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gridIMP Touts iDSR System for Energy Efficiency (Int'l Report)
Date: 2019-02-04
In the UK, the Bridgwater, Somerset Energy Innovation Centre-based energy efficiency and management firm gridIMP Ltd. is touting its "intelligent Demand Side Response" (iDSR) system. The system connects with an existing building management system to assess and control energy usage patterns in response to calls from the National Grid for more energy at peak times.

The National Grid's Demand Side Response is a scheme where companies are incentivized financially to lower of shift their electricity needs at peak times.

The gridIMP technology has been installed at the Somerset Energy Innovation Centre (SEIC) with the support of a grant from Sedgemoor District Council. As the volume of data collected by the gridIMP Hub grows, the system will increasingly enable full, intelligent automation of DSR, removing the burden placed on management teams. (Source: gridIMP Ltd., Bridgewater Mercury, Feb., 2019) Contact: gridIMP Ltd., Richard Ryan, Commercial Director, +44 1749 372198,,

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

CAVU Lauds N.Mex. Commitment to U.S. Climate Alliance (Ind. Report)
U.S. Climate Alliance,
Date: 2019-02-04
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) is being applauded for he leadership in taking her state into the U.S. Climate Alliance and for adding New Mexico to the growing list of states pledging to embrace the necessary and ambitious goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The Governor specifically tagged methane capture and the crucial role that methane capture will play in the fight against climate change.

The most recent report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlights the narrow twelve-year window we have to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. Because of its potency as a greenhouse gas, regulating methane emissions is one of the most promising ways to make dramatic short-term changes to the atmosphere that could be the difference between manageable climate impacts and disastrous ones.

CAVU (Climate Advocates/Voces Unidas), has worked to inform a wide audience about the the impacts of methane emissions to New Mexico. (Source: Climate Advocates/Voces Unidas, New Mexico Public Radio, 2 Feb., 2019) Contact: Climate Advocates/Voces Unidas,; U.S. Climate Alliance,; New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham,

More Low-Carbon Energy News U.S. Climate Alliance,  Methane,  Methane Emissions,  

S. States Face Worst Climate Change Impact, says Study (Ind. Report)
Brookings Institution
Date: 2019-02-04
According to a recent report from the Washington, DC-based Brookings Institution, Alabama and other southern states are expected to see a huge economic impact as rising global temperatures wreak havoc on the environment. This is especially true in coastal areas as climate changes and natural disasters, like hurricanes, become stronger and more frequent.

The report finds that "Alabama will suffer the fifth highest economic loss, behind only Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas." The city of Birmingham, Alabama, is projected to suffer the 15th-worst climate-related loss.

The traditionally Republican led southern states have been hesitant to acknowledge or address the issue of climate change, though this is not universal. A poll last year from The Hill noted that nearly two-thirds of Republicans acknowledge climate change, and some of the party's leaders have started to spearhead action to combat climate change. (Source: Brookings Institution, Inquisitor, Feb., 2019)

American Coalition for Ethanol Presses Senate on EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler's Confirmation (Opinions, Editorial & Asides)
American Coalition for Ethanol
Date: 2019-02-01
The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) submitted the following letter to US Senators regarding acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler's confirmation:

" As the Senate proceeds to consider the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), I write to encourage you to secure tangible documentation from Mr. Wheeler that EPA will resolve two critically important issues before casting your confirmation vote: finalizing a legally -defensible Reid vapor pressure (RVP) rule to allow E15 use year-round before June 1, and reallocating ethanol blending obligations waived for 2016 and 2017 through the Small Refinery Exemption (SRE) provision of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

"I urge you hold Acting Administrator Wheeler to this high standard because of the harm done to renewable fuels by former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Prior to his confirmation by the Senate, Mr. Pruitt pledged to support the RFS as the law of the land and the President's commitment to expanding ethanol use. However, while leading EPA, he undermined the RFS through an unprecedented number of backdoor refinery waivers which erased more than 2 billion gallons of ethanol blending obligations between 2016 and 2017. Furthermore, he refused to reallocate those blending obligations to other refiners, as called for under the law, and failed to initiate a rulemaking to allow E15 use year-round despite the fact it is a priority for the President. EPA's broken promises and abuse of the RFS compel Acting Administrator Wheeler to repair the damage by reallocating the blending obligations and finalizing a legally-defensible rule to allow E15 use year-round before June 1.

"During his recent confirmation hearing, Acting Administrator Wheeler assured Environment and Public Works committee members that EPA is 'still on schedule to issue a final rule allowing year-round E15 sales' but added there 'may be a slight delay' due to the recent government shutdown. The shutdown is not a credible excuse for a delay in the E15 rulemaking. In fact, recent history proves the Trump Administration can expedite high-priority rulemakings.

"Take for example the USDA newly-proposed work requirements for recipients of supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits. In December, as Congress was negotiating the Farm Bill, the Senate insisted that House conferees drop new food stamp work requirements from the final legislation. In response, to secure enough Republican votes in the House of Representatives to pass the Farm Bill conference report, USDA put forward a rulemaking to impose the work requirements through executive action. The Farm Bill conference report was adopted by Congress on December 12. The President waited to sign the Farm Bill until December 20, the same day USDA published the SNAP work requirement rulemaking.

"In just eight days USDA was able to issue a rule at the direction of the President to fulfill a promise to Republicans in the House of Representatives. It has been more than 100 days since the President Directed EPA to initiate a rulemaking to allow E15 use year-round. What is taking EPA so long to act? There is no better way to guarantee the RVP rule and reallocation of refinery waivers are addressed than by insisting Mr. Wheeler provide tangible evidence of his intentions on these issues prior to voting to confirm him.

"The RVP rule is particularly time-sensitive. Under EPA's existing and outdated RVP regulations, E15 cannot be sold in most areas of the country from June 1 to September 15, leaving just four short months from today to complete the rulemaking process. Unfortunately, EPA needlessly plans to combine the RVP rule with reforms to the way Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) are handled under the RFS. RIN reforms are highly-controversial among oil refiners so EPA's proposal will likely pit refiners against each other, causing a protracted dispute. If RIN reforms prevent EPA from finishing the RVP rule by June 1, it will result in another summer that E15 cannot be sold in many parts of the country when fuel demand is at its peak. Acting Administrator Wheeler should be encouraged to decouple RIN reforms from the RVP rule to ensure E15 can be offered for sale by June 1." (signed) Brian Jennings, CEO American Coalition for Ethanol. (Source: ACE, 29 Jan., 2019)Contact: American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, Ron Lamberty, VP, (605) 334-3381,

More Low-Carbon Energy News ANdrew Wheeler,  American Coalition for Ethanol,  Andrew Wheeler,  Ethanol.Ethanol Blend,  

ABM EPC Projected to Save Georgia County $7.2Mn (Ind. Report)
Date: 2019-02-01
ABM Industries, a provider of facility solutions, reports the initiation of an Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) program for Turner County, Georgia, that is expected to shave $7.2 million off the county's energy and operating costs over a 15-year period. The project was launched in August 2018 and is scheduled for completion in Fall 2019.

