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Neste Lauds EU Fit for 55 Package (Opinions & Editorials)
Neste, Fit for 55
Date: 2021-07-23
Helsinki-headquartered Neste Oyi issued the following comments in welcoming the EU's "Fit for 55" commitment to long-term policies and the ambition to become climate neutral by 2050:

"As a whole, the Fit for 55 package seems to provide the tools to combat the climate crisis during this decade by raising the ambition level of emission cuts across different sectors of the economy. It will support the growth of renewable fuels markets in both road and aviation segments. The Commission's proposal to establish an EU-wide obligation to supply a growing minimum share of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) as of 2025 will create a large market and progressively cut down emissions from flying. The package also supports Neste's climate commitments, including to reach carbon neutral production by 2035. Now that the EC's proposals will enter the legislative process, it will be important to further raise the level of ambition and keep the focus on emission cuts by various solutions, not only by specific technologies," notes Neste VP for Public Affairs, Ilkka Rasanen.

"Neste firmly believes that all solutions are needed in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the societies. On European roads, the number of electric cars is growing at a rapid pace, which is a logical and welcome development as the power generation sector is embracing emission free technologies. However, achieving the ambitious climate targets requires both EVs and renewable transport fuels, as internal combustion engine vehicles will keep playing a key role for a long time, particularly in heavy-duty vehicles. The average age of cars in Europe is more than 10 years; this means that many new vehicles sold today will still be in use for another 15-20 years. When it comes to especially heavy-duty vehicles, internal combustion engines and renewable fuels, both biofuels and so-called e-fuels (Power-to-X), will be needed for a long time. After all, the combustion engine is not the problem when the fuel is renewable and sustainably produced. Already today, customers using the Neste MY Renewable Diesel™ made from 100 pct renewable raw materials can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90 pct compared to fossil diesel.

"The aviation industry has already taken steps in the right direction by committing to the target of achieving carbon-neutral growth from 2020 onwards. Neste, as the world's leading producer of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), is committed to helping the aviation industry meet the proposed EU-wide obligation.

"Following its sustainable sourcing principles, Neste continues to develop the availability of emerging, lower-quality waste and residue raw materials, as well as agricultural and forest harvesting residues, algae and municipal solid waste as future raw materials. Neste is also exploring Power-to-X technologies as a new renewable fuel." (Source: Neste, PR, Website 16 July, 2021)Contact: Neste, Ilkka Rasanen, Vice President, Public Affairs, +358 50 458 5123, www.neste.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Neste,  Biofuel,  Fit for 55,  


RFA Comments on Refiners' RFS Arguments Rejection (Ind. Report)
Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2021-07-23
The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) issued the following comments on the D.C. Circuit Court's July 16th rejection of arguments from oil refiners that the "Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) causes them economic hardship and therefore the EPA should have waived their 2019 RFS obligations." The court ruled on the follow specific points:

  • Severe Economic Harm Waiver -- The court rebuffed the refiners' argument that EPA should have waived the 2019 RFS requirements because East Coast refiners purportedly could not pass through their RFS compliance costs and thus experienced "severe economic harm." According to the Court, "Obligated parties assert that the 'pass-through' theory is flawed and that RFS requirements impose severe economic consequences on refiners in the Eastern United States. We reject this challenge. EPA reasonably concluded that obligated parties had failed to make the strong causal showing required to trigger the waiver. It was reasonable for EPA to conclude that RFS costs alone were not the primary driver of the refineries' economic difficulties", the Court added.

  • Inadequate Domestic Supply Waiver -- The court also shot down the refiners' claim that a waiver of 2019 RFS requirements would have been justified due to an "inadequate domestic supply" of renewable fuels to meet the standards. "EPA adequately explained its refusal to exercise the inadequate domestic supply waiver," the judges wrote.

  • Point of Obligation -- Refiners also argued that EPA should have used the 2019 RFS rule-making to change the point of obligation for RFS compliance from refiners and importers to fuel blenders. The court discarded that argument stating "Refiners have repeatedly but unsuccessfully urged EPA to include blenders in the point of obligation. EPA's decision not to undertake another reassessment in the 2019 rule-making was not an abuse of discretion."

  • Exported Renewable Fuel -- The Court similarly rejected refiner arguments that exported renewable fuels should count toward RFS compliance. "EPA at no point suggested that it was substantively reconsidering its longstanding policy concerning the treatment of exported renewable fuel, and it reasonably refused to consider obligated parties' arguments for changing that policy," the court ruled. (Source: Renewable Fuels Assoc., Website PR, 16 July, 2021) Contact: RFA, Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Association,  RFS,  RFS Waiver,  


  • Growth Energy Calls for Congressional Biofuel Support (Ind. Report)
    Growth Energy
    Date: 2021-07-23
    Growth Energy has launched a new online digital ad campaign urging President Biden and leaders in Congress to stop oil industry handouts and uphold their commitments to reduce carbon emissions, support low carbon biofuels and strong Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

    According to Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor, "It's time for leaders in Washington to make good on their commitments to clean, renewable energy and put a stop to Big Oil's efforts to restore its monopoly over the US fuel mix. The evidence is clear. Congress and the administration cannot decarbonise transportation without a growing role for low-carbon biofuels, which are vital to our climate, working families, and the economy. The last thing we can afford are more handouts to the oil industry. Policymakers must act swiftly to ensure uninterrupted, year-round access to E15 and set ambitious biofuel blending levels, including a statutory minimum of 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuel, under annual targets." (Source: Growth Energy, Website PR, 22 July, 2021) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy,  Renewable Fuels,  


    Growth Energy Warns Against More RFS Waivers (Opinions & Asides)
    Growth Energy
    Date: 2021-06-30
    Addressing a recent U.S. Senate Ag subcommittee meeting, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor noted there's both a practical and a political downside if the US EPA lets small oil refiners off the hook in blending ethanol or buying biofuel credits.

    "In 2019, President Biden said in Iowa, and I quote, 'Those waivers are a gigantic mistake. We should not be exempting, we should be insisting that these major oil companies meet the criteria that are set,' end quote. We wholeheartedly agree. Lowering, waving, caping, or any backtracking on the promise of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) damages our ability to decarbonize our vehicle fleet, threatens large agricultural markets, and jeopardizes hundreds of thousands of jobs supported by the biofuel industry."

    According to Skor, a new study shows switching to E15 with incentives pending in Congress would add $18 billion to the economy, $10 billion to household income and 183,000 jobs. (Source: Growth Energy, DRG News, 29 June, 2021). (Source: Growth Energy , Website PR, 25 May, 2021) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, www.growthenergy.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy,  RFS,  Hardship Waivers,  Biofuel,  Ethanol,  


    Neste's Porvoo Refinery Back On Line (Int'l. Report)
    Neste
    Date: 2021-06-28
    In Helsinki, Neste Oyi is reporting scheduled maintenance work at its Porvoo refinery in Finland has been completed and the refinery is back in production.

    The work came in at approximately €630 million, of which approximately €330 million was realized in the major turnaround in 2021. In 2020, only critical refinery maintenance work was completed due to the corona pandemic.

    Neste refines waste, residues and innovative raw materials into renewable fuels and sustainable feedstock for plastics and other materials. Neste is the world's leading producer of renewable diesel (RD) and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) developing chemical recycling to combat the plastic waste and helping customers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with our renewable and circular solutions by at least 20 million tons annually by 2030. The company aims for carbon-neutral production by 2035.

    In 2020, Neste's revenue stood at €11.8 billion ($14.070 billion) with 94 pct of the company's comparable operating profit coming from renewable products, according to the company website. (Source: Neste Corporation, Website PR, 24 June, 2021) Contact: Neste Oy, Carl Nyberg, Exec. VP, +358 50 458 5076, www.neste.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Neste ,  Renewable Diesel,  SAF,  Biofuel,  


    Preem's Lysekil Refinery Producing Renewable Petrol (Int'l.)
    Preem
    Date: 2021-06-25
    Sweden's largest fuel company Preem reports the first catalytic cracker tests to produce 300 tons of pyrolysis oil from sawdust have been carried out at the company's refinery in Lysekil. The plant has also begun processing 50,000 tons of pyrolysis oil. The oil will then be further refined at Preem's refinery in Lysekil, one of Preem's largest refineries producing petrol.

