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Franklin County Promotes Bldg. Energy Efficiency Program (Ind Report)
Franklin County Regional Housing & Redevelopment Authority
Date: 2020-01-03
In the Bay State, the Franklin County Regional Housing & Redevelopment Authority is touting its Housing Rehabilitation Program. The program is designed to provide income-eligible homeowners with interest-free, deferred payment loans to correct health and safety code deficiencies and to improve home energy efficiency. The program is partially through Community Development Block Grants. Eligibility is based on household annual gross income and occupancy.

Eligible home improvements include: electrical and plumbing upgrades, structural repairs, accessibility modifications, septic repairs or replacement, heating and hot water system repairs or replacement, replacing windows, roof repairs or replacement, wells, lead paint abatement, insulation and weatherization and other energy efficiency upgrades. (Source: Franklin County Regional Housing & Redevelopment Authority, Town of Hawley, Greenfield Recorder, 31 Dec., 2019) Contact: Franklin County Regional Housing & Redevelopment Authority, 413-863-9781, www.fcrhra.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


Energy Efficiency Now Key to NM GSD Building Leases (Ind. Report)
New Mexico General Services Department
Date: 2020-01-03
In Santa Fe, the New Mexico General Services Department (GSD) reports it is now considering a building's energy efficiency, energy efficiency recycling programs, eco-friendly cleaning products, solar energy installations and other environmentally focused measures when leasing office space.

To that end, the agency asks prospective property managers to list eco-friendly attributes of their spaces. The environmental measures will be scored by an evaluation team, which also will consider lease costs, property locations, building quality and available parking. (Source: New Mexico General Services Department , WRAL, 2 Jan., 2019) Contact: New Mexico General Services Department, Ken Ortiz, Sec., 505-827-2000, www.generalservices.state.nm.us

More Low-Carbon Energy News Building Energy Efficiency,  


Report Examines Impact of Energy Efficiency Investments (Ind Report)
ACEEE,Alliance to Save Energy
Date: 2019-12-23
The recently released Energy Efficiency Impact Report conducted by the Alliance to Save Energy, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy looks at the energy savings, job growth, and reduced carbon emissions that have resulted from energy efficiency initiatives.

The report, which examines the impacts of energy efficiency investments, policies, and innovation across a variety of sectors, including residential and commercial buildings, industry, and transportation, found that investments in energy efficient measures have prevented a 60 pct increase in energy consumption and carbon emissions. The report identifies fuel economy standards, appliance and equipment energy efficiency standards, ENERGY STAR, utility sector efficiency programs, federal research and development, and building energy codes as the policies and programs saved an estimated 25 quadrillion BTUs -- roughly 23 pct of the total U.S. energy consumption in of energy in 2017. The report identifies the growth in smarter technologies and more responsive energy management as major new energy savings opportunities and notes that technologies alone could deliver more than 40 pct of global carbon reductions necessary to meet Paris Agreement climate targets.

The report uses 54 indicators to quantify energy efficiency impacts. Further, it examines progress in a variety of sectors, including utilities, buildings, industry, and transportation. (Source: ACEEE, Alliance to Save Energy, Dec., 2019)Contact: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Steven Nadel, Exec. Dir., (202) 507-4000, (202) 429-2248 - fax, www.aceee.org; Alliance to Save Energy, 202.857.0666, www.ase.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  ACEEE,  Alliance to Save Energy,  Alliance to Save Energy,  


Heriot-Watt Touts New Carbon Capture R&D (Int'l. Report)
Heriot-Watt University
Date: 2019-12-20
In the UK, chemical engineers from Heriot-Watt University are reporting a collaboration with a team of international researchers to design materials inspired by drug design tools used by the pharmaceutical industry that could synthesise new metal-organic framework materials (MOFs) -- porous crystals that combine metal nodes with organic linkers -- that can capture CO2.

The researchers conducted experiments that mimicked real industrial operations and compared the performance of their new materials with those that are currently commercially available. According to Dr Susana Garcia, Assoc. Dir., Heriot-Watt Research Centre for Carbon Solutions, "Instead of the conventional trial and error, we computer-generated 325,000 MOFs and identified the features of the best performers. We now have the tools to tailor-make a material that will separate carbon dioxide in the most economical way for a given source, like industrial emissions, and make it available for other purposes like carbon storage or as a resource for the chemical industry." (Source: Heriot-Watt University, PR, Engineer Live, 17 Dec., 2019) Contact: Heriot-Watt University, Dr Susana Garcia, Assoc. Dir., Heriot-Watt Research Centre for Carbon Solutions, www.hw.ac.uk

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


Azure Power Raises $75Mn from Quebec Pension Fund (Int'l Report)
Azure Power
Date: 2019-12-20
New Delhi-based independent Indian solar power producer Azure Power Global Limited is reporting closure of its previously announced $75 million (US) private placement.

The total was raised from Canadian pension fund Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ) through sale of 6,493,506 equity shares at $11.55 per share. CDPQ's equity interest in Azure Power now stands at 49.4 pct. Azure Power has a pan-India portfolio of more than 3 GW. (Source: Azure Power, PV Mag., 17 Dec., 2019) Contact: Azure Power, Ranjit Gupta, CEO, +91-11-4940-9854, pr@azurepower.com, www.azurepower.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Azure Power,  Solar,  


Nodal Launching Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Futures (Ind. Report)
Nodal Exchange
Date: 2019-12-20
Nodal Exchange and IncubEx are reporting they will launch the first physically delivered California Low- Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) futures contract on January 24, 2020, pending regulatory review.

The new contract provides a trading and hedging instrument for commercial firms in the transportation fuels space participating in California's LCFS program. It is complemented by an LCFS options contract, also listing on January 24.

The new LCFS futures and options contracts allow firms to hedge their forward production and meet compliance obligations utilizing physical delivery of credits via the LCFS Reporting Tool and Credit Bank & Transfer System (LRT-CBTS) at expiration of the futures contract.

California's LCFS program aims to increase the use of biofuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. By offering credits for cleaner fuels, the state is diversifying the fuel pool and reducing petroleum dependency through a market-based mechanism. (Source: Nodal Exchange, PR, Yahoo Finance, 19 Dec., 2019) Contact: Nodal Exchange, Paul Cusenza, Chairman and CEO, Nicole Ricard, Public Relations, (703) 962-9816, ricard@nodalexchange.com , www.nodalexchange.com; IncubEx , (312) 464-9801 (Chicago) , www.theincubex.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Low Carbon Fuel,  Alternative Fuel,  Biofuel,  


Madrid Climate Talks failed! What Now? asks Amnesty International (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
COP25,Amnesty International
Date: 2019-12-20
" 'What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? NOW!!!' If you have been to just one climate march in your life, you will have certainly heard this slogan. It has become omnipresent whenever people are expressing concerns over the climate crisis. Behind this simple chant, there are deep demands rooted in human rights principles. There is the call for fast climate action by government and corporations, to avoid even more catastrophic human rights impacts than what we are seeing now. There is the appeal to wealthier industrialized states which have contributed the most to the climate crisis to step up and pay up in order to redress some of the injustices accentuated by climate change. There is the reminder that climate action needs to have people's participation and human rights, including Indigenous peoples' rights, at its centre. At all costs it needs to avoid human rights violations and contribute to making society a more equal, just and inclusive place for all.

"Yet human rights considerations still play a marginal role in climate negotiations. The outcomes of the Madrid climate talks (COP25) are just another proof of it. Following a year of school climate strikes and mass mobilization in many countries of the world, states were expected to act in line with the urgency proved by scientists and increasingly felt by people. Instead, most wealthier countries and other high emitting countries remained stuck in selfish and short-sighted considerations which prevented real progress.

"While the final COP25 decision recognized the urgency of enhancing climate action, it failed to set a clear obligation for states to come up with ambitious national climate plans in 2020 capable of keeping the global average temperature rise below 1.5 degrees C. This shows a complete disregard for the human rights of people who will be most affected by spiking climate impacts. For millions of people around the world, the formulation and, above all, the implementation of strong climate plans simply means a difference between life and death.

"Wealthy countries are responsible for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions and have for years profited from them, while people in poorest countries are suffering most of the damages inflicted by the climate crisis. In Madrid, they had the opportunity to recognize this historic imbalance and accept their duty to pay for the devastation already wreaked by climate impacts such as cyclones, droughts and sea-level rise. Instead, they opposed the mobilization of new and additional resources to support affected people. This in practice means turning their back to the almost 4 million people who have lost their homes, livelihoods or access to public services in the two cyclones in Mozambique earlier this year, or to residents of Pacific islands in urgent need of relocation due to sea-level rise.

