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China Plan Bans Clean Coal from Green Bond Financing (Int'l. Report)
Peoples Bank of China,Climate Bonds Initiative
Date: 2020-09-11
According to China's central bank, the People's Bank of China, a proposal to stop recognizing clean coal as projects qualified for green bonds could attract more interest from foreign investors, as the policy change brings domestic standards closer to the more stringent international definition of green projects. Clean coal projects have always been excluded in green bonds that are certified by international standards.

In Q1 this year, China's issuance of green bonds that only met domestic definitions totaled US$7.97 billion, well above $4.37 billion for the globally aligned bonds, according to the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI). For the second quarter through June alone, green bonds issued on the Chinese standards more than doubled to $5.92 billion from the previous quarter, while the globally aligned green bonds also nearly doubled to $2.82 billion, CBI added.

In 2019, locally aligned green debt in China totaled US$24.5 billion, less than $31.3 billion for the bonds aligned with the global standards, according to the CBI.

On the definition of projects, the international guidelines pay more attention to climate change mitigation and adaptation, while China's domestic rules emphasize environmental benefits such as pollution reduction, resource conservation and ecological protection in addition to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, according to a 2019 CBI report. (Source: CBI, People's Bank of China, Hellenic Shipping News, Sept., 2020) Contact: People's Bank of China, www.pbc.gov.cn; Climate Bonds Initiative, www.climatebonds.net

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Bonds Initiative,  Clean Coal,  Carbon Emissions,  Green Bond,  


Notable Quote on Trump's $118Mn Carbon-Neutral Coal Commitment
Clean Coal
Date: 2020-07-24
"Coal is one of our nation's most abundant natural resources and has been providing well-paying jobs and powering the US for decades. That's why, as the global energy mix evolves, we're investing in the next-generation of coal technologies that will lay the groundwork for clean, reliable 21st century coal-to-energy plants.

"The Trump Administration sees a bright future for the new, next stage of coal."-- Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, July, 2020)

Brouillette was commenting on the Trump Administration's $118 million Coal FIRST commitment to develop technologies to generate carbon-neutral electricity and hydrogen using coal.

Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small, Transformative) plants will incorporate carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies and be capable of flexible operations to meet the needs of the grid, use innovative components that improve efficiency and reduce emission and will be small compared to the current conventional utility-scale coal-fired plants. Contact: Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette www.energy.gov/contributors/dan-brouillette

More Low-Carbon Energy News Coal,  Clean Coal,  


Strauss Wind Project Awaiting Planning Approval (Ind. Report)
Santa Barbara County Planning Commission
Date: 2019-11-22
In the Golden State, the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission reports it is considering a proposal from an affiliate of German renewable energy developer BayWa r.e. for the 30-turbine, 98 MW Strauss Wind Energy Project south of Lompoc.

If approved and constructed, the project will generate sufficient electric power for roughly 45,000 homes and double the county's renewable energy power generation. (Source: Santa Barbara County Planning Commission Noozhawk, 19 Nov., 2019) Contact: Santa Barbara Clean Coalition, Craig Lewis, Exec. Dir., craig@clean-coalition.org; Santa Barbara County Planning Commission, (805) 737-7775, www.countyofsb.org/plndev/hearings/cpc.sbc; BayWa r.e., Hakan Wallin, CEO, +49 (89) 383932 131, www.baywa-re.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  BayWa,  


DOE Invests $56Mn in Coal Technology Projects (R&D, Funding)
US DOE,DOE Office of Fossil Energy
Date: 2019-09-23
The U.S. DOE is announcing 32 winners for $56.5 million in federal funding for cost-shared R&D projects for advanced coal technologies and research under six separate funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). The projects further the (Trump) Administration's commitment to strengthening clean coal technologies and cover a range of topics, including carbon capture, utilization, and storage; rare earth element recovery; coal to products; crosscutting coal R&D; steam turbine efficiency; and advanced materials. The awards are as follows:
  • $10 million for ten projects under DE-FOA-0001992, Maximizing the Coal Value Chain. The projects will develop innovative uses of domestic coal for upgraded coal-based feedstocks used to produce power and make steel and for producing high-value products from coal or coal by-products.

  • $11.9 million under DE-FOA-0001996, Advancing Steam Turbines for Coal Boilers. The two projects selected under this FOA seek to improve the performance of steam-based power cycles, resulting in lower cost electricity with reduced emissions per megawatt-hour from coal fueled boilers.

  • $9.3 million for ten projects under DE-FOA-0002001, Crosscutting Research for Coal-Fueled Power Plants. This effort supports DOE's Crosscutting Research Program, which develops technologies that can be applied to a range of fossil energy uses.

  • $5 million under DE-FOA-0002002, Advanced Materials for High-Efficiency, Flexible and Reliable Coal-Fueled Power Plants. DOE selected five projects to support its Crosscutting Research program, which fosters the development and deployment of innovative systems for improving efficiency and environmental performance.

