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Puget Sound Energy Inks Woody Biomass Energy PPA (Ind. Report)
Puget Sound Energy,Sierra Pacific Industries
Date: 2020-03-11
Belleview, Washington-based Puget Sound Energy (PSE) reports it will purchase 17 MW of waste-wood, woody biomass energy from Redding, California-based Sierra Pacific Industries' co-generation plant at its lumber mill in Skagit County, Washington. The 17-year PPA with SPI starts in 2021. (Source: Puget Sound Energy, Bioenergy, Mar.,2020) Contact: Puget Sound Energy, Bob Stolarski, Director Energy Management and Renewables, (425) 454-2000, www.pse.com; Sierra Pacific Industries, David Mills, VP Strategy, (530) 378-8000, www.spi-ind.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Puget Sound Energy,  Woody Biomass,  Biomass Power,  


Neste Takes Stake in Renewable Hydrogen Specialist (Int'l, M&A)
Neste,Sunfire
Date: 2020-03-11
Espoo, Finland-headquartered renewable diesel specialist Neste Corp. is reporting acquisition of a minority stake in Dresden, Germany-based Sunfire -- developer of a patented high-temperature electrolysis technology for the production of renewable hydrogen.

Sunfire's Power-to-X platform enables the production of emission-free renewable hydrogen and conversion of CO2 into fuels, chemicals and materials.

In addition to Neste's equity investment in Sunfire, both companies will work together to demonstrate the production of renewable hydrogen at Neste's refinery with Sunfire's high-temperature electrolyzer.

Neste MY Renewable Diesel is a cost competitive, low-carbon fuel produced from 100 pct renewable and sustainable raw materials that cuts greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 pct compared to petroleum diesel. (Source: Neste, Chemical Eng, 9 Mar., 2020, Contact: Neste, Peter Vanacker. Pres., CEO, +358 10 458 4128, www.neste.com; Sunfire, Nils Aldag, Managiung Dir., +49 351 896797-0, +49 351 896797-831 - fax, www.sunfire.de/en

More Low-Carbon Energy News Neste,  Sunfire,  Hydrogen,  Renewable Hydrogen,  


Axens Providing Cellulosic Ethanol Tech in Croatia (Int'l Report)
INA,Axens
Date: 2020-03-11
Rueil Malmaison, France-headquartered Axens is reporting a licensing agreement with Craotian oil and gas company INA to supply its Futurol™ cellulosic ethanol technology and contract for basic engineering design of a cellulosic bioethanol production plant in Sisak, Croatia.

The plant will use ignocellulosic feedstocks such as agricultural residues and energy crop Miscanthus to produce 70 million lpy of bioethanol.

INA manages a regional network of 445 petrol stations in Croatia and neighboring countries. (Source: Axens, Chemical Engineering, 9 Mar., 2020) Contact: Axens, Frederic Balligand, Renewables Business Group , Director, www.axens.net; INA, +385 (0) 1 6450 000, ina-besplatni.telefon@ina.hr, www.ina.hr/en/home

More Low-Carbon Energy News Axens,  INA,  Bioethanol,  Cellulosic Ethanol,  


Viva Energy Joins Bioenergy Australia Trade Organization (Int'l)
Viva Energy Australia
Date: 2020-03-11
In the Land Down Under, liquid fuel supplier and biofuel blender Viva Energy Australia Pty Ltd. reports it has joined BioEnergy Australia, the Australian national bioindustry trade association

Viva, which operates biodiesel blending facilities in Qweensland, Victoria and New South Wales, has recently invested over $20 million, (AUS) in biofuels projects and established various supply agreements with local biofuels producers and the construction of a new biofuels blending facility in Queensland. (Source: Viva Energy Australia, PetrolPlaza, 8 Mar.,2020) Contact: Viva Energy Australia, www.vivaenergy.com.au; Bioenergy Australia, Shahana McKenzie, CEO, www.bioenergyaustralia.org.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News Viva Energy Australia,  Biodiesel,  Biofuel,  


BP, Santos Partnering on Aussie CCS Project (Int'l. Report)
BP,Santos
Date: 2020-03-11
Independent Asia-Pacific region oil and gas producer Santos and UK-based oil industry giant BP are reporting a non-binding agreement which could see BP invest $20 million to support Santo's Moomba carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in Australia's Cooper Basin.

The CCS project aims to capture 1.7 million tpy of CO2 currently separated from naturalthe CO2 back into the same geological formations for permanent storage. The Cooper Basin reinjection capacity is assessed at up to 20 million tpy of CO2 for 50 years. The non-binding agreement, which is subject to finalization of terms and a final investment decision, is targeted for the end of 2020. (Source: BP, GasWorld, 9 Mar., 2020) Contact: BP Press Office, +44 (0) 20 7496 4076, bppress@bp.com, www.bp.com; Santos, Kevin Gallagher, CEO, + 61 2 8016 2832, www.santos.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News BP,  Santos,  CCS,  


Danish Climate Change Council Seeks Major Carbon Tax Increase (Int'l)
Danish Council on Climate Change
Date: 2020-03-11
In Copenhagen, the Danish Council on Climate Change is calling for Denmark to "sharply" increase its carbon tax to help meet the estimated £4 billion cost of cutting emissions by 70 pct from 1990 levels by 2030.

The council, which is the main independent adviser to the Danish Government on climate change, is recommending an increase from the present £20 per tomne to £174 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent. (Source: Danish Council on Climate Change, Mar., 2020) Contact: Danish Council on Climate Change, Peter Mollgaard,www.klimaraadet.dk/en/about-danish-council-climate-change

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


Canada GBC Updates Zero-Carbon Building Standard (Ind. Report)
Canada Green Building Council
Date: 2020-03-11
In Ottawa, the The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) reports it is zeroing in on carbon reduction with updates to its Zero Carbon Building (ZCB) Standard. Launched today, Version 2 is designed to accelerate adoption of zero carbon building practices and help Canada meet its climate targets while spurring innovation and job growth.

Canada's buildings are a top contributor to carbon emissions, and updates to the ZCB Standard reflect the urgent need for change. Today, building operations represent 17 pct of Canada's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, or closer to 30 pct when embodied carbon from construction and materials are factored in.

CaGBC's made-in-Canada ZCB Standard provides the industry with a zero-carbon approach that works for any type of new or existing building. Version 2 draws on learnings from over 20 real-world ZCB-projects. These projects demonstrate that the industry is ready to raise the bar on expanded requirements for embodied carbon and energy efficiency. At the same time, Version 2 aims to get more buildings to zero, faster, by providing more options for different design strategies and by recognizing high-quality carbon offsets when necessary.

These updates balance the rigour needed to meaningfully eliminate carbon, while also being flexible enough for zero-carbon buildings to reach the mainstream. Since the ZCB Standard launched in 2017, CaGBC has proven through real-world projects and research, that zero- carbon buildings are technically and financially viable today -- across a wide spectrum of building types including schools, offices, multi-residential, commercial, and even industrial buildings. The updates provide the guidance for more owners and developers to build to zero now and as part of their plans for the future.

