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Blue Carbon -- Ocean-based Solutions to Fight the Climate Crisis (Marine Conservation Society Report Attached)
Marine Conservation Society
Date: 2021-05-05
In the UK, the Marine Conservation Society, in partnership with Rewilding Britain, has released Blue Carbon -- Ocean-based Solutions to Fight the Climate Crisis, a report on the ocean's vital role in fighting the climate crisis and blue carbon solutions as an effective strategy for hitting net zero by 2050. In recognition of the vital role oceans must play in climate change mitigation and adaptation, ocean-based solutions must be adopted with pace and at scale by 2030.

Globally, the "rewilding" of key blue carbon securing marine and coastal ecosystems -- seagrass beds, saltmarshes and mangroves -- could deliver CO2 mitigation amounting to 1.83 billion tonnes. That is 5 pct of the emissions savings we need to make globally. This figure doesn't include the enormous quantities of carbon stored in fish and other marine life; in marine ecosystems such as coral reefs, seaweeds and shellfish beds; or the vast stores of carbon in our seabed sediments.

The report motes that 500,000 km2 of the UK's shelf seas hold an estimated 205 million tonnes of carbon -- 50 million tonnes more than the entire quantity held within the UK's forests. Harmful fishing practices such as bottom trawling, and other activities such as dredging, disturb seabed sediments and have the potential to result in the loss of 13 million tonnes of carbon from vital blue carbon stores, including shellfish beds and kelp forests, over the next decade.

Nature-based solutions could provide a third of climate change mitigations required to address the climate crisis, but currently they attract less than 3 pct of funds invested globally in addressing climate change, he report notes. Internationally, the UK is leading the way by committing to significantly increase its spending on nature-based solutions, including those offered by the ocean. This must be matched with equally ambitious actions at home. Investment in protecting our marine ecosystems is vital, for both biodiversity and blue carbon storage.

The report makes the case for the development of a four nation Blue Carbon Strategy, focusing on three key action areas. First, scaling up marine rewilding for biodiversity and blue carbon benefits. Second, Integrating blue carbon protection and recovery into climate mitigation and environmental management policies. Third, working with the private sector to develop and support sustainable and innovative low-carbon commercial fisheries and aquaculture.

With COP26 occurring in six months time, it has never been more pertinent for UK governments to take action. Ocean-based solutions must be part of the many urgent and varied solutions required to address the climate crisis.

Download theBlue Carbon -- Ocean-based Solutions to Fight the Climate Crisis report HERE. (Source: Marine Conservation Society, PR Website, Apr., 2021) Contact: Marine Conservation Society, Dr Chris Tuckett, Prog. Dir., info@mcsuk.org, +44 0 1989 566017, www.mcsuk.org

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


USGBC Develops LEED Safety First Credits (Ind. Report)
USGBC
Date: 2021-05-03
As part of its Healthy Economy strategy, the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC) has launched LEED Safety First credits that support project teams as they work toward reentry and safe operation. The Safety First Credits were designed to be "agile" and up-datable as more is known about the virus that causes COVID-19.

Safety First LEED credits are helping building teams provide healthy spaces and assisting with building reentry. The credits outline sustainable best practices that align with public health and industry guidelines related to cleaning and disinfecting, workplace reoccupancy, HVAC and plumbing operations. The credits can be used by LEED projects that are certified or are undergoing certification.

While all these measures are aimed at supporting how building design and operations can help mitigate the spread of disease, including the virus that causes COVID-19, they are also based on ensuring healthy indoor air and spaces even beyond the effects of a pandemic, and they could help frame future long-term updates to the LEED rating system.

Download USGBC LEED Safety First details HERE. (Source: US Green Building Council, PR, Apr., 2021) Contact: US Green Building Council, www.usgbc.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News USGBC,  LEED Certification,  


Tesla Battery Powerwall Boss Talks Carbon Tax (Notable Quote)
Elon Musk
Date: 2021-04-30
"I talked to the Biden administration, and they were like 'Well, this seems too politically difficult' and I was like, 'Well, this is obviously a thing that should happen', and by the way, SpaceX would be paying a carbon tax too. So I'm like, you know, I'm like, I think we should pay it too. It's not like we shouldn't have carbon generating things. It's just that there's got to be a price on this stuff.

"If we just put a price on carbon emissions, the market will react in a sensible way. But because we don]t have a price on it, it is behaving badly. It's either we have sustainable energy or civilization collapses. And so if civilization doesn't collapse we will have sustainable energy, it's just a question of how soon does that happen. Sooner is better." -- Elon Musk, Feb., 2021)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Elon Musk,  Carbon Tax,  


Safe Foods Scores LEED Silver Certification (Ind. Report)
US Green Building Council
Date: 2021-04-28
North Little Rock, Arkansas-headquartered Safe Foods Corporation reports its global headquarters and innovation center has been awarded U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED v4 Silver level of certification.

