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ACEEE, Bloomberg Am. Cities Climate Challenge Partner (Ind. Report)
ACEEE,Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge
Date: 2018-12-21
In a blog post, Michael R. Bloomberg announced Charlotte as the nineteenth winning city of Bloomberg's American Cities Climate Challenge.

The $70 million program, which was launched in June, will help 20 winning cities accelerate their ambitious climate efforts by providing significant resources, including technical assistance and staff capacity, to help them reduce carbon emissions by saving energy and using clean energy sources. The selected cities will target energy savings in the buildings and transportation sectors, the sectors most responsible for energy use and carbon emissions.

ACEEE will partner with the Climate Challenge by expanding the program's independent City Clean Energy Scorecard (fka City Energy Efficiency Scorecard) for assessing local energy efficiency policies and programs. The 2019 City Scorecard will expand from scoring 51 of the largest US cities to 75, with the goal of assessing 100 in future editions. The Climate Challenge cities will serve as models for building public-private and community-based energy efficiency strategies, which can save money, create jobs, clean the air, and protect health.(Source: ACEEE, Blog Post, 19 Dec., 2018) Contact: ACEEE, (202) 507-4000, www.aceee.org; Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge, www.bloomberg.org/program/environment/climatechallenge

More Low-Carbon Energy News ACEEE,  American Cities Climate Challenge,  


UK Suspended from EU ETS Pending BREXIT Resolution (Int'l Report)
EU ETS
Date: 2018-12-21
In Brussels, the European Commission (EC) reports that as of January 1, 2019, it has temporarily suspended EU ETS emissions trading system processes related to Britain's convoluted and contentious BREXIT is concluded. Accordingly, the UK Britain will be unable to auction carbon permits, allocate them for free to operators, or exchange international credits for as long as the suspension remains in place, the EC added in a statement.

From January, any carbon permits issued by Britain will have to be identified by a country code ("marked") but transfers of permits already in circulation in and out of accounts held by UK operators will not be affected by the suspension. If BREXIT is ratified the suspension will be lifted, the EC added. (Source: European Commission, Reuters, 20 Dec., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission,  Carbon Credits,  BREXIT,  EU ETS,  


Senators Coons, Flake Table Bipartisan Carbon Tax, Climate Change Legislation (Reg & Leg)
Climate Chang
Date: 2018-12-21
Yesterday in Washington, U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) tables the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act that places an increasing price -- carbon tax -- on carbon and other GHG emissions. The legislation is designed to drive down pollution, reduce U.S. carbon emissions by 33 pct within a decade, create employment, encourage market-driven innovation in clean energy technologies, and to pay a monthly dividend directly to every American family.

Download Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act key points HERE. (Source: Office of Sen. Christopher Coons, KTAR News, 19 Dec., 2018) Contact: Senator Christopher Coons, www.coons.senate.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News GHGs,  Greenhouse Gas,  Climate Change,  Carbon Tax,  


Wash. DC Adopts Renewable Energy, Carbon Tax Bill (Reg & Leg)
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.

The legislation puts a price on carbon and requires the city to source 100 pct of its energy from renewables by 2032. It also require existing buildings to meet certain energy efficiency standards, levies an extra tax on the purchase of gas-guzzling cars and use the money to make electric vehicles more affordable. It also requires the city to operate 100 pct electric buses by 2030, 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, dc@citizensclimatelobby.org, www.citizensclimatelobby.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Citizens Climate Lobby,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Tax,  Renewable Energy,  


NYPA OKs $600Mn Energy Efficiency Finance Credit Line (Ind. Report)
New York Power Authority
Date: 2018-12-19
The New York Power Authority (NYPA) reports its board of trustees has approved a $600 million revolving credit facility to support the Authority's issuance of commercial, short-term paper notes to support its present customer energy-efficiency programs.

NYPA offers various energy-efficiency programs for its customers, including universities, municipalities, school districts and largest cities. The NYPA programs are design-build energy project services, digital energy management and demand response capabilities.

The new revolving credit facility will replace an existing revolving credit agreement set to expire on Jan. 18. NYPA currently has $531 million of series 1, 2 and 3 commercial paper notes outstanding to support numerous projects across the Empire State.

NYPA is the nation's largest state public power organization, through the operation of its 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines (Source: NYPA, Niagara Frontier Publications, 18 Dec., 2018) Contact: NYPA, Gil C. Quiniones, Pres., CEO, www.nypa.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News New York Power Authority,  Energy Efficiency,  


Canmore Considers Energy Efficiency, PACE Financing (Ind. Report)
Energy Efficiency
Date: 2018-12-19
In Alberta, the town of Canmore (pop. 14,00 +-) town council reports it has approved a Climate Action Plan that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 pct by 2050. By 2030, the plan proposes that the community will reduce its GHG emissions by 30 per cent below 2015 levels and 80 pct below 2015 levels, which is aligned with Federal GHG emission targets.

In anticipation of the potential risks and opportunities presented by these changes, the Plan proposes retrofits to 80 pct of existing buildings to improve energy efficiency. Proposed improvements include the installation of weather stripping, extra insulation and high efficiency windows, energy efficient appliances and lighting, the adoption of electric or hybrid vehicles, as well as significantly cutting solid waste and moving forward with an organics collection system.

The city is also considering a PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) bylaw allowing city residents to make energy efficiency upgrades to their homes, or install solar PV systems, and finance these through their property tax payments. (Source: Town of Canmore, PR, Crag & Canyon, 18 Dec., 2018) Contact: Town of Canmore, Lori Rissling Wynn, Sustainability Coordinator and Development Planner , (403) 678-1500, https://canmore.ca

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  PACE,  


GSA Foresees Improved Energy Efficiency within Decade (Ind. Report)
General Services Administration
Date: 2018-12-19
In Washington, the U.S. Energy Department and the General Services Administration (GSA) see an uptick in energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) and utility energy service contracts (UESCs), while the U.S. Army, the biggest adopter of ESPCs, looks to strengthen the resiliency of its electrical grid through these smart energy projects.

A bipartisan bloc of lawmakers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have also found common ground on the contracting vehicle federal agencies can use to upgrade their offices with energy-efficiency technology. Through the indefinite delivery indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract vehicle the Energy Department's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) program manages, agencies have awarded more than 400 ESPC projects, invested more than $6 billion and saved nearly $14 billion in energy costs since 1998. In fiscal 2018 alone, federal agencies awarded $809 million in facility infrastructure investment, according to FEMP.

With ESPCs, contractors finance the upfront cost and certify that the upgrades will generate sufficient savings to cover the initial cost of the project. The agency pays an annual amount to the contractor for a fixed period of time, while the contractors get paid through the energy savings achieved by agencies. Across the government, agencies face a repair backlog of more than $150 billion, according to the GSA. (Source: GSA, Federal News, 18 Dec., 2018)Contact: GSA, Kevin Kampschroer, CSO, (202) 357-9582, www.gsa.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News General Services Administration ,  Energy Efficiency,  


Fulcrum Commits to $600Mn Centerpoint Biofuels Plant (Ind. Report)
Fulcrum Bioenergy
Date: 2018-12-17
California-based waste-to-fuels specialist Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc. reports it will invest an estimated $600 million in a 50-acre trash-to-biofuels plant in northwest Indiana. The 50-acre Centerpoint Biofuels facility will process 700,000 tpy of garbage into approximately 33 million gpy of transportation fuel.

