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Biodiesel Board Urges EPA to Reject RFS "Gap" Waivers (Ind. Report)
National Biodiesel Board
Date: 2020-06-19
The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) is urging EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to immediately reject the flood of 52 small refinery exemption petitions for previous years going back to 2011.

"EPA's consideration of small refinery exemption petitions going back to 2011 flies in the face of the recent 10th Circuit decision. By rolling back the clock, there appears to be no length EPA won't go to help refiners undermine the RFS. Make no mistake -- this handout to the oil industry comes at the expense of biodiesel producers and soybean farmers across the country, and particularly the Midwest. Allowing these gap filings renders the program completely unpredictable for renewable fuel producers. The agency must immediately reject these petitions to restore confidence that it will abide by the law in administering the RFS." NBB VP for Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik said.

NBB sent a June 1 letter to Administrator Wheeler saying, "EPA's first step upon receiving any petition for a small refinery exemption should be to evaluate its timeliness and validity before transmitting it to the Department of Energy." The letter makes the case that "gap" petitions or re-submissions of previously rejected petitions are inconsistent with the 10th Circuit's ruling. (Source: National Biodiesel Board, PR, NBB Website, 18 June, 2020) Contact: NBB, Kurt Kovarik, VP of Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.nbd.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board,  RFS,  RFS Waiver,  EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler ,  


ITHPP Touts Energy Storage Test Bench (Ind. Report)
ITHPP
Date: 2020-06-17
French energy storage system devices specialist ITHPP is touting a test bench which will produce / simulate an overcurrent (according to customer specifications) to be applied to protection devices in order to determine its behavior and its ability to protect equipment and people. This test bench is designed to assess very high energy / high power protective devices operating at several hundred volts and thousands of amps, such as electric vehicle batteries (EV) and other direct current (DC) applications such as battery energy storage system (BESS) and for distributed energy resources (DER).

The ITHPP test bench is specifically sized to replicate the effects of short-circuit in high DC for electrical vehicles and battery energy storage systems (BESS). The test bench operates on several types of current/voltage waveforms. The discharged parameter is modular and a human-machine interface system allows precise indications of the discharge parameters according to the settings. The bench is equipped with a shielded, non-flammable test chamber and includes a smoke evacuation system to eliminate risks linked to a faulty system under test. (Source: ITHPP, PR, Website, June, 2020) Contact: ITHPP, +33 (0 )5 65 33 43 30, www.ithpp-alcen.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Storage news,  


Infosys Takes The Climate Pledge (Int'l., Ind. Report)
Climate Pledge
Date: 2020-06-17
Amazon is reporting Bengaluru, India-headquartered business consultancy Infosys Ltd has signed on to The Climate Pledge.

The Climate Pledge calls on new signatories to be net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040 -- a decade ahead of the Paris Climate Accord's goal of 2050. It also calls for signatories to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis; implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement through real business changes and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions and other carbon emission elimination strategies; and neutralize any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially-beneficial offsets to achieve net zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.

Infosys, which is one of the first companies to place an internal price on carbon, has an energy efficiency program that helped reduce its per-capita electricity consumption by 55 pct , and has invested in community-based emission reduction projects to help meet its net zero carbon goal. (Source: Amazon, PR, Business Wire, 16 June, 2020) Contact: Infosys, Salil Parekh, CEO, www.infosys.com; The Climate Pledge, www.theclimatepledge.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Pledge news,  Infosys news,  Climate Chnage news,  Carbon Emissions news,  Paris Climate Agreement news,  


FNCI Climate Policy Discussion Framework (Report Attached)
FNCI
Date: 2020-06-17
In Canada, the Haisla Nation, Lax Kw'alaams Band, Nisga'a Nation and Metlakatla First Nation (FNCI Nations) are calling upon Provincial, Federal and other First Nations Governments as well as the private sector and civil society organizations to join them in bold new action to mitigate climate change and alleviate poverty within their and other First Nation communities.

FNCI believes a coordinated policy development and public and private sector investment will help the economy recover from the COVID-19 crisis and set the stage for a low carbon future where First Nations take their rightful place in the economy as critical actors, according to the report.

The policy development proposals are expected to continue to evolve as other levels of Government, First Nations and NGOs join in this initiative.

Download the Policy Discussion Framework HERE. (Source: FNCI, PR, Website, 28 May, 2020) Contact: FNCI, info@fncionline.com, www.fncionline.com

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


HECO Seeking Renewable Energy Projects Locations (Ind. Report)
Hawaiian Electric Company
Date: 2020-06-17
In Honolulu, the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) has issued a request for information (RFI) from land and building owners on the islands of O'ahu, Hawai'i Maui, and Moloka'i with sites that could be available for future HECO renewable energy projects.

HECO is seeking parcels as small as one acre and rooftops with at least 3,200 square feet of usable space for future development of grid-scale wind, solar and community solar projects. The location should be reasonably flat and sunny and can include open space of any kind, including large parking lots that could be covered with a shading roof of solar panels.

The RFI may be viewed and responded to at www.hawaiianelectric.com/landRFI Responses are requested by July 12, 2020. (Source: HECO, PR, 15 June, 2020) Contact: HECO, Jim Alberts, Snr. VP Strategic Planning and Business Development, Shelee Kimura, VP Bus. Dev., (808) 543-7780, andrfi@hawaiianelectric.com, www.hawaiianelectric.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Hawaiian Electric Company,  HECO,  Renewable Energy,  Wind,  Solar Hawaii Renewable Energy,  


Real Estate Community's Role in City Climate Policy (Ind. Report)
Urban Land Institute
Date: 2020-06-15
"With leading cities refining their climate action plans and hundreds of more cities preparing to develop plans, the public and private sectors can unite around a set of principles to help accelerate progress toward these shared climate action goals. This recent report from ULI Greenprint, prepared in partnership with USDN, serves as a starting point for cities interested in engaging real estate leaders during the shaping of climate mitigation policies, and for real estate organizations to increase their understanding of the potential impact of these policies -- providing useful tools to help city officials and those in the real estate industry engage with each other in a meaningful and ongoing way.

"Each of the principles identified in this report is a distillation of recommendations identified during the Urban Land Institute's City and Real Estate Sustainability workshops, in which more than 60 public and private sector leaders participated. They are also grounded in the context of specific best practices in cities across the to create building-level climate mitigation policy.

"Each principle speaks to a specific strategy for creating successful climate mitigation policies at the local level, with an emphasis on what the city and real estate sector can do to better collaborate:

  • Calculate a baseline, then set interim and aspirational goals;
  • Involve stakeholders early and continuously;
  • Understand the business of real estate;
  • Align with the larger policy ecosystem;
  • Connect to a city's other social and economic goals;
  • Be comprehensive -- prioritize existing buildings and be flexible in achieving goals;
  • Foster a marketplace of support and ensure compliance, reward success, and accelerate transformation." (Source: Urban Land Institute, Website, June, 2020) Contact: Urban Land Institute, customerservice@uli.org, www.uli.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Climate Change Mitigation,  Urban Land Institute,  


  • Flints Hills Kills Ethanol Production at GA Plant (Ind. Report)
    Flint Hill Resources
    Date: 2020-06-15
    Flint Hill Resources reports it is permanently ceasing production at its idled 120 million gpy ethanol plant in Camilla, Georgia. The facility, which also produces 310,000 tpy og dried distillers grains (DDGs) and approximately 21 million ppy of non-food grade corn oil, will continue to operate as an ethanol terminal.

