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CARB Releases Methane Mitigation Proposal (Ind. Report)
California Air Resources Board,SoCalGas
Date: 2016-04-06
Further to our March 23rd coverage, as per Governor Jerry Brown's instructions, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the state's cap-and-trade regulator, has released its final proposal on how SoCalGas should mitigate the methane leaked at its Aliso Canyon facility.

CARB's proposal recommends that SoCalGas offset around 8 million tonnes of CO2e, which it calculated based on estimates of 100,000 tonnes of methane entering the atmosphere and a 20-year global warming potential (GWP) value for the gas of 84. It also recommends that the mitigation programme should target methane emissions from the agriculture, landfill and wastewater sectors and other methane "hot spots" such as abandoned gas and oil wells. The proposal also calls for SoCalGas to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency, facilitate a monitoring system, "avoid the contingencies that may complicate or frustrate distant emissions reductions", and other real, verifiable, permanent and additional initiatives and programs.

At the height of the Aliso Canyon methane disaster, SoCalGas pledged to voluntarily mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions leaked over the four-month period from Oct. 2015. Now, with the disaster fading from the public limelight, the utility claims that CARB's proposal is largely "inappropriate as well as contrary to California and federal law." And, in apparent anticipation of the legal battle that will no doubt come, SoCalGas VP George I, Minter added "Any proposed mitigation program from the CARB does not itself impose any legal obligations on SoCalGas." (Source: CARB, SoCalGas, LA Times, Various Others, 4 April, 2016)Contact: Southern California Gas, www.socalgas.com; CARB, (916) 322-2990, www.arb.ca.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News California Air Resources Board,  SoCalGas,  Methane,  Aliso Canyon,  


CAI ID's Largest Industrial Carbon Emitters (Ind. Report)
Climate Accountability Institute
Date: 2016-04-04
According to recently published research from the Snowmass, Colorado-headquartered Climate Accountability Institute (CAI) , nearly two-thirds of all industrial carbon dioxide and methane released into the atmosphere since 1854 can be traced specifically to 83 producers of coal, oil, and natural gas, and 7 cement manufacturers.

Heading to the list of private and state-held companies are Chevron, ExxonMobil, Saudi Aramco, British Petroleum, Gazprom, Shell and the National Iranian Oil Company. These seven companies alone have produced almost one-fifth of all industrial carbon released into the atmosphere since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. (Source: Union of Concerned Scientists Blog, Climate Accountability Institute, PlanetSave, April, 2016) Contact: Climate Accountability Institute, Richard Heede, (970) 927-9511, heede@climateaccountability.org, http://www.climateaccountability.org

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


PG&E Expands GHG Reduction Commitment (Ind. Report)
PG&E
Date: 2016-04-01
In San Francisco, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) reports it has joined the U.S. EPA Natural Gas Methane Challenge as a founding partner, joining with 40 other U.S. companies.

The voluntary Natural Gas Methane Challenge calls on oil and natural gas companies to reduce methane emissions beyond regulatory requirements. As part of the Challenge, PG&E has committed to further reduce emissions from its natural gas transmission and distribution systems and will adopt five best management practices recommended by the EPA over the next five years. The best management practices focus on mitigation and improvements to venting, transmission blowdowns, pneumatic controllers, rod packing and excavation damages.

In 2015, PG&E formed an external advisory council to help guide the company's sustainability efforts. The council provides input and recommendations to PG&E as it seeks to address climate change and advance its clean energy, environmental stewardship, economic development and community vitality initiatives. (Source: PG&E, 30 Mar., 2016) Contact: PG&E, Nick Stavropoulos , Gas Pres., Melissa Subbotin, (415) 973-5930, www.pge.com; EPA Natural Gas Methane Challenge, www3.epa.gov/gasstar/methanechallenge

More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA Natural Gas Methane Challenge,  Methane,  PG&E,  


Xcel Energy Joins EPA's Methane Challenge Program (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy,EPA Methane Challenge
Date: 2016-04-01
Minneapolis-headquartered Xcel Energy reports it has joined the launch of the U.S. EPA Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program . As a founding member of the program, the company is committed to expanding its efforts to reduce methane emissions from its natural gas system.

Xcel Energy helped shape the Methane Challenge program and its design through its involvement with the American Gas Association and the Downstream Initiative—a collaboration of natural gas energy providers working to address technical and regulatory issues associated with reducing methane emissions from the distribution system.

The Methane Challenge provides an opportunity for partners to showcase efforts to reduce methane emissions, improve air quality and effectively capture this energy resource. (Source: Xcel Energy, 30 Mar., 2016) Xcel Energy Media Relations, (612) 215-5300 www.xcelenergy.com; EPA Methane Challenge, www3.epa.gov/gasstar

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Methane,  Carbon Emissions,  EPA Metrhane Challenge,  


NASA, UC Merced Testing Miniature Methane Sensors (Ind. Report)
UC Merced
Date: 2016-03-28
In California, researchers from the University of California Merced (UC Merced) Mechatronics, Embedded Systems and Automation Lab and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) report the completion of testing of miniature methane gas sensors similar to one developed for use on Mars.

The controlled tests were conducted on the Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve using a small UAV equipped with an Open Path Laser Spectrometer (OPLS) sensor at various distances from gas sources to test the accuracy and robustness of the system.

The JPL-developed sensor enables detection of methane sources at much lower levels than previously available. The ability of the OPLS sensor to detect methane in parts per billion by volume, as opposed to the parts-per-million sensors that are commercially available, could help more accurately pinpoint small methane leaks.

This testing was funded by Pipeline Research Council International which seeks to further the development of small UAVs as an improvement to traditional natural gas pipeline inspection methods. (Source: UC Merced, University News, 24 Mar., 2016) Contact: UC Merced, (209) 228-4400, http://www.ucmerced.edu; NASA, www.nasa.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  UC Merced,  NASA,  GHG Emissions,  Climate Change,  


CarboCount-CH Monitors Methane, GHG Data (Int'l Report)
Swiss National Science Foundation
Date: 2016-03-28
Researchers at Empa, the University of Bern and ETH Zurich, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), are reported to have developed a method to independently monitor methane and other GHG emissions by making direct measurements of the gases in the atmosphere.

The researchers combined the data measured for methane with a transport model for air pollutants and found that the values for 2013 diverged little from the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) data and confirmed the estimated annual emission of approximately 200,000 tonnes of methane. They also found that methane emissions from livestock to be lower than previously estimated while Swiss gas pipeline methane leaks were only a minor source of methane.

The project CarboCount-CH can be considered a pilot for the pan-European observation network Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS), which is being established to monitor greenhouse gas emission at the European scale. (Source: Swiss National Science Foundation EurekSlert, 24 Mar., 2016) Contact: Swiss National Science Foundation Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA), Dominik Brunner,http://www.snf.ch; Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, www.bafu.admin.ch; ETH Zurich, +41 44 632 1111, www.ethz.ch

More Low-Carbon Energy News GHG.Methane,  Methane Emissions,  


Big Ox Energy's Methane Facility Nears Completion (Ind. Report)
Big Ox Energy
Date: 2016-03-28
Denmark, Wisconsin-based Big Ox Energy reports it has broken ground on a $30 million - $40 million plant that will process organic waste from industrial plants into methane. The company's technology includes an anaerobic digestion process that extracts organic waste nutrients to create methane which is sold into the natural gas pipeline for customer use. Construction is expected to be completed by late spring.

