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Notable Quote
Climate Change
Date: 2019-04-26
"The international community needs more political will to undertake climate change mitigation, adaptation and climate finance activities. We are losing the race for climate change, which could be a disaster for Africa and the world. Africa will pay even higher price because of the dramatic impact in the continent even though Africa doesn't contribute much to the warming of the planet." -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, speaking at the 32nd ordinary session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU). (Source: IANS, April, 2019)

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


MO. School Board OKs Energy Efficiency Contract (Ind Report)
West Plains School Board of Education
Date: 2019-04-26
In the Show Me State, the West Plains School Board of Education is reporting approval of a $3.9 million energy efficiency upgrade contract with St. Louis based Control, Technologies, and Solutions (CTS) Group for various facilities to be completed before school resumes in August 2019. The upgrade are expected to deliver almost $46,000 in annual energy savings.

The school district-wide energy efficiency improvements will remove water damage; 67,000 square feet of roofing repairs and replacements; installation of thermally-insulated tinted windows that will decrease energy infiltration and eliminate water and air leaks; and energy efficient LED lighting retrofits. (Source: West Plains School Board of Education, Ozark News, 25 April, 2019) Contact: West Plains School Board of Education, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Plains_R-7_School_District

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency ,  


NV Energy Lauds Nevada Renewables Portfolio Increase (Ind. Report)
NV Energy
Date: 2019-04-24
Reporting from Las Vegas, NV Energy joined Governor Steve Sisolak, Senator Chris Brooks and other supporters, as the Governor signed into law Senate Bill 358, which increases Nevada's renewable portfolio standard to 50 pct by 2030.

In a 2018 announcement, NV Energy noted plans to add six more large-scale solar projects, three of which will include battery storage capacity. NV Energy also recently submitted its annually-required renewable portfolio standard (RPS) compliance filing to the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, which stated that the company had exceeded the current RPS requirement for the ninth-straight year. Instead of the 20 pct required today, 24 pct of the energy the company provides is generated from renewable resources.

Nevada is a leader in renewable energy, ranking fourth in solar and second in geothermal. NV Energy has fostered renewable development since before a renewable standard was put into place, having signed its first geothermal contract in 1986. Thanks to expanding renewable energy serving our customers and the retirement of coal-fueled generation in Nevada, the state experienced an 85 pct reduction in coal-fueled carbon emissions and reduced carbon emissions from the electric industry by 44 pct from 2005 to 2015.

NV Energy Inc, which provides a range of energy services to more than 1.4 million customers throughout Nevada, is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Company, do business as NV Energy. (Source: NV Energy, PR 23 April, 2019) Contact: NV Energy, Doug Cannon, Pres., CEO, Kristen Saibini, Senior Corporate Communication Specialist, (775) 834-3891, ksaibini@nvenergy.com, www.nvenergy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News NV Energy,  Renewable Energy Portfolio,  Renewable Energy Standard,  


Dominion Energy Reports Facebook Solar Supply Deal (Ind. Report)
Dominion Energy ,Facebook
Date: 2019-04-24
In the Old Dominion State, Richmond-headquartered Dominion Energy is reporting six new solar projects totaling 350 MW in its Virginia and North Carolina serive area will provide 100 pct clean renewable energy to serve Facebook.

The six solar projects include: the 20 MW Montross Solar in Westmoreland County, Va. (completed) ; 20 MW Gloucester Solar in Gloucester, Va. (completed); 80 MW Grasshopper Solar in Mecklenburg, Va.; 75 MW Chestnut Solar in Halifax County, N.C.; 75 MW Pecan Solar in Northampton County, N.C. (completed); and the 80 MW Gutenberg Solar in Northampton County, N.C. Dominion Energy developed the Montross Solar project, and the other projects have been acquired or will be acquired from EDF Renewables Inc., BayWa r.e. Solar Projects LLC and Strata Solar.

The solar projects are all expected to be fully operational by mid-2020. Dominion aims to have 3 GW of new solar and wind energy in operation or under development by 2022. Facebook aims to power it global operations with 100 pct renewable energy by the end of 2020.(Source: Dominion Energy, 22 April, 2019) Contact: Dominion Energy, Keith Windle, VP Business Development, www.dominionenergy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Dominion Energy ,  Solar,  Facebook,  


Cdn. Oilsands CO2 Emissions Far Higher than Reported (Ind. Report)
Environment Canada
Date: 2019-04-24
In Ottawa, Environment Canada is reporting newly published research from Canadian federal scientists suggests a number of major oilsands operations in oil-soaked northern Alberta seem to be emitting significantly more carbon pollution than companies have been reporting, which could have profound consequences for government climate-change strategies.

The researchers, mainly from Environment Canada, calculated emissions rates for four major oilsands surface mining operations using air samples collected in 2013 on 17 airplane flights over the area. In results published today in the journal Nature Communications, the scientists say the air samples from just those surface mining operations suggest their carbon dioxide emissions are 64 pct higher, on average, than what the companies themselves report to the federal government using the standard United Nations reporting framework for greenhouse gases. The findings suggest Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions would be around 2.3 pct higher than previously thought.

The report suggests the differences between the new estimates and previously reported numbers are related to methodology. The standard "bottom up" method sees companies quantify the amount of fuel they use at each source of their operation, from extraction to delivery of crude to refineries. They then calculate their carbon emissions from their fuel use. The scientists behind the Environment Canada study used a "top-down" approach involving hundreds of air samples taken during more than 80 hours of flights over four major surface mining operations in northern Alberta: Syncrude Canada's Mildred Lake facility, Suncor's Millennium and North Steepbank site, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.'s Horizon mine, and what was then Shell's Albian Jackpine operation, now majority owned by Canadian Natural.

The gap between the facilities' reported CO2 emissions and the levels calculated by researchers was 13 pct for the Suncor site, 36 pct for the Horizon mine, 38 pct for Jackpine and 123 pct for Syncrude. The study did not include emissions from all oilsands operations that use in-situ extraction, pumping steam into the ground to get the petroleum out. About 80 pct of oilsands reserves, and the majority of current production, require in-situ extraction. That means the overall amount of under reported greenhouse gas emissions could be significantly higher. (Source: Environment Canada, CBC News , 23 April, 2019) Contact: Environment Canada, John Liggio, www.linkedin.com/in/john-liggio-34349467

More Low-Carbon Energy News Environment Canada,  Carbon Emissions,  Oil Sands,  Carbon Emissions,  


NYC Mayor Touts OneNYC2050 Carbon Neutrality Goals (Ind. Report)
Bill de Blasio
Date: 2019-04-24
In the Empire State, NYC mayor Bill de Blasio is trumpeting the OneNYC 2050 plan aimed at slashing the Big Apple's greenhouse gas emissions 28 pct and putting the city on track to make a 40 pct cut in emissions by 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

The Mayor's announcement comes on the heels of the City Council legislative package called the Climate Mobilization Act, the centerpiece of which is an emissions cap on buildings 25,000 square feet and up -- houses of worship and rent controlled and affordable housing excepted -- compelling landlords to retrofit their buildings beginning in 2024 or face hefty fines. The legislation aims to slash buildings' GHG emissions -- which currently account for almost 70 pct of the citywide total -- by 40 pct in 2030 and 80 pct by 2050. OneNYC 2050 leverages and expands on that bill by banning construction of energy inefficient, glass-facade structures touches on pre-existing plans to shore up the city's defenses against climate change related natural disasters and storms. Mayor De Blasio projects these initiatives will cost the city roughly $14 billion. (Source: NYC, Various Media, Waste360, April, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Neutral,  Carbon Emissions Bill de Blasio,  


WRT, SynTech Bioenergy Partner on Non-Landfill Waste (Ind. Report)
SynTech Bioenergy,Waste Resource Technologies
Date: 2019-04-24
Englewood, Colorado-based carbon-negative clean energy specialist SynTech Bioenergy is reporting an agreement with Waste Resource Technologies, Inc. (WRT) to immediately begin deploying SynTech's proprietary BioMax® power generation solution to convert green waste collected by WRT, as well as fruit processing waste from certain agricultural operations on Oahu, HI, to renewable energy. This initial project will keep an estimated 1300 tpy of waste out of landfills or otherwise kept from normal decay, the methane from which would have been 21 times more harmful to the Hawaiian environment than CO2 -- up to 8000 tons of carbon, which will be removed from the local environments through the elimination of waste transportation, elimination of methane release and displacement of fossil fired power and heat by BioMax®

Waste Resource Technologies, Inc. (WRT) is a waste collection, recovery and conversion company with operations in California and Hawaii. WRT uses technologies from leading bioenergy companies to transform waste into sustainable resources such as baseload electricity, renewable natural gas, alternative fuel pellets, and biochar. (Source: SynTech Bioenergy, PR, 23 April, 2019) Contact: SynTech Bioenergy, Wayne McFarland, Chairman and CEO, www.syntechbioenergy.com; Bioenergy Hawaii, www.bioenergyhawaii.com; Waste Resource Technologies, Kosti Shrivanian, CEO,

More Low-Carbon Energy News SynTech Bioenergy,  Waste Resource Technologies,  


DOE Offers $47Mn for Flexible Building Technologies (Funding)
US DOE
Date: 2019-04-24
The U.S. DOE has announced the Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) 2019 Funding Opportunity (FOA) for up to $47 million for innovative technologies to make energy more affordable.

