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Carbon Terminology Refresher (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Carbon Emissions
Date: 2020-03-16
From the Land Down Under, The Fifth Estate has offered the following brief clarifications of the plethora of commonly used carbon emissions related terms:
  • Net Zero Energy -- There's two ways of looking at this. The first is based on simple math, and means a building, precinct, process or region generates as much energy within its own boundaries or site as it pulls in from elsewhere over a specific period -- most often a year. The other definition is a building or precinct or region that generates 100 per cent of its own energy needs on site or within its boundaries.

  • Net Positive Energy -- When a building or precinct generates more energy than it uses and shares that energy through either a local microgrid or by sending it into the main grid, it becomes energy positive.

  • Carbon Negative -- Carbon negative is used for larger scales than individual buildings, such as precincts, regions, businesses or even entire nations. It means absorbing more carbon than all combined carbon emissions within the specific area or operation.

  • Carbon Neutral -- Carbon neutral is basically a balancing act where a building, business or region sequesters or offsets as much carbon as it emits.

  • Carbon Offsets -- All offsets are not created equal -- there are dirt-cheap offsets sloshing around the global carbon market from questionable projects in far-flung places. But not only are they scientifically and ethically questionable, they also will not meet the standards required for formal third-party carbon neutral certification. The best offsets deliver co-benefits beyond just sequestering carbon, such as improving biodiversity, increasing water quality or catchment protection, generating social benefits, local economic benefits or supporting Indigenous cultural practices and knowledge.

  • Operational Emissions -- Most carbon accounting undertaken for the purposes of carbon neutral certification focus on carbon emissions generated by the operation of a building, business or region. It's not just emissions from energy or fuel use though. The Greenhouse Gas Protocol defines three "scopes" or categories of carbon emissions as follows -- Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from "owned or controlled sources" such as a fleet of vehicles, a power plant or a manufacturing plant. Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the generation of energy used within a building, plant or region. Scope 3 emissions are all the indirect emissions in a business, process or region's value chain both upstream and downstream. This would include something like methane emissions from waste sent to landfill, or the emissions from energy used to make the widgets that a business procures then retails.

  • Embodied Carbon -- Basically, almost everything we use from a smartphone to a building, has embodied carbon. Embodied or upfront carbon refers to the emissions released during the manufacture and transport of building materials, and the construction as well the end-of-life-phases of built assets. (Source: Fifth Estate Australia, Mar, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon,  Carbon Emissions,  


  • Dominion Touts Neighborhood Energy Efficiency Program (Ind Report)
    Dominion Energy
    Date: 2020-03-16
    Dominion Energy is reporting the launch of its Neighborhood Energy Efficiency Program offering free energy-saving products to eligible customers. The residential Neighborhood Energy Efficiency Program includes the installation of the following energy efficiency measu; low-flow kitchen faucet aerators; electric water heater wraps and insulation for water heater pipes; advanced power strips; adjustment of electric water heater temperature, and HVAC air filter replacement.

    Dominion Energy started the Neighborhood Energy Efficiency Program in 2013 to provide eligible neighborhoods with energy education and the direct installation of energy-saving improvements for residential customers at no cost.

    By taking advantage of the energy-efficiency tips, rebates and incentives associated with EnergyWise programs, Dominion Energy customers have reduced electricity usage by more than 797,000 MWh during the last eight years -- sufficient energy to power 67,463 homes for a year. (Source: Dominion Energy, The T&D, Mar., 2020) Contact: Dominion Energy EnergyWise, 877-510-7234, dominionenergysc.com/EnergyWise

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


    BC Carbon Capture Storage Assessment Completed (Ind. Report)
    TGS
    Date: 2020-03-13
    Global geoscience data for exploration & production specialist TGS reports completion of a Geological Carbon Storage Atlas for British Columbia (Canada) for a major oil and gas company. The study provides the most up-to-date understanding of geological carbon storage locations, onshore and offshore, throughout the province of British Columbia.

    Through collaboration with its partner Canadian Discovery Limited, TGS leveraged its world-class basin evaluation expertise, subsurface data library, and geological knowledge and experience through working in British Columbia, to create a framework for carbon storage assessment and atlas for potential storage locations, according to the TGS release. (Source: TGS. Strategic Research Institute, SteelGuru,, Gasoil News , 12 Mar., 2020) Contact: TGS, Katja Akentieva, Global.Marketing@tgs.com, www.tgs.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  Carbon Storage ,  


    Santa Ana Lauded for Cutting Energy Consumption (Ind. Report)
    SBT Alliance,New Buildings Institute
    Date: 2020-03-13
    In the Golden State, the Smarter Building Technologies Alliance (SBT) Smart Energy Decisions Innovation Award for driving greater energy efficiency through smarter IoT-enabled technologies has been awarded to the city of Santa Ana for an energy retrofit and retro-commissioning project estimated to curb energy consumption for the city's HVAC by 88 pct. The project was funded by the California Energy Commission and was also part of the NBI "Leading in LA" initiative.

    The Smart Energy Decisions Innovation Award recognizes outstanding work in support of the dramatic transformation taking place in today's electric power markets. (Source: Smarter Building Technologies Alliance, Inc., PR, Mar., 2020) Contact: Smarter Building Technologies Alliance, Inc., Kevin Martin, 800-832-2943 Ext. 704, kmartin@sbt-alliance.com, www.sbt-allaince.com; New Buildings Institute, www.newbuildings.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News SBT Alliance,  New Buildings Institute,  


    Abu Dhabi Awards 43,000 LED Streetlight Contract (Int'l. Report)
    Abu Dhabi City Municipality
    Date: 2020-03-11
    In the UAE, the Abu Dhabi City Municipality (ADM) Department of Municipalities and Transport reports it has awarded a Traffic Assets and Systems Operation and Management contract to Tatweer Construction for the replacement of 43,000 streetlights with energy-efficient LED units. The upgrade to LEDs is expected to save 900 million kWh worth $72 million over the 12 year contract term.

    As per a statement, the concession will target specific requirements and energy saving targets, including operating and maintaining the new devices, and installing and maintaining a smart central system to control the lighting throughout the agreement period. (Source: Abu Dhabi City Municipality, ME Construction News, 9 Mar., 2020)Contact: Abu Dhabi City Municipality, +971 2 6788888, www.dmt.gov.ae/en/adm; Tatweer, +971 2 441 5551, info@tatweer-co.ae, www.tatweer-co.ae

    More Low-Carbon Energy News LED Light,  LED Street Light,  Energy Efficiency Ligh,  


    Syracuse Marriott Uses C-PACE Program for Energy Efficiency Upgrades (Ind. Report)
    C-PACE
    Date: 2020-03-11
    In the Empire State, the Marriott Downtown Syracuse Hotel it used the C-PACE program to fund almost $10 million in cost-effective energy efficient improvements including HVAC, LED lighting and other energy efficiency improvements.