ZCB Standard v2 provides two pathways for any type of building to get to zero-carbon. ZCB-Design guides the design of new buildings, as well as the retrofit of existing structures. ZCB-Performance provides a framework for verifying buildings have achieved zero- carbon and must be revisited annually.

ZCB Standard v2 updates focus on these key components:

  • Embodied Carbon -- Projects must now reduce and offset carbon emissions for the building's life-cycle including those associated with the manufacture and use of construction materials.

  • Refrigerants -- ZCB Standard v2 encourages best practices to minimize potential leaks of refrigerants that, when released, can have significant short-term impacts on climate.

  • Energy Efficiency -- ZCB Standard v2 promotes the efficient use of clean energy with more stringent energy efficiency and air-tightness requirements.
  • Innovation -- ZCB-Design encourages innovation by requiring projects demonstrate two innovative strategies to reduce carbon emissions.

    (Source: Canada Green Building Council, PR, Mar., 2020) Contact: Canada Green Building Council, Peter Whitred, Senior Manager, Green Building Programs, Thomas Mueller, Pres. and CEO, (866) 941-1184, info@cagbc.org, www.cagbc.org; Zero Carbon Building Standard, www.CaGBC.org/zerocarbon

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Zero-Carbon,  Canada Green Building Council ,  Energy Efficiency,  


  • OR Gov. Issues Comprehensive Climate Change Order (Reg. & Leg.)
    Oregon Climate Change
    Date: 2020-03-11
    In Salem, Oregon Governor Kate Brown (Dem) has issued a 14-page issued an executive order aimed at to sharply curbing greenhouse gas emissions with a full-court press by government agencies. The order comes less than a week after a Republican walkout killed Oregon Senate Bill 1530, the Democrats' proposal for a cap-and-trade system in Oregon.

  • The Governor's Executive Order updates the state's carbon reduction goals, setting targets of a 45 pct reduction below 1990 levels by 2035, and an 80 pct reduction by 2050

  • Under the order, carbon polluters in the industrial, transportation and natural gas sectors would have their emissions capped by the state's Environmental Quality Commission and Department of Environmental Quality, with allowable emissions reduced over time.

  • The Department of Environmental Quality and Environmental Quality Commission are directed to ratchet up restrictions for how emissions intensive fuel can be. The order set a go pct below 2015 levels by 2030, and 25 pct by 2035;

  • The Oregon PUC will place emphasis on greenhouse gas emissions and wildfire risk when regulating Oregon power companies

  • The Department of Consumer and Business Services will set new building energy efficiency goals aimed at a 60 pct reduction in annual energy consumption, compared to 2006 building codes

  • The Department of Energy will update home appliance energy efficiency standards "at least to levels equivalent to the most stringent standards among West Coast jurisdictions."

  • The Department of Admin. Services will develop a plan to transition the state's automobile fleet to zero-emissions vehicles and add charging stations at public buildings.

    In total, 18 state agencies and commissions directing a large portion of the state's bureaucracy are tasked under the order aimed reducing emissions and addressing climate change. (Source: Office of Gov. Kate Brown, OPB, 10 Mar., 2020) Office of Gov. Kate Brown, (503) 378-4582, www.oregon.gov/gov/pages/contact.aspx

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emission,  Oregon Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  Energy Efficiency,  Cap-and-Tarde,  


  • YVR Commits to Net-Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050 (Ind. Report)
    Vancouver International Airport
    Date: 2020-03-11
    In British Columbia, the Vancouver Airport Authority reports the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is aiming to become carbon neutral in 2020 and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

    Under its previous 2020--2024 EMP sustainability plan, YVR reduced emissions, water use and waste to landfill, and invested in one of Canada's largest GeoExchange plants to bolster its ability to continue to reduce carbon emissions. (Source: Vancouver Airport Authority , PR, 10 Mar., 2020) Contact: Vancouver Airport Authority, Marion Town, director, Environment, www.linkedin.com/company/vancouver-airport-authority

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Neutral,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  Net-Zero Carbon,  


    WA Legislation Aligns Timber Ind., Carbon Goals (Reg. & Leg.)
    Washington State
    Date: 2020-03-09
    Sitting in Olympia last Thursday, the Washington State Senate reported the near unanimous passage of House Bill 2528 recognizing the state's timber industry's efforts to reduce carbon emissions through reforestation and other management practices. The legislation also recognizes the role of forest products in carbon sequestration and directs the state Department of Commerce to promote markets for the state's forest products.

    Having been amended in the Senate, House Bill 2528 returns to the the Washington State House for full approval the on to the governor to be signed into law. (Source: The World, Various Media, chronicleonline. 7 Mar., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  Reforestation,  Carbon Sequestration,  


    Gevo, Viva Partnering on Aussie Renewable Hydrocarbons (Int'l.)
    Gevo,Viva Energy Australia
    Date: 2020-03-09
    Following up on our 28th Feb. coverage, Englewood, Colorado-based biobutanol producer GEVO Inc. reports it has inked an agreement with Australian fuel supplier and refiner Viva Energy Australia, exclusive supplier of Shell fuels and lubricants in Australia, to collaborate on a project to convert regionally sourced biomass into sustainable jet fuel (SAF) and renewable gasoline (RNG).

    Under their agreement, the two companies will "develop and enhance commercial and advocacy relationships to further foster the use of renewable hydrocarbons, including sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in Queensland and, more broadly, the country of Australia." The project is supported by the Queensland government Waste to Biofuels funding initiative. (Source: Gevo Inc., 5 Mar., 2020)Contact: GEVO, Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, pgruber@gevo.com, www.gevo.com; Viva Energy Australia, Scott Wyatt, CEO, www.vivaenergy.com.au

    More Low-Carbon Energy News SAF,  RNG,  Biomass,  Gevo,  Viva Energy Australia,  


    NASA Space-based Quantification of per capita CO2 Emissions from Cities (Study Attached)
    NASA
    Date: 2020-03-09
    "Urban areas are currently responsible for approximately 70 pct of the global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and rapid ongoing global urbanization is increasing the number and size of cities. Thus, understanding city-scale CO2 emissions and how they vary between cities with different urban densities is a critical task. While the relationship between CO2 emissions and population density has been explored widely in prior studies, their conclusions were sensitive to inconsistent definitions of urban boundaries and the reliance upon CO2 emission inventories that implicitly assumed population relationships.

    The attached Space-based Quantification of per capita CO2 Emissions from Cities report provides the first independent estimates of direct per capita CO2 emissions (E pc) from space-borne atmospheric CO2 measurements from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) for a total 20 cities across multiple continents. The analysis accounts for the influence of meteorology on the satellite observations with an atmospheric model. The resultant upwind source region sampled by the satellite serves as an objective urban extent for aggregating emissions and population densities.

    The study suggests that E pc declines as population densities increase, albeit the decrease in E pc is partially limited by the positive correlation between E pc and per capita gross domestic product.

