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UK Oil Regulator Aims to Force 2050 Net-Zero Compliance (Int'l.)
UK Oil and Gas Authority
Date: 2020-05-08
The UK's oil regulator UK Oil and Gas Authority has unveiled plans to force North Sea operators to meet the government's 2050 net-zero carbon by 2050 goals.

To that end, the Authority proposes to amend its principle objective of maximizing economic recovery to bring in a number of low carbon obligations on operators, who would be open to penalties if they are not met. Changes include reducing flaring and emissions as much as possible, fully assessing low carbon development options like platform electrification, and requiring "good faith" negotiations on carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Greenpeace noted "the Oil and Gas Authority's plan to achieve net-zero is unworkable, because it demands a continued reliance on fossil fuels, which is destroying our climate -- what we really need is a zero-carbon economy." (Source: UK Oil and Gas Authority, Energy Voice, Evening Standard, 6 May, 2020) Contact: UK Oil and Gas Authority, Mike Tholen, Sustainability Director, Andy Samuel, CEO, +44 0300 020 1010, oga.correspondence@ogauthority.co.uk, www.ogauthority.co.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News UK Oil and Gas Authority,  CCS,  Net-Zero Emissions,  CO2 ,  


IPPCA Supports Philippine Ethanol Blending Suspension (Int'l.)
Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association
Date: 2020-05-06
In Manila, the Philippines, the Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association (IPPCA) has come out in support of the Philippine Department of Energy's suggested diversion of biofuel production into the creation of ethyl alcohol on the grounds that "diverting it [biofuels] to ethyl alcohol, or even as alcohol beverage, will be more beneficial for the economy."

Under 2006 legislation, the Philippines mandates a 10 pct bioethanol-gasoline blend rate. The energy Department noted "Let's use the ethanol to produce alcohol and since the price of oil is low, we can use 100 pct gasoline." Under the country's Biofuels Act, prohibits the "diversion of biofuels, whether locally produced or imported, to purposes other than those envisioned in the Act." (Source: Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association, Business World, 5 May, 2020) Contact: Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association, www.facebook.com/pages/category/Nonprofit-Organization/Independent-Philippine-Petroleum-Companies-Association-IPPCA-120279771348470

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,   Ethanol Blend,  Philippine Ethano,  Biofuel Blendl Blend,  


Modvion Touts Laminated Wood Wind Turbine Tower (Int'l. Report)
Modvion,Swedish Wind Technology Centre
Date: 2020-05-06
Swedish design and engineering firm Modvion is reporting the erection of a pilot 30 meter-tall laminated wood wind turbine tower on a Swedish island near the city of Gothenburg. The pilot was constructed for the Swedish Wind Technology Centre.

According to Modvion, wooden wind towers are cheaper to construct and lighter than steel towers and can be transported in smaller modules allowing towers to be taller and wider, and can extend longer vertically and operate in places where wind speeds are higher.

Modvion's pilot tower received €50,000 from the EU Horizon 2020 innovation fund and was constructed at a glued laminated timber factory owned by project partner and industrial wood specialist Moelven. (Source: Modvion, BusinessGreen, 5 May, 2020) Contact: Modvion, Otto Lundman, CEO, +46(0)702720624, ottolundman@modvion.com, +46(0)702720624www.modvion.com; Swedish Wind Technology Centre, www.chalmers.se/en/centres/SWPTC/contact/Pages/default.aspx

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Wind Tower,  


Pittsburgh's MuseumLab Exhibiting USGBC LEED Gold (Ind. Report)
US Green Building Council
Date: 2020-05-06
In the Keystone State, the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh reports the city's adjacent new MuseumLab has been awarded US Green Building Council LEED® Gold certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions in areas including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.

MuseumLab was recently honored with the 2020 Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Award for Construction Project Rehabilitation work dedicated to the protection of historically and architecturally significant places. (Source: Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, May, 2020) Contact: Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Jane Werner, Exec. Dir., 412-322-5058, www.pittsburghkids.org; US Green Building Council, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

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


ICAT Offers Buildings Efficiency Guidance Assessment (Int'l Report)
New Climate Institute
Date: 2020-05-06
The Berlin-based New Climate Institute (ICAT) Buildings Efficiency Guidance provides guidance for assessing the greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts of buildings sector energy efficiency policies. The guidance provides a stepwise approach for estimating the effects of policy design characteristics and barriers associated with regulatory and financial support policies on GHG impacts.

This guidance specifically covers regulatory and financial support policies that address both new building stock and existing building stock with retrofit. Users are guided on how to estimate the impacts of these policies for the residential sector, although this guidance may also be used for the commercial and public sectors. The guidance focuses on the assessment of impacts from built-in energy loads, including space heating, cooling, lighting and hot water. The guidance does not assess the impacts of appliances that are unrelated to heating, cooling and hot water.

ICAT assessment guides help policymakers and other users assess the impacts of countries' climate policies and actions. They can play a critical role in providing the information needed for effective policymaking, for implementing the Nationally Determined Contributions and for preparing reports under the enhanced transparency framework of the Paris Agreement and on progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. (Source: ICAT, May, 2020) Contact: New Climate Institute, Carsten Warneke, +49 221 999 83 302 c.warnecke@newclimate.org , www. climateactiontransparency.org/icat-toolbox, www.newclimate.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News New Climate Institute ,  ICAT,  Paris Climate Accord,  Building Energy Efficiency,  


SCE Grows Renewables, Energy Storage Portfolio (Ind. Report)
Southern California Edison
Date: 2020-05-04
In the Golden State, Rosemead-based Southern California Edison (SCE) reports inking seven contracts totaling 770 megawatts of battery-based energy storage resources to help enhance the region's electric system reliability needs. The recently conducted solicitation and the resulting contracts make up one of the country's largest energy storage procurements.

Most of the projects are co-located projects since the battery project will use an adjacent solar power plant to charge the battery over the term of the contract. These projects will be located at the same point of interconnection and will be the first of their kind on the Golden State's grid. (Source: SCE, Yahoo, 1 May, 2020) Contact: SCE, William Walsh, VP Energy Procurement & Management, www.sce.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Southern California Edison ,  SCE,  Energy Storage,  


SoCalEd Grows Energy Storage Portfolio (Ind. Report)
Southern California Edison
Date: 2020-05-04
In the Golden State, Rosemead-based Southern California Edison (SoCalEd) reports inking seven contracts totaling 770 megawatts of battery-based energy storage resources to help enhance the region's electric system reliability needs. The recently conducted solicitation and the resulting contracts make up one of the country's largest energy storage procurements.

Most of the projects are co-located projects since the battery project will use an adjacent solar power plant to charge the battery over the term of the contract. These projects will be located at the same point of interconnection and will be the first of their kind on the Golden State's grid. (Source: SCE, Yahoo, 1 May, 2020) Contact: SCE, William Walsh, VP Energy Procurement & Management, www.sce.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Southern California Edison news,  Energy Storage news,  


OSU Touts Biobutanol Transport Fuel R&D (New Prod & Tech, R&D)
Oregon State University
Date: 2020-05-01
In Corvallis, an international research collaboration led by Oregon State University (OSU) has taken an important step toward the commercially viable manufacture of biobutanol transportation fuel. The researchers claims a key breakthrough is the development of a new metal organic framework (MOF) that can efficiently separate biobutanol from the broth of fermented biomass needed for the fuel's production. The researchers are now looking to partner with industry to try to scale up the separation method using the new MOF.

