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The Crown Estate HQ Europe's First WELL Platinum Bldg. (Int'l)
International WELL Building Institute
Date: 2018-10-03
In London, The Crown Estate reports its head office at St James's Market has been awarded WELL Certification at the Platinum Level from the International WELL Building Institute. WELL is the global building standard designed to enhance people’s health and wellness through the built environment. There are only 11 platinum projects in the world, across the US, Australia and China. There are currently 5 WELL Certified projects in the UK, 3 of which are gold and 1 is silver.

The Crown Estate earned the distinction based on seven categories of building performance: air, water, light, nourishment, fitness, comfort and mind. The Crown Estate is also aiming for WELL Certification for a further two buildings in central London, at the Marq on Jermyn St and 1 Heddon St.

The Crown Estate is a collection of lands and holdings in the United Kingdom belonging to the British monarch as a corporation sole, making it the "Sovereign's public estate", which is neither government property nor part of the monarch's private estate.

The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is leading the global movement to transform buildings and communities in ways that help people thrive. IWBI delivers the cutting-edge WELL Building Standard, the first to be focused exclusively on the ways that buildings, and everything in them, can improve occupant comfort, drive better choices, and generally enhance, not compromise, health and wellness. (Source: The Crown Estate, PR, PlaceTech, Oct., 2018) Contact: International WELL Building Institute, 646.883.5001, 646.607.1058, info@wellcertified.com, www.wellcertified.com; The Crown Estate, Judith Everett, COO, www.thecrownestate.co.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News International WELL Building Institute,  


NASA Foresees Clobal Climate Cooling Trend (Ind. Report)
NASA Langley Research Center
Date: 2018-10-03
NASA is reporting that the sun is entering one of the deepest Solar Minima of the Space Age and and the Earth's atmosphere is responding in kind.

According to Martin Mlynczak of NASA's Langley Research Center, "We see a cooling trend. High above Earth's surface, near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy. If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record's Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry or SABER instrument, which is onboard NASA's Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) satellite. SABER monitors infrared radiation from carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitric oxide (NO), two substances that play a vital role in the energy output of our thermosphere, the very top level of our atmosphere.

During Solar Maximum the Thermosphere Climate Index (TCI) number is very high. At times of Solar Minimum, as now, TCI is low. "SABER is currently measuring 33 billion Watts of infrared power -- ten times smaller than we see during more active phases of the solar cycle," Mlynczak notes.

The new NASA findings are in line with studies released by UC-San Diego and Northumbria University in Great Britain last year, both of which predict a Grand Solar Minimum in coming decades due to low sunspot activity. (Source: NASA, New American, 1 Oct., 2018) Contact: NASA HQ, (202) 358-0001, Langley Research Center, Martin Mlynczak, marty@rigel.larc.nasa.gov, www.airbornescience.nasa.gov, www.nasa.gov/langley

More Low-Carbon Energy News NASA,  NASA Langley Research Center,  Climate Change,  


Sunflare Touts New Thin-Film Solar Shingles (New Prod & Tech)
Sunflare Solar
Date: 2018-10-01
La Verne, California-based Sunflare Solar is touting its patent-pending, lightweight thin-film CIGs solar shingles for both flat TPO-covered roofs and for pitched metal roofs, including carports. Within 18 months, a residential version will be available, once UL certification is complete. All three shingle versions are based on a four-cell, 180 watt design.

The Solarflare shingle looks like an ordinary asphalt shingle and weighs 0.6 pounds to accommodate fast and easy installation. "We tested a 40 kW roof install and found that the roof was loaded in just 20 minutes," the company claims. The commercial shingles can be fixed to the substrate with double-sided tape or adhesive, and if the metal roof has grooves, those can be used as a default raceway for wire management. There is no roof penetration on the TPO roof, since hold-down hooks can be attached with adhesive where necessary.

The company also manufactures roughly standard-sized solar panels with a 6 cell by 10 cell configuration, which sell for about 70 cents per watt.

General advantages the Sunflare cells have over crystalline silicon cells is that the thin-film cells are 75 pct lighter and 95 pct thinner. Flexibility is imparted by a 0.127 mm stainless steel backbone in the Sunflare panels. (Source: SunFlare Solar, PR, Sept., 2018) Contact: Sunflare Solar, www.sunflaresolar.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  Sunflare Solar,  


First Indian Compressed Biogas Plant Startup Expected (Int'l)
Petroleum Ministry India
Date: 2018-10-01
In New Delhi, the Indian Petroleum Ministry reports it is expecting the nation's nation's first compressed bio-gas (CBG) plant to become operational within the current quarter of the fiscal year. The Ministry aims to see CBG replace LNG (liquefied natural gas) for use in households, as well as in transportation.

The plan calls for the roll out of 5,000 CBG plants across India in a phased manner, with 250 plants by the year 2020, 1,000 plants by 2022 and 5,000 plants by 2025. These plants are expected to produce 15 million tpy of CBG , which is about 40 pct of the current CNG consumption of 44 million tonnes.

A Petroleum Ministry working group on biofuels, set up under the National Policy on Biofuels 2018, is in the process of finalizing a pan-India marketing and pricing model for compressed bio-gas. Under the working group's smodel, entrepreneurs would be able to separately market the other by-products from these plants, including bio-manure, carbon-dioxide, etc. (Source: Petroleum Ministry India, IANS, 1 Oct., 2018) Contact: Petroleum Ministry India, www.petroleum.nic.in

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


Fewer Biofuels, More Green Space May Benefit Environment, Study Finds (Ind. Report)
University of Michigan
Date: 2018-10-01
According to a study from University of Michigan (UM) Energy Institute professor John DeCicco, growing and harvesting bioenergy crops -- corn for ethanol, trees to fuel power plants, and others -- is a poor use of land, which is a precious resource in the fight against climate change.

The assumption that bioenergy simply recycles carbon is a major accounting error, DeCicco and William Schlesinger, president emeritus of the Milbrook, New York-based Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, held. The core of the assumption is the idea that producing a biofuel and then burning it for energy moves a given amount of carbon from the biosphere to the atmosphere, and back again in an unending and stable cycle. That's in contrast to the current one-way flow of fossil-fuel carbon from the Earth to the atmosphere.

According to DeCicco, for bioenergy to be actually carbon neutral, harvesting the biomass to produce it would have to greatly speed up the net flow of carbon from the atmosphere back into vegetation. Otherwise, decades can pass before the "carbon debt" of excess CO2 in the air is repaid by future plant growth. "All currently commercial forms of bioenergy require land and risk carbon debts that last decades into the future. Given the urgency of the climate problem, it is puzzling why some parties find these excess near-term CO2 emissions acceptable," the researchers noted.

In his 2016 study, DeCicco found that just 37 pct, rather than 100 pct, of the CO2 released from burning biofuels was balanced out by increased carbon uptake in crops over the first eight years of the U.S. biofuel mandate.

To reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere requires avoiding deforestation and reforesting harvested areas, up to one-third of current carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels could be sequestered in the biosphere," the researchers wrote. "Terrestrial carbon management can keep carbon out of the atmosphere for many decades."

The new opinion was published in the latest edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (Source: Univ. of Michigan, Rahunuma Daily, 1 Oct., 2018) Contact: University of Michigan Energy Institute, Prof John DeCicco, (734) 764-6757, DeCicco@umich.edu, www.umich.edu; Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, (845) 677-5343, www.caryinstitute.org

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


Ontario Premier Ford Criticized for Scrapping of Cap-and-Trade (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Ontario
Date: 2018-09-28
At Queens Park, the Province of Ontario's environmental watchdog Dianne Saxe is criticizing the freshman conservative government of Premier Doug Ford for dismantling the province's cap-and-trade system without putting in an effective climate change program to replace it. Conservative Premier Doug Ford made cancelling cap-and-trade a key aspect of his campaign.

