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Velocys' Altalto Planning UK Waste-to-Jet Fuel Plant (Int'l Report)
Altalto Immingham,Velocys
Date: 2019-08-23
In the UK, Velocys subsidiary Altalto Immingham Limited reports it is collaborating with British Airways and Shell on the development of a waste-to-jet fuel project at its site in Immingham, North East Lincolnshire.

Velocys is leading the project and is supplying the central processing unit -- micro-Channel Fischer-Tropsch reactors with the proprietary Velocys Actocat catalyst.

The plant would process more than 500,000 tpy of non-recyclable household and commercial solid waste destined for landfill or incineration into more than 60 million llpy (15.85 million gpy) of cleaner-burning sustainable jet and road fuel. Velocys' technology will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 pct for every tonne of sustainable jet fuel that replaces a tonne of conventional fossil fuel.

Subject to planning, funding decisions and regulatory approvals, the plant is expected to break ground in 2021 for full production in 2024. British Airways intends use jet fuel produced at the plant. (Source: Altalto Immingham, Green Car Congress, 22 Aug., 2019) Contact: Altalto, www.altalto.com; Velocys Plc, David Pummell, CEO, +44 1235 841 700, (713) 275-5840 -- Houston Office, info@velocys.com, www.velocys.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Velocys,  Altalto Immingham,  


Russian, S. African Towns Tagged World's Top SO2 Emitters (Int'l.)
NASA, Greenpeace India,Eskom
Date: 2019-08-21
Just issued US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) satellite data has identified the world's anthropogenic sulphur dioxide (SO2) emission "top hot spots -- Russia's Norilsk smelter complex inside the arctic circle and Kriel, a coal town in South Africa's eastern coal mining province. The NASA data was commissioned by Greenpeace India.

Norilsk, 186 miles inside the Arctic Circle, is home to Norilsk Nickel, the world's leading nickel and palladium producer. The company is reportedly implementing a major effort to deal with environmental issues and to slash SO2 emissions by 75 pct from 2015 levels by 2023.

The South African town of Kriel is the site of state-owned power utility Eskom's 2,850 MW Kriel Power Station and two other nearby coal-fired plants, as well a Sasol owned coal-to-liquid plant. Eskom operates a fleet of aging coal-fired plants and is reportedly struggling to meet its emissions targets.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) South Africa is among the world's top 10 coal producers with an estimated 3.5 pct of the world's coal resources. (Source: NASA, Voice of America, 20 Aug., 2019) Contact: Greenpeace India, www.greenpeace.org/india/en; NASA, www.nasa.gov; Eskom, www.eskom.co.za

More Low-Carbon Energy News NASA,  Greenpeace,  SO2,  Eskom,  Coal,  


Many Cities Can't Measure Emissions, says Report (Ind Report)
ACEEE
Date: 2019-08-21
A recent survey of 75 cities The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) survey of 75 U.S cities has concluded that 40 pct of U.S. cities that committed to cutting emissions are unable to assess their programs effectiveness and progress due to the lack of data and the inadequacy of tallies of their emissions. Over 20 pct of the surveyed cities had pledged to cut emissions and were able to measure advances with recently produced evidence, the survey found.

Cities account for two-thirds of the world's energy demand and 70 pct of energy-related emissions, the report said, citing International Energy Agency data.

According to the not-for-profit ACEEE, "City resources are always tight. The lack of data could also be due to emission-cutting goals having only recently been adopted, or to insufficient political will." (Source: ACEEE, VOA. July, 2019) Contact: ACEEE, David Ribeiro, Report Lead Author, Research Manager, www.aceee.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News ACEEE,  Energy Efficiency,  Carbon Emissions,  


Growth Energy CEO Rebuts EPA Zero Demand Destruction Claim (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Growth Energy, RFS, EPA
Date: 2019-08-21
In response to the EPA's recent claim -- "There is zero evidence that EPA's congressionally mandated small refinery exemption program has had any negative impact on domestic corn ethanol producers" -- Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor issued the following statement.

"The latest reports say President Trump 'felt misled' about the EPA's most recent batch of small refinery exemptions. That's hardly a surprise. The EPA spent months trying to paper over the devastating impact these refinery (waiver) handouts have had on farm communities and rural workers in America's biofuel sector. They can't hide the simple fact that dozens of biofuel plants have cut production, and ethanol consumption fell for the first time in 20 years in the wake of these exemptions. Closures in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Florida, Virginia, Texas, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Nebraska are only the beginning.

"Just today, the world's largest ethanol producer closed a major plant in Indiana and cut production across seven states. Hundreds of millions of gallons of production are offline, and hundreds of millions of bushels of grain are falling in value, just as farmers face the worst economic conditions in a generation.

"The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) creates an incentive that opens the market to biofuel blends, including the E15 that President Trump personally embraced. These exemptions destroy that incentive, pure and simple. You cannot carve billions of gallons from America's biofuel targets and still keep this administration's promises to farm families. EPA needs to account for these lost gallons immediately and start repairing the damage before more rural communities lose hope for a comeback."

Growth Energy represents producers and supporters of ethanol working to bring consumers better choices at the fuel pump, grow America's economy and improve the environment. (Source: Growth Energy, 21 Aug., 2019) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, Elizabeth Funderburk, (202) 545-4000, EFunderburk@GrowthEnergy.org, www.growthenergy.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy,  RFS,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  


Lufthansa Launches Sustainable Aviation Fuel Carbon Offsetting Platform (Int'l., Ind. Report)
Lufthansa
Date: 2019-08-21
In Berlin, German airline Lufthansa's Innovation Hub is reporting the launch of its "Compensaid" sustainability platform focused on carbon-neutral sustainable renewable fuels (SAF). The new platform will allow airline passengers to offset their individual carbon footprint by using SAF, reducing up to 80 pct of their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

"Compensaid" combines a global airline flight tracking tool with a sustainability platform that makes it possible to directly offset individual CO2 emissions. The platform offers two options for carbon offsetting -- the option to replace fossil fuel with SAF, which is calculated through a market-based surcharge on flights, or the alternative is to use Compensaid to support a reforestation project in Nicaragua, reducing CO2 emissions in the long-term. (Source: Lufthansa, Biofuels Int'l., 20 Aug., 2019) Contact: Lufthansa Innovation Hub, Gleb Tritus, Dir., https://de.linkedin.com/in/glebtritus, welcome@lh-innovationhub.com; www.lh-innovationhub.com, www.lufthansagroup.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Aviation Biofuel,  Sustainable Fuel,  Jet Biofuel,  Lufthansa,  Carbon Offsetting,  Carbon Offset,  


NEC Announces New England Energy Storage Projects (Ind Report)
NEC Energy Solutions
Date: 2019-08-21
Westborough, Massachusetts-based NEC Energy Solutions reports it is partnering with New England municipalities to install six energy storage systems totaling more then 20MW in the communities of Madison, Ashburnham, Templeton, Wakefield, Middleton and Taunton.

For the projects, NEC will supply its GSS Grid Storage and AEROS platforms to monitor and operate the energy storage plant in near real-time, a development which will help the utilities to improve demand response capabilities during peak periods. Three of the projects including Ashburnham, Templeton and Wakefield are partnering with the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company as part of the company's peak load forecasting and remote dispatch programme.

The projects are receiving funding from the Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage (ACES) programme and the state Department of Energy Resources. (Source: NEC Energy Solutions, Smart Energy, 20 Aug., 2019)Contact: NEC Energy Solutions, Steve Fludder, CEO, Roger Lin, (508) 497-7261, rlin@neces.com, www.neces.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Utility-Scale Energy Storage,  NEC Energy Solutions,  Energy Storage,  


Cross-Flow Tidal Power Turbines Tested at U. Washington (Ind. Report)
University of Washington
Date: 2019-08-19
In Seattle, Engineers at the University of Washington Applied Physics Lab report they are testing the performance of "cross-flow" turbines on Lake Washington with the view of developing reliable tidal power.

In early early testing, the team is driving a test boat with a pilot model cross-flow turbine at variable speeds and monitoring the turbine's energy output.