    Download the NASA Space-based Quantification of per capita CO2 Emissions from Cities study HERE. (Source: NASA, IOP, Environmental Research Letters, Open Access, Feb.,2020) Contact: NASA, www.nasa.gov/oco2; Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., 818-354-0307, janelee@jpl.nasa.gov, www.jpl.nasa.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NASA,  Carbon Emissions,  


    NGP ETP3 to Invest in Energy Tech. Companies (Ind. Report)
    NGP Energy Capital Management
    Date: 2020-03-09
    In the Lone Star State, Dallas-based NGP Energy Capital Management (NGP) reports investing in NGP Energy Technology Partners III, L.P. (NGP ETP 3) through an equity commitment from NGP Natural Resources XII, L.P..

    NGP ETP 3 will target investments between $20-30 million of growth capital in companies with products, services or technologies serving the renewable energy, power, energy storage, energy efficiency, environmental and transportation sectors. (Source: NGP, Valdosta Times, Dallas BusWire, 2 Mar., 2020) Contact: NGP, James Wallis, Partner, (713) 579-5700, www.ngpenergycapital.com; .NGPETP3, Phil Deutch, CEO, (202) 536-3930, inquiries@ngpetp3.com, www.ngpetp3.com.


    ExxonMobil Joliet Refinery Wins EPA ENERGY STAR (Ind. Report)
    ExxonMobil
    Date: 2020-03-09
    ExxonMobil reports it's Joliet Illinois Refinery has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR certification for industrial plant energy efficiency performance.

    ExxonMobil notes it improved its energy performance by managing energy strategically across the entire organization and by making cost-effective improvements including: improved process unit and energy-critical equipment reliability; implementation of seasonal energy efficiencies; improved the performance of heat exchangers, process heaters, and boilers in the refinery's steam system.

    EPA ENERGY STAR program is a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. To date, tens of thousands of buildings and plants across all fifty states have earned the ENERGY STAR. (Source: ExxonMobil, PR, Mar., 2020) Contact: EPA ENERGY STAR, www.energystar.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ExxonMobil,  ENERGY STAR,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Costain Claims UK Carbon Capture Design Contract (Int'l. Report)
    Costain,Pale Blue Dot
    Date: 2020-03-09
    Following up on our 28th June, 2019 report, in the UK, London-headquartered construction firm Costain reports it will provide engineering design services for clean energy developer Pale Blue Dot's Acorn Carbon Capture Scheme and hydrogen project at St Fergus gas terminal.

    Costain will deliver concept design and front-end engineering design support for the project to repurpose Shell's Goldeneye pipeline and field to capture CO2 emissions while using some of the existing CO2 emissions at the St Fergus gas terminal (around 340,000 tonnes) in order to commission a very large scale CO2 transport and storage infrastructure that can support much larger future volumes.

    Once this detailed engineering phase is complete Pale Blue Dot hopes to reach a final investment decision in late 2021. The second phase will see full-scale production of hydrogen at a St Fergus production hub with waste CO2 pumped back into the depleted Goldeneye gas field. (Source: Costain, Construction Inquirer , 2 Mar., 2020) (Contact: Costain, Rob Phillips, Energy Sector Director, +44 20 7796 5840, www.costain.com; Pale Blue Dot Energy, Emma Anderson, +44 (0) 1330 826890, www.pale-blu.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Costain,  Cabon Capture,  Pale Blue Dot,  


    Indonesian B30 Prog. to Use 9.6Mn KL of Biodiesel in 2020 (Int'l.
    Indonesia Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources
    Date: 2020-03-09
    In Jakarta, the Indonesian Industry Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is reporting the implementation of its previously reported B30 biodiesel fuel blending program is expected to use 9.6 million kiloliters (KL) of domestic palm-oil biodiesel, reduce diesel fuel imports by e million kilolitersand, increase the added value of crude palm oil (CPO) to Rp13.81 trillion ($908 million) and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG)emissions by 14.25 million tons of CO2, or equivalent to gas emissions from 52,010 small buses, in 2020.

    The mandatory B30 program came into force Jan. 1, this year. Indonesia, the world's biggest palm oil producer and exporter, is recorded as the first country to implement the B30 mixed-fuel in the world. (Source: Indonesia Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, antaranews.com, 5 Mar., 2020) Contact: Indonesia Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita, Minister, +136 0 21 3804242, +136 0 21 3507210 - fax, klik@esdm.go.id, www.esdm.go.id/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Indoneasia Biodiesel,  B20,  B30,  Palm Oil,  Palm Biodiesel,  


    WA State Issues $6.5Mn in Energy Efficiency Grants (Funding)
    Washington State
    Date: 2020-03-09
    Reporting from Olympia, the Washington State Department of Commerce is reporting the issuance of $6.5 million in State Performance Improvement (SPI) grants for increased energy efficiency and better environmental performance in state-owned buildings. The funding will cover additional costs incurred by choosing more efficient options for existing project plans, such as higher efficiency heating systems or windows and thus save taxpayers money on operational and lifetime costs on state owned facilities.

    The SPI grants have been awarded to 16 state agencies and institutions with projects currently funded under the 2019 -- 21 Capital Budget, and that can be modified with more energy-efficient infrastructure. Projected lifetime savings of the infrastructure modifications to these projects is nearly $11 million, and the lifetime projected carbon saved would be about 120,429 tons.

    The SPI grant is part of the Energy Efficiency and Solar Grants Program (EE&S) Program and was developed in partnership with the State Efficiency and Environmental Performance (SEEP) Office.

    Download SEEP program details HERE. (Source: Washington State Dept. of Commerce, 5 Mar., 2020) Contact: Washington State Dept. of Commerce, www.commerce.wa.gov

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


    Notable Quotes -- Mitt Romney Talks Emissions, Climate Change
    Mitt Romney,Climate Change
    Date: 2020-03-09
    "People say to me, 'Are you sure that we're causing (climate change)?' And I say, "I hope we're causing it. Because if we're not causing it, there's nothing we can do about it. So I hope we're causing it, and I believe we're causing it to a great degree.

    "Passing laws in Washington about restricting the size of your washing machine and how many watts your lightbulb has -- that's nice, but it's not going to change global warming. The only way you're going to reduce or bring down the growth rate in CO2 emissions in the planet is if we develop technologies across all the things that emit CO2 -- that are low-emitting and that are less expensive than the current technologies.

    "The governmental side -- you put money into colleges, universities, think tanks, labs. But how do you get everybody to think about it? I'm a fan of all ideas that might bring new technologies that are low-emitting, because I really want to see us do everything we possibly can to help China, Indonesia, Brazil, India -- the places that are growing emissions like crazy -- help them turn the corner and reduce our emissions." -- U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) Mar. 2020

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


    Alphabet Abandons Makani Kite Wind Power Project (Ind. Report)
    Alphabet,Makani Power
    Date: 2020-03-09
    Internet giant Google's Alphabet Inc reports it's ending its association with Makani Power's project that aimed to use giant kites to generate wind energy.

    Makani is developing energy kites that use a wing tethered to a ground station to efficiently harness energy from the wind, generating electricity at utility-scale. As the kite flies autonomously in loops, rotors on the wing spin as the wind moves through them, generating electricity that is sent down the tether to the grid, according to the company website.