According to the environmental commissioner, the government's decision could reverse the province's decade of progress in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. (Source: Windsor Star, The Canadian Press, 25 Sept., 2018) Contact: Ontario Environmental Commissioner Dianne Saxe, (416) 325-3377, commissioner@eco.on.ca, https://eco.on.ca

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ontario,  Cap-and-Trade,  Carbon Market,  Doug Ford,  


Energy Efficiency Alberta Funding Non-Profit Upgrades (Ind. Report)
Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips
Date: 2018-09-28
Following up on our June 13th coverage, on the Canadian Prairies, the Province of Alberta Minister of the Environment, Hon. Shannon Phillips, has announced an expansion of the government's Non-Profit Energy Efficiency Transition (NEET) program which is overseen by Energy Efficiency Alberta, a government agency.

Currently through NEET, non-profits can receive audits to identify opportunities to save on energy costs. The audit phase of the program wrapped up this week. The next step in the program will see the government working with contractors to purchase and install the needed upgrades, which could be everything from LED lighting to new furnaces or solar energy systems.

Details and financial projections for the upgrade portion of the program are expected to be released in the near future. be released in the coming weeks. (Source: CBC News, Alberta Environment Contact: Alberta Environment Minister Hon. Shannon Phillips, aep.alberta.ca/about-us/ministers-office; Energy Efficiency Alberta, Jessica Shumlich, Program Manager, (403) 815-4876, www.efficiencyalberta.ca

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


ONYX InSight Calls for Wind Turbine Data Access (Ind. Report)
ONYX InSight
Date: 2018-09-26
According to UK-headquartered ONYX InSight -- a predictive analytics partner for asset owners and operators -- restrictions on access to operational turbine performance data are limiting the wind industry's ability to reduce its O&M costs. ONYX InSight also notes that restrictions on wind-turbine data may be unlawful under EU competition law and impede the growth of the wind industry.

O&M-related expenditure constitutes 58 pct of all operational expenditure costs, much of which is due to reactive, unplanned maintenance. While the industry is increasingly turning to predictive maintenance programs and condition monitoring systems (CMS) that allow for proactive, cost-efficient interventions, these approaches rely on a continuous stream of high-quality, readable data to operate effectively and contribute to lowering the overall levelized cost of energy (LCoE).

However, at present asset owners and operators face significant challenges in accessing this data, as there is no clear approach to data access across equipment suppliers. Only a minority of OEMs allow significant and open access to data. In the main, OEMs manage access for users, providing a highly-processed subset of this data, or allowing no free access at all.

The high-quality performance data for optimized O&M which owners need does not include turbine specifications, load calculations or other potentially sensitive design IP, so there should be no excuse for restrictions on data access. But, of the top eleven CMS hardware providers -- who between them account for over 80 pct of the market -- only one gives full access to CMS data, and seven do not permit any access to data whatsoever, according to ONYX InSight. (Source: Windpower Engineering & Dev., ONYX InSight, Sept., 2018) Contact: ONYX InSight, Bruce Hall, CEO, +44 (0)115 951 8800, (303) 351- 5418 – US Office, info@onyxinsight.com, www.onyxinsight.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News ONYX InSight,  Wind,  


Aquicore, Healthy Buildings Int'l Tout Partnership (Ind. Report)
Aquicore, Healthy Buildings
Date: 2018-09-26
Washington, DC-based Aquicore, the leading IoT-driven asset operations platform for commercial real estate (CRE), and indoor environmental consultant Healthy Buildings International, are reporting a new partnership that will enable building owners and operators to achieve better internal reporting and secure key industry certifications -- U.S. Green Building Council's LEED, the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), and U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR.

Aquicore's CRE platform tracks, analyzes and predicts key building metrics in real time enabling asset and property managers to make faster and more informed decisions on key performance indicators such as energy and water use, budgeting and more. Through Aquicore's partnership, Healthy Buildings' services will be available in the Aquicore Marketplace, a best-in-class network of partners, collaborators and applications that are integrated with Aquicore's platform.

Healthy Buildings International helps the commercial building industry benefit from the public's awareness of the indoor workplace environment by taking a proactive, business-minded approach to environmental due diligence. Through its three service lines Indoor Environmental Quality, Sustainability, and Energy & Resources, Healthy Buildings helps it clients attract & retain tenants and employees, enhance building marketability, lower operating costs, and increasing asset value. (Source: Aquicore, PR, 25 Sept., 2018) Contact: Healthy Buildings Int'l, 800-352-6102., http://healthybuildings.com; Aquicore, 202-446-0246, info@aquicore.com , https://aquicore.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News USGBC,  LEED Certification,  ENERGY STAR,  Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark Aquicore,  Healthy Buildings,  


Bay State's Largest Energy Storage System Unveiled (Ind. Report)
ENGIE North America
Date: 2018-09-26
ENGIE North America an municipally-owned Holyoke Gas & Electric Utility (HG&E) are reporting the launch of Massachusetts' largest utility-scale energy storage system at the Mt. Tom Solar Farm in Holyoke, Massachusetts. ENGIE Storage Services -- fka Green Charge LLC -- will operate the 3-megawatt GridSynergy(trade; system, which will be integrated into the largest community solar farm in the state at a location adjacent to the former Mt. Tom Power Station.

GridSynergy will provide grid stability by responding quickly to electricity demand fluctuations, allow for the increased use of clean energy, and reduce peak load burden on the existing electrical distribution system.

According to ENGIE North America, nearly 100 pct of its power generation portfolio is low carbon or carbon free. Globally, ENGIE is the largest independent power producer in the world, with operations in 70 countries and 1,000 researchers in 11 R&D centers. (Source: ENGIE North America Inc., AP, 25 Sept., 2018) Contact: ENGIE, Carol Churchill, 617-886-8759, www.engie-na.com, carol.churchill@engie.com, www.engie.com; Holyoke Gas & Electric, www.hged.com; ENGIE Storage Services NA, www.engiestorage.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News ENGIE North America ,  Energy Storage,  


Greenville U Energy Efficiency, Sustainability Lauded (Ind. Report)
Greenville University
Date: 2018-09-24
In Illinois, Greenville University reports it is a finalist for the 2018 Illinois Sustainability Award for its Revolving Green Action Project. The project aims to cut energy consumption and create a sustainable fund for future energy efficiency and green initiative projects.

Specifically, the university's submission for the 2018 award focused on: replacing incandescent lights with energy efficient LED -- G.U. replaced all of the existing incandescent bulbs and 5,000 32-watt 4' bulbs in the targeted areas; and funding future green projects -- G.U. created a protected account designated for future revolving green projects and a method for funneling savings into it.

Replacement lighting resulted in 33 pct wattage reduction, increased lighting, and an energy costs savings of $10,619 per year, which is being added to the school's revolving green fund. Investing in energy-efficient infrastructure is part of Greenville University's five-year (2018-2023) strategic plan. (Source: Greenville University, Greenville Intelligencer, 24 Sept., 2018) Contact: Greenville University, www.greenville.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


Aussie Opera House Credits Energy Efficiency for Carbon Cutting Success (Int'l Report)
Sydney Opera House
Date: 2018-09-24
In the Land Down Under, the iconic Sydney Opera House reports it will be five years ahead of schedule when it meets its target to reduce emissions and become carbon neutral, thanks to increased energy efficiency.