Butanol, aka butyl alcohol, is more closely related to gasoline than ethanol and can be synthesized from petroleum or made from biomass. Bioethanol -- ethyl alcohol -- is a common biofuel additive but contains significantly less energy per gallon than gasoline and can also be harmful to engine components, according to the rlease.

The process of creating biobutanol is known as ABE fermentation -- acetone-butanol-ethanol. It yields a watery broth that maxes out at about 2 pct butanol by weight. Hence the need for a separation tool that can work well in an aqueous environment and also in the presence of organic solvents, in this case acetone, which is a key ingredient in products like nail polish remover and paint thinner, the release notes. The novel MOF based on copper ions and carborane-carboxylate ligands (mCB-MOF-1) can pull butanol from the fermentation broth, via adsorption, with greater efficiency than distillation or other existing method, according to the release.

The research, which was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, was supported by Oregon State University, MINECO, the Generalitat de Catalunya, the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the UE Feder Program. (Source: Oregon State University, Website, 29 April, 2020) Contact: Oregon State University College of Science, Kyriakos Stylianou, Lead Researcher, 541-737-9400, Kyriakos.Stylianou@oregonstate.edu, www.oregonstste.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biobutanol,  Alternative Fuel,  


Longi Solar launches 370W Solar Module (Int'l. Report)
Longi
Date: 2020-05-01
Xi'an, Shaanxi, China-headquartered Longi Solar is reporting the virtual launch of its new higher power, higher efficiency monofacial PERC module HiMo 4 solar panel range in Australia.

The HiMo 4 series offers a 370W panel with a 20.3 pct efficiency -- a record high in mid-range price products pitched at the residential and small commercial segment as "maximum power on limited roof space", according to Longi. A larger panel of up to 450W with 20.7 pct efficiency is aimed more at the large commercial and industrial market.

The modules use half-cell technology to reduce power loss from resistance, lower the module operating temperature, reduce hot spot temperature by 10~20 degree C and improve the panels' overall performance in partial shade. (Source: Longi, One Step Off the Grid, 29 April, 2020) Contact: Lomgi Solar, Dr. Lv Jun, VP, + 86-021-6104 7380, Ted Yang, +86-153-886-37121, en.longi-solar.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Longi Solar,  Solar Module,  Solar Cell,  


TVA Announces First Solar, Origis Energy Solar Projects (Ind Report)
Tennessee Valley Authority,First Solar, Origis Energy
Date: 2020-04-29
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reports the selection of First Solar and Origis Energy to develop 212 MWAC of solar power to fulfill the Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) March 2020 commitment to new renewable energy. KUB is using the TVA Green Invest program to produce carbon-free energy equivalent to 8 pct of KUB's annual electric load.

As part of the initiative, TVA has entered into a 20-year PPA with the 177-MW Ridgely Energy Farm in Lake County, Tennessee, developed by First Solar. With this agreement, TVA has now contracted for a total of 404 MW of First Solar developed projects, including an existing 20-year PPA for the 227-MW project in Muscle Shoals.

The KUB project marks a 60 pct increase in TVA's operating and contracted solar capacity since the start of fiscal year 2020. In March, TVA announced a contract with Origis Energy to develop a 200-MW solar site in Lowndes County, Mississippi, for TVA, with 35 MW of this facility supporting KUB's Green Invest purchase.

TVA modeled Green Invest after work with Facebook and Google, beginning in 2018, to identify new renewable energy solutions for data centers locating in the region. Green Invest program leverages long-term agreements to build new, large-scale renewable energy installations through a competitive bid process. (Source: TVA, PR, April, 2020) Contact: TVA, Doug Perry, VP Commercial Energy Solutions, (865) 632-2101, tvainfo@tva.com, www.tva.com; Origis Energy, www.origisenergy.com; First Solar, Kathryn Arbeit, VP, Project Dev., David Brady, Inv. Rel., (602) 414-9315, dbrady@firstsolar.com, www.firstsolar.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Tennessee Valley Authority,  First Solar,  Origis Energy,  


New Window Solar Cell from Monash Univ. (New Prod & Tech)
Monash University
Date: 2020-04-27
Monash University engineers in Melbourne, Australia are touting a newly developed next-gen perovskite solar cells (PSCs) semi-transparent solar cell that offers a viable level of efficiency.

Two square metres (around 22 square feet) of the new solar cells would generate about as much electricity as a standard solar panel, according to the latest study -- roughly 140 watts per meter, if tinted to the same degree as current glazed commercial windows.

The semi-transparent cells have a conversion efficiency of 17 pct while still transmitting more than 10 pct of the incoming light. The new cells replace a key solar cell component (Spiro-OMeTAD) with a specially developed polymer, based on an organic semiconductor, which increases overall stability. (Source: Monash University, Science Alert, 22 April, 2020) Contact: Monash University, Jacek Jasieniak, +61 3 9905 9584, Jacek.Jasieniak@monash.edu, www.research.monash.edu

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


Trump Admin. Continues to Weaken Climate Change Laws Amid Pandemic (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Climate Change
Date: 2020-04-27
"Most American are probably unaware of how aggressively the Trump administration is rolling back environmental laws. Just recently, the administration implemented a far-reaching climate change rollback that dismantled an Obama-era clean air standard. Unfortunately, that rollback, as well as other rollbacks, have received little media attention -- and understandably so -- because most news outlets are preoccupied with Covid-19.

"However, this pandemic does not provide decision makers with a license to haphazardly reverse decades of environmental progress and climate change laws. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening as the administration is seemingly using the pandemic as a 'red herring' to gut numerous laws. This misguided attempt to undermine climate change policy is particularly troublesome especially when considering that 64 pct of Americans believe climate change is a serious threat and/or a crisis.

"Surfrider believes it is unconscionable to gut environmental laws while most Americans are deeply concerned about the global pandemic and will be less likely to engage in civics. Not only are these rollbacks underhanded, but they contribute more air and water pollution which will impact residents with health conditions, making them more susceptible to Covid-19. A new Harvard study found that air pollution can be significantly linked to higher rates of death in people with Covid-19.

"It should be noted that some rollbacks were proposed prior to Covid-19, and are part of a broader pattern of environmental deregulation under the Trump administration. Yet, the most recent rollback is particularly troubling because it dramatically weakens vehicle emissions standards that were hard-fought over the past decade. Another attempt to undermined climate change efforts came when the administration proposed to revoke California's authority's to set higher air quality standards than the federal government. Of course, California promptly sued and the case is making its way through the courts.

"The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a paramount environmental law that mandates climate change review, has also become another target. The Trump administration brazenly proposed a rule that climate change impacts should not be considered under NEPA. The proposal has met significant opposition in Congress where a Democrat and Republican co-authored a bipartisan sign on letter opposing the administration's plan. Moreover, the courts have a long history of requiring government agencies and businesses to weigh climate change impacts during decision-making and implementing large projects.

"Then there are oil and gas production rollbacks. For years, the DoI has drastically weakened offshore drilling safety regulations. To add insult to injury, the administration launched a controversial plan to open up roughly 90 pct of U.S. waters to oil drilling, which Surfrider and our partners have helped stall. Most recently, the administration auctioned off 78 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to oil/gas producers despite cries to halt sales until after the pandemic.