The cross-flow turbine blades are a simpler shape than those used for axial turbines, which generate energy from the drag that wind or water flow puts on their blades. Cross-flow turbines generate energy from a "lift" effect similar to airplane wings. And, unlike axial turbines, cross-flow turbines do not need to adjust the position of the blades or the direction the turbine faces, but they do need to regulate the speed to get the maximum energy output. (Source: University of Washington, K5 News, 17 Aug., 2019)Contact: University of Washington Applied Physics Lab, 206-543-1300, www.washington.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Tidal Power,  Tigal Power,  Marine Energy,  Tidal Turbine,  


Electro-Active Technologies Converts Organic Waste Into Hydrogen for Biofuels (New Prod & Tech)
Electro-Active Technologies
Date: 2019-08-19
Tennessee start-up Electro-Active Technologies reports it has licensed two biorefinery technologies invented and patented by the company's founders to convert organic waste into renewable hydrogen gas for use as a biofuel.

Electro-Active Technologies is developing a modular system that can be placed onsite or in a decentralized location to produce renewable hydrogen from organic waste. The system combines biology and electrochemistry to degrade organic waste such as biomass or food waste, to produce hydrogen which then combines the protons and electrons into hydrogen molecules.

The company originally developed their processes to tackle the problem of liquid waste formed during biofuel production; however, the company will now focus on fighting food waste, according to its website. (Source: Electro-Active Technologies Contact: Electro-Active Technologies, Alex Lewis, CEO, https://electroactive.tech/contact.html, www.electroactive.tech/index.html

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Hydrogen,  H2,  


S. Korean Coal Consumption Jumps in 2018 (Int'l., Ind. Report)
South Korea,OECD
Date: 2019-08-19
In its recent annual report, British Petroleum notes South Korea's 2018 coal consumption grew to 88.2 million tonnes oil equivalent -- up 2.4 pct. The figure puts South Korea in fifth place in terms of total coal consumption among the OECD countries after China, India, the U.S. and Japan.

The UK, Germany and the U.S. saw coal consumption sall by 16.6 pct, 7.2 pct and 4.3 pct respectively. (Source: BP, arirng, 17 Aug., 2019) Contact: OECD, www.oecd.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Coal,  OECD,  


Manitoba PC's Promise $25Mn in Annual Energy Efficiency Retrofit Rebates ... if Reelected (Ind. Report
Efficiency Manitoba
Date: 2019-08-19
On the Canadian prairies, the ruling Manitoba Progressive Conservative (PC) Party has announced that if reelected it will invest $25 million per year in energy efficiency programs and incentives to support residential and business energy efficient renovations on existing homes and commercial buildings.

The retrofit program would be managed by Efficiency Manitoba, a crown corporation focused on energy conservation, which was created to take over Manitoba Hydro's Power Smart program.

Rebates would apply to retrofit windows and doors, furnace conversions and appliances purchased to make homes and businesses emit less greenhouse gases. It would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 135,000 tonnes over the next three years. (Source: Efficiency Manitoba, CBC, 17 Aug., 2019) Contact: Efficiency Manitoba, www.efficiencymb.ca

More Low-Carbon Energy News Efficiency Manitoba,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency Rebate,  


Bank of America
Date: 2019-08-19
Bank of America Tower Earns Nation's 1st LEED V4 Platinum for Core and Shell HOUSTON: The recently named Bank of America Tower, formerly Capitol Tower, was just certified LEED Version 4 (V4) Platinum for Core and Shell by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). V4 is the most stringent LEED version to date and Platinum is the highest level of green building certification offered by the USGBC. Bank of America Tower's LEED V4 Platinum for Core and Shell designation is the first in the United States and the highest scoring in the world. Environmental features include daylight harvesting technology, a 40 percent parking reduction, tenant metering, alternative vehicle charging stations, and a rainwater-collecting facade system. Bank of America Tower is a 35-story, 775,000-RSF AA class office building in downtown Houston. A key feature is the triple-height lobby / public indoor plaza that contains an expansive chef-driven food court, a social stair for gathering and watching live performances, and connects five existing below-grade tunnel connections from adjacent buildings. Atop the 1,360-car parking garage, a 12th-floor landscaped roof garden provides a convenient natural respite for tenants and features native plantings that help manage stormwater runoff. (Source: Bank of America, new kerala, 18 Aug., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Bank of America news,  USGBC news,  LEED Certification news,  Energy Efficiency news,  Green Building news,  


NYSERDA Funding NYPA Energy Efficiency, Infrastructure Costs Research (Ind. Report)
NYSERDA,NYPA
Date: 2019-08-16
The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is reporting a series of research projects aimed at improving the efficiency of power systems and removing potential transmission obstacles that can be faced by New York State utilities. The following research projects will be funded with $1.5 million from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) :
  • Underground Cable Advanced Monitoring and Diagnostic System Demonstration. In an effort to reduce the potential for underground cable leakage and prevent fault problems, this project will demonstrate and evaluate a real-time system that will monitor cathodic protection and assess dissolved gas analysis (DGA) of high pressure fluid-filled (HPFF) cables. About 14 monitoring sensors will be installed in NYPA Westchester County manholes and the DGA analyzer will be installed at the Eastern Garden City substation on Long Island;

  • Optimized Forecasting Solution for Advanced Overhead Line Demonstration. A new technology that predicts how much power a transmission line can carry will be demonstrated and evaluated for its potential in reducing transmission bottleneck challenges. About 15 weather sensors will be installed on NYPA lines along the 70-mile Moses-Wills-Plattsburgh transmission circuit and the WindSim Power Line Optimization Solution (WPLS) system will be demonstrated on a NYPA server;

  • DeepGrid: A Deep Learning Computing System for Resilient Grid Operations. This project proposes to develop a Deep Learning (DL)-based tool capable of identifying and predicting system issues, alerting operators and recommending possible solutions. Working with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NYPA will combine model-based power system simulation with early warnings from data and applications to improve timely decision making;

  • Low Frequency Alternative Current Transmission Line. This project will investigate the possibility of deploying low frequency AC (LFAC) transmission lines to increase power transfer capability. LFAC significantly improves stability, reduces voltage drop along the line, and offers the possibility to reroute power from congested to underutilized transmission corridors. The approach also has competitive advantages for collection of energy from off-shore wind generators using an underground multi-terminal system with a single point of interface to the main grid. (Source: NYPA, Clarion, 16 Aug., 2019) Contact: NYSERDA, Alicia Barton, Pres., CEO, (518) 862-1090, www.nyserda.ny.gov; NYPA, Gil C. Quiniones, CEO , Pres., www.nypa.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NYSERDA,  NYPA,  Energy Efficiency,  


  • "We've Had Enough!" -- NBB Comments on EPA's RFS Waivers (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    NBB
    Date: 2019-08-16
    "Here we go again. Last week, the U.S. EPA granted 31 out of 38 retroactive small refinery exemptions for 2018. I can't contain the frustration and utter disappointment I have with how this administration is handling its responsibility of administering the RFS.

    "Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) back in 2007, signed into law by George W. Bush -- a lifelong oil and gas guy. The law was passed to encourage investment in advanced biofuels like biodiesel, renewable diesel and renewable jet fuel. Biodiesel producers responded, making the investments and building an industry that today produces more than 2 billion gallons of transportation fuel each year. This market also provides added value to feedstocks such as soybean oil, used restaurant oil and animal fats.

    "The oil industry feverishly insists that the ethanol industry isn't harmed by small refinery exemptions because production has grown. But what about biodiesel? They never mention us because they know that small refinery exemptions disproportionately affect biodiesel because of the way the RFS is constructed.

    "We have said again and again -- biodiesel is very different from ethanol. The president (Trump) was instrumental in clearing the path for higher blends of ethanol year-round when he lifted the RVP waiver this summer, which we were supportive of. He and his EPA administrator have mentioned E15 when they have spoken about what they believe to be the minor impact of exempting RFS gallons. It's as though they think we are dumb enough to not understand that they are giving with one hand but taking away with the other.

