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UK Stiffening Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Int'l.)
UK Dept. of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Date: 2021-03-26
In London, the UK Dept. of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is proposing to implement tighter minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) for privately rented non-domestic buildings to reach a long-term target of having an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of B by 2030. The measures are in line with the government's aim of reducing building energy consumption by 20 pct by 2030 and attain net-zero carbon emissions in the UK by 2050.

Under current MEES regulations, landlords are, subject to certain exemptions, prohibited from granting new or renewed leases on non-domestic privately rented property with an EPC rating below E. From 1 April 2023, the ban will extend to prohibit the continuation of any existing lease of non-domestic premises with an EPC rating below E. There are stringent financial penalties for non-compliance

Under the proposals ,subject to some exceptions, landlords will need to present a valid EPC by 1 April 2025 and then will have until 1 April 2027 to improve the building to at least an EPC rating of C. Landlords will then need to repeat the process by providing a valid EPC by 1 April 2028 and subsequently ensure that by 1 April 2030 the building has improved to at least an EPC rating of B. (Source: Dept. of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Mar., 2021) Contact: BEIS, enquiries@beis.gov.uk, www.beis.gov.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News UK Dept. of Business news,  Energy and Industrial Strategy news,  BEIS news,  Building Energy Efficiency news,  


Bord na Mona Ending Peat Biomass Business, Going Green (Int'l.)
Bord na Mona
Date: 2021-01-18
In Dublin, Ireland's state-owned energy company Bord na Mona reports it has permanently ended all peat harvesting on its lands as part of its "brown to green" strategy and transition to renewable energy.

As part of its green strategy, Bord na Mona plans to have developed wind, solar and other assets capable of supplying around one-third of all Irish homes with renewable energy by 2030 and is seeking to raise €1.6 billion to fund a series of renewable energy projects in keeping with Ireland's objective to become carbon neutral by 2050.

Bord na Mona also recently launched its Peatlands Restoration Plan, involving an investment of more than €115 million to convert Ireland's peatlands from fossil fuel sources to large-scale carbon capture sites. While peat harvesting is ceasing, the company will continue manufacturing peat briquettes until 2024. The Kilberry horticulture facility will also continue to operate as normal, supported by existing peat reserves, and the Edenderry Power Station will continue its transition to run exclusively on residual and sustainable biomass. (Source: Bord na Mona, PR, Website, 15 Jan., 2021) Contact: Bord na Mona Plc, Mike Quinn, CEO, Patrick Madigan, Bioenergy Division, +353 45 439000, www.bordnamona.ie

More Low-Carbon Energy News Bord na Mona,  Peat,  Renewable Energy,  Biomass Pellet ,  


UK PM Touts Green Ind. Revolution, Climate Change Plan (Int'l. Report)

Date: 2021-01-11
In London, UK Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled his 10-point plan for a "green"--low-carbon industrial revolution. The plan focus on the following industries and initiatives:
  • Offshore wind -- The government has already announced an ambition to have every home in the UK powered by offshore wind in an effort to cut the emissions from electricity.

  • Hydrogen -- The gov. plans to have 5GW -- sufficient power for roughly 1.5 million UK homes -- of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030.

  • Nuclear -- The plan calls for renewed support for small modular nuclear reactors that can be largely built in factories and other small applications.

  • Electric vehicles -- The plan calls for increased support for electric vehicles, recharging infrastructure and the previously announced ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030.

  • Public transport, cycling and walking -- Calls for increased clean public transport options including electric, alternative fuel and hydrogen powered buses as well as encourages cycling and walking.

  • Jet zero and greener fuel transportation -- Calls for zero-emission alternative fuel and electric power long-haul mass transportation including passenger rail, electric airplanes and maritime ferries.

  • Energy efficiency -- The plan calls for a major effort to increase residential and public building energy efficiency.

  • Carbon capture and storage (CCS) -- Focuses on "clusters" where groups of power stations, factories or industrial plants could be linked to CCUS infrastructure for greater efficiency and cost savings.

  • Nature and the ecosystem -- Seeks to end the loss of wild life habitats, increase funding for tree planting, peatland restoration and other programs to store carbon, protect habitat and curb flooding.

    10. Innovation and finance -- for the wholesale, economy-wide shift away from fossil fuels to a low-carbon energy clean future. (Source: Office of UK PM Boris Johnson, Jan., 2021) Contact:Office of UK PM Boris Johnson, www.email.number10.gov.uk


  • Energy Efficiency Key in UK PM's Green Ind. Plan (Int'l. Report)
    Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2021-01-11
    In London, UK Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled his 10-point plan for a "green"--low-carbon industrial revolution. The PM's plan calls for "a major effort to increase residential and public building energy efficiency".

    The plan also calls for: a concerted development and deployment of: offshore wind; small-scale nuclear; electric vehicles and alternative fuels; increased use of public mass transit; hydrogen; carbon capture and storage (CCS) "clusters" where groups of power stations, factories or industrial plants could be linked to CCUS infrastructure for greater efficiency and cost savings; ecosystem funding for tree planting, peatland restoration and similar programs to store carbon; and a wholesale, economy-wide shift away from fossil fuels to a low-carbon energy clean future. (Source: Office of UK PM Boris Johnson, Jan., 2021) Contact:Office of UK PM Boris Johnson, www.email.number10.gov.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Peatland Carbon Storage Restoration Declared "Vital" (Int'l.)
    Peat
    Date: 2020-12-21
    In the UK, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) analysis has revealed the scale of the challenge that the Northern Ireland Assembly and the other UK governments and agencies face to restore and maintain the country's peatlands, which play a pivotal role in combating climate change.

    Peatland covers approximately 12 pct of the land area of Northern Ireland, but 86 pct of peatlands have been damaged by pressures, including drainage, overgrazing, afforestation, burning and extraction in lowland areas.

    The RSPB's analysis shows peatlands avoid 1,992 tpy of CO2 emissions -- equivalent to 5 pct of total UK greenhouse gas emissions every year. According to Martin Harper, RSPB Director of Global Conservation, "Peatlands are an incredibly important habitat in the UK both for wildlife and for storing carbon. If our peatlands are not restored, they will emit twice as much carbon as would be captured by tree planting in the Committee on Climate Change's UK forestry targets for 2050."

    (Source: RSPS, Farm Week, 20 Dec., 2020) Contact: RSPB, www.community.rspb.org.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Peat,  Carbon Storage,  Methane,  


    UK-Wide Carbon Markets Join Forces (Int'l. Report)
    UK Woodland Carbon Registry
    Date: 2020-12-02
    Two key UK-wide carbon markets -- the UK Woodland Carbon Registry and UK Peatland Code -- report they have joined forces to form the new UK Land Carbon Registry, a 'one-stop-shop' for woodland and peatland carbon schemes.

    To date, 526 woodland creation projects have registered with the new Woodland Carbon Code, with 40 pct being in Scotland. This represents a doubling of projects compared to the past year alone and these registered projects are predicted to sequester over eight million tonnes CO2 over their lifetime.

    "This new joint registry will support nature-based solutions to the climate and biodiversity crises. This builds on our existing support for the domestic carbon market, driven by our Woodland Carbon Guarantee scheme which provides landowners additional long-term income for capturing carbon through new woodlands. Well-managed woodlands and healthy peatlands play essential roles in helping us to reach net zero, " according to Government Forestry Minister Lord Goldsmith. (Source: UK Woodland Carbon Registry, FarmingUK, 30 Nov., 2020) Contact: UK Woodland Carbon Registry -- Woodland Carbon Code, www.woodlandcarboncode.org.uk; UK Peatland Code, www.iucn-uk-peatlandprogramme.org

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


    DOE Sued Over Energy Efficiency Standards Changes (Ind. Report)
    NRDC, US DOE
    Date: 2020-10-19
    The NYC-headquartered Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reports it has again sued the Trump administration DOE for altering its energy efficiency standards-setting process to make it more difficult to set rigorous energy-saving levels for America's appliances and equipment.

    NRDC was joined by three other environmental groups and 13 states in this suit, which is closely related to an ongoing lawsuit regarding DOE's "Process Rule."

    At issue is how the DOE determines whether a new energy efficiency standard is "economically justified" -- meaning that its benefits, such as consumer savings from lower utility bills, exceed its costs.

    DOE is looking for ways to set weaker standards, or no standards at all as part of an ongoing pattern to weaken a critically important program. And it's illegal. Without strong efficiency standards, purchasers can't be sure the appliances they buy are not wasting energy, which can substantially increase their energy bills.

    According to NRDC, these changes represent yet more attacks on the nation's highly successful energy efficiency standards program that has been saving U.S. households, on average $500 every year and will deliver $2 trillion in savings to consumers and businesses as well as help avoid 3 billion tonnes of CO2 pollution by by 2030.

    This is the 130th lawsuit NRDC has filed against the Trump administration's rollbacks and efforts to undermine environmental safeguards. To date, NRDC has prevailed in 73 of the 81 cases resolved thus far. This latest lawsuit related to the Process Rule also marks the fourth time in 11 months that NRDC and other environmental and consumer groups have sued DOE over energy efficiency standards.