"Right now, our global community is experiencing two crises -- Covid-19 and climate change -- and we should be applying the same lessons to each crisis. While times have been challenging the past several weeks, there are positive lessons to embrace that relate to climate change:

  • Global society can work together to stave off 'worst case scenarios.' With sufficient leadership, we can take the necessary (albeit painful) collective steps to avoid catastrophe. A similar global response is needed to tackle climate change.

  • There is undeniable strength in science. At first, Covid-19 was framed as being no worse than the flu (some alluded it was a hoax). Once clear facts and science were embraced, the situation was taken more seriously.

  • A deeper appreciation for nature is emerging. Since people have been staying home, the great outdoors has never been so appealing.

  • The earth has appreciated the pause. Satellites images show air pollution over major worldwide cities has significantly dropped. In fact, in the northeast U.S. there was a 30 pct drop in pollution.

    Needless to say, it shouldn't take a global pandemic for us to make bold reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The threats posed by climate change have become abundantly clear and the solutions are right in front of us. Please join Surfrider in opposing environmental rollbacks and urging our government leaders to take bold action on climate change. (Source: Surfrider Foundation, Sefanie Sekich-Quinn, Blog, 23 April, 2020) Contact: Surfrider Foundation, Stefanie Sekich-Quinn, California Policy Manager, ssekich@surfrider.org, www.surfrider.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


  • Notable Quote -- Growth Energy Calls For Ethanol Industry Relief
    Growth Energy
    Date: 2020-04-27
    "We just went through the third week in a row that ethanol production hit a record-breaking low, even as stockpiles hit a new record-breaking high.

    "The evaporation of fuel demand due to COVID-19 has been a knock-out blow to biofuel plants across the heartland, who were already fighting an uphill battle against trade barriers, regulatory threats, and a flood of foreign oil.

    "Ethanol producers represent the heart of the rural economy, and when they're forced offline, the ripple effect can be felt across the agricultural supply chain, including farmers who are without a market for their crops, as well as meat packers and ranchers who rely on local ethanol plants for animal feed and carbon dioxide. With plans to support the oil and gas industries already in place, it's vital that policymakers give the same consideration to biofuel workers and farmers equally impacted by the disruptions to the motor fuel market." -- Emily Skor, CEO, Growth Energy, April 25, 2020 Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, Elizabeth Funderburk, (202) 545-4000, EFunderburk@GrowthEnergy.org, www.growthenergy.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy,  Emily Skoe,  Ethanol,  


    NASA, USask Tout Newly Developed Green Fuel (New Prod & Tech)
    NASA,University of Saskatchewan
    Date: 2020-04-27
    The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is reporting the developement and testing of a new technology which turns waste into "green" fuel for possible use on the International Space Station and in long term space missions.

    Developed in a recent collaboration with researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), the high-quality fuel gas mixture is made from crop and forestry residues, food waste, cattle manure, petroleum, and petrochemical waste.

    Consisting of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and methane, the syngas can be used as a cheaper alternative to fossil fuels, green diesel and other applications. (Source: NASA, Gasworld, 24 April, 2020) Contact: NASA, www.nasa.gov; University of Saskatchewan, Sonil Nanda,Chemical and Biological Engineering Research Associate, Ajay Dalai, Canada Research Chair of Bio-Energy and Environmentally Friendly Chemical Processing, 306-966-4768, ajay.dalai@usask.ca, www.usask.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Syngas,  NASA,  Green Fuel,  University of Saskatchewan,  Ajay Dalai,  


    Richmond Airport VA Green Travel Alliance Award Winner (Ind Report)
    Virginia Green Travel Alliance
    Date: 2020-04-27
    The Virginia Green Travel Alliance is reporting the Capital Region Airport Commission (Richmond Airport) is receiving the Virginia Green Travel Star Award as the 2019 Green Transportation Facility of the Year for its concerted efforts to reduce its environmental impacts.

    The Virginia Green program is run through a partnership between the Virginia DEQ, Virginia Tourism Corporation, the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association, and the Virginia Green Travel Alliance. Recent Sustainability Measures at RIC include:

  • The Airport maintains over 75 recycling containers and encourages travelers and employees to participate in the recycling program. In the past four years, over 100 tons of material has been recycled;

  • In addition to purchasing Green Seal Certified products, the Airport also ensures that paper products are made from recycled material;

  • Water-efficient products have been installed to reduce consumption by 50 pct;

  • Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) EasyPark parking shuttles effectively reduce tailpipe emissions and ambient noise;

  • Various lighting systems have been upgraded to T5, T8 and LEDs and compact florescent lighting has replaced incandescent lights in canned lighting;

  • Electric carts replaced light-duty maintenance vehicles for use by Baggage Handling Systems Department and Utilities and Grounds Department;

  • Automated building management, mechanical, and LED lighting systems are utilized across airport property;

  • Energy-efficient glass is utilized throughout public spaces; Energy-efficient white thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) membrane roofing is used to reflect heat and cools roofs;

    An Energy Management System is utilized to ensure optimal operation of all HVAC equipment. (Source: Virginia Green Travel Alliance. WWBT , 24 April, 2020) Contact: Virginia Green Travel Alliance; Tom Griffin, Exec. Dr., www.virginiagreen.net; Capital Region Airport Commission, Perry J. Miller, A.A.E., I.A.P., Pres., CEO, 804-226-3000, www.flyrichmond.com

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


  • Wyoming Carbon Storage Project Scores $15.2Mn Funding (Funding)
    University of Wyoming, Basin Electric
    Date: 2020-04-24
    Plans for a commercial-scale geological carbon dioxide storage complex near Basin Electric Power Cooperative's 385-MW Dry Fork Station and the Wyoming Integrated Test Cente near Gillette have been boosted with a $15.2 million award from the U.S. DOE, National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). Bismark, ND-based Basin Electric Power Cooperative is contributing $1.5 million to the project and University of Wyoming's School of Energy Resources (SER) cost-sharing contribution is $2.4 million. The project is intended to more than 50 million metric tons of CO2 underground.

    The three-year, $19.1 million project is the third phase under the DOE Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE) initiative, which seeks to help mitigate CO2 emissions from consumption of fossil fuels. No CO2 will be injected during this stage. The Dry Fork Station project and others selected by the agency aim to develop integrated carbon capture and storage complexes that are constructed and permitted for operation between 2025 and 2030.

    Over the next three years, the project partners intend to conduct rigorous, commercial-scale surface and subsurface testing, data assessment and modeling; prepare and file permits for construction with Wyoming's Department of Environmental Quality; integrate this project with a separately funded CO2 capture study by Membrane Technology and Research Inc. (MTR); and conduct the required National Environmental Policy Act analyses in support of eventual commercialization of the site. Other project participants include: Advanced Resources International Inc.; Carbon GeoCycle Inc.; Denbury Resources Inc.; Los Alamos National Laboratory; and Schlumberger. Other UW participants are the Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute, the College of Business and the College of Law.

    The Powder River Basin produces about 40 pct of all coal consumed in the United States, and is also home to existing CO2 pipelines for oil and gas operations, including fields suitable for use of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery. (Source: University of Wyoming, 23 April, 2020) Contact: University of Wyoming, Carbon Management Institute , Scott Quillinan, Project Manager, (307) 766-1121, www.uwyo.edu; Basin Electric Power, Paul Sukut, CEO, Matt Greek, Snr. VP Technology R&D, (701) 223-0441, www.basinelectric.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Basin Electric,  Carbon Storage,  NETL,  University of Wyoming,  


    Enviva Biomass Touts 2020 Responsible Sourcing Policy (Ind. Report)
    Enviva Biomass
    Date: 2020-04-24
    Bethesda, Maryland-based woody biomass pellet specialist Enviva is touting its 2020 Implementation Plans detailing the company's commitment to responsible and sustainable wood sourcing in accordance with strict environmental standards.