In 2014 The Opera House replaced incandescent bulbs in the Concert Hall with custom LED lights for a 75 pct reduction in the venue's electric power consumption. In 2017 it introduced a new building management control system to monitor energy and water use and manage climate control. It also optimized the building's heating and cooling by replacing chiller units connected to the facility's seawater cooling system, resulting in a 9 pct energy reduction. It also added a new waste-to-energy program to reduce waste and cut energy costs. (Source: Sydney Opera House, Brisbane Times, 22 Sept., 2018) Contact: Sydney Opera House, www.sydneyoperahouse.com

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


NAES to Operate BioMass Solution's ND Ethanol Plant (Ind. Report)
NAES Corporation,BioMass Solution
Date: 2018-09-21
Further to our 5th Sept. coverage, NAES Corporation reports it has been selected by Madison, Wisconsin-headquartered BioMass Solution LLC to operate and maintain its Red River Biorefinery which is presently under construction in Grand Forks, N.D. The facility is designed to produce 16.5 million gpy of fuel-grade ethanol from sugar beet tailings, potato wastes and other organic byproducts. The owner recently achieved financial close for the plant and has issued full notice to proceed with construction activities. Commercial operations are scheduled for late 2019.

NAES Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Corporation, is an independent services company serving power generation, oil & gas, petrochemical, pulp & paper and manufacturing industries. (Source: NAES, PR, 19 Sept., 2018) Contact: NAES, Dan Consie, Senior VP Power Services, Doug Cantwell, Communications, doug.cantwell@naes.com, www.naes.com; BioMass Solutions, Jacek Chmielewski, 847-208-4171, Jacek.chmielewski@biomasssolution.com, www.biomasssolution.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News BioMass Solution,  Ethanol,  


Chinese Carbon Emissions Jump 3 pct in H1, 2018 (Int'l Report)

Date: 2018-09-21
A study from environmental group Greenpeace notes that in the first two quarters of 2018, China's carbon dioxide emissions rose 3 pct year on year, due primarily to a the country's growing demand for coal and increased steel production.

Coal demand increased by 3 pct in the first half of 2018 with renewable energy sources unable to keep up with the spiraling demand for power over the period.

As the world's major GHG producer, China has vowed to bring total emissions to a peak by "around 2030" as part of its commitments to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Some studies have suggested that China's total carbon emissions might already have peaked at a record 9.53 gigatonnes in 2013, with the economy now shifting to less-carbon-intensive high-technology sectors.

China has been trying to ease its dependence on fossil fuels, and vowed in its latest energy five-year plan to cut the share of coal in its total energy mix from 64 pct in 2015 to 58 pct by the end of the decade. The figure stood at 60.4 pct in 2017. (Source: Economic Times Shanghai, Greenpeace, Reuters, 21 Sept., 2018

More Low-Carbon Energy News GHGs news,  Climate Change news,  Carbon Emissions news,  China Emissions news,  


DOE ARPA-E Announces $148Mn for Projects to Extend Grid Energy Storage (Ind. Report)
DOE ARPA-E
Date: 2018-09-21
The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the selection of 10 projects as part of a new Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Duration Addition to electricitY Storage (DAYS program. Program awardees will develop energy storage systems to provide reliable, affordable power to the electric grid for up to 100 hours, enhancing grid resilience and performance.

Most energy storage systems deliver power over a limited time to alleviate congestion, stabilize grid frequency and voltage, or provide intraday shifting services. DAYS projects' extended discharge times will enable a new set of applications for grid storage, including long-lasting backup power and greater integration of intermittent, renewable energy resources.

DAYS projects will explore a new design space in electricity storage, exploiting opportunities for smart tradeoffs that keep costs low in electrochemical, thermal, and mechanical systems.

DAYS project teams will work to combine the long-term power output of technologies like pumped storage hydroelectric (PSH) systems with the flexibility of battery systems that can be deployed in multiple environments. PSH power presently provides more than 95 pct of stationary electricity storage capacity on the U.S. grid , but there have been few new installations due to geographical and financial challenges. Lithium ion batteries, meanwhile, have experienced a rapid growth in deployment on the grid, but high cost limits viability in long-duration applications.

Download DAYS program details and projects HERE. (Source: DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), Sept., 2018) Contact: DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), www.arpa-e.energy.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE,  ARPA-E,  Energy Storage,  


Development of the Car Fleet in EU28+2 to Achieve the Paris Agreement Target to Limit Global Warming to 1.5 C (Report Attached)
German Aerospace Centre
Date: 2018-09-21
According to a new study conducted by the German Aerospace Centre, commissioned by Greenpeace Belgium, Europe must stop selling new petrol, diesel and conventional hybrid cars by 2028 in order to stand a better chance of honouring the Paris Climate Agreement's target.

The study notes that passenger car engines as we know them need to be completely phased out from new sales before the end of the next decade. Otherwise, Europe will struggle to "meaningfully contribute" to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the most ambitious part of the Paris Agreement on climate change's well below 2 degrees Celsius overall aim.

Download the Development of the Car Fleet in EU28+2 to Achieve the Paris Agreement Target to Limit Global Warming to 1.5 C Report HERE. (Source: German Aerospace Centre, Greenpeace, Euractiv, Sept., 2018) Contact: German Aerospace Centre, www.dlr.de/dlr/en; Greenpeace, www.greenpeace.org/belgium

More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Agreement,  Climate Change,  Transportation Emissions,  Vehicle Emissions,  


Arkansas County Court OKs Energy Efficiency Project (Ind. Report)
Sebastian County Quorum Court
Date: 2018-09-21
In Arkansas, the Sebastian County Quorum Court in Fort Smith reports it has authorized completion of an energy-efficiency project and also approved an ordinance authorizing the funding of the Arkansas EPC Program for the county. The project total is an amount exceeding $5 million, and the financing plan approved by the Quorum Court as part of the ordinance is over 15 years at 2.85 pct interest. EPC is a financing mechanism used to pay for energy efficiency improvements through annual energy savings.

The county's energy efficiency improvement measures would be applied to all county buildings and include: LED lighting retrofits, building management system optimization, HVAC renovations and boiler replacements, and others. The annual energy savings are expected to reduce the county's energy and operating costs by $344,000 per year as well receipt of various utility rebates totaling approximately $160,000. (Source: Sebastian County Quorum Court, Times Record, 18 Sept., 2018) Contact: Sebastian County Quorum Court (479) 783-6139, www.sebastiancountyar.gov/Departments/County-Judge/Quorum-Court

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


"We're Launching Our Own Damn Satellite", says Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Climate Change, Carbon Emissions
Date: 2018-09-19
In his closing remarks at the recently concluded Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, California Governor Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown Jr.(D) announced that his state is teaming up with San Francisco-based Earth imaging company Planet Labs (Planet) to develop and eventually launch a satellite that will track climate change-causing pollutants with unprecedented precision and help the world dramatically reduce these destructive emissions.

"With science still under attack and the climate threat growing, we're launching our own damn satellite. This groundbreaking initiative will help governments, businesses and landowners pinpoint -- and stop -- destructive emissions with unprecedented precision, on a scale that's never been done before," the Governor proclaimed.

Planet, which was founded by ex-NASA scientists in 2010, has in the last two years launched more than 150 Earth-imaging satellites, manufactured in San Francisco, helping customers in agriculture, government, mapping, NGOs and in other markets to make better decisions. The company's aerospace and data processing infrastructure, innovative technology and engineering and scientific expertise will be utilized to develop and operate the new satellite, with the possibility of launching additional satellites in the future as part of this initiative.

The State of California, through the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is developing and refining the technology needed to make this initiative possible. Planet will manage the mission operations and collaborate with the State and others on funding this groundbreaking effort. The State and Planet will make the collected environmentally-related satellite data available to the public and will work in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and others with complementary projects. the new Climate Data Partnership will serve as a common platform for reporting climate variables and the earth's atmosphere.

Initial project funding has been provided by Dee and Richard Lawrence and OIF, as well as The Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust. (Source: Office of Gov. Governor Edmund G. Brown, 17 Sept., 2018) Contact: Governor Edmund G. Brown, Phone: (916) 445-2841, Fax: (916) 558-3160; Plant Labs, Robbie Schingler, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Gov. Jerry Brown,  


NY Municipalities Earn Clean Energy Designation (Ind. Report)
NY State,Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Date: 2018-09-19
In the Empire State, the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has announced that more than 200 communities statewide have earned the Clean Energy Community designation and, as such, are eligible to seek grant funds for energy efficiency projects.