The company operates other plants in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Riceville, Iowa. (Source: Big Ox Energy, Souix Citry Journal, 27 Mar., 2016) Contact: Big Ox Energy, (844) 491-1953, info@bigoxenergy.com, http://bigoxenergy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Big Ox Energy,  Methane,  anaerobic digestion,  


Kentucky House moves to regulate methane plants

Date: 2016-03-27
Kentucky House members approved a measure Tuesday that would establish how far waste-to-energy facilities, such as controversial methane plants, should be from residential areas. The move comes less than a month after Louisville Metro Council slapped a six-month moratorium on companies seeking permits to build biodigesters that convert food waste into green energy. Under the proposal, which was introduced by state Rep. Tom Riner of Louisville, the state would bar methane plants from being located within a quarter of a mile from any residential property, school, hospital or place of worship. The legislation, which passed by a 74-24 vote, would only apply to facilities located in counties with more than half a million residents. The bill now moves to the Senate. STAR BioEnergy attorney Brian Zoeller said he hasn't spoken to his clients about the bill but believes the quarter mile setback is too far, discourages economic development and significantly reduces the likelihood of any such facility being developed in an urban area.” Zoeller said state lawmakers should let the city's moratorium —which also calls for a comprehensive study of the zoning rules and other potential regulations— run its course before stepping in with further regulations. The proposal would also allow state regulators to establish additional setback distances if those waste-to-energy facilities were set to be near other dangerous or vulnerable locations except for those built on landfills, wastewater treatment plants or agricultural property. An amendment to the bill says it would only apply to facilities in counties with a popular of more than 500,000 people. (Source: Courier Journal, 23 Mar., 2016)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane news,  


Duke Seals Swine Methane Waste-to-Energy Deal (Ind. Report)
Duke Energy Corp.,Carbon Cycle Energy
Date: 2016-03-23
Charlotte-based Duke Energy Corp. reports it has sealed a deal with Boulder, Colorado-headqusrtered Carbon Cycle Energy which will build. own and operate a North Carolina plant that collects and processes swine and chicken waste methane. The processed methane will be trucked or otherwise transported to four Duke Energy plants which will use the methane to generate sufficient electricity to power 10,000 homes a year.

Duke Energy services 7.2 million customers in North and South Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Florida. (Source: Duke Energy, ABC, Various Others, 21 Mar., 2016)Contact: Duke Energy, www.duke-energy.com; Carbon Cycle Energy, Paul Metz, Bus. Dev., (855) 424-6427x707, paul.metz@c2-energy.com, http://www.c2-energy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Duke Energy,  Carbon Cycle Energy,  Methane,  Biogas,  


CARB Calls for SoCal Gas to Offset Methane Leak (Ind. Report)
California Air Resources Board, Aliso Canyon Methane Leak
Date: 2016-03-23
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is calling for Sempra Energy's Southern California Gas unit to pay for offsetting the recent massive methane-greenhouse gas emissions leaked from the Porter Ranch gas leak at Aliso Canyon north of Los Angeles. The massive leak pumped about 100,000 tons of methane into the atmosphere over several months before it was finally plugged. That's the equivalent of 8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide -- several times more than the 1.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions that the Golden State reduced last year through its landmark climate change regulations.

The CARB mitigation plan was ordered by Governor Jerry Brown. The utility has agreed to pay for these pollution-slashing measures over the next 5 or 10 years, under the proposal. The utility will pay for plugging abandoned wells, fund purchase of more efficient furnaces and water heaters for property owners, reduce methane-producing waste at landfills, and install devices to capture methane at dairy farms across the state, according to the CARB proposal. (Source: CARB, East County Mag., Mar., 2016) Contact: Southern California Gas, www.socalgas.com; CARB, (916) 322-2990, www.arb.ca.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Porter Ranch,  Methne,  California Air Resources Board,  Aliso Canyon Methane Leak,  GHGs,  Methane,  


Woods Hole Participates in Land Use GHG Study (Ind. Report)
Woods Hole Research Center
Date: 2016-03-21
A recent research study by 23 scientists from 16 institutions in 4 countries, including the Woods Hole Research Center in Hyannis, Massachusetts, has found that human activities result in significant GHG emissions releases from land to the atmosphere. Deforestation, especially in the tropics, is also an important source of CO2 emissions. But on the whole, land absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere, primarily because of regrowth of mid-latitude forests.

This study, written in part by researchers from the Woods Hole Research Center, shows that when two other greenhouse gases are taken into account, human activities on balance result in a strong warming influence from land.

According to the research report, "this finding reveals for the first time that human activities have transformed the land biosphere to act as a contributor to climate change." It also shows that the net effect of CO2, agricultural methane and nitrous oxide varies by region and that the net climate warming effect is largest in China, India, and Southeast Asia. (Source: Woods Hole, CapeCod.com, Nature, 19 Mar., 2016)Contact: Woods Hole Research Center, (508) 540-9900, www.whrc.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News GHGs,  Deforerstation,  Woods Hole Research Center,  Atmospheric Carbon,  Carbon Sequestration,  Forest Carbon,  


Primus Green Energy Touts 100-Octane Gas Production (Ind. Report)
Primus Green Energy Inc
Date: 2016-03-18
In the Garden State, Hillsborough-headquartered Primus Green Energy Inc., a gas-to-liquids technology company that transforms methane and other hydrocarbon gases into gasoline and methanol, reports it has produced 100-octane gasoline using its proprietary STG+™ technology its commercial demonstration plant in Hillsborough.

Primus' STG+™ technology can use a range of natural gas feedstocks, including wellhead and pipeline gas, dry or wet associated gas, "stranded" ethane, excess syngas from underutilized reformers or mixed natural gas liquids. Primus' low-cost, modular systems can be trucked in and assembled onsite for easy deployment. (Source: Primus Green Energy Inc, Fuel Marketer, Others, Mar., 2016) Contact: Primus Green Energy, Sam Golan, CEO, (908) 281-6000, http://www.primusge.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Gas-to-Liquids,  Methane,  


New BLM Methane Emissions Reduction Rules Expected (Ind. Report)
Bureau of Land Management
Date: 2016-03-18
As previously reported, the US Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) reports it will overhaul 30-year-old regulations for oil and gas operations on public and tribal lands to curb methane emissions. The proposal would require oil and gas producers to use currently available technology to limit flaring at oil wells on federal land. In Dec., 2015, BLM released a proposed update to replace its regulations on venting and flaring of methane-natural gas from existing facilities under the Clean Air Act.