    In a statement Google Alphabet noted "While it's tempting to say that all climate-related ideas deserve investment, remaining clear-eyed and directing resources to the opportunities where we think we can have the greatest impact isn't just good business -- it's essential when it comes to a problem as urgent as the climate crisis." (Source: Makani Power, Brinkwire, 7 Mar., 2020) Contact: Google Alphabet, www.abc.xyz; Makani Power, info@makanipower.com, www.makanipower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Alphabet,  Makani,  Wind,  Wind Kite,  


    Siemens Gamesa Turbines for Orsted Offshore Wind Projects (Int'l)
    Siemens Gamesa,Borkum Riffgrund
    Date: 2020-03-09
    Spanish wind energy major Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) reports it's selection as "preferred supplier" for the the 900MW Borkum Riffgrund 3 development -- Germany's largest offshore wind project to-date -- and the 242MW Gode Wind 3 -- and will deliver over 1GW of its SG11.0-200DD offshore wind turbines including a 5-year service and maintenance contract for two projects being developed by Orsted in the German North Sea.

    The award hinges on Orsted taking a final investment decision on the developments, which are subject German regulatory approvals.

    The turbines are slated for installation on Gode Wind 3 in early 2023 and on Borkum Riffgrund 3 in 2024, with commissioning on the two projects to being completed in 2024 and 2025, respectively (Source: Siemens Gamesa, Utilities, 7 Mar., 2020) Contact: Seimens Gamesa, Morten Pilgaard Rasmussen, Offshore Head of Technology, www.siemensgamesa.com; Orsted, +45 99 55 97 22, www.orsted.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Orsted,  Siemens Gamesa,  Offshore Wind,  Borkum Riffgrund ,  


    NYPA-Israeli Clean Energy Tech Competition Announced (Ind Report)
    New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
    Date: 2020-03-09
    In Albany, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the launch of the New York Power Authority (NYPA)--Israel Smart Energy Challenge, a $2.5 million competition to attract Israeli companies with expertise in energy efficiency and clean energy generation to submit proposals to collaborate with New York's public utility on new clean energy technologies. NYPA is collaborating with the Israel Smart Energy Association on the project aimed at attracting Israeli companies that will advance power grid reliability, storage, sustainability and affordability, all of which benefit ratepayers, utilities and the environment.

    The competition will focus on research areas centered around meeting digital utility challenges such as electric vehicle charging, distributed energy solutions, grid modernization, energy storage, microgrids, cybersecurity, blockchain and energy trading, buildings/campus energy management, data analytics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and use of drones/autonomous robots in power systems.

    Interested companies may apply and submit their proposals to the NYPA/Israel Smart Energy Challenge online. The deadline for submissions is April 20. A pre-bid conference for parties interested in applying to the Challenge is scheduled for Monday, March 16, 2020 from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at: Ha-Umanim Street 12, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel. Register on Eventbrite or meetup.

    Governor Cuomo's Green New Deal climate and clean energy initiative puts the Empire State on a path to being entirely carbon-neutral across all sectors of the economy and establishing a goal to achieve a zero-carbon emissions electricity sector by 2040, faster than any other state. It builds on New York's ramp-up of clean energy including a $2.9 billion investment in 46 large-scale renewable projects across, the creation of more than 150,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector, a commitment to develop nearly 1,700 MW of offshore wind by 2024, and 1,700 pct growth in the distributed solar sector since 2012.

    The recently passed Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act mandates the Green New Deal's clean energy targets: nine gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035, six gigawatts of distributed solar by 2025, and three gigawatts of energy storage by 2030, while calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy. The CLCPA also directs New York State agencies and authorities to collaborate with stakeholders to develop a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 pct from 1990 levels by 2050 and aim to invest 40 pct of clean energy and energy efficiency program resources to benefit disadvantaged communities. (Source: New York State Governor's Office, PR, Google News, 6 Mar., 2020)Contact: Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, www.governor.ny.gov; Israel Smart Energy Association, www.isea.org.il; NYPA, Gil C. Quiniones, Pres., CEO, www.nypa.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo,  New York Power Authority,  Clean Energy,  Renewable Energy,  


    EIA Reports Rising Ethanol Production (Ind. Report)
    EIA
    Date: 2020-03-09
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is reporting US ethanol production for the week ending 28 Feb. jumped to the highest in a month while stockpiles were up slightly with an average output of 1.079 million bpd -- the highest level since Jan. 31.

    In the U.S. Midwest, by far the biggest-producing region, output of the biofuel jumped to 1.007 million barrels on average, from 977,000 a week earlier. Gulf Coast production increased to 24,000 bpd, on average, from 22,000 bpd seven days earlier. Rocky Mountain output was unchanged at an average of 14,000 bpd. West Coast production declined to 14,000 bpd from 15,000 bpd, and East Coast output fell to an average of 19,000 bpd from 26,000 bpd the previous week.

    Stockpiles in the seven days that ended on Feb. 28 came in at 24.964 million barrels, up from 24.718 million a week earlier, according to EIA. (Source: EIA March 8, 2020)Contact: EIA, www.eia.gov

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


    Wascon Blue Planing Four Mexican Biorefineries (Int'l Report)
    Wascon Blue
    Date: 2020-03-09
    Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico-based gasoline company Wascon Blue reports it will invest $720 million in four new "green" biorefineries to produce gasoline from byproducts of the process of refining crude oil and natural gas. The company's "innovative formula of BluePower® Biofuels , its Additive acts at the molecular level by increasing the octane in gasoline and cetane in Diesel", according to its website.

    Wascon will source the raw material from the state oil company Pemex, which currently exports the byproducts and later imports them after they've been converted to gasoline. The Wascon biorefineries will produce a gasoline with a lower concentration of aromatics, which are base components of gasoline that are a main source of octane and also one of the leading pollutants in the fuel. Conventional gasoline contains around 30 pct aromatics, but the goal of Wascon Blue is to reduce that to 20 pct an replace the remaining 10 pct with sustainably produced sugar cane and sorghum ethanol.

    The first of the 4 new biorefinery complexes will be constructed in Veracruz and will have 30,000 bpd capacity beginning in 2021. The company plans to supply 100,000 bpd of "green" gasoline by 2025. (Source: Wascon, Wascom Blue, El Financiero , 7 Mar., 2020) Contact: Wascon Blue, Enrique Olivera, Pres., contacto@wasconblue.com, +55 6385 5542 www.wasconblue.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wascon Blue,  


    Ill. County Participating in LEED for Cities and Communities Sustainability Program (Ind. Report)
    USGBC
    Date: 2020-03-09
    In Illinois, the Kane County Dept. of Resource Management reports the county is one of 20 agencies nationwide -- and the only one in Illinois -- awarded a US Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED for Cities and Communities program grant to tackle larger-scale energy efficiency and sustainability objectives with help from regional partners.

    The LEED for Cities and Communities program offers participants access to a performance platform, educational tools and professional liaison to support LEED certification, according to the USGBC website.

    The grant program, which also receives support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, allows county leaders to measure how their sustainability efforts fare both internally and globally. The program provides an award package to communities that have shown commitment in addressing climate change, resilience and social equity.