    The C-PACE program allows building owners to finance qualifying energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements on via a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill. (Source: Marriott Downtown Syracuse, Syracuse University Press, WAER, 9 Mar., 2020) Contact: Marriott Downtown Syracuse, www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/syrmc-marriott-syracuse-downtown; C-PACE Alliance, Cliff Kellogg (202) 744-1984, ckellogg@c-pacealliance.com, www.c-pacealliance.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News PACE,  C-PACE,  Energy Efficiency,  


    UK Anaerobic Digestion Consultancy Set for Launch (Int'l.)
    Future Biogas
    Date: 2020-03-11
    In the UK, Fern AD, a new BOCK and Guildford-based Future Biogas partnership venture farm and anaerobic digestion (AD) technology brand launching in April, 2020, will offer top-performance products and specialist consultancy for the UK agricultural and AD sectors.

    Specialising solely in AD technology, Fern helps AD plant owners and managers use the latest science to optimize biogas outputs. Fern AD is also the exclusive retailer of its own "T16" digester additive, made with a balanced recipe of trace elements.

    Future Biogas' biologists have extensive experience in the field, working on the company's 13 AD plants. The firm harvests 250,000 tonnes of maize to power its plants and produces 50MW of biogas every hour of the year, according to the company website. (Source: Fern AD Website, Mar.,2020) Contact: Fern, Helen Wyman, Mgr., +44 0 7830 66452, www.fernfarming.com; Future Biogas, Philip Lukas, Managing Dir., +44 (0) 1483 375 920, info@futurebiogas.com, www.futurebiogass.com

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


    OR Gov. Issues Comprehensive Climate Change Order (Reg. & Leg.)
    Oregon Climate Change
    Date: 2020-03-11
    In Salem, Oregon Governor Kate Brown (Dem) has issued a 14-page issued an executive order aimed at to sharply curbing greenhouse gas emissions with a full-court press by government agencies. The order comes less than a week after a Republican walkout killed Oregon Senate Bill 1530, the Democrats' proposal for a cap-and-trade system in Oregon.

  • The Governor's Executive Order updates the state's carbon reduction goals, setting targets of a 45 pct reduction below 1990 levels by 2035, and an 80 pct reduction by 2050

  • Under the order, carbon polluters in the industrial, transportation and natural gas sectors would have their emissions capped by the state's Environmental Quality Commission and Department of Environmental Quality, with allowable emissions reduced over time.

  • The Department of Environmental Quality and Environmental Quality Commission are directed to ratchet up restrictions for how emissions intensive fuel can be. The order set a go pct below 2015 levels by 2030, and 25 pct by 2035;

  • The Oregon PUC will place emphasis on greenhouse gas emissions and wildfire risk when regulating Oregon power companies

  • The Department of Consumer and Business Services will set new building energy efficiency goals aimed at a 60 pct reduction in annual energy consumption, compared to 2006 building codes

  • The Department of Energy will update home appliance energy efficiency standards "at least to levels equivalent to the most stringent standards among West Coast jurisdictions."

  • The Department of Admin. Services will develop a plan to transition the state's automobile fleet to zero-emissions vehicles and add charging stations at public buildings.

    In total, 18 state agencies and commissions directing a large portion of the state's bureaucracy are tasked under the order aimed reducing emissions and addressing climate change. (Source: Office of Gov. Kate Brown, OPB, 10 Mar., 2020) Office of Gov. Kate Brown, (503) 378-4582, www.oregon.gov/gov/pages/contact.aspx

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emission,  Oregon Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  Energy Efficiency,  Cap-and-Tarde,  


  • NASA Space-based Quantification of per capita CO2 Emissions from Cities (Study Attached)
    NASA
    Date: 2020-03-09
    "Urban areas are currently responsible for approximately 70 pct of the global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and rapid ongoing global urbanization is increasing the number and size of cities. Thus, understanding city-scale CO2 emissions and how they vary between cities with different urban densities is a critical task. While the relationship between CO2 emissions and population density has been explored widely in prior studies, their conclusions were sensitive to inconsistent definitions of urban boundaries and the reliance upon CO2 emission inventories that implicitly assumed population relationships.

    The attached Space-based Quantification of per capita CO2 Emissions from Cities report provides the first independent estimates of direct per capita CO2 emissions (E pc) from space-borne atmospheric CO2 measurements from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) for a total 20 cities across multiple continents. The analysis accounts for the influence of meteorology on the satellite observations with an atmospheric model. The resultant upwind source region sampled by the satellite serves as an objective urban extent for aggregating emissions and population densities.

    The study suggests that E pc declines as population densities increase, albeit the decrease in E pc is partially limited by the positive correlation between E pc and per capita gross domestic product.

    Download the NASA Space-based Quantification of per capita CO2 Emissions from Cities study HERE. (Source: NASA, IOP, Environmental Research Letters, Open Access, Feb.,2020) Contact: NASA, www.nasa.gov/oco2; Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., 818-354-0307, janelee@jpl.nasa.gov, www.jpl.nasa.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NASA,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Notable Quotes -- Mitt Romney Talks Emissions, Climate Change
    Mitt Romney,Climate Change
    Date: 2020-03-09
    "People say to me, 'Are you sure that we're causing (climate change)?' And I say, "I hope we're causing it. Because if we're not causing it, there's nothing we can do about it. So I hope we're causing it, and I believe we're causing it to a great degree.

    "Passing laws in Washington about restricting the size of your washing machine and how many watts your lightbulb has -- that's nice, but it's not going to change global warming. The only way you're going to reduce or bring down the growth rate in CO2 emissions in the planet is if we develop technologies across all the things that emit CO2 -- that are low-emitting and that are less expensive than the current technologies.

    "The governmental side -- you put money into colleges, universities, think tanks, labs. But how do you get everybody to think about it? I'm a fan of all ideas that might bring new technologies that are low-emitting, because I really want to see us do everything we possibly can to help China, Indonesia, Brazil, India -- the places that are growing emissions like crazy -- help them turn the corner and reduce our emissions." -- U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) Mar. 2020

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


    Wascon Blue Planing Four Mexican Biorefineries (Int'l Report)
    Wascon Blue
    Date: 2020-03-09
    Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico-based gasoline company Wascon Blue reports it will invest $720 million in four new "green" biorefineries to produce gasoline from byproducts of the process of refining crude oil and natural gas. The company's "innovative formula of BluePower® Biofuels , its Additive acts at the molecular level by increasing the octane in gasoline and cetane in Diesel", according to its website.

    Wascon will source the raw material from the state oil company Pemex, which currently exports the byproducts and later imports them after they've been converted to gasoline. The Wascon biorefineries will produce a gasoline with a lower concentration of aromatics, which are base components of gasoline that are a main source of octane and also one of the leading pollutants in the fuel. Conventional gasoline contains around 30 pct aromatics, but the goal of Wascon Blue is to reduce that to 20 pct an replace the remaining 10 pct with sustainably produced sugar cane and sorghum ethanol.

    The first of the 4 new biorefinery complexes will be constructed in Veracruz and will have 30,000 bpd capacity beginning in 2021. The company plans to supply 100,000 bpd of "green" gasoline by 2025. (Source: Wascon, Wascom Blue, El Financiero , 7 Mar., 2020) Contact: Wascon Blue, Enrique Olivera, Pres., contacto@wasconblue.com, +55 6385 5542 www.wasconblue.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wascon Blue,  


    Aussies Launching $350Mn Emissions Cutting Initiative (Int'l.)
    Australia
    Date: 2020-03-09
    In the Land Down Under, the Liberal government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison is touting the launch of a $350 million initiative to lead the energy grid away from fossil fuel, promote renewable energy and cut carbon emissions. It will also invest $68.5 million to create the Reliable Affordable Clean Energy for 2030 Co-operative Research Centre (RACE for 2030). And, in what seems a contradiction, the government will also fund a $4 million investigation of the economic case for a new coal-fired power station in north Queensland State.