    "Now, back to biodiesel. E15 does nothing to expand demand for biodiesel. Ethanol is not biodiesel. In fact, the RFS recognized this by establishing its own category for biodiesel, separate from ethanol, called biomass-based diesel. Policymakers at the time recognized the need to segment biodiesel and renewable diesel within the bigger RFS pool so that growth in those products could be differentiated in the overall program and we would see advancements of biofuels in both the gasoline and diesel sector.

    "Fast forward to 2019 and we now have an EPA that, two months ago, proposed a draft rule to hold the biomass-based diesel category flat for 2020, keeping it at 2.43 billion gallons for the second year in a row and then, just last week, the same EPA grants nearly one-half billion gallons of biomass-based diesel waivers. To highlight the hypocrisy in this action, while filing the draft rule two months ago, the EPA documented, in writing, the fact that they expected to grant zero (that's zero as in none, zilch, nada) gallons of small refinery waivers in 2020. And we're supposed to understand and accept that move?

    "Biodiesel and renewable diesel year after year fill more than 90 percent of the RFS volumes reserved for advanced biofuels. But EPA complains that advanced biofuels have not materialized quickly enough to meet the goals of the RFS. Now -- as seen last week -- the agency is holding its thumb on the industry and blocking growth. Not only blocking growth, but helping to reduce demand through small refinery exemptions.

    "As the agency continues to hand them out to every refiner that asks, the damage could reach $7.7 billion or 2.54 billion gallons, according to Scott Irwin, an agricultural economist from the University of Illinois. A 'small' oil refinery, by RFS definition -- one that processes 75,000 bpd of oil and produces nearly a billion gallons of fuel a year -- would have an RFS obligation to use just 20 million gallons of biodiesel or renewable diesel. Many U.S. biodiesel producers are smaller than that -- just one small refinery exemption would eliminate their entire market. And the EPA granted 31 of them.

    "President Trump vowed to protect and defend American farmers. In fact, he calls them patriots. But his actions will put the biodiesel producers those same farmers depend on for their market, out of business. It's already happening, and it's having a devastating impact on rural communities across the nation.

    "President Trump and EPA Administrator Wheeler should clearly know what this means to the workers, producers, farmers and investors in the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry -- their new round of unwarranted RFS exemptions just destroyed jobs and a valuable marketplace for hardworking Americans, including those patriotic soybean farmers who Trump has called on to be his willing allies in the trade dispute with China. If this is how the EPA administrator treats the president’s allies, I'd hate to see how he treats his enemies. (Source: NBB, 15 Aug., 2019) Contact: NBB, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NBB,  Biodiesel,  


    Enel's Mt. Pulaski Ill. Wind Farm Construction Underway (Ind. Report)
    Enel Green Power North America
    Date: 2019-08-14
    Enel Green Power North America (Enel) is reporting construction is underway on its 24-turbine, Whitney Hill Wind Farm project adjacent to the recently completed, 74-turbine HillTopper Wind Farm near Mt. Pulaski, Illinois. The 66-MW Whitney Hill project is due for completion and commissioning before the year end. Construction costs have not been disclosed.

    Enel Green Power North America has renewable energy projects operating and under development in 24 states and two Canadian provinces. (Source: Enel Green Power, State Journal Register, 12 Aug., 2019) Contact: Enel Green Power, Brayten McGee, Project Manager, (978) 681-1900, www.enelgreenpower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enel Green Power North America,  Wind,  


    Notable Quote -- The Donald's "Do Nothing" ACE Rule
    ACE, Affordable Clean Energy Rule
    Date: 2019-08-14
    "Without significant course correction, we are careening toward a climate disaster. (the coalition of) States and cities will fight back against this unlawful, do-nothing (Affordable Clean Energy) rule." -- Letitia James , New York Attorney General

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  Affordable Clean Energy Rule,  


    Wind Tech Advancements Depress Wind Energy Costs (DOE Report)
    WindLBNL
    Date: 2019-08-14
    Wind Technologies Market Report, a just released U.S. DOE report prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) notes that with prices averaging below 2 cents per kWh for newly built projects, wind energy is competitive with other generation sources.

    "Wind energy prices -- particularly in the central United States, and supported by federal tax incentives -- are at all-time lows, with utilities and corporate buyers selecting wind as a low-cost option," according to LBNL Senior Scientist Ryan Wiser.

    Report highlights include: wind power capacity additions continued at a robust pace in 2018; larger turbines are enhancing wind project performance; low turbine pricing continues to push down installed project costs; wind energy prices are at historical lows; the grid-system value of wind has declined over the last decade but rebounded over the last two years; and the domestic supply chain for wind equipment is diverse.

    BNL's contributions to this report were funded by the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. BNL is a multiprogram national laboratory, managed by the University of California for the U.S. DOE Office of Science.

    Download the Wind Technologies Market Report HERE (Source: US DOE LBNL, Aug., 2019) Contact: DOE Office of Science, www.energy.gov/science/office-science; LBNL, emp.LBNL.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Wind Energy,  


    States, Cities Coalition Tackle Trump's ACE Rule (Ind. Report)
    Trump.Obama Clean Power Plan
    Date: 2019-08-14
    Reuters is reporting New York and California, along with 20 other states and seven cities on Tuesday sued to challenge the Trump administration EPA's replacement of the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan.

    The suit claims the Trump Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule will prolong the country's reliance on coal power, hinder states that pursue cleaner electricity generation, will not curb rising power plant carbon emissions and will prolong the operation of dirtier coal plants. (Source: HPMG News, Various Media, Reuters 13 Aug., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Affordable Clean Energy ruke,  ACE Rule,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  Trump,  Obama Clean Power Plan,  


    Energy Efficient Green Roofs Qualify for New NYC Tax Breaks (Ind. Report)
    Green Roof
    Date: 2019-08-14
    In the Big Apple, a new green-roof tax abatement is giving some building owners an added incentive to create a green space on their roof. The new abatement triples the previous tax break from $5 to $15 per square foot in community districts where sewers overflow during rainstorms and that lack green spaces. The new abatement runs through July, 2024.

    Although initially expensive to install, green roofs absorb stormwater, lower heating and cooling costs and increase a building's energy efficiency and thus reduce carbon emissions. (Source: Nature Conservancy, Public News Service, 14 Aug., 2019) Contact: Nature Conservancy, Emily Nobel Maxwell, NYC Program Director , 212-997-1880, www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/where-we-work/united-states/new-york

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Nature Conservancy news,  Green Roof news,  Energy Efficiency news,  Green Building news,  


    EnBW Completes Hohe See Offshore Wind Farm Installation (Int'l)
    EnBW
    Date: 2019-08-14
    Karlsruhe, Germany-headquartered developer-utility major Energie Baden-Wurttemberg (EnBW) reports it expects to complete and commission the 71-turbine Hohe See and the adjacent Albatros offshore wind arrays about 95 kilometres north of the island of Borkum in the German North Sea, by year-end.

    Twenty-seven of the project's turbines have already been put into operation.

    When fully operational, the projects will have a combined capacity of 609MW and will be EnBW's largest operating wind farm.

    Canadian energy infrastructure company Enbridge holds 49.9 pct of the Hohe See-Albatros project while EnBW holds the balance. (Source: EnBW, PR, ReCharge, 13 Aug., 2019) Contact: EnBW, Frank Mastiaux, CEO, +49 721 63 14320, www.enbw.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EnBW,  Wind,  Offshore Wind,  


    NEB Comments on Latest EPA "Hardship Waivers" -- Notable Quote
    RPA, Nebraska Ethanol Board
    Date: 2019-08-14
    "Over the past two years, the EPA has granted hardship waivers to refineries owned by companies like Exxon Mobil and Chevron. Their continued handouts to the oil industry comes during a time when heartland farmers are really struggling due to depressed commodity prices, flooding and trade wars. Securing access and demand for homegrown, cleaner-burning biofuels should be top priority from an economic and environmental standpoint, not destroying the marketplace program the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was created for." -- Roger Berry, Administrator, Nebraska Ethanol Board (NEB).