    The 2020 Implementation Plans define the company's measurable goals in three sections -- sustainable forestry standards, verification and transparency, and conservation leadership across the U.S. Southeast, where the company owns and operates wood pellet production plants.

    According to a release, in 2020, Enviva plans to publish its first Corporate Sustainability Report describing how the company works to deliver on its mission to displace coal, grow more trees and fight climate change, its current environmental impact and sustainability practices and its goals for continuous improvement in sustainability of its business in the long-term.

    The company also plans to add 30,000 acres to the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) and/or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified land base. Enviva will also strengthen its existing partnership with The Longleaf Alliance to actively seek longleaf restoration through its wood sourcing on private and public lands in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Virginia and the Carolinas. The company will also assist in the conservation of 3,500+ acres of bottomland hardwood (BLHW) forests to meet the company's 10-year goal of conserving 35,000 acres of BLHW forests by 2030.

    View Enviva's 2020 RSP Implementation Plans HERE. (Source: Enviva Biomass, PR, AP, 21 April, 2020) Contact: Enviva Holdings LP, Enviva Biomass, (301-657-5560), media@envivabiomass.com, www.envivabiomass.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wood Pellet,  Woody Biomass,  Enviva,  


    Hawaiian Electric Expanding Community Solar Program (Ind. Report)
    Hawaiian Electric
    Date: 2020-04-24
    In the Aloha State, Honolulu-based Hawaiian Electric (HECO) reports it is expanding its Community-Based Renewable Energy (CBRE)-- Community Solar program, based on recent approvals by the Hawai'i PUC.

    Unlike the first phase of the CBRE program which was limited to 8MW, this phase will be open to 235 MW of renewable generation across Hawaiian Electric's five-island service territory. The community solar second phase places special emphasis on opportunities for low-and-middle income residential customers to participate. In addition to private companies, Hawaiian Electric will be able to develop projects and recruit subscribers.

    Although CBRE is open to any established renewable energy technology, community solar allows single-family homes, renters and apartment residents, and small commercial customers to participate. (Source: Hawaiian Electric, PR, 23 April, 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,  Community Solar,  Solar,  


    ACORE, WSA Partnering to Advance Renewable Energy (Ind. Report)
    Wind Solar Alliance,ACORE
    Date: 2020-04-24
    The Wind Solar Alliance (WSA) reports its key educational efforts and programmes for the wholesale power and transmission market will be conducted by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE). The key programs, including WSA's grid campaign and jobs tour, will be integrated into ACORE's existing strategy this spring in effort to accelerate the transition to renewable energy.

    According to the WSA, "accelerating the deployment of low-cost wind and solar energy has never been more critical and joining forces with ACORE will allow the WSA to expand its shared goals of outreach and education on the benefits of renewable energy and the policy changes needed to grow the clean energy sector at the pace that American businesses and consumers are demanding." (Source: ACOR, Wind Solar Alliance, Website, April, 2020) Contact: Wind Solar Alliance, Kevin O'Rourke, Exec. Dir., 202-383-2513, info@windsolaralliance.org, www.windsolaralliance.org; American Council on Renewable Energy , Greg Wetstone, www.acore.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind Solar Alliance ,  ACORE,  Renewable Energy,  


    Chelan County PUD Ups Window Efficiency Rebates (Ind. Report)
    Chelan County PUD
    Date: 2020-04-22
    In Wentachee, Washington State the Chelan County PUD says some of its energy-saving rebate amounts will almost double this year. Customers can cash in on rebates through use of energy efficient windows and insulation materials. Insulation rebate rates for walls, floors, and attics have doubled from .50 per square foot to $1.00. In addition, customers who use furnace, baseboard or wall heat in homes with single-pane windows can get $12 per square foot for upgrading to energy-efficient windows. The previous rebate was $6. The rebates are retroactive through January 1, 2020

    The PUD aims to make it more affordable to replace inefficient single-pane windows, especially where the heat source is not a heat pump, and to encourage energy efficiency upgrades and programs in its service district. (Source: Chelan PUD, Columbia Basin News, 21 April, 2020) Contact: Chelan County PUD, Josh Mitchell, Resaidential Energy Advisor, 888-663-8121, www.chelanpud.org

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


    NASA Touts RETScreen Expert for Energy Savings (ind. Report)
    NASA
    Date: 2020-04-22
    In Washington, NASA is touting its Prediction of the Worldwide Energy Resources (POWER) project based at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, and supported by NASA's Earth Science Division, as a resource tool for siting renewable energy technology and improving the energy efficiency of buildings.

    The program incorporates NASA satellite data into an desktop software program called RETScreen Expert. RETScreen , a clean energy management software program developed by the Canadian government in collaboration with several international partners, including NASA.

    Most of the environmental parameters -- like temperature, humidity, and winds -- included in the RETScreen project is developed by NASA's Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO). Based at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., its computer model and data assimilation techniques enhance NASA Earth observations from more than 20 NASA satellites and missions.

    However, the key data parameter, solar irradiance, provides a long-term record of daily averaged solar variability up to within about a week of real time. This solar variability replicates ground-based measurements very well and can be used to do things like monitor solar photovoltaic panel performance and place solar panels for optimal exposure to sunlight. Wind resources are also incorporated into the POWER models and have important uses for energy efficiency analysis, such as helping to better calculate heat losses from buildings. (Source: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, April, 2020) Contact: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Paul Stackhouse, project manager, (301) 286-2000, www.nasa.gov › goddard

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NASA,  Energy Efficiency,  


    NREL Claims 47.1 pct Solar Cell Efficiency Record (Ind. Report)
    National Renewable Energy Laboratory
    Date: 2020-04-20
    Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are touting an innovative "six-junction" solar cell using 140 layers of semiconductor materials to achieve a conversion rate of 47.1 pct -- breaking the previous record set by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and Soitec of 46 pct set back in 2014.

    The NREL scientists produced a six-junction solar cell, combining sandwiching multiple layers of materials that were fine-tuned to convert different portions of the light spectrum into electricity. While the layered solar cell design will almost certainly be cost prohibitive to produce at commercial scale compared to conventional silicon cells, it may find use in more niche applications, the NREL team said. Generally, the super high-efficiency solar cells are limited for use in spacecraft and satellites, where performance, space and weight are a premium. However, the researchers highlight that cells with such high conversion efficiencies would be ideally used in concentrated solar plants.

    The researchers trialled their nearly 50 pct efficient solar cells with concentrated sunlight, producing the equivalent of 143 suns of solar intensity. Using unconcentrated light, the six-junction solar cells were able to achieve a conversion efficiency of 39.2 pct, which was also a new world record. (Source: NREL,PR, 14 April, 2020) Contact: NREL, John Geisz, Research Scientist, 303-384-6474, John.Geisz@nrel.gov, www.enrel.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Renewable Energy Laboratory,  NREL,  Solar,  Solar Scell Efficiency,  


    $30Mn Assisted Living Project Partially PACE Funded (Ind. Report)
    Petros PACE Finance Trust
    Date: 2020-04-20
    In Indiana, Indianapolis-based Leo Brown Group, owner of the $30 million Traditions of Lebanon assisted living complex to be developed in Lebanon, is expected to use Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing to cover $17 million of the project cost in semi-annual assessments of $230,000-$289,000 added to property taxes over 30 years.

