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Corn Consumption for Ethanol up in December, 2017 -- USDA Report Attached (Ind. Report)
Date: 2018-02-14
The USDA has released the February edition of its Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production report, announcing corn use for fuel alcohol production reached 487 million bushels in December, up 2 pct from November and up 3 pct when compared to December 2016. Corn consumed in December for dry milling fuel production and wet milling fuel production was 90.2 pct and 9.8 pct, respectively.

Total corn consumed for alcohol and other uses reached 538 million bushels in December, up 2 pct from November and 2 pct from December 2016.

Access the full report HERE. (Source: USDA, Feb., 2018) Contact: USDA,

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

Vermont Co-op Ups Energy Efficiency Incentives (Ind. Report)
Washington Electric Co-op
Date: 2018-02-14
In Vermont, East Montpelier-based Washington Electric Co-op (WEC) reports its Button Up program is increasing cash incentives for moderate- and low-income WEC members investing in energy-efficient weatherization, heating and EV and Hybrid Electric vehicle purchases.

The Button Up program grew out of Vermont's Renewable Energy Standard requiring electric utilities to support customers move off of fossil fuels to reach the state's goal of using 90 pct renewable energy in all areas by 2050. The cash incentive funds are from the Vermont Low-Income Trust for Energy (VLITE).

The Button Up program will grant $2,000 toward home weatherization, up to $1,000 toward cold climate heat pumps, $850 for heat pump water heaters, $1,450 for solar hot water heaters, and $3,000 for pellet boilers.

Washington Electric Co-op is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric utility founded in 1939. WEC delivers 100 pct renewable energy generated electric power to approximately 10,800 member-owners in 41 Vermont communities. (Source: Washington Electric Cooperative, PR 12 Feb., 2018) Contact: Washington Electric Coop, Patty Richards, GM, (802) 223-5245,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Washington Electric Co-op ,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency Incentives,  

Trump's Draft Budget Rips Renewable Energy Funding (Reg & Leg)
Date: 2018-02-14
"President Trump's draft budget released today proposes to slash funding for the Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) program by $1.3 billion, a 65 pct cut from the 2017 budget. Trump's budget serves as a starting point for congressional negotiations as well as a blueprint for the administration's priorities.

"Trump's steep cuts are a really ugly assault on clean energy. This is a counterproductive move that will threaten our climate, good jobs and economic progress, said Greer Ryan, renewable energy and research specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity. 'While the proposal is unlikely to make it through Congress, it's another clear signal that Trump will do anything to prop up dirty coal and nuclear power.'

"The EERE program, which includes programs to increase the generation of electricity from clean energy sources and improve the efficiency of homes, businesses and industries, has been widely successful. A third-party analysis found that $12 billion in funding yielded an estimated $230 billion in net economic benefit to the U.S.

"The administration also proposed to eliminate funding for the popular Energy Star program as part of cuts to the EPA. The budget proposes that the program's administrative costs be covered by user fees, which companies would have to pay to use the label."

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places. (Source: Center for Biological Diversity, PR, 12 Feb., 2018) Contact: Center for Biological Diversity, Greer Ryan, (812) 345-8571,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Energy Efficiency,  DOE EERE,  ENERGY Star,  

DoI Replacing Obama-Era Methane Emissions Rule (Reg & Leg)
US Interior Department
Date: 2018-02-14
In Washington, the US Interior Department (DoI) reports it is replacing a 2016 Obama administration regulation with requirements similar to those in force prior to the Obama administration changed the regulation restricting harmful methane emissions from oil and gas production on federal lands.

The DoI previously announced it was delaying the Obama-era rule until January 2019, arguing that it was overly burdensome to industry and the delay would allow federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) time to review the earlier rule while avoiding tens of millions of dollars in compliance costs to industry. Methane, although shorter-lived than CO2, is far more potent at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. (Source: US Department of Interior, VOA, Others, AP, 12 Feb., 2018) Contact: US Department of Interior,; BLM,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Obama Methane,  US Interior Department,  Methane,  

Houston Advanced Research Center Wins LEED Platinum (Ind. Report)
Houston Advanced Research Center
Date: 2018-02-14
In the Lone Star State, the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) reports it has been awarded LEED platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), pushing the center a step closer to becoming a Net Zero Energy Building.