Completed in 2019, the Safe Foods project is a complete renovation of a 133,128 square foot building consisting of blending, packaging, and warehousing areas on the first level while the upper levels are reserved for manufacturing, offices, and communal spaces. The LEED Silver certification of Safe Foods project incudes:

  • The installation of low mercury lighting and high-efficiency HVAC systems, saving almost 30 pct in energy costs per year over a comparable building of this size and use.

  • Low flow fixtures throughout the facility reduces the water used every year by 32 pct

  • The utilization of low emitting construction materials throughout

  • The preservation of 492,000 square feet of open space, retention of 93 pct of the existing structure, and others. (Source: Safe Foods, PR, 26 Apr., 2021) Contact: Safe Foods Corp., 501-758-8500, www.safefoods.net; USGBC, www.usgbc.org

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


  • Prologis Launching LEED v4 Volume Program (Ind. Report)
    Prologis
    Date: 2021-04-26
    San Francisco-headquartered warehouse development powerhouse Prologis Inc. reports launching the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design v4 for Core and Shell Volume Program for the U.S. logistics real estate sector.

    The new version features more rigorous standards than the previous LEED Volume Program, which was established in 2014. Under the LEED v4 for Core and Shell Volume Program, Prologis "will implement measurable strategies for achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality for its projects in the U.S., Latin America, Canada and Italy."

    According to a company release, "The Volume Program streamlines the certification process at a substantially lower cost than would be possible with individual building assessments. Since our initial participation in the 2014 program, we have saved $24 million when compared to the costs for non-Volume certification."

    In 2020, Prologis set a goal that 100 pct of new developments and redevelopments will achieve sustainable building certification each year. As of the end of 2019, Prologis had 143 million square feet of sustainably certified space across 397 projects in 18 countries. (Source: Prologis, PR, Website, Apr., 2021) Contact: Prologis, 415 394 9000, www.prologis.com

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


    NASA Nails 2020 Green Bldg Initiative Award (Ind. Report)
    NASA,Green Building Initiative
    Date: 2021-04-23
    The Green Building Initiative (GBI) reports the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center's (MSFC) Building 4221 in Huntsville, Alabama has won the 2020 Green Globes Project of the Year Award.

    The building was recognized for its innovative sustainability features that include: a customized stormwater management plan, cistern, and bioswales, stormwater capture and infiltration, reflective roof with a 120kW solar array, improved thermal envelope, high-efficiency glazing, and exterior shading. The project also includes a green cleaning program, temperature and humidity sensors to maintain thermal comfort and day-lighting in 94 pct of occupied space. During construction the project diverted 78 pct of on-site generated construction waste from landfills and 23 pct of the total construction materials contain recycled content from local sources and 92 pct of the lumber used in construction came from FSC-Certified forests.

    GBI is a nonprofit organization and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accredited Standards Developer dedicated to improving building performance and reducing climate impacts. Founded in 2004, the organization is the global provider of the Green Globes® and federal Guiding Principles Compliance building certification and assessment programs, according to its website. (Source: Green Building Initiative, PR, 23 Apr., 2021) Contact: GBI, info@thegbi.org, www.thegbi.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Building Initiative,  Energy Efficiency,  NASA,  Green Building,  


    Sustainable Aviation Fuels Buyers Alliance Launched (Ind. Report)
    Sustainable Aviation Fuels Buyers Alliance
    Date: 2021-04-21
    The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is reporting the launch of the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance (SABA) to accelerate the path to net zero aviation by driving investment in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), catalysing new SAF production and technological innovation and supporting member engagement in policy-making. SABA's founding member companies include Boeing, BCG, Deloitte, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, Netflix and Salesforce. Key aspects of SABA's work will include:
  • Education and Policy Support -- SABA will help members navigate the technical aspects of SAF and the SAF market, aviation emissions accounting, and the SAF policy landscape.

  • Technology Innovation -- SABA will assess emerging SAF technologies and work with like-minded organizations to help address barriers to scale and cost reduction.

  • Investment Opportunity -- SABA will establish a rigorous, transparent SAF certificate system enabling air transport customers -- not only aircraft operators -- to invest in high quality SAF to meet their ambitious climate goals.

    According to RMI's managing director of climate intelligence Ned Harvey, "SABA will build on the strong foundation of these global efforts, and develop a system that enables SAF to grow at the same pace and scale that renewable electricity grew over the last decade. The benefits of investing in SAF will go beyond the aviation sector, creating vast new clean energy jobs and new, sustainable revenue sources for farmers and tech innovators." (Source: EDF, PR, 20 Apr., 2021) Contact: EDF, www.edf.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Sustainable Aviation Fuels,  SAF,  RMI,  


  • WashREIT Announces $350 Mn of Green Bonds for Eligible Green Bldgs Achieving BREEAM Certification (Ind. Report)
    BREEAM
    Date: 2021-04-21
    In Washington, DC, commercial and residential landlord WashREIT has announced an expansion of its $350 million Green Bond Framework for eligible green projects, including eight multifamily assets acquired in 2019. WashREIT intends to achieve BREEAM In-Use Very Good certifications for the majority of its real estate assets. Green Bond proceeds will be allocated to buildings that achieve BREEAM certification to address energy efficiency, water efficiency, and renewable energy projects.