    Working with private industry, RACE for 2030 will fund research into a "distributed grid"; a national strategy for charging stations required under the forecast growth in electric vehicles; harnessing rooftop solar and paying householders for their energy; and trial community scale micro-electricity grids.

    Under the Paris Agreement, Australia committed to reducing emissions by at least 26 pct on 2005 levels by 2030, but may have to use "carryover" credits gained under the previous Kyoto Protocol to achieve half of its Paris target, according to the Brisbane Times report. (Source: Various Media, Brisbane Times, 8 Mar., 2020) Contact: Office of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, twitter.com/ScottMorrisonMP

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


    European Vehicle CO2 Emissions Still Rising (Int'l. Report)
    Jato Dynamics
    Date: 2020-03-06
    In a just issued report, UK-based Jato Dynamics notes vehicle CO2 emissions rose for a third consecutive year across Europe as the pace of electric vehicle (EV) adoption failed to counteract the impact of falling diesel sales and the rise of SUVs.

    The volume weighted average CO2 emissions for 23 European markets reached 121.8 g/km under the NEDC vehicle test regime during 2019, the report found. The 2019 CO2 emissions level was 1.3 g/km higher than in 2018 but represented a lower increase than between 2017 and 2018, when the rise was 2.4 g/km.

    Germany, the UK, Italy and Spain all registered rising average CO2 emissions in 2019. France was the only market to see better results, as its average fell from 112g/km in 2018, to 111.1g/km last year. Despite this positive change, their emission levels were still higher than the averages they recorded in 2016 and 2017, according to the report. (Source: Automotive Management, Jato Dynamics, 3 Mar., 2020) Contact: Jato Dynamics, +44 (0) 20 8423 7100, enquiries@jato.com, www.jato.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Vehicle Emissions,  


    Bi-Partisan Legislation to Lower Energy Costs, Emissions (Reg & Leg)
    Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2020-03-06
    U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced an amendment to add the voluntary building codes sections of their legislation, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (Portman-Shaheen), to the energy bill currently under consideration on the Senate floor.

    This building codes amendment focuses on encouraging the construction of new homes and buildings to be more energy-efficient without any mandates. The adoption of updated model building energy codes, as well as states' review of updated model building energy codes, are voluntary.

    The provisions in this amendment were included in the Portman-Shaheen energy efficiency measure that has been approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on a bipartisan basis five separate times and passed the full Senate by a bi-partisan vote of 85-12 in 2016.

    A recent economic and environmental impact analysis by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) found that over the lifetime of the legislation through 2050, the Portman-Shaheen building codes provisions will: save consumers $41.4 billion on their energy bills; Cut CO2 emissions by 1.18 billion metric tons, which is the equivalent of taking 3.1 million cars off the road each year for 30 years; and save 28 quadrillion Btu of energy. (Source: US Sen. Robb Portman, PR, 5 Mar., 2020) Contact: US Sen. Robb Portman, www.portman.senate.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  ACEEE,  


    FPInnovations Releases Solid Wood Bioheat Guide (Ind. Report)
    FPInnovations
    Date: 2020-03-04
    Pointe-Claire, QC, Canada-based is touting its newly released Solid Wood Bioheat Guide for Rural and Remote Communities in Ontario as a key source of information for using woody biomass for heating.

    According to the guide, the reliability, efficiency and versatility of modern bioheat systems allows for the supplementation or even replacement of current fossil fuel or electric heating systems. These systems can use local, sustainably sourced, economical, and renewable solid woody biofuels. Provincial laws require that Crown forests be sustainably managed following approved forest management plans that require harvested areas to be regenerated. This means that carbon emitted to create bioheat generated from solid woody biofuels is recaptured by the growing forest making bioheat a low-carbon heating system. Emissions from particles and volatile compounds are also low and on par with fossil fuel heating systems.

    Download the Solid Wood Bioheat Guide for Rural and Remote Communities in Ontario guide HERE. (Source: FPInnovations, Cdn, Biomass, 2 Mar., 2020, Contact: FPInnovations, Glen Prevost, Guide Author, (705) 358-4667, (514) 630-4100, glen.prevost@fpinnovations.ca, www.fpinnovations.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News FPInnovations,  Woody Biomass,  


    Ohio Utilities' Energy Efficiency Programs in Doubt (Ind. Report)
    Ohio Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2020-03-04
    In the Buckeye State, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) last week ruled that the state's energy-efficiency mandates for utilities will begin wrapping up on Sept. 30 and end completely on Dec. 31, 2020, as required under House Bill 6. That includes programs such as reduced-price LED bulbs, rebates on smart thermostats and energy-saving appliances, financial incentives to build energy-efficient homes and businesses, and free energy-efficiency and repair services for low-income households.

    With the ruling, Ohio utilities have the option of seeking PUCO approval to voluntarily continue some or all of their energy-efficiency programs beyond 2020, but most haven’t yet decided their course of action.

    FirstEnergy, whose subsidiaries provide power to Northeast Ohio and the Toledo area, has announced it will end two programs -- one $75 rebate for smart thermostats, and another that pays money for recycling old appliances.

    AEP Ohio, which serves much of Central and Southeast Ohio, plans to continue at least some of its energy-efficiency programs, but has yet to determine the make-up and scope of the programs.

    Dayton Power and Light has not yet decided which, if any, of its programs will continue past 2020.

    In Southwestern Ohio, Duke Energycurrently offers a variety of energy-efficiency programs, including (among others) rebates for customers who install energy-saving devices, a monitor that offers bill credits to ratepayers who reduce energy usage during high demand periods, and discounted or even free LED lights, which cost anywhere between $1 and $8 per bulb.

    As of last year, Ohioans were charged on their electric bills a fee averaging of $3.36 per month to support energy-efficiency programs, as well as programs (such as Duke’s energy monitors) designed to reduce power usage during peak demand times, according to the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund. That fee, as well as a renewable-energy mandate fee, has been eliminated by House Bill 6 and replaced with a new 85-cent surcharge that goes to bail out two Northern Ohio nuclear power plants owned by FirstEnergy Solutions, which changed its name to Energy Harbor late last month. (Source: Cleveland.com, 3 Mar.,2020)

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


    IFC Supports South African Green Bond Issuance (Int'l, Funding)
    IFC,Standard Bank of South Africa
    Date: 2020-03-04
    IFC, a member of the World Bank Group and one of the world's largest green bond issuer, reports it has invested $200 million in the Johannesburg-based Standard Bank of South Africa Limited's green bond placed on the London Stock Exchange.