    The $17 million, through Petros PACE Finance Trust, includes over $7.7 million in HVAC, energy efficient lighting and improvements and just under $7.9 million in interest.

    Traditions of Lebanon was originally expected to include a 142-unit assisted living complex, including 30 units for memory care and 13 homes for independent living but has been reduced in size. Documents obtained last week indicate the scope of the project changed. The 170,000-square-foot senior living community will now include 48 independent living homes, 64 assisted living units and 30 memory care units. Energy savings from the Brown project are anticipated from HVAC improvements, LED lighting, energy-efficient windows and doors and the “building envelope”. (Source: Dayton Daily News, 18 April, 2020) Contact: Petros PACE Finance Trust LLC, www.petros-pace.com

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


    Greenworks Raises $150Mn for C-PACE Financing (Ind. Report)
    Greenworks
    Date: 2020-04-20
    Greenworks Lending, one of the largest providers of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing in the US, reports raising $150 million in committed capital from Nuveen, the investment manager of TIAA. The new funds will increase Greenworks available funding for C-PACE assets across the country.

    According to Greenworks, to date this year it has closed projects across 9 states; including a $ 1.2 million office building project in CA, a $5.1 million hotel project in MO, a $670,000 medical office project in OH, and a $6.7 million office building project and a $856,000 solar project at an auto dealership, both in CT. It also recently closed the first C-PACE project in Delaware and a $722,000 energy efficiency upgrade in Minnesota. The C-PACE program allows building owners to finance qualifying energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements via a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill. (Source: Greenworks, April 2020) Contact: Greenworks Lending, Alexandra Cooley, Co-Founder , COO, Adam Moskowitz, (203) 837-7816, amoskowitz@greenworkslending.com, www.greenworkslending.com; C-PACE Alliance, Cliff Kellogg (202) 744-1984, ckellogg@c-pacealliance.com, www.cpacealliance.com

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


    OSU Releases Path to Carbon Neutrality Plan (Ind. Report)
    Ohio State University
    Date: 2020-04-17
    In Columbus, The Ohio State University (OSU) has released a plan to slash its carbon emissions in half within this decade, accelerating the university's ability to achieve full carbon neutrality by 2050.

    In 2008, Ohio State established the goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 through the Presidents' Climate Leadership Commitment. The university released its first Climate Action Plan in 2011 outlining actions the university could take to advance the carbon neutrality goal. As a result of those and other actions, through the 2019 fiscal year, the university decreased its carbon emissions by over 15 pct while still increasing the amount of built space by nearly 11 pct. The new Action Plan calls for:

  • Improving building energy efficiency;

  • Revising the university's Green Build and Energy Policy to more effectively control energy use as the university continues to grow and update its building spaces;

  • Extend on-campus solar PV and any future feasible technology for increased renewable power generation capacity;

  • Completing the existing university Green Fleet Action Plan and consider a future fuel switch from compressed natural gas to green hydrogen or renewable natural gas.

  • Create new incentives to reduce the impact of driving to and from campus, including expanding campus user access to electric vehicle fueling stations.

    This pace of activity is more aggressive than the International Panel on Climate Change's recommended carbon emission reductions necessary to avoid the most acute human impacts of climate change.

    Download the Path to Carbon Neutrality: Ohio State Climate Action Plan HERE (Source: Ohio State Univ., PR, 15 April, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ohio State University,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


  • MingYang Plans Typhoon-Resistant Floating Wind Turbine (Int'l Report)
    MingYang Smart Energy
    Date: 2020-04-15
    Chinese wind turbine manufacturer MingYang Smart Energy Group reports plans to invest roughly CNY 725 million ($102.5 million) to develop a 10 MW typhoon-resistant floating wind turbine at the company's business site in Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province.

    The funding for the project will raised with a private placement of A shares. A portion of the share proceeds will be used to construct an offshore wind turbine manufacturing base in Shanwei city. (Source: Ming Yang, PR, April, 2020) Contact: MingYang Smart Energy Group, www.myse.com.cn/en/myzn/index.aspx

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ming Yang,  Floating Wind,  


    Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (Ind. Report)
    World Green Building Council
    Date: 2020-04-15
    According to the World Green Building Council's Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction report, the buildings and construction sector accounts for 39 pct of global emissions, with a 36 pct energy impact in terms of consumptions and 50 pct use of raw materials.

    According to the report, in 2018 the final energy demand for buildings increased by 1 pct since 2017 and by 7 pct since 2010. The International Energy Agency (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2019 notes the improvement of the energy intensity rate has slowed down to 1.2 pct in 2018, less than half the average rate since 2010. Specifically, cooling of living spaces represents by now the energy consumed with the most rapid increase since 2010.

    Download the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction reportHERE. (Source: World Green Bulding Council, MarketScreener, 14 April, 2020) Contact: World Green Building Council, [startylink]www.worldgbc.org/thecommitment[endlink],
    More Low-Carbon Energy News
    World Green Building Council,  Green Building,  Energy Consumption,  Energy Eff target=_blank>www.worldgbc.org[endlink]

    More Low-Carbon Energy News
    World Green Building Council,  Green Building,  Energy Consumption,  Energy Effp;


    Ameresco Completing WHA Energy Efficiency Project (Ind Report)
    Ameresco
    Date: 2020-04-15
    In the Bay State, Framingham-headquartered energy efficiency and renewable energy specialist Ameresco Inc., is reporting work is underway on the second stage of work totaling $13.5 million with the Worcester Housing Authority (WHA) through its existing energy performance contract. This second-phase project extends the term of Ameresco's work on behalf of WHA and builds on energy conservation measures the company implemented in 2008, bringing the total project value to $23.6 million affecting 15 of the WHA's federal developments.

    Under the energy performance contract (EPC) this second phase includes interior and exterior lighting fixture upgrades, window replacement and improvements to three cogeneration units at other WHA developments. These improvements come at no upfront cost to WHA, which also receives incentives for efficiency improvements from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). (Source: Ameresco, Yahoo Finance, April, 2020) Contact: Ameresco, Bob Georgeoff, VP, (508) 661-2288, www.ameresco.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ameresco,  Energy Efficiency,  


    LG Chem, Span Energy Partner on Backup Power Storage (Ind. Report)
    LG Chem, Span Energy
    Date: 2020-04-13
    Seoul, South Korea-headquartered LG Chem and Span Energy are reporting partnering on a battery storage and intelligent home energy control system.

    The Span smart panel provides advanced, real-time controls for the home and the LG RESU home battery can provide essential backup power during an outage. The Span panel replaces the standard electrical panel and enables monitoring and controls for every circuit within the home. By having complete control of home loads, homeowners have the ability to manage backup power efficiently and to choose what loads are being backed up. (Source: LG Chem, Span Energy, Saur 11 April, 2020) Contact: LG Chem, +82 (2) 3773-6951, ltkremark@lgchem.com, www.lgchem.com; Span Energy, www.span.io

    More Low-Carbon Energy News LG Chem,  Energy Storage,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Gladstone Completes Akron $1Mn PACE Financing (Ind. Report)
    PACE,Gladstone Commercial
    Date: 2020-04-10
    McLean, Virginia-based real estate holding company Gladstone Commercial Corporation is reporting closing on $1.0 million PACE (property assessed clean energy) financing for an 84,000 SF single-story multi-tenant office building in Akron, Ohio.