    Meanwhile, DOE has repeatedly failed to meet its statutory requirements to update standards for appliances and equipment, having now missed 26 deadlines -- the most of any administration, according to the NRDC release. (Source: NRDC, Blog, 17 Oct., 2020) Contact: Natural Resource Defense Council, 212.727.2700, www.nrdc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NRDC,  Energy Efficiency,  Appliance Energy EfficiencyAppliance Energy Efficiency,  


    IrBEA Outlines Irish Bioenergy Priorities (Int'l. Report)
    Irish Bioenergy Association
    Date: 2020-10-14
    According to the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA), there is significant potential for bioenergy to contribute to renewable heat, transport and electricity targets, provide opportunities to farmers through farm diversification and development of alternative enterprises, development of rural jobs and addressing the climate changes and emissions challenges faced by the country. IrBEA notes the bioenergy sectors of biomass, biogas, biofuels, energy crops and wood fuels are all part of the bioeconomy and offer considerable potential and opportunity to drive the economic, jobs and growth agenda in rural areas.

    IrBEA notes that despite Ireland's natural climate and fertile soil advantage in producing bioenergy, out of 28 member European Union states Ireland is 27th in terms of its use of renewable heat and derives only 4 pct of its energy from Bioenergy. IrBEA also calls for:

  • financing of biomass CHP, biogas CHP and local heating projects, with particular reference to community involvement, and mobilization of forest biomass;

  • establishment of the Midlands Renewable Energy hub to allow the repurposing away from peat to the efficient usage of bioenergy for heat and power provision and the establishment of supply chains, employment opportunities and rural development;

  • introduction of a biogas support scheme to mobilize an Irish biogas industry on a phased basis;

  • provision be made in the Finance Act for the revenue treatment of biomass chipping and related equipment to be the same as the treatment of other mobile machinery such as mobile cranes and concrete pumping equipment;

  • immediately increase the blending rates to E10 (10 pct Ethanol) petrol blend and B12 (12 pct Biodiesel) diesel blend in Ireland. This would increase the blending rates from the current substitution rates of E5 for petrol and B7 for Diesel, and others. (Source: Irish Bioenergy Association , PR, 13 Oct., 2020) Contact: Irish Bioenergy Assoc., Sean Finan , CEO, +44 0 87 4146480, www.irbea.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biogas news,  Biofuel news,  Peat news,  Forest Biomass news,  Biofuel Blend news,  


  • Ethanol Industry Joint Statement On Brazil Ethanol TRQ Announcement (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Ethanol Tadiff
    Date: 2020-09-16
    The following is a joint statement from the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), Growth Energy, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). After expiring on August 31 and a 20 percent tariff was temporarily applied to all U.S. ethanol, Brazil's tariff rate quota (TRQ) has been extended for a further 90 days starting on Sept. 14.:

    "The U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association and the National Corn Growers Association believe the 90-day extension of the TRQ serves neither Brazil's consumers nor the Brazilian government's own decarbonization goals, especially while Brazil's ethanol producers continue to be afforded virtually tariff-free access to the U.S. market. The extension falls during Brazil's annual inter-harvest period when U.S. ethanol exports to Brazil are traditionally low, causing greater uncertainty for U.S. exporters looking to make selling decisions now for the traditionally higher Brazilian demand in the winter months. While the Brazilian ethanol market has not been fully reopened to imports, we appreciate the continued support and efforts of the U.S. government as we use this 90-day period to aggressively pursue an open and mutually beneficial ethanol trading relationship with Brazil.

    "The U.S. ethanol industry actively sought, through repeated dialogue with local industry and government, to illustrate the negative impacts of tariffs on Brazilian consumers and the Brazilian government's own decarbonization goals. However, it seems Brazil's government has left its own consumers to pay the price through higher fuel costs once again. While we would have preferred Brazil abandon its ethanol import tariffs entirely and resume its free trade posture on ethanol, which it held for several years before the TRQ, we view its decision to temporarily extend the TRQ on ethanol at the current level as an opportunity to continue discussions toward that end.

    "The U.S. ethanol industry remains focused on expanding the global use of low-carbon ethanol, reducing barriers to trade and elevating its prominence in energy discussions. We remain eager to collaborate and cooperate with other nations that share in the vision of a free and open global ethanol market." (Source: U.S. Grains Council Website News, 14 Sept., 2020) Contact: USGC, Bryan Jernigan, 202-789-0789, bjernigan@grains.org, www.grains.org; Growth Energy, Leigh Claffey, lclaffey@growthenergy.org, www.growthenergy.org; RFA, Ken Colombini, kcolombini@ethanolrfa.org, www.ethanolrfa.org; NCGA, Liz Friedlander, (202) 326-0644, friedlander@ncga.com, www.ncga.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol Tariff,  Growth Energy,  RFA,  NCGA,  USGC,  


    Notable Quote -- Alarm Sounded on Forest Biomass Emissions
    Science Advisory Council of the European Academies
    Date: 2020-09-02
    "We have repeatedly pointed out that the large-scale substitution of coal by forest biomass [to produce electricity] will accelerate climate warming and will increase the risks of overshooting Paris Climate Agreement targets.

    "The reason is simple: when the forest is harvested and used for bioenergy, all the carbon in the biomass enters the atmosphere very quickly, but it will not be reabsorbed by new trees for decades. This is not compatible with the need to tackle the climate crisis urgently." -- Michael Norton, Environmental Director, Science Advisory Council of the European Academies www.easac.eu

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


    Norway Rewards Indonesian Carbon Reduction, Deforestation Project Success (Int'l. Report)
    Indonesia,Norway
    Date: 2020-07-13
    In Oslo, the Norwegian Ministery of Climate and Environment reports it has paid $56.2 million to the Indonesian government for third-party certified reductions in deforestation and significantly cutting related carbon emissions over the past decade.

    The two countries have been cooperating on reducing deforestation, peatland and forest degradation and related climate change initiatives since 2010.

    Indonesia, which has the world's third largest rain-forest, has reduced emissions amounting to approximately 17 million tons CO2 -- equal to one third of all annual emissions from Norway. (Source: Gov. of Norway, Minister of Climate and Environment, ScandAsia, 12 July, 2020) Contact: Norway Minister of Climate and Environment, Sveinung Rotevatn, www.regjeringen.no/en/dep/kld/id668

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Deforestation,  Carbon Emissions,  Indonesia Deforestation,  


    Reducing UK emissions: 2020 Progress Report (Int'l. Report)
    The Committee for Climate Change
    Date: 2020-06-26
    In London, The Committee for Climate Change's (CCC) 2020 report to Parliament assess the country's progress in reducing UK emissions over the past year and makes recommendations on securing a green and resilient recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The report recommends government Ministers seize the opportunity to turn the COVID-19 crisis into a defining moment in the fight against climate change. To that end, the report recommends the following investment priorities: low-carbon retrofits and buildings; tree planting, peatland restoration, and green infrastructure; strengthen in energy networks; transportation network upgrades; and moving towards a circular economy. The report also recommends: investing in the UK's workforce with "re-skilling" and retraining programmes and targeted science and innovation funding. (Source: UK Committee on Climate Change, Website ,June, 2020) Contact: The CCC, +44 (0) 75 8510 4950, private.secretary@theccc.org.uk, www.theccc.org.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News The Committee for Climate Change,  CCC,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  


    2018 Vehicles Met 2018 GHG Targets, says US EPA Report (Ind. Report)
    US EPA
    Date: 2020-05-13
    According to the 2019 EPA Automotive Trends Report, the average estimated CO2 emission rate for all model year 2018 vehicles in the U.S. fell by 4 grams per mile to 353 g/mi and fuel economy increased very slightly by 0.2 mpg over 2017 levels to 25.1 mpg -- a record high. The reports notes that since 2004, auto CO2 emissions and fuel economy have improved in 12 out of 14 years and have repeatedly achieved new records.

    Average estimated real-world auto CO2 emissions are projected to fall 6 g/mi to 346 g/mi and fuel economy is projected to increase 0.4 mpg to 25.5 mpg. All the large manufacturers -- with production of more than 150,000 in model year 2018 -- ended the 2018 model year in compliance with the GHG target program, the report noted.

    Download the 2019 EPA Automotive Trends Report HERE (Source: US EPA, Auto Service World, 11 May, 2020)

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  • Eurostat Notes Plunging EU CO2 Emissions (Int'l. Report)
    Eurostat,EU
    Date: 2020-05-06
    The EU Eurostat is reporting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from mainly oil and oil products, coal, peat and natural gas fell by 4.3 pct year on year in the 27 member trade bloc in 2019.