    The 10-year green bond -- Africa's largest and South Africa's first offshore green bond issuance -- is compliant with the International Green Bond Principles and will enable Standard Bank Group's Sustainable Finance Business Unit to on-lend to and finance climate-smart projects in South Africa such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, water efficiency and green buildings. (Source: IFC, 2 Mar., 2020) Contact: IFC, www.ifc.org; Standard Bank of South Africa, Nigel Beck, Sustainable Finance, www.standardbank.co.za

    More Low-Carbon Energy News IFC,  Green Bond,  Climate Change,  


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  • Advanced Biofuels -- Potential for Cost Reduction (Ind. Report Attached)
    IEA Bioenergy
    Date: 2020-03-02
    "Bioenergy already plays an important role in the global energy economy, and it's expanded use is a critical element in future low carbon scenarios, where it can especially play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transport sector. Decarbonising transport will require a range of bio-based transport fuels, and especially advanced low carbon fuels which are suitable for long-haul transport applications including aviation. A number of appropriate technologies to produce such fuels are being developed and commercialised. However so far, their production has only reached a limited scale.

    "The costs of these advanced Biofuels are currently higher than those of the fossil fuels which they can displace and of more conventional biofuels such as ethanol from sugar or corn, or biodiesel. It is therefore important to consider what scope there is to reduce the production costs of a range o advanced biofuels, and to identify under what conditions they could become affordable."

    Download the full IEA Advanced Biofuels -- Potential for Cost Reduction report HERE. (Source: IEA Bioenergy, Feb., 2020) Contact: IEA Bioenergy, www.ieabioenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News IEA Bioenergy,  Biomass,  Biofuel,  Bioenergy,  


    Ameren Investing $7.6Bn in Renewables, Smart Grid Tech (Ind. Report)
    Ameren,Ameren Missouri
    Date: 2020-03-02
    St. Louis-based Ameren Missouri reports that under its Smart Energy Plan it will its will invest $7.6 billion over five-years in wind and solar energy, energy storage and smart meters to serve its customers, primarily in Missouri. The plan includes;
  • More than 2,000 infrastructure improvement projects across the state totaling $5.3 billion in capital investments over the next five years, including approximately $1 billion in electric investments in 2019.

  • Major renewable energy projects to continue the transition to a cleaner energy future for customers, including $1 billion for wind energy in 2020. This also includes modernizing the energy grid to allow Ameren Missouri to add more solar energy and battery storage on the system to cost-effectively boost reliability, particularly in rural areas.

  • New smart grid sensors, switches and self-healing equipment to rapidly detect and isolate outages- reducing the number of outages and speeding power restoration when service interruptions occur.

  • A stronger, more secure energy delivery backbone including installing 12,000 new utility poles for storm hardening, many fortified with composite materials to better withstand severe weather.

  • More than 400 miles of new underground cable and equipment to create a more efficient and reliable underground energy delivery system that better serves customers.

  • Over 70 new or upgraded substations to increase energy service reliability and serve more customers through a streamlined network that is more cost-effective and efficient.

  • Addition of 800,000 smart electric meters through 2023 to give customers more insight and control of their energy options and costs.

    Details of Ameren's Smart Energy Plan are HERE. (Source: Ameren Missouri, Ameren Corporation, PR, Feb., 2020) Contact: Ameren Missouri, Michael Moehn, Pres., Andrew Kirk, 314.554.4859, akirk@ameren.com, www.ameren.com, Andrew Kirk, 314.554.4859, akirk@ameren.com, Twitter at @AmerenMissouri, Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ameren Missouri,  


  • 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,  


    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,  


    University of Pittsburgh Commits to Carbon Neutrality (Ind. Report)
    University of Pittsburgh
    Date: 2020-03-02
    In the Steel City, the University of Pittsburgh reports it has committed to become carbon neutral on the Pittsburgh campus by 2037. Through partnerships, increased building and infrastructure efficiencies, expanded use of renewable energy sources and other measures, Pitt will build on the success of its ambitious Sustainability Plan and existing greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 22 pct between 2008 and 2017. Key initiatives to achieve this goal include:
  • Building Efficiency -- With 130 buildings, including 14 projects certified under U.S. Green Building Council standards, Pitt will continue pursuing its 50 pct reduction in energy use by 2030 in existing facilities. For new construction, the goal is an 80 pct reduction by 2030 in support of the 2037 neutrality goal.

  • Renewable Energy -- The University has committed to purchase at least 50 pct of campus electricity from renewable sources by 2030, including from a low-impact hydroelectric power plant in the Allegheny River that will come online by 2023.

  • Infrastructure Efficiency -- In 2009, Pitt built one of the most efficient steam plants in the nation which has helped reduce CO2 emissions to date. The University is also growing its current fleet of five zero emissions electric vehicles. Efficiencies in purchasing supply chains, materials diversion, greater utilization of active and shared transportation modes and offsets will also help Pitt to become carbon neutral.

  • Leadership and Collaboration -- Students, faculty and staff have embraced Pitt's commitment to sustainability and continue to develop new initiatives, many with funding support.

    The University's pledge exceeds the carbon reduction targets of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Pittsburgh. Pitt's progress toward carbon neutrality will be shared via a newly created online "sustainability dashboard" updated by the University Office of Sustainability. (Source: University of Pittsburgh, PR 28 Feb., 2020) Contact: University of Pittsburgh, Office of Sustainability, Dr. Aurora Sharrard, Dir., (412) 624-5122, asharrard@pitt.edu, sustainability@pitt.edu, www.sustainable.pitt.edu


  • Virginia Tech Commits $3.1Mn to Energy Efficiency Plan (Ind. Report)
    Virginia Tech
    Date: 2020-02-28
    In the Old Dominion Sate, Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg reports approval of more than $3.1 million for the 5th phase of the school's ongoing Five-Year Energy Action Plan, a comprehensive blueprint to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption and costs within five years.

    One of the cornerstones of the Energy Action Plan is leveraging data to optimize energy usage to achieve energy efficiency at scale on campus. Ten new buildings are added to the university's energy management platform during each phase. Proposed projects under Phase 5 (2019-20) of the Energy Action Plan include:

  • LED lighting overhaul in a range of buildings

  • Lab ventilation optimization and retro-commissioning of HVAC energy systems

  • Power plant compressed air system optimization

  • Integration of 10 additional energy-intensive

    buildings into the university's energy management platform

  • Ongoing smart metering, meter replacement and maintenance, and

  • Implementation of a rooftop solar project at the Sterrett Facilities Complex. (Source: Virginia Tech, 25 Feb., 2020) Contact: Virginia Tech, Office of Energy Management, Christopher H. Kiwus, Associate VP, Chief Facilities Officer, 540-231-4300 www.facilities.vt.edu/energy-utilities/energy-reduction-efforts.html, www.vt.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Virginia Tech,  Energy Efficiency ,  


  • WVPA Launches energyOrbit Marketplace for Energy Efficiency Programs (Ind. Report)
    energyOrbit,Wabash Valley Power Alliance
    Date: 2020-02-28
    In Indianapolis, the Wabash Valley Power Alliance (WVPA) reports it has adopted the San Francisco-based energyOrbit Marketplace portal to encourage and streamline energy efficiency for its 23 partner utilities serving 311,000 residential members.

    The energyOrbit Marketplace, housed and powered on the Salesforce cloud platform, simplifies the application process for energy efficiency incentive offerings from utilities into a single platform, making it accessible on-demand to any customer in any utility territory or on a statewide basis. energyOrbit Marketplace also enhances customer engagement opportunities through simplified collaboration in the EE ecosystem. Specifically, WVPA will use energyOrbit Marketplace to provide self-service functionality to its distribution members for its Power Moves program, a portfolio of rebates and EE incentives for WVPA membership area residents.