The key sustainable elements that contributed to the LEED platinum rating include:

  • Water stewardship -- Rainfall runoff from the roof and parking lot of HARC is directed toward vegetated bioswales. The bioswales feature native and water smart plants and run adjacent to the preserved forest habitats. Natural and restored habitats facilitate landscape regeneration. Low-flow water fixtures in the building are calibrated to reduce potable water use.

  • Energy efficiency -- The facility features geothermal heat exchange, a high-performance building envelope and rain screen, appropriately sized mechanical and air distribution systems, and daylighting and rooftop solar photovoltaics.

  • Materials reduction -- Building design seeks to lessen the carbon footprint of the structural systems, as well as minimize layers of finished materials where possible; exposed structure and polished concrete floors are examples of strategies employed. Thirty-one pct of building materials were locally sourced and building finishes were low in volatile organic compound (VOC) content, and 88 pct of waste generated during construction was recycled.

    HARC is a nonprofit research hub providing independent analysis on energy, air and water issues. (Source: HARC, USGBC, ProudGreenBuilding,Daily Telescope, 12 Feb., 2018) Contact: Houston Advanced Research Center, Lisa Gonzalez, Pres., CEO, (281) 364-6000,; USGBC, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Net Zero Energy,  Houston Advanced Research Center,  LEED Platinum,  Energy Efficiency,  USGBC,  

  • Acuity Brands Snares Lucid Design Group (Ind. Report, M&A)
    Acuity Technology,Lucid
    Date: 2018-02-14
    Oakland, California-headquartered building performance analytics specialist Lucid Design Group reports it has been acquired by Woodbridge, Ontario-headquartered intelligent lighting, building automation systems and IoT solutions provider Acuity Brands, Inc.

    The acquisition will enable Lucid to accelerate the continued development of the BuildingOS platform to integrate all facets of building data and expand the applications built on the platform. Lucid will leverage Acuity Brands' extensive investments in building sensor networks, integration, and controls to extend the capabilities of the platform.

    Lucid's BuildingOS enables owners, operators, and occupants to find powerful insights in their building data to make buildings more efficient. Lucid's SaaS-based BuildingOS platform is deployed in over 500 organizations, 15,000 buildings and 1.5 billion square feet of commercial buildings to improve energy efficiency, reduce costs and help manage capital decisions. (Source: Lucid Design Group, PR, 12 Feb., 2018) Contact: Lucid Design Group, Will Coleman, CEO, (510) 356-2551, ; Acuity Technology Group, Laurent J. Vernerey, Pres., (905) 482-2720,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Acuity Technology,  Building Energy Management,  Energy Efficiency,  

    Three Offshore Wind Projects Slated for Taiwan (Int'l Report)
    Swancor Renewable Energy
    Date: 2018-02-14
    Swancor Renewable Energy and Australia-based partner Macquarie Capital have signed with Germany-based energy developer Energie Baden-Wurttemberg AG (EnBW) to jointly develop three offshore wind farms totaling 2,000 MW west of Changhua County, central Taiwan.

    Swancor and Macquarie are the principal shareholders of Formosa III, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for developing the three offshore wind farms, while EnBW will hold 37.5 pct. EnBW's investment requires approval from the EU and Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs.

    EnBW has previously completed 336MW of offshore wind projects and is developing others totaling 610MW with plans for another 900MW. (Source: Swancor Renewable Energy, Digitimes, 13 Feb., 2018) Contact: Macquarie,; Swancor Renewable Energy,; EnBW, Dirk Gusewell, Power Bus. Dir.,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  EnBW,  Taiwan Wind,  

    New European Wind Energy Record Set -- Report Attached (Int'l)
    Date: 2018-02-14
    According to the attached Wind in Power 2017 annual onshore and offshore wind statistics compiled by industry body, WindEurope, the Continent added 15.7 GW of new wind energy capacity in 2017, beating the previous 2015 record of 12.8GW. In total, wind provided 55 pct of all power capacity installations in 2017, according to the report.