According to the DOE, residential and commercial buildings account for approximately 40 pct of the Nation's total energy demand and about 75 pct of all electric power consumption. In addition, growing peak electricity demands are challenging the electrical grid, exacerbated by stresses from transmission and distribution infrastructure constraints and the increasing number of variable renewable electricity power generation sources. However, integration of more flexible and even dispatchable loads through building automation can optimize energy use leading to decreased energy costs while maintaining occupant preferences. Even greater optimization of energy supply, storage, and demand results in a more resilient and reliable grid that simultaneously improves energy affordability.

The DOE Building Technologies Office (BTO) designed the 2019 BENEFIT FOA to increase energy productivity -- both within and beyond a building's walls -- by supporting the R&D and performance verification of flexible and energy-efficient technologies for residential and commercial buildings across the following topic areas:

  • Flexible Buildings Technologies: This topic supports early-stage R&D that integrates advanced sensing, controls and communication with flexible, energy efficiency technologies to advance the role buildings can play in the modernizing power grid. The subtopics include cybersecurity through adaptive building controls, performance verification for flexible building loads, advanced actuators and thermal energy storage.

  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technologies: This topic supports the development of highly efficient technologies for thermal end-uses in buildings, including space conditioning, water-heating and refrigeration. Subtopics include non-vapor compression heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technologies and fuel-driven building equipment.

  • Solid-state Lighting Technologies: This topic supports the development of highly efficient lighting technologies and systems to improve lighting energy efficiency. The subtopics address the green gap and droop in LEDs, quantum dot optical down-converters, stable and efficient white OLEDs, light extraction and utilization for OLEDs, and advanced lighting systems.

    The BTO's demand flexibility strategy, called Grid-interactive Efficient Building, is a unique addition to this funding opportunity which has traditionally focused on R&D for the next-generation of energy efficient building technologies. The DOE's vision integrates advanced sensing, controls, and communication with flexible, energy efficiency technologies to advance the role buildings can play in modernizing the power grid.

    Buildings have historically been passive consumers of energy, but next-generation flexible technologies give buildings and equipment the potential to provide a host of grid services that utilities currently receive from other, more traditional grid assets. Further research will help achieve this vision at-scale.

    Download FOA details and application materials HERE. Information on the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Building Technologies Office is HERE. (Source: USA DOE, BLOG, 23 April, 2019) Contact: US DOE, www.energy.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US DOE,  Building Energy Efficiency,  


  • UniEnergy Tech, Chemours Tout Energy Storage Deal (Ind. Report)
    Chemours Company
    Date: 2019-04-22
    Wilmington, Delaware-based global chemicals and fluoropolymers specialist Chemours Company is reporting a strategic partnership with redox flow battery manufacturer UniEnergy Technology LLC (UET) based in Mukilteo, Washington.

    The partnership will include an investment in UET as well as a long-term and exclusive supply agreement for Nafion™ ion exchange membranes enabling Chemours to further develop and optimize the Nafion™ product offering as the industry standard for energy storage, raise the competitiveness and accelerate the adoption of flow batteries in the energy marketplace -- a key growth area for Chemours Fluoroproducts business. (Source: Chemours, PR, 19 April, 2019) Contact: Chemours, Jonathan Lock, VP, Corporate Development and Investor Relations, (302) 773-2263, investor@chemours.com, www.chemours.com; UniEnergy Technology, (425) 290-8898 (office), (425) 740-9898 (fax), info@uetechnologies.com, www.uetechnologies.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Chemours,  Renewable Energy,  Energy STorage,  


    Vancouver Considers Climate Emergency Responses (Ind. Report)
    City of Vancouver
    Date: 2019-04-22
    In British Columbia, the city of Vancouver general managers of planning and engineering are recommending the city adopt the following "big moves" by 2030 in its response to the world's "climate emergency" and in keeping with the city's green initiatives to ensure the city becomes carbon neutral before 2050:
  • Aim to have 90 pct of its citizens live within an easy walk of their daily needs;

  • Accelerate its goal of having two-third of trips in the city by walking, biking or transit by 2030 (instead of 2040);

  • Have 50 pct of all kilometers driven on city roads by zero emissions vehicles;

  • Aim by 2025 to have all new and replacement heating and hot water systems in buildings produce zero emissions;

  • By 2030 reduce the carbon content of new buildings and construction projects by 40 per cent (compared to 2018);

  • By 2030 restore enough forest and coastal ecosystems in the city to remove one million tpy of carbon pollution by 2060.

    The goal is for the city to "do its part" to keep warming to the international climate community's goal of 1.5 degrees, said Matt Horne, the city's climate policy manager. The overall goal is to cut in half carbon pollution by 2030 -- a 90,000 tpy reduction of carbon compared to the 19,000 tpy the city has reduced between 2007 and 2017. The city is also aiming to phase out fossil fuels by 2023. (Source: City of Vancouver, Vancouver Sun, 16 April, 2019) Contact: City of Vancouver, Matt Horne, Climate Policy Manager, twitter.com/hornematt?lang=en, www.vancouver.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News City of Vancouver,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


  • Notable Quotes
    Climate Change
    Date: 2019-04-22
    "We are taking real action on climate change. By pricing pollution, supporting energy-efficiency measures, and investing in our forests and in new infrastructure to manage waste, British Columbians can be proud that their governments are creating the tools needed so that everyone can play a role in reducing greenhouse gas pollution." -- The Hon. Catherine McKenna, Canada Minister of Environment and Climate Change, www.facebook.com/McKenna.Ottawa

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Chang,  Catherine McKenna,  


    Celanese Upping Methanol Production at Texas Facility (Ind. Report)
    Celanese
    Date: 2019-04-17
    Celanese Corporation, a global chemical and specialty materials company, is reporting plans to significantly expand methanol production capacity to 125 pct of original capacity at its Clear Lake acetyl intermediates manufacturing facility in Pasadena, Texas.

    Celanese recently received approvals from the Fairway Methanol LLC board of directors for a second phase expansion, which will increase production to 1.7 million mtpy approximately 125% of the original nameplate capacity -- to be implemented as soon as operationally feasible and pending customary regulatory and permitting approvals. Financial details of the project are not being disclosed at this time. In parallel with this expansion, Celanese and Mitsui will evaluate additional cost effective expansion options for the Clear Lake methanol unit. (Source: Celanese, PR, 17 April, 2019) Contact: Contact: Celanese, Inv. Relations, Chuck Kyrish, (972) 443- 4574, chuck.kyrish@celanese.com, www.celanese.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methanol news,  Celanese news,  


    NASA Planning Space Station CO2 Monitoring Observatory (Int'l)
    NASA
    Date: 2019-04-15
    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is reporting the upcoming launch of its Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3) later this year. this year. The OCO-3 system will be mounted on the International Space Station, which circles Earth from 52 degrees north to 52 degrees south latitudes.

    The OCO-3 is designed to accurately measure the altering carbon cycle on Earth and how it will affect all its living inhabitants. The OCO-3 measurements can reduce the uncertainty of the natural fluxes of the global carbon budget, mainly due to anthropogenic emissions. The instrument can make nearly precise measurements at different times of the day due to its position in space. Scientists also aim to know how CO2 concentrations change throughout the day in various areas of the Earth.

    The OCO-3's high-resolution spectrometers can also detect solar-induced fluorescence, a type of radiation emitted by plants. Plants only produce SIF during photosynthesis season, which is also the only time they absorb CO2.

    The OCO-3 cost less than $100 million to construct and was developed by the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL)in California. The OCO-3 is expected to launch prior to April 25 and is expected to continue for three years. (Source: JPL NASA, Tech Times, April 2019) Contact: NASA, (818) 354-4321, www.jpl.nasa.gov, www.nasa.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NASA,  CO2,  NASA JPL,  


    DOE Announces $87Mn for Coal R&D Projects (Ind. Report)
    US DOE
    Date: 2019-04-15
    In the nation's capitol, the U.S. DOE has announced up to $87.3 million in federal funding for cost-shared R&D projects for advanced coal technologies. In 2017, coal was the second-largest energy source for electricity generation in the United States.