  • 3 projects will receive up to $15 million under DE-FOA-0002003, Process Scale-Up and Optimization/Efficiency Improvements for Rare Earth Elements (REE) and Critical Materials (CM) Recovery from United States Coal-Based Resources.

  • 2 projects will receive $5.3 million under DE-FOA-0001998, Transformational Sensing Systems for Monitoring the Deep Subsurface. This award seeks to reduce uncertainty of and enable real-time decision-making associated with subsurface carbon dioxide (CO2) storage. The selected projects support DOE's Carbon Storage Research Program by improving characterization and prediction of subsurface fluid movement and enhancing real-time measurement of critical subsurface properties.

    DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)will manage the selected projects. (Source: US DOE, 20 Sept., 2019) Contact: US DOE Office of Fossil Energy, www.energy.gov/fe; NETL, www.netl.doe.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE Office of Fossil Energy,  NETL,  Coal,  Clean Coal,  US DOE,  


  • DOE Announces $87Mn for Coal R&D Projects (Ind. Report)
    US DOE
    Date: 2019-04-15
    In the nation's capitol, the U.S. DOE has announced up to $87.3 million in federal funding for cost-shared R&D projects for advanced coal technologies. In 2017, coal was the second-largest energy source for electricity generation in the United States.

    The R&D projects for coal-fueled power plants and technologies include the following separate funding opportunities:

  • Advancing Steam Turbine Performance for Coal Boilers -- This FOA seeks to improve the performance of steam-based power cycles, resulting in a lower cost of electricity with reduced emissions per megawatt-hour for coal-fueled boilers. This FOA also includes an area of interest for conceptual engineering design for steam turbines in the 50 -- 350 MW range in support of DOE's Coal FIRST initiative. DOE's Office of Fossil Energy's (FE) Advanced Turbines Program will support these projects. DOE Funding: Up to $22 million

  • Transformational Sensing Systems for Monitoring the Deep Subsurface -- This FOA seeks to reduce uncertainty and enable real-time decision making associated with subsurface carbon dioxide (CO2) storage. FE's Carbon Storage Research Program will support these projects. Read more details about this FOA here. Up to $4.8 million is available.

  • Crosscutting Research for Coal-Fueled Power Plants -- This FOA aims to develop innovative technologies that will enhance the performance and economics of the existing and future coal fleet thereby lowering electricity costs for consumers. FE's Crosscutting Research Program will support these projects. Up to $14.5 million funding available.

  • Advanced Materials for High-Efficiency, Flexible and Reliable Coal-Fueled Power Plants -- This FOA will reduce the cost and enhance the cyclic durability of materials used in advanced ultrasupercritical power plants. These advanced materials are critical to increasing the efficiency and reliability of coal-fueled power plants. FE's Advanced Materials Program will support these projects. Up to $26 million available.

  • Process Scale-Up and Optimization/Efficiency Improvements for Rare Earth Elements (REE) and Critical Materials (CM) Recovery from Coal-Based Resources -- This FOA will support cooperative agreements to advance the development of technologies for recovery REEs and CMs from domestic coal-based resources through both novel and conventional extraction, separation, and recovery processes. FE's Feasibility of Recovering Rare Earth Elements Program will support these projects. Up to $20 million available.

    DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage all of the selected projects.

    Download details HERE. ( Source: US DOE, April, 2019) Contact: US DOE, Sec. of Fossil Energy, Steven Winberg, Assist. Sec., www.energy.gov/fe/office-fossil-energy

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US DOE,  Coal,  Clean Coal,  


  • Saudi Arabia Moves to Mitigate Carbon Emissions (Int'l Report)
    Saudi Arabia, Climate Change
    Date: 2019-03-13
    In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) reports the development of its first nationally determined contribution (NDC) under the 2015 Paris Climate Accord aiming to avoid up to 130 million tpy of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) emissions by 2030. The country's power and water sectors together account for more than 40 pct of the kingdom's greenhouse gas emissions.

    According to KAPSARC, a continuation of current policies is expected to increase power sector emissions in 2030 by 70 pct over 2015 levels. Rationalising costs of fuel inputs is critical to driving large CO2 emissions reductions and providing a net economic benefit to the Saudi Arabian economy. In its calculations, KAPSARC evaluates alternative scenarios in terms of their practical implications on Saudi Arabia's CO2 emissions, electric power production, fuel consumption, investments and cost-effectiveness, as well as on the kingdom's oil exports and revenues. The suggested policy approaches include:

  • A portfolio standard that requires up to 50 GW of solar, wind and nuclear technology deployment;
  • A clean energy standard that simulates a set of national policies that reduce the carbon intensity of electricity and water production;
  • A partial fuel price reform, where fuel prices are gradually raised to about half of international price levels by 2030; and
  • A full fuel price reform where fuel prices are raised to international levels.