"Similarly, states were once again unable to reach an agreement on mechanisms allowing countries to trade emission reductions. Countries like Australia, Brazil and China continued to push for loopholes which would have ultimately resulted in weakening the effects of climate mitigation measures, in violation of the rights of those who stand most at risk from climate impacts.

"Also, worryingly, there was insufficient willingness from states to include explicit reference to human rights safeguards in carbon trading rules. Such guarantees are necessary to ensure that negative human rights impacts can be assessed and addressed prior to adopting climate mitigation projects and that people directly impacted by carbon market projects have a say in shaping such measures. This is a very strong demand from Indigenous peoples, as they too often have paid the price of ill-conceived climate projects, such as hydroelectric dams or biogas initiatives initiated without their free, prior and informed consent and resulting in forced evictions, water contamination, or permanent damage to their cultural rights.

"What came out of this last round of climate negotiations paints a grim picture. It was certainly a source of frustration at COP25, prompting civil society observers to take a massive direct action inside the negotiation venue on 11 December. This move was met with an unprecedented decision by UN security officers to expel more than 300 observers for the day.

"In 2020 we need to step up our game. We need to forge strong coalitions at national level to demand ambitious and human rights-compliant climate action that achieves a just transition away from fossil fuels. We need to mobilize like never before. The world's most important struggle needs the world's most powerful, diverse and united people's mass movement ever assembled. As the year ends, we can all start 2020 by making our new or renewed commitment to climate justice our New Year's resolution." (Source: Amnesty International, 17 Dec., 2019) Contact: Amnesty International, www.amnesty.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News COP25,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  


Cowboy State Dead Last in Energy Efficiency Ranking (Ind. Report)
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
Date: 2019-12-20
According to a 2019 study by the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Wyoming ranked 51st -- dead last -- in the ACEEE's state-by-state energy efficiency scorecard.

The scorecard ranks states on 33 metrics in six policy areas including utilities, transportation, building policies, state government-led initiatives, and appliance standards. (Source: ACEEE, Laramie Live, 19 Dec., 2019) Contact: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Steven Nadel, Exec. Dir., (202) 507-4000, (202) 429-2248 - fax, www.aceee.org

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


Gulf Pacific Power Takes 89 pct Stake in Wind Portfolio (M&A)
Gulf Pacific Power
Date: 2019-12-18
Alabama-headquartered Harbert Management Corporation (HMC) reports Gulf Pacific Power, LLC (GPP) has acquired an 80 pct stake in Enel Green Power North America Inc. (EGPNA) Renewable Energy Holdings' 812 MW portfolio of five operating wind projects in the U.S. and Canada.

GPP formed Gulf Plains Wind, LLC to acquire the interest in REP from GE Energy Financial Services and from (EGPNA) which has retained a 20 pct stake in REP and will continue to operate the Portfolio. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Portfolio includes the 235 MW Chisholm View facility in Grant and Garfield Counties, Oklahoma; the 200 MW Prairie Rose facility in Rock and Pipestone Counties, Minnesota; the 200 MW Goodwell facility in Texas County, Oklahoma; the 150 MW Origin facility in Murray and Carter Counties, Oklahoma; and the 27 MW St. Lawrence facility in Newfoundland, Canada, all of which have term PPAs in place.

Hogan Lovells acted as legal counsel and CohnReznick Capital acted as financial advisor to GPP on the transaction. (Source: Harbert Management Corporation, PR, 18 Dec., 2019) Contact: HMC, (205) 987-5500, ir@harbert.net, www.harbert.net; Gulf Pacific Power, https://privatefunddata.com/private-funds/gulf-pacific-power-llc

More Low-Carbon Energy News Gulf Pacific Power,  Wind,  


The European Green Deal -- Full Document Attached (Int'l.)
The European Green Deal
Date: 2019-12-16
The European Union's The European Green Deal resets the European Commission's (EC) commitment to tackling the challenges of a warming atmosphere and global climate change.

The European Green Deal is a new growth strategy that aims to transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use.

It also aims to protect, conserve and enhance the EU's natural capital, and protect the health and well-being of citizens from environment-related risks and impacts. At the same time, this transition must be just and inclusive. It must put people first, and pay attention to the regions, industries and workers who will face the greatest challenges. Since it will bring substantial change, active public participation and confidence in the transition is paramount if policies are to work and be accepted. A new pact is needed to bring together citizens in all their diversity, with national, regional, local authorities, civil society and industry working closely with the EU's institutions and consultative bodies.

This Communication presents an initial roadmap of the key policies and measures needed to achieve the European Green Deal.

Download the full The European Green Deal HERE. (Source: The European Commission, 11 Dec., 2019) Contact: European Commission, www.ec.europa.eu

More Low-Carbon Energy News The European Green Deal,  Climate Change,  COP25,  


Disappointed COP25 Participant Quotes (Opinions and Asides)
COP25
Date: 2019-12-16
"Never have I seen such a disconnect between what the science requires and what the climate negotiations are delivering in terms of meaningful action. Most of the world's biggest emitting countries are missing in action and resisting calls to raise their ambition." -- Alden Meyer, Union of Concerned Scientists, Director of Strategy and Policy

"The US has not come here in good faith. They continue to block the world's efforts to help people whose lives have been turned upside down by climate change."

"Developing countries came to this climate conference with the expectation that the people who have lost their crops to drought, or who have lost their homes to cyclones, will finally get help from the UN system. Instead, they have faced bullying, arm-twisting and blackmail. Rich countries most responsible for the crisis have refused to provide a single penny of new money to support communities to recover from the devastation caused by increasingly frequent and severe climate disasters." -- Harjeet Singh, ActionAid Climate Lead

"Major players who needed to deliver in Madrid did not live up to expectations. But thanks to a progressive alliance of small island states, European, African and Latin American countries, we obtained the best possible outcome, against the will of big polluters." -- Laurence Tubiana, European Climate Foundation, CEO, France's Top Climate Negotiator and Architect of the Paris Agreement.

"The only thing more disastrous than the state of UN climate negotiations at COP 25 is the state of the global climate. This is nothing less than a breakdown in the Paris Agreement. This is not climate leadership, this is a betrayal of humanity and future generations," -- Eric Holthaus, Meteorologist

"What's happening today at COP 25 is a clear and present threat to civilization itself. The Trump administration and its fossil fuel allies around the world have sabotaged the Paris Agreement -- the only global treaty we have to fight climate change. This is a betrayal of humanity.

"For so many people gripped by devastating floods, fires, and storms, time is up. And instead of helping them, rich countries hold on to your dollars and hold up loss and damage. Public mobilizations are swamping the streets. The status quo you are working so stubbornly to protect is not working for people or the planet." -- Catherine Abreu, Climate Action Network Canada

(Source: COP25 Wrap-Up, Various Media, 15 Dec. 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News COP25,  Climate Change,  


Portland 10th on U.S. Sustainable Cities List (Ind. Report)
ACEEE
Date: 2019-12-16
A recent CommercialCafe study ranking the top 50 U.S. cities on CO2 emissions reductions, air quality improvements, improvements in air quality, the number of US GReen Building Council LEED certifications, growth in environmentally focused occupations, ratings given by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and other related factors has rated top ten 10 U.S. cities making the most progress toward sustainability. According to the study , Washington, D.C. leads followed by New York City, Denver, Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, Baltimore, Atlanta and Portland, Oregon, in that order. (Source: CommercialCafe, KATU News, 14 Dec., 2019) Contact: CommercialCafe, www.commercialcafe.com

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


EGLE Offers Alt. Fuel Vehicle, Engine Grants (Ind. Report)
Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy
Date: 2019-12-13
In Lansing, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) is reporting the availability of a total of $450,000 for clean diesel and alternative fuel engine and equipment replacement projects under the 2020-21 Michigan Clean Diesel Program RFPa competitive grant request for proposal (RFP).

The 2020-21 Michigan Clean Diesel Program RFP targets efforts to replace old diesel equipment, vehicles, and engines with new alternative fuel or hybrid versions. Applicants can be cities, townships and villages; county government agencies; public school districts; private schools; public transit agencies; port authorities; metropolitan planning organizations; nonprofit organizations; or private businesses. (Source: Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy , PR, 11 Dec., 2019) Contact: Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, 800-662-9278, www.michigan.gov › egle

More Low-Carbon Energy News Alternative Fuel,  


Eversource Utility Aims for 2030 Carbon-Neutrality (Ind. Report)
Eversource
Date: 2019-12-13
New England's largest investor-owned utility, Eversource Energy reports it plans to reduce carbon emission and become carbon-neutral across all departments and operations by 2030.