    Berry was speaking in Lincoln, Nebraska on the EPA's granting of an additional 31 small refinery biofuel waivers for 2018. This follows the 54 waivers the Trump Administration granted in 2016 and 2017, which caused 2.6 billion gallons of demand destruction. These new waivers add another loss of 1.4 billion gallons, for a total loss of 4 billion gallons. Contact: Nebraska Ethanol Board, Roger Berry, (402) 471-2941, ethanol.nebraska.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Nebraska Ethanol Board news,  Ethanol news,  EPA news,  "Hardship Waiver" news,  


    Municipality of Waterloo Attacks GHG Emissions (Ind. Report)
    Waterloo
    Date: 2019-08-12
    In Ontario, the Regional Municipality of Waterloo reports it is aiming to join other regional centers -- the cities of Guelph and Markham -- in reaching Net Zero Carbon by 2050. To that end, in 2013 Waterloo developed Climate Action WR, a Climate Action Plan aimed at cutting the municipality's GHG emissions by 6 pct from 2010 levels by 2020 and 80 pct by 2050.

    Waterloo's 2015 emissions breakdown identified the transportation sector is the largest emitter of CO2 at 49 pct, followed by industrial, commercial, and institutional work places at 27 pct, residences at 18 pct, agriculture emitted 5 pct and waste management picked up the remaining 1 pct.

    Between 2010 and 2015 the Climate Action WR plan spearheaded 5.2 pct reduction in GHG emissions, the equivalent of 235,935 tonnes of CO2 emissions or 58,000 cars removed from the roads.

    Th meet its transportation-related GHG reduction goals, Waterloo has instituted a community bike and car share program, a light rail electric transit system and reduced bus traffic in the city. The municipality also established "green" building and energy efficiency standards, retrifited street lights to LED which are expected to reduce GHG emissions by 920 tpy. (Source: Municipality of Waterloo, Alternatives Journal, 3 Aug., 2019) Contact: Sustainable Waterloo Region, Tova Davidson,Executive Director, Samantha Tremmel, Acting Climate Action Manager, (519) 603-2223, www.sustainablewaterlooregion.ca

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


    MORE Small Refinery "Hardship" Waivers Announced (Ind. Report)
    EPA,RFS,Renewable Fuels Association,American Coalition of Ethanol
    Date: 2019-08-12
    On Friday the 9th, the Trump administration EPA, under the administration of former coal industry lobbyist Andrew R, Wheeler, granted 31 more controversial "hardship waivers" allowing refiners to ignore Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) ethanol blending requirements in what might be construed as the administration's and the agency's attempt to bury the RFS in blatant favor of Big Oil. The agency denied 6 waiver requests and left one additional waiver request undecided.

    Needless to say, the President has yet again misled his supporters and the biofuels industry -- along with just about everyone else both domestic and foreign. In response, ethanol and biofuels players and industry organizations wasted no time in venting their rightful outrage.

    "The Trump Administration's approval of 31 refinery exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard is just devastating news for our industry. With this action, President Trump has destroyed over a billion gallons of biofuel demand and broken his promise to Iowa voters to protect the RFS. The vast majority of these exemptions are not justified under the law. Since this news began to leak this afternoon, RFS credit prices have freefallen to nearly zero, destroying much of the incentive to blend an incremental gallon of ethanol." -- Monte Shaw, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Exec. Dir.,

    "At a time when ethanol plants in the Heartland are being mothballed and jobs are being lost, it is unfathomable and utterly reprehensible that the Trump Administration would dole out more unwarranted waivers to prosperous petroleum refiners. Today's announcement comes as a total shock, as just two months ago Trump himself heard directly from Iowa farmers and ethanol plant workers about the disastrous economic impacts of these small refinery handouts. In response, he (Trump) told us he would 'look into it' and we believed that would lead to the White House and EPA finally putting an end to these devastating waivers. Instead, the Trump administration chose to double down on the exemptions, greatly exacerbating the economic pain being felt in rural America and further stressing an industry already on life support." -- Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, Renewable Fuels Association.

    "EPA's refiner-win-at-all-costs oversight of the RFS is doing real damage to America's farmers and renewable fuel producers who are already suffering from trade wars and volatile markets. The RFS is supposed to ensure the use of ethanol and biodiesel increases from one year to the next, but 85 Small Refinery Exemptions later and over 3 billion waived gallons represents an enormous step backwards." -- Brian Jennings, CEO, American Coalition of Ethanol.

    As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. Under the now vanquished administrator Greg Pruitt's direction, the EPA handed out 54 exemptions over two years and not a single request for an exemption was denied. (Source: Various Media, AgPro, 9 Aug., 2019) Contact: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., info@IowaRFA.org, (515) 252-6249, www.iowarfa.org; Renewable Fuels Association, www.ethanolrfa.org; American Coalition of Ethanol, www.ethanol.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  RFS,  "Hardship Waiver",  Ethanol Blend,  Renewable Fuels Association,  ,  


    Gevo Earns ISCC Plus Certification (Ind. Report)
    GEVO,International Sustainability and Carbon Certification
    Date: 2019-08-12
    Englewood, Colorado-headquartered isobutanol producer GEVO Inc. is reporting receipt of International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) under the ISCC PLUS scheme for food, feed, industrial applications, energy, and biofuels outside Europe. In obtaining ISCC certification, Gevo continues to prove its dedication to meeting the highest industry standards by demonstrating the sustainable cultivation of field corn, which Gevo then converts into renewable, sustainable isobutanol (biobutanol).

    ISCC PLUS certification validates the responsible nature of GEVO's liquid transportation fuels and highlights the traceability of its biofuel, qualifying that such fuels produced in a sustainable manner. By completing ISCC certification, Gevo has verified that the feedstock, in this case field corn, is being grown in a socially, environmentally, and ethically responsible manner.

    ISCC PLUS is a sustainability certification scheme for biobased applications like chemicals, food and feed products and applications in the bioenergy sector. (Source: GEVO, PR, 7 Aug., 2019) Contact: International Sustainability and Carbon Certification, www.sustainabilityxchange.info/en/institutions/iscc-international-sustainability-carbon-certification; GEVO, Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, pgruber@gevo.com, www.gevo.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GEVO,  Biobutanol,  Corn Ethanol,  International Sustainability and Carbon Certification,  


    County Considering PACE Energy Financing Plan (Ind. Report)
    PACE
    Date: 2019-08-12
    In Michigan, the Monroe County Board of Commissioners reports it is considering the Monroe County Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program for energy efficiency and renewable energy financing for both residential and businesses and is holding hearings to that end.

    PACE provides long-term funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation projects. Funding from PACE can be used for commercial, industrial and nonprofit properties for either retro fitting or new construction.

    If adopted, the county would administer the voluntary program that finances up to 100 pct of an energy efficiency or renewable energy project's hard and soft costs for terms up to 25 years. PACE financing is repaid as an assessment on the property. (Source: Monroe County Board of Commissioners, Commission, Monroe News ,9 Aug., 2019) Contact: Monroe County Board of Commissioners, Michael Bosanac, Administrator, CFO, (734) 240-7267, michael_bosanac@monroemi.org, www.co.monroe.mi.us/officials_and_departments/officials/board_of_commissioners/index.php;

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


    DOE Awards Bldg. Energy Management R&D Funding (R&D, Funding)
    U.S. DOE Office of Science,BEM Controls
    Date: 2019-08-12
    In Washington, the U.S. DOE Office of Science is reporting the issuance of $1.05 million in grant funding to energy company ComEd, the University of Denver, Virginia Tech and software specialist BEM Controls. The funding is to support development of an energy internet that will enhance building energy management. occupants.

    The award provides funding to commercialize a blockchain-based transactive energy platform developed by BEM Controls with funding from the DOE. Blockchains use multiple servers that operate like decentralized record-keeping and verification systems.