    BREEAM is the world's leading sustainability assessment methodology for master-planning projects, infrastructure and buildings. It recognizes and reflects the value in higher performing assets across the built environment lifecycle, from new construction, through performance in operation, to refurbishment. BREEAM does this through third party certification of the assessment of an asset's environmental, social and economic sustainability performance, according to its website.

    WashREIT owns and operates 43 properties includes nearly 7,000 multifamily apartment units and approximately 3.4 million square feet of commercial space in Washington, DC.

    The global green bond market expected to exceed $ 1 trillion by the end of 2021. (Source: WashREIT, PR, Apr., 2021) Contact: WashREIT, 202.774.3200, www.washreit.com; BREEAM USA, 415-747-5152, breeamusa@bregroup.com www.breeam.com/usa

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Building,  BREEAM,  Energy Efficiency,  Green Bond,  


    Major Business Support for Biden Administration's Climate Action Plan (Opinions, Editorials & Aside)
    We Mean Business Cooalition
    Date: 2021-04-16
    On Tuesday, in an open letter organized by the We Mean Business coalition to President Biden, 310 businesses and investors with a footprint in the U.S. signed their support for the Biden administration's commitment to climate action and for setting a federal climate target to reduce emissions.

    An excerpt from the letter states, "To restore the standing of the U.S. as a global leader, we need to address the climate crisis at the pace and scale it demands. Specifically, the U.S. must adopt an emissions reduction target that will place the country on a credible pathway to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. We, therefore, call on you to adopt the ambitious and attainable target of cutting GHG emissions by at least 50 pct below 2005 levels by 2030."

    The letter demonstrates the U.S. business and investor communities' strong support for a highly ambitious 2030 emissions reduction target, or Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) pursuant to the Paris Agreement, in pursuit of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. Latest climate modeling shows that at least halving emissions by 2030 is achievable, and provides strong economic benefits. The Biden administration is expected to announce its NDC prior to the Leaders Summit on Climate.

    Business signatories of the letter collectively represent over $3 trillion in annual revenue and employ nearly 6 million U.S. workers across all 50 states. They range in size from small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to large multinational corporations, and represent a number of industries. Investor signatories collectively represent more than $1 trillion in assets under management and include CalSTRS, the New York State Comptroller, the New York City Comptroller and the California State Controller's Office, among others.

    "The U.S. business community is committed to doing its part to reduce emissions because it is good for the economy and helps us build back better. Companies want to work with the Biden administration toward a better future for all," said Maria Mendiluce, CEO of the We Mean Business coalition. "I applaud businesses and investors for raising their voices in support of at least halving U.S. emissions by 2030. This is what the climate crisis requires, and will strengthen the country's competitiveness and create more good jobs"

    "A strong national emissions reduction target is just what we need to catalyze a net-zero emissions future and build back a more equitable and inclusive economy," said Anne Kelly, vice president of government relations at Ceres. "Businesses of all sizes recognize that reducing emissions is vital to keeping the U.S. competitive, and protecting the health and well-being of people and the planet. By setting a strong target, the Biden administration can ensure the U.S. is ready to return to its role as a global climate leader and spur further action from the private sector."

    We Mean Business is a global coalition of nonprofit organizations working with the world's most influential businesses to take action on climate change. The coalition brings together seven organizations: BSR, CDP, Ceres, The B Team, The Climate Group, The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Together we catalyze business action to drive policy ambition and accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy.

    Business signatories to the letter include Apple; Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc.; BT Americas; Boston Consulting Group; Burton; Coca-Cola; Danone North America; DSM North America; Edison International; Facebook; GAP Inc.; General Electric; Google; H&M; Hewlett Packard Enterprise; HP Inc.; IKEA Retail U.S.; Johnson & Johnson; Kellogg Company; LafargeHolcim; Levi Strauss & Co.; Lyft, Inc.; MARS; Mastercard; McDonald's Corporation; Microsoft; National Grid; New Belgium Brewing; Nestle; Nike; Novozymes North America; Orsted North America; Ralph Lauren Corp.; Schneider Electric; Siemens; Solvay; Starbucks; Tiffany & Co; Unilever; Verizon; VF Corporation; and Walmart, among others. (Source: We Mean Business Coalition, PR, Apr., 2021) Contact: We Mean Business Coalition, Maria Mendiluce, CEO, Kristen King, 904-608-1745, kristen@wemeanbusinesscoalition.org, www.wemeanbusinesscoalition.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


    California Carbon Reduction Partnership Growing (Ind. Report)
    Rising Sun Center for Opportunity
    Date: 2021-04-12
    In the Golden State, the Oakland-based not-for-profit Rising Sun Center for Opportunity is reporting the Alameda County Workforce Development Board, Bay Area Regional Energy Network, and East Bay Community Energy have joined other Bay Area industry, labor, and government agencies to work to "ensure equitable access to high-road jobs in the building decarbonization industry" and reducing the region's carbon footprint.