To that end, Eversource will reduceenergy use by improving the efficiency of its 69 facilities and reducing fleet emissions of its 5,200 vehicles, continue to enhance the electric transmission and distribution system to reduce line losses, reduce sulfur hexafluoride (a potent ghg) in gas-insulated electric switchgear, and replace remaining bare steel and cast-iron natural-gas distribution main lines to improve safety and help prevent methane leaks.

Eversource previously reduced its carbon emissions through a 2018 divestiture of all its remaining fossil-generation facilities. (Source: Eversource: BusinessWest, 11 Dec., 2019) Contact: Eversource, Jim Judge, CEO, Lee Olivier, EVP of Strategy and Business, www.eversource.com

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


Philly Announces Building Energy Performance Program (Ind. Report)
Philadelphia
Date: 2019-12-13
In the city of Brotherly Love, following on its Philadelphia Building Energy Benchmarking , 2019 Report, the city of Philadelphia has enacted legislation creating a Building Energy Performance Program that will impact about 2,000 buildings .

The program requires non-residential buildings of 50,000 square feet or larger to undergo a high-energy performance inspection, submit a certification to the Office of Sustainability and conduct recommended improvements and upgrades. Non compliant building owners could face a fine of $2,000 or more.

Download the Philadelphia Building Energy Benchmarking , 2019 Report HERE. (Source: City of Philadelphia, Dec., 2019) Contact: City of Philadelphia Building Codes, www.phila.gov › codesandregulations › Pages › codes

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


Sutdy Examines Farming as CO2 Absorber (Ind. Report)
University of Virginia
Date: 2019-12-11
A recently released study from the University of Virginia notes that farming, agriculture and other land practices presently contribute around 11 gigatons to CO2 emissions per year -- roughly one quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. However, the study argues that the land could actually be converted into an absorber of carbon, given the right conditions.

Among the measures recommended by the study were richer countries transitioning to plant-based diets and reducing food waste, while aiding poorer nations to curb deforestation and restore degraded land. If a concerted global effort was made, land could be absorbing three gigatons of carbon by 2050, turning one of our biggest liabilities into a helping hand in the fight against climate change. The study also recommends:

  • 95 pct reduction in deforestation and land degradation by 2050. This would include more robust conservation policies in developing tropical countries, as well as the conversion of coastal wetlands into protected areas and the prohibition of peatland burning.

  • 25 pct reduction in agricultural emissions by 2050. This would include introducing synthetic or organic fertilizers, enhancing the water-agriculture interface in places where rice cultivation is a primary industry and managing emissions from fermentation and manure.

  • 50 pct adoption of plant-based diets by 2050. This would involve encouraging a healthier diet through consumer campaigns and governmental policies, as well as the development of new foodstuffs to entice unconvinced consumers.

  • 50 pct reduction of current level of food waste by 2050. This would involve tightening up gaps in the supply chain, improving consumer awareness through advertising campaigns and enhancing refrigeration and distribution capabilities in the developing world.

  • Restoration of forests, coastal wetlands and drained peatlands. This would involve financing ecosystem services, improving in local and national conservation policies and investing in restoration practices.

  • Improving forestry and agroforestry management. This would include optimising current forestation conservation process and integrating agroforestry into lands currently used for agriculture and grazing.

  • Enhancing soil carbon sequestration capabilities. This would include controlling soil erosion, reducing tillage of the land and restoring degraded soils, as well as the application of biochar where appropriate.

  • Deploying bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) in developed countries. This would involve investing into the research and development of BECCS technologies and deploying them in relevant sites. (Source: University of Virginia, Environmental Technology, 1 Dec., 2019) Contact: University of Virginia, Stephanie Roe, Environmental Researcher, Report Lead Author, 434-924-7761, www.evsc.as.virginia.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon,  Carbon Storage,  


  • Biorenewable Deployment Consortium IDs Biobased Renewables Trends (Ind. Report)
    Biorenewable Deployment Consortium
    Date: 2019-12-11
    In Richmond, Virginia, the Biorenewable Deployment Consortium (BDC), which tracks global developments in the biobased Industries, reports it has identified the following key trends that have emerged over the last decade:

    1. The development of biobased products will vary widely by region on a worldwide basis, and national policy will continue to be a driver of emerging industries,

    2. Conversion of waste streams to value added products is a trend that will continue,

    3. The US will continue to be a leader in the use of biofuels, on a percentage basis,

    4. The relatively recent communication of the environmental impact of spent plastic has caused a public awareness that now pushes the development of sustainable replacements,

    5. The use and value of lignin will emerge this decade.

    For additional detail, please request full text from ehorn@biorenewabledc.org at the Biorenewable Deployment Consortium.

    Since 2006 , BDC has become a highly respected 501(c)(3) organization and has worked to bring together like-minded companies to share ideas and partner to deploy bio-processes that can be economic in the long run without government subsidy, by investigating new processes, being a resource, brokering partnerships, and holding two forums a year for its members, where leading edge information from various bio-companies is shared and tours are made of bio-facilities. BDC recognizes the need for low cost feedstock, cost effective measures such as integration of processes, high value products, and good management to achieve the economics needed for success. (Source: Biorenewable Deployment Consortium, PR, 9 Dec., 2019) Contact: Biorenewable Deployment Consortium , Eric Horn, Exec. Dir., ehorn@biorenewabledc.org, www.biorenewabledc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biorenewable Deployment Consortium ,  


    "Being a vain person, that's really important to me."-- Notable Quote from Pres. "The Donald" Trump
    Trump
    Date: 2019-12-11
    "It (standard light bulb) gives you an orange look, I don't want an orange look. Being a vain person, that's really important to me." -- Trump commenting on his administration's move to kill Obama administration's light bulb energy efficiency standards.

    The President was equally candid in his comments on new automobile quality, emissions and efficiency; "Frankly they don't work very well (because of standards which California put in place). Right now the cars are made out of papier-mache, and ours are actually, we allow steel content." -- the President stumbled.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  Light Bulb Efficiency,  


    Packard Foundation Warns Put a Brake on Bioenergy by 2050 to Avoid Negative Climate Impacts (Ind. Report)
    Packard Foundation
    Date: 2019-12-09
    According to the newly released Global Change Biology study from the Los Altos, California-based David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the burgeoning bioenergy sector must peak and decline in the next 30 years to alleviate extreme pressure on land. The study researchers assert that projections envisioning the use of biomass from crops, trees or grasses for fuel through 2100 overlook the technology's high carbon footprint and excessive land use.

    An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released last year found that many scenarios capable of reducing the threat of climate change relied heavily on bioenergy, predicting that energy from biomass could make up 26 pct of primary energy in 2050 -- up from 10 pct in 2020 -- and predicting that solar and wind combined would likely only account for 22 pct. Those scenarios often relied on significant use of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), which involves growing trees across a large area of land to produce wood pellets burned for energy, then capturing and sequestering the carbon emissions. In its analysis, though, the IPCC found significant challenges associated with a high reliance on bioenergy, noting in particular that the vast areas of land required to produce biomass for energy would compete with food production and other human needs.

    The Global Change Biology assessment examine a flurry of recent reports that suggest even more problems with large-scale bioenergy projects reliant on large tracts of land, and also show that more cost-effective alternatives will be available in the coming decades. Pulling from these recent studies, the authors establish three reasons why large-scale bioenergy must and can peak and decline in the next 30 years:

  • Large-scale bioenergy emits carbon. Carbon emissions from bioenergy can be greater in the near-term than emissions from the fossil fuels it is replacing, undermining the assumption that bioenergy is always a relatively low-emission and low-cost form of energy. Burning wood pellets, for example, creates a "double climate problem." Manufacturing and shipping wood pellets entails substantial emissions of fossil CO2, and it can take decades or centuries for harvested areas to return to pre-harvest carbon stocks.

  • Large-scale bioenergy puts a squeeze on land. Land is already a scarce resource, and it will become even scarcer with time due to an increase in the human population and a rise in the appreciation of the conservation value of natural and mostly-natural ecosystems--even if agricultural yields continue to increase. Because land is so limited, we should use it as efficiently as possible for energy production. In contrast to land-intensive bioenergy, the amount of electricity that can be produced from a hectare of land using photovoltaics is at least 50-100 times that from biomass.