    The shutdown is due to the "oversupply of ethanol in the marketplace and the loss of demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing a rationalization of U.S. ethanol production," according to the company release. As previously reported, the company had been unsuccessful in finding a purchaser for the plant. (Source: Flint Hills Resources, Albany Herald, 13 June, 2020) Contact: Flint Hills Resources, 229-522-2822, www.fhr.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Flint Hill Resources news,  DDGs news,  Ethanol news,  


    DOE Better Buildings Initiative Trumpets Success (Report Attached)
    DOE Better Buildings Initiative
    Date: 2020-06-12
    In Washington, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Initiative 2020 Progress Report, the program has saved participants nearly $11 billion, avoid 105 million tons of CO2 emissions and cut water use by 8.5 billion gallons over the last decade.

    The program includes 32 Fortune 100 companies, 12 pct of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint and 13 pct of the nation's commercial building space. The program challenges businesses, manufacturers, cities, states, universities and school districts to improve building energy efficiency by at least 20 pct over a decade.

    Download the full report HERE. (Source: US DOE, June, 2020) Contact: US DOE, Better Buildings Initiative, www.betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE Better Buildings Initiative,  Energy Efficiency,  


    RFA Urges Trump to Reject Refinery Waivers (Ind. Report)
    RFA
    Date: 2020-06-12
    "One year ago today, you visited Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in Council Bluffs to join us in celebrating a monumental achievement. At your direction, EPA had just completed regulatory changes finally allowing year-round sales of gasoline containing 15 pct ethanol (E15).

    "This long-awaited move unlocked the door to future demand growth for ethanol and corn. It also meant consumers would have increased access to cleaner and more affordable fuel options at the pump.

    "Just as expected, the marketplace responded quickly. In the year since the red-tape barrier was removed, E15 sales are up 50pct.

    "But E15 growth would have been exponentially larger if not for your EPA continuing to excuse oil refiners from their legal obligations to blend renewable fuels. As we told you a year ago, EPA's refinery waivers have caused devastating demand losses for ethanol and corn, and they under mine the expansion of E15.

    "Even after a federal court overturned some refinery waivers in January, your EPA continues to receive dozens of exemption requests from oil companies. EPA is now even considering giving retroactive waivers for years that pre-date your administration.

    "This needs to stop. It is hurting farmers, costing consumers, and derailing progress on energy and environmental security.

    "The economic pain in farm country caused by these refinery waivers was compounded this spring—first by the Saudi-Russia oil price war, and then by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of this 'perfect tsunami,' half of the ethanol industry was recently shut down, leading to layoffs across rural America. The ethanol industry and farmers are hurting like never before.

    Mr. President, we need your help. We ask that you stand up for the Renewable Fuel Standard. Please direct your EPA to abide by the January court ruling and end the abuse of the refinery waiver loophole.

    "You stood by us, farmers, and consumers when you directed EPA to allow year-round E15. Now, we humbly ask that you stand with us again and ensure ethanol demand is not eroded by illegal refinery waivers. Thank you,"

    Geoff Cooper, Pres. & CEO Renewable Fuels Associationwww.EthanolRFA.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS news,  Refinery Waivers news,  Biofuel Blend news,  RFA news,  


    Adani Green Energy Claims Major Solar Award (Int'l. Report)
    Adani Green Energy
    Date: 2020-06-10
    Ahmedabad, India-headquartered Adani Green Energy Ltd. (AGEL) has won the first of its kind manufacturing linked solar agreement from the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).

    As a part of the award, AGEL will develop 8 GW of solar projects at various locations as well as establish 2 GW of additional solar cell and module manufacturing capacity no later then 2022. The award will entail a single investment of $6 billion and displace 900 million tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime.

    With this win, AGEL will now have 15 GW capacity in operation, under construction or under contract. (Source: Adani Green Energy Ltd., Website, Equity Bulls, 9 June, 2020) Contact: Adani Green Energy Ltd., +91-79-2656 5555, info@adani.com, www.adanigreenenergy.com; Solar Energy Corporation of India, www.seci.co.in

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Adani Green Energy ,  Solar,  Solar Energy Corporation of India ,  


    National Grid Supports UN Race to Zero Campaign (Ind. Report)
    National Grid,UNFCCC
    Date: 2020-06-10
    National Grid reports it is supporting the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) global "Race to Zero Campaign" and has to date cut its emission by 70 pct over 1990 levels.

    To future meet its goals, National Grid is also: reducing SF6 emissions used in electrical equipment and swapping for alternatives; increasing energy efficiency; moving to renewable energy sources; researching the potential of hydrogen and renewable natural gas; and promoting similar actions among its supply chain and communities, targeting indirect emissions in particular.

    In the US, National Grid it is working with customers to improve energy efficiency, investing in future energy systems through National Grid Partners, and supporting both solar and wind developments through Geronimo Energy. (Source: National Grid, PR, Energy Insider, 9 June, 2020) Contact: National Grid, John Pettigrew, CEO, www2.nationalgrid.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Grid,  Carbon Emission,  UNFCCC,  


    Benin Communal Cassava Waste-to-Biogas Project Funded (Int'l.)
    Biogas
    Date: 2020-06-08
    In the French speaking West African nation of Benin (pop. 11.5 million), the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF) reports it will fund an anaerobic digestion project to convert cassava wastes into biogas at the 350-member cassava production commune of Ze.

    The biogas produced will replace firewood used for cooking and the organic digestate from the biogas production will be used as fertilizer in the cassava plantations. The project is expected to be completed before the year end. (Source: International Organization of the Francophonie, Afrik21, 6 June, 2020) Contact: Francophone Institute for Sustainable Development, www.ifdd.francophonie.org/ifdd/english.php

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Casava,  Biogas,  Anaerobic Digestion,  


    Rolls-Royce Focused on Net Zero Carbon by 2050 (Int'l Report)
    Rolls-Royce
    Date: 2020-06-08
    In the UK, London-headquartered Rolls-Royce reports it has joined the UN Race to Zero campaign in the run up to COP26 slated for Glasgow in Nov., 2021, and reiterates its commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. To that end, Rolls Royce reports it will:
  • Align its business to the Paris Agreement goals, to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C;

  • Use its technological capabilities to play a leading role in enabling vital parts of the economy to get to net zero carbon by 2050, including aviation, shipping, rail, and power generation;

  • Continue and accelerate accelerate its R&D and investment in efficient products and novel solutions to the climate change challenge;

  • Drive changes in the efficiency of engines and work together with the fuels industry to significantly ramp up the availability of lower carbon alternative fuels.

  • Accelerate the development of new technologies and capabilities for future low emission products, including pioneering the electrification of flight;

  • Achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from operations and facilities by 2030, by using 100 pct renewable energy, closed loop manufacturing techniques on high value metals, and deploy our cutting-edge microgrid capabilities.

    The global Race To Zero campaign mobilizes a coalition of leading net zero initiatives, representing 449 cities, 21 regions, 992 businesses, 38 of the biggest investors, and 505 universities. These "real economy" actors join 120 countries in the largest ever alliance committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. Collectively these actors now cover nearly 25 pct of global CO2 emissions and over 50 pct GDP, according to the campaign website. (Source: Rolls Royce, Arabian Aeorspace News, 5 June, 2020) Contact: Rolls Royce, Warren East, CEO, www.rolls-royce.com: UN Race to Zero Campaign, www.unfccc.int/climate-action/race-to-zero-campaign

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Net Zero Carbon,  Carbon Emissions,  


  • WMO Reports New Climate Change Record Highs (Int'l. Report)
    World Meteorological Organization
    Date: 2020-06-08
    According to the Geneva, Switzerland-based World Meteorological Organization (WMO) May, 2020, was the warmest month on record worldwide, with one observing station reporting CO2 levels hitting a record high.