Highlights of the project include:

  • Retrofitting lighting systems to energy-efficient LED lighting and replacing or retrofitting HVAC units at six facilities, which will be controlled by state-of-the-art HVAC control systems to maximize energy and operational efficiency;
  • Consolidating government services with a 2,800-square-foot addition to the Turner County Annex, and replacing the roof on the existing building;
  • Upgrading security and fiber optic communication lines for the county's Emergency Response Center and Annex to provide additional security and reliability for occupants;
  • Renovating the kitchen at the Turner County Jail to replace inefficient equipment with high-efficiency appliances and refrigeration management systems:
  • Upgrading ventilation at each facility by sealing building envelopes and resealing windows to drive energy savings and to increase employee and occupant comfort.

    ABM is a leading provider of facility solutions with revenues of approximately $5.5 billion and more than 130,000 employees in 350+ offices throughout the U.S. and various international locations.

    Review ABM energy performance contract details HERE. (Source: ABM Industries Inc., , PR, 31 Jan., 2019) Contact: ABM, Mark Turner, (212) 297-9721,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ABM,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Performance Contract,  

  • Whitefox Confirms United Ethanol Installation (Ind. Report)
    Whitefox Technologies,United Ethanol
    Date: 2019-02-01
    Following up on our 1 Dec., 2017 coverage, Whitefox Technologies is reporting its fourth installation and start-up of its Whitefox ICE system at United Ethanol LLC's plant in Milton, Wisconsin.

    This is Whitefox's second successful installation in Wisconsin, the first was at Fox River Valley Ethanol LLC in Oshkosh.

    According to Whitefox, United Ethanol is already experiencing positive improvements to its operations and is currently running at a 15 pct overall capacity increase with the capability of a further 5 pct increase. The modular bolt-on system has freed up capacity in the distillation-dehydration section, which will allow the plant to increase its annual production capacity to over 60 million gallons.

    Established in 2000, Whitefox Technologies is focused on membrane applications and processes in the following areas: biofuel ethanol, pharmaceutical, industrial and potable ethanol. (Source: Whitefox, Energy AgWire, 30 Jan., 2019) Contact: Whitefox, +44 (0) 20 7154 1750 -- UK, (403) 210-2999,; United Ethanol, Chad Campbell, CEO, David Cramer, Pres., (608) 868-5900,; Fox River Valley Ethanol, (920) 230-3835,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Whitefox Technologies,  United Ethanol,  

    Maine Dem. Legislator Tables State Carbon Tax (Reg. & Leg.)
    Maine Carbon Tax
    Date: 2019-01-30
    In Augusta, Maine House Rep. Deane Rykerson (Kittery - D) is proposing a $5 per ton fee on CO2 emissions that would increase every year for eight years.

    The bill calls for all fees collected from the carbon tax would be used to help reduce Maine State power consumer electric bills. Rep. Rykerson claims his bill already has over 70 cosponsors. (Source: Rep. Deane Rykerson,WABI News, 22 Jan., 2019) Contact: Rep. Deane Rykerson (D-Kittery),

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  

    DRAX Plan Said to Threaten UK Emissions Target Success (Int'l)
    Date: 2019-01-30
    In the UK, London-headquartered environmental law specialist ClientEarth is warning DRAX Powers' planned gas plant in Selby, North Yorkshire would produce 75 pct of the country's entire power sector emissions budget.

    The DRAX proposal for four combined cycle gas turbines (CCGT) was warranted to replace its existing two coal-fired units ahead of the government's proposed coal phase-out in 2025. However,ClientEarth's assessment of the DRAX plans noted the project's scale, high emissions intensity and expected long operating life combined make it a "significant" threat to the UK achieving its carbon targets. ClientEarth also noted "DRAX has failed to prove why adding so much new large-scale fossil fuel power is necessary given existing and planned capacity. It has also failed to assess the project's full climate impact, at the precise time when the UK needs to rapidly decarbonize."

    The UK government estimates the UK will need 6GW of new gas power generation capacity through to 2035. Approving DRAX project would take this to 18GW -- three times the government's estimates.

    As previously reported, Drax announced that it is to pilot the first bioenergy carbon capture storage (BECCS) project of its kind in Europe which could make the renewable electricity produced at its North Yorkshire power station carbon negative. DRAX partnered with Leeds, UK-based C-Capture who invested £400,000 in what could be the first of several pilot projects undertaken at DRAX. (Source: DRAX, Air Quality News, Jan., 2019) Contact: ClientEarth, Sam Hunter Jones, Jon Bennett, +44 (0) 303 050 5935,,; DRAX, Will Gardiner, CEO, +44 0 1757 618381,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DRAX,  Biomass,  Carbon Emissions,  

    School Energy Efficiency Upgrades Saves $5.8Mn (Ind. Report)
    Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica
    Date: 2019-01-30
    In Kingston, the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) is reporting the installation of a 15 kW Solar Photovoltaic System and a major LED Lighting Upgrade Project totaling $8 million has delivered an estimated $5.4 million savings over the last three years.

    As part of the total installation, a 10 kW solar PV System comprised of 42, 240W polycrystalline solar panels, three (3) 3.6 kW grid-tied inverters and a data logger for performance monitoring, has generated 43,500 kWh of electricity since commissioning in November 2015; which has saved the Kingston based institution $1.4 million on its utility bills. Additionally, a 5 kW solar PV system of 18, 260 W polycrystalline solar panels, one grid-tied inverter and a surge protector installed in March 2016, has saved the school a further $700,000.

    The PCJ also replaced the school's 1,250 interior and exterior fluorescent, incandescent and sodium vapour bulbs with energy efficient LED lighting. The lighting retrofitting has cut electricity consumption by 98,000 kWh for an approximate $3.2 million savings over three years.

    Ardenne is one of 15 schools and three government agencies that have received Solar PV systems under a $62 million initiative undertaken by the PCJ as part of its efforts to reduce the public sector's energy costs. (Source: PCJ, First Look, 28 Jan., 2019) Contact: Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica,  

    Midwest Perennial Grasses Biofuel Feedstocks Investigated (R&D)
    University of Minnesota
    Date: 2019-01-30
    In ongoing research to discover the ideal growing conditions for alternative biofuels feedstocks, researchers at the University of Minnesota College of Biological Science are investigating the advantages and environmental implications of perennial grasses on abandoned and degraded agricultural land on the US upper mid-western prairies.

    A potential benefit of perennial grasses is tied to their deep root systems. According to researchers, deeper root systems -- as opposed to those seen in annual crops like corn -- are able to store large amounts of carbon below ground that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. However, because perennial grasses on marginal lands can have low yields due to less fertile soil, researchers examined ways to maximize growth of the grasses without negative effects on the environment.

    In the 10-year study published in Nature Sustainability, researchers utilized 36 plots at an abandoned agricultural site in the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve to plant 32 species of prairie and savanna plants that are native to Minnesota. In 2007, researchers divided the plots into several groups and assigned them a combination of two treatments: water addition (i.e., irrigated or non-irrigated) and nitrogen fertilization (i.e., 0 g/m2, 7 g/m2, 14 g/m2). Over the next decade, researchers found that:

  • moderate treatments (irrigation and 7 g/m2 of nitrogen) had the best biomass yields and soil carbon storage, while having negligible effects on the stability, diversity and nutrient loss to groundwater;
  • compared with the control (non-irrigated and no additional nitrogen), moderate treatments resulted in almost twice the yield and soil carbon storage and -- if the plants were converted into bioenergy to displace fossil fuels -- it would result in twice the greenhouse gas savings;
  • compared with the moderate treatment, the more intensive treatment (irrigation and 14 g/m2 of nitrogen) had 30 percent lower greenhouse gas savings, 10 times greater nitrate leaching and 120 pct greater loss in plant diversity.