  • Large-scale bioenergy is inferior to other solutions. And, by mid-century, land-intensive bioenergy will face fierce competition from superior technologies such as wind and solar energy, the development of efficient storage and other flexibility solutions, and the advent of more effective carbon removal technologies such as direct air capture with carbon storage.

    The assessment comes at a time when the bioenergy industry is ramping up worldwide, with the EU in the lead. Bioenergy currently accounts for 10 pct of the world's energy, and 50 pct of our renewable energy. In the EU, bioenergy accounts for two-thirds of all renewable energy (nearly half from wood). Two-thirds of the EU's "20 pct Renewable Energy by 2020" target depends on bioenergy. And the bloc is also about to greenlight the conversion of five large coal plants to bioenergy plants that burn imported wood pellets from overseas forests.

    Land-intensive electrical power projects in particular are picking up steam as governments and industry leaders seek to transform disused coal factories into new profit centers. Between 2006 and 2015, the production of wood pellets for biomass energy use quadrupled to 26 million tons. Worldwide, demand for globally traded wood pellets destined for use in phased-out coal plants or new dedicated bioenergy plants is expected to rise 250 pct by 2027.

    The study lays out a bioenergy trajectory that policymakers can use to encourage sustainable bioenergy while also opening the door for new technologies to replace land-intensive bioenergy in the very near future. These recommendations include improved accounting of the actual carbon emissions associated with the use of biomass, favoring biomass from waste, residues or land management practices that enhance carbon storage, and providing incentives for energy storage, direct air capture technologies, and low-carbon alternatives to fossil fuels. Above all, the authors argue that bioenergy projects should be avoided if they involve natural forests, such as converting natural forests to bioenergy plantations, or use land best suited for food crops. And the authors caution that claims that bioenergy projects are a zero-carbon form of energy should be met with skepticism.

    The Packard Foundation through 2020, will have awarded nearly $1 billion in grants to reduce carbon emissions, one of the its greatest program commitments in its 55-year history. (Source: David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Dec., 2019) Contact: David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Walt Reid, Director Conservation and Science Program, Report Author, 650-948-7658, www.packard.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioenergy,  CO2,  CCS,  Biofuels,  Carbon Emissions,  


  • Cincinnati Energy Alliance Claims Record PACE Financing (Ind. Report)
    Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance
    Date: 2019-12-09
    In the Buckeye State, the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance (GCEA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is reporting a record-breaking year in Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing transactions. In 2019, GCEA closed 24 PACE loans valued at nearly $27 million, more than doubling their 2018 total.

    GCEA is a nonprofit organization with a mission to facilitate investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects to reduce carbon emissions. ( Source: Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance, Dec., 2019) Contact: Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance, (513) 621-4232, www.greatercea.org; PACE, info@pacenow.org, www.pacenow.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enertgy Efficiency,  PACE,  PACE Financing,  


    Buffalo Stampeding to C-PACE Financing Program (Ind. Report)
    PACE,C-PACE,City of Buffalo
    Date: 2019-12-09
    In the Empire State, the city of Buffalo Common Council's legislative committee has recommended the city participate the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing program. The program provides private capital to commercial and nonprofit building owners for renewable energy and energy-efficient upgrades.

    The statewide not-for-profit Energy Improvement Corporation (EIC) will act on the city's behalf and will administer the new financing program and provide a list of pre-approved lenders.

    Qualifying commercial properties cannot be owned by an individual or single proprietor and cannot be government-owned property. Eligible property owners may be corporations -- both for-profit and not-for-profit -- limited liability companies, partnerships and real estate investment trusts and must be current in mortgage payments and property taxes. (Source: Buffalo Common Council, Buffalo News, 7 Dec., 2019) Contact: Buffalo Common Council, www.buffalony.gov › Common-Council; C-PACE, (877) 325-1882, www.copace.com

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


    ACENY Promotes Case for Carbon Pricing at the NYISO Ind Report)
    Alliance for Clean Energy New York
    Date: 2019-12-09
    Reporting from Albany, the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACENY) has released The Case for Carbon Pricing at the NYISO, a new paper laying out the arguments for New York to integrate the cost of carbon pollution into the State's wholesale electricity market. ACENY is hoping the State will align the markets with New York's ambitious renewable energy goals.

    The Case for Carbon Pricing at the NYISO, puts forth clear arguments in favor of Carbon Pricing:

  • Carbon Pricing will set an example for the Nation of how carbon policy can align with markets;
  • It will complement NY's new climate law and make it more likely that NY's ambitious goals will be met;
  • Lower the costs that would otherwise be paid by state agencies in achieving the Empire State's goals, lower the costs the State needs to invest in transmission, and lower the overall costs of achieving the climate law's mandates; and
  • Be able to be implemented quickly and cost-effectively, with little to no consumer impact, if it has NYS support.

    ACENY is a broad coalition dedicated to promoting clean energy, energy efficiency, a healthy environment, and a strong economy for the Empire State, and is New York's premier advocate for the rapid adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. (Source: ACENY, Dec., 2019) Contact: ACENY, Anne Reynolds, Executive Director, 518.432.1405 x222 (o), 518.248.4556 (m), areynolds@aceny.org, www.aceny.org; NYISO, www.nyiso.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Alliance for Clean Energ,  NYISOy New York,  Carbon Price,  Carbon Tax,  


  • IBM Climate Change Policy Supports Early Climate Action and Carbon Tax (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    IBM
    Date: 2019-12-06
    "IBM has stated for more than a decade that climate change is a serious concern that warrants meaningful action on a global basis. Notwithstanding many important efforts, this remains the case today. The Earth's climate is warmer now than it was before the onset of the modern industrial era, and the increased temperature presents significant adverse risks which cannot be ignored. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide fuel this warming. According to scientists, the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere is now greater than it has been for the last several hundred thousand years. Compounding this circumstance is the fact that carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for quite a long time after having been emitted.

    "Some may debate how this happened, but that doesn't change the need to address it. Although our collective use of fossil fuels for energy has enabled remarkable economic development, the use of fossil fuels has also resulted in substantial emissions of carbon dioxide, and the cost of these emissions has not been reflected in the price of energy. As a matter of policy, this should change.

    "IBM is no newcomer to the realm of climate change. In 2017, we reaffirmed our support for the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global warming to below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels. Our commitment to the Paris Agreement builds on a long history of leadership in this space. In 1992 IBM helped the U.S. EPA launch the ENERGY STAR program. In 1994 we began to voluntarily disclose carbon dioxide emissions associated with IBM's consumption of energy and have done so annually now for 26 years. And in 2015, IBM was one of the first signatories to the American Business Act on Climate Pledge to demonstrate our support for the Paris Agreement.

    "Performance is a key measure of commitment. IBM has reduced the carbon dioxide emissions associated with our consumption of energy by 32 pct since 2005. We are on track to achieve our goal of a 40 pct reduction by 2025, a rate consistent with what scientists say is needed to limit warming to between 1.5 and 2.0 degrees C. Energy conservation has been -- and remains -- a key ingredient for this. IBM continues to rigorously conserve energy equal to at least 3 pct of its annual consumption, something we have done for decades. Reducing consumption, when possible, is preferable to purchasing offsets.

    "Responsible companies should also make transparent commitments regarding their consumption of renewable energy. Today, 38 pct of the global electricity IBM consumes comes from renewable sources, and we aim to increase this to 55 pct by 2025. Importantly, IBM does not rely upon the purchase of unbundled Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to offset its consumption of electricity from fossil fuels and thereby claim the company is a certain 'percent renewable.' Transparency matters in the transition away from carbon-based fuels, which is why our reporting about the use of renewables reflects our actual physical and matched consumption of renewable electricity.

    "Climate change is real, and that is why IBM supports a responsible plan to tax carbon emissions. It is also why IBM supports the Paris Agreement and is on track as a company to reduce emissions associated with our consumption of energy consistent with what scientists say is needed. And it is why we are making transparent our own use of renewable energy and aiming to increase that use substantially.

    "The enormity of the challenge requires more than business as usual. Putting a price on carbon emissions requires a plan in which economies will keep growing, but in a way that addresses the risks of a changing climate. We believe the Climate Leadership Council plan is the best way to secure agreement for action, and IBM will work to build support for it with elected officials, corporate colleagues, and our fellow citizens." (Source: IBM-The Weather Company (an IBM company), 2 Dec., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News IBM,  Carbon Tax,  Climate Change,  


    Eni JV to Investigate Castor as Biofuel Feedstock (Int'l Report)
    Eni
    Date: 2019-12-06
    Italian energy giant Eni S.p.A. is reporting a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tunisia's Societe National de Distribution des Petroles (SNDP) to create a joint venture company for the cultivation of castor as a sustainable biofuels feedstock to replace palm oil. Castor is native to Tunisia.