The project will receive $2.1 million support from the state' Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) conditional tax credits as well as local incentives. Construction is expected to break ground in 2020. (Source: Fulcrum Bioenergy, WBAA, 14 Dec., 2018) Contact: Fulcrum Bioenergy, Rick Barraza, VP Administration, (925) 224-8244, rbarraza@fulcrum-bioenergy.com, www.fulcrum-bioenergy.com, www.facebook.com/fulcrumbioenergy

More Low-Carbon Energy News Fulcrum Bioenergy,  Waste-to-Biofuel,  


WIRE-A Touts Women's Role in Renewable Energy (Ind. Report)
Women in Renewable Energy Association
Date: 2018-12-14
The Toronto-based Women in Renewable Energy Association (WIRE-A) is reporting an initiative aimed getting women more involved in the solar and renewable energy industry.

In a recent WIRE-A event entitled Advancing the Role of Women in the Renewable Energy Space, the Association encouraged a number of women and stakeholders in attendance to look at the challenges, opportunities and to become involved in the renewables sector.

The event's keynote speaker, Prince Adeshina Ademuyewo, of the Advisory Board of the Council for Renewable Energy (CREN), took participants through the interventions, opportunities, need for collaborations and how women can become involved and make a remarkable change in the sector. (Source: Women in Renewable Energy Association, The Nation, 9 Dec., 2018) Contact: Women in Renewable Energy Association, info@womeninrenewableenergy.ca, www.womeninrenewableenergy.ca

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  Council for Renewable Energy ,  


Inslee Calls for Reduced Energy Consumption, Increased Efficiency (Ind. Report)
Jay Inslee
Date: 2018-12-14
In Olympia, Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (DEM) has unveiled a plan that the governor claims would drive a dramatic reduction in the state's greenhouse gas emissions over the next 15 years.

Inslee's proposal is designed to accelerate the innovation and efforts already underway across the economy to transition to 100 pct clean energy, construct ultra-energy efficient buildings, establish a clean fuel standard, electrify the state's transportation system and phase down super-pollutants in certain products -- all of which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Washington state to 25 pct below 1990 levels by 2035. To achieve that goal, the state needs to further reduce emissions by nearly 16 million metric tpy, according to a release. The transition to 100 pct clean energy would place Washington among the first states to end all coal-fired electric power consumption by 2025, transition toward carbon neutral electricity in 2030, and lay the groundwork to eliminate all fossil fuels in electricity generation by 2045.

Inslee is also calling for a 40 pct increase in the state's Clean Energy Fund, a comprehensive clean energy and energy efficiency building package; a clean fuel standard; support for electric vehicles and EV charging infrastructure; and a reduction in the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) -- a super-pollutant that is thousands of times more damaging than carbon. (Source: Office of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, PR, The Hill, 10 Dec., 2018) Contact: US Climate Alliance, www.usclimatealliance.org; Office of Washington Sate Gov. Jay Inslee, Communications Office, Tara Lee, (360) 902-4136, www.governor.wa.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Jay Inslee,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate CHange,  Clean Energy,  


UMass Wood Byproducts Renewable Fuel Additive R&D Funded (R&D)
US DOE
Date: 2018-12-14
The US DOE Co-Optima initiative has awarded a three-year, $1 million grant to a team of researchers led by a UMass Lowell for the development of renewable fuel additives from sawdust and other wood byproducts. The University of Maine and Rockledge, Florida-based Mainstream Engineering Corp. are also participating in the project.

The additive is intended to be mixed with diesel and other petroleum-based fuels to displace some volume of diesel with something renewable and help cut down the vehicle's carbon footprint. The biofuel-blend formulation will offer the same engine performance, but will ideally be easier and more environmentally friendly to produce. (Source: U Mass, US DOE, 12 Dec., 2018) Contact: UMass, Prof. Hunter Mack, Research Team Leader, http://uml.academia.edu/JohnHunterMack; Mainstream Engineering, (321) 631-3550, Fax: (321)631-3552, info@mainstream-engr.com, www.mainstream-engr.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel,  Biomass,  Woody Biomass,  


NREL, Forest Concepts Collaborate on Biofuel Feedstocks, Biomass Conversion (R&D, Ind. Report)
Forest Concepts
Date: 2018-12-12
Recognizing the importance of enhancing biomass conversion processes for industry, a team of NREL scientists partnered with Auburn, Washington-based Forest Concepts to perform detailed thermochemical conversion simulations for biomass feedstocks. The simulations relate feedstock attributes to expected product yields and necessary pyrolysis conversion process conditions. The work by NREL will allow Forest Concepts to better convey the value of their feedstocks to biorefinery customers.

Forest Concepts, a manufacturer of precision woody and herbaceous feedstocks for bioenergy and bioproduct applications, leveraged NREL's capabilities in biomass conversion modeling to help quantify the impact of their feedstock characteristics based on various particle shapes and sizes. The NREL team is part of the Consortium for Computational Physics and Chemistry (CCPC), which uses high-performance computing to support the U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO).

Prior to the development of the NREL models, Forest Concepts provided feedstock pricing based on volume and size of the biomass particle. Using the NREL models, Forest Concepts can now provide information to their customers such as standardized performance, required conversion conditions, and expected yields based on the size and shape of feedstock particles.

BETO recognized early on the value of developing detailed biomass feedstock particle models to understand how the properties of each particle impact the yield and composition products from the conversion process. Moving forward, these capabilities will be leveraged by the newly established Feedstock-Conversion Interface Consortium (FCIC) whose mission is to quantify, understand, and manage variability in biomass from field through downstream conversion and to understand how biomass composition, structure, and behavior impact system performance.

FCIC is an integrated and collaborative network of eight national laboratories dedicated to addressing technical risks and understanding how biomass properties influence collection, storage, handling, preprocessing and conversion technologies with the goal of improving the overall operational reliability of integrated pioneer biorefineries. (Source: NREL, PR, 10 Dec., 2018) Contact: NREL, Peter Ciesielski, Scientist, www.nrel.gov; US DOE BETO, energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office; Forest Concepts, James H. Dooley, CTO, (253) 333-9663, www.forestconcepts.com; Feedstock-Conversion Interface Consortium, https://fcic.inl.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News NREL,  Forest Concepts,  Bioenergy,  Biofuel,  Biomass,  BETO ,  


Switzerland Climbs in NGO Climate Performance Ranking (Int'l)
Climate Change
Date: 2018-12-12
SwissInfo is reporting Switzerland has jumped three places to 9th in a ranking of country climate performance as determined by three NGOs -- Germanwatch, CAN Europe and the New Climate Institute. The ranking is intended to put political and social pressure on countries to take more ambitious action on climate protection.

The index evaluates and compares the climate protection performance of 56 countries and the EU that are, together, responsible for nearly 90 pct of global GHG emissions. The index uses 14 indicators covering GHG emissions, renewable energy and energy use along with the compatibility of national climate targets with the Paris Climate Agreement. The rating only evaluates CO2 emitted domestically. If emissions from consumption were measured, Switzerland would be ranked lowerg as the country imports large quantities of CO2-intensive products, creating more CO2 emissions abroad than at home.