    Sweden's biofuel blend rate will increase to 7.8 pct in 2022. Preen plans to produce approximately 5 million cubic meters of renewable fuels by 2030, (Source: Preem, PR, Website, 22 June, 2021) Contact: Preem, +46 (0)70-450 10 01, www.preem.se

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Diesel,  Preem,  


    Biofuels 17 pct of US 2020 Renewables Consumption (Ind. Report)
    US EIA
    Date: 2021-06-18
    According to recent EIA data, consumption of renewable energy in the U.S. grew for the fifth consecutive year in 2020, reaching a record 11.6 quadrillion Btu -- 12 pct of total U.S. energy -- while fossil fuel and nuclear power consumption declined.

    EIA data shows that biofuels, including fuel ethanol, biodiesel and other renewable fuels, accounted for approximately 17 percent of U.S. renewable energy consumption in 2020, despite an 11 percent drop in biofuel consumption caused by market factors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Wood and waste energy, wood pellets, and biomass waste from landfills accounted for about 22 pct of U.S. renewable energy consumption in 2019. (Source: U.S. EIA, Monthly Energy Review, 16 June, 2021) Contact: IS EIA, www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=48396, www.eia.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  US EIA,  


    Aemetis, Murex Ink $200Mn Biofuels Agreement (Ind. Report)
    Aemetis, Murex
    Date: 2021-06-16
    Cupertino-California-headquartered Aemetis, Inc. is reporting an estimated $200 million biofuels offtake agreement with Plano, Texas-based international renewable fuels supplier Murex, LLC to be delivered during 2021 to 2023.

    Under the agreement, fuel and the related Low Carbon Fuel Standard and Renewable Fuel Standard Credits will be sold at a fixed discount to the market price at the time of delivery. (Source: Aemetis, Inc., 14 June, 2021) Contact: Murex LLC, Robert Wright, President, www.murexltd.com; Aemetis Advanced Fuels, Andy Foster, Aemetis, Eric McAfee, CEO, (408) 213-0940, emcafee@aemetis.com, www.aemetis.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aemetis,  Murex ,  Biofuel,  


    Growth Energy Applauds Senate Push for RFS Transparency (Ind. Report, Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Growth Energy
    Date: 2021-05-28
    In Washington, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor has thanked U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), who reintroduced the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Integrity Act. A companion to House legislation introduced in February, the bipartisan proposal would bring greater transparency to the U.S. EPA small refinery exemption (SRE) process and ensure refiners apply for exemptions in a timely manner.

    "This legislation provides long-overdue transparency for requests to avoid blending more low carbon renewable fuels that are key to America's low-carbon future. We applaud Senators Fischer and Duckworth for working to protect the integrity of the RFS so that farmers and biofuel producers, as well as the entire fuel supply chain, across the nation can count on stable demand and continue providing cleaner and more affordable fuel choices at the pump, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said."

    "By arming the public with greater information on biofuel exemptions, we can keep oil refineries accountable to following the law and ensure uninterrupted progress toward achieving cleaner air and a healthier climate," Skor added.

    Currently, EPA does not provide a deadline for refiners submitting a request for an SRE. The bipartisan Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act explicitly sets a June 1st deadline the year prior to the biofuel targets going into effect the following year. This will allow EPA to account for any exempted gallons in the following year's Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) as required by the Clean Air Act and ensure that the RVOs are met. Additionally, the legislation increases transparency into the SRE application process, allowing the public greater insight into which companies are receiving exemptions and why, according to the release. (Source: Growth Energy , Website PR, 25 May, 2021) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, www.growthenergy.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Grwoth Energy,  RFS,  


    Preem Completes Gothenburg Biorefinery Revamp (Int'l. Report)
    Preem
    Date: 2021-05-28
    Stockholm-headquartered Preem, Sweden's largest oil refiner, reports the revamping of it Gothenburg refinery has been completed. This is the second revamp of the hydrotreater, following work in 2010 that upgraded the unit to co-process 30 pct renewable feedstock using Topsoe's HydroFlex technology.

    With the second revamp, Preem and Topsoe achieved 85 pct co-processing of tallow and tall diesel feedstock enabling the production of roughly 5 million cubic meters of renewable fuels by 2030.

    Topsoe's HydroFlex is the industry-leading technology for production of renewable jet and diesel provides lower CAPEX, lower OPEX, lower carbon intensity (CI) score, better diesel yield, and can be deployed in both grassroots units and revamps for co-processing or stand-alone applications, according to the company. (Source: Preem, Website PR, 21 May, 2021) Contact: Preem, +46 (0)10 450 10 00, www.preem.com; Haldor Topsoe, Roeland Baan, CEO, Ulrik Frohlke, Media, +45 27 77 99 68, ulfr@topsoe.com, www.topsoe.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel,  Preem,  Topsoe,  Tall Diesel,  Biofuel,  Biodiesel,  


    UPM Advances Biofuel Growth Plans (Int'l. Report)
    UPM
    Date: 2021-05-28
    Following up on our 29 Jan., 2021 coverage, Helsinki-headquartered UPM has moved forward with its biofuels growth plans and has begun the basic engineering phase of a next generation biorefinery. The potential biorefinery would produce roughly 500,000 tpy of high-quality renewable fuels including sustainable jet fuel (SAF).

    UPM is review the operating environment primarily in two locations - Kotka, Finland, and Rotterdam, the Netherlands. (Source: UPM, 20 May, 2021)Contact: UPM, Jyrki Ovaska, CTO, +358 204 150 564, www.upm.com, www.upmbiofuels.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UPM,  Biofuel,  SAF,  


    Aemetis Biogas Cleanup Unit Construction Underway (Ind. Report)
    Aemetis
    Date: 2021-05-24
    Cupertino, California-based advanced renewable fuels and biochemical producer Aemetis Inc. subsidiary Aemetis Biogas LLC reports construction is underway at its $12 million Biogas Central Dairy Digester biogas cleanup and compression unit project at the company's advanced ethanol plant in Keyes, California.

    The plant will produce pipeline-quality RNG that will be directly connected to the PG&E natural gas pipeline, according to the release. (Source: Aemetis Biogas , PR 20 May, 2021) Contact: Aemetis Biogas, Andy Foster, Pres., Aemetis, Eric McAfee, CEO, (408) 213-0940, emcafee@aemetis.com, www.aemetis.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aemetis,  Aemetis Biogas,  Biogas,  RNG,  


    UPM Advancing Planned Biofuel Growth (Int'l. Report)
    UPM
    Date: 2021-05-21
    Helsinki-headquartered UPM reports basic engineering is underway for a planned next generation 500,000 tpy biorefinery in Kotka, Finland or Rotterdam to produce renewable fuels including sustainable jet fuel (SAF). The company will next define the business case, select the most innovative technology option, including the use of green hydrogen in the production process, and determine the required investment to proceed.

    UPM has invested €179 million in the world's first biorefinery producing wood-based renewable diesel and naphtha called UPM BioVerno. The 130,000 tpy UPM Lappeenranta Biorefinery produces UPM BioVerno diesel and naphtha from crude tall oil, a residue of the company's pulp production. (Source: UPM Website, May, 2021) Contact: UPM Biofuels, +358 204 15 111, Fax. +358 204 15 110, www.upm.com/businesses/upm-biofuels

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UPM,  SAF,  Biofuel,  Biodiesel,  


    VW, Bosch, Shell Touting Blue Gasoline (Int'l, Alt. Fuels Report)
    VW, Bosch, Shell
    Date: 2021-05-10
    Stuttgart-based German technology provider Bosch, automaker Volkswagen and energy and petrochemical multinational Shell are touting the development of Blue Gasoline, which will be available at Bosch service stations this year.

    According to Bosch, this new fuel contains the equivalent of 33 pct renewable energy which reduces its CO2 emissions by 20 pct per kilometer traveled compared to gasoline. "On the path to environmentally friendly mobility we must ensure that we leave no technical opportunity untapped, starting with electromobility and ending with renewable fuels", claimed the president of Bosch's Propulsion Systems Solutions division, Uwe Gackstatter.

    VW's director of Development of Internal Combustion Engines, Sebastian Willmann, stresses that Blue Gasoline is another "critical component in reducing vehicle emissions, as it is particularly suitable for use in plug-in hybrid models."