    Eni S.p.A. is an Italian multinational oil and gas company headquartered in Rome with operations in 79 countries, and is currently world's 11th largest industrial company with a market capitalization of €68 billion euros, as of August 14, 2013, according to Wikipedia. (Source: Eni, Biofuels Int'l, Dec., 2019) Contact: SNDP, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entreprise_Tunisienne_d%27Activites_Petroliere; Eni, www.eni.com/en_IT/home.page

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Eni,  Biofuel,  Castor,  Palm Oil,  


    Diamond Green Diesel Seeks Ren. Diesel Pathways Cert. (Ind. Report)
    Diamond Green Diesel
    Date: 2019-12-06
    Diamond Green Diesel -- a JV formed between a subsidiary of Valero and Irving, Texas-based low-carbon feedstock supplier Darling Ingredients Inc. -- reports it has filed an application with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) seeking carbon intensity (CI) certification for the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) of renewable diesel (RD) pathways from distillers corn oil; rendered animal fat; and used cooking oil (UCO) at the Diamond Green Diesel LLC facility in Norco, Louisiana.

    The Norco plant uses the UOP Ecofining Process to produce renewable diesel. The process hydrogenates triglycerides and free fatty acid feedstocks which are then isomerized to create a high-quality hydrocarbon fuel (RD). In addition to RD, the process produces a liquid petroleum gas vapor stream (LPG vapor); a liquid petroleum liquid stream (naphtha LPG); and a purge gas stream. All of the co-product streams go to the adjacent Valero oil refinery to be separated into fuel gas, propane, and naphtha through a distillation process. For the purposes of the CI certification, displacement credit was given to the fuel gas used as fuel gas for hydrogen production at the Valero refinery.

    Producing 275 million gpy of Honeywell Green Diesel™, Diamond Green Diesel is the largest commercial advanced biofuel facility in the US. (Source: Diamond Green Diesel,Green Car Congress, 5 Dec., 2019) Contact: Diamond Green Diesel, sales@diamondgreendiesel.com, www.diamondgreendiesel.com; Valero Renewable Fuels, Joe Gorder, Pres., (800) 324-8464, www.valero.com; Darling Ingedients, Melissa A. Gaither, VP IR , (972) 281-4478, mgaither@darlingii.com, www.darlingii.com; Honeywell UOP, Bryan Glover, VP Petrochemicals & Refining Technologies, www,uop.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Diamond Green Diesel,  


    Florida Energy Efficiency Conservation Act Endangered (Reg. & Leg.)
    Florida Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2019-12-06
    Reporting from Tallahassee, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nicole Fried has announced a newly created council to address climate and energy is considering changes to, or replacement of, the Sunshine State's 30-year old Florida Energy Efficiency Conservation Act (FEECA).

    . Under FEECA, the state Public Service Commission (PSC) is mandated to set energy conservation and efficiency goals for utilities every five years. The utilities are in turn required to offer energy conservation and efficiency goals and incentives -- LED light bulbs, attic insulation, water heater wraps and others -- to utility customers and add the cost of the programs to customers' power bills. The PSC previously rejected a call from the state's utilities to eliminate the FEECA program completely.

    FEECA uses the rate impact measure (RIM) to measure the impact and effectiveness of energy conservation programs on customers based on costs, not on the net savings produced by lowering energy consumption. (Source: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Miami-Herald, Contact: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, 800-435-7352, www.fdacs.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency news,  


    Wa. Post Comments on China, COP25 (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    COP25
    Date: 2019-12-04
    "China is already the world's carbon-emitting leader, emitting nearly twice the levels of America in second place, and it is building up its lead. And in 2019, China's only significant climate change accomplishment was its slaughter of 100 million methane-producing pigs. But of course, that wasn't about climate change; it was about restraining a swine flu outbreak.

    "And things are set to get worse as China opens dozens of new coal-fired power plants. China's carbon output is heading even higher in 2020, even as America's is projected to decline. This speaks to something: Chinese President Xi Jinping is lying when he says he takes climate change seriously. His dirty coal plants and opposition to European carbon tariffs, evidence Xi's global economic and political ambitions come first.

    "The COP25 community doesn't seem to care. Instead, this week's summit has opened with a range of thinly veiled jabs at the United States. This, even though America is leading the world in reducing its carbon emissions.

    "Why the choice to attack America and ignore China? Because most nations prefer pomp to practicality on this issue. They know they can attack America but keep trading with America. But it's not so simple when it comes to China. These nations know that China views trade through the distinct prism of Xi's mercantilist worldview. And led by President Emmanuel Macron of France, the European Union is keen to keep Beijing happy in order to maintain Chinese investment and trade deals. The contrast here between European leaders' rhetoric and activists' demands is striking.

    "But it doesn't change the exigent truth. Until COP25 puts China front and center in its carbon reduction sights, these summits will continue to produce nothing but hot air." (Source: Washington Post, 3 Dec., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP25,  Climate Change,  


    PORTHOS Announces Rotterdam CCS Agreement (Int'l. Report)
    Air Liquide, Air Products, ExxonMobil , Shell
    Date: 2019-12-04
    In the Netherlands, the Port of Rotterdam CO2 Transport Hub and Offshore Storage Project (PORTHOS) is reporting a non-binding agreement with Air Liquide, Air Products, ExxonMobil and Shell to collectively work on preparations for the capture, transport and storage of carbon dioxide in Rotterdam for eventual storage in empty gas fields beneath the North Sea.

    The carbon capture will take place at Air Liquide, Air Products, ExxonMobil and Shell refineries and hydrogen production facilities in Rotterdam. The transport and storage of the CO2 beneath the North Sea will be prepared by Porthos.

    The Netherlands has clear climate objectives: the emission of greenhouse gases must be reduced by 49 pct by 2030 and by 95 pct by 2050 compared with 1990. One way to achieve the climate objectives is to capture CO2 for use or for storage underground (CCUS). The national coalition agreement and the national Climate Agreement underline the importance of CCUS for the energy transition. (Source: PORTHOS, Gas World, Dec., 2019) Contact: PORTHOS, +31 6 2246 6553, info@rotterdamccus.nl. www.rotterdamccus.nl/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Air Liquide,  Air Products,  CCS,  CCUS,  ExxonMobil ,  Shell ,  Carbon Capture,  


    Canadian Real Estate Leaders Call for Public Disclosure of Building Energy & Carbon Data (Ind. Report)
    Canada Green Building Council
    Date: 2019-12-04
    The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has released the results of its Disclosure Challenge, an initiative designed to champion the importance of energy bench-marking and data transparency in the Canadian commercial real estate market. The results have CaGBC and initiative participants, including QuadReal, Triovest Realty Advisors Inc., Concert Properties Ltd., Colliers International, and the Minto Group calling on federal and provincial governments to implement consistent building data disclosure regulations and requirements.

    For Canada to reach its emissions reduction targets and transition to a low-carbon economy over the next decade it is essential that existing buildings achieve significant energy efficiency improvements. One of the barriers to meeting these goals is the current lack of publicly available data on commercial building performance in Canada.

    While energy bench-marking regulations are in effect in Ontario, the Challenge marked the first time Canadian real estate owners have voluntarily disclosed their Canada-wide portfolio data. These five participants publicly disclosed available data for over 11 million square meters of space in buildings spread across the country from Victoria to Halifax including offices, warehouses, residential apartment buildings and retail shops. Insights from the Disclosure Challenge show:

  • In comparison with Natural Research Canada (NRCan) average site energy use intensity values, overall participant office buildings performed approximately 10 pct better than the average office in Canada, whereas participant multi-residential buildings were about even with the average.

  • Average energy use intensity for office and multi-residential buildings in the challenge were 286 kWh/m2 and 256 kWh/m2 respectively. As compared to high-performance efficiency standards for new office and multi-residential buildings in Canada coming into force in different jurisdictions (with a standard of 100 kWh/m2). Disclosure Challenge office buildings were approximately 65 pct less efficient and multi-residential buildings were 61 pct less efficient.

  • GHG Emissions intensity varied across the country and was generally correlated with the electricity supply grid intensity, so office buildings in Alberta were as high as 170 kgCO2e/m2 and apartments in British Columbia were as low as 24 kgCO2e/m2 .