    Compared with corn ethanol, researchers found biomass yield from the best performing native prairie grasses was moderately lower -- six tons per hectare versus the average corn yield of eight tons per hectare in the U.S.. However, researchers found that because of lower nitrogen use and larger amounts of soil carbon storage, the native prairies would result in higher overall greenhouse gas savings when converted to bioenergy.

    The research was funded by the National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research program and the Global Climate and Energy Project. (Source: University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences, PR, 28 Jan., 2019) Contact: College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota, Prof. David Tilman, Prof. Clarence Lehman, Lead Researcher, 612-625-5734 Fax: 612-624-6777,,; Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel Feedstock,  

  • Maine Legislator Introduces $5 Carbon Tax Bill (Reg. & Leg.)
    Maine Carbon Tax
    Date: 2019-01-24
    In Augusta, Maine Rep. Deane Rykerson (D-Kittery) is proposing a state carbon tax he says will help with climate change. Rykerson claims the bill already has over 70 cosponsors.

    Rykerson's bill would place $5 per ton fee on CO2. The fee, which would increase every year for eight years, would be used to subsidize e Mainers' electric bills. (Source: Maine Rep. Deane Rykerson, WABI News, 22 Jan., 2019) Contact: Maine State Rep. Deane Rykerson,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  

    LEED v4.1 New Construction, Interiors Registration Open (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2019-01-24
    The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is reporting its newest version of the LEED green building program -- LEED v4.1 -- is now open for registration for both new construction projects and interior spaces. The versions are named LEED v4.1 BD+C and LEED v4.1 ID+C, respectively.

    The LEED v4.1 beta version updates performance thresholds and referenced standards while advocating for improved performance throughout the life of buildings, rewards leaders based on their performance and incorporates performance reporting to enable building owners to track progress towards environmental, social, and governance goals.

    Focused on implementation, LEED v4.1 is an accessible, user-friendly tool. To participate, users can register using LEED Online, review the LEED v4.1 Beta Guide, and download the LEED v4.1 rating system. (Source: US GBC, PR, 22 Jan., 2019) Contact: USGBC, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, Melissa Baker, VP, (202) 552-1500,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USGBC,  Building Sustainability,  Energy Efficiency,  

    Edmonton Launches Home Energy Efficiency Program (Ind. Report)
    city of Edmonton
    Date: 2019-01-23
    On the Canadian prairies, the city of Edmonton, Alberta, is reporting the launch of a new top-up program that allows homeowners to receive an additional 20 pct in return on home energy evaluations and retrofits through the new Home Energy Plan. The program offers homeowners access to advice on energy efficiency and rebates on home retrofits. Homeowners can also receive $400 towards the cost of a Home Energy Evaluation and can then apply for further rebates on a number of home upgrades, including insulation, windows and furnaces. . The city has also launched a solar program that encourages homeowners to install solar systems on on their homes, and the city and Energy Efficiency Alberta cover about 40 per cent of the cost.

    Home Energy Plan details are HERE, Edmonton Solar plan details are HERE. (Source: City of Edmonton, CBC, 21 Jan., 2019) Contact: City of Edmonton, Robyn Webb, Energy Transition Unit Senior Environmental Project Manager,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News city of Edmonton news,  Energy Efficiency news,  

    US Renewable Energy Capacity 4x Greater than Fossil Fuels by 2021 -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
    Date: 2019-01-23
    According to an analysis by the SUN DAY Campaign of the the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) latest Energy Infrastructure Update, renewable energy sources may surpass fossil fuels as new generating capacity is added over the next three years.

    The FERC report notes that new natural gas generation placed in service during the first 11 months of 2018 totaled 16,687 MW or 68.46 pct of the total 24,376 MW. Renewable sources accounted for only 30.12 pct led by wind at 3,772 MW and solar at3,449 MW. The report also notes that proposed generation and retirements by December 2021 include net capacity additions by renewable sources of 169,914 MW -- 4.3 times greater than the net new additions listed for coal, oil, and natural gas combined. Net proposed generation additions from wind alone total 90,268 MW while those from solar are 64,066 MW -- each greater than that listed for natural gas. The report also notes that renewable sources now account for 20.8 pct of total available installed US generating capacity.

    Download the FERC Energy Infrastructure Update for November 2018 report HERE. (Source: FERC, Jan., 2019) Contact: FERC, 202-502-6088,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Federal Energy Regulatory Commission,  FERC,  Renewable Energy ,  

    275-MW Aussie Solar Farm Nears Construction Startup (Int'l)
    Edify Energy,Octopus Investments
    Date: 2019-01-21
    In the Land Down Under, UK-based solar energy investor Octopus Investments and Australian renewable energy specialist Edify Energy are reporting financial close on the $450 million (AUS), 275-MW Darlington Point Solar Farm project in NSW. The project will incorporate more then 820,000 Canadian Solar HiKu modules (CS3W-P) mounted on a single-axis solar tracking systems.

    Upon completion, the facility is expected to be Australia's largest solar power station. Details on construction contracts, solar supply contract, and Power Purchase Agreements are expected to be announced within days.

    The project is being developed and structured by Edify Energy, which will retain an equity stake in the solar project. Construction is expected to get underway in March, 2019, and when fully operational sometime in early 2020, will displace over 600,000 tpy of CO2 and generate 685,000 MWh of electric power per year -- sufficient to power around 115,000 homes.(Source: Edify Energy, Various Media, 18 Jan., 2019) (Contact: Edify Energy, John Cole, CEO, +61 2 8790 4000, +61 2 8790 4000,,; Octopus Investments, +44 800 316 2295,; Contact: Canadian Solar, Shawn Qu, CEO, (519) 954-2057,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Edify Energy,  Solar,  Australa Solar,  Canadian Solar,  

    German Aerospace Center Energy, Mobility Scenarios Show How Global Climate Targets can be Achieved -- Report Attached (Int'l Report)
    German Aerospace Center
    Date: 2019-01-21
    The German Aerospace Center (DLR) reports it has been working with the University of Technology Sydney and the University of Melbourne on behalf of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to determine the necessary developments to achieve the aim of keeping global warming well below 2 degree C. This target is in line with the international agreements made at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015. At the heart of the study are two scenarios that set out development pathways for technology, infrastructure and energy consumption up until 2050 to 2050 to limit global warming to 2.0 and 1.5 degrees C, respectively.

    "Achieving this target requires fundamental changes to energy consumption and supply. In both scenarios, we assume that there will be a massive expansion of renewable energies, considerable improvements in efficiency, and more electricity and synthetic fuels used in the heating and mobility sectors," says DLR researcher Thomas Pregger. As part of the study, the Energy Systems Analysis department at the DLR Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics modelled the entire energy systems of 10 regions of the world.