    According to Eurostat estimates, emissions fell in 2019 in the majority of EU member states, with the highest decrease in Estonia at 22.1 pct , followed by Denmark at 9.0 pct while Greece and Slovakia recorded a fall of 8.9 pct each. On the other hand, Luxembourg emissions rose 7.5 pct, Austrian emissions were up 2.8 pct followed by Malta with 2.0 pct and Lithuania with 1.6 pct.. (Source: Eurostat, Anadolu Agency, 8 May, 2020) Contact: Eurostat, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/home

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Eurostat,  EU Carbon Emissions,  


    Valmet Supplying Woody Biomass Boiler to Finnish Power Plant (Int'l)
    Valmet
    Date: 2020-04-29
    In Finland, Espoo-headquartered Valmet Oyi reports it will supply a new Naistenlahti 3 boiler biomass boiler plant to Tampereen Sahkolaitos Oy's Naistenlahti power plant in the city of Tampere, Finland.

    The new €70 million plant will be fueled mainly by renewable woody biomass and milled peat as a secondary fuel. The biomass boiler will have a steam capacity of 191 MW and will run as a baseload plant for district heat production from September to June. Delivery and installation is expected in 2022. (Source: Valmet, 28 April, 2020) Contact: Valmet, Risto Hamalainen, Director, Environmental Systems, Pulp and Energy, +358 4 0 505 2001, www.valmet.com, www.twitter.com/valmetglobal

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Valmet,  Biomass,  Biomass Boiler,  


    Univ. Tenn. Peatland Carbon Processes Investigation Funded (Funding)
    University of Tennessee
    Date: 2020-01-27
    A UT microbiologist has received a portion of a $3.1 million grant from the US DOE to study how global warming could affect peatlands and their vast carbon stores in the future.

    Steven Wilhelm, the Kenneth and Blaire Mossman Professor of Microbiology, is part of a team led by Jean-Philippe Gibert, a food web expert and assistant professor of biology at Duke University. Wilhelm's co-investigators include David Weston and Dale Pelletier, staff scientists in the Biosciences Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Jonathan Shaw, professor of biology at Duke. In the three-year project, the group will study and model the effects of warming on the complex network of bacteria, protists, and viruses that interact with peat moss.

    Peat moss plays a key role in slowing climate change by keeping 370 million metric tpy of CO2 out of the atmosphere -- equivalent to the emissions from nearly half the car traffic in the US.

    Though peatlands cover just 3 pct of the Earth's surface they store twice as much carbon as all the world's forests. Over hundreds or thousands of years, Sphagnum and other peatland plants pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere as they grow, trapping the carbon inside layers of partially decayed plant material up to 20 feet deep. But warming trends could put that carbon storage at risk. Rising temperatures could thaw or dry out peat wetlands, making them more prone to decay and wildfires. Decomposing or burning plants mean the heat-trapping gas long locked up in peatlands could be released, accelerating the global warming process.

    To better predict the impacts of warming on peatlands and the carbon they contain, the team is studying a set of players they say are largely overlooked: microbes. Their previous work suggests that under future warming, the community of microbes and other tiny organisms that grow in and around peat mosses could shift balance, which could affect the ability of peatlands to sequester carbon. (Source: University of Tennessee, Knoxville, PR, 27 Jan., 2020) Contact: University of Tennessee, Karen Dunlap, 865-974-8674, kdunlap6@utk.edu, Amanda Womac , 865-974-2992, awomac1@utk.edu, www.utk.edu; Duke University, Robin Smith, (919-681-8057, robin.a.smith@duke.edu, www.duke.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Peatland,  Carbon Storage,  Carbon Sequestration,  Carbon Emissions,  University of Tennessee,  


    Valero, AFPM Seek "Point of Obligation" Clarification (Reg & Leg)
    Valero Energy ,American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers
    Date: 2020-01-08
    San Antonio-headquartered Valero Energy Corp., the second-largest U.S. oil processor by capacity, and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers organization have filed a court petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to determine whether the U.S. EPA is required to consider petitions to change the "point of obligation" under the Clean Air Act's Renewable Fuel Standard.

    The petition notes: "The Clean Air Act's Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program requires EPA to undertake annual notice-and-comment rule making to determine a 'renewable fuel obligation' for the nation's transportation fuel supply. The first of three annual 'required elements' is to determine the point of obligation -- i.e., to ensure that the obligation shall be applicable to refineries, blenders, and importers, as appropriate. EPA admits that it initially placed the point of obligation on refineries and importers, but not blenders, for reasons of administrative convenience. EPA has repeatedly refused to re-examine that placement in annual rule making, and it denied petitions for rule making seeking reconsideration out-side the statutorily-mandated annual assessment."

    The petition specifically questions: whether the requirement that EPA "shall" make a "calendar year" determination of the "appropriate" point of obligation requires EPA to consider in each annual rule whether the point of obligation remains appropriate.The petition also questions whether EPA can evade the annual duty by partitioning the point of obligation into a one-time collateral proceeding that ignores key evidence,relies primarily on the agency's own convenience, and claims more deference from a reviewing court than an annual rule would receive. (Source: AFPM Website, Valero Energy, Ethanol Producer, 6 May, 2019) Contact: American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, www.afpm.org; Valero Renewable Fuels, Joe Gorder, Pres., (800) 324-8464, www.valero.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers ,  RFS,  Point of Obligation,  Valero Energy ,  


    Sutdy Examines Farming as CO2 Absorber (Ind. Report)
    University of Virginia
    Date: 2019-12-11
    A recently released study from the University of Virginia notes that farming, agriculture and other land practices presently contribute around 11 gigatons to CO2 emissions per year -- roughly one quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. However, the study argues that the land could actually be converted into an absorber of carbon, given the right conditions.

    Among the measures recommended by the study were richer countries transitioning to plant-based diets and reducing food waste, while aiding poorer nations to curb deforestation and restore degraded land. If a concerted global effort was made, land could be absorbing three gigatons of carbon by 2050, turning one of our biggest liabilities into a helping hand in the fight against climate change. The study also recommends:

  • 95 pct reduction in deforestation and land degradation by 2050. This would include more robust conservation policies in developing tropical countries, as well as the conversion of coastal wetlands into protected areas and the prohibition of peatland burning.

  • 25 pct reduction in agricultural emissions by 2050. This would include introducing synthetic or organic fertilizers, enhancing the water-agriculture interface in places where rice cultivation is a primary industry and managing emissions from fermentation and manure.

  • 50 pct adoption of plant-based diets by 2050. This would involve encouraging a healthier diet through consumer campaigns and governmental policies, as well as the development of new foodstuffs to entice unconvinced consumers.

  • 50 pct reduction of current level of food waste by 2050. This would involve tightening up gaps in the supply chain, improving consumer awareness through advertising campaigns and enhancing refrigeration and distribution capabilities in the developing world.

  • Restoration of forests, coastal wetlands and drained peatlands. This would involve financing ecosystem services, improving in local and national conservation policies and investing in restoration practices.

  • Improving forestry and agroforestry management. This would include optimising current forestation conservation process and integrating agroforestry into lands currently used for agriculture and grazing.

  • Enhancing soil carbon sequestration capabilities. This would include controlling soil erosion, reducing tillage of the land and restoring degraded soils, as well as the application of biochar where appropriate.

  • Deploying bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) in developed countries. This would involve investing into the research and development of BECCS technologies and deploying them in relevant sites. (Source: University of Virginia, Environmental Technology, 1 Dec., 2019) Contact: University of Virginia, Stephanie Roe, Environmental Researcher, Report Lead Author, 434-924-7761, www.evsc.as.virginia.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon,  Carbon Storage,  


  • GRYFN, Purdue Univ. Partnering on Sorghum Biofuel Crop (R&D)
    GRYEN
    Date: 2019-12-09
    West Layfayette, Indiana-based drone technolgy pioneer GRYFN, which was formed by eight Pudue University professors, reports it is partnering with Purdue to research the rapid genetic improvement and production of sorghum crops for biofuel with $4.5 million in grant funding from the US DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.

    Multi-sensor, drone data-collection tech enables breeders to scale research operations and empowers them with precise, repeatable analytic solutions for high throughput phenotyping in the field. GRYFN is using the technology licensed through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. (Source: GRYFN, Drone Life, Dec., 2019) Contact: Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization, www.prf.org; GRYFN, Matt Bechdol, (260) 553-9993, info@gryfn.io, www.gryfn.io

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Sorghum Biofuel,  


    Irish Peat-Burning Power Plants Face Closure (Int'l. Report)
    Bord Na Mona
    Date: 2019-11-13
    In Dublin, Ireland, the Independent.ie is reporting the Electricity Supply Board has ordered the closure of two peat-burning electric power plants in West Offaly and Rough Lee. The Board proposed the plants be refitted to co-fire with peat and biomass from 2021 until 2027 when the plant could be fully biomass-powered. Bord Na Mona, an Irish peat firm, had been supplying peat to the facilities. (Source: Electricity Supply Board, Bord Na Mona, Bioenergy Insight, 11 Nov., 2019) Contact: Ireland Electricity Supply Board, www.esb.ie; Bord na Mona Plc, Mike Quinn, CEO, Patrick Madigan, Bioenergy Division, +353 45 439000, www.bordnamona.ie

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bord Na Mona,  Peat,  Biomass,  


    NRDC Fighting DoE Lightbulb Standards Rollback (Reg. & Leg.)
    NRDC,Earthjustice
    Date: 2019-11-06
    The NYC-headquartered Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Earthjustice, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and others have filed suit against the US DoE for its rollback of established light bulb efficiency standards in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. According to the NRDC, the "DOE's latest rollback follows a pattern of repeatedly delaying, stalling, and weakening energy efficiency requirements."