According to the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO), Switzerland's total CO2 emissions, calculated in terms of its carbon footprint, was 116 million tonnes in 2015. Of these, 76 million tonnes were produced abroad. Switzerland is one of the few countries that relies more on purchasing climate certificates to offset emissions than on reducing its own emissions. (Source: SwissInfo, 10 Dec., 2018)

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


Stamford Health CT's First LEED Certified Hospital (Ind. Report)
USGBC
Date: 2018-12-12
In Conn., Stamford Health reports it has received US Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED Healthcare Certification for its 650,000-square-foot Stamford Hospital which was completed in 2016. Stamford Health is one of only 86 projects worldwide to be certified under the LEED healthcare system rating. It is also the largest LEED for healthcare certified project in the nation.

In the project, the Stamford Hospital focused on air flow, energy consumption and air quality. The project's LEED qualifying features included:

  • 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;

  • green roofing system was implemented to provide a heat island effect, sending less heat into the atmosphere;

  • sustainably sourced materials and products such as certified wood, walls, ceiling, flooring and other components were regional sourced;

  • low-emitting materials, such as environmentally friendly carpets and no noxious flooring material, were installed throughout the building; and

  • an advanced facilities and energy management system was installed. (Source: Stamford Health, PR, 10 Dec., 2018) Contact: Stamford Health, Stamford Hospital, Michael Smeriglio, Executive Director, Facilities Management, www.stamfordhealth.org; USGBC, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

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


  • Trump's EPA to Axe Obama Coal-Fired Power Plant Rules (Ind. Report)
    US EPA
    Date: 2018-12-10
    In Washingtom, it is being widely reported that the Trump administration will scrap an Obama-era mandate that new coal-fired power plants be equipped with carbon-capture and storage (CCS) technology. According to the EPA, CCS technology hasn't "adequately demonstrated" it effectiveness as challenged by Murray Energy Corp. and coal industry associations.

    The Obama administration 2015 regulation imposed CO2 limits on new and modified coal-fired power plants that could not be met without installing some kind of carbon-capture technology. The Trump EPA proposed replacement would reportedly raise allowable CO2 emissions from new and modified coal power plants without employing CCS technology while ensuring utilities use other advanced technologies to ensure coal is burned cleanly and efficiently.

    Since 2010, power plant owners have either retired or announced plans to retire at least 630 coal plants in 43 states -- nearly 40 pct of the U.S. coal fleet, according to data by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. (Source: EPA, Various Media, Bloomberg, 5 Dec., 2018) Contact: American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, www.energyandpolicy.org/american-coalition-clean-coal-electricity

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA,  Coal,  CCS,  CO2,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Former INEOS Cellulosic Ethanol Assets Up for Grabs (Ind. Report)
    INEOS Bio Energy
    Date: 2018-12-10
    Following up on our 23rd February coverage, industrial auctioneer Maas Companies of Rochester, Minnesota, reports the former INEOS Bio Energy 8 MMGY Cellulosic Ethanol Plant and 6 MW Biomass Plant in Vero Beach, Florida will soon fall under the auctioneer's hammer.

    The sale includes INEOS' surplus land and equipment which will be offered first via a sealed bid auction process ending on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. If the equipment is not sold as an entirety with the real estate, the equipment will then be sold piecemeal via a timed online auction ending on January 15, 2019.

    The 2011 vintage, $230 million INEOS plant was a joint venture between Ineos Group LTD and New Planet Energy LLC. This first of its kind demonstration plant was designed to use an integreated biomass gasification and gas fermentation technology to convert cellulosic yard and vegetable waste into ethanol.

    The plant is adjacent to the Indian River County Solid Waste Disposal LandFill with an existing gas line in place enabling the use of the landfill waste gases on the site. The plant also owns an additional 74.5 acre tract of land to the south of the main site.

    Frankens Energy purchased the property earlier this year and has begun deploying its plans to convert the site into an industrial eco-district, the first of its kind on the eastern seaboard. Once complete, the Indian River Eco-District will support and nurture an innovative eco-system of industrial businesses, while fostering sustainable competitive advantages, growth and success of each of its members.

    (Source: Maas Companies, 6 Dec., 2018) Contact: Indian River Eco District, www.irecodistrict.com; Maas Companies, (507)285-1444, www.masscompanies.com, www.ethanolplantauction.com; Frankens Energy, David Frankens, info@frankensenergy.com, www.frankensenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cellulosic Ethanol,  Frankens Energy,  INEOS Bio Energy,  Maas Companies,  


    Singapore Fifth in Green Office Space Certifications (Int'l)
    CBRE
    Date: 2018-12-10
    A recently released report from CBRE Research placed Singapore in fifth place across the six major gateway cities in Asia Pacific (APAC) in terms of the largest volume of green office space with approximately 13 million sq-ft. Shanghai topped the list with more than 20 million sq-ft or around 80% of new office buildings certified as green spaces, followed by Hong Kong with 19 million sq-ft, Beijing registered 16.5 million sq-ft followed by Tokyo with an estimated 4.9 million sq-ft of certified green space.

    The 2014 Singapore Green Building Master Plan targeted the the local Green Mark standard for 80 pct of all buildings by 2030. It's adoption rate presently stands at 27 pct as of 2018. (Source: CBRE Research, Singapore Business, Dec., 2018) Contact: CBRE Research, www.cbre.com/research-and-reports

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CBRE Research,  Green Office,  Energy Efficiency,  


    WSU Researchers Find Carbon Reserve Underfoot (R&D, Ind. Report)
    Washington State University
    Date: 2018-12-07
    According to research from Washington State University at least a quarter of all the carbon stored in Earth's soil is found locked up in minerals roughly six feet beneath the surface. But new research suggests this unique carbon reservoir will become less efficient at carbon storage as the planet warms. The research details the way carbon physically and chemically binds to minerals in soils across the globe.

    The new data showed minimal amounts of carbon are stored in the sediments of deserts and dry forests, but roughly six feet beneath the surfaces of wet forests, scientists found an abundance of carbon bound to reactive minerals. The persistence of water and decaying organic matter on the forest floor helps leach carbon from above and transport to minerals buried below.

    According to the new research, global warming won't impact the carbon that is already stored beneath the surface of wet forest floors, but it will alter the pathway by which new carbon gets stored. Temperature increases are likely to minimize the amount of water running through forest soil, even if precipitation levels remain stable.

    The results of the survey were published in the journal Nature Climate Change HERE. (Source: Washington State University, Vancouver, UPI, 2 Nov., 2018) Contact: Washington State University, Vancouver, Assoc. Prof. Marc Kramer, Environmental Chemistry, marc.kramer@wsu.edu, https://labs.wsu.edu/kramerlab/marc-g-kramer

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Washington State University,  Carbon Storage,  


    Trump's EPA Axing Obama Coal-Fired Power Plant Rules (Ind. Report)
    Trump
    Date: 2018-12-07
    In Washington, it is being widely reported that the Trump administration will scrap an Obama-era mandate that new coal-fired power plants be equipped with carbon-capture and storage (CCS) technology. According to the EPA, CCS technology hasn't "adequately demonstrated" it effectiveness as challenged by Murray Energy Corp. and coal industry associations.