    Each recipient receives an annual silver membership to the Green Building Council; registration and certification review fees in the LEED Cities and Communities program; access to the Arc platform that encourages improvement and benchmarking; and the availability of online educational resources, project management tools and monthly conference calls. (Source: US BC, Daily Herald, 7 Mar., 2020) Contact: Kane County Resource Management, Jessica Mino, Management Coordinator, 630-208-8665, minojessica@co.kane.il.us​, www.county ofkane.org; USGBC LEED for Cities and Communities Program, www.usgbc.org/leed/rating-systems/leed-for-cities, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USGBC,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Aussies Launching $350Mn Emissions Cutting Initiative (Int'l.)
    Australia
    Date: 2020-03-09
    In the Land Down Under, the Liberal government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison is touting the launch of a $350 million initiative to lead the energy grid away from fossil fuel, promote renewable energy and cut carbon emissions. It will also invest $68.5 million to create the Reliable Affordable Clean Energy for 2030 Co-operative Research Centre (RACE for 2030). And, in what seems a contradiction, the government will also fund a $4 million investigation of the economic case for a new coal-fired power station in north Queensland State.

    Working with private industry, RACE for 2030 will fund research into a "distributed grid"; a national strategy for charging stations required under the forecast growth in electric vehicles; harnessing rooftop solar and paying householders for their energy; and trial community scale micro-electricity grids.

    Under the Paris Agreement, Australia committed to reducing emissions by at least 26 pct on 2005 levels by 2030, but may have to use "carryover" credits gained under the previous Kyoto Protocol to achieve half of its Paris target, according to the Brisbane Times report. (Source: Various Media, Brisbane Times, 8 Mar., 2020) Contact: Office of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, twitter.com/ScottMorrisonMP

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


    Noor Ouarzazate Solar Energy Storage Complex Opens (Int'l.)
    Azelio ,Masen
    Date: 2020-03-09
    Gothenburg, Sweden-headquartered Azelio -- fka Cleanergy -- is reporting installation of its renewable energy storage with 24-hour clean power production at the Noor Ouarzazate solar complex in Morocco.

    Azelio's system uses recycled aluminum as a storage medium, contains no rare minerals , suffers no reduced capacity over time and is scalable from 100 kW to 100 MW .

    The installation is a partial result in a joint technical and business development agreement between Azelio and the Moroccan Agency For Solar Energy (MASEN. (Source: Azelio, PR, Tech Review Middle East, 8 Mar., 2020) Contact: Azelio, Jonas Eklind, CEO , +46-709-40-35-80, jonas.eklind@azelio.com, www.azelio.com; MASEN, www.masen.ma

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Azelio,  Solar,  Energy Storage ,  


    John Laing Ditching Standalone Wind, Solar Business (Int'l. Report)
    John Laing
    Date: 2020-03-06
    UK infrastructure giant John Laing is quitting the standalone solar and wind markets, citing "industry-wide issues" and renewable energy write-downs and falling power prices.

    The company, which claims to have invested approximately £850 million ($1.088 billion) in clean energy projects throughout the 2010s, intends to divest its solar and wind portfolio over the next two years. The company will, however, consider global opportunities that include "technologies that enable high penetration of renewables", transportation electrification and other decarbonisation and energy efficiency ventures. (Source: John Laing, PR, PV Tech 4 Mar., 2020) Contact: John Laing Group plc, +44 (0) 20 7901 3200, enquiries@laing.com, www.laing.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News John Laing,  Renewable Energy,  Wind,  Solar,  


    Tropical Forests Losing Ability to Absorb Carbon (Study Attached)
    Carbon Sink
    Date: 2020-03-06
    The recently released attached study notes the Amazon and other tropical forests losing their "carbon sink" capabilities and could turn into a source of CO2 in atmosphere by next decade. owing to the damage caused by loggers and farming interests and the impacts of the climate crisis. In that event, the impact of climate change is likely to become much more severe and the world will have to cut its carbon emissions even faster than presently outlined under the Paris Climate Agreement.

    The study, published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, tracked 300,000 trees over 30 years, providing the first large-scale evidence of the decline in carbon uptake by the world's tropical forests. The researchers combined data from two large research networks of forest observations in Africa and the Amazon, as well as years spent traveling to remote field sites

    Access the Asynchronous Carbon Sink Saturation in African and Amazonian Tropical Forests study HERE. (Source: Nature, Mar. 2020)

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


    Magellan Jets, terrapass Offer Carbon Offsetting (Ind. Report)
    Magellan Jets,Terrapass
    Date: 2020-03-06
    Boston-based private charter air carrier Magellan Jets is reporting its collaboration with U.S.-based carbon offsetter terrapass, to offset 100 pct of Magellan's office operations. Magellan Jets now offers carbon offsetting options for every solution in our private aviation portfolio.

    All members now have the option to offset their memberships, while charter customers can choose to offset their travel on a per-flight or on all business travel basis.

    Projects through terrapass have reduced greenhouse gases in the atmosphere equivalent to billions of pounds of carbon dioxide since 2004, according to terrapass. (Source: Magellan Jets, PR, OA Online, Mar., 2020) Contact: Magellan Jets , Joshua Hebert. CEO, www.magellanjets.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News tarrapass,  Carbon Offset,  Carbon Emissions,  


    UK Planning Interim E10 Introduction (Int'l. Report)
    UK E10
    Date: 2020-03-06
    In London, the UK Transport Secretary reports the government is consulting on plans to introduce a 10- pct ethanol and gasoline fuel blend (E10) as an interim step for a possible ban on the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars within the next 15 years.

    As part of a move to "decarbonize" transport, the introduction of E10 could have the equivalent impact on CO2 emissions as taking roughly 350,000 cars off the highway.

    E10 was introduced in France in 2009 and is also used in Germany, Belgium, and Finland driven by EU targets for renewable fuel sources. (Source: euronews.com, 3 Mar., 2020) Contact: UK Transport Secretary, Grant Schapps, www.gov.uk/government/people/grant-shapps

    More Low-Carbon Energy News E10,  Ethanol Blend,  


    CenterPoint Energy Commits to Emisions Reductions (Ind. Report)
    CenterPoint Energy
    Date: 2020-03-06
    Houston-headquartered electric and natural delivery company CenterPoint Energy reports it aims to reduce its operational emissions by 70 pct by 2035 and emissions attributable to natural gas usage in heating, appliances and equipment within the residential and commercial sectors by 20 to 30 pct by 2040 -- based on its 2005 emissions.

    To that end, CenterPoint will continue to offer customers energy efficiency programs and continue investing in renewable forms of energy on both the natural gas and electric sides of the business. The company will also partner with natural gas suppliers to lower methane emissions across the natural gas value chain as well as support communities where it operates with their climate action goals, according to the company release. (Source: CenterPoint Energy, PR, Mar., 2020) Contact: CenterPoint Energy, Angila Retherford, VP Environmental Affairs and Corporate Sustainability, www.CenterPointEnergy.com

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


    Solar Workgroup of SW Virginia Seeks Solar RFPs (Ind. Report)
    Solar Workgroup
    Date: 2020-03-06
    The Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia reports it is seeking RfPs for partnership in the Southwest Virginia 2020 Residential Solarize Program. The program will provide solar installation services for homeowners, small businesses and farms in the seven-county coalfield region of Southwest Virginia.