    The WMO release notes that although lock-downs due to the COVID-19 virus have led to improvements in air quality and cleaner skies in many places the effects are temporary and the pandemic will not have a long-term affect on climate change. The WMO also notes the long term and economic slowdown from COVID 19 is not a substitute for sustained and coordinated climate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    "Unfortunately carbon dioxide concentrations measured at the Mauna Loa observing station in Hawaii reached a new record in May," the WMO noted. The most above-average temperatures were recorded over parts of Siberia where they were up to 10 degrees C above average. Records also were shattered in Alaska and Antarctica, according to the WMO release. (Source: WMO, Newsgram. 6 June, 2020) Contact: WMO, Clare Nullis, spokesperson, public.wmo.int/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News World Meteorological Organization ,  Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  Climate Change,  


    Scottish Power CEO Touts Renewables -- Notable Quote
    Scottish Power
    Date: 2020-06-08
    "Renewables are now the cheapest form of energy out there -- bar none. And wind power is not only cheap, it's quick to build. So, for the first time, the economic and environmental benefits of investing in renewables are completely aligned.

    "And at today's interest rates, it's an economic no-brainer for governments and companies to invest in a long-term programme of clean generation and green infrastructure to support ... number one, the replacement of fossil fuel-burning cars and vans with electric vehicles and ... number two, a move away from gas heating.

    "These are the two big things that need to start happening at scale over the next decade or so if we're going to have any hope of meeting our Net Zero targets." -- Keith Anderson, CEO, Scottish Power, June, 2020

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Scottish Power,  Renewables,  Renewable Energy,  


    HECO Posts New Renewable Energy Project Details (Ind. Report)
    Hawaiian Electric
    Date: 2020-06-05
    Hawaiian Electric (HECO) has posted details of 16 solar-plus-storage or standalone-storage projects selected in the latest phase of the clean energy transition for Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island.

    The name, location, developer, technology, size and estimated completion dates are listed on the Hawaiian Electric renewable project status board at www.hawaiianelectric.com/statusboard along with as links to each project's individual website. Each developer is responsible for ongoing outreach to their prospective neighboring communities, alerting them to plans and responding to concerns.

    If all projects are completed as planned, nearly seven points will be added to HECO's renewable portfolio percentage by 2025. The company expects to reach the mandated 30 pct renewable energy goal by the end of this year with plans in place to exceed 40 pct by 2030, 70 pct by 2040 and 100 pct clean energy for electricity by 2045.

    Review the Hawaiian Electric renewable project status board HERE. (Source: Hawaiian Electric, PR, 2 June, 2020) Contact: HECO, Jim Alberts, Snr. VP, Shelee Kimura, VP Bus. Dev., (808) 543-7780, andrfi@hawaiianelectric.com, www.hawaiianelectric.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Hawaiian Electric ,  Solar,  Energy Storage,  Renewable Energy,  


    UK Building Society Offers Energy Efficiency Mortgage (Int'l.)
    Saffron Building Society
    Date: 2020-06-05
    Sussex, UK-based Saffron Building Society is reporting the launch of a "green" mortgage following a Government Green Finance Strategy campaign to encourage "green financial products."

    Saffron's Retro-Fit Mortgage is designed to encourage borrowers to upgrade current housing stock to a better energy efficiency rating (EPC). The initial interest rate is 1.47 pct fixed until 30/11/2022 followed by a 1 pct discount off the standard variable rate (SVR), currently 5.39 pct variable for the rest of the mortgage. The mortgage is available as Repayment (Capital and interest) up to 80 pct LTV or interest only up to 70 pct LTV, with a repayment vehicle in place (Source: Saffron Building Sciety, PR, June, 2020) Contact: Saffron Building Society, Laura Bright, +44 0 1799 522211, www.saffronbs.co.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Green Mortgage,  


    Green Plains Partners Completes Debt Refinancing (Ind. Report)
    Green Plains Partners
    Date: 2020-06-05
    In the Cornhusker State, Omaha-based Green Plains Partners LP and Green Plains Inc. have announced the successful refinancing of the partnership's debt facility which was arranged by Bank of America. The loan was approved by all of its existing lenders and became effective on June 4, 2020.

    The new loan will mature on December 31, 2021, and includes a $130.0 million term loan and a $5.0 million revolving credit facility. The term loan requires a principal payment of $7.5 million on July 15, 2020 and $2.5 million in monthly principal amortization thereafter, with a step up to approximately $3.2 million beginning May 2021. The loan is secured by substantially all of the assets of the partnership.

    Green Plains Inc. is a diversified commodity processing business with operations that include corn processing, grain handling and storage and commodity marketing and logistics services. The company is one of the leading corn processors in the world and, through its adjacent businesses, is focused on the production of high-protein feed ingredients. Green Plains owns a 50 pct interest in Green Plains Cattle Company LLC and owns a 49.0 pct limited partner interest and a 2.0 pct general partner interest in Green Plains Partners LP, according to the release. (Source: Source: Green Plains Partners LP; Green Plains Inc., PR, 4 June, 2020) Contact: Green Plains Partners, Phil Boggs , Snr VP Investor Relations and Treasurer , (402) 884.8700, phil.boggs@gpreinc.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Plains Partners news,  


    London Plans Post-Brexit Emissions Trading Scheme (Int'l. Report}
    Carbon Market, EU ETS
    Date: 2020-06-03
    With the fast approaching Brexit finalization, the UK is floating a UK Emissions Trading System (ETS) to replace the European Union's system (EU ETS) from which it will be excluding at the end of the year.

    The British ETS would have a £15 per tonne of CO2 fixed auction reserve price, including a cost containment mechanism to prevent price spikes.

    The roughly 1,000 UK factories and plants presently covered under the EU ETS will be covered by the UK system, The British government also noted it would consider a mutually beneficial a link between a UK ETS and the EU ETS . (Source: Financial Post, Various Media, Reuters, June, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Market,  EU ETS,  Carbon Trading,  


    ICAO Says CORSIA Not Replacing EU ETS (Int'l. Report)
    CORSIA, ICAO
    Date: 2020-06-03
    The Montreal-headquartered U.N International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) reports its planned scheme for offsetting emissions from international flights will supplement, not replace, the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).

    Under the EU ETS, airline flights between European countries are required to purchase permits to cover some emissions from these trips. ICAO wants the EU to remove these flights from its carbon market so that CORSIA can be the only market-based measure tackling international aviation emissions.

    With the UN planning a 2021 launch of CORSIA, its global scheme to help airlines offset their carbon emissions, some EU lawmakers and environmental groups want assurances that the European Commission will not remove aviation from the EU ETS.

    CORSIA plans to use a system of offsetting to cap emissions from international flights at 2020 levels. From 2021, airlines would be required to buy carbon offset credits to cover any emissions above the 2020 baseline. Critics say this would allow aviation emissions to keep rising, if airlines bought enough offset credits to cover the increase. (Source: ICAO, Pineville Voice, 2 June, 2020))Contact: ICAO, Secretary General Fang Liu, 514-954-8219, 514-954-6077 -- fax, icaohq@icao.int, www.icao.int; CORSIA, www.icao.int/environmental-protection/CORSIA/Pages/default.aspx

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


    Norfolk, Neb. Approves C-PACE Financing (Ind. Report)
    C-PACE,PACE
    Date: 2020-06-03
    In the Cornhusker State, the city of Norfolk (pop. 25,000 +-) Council is reporting approval of the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loan program to assist commercial developers with energy efficiency and renewable energy project funding.