    The Obama administration 2015 regulation imposed CO2 limits on new and modified coal-fired power plants that could not be met without installing some kind of carbon-capture technology. The Trump EPA proposed replacement would reportedly raise allowable CO2 emissions from new and modified coal power plants without employing CCS technology while ensuring utilities use other advanced technologies to ensure coal is burned cleanly and efficiently. Since 2010, power plant owners have either retired or announced plans to retire at least 630 coal plants in 43 states -- nearly 40 pct of the U.S. coal fleet, according to data by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. (Source: EPA, Various Media, Bloomberg, 5 Dec., 2018) Contact: American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, www.energyandpolicy.org/american-coalition-clean-coal-electricity; EPA, Office of Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epas-acting-administrator

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Coal,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Chinese Researchers Advance Biomass Transformation Process (Int'l, New Prod & Tech)
    Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics
    Date: 2018-12-07
    Biomass can serve as a renewable source for both energy and carbon. ABE (acetone, n-butanol, and ethanol) fermentation broth as a biomass-derived source of fuels and chemicals contains low concentrations of oxygenates, limiting its practical applications. Thus, it is pivotal to develop a highly efficient water-resistant catalyst to directly and selectively convert crude aqueous oxygenate mixtures to value-added chemicals -- water-immiscible ones (easy separation after reaction) are especially of great importance.

    Prof. Wang Feng from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and his colleagues from Peking University have reported an efficient and novel catalytic method for the conversion of aqueous biomass fermentation broth to a water-immiscible product. They developed a strategy capable of transforming 70 pct of carbon in an aqueous ABE fermentation mixture to 4-heptanone (4-HPO), catalyzed by tin-doped ceria (Sn-ceria) with a selectivity as high as 86 pct. While Sn-ceria is a versatile catalyst for dehydrogenation, the Guerbet alcohol reaction, condensation, and esterification reactions involving acid-base catalysis and redox ones, relay and generate 4-HPO with high selectivity 4-HPO is a value-added intermediate and can be used to produce jet fuel and fine chemicals.

    Furthermore, water, which is detrimental to the reported catalysts for ABE conversion, was beneficial for producing 4-HPO. The catalytic performance of tin-doped ceria is due to the highly dispersed tin species and oxygen vacancies of ceria.

    The research was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Key R&D Program of China, and the Natural Science Foundation of China. (Source: Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, SCienmag, 5 Dec., 2018) Contact: Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, WANG Yongjin, wangyj@dicp.ac.cn, www.dicp.ac.cn

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biomass,  


    NC Report Explores Energy Storage Options (Ind. Report)
    Energy Storage
    Date: 2018-12-07
    NC State University and N.C. Central University have released a report detailing energy storage options that the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA) can use to inform energy policy.

    The report addresses how energy storage technologies may or may not provide value to North Carolina consumers based on capital investment, value to the electric grid, net utility savings, net job creation, impact on consumer rates and service quality, or other factors related to deploying one or more of these technologies. The study also addresses the feasibility and various services that energy storage could provide for the state and makes recommendations accordingly.

    In terms of costs, the report evaluates the presently available technologies based on current data. The report also considers a range of potential benefits associated with varying degrees of energy storage capacity.

    The report also identifies a range of policy options that fall into three broad categories stakeholders and decision-makers may wish to consider:

  • Prepare -- These policies aim to help address potential gaps or areas of uncertainty that might otherwise hinder the deployment of cost-effective energy storage.
  • Facilitate -- These policies are focused on helping either increase the value or decrease the cost of energy storage in the near-term.
  • Accelerate -- These policies could substantially increase the pace of energy storage deployment in the state. (Source: NC State University, 5 Dec., 2018) Contact: NC State Univ., NC Clean Energy Technology Center, Steve Kalland, Dir., NC Energy Storage, https://energy.ncsu.edu/storage

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Storage,  


  • Heathrow Unveils Carbon Neutral Growth Plan (Int'l, Ind. Report)
    Heathrow, ICAO
    Date: 2018-12-05
    In a first for the UK aviation industry, London's Heathrow Airport has revealed its four-part action plan to reduce and offset the growth in emissions from a planned carbon-neutral expansion in summer 2019

    Heathrow's plan builds on the momentum of technological change within the aviation industry to make travel more sustainable. The plan outlines action on four key areas including: cleaner aircraft performance and technology; improvements to airspace and ground operations; increased use of sustainable aviation fuels; and developing and promoting new carbon offsetting technologies and options. Additionally, Heathrow is calling on the ICAO -- the UN body for international aviation -- to develop global goals for the uptake of sustainable alternative fuels, and calling for the UK Government to engage ICAO and fellow member states to agree on a 2050 carbon emissions reduction goal for international aviation. (Source: Heathrow Airport, Various Aviation Media, Dec., 2018) Contact: Heathrow Airport, John Holland-Kaye, CEO, +44 0 8443 351801, www.heathrow.com; ICAO, +52 55 52 50 3211, icaonacc@icao.int, www.icao.int

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


    British Airways Announces Sustainable Fuels Challenge (Int'l)
    British Airways
    Date: 2018-12-05
    In the UK, air carrier British Airways, In collaboration with Cranfield University, is touting its new "BA 2119: Future of Fuels" challenge aimed at encouraging academics across the U.K. to develop a sustainable alternative fuel able to power a commercial aircraft on a long-haul flight, with up to 300 customers and zero net emissions. BA's challenge is the first time the industry has tasked experts from both aerospace and fuel fields to work in collaboration to tackle this environmental issue.

    The Challenge winning team will receive £25,000 ($31,000) to support further research and a commitment from British Airways to work together to advance the idea. Nominations will be judged by a panel of industry experts based on the potential carbon reduction, innovation, value to the U.K. economy and feasibility of the idea.

    As an early proponent of renewable jet fuels, IAG -- BA's parent company -- has committed to invest as much as $400 million on alternative sustainable fuel development over the next 20 years -- the highest ever financial commitment from an airline group. (Source: British Airways, Airline Geeks, 3 Dec., 2018) Contact: British Airways, www.britishairways.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Jet Biofuel,  Aviation Biofuel,  Biofuel,  Sustainable Fuel,  Renewable Fuel,  


    Henderson Texas USGBC LEED for Cities Certified (Ind. Report)
    USGBC
    Date: 2018-12-05
    In the Lone Star State, the City of Henderson reports it has become one of 75 US Green Building Council LEED certified cities.

    The LEED for Cities program addresses concerns of transparency and information about the places residents live, work, learn and play on a global scale in key areas ranging from transportation and education to energy and water use. (Source: USGBC, KSNV, 3 Dec., 2018) Contact: USGBC, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USGBC,  LEED Certificatrion,  LEED Cities,  


    REMS Launches GreenSpace Sustainability Program (Ind. Report)
    Colliers Real Estate Management Services
    Date: 2018-12-05
    In Canada, Colliers Real Estate Management Services (REMS) has announced the launch of its GreenSpace sustainability program offering a holistic solution to building sustainability needs. With buildings contributing up to 35 pct of Canada's carbon emissions, GreenSpace affirms its commitment to helping reduce carbon, waste, and water footprints.

    The REMS sustainability team plans on launching an internal change management platform, along with a monthly corporate health and wellness newsletter, as part of the GreenSpace program. (Source: REMS, PR, 3 Dec., 2018) Contact: Colliers Real Estate Management Services, Phillip Raffi, national energy & sustainability manager, Real Estate Management Services. www2.colliers.com

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


    China's Carbon Market Trades Exceed $863Mn (Int'l Report)
    Ministry of Ecology and Environment
    Date: 2018-11-30
    China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment is reporting the country's seven fledgling pilot carbon trading schemes reached $863.9 million as total of 250Mt of CO2 changed hands on the exchanges by the end of October.