Although the new rules haven't officially been announced, it is widely predicted that they will apply to both new and existing wells and facilities with slight differences and overlaps from BLM's proposed targets and regulations. There are presently multiple existing and proposed federal rules to reduce emission and the EPA is proposing more.(Source: Bureau of Land Management, KFYR TV, Mar., 2016) Contact: Bureau of Land Management, www.blm.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Natural Gas,  Emissions,  


Wartsila Announces Purac Puregas Biogas Plant Order (Int'l)
Wartsila,Purac Puregas AB,
Date: 2016-03-18
Wartsila Corporation is reporting receipt of a "fast-track" order from Kalmar, Sweden-based Purac Puregas AB, for a biogas liquefaction plant that will produce liquid Biofuels.

The plant will be installed at the paper mill in Skogn, Norway and will convert the cleaned biogas from fishery waste and residual paper mill slurry into liquid fuel. Installation and commissioning is expected within 15 months. The system, which was specially designed to liquefy small methane-based gas streams, offers low operating costs and is energy efficient. (Source: Wartsila,, Renewable Energy, 17 Mar., 2016) Contact: Wartsila Corp., Timo Koponen, VP Marine Solutions, www.wartsila.com; Purac Puregas AB, +46 480 38100, www.purac-puregas.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wartsila,  Biogas,  Purac Puregas AB,  ,  


Reducing Methane Emissions from the Oil and Natural Gas Industry -- EPA Report Attached (Ind. Report)

Date: 2016-03-14
As part of the Obama Administration's commitment to addressing air pollution and climate change, the EPA has announced its next step to regulate and reduce oil and natural gas industry methane emissions.

The agency will begin with a formal process to require companies operating existing oil and gas sources to provide information on existing sources of methane emissions, technologies to reduce those emissions and the costs of those technologies in the production, gathering, processing, transmission and storage segments of the oil and gas sector.

The information will help the agency develop comprehensive regulations on effectively reducing emissions and related issues and technologies.

The EPA will also be seeking information that will help identify sources with high emissions and the factors that contribute to those emissions.

Access the Reducing Methane Emissions from the Oil and Natural Gas Industry report HERE. (Source: EPA, 10 Mar., 2016) Contact: EPA, www3.epa.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA,  Methane Emissions,  


USDA Guarantees Oregon Anaerobic Digestion Project Loan (Ind. Report)
Novus Energy LLC
Date: 2016-03-04
Further to our Nov. 12, 2014 coverage, the USDA reports it's Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program will support Minneapolis-based Novus Energy's anaerobic digestion (AD) project which is under development in Boardman, Oregon, with an $11 million loan guarantee. Oregon-based Old West Federal Credit Union will finance the $20.2 million project which is expected to require 3 month to construct.

Novus Energy's planned biorefinery will process up to 750 tpd of locally sourced agricultural waste into 3.8 million cubic-feet per day of biogas (approximately 2.5 million standard cubic feet of pipeline-quality renewable methane) 350 gpd of liquid fertilizer, 11.2 tpd of soil amendment, and other biobased products. The facility will utilize Novus' patented Novus Bio-Catalytic (NBC) Conversion System which accelerates the digestion of complex organic molecules by employing a unique consortium of anaerobic bacteria that enables higher conversions in smaller volumes.

(Source: Novus Energy, USDA, 26 Feb., 2016) Contact: Novus Energy, Novus Pacific, Joseph Burke, Pres., CEO, Surya Pidaparti, VP, (952) 345-1062, http://www.novus-energy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Novus Energy,  Anaerobic Digestion ,  


Notable Quote
US EPA
Date: 2016-03-04
"The bottom line is the data confirms that we can and must do more on methane. The proposed standards are cost effective by design -- they're built to reduce pollution that's fueling climate change while supporting responsible energy development at the same time." -- Gina McCarthy, Administrator, US Environmental Protection Agency Contact: EPA, Gina McCarthy, (202) 564-4700, www.epa.gov

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


Springfield Issues Landfill-Gas Powered Greenhouse RFP (Ind. Report)
City of Springfield
Date: 2016-03-02
In the Show Me State, the city of Springfield has issued a RFP seeking a partner in a project to power a greenhouse with heat from a landfill. The proposed 4- to 8-acre greenhouse, which is expected to produce 4 million ppy of produce, will draw heat and power from the Noble Hill Landfill Renewable Energy Center which will generate electricity from landfill methane.

The RFP is calling for a partner with greenhouse operations experience who will commit to providing educational opportunities and develop opportunities for Springfield partners or businesses. The initial round of proposals is open until April 29. (Source: City of Springfield, Springfield News-Leader 27 Feb., 2016) Contact: City of Springfield, Anita Cotter, City Clerk, (417) 864-1651,www.springfieldmo.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Landfill Gas,  


Greenlane Supplying Biogas Equipment for BC Project (Ind. Report)
Greenlane Biogas,Orgaworld Canada
Date: 2016-03-02
Greenlane Biogas has received a contract from London, Ontario-based Orgaworld Canada to supply a biogas upgrading system and a CO2 recovery unit for the city of Surrey's Organic Biofuel Facility in British Columbia, Canada.

The facility, which is currently under construction, will process up to 115,000 mtpy of residential and commercial organic waste. The organic waste will be fed into anaerobic digesters to generate biogas which will be used to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) with methane purity greater than 97 pct. The RNG will be used to fuel the city's fleet of natural gas waste collection and operations service vehicles and to heat buildings in the City Centre community. (Source: Greenlane Biogas, 1 Mar., 2016) Contact: Greenlane Biogas, Brent Jaklin, Managing Dir., www.greenlanebiogas.co.uk; Orgaworld Canada, (519) 663-4446, www.orgaworld.ca

More Low-Carbon Energy News Greenlane Biogas,  Biogas,  Methane,  


ElectraTherm ORC to Generate Energy from Poultry Biomass (Ind. Report)
ElectraTherm
Date: 2016-02-29
Seno, Nevada-based distributed and waste heat to power generation specialist ElectraTherm, is reporting the shipment of a Power+ Generator 4400 to a poultry farm in the UK. The unit will utilize poultry manure biomass to generate emission-free electricity, beginning this spring.

ElectraTherm utilizes Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) and proprietary technologies to generate power from low temperature heat ranging from 77-122 degrees C. ElectraTherm offers 3 sizes of Power+ Generator: the 4200 generates up to 35kWe; the 4400 generates up to 65kWe; and the 6500 is the largest size model generating up to 110kWe. Power+ Generators utilize waste heat on applications such as internal combustion engines, biomass, flare gas methane and other fluids. (Source: ElectraTherm, PR, 23 Feb., 2016) Contact: ElectraTHerm, (775) 398-4680, https://electratherm-electratherm.netdna-ssl.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News ElectraTherm,  Biomass,  


U.S. Power Sector Carbon Emissions Jump Slightly (Ind. Report)
US EPA
Date: 2016-02-26
According to the EPA's just released Draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2014 power generators accounted for 39 pct of the nation's carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion in 2014 -- less than 1 pct more than in 2013.