    View the full Canada Green Building Council Disclosure Challenge HERE. (Source: Canada Green Building Council, PR, Dec., 2019) Contact: Canada Green Building Council, Thomas Mueller, Pres. and CEO, (866) 941-1184, info@cagbc.org, www.cagbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Canada Green Building Council,  Energy Benchmark,  Energy Efficiency,  Building Eddiciency,  


  • RenewAire Plant Scores LEED Gold Certification (Ind. Report)
    RenewAire,USGBC
    Date: 2019-12-04
    Waunakee, Wisconsin-based RenewAire reports its 111,000-square-foot, 35 year-old HVAC manufacturing plant has achieved LEED Gold certification in the “Optimize Energy Performance” category in. received 60 out of a possible 110 points for its efforts. Of the 60 points awarded, RenewAire received 14 in the. The ERVs and DOAS processes, which reduce cooling/heating loads and result in smaller chillers and boilers and less refrigerants, earned two points in the refrigerant management category. Other energy performance credits came from LED lighting, which cut lighting costs by 50 pct compared to industrial/office space lighting.

    RenewAire has previously received two Green Globes and a LEED Silver certification for its former headquarters, a 32,000-square-foot Madison-based indoor soccer stadium it retrofitted in 2005 for its manufacturing headquarters. (Source: RenewAire, PR, HVAC, Dec., 2019) Contact: RenewAire, Chuck Gates, CEO, (800) 627-4499, www.renewaire.com; US Green Building Council, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USGBC,  Energy Efficiency,  LEED Certification,  


    Solar Roadways Touts S4R LED Solar Panels (New Prod. & Tech.)
    Solar Roadways
    Date: 2019-12-02
    Sandpoint, Idaho-headquartered Solar Roadways is touting the first installation of its modular S4R solar panels at the Jeff Jones Town Square in Sandpoint. The new roadway surface mounted panels should be available to customers in the first quarter of next year, according to the release.

    The LED equipped, non-skid surface, low-glare 50-watt panels -- Solar Roadways' first commercially available product -- are manufactured from all recycled materials -- under contract in Ohio where the company has a development, contracts and installations team, according to the company. (Source: Solar Roadways, PR, 30 Nov., 2019) Contact: Solar Roadways, Scott and Julie Brusaw, customers@solarroadways.com, www.solarroadways.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar Roadways,  Solar,  


    Stratford, Ont. Considering Organic Waste-to-RNG Plant (Ind. Report)
    Stratford Ontario
    Date: 2019-12-02
    In Ontario, the City of Stratford (pop. 31,500) reports it is considering plans to turn landfill organic waste into renewable natural gas (RNG) at a city water plant in a residential area.

    The project is reportedly being vigorously opposed by city residents due primarily to its residential area location. The city says it is aiming to utilize facilities that are already in place. If approved and constructed, the proposed project would be completed in about a year. (Source: City of Stratford, DDS, 30 Nov., 2019) Contact: City of Startford, 519-271-0250 ext. 315,/www.stratfordcanada.ca › dobusiness › waterandsewage

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


    Great Wolf Lodge New England Expected to Save $1.3 Million With Energy Efficiency Upgrades
    Great Wolf Lodge,Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2019-11-29
    Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor waterpark chain, is expected to save more than $1.3 million in energy costs and realize a 10% reduction in carbon emissions during the first year of its new energy efficiency upgrades.

    Great Wolf Lodge partnered with Dalkia, a building energy solutions provider to develop an end-to-end building energy plan, implementation and support for a range of energy improvements for the the company’s resort in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. The plan included building energy software, LED lighting improvements, water conservation devices, HVAC upgrades, and on-site electricity generation with a combined heat and power (CHP) unit. Once these improvements were in place, Great Wolf Lodge New England immediately began to realize savings on electricity, natural gas, and water bills.

    Similar efficiency projects were initiated at nine other Great Wolf Lodge resorts across the US. Thus far, Dalkia’s efficiency upgrades has saved 11,211,938 kWh of electricity. The energy cost-cutting impacts of Dalkia’s work is projected to provide $1.3 million in savings for Great Wolf Lodge, along with a 10% reduction in carbon intensity of their operations its first year of deployment. (Source: Great Wolf Lodge, Environment Energy Leader,, 25 Nov., 2019] Contact: Great Wolf Resorts, www.greatwolf.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency news,  

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Why including buildings in the EU ETS is not the right tool to deliver energy-efficient homes
    EURIMA
    Date: 2019-11-29
    The European Commission is assessing whether to extend the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) to cover the emissions associated with the heating and cooling of buildings. This paper points out several reasons why this would not be the best approach to deliver a highly energy-efficient and decarbonised building stock by 2050.

    Buildings are the EU’s biggest CO2 emitter. Our homes, offices and buildings are the EU’s biggest CO2emitters, as well as its single largest energy user. Decreasing and decarbonising the energy consumption to heat, cool and use buildings is crucial for the transition to a climate-neutral Europe by 2050 at the latest. Since most of the buildings that we will occupy in 2050 are already built, the main challenge is to renovate these 210 million existing buildings to make them less energy-hungry. At the current rate of renovation, it would take another century to achieve a decarbonised building stock, instead of the targeted30 years. Further inaction risks the EU missing its climate objectives by up to 400 million tonnes of CO21.Around 50 million people still live in energy poverty. Deep renovation of their homes would lower their energy bills and make their houses more comfortable and healthy. Well-insulated buildings moreover offer the flexibility to receive energy when it is available, thereby allowing the effective integration of renewables in the energy system during the entire year

    .Integrating buildings in the EU ETS is complex and time-consuming. Urgent action on buildings is vital to overcome the climate and social crises facing Europe today. Integrating the building sector in the EU ETS is complex and likely to take at least several years. That is time we do not have, and which diverts attention from more effective short-term measures. The EU should instead prioritize a Green Deal for housing to unlock vast investments for building renovations, while creating local jobs and more energy-efficient and affordable housing.

    What is the EU ETS? The EUETS sets a cap on the total amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted by installations from the power, industry and aviation sectors. The cap is reduced over time so that emissions go down. Within the cap, companies receive or buy emission allowances which they can trade with each other, thereby creating a carbon price. The building sector is already covered by a cap on how much greenhouse gases can be emitted as part of the Effort Sharing Regulation; the EU’s other climate legislation targeting sectors not included in the EU ETS.

    Carbon pricing does not deliver more affordable, energy-efficient homes. According to the International Energy Agency2, most of the energy efficiency potential is available at a negative cost. This means that these efficiency measures already pay for themselves, even in the absence of a carbon price. The reasons why these measures, such as energy renovation, are not taken are usually not economic in nature, but rather the result of market-barriers and -imperfections. In the case of the building sector, these barriers include split incentives between those making investments (i.e. home-owners) and those paying energy bills (i.e. tenants), the inability to come up with high upfront costs and a lack of information on renovation opportunities and financing options. Including the building sector in the EU ETS would do nothing to overcome these barriers to make buildings more energy-efficient. Even worse, the introduction of a carbon price for the heating and cooling of buildings could lead to higher energy bills for tenants or homeowners who are not able to, or cannot afford to, renovate their homes.

    Governments should remain responsible for the built environment. Extending the EU ETS to buildings would mean that governments are no longer accountable for introducing measures to decarbonise the building stock under the Effort Sharing legislation. Under the Effort Sharing Regulation, each Member State has annual climate targets that it needs to meet. By integrating buildings in the EU ETS, the sector would be taken out of the Effort Sharing Regulation, putting the responsibility of climate action instead on heating fuel suppliers. The integration of the building sector in the EU ETS could lead to the dismantling or shying away from more effective EU and national energy efficiency legislation, under the pretext that this would undermine the functioning of the carbon market. This would be dangerous as the decarbonisation of the building stock requires dedicated policies beyond a carbon price. It is up to governments to put in place programmes to accelerate renovation, to introduce minimum energy performance standards for buildings and to prioritize measures to alleviate energy poverty. These actions will not happen through the EU ETS, but by policymakers taking ownership of the transition to a climate-neutral built environment.