    Other organizations joining the effort include the Construction Trades Workforce Initiative, Emerald Cities Collaborative, The Greenlining Institute, several builder groups, and the cities of San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland.

    According to Rising Sun, most housing in the Bay Area uses natural gas for cooking, water heating, and space heating. Reducing residential carbon dioxide emissions will require new housing to be all electric new construction, as well as significant retrofitting of existing housing.

    The effort is being funded by California High Road Training Partnership and California Climate Investments program. (Source: Rising Sun, PR, The Independent, 10 Apr., 2021) Contact: Rising Sun, Julia Hatton, CEO, 510-665-1501, www.risingsunopp.org

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


    PSU $4.6Bn Endowment Aims for Net-zero Emissions (Ind. Report)
    Penn State University
    Date: 2021-04-09
    In the Keystone State, the Penn State University Office of Investments has announced it will eliminate greenhouse gas emissions associated with underlying investments, but not necessarily divesting fossil fuels, in Penn's $4.6 billion endowment by 2050.

    The goal supports efforts outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement and the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to reduce the world's net anthropogenic emissions to zero by 2050. This announcement builds upon Penn State's annual Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0 report, released on Dec. 1, 2020, which summarized the University's latest progress in environmental sustainability made from 2019 to 2024 with a commitment to achieve a 100 pct carbon-neutral campus by 2042.

    Penn State has reduced its overall carbon emissions by 37.2 pct since 2009 and "greened" its physical footprint with 27 buildings achieving US Green Building Council LEED certification, 34 buildings having green roofs, and 14 acres of open space having been added through the creation of Penn Park. In 2020, the University signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the construction of two new solar energy facilities which will offset 75 pct of both the academic campus and the University of Pennsylvania Health System's electricity consumption through renewable energy. (Source: Penn State University, PR, The Pennsylvanian, Apr., 2021) Contact: Penn State University, 814-865-6528, www.bursar.psu.edu/endowments

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


    ADM Rebooting Idled Ethanol Plant Production (Ind. Report)
    Archer Daniels Midland
    Date: 2021-04-05
    Further to our 27 April, 2020 coverage, Chicago-headquartered biofuel pioneer and ethanol producer Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) reports it is rebooting ethanol production at its 300-gpy corn dry mills plants in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Columbus, Nebraska.

    "We've been carefully monitoring a wide variety of industry ethanol conditions, and in recent weeks, we've seen consistent signs pointing to accelerating demand for domestic ethanol. company said in a statement. Inventories across the industry are steadily coming down, China is importing volumes, we continue to expect driving miles to increase as the pace of vaccinations accelerates, and the EPA's support of a strong Renewable Fuel Standard is helping drive great blending economics," according to a company statement . Ethanol deliveries are expected by mid-April, with full capacity by late spring. (Source: Archer Daniels Midland, PR, Apr., 2021) Contact: ADM, Juan Luciano, Pres., CEO, (312) 634-8100, www.adm.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Archer Daniels Midland,  Ethanol,  


    Chicago PACE Closes $4.6Mn Amped Kitchens Funding (Ind. Report)
    Property Assessed Clean Energy
    Date: 2021-03-26
    Chicago PACE, a program of the City of Chicago's Department of Planning and Development, reports it has closed $4.6 million in Commercial (C-PACE) funding in support of completed energy efficiency work at the recently opened Amped Kitchens Chicago facility in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood.

    The $4.6 million in private funding through the Chicago PACE program was provided by CounterpointeSRE, a national C-PACE capital provider, and was earmarked to a long list of energy efficiency improvements that included new HVAC consisting of packaged RTUs, hoods, water heaters, and indirect fired gas furnaces as well as LED lighting at the 5801 W Dickens Ave. facility.

    The Chicago PACE program, a public-private partnership designed to fund energy-saving and renewable infrastructure improvements to commercial and multifamily properties, is administered by Loop-Counterpointe PACE LLC, a joint venture between Loop Capital Markets and Counterpointe Sustainable Real Estate.

    Amped Kitchens provides long-term production space to some of the nation's most innovative and successful food brands. (Source: Chicago PACE, PR, 25 Mar., 2021) Contact: Chicago PACE, inquiry@chicagopace.org, www.ChicagoPACE.org

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


    Penna. DEP Eases Energy Efficiency Loan Process (Ind. Report)
    Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
    Date: 2021-03-22
    In Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reports it has revamped the Green Energy Loan Fund (GELF) to make it easier for commercial property owners to get low-interest loans for large-scale, high-impact energy efficiency projects.