In 2014, 2,054.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMtCO2-e,) was produced by all electricity generation–related activities, compared to 2,052.8 MMtCO2-e in 2013. Almost all -- 2,039.3 MMtCO2-e -- was emitted by fossil fuel combustion: 77 pct by coal power generators, 21 pct by natural gas generators, 1.2 pct by petroleum generators, and 0.02 pct by geothermal generators.

The report notes that generators relied on coal for about 39 pct of their total energy requirements in 2014, and that coal used by power generators accounted for 93 pct of all coal consumed for energy in the U.S. But while the amount of power generated in the U.S. increased by 1.1% compared to 2013, carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector increased by 0.1 pct as the consumption of petroleum for power generation increased by 15.8 pct in 2014. The report notes that methane emissions made up a 10.3 pct share of all 2014 emissions. (Source: EPA, Power Mag., Various Others, 25 Feb., 2016)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  GHGs,  Greenhouse Gas Emissions,  Carbon Emissions,  


Aliso Canyon Massive Methane Leak "Officially" Plugged (Ind. Report)
Southern California Gas Co
Date: 2016-02-22
Southern California Gas Co (SoCal Gas), the operator of the now infamous Aliso Canyon, Porters Ranch, California natural gas methane well leak on the outskirts of Los Angeles has been permanently, and "officially" sealed with cement.

Over 4 months, the leak spewed an estimated 95,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere and sent thousands of area families running in search of cleaner air, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. At its peak in late November, the well released over 127,000 pounds of methane per hour, according to an estimate by the California Air Resources Board. Needless to report, the leak has also spawned numerous lawsuits, including criminal charges. (Source: Southern California Gas, VICE News, Various Others, 19 Feb., 2016) Contact: Southern California Gas, www.socalgas.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Southern California Gas Co ,  


SoCalGas Faces Charges Over Aliso Canyon Methane Leak (Ind. Report)
Southern California Gas
Date: 2016-02-19
Following-up on our Jan. 15the coverage, in Sacramento, the Golden State's attorney general Kamala Harris reports her office is charging Southern California Gas Co. with failing to immediately notify state authorities of the Aliso Canyon facility methane leak, which has since been checked.

SoCalGas faces four misdemeanor charges, three for each day they failed to report to authorities after the leak was discovered, and one for the discharge of air contaminants. The lawsuit also cites the climate threat posed by the uncontrolled emission of more than 80,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere. (Source: California Attorney General Office, Lake Andes Wave, Others, 18 Feb., 2016)Contact: California Attorney General Office, (415) 351-3374, https://oag.ca.gov; Southern California Gas, www.socalgas.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  SoCalGas,  County,  Southern California Gas,  


Pa. Regulators Tackle Natural Gas Well Methane Leaks (Reg & Leg)
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Date: 2016-02-19
In Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has been tasked by the Governor to tighten regulations governing methane leaks at natural gas wells and facilities in the Keystone State. The aim is to reduce the unnecessary release of greenhouse gas from shale gas well sites, compressor stations and the state's expanding natural gas pipeline system.

Regulators are first tackling emissions from new shale gas well sites and compressor stations, which the department oversees now. DEP wants to issue streamlined permits for those facilities by October, said at an advisory board meeting last week when concepts for the new permits were announced. Regulations for existing oil and gas facilities, and suggestions for leak detection and control along pipelines will follow.

DEP is considering various new standards for well pads including: quarterly leak inspections with infrared cameras and monthly walk-though screenings; cleaner diesel engines on drilling rigs; quicker repairs once leaks are discovered; 95 pct control of emissions of associated pollutants from storage tanks; and reduced bleed-off from pumps. (Source: Penna. Department of Environmental Protection, Post Gazette, 16 Feb., 2016) Contact: Pa. DEP, Joyce Epps, Bureau of Air Quality, John Quigley, DEP Secretary, www.dep.pa.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection,  Methane,  


Oregon Anaerobic Digestion Project Awaiting Approvals (Ind. Report)
Sustainable Organics Recycling Technology
Date: 2016-02-03
In Wilsonville, Oregon, Sustainable Organics Recycling Technology Bioenergy is proposing construction of an anaerobic digester that would process 50,000 to 70,000 tpy of commercial food waste. The resulting methane would be collected and used in an onsite generator to create electricity that would be sold to Portland General Electric. In total, the facility would produce 2.4 MW of electricity per hour, 24 hours per day.

The project reportedly has arranged financing "contingent upon local and state permit approval as well as approval of a franchise agreement that would include a long-term feedstock supply agreement." Further details and contact information are not available. (Source: Sustainable Organics Recycling Technology Bioenergy, Sustainable Life, 2 Feb., 2016)

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


India Announces GHG Emissions Rise (Int'l, Ind. Report)
India
Date: 2016-01-29
In its first UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Biennial Update Report (BUR), India reported that according to the latest available data, its GHG emissions -- CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, halogenated gases and others -- grew by 40 pct from 2000 to 2010, due primarily to a 60 pct rise in CO2 emissions. In 2010, India emitted 2136 Megatonnes of CO2 equivalent Emissions from industrial activities nearly doubled in the period. CO2 has the highest share in GHG emissions, followed by methane.

According to the Indian report, the country experienced a 50 pct increase in emissions from power generation in 2000-2010. This is the biggest sector contributing to India's emissions with 1510 Megatonnes of CO2 equivalent emitted in 2010. Emissions from industrial activities, the second largest contributor to GHG emissions, nearly doubled from 2000 to 2010. In 2010, more than half of the emissions among industrial activities came from the "minerals" category, followed by chemicals and metal production at approximately about 14 pct each. (Source: New Delhi DNA, Catch News, Others, 26 Jan., 2016) Contact: UNFCCC, Download complete UNFCCC Framework HERE.

More Low-Carbon Energy News GHG,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  UNFCCC,  


Benzene Spikes Accompanying California Methane Emissions Disaster (Ind. Report)
California Air Resources Board, Aliso Canyon Methane Leak
Date: 2016-01-27
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) reports that for more than 80 days all attempts to stop the Aliso Canyon Methane Leak natural gas and methane leaking from the Porter Ranch natural gas facility have only made the situation worse.

Scientists and environmental experts say the leak instantly became the biggest single source of methane emissions -- a powerful greenhouse gas that accelerates climate change 86 times more than carbon dioxide -- in the Golden State when it began in October, 2015.

To date, the seemingly unstoppable leak has generated spikes in area benzene gas levels and greenhouse gases levels equivalent to 2.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide since it was reported in October. So much methane is being released that it's expected to boost global warming, experts say, and it will remain in the atmosphere even after the leak is stopped. (Source: Various Sources, Indian Republic, California Air Resources Board, Twitter, 24 Jan., 2016) Contact: California ARB, (916) 322-2990, www.arb.ca.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Benzene,  Methane,  Natural Gas,  GHGs,  California Air Resources Board,  


BLM Seeks Curb on Methane, Natural Gas Emissions on Public Lands (Ind. Report, Reg. & Leg.)
Bureau of Land Management
Date: 2016-01-25
In Washington, the White House, through the Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM), has announced it will overhaul 30-year-old regulations for oil and gas operations on public and tribal lands to curb methane emissions. The proposal would require oil and gas producers to use currently available technology to limit flaring at oil wells on federal land. It would also require operators to regularly check for natural gas leaks and replace outdated equipment that allows large quantities of gas and methane to escape into the air. The overhaul would reduce flaring by up to 60 pct and venting by up to 46 pct compared to 2013 rates. It would also clarify when oil and gas companies need to pay royalties on flared natural gas and would only affect federal land.