    The 3.5 pct financing covers 100 pct of the costs of: HVAC upgrades and replacements; conversions from electric to natural gas; updating fume hood controls; fume hood controls; energy efficient interior lighting and energy management system. (Source: Gladstone Commercial, PR, 8 April, 2020) Contact: Gladstone Commercial, Bob Cutlip, Pres, (703) 287-5893, Bob.Cutlip@gladstonecompanies.com, www.gladstonecommercial.com; C-PACE Alliance, Cliff Kellogg (202) 744-1984, ckellogg@c-pacealliance.com, www.cpacealliance.com

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


    Global Aviation Emissions Down 38 pct in 2020 (Int'l. Report)
    Australian Institute
    Date: 2020-04-08
    The Canberra-based Australian Institute, a progressive public policy think tank, is estimating global CO2 emissions from the aviation sector could be slashed by 38 pct in 2020 as the industry faces longer-term pressure to become carbon neutral and COVID-19 pandemic caused disruptions.

    "The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in approximately 10.3 million tonnes of CO2 reduction in global air transport. CO2 emissions during February and March, with the remainder of March likely to show further deep falls," the study found. (Source: Australian Institute, April, 2020) Contact: Australian Institute, www.tai.org.au

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


    NJ BPU Restructures Solar Project Funding (Ind Report, Funding)
    NJ BPU
    Date: 2020-04-08
    In the Garden State, the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) reports it has moved to close the way it funds New Jersey's solar program. The closing of the existing system was mandated under the 2018 Clean Energy Act, which required the BPU to eliminate the program by this June, or whenever the goal was met for 5.1 pct of the electricity in New Jersey to come from solar.

    The current program was established in 2004 to replace a system giving rebates to fund solar growth. Since then, more than 118,000 residential solar systems were installed statewide, not including many larger commercial and utility-scale projects. (Source: NJ BPU, NJ Spotlight, 7 April, 2020)Contact: NJBPU, 800-624-0241, www.bpu.state.nj.us

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NJBPU,  Solar,  Solar Rebate,  


    POET Idling Four Ethanol Plants (Ind. Report)
    POET
    Date: 2020-04-08
    Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based ethanol producer POET has announced it is idling corn-ethanol production at its Chancellor, Ashton and Coon Rapids plants and delaying the start-up of Shelbyville. The company noted the shutdowns were directly related to the economic fallout from COVID-19.

    "Across the board, biofuel producers and our partners in the farm community face an unprecedented challenge. We are working hard to ensure that every biorefinery remains well-positioned to support a strong and swift recovery once daily life returns to normal. That means responding dynamically to shifting conditions and optimizing production, market by market, as the situation evolves over the next few months", Poet founder and CEO Jeff Broin said in a recent press release. (Source: POET, Various Trade Media 1 April, 2020) Contact: POET, Jeff Broin, CEO., (605) 965-2200, www.poet.com

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


    EU Biofuel Groups Concerned Over Possible Biofuel Blending Cutbacks (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    European Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2020-04-06
    The European Biodiesel Board, ePURE and several other European biofuel trade organizations have penned the following outlining their concerns that some EU countries were considering "derogations" to their blending operations:

    "If implemented, such derogations would exacerbate the negative effects already experienced by our sectors. The resulting reduction in demand would cause the shutdown of biofuel plants. It would also jeopardize the supply of products needed to produce hand sanitiser products, impact the proper function of the EU internal market for fuels and reduce the supply of animal feed. In addition, European renewable energy and climate commitments would be jeopardized."

    "The production of the European biofuels value chain is (already) severely affected by the strong drop in fuel consumption and the corresponding reduction for the demand for our products, accentuated by the drop in fuel prices. (Source: European Biodiesel Board, ePure, Various Trade Media, April, 2020) Contact: European Biodiesel Board, ; ePURE, Emmanuel Desplechin, Sec. General, +32 2 657 6679, info@epure.org, www.epure.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel Blending,  European Biodiesel Board,  ePure,  Biodiesel,  


    Bldg Energy Audits Deliver Modest Results (Ind. Report)
    NYU Marron Institute
    Date: 2020-04-03
    A recent report from the NYU Marron Institute has found New York City's pioneering Local Law 87 requiring buildings to monitor their energy use with detailed audits, has delivered only modest reductions in residential and office building energy use -- -2.5 pct for multifamily residential buildings and -4.9 pct for office buildings -- an insufficient incentive to invest in energy efficiency at the scale needed to meet citywide carbon-reduction goals.

    The report noted "In the context of a comprehensive, data-driven energy policy, audit requirements can be used to target 'deep' retrofits, while automated or virtual audits could replace the existing need for traditional audit mandates."

    More than 20 cities, including Austin, Chicago, and San Francisco, have adopted policies to increase data and transparency on energy use, seeking to encourage market interventions to reduce energy consumption and carbon pollution.

    The New York University Marron Institute study was supported by the National Science Foundation and the Sloan Foundation. (Source: NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management, Press Release, 30 Mar., 2020) Contact: NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management, Constantine E. Kontokosta , Study Researcher, Robert Polner , Media, (212) 998-2337, www.wagner.nyu.edu/impact/centers/marron

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency ,  Building Energy Audit,  Energy Benchmark,  


    JLEN Invests £11Mn in Scottish AD plant (Int'l. Report)
    JLEN Environmental Assets
    Date: 2020-04-03
    In the UK, environmental infrastructure investment fund JLEN Environmental Assets Group Ltd is reporting an £11 million ($13.7 million) equity investment in the 5 MW of thermal and 0.25 MW of power generation capacity Peacehill Farm anaerobic digestion (AD) plant in Fife, Scotland. The Peacehill Farm plant, which is accredited under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) schemes, produces biomethane for the national gas grid.

    With this investment, JLEN's portfolio stands at 302.9 MW. (Source: JLEN Environmental Assets, Contact: JLEN Environmental Assets Group, +44 (0)20 3100 0000www.jlen.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News anaerobic digestion,  Biomethane,  Methane,  


    Dublin PACE Financed Efficiency Upgrades Completed (Ind Report)
    PACE
    Date: 2020-04-03
    McLean, Virginia-based Gladstone Commercial Corporation is reporting completion of a second improvement financing via the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program for a 78,000 square foot office property in Dublin, Ohio.

    The combined financing covered 100 pct of the costs to replace or upgrade the 5-story building's: cooling tower, boiler and HVAC equipment, elevator modernization, energy efficient interior and exterior lighting, a robust energy management system, and other improvements that together are reduce the property's utility costs 39 pct and eliminate more than 400 metric tpy of CO2 emissions. (Source: Gladstone Commercial Corporation, PR, April, 2020) Contact: Gladstone Commercial Corporation, Bob Cutlip , Pres., (703) 287-5878, Bob.Cutlip@gladstonecompanies.com, www.gladstonecommercial.com, www.gladstonecompanies.com

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


    MinnKota Power Touting Project Tundra CCS Project (Ind. Report)
    Minnkota Power
    Date: 2020-03-30
    Further to our 14th Jan., 2019 coverage, Grand Forks, Minnesota-based Minnkota Power Cooperative reports its planned Project Tundra CCS project is expected to capture 90 pct of carbon emissions from a single unit of the 455-MW lignite coal-fired 1970s-era Milton R. Young Station power plant in the city of Center. The project calls for carbon to be pumped into an underground geologic storage area on land underneath the lignite mine that supplies coal to the plant.