    As of 2018, energyOrbit has helped utilities and third-party implementers collectively manage more than 15.2 TWh of electricity savings. Additionally, 9.5 GW of peak demand has been reduced by efficiency measures tracked by energyOrbit, and more than $2.6 billion in incentive dollars were managed and prepared for payment, according to energyOrbit. (Source: Wabash Valley Power Alliance. PR, 26 Feb., 2020) Contact: energyOrbit, Lance Maxwell, Director of Strategic Accounts, North America, www.energy-orbit.com; energyOrbit Marketplace portal www.energy-orbit.com/marketplace.php; Wabash Valley Power Alliance, Laura Matney, Energy Efficiency & Marketing Manager, 317-481-2800, 317-243-6416 – fax, info@wvpa.com, www.wvpa.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News energyOrbit,  Energy Efficiency,  


    California Mandatory Rooftop Solar Rule Amended (Ind. Report)
    California Rooftop Solar
    Date: 2020-02-26
    Following up on our Dec. 18, 2019 coverage, the California Energy Commission (CEC) reports it has approved a proposal to amend its mandatory new building rooftop solar program to allow some new Sacramento housing developments to use offsite "community" solar in place of individual building rooftop solar installations.

    The new solar rules were approved by the legislature and former California Governor Jerry Brown in 2018, making California the first state to mandate solar. The California Energy Commission (CEC) estimates the new mandates will add about $9,500 to the price of an average house while saving roughly $19,000 in reduced energy bills over 30 years. (Source: California Energy Commission, CalMatters, 23 Feb., 2020) Contact: California Energy Commission, (916) 465-4500, www.energy.ca.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Rooftop Solar,  California Rooftop Solar,  Soalr,  Rooftop Solar,  California Energy Commission,  


    UPM Biofuels, INEOS Inks Supply Agreement (Int'l. Report)
    INEOS, UPM
    Date: 2020-02-26
    Helsinki, Finland-headquartered renewable fuels specialist UPM Biofuels is reporting a supply agreement with German chemicals giant INEOS under which INEOS will use UPM BioVerno, a sustainable raw material from a residue of wood pulp processing, to produce bio-attributed polyolefins "drop-in products at a plant in Germany.

    As previously reported, UPM Biofuels is touting "Forest Film", a new product developed with UPM BioVerno naphtha, a 100 pct wood-based solution originating from sustainably managed forests. The new product replaces traditional fossil-based virgin materials and offers an efficient way to reach sustainability goals without compromising on product performance, according to a release. (Source: INEOS, PR, BioMarket Insight, 24 Feb., 2020) Contact: INEOS, www.ineos.com; UPM Biofuels, Panu Routasalo, +358 45 265 1345, sari.mannonen@upm.com, Maiju Helin, Head of Sustainability and Market Development, +358 204 15 111, +358 204 15 110 - fax, www.upmbiofuels.com, www.upm.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News INEOS,  UPM,  Bioplastic,  Biofuel,  


    Smithfield, Roeslein Increase Missouri RNG Investments (Ind Report)
    Smithfield, Roeslein I
    Date: 2020-02-24
    Virginia-headquartered Smithfield Foods Inc. and St. Louis-based Roeslein Alternative Energy are reporting an additional $45 million investment in their Monarch Bioenergy joint venture, which captures methane from hog manure to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) in Missouri. The additional investment will enable the continued implementation of manure-to-energy projects on Smithfield's farms, resulting in RNG generation across 85 pct of the company's hog finishing spaces in the state.

    Monarch converts hog manure collected from Smithfield Hog Production farms in into RNG, while simultaneously delivering ecological services and developing wildlife habitat. Through this joint venture, all Smithfield company-owned finishing farms in Missouri will have the infrastructure to produce RNG. (Source: Smithfield Foods Inc., PR, 21 Feb., 2020) Contact: Smithfield Foods, Ken Sullivan, Pres, CEO, Lisa Martin, (757) 365-1980, lvmartin@smithfield.com, www.smithfield.com; ; Roeslein Alternative Energy, Rudi Roeslein, Pres., Brian Gale, Bus. Dev., Chris Roach, Proj. Dev., (314) 729-0055, croach@roesleinae.com, www.roesleinalternativeenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Smithfield,  Roeslein ,  Monarch Bioenergy,  RNG,  


    ConEdison Seeking New York Energy Storage RfPs (Ind. Report)
    ConEdison
    Date: 2020-02-24
    In the Empire State, ConEdison reports it is seeking proposals from parties to construct, own, and operate energy-storage facilities in vacant, ConEdison company-owned properties Brooklyn load pockets.

    The power rating of the energy storage system should be up to 10MW with an energy rating of at least 40MWh. The actual energy rating will depend on the design of the vendor's energy storage system and the need to fit in the assigned space, while adhering to applicable local, state, and federal rules, regulations, and laws.

    The installed storage system will have a limited planned tenure on ConEdison property from the summer period of 2021 to 2030. After 2030, ConEdison will require the removal and safe disposal of the system, or we may consider extending the contract, purchasing the system, and/or expanding the system.

    Download the Energy Storage RfP details HERE. (Source: ConEdison, PR, 19 Feb., 2020)Contact: ConEdison, Jorge J. Lopez, Pres., CEO, (914) 286-7094, www.conedsolutions.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ConEdison,  Energy Storage,  


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

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

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

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


    ACEEE 2020 Utility Energy Efficiency Scorecard Released (Ind. Report)
    ACEEE
    Date: 2020-02-24
    According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy's (ACEEE) just released 2020 Utility Energy Efficiency Scorecard, the 52 largest U.S. electric utilities have dramatically increased their overall energy savings as they adopt innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Utilities leading the way are National Grid Massachusetts and Eversource Massachusetts, which tied for first place for the second time, followed by San Diego Gas & Electric, Commonwealth Edison in Illinois, Baltimore Gas and Electric and Pacific Gas & Electric, in that order. Rounding out the top 10 are the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), DTE in Michigan, Portland General Electric, and Eversource CT in that order.

    The scorecard notes that, as a group, the utilities boosted their annual energy savings by 20 pct since 2015, saving almost 20 TWh of electricity in 2018 from programs administered that year -- enough to power 1.8 million homes.

    The report highlights the ways in which the utility landscape has transformed since 2015, the baseline for the 2017 scorecard. New technologies are emerging -- states, utilities, and other stakeholders are increasingly focused on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the important role of energy efficiency with more than 900 different efficiency programs in 2018, about 300 more than in 2015. Additionally, 32 utilities piloted new programs that involve smart thermostats, online marketplaces for energy-saving products, commercial energy efficiency financing, and integration of efficiency with other DERs such as demand response and storage.

    While overall energy savings increased, this upward trend was not universal, and seven utilities saw their energy savings decrease by more than 20 pct since 2015.

    The scorecard also found that, while there is increased focus on changing utility business models nationally, utilities are generally slow to change these models and are often reluctant to give customers access to energy usage data.

    The scorecard, which received no utility funding, increases the availability of utility-sector energy efficiency data to enable benchmarking and help utilities strengthen their programs. ACEEE focuses on the 52 largest electric utilities by retail sales volume, including all 51 utilities from its 2017 Scorecard, plus Tampa Electric.