The BLM estimates it would prevent the loss of up to 56 billion cubic-feet of gas a year through venting, flaring or leaks, which could supply around 760,000 households annually. Methane, the second most prevalent greenhouse gas after CO2, is 84 times more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat. (Source: Bureau of Land Management, Forum News Service., Grand Forks Herald, 22 Jan., 2016) Contact: Bureau of Land Management, www.blm.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Bureau of Land Management,  Metrhane Emissions,  


New Methane Emission Rules Mandated in Keystone State (Reg & Leg)
Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection
Date: 2016-01-22
In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has announced a nation-leading strategy to reduce emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. The plan is designed to protect the environment and public health, reduce climate change, and help businesses reduce the waste of a valuable product by reducing methane leaks and emissions from natural gas well sites, processing facilities, compressor stations and along pipelines. The Keystone State is the nation's second largest natural gas producer, behind Texas.

Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is the second-most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted in the U.S. from human activities and is more than 28 to 36 times more potent than CO2. Natural gas and oil industries are estimated to account for 25 pct of U.S. methane emissions. Reducing methane leaks from the oil and gas sector is an essential step to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the impacts of climate change.

The Keystone State's four-point plan is designed to:

  • Reduce leaks at new unconventional natural gas well pads. The DEP will develop a new general permit for oil and gas exploration, development, and production facilities, requiring Best Available Technology (BAT) for equipment and processes, better record-keeping, and quarterly monitoring inspections.
  • Reduce leaks at new compressor stations and processing facilities. DEP will revise its current general permit, updating best-available technology requirements and applying more stringent LDAR, other requirements to minimize leaks. A new condition will require the use of Tier 4 diesel engines that reduce emissions of particulate matter and nitrous oxide by about 90 pct.
  • To reduce leaks at existing oil and natural gas facilities, the DEP will develop a regulation for existing sources for consideration by the Environmental Quality Board.
  • To cut emissions along production, gathering, transmission and distribution lines, DEP will establish best management practices, including leak detection and repair programs. (Source: Pennsylvania Dept. of Env. Protection, 19 Jan., 2016 ) Contact: Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection, www.dep.pa.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Natural Gas,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


  • SoCalGas Plans to Capture Porter Ranch Methane Leak (Ind. Report)
    County, Southern California Gas
    Date: 2016-01-18
    In Los Angeles County, Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) is seeking permission from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SMUD) to attempt to capture methane leaking from the Aliso Canyon, Porter Ranch gas storage field and possibly incinerate it.

    SoCalGas estimates that as much as 90 pct of the fugative methane could be captured and transported to a distant location for incineration. To date, the company has made seven separate attempts using industry accepted methods to plug the well but to no avail. The company is now drilling new wells to relieve pressure and reduce the flow of the leak and enable another attempt to plug the well nearer to its source. Burning the methane would eventually create enough pollution to require the same kind of permit that large refineries require. (Source: SMUD, SoCalGas, KQED, 15 Jan., 2015) Contact: Southern California Gas, www.socalgas.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  SoCalGas,  County,  Southern California Gas ,  


    "Alberta Moving from Oil to Clean Energy", says Alberta Env. Minister (Ind. Report)
    Climate Group,Alberta Minister of Environment and Parks
    Date: 2016-01-18
    In 2015, the newly elected government of Rachel Notley announced a new carbon tax starting at C$20 (US$13.8) a ton in 2017, doubling the previous price, while increasing to C$30 (US$20.7) by 2018 and linking it to inflation. The carbon pricing measure also implements an overall oil sands emission limit of 100 megatons. The new measure will target large emitters such as coal-generated power plants, which account for the greatest emissions of CO2 in the province, saving a total of 6 million tons of CO2 emissions between this and the next year, according to Alberta Minister of Environment and Parks, Shannon Phillips.

    "What matters to Alberta is ensuring that our energy economy is resilient for the future. That's why we've undertaken very ambitious policies with respect to a price on carbon, our methane management strategy, our performance standards for large industrial emitters and our efficiency strategy", the Minister added.

    In 2015, Alberta joined The Climate Group's States & Regions Alliance, increasing the number of forward-thinking North American provinces and regions that have successfully implemented a price on carbon. In 2014 Quebec and California, which are already part of the States & Regions Alliance, held their first joint greenhouse gases emission allowances auction, after linking their systems in the first cross border market in North America. Also last year, Ontario, launched a "cap-and-trade" system to curb its emissions, aiming to link it to the system set up by Quebec and California. (Source: Climate Group, Others, 15 Jan., 2016) Contact: The Climate Group, http://www.theclimategroup.org; Shannon Phillips, Alberta Minister of Environment and Parks, www.aep.alberta.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Group,  Alberta Minister of Environment and Parks,  


    California Governor Acts on Aliso Canyon Methane Leak (Ind. Report)
    Aliso Canyon Methane Leak
    Date: 2016-01-15
    In Sacramento, California Governor Gerry Brown has issued an executive order charging seven state agencies to enforce the following key orders dealing with the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility methane leak:

  • Stopping the Leak: All necessary and viable actions will be taken to ensure Southern California Gas Company: maximizes daily withdrawals of natural gas from the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility for use or storage elsewhere; captures leaking gas and odorants while relief wells are being completed; and identifies how it will stop the gas leak if relief wells fail to seal the leaking well, or if the existing leak worsens.

  • Protecting Public Health and Safety: The state will: continue its prohibition against Southern California Gas Company injecting any gas into the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility until a comprehensive review of the safety of the storage wells and the air quality of the surrounding community utilizing independent experts is completed; expand its real-time monitoring of emissions in the community; convene an independent panel of scientific and medical experts to review public health concerns; and take all actions necessary to ensure the continued reliability of natural gas and electricity supplies in the coming months.

  • Ensuring Accountability: The California PUC will ensure that Southern California Gas Company covers costs related to the natural gas leak and its response, while protecting ratepayers. The state will develop a program to fully mitigate the leak's emissions of methane funded by the Southern California Gas Company.

  • Strengthening Oversight: The state will promulgate emergency regulations for gas storage facility operators throughout the state, requiring: at least daily inspection of gas storage well heads using gas leak detection technology such as infrared imaging; ongoing verification of the mechanical integrity of all gas storage wells; ongoing measurement of annular gas pressure or annular gas flow within wells; regular testing of all safety valves used in wells; minimum and maximum pressure limits for each gas storage facility in the state; a comprehensive risk management plan for each facility that evaluates and prepares for risks, including corrosion potential of pipes and equipment. Additionally, the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission will submit to the Governor's Office a report that assesses the long-term viability of natural gas storage facilities in California.