    PACE loans are long term, fixed rate, non-recourse loans secured by assessments on the property with priority equal to property tax. PACE provides commercial real estate financing for HVAC systems, lighting, energy efficiency, energy conservation measures, water conservation such as low flow toilets and low flow fixtures, as well as renewable energy systems. (Source: City of Norfolk, WJAG, 2 June, 2020) Contact: City of Norfolk, (402) 844-2000, www.norfolkne.gov

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


    COVID-19 Causes California Cap & Trade Cash Crash (Ind. Report)
    California Cap and Trade
    Date: 2020-06-01
    The results of the May, 2020 California cap and trade auction are in at only $25 million, dramatically down from February's auction of pollution licenses that brought $613 million into state coffers.

    The low figure was expected due to the coronavirus pandemic and shelter-in-place orders reducing travel and thus the demand for emissions allowances. (Source: Press Enterprise, 30 May, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News California Cap & Trade,  


    U.S. Treasury, IRS Regulations Help Businesses Claim Carbon Capture Credits (Ind. Report, Reg. & Leg.)
    Carbon Capture
    Date: 2020-06-01
    In Washington, the US Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service this week issued proposed regulations to help businesses understand how legislation passed in 2018 may benefit those claiming carbon capture credits. The proposed regulations provide guidance regarding two new credits for carbon oxide captured using equipment originally placed in service on or after February 9, 2018, allowing up to: $50 per metric ton of qualified CO2 for permanent sequestration, and up to $35 for Enhanced Oil Recovery purposes.

    Neither of these new credits is subject to a limitation on the number of metric tons of qualified carbon oxide captured. The new law also expanded carbon capture to include "qualified carbon oxide". Prior to the change in law, carbon capture was limited to a total of 75,000,000 metric tons of qualified carbon oxide.

    The proposed regulations address procedures to determine adequate security measures for the geological storage of qualified carbon oxide, exceptions to the general rule for determining who the credit is attributable to, procedures for a taxpayer to make an election to allow third-party taxpayers to claim the credit, standards for measuring utilization of qualified carbon oxide and rules for credit recapture.

    In Notice 2020-12, the IRS provides guidance to help businesses determine when construction has begun on a qualified facility or on carbon capture equipment that may be eligible for the carbon capture credit. This notice provides broad guidance in lieu of taxpayers requesting private letter rulings in this area.

    In Revenue Procedure 2020-12, the IRS creates a safe harbor for the allocation rules for carbon capture partnerships similar to the safe harbors developed for partnerships receiving the wind energy production tax credit and the rehabilitation credit. The safe harbor simplifies the application of carbon capture credit rules to partnerships able to claim the credit. (Source: US IRS, US Treasury Dept., MyChesCo, 30 May, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Oxide,  Carbon Monoxide,  CO2,  Carbon Capture,  CCS,  Carbon Credit,  


    UK Coalition Seeks Sustainable Aviation Fuel Support (Int'l.) Report)
    Sustainable Aviation
    Date: 2020-06-01
    In the UK, the Sustainable Aviation coalition is calling for the Government to support emerging sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) sector by committing £500 million to early stage projects. When combined with action on aircraft and engine technology R&D, airspace modernization and carbon offset and removal, the UK could build a world leading green aviation sector, the coalition claims.

    The coalition also called for Government to work with industry to: develop aircraft and engine technology R&D capabilities, ensuring the UK is among the first in the world to develop hybrid and electric aircraft; accelerate UK airspace modernization, to make use of new aircraft performance capability and reduce emissions and noise; and progress robust carbon offset measures and carbon removal technologies.

    The Coalition's call to action follows previously reported news that Europe's first municipal waste-to-jet fuel facility -- Altalto Immingham -- was granted planning permission in North East Lincolnshire.

    Sustainable Aviation is the coalition of UK airlines, airports, aerospace manufacturers and air navigation service providers committed to cutting aviation's environmental impact and building a world leading aviation sector, according to its website. (Source: Sustainable Aviation Website, 1 June, 2020) Contact: Sustainable Aviation, Adam Morton, Chair, info@sustainableaviation.co.uk, www.sustainableaviation.co.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News SAF,  ,  Aviation Biofuel,  Sustainable Aviation Fuel,  


    Biofuel Quotas to Get Small Lift Under Draft of EPA Plan

    Date: 2020-05-29
    (Bloomberg) -- The Environmental Protection Agency has drafted a plan to slightly lift biofuel-blending targets next year, while so far skirting potentially controversial decisions about exempting refineries from U.S. mandates to use plant-based fuels, according to three people familiar with the matter. Under a proposed rule now undergoing White House review, the EPA would require refiners to use 5.17 billion gallons of advanced biofuels in 2021, up from 5.09 billion gallons this year, according to two of the people. That would include 670 million gallons of cellulosic renewable fuels, such as those made from crop residue, switchgrass and biogas harvested at landfills, up from 590 million gallons required this year. The EPA is expected to propose the quotas in coming months, and under federal law faces a Nov. 30 deadline to finalize the targets. Representatives of the EPA did not immediately respond to requests for comment. (Source: Yahoo, Bloomberg, 19 May, 2020)


    Harmick Touts Portable Woody Biomass Refinery (Ind. Report)
    Harmick Engineering
    Date: 2020-05-29
    Minneapolis-based Harmick Engineering is reporting receipt of US, Canadian and Russian patents for its technology for the extraction of arabinogalactan and taxifolin from larch (tamarack) wood chips using its CelloFuel Portable Biomass Refinery.

    The CelloFuel Portable Biomass Refinery, which is scalable to the sizes needed for large pulp and paper mills, allows mills to produce sugars and ethanol from sugar beet, sugarcane, sweet sorghum, softwood wood chips and straw.

    The company aims to find partners in some of the large pulp and paper mills in Russia and Canada. These mills have access to millions of tons per year of larch wood and have the infrastructure in place for harvesting, chipping and pulping this wood. "The technology is a simple, low-cost add-on to existing pulp and paper mills", according to the company website. (Source: Harmick Engineering, Website, Cdn Biomass, 28 May, 2020) Contact: Harnick Enginering, CelloFuel, Ed. Harmick, Pres., info@cellofuel.com, www.collofuel.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Harmick Engineering,  Woody Biomass,  Ethanol,  Biofuel,  


    Arkema's Kent. Plant Scores Energy Efficiency Award (Ind. Report)
    Arkema
    Date: 2020-05-29
    The American Chemistry Council (ACC) reports the awarding of its Energy Efficiency Award with "Exceptional Merit" to French specialty chemicals producer Arkema Inc's Calvert City, Kentucky plant in recognition of the plant's energy efficiency programs and improvements.

    The Calvert City plant's energy efficiency efforts include significant enhancement and upgrade to its boiler and steam distribution systems and replacement of conventional lighting with LED across the site. Taken together, these changes, along with many other energy reduction initiatives, reduced annual energy use by 264 billion BTUs, which significantly reduces emissions related to energy use.

    Arkema is aiming for a 20 pct overall improvement in energy efficiency by 2030, a goal that is in line with the company's global Climate Plan. (Source: Arkema Inc, PR, 28 May, 2020) Contact: Arkema Inc., Rich Rowe, Pres., CEO, www.arkema-americas.com/en; American Chemistry Council, www.americanchemistry.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Northvolt Introduces Voltpack Energy Storage (New Prod & Tech)
    Northvolt,Vattenfall
    Date: 2020-05-29
    Stockholm-headquartered battery energy storage specialist Northvolt is reporting the launch of its new, modular Voltpack Mobile System which was jointly developed with Vattenfall.