    The R&D projects for coal-fueled power plants and technologies include the following separate funding opportunities:

  • Advancing Steam Turbine Performance for Coal Boilers -- This FOA seeks to improve the performance of steam-based power cycles, resulting in a lower cost of electricity with reduced emissions per megawatt-hour for coal-fueled boilers. This FOA also includes an area of interest for conceptual engineering design for steam turbines in the 50 -- 350 MW range in support of DOE's Coal FIRST initiative. DOE's Office of Fossil Energy's (FE) Advanced Turbines Program will support these projects. DOE Funding: Up to $22 million

  • Transformational Sensing Systems for Monitoring the Deep Subsurface -- This FOA seeks to reduce uncertainty and enable real-time decision making associated with subsurface carbon dioxide (CO2) storage. FE's Carbon Storage Research Program will support these projects. Read more details about this FOA here. Up to $4.8 million is available.

  • Crosscutting Research for Coal-Fueled Power Plants -- This FOA aims to develop innovative technologies that will enhance the performance and economics of the existing and future coal fleet thereby lowering electricity costs for consumers. FE's Crosscutting Research Program will support these projects. Up to $14.5 million funding available.

  • Advanced Materials for High-Efficiency, Flexible and Reliable Coal-Fueled Power Plants -- This FOA will reduce the cost and enhance the cyclic durability of materials used in advanced ultrasupercritical power plants. These advanced materials are critical to increasing the efficiency and reliability of coal-fueled power plants. FE's Advanced Materials Program will support these projects. Up to $26 million available.

  • Process Scale-Up and Optimization/Efficiency Improvements for Rare Earth Elements (REE) and Critical Materials (CM) Recovery from Coal-Based Resources -- This FOA will support cooperative agreements to advance the development of technologies for recovery REEs and CMs from domestic coal-based resources through both novel and conventional extraction, separation, and recovery processes. FE's Feasibility of Recovering Rare Earth Elements Program will support these projects. Up to $20 million available.

    DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage all of the selected projects.

    Download details HERE. ( Source: US DOE, April, 2019) Contact: US DOE, Sec. of Fossil Energy, Steven Winberg, Assist. Sec., www.energy.gov/fe/office-fossil-energy

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US DOE,  Coal,  Clean Coal,  


  • Universal mCloud, TELUS Ink Energy Efficiency Deal (Ind. Report)
    Universal mCloud Corp
    Date: 2019-04-12
    Vancouver, B.C. based asset management solutions specialist Universal mCloud Corp is reporting a six-year agreement with TELUS Corporate Real Estate to upgrade HVAC controls and deploy AssetCare at one of its office towers in Scarborough, Ontario.

    Universal mCloud will upgrade and replace 450 legacy thermostats at the building with Cypress Wireless Pneumatic Thermostats and Green Box Controllers connected via mesh network to the building's main control system. The upgrade is expected to cut energy costs related to heating and cooling by 25 pct and also reduce facility maintenance costs.

    Universal mCloud uses artificial intelligence and analytics to curb energy waste, maximize energy production and improve energy infrastructure primarily in the smart buildings, wind energy, power utilities and oil and gas. (Source: UniversalmCloud, Proactive Investors, 11 April, 2019) Contact: Universal mCloud, David Weinerth, Pres.,Smart Buildings, (604) 669-9973, www.mcloudcorp.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Universal mCloud,  Energy Efficiency,  


    dynaCERT Announces First Ontario Trucking Fleet Order (Ind Report)
    dynaCERT
    Date: 2019-04-12
    Toronto-headquartered dynaCERT Inc is reporting receipt of a purchase order from Ontario-based Newport Environmental Technologies for ten (10) HG145 units of its HydraGEN™ which enhances vehicle engine combustion and tracks greenhouse gas emissions.

    All vehicles that are to be outfitted with dynaCERT's HydraGEN Technology are highway tractors that on avergae consume 198,000 gpy of diesel fuel and produce over 2,000 tpy of GHGs.

    According to Newport's Trevor McCagherty, "This purchase is part of our overall strategy that is looking to transform single-use plastics into synthetic fuel to be used to power our fleet and lower our carbon footprint. Our team is familiar with the benefits provided by hydrogen enhanced combustion. HydraGEN™ Technology is particularly important to us as a proven catalyst which increases the burn rate while reducing emissions and improving torque and power. As the company continues to look at developing alternative fuel mixtures, HydraGEN Technology can enhance all our endeavors including in synthetic diesel as well as in biofuels. What becomes even more interesting is the ability of the patent-pending HydraGEN Technology to measure and track GHG reduction," McCagherty added.

    dynaCERT Inc. manufactures, distributes, and installs Carbon Emission Reduction Technology for use with internal combustion engines. The technology creates hydrogen and oxygen on-demand through electrolysis and supplies these through the air intake to enhance combustion, resulting in lower carbon emissions and greater fuel efficiency. (Source: dynaCERT Inc., PR 11 April, 2019) Contact: dynaCERT Inc. Jim Payne, CEO, (416) 766-9691 x 2, jpayne@dynaCERT.com, www.dynaCERT.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News dynaCERT,  HydraGEN ,  CO2 Emissions,  


    Amazon Employees for Climate Justice Submit Open Letter to Jeff Bezos, Amazon Board of Directors (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Amazon
    Date: 2019-04-12
    "To Jeff Bezos and Board of Directors:

    "We, the undersigned 4,520 Amazon employees, ask that you adopt the climate plan shareholder resolution and release a company-wide climate plan that incorporates the principles outlined in this letter.

    "Amazon has the resources and scale to spark the world's imagination and redefine what is possible and necessary to address the climate crisis. We believe this is a historic opportunity for Amazon to stand with employees and signal to the world that we're ready to be a climate leader.

    "Climate change is an existential threat. The 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report predicts that a warming of 2 degree C, which we're currently on track to surpass, will threaten the lives of hundreds of millions of people and put thousands of species at risk of extinction. We're already seeing devastating climate impacts: unprecedented flooding in India and Mozambique, dry water wells in Africa, coastal displacement in Asia, wildfires and floods in North America, and crop failure in Latin America. Vulnerable communities least responsible for the climate crisis are already paying the highest price.

    "Amazon's leadership is urgently needed. We're a company that understands the importance of thinking big, taking ownership of hard problems, and earning trust. These traits have made Amazon a top global innovator but have been missing from the company's approach to climate change. For example: We (Amazon) haven't disclosed a company-wide plan to reach zero carbon emissions within the timeline required; Shipment Zero only commits to net carbon reductions; We have an AWS for oil & gas initiative devoted to helping fossil fuel companies accelerate and expand oil and gas extraction; We donate to climate-delaying legislators (Amazon has joined a variety of sustainability organizations like the Corporate Eco Forum and the American Council on Renewable Energy, we donated to 68 members of congress in 2018 who voted against climate legislation 100 pct of the time) ; and our sustainability goals lack context. "For example, we've set a goal of at least 50 solar installations in warehouse facilities by 2020. This represents only 6 pct of buildings in our global fulfillment network and a fraction of our overall carbon footprint .

    "Our customer obsession requires climate obsession. This necessitates an immediate company-wide plan addressing climate change that demonstrates the following principles: Public goals and timelines consistent with science and the IPCC report ; A complete transition away from fossil fuels rather than relying on carbon offsets; Prioritization of climate impact when making business decision; Reduction of harm to the most vulnerable communities first; Advocacy for local, federal, and international policies; Fair treatment of all employees during climate disruptions and extreme weather events.

    "In our mission to become 'Earth's most customer-centric company,' we believe our climate impact must be a top consideration in everything we do. We have the power to shift entire industries, inspire global action on climate, and lead on the issue of our lifetimes. We ask that you, as leaders responsible for our strategic direction, adopt the climate plan resolution and release a company-wide plan that incorporates the six principles above." (Source: Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, April, 2019)

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


    Shining Cities 2019 Report Lists Top U.S. Solar Cities (Ind. Report)
    Environment Texas Research & Policy Center
    Date: 2019-04-12
    In the Lone Star State, the Austin-based Environment Texas Research & Policy Center's recently released Shining Cities 2019 report notes that the United States' solar capacity has rapidly expanded to more than 60 gigawatts of installed capacity -- that's enough to power one in every 11 homes nationwide. The report also notes the amount of solar presently installed in just 20 cities outpaces the total amount of solar capacity in the United States in 2010. The amount of cities with more than 50 watts per capita installed has jumped from eight in 2013 to 23 in 2018.