    The governor has also ordered all state agencies to utilize state personnel, equipment, and facilities to ensure a continuous and thorough state response to this incident. The Governor's Office of Emergency Services will also provide frequent and timely updates to residents affected by the natural gas leak and the appropriate local officials, including convening community meetings in the coming weeks. (Source: Office of Gov. EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Jan., 2016) Contact: Governor of California, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., https://www.gov.ca.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  


  • Star Bioenergy Nixes Louisville Manure-to-Methane (Ind. Report)
    Star Bioenergy
    Date: 2016-01-11
    Fort Wayne, India-based Star Bioenergy reports its planned methane gas from manure and other organic material facility in Louisville, Kentucky has been stymied by area residents and local leaders. Accordingly, the company has withdrawn its zoning application. The company had planned to construct a 3,700-square-foot building and four 44-foot-tall sealed tanks at a site owned by Heaven Hill Distillery. (Source: Star Bioenergy, ABC36, 8 Jan., 2015) Contact: Star Bioenergy, (260) 693-8838, http://starbioenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane ,  


    Arctic Methane Emissions Not Subject to Seasonality, says University of Sheffield Study (Int'l Report)
    University of Sheffield
    Date: 2016-01-06
    According to an international team of researchers, Arctic methane emissions during the cold season are virtually the same as emissions during warmer seasons. This is contrary to previous assumptions that Arctic methane emissions were lower in cold temperatures. The research team, including scientists from the University of Sheffield, found emissions could account for half of the entire annual Arctic methane loss into the atmosphere.

    According to researcher Dr. Donatella Zona from Sheffield University's Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, "The overwhelming majority of measurements for methane emissions in the Arctic over the last decades have been performed during the two to three summer months while the cold period accounts for nearly 80 pct of the year. Virtually all the climate models assume there's no or very little emission of methane when the ground is frozen. Our study shows that assumption is incorrect."(Source: University of Sheffield, Energy Live, Various Others, Jan., 2015) Contact: University of Sheffield, Dr. Donatella Zona, +44 (0) 114 222 0122, d.zona@sheffield.ac.uk, www.sheffield.ac.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane.Merthane Emissions,  Arctic Methane,  


    Gas Well Methane Leak Golden State's Largest Climate Change Headache (Ind. Report)
    Methane
    Date: 2016-01-06
    The Guardian is reporting that the single biggest contributor to climate change in California is a blown-out natural gas well more than 8,700ft underground. The broken well at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage site has released more than 77,000 metric tons of methane since 23 October, according to state regulatory authorities.

    The Aliso Canyon storage site is one of the biggest such facilities in the country, and was originally built for the oil industry about 60 years ago. When the oil fields were exhausted, the well was re-purposed as a storage site.

    Methane is more than 80 times more damaging to the atmosphere and more powerful than carbon dioxide over a 20-year time frame. A byproduct of the oil and gas industry and agriculture, methane accounts for approximately 25 pct of the world's climate warming. (Source: Guardian, Various Others, Jan., 2015)

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


    Nova Scotia Seeking Coal Mine GHG Consultant (Ind. Report)
    N.S. Department of Environment
    Date: 2016-01-04
    In Atlantic Canada, in preparation for the expected spring 2016 reopening of Cape Breton's Donkin coal mine, the province of Nova Scotia is seeking guidance on minimizing the coal mine's methane GHG emissions and ways to minimize the industry's carbon footprint. To that end, the Nova Scotia Department of Environment has issued a tender for the services of a consultant to report on the available options, including technologies and practices, to minimize underground coal mining's carbon footprint.

    In the tender, the province says the greatest source of greenhouse emissions from the underground coal mine will be "the fugitive emissions of methane that is trapped in the coal-bed. Controlling those emissions will be key to the province reaching its climate change goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions to 10 pct below 1990 levels by 2020. The project has budget of $20,000 with a final report due March 16, 2016. (Source: N.S. Department of EnvironmentCBC, Others, 2 Jan., 2015) Contact: N.S. Department of Environment, (902) 424-3600, https://www.novascotia.ca/nse

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Coal,  GHG,  Greenhous Gas,  ,  


    Biogas Opportunities Roadmap Progress Report -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
    USDA
    Date: 2015-12-21
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. DOE and the EPA created and released the attached Roadmap as a response to the White House Climate Action Plan's directive to develop an inter-agency strategy to reduce methane emissions.

    Strategically deployed biogas systems offer the nation a cost-effective and profitable solution to reducing emissions, diverting waste streams, and producing renewable energy. This report is a progress report of the Biogas Opportunities Roadmap originally published in August 2014.

    Download the full Biogas Opportunities Roadmap Progress Report HERE. (Source: USDA, Dec., 2015)Contact: USDA, (2020 720-2791, http://www.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  Biogas,  


    AGL Resources' Methane Emissions Declining (Ind. Report)
    AGL Resources
    Date: 2015-12-21
    Atlanta-based energy services holding company AGL Resources has released the findings of its 2014 methane emissions inventory, which shows a 29 pct reduction in emissions year-over-year the past 15 years. Industry data shows a 22 pct decline over that period, even as the amount of industry sector pipelines grew by about 30 pct over the same time.

    AGL credits its emissions reductions in the development of corporate sustainability programs and and its founding participation in EPA's Gas STAR program which encourages industry companies to implement methane emissions-reducing technologies and practices and to document their voluntary emission reduction activities.

    AGL's emissions report can be downloadedHERE (Source: AGL Resources, 15 Dec., 2015) Contact: AGL Resources, John Somerhalder, CEO, Sarah Stashak, IR, (404) 584-4577, sstashak@aglresources.com, www.aglresources.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Methane Emissions,  


    Freshwater Methane Emissions Higher than Expected (Ind. Report)
    Methane
    Date: 2015-12-16
    According to University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-M) researchers and their colleagues, the world's rivers and streams pump about 10 times more methane into the atmosphere than previous studies indicated. The new study also found that human activity seems to drive which streams are the biggest contributors.

    Together with researchers and scientists at the University of Winnipeg and the U.S. Geological Survey's LandCarbon Project, the UW-M team created a database of measured methane flux (the exchange of the gas between water and atmosphere) and methane concentrations measured in streams and rivers using data from 111 publications and three unpublished datasets. The research team then calculated the best estimates of global methane emissions from the data and found the emissions to be an order of magnitude higher than scientists had previously reported.