    Download the 2020 Utility Energy Efficiency Scorecard at www.aceee.org/utility-scorecard. (Source: ACEEE, 21 Feb., 2020) Contact: ACEEE, Steven Nadel, Exec. Dir., www.aceee.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ACEEE,  Energy Efficiency,  


    More Wind Farm Notable Quotes from "The Donald"
    Trump
    Date: 2020-02-24
    "And they're all over the place. You look at Palm Springs, California. Take a look. Palm Springs ... They're all over the place. They're closed, they're rotting, they look like hell."

    "You know if you shoot a bald eagle they put you in jail for a long time. But the windmills knock them down like crazy." -- Pres. Donald Trump, KESQ, Sacramento Bee, 21 Feb., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump.Wind,  Renewable Energy,  


    Heathrow Claims 93 pct Emissions Cut (Int'l. Report)
    Heathrow Airport
    Date: 2020-02-24
    In the UK, carbon neutral Heathrow Airport reports it has cut emissions 93 pct since 1990 after investing £100 million in energy efficiency measures and onsite power generation facilities. Heathrow noted it uses strictly "Clean" energy as needed, purchased carbon credits for 2019-21, and aims to achieve zero emissions from its operations within the next fifteen years.

    As we previously reported, Heathrow's four-part action plan to reduce and offset the growth in emissions builds on the momentum of technological change within the aviation industry to make travel more sustainable. The plan outlines action on four key areas including: cleaner aircraft performance and technology; improvements to airspace and ground operations; increased use of sustainable aviation fuels; and developing and promoting new carbon offsetting technologies and options. Additionally, Heathrow is calling on the ICAO -- the UN body for international aviation -- to develop global goals for the uptake of sustainable alternative fuels, and calling for the UK Government to engage ICAO and fellow member states to agree on a 2050 carbon emissions reduction goal for international aviation

    Other UK airports and airlines have committed to bring UK aviation to net-zero status by 2050 -- Gatwick Airport claimed carbon neutrality through renewable energy and offsets in 2018 and Birmingham Airport has committed to net-zero by 2033. (Source: Heathrow Airport, PR Feb 21, 2020) Contact: Heathrow Airport, John Holland-Kaye, CEO, +44 0 8443 351801, www.heathrow.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Heathrow,  Aviation Emissions,  Carbon Emissions,  


    IPCC Preparing First Climate Change Stock-Take Report (Int'l.)
    IPCC,UNFCCC
    Date: 2020-02-21
    Reporting from Geneva, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announced it will consider the outline of the Synthesis Report for the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6 SYR) on 24-28 February 2020 during its 52nd Session to be hosted by UNESCO in Paris.

    The Synthesis Report will present the latest state of climate knowledge to serve as the basis for international negotiations in time for the first global stock-take under the Paris Agreement in 2023.

    The global stock-take is a process under the 2015 Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to take stock of collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the Agreement and its long-term goals. It takes place every five years, with the first one in 2023.

    The outcome of the global stock-take will inform Parties to the Agreement in updating and enhancing, in a nationally determined manner, their actions and support for the goals of the Agreement, as well as enhancing international cooperation for climate action. (Source: IPCC, PR, 20 Feb., 2020) Contact: IPCC, www.ipcc.ch; UNFCCC, www.unfccc.int

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UNFCCC,  Paris Climate Agreement,  IPCC,  


    Greencoat Snares SSE Renewable's Tyrone Wind Farm (M&A, Int'l.)
    SSE Renewables,Creencoat,Wind
    Date: 2020-02-21
    In the UK, SSE Renewables is reporting the £51 million sale of its 8-turbine, 18.8 MW Slieve Divena II wind farm in County Tyrone to Greencoat UK. SSE Renewables will manage the facility on behalf of Greencoat, while SSE Airtricity will take 100 pct of the wind farm's power production.

    The wind farm is adjacent to the 30MW Slieve Divena development, which Greencoat acquired in 2017.The sale is expected to close later thin month. (Source: SSE Renewables, RTE Ireland - Ireland Public Broadcasting, 20 feb.,2020) Contact: Greencoat Renewables, Paul O'Donnell, Partner, +353 (1) 70 26737 - Dublin, +44 20 7832 9400 - London, www.greencoat-capital.com; SSE Renewables, Paul Cooley, Director of Renewables, www.sse.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News SSE Renewables,  Greencoat,  Wind,  


    SANEDI Funded for Cool Roof Energy Efficiency Initiative (Int'l.)
    South African National Energy Development Institute
    Date: 2020-02-19
    Having been awarded a $100 000 grant by the international Million Cool Roofs Challenge last year to deploy solar-reflective roof coatings, the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) is now rolling out this low-tech cooling solution to communities across the country. The international Million Cool Roofs Challenge is expected to issue an additional $1 million grant to another African country team for rapid deployment of cool roofs.

    This initiative is driven by the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Programme (K-CEP) with the aim of rapidly scaling up the deployment of highly solar-reflective "cool" roofs that can reduce indoor daytime temperatures by almost 10 degrees C, while cutting air condition energy consumption and costs in low-cost housing. (Source: SANEDI, PR, 19 Feb., 2020) Contact: SANEDI, Denise Lundall, Project Officer, Energy Efficiency Cool Surfaces, +27 11 038 4300, www.sanedi.org.za; international Million Cool Roofs Challenge, team@coolroofschallenge.org,www.coolroofschallenge.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Cool Roof,  


    Clean Power All. Touts Online Solar+Storage Marketplace (Ind. Report)
    Clean Power Alliance
    Date: 2020-02-19
    Following up on our October 24th, 2019 coverage, in the Golden State, electric power provider Clean Power Alliance (CPA) has launched new programs and online resources to help its customers access solar and energy storage backup power and earn financial incentives managing their energy use.

    The programs will offer smart thermostat and solar energy and solar energy storage programs that will serve participating residential customers who will be paid for enrolling and reducing their energy during peak energy times and notified about when to reduce energy consumption.

    CPA has also launched an online Solar Marketplace in collaboration with EnergySage for customers seeking solar and or solar-plus-storage battery systems. Customers can quickly receive and compare customized solar quotes from local, vetted contractors through the user-friendly website. Participating CPA customers will also get support from EnergySage's vendor-neutral Energy Advisors and educational tools to address questions about various solar and battery companies, equipment, and financing options. (Source: CPA, Feb., 2020) Contact: CPA, Ted Bardacke, Exec. Dir., 888-585-3788, www.cleanpoweralliance.org; CPA Online Solar Marketplace, ; EnergySage, www.energysage.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Power Alliance,  Solar Energy Storage,  Smart Thermostat,  Energy Storage,  ,  


    ASEAN Member States Focusing on Biogas (Int'l. Report)
    ASEAN
    Date: 2020-02-17
    According to the Jakarta-headquartered Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Centre for Energy (ACE) many ASEAN member states have been actively looking to increase the use of biogas in order to meet their respective bioenergy targets.