    China's pilot CO2 trading schemes cover the cities of Beijing, Tianjan, Shanghai, Chongqing and Shenzhen, and the provinces of Guangdong and Hebei. In 2017, the cities-regional schemes were replaced by a national scheme which has to date made limited progress, according to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment. (Source: China Ministry of Ecology and Environment, CemNet, Others, 26 Nov., 2018) Contact: China Ministry of Ecology and Environment, http://english.mee.gov.cn

    More Low-Carbon Energy News China Carbon Market,  


    NextEra, OSMPC Agree to Wind Farm Deadline Extension (Ind. Report)
    NextEra
    Date: 2018-11-30
    In the Sooner State, the Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission (OSMPC) reports it has again granted a mitigation plan deadline extension for NextEra Energy's planned wind farm along a route of airspace the military uses for training west of Hinton.

    As part of the extension, NextEra may resume construction on turbines that have been approved by the FAA. OSMPC claims the wind farm violates a recent amendment to the Wind Energy Development Act requiring a determination by the federal government that planned wind turbine construction has no military impact, or the company must have an approved mitigation plan from the Defense Department before a wind farm is constructed or expanded. (Source: OSMPC, Enid News & Eagle, 27 Nov., 2018) Contact: NextEra Energy Resources, www.nexteraenergyresources.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NextEra,  Wind,  


    USC Wrigley Institute Investigating Kelp Biofuel Sustainability (R&D)
    USC Wrigley Institute
    Date: 2018-11-30
    In Southern California, researchers at the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental are working on a project to convert open-ocean kelp into a biofuel that could someday replace gasoline.

    Kelp, a species of macroalgae, is turned into a biofuel through a process called hydrothermal liquefaction. This involves drying the kelp, then processing the biomass in an extremely hot, pressurized and wet environment for long periods of time to allow the breakdown of the solid chemical structure to produce a biocrude which can be further distilled or processed into a fuel that can be used just like any petroleum-based fuel.

    Researchers at Wrigley and partners at Marine BioEnergy Inc. have come up with an innovative open ocean "kelp elevator" to farm the massive amounts of kelp necessary for a commercialized fuel source. The current "kelp elevator" prototype models use PVC pipes in the ocean to grow and cycle kelp from the surface where the light is to the deep water where the nutrients are.

    Under optimal conditions, giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera, which is used to generate a biofuel, can grow up to three feet per day without fresh water, fertilizer, pesticides or fertile land. These attributes make kelp a viable potential substitute for traditional fuels, as it can be sustainably farmed, harvested and converted into biofuel. (Source: USC Wrigley Institute, Daily Trojan, 29 Nov., 2018) Contact: USC Wrigley Institute, Diane Kim, Associate Director , (310) 510-0811, www.usc.edu/wrigley; Marine BioEnergy Inc., www.marinebiomass.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Kelp,  


    USGBC Launches LEED Zero for Green Building Projects (Ind. Report)
    USGBC
    Date: 2018-11-28
    The US Green Building Council (USGBC) is touting the launch of LEED Zero, a new program to address net-zero operations and resources in green building projects. LEED Zero recognizes specific achievements in building operations and rewards projects that have used LEED as a framework to address important aspects of green buildings and taken their buildings to the next level by designing and operating toward net-zero goals.

    LEED Zero encourages a holistic approach for buildings and places that will contribute to a regenerative future. This is part of a vision to ensure the next phase of USGBC's efforts will be LEED Positive, where buildings generate more energy than they use, and remove more carbon than they produce. (Source: USGBC, The Construction Specifier, 19 Nov., 2018) Contact: USGBC LEED Zero, new.usgbc.org/leed-zero

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USGBC news,  US Green Buildin Council news,  LEED Certification news,  Green Building news,  


    Greenbacker Acquires Rights to 21.8 MW of NC Solar Capacity (M&A)
    Greenbacker Renewable Energy
    Date: 2018-11-28
    Kansas City, Missouri-based Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company LLC reports that through a wholly-owned subsidiary, it has purchased the rights to a 21.8 megawatt portfolio of three solar energy projects in Camden, Jamesville and Martin counties, North Carolina from SunEnergy1 LLC. Construction of the facilities has commenced, with closings to take place upon their reaching mechanical completion. All three facilities are expected to achieve commercial operations in early 2019.

    The Company is currently working to arrange back leverage financing as well as tax equity financing. Once operational, the SE Solar Portfolio will sell all power generated to an investment grade utility off taker through a 15-year fixed price PPA.

    With the addition of the SE Solar Portfolio assets, the Company will own approximately 278.7 MW of generating capacity (including assets in development and construction) comprising 61.5 MW of wind facilities and 217.2 MW of commercial and residential solar facilities. (Source: : Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company LLC, PR, 26 Nov., 2018) Contact: Greenbacker Renewable Energy Co. LLC., Charles Wheeler, CEO, (888) 292-3718, www.greenbackerrenewableenergy.com; SunEnergy1, David Sher, (917) 309-1234, www.sunenergy1.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Greenbacker Renewable Energy,  Solar,  SunEnergy1,  


    Notable Quote -- Trump Dumps on National Climate Assessment Report
    Trump
    Date: 2018-11-28
    "No, no, I don't believe it. You're going to have to have China and Japan and all of Asia and all of these other countries, you know. It addresses our country.

    "Right now, we're at the cleanest we've ever been. And that's very important to me. But if we're clean, but every other place on Earth is dirty, that's not so good. So I want clean air, I want clean water, very important." -- U.S. President Donald Trump commenting on the just released National Climate Assessment of which he acknowledged only reading "some" and that it was "fine."

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Climate Assessment,  Trump,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


    CO2 Neg. Elephant Grass Briquette Biofuel Touted (New Prod & Tech)
    NextFuel
    Date: 2018-11-28
    Stockholm-headquartered NextFuel is touting a new energy solution to climate change that is CO2 negative, cheap, profitable and massively scalable in the form of a briquette made from elephant grass. The briquette is cheaper than and oil and coal in most markets and can be used to replace some or all of the coal normally used by a coal plant. It has already been tested and proven and the first operational plant has been opened by NextFuel in Austria. The company is currently implementing its first large projects in East Africa and South America.

    Elephant grass can grow up to four meters in just 100 days and yields several harvestable crops per year. NextFuel's patented technology -- a rotary drum indirectly heated and operated with a low oxygen atmosphere -- requires very little energy to transform the elephant grass into a briquette form. While inside that drum, volatile elements are separated from the grass, and the physical properties together with the energy content are transformed in less than 30 minutes to a clean copy of fossil fuel. The fuel is then "densified" and turned into briquettes for industrial and electric power production. (Source: NextFuel, 26 Nov., 2018) Contact: NextFuel, www.nextfuel.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NextFuel,  Biomass Briquette,  Biomass Pellet,  


    Fourth National Climate Assessment Report Highlights (Ind. Report)
    Global Climate Change
    Date: 2018-11-26
    The just released and already controversial Fourth National Climate Assessment Report from the U.S. government's Global Change Research Program prepared with the support and approval of 13 federal agencies, and with input from hundreds of government and non-governmental experts, provides a comprehensive look at how climate change will impact the United States.