To qualify for funding, a community must complete at least four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions to earn the designation, which recognizes community leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs and driving clean energy. Local governments holding the designation can seek up to $250,000 to finance additional clean projects, or up to $100,000 if the community has fewer than 40,000 residents.

The high-impact actions municipalities can complete include:

  • Benchmarking energy use at municipal and large privately-owned buildings;

  • Performing energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to municipal buildings;

  • Replacing street lights with energy-efficient LED lighting;

  • Streamlining local approval processes for solar projects through the adoption of the state Unified Solar Permit;

  • Undertaking a community-based Solarize campaign to reduce solar project costs through joint purchasing;

  • Providing energy code enforcement training to code officers;

  • Earning Climate Smart Communities Certification by reducing the community's impact on the environment;

  • Passing a local law to allow aggregation of residents to gain greater choice and control over energy use as a group, called Community Choice Aggregation;

  • Installing electric vehicle charging stations and using alternative fuel vehicles for municipal business; and:

  • Establishing an Energize NY Finance Program that enables long-term, affordable Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at commercial buildings and not-for-profits.

    To date, approximately 450 New York state local governments representing more than 86 pct of the state's population in 60 counties and all 10 Economic Development Council regions, have completed more than 1,250 high-impact actions. The $16 million Clean Energy Communities initiative supports energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects. The state's clean energy goal aims to supply 50 pct of its electricity from renewable energy resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 pct by 2030. (Source: Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, The Recorder, 17 Sept., 2018) Contact: NY Clean Energy Communities Program, www.nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/Programs/Clean-Energy-Communities; NYSERDA, Alicia Barton, Pres., CEO, (518) 862-1090, www.nyserda.ny.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NYSERDA,  Clean Energy Community,  Energy Efficiency,  Gov. Andrew Cuomo ,  


  • Notable Quotes Duly Noted
    Climate Change
    Date: 2018-09-17
    "For the President (Trump) to stand up to the American people and say this is too much burden, we have to get out of Paris and withdraw America leadership from an issue that is life or death, is one of the single greatest acts of irresponsibility by a president of the United States anywhere at anytime.

    "We have a president who without any knowledge of the issue, without any scientific fact whatsoever, lying to the American people about a burden to the United States, which is not a burden at all because no country accepted to do anything in Paris that was not within the capacity of that country to achieve." -- Former Obama Administration Secretary of State John Kerry

    Kerry was speaking at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, where about 4,000 city, state, business, and world leaders gathered to demonstrate their will to combat climate change. The U.S. is on pace to meet two-thirds of the its carbon emissions reduction goals under the Paris agreement even without Trump, Kerry noted.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Trump.Paris Climate Agreement,  


    Candidate Ocasio-Cortez's Platform on Climate Change (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2018-09-17
    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) is a 29 year old American politician, educator, and political activist. On June 26, 2018, Ocasio-Cortez won the Democratic primary in New York's 14th congressional district. She is widely heralded by the media as the "possible new face" of American politics.

    "In order to address runaway global climate change, Ocasio-Cortez strongly supports transitioning the United States to a carbon-free, 100 pct renewable energy system and a fully modernized electrical grid by 2035. She believes renewable fuels must be produced in a way that achieves our environmental and energy security goals, so we can move beyond oil responsibly in the fight against climate change. By encouraging the electrification of vehicles, sustainable home heating, distributed rooftop solar generation, and the conversion of the power grid to zero-emissions energy sources, Ocasio-Cortez believes we can be 100% free of fossil fuels by 2035.

    "Ocasio-Cortez believes in recognizing the relationship between economic stability and environmental sustainability. It's time to shift course and implement a Green New Deal -- a transformation that implements structural changes to our political and financial systems in order to alter the trajectory of our environment. Right now, the economy is controlled by big corporations whose profits are dependent on the continuation of climate change. This arrangement benefits few, but comes at the detriment of our planet and all its inhabitants. Its effects are life-threatening, and are especially already felt by low-income communities, both in the U.S. and globally. Rather than continue a dependency on this system that posits climate change as inherent to economic life, the Green New Deal believes that radically addressing climate change is a potential path towards a more equitable economy with increased employment and widespread financial security for all.

    "Climate change is the single biggest national security threat for the United States and the single biggest threat to worldwide industrialized civilization, and the effects of warming can be hard to predict and self-reinforcing. We need to avoid a worldwide refugee crisis by waging a war for climate justice through the mobilization of our population and our government. This starts with the United States being a leader on the actions we take both globally and locally", Ocasio-Cortez says. (Source: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sept., 2018) Contact: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (929) 388-6141. us@ocasio2018.com, https://twitter.com/Ocasio2018

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  



    Date: 2018-09-17
    Apple’s newest smartphones may not have received all-round praise, but its latest environmental initiative surely should. On Friday (Sep. 14), the world’s most valuable company said it is investing an undisclosed sum in a project in Colombia to restore mangroves and sequester as much as 17,000 metric tons (18,739 tons) of carbon dioxide in two years. That’s equal to the emissions that the fleet of vehicles updating Apple Maps will produce over the coming decade.

    “Mangroves live at the edge of the land and sea, providing local communities with coastal protection, habitat for their fisheries, and a wealth of biodiversity,” according to Conservation International, an NGO that’s leading the mangrove restoration project. “These and other ocean wetlands store up to 10 times the carbon per unit area as terrestrial forests, making them a vital ally in the fight against climate change.” A 2016 study of 3,000 deforested mangrove patches found that most of them were being cut down for the use of growing rice, palm trees, or expanding fisheries.

    Beyond cutting the amount of carbon dioxide we put into the atmosphere, scientists show that we will also need to pull carbon dioxide from the air to avoid catastrophic climate change. There are six so-called “negative-emissions technologies” that can help us get there: afforestation and reforestation; enhanced weathering (using minerals that capture carbon dioxide); soil carbon (tweaking the crops and forests we currently grow to absorb more carbon); biochar (using a special kind charcoal as to trap carbon dioxide); BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, which requires capturing carbon dioxide produced by burning biomass like wood and then burying it underground); and DAC (direct air capture, which involves the use of machines that are essentially trees on steroids to suck carbon dioxide from the air and bury it underground).

    Among those negative-emissions technologies, mangrove restoration would be classed as reforestation. The Conservation International project would cover an area of 17,000 hectares (42,000 acres) in the Sinu river delta. The NGO will use the money raised for the project to help the 12,000 people in the community who use the mangroves for food, firewood, and livelihoods. Conservation International believes the carbon offsets will provide financial security to the region and develop sustainable ways to support tourism and fisheries.

    Earlier this year, Apple also announced that all of its electricity use in 45 countries is powered by 100% renewable energy. Some of the success of such environmental shifts are down to the lower cost of renewable energy, but much credit also goes to environmental campaigns like Greenpeace’s Click Clean that hold tech companies to account on their sustainability promises. That said, there’s still a long way to go if Apple plans to cut emissions from all its energy use. (Source: Apple, PR, Sept., 2018)


    SSE Seeks Scottish Wind Farm Repowering Approval (Int'l Report)
    SSE Plc
    Date: 2018-09-17
    UK energy utility SSE Plc reports it has submitted an application with the Scottish Ministers seeking permission for a planned repowering of a 18.7-MW wind farm in Scotland to 80 MW the capacity .

    SSE plans to replace the existing 22 turbines of its Tangy Wind Farm on the Kintyre peninsula with 16 newer and more efficient machines. The expansion project, called Tangy III, was previously approved in 2015 as a 15-turbine scheme. The original 22-turbine Tangy Wind Farm has been online since 2004.(Source: SSE, Renewables Now, 17 Sept., 2018) Contact: SSE, www.sse.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News SSE Plc,  Wind,  


    SW Colorado Solar Plant Plan Wins County Support (Ind. Report)
    Ute Peak Solar, Standard Solar
    Date: 2018-09-17
    In southwestern Colorado, San Miguel County Commissioners are reporting support for Ute Peak Solar and Rockville, Maryland-headquartered Standard Solar's proposed 30-mw power plant to be constructed at a substation in western Montrose County.