    Combined, Indonesia and Malaysia have over 1,000 palm oil mills that produce almost 90 percent of global palm oil supply. This results in the generation of around 126 million tonnes of POME yearly. The demand for biogas has grown because of the need to shift to more renewable sources of energy and to increase electricity penetration within the ASEAN region.Indonesia has set a bioenergy capacity target of 810 MW by 2025, Thailand's goal is 5,570 MW by 2036 and Malaysia aims to achieve 1,065 MW this year.

    The ASEAN nations -- Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam -- have a combined population of population of 650 million and a combined GDP of $2.8 trillion. (Source: ASEAN Post, 13 Feb., 2020) Contact: ASEAN Centre for Energy, +62 21 527 9332, +62 21 527 9350 - fax, secretariat@aseanenergy.org, www.aseanenergy.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biogas,  ASEAN,  


    ACEEE Comments on Pending Energy Efficiency Act (Ind. Report)
    American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
    Date: 2020-02-17
    The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is reporting the pending bipartisan Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act energy efficiency bill now before the U.S. Congress would, if passed, help the US cut energy bills by $51 billion through 2050, as well as save 32 quadrillion Btu of energy and avoid 1.3 billion tons of CO2 emissions cumulatively through 2050.

    According to ACEEE sernior policy advisor Lowell Unger, "The numbers are in: This would be the biggest cut of energy waste from any new federal law in a decade. By spurring the construction of more energy-efficient buildings and houses, reducing energy waste in industrial plants, and assisting energy improvements in existing buildings, it would cut our energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions, and that's just smart policy." (Source: ACEEE, PR, Feb., 2020) Contact: ACEEE, www.aceee.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy,  ACEEE,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Clean Energy Fuels Delivers 143Mn Gal. of RNG in 2019 (Ind Report)
    Clean Energy Fuels
    Date: 2020-02-14
    Newport Beach, California-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp. is reporting it delivered 143 million gallons of Redeem™ Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)in 2019.

    In 2019, Clean Energy announced plans to exclusively offer zero-carbon1 Redeem at all of its fueling stations by 2025. At this pace Clean Energy would outdistance other alternative fuels, according to the release.

    Redeem was the first commercially available RNG vehicle fuel, derived from capturing biogenic methane that is produced from the decomposition of organic waste from dairies, landfills, and wastewater treatment plants, according to the release.(Source: Clean Energy Fuels, PR, 12 Feb., 2020) Contact: Clean Energy Fuels, Raleigh Gerber, 949-437-1397, raleigh.gerber@cleanenergyfuels.com,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Energy Fuels ,  RNG,  Renewable Natural Gas,  


    Saceem, Ventus Enerji Partnering for Columbian Wind Projects (Int'l)
    Ventus,Saceem,
    Date: 2020-02-14
    Montevideo-based Uruguayan construction company Saceem reports it is partnering with Turkish renewable energy developer Ventus Enerjj to form Consortium Saceem Ventus to bid on wind energy and solar projects in Columbia farms in the country of Colombia.

    Saceem brings scale and financial muscle to the alliance, while Ventus has been operating in Colombia since 2017. Both companies have been active in wind energy projects in Uruguay. Ventus is presently constructing five solar farms totaling over 60 MW in Colombia. (Source: Saceem, PR, reve 13 Feb., 2020) Contact: Saceem, +598 2916 0208, www.saceem.com; Ventus Enerji, Francis Raquet, Bus. Dev., (312) 284 66 32, info@ventusenerji.com.tr, www.ventusenerji.com.tr

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Solar,  Ventus,  


    SoCalEd Efficiency Programs Saved $55.6 Mn in 2019 (Ind. Report)
    Southern California Gas
    Date: 2020-02-12
    In the Golden State, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalEd) is reporting its various energy efficiency programs collectively saved $55.6 million in 2019. The savings were equivalent to removing more than 265,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and taking more than 57,000 cars off of California roads for one year, according to a release.

    SoCalGas energy efficiency programs include offering rebates on hundreds of home appliances and products such as smart thermostat,LED lighting, energy efficient furnaces, Energy Star appliances and others that help cut energy consumption and reduce costs. (Source: SoCalGas, CNS, Feb., 2020) Contact: SoCalGas, Darren Hanway, manager of energy programs and strategy , (800) 427-2200, www.socalgas.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Southern California Gas ,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Cincinnati Piloting WarmUp Cincy Energy Efficiency Aid (Ind. Report)
    Cincinnati
    Date: 2020-02-12
    On the banks of the Ohio River, the city of Cincinnati's new "WarmUp Cincy" program aims to help low- and moderate-income -- less than $40,000 per year for a family of three -- renters in multi-family buildings with home energy assessments, energy efficiency upgrades, energy education and financial assistance as needed. Now in a pilot phase, the program will serve 65 families over a 90-day period.

    Following the pilot, the City will work with program partners and participants to develop a strategy for enhancing the program including scaling up to reach more renters in need of these services. Additional plans to expand the program include addressing whole-building energy efficiency challenges of multifamily structures.

    The City is working with the Community Action Agency, People Working Cooperatively, Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance, and American Cities Climate Challenge to implement the project. (Source: City of Cincinnati, PR, Feb., 2020) Contact: City of Cincinnati, www.cincinnati-oh.gov; WarmUp Cincy Program, www.facebook.com/warmup.cincinnati

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Hydro-Quebec Taking Stake in Innergex Renewable (M&A)
    Innergex Renewable Energy ,Hydro-Quebec
    Date: 2020-02-10
    Longueuil, Quebec-based Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. reports provincially- owned Hydro-Quebec will invest roughly 661 million Cdn ($497 million US) for 34.6 million common shares -- a nearly 20 pct stake in Innergex.

    The two companies plan to invest in wind and solar projects with battery storage or transmission, distributed generation, off-grid renewable energy networks, and other sectors.

    Innergex anticipates using about $50 million from the private placement to develop its 200 MW Hillcrest solar photovoltaic project in Brown County, Ohio, according to the Reuters report. (Source: Innergex Renewable Energy, Reuters, 6 Feb., 2020) Contact: Innergex Renewable Energy, Jean Trudel, (450) 926-2550, info@innergex.com, www.innergex.com; Hydro-Quebec, Marc-Antoine Pouliot, (514) 289-5005, www.hydroquebec.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Innergex Renewable Energy ,  Hydro-Quebec,  


    SMMPA Opting for Renewables to Cut Carbon Emissions (Ind. Report)
    Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency
    Date: 2020-02-10
    The Rochester-based nonprofit power provider Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) reports it plans to produce 80 pct of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2030.

    The agency gets much of its power from the coal-fired Sherco 3 power plant in Becker, Minn. SMMPA holds a 41 pct stake in the generating unit. But Sherco 3's majority owner, Xcel Energy, announced last year it intends to retire the plant in 2030. SMMPA notes that with the declining costs of wind and solar it makes sense to replace most of that coal-fired electricity with renewables -- probably an equal mix of wind and solar. The planned change would result in a 90 pct reduction in CO2 emissions from 2005 levels.

    SMMPA currently sources over 20 pctof its power from renewable sources, Schoenherr said. It also gets carbon-free electricity from hydropower projects.