    In 2007, Republican President George W. Bush signed bipartisan legislation to phase out inefficient incandescent and halogen light bulbs by 1 January 2020. The first tier of standards (phased in between 2012 and 2014) required light bulbs to use 25 to 30 pct less energy than old-style incandescent bulbs. The second tier was due to become effective in 2020, requiring everyday "general service" light bulbs to use about 65 pct less energy.

    The lawsuits contend the Trump administration's DoE acted illegally in reversing its 2-year-old rules expanding the types of bulbs required to become more energy efficient as of 1 January 2020, under a law passed by Congress in 2007.

    DOE announced this year that it was reversing that decision even though almost 64,000 comments were registered against the rollback, including 37 major electric utilities serving 55 million customers in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Five lighting companies, and their trade association support the DoE's rollback. (Source: NRDC, Smart Energy, Nov., 2019) Contact: NRDC, Kit Kennedy, Snr. Dir. Climate and Clean Energy Programme, 212.727.2700, nrdcinfo@nrdc.org, www.nrdc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NRDC,  Earthjusice,  Light Bulb Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Peatlands Carbon Content Double Previous Estimates (Ind. Report)
    Columbia University Earth Institute,
    Date: 2019-10-23
    According to a recently published Columbia University Earth Institute study published in Nature Geoscience, Northern peatlands may hold twice as much carbon as scientists previously suspected. The study findings suggest that peatland areas play a more important role in climate change and the carbon cycle than they're credited for.

    The report notes that global climate models, which scientists use to predict climate change and its impacts, rarely account for the carbon that peat and other soils absorb, store and release.

    Their new study incorporates 4,139 radiocarbon measurements from 645 peatland sites in northern Europe, Asia, and North America. But the main innovation is in how the researchers calculated the carbon storage in peatlands.

    The report notes researchershave calculated that northern peatlands hold 1.1 trillion tons of carbon rather than previous estimates of roughly 545 billion tons. The report concludes that peatlands are decaying faster and releasing more carbon as the planet's thermostat climbs. (Source: Columbia University, Earth Institute, 21 Oct., 2019) Contact: Columbia University Earth Institute, Prof. Jonathan Nichols, 212-854-3830, www.earth.columbia.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Peatland,  CO2,  Carbon Sequestrartion,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Sequestration,  


    Irish Carbon Tax Raises €3Bn (Int'l. Report)
    Carbon Tax
    Date: 2019-10-14
    In Dublin, Ireland, the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee has announced the country's National Oil Reserve Agency has raised more than €3billion ($3.309 billion) in carbon tax revenue since 2010 while at the same time subsidizing coal and turf (peat). The National Oil Reserve Agency has also accumulated a surplus of more than €200 million that will be rolled into a climate action fund.

    Both coal and turf (peat), which are used for heat and electric power production, are expected to be eventually phased out because of their high contribution of CO2 to greenhouse gas emissions. (Source: Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee, 10 Oct., 2019) Contact: Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee, www.oireachtas.ie; National Oil Reserve Agency, +353 1 676 9390, www.nora.ie

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  


    Irish Carbon Tax Raises €3Bn (Int'l. Report)
    Carbon Tax
    Date: 2019-10-14
    In Dublin, Ireland, the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee has announced the country's National Oil Reserve Agency has raised more than €3billion ($3.309 billion) in carbon tax revenue since 2010 while at the same time subsidizing coal and turf (peat). The National Oil Reserve Agency has also accumulated a surplus of more than €200 million that will be rolled into a climate action fund.

    Both coal and turf (peat), which are used for heat and electric power production, are expected to be eventually phased out because of their high contribution of CO2 to greenhouse gas emissions. (Source: Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee, Irish Times, 10 Oct., 2019) Contact: Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee, www.oireachtas.ie; National Oil Reserve Agency, +353 1 676 9390, www.nora.ie

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax news,  


    CEMEX Plants Score EPA ENERGY STAR Certification (Ind. Report)
    CEMEX
    Date: 2019-10-11
    Global building materials and cement company CEMEX USA is reporting two of its cement plants -- Miami and Brooksville South -- have been awarded US EPA ENERGY STAR® Certification for 2019, recognizing CEMEX's efforts in energy efficiency and sustainability.

    These two CEMEX plants have been repeatedly certified by the EPA's ENERGY STAR® program for their conservation efforts. This year's recognition marks nine consecutive years of ENERGY STAR® Certification for CEMEX's Miami Cement Plant, while the Brooksville South Cement Plant has achieved the certification seven out of the last eight years. (Source: CEMEX, USA PR, 10 Oct., 2019) Contact: DOE Energy Star®, www.energystar.gov; CEMEX USA, www.cemexusa.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ENERGY STAR,  Energy Eficiency,  CEMEX,  


    UK Park Stresses Peatland's Role in Climate Change Fight (Int'l.)
    Exmoor,Carbon Sequestration
    Date: 2019-10-07
    In the UK, the Exmoor National Park Authority has this week declared a climate emergency and agreed to work towards being a carbon neutral Authority by 2030. The Authority also agreed to sign on to the Devon Climate Declaration, alongside 25 other organizations, and to join forces with both Devon and Somerset County Councils to formulate carbon plans that meet or exceed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) targets.

    The Exmooor National Park Authority noted it has already cut its carbon emissions by 30 pct by: improving energy efficiency within Authority-owned buildings; installing renewable energy along with a scheme to facilitate installation of 73 new renewable energy systems in local communities, farms and houses across Exmoor; the restoration of nearly 2,500 hectares of peatland in the National Park through the Exmoor Mires Partnership, with plans to extend this to at least 3,000 hectares.

    Peatlands are the UK's single most important terrestrial carbon store, containing 20 times more carbon than all UK forests. A functioning bog absorbs around 0.87 tpy of carbon per hectare year while dry peatland releases CO2 -- degraded peat in England is emitting an estimated 11 million tpy of CO2. (Source: Exmoor National Park Authority, Somerset County Gazette, 6 Oct., 2019) Contact: Exmoor National Park Authority, +44 1398 323665, www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Peatland,  CO2,  Carbon Sequestrartion,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Sequestration,  


    Irish "Environmentally Damaging" Climate Change Directed Spending Opposed (Int'l. Report)
    Social Justice Ireland
    Date: 2019-09-04
    In Dublin, Social Justice Ireland is criticizing the Government's €4 billion yearly incentives, lost and forgiven taxes and other expenditures as "potentially environmentally damaging." The not-for-profit organization suggests this €4 billion would go a long way to supporting a "Just Transition Fund" for low income households in rural Ireland most affected by the implementation of the necessary changes to support climate action.

    Social Justice Ireland notes these subsidies effectively cancel out 80 pct of all tax revenues collected through environmental taxes -- the carbon tax -- and thus undermine any positive impact environmental taxes might have.

    The group classed fuel allowances for low income households as a potentially damaging subsidy because they could result in increased greenhouse gas emissions through the unnecessary use of fossil fuels. The group suggests the subsidies be spent on fuel allowances for low income households to refurbish properties through improved energy efficiency. The group is also opposed to indirect subsidies -- including tax revenues forgone by the imposition of lower excise duties on diesel, kerosene, gas oil, aviation fuel, so-called green diesel and other fuel oil -- and most farm related subsidies as being potentially environmentally damaging.

    Also included in the €4 billion targeted by Social Justice Ireland are direct government subsidies such as the transfer of €115 million from electricity consumers through a PSO levy to subsidize the burning of peat for electricity to maintain jobs in the midlands. (Source: Social Justice Ireland, RTE.ie Ireland's National Public Service Broadcaster, 3 Sept., 2019) Contact: Social Justice Ireland, +353 1 213 0724, www.socialjustice.ie

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


    Irish Regulator Stymies Peat-to-Woody Biomass Conversion (Int'l)
    Bord na Mona
    Date: 2019-07-24
    In Dublin, the regulatory development and planning board -- Bord Pleanala -- reports it has denied permission for state-owned energy company Bord Na Mona's planned conversion of a peat-burning power plant at Shannonbridge, Co Offaly, to co-fire with biomass from 2021 until the end of 2027 when its existing peat permit expires. The plant would then be fully biomass fired with 37,000 tpy of woody biomass imported from Australia.

    The regulatory board cited the "potential negative impacts on the environment and the inadequacy of the indigenous biomass supply and high dependence on imported biomass that would be contrary to both EU and national climate and energy policy" for its refusal. The regulatory board also noted previous schemes to establish a domestic source of energy crops such as willow and miscanthus have failed.