    The DEP and GELF work with building owners to ensure projects meet minimum energy savings requirements. In preparation for financing, GELF offers borrowers technical assistance to help building owners identify the most efficient, effective solutions to improve their building's energy performance. The improvements make it easier for borrowers to get even lower interest rates if they commit to performing a retro-commissioning -- upgrading -- several years after installation of their energy-saving project. New equipment must reduce energy use at least 25 pct, and whole building projects must reduce energy use more than 10 pct over current building energy code.

    The GELP prioritizes local community development efforts and seeks to support projects in Environmental Justice areas. Nearly 30 pct of funded projects have been in buildings owned or controlled by persons of color or with low income, and more than half have been located in low-income census tracts.

    The Green Energy Loan Fund has financed 16 projects for a total of $23 million in improvements to 2.1 million square feet of building space since 2009. The financing has enabled a carbon dioxide emissions reduction of 110,000 tons over the life of these projects.

    Download Penna. Green Energy Loan Fund details HERE. (Source: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, PR, Mar., 2021) Contact: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, www.dep.pa.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency Loans,  


    PACE Loans Under Review in the Show Me State (Reg. & leg.)
    PACE Loan
    Date: 2021-03-19
    In Jefferson City, Missouri House and Senate committees have passed legislation that would place significant new regulations on residential property assessed clean energy (PACE) loans.

    Under the legislation, PACE programs would be examined by the state Division of Finance every 24 months at an estimated cost of $50,000 per review. Under another bill, (HB 697), mortgage lenders would have the power to veto PACE loans.

    PACE loans are repaid as a line item added to borrowers' property tax bills and processed by county collectors as though they were a tax and, in the event of a mortgage payment default, are collected ahead of the mortgage loan. Consequently, mortgage lenders are uneasy with PACE financing and federal mortgage lenders Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae do not allow PACE loans on top of mortgages they hold.

    Current law allows PACE loans only in cities and counties that pass ordinances authorizing the lending. Proposed legislation would limit a PACE loan plus the outstanding mortgage debt to no more than 80 pct of a property's appraised value, plus the value of improvements made. (Source: Various Media, Energy News, 18 Mar., 2021) Contact: PACE, info@pacenow.org, www.pacenow.org

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


    Palm Coast Community Center Scores LEED Silver Cert. (Ind. Report)
    USGBC
    Date: 2021-03-17
    In the Sunshine State, the city of Palm Coast -- pop. 81,000 -- reports its recently expanded 21,000 square feet Community Center has received US Green Building Council LEED Silver certification for environmental sustainability and resource efficiency. The project earned LEED qualifying points for:
  • Location and Transportation -- surrounding density and diverse uses, bicycle facilities, reduced parking footprint, green vehicles;

  • Sustainable Sites -- construction activity pollution prevention, site assessment, open space, rainwater management, heat island reduction (reduce effects on human and wildlife habitats by reducing the impact of heat retaining components);

  • Water Efficiency -- outdoor water use reduction, indoor water use reduction, building-level water metering;

  • Energy and Atmosphere -- fundamental commissioning and verification, minimum energy performance, building-level energy metering, fundamental refrigerant management, optimize energy performance, enhanced commissioning (verifying the training of the staff and testing to operate the energy and water systems), enhanced refrigerant management (reduce ozone depletion by minimizing the emission of harmful compounds), green power and carbon offsets (100 pct of the total building energy consumption is offset by the use of renewable energy sources);

  • Materials and Resources -- storage and collection of recyclables, construction and demolition waste management planning, building life-cycle impact reduction (reuse or salvage at least 25 pct of the materials for the building), product disclosure and optimization -- environmental product declarations (utilize products and materials that have environmental, economical, and socially preferred life-cycle impacts), product disclosure and optimization -- material ingredients (Install materials that have a minimum level of recycled content), construction and demolition waste management (reduce construction waste that is disposed of in landfills);

  • Indoor Environmental Quality -- minimum IAQ performance, environmental tobacco smoke control, enhanced IAQ strategies (utilize mechanically and naturally ventilated ideals to promote occupant comfort), low-emitting materials (reduce concentrations for chemical contaminants), construction IAQ management plan (promote the well-being of the construction workers during construction), thermal comfort (provide multiple controls of the mechanical system to the building occupants), interior lighting (provide multiple controls of the lighting to the building occupants);

  • Innovation -- achieved a higher level of low-emitting materials and use of environmentally sensitive cleaning products to maintain the building;

  • Regional Priority Credits -- surrounding density and diverse uses (extra credit granted on the location of the project), thermal comfort (extra credit granted on the location of the project). (Source: City of Palm Coast, Palm Coast Observer, Mar., 2021) Contact: City of Palm Coast, www.palmcoastgov.com; USGBC, www.usgbc.org

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


  • 9H, Wyoming University Partner on Solar Energy Research (R&D)
    9H Research Foundation
    Date: 2021-03-08
    In Wyoming, the Laramie-based 9H Research Foundation reports it will donate possibly millions of dollars to the University of Wyoming (UW) in the form of clean energy installations and in-kind support services for construction of a philanthropic student research facility and the creation of a world-class clean energy engineering curriculum at UW.