    The researchers pointed to one possible reason: Not every stream is identical. The analysis revealed noticeably higher methane emissions from streams and rivers in watersheds marked with heavy agriculture, urban development or the presence of dams. This suggests efforts to improve stream health may have the added benefit of reducing greenhouse gases. (Source: University of Wisconsin Madison, PR, 14 Dec., 2014) Contact: UW-M, Prof. Emily Stanley, (608) 263-2567, http://limnology.wisc.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  GHG,  


    Bioenergy R&D Projects Win DOE ARPA-E Grant Funding (R&D, Funding)
    DOE ARPA-E
    Date: 2015-12-04
    As part of $125 million in grant funding to 41 energy technology projects , the US DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency (DOE ARPA-E) is funding the following biomass and bioenergy related projects:
  • Converting Biogas to Liquid Fuels by Low Energy Electrical Corona - $2.25 million to Oregon State University to develop a process that converts methane to higher-chain hydrocarbons when passed through a corona discharge at close to ambient temperature. OSU describes it as "a radically different approach to carbon-carbon bond formation that could enable the selective conversion of biogas into high value products with energy expenditure similar to that required for thermal processes." Contact: Oregon State University, www.oregonstate.edu

  • Disruptive Supplies of Affordable Biomass Feedstock Grown in the Open Ocean - $2.14 million to La Canada, California-based Marine BioEnergy Inc. to develop an open ocean cultivation system for macro algal biomass which can be converted to a liquid fuel precursor. Contact: Marine BioEnergy Inc., (819) 952-6018

  • Developing Ground Penetrating Radar for Enhanced Root and Soil Organic Carbon Imaging: Optimizing Bioenergy Crop Adaptation and Agro-ecosystem Services - $4.6 million Texas A&M University AgriLife Research to develop ground penetrating radar antenna arrays for 3D root and soil organic carbon imaging and quantification. The university believes visualization of root traits in soils could enable breeders to select climate-resilient bioenergy crops that provide higher yields, require fewer inputs, improve soil health, and promote carbon sequestration. Contact: Texas A&M University AgriLife Research, (979) 845-4747, agriliferesearch.tamu.edu. (Source: US DOE, Dec., 2015) Contact: DOE ARPA-E, arpa-e.energy.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE ARPA-E,  


  • Alberta's Climate Leadership on Methane Lauded (Ind. Report)
    Environmental Defense Fund,Pembina Institute
    Date: 2015-11-27
    Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the Canadian think tank the Pembina Institute are praising the newly elected government of Alberta's ambitious 45 pct by 2025 target for methane reductions from the oil and gas industry.

    A 45 pct methane reduction across Canada would be the equivalent of eliminating 27 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, providing the same climate benefit as taking every passenger car off the road in British Columbia and Alberta according to data from Statistics Canada and Canada's National Inventory Report. In the case of Alberta, the report indicated that upstream methane emissions could be reduced by 45 pct for $2.57 (Cdn) per metric tonne of CO2.

    According to data from Canada's GHG inventory, oil and gas methane emissions are one of the county's largest sources of GHG emissions and are almost double the size of the next largest source of methane in Canada. (Source: EDF, Pembina, Scott Public Affairs, 22 Nov., 2015) Contact: Pembina Institute, Kirk Heuser, (587) 585-4522, kirkh@pembina.org, http://www.pembina.org; EDF, Lauren Whittenberg, (512) 691-3437, lwhittenberg@edf.org, www.edf.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Environmental Defense Fund,  Pembina Institute,  


    IEA CCC Comments on UK DECC's CCS Commitment (Int'l Report)
    IEA Clean Coal Centre
    Date: 2015-11-25
    In recently released comments on UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Secretary Amber Rudd's energy development plan for the next decade, the IEA Clean Coal Centre (IEA CCC) says the UK's CCS industry risks falling into irrelevance if the DECC's policy is executed as presented.

    "At one time the UK was a leader in the development of CCS. We know the government has recently given its support for CCS projects, such as £4.2 million for research and feasibility work for a proposed 570 MW CCS coal-gasification power station in Grangemouth, Scotland, awarded in March this year. However, it will certainly be hard to promote and sell the technology abroad if there is no commercial deployment in the UK."

    Contrary to the DECC's new energy development plan, the IEA CCC argues that the construction of CCS demonstration plants should proceed promptly, pointing out that, when combined with ultra-supercritical technology, CCS-equipped coal-fired power plants have lower emissions than unabated gas-fired plants. "Building unabated gas-fired power stations locks the UK in to substantial emissions from fossil fuels for possibly the next 40 years," the IEA CCC says.

    A recent IEA CCC report comparing the greenhouse impact of coal and gas found that if the rate of methane leakage is more than 3 pct during the upstream sourcing and processing of natural gas, then the climatic benefit of substituting gas for coal is negated.

    As an example of the potential CCS could play in helping the UK meet its climate targets, the IEA CCC highlighted the White Rose CCS project in Yorkshire as having the potential to not only provide very-low CO2 emitting coal-fired power but also acting as a CCS hub, allowing neighboring industries to also capture and store their CO2 via that White Rose pipeline. (Source: IEA Clean Coal Centre, IEA, World Coal, 20 Nov., 2015) Contact: IEA Clean Coal Centre, +44 20 8877 6280, www.iea-coal.org.uk; DECC, Hon. Amber Rudd , Minister, www.decc.gov.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  Clean Coal,  DECC,  Emissions,  Climate Change,  


    Alberta Touts Methane Emissions Reduction Plan (Ind. Report)
    Government of Alberta
    Date: 2015-11-25
    On the Canadian prairies, oil-soaked Alberta presently has two carbon offset protocols to support methane reductions in the oil and gas sector: an offset protocol to encourage converting existing pneumatic equipment to highly efficient options and an offset protocol for solution gas conservation.

    Under these two protocols, Alberta says it will reduce its oil and gas operations methane emissions by 45 pct by 2025 by applying new methane emissions design standards at the planning stage of new oil and gas facilities, and developing a 5-year voluntary Joint Initiative on Methane Reduction and Verification that will include industry, environmental groups and Indigenous communities. It will be tasked with taking action on venting and fugitive emissions from existing facilities, including enhanced measurement and reporting requirements for new and existing facilities.

    The Implementation of the new methane design standards will be led by the Alberta Energy Regulator, in collaboration with Alberta Energy and Alberta Environment and Parks. (Source: Government of Alberta, (780) 427-2700, http://alberta.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Methane Emissions,  


    Landfill Methane to Power Toyota Georgetown Ky. Plant (Ind. Report)
    Toyota,Toyota Georgetown Kentucky
    Date: 2015-11-18
    In the Bluegrass State, Toyota reports it will soon begin harnessing methane from the Central Kentucky Landfill to generate electric power for its Georgetown assembly plant.

    Although the methane gas will initially meet only about 2 pct of the plant's power requirements power production will increase as the landfill matures and produces more gas. The project is expected to deliver a modest cost saving and environmental benefits. (Source: Toyota, WFPL News, 16 Nov., 2015) Contact: Toyota Georgetown Kentucky, Chris Adkins, Energy Management Specialist, (502) 868-2000, http://www.toyotageorgetown.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Biogas,  Toyota,  


    Ryder Using Clean Energy Fuels' REDEEM RNG (Ind. Report)
    Ryder Systems,Energy Fuels Corp
    Date: 2015-11-18
    In California, fleet vehicle specialist Ryder System, Inc. reports it will begin using and offering Newport Beach-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp.'s REDEEM renewable natural gas (RNG) -- both CNG and LNG -- at its Orange and Fontana, California stations. Clean Energy will also be provide fuel station maintenance services at both locations which are open to both the public and other fleet operators.