    SMMPA provides electricity to 18 city-owned utilities, mostly in the southern and central parts of the state, including Rochester, Austin, Owatonna and Mora. (Source: SMMPA, MN Public Radio. 7 Feb., 2020) Contact: SMMPA, Dave Geschwind, Exec. Dir., CEO, 507-285-0478, www.smmpa.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency ,  SMMPA,  ,  


    BGU Touting New Waste-to-Gas Technology (Int'l., New Prod. & Tech.)
    Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Laboratory for Clean Combustion
    Date: 2020-02-10
    Israeli Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) Laboratory for Clean Combustion are touting a new gasification technology that uses the "unique chemical properties" of supercritical water -- heated to 374 degrees Celsius and pressurized to more than 219 atmospheres -- to actively decompose organic material into gases with a range of potential uses.

    Using the BGU system, organic components are dissolved by supercritical water into hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide. Hydrogen and methane produced by dissolving organic materials can serve as fuel sources and feedstocks for the chemical industry, and hydrogen is particularly relevant to the automotive industry's efforts to replace gasoline. Accoding to the BGU researchers, the combination of unique properties of supercritical water and continued technological innovation will ultimately outperform existing waste-to-gas solutions.

    The BGU researchers are reportedly in discussions with two companies to develop a pilot facility and commercialize their technology. (Source: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Jerusalem Post, 9 Feb., 2020) Contact: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Dr. Efim Korytnyi, 972-8-6461111, in.bgu.ac.il

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Waste-to-Energy,  Waste-to-Gas,  


    Virginia Grassroots Coalition Calls for Removal of Biomass-Fired Facilities from Renewable Portfolio Standard (Ind. Report)
    Virginia Grassroots Coalition
    Date: 2020-02-10
    In the Old Dominions State, a letter to the Virginia General Assembly from the Virginia Grassroots Coalition, with over 40 participating member groups, calls for the removal of biogass-fired power facilities from Virginia's renewable portfolio standard, as follows:
  • Though touted as a clean, environmentally safe alternative to fossil fuels, wood pellets are a carbon-intense, destructive and polluting industry based in flawed carbon accounting in international agreements;

  • Wood pellet material sourcing leads to massive deforestation of critical habitats, and Enviva alone is responsible for 50 acres a day of clear-cut land:

  • Pellet production facilities release dangerous air pollutants including particulate matter and volatile organic compounds putting surrounding communities at higher risk for health complications.

  • Burning wood pellets releases 65 pct more CO2 than coal per megawatt hour. In order to keep global climate change below 1.5 degrees Celsius, wood pellets must not be used as an energy alternative.

    The letter also notes UK-based researchers found last year that burning wood is a "disaster" for climate change because older trees release large amounts of carbon when they are burned and aren't always replaced with replanted forests. Even when trees are replaced, it can take up to 100 years to cultivate a wooded area that soaks up as much carbon as was previously released. And the fuel burned in shipping wood pellets to Europe is also a significant source of emissions. (Source: Virginia Grassroots Coalition, 9 Feb., 2020) Contact: Virginia Grassroots Coalition, www.virginiagrassroots.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  


  • Sunnova Offers Bundled Roofing + Solar Finance Pkg. (Ind. Report)
    Sunnova Energy
    Date: 2020-02-07
    Houston, Texas-headquartered residential solar and battery storage service provider Sunnova Energy International Inc. is reporting a new product which bundles financing for roof replacements with a Sunnova solar or solar + battery storage system under a single loan or finance agreement.

    This offering will enable homeowners to install a new roof together with a state-of-the-art home solar system covered by the Sunnova Protect™ 25-year service guarantee. (Source: Sunnova Energy International Inc., PR, Feb., 2020) Contact: Sunnova Energy, John Berger, CEO, Kelsey Hultberg, (281) 985-9900, Kelsey.Hultberg@sunnova.com, www.sunnova.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Sunnova Energy ,  Solar,  Energy Storage,  Solar + Storage,  


    White Dog Labs Acquiring Central MN Renewables Biorefinery (M&A)
    White Dog Labs, Central Minnesota Renewables
    Date: 2020-02-07
    New Castle, Delaware-headquartered White Dog Labs (WDL) is reporting plans to purchase Central Minnesota Renewables' shuttered former ethanol -- biobutanol plant in Little Falls, Minnesota, and to upgrade the facility to produce ProTyton, a corn-based aquaculture feed product. The upgraded plant will managed by Midwest Renewable Energy, which operates a corn ethanol plant near Sutherland, Nebraska.

    The facility was originally constructed as the 21 MMgy Central MN Ethanol Co-op corn ethanol plant. Green Biologics Inc., a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of U.K.-based biotechnology and renewable chemical company Green Biologics Ltd., purchased the facility in December 2014 through its Central MN Renewables LLC affiliate. The facility was retrofitted to produce biobased butanol and acetone and resumed operations in 2016. In mid-2019, Green Biologics announced it could not secure funding to continue operations and would close the plant.

    According to the WDL website, White Dog Labs was established in 2012 on the foundation of harnessing natural microorganism diversity to address global challenges in food sustainability, climate change and general human and animal nutrition. The company goes beyond discovery to also design and scale bioprocesses with end product application in mind.

    Core to WDL discovery is its proprietary Protocol B™ process coupled with additional high-throughput selection techniques for the isolation and cultivation of microbiome-derived anaerobic microorganisms. WDL's approaches result in large, diverse and novel strain libraries informed through emerging applications in microbiome science, and yield promising solutions for animal nutrition and health. WDL also invented a novel class of fermentation technology called MixoFerm™ that allows cultivation of previously "unculturable" bacteria while also improving the carbon efficiency of fermentation processes by 50 to 100 pct, according to the WDL website.(Source: White Dog Labs, PR, Ethanol Producer, 4 Feb., 2020) Contact: White Dog Labs., Bryan Tracy, (302) 220-4763, btracy@whitedoglabs.com, www.WhiteDogLabs.com; Central Minnesota Renewables, 320-632-1614, www.centralmnrenewables.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News White Dog Labs ,  Central Minnesota Renewables,  


    JCI 2019 Energy Efficiency Indicator Survey (Ind. Report Attached)
    Johnson Controls
    Date: 2020-02-07
    According to Johnson Controls' (JCI) 2019 2019 Global Energy Efficiency Indicator survey, 75 pct of organizations in the U.S. planned to increase their investment in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and smart building technology. The research suggests that sustainability is a key contributor to this increase.

    The study, now in its 13th edition, surveyed 400 energy and facility management executives in the U.S. and found:

  • 85 pct of organizations plan to have at least one certified green building compared with 72 pct last year, while 62 pct are willing to pay a premium for space in a certified "green" building.

  • 63 pct of organizations say they are very or extremely likely to have one or more facilities that are nearly or net -zero energy or carbon in the next ten years, up from 58 pct in the previous year.

  • 61 pct of organizations surveyed invested in on-site renewable energy in 2019, while 34 pct of organizations invested in the replacement of fossil fuel heating equipment with heat pump technology last year.

  • 71 pct of organizations invested in building control system improvements and over half have implemented an enterprise-wide building management system.

  • Over half of organizations invested in the integration of security, fire/life safety systems and lighting systems with other building technology systems last year, with another third investing in energy information management software.

    Review the 2019 Energy Efficiency Indicator report HERE. (Source: Johnson Controls, Feb., 2020) Contact: Johnson Controls, Clay Nesler, VP Sustainability, (855) 324-3650, www.johnsoncontrols.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Johnson Controls,  Energy Efficiency,  

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