    The Environment Texas report shows Los Angeles has the most capacity of any city, with 419.9 megawatts installed. It also has the potential to install a staggering 5.4 gigawatts on small buildings around the city, which would transform it into a production powerhouse. Other leading solar city include Burlington, Vermont; Las Vegas, Nevada, Honolulu, Hawaii, San Antonio, Texas, and Washington, DC.

    Download the Shining Cities 2019 report HERE. (Source: Environment Texas Research & Policy Center. April, 2019) Contact: Environment Texas Research & Policy Center. (512) 479-0388, www. environmenttexascenter.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  


    EU Reports Renewable Energy Roll-out Slowdown (Int'l Report)
    EU,Renewable Energy
    Date: 2019-04-10
    The European Commission (EC) is reporting that the 28 member trading block is still "on track" towards achieving its goal of 20 pct of 2020 energy coming from renewables, primarily because of its pre-2014 progress.

    The EC also noted "the pace of increase of the renewable energy share has slowed down" and increases in absolute energy consumption has lowered the renewable share in 2017 in seven EU states. In France, Ireland, Poland and elsewhere, "additional efforts" were needed. (Source: EC, EU Observer, 9 April, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EU,  Rnewable Energy,  


    Minn. Renewables Mandate Priced at $80Bn through 2050 (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Energy
    Date: 2019-04-10
    Following up on our 25th March coverage of Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz' pledge to make his state's electricity sources 50 pct reliant on renewable energy by 2030, a new study from the American Experiment think tank contends that the governor's mandate would cost Gopher State taxpayers an additional $80.2 billion through 2050 compared to 2016 projected costs.

    The 50 pct renewable energy plan would increase electricity prices by 40 pct compared to November 2018 prices, 75 pct and 50 pct more than both nuclear energy scenarios, according to the American Experiment. Under the ACE rule change, electricity costs would be reduced by 3.8 pct. These costs translate to higher electric bills for Minnesota households, up to $375 every year, or a 32 pct increase compared to 2017, the study found. Building and maintaining an electric grid to accommodate the renewable energy push would cost each Minnesota household an average of $1,200 per year, relative to 2016 prices, the analysis found.

    According to a report by Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC), the proposed 50 percent renewable energy plan also fails a cost-benefit analysis. It costs more to reduce one metric ton of carbon dioxide to provide reliable electricity using wind and solar, the analysis found. (Source: American Experiment, Minn. PUC, Minnesota WatchDog, 6 April, 2019) Contact: American Experiment, (612) 338-3605, info@americanexperiment.org, www.americanexperiment.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz,  Renewable Energy,  Minnesota Renewable Energy,  


    Aussie Micro-Algae Bio-crude Specialist Goes Broke (Int'l)
    Muradel
    Date: 2019-04-10
    In the Land Down Under, Whyalla, South Australia based microalgae - advanced bio-crude startup company Mursadel is reported to have been placed in voluntary administration -- Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection.

    Muradel developed Green2Black, a proprietary way of producing biofuel from biosolids, algae and other sustainable feedstocks. The company's $10.5 million demonstration plant in Whyalla in a bid to commercialize the technology which received $4.5 million in grant funding from the Federal Government's Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and more than $500,000 in state and council funds. Unfortunately, production costs were prohibitive - the pilot plant produced oil from micro-algae at about $9.90 a litre against a projected cost of less than $1 a litre. The company also built five algae ponds to support research.

    The business was established in 2010 by the University of Adelaide, Murdoch University and majority shareholder SQC Pty Ltd, which is solely funded by Aban Australia Pty Ltd. (part of the Ausker Group of Companies).(Source: Daily Telegraph, The Advertiser, Others, 9 April, 2019) Contact: Muradel, +61 8 8645 5683, www.muradel.com.au

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Muradel,  Biofuel,  Algae,  


    Hydrogenics Inks NZ Green Hydrogen Production Station Deal (Int'l)
    Hydrogenics
    Date: 2019-04-10
    Mississauga, Ontario-headquartered hydrogen specialist Hydrogenics Corporation reports it has inked a supply agreement with Halcyon Power -- a joint venture of New Zealand-based Tuaropaki Trust and Obayashi Corporation of Japan -- for a carbon-free, 1.5 MW hydrogen production facility in New Zealand.The project is expected to be fully operational in 2020.

    The carbon-neutral "green" hydrogen will be generated using electricity from stable, cost-effective geothermal energy in Mokai, Taupo, located adjacent to an existing Tuaropaki power plant.

    Hydrogenics will provide an onsite hydrogen production plant using the Company's large-scale containerized PEM electrolysis technology to produce as much as 250Nm3 per hour of hydrogen. (Source: Hydrogenics, PR, 9 April, 2019) Contact: Hydrogenics Corp., Daryl Wilson, President & CEO, www.hydrogenics.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Hydrogenics,  Hydrogen,  


    Global Fuel Ethanol Mkt. Hits $186Bn by 2022 (Ind. Report Offered)
    Zion Market Research
    Date: 2019-04-10
    Zion Market Research is offering a new report on the Fuel Ethanol Market for Pharmaceuticals, Alcoholic Beverages, Chemical Feedstock, and Automotive and Other Applications: Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis and Forecast, 2016--2022.

    The Fuel Ethanol Market report inspects the raised structure of the present worldwide Fuel Ethanol Market and includes a total evaluation of the significant Fuel Ethanol Market players. This report also examines the Fuel Ethanol Market by the type of product, its end users, applications and others.

    Request a free sample report HERE. Download free PDF report brochure HERE. Additional report information and details are HERE. (Source: Zion Market Research, April, 2019) Contact: Zion Market Research , www.zionmarketresearch.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  Zion Market Research,  


    Idaho Power, Jackpot Holdings Ink 20-Year Solar PPA (Ind. Report)
    Idaho Power
    Date: 2019-04-08
    Idaho Power reports it and Jackpot Holdings, LLC have inked a 20-year solar energy PPA at the low rate of $21.75 per MWh -- less than 2.2 cents per kWh. The solar power will be generated from a future 120-MW solar project enear Twin Falls, Idaho, which is expected to come online expected to come online in 2022.

    The Jackpot Holdings agreement will help replace energy produced by the North Valmy coal-fired plant in Nevada, where Idaho Power recently agreed to end operations. The PPA supports Idaho Power's goal of providing 100 pct clean energy by 2045. The PPA is subject to Idaho Public Utilities Commission approval. (Source: Idaho Power, PR, 3 April, 2019) Contact: Idaho Power, www.idahopower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Idaho Power,  Solar,  


    U.Maine Advances Honeywell Renewable Energy Project (Ind Report)
    University of Maine,Honeywell
    Date: 2019-04-08
    Following up on our 22 May, 2018 report, the University of Maine System trustees are reporting the authorization of up to $5.7 million to advance negotiations with Honeywell International for a long-term energy contract worth up to $165 million to shift the University of Maine systems Orono campus from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources including biomass.

    The newly approved funds begin the second phase of negotiations, providing Honeywell up to $4.2 million to solidify the design and provide more precise information on the project scope and financials. The other $1.5 million is for the university to hire experts for its own work on the project. Once the second phase is completed, Honeywell will provide "a firm fixed price" for the Board's approval.

    The energy system conversion is being driven in part by University of Maine's goal of virtually eliminating net greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. Honeywell says its project will achieve 85 percent of that goal. The university presently spends $10 million +- per year on electricity and heat. That expense could be cut to $4.3 million with a proposed new biomass power plant and solar array.

    The proposed on campus 6-MW central heating and power plant would burn approximately 70,000 tpy of wood chips from sustainably harvested local timber. The CHP plant would use natural gas and oil or liquid biofuels as backups for its boilers, as well as the 40MW solar array. A similar but smaller biomass facility at the University of Maine at Farmington campus burns 4,000 tpy of locally harvested hardwood chips, and replaced nearly 400,000 gallons of oil. (Source: University of Maine, Portland Press Herald, 5 April, 2019) Contact: University of Maine Orono, https://umaine.edu; Honeywell, www.honeywell.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News University of Maine,  Honeywell,  Renewable Energy,  


    €1Mn Prize Offered for Coal Power Plant Replacement Idea (Int'l)
    Coal,Helsinki,Climate Change
    Date: 2019-04-05
    In Finland, Helsinki mayor Jan Vapaavuori is reporting the launch of the €1 million Helsinki Challenge Competition aimed at heating the capital city without burning coal and tackling climate change. The mayor tweeted: "Helsinki Challenge: A million euros to the person who can develop a solution to replace coal burning in the heating of Helsinki in the most sustainable way possible, using the least biomass."