    REDEEM , which is also known as biomethane, is derived from biogenic methane which is processed, purified, and sent into the interstate natural gas pipeline. REDEEM biomethane vehicle fuel is procured from over 15 biomethane production facilities, including two owned and operated by Clean Energy. (Source: Ryder, HDT Trucking Info, 16 Nov., 2015) Contact: Ryder Systems, www.ryder.com; Energy Fuels Corp., (949) 437-1000, www.cleanenergyfuels.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RNG,  CNG,  Biomethane,  Alternative Fuel,  


    WMO Reports World GHGs Hit Record Highs in 2014 (Int'l)
    World Meteorological Organization
    Date: 2015-11-11
    The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on Monday reported that global concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including methane and CO2, increased to record highs in 2014, with carbon levels nearly crossing a critical global warming threshold for the whole year. The WMO report found that atmospheric concentrations of CO2 hit 397.7 ppm in 2014, and in some areas passed the 400 ppm barrier, which is widely considered the maximum threshold allowed to prevent catastrophic global warming.

    According to the study, the worldwide warming effect of greenhouse gases increased 36 pct between 1990 and 2014, something the group blamed on the increase in CO2, methane and nitrous oxide emissions from human activity. (Source: World Meteorological Organization, Nov., 2015) Contact: WNO, www.wmo.int

    More Low-Carbon Energy News World Meteorological Organization,  GHG,  Greenhouse Gas,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Chapman Univ. Funded for Peatland Climate Change Study (Funding)
    Chapman University
    Date: 2015-11-09
    Chapman University in Orange, California, is the recipient of $1.5 million in U.S. DOE grant funding as part of a larger DoE project designed to understand climate change impacts in peatland ecosystems. The project -- The Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climate and Environmental Change Experiment (SPRUCE) -- is located at a peat bog in northern Minnesota. The grant allows Chapman researchers to participate in the SPRUCE project by investigating the controls of the production and release of methane in this ecosystem. The University of Oregon and Purdue University are also participating.

    Peatlands store vast amounts of carbon in their soils -- about 60-times the amount of carbon that is released annually from fossil fuel burning. One-third of all the soil carbon in the world is in peatland ecosystems even though they cover only 3 pct of the terrestrial land surface.

    According to SPRUCE, "the ultimate goal is to determine the levels of warming at which ecosystems will reach a critical change in temperature and CO2 levels in the future that would push them into a new state. (Source: Chapman University, Eureka, Nov. 2015) Contact: Chapman Univ., Prof. Jason Keller, Ph.D., (714) 997-6815, http://www.chapman.edu; SPRUCE Project, http://mnspruce.ornl.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change.Peatland,  Carbon Sink,  Carbon Sequestration,  Methane,  GHG,  Soil Carbon ,  


    Shale Gas Cleaner than Coal, says Berkeley Report (Ind. Report)
    Onshore Energy Services Group,Berkeley Earth
    Date: 2015-11-09
    The UK-headquartered pro fracking Onshore Energy Services Group has welcomed a University of California Berkley report showing that problems of escaped methane from the fracking process may not be as bad as some environmentalists feared. The study also claims that electricity from fracking gas is cleaner than generating electricity from it from coal.

    The Berkeley report found that methane leaks from deep lying shale rock fractured by high pressure water and chemicals, would have to exceed an implausibly high 12 pct before shale gas could be considered worse than coal for GHG problems.

    Professor Robert Muller of the University of Berkeley California and Elizabeth Muller, co-founder and Executive Director of Berkeley Earth, a non-profit research organization, say that because methane is broken down in the atmosphere much more quickly than COs released into the environment by burning coal, it would be necessary for huge quantities of it to escape uncaptured for shale gas to be considered worse than coal. (Source: Onshore Energy Services Group, 6 Nov., 2015) Contact: Onshore Energy Services Group, Lee Petts, CEO, oesg.org.uk; Berkeley Earth, www.berkeleyearth.org; University of California Berkeley, (510) 642-6000, www.berkeley.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Shale Gas,  University of California Berkeley,  ,  


    Shale Gas Methane Emissions' Role in Global Warming Explored -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
    Cornell University,Methane,Shale Gas
    Date: 2015-11-02
    A report from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, claims that because of the increase in shale gas development over recent years, the total greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel use in the USA rose between 2009 and 2013, despite the decrease in carbon dioxide emissions. Given the projections for continued expansion of shale gas production, this trend of increasing GHG emissions from fossil fuels is predicted to continue through 2040.

    According to report corresponding author Cornell Professor Robert Howarth: "The US EPA has seriously underestimated the importance of methane emissions in general and from shale gas in particular. As a result, the US government has been stating that total greenhouse gas emissions from energy use in the US have been steadily declining since 2008 (which they attribute to switching shale gas for coal for electricity generation, although other studies say the economic downturn has been more important). With better accounting for methane, the new paper concludes that total GHG emissions have actually been rising at their most rapid rate in decades. Methane now accounts for 40 pct of total US GHG emissions from the energy sector. The rapid rise is due to shale gas and shale oil development, and has globally important consequences that are becoming increasing critical as the average temperature of the Earth, compared to the pre-industrial baseline, is expected to double in the next 15 years."

    According to Horwath, "methane emissions make it a disastrous idea to consider shale gas as a bridge fuel, letting society continue to use fossil fuels over the next few decades. Rather, we must move as quickly as possible away from all fossil fuels -- shale gas, conventional natural gas, coal, and oil -- and towards a truly sustainable energy future using 21st Century technologies and wind and solar power."

    The report is available HERE. (Source: Cornell Univ., Energy and Emission Control Technologies, Dove Press, 21 Oct., 2015) Contact: Cornell Univ., Robert W Howarth Department of Ecology and Environmental Biology, (607) 255-6175, rwh2@cornell.edu, http://www.gulfbase.org/person/view.php?uid=rhowarth

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  GHG,  Slale Gas,  


    Air Products Touts Texas Methane Reformer Plan (Ind. Report)
    Air Products
    Date: 2015-10-30
    Air Products, the leading global hydrogen provider, reports it will invest $350-$400 million to build, own and operate a world-scale Steam Methane Reformer (SMR) in Baytown, Texas. The new SMR will be built through the global hydrogen alliance between Air Products and Technip, a world leader in project management, engineering and construction, company officials said.

    The SMR will produce hydrogen and carbon monoxide to be supplied to customers from Air Products' Gulf Coast Hydrogen and CO Pipeline Networks. Both product capacities from the new facility are already sold-out ahead of the anticipated plant onstream in 2018, company officials said. The SMR and cold box will produce approximately 125 million standard cubic feet per day of hydrogen and a world-scale supply of carbon monoxide. (Source: Air Products, Area Dev. News, Oct. 27, 2015) Contact: Air Products, Marie Folkes, Pres. Industrial Gases, www.airproducts.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Air Products,  Methane,  Carbon Monoxide,  

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