    The Assessment's conclusions differ from the Trump administration’s position on climate change and include:

  • The evidence of human-caused climate change is overwhelming and continues to strengthen, that the impacts of climate change are intensifying across the country, and that climate-related threats to Americans' physical, social, and economic well-being are rising;

  • Summers will be hotter. Warm-season temperatures are projected to increase more in the Midwest than any other region of the country -- by an average of more than four degrees by mid-century. In the winter, the frost-free season is projected to increase 10 days by 2045, and 20 days by 2065;

  • Increased spring humidity will cause more rainfall, with serious implications for agriculture. It will lead to more potential for water-logged soil, reducing planting time and causing more soil erosion;

  • Rising growing-season temperatures will have a "pervasive" effect on forests. The midwest region will likely have less tree growth and possibly widespread tree mortality;

  • The Great Lakes are at risk from rising temperatures. Current trends toward rising surface temperatures and declining ice cover will continue;

  • Higher temperatures will worsen existing air quality problems, with particularly negative impacts on industrial centers, low-income communities, children and seniors;

  • The habitats of disease-carrying mosquitoes and ticks will continue expanding throughout the region, likely leading to more cases of illnesses like West Nile virus and Lyme Disease

  • Climate change will create conditions that make harmful cyanobacterial blooms like the persistent blooms in western Lake Erie more frequent and widespread. A combination of factors, including higher water temperatures and more agricultural runoff from more frequent rains will create favorable conditions for those events.

    Download the Fourth National Climate Assessment report HERE (Source: Fourth National Climate Assessment Report, Various Media, Michigan Public Radio, 23 Nov., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


  • Bullfrog, KRP Expanding Green Power Supply Agreement (Ind. Report)
    Bullfrog Power
    Date: 2018-11-23
    In Toronto, green energy provider Bullfrog Power reports Canadian real estate management firm KRP Properties (KRP) is expanding its agreement with Bullfrog by choosing green electricity for the common areas of all properties and green natural gas for the common areas of four properties.

    To date, Bullfrog Power has supported 140 installations across Canada, which include wind and solar projects with schools, Indigenous Peoples and community co-ops.

    KRP Properties owns and operates over 30 buildings totaling approximately 3.1M sq-ft in Kanata North, Ontario, often referred to as "Canada's Largest Technology Park." (Source: Bullfrog Power, PR, CNW , 21 Nov., 2018) Contact: Bullfrog Power, Facebook (facebook.com/BullfrogPower), KRP Properties, Terry Young, VP Operations, facebook.com/KRPProperties

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Power,  Green Energy,  Bullfrog Power,  Renewable Energy,  Green Energy,  


    Vayu Touts Wind-Energy Optimization Software (New Prod & Tech)
    WindWISDEM
    Date: 2018-11-23
    Vayu Corp., -- f.k.a. WindWISDEM -- is touting the availability of its new cloud-computing software platform that optimizes wind-farm performance for increase efficiency, maximum power, and profit predictablity. profit to wind customers. Learn how it works here.

    According to the company, its cloud computing platform lets users access breakthroughs in plant-level wind farm optimization and control via a simple-to-use web-based interface. (Source: Vayu, PR, Nov., 2018) Contact: Vayu, Jim Kiles, CEO, www.vayuai.com Sotware detail are at www.vayuai.com/services

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Wind Energy Software,  WindWISDEM,  


    Global GHGs Hit Record Levels, says WMO Report (Ind. Report)
    World Meteorlogical Organization
    Date: 2018-11-23
    According to the recently release World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Greenhouse Gas Bulletin No. 14, globally averaged surface mole fractions for carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) rose to new highs in 2017 -- CO2 at 405.5 +- , 0.1 ppm , CH4 at 1859 +- 2 ppb and N2O at 329.9 +- 0.1 ppb. These values constitute, respectively, 146 pct 257 pct and 122 pct of pre-industrial (before 1750) levels.

    The increase in CO2 from 2016 to 2017 was smaller than from 2015 to 2016 and practically equal to the average growth rate over the last decade.

    The influence of the El Nino event that peaked in 2015 and 2016 and contributed to the increased growth rate during that period sharply declined in 2017. For CH4, the increase from 2016 to 2017 was lower than that observed from 2015 to 2016 but practically equal to the average over the last decade. For N2O, the increase from 2016 to 2017 was higher than that observed from 2015 to 2016 and practically equal to the average growth rate over the past 10 years.

    Download the WMO State of Greenhouse Gases in the Atmosphere report HERE. (Source: World Meteorological Organization Greenhouse Gas Bulletin Bulletin -- No. 14, Nov., 2018) Contact: WMO, +41 (0) 22 730 81 11, +41 (0) 22 730 81 81 - Fax, wmo@wmo.int, www.wmo.int, https://public.wmo.int

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Greenhouse Gas.Climate Change,  WMO,  GHGs,  World Meteorological Organization,  


    UH Mānoa Aims to Fully Offset Carbon Emissions
    University of Hawaiii at Manoa
    Date: 2018-11-22
    The Carbon Neutrality Challenge, a joint project of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and numerous organizations, aims to test the feasibility of restoring local ecosystems to offset all of the state’s carbon emissions. The group held its first proof-of-concept event on Nov. 17, 2018, at Ala Mahamoe Cultural Garden and Forest near Tripler Hospital. At the event, six teams of volunteers from UH Mānoa and various student groups, local organizations and businesses joined together in friendly competition to plant a record-setting 1,000 trees in one day. At the end of the day’s competition, teams were ranked according to the number of trees planted, with rankings available online. The goal of the event was to demonstrate the state’s ability to scale up restoration, and plant trees by the number needed to position Hawaiʻi as the first place in the world to fully offset its carbon emissions via ecosystem restoration. “The average carbon footprint of a person in Hawaiʻi is estimated at ~12 tonnes of CO2 each year. It will take 12 Milo trees just below five years to remove all of that carbon. The group notes that, with a million people in the state, if each person plants just one tree, Hawaiʻi can easily have a million trees in the ground within a week. The tree-planting pilot is based on the premise that climate change can be solved if individuals calculate how much CO2 they generate, estimate the number of trees needed to sequester those emissions and plant the required number of trees.

    Despite increasingly obvious consequences of deadly heatwaves, hurricanes, floods, droughts, wildfires, and other climatic changes, greenhouse gas emissions remain largely unabated. While considerable attention has been given to improvements in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources as a way to reduce emissions, much less serious attention has been given to improving the state of natural ecosystems as sinks of such emissions. For instance, if restored, global natural forest may stock >460 billion tonnes of carbon, or all human carbon emissions at current rates for 50 years. That degree of ecosystem restoration, however, poses numerous big challenges. (Source: University of Hawaii at MānoaBig Island Now, 19 Nov., 2018) Contact: University of Hawaii at Mānoa, Camilo Mora, Assoc. Prof. of Geography,

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


    Methanol-Fueled Ship Launch Set for 2019 (Int'l)
    Methanol Institute
    Date: 2018-11-21
    In Singapore, the Business Times is reporting the first vessel in Asia to run on methanol is expected to set sail from Singapore in late 2019.

    The expected "pilot" sailing is being funded in the amount of $200,000 by the not-for-profit global trade association Methanol Institute and Nanyang Technological University. The funding will cover the cost of retrofitting a conventional ship with an imported methanol-fuelled engine. Methanol is expected to eventually compete with and possibly replace LNG as a marine bunker fuel, (Source: Business Times, 19 Nov., 2018) Contact: Nanyang Technological University. www.ntu.edu.sg; Methanol Institute, www.methanol.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methanol Institute,  Methanol,  Marine Fuel,  


    USGBC Launches LEED Zero for Green Building Projects (Ind. Report)
    USGReen Building Council
    Date: 2018-11-21
    The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) is touting the launch of LEED Zero, a new program to address net-zero operations and resources in green building projects. LEED projects can achieve LEED Zero certification when they demonstrate net-zero carbon emissions, net-zero energy use, net-zero water use, or net-zero waste.