    The Rfp is seeking proposals for a solar developer to conduct assessments for at least 100 homeowners who have already signed up for the program, as well as homeowners who continue to sign up through the program period.

    The program is being launched after eight Southwest Virginia -- Central Appalachia -- communities were designated under the national SolSmart program for encouraging the growth of local solar energy markets. (Source: Solar Workshop, Mar.,2020) Contact; Solar Workshop, Chelsea Barnes, (276) 207-9636, chelsea@appvoices.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  


    GreenFront Launches Renewables Sector Investment Banking, Advisory Platform (Ind. Report)
    GreenFront Energy Partners
    Date: 2020-03-06
    Richmond, Virginia-based GreenFront Energy Partners reports the launch of its investment banking and advisory platform focused on the growing renewable and alternative energy sectors.

    With over 2,000 contacts ESG serves both the corporations that commit to using more renewable energy, as well as the project developers and sponsors who make solar and wind energy a reality.

    GreenFront Energy Partners is an investment banking and advisor focused on the new energy economy. The global energy landscape is undergoing its most significant transformation in over a century and our founding partners believe we all have a role to play. Our role at GreenFront is to bring together the financial, intellectual, entrepreneurial, and natural resources to meaningfully decarbonize our energy sector, according to the company website. (Source: GreenFront Energy Partners, Mar.,2020) Contact: GreenFront Energy Partners, info@greenfrontenergy.com or call our office at (804) 905-8467. www.greenfrontenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GreenFront Energy Partners,  


    European Vehicle CO2 Emissions Still Rising (Int'l. Report)
    Jato Dynamics
    Date: 2020-03-06
    In a just issued report, UK-based Jato Dynamics notes vehicle CO2 emissions rose for a third consecutive year across Europe as the pace of electric vehicle (EV) adoption failed to counteract the impact of falling diesel sales and the rise of SUVs.

    The volume weighted average CO2 emissions for 23 European markets reached 121.8 g/km under the NEDC vehicle test regime during 2019, the report found. The 2019 CO2 emissions level was 1.3 g/km higher than in 2018 but represented a lower increase than between 2017 and 2018, when the rise was 2.4 g/km.

    Germany, the UK, Italy and Spain all registered rising average CO2 emissions in 2019. France was the only market to see better results, as its average fell from 112g/km in 2018, to 111.1g/km last year. Despite this positive change, their emission levels were still higher than the averages they recorded in 2016 and 2017, according to the report. (Source: Automotive Management, Jato Dynamics, 3 Mar., 2020) Contact: Jato Dynamics, +44 (0) 20 8423 7100, enquiries@jato.com, www.jato.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Vehicle Emissions,  


    Most UK Homes Missing Energy Efficiency Mark (Int'l. Report)
    BBC Shared Data
    Date: 2020-03-06
    In the UK, the BBC Shared Data Unit reports roughly two-thirds of UK homes fail to meet long-term national energy efficiency targets with ore than 12 million homes below the average C grade on Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) which measure a home's energy efficiency based on how well a property is insulated, glazed, or uses alternative measures to reduce energy use.

    The government has set a target to upgrade as many homes to grade C by 2035 "where practical, cost-effective and affordable." To that end, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is investing more than £6 billion in those upgrades and exploring ways to halve the cost of retrofitting properties. It is also investing over £320 million to help heat homes with lower carbon alternatives. (Source: BBC Shared Data, Mar., 2020) Contact: UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy BBC Shared Data Unit, www.bbc.com › lnp › sdu; BEIS, +44 0 20 7215 5000, enquiries@beis.gov.uk, www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-energy-and-industrial-strategy

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UK BEIS,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Sense Touts Home Energy Monitor System (Ind. Report)
    Sense
    Date: 2020-03-06
    Sense is touting its Home Energy Monitor that gives home owners real-time insights into energy consumption.

    The Sense Home Energy Monitor tracks sub-second differences in current and voltage data that can be used by utilities to gain insights into home energy consumption and for forecasting of loads, DER integration and control, voltage analysis, and targeting system investments.

    The Sense Home Energy Monitor is installed in a home's electric panel and reports energy data through the internet. (Source: Sense, PR, Solar Builder, 2 Mar., 2020) Contact: Sense, www.sense.com

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


    RWE's Peyton Creek, Texas Wind Farm Comes Online (Ind. Report)
    RWE Renewables
    Date: 2020-03-06
    RWE Renewables is reporting commercial operation is now underway at its 151 MW Peyton Creek wind farm in Matagorda County, Texas -- the company's 24th North American wind project.

    The Peyton Creek wind farm incorporates 48 Nordex 3.15MW turbines to generate sufficient power for 45,000 or more homes. Including the Peyton Creek wind farm, RWE's total installed US wind generating capacity reportedly now stands at 4,000 MW. (Source: RWE Renewables, PR, Power Tech. 4 Mar., 2020) Contact: RWE Renewables, Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, CEO, www.rwe.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RWE Renewables ,  Wind,  


    FPT Industrial Investigating Macauba Palm Biodiesel (Int'l, R&D)
    FPT Industrial
    Date: 2020-03-06
    FPT Industrial a global engine and powertrain brand of CNH Industrial N.V. reports it is invested in and exploring the possible use of Macauba Palm, which is common to Brazil, the Caribbean and South Florida, for the production of biodiesel transportation fuel.

    FPT Industrial's research was conducted at the Technical Center in Betim, Southeast of Brazil, with the main focus on its application as a fuel for agricultural tractors. Tests for trucks and buses, as well as power generators, are planned for the future. The tests produced biodiesel that met the standards established by the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP).

    The testing project was carried out in partnership with the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais (PUC Minas), the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and Bchem Biofuels, using a FPT Industrial N67 Tier 3 engine fitted to Case IH and New Holland Agriculture tractors. During the tests, mixtures of 10 pct and 20 pct of Macauba biodiesel were used. The results showed performance and consumption comparable to Brazilian commercial diesel, with a reduction trend in terms of carbon monoxide (CO) and particulate matter (PM) emissions. (Source: FPT, CNH Industrial, PR Mar.,2020) Contact: FPT CNH Industrial, www.fptindustrial.com/global/en, www.cnhindustrial.com/en-us/Pages/homepage.aspx

    More Low-Carbon Energy News FPT Industrial,  Palm Oil,  Palm Biodiesel,  


    German Biodiesel Trade Hit New Record Highs (Int'l. Report)
    German Biodiesel
    Date: 2020-03-06
    In Germany, the German Federal Statistical Office is reporting German foreign import and export trade in biodiesel reached a total volume of 3.7 million metric tons (1.1 billion gallons) -- 20 pct above 2018 levels. According to the German Federal Statistical Office, they amounted to 2.3 million tons (690.5 million gallons), cracking the mark of 2 million tons for the first time. This translates to an 18 percent, or 346,000 ton (103.9 million gallons), rise from the previous year.