    Green Deal for housing should be a key priority for Europe. Without urgent and accelerated action to renovate up to 97% of the European building stock by 2050, it will be impossible to meet the EU’s climate objectives. Fortunately, buildings’ operational emissions can be cut by 100%, mostly by using already commercially available solutions such as insulation. Including the building sector in the EU ETS distracts from taking effective measures to overcome the main barriers hampering the renovation of the EU building stock and the alleviation of energy poverty. The EU instead needs to put in place an enabling framework to ensure that the worst energy performing buildings are phased out over time, to guarantee quality homes for people and clear a pathway to climate-neutrality. The European Green Deal presents a perfect opportunity to deliver on comfortable, affordable and energy-efficient housing. This Green Deal can help unlock 130 billion euro per year to fill the investment gap for energy-efficient buildings3. Over 2 million jobs in Europe could be created throughsuch investments in energy efficiency –in particular in the deep renovation of buildings4. (Source:EURIMA - European Insulation Manufacturers Association, Nov., 2019) Contact: EURIMA, Femke de Jong, femke.dejong@eurima.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency news,  Insulation news,  

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Insulation,  


    Greek Parliament Investing €2.6Mn in Energy Efficiency (Int'l.)
    Greek Culture Ministry
    Date: 2019-11-27
    In Athens, the Greek Parliament, through the Culture Ministry, is calling for bids in the neighborhood of €2.8 million improve the energy efficiency of the 1843 vintage parliament building. Upgrades are expected to include: new pipes and air conditioning systems, replacement of a total of 191 windows and doors and the addition of an exterior insulating layer on the roof of the building.

    Upon completion, the upgraded Parliament building is expected to consume at least 30 pct less energy and emit 39 pct less CO2 on an annual basis. The Greek Culture Ministry will supervise the project. (Source: Greek Culture Ministry, TheMayor.eu, Nov., 2019) Contact: Greek Culture Ministry, www.culture.gr

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Newfoundland Lagging in Canadian Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
    Efficiency Canada
    Date: 2019-11-27
    In its just released provincial energy efficiency scorecard, Efficiency Canada, a new Carleton University headquartered think tank in Ottawa, has ranked Newfoundland and Labrador in 10th place for its lack of policies on everything from promoting electric vehicle use to improving efficient construction codes and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. "There's just a general lack of attention in Newfoundland to implementing efficiency policies relative to other jurisdictions" including British Columbia which came in first.

    According to the score card, B.C.'s provincial government is charting progress toward 2032, when all new builds will have to be net-zero energy ready and produce as much clean energy as they consume.

    In an effort to address energy efficiency, and by extension climate change, Newfoundland recently expanded its home energy savings program, doubling in the last budget year to $2 million in grants to low income households for insulation, hat pumps and other energy efficiency upgrades. (Source: Efficiency Canada, CBC, 25 Nov., 2019) Contact: Efficiency Canada, Brendan Haley, Policy Director, info@efficiencycanada.org, www.efficiencycanada.org ; Newfoundland Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment, www.mae.gov.nl.ca

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


    Notable Climate Change Quote from the WMO
    World Meteorological Organization
    Date: 2019-11-27
    "Climate change causes and impacts are increasing rather than slowing down. Sea level rise has accelerated and we are concerned that an abrupt decline in the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets will exacerbate future rise. As we have seen this year with tragic effect in the Bahamas and Mozambique, sea level rise and intense tropical storms led to humanitarian and economic catastrophes." -- Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Co-chair of the United Nations Climate Action Summit. Contact: World Meteorological Organization, www.public.wmo.int/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News World Meteorological Organization,  Climate Change,  ,  


    La Plata Opts for C-PACE Energy Efficiency Financing (Ind. Report)
    C-PACE
    Date: 2019-11-25
    In Colorafdo, the La Plata County Commissioners recently signed a resolution to participate in the C-PACE (commercial property assessed clean energy) program to encourage energy efficiency projects and help commercial building owners source capital providers, install energy efficiency, renewable energy and water efficiency measures with affordable, long-term financing.

    The program benefits building owners by generating an immediate positive cash flow with no up-front, out-of-pocket expense. C-PACE enables a complete upgrade of the building with eligible energy efficiency and renewable energy measures. At no cost to contractors, C-PACE experts will help identify eligible properties, prepare proposals, and develop, optimize, and present projects incorporating C-PACE financing. (Source: Durango Herald, 24 Nov., 2019) Contact: C-PACE, (877) 325-1882, www.copace.com

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


    First C-PACE Financing Closed in Kane County, Ill. (Ind. Report)
    Illinois Energy Conservation Authority
    Date: 2019-11-25
    The Illinois Energy Conservation Authority NFP (IECA) reports the Kane County Energy Efficiency Program (KEEP) closed a commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) $351,136 financing on roof improvements and a solar PV system for a 48,000-square-foot, indoor-outdoor soccer campus facility in Elgin, Illinois. This transaction marks KEEP's first C-PACE financed project. Kane County the first C-PACE program in Illinois.

    The solar PV system will be installed by Naperville-based Bright Life Renewable Energy, LLC. Bright Life initiated the C-PACE application with their client through the IECA, a not-for-profit organization committed to bringing C-PACE program administration to the Chicagoland area. (Source: Illinois Energy Conservation Authority, PR, RE Journals, Nov., 2019) Contact: Illinois Energy Conservation Authority, www.iecapace.org; C-PACE Alliance, Cliff Kellogg (202) 744-1984, ckellogg@c-pacealliance.com, www.c-pacealliance.com

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


    Europe's Largest "Green" Wall Planned for London (Int'l Report)
    Green Wall
    Date: 2019-11-22
    In the UK, plans have been submitted to the City of London to build Citicape House, including a 40,000 square feet exterior "green" wall incorporating more than 400,000 plants -- Europe's largest.

    The "green" wall is projected to capture over 8 tpy ofcarbon, produce 6 tpy of oxygen, lower the local temperature by three to five degrees Celsius, and significantly improve local air quality by trapping approximately 500 kg per year of particulate matter.

    Citicape House, designed by architecture firm Sheppard Robson, will feature a five-star hotel, 40,000 square-feet of workspace, a sky bar, meeting and events space, a spa, a restaurant, and various other spaces. (Source: Shepard Robson Architects, electrek, 20 Nov., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Wall,  Building Energy Efficiency,  


    Notable Quote -- Wind in the Garden State

    Date: 2019-11-22
    "(Wind) There is no other renewable energy resource that provides us with either the electric-generation or economic-growth potential of offshore wind.

    When we reach our goal of 7,500 megawatts, New Jersey's offshore wind infrastructure will generate electricity to power more than 3.2 million homes and meet fifty percent of our state's electric power need." -- NJ Governor Phil Murphy 19 Nov., 2019)

    "If the United States is going to compete and win in the 21st century's global clean energy marketplace, ramping up our nation's wind production is going to be absolutely critical. Offshore wind has an important role to play as an untapped, but potentially massive, emerging market in the U.S. that can drive billions of dollars in economic investment and create tens of thousands of American jobs." -- Gregory Wetstone, Pres. & CEO, American Council on Renewable Energy, CNBC, 19 Nov., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  


    Heliogen Claims Concentrated Solar Breakthrough (New Prod & Tech)
    Heliogen
    Date: 2019-11-20
    Los Angeles, California-based solar energy tech company Heliogen -- fka Edisun -- is reporting development of a way to create concentrated solar energy at temperatures hot enough to replace fossil fuels in industrial processes that contribute significantly to global carbon emissions.

    The company's technology works by using cutting-edge computer vision technology to align a large array of mirrors to reflect sunlight to a precise target. The process creates heat exceeding 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 Fahrenheit), that can replace traditional fuels such as coal, gas and oil in the production of materials such as cement, steel and petrochemicals.

    The company was founded by entrepreneur and inventor Bill Gross with the backing of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy Ventures Fund , AOL founder Steve Case, Los Angeles-based investor and entrepreneur Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong and others. (Source: Heliogen, Geek Wire, 19 Nov., 2019) Contact: Heliogen, Bill Gross, CEO, Fatimah Bello, VP, Business Development 626.585.6900, hello@heliogen.com, www.heliogen.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Concentrated Solar,  Heliogen,  Edisun,  Solar,  


    Energy Efficiency Top Green-Office Priorities (Ind Report)
    Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2019-11-20
    In the UK, a recent survey of over 1,600 office workers has identified eco-friendliness, energy-efficient devices and green technologies are the top priority for environmentally conscious office workers.