    Technically, blue gas is gasoline or diesel that is a hydrocarbon fuel manufactured from hydrogen and carbon feedstocks instead of being refined from petroleum. Hydrogen comes in several colors. Black hydrogen comes from coal gasification and has 20X the mass of CO2 as of produced hydrogen. (Source: Bosch, Shell, Volkswagen, Europe Press, Explica, 9 May, 2021)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News VW,  Bosch,  Shell,  Alternative Fuel,  Low-Carbon Fuel,  


    American Coalition for Ethanol Comments on Biden's GHG Reduction Plan (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    American Coalition for Ethanol
    Date: 2021-05-05
    "Renewable fuels like ethanol are a significant part of the solution to climate change and should be part of US commitments to contribute to global emissions reductions under the Paris Agreement. In fac, ethanol is the only transportation energy source that can reach net-negative carbon intensity through carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) and continued advancements within ethanol facilities and on-farm practices in how biofuel crops are grown.

    "Other countries have initiated national ethanol policies as part of their countries' global initiatives to decarbonize transportation fuels, and US biofuel producers are ready to play a larger role in meeting these targets here and around the world." -- Brian Jennings, CEO, American Coalition for Ethanol Contact: American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, (605) 334-3381, www.ethanol.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American Coalition for Ethanol ,  Ethanol,  Climate Change,  


    CABBI Investigates RFS Biofuel Mandates, Incentives (Ind. Report)
    CABBI
    Date: 2021-05-03
    New studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI) have found the need to adopt more targeted policies that value the environmental and ecosystem benefits of perennial bioenergy crops over cheaper options -- and provide financial incentives for farmers to grow them.

    In particular, the study calculated the net economic and environmental costs of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) mandates and found that maintaining the corn ethanol mandate would lead to a cumulative net cost to society of nearly $200 billion from 2016 to 2030 compared to having no RFS. The social cost of nitrogen damage from corn ethanol production substantially offsets the social benefits from GHG savings, the report notes.On the otherhand, the additional cellulosic mandate could provide substantial economic and environmental benefits with technological innovations that lower the costs of converting biomass to cellulosic ethanol and policies that place a high monetized value for GHG mitigation benefits. The study notes that maintaining the corn ethanol mandate pushes more land into corn production which increases the market price of other agricultural commodities. While producers might benefit from higher market prices.

    The study notes the cellulosic ethanol mandate could provide an overall benefit with the right policies. Supporting research and development to lower the cost of converting biomass to cellulosic ethanol would substantially reduce production costs and increase social benefits, and a high monetized value for GHG mitigation could offset all other costs.

    CABBI researchers hope performance-based policies -- including the low carbon fuel standard, carbon and nitrogen leakage taxes, or limits on crop-residue harvest -- can be implemented to supplement the RFS mandates after 2022.

    CABBI aims to integrate recent advances in agronomics, genomics, and synthetic and computational biology to increase the value of energy crops -- using a "plants as factories" approach to grow fuels and chemicals in plant stems, an automated foundry to convert biomass into valuable chemicals, and ensuring that its products are ecologically and economically sustainable. This holistic approach will help reduce fossil fuels dependence, according to the CABBI website. (Source: CABBI, PR, 27 Apr., 2021) Contact: CABBI, Evan DeLuc1a, (217)244-1586, cabbi-bio@illinois.edu, www.cabbi.bio

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CABBI,  Biofuel,  RFS,  Corn Ethanol,  


    Aemetis Carbon Zero Renewable Fuels Plant Permitted (Ind. Report)
    Aemetis
    Date: 2021-04-30
    Cupertino, California-based renewable natural gas and renewable fuels specialist Aemetis, Inc. is reporting receipt of nineteen construction permits from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District related to its Carbon Zero renewable fuels biorefinery at the Riverbank Industrial Complex in Riverbank, California. Each permit states a specific set of equipment and the conditions for operation of each unit.

    The Carbon Zero biorefinery is supported by $17 million of grant funding from the California Energy Commission and the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA) and is slated to begin operations in 2023, then double production capacity by year 2025. (Source: Aemetis, Inc. , PR, 29 Apr., 2021)Contact: Aemetis, Eric McAfee, CEO, (408) 213-0940, emcafee@aemetis.com, www.aemetis.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RNG,  Aemetis,  Ethanol,  California Air Resources Board,  


    RINs Hit Highs as High Court Deliberates RFS Waivers (Ind. Report)
    RFS, Renewable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2021-04-28
    Reuters is reporting U.S. renewable fuel standard credits (RINs) jumped Tuesday to record highs as costs for soybean oil pushed up both renewable fuel and biomass-based credits.

    Renewable fuel (D6) credits for 2021 traded up from $1.44 to $1.50 each and biomass-based (D4) credits traded at $1.58 each, up from $1.52 previously -- highest since Reuters began reporting data for renewable fuel credits in 2013 and biomass-based credits in 2014.

    The credits, known as RINs, rose at the same time that the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday was hearing oral arguments for a case involving the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires refiners to blend biofuels into their fuel mix each year or buy RINs from those that do. The Supreme Court's decision around the case will likely heavily influence the future of the RFS.

    As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. Under the now vanquished administrator Greg Pruitt's direction, the EPA handed out 54 exemptions over two years and not a single request for an exemption was denied.Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, the nation's oil refineries are required to blend billions of gallons of biofuels such as ethanol into the fuel or buy credits from those that do. But the EPA can waive their obligations if they prove compliance would cause them financial distress. (Source: Various Media, Reuters, 27 Apr., 2021)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Standard,  


    Biofuels Included in USDA Infrastructure Investments (Funding)
    USDA
    Date: 2021-04-26
    In Washington, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports it is investing $487 million in critical infrastructure that will help communities in 45 states "build back better and stronger while prioritizing climate-smart solutions and environmental stewardship."

    USDA is making the investments under the Water and Environmental Program, the Rural Energy for America Program, the Electric Loan Program and the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program.

  • Biofuel Infrastructure -- USDA is investing $18.4 million in 20 states through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) to build infrastructure to help expand the availability of higher-blend renewable fuels by approximately 218 million gpy. This will give consumers more environmentally-friendly fuel choices when they fill-up at the pump.

    For example, in Georgia, RC Bells Inc. will use a $130,500 grant to replace four dispensers and a storage tank at a fueling station in Acworth. The infrastructure supported by this investment will expand the use of renewable fuels by approximately 420,000 gpy.

  • Other investments include: Rural Water and Wastewater Infrastructure -- $374 million; Renewable Energy in Rural Communities -- $78 million; and Rural Electric Infrastructure Upgrades -- $17.4 million.

    USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to support infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. (Source: USDA Rural Development , PR 22 Apr., 2021) Contact: USDA Rural Development www.usda.gov, www.rd.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  HBIIP,  Biofuel,  


  • Fortistar Merger Launches Opal Fuels LLC (M&A, Ind. Report)
    Fortistar, TruStar Energy
    Date: 2021-04-23
    White Plains, N.Y.-based privately owned investment firm Fortistar LLC reports its renewable natural gas (RNG) portfolio company Fortistar Methane Group (FMG) and RNG fuel supply specialist TruStar Energy are merging under Opal Fuels LLC -- a fully-integrated renewable fuels supply company for North America.

    Founded in 1993, Fortistar provides capital to build, grow and manage companies that address complex sustainability challenges. The company utilizes its capital, flexibility and operating expertise to grow high-performing companies, first in power generation and now in mobility, carbon capture, the circular economy and other solutions that drive our transition to a zero-carbon future. As a team, Fortistar has financed over $3.5 billion in capital for companies and projects in the energy, transportation and industrial sectors, according to the company website. (Source: Fortistar, PR, 22 Apr., 2021) Contact: TruStar Energy, Scott Edelbach, COO, www.trustarenergy.com; Fortistar, Mark Comora, CEO, (914) 421-4937, MComora@fortistar.com, www.fortistar.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Fortistar,  TruStar Energy,  RNG,  


    Minn., California and Iowa E15 Sales on the Rise (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2021-04-09
    The Iowa Department of Revenue is reporting sales of E15 jumped 24 pct in Iowa in 2020 , despite the pandemic-related drop in overall fuel consumption. Iowa retailers sold 60.59 million gallons of E15 in 2020, up from 48.96 million gallons in 2019 and more than double the 2017 volume of E15 sales, despite a 14.3 pct drop in the state's overall petroleum consumption from 2019 levels.

    Similarly, recent data from the Minnesota Department of Commerce showed 2020 E15 sales there nearly held steady with 2019 sales levels, despite the pandemic. Minnesota E15 sales were 93.46 million gallons, down 4 pct from 97.40 million gallons in 2019.