    The study is based on the technologies available today. In line with the objective, options with major uncertainties in terms of social, economic or environmental consequences, such as nuclear power, geoengineering or carbon capture and storage (CCS) were not considered.

    Access the full article HERE. (Source: German Aerospace Center, PR, 21 Jan., 2019) Contact: German Aerospace Center, Public Affairs and Communications, +49 711 6862-8086,

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

    Notable Quote
    5 Lakes Energy LLC
    Date: 2019-01-21
    "For a long time a debate was going on how to increase use of renewables for generation. There were political fights (in the Michigan state Legislature) for (mandated or voluntary renewable) energy standards. We are now at a point where wind and solar are both cheaper in generating electricity than new fossil fuel plants, and we are close to (matching the costs of) operating existing fossil fuel plants."

    "We should be retiring old fossil fuel plants before they wear out. It is cheaper to replace them (than) to operate them." -- Doug Jester, 5 Lakes Energy LLC in Lansing, Mich. (Source: Crain's Detroit Business, 20 Jan., 2019) Contact: 5 Lakes Energy LLC, Doug Jester, 517-319-0350,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  

    Wyoming Gov. Seeks $10Mn for Carbon Capture Test (Funding)
    CCS,University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources
    Date: 2019-01-18
    In Cheyenne, the freshman republican governor of Wyoming, Mark Gordon, is reportedly seeking $10 million from the state legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee to fund a carbon capture test project at the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources in Laramie.

    The $10 million in state funds would be used to try and acquire an additional $40 million from the U.S. DOE for another project that would be connected with the Integrated Test Center in Gillette.

    The proposed 5-MW equivalent pilot project would use enhanced coal-based technology that captures at least 75-pct of the carbon emissions, according to the governor's request. (Source: Office of Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon, Wyoming Public Media, 16 Jan., 2019) Contact: Office of Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon,; University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  CO2,  Carbon Sequestration,  Greenhouse Gas,  

    Castor Oil Biofuel Production Pilot Launched (Int'l Report)
    ENI Bio
    Date: 2019-01-18
    Rome-headquartered ENI Bio is reporting the launch of a castor oil biofuel pilot project in Gafsa, Tunisia, where the company will cultivate 140-hectare of castor oil plants. The fruit from the plants will be used in the ENI biorefinery in Venice and subsequently in the biorefinery in Gela on the island of Sicily. The experimental project aims to find alternative raw materials in place of palm oil and to fuel ENI biorefineries.

    When the plants are in their final stages of maturation, their fruit will be harvested in order to evaluate the yield in oil per ton and to define an extended cultivation plan. (Source: ANSA Med, 16 Jan., 2019) Contact: ENI Bio, +39 06 598 22030, Fax: +39 06 598 25488,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Castor Oil,  Oil Seed,  

    Hunter Pilot Ethanol Biorefinery Launched in Australia (Int'l)
    Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources,
    Date: 2019-01-18
    In the Land Down Under, the Sydney-based University of Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER) and Ethanol Technologies (Ethtec), in partnership with the Muswellbrook Shire Council, reports the development of the Hunter Pilot Biorefinery (HPB), a bio-renewables research facility and an environmentally sustainable process to produce biofuels and other renewable chemicals from crop and forestry waste.

    The HPB will be a state-of-the-art facility containing biomass processing and fermentation equipment applicable to a range of biofuel and renewable chemical production technologies.

    The first phase of the project received $4.6 million from the New South Wales (NSW) Government under the Growing Local Economies fund to unlock long-term growth opportunities in regional NSW through targeted infrastructure investment.

    The foundation project of the Biorefinery is a $30 million cellulosic ethanol pilot plant project by Apace Research Limited (Apace), Ethanol Technologies Limited (Ethtec), the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Chinese engineering company JTL and the University of Newcastle. (Source: University of Newcastle, Australia, PR 17 Jan., 2019) Contact: NIER, Professor Alan Broadfoot, Executive Director, +61 2 4033 9000,; Ethtec, + 61 7 4776 5300, +61 7 4776 5392 - fax,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Ethanol,  Ethtec,  Biomass,  

    ACEEE Honors Top Utility Energy Efficiency Programs (Ind. Report)
    American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
    Date: 2019-01-18
    In Washington, D.C., the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is lauding 53 of the country's leading energy efficiency programs with the ACEEE Exemplary Program Award. The 53 selected programs are recognized for their innovation and effectiveness in increasing both commercial and residential energy efficiency.

    The New Leaders of the Pack: ACEEE's Fourth National Review of Exemplary Energy Efficiency Programs profiles model programs that deliver energy savings that not only help customers save money, they also benefit the environment by reducing carbon emissions and other pollutants. Moreover, since these programs save energy at lower costs than other forms of new supply, the whole economy benefits," according to ACEEE's Martin Kushler.

    The 53 recipients include both electric and natural gas utilities, and span a wide range of program types and technologies. Programs range from low-income residential to strategic energy management for large businesses, and from high efficiency lighting to complete building retrofits.

    Download the full listing of programs HERE. (Source: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy , PR, 16 Jan., 2019) Contact: ACEEE, Seth Nowak, Report Lead Author and Project Manager, (202) 507-4000,

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

    Vanderbilt Engineering, Science Bldg Scores LEED Gold (Ind. Report)
    US Green Building Council
    Date: 2019-01-18
    In Nashville, Tenn., private research university Vanderbilt is reporting its Engineering and Science Building has been awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

    The Engineering and Science Building houses the university's most energy efficient lab space. During the initial design phase of the building, 3D modeling was used to evaluate conditions of the site such as orientation, heat gain from windows, natural light, and others to ensure optimized design. Other green design elements that helped achieve its LEED status include:

  • 20' tall enthalpy wheels to transfer heat and humidity, conditioning the fresh air intake with exhaust air leaving the building;
  • Chilled beams supplied by hot and cold water used to condition spaces which is more efficient than conditioning with air systems;
  • A 10,000 gallon cistern to capture rain water for irrigation;
  • Sunshading frit on glass to optimize natural solar light and to also help prevent bird strikes;
  • LED energy efficient lighting and occupancy sensors;
  • Flexibility of design to allow different lab type use over time as well as lab renovations without major mechanical systems rework;
  • Clean room energy reduction through occupancy and particle sensors to decrease system use when not needed. (Source: Vanderbilt University, PR, 17 Jan., 2019) Contact: Vanderbilt University, 615-322-7311,; USGBC, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US Green Building Council,  USGBC,  Leed Certification,  LEED Gold,  Energy Efficiency,  

  • UK BEIS Updates Small-Scale Renewable Energy Support (Int'l)
    UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
    Date: 2019-01-16
    In London, the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) reports the release of its proposed guidelines intended to support the development of small-scale renewable energy technologies by ensuring remuneration for any and all electricity generated that is supplied to the grid by small-scale generators.

    The proposed Smart Export Guarantee is intended to improve and replace existing Feed-in Tariff (FiT) schemes and a Generator Export Tariff incentive scheme for small-scale generators to supply electricity to the grid. Both schemes expire on 31 March,2019.