    The BEM Controls software incorporates time-based energy management and control of interior spaces in buildings to achieve greater energy efficiency, reliability and resiliency. ComEd will use its Grid of the Future Lab to demonstrate the functionality of the system, which will be developed over three years. (Source: U.S. DOE Office of Science, PR, Crypto Economy, 9 Aug., 2019) Contact: U.S. DOE Office of Science, (202) 586-5430, www.energy.gov/science/office-science; BEM Controls, www.bemcontrols.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News U.S. DOE Office of Science,  Energy Management ,  Building Energy,  


    $7.5Bn Las Vegas "Smart Mini-City" Development Touted (Ind Report)
    Bleutech Park Properties,
    Date: 2019-08-12
    In Nevada, Bleutech Park Properties, Inc. is reporting a planned December 2019 ground breaking date for its $7.5 billion Bleutech Park Las Vegas prject, the world's first city to boast a digital revolution in motion, redefining the infrastructure industry sector.

    The six year project will be constructed of net-zero buildings within an own insular mini-city, featuring automated multi-functional designs, renewable energies from solar/wind/water/kinetic, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics and self-healing concrete structures.

    The project's mixed-use environment will feature workforce housing, offices, retail space, ultra-luxury residential, hotel and entertainment. The project also expects to create as many as 25,000 jobs and attracting manufacturing to the Las Vegas Valley area. (Source: Bleutech Park Website Aug., 2019) Contact: Bluetech Park. www.bleutechpark.com


    Ovo Energy Considering SSE's Household Supply Business (Int'l.)
    Ovo Energy, SSE, Offshore Wind, Renewable Energy
    Date: 2019-08-12
    In the UK, Bristol-based household energy supplier Ovo Energy reports it is in talks for the possible £250 million purchase of the UK's second-largest energy company, SSE's household energy supply business -- SSE Energy Services.

    The SSE deal would add 5.7 million residential customers to Ovo's existing 1.5 million customers putting Ovo in second place after British Gas, which has 12 million domestic customers.

    A completed sale would leave SSE focused on its offshore wind farm activity and networks businesses as a generator and distributor of energy. SSE's offshore wind facilities include the Beatrice Offshore Wind farm in the Moray Firth. SSE also operates the biggest onshore wind energy fleet in the UK and Ireland and has consent to increase offshore wind generation from 1 gigawatt to about 3.3GW, which would make it the biggest offshore supplier. (Source: Ovo Energy, SSE, Guardian, 9 Aug., 2019) Contact: SSE Energy, www.sse.co.uk; Ovo Energy, Stephen Fitzpatrick CEO, www.ovoenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Offshore Wind,  Wind Energy,  Renewable Energy,  


    Thermal Radiation Bldg Cooling System Touted (New Prod. & Tech.)
    University of Buffalo
    Date: 2019-08-09
    Engineers at the University of Buffalo are reporting a way to cool buildings via thermal radiation, without electricity.

    The system consists of an inexpensive polymer/aluminum film that's installed inside a small box at the bottom of a specially designed solar 'shelter.' The film helps keep its surroundings cool by absorbing heat from the air inside the box and transmitting that energy into outer space.

    The researchers report that the system "helped reduce the temperature of a small, enclosed space by a maximum of about 6 degrees Celsius (11 degrees Fahrenheit). At night, that figure rose to about 11 degrees Celsius (about 20 degrees Fahrenheit)." Multiple units would be needed depending upon the size of the build and roof to be cooled. (Source: University ofBuffalo, Science Daily, 5 Aug., 2019) Contact: University of Buffalo, Lyu Zhou, www.linkedin.com/in/lyu-zhou-985b30128, www.buffalo.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Moody AFB, Schneider Elec. Ink $11.2Mn, ESPC Energy Efficiency Contract (Ind. Report)
    Moody Air Force Base
    Date: 2019-08-09
    The USAF Moody Air Force Base in Lowndes County, Georgia reports inking an $11.2 million energy efficiency and infrastructure improvement project energy savings performance contract (ESPC) contract with Schneider Electric that is expected to generate more than $21 million in energy savings over the next 23 years.

    The project includes a 2.5 MW on-site solar array that will allow the base to move away from nuclear, coal and gas energy sources, as well as:

  • expands the base's energy management controls system (EMCS) for increased visibility of energy use;

  • upgrades and replaces current interior and exterior lighting systems with LED technology;

  • updates HVAC/Variable Frequency Drive systems to improve air quality and comfort for airmen;

  • replaces transformers for enhanced energy efficiency and added resilience and reliability.

    The project is expected to be completed within 18 months.(Source: Moody Air Force Base, PR, Aug., 2019) Contact: Moody Air Force Base, Don Montgomery, Energy Manager, 229-257-4211, www.military.com/base-guide/moody-air-force-base/contact/welcome--visitors-center/7293; Schneider Electric, Mark Nolan, Director, Marketing, www.schneider-electric.us

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency ,  Schneider Electric,  Solar,  Energy Management,  


  • Leclanche Touts St. Kitts-Nevis Solar Plus Storage Project (Int'l)
    Leclanche
    Date: 2019-08-09
    In the Caribbean, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, the state-owned St. Kitts Electric Company (SKELEC) and the Swiss energy storage specialist Leclanche SA are touting the planned construction of a 35.6 MW solar energy plant and 44.2 MWh battery storage facility adjacent to the City of Basseterre on the island of St. Kitts. When fully operational, the system will provide between 25-30 pct of the island nation's electric power requirements.

    Leclanche will serve as the prime engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the installation of both the solar photovoltaic (PV) system and battery energy storage system and will be responsible for the completed project's management, operations, maintenance and warranties. SKELEC and Leclanche have inked a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the facility's output.

    Ground-breaking is slated for mid-October 2019 for completion and commissioning in September 2020. (Source: Leclanche, PR, 7 Aug., 2019) Contact: Leclanche Anil Srivastava, CEO, +41 (0) 24 424 65 00, Fax: +41 (0)24 424 65 20, info@leclanche.com, www.leclanche.com; St. Kitts Electric Company, 869-465-2000, www.skelec.kn

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  Leclanche,  


    Lake Okeechobee Algae-to-Fuels Project Underway (Ind. Report, R&D)
    AECOM,U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
    Date: 2019-08-07
    In the Sunshine State, a 3 week U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project to extract harmful algae blooms from Lake Okeechobee for conversion into biofuel is reported to be underway.

    The algae will be treated with high temperature and pressure to turn it into a biomass which can be converted into fuel. This process also destroys any toxins that might be in the biomass. While the process of extracting algae and turning it into fuel will not pay for itself, it could offset the cost of the process.

    In the pilot program water flows through a container where "billions and billions" of microscopic air bubbles attach to the solids in the water and float the mass to the surface. The algae and cyanobacteria in the water column rise to the top of the tank. The algae is then skimmed off and fed into a cannister that allows the clear water to flow out into another container. The clear water is treated a second time with an ozone process that eliminates toxins, should any be present. The pilot program treats 100 gallons of algae laden water per minute but can be scaled up to treat 100 million gpd.

    The Lake Okeechobee algae removal project is the second of three projects funded by the Corps. AECOM, a Los Angeles-headquartered global engineering company that specializes in algae removal is a co-investigator on the project. (Source: Immokalee Buletin, Aug., 2019) Contact: AECOM, Dan Levy, (213) 593 8000, www.aecom.com: US Army Corps of Engineers, Dr. Martin Page, Project Manager, 863-983-8101, www.usace.army.mil

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Algae,  Biofuel.AECOM,  


    Dominion Announces Energy Storage Pilot Projects (Ind Report)
    Dominion Energy Virginia
    Date: 2019-08-07
    In the Old Dominion State, Richmond-based utility holding company Dominion Energy Virginia is reporting four utility-scale battery storage pilot projects totaling 16 megawatts -- the largest projects of their kind in Virginia.

    The four proposed Central Virginia-based lithium-ion projects will cost approximately $33 million to construct and will provide key information on distinct use cases for batteries on the energy grid. Pending SCC approval, the pilots would be evaluated over a five year period once operational as currently expected in December 2020. The projects include:

  • Two battery systems totaling 12 MW at the Scott Solar facility in Powhatan County that will demonstrate how batteries can store energy generated from solar panels during periods of high production and help optimize the power produced by the solar facility.

  • A 2-MW battery at a substation in Ashland will explore how batteries can improve reliability and save on equipment replacement costs by serving as an alternative to traditional grid management investments such as transformer upgrades, necessary to serve customers during times of high energy demand.