    On the west coast, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) noted 40.37 million gallons of E85 were sold in the Golden State in 2020, down 0.6 pct from the 40.6 million gallons sold in 2019. (Source: Iowa Department of Revenue Renewable Fuels Association, CARB, Biofuels News, 8 Apr., 2021) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFA,  FlexFuel,  E15,  E85,  Biofuel Blend,  


    Aemetis Announces Carbon Capture Inc. Unit (Ind. Report)
    Aemetis,California Air Resources Board
    Date: 2021-04-05
    Cupertino, California-based renewable fuels specialist Aemetis, Inc. reports the the establishment of Aemetis Carbon Capture, Inc.

    The new unit will initially capture, dehydrate, compress, and sequester CO2 from Aemetis Biogas anaerobic dairy digester projects in California's Central Valley to further reduce the carbon intensity (CI) of its dairy biogas fuel.(Source: Aemetis, PR, 1 April, 2021)Contact: Aemetis, Eric McAfee, CEO, (408) 213-0940, emcafee@aemetis.com, www.aemetis.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aemetis,  CCS,  Carbon Capture,  RNG,  Biogas,  Anaerobic Digester,  


    Aemetis Advanced Fuels Keyes Plant CARB Certified (Ind. Report)
    Aemetis,California Air Resources Board
    Date: 2021-04-02
    Cupertino, California-based Aemetis Inc., a renewable natural gas (RNG) and renewable fuels company, has received certification from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) -- effective as of Oct. 1, 2020 -- for a new LCFS Tier 2 fuel pathway for the Aemetis Advanced Fuels Keyes ethanol production plant utilizing renewable dairy biogas as a process energy input.

    The Aemetis Central Dairy Digester Project is a collection of dairy lagoon anaerobic digesters that are built, owned and operated by Aemetis Biogas LLC utilizing waste animal manure to generate renewable methane gas to produce negative CI RNG for transportation use to displace diesel fuel. The completed Aemetis Central Dairy Digester Project is expected to include over 30 dairy digesters in the current phase (with plans to expand to more than 52 dairies), and utilize 36 miles of private pipeline owned by Aemetis, a centralized gas clean up unit located at the Aemetis Keyes ethanol biorefinery, an RNG onsite fueling station and an interconnection to PG&E's natural gas pipeline.

    The company plans to begin construction of the next five dairy digesters and the additional 32 miles of biogas pipeline in the second quarter, with five more dairy digesters set to begin construction in the third quarter and five digesters beginning in the first quarter of 2022 for a planned total of 17 dairy digesters and a 35-mile biogas pipeline. (Source: Aemetis, PR, Mar., 2021) Contact: CARB, Richard Perry, CEO, Melanie Turner, Information Officer, (916) 322-2990, melanie.turner@arb.ca.gov, www.arb.ca.gov; Aemetis, Eric McAfee, CEO , Todd Waltz, (408) 213-0940, emcafee@aemetis.com, www.aemetis.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RNG,  Biogas,  Anaerobic Digestion,  Aemetis,  Ethanol,  California Air Resources Board ,  


    EIA to Provide New Monthly Biofuels Report (Ind. Report)
    U.S. EIA
    Date: 2021-03-29
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports it will release expanded monthly biofuels data through a new report -- the Monthly Biofuels Capacity and Feedstocks Update on March 31, 2021. The first edition of this report will also modify petroleum and biofuel volumetric balances in the interactive Supply and Disposition summary data table in its Petroleum Navigator. Changes to the monthly biofuels data and petroleum and biofuel volumetric balances include:
  • The Monthly Biofuels Capacity and Feedstocks Update replaces the Monthly Biodiesel Production Report, but the biodiesel report will continue to be the source of EIA's historical monthly biodiesel data before January 2021.

  • Table 1 of the Monthly Biofuels Capacity and Feedstocks Update will report expanded coverage of production capacities for biodiesel, fuel alcohol, and renewable fuels. Table 2 of the Monthly Biofuels Capacity and Feedstocks Update will replace Table 3 of the Monthly Biodiesel Production Report and reflect expanded coverage of the types of biofuel feedstocks consumed to include feedstocks used in the production of biodiesel, fuel alcohol, and renewable fuels.

    Changes to the Supply and Disposition summary data table include:

  • For the Renewable Fuels Except Fuel Ethanol product category, Renewable Fuels & Oxygenate Plant Net Production under Supply will include renewable fuels in addition to biodiesel. For the Renewable Fuels Except Fuel Ethanol product category, balance quantities reported as Adjustments under Supply will be discontinued, while balance quantities reported as Products Supplied under Disposition will be introduced.

  • For the Distillate Fuel Oil product category, biodiesel quantities reported as Adjustments under Supply will be discontinued.

  • For the Finished Petroleum Products product category, which includes Distillate Fuel Oil and Kerosene-Type Jet Fuel as two of the subcategories, quantities of petroleum products blended with biofuels at biofuel producing plants will be reported as Renewable Fuels & Oxygenate Plant Net Production under Supply.

    The composition of the monthly data for the Fuel Ethanol product category of the Supply and Disposition summary data table will continue to be consistent with that of the historical data before January 2021. EIA plans to publish revisions to the new monthly biofuels data for 2021 and petroleum and biofuel volumetric balances with the release of the Petroleum Supply Annual data tables in August 2022, according to the release. (Source: U.S. Energy Information , 26 Mar., 2021) Contact: EIA, www.eia.gov/index.php

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EIA,  Biofuel,  Ethanol,  Biodiesel,  


  • Covenant Updates Planned Sask. Canola HDRD Plant (Ind. Report)
    Covenant Energy
    Date: 2021-03-22
    On the Canadian prairies, Macoun, Sask.-based renewable fuel specialist Covenant Energy provided the following update on its stand-alone Hydrogenation-Derived Renewable Diesel (HDRD) production plant to be constructed in southern Saskatchewan.

    When fully operational in 2023, the plant will: produce 6,500 bpd of renewable fuels including renewable diesel, arctic-grade renewable diesel, and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF); reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) 80 to 85 pct when compared to fossil fuel diesel; create a demand for 35 million bushels of canola seed (worth roughly $500 million) to produce 325,000-350,000 tpy of canola oil feedstock; and use recycled hydrogen in the production process.

    The company has completed initial pre-FEED engineering and feedstock studies, as well as a marketing, demand, and pricing study. The plant is expected to begin production in 2023, subject to regulatory and other approvals. (Source: Covenant Energy, Website PR, Contact: Covenant Energy, Josh Gustafson, Pres., CEO, (306) 421-7442, joshgustafson@covenantenergy.ca; www.covenantenergy.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Canola Covenant Energy,  Renewable Diesel,  


    Neste Plans Rotterdam Biofuels Plant (Int'l. Report)
    Neste
    Date: 2021-03-17
    Espoo, Finland-headquartered oil refiner and biofuels producer Neste reports the selection of the Dutch port of Rotterdam as the location for its next renewable products refinery. A final investment decision is expected in late 2021 or early 2022.

    The new Rotterdam facility will be roughly the same size as the company's €1.5 billion ($1.79 billion) refinery expansion currently under construction in Singapore. The Singapore plant produces renewable fuels from waste and residues such as used cooking oil, animal fat from food industry waste, fish processing waste and residues from vegetable oil processing. (Source: Neste, PR, 15 Mar., 2021) Contact: Neste, www.neste.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Neste news,  Biofuel news,  


    Biofuels Legislation Tabled in Washington (Reg. & Leg.)
    Biofuel,EFA
    Date: 2021-03-10
    In Washington, the following two bi-partisan ethanol focused legislation supported by the National Corn Growers Association, the Renewable Fuels Association, the American Coalition for Ethanol, Growth Energy, and POET have been tabled in Congress:
  • The Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Investment and Market Expansion Act, which would expand access to higher blends of Biofuels, was tabled by U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R) and Rep. Cindy Axne, the co-chairs of the House Biofuels Caucus.

    The Act would authorize $500 million over 5 years for infrastructure grants for fuel retailers and direct the EPA Administrator to finalize a proposed rule to repeal E15 labeling requirements warning drivers about E15's potential impact on cars, which may confuse and deter drivers from using E15, a blend of gasoline with 15 percent ethanol. The bill would also direct the EPA Administrator to finalize provisions from the same proposed rule to allow certain existing Underground Storage Tanks (UST) to store higher blends of ethanol.