    Those most obviously affected by such a shift are rooftop solar owners, but the UK boasts approximately 560,000 households and businesses generating small-scale electricity under the FiT scheme using a range of technologies including biomass anaerobic digestion, ,wind power and hydro-electricity.

    The proposed Guarantee would specifically replace the FiT scheme and would require electricity suppliers to pay new small-scale energy producers for excess electricity generated from homes and businesses which is supplied to the grid. (Source: UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, CleanTechnica, 13 Jan., 2019) Contact: UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UK Department for Business,  Energy and Industrial Strategy ,  

    NIPSCO Dumping Coal, Cutting CO2 90 pct within Decade (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2019-01-16
    In the Hoosier State, Merrillville-headquartered investor owned utility Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), which is 65 pct coal dependent, is reporting plans to cut its coal power generation to essentially zero over the next 10 years. In coal's place, NIPSCO will increase its pursuit of largely renewable energy resources, such as solar and wind energy, along with battery storage technology.

    Access NIPSCO's Your Energy, Your Future campaign details HERE. (Source: NIPSCO, Tree Hugger, Jan., 2019) Contact: NIPSCO, Violet Sistovaris, President,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NIPSCO,  Coal,  Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  

    Badger State Burned More Coal in 2017 than 2016 (Ind. Report)
    US EIA
    Date: 2019-01-16
    According to recently released US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, Wisconsin burned approximately 7 pct more coal in 2017 than 2016 to provide better than half of the Badger State's energy that year.

    Since the most recent data period,coal-powered plants in Pleasant Prairie, Sheboygan and Green Bay have been shutter and replaced with natural gas and renewable energy.

    The Wisconsin Public Service Commission( WPSC) notes that the state's coal consumption has decreased by 28 pct since its peak in 2005, and overall emissions have dropped 20 pct. (Source: WPSC, University of Wisconsin, Wisc. Public Radio, 14 Jan., 2019) Contact: The Wisconsin Public Service Commission, 608-266-5481,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Coal,  Carbon Emissions,  

    Stamford Health USGBC LEED Healthcare Certified (Ind Report)
    USGBC,US Green Building Council
    Date: 2019-01-16
    In Fairfield, Conn., the Stamford Health hospital, which opened in 2016, reports it has been awarded US Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Healthcare Certification. The facility is the largest in the country and the first such facility in Conn. certified facility.

    In qualifying for certification, the Stamford hospital focused on; airflow, energy consumption, air quality, and "green" roofs.Other LEED qualifying features include:

  • about 85 pct of construction debris was recycled;
  • green spaces were maximized, including gardens, courtyards and paths to promote healing and provide patient and family respite;
  • sustainable, regionally sourced materials and products such as certified wood, walls, ceiling, flooring and other components were used throughout;
  • low-emitting materials, such as environmentally friendly carpets and no noxious flooring material, were selected.

    In addition, the hospital has also been lauded by Stamford 2030 District, a public-private nonprofit collaborative community of high-performance buildings in downtown Stamford. Stamford 2030 aims to cut energy and water consumption and reduce emissions from transportation in the city by 50 pct by 2030. (Source: WestFair Online, Stamford Health, PR, Jan., 2019) Contact: Stamford Health, Kathleen Silard, Pres., CEO,; USGBC, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500,

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

  • Half D.C. Bldgs Could Require Energy Code Upgrades (Reg & Leg)
    Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2019-01-16
    As previously reported, the recently passed Washington D.C. Council bill aimed at addressing climate change by reducing the city's greenhouse gas emissions will force the owners of hundreds of buildings across D.C. to improve their building's energy performance. The bill, which is being widely lauded as the "strongest climate legislation" in the nation, calls for cutting D.C.'s greenhouse gas emissions by 50 pct by 2032.

    According to the D.C. Green Building Advisory Council 50 pct of the city's buildings will need to improve their energy performance to meet as yet undermined standards. The bill gives the D.C. Department of Energy & Environment until 2021 to establish a standard Energy Star score that buildings must meet, and it requires that standard to be at least at the level of D.C.'s current median score. The new law will also establish a task force of commercial real estate industry representatives to help with the implementation.

    Building Owners needing to make upgrades will be able to utilize multiple financing methods, including low-interest PACE bonds and the D.C. Green Bank, a new fund that allows owners to borrow money for building upgrades and pay it back out of their future energy savings. (Source: Bisnow Washington, 14 Jan., 2019) Contact: DC Green Bank,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Building Energy Efficiency,  Building Sustainability,  

    C-PACE Financing for $10Mn Calif. Multi-Unit Project (Funding)
    Date: 2019-01-16
    Campbell, California -headquartered C-PACE project financing developer K2 Clean Energy Capital, LLC,is reporting the closing of a $10 million PACE transaction for a 102-unit multi-family housing development in Oakland -- the largest C-PACE funding for a new construction project in the multi-family sector reported to date by the national PACE organization .

    The C-PACE financing will fund multiple measures including roofing & insulation, HVAC systems, energy-efficient LED lighting, water efficiency, seismic measures and will contribute to the project goal of obtaining LEED Silver or Gold certification. (Source: K2 Clean Energy Capital, PR, 14 Jan., 2019) Contact: C -PACE,; K2 Clean Energy Capital LLC, Stephen Tsu, co-founder and Managing Director , Jonathan Pickering, Managing Director,,

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

    Santa Barbara Stymies PACE Energy Efficiency Financing (Ind. Report)
    PACE,Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors
    Date: 2019-01-16
    In the Golden State, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors reports it has rejected the residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) energy efficiency loan program with the caveat that it be reintroduced and reviewed in 2020.

    The board cited concerns about loan payments being collected through property tax bills, potential predatory lending practices, problems selling homes with R-PACE liens and subsequent property devaluation, leading to a reduction in tax revenues, for its rejection

    The PACE program allows residents and businesses to make energy-efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to their properties with no cash up-front, out-of-pocket expenses, with the cost of the work covered by third-party lenders who are then re paid through an assessment on property tax bills, but the PACE lien on the property takes priority over other existing loans.

    On a federal level, the US Federal Housing and Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two largest purchasers and backers of residential loans, has directed lenders under its oversight to not purchase mortgages secured by properties with R-PACE (residential PACE) liens. (Source: Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, Lompac Record, 15 Jan., 2019) Contact: Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News PACE,  Energy Efficiency,  

    MinnKota Power Touts $1Bn Carbon-Capture Project (Ind. Report)
    Lignite Energy Council
    Date: 2019-01-14
    Grand Forks, North Dakota-headquartered MinnKota Power Cooperative reports it plans to construct Project Tundra, a $1 billion carbon capture unit at its existing Milton R. Young Unit 2 plant near Center, North Dakota. Work is projected to get underway this year for completion and commissioning in 2025.

    roject Tundra could potentially capture up to 95 pct of the Milton R. Young plant's carbon emissions which could then be used for enhanced oil recovery or stored in underground rock formations.

    To advance the project, MinnKota will reportedly apply for $15 million in federal DOE grant funding which will be matched by the state for a total of $30 million to study and design of the project plan.