    First Solar, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer, made a $300,000 in-kind donation to the project with more than 2,000 advanced thin film solar photovoltaic modules totaling nearly 1 megawatt of capacity. Other funders include Creative Energies Solar, Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium, Alt E Wind & Solar, RiskThinking.AI, and Black Bean Capital Partners.

    To drive innovation and provide students with hands-on research experience, 9H Foundation is hiring additional student interns and funding $15,000 worth of projects for seven student groups to design and build solar and energy storage projects out of the new research facility. (Source: 9H Research Foundation, Gillette News Record, 7 Mar., 2021) Contact: 9H Energy, 9H Research Foundation Gene Humphrey, Co-Founder, info@9henergy.com, www.9henergy.com; University of Wyoming College of Engineering and Applied Science, 307-766-4253, enginfo@uwyo.edu, www.uwyo.edu; First Solar, David Brady, Inv. Rel., (602) 414-9315, dbrady@firstsolar.com, www.firstsolar.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News First Solar,  9H Research Foundation,  Solar,  


    LMV Touts Green Energy Storage Breakthrough (New Prod & Tech)
    LVM Technology
    Date: 2021-03-05
    St. Petersburg, Florida-based renewable energy storage start-up LVM Technology LLC is touting its recently patented longer-term energy storage solution -- an innovative pumped-hydro system utilizing a liquid-vapor mixture to maintain constant pressure in renewable energy storage tanks.

    Typically, compressed air is used to store energy in the form of pressure, but the pressure varies as fluid is dispensed. The potentially game-changing technology uses a liquid-vapor mixture (LVM) instead of air to maintain constant pressure as the stored liquid is dispensed. Potential applications beyond energy storage include constant high-pressure water distribution for high-rise buildings or municipalities, aero-space, residential, etc., according to the company release. (Source: LMV Technology LLC, PR, 4 Mar., 2021) Contact: LVM Technology LLC, Ramsey Nashed, 727-418-6622, www.lvmtechnology.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  Energy Storage,  


    NextGen Biomass Comments on Japan's Hydrogen Plans (Opinions, Editorials & Asides
    Zilkha Black Pellets,NextGen Biomass Technologies
    Date: 2021-03-03
    Houston, Texas-based Zilkha Black® (biomass) Pellet producer NextGen Biomass Technologies comments on Japan's hydrogen fuel plans: "In March 2019, Japan released its third Strategic Roadmap for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells. The plan targets reduction in hydrogen production costs and leadership in carbon capture strategies to convert hydrogen from fossil fuels. Investments are flooding in on this plan's strength.

    "We (NextGen) are optimistic about the courage and vision that the Japanese nation is showing in the hydrogen economy. Here in the U.S., officials are projecting a 2028 timeline to commercialize hydrogen as a fuel. It is obvious that Japan is much more aggressive and pushes the envelope in research, development and full-scale production operations. One recent example is the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries steel plant project in Australia, which is using hydrogen instead of coal.

    "Japan's top two carmakers have been steadily selling hydrogen fuel cell cars at a loss in California for more than a decade. This business model has been valuable to both companies and the Japanese government, based on customer feedback and increased interest in supporting the U.S.'s build-out of a hydrogen infrastructure. These are cars limited to use only in California, where the U.S. has 44 of its 47 hydrogen fueling stations.

    "We (NextGen) have worked with others in the biofuel and biofuel derivatives market to see how our Zilkha Black Pellets work in biosyngas reactors, where companies typically generate methane and other heavier petroleum replacements that can be converted to hydrogen. Most of these processes are not currently at full production scale. The factor holding many of them back is the variability of feedstock. When different feedstocks, or even the same feedstock with varying particle or different moisture contents are added, the process must sometimes be adjusted significantly to avoid loss of product, equipment and other hazards. Using Zilkha Black Pellets as a base for bioreactors ensures a stable, uniform size, moisture and makeup feedstock to which smaller amounts of varied feedstocks can be added. These pellets cost significantly less to transport than raw biomass ever will.

    "Hydrogen from biomass is a viable, low-cost electricity solution, and we are excited to work with companies operating in this space. Using a stable uniform feedstock, especially in the initial full-scale production phases, can mean the difference between a successful project and one that never reaches its goal." (Source: NextGen Biomass Technologies, Larry Price, (713) 979-9961, info@nextgenbiomass.com, lprice@nextgenbiomass.com, nextgenbiomass.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Zilkha Black Pellets,  Hydrogen,  Green Hydrogen,  NextGen Biomass Technologies,  


    EDF Texas Solar Project Lands 100 MW Virtual PPA (Ind. Report)
    EDF Renewables North America
    Date: 2021-03-03
    EDF Renewables North America is reporting an affiliate of energy services group Enterprise Products Partners LP will off-take 100 MW/132 MW DC of power from its Space City Solar complex in Wharton County Texas under the terms of a virtual power purchase agreement (PPA) tied to the second phase of a 345 MW/455 MW DC project which is slated to break ground this summer for completion in summer 2022.