  • A 2-megawatt battery at a substation in New Kent County serving a 20-MW solar facility will show how batteries can help manage voltage and loading issues caused by reverse energy flow, to maintain grid stability.

    Dominion notes it expects to cut generating fleet CO2 emissions 80 pct by 2050 and reduce methane emissions from its gas assets 50 pct by 2030. (Source: Dominion Energy, PR, Aug., 2019) Contact: Dominion Energy, Mark D. Mitchell, vice president – generation construction www.dominionenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Dominion Energy Virginia,  Battery Energy Storage,  


  • Climate-specific Tech Packages Help Cut Ag GHG Emissions (Int'l)
    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    Date: 2019-08-07
    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in cooperation with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports it has identified ways to reduce agricultural GHG emissions under various climate conditions using isotopic techniques.

    When farmers apply fertilizer to their crops, plants convert the fertilizer into the nutrients the plants need to flourish. Some of the by-products related to these processes are released as GHGs -- nitrous oxide (N2O), carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) -- and the overuse of fertilizer is leading to the release of excessive amounts of GHGs. According to the FAO, agriculture, forestry and other land use make up close to a quarter of GHGs, and the use of synthetic fertilizers accounts for 12 pct of total agriculture GHG emissions.

    These gases trap heat in the atmosphere, contributing to global warming and thereby altering the conditions under which food crops grow, affecting not only crop yields, but also food quality and food security. The release of N2O is particularly worrying because it's 300 times more powerful than CO2 in trapping heat, and 16 times more powerful than CH4 and can therefore greatly contribute to climate change mitigation strategies.

    Nuclear techniques offer substantial advantages over conventional techniques for measuring GHG emissions. By adding nitrogen fertilizers labelled with stable isotope nitrogen-15 as a tracer, scientists can track the isotopes and determine how effectively the crops are taking up the fertilizer. The isotope is also used to quantify the amount of nitrogen that crops can acquire from the atmosphere through biological nitrogen fixation process.

    The carbon-13 stable isotope technique, using the natural abundance of carbon-13 in the environment, allows researchers to evaluate soil quality and sources of carbon sequestered in the soil. This helps identify how various combinations of crop rotation, tillage and ground cover can enhance productivity and improve the efficiency with which increasingly scarce resources, such as water and chemical nutrients, are used. Carbon-13 is tracked to determine the movement and origin of carbon dioxide and methane. (Source: International Atomic Energy Agency, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 6 Aug., 2019) Contact: UN Food & Agriculture Organization, www.fao.org; International Atomic Energy Agency, www.iaea.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GHG,  Greenhouse Gas Emissions,  ,  


    Enel Illinois, Missouri Wind Farms Construction Underway (Ind. Report)
    Enel Green Power
    Date: 2019-08-05
    Italy's Enel S.p.a, through its U.S. renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power North America reports construction is under way on the 66 MW Whitney Hill, Logan County Illinois and the 236.5 MW White Cloud wind farm in Nodaway County, Missouri. White Cloud, Missouri wind farms.

    The 66 MW Whitney Hill wind farm, which is adjacent to the existing 185 MW Hill Topper wind farm that came online in December 2018, is slated to begin operations by the end of 2019. The 236.5 MW White Cloud, Missouri wind farm is expected to come online by the second half of 2020.

    With the addition of Whitney Hill and White Cloud wind farms, the company's US capacity will come in at approximately 1250 MW from both wind and solar power. (Source: Enel Green Power, PR, reve, 4 Au., 2019) Contact: Enel Green Power NA, Georgios Papadimitriou, Head of Enel Green Power North America, Branch, Bus. Dev., Conner Branch, Bus. Dev., (978) 681-1900, www.enelgreenpower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enel Green Power North America,  Wind,  


    GEVO Now ISCC Plus Certified for Biofuels (Ind. Report)
    GEVO,International Sustainability and Carbon Certification
    Date: 2019-08-05
    Englewood, Colorado-headquartered renewable fuels and chemicals manufacturer GEVO Inc. reports it has achieved International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) under the ISCC Plus scheme for food, feed, industrial applications, energy and biofuels outside Europe.

    The ISCC certification demonstrates the company's sustainable cultivation of corn, which is then converted into renewable isobutanol, ethanol or biobutanol.

    With ISCC Plus certification, Gevo validates the responsible nature of its isobutanol and biobutanol liquid transportation fuels and the traceability of its biofuel. (Source: GEVO, PR, Aug., 2019) Contact: International Sustainability and Carbon Certification, www.iscc-system.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GEVO,  ISCC,  Biobutanol,  Ethanol,  Biofuel,  Isobutanol,  


    Carleton Scores Building Energy Efficiency R&D Funding (Funding)
    Carlton University
    Date: 2019-08-02
    In Ottawa, the Hon. Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change has awarded $5.1M in funding to Carlton University's Building Performance Research Centre (CU-CABER) and Prof. Cynthia Cruickshank's building energy efficiency work. The Minister also awarded $510,000 for Prof. Burak Gunay's Centre for Advanced Building Envelope Research project related to data analytics and energy performance metrics.

    Cynthia Cruickshank, Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Director of the Solar Energy Systems Lab will lead the CU-CABER project to develop and evaluate new building envelope technologies. The six-year project has $3 million support from Natural Resources Canada's Energy Innovation Program and $2.1 million from the Ontario Research Fund.

    Prof. Burak Gunay is working to develop an open source software platform that will help building managers identify energy efficiency issues. Gunay and his team received $510,000 through Natural Resources Canada's Green Infrastructure Fund for his Next Generation: Actionable Building Energy Performance Metrics, Data Analytics and Visualization research effort. The researchers are partnering with CopperTree Analytics, Delta Controls, and Sensible Building Science, and BentallGreenOak will develop a suite of diagnostic algorithms and methods to help facility managers pinpoint problems, and solve them. (Source: Carlton University, July, 2019)Contact: Carlton University Building Performance Research Centre, 613-520-7838, vpri@carleton.ca, www.carleton.ca/bprc

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Building Energy Efficiency,  ,  


    UK PM Lobbied on Net-Zero Emissions (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Aldersgate Group
    Date: 2019-08-02
    In London, only two weeks after moving into No.10 Downing Street, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being lobbied by a green policy manifesto from the Aldersgate Group. The manifesto -- Building a Competitive, Net-Zero Emissions and Climate-Ready Economy -- outlines various measures Aldergate Group members believe will accelerate the UK's decarbonisation progress while boosting environmental protections and growing the economy.

    The Aldersgate Group's recommendations include: binding energy efficiency targets; fiscal incentives for energy efficient buildings; tightening of emission standards for road transport; and an outline of the powers and limitations of the nation's new post-Brexit watchdog for green standards, and others.

    Earlier this week, Johnson pledged to place climate change at the "absolute core" of his Government's actions during his first appearance in the House of Commons as Prime Minister.

    The Aldersgate Group currently represents more than 50 organisations from across the private, public and non-profit spaces, including Orsted, Siemens, Willmott Dixon and Cemex.

    Download the Aldersgate Building a Competitive, Net-Zero Emissions and Climate-Ready Economy manifest HERE. (Source: Aldersgate Group, edie newsroom, 1 August 2019) Contact: Aldersgate Group, Nick Molho, Exec. Dir., info@aldersgategroup.org.uk, +44 (0) 20 7841 8966, www.aldersgategroup.org.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aldersgate Group,  Net-Zero Emissions,  Climate Change,  Boris Johnson,  


    Alliance BioEnergy Plus Near Exiting Chapter 11 (Ind. Report)
    Alliance BioEnergy
    Date: 2019-07-31
    In the Sunshine State, West Palm Beach-based Alliance BioEnergy Plus Inc. reports U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida has approved its Chapter 11 Disclosure Statement to confirm the company's Chapter 11 Plan. Additionally, the company has deposited in escrow all the necessary funds to pay its creditors all payments required to confirm the Plan.