    The Lignite Energy Council, and other proponents are reportedly working to ensure state policy will create a friendly environment for Project Tundra which they claim is important to the state in terms of enhanced oil production, reducing carbon emissions, guaranteeing a reliable and cost-effective source of energy, and preserving the lignite coal industry. (Source: MinnKota Power Cooperative, Forum News Service, 12 Jan., 2019) Contact: MinnKota Power Cooperative, Stacey Dahl, External Affairs, 701-795-4000,; Lignite Energy Council, Jason Bohrer, (701) 258-7117,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  MinnKota Power,  Lignite Energy Council,  

    Shell Cansolv Quits SaskPower Carbon Capture Facility (Ind Report)
    Saskpower, Shell Cansolv
    Date: 2019-01-14
    Following up on our August 7, 2018 coverage, in Estevan, Saskatchewan, SaskPower is reporting Shell Cansolv has wrapped up its work at the carbon capture test facility in the Shand Power Station. Shell Cansolv, which had been working with SaskPower to test new improvements on the Cansolv technology at the test facility,noted it will be available to consult with SaskPower and support their products in use at the CCS plant.

    SaskPower reports it is not currently soliciting new tenants to replace Shell Cansolv for the test facility, but would welcome offers regarding the use of the facility. (Source: Saskpower, Estevan Mercury, Jan., 2019)Contact: Saskpower, Mike Marsh, Pres., CEO, (306) 566-2121,; Shell Cansolv,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Saskpower,  Shell Cansolv,  CCS,  Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  

    Headwaters Wins Otter Tail Energy Efficiency Rebate (Ind. Report)
    Otter Tail Power
    Date: 2019-01-14
    Fergus Falls, Minnesota-headquartered Otter Tail Power Co. reports it has issued a roughly $7,000 rebate to Headwaters Science Center in Bemidji for recently completed energy-efficient upgrades, including WiFi-enabled smart thermostats, new heat pumps and furnaces with energy-efficient motors, and others.

    Otter Tail Power Co. provides rebates, grants, education, special programs, and financing to encourage individuals and businesses for energy efficiency and energy management.

    Otter Tail Power is an investor-owned electric utility that provides electricity for residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. (Source: Otter Tail Power, Bemidji Pioneer, 13 Jan., 2019) Contact: Otter Tail Power, Roger Garton, Energy Management Representative, (218) 739-8200,; Headwaters Science Center, (218)444-4472,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Otter Tail Power,  Energy Efficiency,  

    Praj Launches Compressed Biogas Technology Demo (Int'l. Report)
    Praj Industries
    Date: 2019-01-11
    Praj Industries is reporting the ground-breaking of its integrated Compressed Biogas (CBG) demo plant at the Shreenath Mhaskoba Surgar Factory, adjacent to the existing 2nd Gen Bio-Refinery facility . The demo project is in coordination with three bio refinery projects on proprietary 2G technology.

    Praj's demo plant will test, improve and optimise production of CBG from woody biomass, agricultural waste, paper mill pith, a other biomass feedstocks, according to a company filing. Praj Industries Ltd. is a process and project engineering company, headquartered in Pune, Maharashtra, India, with offices in South Africa, North America, Latin America & Caribbean, Thailand, Philippines and UAE. (Source: Praj Industries, India Infoline News, 11 Jan., 2019) Contact: Praj Industries Ltd., +91 20 7180 2000 / 2294 1000,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Praj Industries,  Biogas,  

    ACEEE Governors Toolkit for Energy Efficiency (Report Attached)
    Date: 2019-01-09
    "Governors across the country share important priorities: economic progress, job creation, workforce development, improved public health, technological innovation, environmental protection, and saving taxpayers money. Conserving energy in our homes, businesses, and transportation systems has an enormous role to play in furthering these high-priority gubernatorial goals. Importantly, efficiency is a job engine, employing more than 2.25 million Americans. It also is the fastest-growing job market in the energy sector and employs twice as many workers across the nation as all fossil fuel sectors combined."

    The ACEEE notes the following ways that governors can increase energy efficiency across their state economies: develop and communicate an energy efficiency vision; drive energy efficiency in the utility sector; strengthen efficiency in the industrial sector; encourage energy-efficient transportation; scale up energy efficiency in buildings; Lead with efficient state operations; reach under served markets through state energy office programs; and move toward more efficient appliances.

    (Download the report HERE. Source: ACEEE, Jan., 2019) Contact: ACEEE, Annie Gilleo, ACEEE, Senior Manager, (202) 507-4002,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ACEEE,  Energy Efficiency,  

    Tokyo Touts "Eco-Point" CO2 Emissions Cutting Plan (Int'l)
    okyo Metropolitan Government
    Date: 2019-01-09
    In Japan, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) is reporting the upcoming October launch of its "eco-point" program. The program will grant points to consumers who replace older, inefficient home appliances with energy-efficient models. Refrigerators, air conditioners and water heaters will be covered by the program.

    Under the program, shoppers will gain one point for each 7 kg of CO2 emissions they are able to cut through replacing home appliances. One point will be worth ¥1 and exchangeable for gift tickets.

    The ¥4.5 billion program will be funded in the TMG's fiscal 2019 budget, and is intended to coincide with the Japanese central government's announced consumption tax increase from 8 pct to 10 pct, as well as to curb carbon dioxide emissions that lead to global warming.

    The program, which is expected to run until March 2021, is forecast to lower CO2 emissions by 140,000 tpy and reduce utility expenses by ¥6.9 billion. (Source: Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Japan Times, 8 Jan., 2019) Contact: Tokyo Metropolitan Government,

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

    Marion, Mass. Designated as Green Community (Ind. Report)
    DOER Green Communities
    Date: 2019-01-09
    In the Bay State, the town of Marion reports it has been designated part of the Mass. DOER Green Communities program.

    The DOER Green Communities Division provides technical assistance and financial support for municipal initiatives to improve energy efficiency and increase the use of renewable energy in public buildings, facilities and schools, according to a news release.

    In 2014, Marion's Energy Management Committee promoted a solar bylaw that has seen the installation of more than 100 solar projects. The town has also executed a power purchase agreement with Future Generation Wind to net meter electric power to town buildings and facilities for an annual savings in excess of $90,000. In addition, the town added electric vehicles to its fleet and replaced all of the town's cobra-head streetlights with more efficient LED fixtures for additional energy savings.

    With the new Green Community designation the town has been awarded a grant of $132,672 to cover the cost of additional energy-saving projects. (Source: DOER Green Communities, Standard-Times, South Coast Today, 8 Jan., 2019) Contact: Mass. DOER Green Communities, Communities

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  DOER Green Communities,  

    Tokyo Launches "Eco-Point" Energy Efficient Appliance Plan (Int'l)

    Date: 2019-01-09
    In Japan, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) is reporting the upcoming October launch of its ¥4.5 billion "eco-point" program. The program will grant points to consumers who replace older, inefficient home appliances with energy-efficient models. Refrigerators, air conditioners and water heaters will be covered by the program.