    The Irish government's national climate and energy policy calls for a complete phase out of coal and peat fired electricity generation by 2030. (Source: An Bord Pleanala, Green New.ie, 23 July, 2019)Contact: An Bord Pleanala, www.pleanala.ie; Bord na Mona Plc, Mike Quinn, CEO, Patrick Madigan, Bioenergy Division, +353 45 439000, www.bordnamona.ie

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bord na Mona,  Peat,  Woody Biomass,  Biomass Pellet,  


    "Climate Change: A Hoax to Weaken the U.S." (Opinions & Asides)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2019-05-27
    The following appeared in a recent edition of the Exponemt Telegram newspaper in Clarksburg, West Virginia. The article and the opinions expressed in the article DO NOT represent those of LC Energy Publications.

    "We know that the Earth is warming; years ago it was covered in ice. Several times since it has gone through periods of being encapsulated in ice!!! Fifty-five thousand years old samples drawn from Antarctic core drills indicate the Earth was 2% warmer than it is today. The reason for this is that the proximity between the sun and the Earth is in a constant state of flux., "The United Nations has propagated an agenda that has a goal of establishing income equality between all countries. To reach that objective, they have decided on the 'Robin Hood' approach -- rob from the rich and give to the poor. Guess who the villain is -- that's right, the USA. How do they accomplish this? They develop a 'Chicken Little' narrative and generate a villain -- that rich country whose people live in luxury.

    "Please humor me while we address the UN's narrative. They repeatedly reiterate that 97 pct of the scientists say that the earth is warming and it is caused by humans and the use of 'fossil fuels.' In 1988, The UN formed a committee, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (IPCC) 11,944 scientists were questioned. Of those, 66.4 pct (7,930) said they did not believe that was true. Of the other 4,014, 1,344 said they did not know leaving 2,670 that agreed, which is 22 pct, not 97 pct. That is the first big lie!!! The question I have is: How many of those 22 pct have a parochial interest in the warming equation? Bear in mind that our government spent $22 billion in 2016 to have this warming theory authenticated, with most going to academics.

    "Next, let's address the fossil fuel cause. 70.9 pct of the Earth's surface consists of ocean water. The National Oceanographic Survey Department states that the average depth of the ocean is 12,100 feet, which means there are 351,600,000,000,000,000,000 gallons of water in the ocean.

    "Salt water weighs 8.5 lbs. per gallon. One pound of water uses 1 BTU to raise the temperature 1 degree Fahrenheit. All countries combined in 2015 produced 9 billion tons of coal. The heat factor of the Pittsburgh seam of coal is 12,000 BTU. Using the 35/65 pct factor with 35 pct used to generate electricity and 65 pct lost to the stack gases, allowing for 0 pct dissipated to the land masses or the atmosphere, all heat being transferred to the ocean, it would take 21,610 years to raise the temperature of the ocean 1 degree Fahrenheit!

    "We (the U.S.) are the only industrialized country that has cut CO2 emissions since 2005. Following is a list of coal-fired power plants in several other countries: Europe has 480 and is building 27 more; Turkey- 56 and building 93; South Africa-79, building 24; India- 589, building 446; Philippines- 19, building 60; South Korea- 58, building 26; Japan- 90, building 45; China- 2363, building 1171; and the USA- 359, building 0 . Totals: 4,075 existing and 1,892 under construction not including Russia, North Korea and Eastern Europe, with most of their electric generation being coal fired.

    "My fellow Americans, the most outrageous hoax that has ever been attached to any group of people since the beginning of mankind is attempting to be heaped on the United States of America -- all in the interest of taxing this country into oblivion. They are trying to do what two World Wars, communism and socialism could not accomplish, but it is being condoned and sanctioned from within by progressive liberals who apparently have had lobotomies, or missed a good chance, and our own politicians who gush with delight at the unending stream of $$$$ coming from this potential 'Cash Cow'"! (Source: WCWV, Exponent Telegram, 26 May, 2019) Contact: Exponemt Telegram, Mr. Phil Southern, (800) 982-6034, www.wvnews.com/theet/news

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Coal,  


    Aurora Solar Tech Claims Major Repeat Order (Ind. Report)
    Aurora Solar Technologies
    Date: 2019-05-22
    North Vancouver, British Columbia-based solar cell fabricator Aurora Solar Technologies Inc. is reporting a repeat order to supply a major China-based manufacturer of high-efficiency PERC solar cells. This new volume order is for fifteen DM-110e measurements systems. The systems will be shipped in June/July 2019.

    Aurora's DM-110e was launched as a less expensive version of our DM product line, to address the price-sensitive market for the automation of manual sheet resistance measurements. The DM-100e is typically used by manufacturers for more limited testing after diffusion and, like all of our DM products, is a reliable non-contact system that prevents cell damage during testing, while providing high measurement accuracy and excellent repeatability, according to the company. (Source: Aurora Solar Technologies Inc., PR, Newsfile, 21 May, 2019) Contact: Aurora Solar Technologies, Gordon Deans, P.Eng. Pres., CEO, (778) 241-5000, info@aurorasolartech.com, www.aurorasolartech.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aurora Solar Technologies,  Solar Cell,  


    European Commission Bans Palm Oil Biofuel Subsidies (Int'l Report)
    EU, Palm Oil
    Date: 2019-03-15
    This week in Brussels, the European Commission (EC) concluded that the cultivation of palm oil, primarily in Indonesia and Malaysia, results in excessive deforestation and accordingly should not be eligible for subsidies or count toward EU renewable transport targets for national governments. Such a ban on counting toward the target -- a 32 pct share of renewable energy by 2030 -- will likely occasion the phase-out the use of of palm oil-based fuel's in Europe.

    The EC concluded that 45 percent of the expansion of palm oil production since 2008 led to destruction of forests, wetlands or peatlands and resultant greenhouse gas releases.

    The EC has added a number of exemptions which mean some palm oil could still be promoted as a green fuel, under certain conditions including allowing additional palm oil production coming from yield increases or produced on unused land to still qualify as green.

    Although once seen as the main tool by which the EU could decarbonize road transport, and given generous subsidies under the 28-member trading bloc's Renewable Energy Directive over a decade ago, many environmentalists are reportedly pushing the EU to ban crop-based biofuels and move instead to incentivizing second-generation, cellulosic biofuels. (Source: EU, European Biodiesel Board, Successful Farning, Forbes, 14 Mar., 2019) Contact: European Biodiesel Board, www.ebb-eu.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission,  Palm Oil,  Biodiesel,  European Biodiesel Board,  


    ePURE Comments on EU Draft Regarding Palm Oil Use (Opinins, Editorials & Asides)
    ePure
    Date: 2019-02-18
    The European Renewable Ethanol Association (ePURE) secretary general Emmanuel Desplechin has responded to the EU Commission's draft surrounding high risk indirect land-use change (ILUC) biofuels and the shift of focus away from unsustainable sources of palm oil.

    The draft details curbing any biofuels with a high ILUC-risk and its amount of consumption in 2019 within the Member States. The EU also outlined an ambitious goal of reducing any high-risk biofuel's contribution to 0 pct by 2030.

    "Directive (EU) 2018/2001 also calls for a specific limit to conventional biofuels, bioliquids and biomass fuels with high ILUC-risk and for which a significant expansion of the production area into land with high carbon stock is observed, in the amount of their level of consumption in each Member State in 2019," the draft stated. "Starting from 31 December 2023, their contribution should be gradually reduced to 0 pct by 2030 at the latest."

    Despite the draft's promising changes to the uses of palm oil, ePure argues that the draft would still 'allow imported feedstock that violates spirit of RED II agreement.'

    "Making an exception for feedstock produced by smallholders isn't just allowing high-ILUC-risk biofuels such as palm oil into Europe through the back door, it's allowing it through the front door. The hard-won compromise reached on RED II couldn't have been clearer in its message that Europe should phase out biofuels associated with the significant deforestation and peatland drainage that has defined most palm oil expansion."

    "Low-ILUC-risk biofuels certified as such could escape from the phase-out, but these were clearly defined as either produced through improved agricultural practices or from unused land. By inventing a third, alternative criterion for smallholders, the Commission is making a mockery of the agreed RED II compromise," Desplechin claims. (Source: ePURE, Feb., 2019) Contact: ePURE Emmanuel Desplechin, Sec. Gen., +32 2 657 6679, info@epure.org, www.epure.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ePure,  Palm Oil,  Biodiesel,  


    Palm Oil Still in EU Transportation Fuel Mix (Int'l Report)
    ePure
    Date: 2019-02-13
    Reporting from Brussels, the European Commission (EC) reports it has gone most of the way toward banning the use of unsustainable palm oil in EU transport, but it hasn't quite closed the deal. Instead of acting on the RED II agreement and removing "high-ILUC-risk" biofuels from the 28-member trading bloc's transport mix, it has left a door open, according to a release.

    "Making an exception for feedstock produced by smallholders isn't just allowing high-ILUC-risk biofuels such as palm oil into Europe through the back door, it's allowing it through the front door," said Emmanuel Desplechin, Secretary General of ePURE, the European renewable ethanol association. "The hard-won compromise reached on RED II couldn't have been clearer in its message that Europe should phase out biofuels associated with the significant deforestation and peatland drainage that has defined most palm oil expansion."