    The Union zur Forderung von Oel- und Proteinpflanzen e.V -- Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants EV (UFOP) -- notes Germany is the most important country in the European Union to produce and market biodiesel, thus safeguarding the country's rapeseed production. The association has complained that although, in purely arithmetic terms, the entire German rapeseed harvest goes into biodiesel production, there is no positive impact on ex-farm prices. (Source: German Federal Statistical Office, UFOP. 4 Mar., 2020) Contact: UFOP, +49 0 30/31 90 42 02, +49 0 30/31 90 44 85 - fax, info@ufop.de, www.ufop.de; German Federal Statistical Office, www.destatis.de/EN/Home/_node.html

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel.Germany Biodiesel,  Biofuel,  


    Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind Supports Montclair State University Clean Energy Center (Ind. Report)
    Orsted
    Date: 2020-03-06
    In the Garden State, Montclair State University is reporting Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind is investing $200,000 to support the school's Clean Energy and Sustainability Analytics Center (CESAC) -- a public research, education and technical assistance outreach center -- under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

    Boston-headquartered Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind operates the Block Island Wind Farm and has been awarded over 2,900 MW of capacity through six projects. In June, 2019, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities selected Orsted to develop the Garden State's first offshore wind farm 15 miles off the coast of Atlantic City, as previously reported. (Source: Montclair State University, PR, 3 Mar.,2020) Contact: Montclair University, Susan Cole, Pres., (973) 655-4000, www.montclair.edu; Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind, www.us.orsted.com/Wind-projects

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Orsted,  Offshore Wind,  


    Neste Reports Finnair Aviation Biofuel Partnership (Int'l. Report)
    Neste,Finnair
    Date: 2020-03-06
    Helsinki-headquartered air carrier Finnair and Neste, the world's largest producer of renewable diesel and renewable jet fuel refined from waste and residues, are reporting an agreement that will see Finnair gradually increase its use of Neste SAF in its operations and play a key role in Finnair's long-term target of carbon neutrality.

    The partnership will not only increase Finnair's use of SAF, but it will also boost the production of SAF in Finland. Growing availability is also important in order to make SAF more widely used and affordable for Finnair's future flight operations. (Source: Neste, PR, 5 Mar., 2020) Contact: Neste, +358 10 458 4128, www.neste.com; Finnair, Topi Manner,CEO, Arja Suominen, SVP, Communications, Kati Ihamaki, Director Corporate Sustainability, www.finnair.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Neste,  Finnair,  SAF,  Aviation Biofuel,  


    Bi-Partisan Legislation to Lower Energy Costs, Emissions (Reg & Leg)
    Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2020-03-06
    U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced an amendment to add the voluntary building codes sections of their legislation, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (Portman-Shaheen), to the energy bill currently under consideration on the Senate floor.

    This building codes amendment focuses on encouraging the construction of new homes and buildings to be more energy-efficient without any mandates. The adoption of updated model building energy codes, as well as states' review of updated model building energy codes, are voluntary.

    The provisions in this amendment were included in the Portman-Shaheen energy efficiency measure that has been approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on a bipartisan basis five separate times and passed the full Senate by a bi-partisan vote of 85-12 in 2016.

    A recent economic and environmental impact analysis by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) found that over the lifetime of the legislation through 2050, the Portman-Shaheen building codes provisions will: save consumers $41.4 billion on their energy bills; Cut CO2 emissions by 1.18 billion metric tons, which is the equivalent of taking 3.1 million cars off the road each year for 30 years; and save 28 quadrillion Btu of energy. (Source: US Sen. Robb Portman, PR, 5 Mar., 2020) Contact: US Sen. Robb Portman, www.portman.senate.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  ACEEE,  


    $6.5Mn to Increase Bldg. Energy Efficiency (Funding, Ind. Report)
    Washington State Department of Commerce
    Date: 2020-03-06
    Reporting from Olympia, the Washington State Department of Commerce has announced $6.5 million in State Performance Improvement (SPI) grants that will result in higher efficiency and better environmental performance in state-owned buildings. The funding will cover additional costs incurred by choosing more efficient options for existing project plans, such as higher efficiency heating systems or windows.

    The SPI grants -- ranging from $46,000 to $1.159 million -- have been awarded to 16 state agencies and institutions with projects currently funded under the 2019-21 Capital Budget, and that can be structurally modified for greater energy efficiency. Projected lifetime savings of the infrastructure modifications to these projects is nearly $11 million, and the lifetime projected carbon saved would be about 120,429 tons.

    The SPI grant is part of the Energy Efficiency and Solar Grants Program (EE&S) Program. This grant has been developed in partnership with the State Efficiency and Environmental Performance (SEEP) Office, and is consistent with the goals of Governor Inslee's Executive Order 20-01.

    Download State Efficiency and Environmental Performance (SEEP) program details HERE. (Source: Washington State Dept. of Commerce, Mar., 2020) Contact: Washington State Dept. of Commerce, Lisa Brown, Dir., www.commerce.wa.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Aurora Taking Pacific Ethanol's Stake in Ethanol JV (M&A)
    Aurora Cooperative Energy,Pacific Ethanol
    Date: 2020-03-06
    In the Cornhusker State, Aurora Cooperative Energy Co. reports it will buy out Pacific Ethanol's 74 pct stake in a December, 2016 ethanol joint venture for $52.8 million.

    The two companies joined forces in December 2016, combining the co-op's grain elevator, loop track and other assets with Pacific's two Aurora-area ethanol plants into a company called Pacific Aurora LLC. As part of the purchase, Aurora Cooperative said it will split the entity into two companies. The two ethanol plants, which have 145 million gallons of combined capacity, will be called Aurora Cooperative Ethanol LLC. (Source: Aurora Cooperative Energy, PR, Journal Star, Mar.2020) Contact: Aurora Cooperative Energy, Chris Vincent , Pres., CEO, 800-642-6795, communicationsteam@auroracoop.com, www.auroracoop.com; Pacific Ethanol, Paul Kohler, Pres., CEO, (916) 403-2790, investorrelations@pacificethanol.com, www.pacificethanol.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  Pacific Ethanol,  


    "Listening to the Candidates Debate" Climate Change (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2020-03-04
    "Invest in sustainable, resilient infrastructure to meet the energy demands of the 21st century. Set aggressive sector-specific standards to rapidly decarbonize across every sector of our economy. Encourage our farmers to adopt climate-friendly sustainable agriculture practices. Conserve our public lands and make them part of the climate solution. Craft international economic policies that encourage countries around the world to reduce emissions." -- Sen. Elizabeth Warren, U.S. senator from Massachusetts since 2013 and former law school professor specializing in bankruptcy law.

    "Commit to reducing emissions throughout the world, including providing $200 billion to the Green Climate Fund, rejoining the Paris Agreement, and reasserting the United States' leadership in the global fight against climate change. Transform our energy system to 100 percent renewable energy and create 20 million jobs needed to solve the climate crisis." -- Sen. Bernie Sanders, 16 years as Vermont's congress member in the House of Representatives.

    "Restore America's leadership in fighting the global climate crisis and propel the U.S. toward a 100 pct clean energy future while making environmental justice a national priority. Ensure 100 pct of new vehicles are pollution-free by 2035, 'green' our buildings and invest in projects to reduce and protect against climate impacts, including wildfires." -- Michael Bloomberg, NY business tycoon, philanthropist and three term mayor of New York City.