    The planned project has received $30 million in federal and $15 million funding from the North Dakota Lignite Research Fund. The University of North Dakota is collaborating with Minnkota on developing the system with ALLETE Clean Energy and ALLETE subsidiary BNI Energy assisting with the development. (Source: Minnkota Power,Ap., 2020) Contact: Minnkota Power, Stacey Dahl, External Affairs, 701-795-4000, www.minnkota.com; Project Tundra, www.projecttundrand.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Minnkota Power ,  CCS,  Allete,  


    NSW Announces 17.7GW Green Energy Drive (Int'l. Report)
    NSW Ministry for Energy and Environment
    Date: 2020-03-27
    In the Land Down Under, the state government of New South Wales (NSW) reports it will deploy 17.7GW of solar, wind and storage over the next decade, to replace fossil fuel fired power generators and hit net-zero emissions by 2050.

    According to the NSW's Net Zero Plan Stage 1: 2020-2030 comprehensive roadmap, three previously identified rural renewables zones could spur AU$23 billion ($14.1 billion) of private sector investment.

    The NSW state government and Australian federal governments have committed to invest almost AU$2 billion ($1.21 billion) in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects over the next ten years, according to the Ministry release. (Source: NSW Ministry for Energy and Environment, PV Tech, 16 Mar., 2020) Contact: Minister for Energy and Environment, Matt Keen, Minister, www.nsw.gov.au/your-government/ministers/minister-for-energy-and-environment

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Australia,  NSW,  Solar,  Renewable Energy,  


    Maine Enacts Renewable Biomass, Chemicals Tax Credit (Ind. Report)
    Maine Tax Credit
    Date: 2020-03-27
    In Augusta, Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) has signed into law legislation establishing an 8 cent per pound tax credit for chemicals produced from renewable biomass via a biological conversion, thermal conversion or combination of the two technologies. The resulting renewable chemical must be sold or used for the production of chemical products, polymers, plastics, or formulated products.

    Eligible products must have at least 95 pct bio-based content and cannot be sold or used for the production of food, feed or fuel. Exceptions are allowed for cellulosic sugars used to produce aquaculture feed and food additives, supplements, vitamins, nutraceuticals or pharmaceuticals that do not provide caloric value and are not considered food or feed.

    The tax credit comes into force Jan. 1, 2021. Download full copy of the bill H.P. 1213 - L.D. 1698 An Act To Create Jobs and Slow Climate Change by Promoting the Production of Natural Resources Bioproducts HERE. (Source: Office of Maine Governor Janet Mills, 18 Mar., 2020) Contact: Office of Maine Gov. Janet Mills, 207-287-3531, www.maine.gov/governor/mills/contact

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Chemical,  Biomass,  


    Renewable Fuels Coalition Comments on Admin's Not Seeking SRE Ruling Re-hearing (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Americans for Clean Energy
    Date: 2020-03-27
    Further to our 20th Jan. coverage, a coalition of the Renewable Fuels Association, National Corn Growers Association, American Coalition for Ethanol and National Farmers Union released the following statement:

    "We are pleased the Trump administration has decided not to side with oil refiners in seeking a re-hearing of this unambiguous and well-reasoned court decision in the Tenth Circuit. We trust this also means the administration does not plan to petition the Supreme Court for an appeal. Abiding by the court's ruling is the right thing to do at a time when our industries and rural America are already suffering from the effects of COVID-19, the Saudi-Russia oil price war and ongoing trade disputes.

    "We look to the RFS as a source of demand stability and certainty, especially in these troubling times. Requesting a re-hearing would have only prolonged uncertainty in the marketplace and exacerbated the pain and frustration already being experienced in the Heartland.

    "With this key milestone now behind us, we look forward to EPA applying the Tenth Circuit decision nationwide to all SRE (small refiner exemption) petitions, beginning with the 25 pending petitions for 2019 exemptions."

    The coalition also noted that fully restoring the integrity of the RFS means immediate action to restore 500 million gallons of inappropriately waived 2016 blending requirements, as ordered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. District in 2017. (Source: Various Media, The Fence Post, 25 Mar., 2020) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org; American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, (605) 334-3381 ext. 3389, www.ethanol.org; National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, Pres., (202) 554-1600, www.nfu.org; NCGA, (636) 733-9004, (636) 733-9005 -fax, corninfo@ncga.com, www.ncga.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Americans for Clean Energy,  RFS "Hardship" ,  Waivers,  Renewable Fuels Associatio,  National Farmers Union,  National Corn Growers Association,  American Coalition for Ethanol,  


    Concrete Solutions to Lower GHG Emission, Air Pollution (Ind Report)
    UC Davis
    Date: 2020-03-25
    According to a study from the University of California-Davis, concrete production contributes 8 pct of global greenhouse gases and caused $335 billion per year in damages while strategies to reduce the concrete sector's global GHG emissions could, under some scenarios, increase local air pollution and related health damages.

    While CCS technologies could reduce GHG emissions from concrete production by as much as 28 pct , the study found it could actually increase human health impacts from air pollutants unless the technology itself is powered by clean energy.

    Cement production is responsible for about 32 pct of the total climate damages and 18 pct of health damages of making concrete. That is followed by aggregate production, which is responsible for 34 pct of health damages and 4 pct in climate damages.

    To reduce these impacts, the study suggests the following readily implementable methods to reduce climate damages: cleaner combusting kiln fuel; increase use of limestone filler or other low-impact mineral additions to partially replace cement; clean renewable energy; amine scrubbing and calcium looping which could reduce climate damage costs over 50 pct and 65 pct respectively. They are not yet readily implementable but may become so in the future.

    While the effectiveness of strategies varies by region, the study says that overall, a mixture of the strategies could reduce climate and health damages by 85 pct and 19 pct respectively. (Source: UC Davis, Nature Climate Change, Daily Democrat, UC Davis, Mar., 2020) Contact: UC Davis, Assist. Prof.,Frances Moore, UCD Department of Environmental Science and Policy, fmoore@ucdavis.edu, www.ucdavis.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Concrete,  Cement,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  UC Davis,  


    Emissions Impact of Coronavirus Lockdowns (Int'l. Report Attached)
    European Space Agency,Visual Capatlist
    Date: 2020-03-23
    "There's a high chance you're reading this while practicing social distancing, or while your corner of the world is under some type of advised or enforced lockdown. While these are necessary measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, such economic interruption is unprecedented in many ways resulting in some surprising side effects.

    "Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions, a major air pollutant, are closely linked to factory output and vehicles operating on the road. As both industry and transport come to a halt during this pandemic, NO2 emissions can be a good indicator of global economic activity -- and the changes are visible from space. These images from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), as well as satellite footage from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), show a drastic decline in NO₂ emissions over recent months, particularly across Italy and China."

    Download the Emissions Impact of Coronavirus Lockdowns images HERE. (Source: European Space Agency, Visual Capitalist, 21 Mar., 2020) Contact: European Space Agency, +33 1 53 69 76 54, www.esa.int

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Space Agency,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


    ESA Touts Flexible, Thinner-Than-Paper Solar Cells (Ind. Report)
    European Space Agency
    Date: 2020-03-23
    The European Space Agency (ESA )reports it is backing the creation of a flexible, ultra-thin solar cell to deliver the best power-to-mass ratio for space missions.