    "Low-ILUC-risk biofuels certified as such could escape from the phase-out, but these were clearly defined as either produced through improved agricultural practices or from unused land. By inventing a third, alternative criterion for smallholders, the EC is making a mockery of the agreed RED II compromise," the ePure Secretary General added.

    European renewable ethanol is made from European feedstock and delivers high greenhouse-gas reduction and is not associated with deforestation. Its use cuts GHG emissions by more than 70 pct on average compared to fossil petrol. (Source: ePure, EC, Feb., 2019) Contact: European Renewable Ethanol Assoc. (ePURE), Emmanuel Desplechin, Sec. Gen., +32 2 657 6679, info@epure.org, www.epure.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Palm Oil,  Biodiesel ,  ePure,  Biofuel,  


    Palm Oil Producing Countries Comment on Biofuels, Climate Change (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries
    Date: 2019-01-14
    A recent meeting of the Jakarta-based Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) , issued the following policy developments in the EU on biofuel:
  • Under the proposed Renewable Energy Directive II (RED II), the Commission of the European Union is mandated to establish criteria to help distinguish between high and low risk Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) across the vegetable oil sector in general used for biofuels;

  • There are several EU models for ILUC that have been proposed none of which, nor could provide definitive evidence that would allow for a clear distinction between high and low risk ILUC. Nevertheless, the Commission is mandated to establish criteria by February 2019 to allow for such a distinction to be made;

  • The ILUC concept is of US and EU origin, but it is not a globally accepted approach or standard for assessing the impact of ILUC on climate change. It helps underpins EU policy, but it is not an international norm upon which palm oil producing countries could or should build their environmental policies;

  • CPOPC draws attention to the fact that there is over 1.7 billion hectares of land devoted to the production of crops globally, of which only 4 pct is devoted to biofuel. In our view, the very marginal use of land for biofuel calls in to question the very basis premises of indirect land use change resulting from the cultivation of vegetable oils for biofuel;

  • While CPOPC considers that the scientific community of palm oil producing countries should engage with the Commission, the Governments in the developing world should be fearful of being drawn in to acknowledging, accepting or offering legitimacy to the ILUC scheme within the RED II;

  • Palm oil producing countries should also be mindful in the weeks ahead of the objectiveness of the criteria being established and whether they are being applied impartially across all vegetable oils. In this respect, there is concern that palm oil will be targeted as several EU models are associated with the conversion of forests and peat lands with ILUC;

  • CPOPC is of the view that the use of ILC to target palm oil would represent a basic violation of the non-discriminatory principles upon which the WTO multilateral system is based; and that any related EU regulation or decision would likely constitute a Technical Barrier to Trade;

  • CPOPC does not necessarily subscribe to this concern, but we believe that criteria established by the EU should also address carbon retention in lands that have been converted from forests and peat in Europe; as well as to take account of the relative productivity of vegetable oils and the importance that this plays in protecting the global land bank;

  • There are wider concerns that have been expressed by palm oil producing countries that criteria should also take into-account the historical impact of mass deforestation in Europe;

  • CPOPC supports the UN global agreement to achieve Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 (SDGs);

  • CPOPC considers that the SDGs does not mean a trade off between social and economic progress and the environment, but rather the need to balance out these aims and CPOPC and other Palm Oil Producing countries are willing and open to engage with trading partners and stakeholders on how to achieve the SDGs in the vegetable oil sector;

  • In contrast to the direction of EU RED II, CPOPC believes that the promotion of first generation biofuel is an essential element for achieving the SDGs in palm oil producing countries. The use of vegetable oils in biofuel is essential to combating climate change and it is also important for all Governments in Palm Oil Producing Countries to reassure and give certainty to our industries that biofuel investment will not be undermined as is the case in the European Union. (Source: CPOPC, Neutral English, Oct, 2018) Contact: CPOPC, Mahendra Siregar, Executive Director, +62 21 391 5160, +62 21 391 3961, secretariat@cpopc.org, www.cpopc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Palm Oil,  Biofuel,  Climate Change,  


  • Duke U. Acquires 10,000 acre Peatland for Carbon Farm (Ind. Report)
    Duke University
    Date: 2018-12-14
    In Durham, North Carolina, Duke University reports it has acquired the rights to 10,000 acres of peatland in Hyde County for what may be the nation's largest "carbon farming" project that could propel the university to carbon neutrality by 2024.

    Carbon farming uses land management and conservation to increase the amount of carbon that agriculture pulls out of the air and locks into the soil and vegetation. Existing carbon farming programs in California, the Midwest and other countries have shown that a 2.5 acre plot of pasture or rangeland can store about one metric tpy of carbon. The NC peatlands, once re-wetted, have much greater potential -- perhaps 15 to 20 times more -- meaning the land could yield hundreds of thousands of metric tpy of carbon.

    The Duke project will launch with a 300 acre pilot which could be expanded depending on its results. To date, the university has invested approximately $300,000 on the project which could sell carbon credits to companies. (Source: Duke University, Triangle Business Journal, Dec., 2018) Contact: Duke University, Curtis Richardson, Dir., Wetland Center, ww.researchgate.net/profile/Curtis_Richardson

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Peatland,  Peat,  Duke University,  CCS,  Carbon Emissiuons,  CO2,  Climate Change,  


    Irish Greens Seek Transition from Fossil Fuel Economy (Int'l)
    Green Party Ireland,Bord na Mona
    Date: 2018-11-09
    In the Irish capital city of Dublin, the Green Party has launched its "Just Transition Bill" calling for a swift move away from a fossil fuel economy to a climate-friendly in the fairest way possible for those who have previously depended on the fossil fuel industries for their livelihood.

    The bill aims to bring about a social, business and government dialogue to formulate and drive the concrete plans, policies, and investments needed for a fast and fair transformation to a low-carbon economy.

    The Green Party initiative follows Bord na Mona's announcement of job cuts in its peat harvesting business by 2025. The Bill proposes that funding currently used to sustain peat-fired power plants be diverted to support job transition, peatland restoration and social protection for those who may lose their jobs in fossil fuel related industries. "The Bill is about moving from a fossil-fuel economy to a sustainable, climate-friendly economy as quickly and as fairly as possible," according to Green Part Leader Eamon Ryan. (Source: Green News ie, 8 Nov., 2018) Contact: Green Party Ireland, Eamon Ryam, Leader, www.greenparty.ie; Bord na Mona Plc, Mike Quinn, CEO, Patrick Madigan, Bioenergy Division, +353 45 439000, www.bordnamona.ie

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bord na Mona,  Low-Carbon Economy,  Peat,  Bord na Mona,  


    Blue Carbon Research Forum Launched in Scotland (Int'l Report)
    Blue Carbon
    Date: 2018-11-05
    Holyrood is reporting the Scottish Government and a group of Scottish universities have established the Blue Carbon Forum to measure the ability of Scotland's marine environment to store carbon dioxide.

    The programme is being developed by Marine Scotland in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage, St Andrew's University, Glasgow University, Heriot-Watt University, Napier University, and the Scottish Association for Marine Science.

    Scotland Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: "The potential role of our marine environment in tackling the greenhouse gas problem is enormous, with recent research by the University of St Andrews estimating that more carbon is captured and stored in sea lochs alone than in our terrestrial environment, such as forests and peatlands. Scottish Natural Heritage has estimated that the amount of carbon stored within Scotland's Marine Protected Areas is the equivalent of four years of Scotland's total greenhouse emissions," the Environment Secretary added.

    Chair of the Blue Carbon Forum Professor John Baxter said: the "Programme will provide essential information to help inform what is required to be done to enhance and protect these key habitats into the future which is essential for the mitigation of future climate change." (Source: Gov. of Scotland, Holyrood Mag., Nov., 2018) Contact: St. Andrews University Professor John Baxter, +44 (0)1334 46, jmb24@st-andrews.ac.uk, startlink]St. Andrews Univ., www.st-andrews.ac.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Blue Carbon,  CO2,  Carbon Sink,  Carbon Sequestration,  


    Palm Oil Producing Countries Comment on Biofuels, Climate Change (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    The Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries
    Date: 2018-10-01
    Meeting last week in Jakarta, The Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) , issued the following policy developments in the EU on biofuel:
  • Under the proposed Renewable Energy Directive II (RED II), the Commission of the European Union is mandated to establish criteria to help distinguish between high and low risk Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) across the vegetable oil sector in general used for biofuels;

  • There are several EU models for ILUC that have been proposed none of which, nor could provide definitive evidence that would allow for a clear distinction between high and low risk ILUC. Nevertheless, the Commission is mandated to establish criteria by February 2019 to allow for such a distinction to be made;

  • The ILUC concept is of US and EU origin, but it is not a globally accepted approach or standard for assessing the impact of ILUC on climate change. It helps underpins EU policy, but it is not an international norm upon which palm oil producing countries could or should build their environmental policies;