  • The Adopt GREET Act, which will direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to update its greenhouse gas modeling for ethanol and biodiesel, was sponsored by South Dakota Rep. Dusty Johnson (R) .

    The Adopt GREET Act would require the EPA to update its greenhouse gas modeling for ethanol and biodiesel by requiring the EPA to adopt the Argonne National Lab's Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation (GREET) Model for both fuels. EPA would then be required to update its modeling every five years or report to Congress to affirm its modeling is current or otherwise explain why no updates were made. (Source: EPA, Telegraph, 8 Mar., 2021)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Biodiesel,  Biofuel,  Renewable Fuels Infrastructure,  Renewable Fuel,  GREET,  EPA Legislation,  


  • Zemo Partnership Touts Renewable Fuels Assurance Scheme (Int'l.)
    Zemo Partnership
    Date: 2021-03-08
    In London, the soon to be launched Zemo Partnership Renewable Fuels Assurance Scheme has found the introduction of E10 petrol-biofuel blend and the widespread use of high blend renewable fuels (HBRF) could reduce truck emissions by 46 million tonnes over the next decade.

    The HBRF study covers renewable fuels including biodiesel, hydrotreated vegetable oil and biomethane and identifies the opportunities and barriers to adoption and the GHG-saving opportunities available for sustainable, renewable fuel adoption by heavy duty vehicles.

    The study notes that with a market average of 30 pct HBRF used in place of diesel and natural gas by 2030, the sector could save an additional 46 million tonnes in GHG emissions over the next decade.

    The Zemo Partnership Renewable Fuels Assurance Scheme is an initiative designed and managed by Zemo Partnership that aims to give fleet operators independent assurance of purchasing sustainable, low carbon fuels approved under the RTFO, and customer supply chain specific GHG emission performance data. The scheme is open to all UK suppliers of renewable fuels including those that supply blends of renewable fuels. Companies are required to apply to Zemo Partnership to become an approved Renewable Fuel Supplier and demonstrate compliance with the scheme performance criteria and undergo an annual compliance check. This entails independent verification of company procedures, processes and renewable fuel production data by an auditor, according to the Zemo website.

    Once approved renewable fuel supplier will be able to issue their customers with 'Renewable Fuel Declarations' every three months for batches of sustainable low carbon fuels sold. The declaration will identify the carbon intensity and GHG emissions savings specific to the renewable fuel supply chain as well as information on feedstocks, the Zemo website notes. (Source: Zemo Partnership, PR, Website, 8 Mar., 2021) Contact: Zemo Partnership, Gloria Esposito, Sustainability Head, +44 (0)20 7304 6880, hello@zemo.org.uk, www.zemo.org.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel,  E10,  Biofuel Blend,  


    Flint Hills, Encina to Produce Renewable Fuels, Chemicals (Ind Report)
    Flint Hills, Encina
    Date: 2021-03-05
    Following up on our 17 Feb, 2021 report, The Woodlands, Texas-based Encina Development Group LLC and Wichita, Kansas-headquartered ethanol and ingredients producer Flint Hills Resources are reporting a nonbinding term sheet for the construction of a renewable chemicals and fuels-from- plastic waste facility in Corpus Christi.

    Flint Hills Resources, a Koch Industries subsidiary, will market the renewable aromatic products produced at the Encina Corpus Christi facility as well as work with its affiliates to market renewable aromatic products from other Encina U.S.-based plants. (Source: Encina Development Group, PR, 3 Mar., 2021) Contact: Encina, David A. Schwedel, Executive Director, (281) 210-0007, dschwedel@encina.com, www.encina.com; Flint Hills, www.fhr.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Flint Hills,  Encina,  Renewable Chemical,  Renewable Fuel,  


    Vivergo Rebooting UK WHeat-to-Bioethanol Plant (Int'l. Report)
    Vivergo Fuels
    Date: 2021-03-01
    Hull, UK-based Vivergo Fuels reports it will reboot it's shuttered wheat-to-bioethanol plant in Saltend, Near Hull, following the UK Government's recently announced increase in the country's renewable fuels blend rate from the present E5 to E10. At 420 million lpy, the facility was one of the UK's largest producer of bioethanol when it closed in 2018 due to "inaction over the future of renewable fuels as well as high wheat feedstock prices, low bioethanol prices and slow market uptake on biofuels."

    Vivergo Fuels was formed in 2007 as a joint venture between AB Sugar, BP and DuPont. The company was also one of the government's Northern Powerhouse partners. (Source: Vivergo Fuels, PR, Website, Feb., 2021) Contact: Vivergo Fuels, +44 01482 700850 www.vivergofuels.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Vivergo Fuels,  ,  Ethanol,  E10,  


    EPA Changes Course on RFS "Hardship" Waivers (Reg & Leg.)
    EPA, Renewable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2021-02-24
    In Washington, the US EPA reports it will support a January 2020 decision by the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and farm groups lawsuit over "improperly granted" renewable fuel standard (RFS) "hardship" waivers granted to oil refineries under the Trump administration. The lawsuit is expected to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court this spring.

    The EPA under Trump issued 85 retroactive small refinery exemptions for the 2016-2018 compliance years, undercutting the renewable fuel volumes by a total of 4 billion gallons, according to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA)

    As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance (Source: US EPA, 22 Feb., 2021)Contact: RFA, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFA,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  "Hardship Waiver",  Ethanol Blend,  


    Ag Processing Supports Iowa Biofuels Standard (Ind. Report)
    Ag Processing Inc
    Date: 2021-02-24
    In the Cornhusker State, Omaha-headquartered farmer owned Ag Processing Inc has announced its support for House Study Bill 185, the Iowa Biofuels Standard, an initiative that would support biofuel production and use in the state of Iowa. The legislation would establish biofuels standards for fuel sold in Iowa and provide tax credits and infrastructure support to biofuel blenders and retailers.

    According to the release, the biofuels standard establishes a minimum level of biodiesel to be blended in the state's diesel fuel pool, gradually increasing over time. Beginning in 2022, the legislation ensures that biodiesel comprises 11 pct of the diesel pool and provides tax credits for higher blends. The program expands to 20 pct biodiesel blends (B20) in future years.

    The legislation also establishes new retail income tax incentives for fuel marketers and provides funding for biodiesel projects through the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program. Financial support for renewable fuels would also be made available from the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund. (Source: Ag Processing Inc., PR, 23 Feb., 2021) Contact: Ag Processing Inc., Troy Alberts, VP Refined Oils and Renewable Fuels, 402-496-7809, www.agp.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ag Processing,  Biofuel Blend,  


    EPA changes stand, sides with ethanol industry
    EPA
    Date: 2021-02-23
    DES MOINES — The federal government announced Monday that it will support the ethanol industry in a lawsuit over biofuel waivers granted to oil refineries under President Donald Trump’s administration. The Environmental Protection Agency said it is reversing course and will support a January 2020 decision by the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a lawsuit filed by the Renewable Fuels Association and farm groups. The lawsuit is headed to arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court this spring. The appeals court concluded the EPA improperly granted exemptions to refineries that didn’t qualify. The EPA under Trump issued 85 retroactive small refinery exemptions for the 2016-2018 compliance years, undercutting the renewable fuel volumes by a total of 4 billion gallons, (15.1 billion liters) according to the Renewable Fuels Association. Roughly a month after President Joe Biden took office, his EPA reversed the federal government’s stand, saying the EPA agrees with the appeals court that the exemption was intended to operate as a temporary measure. (Source: US EPA, 22 Feb., 2021)


    ALTO Expands USP Alcohol Production Capacity (Ind. Report)
    Alto Ingredients, Pacific Ethanol
    Date: 2021-02-10
    In the Golden State, Sacramento-based Alto Ingredients, Inc. -- fka Pacific Ethanol -- reports it has increased its total specialty alcohol production capacity of to 140 million gpy, the majority of which will meet or exceed USP certifications.

    Alto Ingredients, Inc. is focused on products for four key markets: Health, Home & Beauty; Food & Beverage; Essential Ingredients; and Renewable Fuels.