    Alliance has developed a new and improved technology system that converts any cellulosic material -- grasses, wood, paper, farm waste, yard waste, forestry products, nut shells, and the cellulosic portion of municipal solid waste -- into biofuels quicker, more consistently, and more energy efficient than the first generation process. Alliance’s CTS (cellulose-to-sugar) 2.0 process converts sugar into ethanol via a standard process that recycles water and catalysts used in the process, uses no toxic chemicals and has a near zero carbon footprint. When fully commercialized, Alliance's technology it will be the lowest cost producer in the ethanol and biofuel space, according to the Alliance release. (Source: Alliance Bioenergy Plus, Inc., PR, 30 July, 2019) Contact: Alliance Bioenergy, Ben Slager, CEO, (888) 607-3555, ben.slager@alliancebioe.com, www.alliancebioe.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Alliance BioEnergy ,  Biofuel,  Cellulosic,  


    EPA Ignored DOE in Issuing RFS "Hardship Waivers" (Ind. Report)
    RFS
    Date: 2019-07-29
    Contrary to assertions by the EPA the U.S. DOE confirmed in a letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that EPA issued so-called economic "hardship" exemptions under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to small refineries, often owned by billion-dollar oil companies, even when DOE found that the refineries faced little or no actual "hardship."

    In a response to an April 10 letter from Grassley, Energy Secretary Rick Perry indicated that EPA had, on at least one occasion, issued an exemption when his department recommended no exemption and ignored recommendations to grant only partial exemptions in other cases. Perry also noted that the agency has not changed how these analyses are applied or scored from the prior Obama Administration.

    Perry also noted that he was aware of instances in which DOE recommended a partial or even no exemption for certain refineries, yet EPA subsequently granted a full exemption. This contradicts former oil industry lobbyist and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's claim before Congress that EPA simply followed DOE's recommendations.

    As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance Under Pruitt's direction, the EPA handed out 54 exemptions over two years and not a single request for an exemption was been denied. (Source: DOE, FeedStuff, 29 July, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  "Hardship Waiver",  Pruitt,  


    Renewable Energy Finance Initiative Launched in Bahrain (Int'l.)
    Bahrain Commercial Facilities Company
    Date: 2019-07-29
    In Manama, the Bahrain Commercial Facilities Company (BCFC) is reporting the launch of the Sustainable Energy Finance Initiative (The Sun) aimed at encouraging the use of clean, renewable energy for comprehensive development and at reaching the country's goal of 5 pct renewable energy by 2025 -- 250 MW in 2025 increasing to 10 pct in 2035.

    The new financial scheme is based on the "Tenant-to-Owned" system, which provides an opportunity for the business sector to benefit directly and effectively from the installation of solar power systems in return for a monthly rent, which is determined by the amount of electricity generated and each buildings space available for solar panel installations. (Source: BCFC, TradeArabia News Service, 27 July, 2019) Contact: BCFC, Dr Adel Hubail, CEO, www.bahrainbourse.com/bahrain-commercial-facilities-company--bsc

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  Renewable Energy,  


    Stora Enso Investing in Hard Carbon Lignin Pilot (Int'l.)
    Stora Enso
    Date: 2019-07-29
    Helsinki-headquartered Finnish pulp and paper manufacturer Stora Enso reports it is investing €10 million to build a pilot facility to produce bio-based carbon materials based on lignin at its Sunila Mill in Finland.

    The investment in making carbon materials for energy storage further strengthens Stora Enso's opportunities to replace fossil-based and mined raw materials as well as to connect sustainable materials to ongoing technology innovations, according to Stora Enso.

    With the new investment, Stora Enso will pilot the processing of lignin -- the main building block of trees -- into a hard carbon intermediate for electrode materials. This lignin will be converted into hard carbon anode materials for lithium-ion batteries with properties similar to graphite. Construction of the pilot facility is slated to get underway before the year end for completion by early 2021.

    Stora Enso has been producing lignin industrially at its 50,000 tpy Sunila Mill in Finland since 2015.(Source: Stora Enso, Green Car Congress, 28 July, 2019)Contact: Stora Enso, Patricia Oddshammar, Head of bio-composites, Juan Carlos Bueno, EVP, +55 11 3065 5223, www.storaenso.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Stora Enso,  Lignin,  Hard Carbon,  Energy Storage,  


    Boston Tops 2019 City Clean Energy, Efficiency List (Ind. Report)
    City Clean Energy Scorecard
    Date: 2019-07-29
    For the second consecutive year, Boston has been ranked the top U.S. city for energy efficiency, according to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) 2019 City Clean Energy Scorecard's comprehensive look at any and all initiatives taken by cities to become more energy efficient.

    Boston city officials credit its Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO) requiring all large and medium-sized buildings to report their annual energy usage and complete an energy savings action or energy assessment every five years.

    San Francisco came in second in the ratings followed by Seattle, Minneapolis and Washington D.C. in that order. (Source: ACEEE City Clean Energy Scorecard, Up to Boston, 27 July, 2019) Contact: City Clean Energy Scorecard, www.aceee.org/local-policy/city-scorecard; ACEEE, www.aceee.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News City Clean Energy Scorecard,  Energy Efficiency,  


    DOE Awards $2Mn for Performance Computing Energy Efficiency (Funding)
    DOE EERE
    Date: 2019-07-29
    In Washington, the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) reports it has awarded $2 million in funding for seven new high performance computing projects, as part of the High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) Initiative.

    The initiative is a DOE-wide effort comprising EERE, the Office of Fossil Energy (FE), the Office of Science, and the National Laboratories. The initiative helps to leverage the National Laboratories' high performance computing capabilities to address challenges in manufacturing and materials through state-of-the-art modeling, simulation, and data analysis. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) leads the HPC4EI program along with partner laboratories Argonne, Lawrence Berkeley, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest and Sandia National Laboratories, as well as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and National Energy Technology Laboratory. Funded projects include:

  • NYC-based Ferric, Inc. will partner with LLNL to develop analytical tools that will combine traditional electromagnetic finite-element analysis with micromagnetic simulation.

  • Applied Materials in Sunnyvale, Calif. will continue to work with LLNL on Phase II of developing predictive modeling capabilities for the advanced film deposition technique, High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering.

  • Gas Technology Institute in Des Plaines, Ill., Gopher Resource, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will partner to use high performance computing to increase the productivity of secondary lead furnaces.

  • Kingsport, Tenn.-based Eastman Chemical will collaborate with Argonne National Laboratory on developing open-source software-based models of a gas atomizer based on ongoing work being performed at Eastman.

  • Praxair Surface Technologies Inc. in Indianapolis will work with Ames National Laboratory to enhance the efficiency of metal powder production for additive manufacturing applications.

    Within the High Performance Computing for Materials (HPC4Mtls) Program, EERE's Vehicle Technologies Office has selected two projects:

  • PPG Industries will collaborate with LLNL and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to apply classical molecular dynamics simulations and density functional tight-binding calculations.

  • AK Steel in Middletown, Ohio will collaborate with ORNL on thermo-mechanical forming process development to produce tailored strength automotive structural components. The Office of Fossil Energy selected two additional HPC4Mtls projects to support. Industry partners provide at least 20 pct of the funding for new projects. (Source:DOE EERE, PR, EIN,July, 2019) Contact: US DOE, www.energy.gov/eere/office-energy-efficiency-renewable-energy

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE EERE,  Energy Efficiency,  


  • Cement Giant Touts CO2MENT Carbon Capture Project (Ind. Report)
    LafargeHolcim,Inventys
    Date: 2019-07-26
    Worldwide cement giant LafargeHolcim reports the launch of the 4-year, 3-phase CO2MENT project at its Richmond, B.C. cement plant in Canada. The project aims is to build the world's first full-cycle solution to capture and reuse CO2 from a cement plant while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    The project, which will demonstrate and evaluate Inventys' CO2 Capture System and LafargeHolcim's various carbon utilization technologies, is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2020. Subject to the pilot's success, the project will be scaled up to determine how it could be used at other LafargeHolcim plants.

    During the first phase the partners will work on purifying the cement flue gas in preparation for CO2 capture. The second phase will focus on the separation of CO2 from flue gas using a customized for cement version of Inventys' carbon capture technology at pilot scale. As part of the final phase, the captured CO2 will be prepared for reuse and support the economical assessment and demonstration of CO2 conversion technologies onsite, such as CO2 injected concrete and flyash.