    The Finnish capital has pledged to stop using coal for heating by the year 2029, as Finnish law prohibits using coal for the production of electricity and heat after this date. "The city feels it is sensible that an unsustainable fuel like coal is not replaced with another questionable fuel like biomass or nuclear", according to the mayor.

    According to Helsinki city-owned power utility HELEN, half of its energy is currently produced with coal, but it plans to close its coal-fired Hanasaari power plant by the end of 2024. The utility has constructed 114 MW of alternative energy production in the form of a new wood pellet-fired heating plant in Salmisaari, and has also installed several solar facilities. (Source: City of Helsinki, yle, 4 April, 2019)Contact: City of Helsinki, Mayor's Office,www.hel.fi/helsinki/en/administration/administration/.../mayors/mayor; HELEN, +358 9 6171, www.helen.fi/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Helsinki,  Coal,  Climate Change,  


    Bio3Gen Touts Wastewater Algae-to-Biofuel Technology (Ind. Report)
    Bio3Gen,Purdue University
    Date: 2019-04-05
    In West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue University affiliate startup Gen3Bio reports it is advancing a unique way to transform algae used to purify municipal wastewater into specialty bio-based chemicals such as biofuels or bioplastics. The company's "patented enzyme technology breaks open the algae and takes out the sugars, fats and proteins, and converts those into specialty chemicals. It's a way to keep the carbon cycle going by renewing the use of the algae into useful and safe products," according to Bio3Gen founder and CEO Kelvin Okamoto.

    Gen3Bio has been accepted into two accelerator programs focused on advancing new environmentally friendly technologies -- the BREW in Milwaukee and Carbontech Labs in San Francisco.

    The BREW accelerator, sponsored by The Water Council, focuses on fresh water, wastewater treatment and water treatment technologies.The BREW accelerator offers selected companies $50,000 in funds, connections to office and research space, and access to mentors. At the end of the program in June, Gen3bio, along with the other participants, will pitch their technologies to a panel of investors.

    Gen3Bio received assistance from the Purdue Foundry, a startup accelerator that works with any Indiana-based company. The technology is patented and exclusively licensed from the University of Toledo. (Source: Gen3Bio, Purdue News Service, 4 April, 2019) Contact: Gen3Bio, Kelvin Okamoto, kokamoto@gen3bio.com; Purdue Research Foundation, Tom Coyne, (765) 588-1044, tjcoyne@prf.org, www.prf.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bio3Gen,  Algae,  Biofuel,  Biochemical,  Purdue University ,  


    Utah Univ. Developes Algae-to-Biofuel Technique (New Prod & Tech)
    University of Utah
    Date: 2019-04-05
    In a recently published report, researchers at the University of Utah led by Dr. Swomitra Kumar Mohanty, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, describe new technology that will make the development of biofuels from plants more economically feasible.

    According to the researchers, the development and commercialization of algae-to-fuel technology has not been developed further because the process by which the oils were extracted from the plants was too costly to be economically viable. However, the new technique developed by Dr. Mohanty and his colleagues may change all that.

    "Typically when you take algae you have to go through this drying or dewatering step. What we decided is 'Well, what if I could just take the algae, feed it into this mixer and extract the bio-crude directly without using the energy needed to dewater it as in traditional methods?' Basically what we do is we have a solvent in one end and we have the algae with the water in another end and we shoot them into this little mixer at high velocities. What comes out is basically a slurry of stuff that if you let sit or put into a centrifuge, you can just pull the oil off and process it for fuel," Mohanty noted.

    The fuels produced through this process burns cleaner than petroleum diesel in most ways and could potentially replace petroleum diesel in many vehicles, Mohanty said. (Source: University of Utah, Utah Public Radio, 4 April, 2019) Contact: University of Utah, Dr. Swomitra Kumar Mohanty, Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering, (801) 587-7299, s.k.mohanty@utah.edu, www.utah.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Algae,  Biofuel,  


    POET CEO Broin Scores Bioeconomy Leadership Award (Ind. Report)
    POET
    Date: 2019-04-05
    On Thursday, April 4, POET CEO and Founder Jeff Broin was recognized with a Bioeconomy Leadership Award award for his vision and leadership in pioneering new technology and building POET into the world's largest biofuel producer. Previous award recipients are former Iowa governor and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (2013) and former Navy Secretary Ray Mabus (2015), recognized for his work in developing the Great Green Fleet, an initiative that demonstrates the Navy's efforts to transform its energy use.

    According to the POET release, in its more than 30-year history, POET has continually found ways to make biofuel production more efficient at its network of 27 bioprocessing facilities and to develop new co-products and new sources for biofuel. POET, through its joint venture with Dutch biotechnology company DSM, also operates a commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant, Project LIBERTY, in Emmetsburg, Iowa.

    The Global Bioeconomy Leadership Award was established by Biofuels Digest and Nuu Media to recognize individuals who offer a bold vision and have made a global impact in the biotechnology space. (Source: POET, Vital, 4 April, 2019) Contact: POET, Jeff Broin, Pres., (605) 965-2200, www.poet.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News POET,  Biofuel,  Ethanol,  


    Appalachian Power Seeks Efficiency Program Approvals (Ind. Report)
    Appalachian Power
    Date: 2019-04-05
    Further to our Jan. 30 coverage, in the Old Dominion State, Appalachian Power, along with Wheeling Power, reports it is requesting Public Service Commission of West Virginia approval for a new Economic Development Fund and changes to the company’s energy efficiency programs, including introducing two new offerings.

    The new fund would be financed by a combination of a monthly customer meter charge of 12 cents, generating approximately $670,000 annually, and equal company matching funds, according to a company release.

    Planned changes to the utility's energy efficiency programs are aimed at controlling electric power usage and lowering energy costs for program participants. One of the new programs -- the Low-Income Multi-Family Program -- will provide installation of measures such as energy-efficient lighting, water heating measures, appliance upgrades, HVAC replacement and maintenance, insulation and similar features in individual units of multi-family buildings, and will raise awareness and understanding of energy efficiency among participating building owners, managers and tenants.

    A second new program -- the Small Business Direct Install Program -- will educate small-business owners about energy efficiency and provide financial incentives to encourage additional energy efficiency improvements. (Source: Appalachian Power, PR, Herald-Dispatch, 3 April, 2019) Contact: Appalachian Power, Don Nichols, (800)956-4237, contact@aep.com, www.appalachianpower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Appalachian Power,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Honeywell, Newark Ink Energy Efficiency, Savings Deal (Ind. Report)
    Honeywell
    Date: 2019-04-03
    In the Garden State, Honeywell is reporting it will partner with the City of Newark in an energy savings improvement project to help New Jersey's largest city meet its sustainability goals and cut energy and operating costs by approximately 36 pct. Honeywell will lead a program to upgrade building infrastructure in 17 city facilities and help cut the city's annual energy operating costs with a potential savings of nearly $1 million a year.

    As part of the project, Honeywell will:

  • Implement three co-generation plants to enable the city to generate on-site electricity and heat simultaneously in two recreation centers and at the City Hall complex;
  • Modernize the existing City Hall complex central boiler plant;
  • Replace failed steam traps and missing pipe insulation on steam distribution systems to reduce thermal energy losses;
  • Upgrade lighting with more energy-efficient LEDs and install energy-efficient control solutions, such as room occupancy sensors thermostatic valves on radiators to reduce steam consumption;
  • Install a comprehensive Building Management System (BMS) platform to monitor and control multiple buildings from a central location;
  • Integrate the City's HVAC and building systems into the BMS;
  • Install a City-wide solution to reduce desktop computer electric power consumption;
  • Improve building envelopes to better maintain conditioned air in facilities; and
  • Install electric and gas sub-meters on buildings to more accurately monitor and manage energy use.

    The building infrastructure improvements, which are slated for completion by end of 2019, are expected to help Newark cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 2,930 metric tpy. The Honeywell-led upgrades are being funded with a $2.3 million rebate from the New Jersey Clean Energy Program and a 20-year, $15.4 million energy savings service contract. Honeywell guarantees the savings, eliminating the need for upfront capital investment and making it a self-funding project over the contract term. (Source: Honeywell, PR, April, 2019) Contact: Honeywell, Jessie Timmerman, (763) 954-6071, jessie.timmerman@honeywell.com, www.honeywell.com; City of Newark, Press Office (973) 733-8004, City Hall, (973) 733-4311, , www.newarknj.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Honeywell,  Energy Efficiency,  


  • Buffalo U. Awarded $1.8Mn for Efficient Insulation R&D (Ind. Report)
    Buffalo University
    Date: 2019-04-03
    University of Buffalo researcher Shenqiang Ren has been awarded $1,875,000 in US DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) grant funding to develop a new, inexpensive insulating material for home energy efficiency and other applications.