    The San Miguel County Commission notes the planned solar plant is large enough to replace a nearby coal-fired power plant slated for shutdown by the end of 2022. (Source: San Miguel County Commission, Miami Herald, AP, 16 Sept., 2018) Contact: Standard Solar, (301) 944-1200, www.standardsolar.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Standard Solar,  Solar,  


    Biogas Essential to Ireland's Future Circular Economy(Int'l)
    University College Cork
    Date: 2018-09-17
    Speaking at the recent SEAI/ International Energy Agency Bioenergy Symposium on Anaerobic Digestion in the Circular Economy at the University College Cork (UCC), Professor Jerry Murphy called for decarbonization of Ireland's gas system in order to achieve the "circular economy" objectives as laid out in the government's €21.8 billion National Development Plan.

    "Biogas plants cannot be directly compared to other renewable energy sources like wind turbines, which produce electricity, according to Prof. Murphy, Director of the SFI MaREI Centre headquartered at the University College Cork (UCC) Environmental Research Institute and Leader of the International Energy Agency Biogas Task. "There are so many more advantages to a biogas system -- from waste treatment, production of bio-fertilizer, generation of a renewable energy suitable for transport, heating or electricity, improved water quality and provision of jobs in rural communities. It is the full package."

    In 2018, Gas Networks Ireland will introduce biogas onto the Irish gas network for the first time and they have a target of at least 20 pct of all gas used in Ireland to be renewable (decarbonized) by 2030. A significant aspect of this rollout will take place in the transport sector under the €25 million EU-funded Causeway project which aims to provide a sustainable, clean alternative to diesel for Ireland's transport operators. (Source: Gas Networks Ireland, TheCork.ie, 17 Sept., 2018)Contact: Gas Networks Ireland, www.gasnetworks.ie; Environmental Research Institute -- University College Cork, +353 21 490 1931, eri@ucc.ie, http://eri.ucc.ie, www.ucc.ie/en/eri

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biogas,  Anaerobic Digestion,  


    Ireland Launching Inaugural Green Bond Issue (Int'l Report)
    Ireland National Treasury Management Agency
    Date: 2018-09-14
    In Dublin, Ireland's National Treasury Management Agency reports it will launch its first green bond issuance in the coming months, and to that end is meeting with potential investors. The bond will be issued under the recently approved Irish Sovereign Green Bond framework.

    Funds from the placement will be applied to green projects addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation, water and natural resources depletion and the reduction of air pollution. (Source: Ireland National Treasury Management Agency, Renewables, Sept., 2018) Contact: Ireland National Treasury Management Agency, Frank O'connor, Director of Funding and Debt Management, +353 1 238 4000, info@ntma.ie, www.ntma.ie

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Bond,  


    Ford Under Fire for Proposed Cap-and-Trade Repeal (Ind. Report)
    Ontario Cap-and-Trade, Greenpeace Canada
    Date: 2018-09-14
    Environmental advocate Greenpeace Canada reports ait has taken legal action against the Province of Ontario. Greenpeace alleges that Doug Ford, the province's newly elected, populist freshman conservative Premier, and his government failed to hold public hearings on his proposed legislation to kill the province's cap-and-trade program as instituted by the previous liberal government. Since its creation 1n 2017, the system has contributed nearly $2.5 billion to Ontario's coffers.

    Under Ontario's unique “Environmental Bill of Rights legislation", Ontario residents have the right to be consulted on significant environmental regulations and legislation. The Greenpeace suit claims the Ford government ignored the Environmental Bill of Rights when it proposed, then announced it would cancel the province's cap-and-trade program.

    The Ford administration's Cap-and-Trade Cancellation Act -- Bill 4 -- was introduced in late July. The bill, which has yet to pass the legislature, gives the new Ford administration sweeping power to set its own targets and create its own climate action plan without debate in the legislature nor to be enshrined in law. Along with killing the province's cap-and-trade program, Ford also promised to lower the price of beer to $1 per can. (Source: CP, Various Media, 13 Sept., 2018) Contact: Greenpeace Canada, www.greenpeace.org/canada/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Greenpeace,  Ontario Cap-and-Trade,  Doug Ford,  


    DHL, OSU Report Campus Carbon Footprint Offset Partnership (Ind. Report)
    DHL, Ohio State University
    Date: 2018-09-14
    In Westerhill, Ohio, contract logistics specialist DHL Supply Chain and The Ohio State University (OSU) are reporting a partnership for the planting and care of trees on the OSU campus. DHL, through its "GoGreen Program" , also purchased and donated 1,000 tonnes of carbon credits for Ohio State to contribute to the university's carbon reduction goals. Ohio State matched DHL's donation by purchasing an additional 1,000 tonnes of carbon credits.

    OSU will use these credits to offset a portion of its annual greenhouse gas emissions, such as those from its own transport fleet. The program is being facilitated by North Carolina-based Urban Offsets.

    DHL Supply Chain's GoGreen program has delivered an average reduction of 3 pct in CO2 emissions, year over year, for every mile travelled and every square meter of space used worldwide for its customers.

    Urban Offsets helps companies and universities reduce their environmental impact by investing in sustainability projects around the world and directing profits into local projects that build climate resilient neighborhoods. Since 2017, more than 80,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions have been offset and 12,000 trees planted in at-risk communities around the country. (Source: DHL, PR, 12 Sept., 2018) Contact: Urban Offsets, https://registry.urbanoffsets.co; DHL Supply Chain, Nicole Porter, (614) 865-8437, nicole.porter@dhl.com, www.dhl.com; DHL GoGreen Program, HERE; OSU, Kate Bartter, Dir. Ohio State University Office of Energy and Environment, (614) 247-4762, energy.environment@osu.edu, https://oee.osu.edu

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


    Agrisoma Carinata Mustard Seed Biofuel Flies United (Ind. Report)
    Agrisoma Biosciences
    Date: 2018-09-14
    Gatineau, Quebec-based Carinata mustard biofuels producer Agrisoma Biosciences Inc. reports it biofuel is being used by United Airlines. Thirty pct of the jet fuel used in the Boeing will be replaced by Agrisoma's biofuel, leading the company to proclaim the plane will emit 30 pct less greenhouse gases than a regular flight. Currently, the technical and regulatory rules limit to 50 pct the amount of biofuel that can be used in commercial aircraft.

    Carinata mustard can be grow on poor quality land at low cost. Once the oil is extracted from the plant, the residue becomes a protein-rich byproduct that can be used as livestock feed. (Source: Agrisoma, 570 News, 14 Sept., 2018) Contact: Agrisoma Biosciences Inc., Steve Fabijanski, CEO, 819-205-7795, www.agrisoma.com, www.growcarinata.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Agrisoma Biosciences,  Biofuel,  Aviation Biofuel,  Jet Biofuel,  Carinata,  ,  


    Notable Quote on Climate Change
    Climate Change
    Date: 2018-09-12
    "Climate change is moving faster than we are. We need to put the brake on deadly greenhouse gas emissions and drive climate action."

    "These (2015 Paris Climate Agreement) targets were the bare minimum to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, but scientists tell us that we are far off track. According to a U.N. study, the commitments made so far by parties to the Paris agreement represent just one-third of what is needed."

    "We need to rapidly shift away from our dependence on fossil fuels. We need to replace them with clean energy from water, wind and sun. We must halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and change the way we farm."