    The survey found the most sought after green office features are: energy-efficient utilities and devices; sustainable office stationary, materials and equipment; office challenges and green policies; eco-friendly office design and architectural features; abundant plant-life; chemical-free washing/cleaning products; an in-office sustainability team; energy efficient and eco-friendly utilities and devices; and a workplaces and company that combats climate change. (Source: Savoy Stewart, Coportae News, 18 Nov., 2019) Contact: Savoy Stewart, +44 0 20 7495 3666, info@savoystewart.co.uk, www.savoystewart.co.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Woody Biomass-to-Fuels Studied at Purdue Univ. (R&D Report)
    Purdue University Center for Plant Biology
    Date: 2019-11-18
    In West Lafayette, Indiana, researchers at the Purdue University Center for Plant Biology (C3Bio) report their study of ways to increase production of biofuels from non-food biomass has identified lignin, a complex compound in cell walls, blocks access to plant carbohydrates that could be cleaved into sugars and then fermented into biofuels, as one of several barriers to the efficient conversion of that biomass.

    The study notes researchers have found a way of removing lignin and making useful products from it, as well as getting access to plant carbohydrates for production of biofuels. Even with lignin removed, however, the Purdue team had to find ways to break the tightly connected plant cells apart so that chemical catalysts or yeasts used in the biofuel refining process could do their jobs.

    With all the lignin removed through a nickel-carbon catalysis, the research team treated poplar wood particles with trifluoroacetic acid to loosen the tightly packed crystalline cellulose and its aggregation into large bundles in plant cell walls. The trifluoroacetic acid causes the cellulose to swell, making it easier to access the glucose molecules present in the cell walls for fermentation to ethanol -- or using other chemical catalysts discovered by the C3Bio team, the cellulose and other carbohydrates can be converted to platform chemicals, such as hydroxymethylfurfural and levulinic acid, which are substrates or precursors for liquid hydrocarbon fuels. (Source: Purdue Center for Plant Biology, Plant Biotechnology Journal, AgriNews, 9 Nov., 2019)Contact: Purdue Center for Plant Biology, C3Bio, Prof. Maureen McCann, 765-496-1779, mmccann@purdue.edu, www.purdue.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Lignin,  Woody Biomass,  Purdue University,  


    USGBC Claims Green Building Certification Success (Ind. Report)
    USGBC
    Date: 2019-11-18
    The US Green Building Council (USGBC) reports its LEED ratings system for sustainable building has reached a new milestone with more than 100,000 registered and certified LEED commercial projects with 2.6 million square feet being certified every day. .

    "Today millions of us are living, working and learning in LEED-certified buildings around the world. These spaces are using less energy and water, mitigating the environmental burden on their communities, saving money and offering the people who occupy them a better quality of life. This latest milestone demonstrates how the global green building community is delivering on the vision we set forth more than 20 years ago with better buildings and spaces that equal better lives," said USGBC Pres. Mahesh Ramanujam. (Source: USGBC, 17 Nov., 2019) Contact: US Green Building Council, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USGBC,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Report Claims Most Countries Will Climate Targets (Int'l. Report)
    Paris Climate Agreement
    Date: 2019-11-18
    A new analysis from Changing America claims the climate plans of more than three-quarters of the world's countries are "totally insufficient."

  • To meet the Paris Climate Agreement (COP15)goal of limiting global warming to 2.7 F (1.5 C), countries must cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.

  • Three-quarters of the 184 countries that signed the COP15 Paris Climate Agreement have climate plans that experts deem "totally insufficient" in a new report.

  • The small group of nations the report identifies as having sufficiently ambitious climate change plans includes the 28 EU member countries, Norway, Switzerland and Ukraine.

  • The world is on pace to warm by a catastrophic 5.4-7.2 F (3-4 C) by the end of the century if current trends continue. If the nations fail to cut GHG emissions in half by 2030, damages from climate change-fueled hurricanes, droughts, fires and floods will total an estimated $2 billion a day, the report notes.

    The report also notes Russia, China, the US and India are responsible for half of all carbon emissions. (Source: Changing America, 15 Nov. 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Agreement,  GHGs,  COP15,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  


  • Israel Launches $18Mn Energy Efficiency Plan (Int'l. Report)
    Israel
    Date: 2019-11-18
    In Jerusalem, the Ministries of Economy, Energy and Environmental Protection are reporting the launch of a roughly $18 million (U.S.) plan to streamline energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across 108 industrial plants and local authorities nation wide.

    The plan promotes the replacement of old and inefficient technologies in energy consumption, with new and cost-effective systems including indoor and outdoor lighting systems, air conditioning, heat pumps, compressed air systems, streamlining various manufacturing processes, and more. These projects are expected to bring in annual savings of about 175 million kWh, estimated at $24 million per year. This plan is part of a national strategic program to implement greenhouse gas emission reduction and energy efficiency targets. (Source: Xinhua, 18 Nov., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency news,  Energy Consumption news,  


    U.S. Steel Commits to GHG Emissions Reduction (Ind Report)
    United States Steel Corporation
    Date: 2019-11-15
    Along the banks of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, Pittsburgh-headquartered United States Steel Corp, (US Steel) is reporting plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions intensity across its global footprint by 20 pct, as measured by the rate of CO2 equivalents emitted per ton of finished steel shipped, by 2030 based on 2018 baseline levels.

    The planned reduction will be achieved through various initiatives including: the development of electric arc furnace steel-making at U. S. Steel's Fairfield Works and at Big River Steel, the first LEED-certified steel mill in the nation; the introduction of state-of-the-art endless rolling and casting technology; and construction of a cogeneration facility at its Mon Valley Works; and implementation of ongoing energy efficiency measures, continued use of renewable energy sources and other process improvements. (Source: US Steel, PR 13 Nov., 2019) Contact: US Steel, Kevin Lewis, Inv. Relations, (412) 433-6935, klewis@uss.com, www.uss.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US Steel,  Carbon Emissions,  United States Steel Corporation,  


    Canadian Climate Action Plan Emissions Facts (Ind. Report)
    Climate Transparency’s 2019
    Date: 2019-11-15
    According to Climate Transparency's 2019 report card on Canada's climate plan and Canadian emissions within the G20:
  • Canada's per-capita emissions in 2016 were 18.9 tonnes per person, compared with a G20 average of 7.5 tpp. By way of comparison, the lowest per-capita emissions in the G20 were in India, at 1.9 tonnes, and the highest in Australia, at 21.8 tonnes.

  • Almost one-third of Canada's emissions come from transportation -- the second-highest in the G20 and still rising while they are falling in the G20 as a whole.

  • Buildings produced 13 pct of Canadian emissions, and Canada has no national strategy to reduce emissions from existing buildings. Building emissions in Canada are twice the G20 average, but while the G20 average has gotten slightly worse in the last five years, Canada has cut its emissions from buildings almost 10 pct.

  • Canada is among the three least likely G20 countries to hit its existing 2030 emissions-reductions targets, and are presently less than half of where Canada needs to go.

    Climate Transparency is an open global consortium with a shared mission to stimulate a 'race to the top' in climate action through enhanced transparency. For this purpose, comprehensive, comparable and credible information about government climate action is spread by bringing together the most important actors in assessing and communicating climate action for the benefit of key influencers and decision makers.

    According to its website, he Climate Transparency consortium produces the Brown to Green Report every year, providing a comprehensive overview of how the G20 countries are doing on the transition to a low-carbon economy. The report draws on the latest emissions data and covers over 80 indicators on decarbonisation, climate policies, finance, and vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. Providing country ratings, it identifies leaders and laggards of climate action in the G20. Additionally, a country profile is produced for each of the G20 countries. (Source: New Climate Institute, Nov., 2019) Contact: New Climate Institute, www.newclimate.org

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


  • Ygrene Energy Funds Nearly 1,500 SW Fla PACE Projects (Ind Report)
    Ygrene Energy Fund
    Date: 2019-11-15
    Santa Rosa, California-headquartered Ygrene Energy Fund is reporting completion of 1,480 home upgrades in Charlotte, Collier, and Lee counties Florida. Ygrene helps homeowners secure financing for energy efficiency and storm hardening projects through the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program.

    The projects saw 0.41 mw of solar added to the grid. Combined with other efficiency projects, that's expected to shave 47 million kWh off consumers' utility bills while avoiding 23,000 metric tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere over the lifetime of the upgrades.

    PACE financing allows consumers to repay the cost of the upgrades through assessments on their property tax bill. (Source: Ygrene Energy Fund, Florida Politics, 14 Nov., 2019) Contact: Ygrene Energy Fund, Rocco Fabiano, Pres., CEO, (866) 634-1358, www.ygrene.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ygrene Energy Fund,  PACE,  Energy Efficiency,  

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