  • CPOPC draws attention to the fact that there is over 1.7 billion hectares of land devoted to the production of crops globally, of which only 4 pct is devoted to biofuel. In our view, the very marginal use of land for biofuel calls in to question the very basis premises of indirect land use change resulting from the cultivation of vegetable oils for biofuel;

  • While CPOPC considers that the scientific community of palm oil producing countries should engage with the Commission, the Governments in the developing world should be fearful of being drawn in to acknowledging, accepting or offering legitimacy to the ILUC scheme within the RED II;

  • Palm oil producing countries should also be mindful in the weeks ahead of the objectiveness of the criteria being established and whether they are being applied impartially across all vegetable oils. In this respect, there is concern that palm oil will be targeted as several EU models are associated with the conversion of forests and peat lands with ILUC;

  • CPOPC is of the view that the use of ILC to target palm oil would represent a basic violation of the non-discriminatory principles upon which the WTO multilateral system is based; and that any related EU regulation or decision would likely constitute a Technical Barrier to Trade;

  • CPOPC does not necessarily subscribe to this concern, but we believe that criteria established by the EU should also address carbon retention in lands that have been converted from forests and peat in Europe; as well as to take account of the relative productivity of vegetable oils and the importance that this plays in protecting the global land bank;

  • There are wider concerns that have been expressed by palm oil producing countries that criteria should also take into-account the historical impact of mass deforestation in Europe;

  • CPOPC supports the UN global agreement to achieve Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 (SDGs);

  • CPOPC considers that the SDGs does not mean a trade off between social and economic progress and the environment, but rather the need to balance out these aims and CPOPC and other Palm Oil Producing countries are willing and open to engage with trading partners and stakeholders on how to achieve the SDGs in the vegetable oil sector;

  • In contrast to the direction of EU RED II, CPOPC believes that the promotion of first generation biofuel is an essential element for achieving the SDGs in palm oil producing countries. The use of vegetable oils in biofuel is essential to combating climate change and it is also important for all Governments in Palm Oil Producing Countries to reassure and give certainty to our industries that biofuel investment will not be undermined as is the case in the European Union. (Source: CPOPC, Neutral English, 1 Oct, 2018) Contact: CPOPC, Mahendra Siregar, Executive Director, +62 21 391 5160, +62 21 391 3961, secretariat@cpopc.org, www.cpopc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Biodiesel,  Palm Oil,  Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries,  


  • Irish Peat Biomass Burning Subsidies Questioned (Int'l Report)
    Bord na Mona
    Date: 2018-08-22
    In letters to the European Commissioner for Climate Action, the Irish NGO Friends of the Irish Environment and others claim that the Irish Government's recently announced decision to subsidize large-scale biomass burning at its peat-fired power stations undermines Ireland's commitments to meeting EU climate obligations. The letters call on the government to reconsider and end its approximate €120 million per year support through the Public Service Obligation (PSO) levy on electricity consumers.

    FIE claims the subsidy and the burning of peat at government owned Bord na Mona's Edenderry power station and two ESB facilities in the Midlands is leading to significant increases in greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the price of biomass to home users, thus increasing the burning of more fossil fuels. The group argues that the continued co-firing of biomass comes despite the recommendations of the Climate Change Advisory Council that the Government resources should not support measures that lead to increases in emissions. The expert body concluded that the biomass subsidy for peat power plants is an "environmentally harmful" subsidy that is responsible for higher emissions levels at a "direct cost to the nation." (Source: GREEN NEWS.ie, 21 Aug., 2018)Contact: Bord na Mona Plc, Mike Quinn, CEO, Patrick Madigan, Bioenergy Division, +353 45 439000, www.bordnamona.ie; Friends of the Irish Environment, www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biomass,  Peat,  Bord na Mona,  


    Environmentalists Seek Irish Peat-Fired Power Plant Closures (Int'l)
    Bord na Mona
    Date: 2018-08-15
    Green News Ireland is reporting the National Resources Defence Council, the Southern Environmental Law Centre, and other US conservation and environmental groups have in an open letter to the Irish government, ESB and Dublin-based Bord na Mona voiced their concerns that plans for large-scale biomass burning at Ireland's peat-fired power stations are a serious threat to southern US forests.

    Accordingly, the 30-some groups are calling on the Irish government to close its three peat-powered stations by 2020, to stop subsidizing co-firing with biomass and to refuse approval for ESB's forthcoming planning application to convert its two Midlands stations to co-firing with peat.

    Both the ESB and state-owned Bord na Mona plan to co-fire with increasing amounts of woody biomass and to convert them to burn 100 pct biomass by 2030. The company, which currently imports woodchip from Africa, says it aims to phase out imported biomass over time in favor of indigenous sources.

    The US groups claim there is "no realistic prospect" of Ireland producing enough biomass from domestic energy crops such as willow for industrial-scale burning at peat stations and that plantations in the US will be the "most likely biomass source" for co-firing and future full biomass conversions in Ireland.

    Wood pellet exports to Europe soared from 530,000 tonnes in 2009 to 3.89 million tonnes in 2014, making the US the world's leading exporter. (Source: Green News Ireland, 14 Aug., 2018)Contact: Bord na Mona Plc, Mike Quinn, CEO, Patrick Madigan, Bioenergy Division, +353 45 439000, www.bordnamona.ie

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biomass,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  Peat,  Bord na Mona ,  


    Velocys Planning £6Mn Share Offering (Int'l Report)
    Velocys
    Date: 2018-07-30
    UK-based landfill gas-to-liquid fuels and chemicals producer Velocys Plc reports it is seeking to raise £6 million ($7.9 million) gross in a share placement. The proceeds will be earmarked for the company's waste-to-renewable jet fuel project in the US, as well as for support for the ENVIA project and for on-boarding strategic investors for the Natchez, Mississippi biorefinery project, which will use woody biomass as feedstock.

    The placing is to happen in two tranches of 30 million shares each. Cannacord Genuity Group, Numis Securities Ltd, Peat & Co and Turner Pope Investments (TPI) Ltd arranged the placing, which is not being underwritten. (Source: Velocys, Renewables, 26 July, 2018) Contact: Velocys Plc, David Pummell, CEO, +44 1235 841 700, (713) 275-5840-- Houston Office, info@velocys.com, www.velocys.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Velocys,  Waste-to-Fuel,  Jet Fuel,  Aviation Fuel,  Woody Biomass,  


    Chinese Flexible Micro Capacitors Touted (Int'l, New Prod & Tech)
    Capacitors
    Date: 2018-07-03
    Researchers at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shenyang City, China, are reporting development of a new lithium-ion micro-capacitor (LIMC)with high energy storage density and excellent thermal stability. The LIMCs are reported to be mechanically flexible without performance degradation under repeated bending, and can operate safely even at temperatures of 80 degrees Celsius.

    The solid-state planar LIMCs can boost high voltage and capacitance and their high cycling stability allows them to maintain almost 99 pct of their capacitance after 6,000 electric cycles. The micro devices are expected to be commercially available in 2022. (Source: Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xinhua, 2 July, 2018) Contact: Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, english.dicp.cas.cn

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Storage,  Capacitors,  


    Trump Finds a Kindred Spirit in Former Aussie PM Tony Abbott (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Tony Abbott,Trump,Climate Change
    Date: 2018-07-03
    In the Land Down Under, former Liberal Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the prime minister who signed Australia on to the Paris Climate Agreement, now says Australia should pull out of the treaty to end "the emissions obsession that's at the heart of our power crisis."

    In a recent speech to a group of "climate skeptics", Abbott, who is perhaps best remembered for his comment "climate change is a load of CRAP", now says he wouldn't have signed up to the Paris treaty had he known the US would withdraw from it.

    In his speech, Abbott noted: "I didn't anticipate how agreeing to emissions that were 26 pct lower in 2030 than in 2005 would subsequently become a linear progression of roughly equal cuts every year over the next decade." "As long as we remain in the Paris agreement -- which is about reducing emissions, not building prosperity -- all policy touching on emissions will be about their reduction, not our well-being. It's the emissions obsession that's at the heart of our power crisis and it's this that has to end for our problems to ease."

    Other oft repeated Abbott comments include:

    "There are respectable arguments for an ETS but the one Labor (the then governing party) has in mind could easily be expensive and futile. I am wary of a system which creates new vested interests - which an ETS will do. I suspect that a straight carbon tax or charge could be more transparent and easier to change if conditions change or our understanding of the science changes." -- Tony Abbott, ,July 10, 2009

    "I am confident, based on the science we have, that mankind does make a difference to climate, almost certainly the impact of humans on the planet extends to climate." -- Tony Abbott, May 27, 2010 "We do not believe in artificially imposing a carbon price on consumers. There will be no carbon price on consumers under a (my) Coalition government." Tony Abbott, July 19, 2010.