    Under the program, shoppers will gain one point for each 7 kg of CO2 emissions they are able to cut through replacing home appliances. One point will be worth ¥1 and exchangeable for gift tickets. The program, which is expected to run until March 2021, is forecast to lower CO2 emissions by 140,000 tpy and reduce utility expenses by ¥6.9 billion. (Source: Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Japan Times, 8 Jan., 2019) Contact: Tokyo Metropolitan Government,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency news,  

    Thailand's MCE Plans Boost in Sugarcane Ethanol Production (Int'l)
    Mae Sod Clean Energy
    Date: 2019-01-09
    In Thailand, Bangkok-based e chemicals and ethanol producer Mae Sod Clean Energy Co. (MCE) is reporting it plans to ramp up sugarcane ethanol production at its plant in Tak province, Northern region, to full capacity of 260,000 lpd by the year 2021. The production increase is dependent upon local sugarcane production and availability. (Source: Mae Sod Clean Energy, Jan., 2019) Contact: Mae Sod Clean Energy Co. LTD,. +66 2 695-9499,;

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol news,  Sugarcane Ethanol news,  Biofuel news,  

    Enel Green Power Activates 620 MW of US Wind Farms (Ind. Report)
    Enel Green Power North America
    Date: 2019-01-04
    Enel Green Power North America Inc (EGPNA) reports its 320-MW Rattlesnake Creek wind farm in Nebraska and the approximate 300-MW Diamond Vista wind farm in Kansas are now generating power.

    The two facilities, which together cost about $830 million, have a combined capacity of about 2,600 GWh per year, have long-term PPAs -- the Rattlesnake Creek wind farm will sell its power to Facebook and Diamond Vista will supply power to software major Adobe Systems Inc. Diamond Vista also has three separate PPAs, the first two of which are for 100 MW each with global manufacturing company Kohler Co and City Utilities of Springfield. The third is for 84 MW with the Tri-County Electric Cooperative of Oklahoma.

    Enel owns all of the "Class A" interests and manages and operates the wind farms. With these two wind farms, the total renewable capacity added by Enel Green Power around the world this year reaches 2.6 GW, of which over 830 MW in North America. (Source: Enel Green Power North America, Jan., 2019) Contact: Enel Green Power North America, Connor Branch, Bus. Dev., (978) 681-1900,

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

    Aussie Tesla Battery Installation Delivers $40Mn Savings (Int'l)
    Date: 2019-01-04
    In the Land Down Under, wind energy developer Neoen is reporting its recently installed Tesla Battery energy storage system at Hornsdale Power Reserve has delivered approximately $40 million in savings over the past year. According to Neoen, the operator of an adjacent wind farm, the battery installation is the largest lithium-ion battery energy storage system in the world.

    The Tesla Powerpack system cost $66 million to build, which is a small number in comparison to the amount of funds saved over a mere 12 months. The Tesla system also eliminated the need for a 35 MW local Frequency Control Ancillary Service (FCAS); decreased the South Australian regulation FCAS price by 75 pct; and helped connect South Australia to the National Electricity Market. (Source: Neoen, Jan., 2019) Contact: Neoen S.A.S., +33 805 160 022,; Tesla Power Pack,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Neoen,  Tesla,  Lithium-Ion Battery,  Energy Storage,  

    Kigali Amendment Addresses Ozone Deleting HFC GHG (Int'l Report)
    Montreal Protocol
    Date: 2019-01-04
    With the recently announced Kigali Amendment hammered out in Niarobi, the world has taken an important step on the road to drastically reduce the production and consumption of powerful greenhouse gasses known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)-- an extremely potent greenhouse gas -- and limit global warming. The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer came into force on 1st January 2019.

    If fully supported by governments, the private sector and citizens, the Kigali Amendment will avoid up to 0.4 degrees C of global warming this century while continuing to protect the ozone layer. The amendment will substantively contribute to the goals of the COP15, Paris Climate Agreement.

    The parties to the amendment have put in place practical arrangements for its implementation, including agreements on technologies for the destruction of HFCs and new data reporting requirements and tools. The amendment comes with provisions for capacity-building for developing countries, institutional strengthening and the development of national strategies to reduce HFCs and replace them with alternatives. Phasing down HFCs under the Kigali Amendment may also open a window to redesign refrigeration equipment that is more energy efficient, further increasing the climate gains.

    Implementation of new targets set out in the amendment will be done in three phases, with a group of developed countries starting HFCs phase-down from 2019. Developing countries will follow with a freeze of HFCs consumption levels in 2024 and with a few countries freezing consumption in 2028.

    Evidence presented in the latest Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion finds that the ozone layer in parts of the stratosphere has recovered at a rate of 1-3 pct per decade since 2000. At projected rates, Northern Hemisphere and mid-latitude ozone is scheduled to heal completely by the 2030s followed by the Southern Hemisphere in the 2050s and polar regions by 2060.

    The UN Environment Ozone Secretariat is the Secretariat for the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The Secretariat facilitates and supports the parties to the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol and other stakeholders in implementing actions to protect and heal the ozone layer and contribute to climate change mitigation.

    Download the Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2018 Executive Summary HERE. (Source: UN Environment Ozone Secretariat, World Meteorological Organization , UN Environment, 3 Dec., 2019) Contact: UN Environment Ozone Secretariat,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP15,  Paris Climate Agreement,  Carbon Emissions,  Montreal Protocol,  HFCs,  Ozone Depletion,  Climate Change,  

    Solar, Wind Energy Could Replace Coal in Texas, says Tri Global (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Tri Global,Sunfinity
    Date: 2019-01-04
    In the Lone Stare State, Dallas-headquartered Tri Global issued the following statement: A new study from Rice University on the growing role of wind and solar electricity in powering Texas has been attracting widespread attention. John B. Billingsley, CEO for two of the state's premier renewable power developers, says that the study underscores the critical importance of renewable energy in the state.

    "The study points out that wind and solar electricity provided about 18 pct of Texas' power in 2017, but that thoughtful planning to optimize natural patterns of renewable energy output could further help those resources 'punch above their weight' as coal-fired power plants are retired. In fact, Texas, because of its size and climate, is uniquely positioned to replace coal power with electricity from a complementary mix of West Texas and Gulf Coast wind along with solar power from around the state.

    " Tri Global Energy has been developing West Texas wind projects for 10 years and has become the number one developer of wind farms in the state. (Texas also leads the nation in production of wind power.) Tri Global CEO Billingsly also launched Sunfinity Renewable Energy nearly three years ago. Sunfinity is developing residential, commercial and utility scale solar energy in several states, including Texas.

    "The rise of clean energy appears to be everywhere across Texas," said Billingsley. 'The state is speeding ahead to develop renewable energy and reaching new milestones all the time. But we've only begun to scratch the surface in terms of truly harnessing our clean, renewable resources. Texans will be the real winners, realizing both the environmental and economic benefits of renewables. The next several years will see amazing strides forward." (Source: Tri Global Energy, PR, Jan., 2018) Contact: Sunfinity,; Tri Global Energy, John B. Billingsley, CEO, 972.290.0825,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Tri Global,  Renewable Energy,  Sunfinity,  Wind,  Solar,  

    Auric Solar Touts Name Change, Additional Services (Ind. Report)
    Auric Solar
    Date: 2019-01-04
    Utah-headquartered solar contractor Auric Solar reports it is increasing its service offerings and rebranding itself to Auric Energy. The name change arrives is in preparation for new commercial-scale energy projects and acquisition which are expected to be reported shortly. The additional projects sand partnerships are expected to place the company among the top twenty residential and commercial solar services and providers in the U.S., according to the company. (Source: Auric Energy, PR, 2 Jan., 2019) Contact: Auric Solar, Jess Philips, CEO, (503) 835-0603, (208) 502-0913,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  Auric Solar,  

    Trudeau's Canadian Carbon Tax Now In Force (Reg. & Leg.)
    Canada Carbon Tax
    Date: 2019-01-02
    In Ottawa, the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's controversial carbon tax is now in force. The price on carbon will be C$20 ($15 US) per metric ton rising to C$50 per ton by 2022. A wide-ranging tax on nearly all fuels is also set to take effect in April in four provinces.