    "We must turbocharge our efforts to address climate change and ensure that every American has access to clean drinking water, clean air, and an environment free from pollutants. Reduce greenhouse emissions and speed the transition to low-carbon shipping aviation and electric cars." -- Joe Biden, Former senator from Delaware and two-term Vice President under President Barak Obama.

    The above talking points are sourced from each candidate's website. Each candidate's position is posted in no particular order of preference and no endorsement for any candidate is intended.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


    FPInnovations Releases Solid Wood Bioheat Guide (Ind. Report)
    FPInnovations
    Date: 2020-03-04
    Pointe-Claire, QC, Canada-based is touting its newly released Solid Wood Bioheat Guide for Rural and Remote Communities in Ontario as a key source of information for using woody biomass for heating.

    According to the guide, the reliability, efficiency and versatility of modern bioheat systems allows for the supplementation or even replacement of current fossil fuel or electric heating systems. These systems can use local, sustainably sourced, economical, and renewable solid woody biofuels. Provincial laws require that Crown forests be sustainably managed following approved forest management plans that require harvested areas to be regenerated. This means that carbon emitted to create bioheat generated from solid woody biofuels is recaptured by the growing forest making bioheat a low-carbon heating system. Emissions from particles and volatile compounds are also low and on par with fossil fuel heating systems.

    Download the Solid Wood Bioheat Guide for Rural and Remote Communities in Ontario guide HERE. (Source: FPInnovations, Cdn, Biomass, 2 Mar., 2020, Contact: FPInnovations, Glen Prevost, Guide Author, (705) 358-4667, (514) 630-4100, glen.prevost@fpinnovations.ca, www.fpinnovations.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News FPInnovations,  Woody Biomass,  


    Ohio Utilities' Energy Efficiency Programs in Doubt (Ind. Report)
    Ohio Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2020-03-04
    In the Buckeye State, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) last week ruled that the state's energy-efficiency mandates for utilities will begin wrapping up on Sept. 30 and end completely on Dec. 31, 2020, as required under House Bill 6. That includes programs such as reduced-price LED bulbs, rebates on smart thermostats and energy-saving appliances, financial incentives to build energy-efficient homes and businesses, and free energy-efficiency and repair services for low-income households.

    With the ruling, Ohio utilities have the option of seeking PUCO approval to voluntarily continue some or all of their energy-efficiency programs beyond 2020, but most haven’t yet decided their course of action.

    FirstEnergy, whose subsidiaries provide power to Northeast Ohio and the Toledo area, has announced it will end two programs -- one $75 rebate for smart thermostats, and another that pays money for recycling old appliances.

    AEP Ohio, which serves much of Central and Southeast Ohio, plans to continue at least some of its energy-efficiency programs, but has yet to determine the make-up and scope of the programs.

    Dayton Power and Light has not yet decided which, if any, of its programs will continue past 2020.

    In Southwestern Ohio, Duke Energycurrently offers a variety of energy-efficiency programs, including (among others) rebates for customers who install energy-saving devices, a monitor that offers bill credits to ratepayers who reduce energy usage during high demand periods, and discounted or even free LED lights, which cost anywhere between $1 and $8 per bulb.

    As of last year, Ohioans were charged on their electric bills a fee averaging of $3.36 per month to support energy-efficiency programs, as well as programs (such as Duke’s energy monitors) designed to reduce power usage during peak demand times, according to the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund. That fee, as well as a renewable-energy mandate fee, has been eliminated by House Bill 6 and replaced with a new 85-cent surcharge that goes to bail out two Northern Ohio nuclear power plants owned by FirstEnergy Solutions, which changed its name to Energy Harbor late last month. (Source: Cleveland.com, 3 Mar.,2020)

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


    DEEIF Offers Energy Efficiency Grant Funding (Funding, Ind Report)
    Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
    Date: 2020-03-04
    The Delaware Energy Efficiency Investment Fund (DEEIF), which offers grants to offset the cost of energy efficiency improvements, reports it has broadened the kinds of light fixtures that will qualify for grants and adjusted incentives offered for large custom projects to reflect competitive regional market rates.

    The DEEIF, which is administered by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Division of Climate, Coastal, & Energy. (DNREC), assists with energy assessments, lighting, HVAC, complex retrofits, building improvements and thermal energy systems. Changes to the lighting incentives include 34 new categories of eligible fixtures, varying incentive rates based on wattage, and the addition of incentives for lighting control systems. All incentive levels also have been adjusted to reflect market conditions for LED lights.

    EEIF is funded through the Public Utility Tax, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and one-time funding from the Exelon-Pepco merger settlement. Grant amounts are capped at 30 pct of the project's total cost. (Source: DNREC, 2 Mar., 2020) Contact: Delaware Energy Efficiency Investment Fund, Dayna Cobb, Dir., 302.735.3480, https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/climate-coastal-energy/efficiency/energy-efficiency-investment-fund, de.gov/eei

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Platte River Power Pursuing 90 pct Renewables by 2036 (Ind. Report)
    Platte River Power Authority
    Date: 2020-03-04
    In Colorado, the not-for-profit Platte River Power Authority (PRPA) utility serving Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont and Estes Park, reports it is nearing completion of its integrated resource plan to deliver 65 pct renewable energy by 2030, rising to 90 pct by 2036, "contingent on maintaining affordability and reliability."

    To that end, Platte River has invested in Roundhouse Renewable Energy, a 225-MW Wyoming wind farm that is expected online before the year end. Platte River is also in negotiations with two final bidders for an up-to-150-MW solar project expected to come online by the end of 2023. Together with the nearly finished 22-MW solar array at Rawhide Energy Station, the new projects will bring Platte River from about 30 pct renewable electricity to 60 pct renewable energy. (Source: Platte River Power Authority, Coloradoan, 26 Feb., 2020) Contact: Platte River Power Authority, Jason Frisbie, CEO, 970-226-4000, www.prpa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Platte River Power Authority,  Solar,  Renewable Energy,  


    Eni Looks to Methanol, Biomethane to Meet Sustainability Goals (Int'l.)
    Eni S.p.A.
    Date: 2020-03-04
    is reporting plans to planning to have 55GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2050. Under its Long-Term Strategic Plan to 2050, Italian oil and gas firm Eni S.p.A. is aiming to slash net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of its energy products by 80 pct by 2050 by using renewable energies, biomethane, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage (CCS), methanol and products from the recycling of waste materials.

    According to a release, the Rome-headquartered company has "quantified our carbon footprint reduction targets giving ourselves a comprehensive method of calculating emissions, which includes both direct and indirect emissions deriving from the end-use of our products, whether from our own production or purchased from third parties." (Source: Eni S.p.A., Bioenergy Insight, Mar., 2020) Contact: Eni S.p.A., Claudio Descalzi, CEO, +39 06 598 21, +39 06 598 22141 - fax, www.eni.com/en-IT/home.html

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Eni,  Biodiesel,  Green Diesel,  Biomethane,  

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