    "If we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change, with disastrous consequences for people and all the natural systems that sustain us. Keeping our planet's warming to well below 2 degrees (Celsius) is essential for global prosperity, people's well-being and the security of nations." -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

    (Source: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, 10 Sept., 2018)

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


    Vestas' Russian Wind Blade Plant Construction Nears Completion (Int'l)
    Vestas,Rusnano
    Date: 2018-09-12
    The Russian Association of the Wind Industry is reporting Vestas' new RUB 1 billion ($14.3 million) wid turbine blade which is under construction in Ulyanovsk, southern Russia, is nearing completion and expects to begin manufacturing 300 blades per year early in 2019.

    Vestas presently produces nacelles for its 4MW platform at its factory in the neighbouring province of Nizhny Novgorod, and plans to set up a tower facility in Rostov, as part of its efforts to create a manufacturing hub in south-west Russia. Vestas partnered with Rusnano and the Consortium of Investors of Ulyanovsk Oblast to build the blade factory. (Source: Vestas, Russian Association of the Wind Industry, Vestas, WindPower Monthly 11 Sept., 2018)Contact: Russian Association of the Wind Industry, https://rawi.ru/en; Vestas, +45 9730 0000, www.vestas.com; Rusnano, en.rusnano.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Rusnano,  Vestas,  Wind Turbine,  Wind Blade,  


    Quebec-Based Enerkem Touts Bio-DME Production (Ind. Report)
    Enerkem
    Date: 2018-09-12
    Montreal-based waste-to-ethanol and chemicals producer specialist Enerkem is reporting the production of a clean, renewable bio-dimethyl ether (Bio-DME), a by-product of biomethanol, that could replace the use of diesel fuel in the transportation sector.

    Using its proprietary thermochemical technology, the company tested and validated the production of fuel-grade bio-DME made from unrecoverable carbon-rich municipal solid waste at its Innovation Centre in Westbury, Quebec.

    Bio-DME offers a 20 pct higher cetane rating on average than diesel or bio-diesel fuels and, when combusted, does not produce sulfur oxide (SOx) or fine particles, and contributes to lower emissions from other harmful residual pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) that are mainly produced from the combustion of fossil-based fuels. (Source: Enerkem, Various Trade Media, 11 Sept., 2018) Contact: Enerkem Inc. Vincent Chornet, Pres., CEO, (514) 875-0284 X 251, vchornet@enerkem.com, www.enerkem.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bio-DME,  Bioethanol,  Enerkem,  Waste-to-biofuel,  Bioethanol,  


    Google Maps Launches Environmental Insights Explorer for Tracking Carbon Footprints (New Prod & Tech)
    Google,Carbon Footprint
    Date: 2018-09-12
    On Monday, Google Maps reported the launch of The Environmental Insights Explorer, an online tool to help cities identify and come up with a plan to reduce emissions. The new tool enables users to access the carbon footprint of all of a city's buildings as well as the carbon print of all the car trips, bus and subway rides.

    By using this new feature created by Google in partnership with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, more than 9000 cities that have initiated projects to cut emissions after signing the Paris Agreement, can benefit.

    The new feature can trace a large part of a city's carbon emissions and decipher the source then calculate the size of each building and its data about emission of carbon as well as its energy consumption.

    The tool can also infer traffic and modes of travel, and estimate the emissions from that transportation. (Source: Google, TNS International News, Sept., 2018) Contact: Google Environmental Insights Explorer, www.insights.sustainability.google;Global Covenant of Mayors, info@globalcovenantofmayors.org, www.globalcovenantofmayors.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Footprint,  Google,  Carbon Emissions,  


    CA Gov. Inks 2045 Zero-Carbon Electricity Bill SB100 (Reg & Leg)
    California SB100
    Date: 2018-09-12
    In Sacramento, California's Democratic Governor Jerry Brown's office reports the governor has signed bill SB100 mandating the Golden State's zero-carbon electricity by 2045 target into law. SB100 pushes California's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 50 pct by 2025 and 60 pct by 2030 with a zero-carbon electricity grid in place by 2045.

    At the signing, Governor Brown noted, "To get to 100 pct clean energy in a manner that ensures reliability and reduces cost, we must use a variety of strategies -- energy storage, increased efficiency and adjusting energy use to the time of day when we have most power will all help with the transition." (Source: Office of Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown, Various Media, Energy Storage, 11 Sept., 2018) Contact: Office of Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown, (916) 445-2841, http://gov.ca.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Gov. Jerry Brown,  Renewable Energy,  Energy Efficiency,  SM100,  


    Rice Paddies GHG Emissions Higher Than Previously Accepted (Int'l)
    Environmental Defence Fund
    Date: 2018-09-12
    According to a study from the non-profit Environmental Defence Fund (EDF), the amount of unaccounted-for nitrous oxide (N2O) global emissions from rice -- a staple food crop worldwide -- may be as high as the annual climate pollution from about 200 coal power plants and have significant impact on global warming and climate change. N2O is a long-lasting atmospheric pollutant more potent than methane or carbon dioxide CO2).

    The report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences noted that N2O rises when rice fields are allowed to dry before being "wetted" -- intermittent flooding -- for planting. In India alone, where the study took place across five intermittently flooded rice fields, N2O emissions "could be 30-45 times higher than reported under continuous flooding" researchers estimated. Overall, researchers calculated that N2O per hectare (2.5 acres) was three times higher than ever reported by research on intermittently flooded farms before. (Source: Environmental Defence Fund, South China Morning News, 11 Sept., 2018) Contact: Environmental Defence Fund, www.edf.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News N20,  Environmental Defense Fund,  GHGs,  


    IISER Bhopal Touts New Organic Solar Cell (New Prod & Tech)
    IISER
    Date: 2018-09-10
    Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal have developed cheaper and more flexible organic solar cells using a synthetic derivative of vitamin B12.

    An organic solar cell is made up of acceptor and donor materials. The donor absorbs light from solar radiation and the harvested energy is passed to the electrodes with the help of the acceptor. The IISER researchers synthesised the donor using an artificial aromatic chemical (corrole) which has a similar structure to the corrin ring in vitamin B12. The artificially synthesised corrole (Cor-BODIPY) absorbs light much like porphyrin in natural chlorophyll. Another commercially available organic molecule was used as an acceptor, accordping to the release.

    The organic cells developed by the team showed three absorption bands between 400-650 nm -- whole visible range of the solar spectrum -- with a maximum absorption at 420 nm. The ability to turn the light absorbed to electricity (power conversion efficiency) was 2.5 pct.

    The researchers enhanced the performance of the solar cells by coating them with different solvents. The surface morphology was investigated after the treatment and microscopy images showed that the treatment helped improve the alignment of the Cor-BODIPY donor by forming a denser molecular packing on the active surface. This treatment more than doubled the power conversion efficiency from 2.5 pct to 6.6% pct. (Source: Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, The Hindu, 8 Sept., 2018) Contact: Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Dr. Ruchika Mishra, Research Associate, +91-33-6634 0012, +91-33-6451 3294, www.iiserkol.ac.in

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Organic Solar Cell,  Solar,  


    EU Parliamentarians Back 45 pct Fleet Vehicle Emission Cuts (Int'l)
    EU
    Date: 2018-09-10
    In Brussels, Reuters is reporting many EU parliamentarians are backing a 45 pct cut in fleet vehicles carbon dioxide by 2030 and an interim reduction goal of 20 pct by 2025.