    The new Voltpack Mobile System delivers up to 250 kW with a scalable capacity from 245 to 1225 kWh of available energy. The system scales through a central interface hub and can connect in parallel up to five self-contained Voltpacks, each containing three liquid-cooled, industrial-grade battery Voltpack Cores. The hub also serves as an interface for applications and houses inverter and auxiliary systems.

    The final validation of Voltpack Mobile System will be undertaken at Vattenfall's test and certification center in Alvkarleby, Sweden. (Source: Northvolt, InsideEVs, 23 May, 2020) Contact: Northvolt, Peter Carlsson, CEO, www.northvolt.com hi@northvolt.com, www.northvolt.com; Vattenfall, Magnus Hall, CEO, Pres, +46 8 739 5000, www.corporate.vattenfall.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Northvolt,  Energy STorage,  Vattenfall,  


    Taxpayer-Funded CCS Facility Slated for Kemper Miss. (Ind. Report)
    DOE Office of Fossil Energy
    Date: 2020-05-29
    A federally-funded carbon capture facility is planned for a site adjacent to Mississippi Power's Kemper County Energy Facility. The facility will be managed by the Southern States Energy Board and will receive $17.4 million in federal grants and $6.1 million in non-DOE funds for a total of $23.59 million. Up to 900 million metric tpy of CO2 emissions from three Southern Company power which will be stored underground.

    On April 24, the U.S. DOE Office of Fossil Energy announced $131 million in grants for carbon capture, utilization and storage research and development. Five projects, including the one in Kemper County, were selected for funding. The other carbon capture projects receiving DOE grants include:

  • The Illinois Storage Corridor will construct two capture facilities and receive $25 million.

  • The San Juan Basin in New Mexico will store carbon emissions from a nearby power plant, with some of the carbon dioxide to be stored at a site in northwest New Mexico and the rest sent via pipeline for enhanced oil recovery in the Permian Basin. The project will receive $21.9 million.

  • The North Dakota project will store carbon emissions from a nearby coal-fired power plant and receive $24.9 million in federal funds.

  • Wyoming will build three storage sites to handle carbon emissions from a coal-fired power plant and will receive federal grants totally $19.1 million.

    The projects will assess safe and cost-effective commercial scale geologic storage sites and examine the technological and economic viability of carbon capture or purification technologies and the National Energy Technology Laboratory will manage the selected projects.

    The $7.5 billion Kemper County plant was originally intended to be fueled by synthesis gas produced from lignite coal and was to have to have removed 65 pct of the carbon emissions and other byproducts from the gas stream for sale to industrial customers. The plant was supposed to cost $2.4 billion, but the cost ballooned by 212.5 percent to $7.5 billion. (Source: U.S. DOE Office of Fossil Energy, Northside Sun, 27 May, (2020) Contact: U.S. DOE Office of Fossil Energy, www.energy.gov › office-fossil-energy

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE Office of Fossil Energy news,  


  • UAF researchers use space-based radar to measure methane emissions in Arctic lakes
    University of Alaska Fairbanks
    Date: 2020-05-27
    One of the many greenhouse gases that is contributing to global warming is methane. Methane is emitted a lot of ways, including from lakes across Alaska. However, studies on how much methane flows up from those lakes into the atmosphere haven’t always been very accurate. New research from the University of Alaska Fairbanks utilizing radar instruments positioned on satellites has led to a breakthrough in lake methane emission research. That research could help climate scientists better see how Alaska’s lakes contribute to the world’s methane emissions. As permafrost under lakes begins to break down, it releases carbon, which is broken down by tiny microorganisms, which in turn, release methane. “Sometimes you’ll sit on the edge of the lake and you can see a little pop,” said “And you might think ‘oh hey, it’s a fish.’ But it could also be a little methane bubble that’s coming out.” Since methane is an odorless, colorless gas, it can be difficult to monitor how much is released by lakes. But not when they’re frozen. “The ice forms around the bubbles; more bubbles are released and [ice] forms around the bubbles,” Engram said. “And the ice creates a time-lapse freeze frame, pardon the pun. It’s a freeze-frame historical record of the methane bubbling.” To study these methane bubbles, Engram and other researchers use small bubble traps to make micro-measurements of methane and then scale them up to the full area. However, she says, those aren’t super accurate. Now, UAF researchers have begun to use what’s called a synthetic aperture radar, or SAR, to better map methane being released from lakes. Basically, a satellite sends a pulse down to a lake. A portion of that pulse bounces back to the satellite in what’s called a backscatter. Backscatters range in luminosity from kind of dim to very bright. Engram and other researchers used SAR to map methane emissions from 48 lakes across five regions of Alaska, including the northern Seward Peninsula near Kotzebue, lakes near Atqasuk — south of Utqiagvik — and the Fairbanks area. Of course, researchers still had to go out to the lakes that SAR was mapping to make sure it actually worked. To Engram’s delight, it did. Engram says the success of using SAR to map out methane emissions in Arctic lakes means the system can monitor thousands of lakes across the state. And that’s not just exciting from a research perspective. Engram says that there isn’t a lot of global data on methane release from lakes, and use of the SAR can help create a baseline to track in the future. That will be useful to climate scientists tracking changes in the atmosphere. Studies show that methane is about 30 times stronger than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas. And while methane is naturally emitted from these lakes, Engram says the amount is drastically dwarfed by the amount produced from those anthropogenic sources. (Source: University of Alaska Fairbanks Water and Environmental Research Center, KOTZ, 17 May, 2020) Contact: University of Alaska Fairbanks Water and Environmental Research Center, Melanie Engram, (907) 474-7789, (907) 474-7041 – fax, nmisarti@alaska.edu R, www.ine.uaf.edu/werc

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane news,  Methane Emissions news,  

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Methane Emissions,  

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Methane Emissions,  

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Methane Emissions,  


    Finnish Developer Planning 1.3 GW of New Wind Power (Int'l.)
    Metsahallitus
    Date: 2020-05-27
    Finnish state-owned land developer Metsahallitus is reporting plans to develop 1.3 GW of new onshore wind power, 400 MW of which is presently under construction, on state lands by 2030. The push for additional wind energy is part of the country's drive towards carbon neutrality by 2035.

    To date Metsahallitus , which is responsible for the management of one third of Finland's surface area , has developed 650 MW of onshore wind power on Finnish state lands. (Source: Metsahallitus, Website, Montel, 25 May, 2020) Contact: Metsahallitus www.metsa.fi/web/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Finland Wind news,  


    Northvolt Introduces Voltpack Energy Storage (New Prod & Tech)
    Northvolt
    Date: 2020-05-27
    Stockholm-headquartered battery energy storage specialist Northvolt is reporting the launch of its new Voltpack Mobile System which was jointly developed with Vattenfall.

    The new Voltpack Mobile System is a modular and flexible system envisioned as an replacement to diesel generators as well as for powering remote electricity grids, reinforcing weak grids, supporting electric vehicle charging, and delivering grid services such as balancing power, flexibility, or other ancillary services.

    The Voltpack Mobile System delivers up to 250 kW with a scalable capacity from 245 to 1225 kWh of available energy. The system scales through a central interface hub, which can connect in parallel up to five self-contained Voltpacks, each containing three liquid-cooled, industrial-grade battery Voltpack Cores. The hub also serves as an interface for applications, and houses inverter and auxiliary systems. Multiple Voltpack Mobile Systems can be connected in parallel.