    The Trudeau government had proposed a 95 pct standard for the cement and lime sectors and 90 pct for production of petrochemicals, steel, certain types of iron, nitric acid and ammonia. All other sectors have a proposed 80 pct threshold. Companies exceeding those levels can pay a tax, or buy credits from more efficient firms.

    The industrial emissions plan applies to Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island -- the provinces that are challenging the Trudeau carbon tax plan -- and to electricity and natural gas pipelines in Saskatchewan. Even with the carbon tax in place, Canada is still expected to fall short of its COP15 target of 513 metric megatons of emissions by 2030. (Source: Canada Ministry of the Environment, Bloomberg, Various Media, 30 Dec., 2018) Contact: Canada Ministry of the Environment, Hon. Catherine McKenna, Minister,

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

    Japanese Woody Biomass Jet Fuel Demo Construction Underway (Int'l)
    Fischer-Tropsch,Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
    Date: 2019-01-02
    In December, a Japanese consortium led by Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd., CEPCO, Toyo Engineering Corp., the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), with support from the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), touted a planned demonstration facility that integrates high-performance entrained-flow gasification technology and Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) synthesis for the production of jet fuel from woody biomass. The consortium of the demo project is now underway for an expected trial production run later this year.

    When fully operational, the the demo facility will potentially process 0.7 tpd of woody biomass to produce about 20 lpd of "neat" biojet fuel. MHPS will be responsible for the entrained-bed gasification technology, Toyo for micro-channel F-T synthesis technology and the reforming of the synthesized oil, CEPCO for equipment operation and fuel procurement, and JAXA for evaluation of combustion characteristics.

    MHPS notes it has been developing coal-gasification technology since the 1980s, and has established high-performance gasification furnace technology. (Source: MHPS, Chemical Engineering, 1 Jan., 2019) Contact: MHPS,; NEDO,; JAXA,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News JAXA,  Fischer-Tropsch,  Woody Biomass,  Jet Biofuel,  Mitsubishi Hitachi Power ,  

    100 pct Renewables Included in DC Energy Bill (Reg & Leg)
    Renewable Energy
    Date: 2018-12-21
    Renewable Energy Date: 2018-12-21 This week in Washington, D.C. became the only jurisdiction in the country that has enacted a concrete, mandatory, detailed, comprehensive law to reduce emissions at a pace compatible with keeping global temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

    Among its other stipulations, the bill requires the city to source 100 pct of its energy from renewables by 2032,, It also puts a price on carbon emissions and and mandates the DC Public Service Commission to prioritize addressing climate change.

    This climate victory in the nation's capital is the result of a 3-year effort by grassroots organizers, engaged constituents, a coalition of 100 faith leaders, businesses, low income advocates, climate groups, and neighborhood associations. (Source: Citizens' Climate Lobby, Red, Green & Blue, 15 Dec., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy news,  Carbon Emissions news,  Carbon Tax news,  

    Data Centers Not Prioritizing Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
    Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2018-12-21
    According to green tech producer Supermicro's just released Data Centers and the Environmentreport the majority of data center, IT managers lack a sense of urgency with regards energy efficiency and their operation' environmental footprints.

    The report notes that although 58 pct of the IT managers interviewed in the study are increasingly adopting or developing policies to address environmental issues almost half have yet to adopt an environmental policy and nearly a quarter have no intention of developing a p[policy in the future.

    The study respondents cited high costs, lack of resources and understanding as key factors preventing them from implementing environmental policies. Surprisingly, 50 pct of those asked did not know their Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) -- the ratio of total energy used by a data center facility to the energy delivered to the IT equipment -- is becoming one of the most popular metrics to calculate efficient energy usage. For those that are measuring PUE, 22 pct have an average PUE of 2.0 or higher, and 6 pct are in the average range between 1.0 and 1.19.

    Download the Supermicro Data Centers & The Environment report HERE. (Source: Supermicro, The Stack, Dec., 2018) Contact: Supermicro,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Data Center,  Energy Efficiency,  

    Energy Efficiency Included in DC Clean Energy Legislation (Reg & Leg)

    Date: 2018-12-21
    Renewable Energy Date: 2018-12-21 This week in Washington, D.C. became the only jurisdiction in the country that has enacted a concrete, mandatory, detailed, comprehensive law to reduce emissions at a pace compatible with keeping global temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

    Among its other stipulations, the bill requires existing buildings to meet certain energy efficiency standards, puts a price on carbon emissions, requires the city to source 100 pct of its energy from renewables by 2032, , and mandates the DC Public Service Commission to prioritize addressing climate change.

    This climate victory in the nation's capital is the result of a 3-year effort by grassroots organizers, engaged constituents, a coalition of 100 faith leaders, businesses, low income advocates, climate groups, and neighborhood associations. (Source: Citizens' Climate Lobby, Red, Green & Blue, 15 Dec., 2018) Contact: Citizen's Climate Lobby, Max Broad, Washington DC Chapter,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency news,  

    Energy Efficiency Included in DC Clean Energy Legislation (Reg & Leg)

    Date: 2018-12-21
    Renewable Energy Date: 2018-12-21 This week in Washington, D.C. became the only jurisdiction in the country that has enacted a concrete, mandatory, detailed, comprehensive law to reduce emissions at a pace compatible with keeping global temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

    Among its other stipulations, the bill requires existing buildings to meet certain energy efficiency standards, puts a price on carbon emissions, requires the city to source 100 pct of its energy from renewables by 2032, , and mandates the DC Public Service Commission to prioritize addressing climate change.

    This climate victory in the nation's capital is the result of a 3-year effort by grassroots organizers, engaged constituents, a coalition of 100 faith leaders, businesses, low income advocates, climate groups, and neighborhood associations. (Source: Citizens' Climate Lobby, Red, Green & Blue, 15 Dec., 2018)

    Ecocem Low-Carbon Cement Touts CO2 Emissions Savings (Int'l)
    Date: 2018-12-21
    Reporting from Dublin, Europe's largest independent low-carbon cements producer Ecocem has announced that its efforts over 16 years to encourage replacing high-carbon cement with low-carbon cement has resulted in a saving of 10Mt of carbon emissions.

    The company's ground-granulated blastfurnace slag (GGBS) cement's carbon footprint is about 95 pct lower than traditional cement at 32kg/t, and can be used as a one-to-one replacement in formulating concrete, according to a press release.

    Ecocem operates four plants across Europe with a total capacity of 2.4Mta. (Source: Ecocem, PR, Cement News, 20 Dec., 2018) Contact: Ecocem, +353 1 678 1800, +353 1 678 1816,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ecocem,  Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  

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