    "In the fourth quarter, we refurbished the grain-neutral spirits, or GNS system, located at our Pekin wet mill. Entering 2021, we now have an additional 30 million gallons of annual production capacity of our highest quality product, the core ingredient used in the production of distilled spirits and USP grade alcohol. This expansion brings our total annual specialty alcohol production capacity to 140 million gallons and is available to domestic and international customers requiring products that meet stringent USP and GNS specifications," stated ALTO CEO Mike Kandris. (Source: ALTO, Website, PR, Feb., 2021) Contact: ALTO, Mike Kandris, CEO, 916-403-2755, investorrelations@altoingredients.com, www.altoingredients.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Pacific Ethanol,  Alto Ingredients,  Renewable Fuel,  


    RFA to Assist Retailers with HBIIP (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    USDA, HBIIP
    Date: 2021-02-05
    "When the USDA Rural Development office announced the reopening of its Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) funding opportunity and gave retailers one more shot at a grant award, it set a tight 30-day application period that ended January 19.

    "In the first HBIIP funding opportunity, the Renewable Fuels Association was able to assist applicants secure funding in 22 states which will result in over $50 million in new ethanol infrastructure and bring almost 1,200 new blender dispensers to the marketplace. RFA was front-and-center once again on this second round, working up to the final hour to assist as many retailers as we could. In the end, we helped 11 companies in seven states submit applications for 47 locations that could result in 233 new higher blend dispensers where consumers can enjoy the benefits of higher ethanol blends.

    "According to the USDA, HBIIP was created to increase significantly the sales and use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel by expanding the infrastructure for renewable fuels. The program is also intended to encourage a more comprehensive approach to market higher blends by sharing the costs related to building out biofuel-related infrastructure.

    "For retailers, HBIIP can provide the extra support needed to bring higher blends into their marketplace. The cost-share grants provide up to 50 percent of total eligible project costs, not to exceed $3 million per applicant. The program will share the costs related to the upgrading of fuel dispensers (gas and diesel pumps), associated ancillary equipment, and other infrastructure necessary for a location to ensure the environmentally safe availability of fuel containing ethanol blends greater than 10 percent such as E15 and E85 or fuel containing biodiesel blends greater than 5 percent.

    "We're looking forward to seeing this new round of grants announced and fulfilled, so we can help retailers move more low-carbon ethanol into fuel tanks around the country. For those retailers that might have missed out on this funding opportunity, there are some states and individual renewable fuel advocates that offer funding throughout the year. Please reach out to RFA for assistance in navigating these opportunities." (Source: Renewable Fuels Association , 3 Feb. 2021) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Cassie Mullen, Dir. Market Development, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  HBIIP,  Renewable Fuels Association,  Ethanol Blend,  


    Neste, DSM Partner on Bioplastics (Int'l. Report)
    Neste, DSM
    Date: 2021-02-05
    In the Netherlands, Royal DSM and Espoo, Finland-based renewable fuels specialist Neste Oy are reporting a partnership for the production of high-performance plastics from sustainable feedstock. Under the agreement, DSM Engineering Materials in Troy, Michigan will start replacing a significant portion of the fossil feedstock used to date in the manufacture of its engineering resins with feedstock produced from recycled waste plastics and/or 100 pct bio-based hydrocarbons.

    Over the short term, the collaboration aims to replace several thousand tons of fossil feedstock in the production of polymers with alternative, sustainable feedstock: biobased and waste plastic based hydrocarbons.

    Neste produces its biobased hydrocarbons entirely from renewable raw materials, such as waste and residue oils and fats. For the production of waste plastic derived feedstock, Neste focuses on plastics that cannot be mechanically recycled and have previously been directed to incineration and landfilling. (Source: DSM, Neste, PR, Contact: DSM Engineering Materials, www.dsm.com/engineering-materials/en_US/home.html; Neste Corp., Thorsten Lange, Exec. VP, +358 10 458 4128, www.neste.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioplastic,  Neste,  DSM,  


    Ethanol Ind. Leaders Comment on EPA's Last Minute RFA "Hardship" Waivers (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    RFS Waivers
    Date: 2021-02-01
    On Jan 19, the Trump administration's Andrew Wheeler-led EPA approved three small refinery "hardship" waivers to reverse one denial from 2018 and granting two for the 2019 compliance year. The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) was quick to respond with a petition for review and an emergency motion to stay EPA's action.

    "Based on empirical evidence from SREs improperly granted in other compliance years, the new 2018-2019 SREs will likely have a sudden, negative impact on both ethanol sales volumes and prices. This would be devastating to America's ethanol producers, many of which are already on the brink of closure due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This action by EPA is completely without legal merit," RFA Pres. and CEO Geoff Cooper Noted:

    "This midnight-hour attempt by the Trump administration to damage the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and sabotage the ethanol industry's recovery from the COVID pandemic simply cannot be allowed to prevail. With just hours remaining in his shameful term as EPA administrator, Wheeler couldn't stop himself from doling out a few more Clean Air Act compliance exemptions to his well-connected friends. But the fact remains that this action by EPA is completely without legal merit. It flouts both the statute and recent court decisions that clearly limit EPA's authority and ability to grant these exemptions. And while this action comes as one last sucker punch from the Trump administration, we are confident it will be a hollow victory for the politically connected oil companies receiving today's waivers, as the new Biden administration will most certainly act quickly to restore the volumes erased by these waivers," RFA president and CEO Geoff Cooper said.

    "Farm families and biofuel workers across the country have worked tirelessly to make a living over the past few months despite a global pandemic. And yet, the Trump administration's SRE abuse has piled on to the uncertainty and difficulty that rural Americans are facing every day," according to Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor.

    As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. (Source: RFA, Growth Energy, AgriNews, 30January, 2021) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org; RFA, Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  Biofuel,  Biofuel Blend,  RFA,  Growth Energy,  RFS,  "Hardship" Waivers,  ,  


    Port Arthur, TX DGD Refinery Set for Construction (Ind. Report)
    Valero Energy, Darling Ingredients
    Date: 2021-02-01
    Valero Energy and Darling Ingredients are reporting their joint-venture, 470 million gpy Diamond Green Diesel (DGD) refinery in Port Arthur, Texas has received approval by both boards to move ahead with construction and is expected to come online in late 2023. (Source: Valero, Darling, PR, Biofuels Int'l, 29 Jan., 2021) Contact: Darling Ingredients, Melissa A. Gaither, VP IR, (972) 281-4478, mgaither@darlingii.com, www.darlingii.com; Diamond Green Diesel, www.diamondgreendiesel.com; Valero Renewable Fuels, Joe Gorder, Pres., (800) 324-8464, www.valero.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Valero Energy,  Darling Ingredients,  Diamond Green Diesel ,  


    Iowa Ethanol Production Down 500Mn Gallons in 2020 (Ind. Report)
    Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2021-01-27
    According to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA), while biodiesel production in the Hawkeye State held steady in 2020, the state produced half a billion gallons less ethanol than just the year before. According to IRFA's annual economic impact study, ethanol and biodiesel production contributes nearly $4 billion in state gross domestic product (GDP) supports 37,000 direct and indirect jobs, and boosts Iowa household income by $1.8 billion. (Source: IRFA, PR, 22 Jan., 2021) Contact: IRFA, Monte Shaw, Ecex. Dir., (515) 252-6249, (515) 225-0781 -- fax, www.iowarfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  Biofuel,  Ethanol,  


    Expected 2021 Renewable Energy Trends and Predictions from ENVIVA (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Enviva Biomass
    Date: 2021-01-25
  • Together renewable fuels will further displace coal and natural gas -- As countries take aggressive action on climate change to decarbonize their respective economies by 2050, the direction is clear -- all carbon-neutral and carbon-negative renewable fuels will need to work together if we want to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century. As the global energy demand for alternative fuels increase, 2021 will mark a turning point for the industry as wind, solar, geothermal, woody biomass, hydrogen, and lithium-ion battery energy providers (among others) make a collective and coordinated effort to combat the global climate crisis.

  • The aftermath of COVID-19 will push economies into a renewable future -- The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed how societies, businesses, and governments view the world. As various industries saw a decline in the demand for products and/or services throughout the pandemic, the energy industry witnessed the opposite. Energy production and distribution remained essential regardless of the pandemic.

    Throughout the pandemic we've seen an increased global interest in reducing carbon emissions. Looking ahead, we expect renewable fuels will continue to play a crucial role in power generation for decades to come. For this reason, we don't foresee a job loss, rather a job transfer -- or perhaps a job boom - in renewables in 2021. For those currently working in fossil fuels, this shift will present a great opportunity to transition skills as the energy sector continues to evolve into a clean energy future.