    The off-take deal supports Enterprise's goal for sourcing 25 pct of its power from renewables by 2025. (Source: EDF Renewables, PR, Renewables Now, Mar. 2021) Contact: Enterprise Products Partners, www.enterpriseproducts.com; EDF Renewables, Sandi Briner, 858-521-3525, www.edf-re.com; EnterSolar, 917-580-3198, www.entersolar.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EDF Renewables North America,  Solar,  


    Advent Technologies Snares UltraCell Fuel Cell Technology (M&A)
    Advent Technologies
    Date: 2021-02-22
    Advent Technologies Holdings, Inc. an innovation-driven company in the fuel cell and hydrogen technology space, reports it has closed on its acquisition of UltraCell LLC , the wholly owned fuel cell division of Commack, New York-headquartered Bren-Tronics, Inc., a designer and producer of military rechargeable batteries, chargers, and power systems.

    UltraCell's technology can use hydrogen or liquid fuels to deliver reliable power at a fraction of the weight of batteries. An UltraCell system is 3x-25x lighter in weight than the equivalent battery solution (depending on the application and use case).

    UltraCell developed new technologies and intellectual property in the field of methanol, propane and JP8 - based fuel cells and continues to innovate in this rapidly emerging field. UltraCell was the first to commercialize reformed methanol fuel cell technology to provide clean, renewable energy to power portable electronics.

    Advent's technology applies to electrification (fuel cells) and energy storage (flow batteries, hydrogen production) markets, which we commercialize through partnerships with Tier1s, OEMs, and System Integrators. (Source: Advent Technologies Holdings, Inc., PR, 22 Feb., 2021) Contact: Advent Technologies, www.advent.energy; UltraCell, Ian Kaye, ikaye@ultracell-llc.com, www.ultracell-llc.com, Bren-Tronics, Doug Petito dpetito@bren-tronics.com, www.bren-tronics.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Advent Technologies,  Energy Storage,  Fuel Cell,  


    Greenlane Inks $3.6Mn in New RNG Contracts (Ind. Report)
    Greenlane Renewables
    Date: 2021-02-19
    Barnaby, British Columbia-based Greenlane Renewables Inc. reports its wholly-owned subsidiary, Greenlane Biogas North America Ltd., has inked two contracts totaling $3.6 million (Cdn) for new renewable natural gas (RNG) projects. The first contract involves a project in the Midwest United States for upgrading biogas to RNG from dairy operations. Contract details have not been disclosed.

    According to Greenlane Pres. and CEO Brad Douville, "The transition to renewable natural gas as an essential solution to decarbonize transportation and the natural gas grid continues to build momentum. We're seeing new opportunities progress through our sales pipeline at an increased pace and we're seeing results from the investments we made in product development, marketing and sales over the last 12 to 18 months. These two new contract wins demonstrate continued success in sectors where we see additional upside potential and a unique position in the market for Greenlane." (Source: Greenlane Renewables, PR, 18 Feb., 2021)Contact: Greenlane Biogas, Brad Douville, Pres., CEO, (604) 259-0343, brad.dauville@greenlanerenewables.com, www.greenlanebiogas.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Greenlane Renewables,  Biogas,  Biomethane,  RNG,  


    Elon Musk Comments on a U.S. Carbon Tax (Notable Quote)
    Elon Musk
    Date: 2021-02-15
    Following up on our 22 Jan coverage -- Elon Musk Offers $100Mn for Best Carbon Capture Tech -- the the battery energy storage, SpaceX and Tesla tycoon announced:

    "I talked to the Biden administration, and they were like 'Well, this seems too politically difficult' and I was like, 'Well, this is obviously a thing that should happen', and by the way, SpaceX would be paying a carbon tax too. So I'm like, you know, I'm like, I think we should pay it too. It's not like we shouldn't have carbon generating things. It's just that there's got to be a price on this stuff," Musk said.

    "If we just put a price on carbon emissions, the market will react in a sensible way. But because we don`t have a price on it, it is behaving badly," Musk noted.

    "It's either we have sustainable energy or civilization collapses. And so if civilization doesn't collapse we will have sustainable energy, it's just a question of how soon does that happen. Sooner is better," Musk elaborated. (Source: Elon Musk, DNA, 13 Feb., 2021) Contact: Elon Musk (@elonmusk)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Elon Musk,  Carbon Tax,  


    XPRIZE Carbon Removal Winner to Score $50Mn from Musk (Int'l.)
    XPRIZE
    Date: 2021-02-15
    The XPRIZE Carbon Removal will last four years through Earth Day 2025. In the first phase of the competition, 15 teams with the best solutions will get $1 million each. Ultimately, the first-ranked full-scale demonstration wins $50 million -- half of the $100 million as recently promised by Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink and Boring Co. CEO Elon Musk.