    The 28 member EU trading bloc's new rules aim to help meet the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 pct below 1990 levels by 2030. Other proposed amendments address whether renewable fuels will be allowed to count toward zero-emission targets and whether to allow industry to combine their targets for cars and vans. European automakers association ACEA has called for laxer CO2 limits, saying poor infrastructure and an underdeveloped consumer market limit their ability to sell more electric cars. (Source: Fiji Times, Reuters, Various Media, 8 Sept., 2018)

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


    Takoma Park Considers LEDs for Cash, Energy Savings (Ind. Report)
    Takoma Park
    Date: 2018-09-10
    In Montgomery County, Maryland, the City of Takoma Park reports it is considering the installation of energy efficient LED street lights to replace all of the city's 2015 vintage high-pressure sodium and various other streetlights. The switch to LEDs is expected to deliver greater energy efficiency and an annual savings of $100,000 or more in energy costs. To that end, the Takoma utility has installed LEDs on three city streets as a test

    On a larger scale, Montgomery County plans to replace 25,000 roadway lights with LEDs and anticipates saving $850,000 in energy costs a year, while the neighboring District of Columbia is presently replacing its more than 75,000 streetlights with LEDs. (Source: City of Takoma Park, Washington Post, 9 Sept., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News LED Light news,  


    Aussie PM Ditching Climate Change Target Legislation (Int'l)
    Australia Climate Change
    Date: 2018-09-10
    In the Land Down Under, newly elected Liberal Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced the new government will not revive plans to embed carbon emissions targets in law, as promised by his Liberal predecessor Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Turnbull was ousted in a palace coup by his more conservative colleagues over support for the National Energy Guarantee (NEG).

    Morrison noted the NEG's proposal to help the government meet its Paris Agreement pledge was "dead" and his government would focus instead on lowering soaring electricity prices.

    Australia is considered one of the world's worst per capita greenhouse gas polluters, and is a heavy user of coal-fired power. Even so, Canberra indicated it would still work to reduce Australia's emissions despite a lack of legislation to enforce the Paris target.

    The ruling Liberal-National coalition as well as previous Labor governments have struggled to introduce climate policies over the past decade amid political infighting and turbulence, especially during the term of Tony Abbott who is perhaps best remembered for his colourful declaration -- "Climate change is a load of CRAP." (Source: AFP, Australian, Economic Times, 9 Sept., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Australaia,  Climate Change,  


    Delaware Passes PACE Energy Efficiency Financing Bill (Ind. Report)
    C-PACE
    Date: 2018-09-07
    The office of Delaware Gov. John Carney (Dem) is reporting the signing of legislation enabling Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing to support commercial energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

    PACE loans are funded by private lenders and repaid through a voluntary assessment on the property's county tax bill. The Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility (DESEU) will administer the program. More than $688 million has been invested in clean energy projects nationwide since 2009, according to PACENation, (Source: Delaware Business Teimes, 5 Sept., 2018) Contact: PACENation, http://pacenation.us

    More Low-Carbon Energy News PACENation,  Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy,  C-PACE,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Goldwind Offloading Aussie Solar, Wind Project Pipeline (Int'l)
    Goldwind
    Date: 2018-09-07
    Chinese wind turbine supplier and project developer Goldwind reports it is seeking a purchaser for its wind and large-scale solar development pipeline in the Land Down Under. Goldwind's planed exit from the Australian market may be partially attributed to the government's failed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) policy which the Australian electricity marketplace without an effective policy setting beyond 2020.

    Goldwind Australia aims to sell the portfolio in full or part before the end of November, this year. (Source: Goldwind Australia, Various Media, PV Mag Australia, 5 Sept., 2018) Contact: Goldwind Energy, +61 (2) 9008 1715, info@goldwindaustralia.com, www.goldwindaustralia.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Goldwind,  Wind,  Solar,  


    California "Carbon-Free" Legislation SB100 Awaits Governor's Signature (Reg & Leg, Ind. Report)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2018-09-07
    In the Golden State, with the expected signing of state legislation SB100, California will join Hawaii in going carbon-free by 2045. When signed into law, SB100 will replace fossil fuel generated electric power in California with 100 pct renewable energy.

    Another climate law, SB 32, requires California to limit statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 40 pct below 1990 levels by 2030. SB 100 further advances the state's goal to reduce carbon emissions by mandating that 50 pct of the state's energy must come from eligible renewable sources by 2026, increasing to 60 pct by 2030. To reach 100 pct clean energy by 2045, California can also draw upon nuclear, large hydroelectric, and natural gas plants with carbon capture and storage -- all of which do not emit carbon dioxide.

    In 2017, about 29 pct of California's electricity was sourced from renewables. Natural gas and coal made up 34 and 4 pct of the state's electric generation in 2017, down from about 46 and 17 pct in 2007.

    Download the Solutions Project Renewable Energy Roadmap for California HERE. California SB110 details are HERE. (Source: Legal Info, Various Media, Popular Science, Sept., 2018)

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


    Red River BioRefinery Construction Underway in ND (Ind. Report)
    BioMass Solution
    Date: 2018-09-05
    Following on our August 22nd coverage, Middleton, Wisconsin-headquartered BioMass Solution LLC is reporting construction of the Red River BioRefinery located in Grand Forks, North Dakota is underway. When fully operational early in 2020, the facility will convert more than 500,000 tpy of agricultural waste and by-products in to advanced Biofuels.

    BioMass Solution's mission is to acquire, develop, operate and manage renewable energy facilities in North America that are focused on bringing value to handling large volumes of organic waste. The company focuses on organic solid and waste water to produce next generation biofuels and other organic based products while generating strong financial returns. (Source: BioMass Solutions LLC, Green Car Congress, 5 Sept., 2018) Contact: BioMass Solutions, Jacek Chmielewski, 847-208-4171, Jacek.chmielewski@biomasssolution.com, www.biomasssolution.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News BioMass Solution ,  RedRiver Biorefinery,  


    USDA Comments on RFS "Hardship" Waivers (Reg & Leg)

    Date: 2018-08-31
    The attached memorandum, the USDA comments on Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) small refinery "hardship" waivers and the agency's ability to make different reductions in the total and advanced mandates when using the cellulosic waiver authority.

    In its proposed rule Renewable Fuel Standard Program Standards for 2019 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2020, the EPA proposes the Renewable Fuel Volume Obligations (RVOs), the analytical support in setting those RVOs, the setting of the percent standards to achieve those RVOs and an assessment of the cost of implementation.

    The USDA stresses that it does not disagree with the appropriateness of the use of the cellulosic waiver authority in lowering the total and cellulosic standards, but disagrees with the newly stated constraints the EPA places on the agency when those waivers are applied. These comments also address the inconsistencies between the cost and the percent standard approaches, which have historically failed to achieve the RVO standard set in the analysis and rule making.

    Download RFS details HERE. (Source: USDA, Aug., 2018) ) Contact: USDA,www.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  RFS,  Cellulosic Ethanol,  "Hardship " Waiver,  


    CBRE Ranks Chicago Tops in Green, Efficient Offices (Ind. Report)
    CBRE Group
    Date: 2018-08-29
    According to a recent study from commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group Inc, for the second year running, Chicago is the greenest U.S. city to work in with about 70 pct of its office space now LEED and/or ENERGY STAR certified for environmental efficiency -- a new study shows.

    up from about 66 pct in 2017. San Francisco, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Minneapolis/St. Paul followed in that order. (Source: CBRE Group Inc., Aug., 2018) Source: CBRE Group Inc., Aug., 2018) Contact: CBRE Group Inc., David Pogue, Snr. VP, (212) 984-6515, www.cbre.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CBRE Group,  Green Building,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Trump's New Affordable Clean Energy Rule Fast Facts (Reg. & Leg.)
    Clean Power Plan
    Date: 2018-08-29
    On August 21, 2018, the U.S. EPA proposed the Trump administration's Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule which would establish emission guidelines for states to develop plans to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing coal-fired power plants.

    The ACE rule would replace the 2015 (Obama administration) Clean Power Plan (CPP) which EPA has proposed to repeal because it "exceeded EPA's authority." The CPP was stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court and has never gone into effect.