    The final validation of Voltpack Mobile System will be undertaken at Vattenfall's test and certification center in Alvkarleby, Sweden. Vattenfall will be the first to deploy the VMP. (Source: Northvolt, InsideEVs, 23 May, 2020) Contact: Northvolt, hi@northvolt.com, www.northvolt.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Northvolt,  Energy Storage,  Vattenfall,  


    Notable Quote -- Offshore Wind
    Offshore Wind
    Date: 2020-05-22
    "The reality today is that offshore wind is being built several places around the world without subsidies and that is of course also the future we are looking into" -- Dan Jorgensen, Denmark Climate and Energy Minister , 20 May, 2020

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Offshore Wind news,  


    UND EERC Advancing Project Tundra CCS Project (Ind. Report)
    North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center
    Date: 2020-05-22
    The University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) reports it has been awarded nearly $17 million last month from the U.S. DOE Office of Fossil Energy for a project that will directly support Project Tundra, a carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) research and development project led by Grand Forks-based Minnkota Power Cooperative. The EERC is the lead on the CarbonSAFE effort, which is a facet of the project that is looking at CO2 storage options for Project Tundra, according to the release.

    Another $7.9 million in non-DOE funding from the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC), through Minnkota, as well as Computer Modelling Group Ltd. and Schlumberger, brings the total funding to $24.9 million for the CarbonSAFE Phase III project. DOE recently awarded a total of $131 million for cost-shared R&D CCUS projects in the U.S.

    Project Tundra is currently in the advanced R&D phase. If the project moves forward, construction will commence in 2022–2023. (Source: UND Today, University of North Dakota, PR, 19 May, 2020) Contact: Minnkota Power Co-op, Mac McLennan, Pres., CEO, 701-795-4000, www.minnkota.com; UND EERC, Charlie Gorecki, CEO, 701.777.5000, eercinfo@undeerc.org, www.undeerc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center news,  Project Tundra news,  CCS news,  Minnkota news,  


    $2Bn Hemp Bioethanol Plant Slated for BC (Ind. Report)
    BC Hemp
    Date: 2020-05-22
    The Prince George, British Columbia-based BC Hemp Corporation has announced plans to construct a $2 billion hemp plant stover waste to-biofuel plant in the BCR industrial area. The plant is expected to produce between 60to 120 million lpy.

    Few details were given . The announcement was made on a live Facebook video stream with the BC Resources Coalition. (Source: BC Hemp Corp,, Facebook, 22 May, 2020) Contact: BC Hemp , Remi Balaj, Pres., 250-596-1150, info@bchempcorporation.ca, www.bchempcorporation.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Hemp. Bioethanol,  Biofuel,  


    EU ETS Auctions Going On Line in 2021 (Int'l.Ind. Report)
    European Commission
    Date: 2020-05-20
    The European Commission (EC) is reporting its EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) platforms could start hosting permit sales online from 2021.

    Auctions will be held on behalf of 25 EU member states plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The auctions take place on the European Energy Exchange (EEX) platform. (Source: EUObserver, Reuters 18 May, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  


    Praj, Sekab E-Technology Partner on Advanced Biofuels (Int'l Report)
    Praj Industries,Sekab E-Technology
    Date: 2020-05-20
    Praj Industries and Ornskoldsvik, Sweden-based Sekab E-Technology AB are reporting an agreement to cooperatively upgrade and commercialize technology to produce advanced biofuels and bio-chemicals from forest residue as feedstock. As a part of this cooperation,

    The partnership will facilitate CO2 reduction by offering Bio-mobility solutions for the transportation industry in the form of advanced biofuels produced from softwood. Praj's Bio-Mobility platform promotes the use of renewable resources to produce low carbon transportation fuel modes of mobility, namely surface, air and water, according to Praj, a global process solutions company offering solutions to add significant value to bio-energy facilities, compressed biogas plants, wastewater treatment systems and others.

    Sekab is a Swedish Chemistry and Cleantex company that refine ethanol into biofuels and chemicals and develops biorefinery technology for new sustainable product possibilities based on cellulose raw materials, according to the company website. (Source: Praj Ind., Business Standard, 18 May, 2020)Contact: Praj Industries Ltd., +91 20 7180 2000 / 2294 1000, Jayant Godbole, Pres., Praj Americas, info@praj.net, www.praj.net; Sekab E-Technology AB, +46 (0)660-793 00, info@sekab.com, www.sekab.com/en/products-services/biorefinery

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Praj Industries,  Advanced Biofuel,  


    Vestas Wins 46 MW E-Connection Turbine Order (Int'l. Report)
    Vestas,E-Connection
    Date: 2020-05-19
    Danish wind turbine specialist Vestas is reporting receipt of an order from Bunnik, Netherlands- headquartered wind power project developer E-Connection for 11 turbines totaling 46 MW for the first phase of the Oosterscheldekering Wind Optimization project that consists of the four waterfront wind parks -- Binnenhaven, Roggeplaat-West, Noordland Buiten and Vluchthaven -- in the province of Zeeland where high wind conditions are common.

    The project is a mix of new and replacement turbines including nine V136-4.2 MW turbines and two V117-4.2 MW turbines with site-specific towers, combined with a 15-year Active Output Management (AOM 4000) service contract. (Source: Vestas, PR, reve, 13 May, 2020) Contact: E-Connection, +31 (0) 30 659 8000, +31 (0) 30 659 8001 - fax, info@e-connection.n', www.e-connection.nl; Vestas, +45 97 30 00 00, vestas@vestas.com, www.vestas.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News E-Connection,  Vestas,  Wind,  


    Scout Clean Energy 600-MW Horse Heaven Wind Farm (Ind. Report)
    Scout Clean Energy
    Date: 2020-05-19
    Boulder, Colorado-based renewable energy developer, owner and operator Scout Clean Energy reports it will apply for a conditional use permit from Benton County, Washington for its 600-MW Horse Heaven Wind Farm project south of Kennewick later this year.

    The project is expected to incorporate as many as 212 GE wind turbines at a total cost of $850 million and generate sufficient energy for approximately 140,000 homes when fully operational in 2022.

    Horse Heaven Wind Farm is subject to regulatory review under the Washington State Environmental Policy Act, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (Source: Scout Clean Energy, Facebook, Tri Cities Journal of Business, May, 2020)Contact: Scout Clean Energy, Michael Rucker, CEO, (303) 284-7566, michael@scoutcleanenergy.com, www.scoutcleanenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Scout Clean Energy ,  Wind,  


    dynaCERT, KarbonClean Inks Distribution Deal (Ind. Report)
    dynaCERT, KarbonKleen
    Date: 2020-05-15
    York, Ontario-based next generation Carbon Emission Reduction Technology developer dynaCERT Inc.-- the CERT in dynaCERT stands for Combustion Emission Reduction Technology -- is reporting receipt of an order for 3,000 HydraGEN™ from Wilmington Delaware-based KarbonKleen Inc. -- dynaCERT's Preferred Service Provider, the exclusive Dealership rights in the trucking industry in the U.S until December 31, 2024.