  • Europe will continue to be the "Poster Child" for renewable energy implementation, but there will be some regulatory uncertainty. -- Delivering Europe's long-term ambition to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050 requires an extensive set of urgent measures to scale up action. At the very least, the world-leading sustainability criteria established by the Renewable Energy Directive II (REDII) will need to be fully implemented by all member states if Europe plans to meet their 2030 and 2050 emission reduction goals. At best, member states will need to further amend the directive if they wish to succeed in cutting carbon emissions by 55 pct in the next decade from 1990 levels.

  • Bioenergy is the largest renewable energy source in the EU and will be critical to increased deployment of wind and solar -- The use of bioenergy has more than doubled since 2000 as a result of its end-use as heat, transportation, and electricity. In fact, biomass is the only renewable fuel on the market that is readily available today and can replace fossil fuels for heat generation. In heavy industries such as steel, aluminum and cement, sustainably sourced wood-based biomass offers a carbon-neutral fuel replacement for coal and gas-fired furnaces (and combined heat and power plants). As a dependable and dispatchable renewable fuel, sustainably-sourced biomass represents a prime solution to complement the intermittency of wind and solar (among other renewables) that will reduce carbon emissions by more than 85% on a lifecycle basis.

  • Biomass to assist the development and deployment of a hydrogen economy -- Looking ahead to more future-oriented solutions, such as the development of the hydrogen economy, biomass is projected to play an important role. The most obvious is to use biomass directly to create hydrogen through gasification and thereby avoid carbon emissions that are associated with natural gas. Even further down the road, when surplus solar and wind could potentially be used to create hydrogen at scale, there will be an exciting opportunity to produce aviation and other fuels with carbon capture of biomass that could result in even fewer net greenhouse gas emissions. Likewise, as decarbonization efforts in the steel and cement industry rapidly increase, they too will look to bioenergy solutions for support.

  • BECCS on the short rise -- Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is one of the very few options on the table that can remove carbon from the atmosphere. Once matured, BECCS could mark the beginning of a new era for low-carbon fuel applications that will enable us to meet and/or exceed international net zero targets while still enjoying air travel and heavy goods transport, which is difficult and very expensive to decarbonize. We expect 2021 will be the year that we see true progress in climate change mitigation, as a result of new initiatives/policies, new innovations, and new collaborations that are already taking shape.

    ENVIVA Holdings, LP is the world's largest producer of industrial wood pellets, a renewable and sustainable energy source used to generate electricity and heat. Through its subsidiaries, ENVIVA owns and operates wood pellet processing plants and deep-water export terminals in the Southeastern United States and exports pellets primarily to power plants in the UK, Europe and Japan that previously were fueled by coal, enabling them to reduce their lifetime carbon footprint by up to 85 pct. We make our pellets using sustainable practices that protect Southern forests. ENVIVA Holdings, LP conducts its activities primarily through two entities: ENVIVA Partners, LP, a publicly traded master limited partnership (NYSE: EVA), and ENVIVA Development Holdings, LLC, a wholly owned private company. (Source: Enviva Holdings, LP, Jan., 2021) Contact: ENVIVA Holdings, LP., www.envivabiomass.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enviv news,  Woody Biomass Wood Pellet news,  CCS news,  Renewable Fuel news,  


  • PREEM Increases Renewable Diesel Production (Int'l. Report)
    Preem
    Date: 2021-01-25
    Stockholm, Sweden-headquartered PREEM reports that with a redevelopment of its Green Hydro Treater (GHT) plant in Gothenburg, the facility can now handle 100 pct renewable raw materialsincluding raw tall oil diesel from SunPine, residues from the food industry and recycled frying oil for renewable diesel production. With the upgrade, the plants renewable diesel production capacity has risen by 40 pct.

    PREEM notes a focus on renewable fuels is a cornerstone of its business strategy and the redevelopment is another step toward the company's goal of producing 5 million cubic meters of renewable fuels by 2030 and cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 12.5 million tpy -- roughly 20 pct of Sweden's total emissions. (Source: Preem, PR, Website, 22 Jan., 2021) Contact: PREEM, +46 (0) 10 459 1000, www.preem.se/en/in-english

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel,  Renewable Diesel,  Preem,  


    Expected 2021 Renewable Energy Trends from ENVIVA (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    ENVIVA
    Date: 2021-01-25
    The following has been submitted by ENVIVA Holdings, LP, the world's largest industrial wood pellets producer:
  • Together renewable fuels will further displace coal and natural gas -- As countries take aggressive action on climate change to decarbonize their respective economies by 2050, the direction is clear -- all carbon-neutral and carbon-negative renewable fuels will need to work together if we want to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century. As the global energy demand for alternative fuels increase, 2021 will mark a turning point for the industry as wind, solar, geothermal, woody biomass, hydrogen, and lithium-ion battery energy providers (among others) make a collective and coordinated effort to combat the global climate crisis.

  • Europe will continue to be the "Poster Child" for renewable energy implementation, but there will be some regulatory uncertainty. -- Delivering Europe's long-term ambition to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050 requires an extensive set of urgent measures to scale up action. At the very least, the world-leading sustainability criteria established by the Renewable Energy Directive II (REDII) will need to be fully implemented by all member states if Europe plans to meet their 2030 and 2050 emission reduction goals. At best, member states will need to further amend the directive if they wish to succeed in cutting carbon emissions by 55 pct in the next decade from 1990 levels.

  • Bioenergy is the largest renewable energy source in the EU and will be critical to increased deployment of wind and solar -- The use of bioenergy has more than doubled since 2000 as a result of its end-use as heat, transportation, and electricity. In fact, biomass is the only renewable fuel on the market that is readily available today and can replace fossil fuels for heat generation. In heavy industries such as steel, aluminum, and cement, sustainably sourced wood-based biomass offers a carbon-neutral fuel replacement for coal and gas-fired furnaces (and combined heat and power plants). As a dependable and dispatchable renewable fuel, sustainably-sourced biomass represents a prime solution to complement the intermittency of wind and solar (among other renewables) that will reduce carbon emissions by more than 85 pct on a lifecycle basis.

  • Biomass to assist the development and deployment of a hydrogen economy -- Looking ahead to more future-oriented solutions, such as the development of the hydrogen economy, biomass is projected to play an important role. The most obvious is to use biomass directly to create hydrogen through gasification and thereby avoid carbon emissions that are associated with natural gas. Even further down the road, when surplus solar and wind could potentially be used to create hydrogen at scale, there will be an exciting opportunity to produce aviation and other fuels with carbon capture of biomass that could result in even fewer net greenhouse gas emissions. Likewise, as decarbonization efforts in the steel and cement industry rapidly increase, they too will look to bioenergy solutions for support.

  • Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) -- is one of the very few options on the table that can remove carbon from the atmosphere. Once matured, BECCS could mark the beginning of a new era for low-carbon fuel applications that will enable us to meet and/or exceed international net zero targets while still enjoying air travel and heavy goods transport, which is difficult and very expensive to decarbonize. We expect 2021 will be the year that we see true progress in climate change mitigation, as a result of new initiatives/policies, new innovations, and new collaborations that are already taking shape.

  • COVID 19 Pandemic aftermath -- Throughout the pandemic we've seen an increased global interest in reducing carbon emissions. Looking ahead, we expect renewable fuels and energy will continue to play a crucial role in power generation for decades to come.

    ENVIVA Holdings, LP is the world's largest producer of industrial wood pellets, a renewable and sustainable energy source used to generate electricity and heat. Through its subsidiaries, ENVIV Holdings owns and operates wood pellet processing plants and deep-water terminals in the Southeastern U.S. and exports pellets primarily to formerly coal-fired power plants in the U.K, Europe and Japan. ENVIVA makes pellets using sustainable practices that protect Southern forests and employ about 1,100 people and support many other businesses in the U.S. South. ENVIVA Holdings, LP conducts its activities primarily through two entities: Enviva Partners, LP, a publicly traded master limited partnership (NYSE: EVA), and ENVIVA Development Holdings, LLC, a wholly owned private company. (Source: ENVIVA Holdings, LP, Jan., 2021) Contact: ENVIVA Holdings, LP, www.envivabiomass.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ENVIVA,  Renewable Energy,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  


  • Preem, Vattenfall Green-Hydrogen Collaboration Progressing (Int'l.)
    Preem, Vattenfall
    Date: 2021-01-22
    In Sweden, a Stockholm-based collaboration between electric power utility Vattenfall AB and Sweden's major renewable fuel producer Preem AB reports it is considering construction of a 200-500 MW green hydrogen for transportation biofuel production facility at Preem's renewable fuels refinery in Lysekil. As reported on 11 Nov., 2020, the Lysekil facility is being converted to produce 950,000 cubic meters of renewable fuel by 2024.