    The UB researchers will use the award to reduce the cost of producing silica aerogel, a synthetic gel with low thermal conductivity. Having low thermal conductivity makes it an effective insulator.

    The EERE awards are intended to "drive innovation in early-stage research and development for advanced building technologies and systems that will serve as a foundation for future technological developments and reductions in building energy consumption." (Source: University of Buffalo, UBNow, PR, 2 April, 2019) Contact: Univ. of Buffalo, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Prof., Shenqiang Ren, (716) 645-1431, shenren@buffalo.edu, engineering.buffalo.edu/mechanical-aerospace/people/faculty/s-ren.html; Contact: US DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), www.energy.gov/eere/office-energy-efficiency-renewable-ener

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency ,  DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy ,  


    Vitro Glass's Fresno Plant Wins DOE ENERGY STAR (Ind. Report)
    ENERGY Star
    Date: 2019-04-02
    Cheswick, Pennsylvania-based Vitro Architectural Glass reports its Fresno, California facility is the first float glass manufacturing plant in the U.S. to earn the U.S.EPA ENERGY STAR certification for superior energy efficiency.

    The Fresno plant, which operates one of eight oxygen-fuel-powered (oxy-fuel) glass furnaces in the world, earned the certification by registering an energy performance score ranked in the 75th percentile or higher among other float glass manufacturing plants in the U.S. According to the Energy Performance Indicator (EPI), the benchmarking tool established by ENERGY STAR, the Fresno plant scored in the 100th percentile among its peers.

    Using a proprietary process developed and licensed by Vitro Glass and its legacy companies, the Fresno plant uses high-purity oxygen instead of air to combust raw materials such as sand and silica. This technology not only enables the plant to use less energy, it also dramatically reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional air-fired glass furnaces, according to Vitro Glass. (Source: Vitro Architectural Glass, Window & Door, 1 April., 2019) Contact: Vitro Architectural Glass, (412) 820.8500, www.vitroglazings.com/en-US/Glass.aspx; Contact: EPA ENERGY STAR, www.energystar.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ENERGY STAR,  Energy Efficiency,  


    C-PACE Alliance Releases Industry Guidelines (Ind Report)
    C-PACE Alliance
    Date: 2019-04-02
    The Washington, DC-headquartered C-PACE Alliance, a coalition of large capital providers and transaction experts in the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) industry, reports the release of its Case for Encouraging C-PACE Financing for New Construction Projects with six recommended guidelines for the design of C-PACE programs at the state and local level for new construction projects.

    C-PACE allows property owners to finance improvements in energy and water efficiency and increased resiliency of commercial buildings. In the last two years, more than 30 new construction projects have closed, and the pace is picking up. C-PACE programs operate in 23 states and the District of Columbia, with more programs slated for 2019. Including retrofit projects, property owners have financed over $850 million in improvements in more than 1,800 buildings using C-PACE programs.

    The Case for Encouraging C-PACE Financing for New Construction Projects is intended for policymakers' consideration in designing C-PACE programs for new construction projects. The CPA believes that programs designed according to these guidelines are more likely to achieve the program's environmental and economic development policy goals:

  • C-PACE programs should welcome and encourage new construction projects;
  • C-PACE program design should facilitate the broadest possible customer access;
  • The baseline energy efficiency to be eligible for C-PACE financing should not be set at an arbitrarily high level;
  • The C-PACE program's energy assessment requirements should be reasonable, low-cost and user-friendly;
  • Programs should expand the amount financeable through C-PACE to broaden its impact;
  • Programs should avoid extraneous terms and conditions not called for in the C-PACE authorizing legislation.

    The CPA believes projects that meet or have the capacity to exceed the local building codes' energy efficiency requirements should be eligible for C-PACE financing. This standard is already in practice in six states and the District of Columbia.

    Formed in 2018, the C-PACE Alliance includes six of the largest C-PACE capital providers along with major law firms, an accounting firm and a fintech company. (Source: C-PACE Alliance , PR, 29 Mar., 2019) Contact: C-PACE Alliance, Cliff Kellogg (202) 744-1984, ckellogg@c-pacealliance.com, www.c-pacealliance.com

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


  • Vestas Wins 206 MW Quadran Brasil Wind Turbine Order (Int'l)
    Quadran Brasil
    Date: 2019-04-01
    French multinational green power producer Quadran International reports its subsidiary Quadran Brasil, placed an order with Vestas for the supply and installation of 49 V150-4.2 MW wind turbines for its 206 MW Serrote wind park in the state of Ceara, Brasil.

    Turbine delivery is expected in 2020 for commissioning in 2021. The Brazilian utility CEMIG has inked a PPA for the wind farm's output. (Source: Vestas Wind Systems A/S , PR, 30 Mar., 2019) Contact: Vestas, Andres Domínguez, +34 649294007 ANDMS@vestas.com, www.vestas.com; Quadran Brasil Armando Abreu, CEO, +55 85 3261-2017, https://ca.linkedin.com/company/quadranbrasil; Quadran International, contact@quadran.fr, www.quadran.fr

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Vestas,  Wind Turbine,  


    California ARB Reports Cap-and Trade Cash Investments (Funding)
    California Air Resources Board
    Date: 2019-03-29
    The California Air Resources Board (CARB) just released its annual report analyzing last year's investments made from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF.) The fund receives money from the state cap-and-trade program, which caps greenhouse gas emissions and auctions off "pollution credits" to industries.

    In 2018, the GGRF invested $1.4 billion in various projects to reduce the effects of climate change in California communities. That was about double the amount spent in 2017. Since the program began in 2012, it has invested $3.4 billion in projects that are either completed or under way, with a total of $9.3 billion in the pipeline.

    CARB estimates that the investments will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost 37 million metric tons, about what would be produced by burning four billion gallons of diesel fuel, or "roughly equivalent to taking eight million cars off the road for a year." Cumulatively, last year's investments in energy efficiency are expected to save enough energy to power 15,000 homes for a year.

    The report estimates GGRF investments are reducing greenhouse gas emissions at an average cost of about $75 per metric ton. The report lists details on how much has been invested in each GGRF program and highlights examples of what those investments are. Many are being built, but many more are in some planning stage and their full effect will not be felt for a number of years. For example, GGRF investments in the clean transportation sector include:

  • Community clean air grants, which help communities identify and evaluate air pollution sources;
  • Several programs for replacing polluting vehicles, including agricultural and freight vehicles and buses, and a program to replace rural school buses with electric vehicles;
  • Clean mobility options such as electric car-share, bike-share, and vanpool options in disadvantaged communities or for agricultural workers;
  • Support for transit including high-speed rail and the Intercity Rail Capital Program, which is helping transit and rail agencies modernize and update their systems and equipment;
  • The Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program that funds interconnected transportation and housing projects to reduce car use.

    Cumlative Project Outcomes include: 10,000 home energy efficiency projects; 3,200 affordable housing units under contract; 500,000 acres of land preserved of restored; 50,000 trees planted in urban areas; 343,000 individual projects funded; 462 transit agency projects funded; and 67 pct of funding for projects benefitting priority communities ($1.5 billion)

    Download the California Air Resources Board Greenhouse Gas Fund expeditures report HERE. (Source: CARB, StreetsBlog, 27 Mar., 2019) Contact: California Air Resources Board, Melanie Turner, Information Officer, (916) 322-2990, melanie.turner@arb.ca.gov, www.arb.ca.gov; CARB California Climate Investments, (800) 757-2907, info@caclimateinvestments.ca.gov, www.caclimateinvestments.ca.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News California Air Resources Board,  California Cap-and-Trade,  


  • Quebec's Support for RNG Lauded (Ind. Report, Reg & Leg)
    Energir
    Date: 2019-03-29
    Qubec's largest natural gas distributor Energir -- formerly known as Gaz Metro -- is applauding the adoption of the regulation respecting the quantity of renewable natural gas (RNG) to be delivered by a distributor, as announced by the Quebec Minister of Energy and Natural Resources.

    The provincial regulation establishes a governing framework for one of the objectives of the 2030 Energy Policy Action Plan. The new regulation sets the minimum quantity of RNG produced in Quebec and to be injected by a natural gas distributor at 1 pct of the total quantity of natural gas the distributor distributes as of 2020, progressively increasing to 5 pct in 2025.