    LEED Zero recognizes specific achievements in building operations and rewards projects that have used LEED as a framework to address important aspects of green buildings and taken their buildings to the next level by designing and operating toward net-zero goals.

    LEED Zero encourages a holistic approach for buildings and places that will contribute to a regenerative future. This is part of a vision to ensure the next phase of USGBC's efforts will be LEED Positive, where buildings generate more energy than they use, and remove more carbon than they produce. (Source: USGBC, The Construction Specifier, 19 Nov., 2018) Contact: USGBC LEED Zero, new.usgbc.org/leed-zero

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US Green Building Council,  Energy Efficiency,  Green Building,  


    Fulcrum Sierra Biofuels to Employ Praxair HOB Tech. (Ind. Report)
    Praxair,Fulcrum Bioenergy
    Date: 2018-11-19
    Linde plc wholly owned subsidiary Praxair, Inc.reports it has inked a long-term agreement to supply oxygen (O2) to Fulcrum BioEnergy's Sierra BioFuels plant which is presently under construction in Storey County, Nevada. Under the terms of the agreement, Praxair will also construct two vacuum pressure swing adsorption (VPSA) plants at the facility, which is expected to commence operations in early 2020.

    The Sierra BioFuels Plant will employ Praxair's proprietary HOB technology for increasing syngas yield from the gasification process. HOB technology enables rapid partial oxidation of remaining hydrocarbons and tars in the produced syngas without the need for a catalyst or steam injection. The HOB technology, coupled with gasification in Fulcrum's process, will help transform municipal solid waste (MSW) into renewable crude, jet fuel, and other low-carbon transportation fuels. (Source: Praxair, GasWorld, 12 Nov., 2018)Contact: Praxair, www.praxair.com; Fulcrum Bioenergy, Rick Barraza, VP Administration, (925) 224-8244, rbarraza@fulcrum-bioenergy.com, www.fulcrum-bioenergy.com, www.facebook.com/fulcrumbioenergy

    More Low-Carbon Energy News MSW,  Fulcrum Bioenergy,  


    Medford Mass. Switching to LED Streetlights (Ind. Report)
    City of Medford
    Date: 2018-11-19
    In the Bay State, the city of Medford City Administration reports it plans to replace 4,783 streetlights and 181 decorative lights across the city with LED light bulbs before the year end.

    The LED conversion will cost the city of approximately 58,000 residents more than $1.9 million, $993,350 of which will be covered by the city with the balance funded by multiple grants and rebates. The change to LEDs is expected to save the city approximately $258,000 in annual energy cost with a 3.8 year ROI. (Source: City of Medford, Wicked Local Medford,16 Nov., 2018) Contact: City of Medford, www.medfordma.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News LED Light,  LED Streetlight,  Energy Efficient Light,  


    Musgrave Pledges 40 pct Carbon Emission Cut by 2030 (Int'l Report)
    Low Carbon Pledge
    Date: 2018-11-19
    In Ballycurren, County Cork, Irish wholesale grocery giant Musgrave Group reports it was one of 40 companies that have inked the LOW Carbon Pledge made by the Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) network, and has committed to cut its carbon emissions by 40 pct by 2030.

    As part of the LOW Carbon Pledge, companies have committed to reducing both Scope One (greenhouse gases such as fuels used in vehicles, boilers, and furnaces) and Two (indirect greenhouse gases from the purchase of electricity) carbon emission intensity. (Source: Musgrave Group,, Checkout Ireland, 17 Nov., 2018) Contact: Musgrave Group, +353 (0) 21 4522100, +353 (0) 21 4522244, group@musgrave.ie, www.musgravegroup.com; Business in the Community Ireland, www.bitc.ie

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


    Schneider Enhances EcoStruxure Building Offering (New Prod & Tech)
    Schneider Electric
    Date: 2018-11-16
    Energy efficiency and management specialist Schneider Electric is touting the next generation of its EcoStruxure™ Building portfolio, the open Internet of Things (IoT) platform that improves building occupant engagement, sustainability and energy efficiency.

    EcoStruxure Building additions include: EcoStruxure Workplace Advisor: A suite of digital services for the workplace offering occupancy and well-being analytics, a mobile occupant application to improve building occupant engagement and productivity, and enable facility managers to optimize space.

    Connected Room Solution: The next evolution of Smart X IP Controllers, RPC, will empower users to better control their environments with the ability to interface with the HVAC system through their mobile device. The Commission SmartX Controllers mobile application, available with the Connected Room Solution, will enable technicians and electricians to more efficiently perform commissioning, flow balance, and checkout operations.

    EcoStruxure Security Expert: The latest addition to Schneider Electric's building security portfolio is a scalable, IT-friendly solution that integrates existing security systems within one platform, providing one-stop access control and intrusion detection from purpose-built field controllers, RFID Smartcard Reader technology, and application software.

    EcoStruxure Building Operation 3.0: Will provide an enhanced mobile-friendly user interface, a convenient dashboard experience, and further engineering efficiency for partners including enhanced controller configurations, and new reporting functions for enhanced data insights.

    EcoStruxure Building is part of the Schneider Electric EcoStruxure Architecture. EcoStruxure is an IoT-enabled, plug and play, open, interoperable, architecture and platform. EcoStruxure™ leverages advancements in IoT, mobility, sensing, cloud, analytics, and cybersecurity to deliver Innovation at every level, from Connected Products and Edge Control to Apps, Analytics and Services. (Source: Schneider Electric, Facility Exec. 14 Nov., 2018) Contact: Schneider Electric, Jim Sandelin, Snr. VP, Buildings Americas, www.schneider-electric.us

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


    Diverse Biofeedstock Ethanol Yields Investigated (R&D Report)
    Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
    Date: 2018-11-16
    Biorefineries are picky eaters. They only consume one or two types of plant matter. Researchers at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison processed and experimentally measured ethanol production from five different herbaceous feedstocks. They examined two annuals (corn stover and energy sorghum) along with three perennials (switchgrass, miscanthus, and restored prairie). They determined that a lignocellulosic ethanol refinery could use a range of plant types without having a major impact on the amount of ethanol produced per acre, or per land area.

    Many biorefineries consume one, or sometimes two, feedstocks grown and harvested nearby. The feedstock contains lignocellulose. That chemical is processed and fermented into biofuels or bioproducts. Accepting a variety of feedstocks could improve the refinery's environmental footprint, economics, and logistics. The team's study showed that a lignocellulosic refinery could be relatively agnostic in terms of the feedstocks used.

    Refineries to convert biomass into fuels often rely on just one feedstock. If the refineries could accept more than one feedstock, it would greatly benefit refinery operation. Scientists investigated how five different feedstocks affected process and field-scale ethanol yields. Two annual crops (corn stover and energy sorghum) and three perennial crops (switchgrass, miscanthus, and restored prairie) were pretreated using ammonia fiber expansion, hydrolyzed, and fermented separately using yeast or bacteria.

    Researchers found that both biomass quality and biomass yield affected the amount of ethanol each acre produces. However, the effect differed. Biomass quality was the main driver for the ethanol yields for high-yielding crops, such as switchgrass. Biomass yield was the main driver for the ethanol yields for low-productivity crops, such as corn stover. Therefore, to increase ethanol yield for high-yielding crops, focusing efforts on improving biomass quality or conversion efficiency may be prudent.