    The $ 28 million (Cdn) system is expected to replace up to 50 pct of fossil fuel use with LCFs. It could also result in a 20 pct reduction of combustion emissions and divert approximately 100 000 tpy of waste from local landfills.

    The project is a partnership between Lafarge Canada, Inventys in Burnaby BC, and Total. (Source: LafargeHolcim, Lafarge Canada, World Cement, 25 July, 2019) Contact: LafargeHolcim, Rene Thibault, Region Head North America, www.lafargeholcim.com; Lafarge Canada, www.lafarge.ca/en; Inventys, (604) 456-0504, www.inventysinc.com

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


    Serb Scientists "Stressing" Algae for Biodiesel Production (R&D)
    University of Belgrade Institute for Multidisciplinary Research
    Date: 2019-07-26
    Serbian scientists at the University of Belgrade's Institute for Multidisciplinary Research report they have increased the production of lipids in algae by around 30 pct through the method of "positive stressing" with sunlight which could contribute to the use of algae as a biological fuel and thus lower the price of biodiesel . The Institute already produces oxygen from microalgae.

    Under the title of Radiation Hormesis in the Service of Increasing Biomass Yields from Microalgae the project began in 2017, under the NATO programme Science for Peace and Security in cooperation with the University of Manchester, Baylor University in Texas, and UK-based Varicon Aqua Company which produces bioreactors and systems that grow microalgae.

    The project is expected to be completed in August 2020. (Source: University of Belgrade Institute for Multidisciplinary Research, Serbian Monitor, 24 July, 2019) Contact: University of Belgrade Institute for Multidisciplinary Research, Dr. Sonja Veljovic Jovanovic, Dir., +381-11/3555-258, Fax: +381-11/3055-289, direktor@imsi.rs, office@imsi.rs, www.imsi.bg.ac.rs

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Algae,  Biodiesel,  


    Brightmark Energy Acquires Wisconsin Dairy Biogas Project
    Brightmark Energy,CLean Fuel Partners
    Date: 2019-07-26
    Following up on our 8th April coverage, San Francisco-based renewable energy development company Brightmark Energy reports the purchase of a 90,000 gpd dairy waste anaerobic digester project in Dane County , Wisconsin, from Clean Fuel Partners. Clean Fuel Partners will continue its work on the project by providing operations and maintenance support.

    The Dane County facility is the first such facility in the United States designed to receive biogas from multiple off-site locations and connect that renewable gas with RNG stations locally and across the nation.

    When fully operational the project is expected to produce sufficient renewable natural gas (RNG) to replace at least 50,000 MMBtu of conventional natural gas each year.(Source: Brightmark, 25 July, 2019) Contact: Brightmark Energy, Bob Powell, CEO, (415) 689-8395, info@brightmarkenergy.com, www.brightmarkenergy.com; Clean Fuel Partners, John Haeckel, Founder and CEO, (608) 957-7995, info@cleanfuelpartners.com, www.cleanfuelpartners.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Brightmark Energy,  anaerobic digester,  Clean Fuel Partners,  


    Santa Monica Adopts $800Mn Climate Change Plan (Ind Report)
    Santa Monica
    Date: 2019-07-24
    At the end of May, the California city of Santa Monica -- pop. 94,000 +- adopted a 10-year Climate Action Plan to fight climate change that may well be the most costly and ambitious initiative of its kind for a city its size in the nation.

    The Climate Action Plan charts a detailed path for government, residents and businesses that would lead to an 80 pct reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and full carbon neutrality by 2050 or sooner. Several of the Plan's initiatives have been in place for years, including action plans to achieve water self-sufficiency by 2023 and zero waste by 2030. The plan also calls for new initiatives that will require major shifts in the local economy, buildings and transportation and an increased reliance on renewable energy.

    The $800 million plan -- which includes $383 million worth of initiatives already taken by the City, as well as major new capital investments -- will "hopefully serve as a model for other cities," Santa Monica officials said. (Source: City of Santa Monica, July, 2019) Contact: City of Santa Monica, Dean Kubani, Chief Environmental Officer, (310) 458-2213, www.smgov.net/departments/ose

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Santa Monica,  Climate Change,  


    SUNY Poly Awarded $1.5Mn for AlGaN HEMTs R&D (Funding, R&D)
    State University of New York Polytechnic Institute
    Date: 2019-07-24
    State University of New York (SUNY) Polytechnic Institute reports its interim VP of research advancement & graduate studies Dr. Shadi Shahedipour-Sandvik and associate professor of nanoengineering Dr. Woongje Sung have been selected to receive $1.5m in federal funding from the US DOE Vehicle Technology Office (VTO) for the development of 1200V silicon carbide (SiC) metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) and for reliability studies on aluminium gallium nitride (AlGaN)-based high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs), which are superior switch components than their silicon-based counterparts in areas such as cost, performance and reliability.

    The SUNY Poly researchers aim to demonstrate a highly reliable wide-bandgap (WBG) aluminum gallium nitride/gallium nitride (AlGaN/GaN) HEMT-based power device with extremely high levels of performance.

    Shahedipour-Sandvik and Sung also received $255,000 for the Development of More Energy Efficient Semiconductor Materials and $250,000 for the Development of High Voltage Power Devices on Silicon Carbide in addition to a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. (Source: SUNY Poly, PR, JSemiconductor Today, uly, 2019) Contact: SUNY Poly, Dr. Grace Wang, Pres. (Interim), 315-792-7400, president@sunypoly.edu, www.sunypoly.edu/faculty-and-staff/grace-wang, www.sunypoly.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News SUNY,  SUNY Poly,  Energy Storage,  Energy Efficiency,  


    GE Touts 12Mw Haliade-X Offshore Wind Nacelle (New Prod & Tech)
    GE Renewable Energy
    Date: 2019-07-24
    From its production facility in Saint-Nazaire, France, GE Renewable Energy is reporting the unveiling of the first-ever nacelle for its mammoth 12Mw Haliade-X offshore wind turbine. The Haliade-X measures 260 meters in height and boasts a 220-meter rotor capable of generating enough clean electricity for 16,000 households. Blades for the turbine will measure 107 meters in length and help the turbine generate 67 GWh in gross annual energy.

    The Halide-X will be shipped to Rotterdam for testing and final assembly.

    The Saint-Nazaire production facility is also assembling a second nacelle for delivery to the UK's Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult site at Blyth for testing. (Source: GE Renewable Energy,PR, CleanTech, Various Media, July, 2019) Contact: Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, Paul McKeever, Head of Strategic Research, +44 (0) 333 004 1400, https://ore.catapult.org.uk; GE Renewable Energy, John Lavelle, CEO of Offshore Wind, www.ge.com/renewableenergy

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ORE Catapult,  GE Renewable Energy,  Wind Nacelle,  


    Backlash on Proposed RFS RVOs (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Renewable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2019-07-24
    "By neglecting to prospectively reallocate small refinery exemptions and blatantly ignoring a court order to restore improperly waived gallons, the EPA's proposed 2020 RVOs completely betray President [Donald] Trump's commitment to uphold the integrity of the RFS.

    "EPA's stubborn refusal to obey a court order to restore lost demand is yet another kick in the teeth to U.S. renewable fuel producers and farmers already facing the worst market conditions in a generation. EPA's suggestion that following the court's directive would place an 'additional burden' on obligated parties is an insult and an affront to the farmers and ethanol producers who trusted this administration would follow the law." -- Renewable Fuel Association (RFA), Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    "We are frustrated the EPA did not account for potential waived gallons going forward in the proposed rule. If the EPA continues to grant retroactive waivers, the RVO numbers are meaningless and the EPA is not following the law. Farmers are facing a very tough economic environment and the continued waiver abuse chips away at farmers' bottom line." -- Lynn Chrisp, Pres., National Corn Growers Association, (202) 326-0644, www.ncga.com (Source: RFA, NCGA, Various Media, EHS, 23 July, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFA,  RVO,  RFS,  NCGA,  "Hardship Waiver",  

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