    Preem's target of producing 5 million cubic meters of biofuel by 2030 could deliver a reduction of transport emissions of up to 12.5 million tpy of CO2 -- equivalent to about 20 pct of Sweden's total emissions. (Source: Preem, PR, Website, ChemEngineering, 21 Jan., 2021) Contact: Preem, Peter Abrahamsson, Sustainable Development, Petter Holland, CEO, Pres., +46 (0) 10 459 1000, www.preem.se/en/in-english; Vattenfall, Magnus Kryssare, +46 (0)76-769 56 07, magnus.kryssare@vattenfall.com, www.vattenfall.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Preem,  Vattenfall,  Green Hydrogen,  Renewable Fuel,  


    Aemetis Planning "Carbon Zero" Production Plants (Renewable Fuel)
    Aemetis
    Date: 2021-01-20
    Cupertino, California-headquartered advanced renewable fuel and biochemicals producer Aemetis Inc. reports its exclusively licensed technology for the production of below zero-carbon renewable fuel has been awarded US Patent No. 10907184 enabling the launch of Aemetis "Carbon Zero" production plants to commercialize the technology.

    Using patented technology exclusive to Aemetis for agricultural waste wood feedstock, the Carbon Zero plants are integrated with existing Aemetis production facilities to produce energy dense renewable fuels using renewable energy and below zero carbon intensity waste feedstocks.

    The first Carbon Zero production plant -- Carbon Zero 1 -- is planned for Central California on a former Army ammunition production facility. It will extract sugars from waste wood and process the sugar into renewable fuel.

    Aemetis' Carbon Zero plants are designed to convert below zero carbon feedstocks (waste wood and agricultural waste) and renewable energy (biogas, RNG, solar) into energy-dense liquid renewable fuels that when used in hybrid electric vehicles or other vehicle engines, will have a "below zero carbon" greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint across the entire lifecycle of the fuel, based on the Argonna National Laboratory"s GREET model, according to the release. (Source: Aemetis, PR, Website, 18 Jan., 2021) Contact: Aemetis, Eric McAfee, CEO , Todd Waltz, (408) 213-0940, emcafee@aemetis.com, www.aemetis.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aemetis ,  Ethanol,  Renewable Fuel,  


    Greenergy Investing in Adv. Biofuels Project (Advanced Biofuel)
    Greenergy
    Date: 2021-01-20
    In the UK, London-based biodiesel producer Greenergy has announced an investment in advanced biofuels. Using a combination of existing technologies, the project will create low-carbon fuels from waste tyre feedstock.

    The project, which is at the Front End Engineering Design stage, will used pyrolysis and hydrotreating technologies to convert 300 tpd of shredded waste tyres into renewable drop-in advanced biofuels that can be used in diesel and petrol and qualify as development fuels under the UK's Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation. The plant will also have the capability to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) when fully operational in 2025.

    The conceptual design was developed in Canada by Green Tire Technology Ltd then implemented in the UK in partnership with Greenergy. The project will use ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions' advanced thermal treatment technology and Haldor Topsoe's HydroFlex™ renewable fuels technology. (Source: Greenergy, PR, ForeCourt, 18 Jan., 2021) Contact: Greenergy, +44 (0)20 7404 7700, mail@greenergy.com, www.greenergy.com; Haldor Topsoe, Kim Knudsen, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, +45 4527 2000, www.topsoe.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Greenergy,  Advanced Biofuel,  Haldor Topsoe,  Renewable Fuel,  


    Pacific Ethanol Now Alto Ingredients, Inc. (Ind. Report)
    Pacific Ethanol
    Date: 2021-01-15
    Sacramento, California-headquartered Pacific Ethanol Inc., a leading producer of specialty alcohols and essential ingredients, reports it has changed its corporate name to Alto Ingredients, Inc., effective January 12, 2021. The name change will be reflected on the Nasdaq Stock Market on January 14, 2021, and the company's stock will begin trading under a new ticker symbol, ALTO, starting February 1, 2021.

    The company is focused on products for four key markets: Health, Home & Beauty; Food & Beverage; Essential Ingredients; and Renewable Fuels. (Source: Pacific Ethanol, Website PR, 13 Jan., 2021) Contact: Alto Ingredients Inc., Michael Kramer, 916-403-2755, investorrelations@altoingredients.com, www.altoingredients.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Pacific Ethanol,  


    Impact of COVID-19 on the Ethanol Industry (RFA Report Attached)
    Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2020-12-28
    According to a Renewable Fuels Association Impact of COVID-19 on the Ethanol Industry report released Dec. 9, the COVID-19 pandemic has cost ethanol producers $3.8 billion in losses due to restricted driving and less ethanol-blend gasoline consumption.

    By April, the low point in both production and consumption of ethanol had fallen by 50 pct from the previous year. Volumes rebounded from that point but never reached "normal" levels. In the first week of December, consumption of both gasoline and ethanol fell to their lowest points since May, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.

    The cumulative decline in ethanol production is estimated to have been 2 billion gallons from March to November 2020. The ethanol industry's usage of corn has been reduced by 700 million bushels.

    Access the RFA's Impact of COVID-19 on the Ethanol Industry report HERE. (Source: Renewable Fuels Association, High Plains Journal, 27 Dec., 2020) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, (202) 289-3835,www.ethanolrfa.org

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


    RFA CEO Comments on COVID-19 Relief Package (Opinions & Asides)
    RFA
    Date: 2020-12-28
    "As Congress debates another COVID-19 relief package, we implore policymakers to consider the devastating economic impact the pandemic has had on renewable fuel producers. Our new analysis provides an in-depth look at how rural communities have suffered.

    "The decrease in ethanol production has idled or permanently closed plants across the heartland and caused job losses in rural communities where good employment is often hard to find.

    "As an industry deemed critical and essential to America, we call on Congress to act swiftly to provide some targeted relief to our nation’s renewable fuels industry." -- Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, (202) 289-3835,www.ethanolrfa.org

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


    CEC Investing in Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure (Ind. Report)
    California Energy Commission
    Date: 2020-12-23
    In Sacramento, the California Energy Commission (CEC), through its Clean Transportation Program, reports it will invest up to $115 million to construct 111 new hydrogen vehicle transportation fueling stations by 2027. The funding nearly doubles the Golden State's investments to date and will help California nearly achieve its goal to deploy 200 public hydrogen fueling stations.

    To date, the CEC has funded 45 open retail hydrogen stations with another 16 under construction. With the new $115 million dunding, there could be up to 179 stations in the state, including seven privately funded stations.

    The CEC Clean Transportation Program -- aka Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program -- invests up to $100 million annually in a broad portfolio of transportation and fuel transportation projects statewide. The CEC leverages public and private investments to support adoption of cleaner transportation powered by alternative and renewable fuels, according to its website. (Source: California Energy Commission , 21 Dec., 2020) Contact: California Energy Commission www.energy.ca.gov, CEC Clean Transportation Program, www.energy.ca.gov/programs-and-topics/programs/clean-transportation-program

    More Low-Carbon Energy News California Energy Commission,  Hydrogen ,  


    Phillips 66 Capital Program Includes Renewable Fuels (Ind. Report)
    Phillips 66
    Date: 2020-12-16
    Houston-headquartered petroleum giant Phillips 66 has announced its 2021 capital budget of $1.7 billion.

    The Refining budget includes pre-construction engineering and design costs related to the company's plan to reconfigure its San Francisco Refinery in Rodeo, California, to produce 800 million gpy of renewable fuel, making it one of the world's largest facilities of its kind.

    The conversion is expected to reduce the facility's greenhouse gas emissions by 50 pct and help the Golden State meet its low carbon objectives. (Source: Phillips 66, Dec., 2020) Contact: Phillips 66, Jeff Dietert , IR, 832-765-2297, jeff.dietert@p66.com, www.p66.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Phillips 66,  Renewable Fuels,  

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