    For low-yielding crops, focusing on increasing biomass yield may be the best strategy. When measuring the amount of ethanol produced during fermentation, most feedstocks fell within a similar range, especially when scientists used bacteria to ferment the biomass. In total, the results of this study suggest that a lignocellulosic refinery may use a variety of feedstocks with a range of quality without a major negative impact on field-scale ethanol yields. (Source: Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, US DOE, 12 Nov., 2018) Contact: Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Tim Donohue, Dir., John Greenler, Dir. Outreach, (608) 890-2444, www.glbrc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center,  US DOE,  Biofuel Feedstock,  ,  


    $3.3Mn Landfill Gas RNG Plant Planned for Memphis (Ind. Report)
    Aria Energy,South Shelby RNG LLC
    Date: 2018-11-16
    South Shelby RNG LLC, a part of Novi, Michigan based Aria Energy, has reportedly applied for a building permit for a $3.3 million landfill renewable natural gas (RNG) plant adjacent to the South Shelby Landfill operated by Republic Services in Memphis, Tenn.

    Aria Energy has developed, constructed or acquired more than 50 facilities over the past 25 years in 16 states. Together, those sites produce 223 MW of electricity and 19.9 million BTUs a day of renewable natural gas, according to the company. (Source: Aria Energy, Daily Menphian, 14 Nov., 2018) Contact: Aria, Richard DiGia, CEO, (248) 380-3920, www.ariaenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Landfill Gas,  Methane.RNG,  Aria Energy,  


    NSP Snares Lion's Share of Free Cap-and-Trade Credits (Ind. Report)
    Western Climate Initiative
    Date: 2018-11-16
    In Halifax, Nova Scotia's biggest polluter, Nova Scotia Power (NSP) will receive virtually one-half of the free credits available to companies participating in the province's cap-and-trade program which comes into law in January, 2019. Of the 13,683,000 free emission credits to be distributed at the government's whim, Nova Scotia Power will be handed 6,334,000, with the remaining credits being divided among almost two dozen other major emitters including: Lafarge Canada cement, Irving Oil and other gasoline importers, companies that produce or import furnace oil, as well as natural gas distributors.

    According to the provincial government, the free credits equate to about 90 pct of Nova Scotia Power's needs.

    The province has set a $20 per credit floor price for two annual auctions starting in 2020. The not-for-profit Western Climate Initiative will administer Nova Scotia's cap-and-trade system. (Source: CBC, Nova Scotia Minister of Environment, 13 Nov., 2018) Contact: Western Climate Initiative, www.westernclimateinitiative.org; Nova Scotia Department of Environment, Jason Hollett, Executive Director of Climate Change, (902) 424-3600, https://novascotia.ca/nse

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cap-and-Trade,  Nova Scotia Cap-and-Trade,  Carbon Emissions,  Western Climate Initiative,  


    NRC Invests $15Mn in Que. Woody Biomass Pellet Project (Funding)
    Natural Resource Canada,Granule 777
    Date: 2018-11-16
    In Ottawa, Natural Resource Canada (NRC) reports it will support the development of a fully integrated industrial wood pellet and sawmill complex under development by Granule 777 Inc. in Quebec adjacent to its Barrette-Chapais sawmill.

    NRC's $15 million investment will be made through its Investments in Forest Industry Transportation program. Another federal agency, Canada Economic Development, will add $5 million to the project through its Quebec Economic Development Program .

    WHen fully operational, the facility is expected to produce 210,000 metric tpy of wood pellets from 450,000 green metric tons of biomass. (Source: Natural Resources Canada, Nov., Various Media, Nov., 2018) Contact: Barrette-Chapais Granule 777, Benoit Barrette, Pres., (418) 745-2545, www.barrette-chapais.qc.ca; Natural Resources Canada, (343) 292-6100, www.nrcan.gc.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Natural Resources Canada,  Wood Pellet,  Woody Biomass,  


    BASF Touting EU-REDcert-Methanol (New Prod & Tech, Int'l)
    BASF,TUV SUD
    Date: 2018-11-14
    German chemicals juggernaut BASF is reporting the introduction of EU-REDcert-Methanol for the production of methanol on the basis of renewable raw materials according to the biomass balance approach.

    For EU-REDcert-Methanol, the company replaces fossil raw materials with second-generation renewable raw materials, waste as well as residual materials. As a result, BASF reduces GHG emissions by at least 50 pct compared with conventionally produced methanol. In terms of its chemical and physical characteristics, biomass balanced methanol is identical to methanol produced from fossil resources.

    BASF developed the "biomass balance method" together with TUV SUD. EU-REDcert-Methanol is certified according to the REDcert standard which proves the sustainable origin of the biomass used and the information on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It is a standard for use as biofuel, recognized by the European Commission under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED). (Source: BASF, Green Car Congress, 13 Nov., 2018)Contact: BASF Venture Capital GmbH, www.basf-vc.de; TUV SUD, www.tuv-sud.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News TUV SUD,  BASF,  Methanol,  Biomass,  


    Kenya Targets Green Energy Sufficiency in Climate Change Fight (Int'l)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2018-11-14
    Speaking at a Paris Peace Forum roundtable discussion on climate change, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced his country was targeting a transition to 100 pct green energy by 2020 to address the climate change challenge.

    The President noted that "in concrete terms, renewable energy makes up 70 pct of Kenya's installed electric power capacity." The President called for "aggressive investments", especially from the industrialized western world, to enable Kenya to reach its goal during a time when the county's population is expected to triple.

    The Head of State said "climate change is not an abstract threat in a far-off future but a defining security and development challenge of our time." (Source: Citizen Digital, 12 Nov., 2018)

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


    21 Kids Climate Change Lawsuit Drags On (Reg & Leg)
    21 Kids
    Date: 2018-11-12
    Following up on our August 1st coverage, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Thursday granted the Trump administration a temporary stay in an environmental suit brought by a group of 21 young Americans alleging that the US government's energy policies were exacerbating climate change and thus infringing on their constitutional right to life, liberty and property.

    The plaintiffs are seeking a court order forcing the government to take action and create a plan that includes reducing CO2 emissions to an atmospheric concentration of 350 ppm or less by 2100.

    As previously reported, President Donald Trump has been trying to kill the case but the court ruled against the President saying: "The Government's request for relief is premature and is denied without prejudice.

    The court recognized the "justiciability" of the suit's claims, acknowledged substantial grounds for difference of opinion, and noted that "the district court should take these concerns into account in assessing the burdens of discovery and trial, as well as the desirability of a prompt ruling on the Government's pending dispositive motions." The court ruled "The Government's request for relief is premature and is denied without prejudice." The court noted the respondents' claims is striking, however, and the "justiciability" of those claims presents substantial grounds for difference of opinion. The District Court should take these concerns into account in assessing the burdens of discovery and trial, as well as the desirability of a prompt ruling on the Government's pending dispositive motions."

    The government has attempted to stay proceedings prior to the current action culminating in the Ninth Circuit's present grant of temporary stay in order for the court to consider the petition for writ of mandamus filed November 5. The plaintiffs must file a response to the petition in 15 days, with the government being able to respond to that document five days after its filing.

    The not-for-profit Our Children's Trust organization is supporting the young plaintiffs in their case. (Source: Various Media, Jurist, 9 Nov., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News 21 Kids Climate Change,  Young Climate Change,  Trump,  

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