    According to a recent study, the province has the technical and economic production potential to replace two-thirds of the natural gas currently distributed in Quebec with RNG by 2030. (Source: Energir, PR, 28 Mar., 2019) Contact: Energir, Sophie Brochu, Pres., CEO, (855) 393-1313 www.energir.com

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


    Wyoming Business Council Offers Energy Efficiency Grants (Funding)
    Wyoming Business Council
    Date: 2019-03-29
    In Cheyenne, the Wyoming Business Council's State Energy Office reports the availability of competitive federal grant funding for Wyoming local governments, public schools and small businesses seeking to improve their buildings energy efficiency while reducing utility costs. The grant funding will be split between the following programs:
  • Comprehensive Retrofit Grant -- Available to towns, cities and counties for improvements and retrofits like installing insulation; adding weather sealing; purchase of Energy Star or solar powered appliances; upgrades of showers and faucets; or replacement of boilers, hot water heaters, HVAC systems, windows and doors.

  • Retrofit Grant (LIGHTING ONLY) -- Available to towns, cities and counties to upgrade current lighting systems to energy-efficient systems, which may include occupancy controls and auto dimming according to natural light.

  • Public School Energy Improvement Retrofit Grant (LIGHTING ONLY) -- Available to K-12 public schools to upgrade current lighting systems to energy-efficient systems, which may include occupancy controls and auto dimming according to natural light.

  • Small Business Energy Audit/Retrofit Grant -- Small businesses, nonprofits and local governments are all encouraged to apply to the Small Business Energy Audit/Retrofit Grant Program. The program funds up to 75 pct of the cost of an energy audit and some energy efficiency improvements. Grants are not to exceed $5,000 to entities pursuing an energy audit and retrofits that were identified in the audit.

    Additional information and grant applications HERE. or email (Source: Wyoming Business Council, Jackson Hole Radio, 28 Mar., 2019) Contact: Wyoming Business Council, Sherry Hughes, sherry.hughes@wyo.gov, Sarah Fitz-Gerald, Chief Strategy Officer, (307) 777-6319, www.wyomingbusiness.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wyoming Business Council,  


  • Global Bio-butanol 2018-26 Market Report Available (Ind. Report)
    Biobutanol
    Date: 2019-03-27
    Coherent Markets Insights' bio-butanol market report examines the bio-butanol industry and market is segmented by companies, region, type and applications, The report evaluates the growth rate and the market value based on market dynamics, growth inducing factors, industry news, opportunities, and trends. The report includes a comprehensive market analysis and vendor landscape in addition to a SWOT analysis of the key vendors.

    The report also discusses the key drivers influencing market growth, opportunities, the challenges and the risks faced by key players and the market as a whole. It also analyzes key emerging trends and their impact on present and future development.

    Download PDF Brochure of Bio-butanol Market Research Report HERE.

    Browse more detail information about Bio-butanol Market Report HERE. (Source: Coherent Market Insights, PR, NewsTender, 23 Mar., 2019) Contact: Coherent Markets Insights, www.coherentmarketinsights.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bio-butanol,  Butanol,  Biofuel,  


    Nordex Touts New 5MW Wind Turbine (New Prod & Tech, Int'l)
    Nordex
    Date: 2019-03-27
    Hamburg, Germany-headquartered wind turbine manufacturer Nordex SE is reporting the launch of a new 5MW turbine, the third model in its Delta4000 platform.

    The N149/5.X can achieve a power output of 5.5MW while operating at a low sound power level, or in higher power modes where sound restrictions are not in place. The new turbine incorporates the same rotor blade, doubly-fed induction generator (DFIG) and exterior nacelle dimensions as in the N149/4.0-4.5, the first model announced in the Delta4000 platform, according to Nordex. (Source: Nordex, Windpower Monthly, Mar., 2019)Contact: Nordex SE, Felix Losada, +49 (0) 40 300 30 1141, flosada@nordex-online.com, www.nordex-online.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Nordex,  Wind Turbine,  


    2018 Global Carbon Emissions Hit Record High, says IEA (Int'l)
    International Energy Agency
    Date: 2019-03-27
    According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), 2018's extreme weather, increasing demand for energy and increased coal consumption combined to push global carbon emissions to a record high. Carbon emissions jumped 1.7 pct in 2018 to a record 33.1 billion tonnes, with coal making up one third of the total increase, despite energy generation from wind and solar farms growing at a double-digit pace. Most of the electricity generated by coal came from new power plants in Asia, according to the IEA's Global Energy and C02 Status Report.

    Coal use rose 0.7 pct in 2018 with higher demand for coal coming from Asian countries, including China and India. The pace of growth slowed down from the 4.5 per cent rise in coal use in 2017, although it still remains the largest source of electricity. Coal use accounted for 10 billion tonnes of carbon emissions in 2018, with China, India and the US accounting for 85 pct of the net increase in emissions. The 560-million-tonne increase in carbon emissions in 2018 was equivalent to total emissions from international aviation.

    In 2018, US GHG emissions increased by 3.1 pct, China's emissions climbed 2.5 pct and India's carbon emissions increased by 4.5 pct. The IEA notes that 2018's global energy consumption increased by 2.3 pct with fossil fuels accounting for 70 pct of the increase. (Source: IEA, Mar., 2019) Contact: International Energy Agency, Dr. Fatih Birol, Exec. Dir., +33 1 40 57 65 00, www.iea.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GHG,  Greenhouse Gas,  International Energy Agency,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


    Growth Energy Calls for Rail Assistance During Midwest Flooding (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Growth Energy
    Date: 2019-03-27
    Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor called on the U.S. Department of Transportation to help expedite rail delivery of biofuels amid historic flooding. In her letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Skor wrote: "On behalf of Growth Energy, the nation's leading organization of biofuel producers and supporters, I write to you about a matter of utmost importance to not only to our industry, but to consumers across the country regarding the rail transportation of American-made biofuels.

    "It has been reported by several sources that ethanol supplies in several markets in the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Northwest have become very tight and ethanol prices have risen in those markets because of the supply situation. Additionally, markets in Texas are now solely providing finished ethanol-free gasoline, usually sold at a cost of 20-40 cents higher than regular ethanol blended fuel, as a result of these supply disruptions.

    "This situation is not being caused by a lack of ethanol production or supply at the more than 200 ethanol facilities in the U.S. In fact, the logistics problems these plants face could force plants to reduce production as their storage capacity becomes fully utilized.

    "While we certainly understand and appreciate that these rail issues have been caused by the calamitous flooding currently occurring in the Midwest, it is imperative that all possible actions be taken by the nation's railroads to ensure that these critical fuel supplies are immediately prioritized and reach markets as quickly as possible. Further delays could not only impact our industry but could ultimately increase fuel costs for American drivers.

    "We would be happy to work with you and your staff to provide any further information you may need and to get biofuels into the hands of American drivers." (signed) Emily Skor (Source: Growth Energy ,PR, 22 Mar. 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,  Ethanol,  


    St. John Properties Scores 50th LEED Certification (Ind. Report)
    USGBC
    Date: 2019-03-27
    Baltimore-based commercial building developer St. John Properties reports receipt of its 50th U.S. Green Building Council LEED energy efficiency certification.

    Since initiating its LEED program a decade ago, St. John Properties has developed close to 3 million square feet of Gold, Silver or Certified space throughout Maryland, Utah and Virginia. Nearly every new property constructed by St. John Properties is designed to earn LEED certification, including buildings in Colorado, Louisiana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Utah and Wisconsin. (Source: St.John Properties, Commercial Property Executive, 26 Mar., 2019) Contact: St.John Properties, Richard Williamson, Snr. VP, (410) 788-0100, (410) 788-0851-fax, www.sjpi.com; USGBC, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

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


    Eguana Tech, PurePoint Energy Partner on Conn. Residential Solar Energy Storage (Ind. Report)
    PurePoint Energy,Eguana Technologies
    Date: 2019-03-25
    Calgary, Alberta-based Eguana Technologies reports its Evolve Home Energy Storage System for new or existing residential solar system owners is now available in Connecticut with Norwalk, Conn. headquartered PurePoint as Eguana certified installer.