    The ACE rule has several components: a determination of the best system of emission reduction (BSER) for GHG emissions from coal-fired power plants, a list of "candidate technologies" states can use when developing their plans, a new preliminary applicability test for determining whether a physical or operational change made to a power plant may be a "major modification" triggering New Source Review, and new implementation regulations for emission guidelines under Clean Air Act section 111(d). The EPA notes that with CO2 emissions steadily declining:

  • EPA projects that, compared to a no CPP scenario, the ACE rule will reduce CO2 emissions in 2025 by between 13 and 30 million short tons, resulting in $1.6 billion in monetized domestic climate benefits;
  • EPA estimates that the ACE rule could reduce 2030 CO2 emissions by an amount equivalent to the annual emissions of up to 5 million cars. The rule could also reduce co-pollutant emissions by up to 2 pct.;
  • These illustrative scenarios suggest that when states have fully implemented the ACE rule, U.S. power sector CO2 emissions could be around 34 pct below 2005 levels;
  • CO2 emissions in the power sector have steadily declined in recent years due to a range of factors including market forces, technology improvements, regulatory and policy changes. As a result, the industry has increased the use of natural gas and renewable energy sources;
  • These trends have resulted in CO2 emission reductions even as the U.S. has sustained economic growth and job gains across the economy without the (Obama) Clean Power Plan ever going into effect;
  • The (Trump) ACE rule will continue this trend;
  • The power sector emitted roughly 1.9 billion tons of CO2 in 2017, compared to 2.7 billion tons in 2005 -- a 28 pct decrease.
  • Approximately 600 coal-fired electric generating units at 300 facilities could be covered by the ACE rule.

    According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the U.S. leads the world in reducing CO2 emissions with U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions falling by 14 pct between 2005 to 2017, with coal-related CO2 emissions down 39 pct over that period. During that time, global energy-related CO2 emissions rose by 21 pct.

    More information and additional fact sheets along with copies of the proposed rule and accompanying Regulatory Impact Analysis are available HERE, www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-08/documents/ace_trends.pdf. (Source: US EPA, EIA, 27 Aug., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump.Carbon Emissions,  Clean Power Plan ,  


  • $4.7Bn Not Enough, Iowa Corn Growers Tell Trump (Ind. Report)
    USDA,Iowa Corn Growers
    Date: 2018-08-29
    The USDA has announced details of a $4.7 billion trade mitigation and aid package for farmers facing possible loses due to the Trump administration's tariffs and trade uncertainty. The aid package will provide some short-term relief, but as Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said, "it will not make farmers whole."

    Profitability is a huge concern for Iowa's corn farmers now facing the fifth consecutive year of declining farm incomes while facing high levels of uncertainty due to ongoing trade disputes and disruptions in the ethanol markets.

    The Iowa Corn Farmers Association's message to the Trump administration was clear -- "Corn farmers prefer to have market access to compete in a global marketplace, not rely on government assistance, for their livelihoods. Remove unnecessary trade barriers and restore our access to international markets." (Source: Iowa Corn Growers Association, PR, 27 Aug., 2018)Contact: Iowa Corn Growers Association, (515) 225-9242, www.iowacorn.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Corn,  USDA,  Corn Ethanol,  


    Cowichan Energy Plans Biofuel Stations Expansion (Ind. Report)
    Cowichan Energy Alternatives
    Date: 2018-08-29
    In British Columbia, biofuels producer and distributor Cowichan Energy Alternatives (CEA) is planning to grow its biofuels retail network in the Cowichan Valley with additional biofuels stations.

    The CEA currently processes approximately 500,000 lpy of biofuel from locally sourced used cooking oil The organization hopes to set up a second bio-fuel station at a cost of approximately $100,000 and to that end has applied to North Cowichan's Climate Action & Energy Plan for $30,000 in grant funding. The municipality is supplying $20,000 in funding.

    The CEA was founded in 2008 as a non-profit organization focused on providing energy and greenhouse gas emissions inventories and planning services, renewable energy feasibility studies and implementation, and leading community carbon offsetting initiatives through the Community Carbon Marketplace. (Source: Cowichan Energy Alternatives, Lake Cowichan Gazette, 28 Aug., 2018) Contact: Cowichan Energy Alternatives, (250) 597-1491, www.cowichanenergy.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Biodiesel,  


    Energy Efficiency Saves Berkeley Schools $3.1Mn (Ind. Report)
    CMTA Energy Solutions,ENERGY STAR
    Date: 2018-08-27
    In Martinsburg, West Virginia, CMTA Energy Solutions reports electric power usage consumption at county schools has fallen by approximately 37 pct. It also notes that four more county schools are expected to score between the 98th and 100th percentile in the U.S. DOE ENERGY STAR® program as a result of energy-efficiency performance contracted work at Berkeley County (W.Va.) Schools.

    Two years into an energy-savings performance contract, the schools have saved $3.1 million in utility expenses, and more renovations aimed at reducing building operating costs are planned, according to CMTA Energy Solutions. Eight other county school buildings are in the progress of receiving ENEGY STAR certification as a result of a $28 million energy-management project in which the school system embarked in May 2016 with the Kentucky-based firm, officials said.

    The work to date has included the installation of seven geothermal heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, replacement of boilers and chillers, installation of more than 23,000 LED lighting fixtures in 35 buildings, thermal "envelope" improvements, computer power management, and district-wide, web-accessible HVAC controls. (Source: CMTA Energy Solutions, Herald Mail, 21 Aug., 2018)Contact: CMTA Energy Solutions, 502-326-3085, www.cmta.com; ENERGY STAR, www.energystar.gov/updates, www.energystar.gov

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


    AFBF Comments on Biofuels Volumes, Small Refinery Hardship Waivers (Opinions, editorials & Asides)
    American Farm Bureau Federation
    Date: 2018-08-27
    "Though pleased with EPA's proposal to increase renewable fuel volumes, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) warned that the agency's excessive use of small refinery "hardship" waivers diminishes the likelihood that volume targets will be met.

    "EPA's excessive use (of small refinery waivers) will undermine the goals that were set by Congress to create a more robust renewable fuels industry and greater energy independence. EPA's actions could result in an estimated 1.5 billion gallons of lost demand for renewable fuels," the AFBF said.

    "EPA's proposed renewable fuels volume standards for 2019 would maintain the statutory requirement for conventional renewable fuel at 15 billion gallons, increase cellulosic fuels to 381 million gallons and bump up total advanced biofuels to 4.88 billion gallons. It would also increase the biomass-based diesel volume to 2.43 billion gallons for 2020.

    "The AFBF touted the Renewable Fuel Standard's many successes, including the growth it spurred within the agriculture sector as corn and soybean farmers expanded their crop production to meet growing demand for corn- and soybean-based biofuels.

    "Beyond the boost to the agricultural economy, the RFS2 is intended to spur investment in cleaner, domestic fuels; give consumers more choices at the pump; lower gas prices; and boost the country's energy security. But EPA has allowed dozens of oil refineries off the hook from their legal obligations to blend renewable fuels with gasoline and diesel fuel, which is jeopardizing this progress, according to Farm Bureau.

    "Given the accomplishments of the RFS program to date, EPA's excessive and unreasonable use of the small refinery waiver dampens the prospects for reduced emissions and increased energy security," the organization cautioned.

    "AFBF also addressed the RIN market as it relates to the current RFS2 program, noting that RINS are functioning properly and providing incentives for refiners to offer higher blends of ethanol in the market at prices that are increasingly competitive with conventional gasoline. A RIN is a serial number assigned to a batch of biofuel for the purpose of tracking its production, use and trading.

    "In addition, the organization emphasized that the petroleum industry's unwillingness to offer higher blends of biofuels should not be taken as evidence that the RFS2 is unworkable. Rather, it is evidence that they are unwilling to adapt to policies enunciated by Congress. But making space in the market for alternative fuels that contribute to energy independence, environmental improvement, and economic development is exactly the point of RFS2." (Source: American Farm Bureau Federation, FBNews, 21 Aug., 2018) Contact: American Farm Bureau Federation, Sarah Brown Dirkes, Exec. Director, Industry Relations, (202) 406-3684, sarahd@fb.org, www.fb.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Hardship Waiver,  EPA,  

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