    "Now, we do have policy out there. We've had it out there since February. It basically goes -- it involves going to the market and buying abatements through soil carbon, through tree planting, through businesses that are prepared to change their processes to less emitting ones. It will reduce our emissions by five percent by 2020, so we will achieve our targets. Now, that's our commitment. It's doable. It's deliverable." -- Tony Abbott,16 August, 2010

    "Yeah, look, I never said it (climate change) was a myth. I once used some colourful language describing the so-called settled science of climate change but look, climate change is real, humanity does make a contribution to it and we've got to take effective action against it. I mean, that's my position and that's always been my position but I've never been in favour of a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme." -- Tony Abbott, July, 2011

    (Source: Various Media, Guardian, 3 July, 2018)

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


    Aussie Study Values Inland Wetlands Carbon Storage Stocks (Int'l)
    Deakin University
    Date: 2018-06-27
    In the Land Down Under, researchers from the Deakin School of Life and Environmental Sciences' Blue Carbon Lab are reporting that Victoria state's inland wetlands lock away the annual emissions of 185,000 people. Victoria has about 530,000 hectares of inland wetlands, which include marshes, peatlands, pools and lakes, making up about 2.33 pct of the state's land area. The figure is part the state's first tally of its valuable environmental resources which came to three million tpy of CO2.

    In total, the researchers estimated Victoria's inland wetlands had a soil carbon stock of 68 million tons, worth about $6 billion under Australia's most recent carbon price.

    According to lead researcher Dr Paul Carnell, "While a lot more is known about how trees suck up and store carbon, freshwater wetlands can actually sequester 20 to 40 times more carbon than forests on dry land."

    The study was funded by the Victoria Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. The study, published in the journal Global Change Biology. (Source: Deakin University, PR, 26 June 2018) Contact: Deakin University, Dr Paul Carnell, Lead Researcher, +61 3 924 43902, paul.carnell@deakin.edu.au, www.deakin.edu.au: Blue Carbon, http://bluecarbonlab.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Storage,  Blue Carbon,  Carbon Emissions,  


    New Internet-Based Biomass Feedstock Supply System Touted (Int'l)
    Valmet,Turun Seudun Energiatuotanto
    Date: 2018-06-22
    Finland-based engineering company Valmet and Turun Seudun Energiatuotanto Oy (TSE) are reporting the development of DNA Fuel Chain Management, an internet-based system to support the delivery of woody biomass, straw, peat, coal, refinery gas and refuse-derived feedstock.

    The system is being implemented at utility company TSE's new €240 million multifuel plant in Naantali, which became operational at the end of last year. The facility will process up to 1.2 million cubic metres per year of woody biomass an generate 146 MW of electricity and 250MW of heat.

    The DNA system creates the fuel purchasing plan and distributes it to suppliers. This includes the exact amount, type of fuel and delivery time slot desired from each supplier. (Source: Valmet, Ends Waste&Bioenergy, 19 June 2018) Contact: Turun Seudun Energiatuotanto Oy, Tapani Bastman, CEO, +358 40 5778122, www.tset.fi; Valmet, Bertel Karlstedt , Pres. Pulp & Energy, +358 (0) 10 672 0000, www.valmet.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Valmet,  Biomass,  


    Active Energy Refocuses on CoalSwitch (Int'l Report)
    Active Energy Group
    Date: 2018-06-20
    Further to our March 14, 2018 coverage, following a year of restructuring UK-headquartered Active Energy Group PLC reports it has exited the low margin, high-risk Ukrainian wood fibre operations and will focus on its coal replacement biomass fuel, CoalSwitch, and its engineered soils derivative, PeatSwitch targeted for the US, Canadian and European market.

    Inline with to restructuring and corporate strategy, CEO Richard Spinks will step down and focus his efforts on the development of CoalSwitch business opportunities in Poland and the forestry management activities in North America. (Source: Active Energy Group PLC, Proactive Investors, 19 June, 2018) Contact: Active Energy Group PLC, +44 (0)20 3021 1500, www.active-energy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Active Energy Group,  CoalSwitch,  


    Irish GHG Levels Rise with Dairy Ind. Expansion (Int'l Report)
    Ireland EPA
    Date: 2018-06-04
    In Dublin, Ireland's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reporting that the country's total GHG emissions will increase from current levels to 2020, despite an EU target to cut emissions by 20 pct on 2005 levels from the non-Emissions Trading Scheme (non-ETS) sector -- agriculture, transport, residential, commercial, non-energy intensive industry and waste.

    According to the latest projections, Ireland will only achieve a 1 pct reduction in emissions despite a targeted 30 pct reduction of emissions compared to 2005, with binding annual limits over the 2021-2030 period. These latest projections indicate that Ireland will exceed the allowable carbon budget implied by those limits by between 47--52Mt over the period, even assuming the allowed-for flexibilities are fully used.

    The latest EPA projections show that increasing fossil fuel consumption and an expanding dairy and agriculture sector are leading to increased emissions. In particular:

  • Energy industry emissions -- electric power generation -- are projected to grow strongly from 2020 to 2025 as a result of an expansion of co-firing of peat and biomass;
  • Transport emissions are projected to increase from current levels by 17-18 pct by 2020 and by 17-20 pct by 2030. A decline in emissions is projected from 2025 to 2030, resulting from an acceleration in the number of electric vehicles on Irish roads;
  • Agriculture emissions are projected to increase by between 3-4 pct by 2020 and 6-7 pct by 2030 on current levels based on an expansion of animal numbers, particularly for the dairy herd. (Source: Ireland EPA, May, 2018) Contact: Ireland EPA, Dr. Eimear Cotter, Director of the Office of Environmental Sustainability, +44 053 916 0600, www.epa.ie

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GHG,  Greenhouse Gas,  


  • Ireland's Carbon Emissions Expected to Rise (Int'l Report)
    Ireland EPA,Carbon Emissions
    Date: 2018-06-01
    In Dublin, the Irish Environmental Protection Agency is projecting the country's total greenhouse gas emissions will increase up to 2020, driven by strong economic growth, increasing fossil fuel consumption under pinned by relatively low fuel prices, and an expanding agriculture sector.

    According to EPA projections, Ireland will only achieve a 1 pct reduction by 2020 compared to the 20 pct reduction target – and will struggle to meet 2030 targets on key sectors that are not part of the EU's emissions trading system which covers heavy industry. Contributing factors noted by the EPA include:

  • Energy industry emissions -- primarily from power generation -- are projected to grow strongly from 2020 to 2025 as a result of continuing use of coal and expansion of co-firing of peat and biomass;

  • Transportation emissions are projected to jump from current levels by 17 to 18 pct by 2020, and by 17 to 20 pct by 2030 including a growth in fuel consumption in diesel cars and freight up to 2025. A decline in emissions is projected from 2025 to 2030, resulting from an acceleration in the number of electric vehicles on Irish roads;

  • Agriculture emissions are projected to grow by between 3 to 4 pct by 2020, and 6 to 7 pct by 2030 on current levels based on an expansion of live stock numbers, particularly in dairying -- Ireland has committed to carbon neutrality in agriculture.

    In relation to 2030, Ireland's target calls for a 30 pct reduction of carbon emissions compared to 2005, with binding annual limits over the 2021 to 2030 period. The latest projections indicate Ireland "will exceed the allowable carbon budget implied by those limits by between 47 to 52 million tonnes of over the period, even assuming the allowed-for flexibilities are fully used."

    The Irish EPA Greenhouse Gas Emission Projections 2017 to 2035 report is available on the EPA website www.epa.ie. (Source: Ireland EPA, Irish Times, 31 May, 2018) Contact: Ireland EPA, Dr. Eimear Cotter, Director Office of Environmental Sustainability, www.epa.ie

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


  • Schneider Promoting GenNext Buildings' Platform (Ind. Report)
    Schneider Electric
    Date: 2018-05-28
    Energy management and automation specialist Schneider Electric is touting the next generation of EcoStruxure Building, the industry' first open innovation platform of buildings. A part of Schneider's EcoStruxure Architecture, the product is the company's IoT (Internet of Things)-enabled, plug and play, open, interoperable, architecture and platform.

    EcoStruxure Building's open, end-to-end IP architecture enables quick, connectivity of IoT devices and provides for edge control and collaboration between building systems and third-party systems and devices.

    For developers, systems integrators and members of Schneider Electric's EcoXpert partner program, EcoStruxure Building enables up to 30 pct faster deployment through: Smart Connector framework for creating new system and app functionality; Enterprise Central allows for 10x more scalability to easily execute site expansions; Mobile commissioning, engineering efficiencies, and development applications for speed, repeatability and consistency.

    Schneider Electric EcoStruxure leverages advancements in IoT, mobility, sensing, cloud, analytics and cybersecurity to deliver Innovation at every level, from Connected Products, Edge Control to Apps, Analytics & Services, said the statement from the company. It has been deployed in 480,000-plus installations, with the support of more than 20,000 system integrators, connecting over 1.5 million assets, according to Schneider Electric. (Source: Schneider Electric, TradeArabia News Service, 27 May, 2018) Contact: Schneider Electric, www.enable.schneider-electric.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Schneider Electric,  Energy Management,  Building Energy management,  

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