    KarbonKleen essentially markets the product thru financing subscription agreements across North America.

    dynaCERT's HydraGEN™ technology reduces harmful emission in diesel transport trucks -- NOx reductions of 88 pct, CO of 50 pct and particulate matter of 75 pct, all while increasing fuel-savings up to by 20 pct, according to dynaCERT. (Source: dynaCERT, Stockhouse, 13 May, 2020) Contact: dynaCERT, Jim Payne, CEO, 416 766 9691 ext 602, jpayne@dynacert.com, www.dynacert.com; KarbonKleen Inc, www.karbonkleen.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News KarbonKleen,  dynaCERT,  Carbon Emissions,  NOx ,  


    ClearFlame Engine Tech. Newest RFA Member (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2020-05-15
    The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is reporting Chicago-based ClearFlame Engine Technologies has become their newest member. The company provides a patented set of modifications allow diesel engines to operate on 100 pct ethanol fuel as a substitute for petroleum diesel fuel.

    ClearFlame notes that opening the current diesel fuel market to use 100 pct ethanol fuel has the potential to add massive additional ethanol demand over time -- 50 percent replacement of all diesel fuel would require 34 billion gallons of additional ethanol fuel. (Source: RFA, ClearFlame Engine Technologies, PR, 13 May, 2020) Contact: ClearFlame, John Howell, VP of Business Dev., (508) 404-9398, john@clearflameengines.com, www.clearflameengines.com; Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Association,  RFA,  ClearFlame,  Ethanol,  


    USGBC Launches Global Economic Recovery Strategy (Ind. Report)
    US Green Building Council
    Date: 2020-05-15
    The US Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced a new strategy intended to leverage LEED -- and the communities implementing the rating system -- to support buildings and neighborhoods in a post-pandemic world.

    The Healthy People in Healthy Places Equals a Healthy Economy strategy promotes the idea that prioritizing the health of people, communities, and the planet is the fastest way to rebuild a healthier, more sustainable economy. USGBC is launching emergency guidance and upgrades to the LEED green building program to ensure that it reflects the realities that buildings, and more importantly, the people inside them, will face in the near future.

    Under the new initiative, USGBC will update current LEED strategies in LEED v4.1 that support indoor environmental quality, cleaning, occupant comfort, operations, better materials, and risk management, while finding opportunities to introduce new approaches given the current public health crisis.

  • Introduce new LEED strategies and launch new pilot credits to support social distancing, nontoxic surface cleaning, air quality, and infection monitoring.

  • Form CEO Advisory Councils to advise and support USGBC's CEO on how the organization, its programs, and the building and construction industries can prioritize sustainability in a post-pandemic world.

  • Accelerate the implementation of its USGBC Equity program to better address the social, health, and economic disparities within communities.

  • Call for ideas and perspectives from the broader market on how LEED and healthy spaces can evolve given the current public health crisis.

  • Adapt a review process for LEED and other green business certification programs, and amend its LEED process to incorporate the lessons learned.

  • Publish a series of best practice guidance reports to help project teams assist their occupants as they re-enter their spaces.

    According to USGBC, refining LEED strategies and providing guidance that clearly communicates the economic, health, and environmental benefits of sustainable buildings, communities and cities to people -- especially during this time of uncertainty -- will be a priority. (Source: USGBC, Env..Energy Leader, 13 May, 2020) Contact: US Green Building Council, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US Green Building Council,  


  • Scottish Power Repowering Hagshaw Hill Wind Farm (Int'l. Report)
    Scottish Power
    Date: 2020-05-15
    UK energy giant Scottish Power has announced plans to upgrade Scotland's first commercial wind development, the 1990's vintage, 26 turbine Hagshaw Hill Wind Farm near Douglas in South Lanarkshire. The Existing 26 turbines will be replaced with 14 new more efficient machines to bring the facility's capacity to 165MW at a cost of roughly £150 million, according to the release.

    In 2018, Scottish Power became the first major UK energy company to generate all of its energy from wind power. (Source: Scottish Power, BBC, 13 May, 2020) Contact: Scottish Power, Keith Anderson, CEO, +44 800 027 0072, www.scottishpower.co.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind Repowering,  Scottish Power,  Wind,  Scotland Wind,  


    Ameresco, N.H. Ink Energy Conservation ESPC Contract (Ind. Report)
    Ameresco, New Hampshire
    Date: 2020-05-13
    In the Bay State, Framingham-headquartered energy efficiency and renewable energy specialist Ameresco Inc. Ameresco reports it and the State of New Hampshire have entered into an energy savings performance contract (ESPC) for energy conservation measures at 21 state facilities in New Hampshire's Seacoast Region.

    By utilizing an Energy Savings Performance Contract, the State will save energy without incurring any up-front costs and pay for the energy improvements with the realized energy savings, estimated to be over $4 million over the 20-year contract term.

    Specific energy conservation measures include: lighting system improvements, new energy management systems, demand-controlled ventilation, chiller replacement, new windows, high-efficiency pumps, infiltration reductions, pipe insulation, new transformers, three solar PV arrays and automatic temperature controls, all of which is expected to be complete in March 2021. (Source: Ameresco, PR, Renewables 11 May, 2020) Contact: Ameresco, David J. Anderson, Exec.VP, (508) 661-2288, www.ameresco.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ameresco,  Energy Efficiency,  


    SWEPCO Adding 819-MW of Wind Energy (Ind. Report)
    Southwestern Electric Power
    Date: 2020-05-13
    Shreveport, Louisiana-based Southwestern Electric Power Co.(SWEPCO) is reporting the Arkansas Public Service Commission has approved its plan to add 810 MW of wind energy through the purchase of three wind facilities in north central Oklahoma (the North Central Energy Facilities) along with its sister company Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO).

    SWEPCO would own 810 MW or 54.5 pct of the 1,485-MW projects with an investment of $1.01 billion. PSO would add 675 MW of wind energy, or 45.5 pct of the 1,485-MW projects, which are expected to be completed in 2020 and 2021. (Source: SWEPCO, Facebook, 11 May, 2020) Contact: SWEPCO, Malcolm Smoak, Pres., CEO, www.swepco.com; Public Service Company of Oklahoma, 888-216-3523, www.psoklahoma.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Service Company of Oklahoma ,  Southwestern Electric Power,  Wind,  


    Enerkem, NOVA Chemicals Announce Collaboration (Ind. Report)
    Enerkem, NOVA Chemicals
    Date: 2020-05-13
    Montreal-based biofuels-renewable fuels from wastes specialist Enerkem and Calgary-headquartered NOVA Chemicals Corp. are reporting a joint development agreement to research advanced recycling technology to transform hard-to-recycle municipal waste, including items such as plastics, household waste, and construction materials, into ethylene at full commercial scale.

    Enerkem is the world's first to produce renewable methanol and ethanol from non-recyclable, non-compostable municipal solid waste at full commercial scale. Enerkem's technology replace the use of fossil sources like petroleum and natural gas to produce sustainable chemicals and transportation fuels. Calgary-based NOVA Chemicals develops and manufactures chemicals and plastic resins. (Source: NOVA Chemicals, Enerkem Inc., May, 2020) Contact: NOVA Chemicals, Todd Karran, Pres., Jennifer Nanz, Communications, Jennifer.Nanz@novachem.com, www.novachem.com; Enerkem, Dominique Boies, CEO and CFO, 514-375-7800 communications@enerkem.com, www.enerkem.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NOVA Chemicals,  Enerken,  Waste-to-Fuel,  


    Trump Urged to Reject Waiver Requests (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    EPA,Renewable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2020-05-11
    In the nation's capitol, a bipartisan group of 24 U.S. senators -- including Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Tina Smith(D-Minn) Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich) have written the following to the White House:

    "We are writing to urge you to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and immediately reject the requests for a waiver of the RFS under Section 211(o)(7) of the Clean Air Act recently received by the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) from five state governors.