    The 0.02 mm thick -- thinner than a human hair -- prototype solar cells were developed by Azur Space Solar Power in Germany and tf2 in the Netherlands. With up to 32 pct "end of life" efficiency, the solar cells were produced using "epitaxial lift-off" technonolyg -- they were peeled off the Germanium substrate layer they were initially laid down on, so the costly material can be reused. Both triple- and quadruple-junction solar cells were manufactured.

    The 22 member state European Space Agency was established in 2075 and has €6.68 billion budget for 2020. (Source: European Space Agency, INFOSURHOY, 21 Mar.,2020)Contact: Azur Space Solar Power GmbH, www.azurspace.com; European Space Agency, www.esa.int

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Space Agency,  Solar Cell,  


    Roadmap to a US Hydrogen Economy (Ind. Report Attached)
    Hydrogn
    Date: 2020-03-23
    The attached Road Map to a US Hydrogen Economy stresses the versatility of hydrogen as an enabler of the renewable energy systems, transportation and other applications.

    The report was developed by: Air Liquide; American Honda Motor Co., Inc; Audi; Chevron; Cummins Inc.; Daimler AG: Mercedes-Benz FuelCell GmbH/Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America; Engie; Exelon Corporation; Hyundai Motor Company; Microsoft; Nikola Motors; Nel Hydrogen; Plug Power; Power Innovations; Shell; Southern California Gas Company; Southern Company Services; Toyota; and Xcel Energy.

    Download Roadmap to a US Hydrogen Economy HERE (Source: Green Car Congress, 22 Mar.,2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Hydrogen Alternative Fuel,  


    Ecobricks Debut in South African "Green" Bldg. (New Prod. & Tech.)
    Ecobricks
    Date: 2020-03-20
    In South Africa, a new custom-designed "green" building to accommodate the Cape Town offices of international professional services firm Deloitte is reportedly among the first commercial buildings in the world to use ecobricks -- recycled beverage bottles filled to constant density with a wide range of waste plastics. The project will use 12,000 ecobricks that will displace of 57 tons of concrete.

    A typical ecobrick is filled with 250 small size chip packets or 56 shopping plastic bags and weighs an average of 600 grams. The plastic filled bottles are used as fillers usedEcobricks are used to fill space and reduce the amount of concrete required in non-load-bearing parts of a building. The building is designed to meet Deloitte's commitment the energy efficiecy and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. (Source: Ecobrick Exchange, Creemers Eng. News, Mar.,2020) Contact: Ecobrick Exchange, Ian Dommisse , info@ecobrickexchange.org, ecobrickexchange.org; United Nations Sustainable Development, www.sustainabledevelopment.un.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cement,  Green Building,  


    OFB Opposes Ore. Carbon Exec. Order (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Oregon,Cap-and-Trade
    Date: 2020-03-18
    In the Beaver State, the Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) submitted the following comments on Democratic Gov. Kate Brown's executive order concerning state actions to aggressively lower greenhouse gas emissions: "Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) is strongly opposed to the new carbon regulation outlined in the Governor Brown's sweeping executive order issued on Tuesday. The executive order is designed to implement caps on emissions from transportation fuels, natural gas, and large industrial sources, as well as ramp up the state's already ambitious Clean Fuels Program.

    "OFB has consistently engaged around carbon policy in our state for the past decade, and we have shared our concerns about the impacts of the cost increases associated with past proposals for the past several years. Instead of addressing those concerns, we believe the approach in the executive order will be even more detrimental to rural communities than any of the previous cap-and-trade proposals. The cost increases on communities associated with this proposal will be astronomical.

    "In addition, the governor has issued this executive order knowing that the rules adopted pursuant to it will face significant legal challenges. A similar effort in Washington state resulted in years of costly litigation, with limited results.

    "The executive order also hands over unprecedented levels of power to un-elected bureaucrats who will have the authority to regulate virtually every sector of our state's economy, including input costs on farms and ranches. As we read it, state agencies are directed to advance rules to drive up the cost everyday necessities for Oregon farmers, including gasoline and diesel and basic utilities like natural gas and propane.

    "New mandates directed at in-state food processors will add additional costs to being located in Oregon. This will certainly drive down Oregon's (carbon) footprint because these businesses will be incentivized to leave the state -- taking local jobs and tax revenue with them.

    "Oregon farmers and ranchers are already doing our part to sequester carbon and reduce our environmental footprint. This executive order will not make a meaningful difference in combating global climate change, will cost the state millions to defend in court, and will have an immediate and severe impact on Oregon's rural communities. We strongly urge Governor Brown to reconsider this approach." (Source: Oregon Farm Bureau On Line, St. Helens Chronicle, 14 Mar, 2020) Contact: Office of Gov. Kate Brown, (503) 378-4582, www.oregon.gov/gov/pages/contact.aspx[endlink; Oregon Farm Bureau, (503) 339-1701, [starrtlink]www.oregonfb.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Kate Brown,  Climate Change,  Cap-and-Trade,  


    C-PACE Energy Efficiency Funding in Latimer County, CO (Ind. Report)
    C-PACE
    Date: 2020-03-18
    In Colorado, the Larimer County Assessor's Office is reporting the availability of Colorado Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Colorado C-PACE program for older commercial structures.

    The C-PACE program allows building owners to finance qualifying energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements via a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill. (Source: Larimer County Assessor Office, North Forty,C-PACE, Mar., 2020) Contact: Colorado Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy [C-PACE] , Bob Overbeck, [970] 498-7050, overbebc@larimer.org, Tracy Phillips, Colorado C-PACE Program Director, [720] 933-8143, TPhillips@copace.com, www.copace.com; C-PACE Alliance, Cliff Kellogg (202) 744-1984, ckellogg@c-pacealliance.com, www.cpacealliance.com

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


    ESA Reports Staggering Greenland, Antarctic Ice Loses (Int'l.)
    European Space Agency
    Date: 2020-03-18
    According to the European Space Agency (ESA), Greenland and Antarctica are losing ice six times faster than in the 1990s -- currently on track with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) worst-case climate warming scenario.

    ESA findings show Greenland and Antarctica lost 6.4 trillion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017 -- pushing global sea levels up by 17.8 millimetres. Of the total sea level rise coming from melting polar ice sheets, around 60 pct (10.6 millimetres) was due to Greenland ice losses and 40 pct was due to Antarctica (7.2 millimetres). In just 6 month, the loss of ice from 81 billion tpy in the 1990s to 475 billion tpy in the 2010s. This means that polar ice sheets are now responsible for a third of all sea level rise. (Source: European Space Agency Website, 13 Mar., 2020) Contact: European Space Agency, www.esa.int

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Global Warming,  


    Stony Brook Univ. Energy Management Platform Lauded (Ind. Report)
    Smart Energy Decisions
    Date: 2020-03-18
    In the Empire State, Stony Brook University Office of Energy Management reports receipt of a 2020 Innovation Award from Smart Energy Decisions. The award was in recognition of the Office of Energy Management's in-house data analytics platform.

    The platform pools data from 400 sensor points and utilises a visual heat map to assist visual analysis to detect electric power consumption and HVAC anomalies around the campus and deal with them efficiently. The Stoney Brook IoT programme has been in place since 2018. (Source: Stoney Brook University, CSO Mag., 17 Mar., 2020) Contact: Stoney Brook University, Tom Lanzilotta, Campus Sustainability and Energy Manager,www.stonybrook.edu; Smart Energy Decisions, www.smartenergydecisions.com

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

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