    Evolve is a fully-integrated residential energy storage system that incorporates proprietary power electronics system, LG Chem low-voltage battery modules, and a comprehensive user interface. The system is rated at 5KW AC output with a modular battery design based on a 6.5 kWh battery, which is scalable from 13 to 39kWh in storage capacity. The NEMA 3R wall-mounted package is suitable for indoor and outdoor installations. (Source: Source: Eguana Technologies Inc., 21 Mar., 2019) Contact: Eguana Technologies, Justin Holland, CEO, (416) 728.7635, Justin.Holland@EguanaTech.com (905) 929-7522, www.EguanaTec.com; PurePoint Energy, Michael Dowling Business Development Manager, Tom Wemyss, VP Bus. Dev., (203) 642-4105, mdowling@purepointenergy.com, www.purepointenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News PurePoint Energy,  Energy Storage,  Eguana Technologies,  


    Badger State Gov. Proposes Carbon-Free Energy by 2050 (Ind. Report)
    Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz
    Date: 2019-03-25
    In Minnesota, the office of Gov. Tim Walz (D) is reporting a series of low-carbon, clean energy proposals under which the state would source all of its electric power from carbon-free sources by 2050.The governor claims his proposal differs from other state's proposals in that it calls for partnering with utilities that have set goals for reducing their carbon emissions to zero. Under the governor's plan, each utility would have the flexibility to choose how and at what pace it meets the carbon-free power generation standard.

    The proposal is intended to build on the success of Minnesota's 2007 Next Generation Energy Act requiring Minnesota utilities to source a minimum 25 pct of their electricity from renewables by 2025. The state largely achieved that goal in 2017 thanks to the growth of wind and solar power.

    Even so, the Gopher State still draws the majority of it electricity from coal-fired plants, many of which are being retired and replaced with wind, solar and natural gas which produces less carbon dioxide. (Source: Office of Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, infosurhoy, 22 Mar., 2019)Contact: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, https://mn.gov/governor

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  


    Chinese Researchers Claim Biomass Jet Biofuel Breakthrough (Int'l)
    Aviation Biofuel
    Date: 2019-03-25
    Researchers at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics in China report finding a way to convert plant waste from agriculture and timber woody biomass into high-density aviation fuel that can be used as either a wholesale replacement fuel or as an additive to improve the efficiency of other jet fuels. The research was published in the journal of Joule.

    Cellulose, an abundant polymer that forms the cell walls of plants is the main component in the new biofuel. Although the researchers produced the biofuel at a laboratory scale they believe that the process' cheap, abundant cellulose feedstock, fewer production steps, and lower energy cost and consumption mean it will soon be ready for commercial use. They also predict it will yield higher profits than conventional aviation fuel due to lower production costs. (Source: Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, ANI, Green Car Congress, Siasat Daily, 23 Mar., 2019) Contact: Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Ning Li, +86 411- 8437-9598, english.dicp.cas.cn

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aviation Biofuel,  Jet Biofuel,  Cellulosic,  


    Ontario Reconfigures Energy Conservation, Efficiency (Reg & Leg)
    Ontario Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2019-03-25
    The Conservative Ontario Government of Premier Doug Ford has directed the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to discontinue the Conservation First Framework, including the Heating and Cooling Incentive (HCI) program as part of an initiative intended to "reduce costs by centralizing and refocusing energy conservation programs."

    Minister also noted the IESO "will be expected to present an nergy)Conservation and Demand Management (CDM) Plan to the government within one month of receiving the Directive. The IESO plan would provide details on the programs, budgets and expected electricity and demand savings for the balance of 2019 and 2020. The IESO's CDM Plan is expected to include the following CDM programs, or equivalent programs, centrally delivered by the IESO:

  • Retrofit Program to provide incentives to businesses for updating old or inefficient equipment (e.g. lighting, motors and variable frequency drives);
  • Small Business Lighting providing assessments and incentives for eligible lighting upgrades;
  • Energy Manager Program to provide funding for a portion of the salary of an energy manager to help identify energy saving opportunities & investments and help secure financial incentives;
  • Process and System Upgrades incentives, tools, and resources to help identify, implement, and validate energy efficiency projects from start to finish;
  • Industrial Accelerator Program to be merged with the Process and System Upgrades program under the new framework to expand the eligibility of that program to include transmission connected consumers;
  • Energy Performance Program providing incentives to businesses for whole building energy improvements;
  • Home Assistance Program providing free home energy assessment and installation of electricity savings measures for income eligible customers;
  • Targeted programs for on-reserve First Nation communities.

    In addition to the Heating-Cooling Incentive Program, the following programs will be discontinued:

  • Business Refrigeration Incentive that provides businesses incentives for the direct installation of product refrigeration equipment upgrade;
  • Audit Funding Program funding for a portion of the cost of a facility energy audit;
  • High Performance New Construction provides design assistance and incentives for building owners and planners who design and implement energy efficient equipment within their new space;
  • Existing Building Commissioning incentives for improving the efficiency of the chilled water system, including, audit, purchase and installation of equipment;
  • Monitoring and Targeting incentives to purchase and install a monitoring and targeting system operational Incentives;
  • Instant Discounts point of purchase incentives at participating retailers for qualifying energy efficient products, including LED light bulbs, light fixtures and power bars;
  • Residential New Construction incentives to improve energy performance and install energy efficient products in new builds. (Source: Ontario Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Ontario News, HRAI, 22 Mar., 2019) Contact: Ontario Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Hon. Greg Rickford, www.mndm.gov.on.ca/en

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


  • Four States Top Energy Democracy Ratings (Ind. Report)
    Institute for Local Self-Reliance
    Date: 2019-03-22
    The Minnesota-headquartered not-for-profit Institute for Local Self-Reliance's second annual Community Power Scorecard reports it has ranked Massachusetts, California, New York and Illinois as the top states for energy democracy. The ranking is based on the states' commitment to boosting community-level renewable energy.

    The rankings are based on the organization's analysis of nine policies that promote citizen's use of renewable energy and other distributed resources. Policies recommended in the report card are customer-friendly net metering policies and simplified utility interconnection rules for distributed energy producers. The report authors also want to see an emphasis on energy efficiency, more community renewable energy, feed-in tariffs, energy supply diversity and financing programs, such on-bill financing and property assessed clean energy (PACE).

    The report card didn't consider cap-and-trade programs or renewable portfolio standards but focused on how state policies encourage consumers and businesses to generate their own power or participate in community solar programs. (Source: Institute for Local Self-Reliance, MicroGrid Knowledge, 12 Mar., 2019) Contact: Institute for Local Self-Reliance, 612-276-3456, info@ilsr.org, www.ilsr.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Renewable Energy,  Community Energy,  Institute for Local Self-Reliance,  


    GoodFuels, REINPLUS FIWADO Extend Biofuel Partnership (Int'l)
    GoodFuels,VARO,REINPLUS FIWADO
    Date: 2019-03-22
    VARO Energy subsidiary REINPLUS FIWADO Bunker and GoodFuels are reporting the extension of their partnership to improve availability of bio fuel oil (BFO) to deep sea vessels departing the Port of Rotterdam.

    GoodFuels' BFO is a direct "drop-in" replacement for heavy fuel oil suitable for every type of vessel, without requiring any modifications to engine room equipment.

    The new partnership will see VARO help scale the sourcing, production, blending and distribution of GoodFuels BFO across the ARA region. In the meantime, GoodFuels will continue to focus on the sourcing of sustainable feedstocks for the BFO, and the sale, marketing and product development of new sustainable fuel solutions. (Source: GoodFuels, Bumkerspot, 20 Mar., 2019) Contact: GoodFuels, Dirk Kronemeijer, CEO, +31 (0) 85 8000 238, info@goodfuels.com, www.goodfuels.com; VARO Energy, REINPLUS FIWADO Bunker, www.reinplusfiwado.com/nl; VARO Energy, www.varoenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GoodFuels,  Marine Biofuel,  


    Alpine Tundra CO2 Emissions Exacerbate Climate Change (Ind. Report)
    University of Colorado
    Date: 2019-03-22
    According to recently released research from University of Colorado Boulder, alpine tundra in Colorado's Front Range emits more CO2 than it captures annually, potentially creating a feedback loop that could increase climate warming and lead to even more CO2 emissions in the future. The report notes a similar phenomenon exists in the Arctic, where research in recent decades has shown that melting permafrost is unearthing long-frozen tundra soil and releasing CO2 reserves that had been buried for centuries.

    The study showed that barren, wind-scoured tundra landscapes above 11,000 feet emitted more CO2 than they captured each year, and that a fraction of that CO2 was relatively old during the winter, the first such finding of its kind in temperate latitudes.

    The report also notes that while the alpine tundra's net CO2 contributions are small compared to a forest's sequestration capability, the newly-documented effect may act as something of a counterweight, hampering atmospheric CO2 reductions from mountain ecosystems in general. (Source: University of Colorado at Boulder , PHYS.ORG, Mar., 21, 2019) Contact: University of Colorado at Boulder, John Knowles, Department of Geography, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), (303)492-2631, (303) 492-7501-fax, john.knowles@colorado.edu, www.colorado.edu/geography

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

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