    XPRIZE aims to help scale efficient solutions to achieve the 10-gigaton-per-year carbon removal target by 2050.

    The nonprofit organization announced the launch for Earth Day, April 22, and added the winner would be picked four years after that. In the first stage of the XPRIZE Carbon Removal, top 15 teams will be selected within 18 months and receive $1 million each. An additional 25 student scholarships of $200,000 each will also be awarded.

    Milestone Awards will kick-start team fundraising for their operating budgets to achieve full-scale demonstrations. The grand prize winner gets $50 million, leaving $20 million and $10 million for the two runnerups. (Source: Elon Musk, Balkan Green Energy News, 15 Feb., 2021)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News XPRIZE news,  Carbon Emissions news,  Elon Musk news,  


    USGBC Announces Top 10 States for Green Building (Ind. Report)
    U.S. Green Building Council
    Date: 2021-02-10
    The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has released its annual list of the Top 10 States for LEED green building with Massachusetts leading the country in 2020 with the most certified square feet per capita.

    Across the top states, more than 60 pct of certifications were office, healthcare, higher education and K-12 projects.

    This year, USGBC also released a ranking of states with the most LEED professionals with California taking the top spot. Collectively, the 2020 rankings represent 1,171 certified LEED buildings and spaces, and more than 100,000 green building workers.

    "If we are to rebuild an economy that supports our health and our planet, we must lead with changing the way we design and build," said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of USGBC. "Last year was a stark reminder that the quality of our buildings impacts the quality of our life. Looking ahead, people want to trust that the spaces they occupy are good for them and their communities, and LEED has always been a tool to support those goals. Now is the time to ensure that every building is LEED certified as that is the only way we are accomplishing our goals of access to healthy, green buildings, homes and spaces."

    While offices, education and healthcare projects accounted for a majority of certifications, warehouses, distribution centers, multifamily and retail projects represented almost 20 pct. Also, almost half of all projects were certified Gold, indicating a commitment to a high level of certification.

    Top 10 States for LEED Green Building in 2020 are: Massachusetts, Washington, Illinois, Colorado, New York, Maryland, California, Virginia, Texas and Nevada in that order. (Source: US Green Building Council, PR, Feb., 2021) Contact: US Green Building Council, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News LEED Certification,  U.S. Green Building Council ,  Green Building,  Energy Efficiency,  


    France Exceeded 2019 CO2 Reduction Target (Int'l. Report)
    Carbon Emissions
    Date: 2021-02-08
    Following up on our 3 Jan coverage -- Guilty as Charged! -- €1 Fine for Climate Inaction, the French Environment Ministry has acknowledged France failed to meet its target for reducing carbon emissions in 2019 with the caveat that the country's climate change progress has been "underestimated."

    "In 2019, France kept its climate commitments and that's excellent news," the Ministry said announcing that emissions fell by 1.7 pct that year, exceeding the target of 1.5 pct.

    In June 2020, the national emissions inventory agency CITEPA estimated that France produced 437 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2019, which represented a drop of only 1 pct from the previous year. But the environment ministry noted CITEPA has since revised its estimate to 441 million tonnes, a fall of 1.7 pct.

    Under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, France pledged to cut emissions by 40 pct by 2030 compared with 1990 levels, and aims to become carbon neutral by 2050. (Source: French Environment Ministry, AFP, Space Daily, 7 Jan., 2021) Contact: French Environment Ministry, +33 140812122, www.ec.europa.eu/environment/ecoap/etv/ministry-ecology-sustainable-development-and-energy_en

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


    Florida Bill Expands PACE Programs, Accountability (Reg & Leg)
    Property Assessed Clean Energy
    Date: 2021-02-08
    In the Sunshine State, a bill tabled by Rep. Randy Fine (R-Palm Bay) before the Florida State House of Representatives is seeking to augment and expand the state Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program and address consumer advocates group concerns.

    Under the bill, PACE programs, which are advertised as a no-money-down way for homeowners and businesses to finance energy efficiency upgrades, would include projects related to storms and flooding, septic tank improvements and "health and environment" improvements such as removing mold, lead and asbestos.

    Importantly, the bill allows PACE borrowers to cancel within three days and standardizes how the financial terms are disclosed. Also, PACE contractors and loan providers would be required to verify that PACE loans are not greater than 10 pct of the (borrower) homeowner's annual income and that the loan payment amount is not greater than $4,800 per year or that the homeowner is not in bankruptcy proceedings. (Source: Office of Rep. Randy Fine (R-Palm Bay), Tampa Bay Times, 8 Jan., 2021) Contact: Florida Rep. Randy Fine (R-Palm Bay), www.facebook.com/voterandyfine

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Property Assessed Clean Energy .PACE news,  Energy Efficiency news,  


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