    Under the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, solar energy would account for 25 pct of the emirate's energy supply requirements, nuclear 7 pct, clean coal 7 pct and natural gas 61 pct by 2030, with an extended goal to increase solar to 75 pct by 2050. (Source: King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, Middle East Technical Review, 12 Mar., 2019) Contact: King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, Adam Sieminski, Pres., +966 11 225 1064, info@kapsarc.org, www.kapsarc.org

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Coal,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Peabody Energy Increases Clean Coal Consortium Support (Funding)
    Peabody Energy
    Date: 2018-08-31
    St. Louis-based coal giant Peabody Energy has reportedly donated an additional $1.5 million for a total of $6.5 million since 2008, to the Washington University Consortium for Clean Coal Utilization (CCCU), of which Peabody is a founding member.

    The CCCU aims to make coal a safer and more affordable source of energy, with minimal impact on the environment. Donations fund new research projects, facilities, and outreach activities involving clean coal. The research projects are conducted by faculty from both Washington University and international partner universities. In total, the program has completed 24 research projects, 114 peer-reviewed papers and one book.

    The CCCU is a part of the International Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability (InCEES), which was established in 2007 as a larger effort to coordinate research on energy, environment, and sustainability.

    According to Peabody Director of Corporate Communications Charlene Murdock, "Coal remains an essential part of the world' energy mix, and technologies are central to continuing to reduce the emissions profile." Murdock adds that "Peabody is dedicated to reducing emissions." (Source: Washington State University, Peabody Energy, Student Life, 28 Aug., 2018) Contact: CCCU, Richard Axelbaum, Dir., cleancoal.wustl.edu; Peabody Energy, Glenn Kellow, CEO, Travis Snyder (314) 342-4351, www.peabodyenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Peabody Energy,  Clean Coal,  ,  


    New EPA Administrator Wheeler Touting Trump's "Affordable Clean Energy Rule" (Reg & Leg)
    Coal,Clean Power Plan
    Date: 2018-08-27
    Greg Pruitt's replacement at the EPA, Andrew Wheeler has been making the rounds in Kentucky coal country touting President Donald Trump's Affordable Clean Energy Rule, a new plan aimed at aiding the beleaguered coal industry.

    Trump's proposal aims to replace the Obama administration's signature effort to slow global warming by limiting emissions from coal-fired power plants. To that end, Trump's plan broadly increases each individual state's authority to decide how to regulate coal plants, the reasoning being that states that are heavily into coal and other fossil fuels will legislate favorably toward its fossil fuel industries.

    Even so, Wheeler claims carbon emissions would continue decreasing under Trump's plan, albeit, not as quickly as under Obama's plan which Trump claims was tantamount to a "war on Coal." The Trump administration has acknowledged that the increased emissions from aging coal plants could kill hundreds more people annually and cost the U.S. billions of dollars. (Source: Various Media, LEX 18, 25 Aug., 2018) Contact: EPA, Andrew Wheeler, Administrator, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_R._Wheeler

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Coal,  Clean Coal,  Clean Power Plan,  Trump,  


    Kids Climate Change Lawsuit Dismissed (Reg & Leg)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2018-08-17
    Following up on our August 1st coverage, in Washingto State, King County Superior Court Judge Michael Scott on Tuesday ruled against group of young climate advocates who sued the state in an effort to force it to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In his ruling, Scott said "anthropogenic climate change caused by increased greenhouse gas emissions poses severe threats to our environment and requires urgent governmental action." Even so, the judge ruled that the state's constitution doesn't include a right to a clean environment, as the plaintiffs had argued.

    With the ruling, his Honor basically said Good Luck, wished the kids well, and told them to keep up the good work!

    The case revolves around a suit filed against the U.S. federal government during the Obama administration by a group of young people who claimed that "a world where climate disaster isn't rampant is guaranteed by the constitution." Specifically, the plaintiffs want a consumption-based inventory of U.S. carbon emissions, an enforceable plan to stop climate change, and a complete end to the Energy Policy Act and the idea of "clean coal. (Source: Various Media, Inside Climate News, 15 Aug., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


    21 Climate Kids to Get Their Day in Court (Reg & Leg)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2018-08-01
    Following up on our 18 July coverage -- Trump Seeks Court Protection from 21 Kid's Climate Lawsuit -- the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that Juliana v. United States, a landmark climate case should go to trial.

    The case revolves around a suit filed against the U.S. federal government during the Obama administration by a group of young people who claimed that a world where climate disaster isn't rampant is guaranteed by the constitution.

    Specifically, the plaintiffs want a consumption-based inventory of U.S. carbon emissions, an enforceable plan to stop climate change, and a complete end to the Energy Policy Act and the idea of "clean coal."

    As previously reported, President Donald Trump has been trying to kill the case but the court ruled against the President saying: "The Government's request for relief is premature and is denied without prejudice. The breadth of respondents' claims is striking, however, and the justiciability of those claims presents substantial grounds for difference of opinion. The District Court should take these concerns into account in assessing the burdens of discovery and trial, as well as the desirability of a prompt ruling on the Government's pending dispositive motions." The lawsuit was originally launched in 2015 against then-President Barack Obama who, like the Donald, hoped it would simply fade away. (Source: Various Media, Earther, 30 July, 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate change,  Trump,  

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