    "Across our states, biofuels lower fuel prices, create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the new energy economy, many of which are in rural areas, provide an important market for farmers, cut our reliance on foreign oil, reduce emissions and harmful air pollutants, and provide critical inputs to our food supply.

    "Our nation is facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the global health pandemic caused by COVID-19, with the impacts being felt across all of society. Waiving the RFS would cause further harm to the U.S.economy, especially our most vulnerable rural communities. It would also exacerbate the effects experienced by the biofuel sector as a result of COVID-19, causing far-reaching detrimental impacts on employment, farmers, food security, fuel prices, and the environment. The resiliency of America's renewable fuel industry has already suffered as a result of the EPA's drastic expansion of the small refinery waiver program in recent years.

    "The U.S. Department of Homeland Security identified the biofuels sector as an essential critical infrastructure workforce during the COVID-19 response. However, as motor fuel demand has plummeted, prices have slumped to record lows and producers are suffering heavy losses. At this point more than 70 ethanol facilities with an annual production capacity of 6.1 billion gallons have been fully idled, and approximately 70 more plants have reduced their operating rates by a combined amount of 1.9 billion gallons annualized. At least 46 pct of the ethanol industry's total production capacity is now idled, and eight biodiesel and renewable diesel facilities remain offline. Highly-skilled jobs across the country are being lost at an alarming rate.

    "Biofuel plant closures have ripple effects through the U.S. economy. Farm income is directly linked to the health of the renewable fuel industry. Plant shutdowns are causing commercial CO2 supply shortages and inhibiting the ability of meat packers and other food sectors to refrigerate, preserve,and supply food and beverages at current, affordable rates. Ethanol plants also produce low cost, high-protein animal feed (distillers grains). Supply shortages as a result of biofuel plant closures are impacting livestock feed procurement, rations, and prices. Biodiesel producers provide value to surplus and waste oils, fats and greases from food, feed and other biofuel production. Without the biodiesel industry, excess feedstocks will clog the supply chain, causing livestock producers to potentially raise prices for consumers. Removing biofuels from gasoline and diesel will also lead to an increase of greenhouse gas emissions, particulate matter, and toxics-causing degradation to our air quality.

    "Recent requests for a waiver of the RFS are unjustified and clearly do not satisfy the rigorous requirements necessary for EPA consideration. RFS waivers can only be granted by EPA if there is a demonstration of 'severe harm' to the economy or environment of a state, region or the United States that is directly caused by the RFS. None of these standards are met today and the following reasons clearly demonstrate the case for rejecting the waiver requests:

  • Challenging market conditions in the oil sector are the directresult of oversupply from international competitors combined with falling gasoline, diesel and jet fuel demand as a result of the COVID-19, not the RFS.

  • The RFS already accommodates demand reductions and provides flexibility to reflect the reality of motor fuel demand. EPA translates the annual RFS requirements into a percentage share of gasoline and diesel. Thus, the existing structure of the RFS regulations already results in an oil refiner's renewable volume obligations being proportionally reduced if overall motor fuel demand drops over the year

  • EPA has repeatedly found that RIN prices do not negatively impact refiners, a position reinforced by the 10th Circuit court in January 200. In addition, a record-large supply of RINs is available to refiners today, largely as a consequence of EPA's abusive expansion of the small refinery exemption program, so the threat of high RIN prices is currently non-existent.

    "We urge you to direct the EPA to reject all calls to waive the RFS. The RFS is more important now than ever as farmers, the biofuel sector, and rural America struggle to remain operational during the COVID-19 crisis." (Source: US Senate, 8 May, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  "Hardship" Waiver,  


  • Eguana Technologies Scores $2.4Mn in New US Orders (Ind. Report)
    Eguana Technologies
    Date: 2020-05-11
    CALGARY, Alberta, May 05, 2020 -- Calgary, Alberta-based high performance residential and commercial energy storage systems developer and manufacturer Eguana Technologies is reporting receipt of $2.4 million in new orders, predominantly for Hawaii and California, which are expected to ship over the next 2-3 months.

    The Company has also notes it has expanded its relationship with CED Greentech branches throughout Southern California -- San Diego, Riverside, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange County, and Coachella Valley. Over the next 90 days, Eguana will launch its Evolve into Northern California with a focus on regions that were heavily impacted by the forest fires.

    Home Energy Storage Systems Evolve is a fully-integrated residential energy storage system that includes the company's proprietary power electronics system, LG Chem low-voltage battery modules, and a comprehensive user interface. The system is rated at 5KW AC output with a modular battery design based on a 6.5 kWh battery, which is scalable from 13 to 39kWh in storage capacity. (Source: Eguana Technologies, PR, 7 May, 2020) Contact: Equana Technologies, Justin Holland CEO, (416) 728.7635, Justin.Holland@EguanaTech.com, www.EguanaTech.com

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


    UCLA Studies Post Pandemic Emissions Possibilities (Ind. Report)
    UCLA
    Date: 2020-05-11
    In the Golden State, a team of University of California- Los Angeles (USCLA) is reporting the state can achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and thus prevent thousands of deaths annually.

    The researchers note that since millions of Californians began staying at home and off the roads in March, air quality in the Golden State has visibly improved but that once life returns to normal, air pollution levels will likely, but need not return to pre-pandemic levels.

    In a peer-reviewed study published May 4 the researchers describe a pathway for California to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution that taken together would prevent about 14,000 premature deaths from air pollution–related illnesses each year and help reduce climate change by 2050. In addition to the finding that approximately 14,000 premature deaths per year could be avoided in California by 2050, achieving net-zero emissions could also: reduce acute respiratory symptoms in 8.4 million adults; cut asthma exacerbation in 1 million children; decrease the number of lost work days by 1.4 million; and cut cardiovascular hospital admissions by 4,500 per.

    The reports notes that while all communities would benefit, the state's top 25 pct most-polluted census tracts would receive approximately 35 pct of the health benefits resulting from the projected improvements in air quality.

    The study also notes that unlike with the current COVID-19 crisis, achieving net-zero emissions post-pandemic would benefit the economy. By 2050, the monetary savings of greenhouse gas reductions will exceed the annual health care cost by $109 billion a year.. The study's authors intend their research to help state and local policymakers take bold action on climate change. This study was partially funded by the UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge, a university-wide initiative aimed at applying UCLA expertise and research to transform Los Angeles into the most sustainable megacity by 2050. (Source: UCLA FSPH, Lauren Miura, 4 May, 2020) Contact: UCLA Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering , www.jifresse.ucla.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UCLA,  Carbon Emissions,  Clean Air,  


    Bankrupt Philly Refiner Offered Cap on RFS Obligation (Ind Report)
    Philadelphia Energy Solutions
    Date: 2020-05-11
    The Trump administration has offered to place a $10 million cap on bankrupt Philadelphia Energy Solutions' biofuel blending obligations, effectively cutting the refiner's regulatory liability by more than 70 pct and freeing more cash for the company's creditors. Under the deal PES will either surrender 161.8 million biofuel blending credits (RINs) valued at roughly $35 million or pay up to $10 million to meet its RFS obligations, according to Reuters.

    The Trump EPA previously waived $350 million in biofuels compliance costs for PES after its initial bankruptcy in 2018.

    As reported in Jan., Philadelphia-headquartered bioenergy developer SG Preston dropped its previously expressed interest in redeveloping the shut-down fire-damaged 335,000 bpd Philadelphia refinery, which is now being sold by creditors for $252 million and redeveloped under a bankruptcy court approved plan. (Source: Various Media,Reuters, May, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Philadelphia Energy Solutions,  RFS,  Biofuel Blend,  RINs,  

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