researchers arrived at this upward revision by adding up emissions that would have been removed from the air if tropical forest remained intact, from selective logging, defaunation, and carbon stock degradation at forest edges that had been overlooked in previous studies.

    Study co-author Tom Evans said that forest conservation was recognized as critical for mitigation and adaptation to climate change in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement (COP15). However, despite that initial commitment, he noted that not enough attention has been given since to protection of intact forests for climate change mitigation.

    Dense intact tropical forests serve as vital carbon sinks, removing CO2 from the atmosphere as their carbon-hungry plants and trees continue to put on growth. And they serve an out-sized role in sequestration -- while the WCS study found only 20 pct of the world's tropical forests can be considered "intact", these forests store 40 pct of above-ground carbon found in tropical forests. A 2011 study observed that intact tropical forests remove an estimated 1 billion metric tpy of CO2 from the atmosphere.

    Access the Wildlife Conservation Society study HERE. (Source: Wildlife Conservation Society, The Rising, 22 Feb., 2020)Contact: Wildlife Conservation Society, (718) 220-5100 www.wcs.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP15,  Carbon Sink,  Climate Change,  Deforestation,  Carbon Emissions,  


    NY Pushing Renewables Siting to Fight Climate Change (Ind. Report)
    New York Renewable Energy
    Date: 2020-02-24
    In Albany, the Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) reports the Governor is advancing a 30-day budget amendment to dramatically speed up the permitting and construction of renewable energy projects as part of its effort to combat climate change. If adopted, the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act will create a new Office of Renewable Energy Permitting to improve and streamline the process for environmentally responsible and cost-effective siting of large-scale renewable energy projects statewide.

    The new structure created by the Act centralizes renewable energy siting and permitting activities within the Department of Economic Development. The structure also creates, separately, a new program through which the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will collaborate with the Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Public Service to develop build-ready sites for renewable energy projects. Under its Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, the Empire State has mandated 70 pct of its electricity come from renewable sources. (Source: Office of NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, PR, 21 Feb., 2020) Contact: Office of NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Press Office, (518) 474-8418, (212) 682-4640, Press.Office@exec.ny.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Renewable Energy,  Andrew Cuomo,  


    NY Easing Renewables Permitting, Siting Process (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Energy
    Date: 2020-02-24
    In Albany, the Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) reports the Governor is advancing a 30-day budget amendment to dramatically speed up the permitting and construction of renewable energy projects as part of its effort to combat climate change. If adopted, the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act will create a new Office of Renewable Energy Permitting to improve and streamline the process for environmentally responsible and cost-effective siting of large-scale renewable energy projects statewide.

    The new structure created by the Act centralizes renewable energy siting and permitting activities within the Department of Economic Development. The structure also creates, separately, a new program through which the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will collaborate with the Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Public Service to develop build-ready sites for renewable energy projects. (Source: Office of NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, PR, Feb., 2020) Contact: Office of NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Press Office, (518) 474-8418, (212) 682-4640, Press.Office@exec.ny.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy Siting,  Cuomo,  

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