    Access the Wind in Power 2017 report HERE. (Source: WindEurope, Innovators, 13 Feb., 2018) Contact: WindEurope, Giles Dickson, +32 2 213 1811 / Fax: +32 2 213 1890,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News WindEurope,  Wind,  

    Notable Quote
    Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2018-02-14
    "The bottom line is this: There is no reason for the ethanol industry or its champions in Washington to accept demand destruction as a necessary or legal path to the future to accommodate the failed business plans of a few independent refiners. The facts are on our side. The success of the RFS is on our side. And the president is on our side." -- Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen, 13 Feb., 2018 Contact: RFA, Bob Dinneen, Pres., (202) 289-3835,

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

    WestCAT Transitions Fleet to Neste Renewable Diesel (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2018-02-14
    In the Golden State, Neste is reporting the Western Contra Costa Transit Authority (WestCAT) has switched their entire fleet of 45 heavy duty buses from operating on petroleum diesel to using only Neste MY Renewable Diesel™ a low-carbon drop-in fuel produced from 100 pct renewable and sustainable raw materials.

    According to Neste, the renewable diesel cuts greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 pct and significantly reduces engine-out emissions, all while enhancing fleet performance.

    WestCAT, which operates a network of 14 fixed routes carrying more than 1.3 million passengers annually in the San Francisco Bay area, reports dramatically cleaner operation of their bus engines and reduced maintenance for the emissions equipment and internal engine components since the switch to Neste MY Renewable Diesel™.

    Helsinki-headquartered Neste is the world's largest producer of renewable diesel refined from waste and residues. (Source: Neste US Inc., 13 Feb., 2018) Contact: Neste, Jeremy Baines, US VP Sales, (713) 407-4400,,; Western Contra Costa Transit Authority, Charles Anderson, GM,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Neste,  Renewable Diesel,  

    Renewable Dairy Fuels Indiana Biogas Facility Underway (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Dairy Fuels
    Date: 2018-02-14
    Following up on our October 6, 2017 coverage, Chicago-headquartered CNG and RNG producer and marketer AMP Americas' unit Renewable Dairy Fuels (RDF) reports construction is underway on the "U.S.' biggest on-farm anaerobic-digester-to-vehicle-fuel operation" in Fair Oaks, Indiana. The project, which is slated for completion and startup this summer, is RDF's second biogas facility producing renewable natural gas (RNG) from dairy waste for transportation fuel.

    The project's three digesters will convert 950 tpd of dairy cattle waste into 100 pct RNG that will be injected into the NIPSCO pipeline. Each of the digesters is a Mixed Plug Flow digester designed and built by DVO Inc.

    Amp Americas received the first dairy waste-to-vehicle fuel pathway certified by California's Air Resources Board (CARB) and was also awarded a Carbon Intensity score of 254.94 gCO2e/MJ, the lowest ever issued by CARB, according to Amp Americas. (Source: AMP Americas, Renewable Dairy Fuels, NGT, 12 Feb., 2018) Contact: AMP Americas, Grant Zimmerman, CEO, (312) 300-6700,; Renewable Dairy Fuels, (219) 712-3511; CARB, (800) 242-4450,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News AMP America,  anaerobic-digester,  Biogas,  Renewable Natural Gas,  RNG,  

    Connecticut Seeking Anaerobic Digestion Proposals (Ind. Report)
    Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
    Date: 2018-02-14
    The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for certain Connecticut Class I renewable energy sources, including anaerobic digestion.

    Eligible anaerobic digestion projects must have a nameplate capacity of greater than 1 MW but less than 5 FW and may include paired and colocated energy storage. According to the RFP, Class I qualified clean energy resources smaller than 1 MW may not be aggregated.

    Anaerobic digestion facilities must be designed to accept a minimum of 400,000 tpy of food and/or farm waste generated in Connecticut, which is to be processed separately from any biosolids or organic materials separated from mixed municipal solid waste (MSW). Food and farm waste may include source-separated food waste, fats, oils and grease (FOG), yard waste and animal manure.

    A full copy of the RFP can be downloaded HERE. A bidder conference is scheduled for Feb. 20. Proposals must be submitted by April 2, with the selection of bidders scheduled for June. (Source: Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Feb., 2018) Contact: Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, (860) 424-3001,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News anaerobic digestion,  

    BP Seeking $500Mn in Low-Carbon investments (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2018-02-14
    Oil and gas giant British Petroleum (BP) reports it plans to invest $500 million (£358.5 million) in low carbon businesses each year as it looks to further embrace the transition to a low carbon economy and low-carbon energy. To that end, the company is seeking acquisitions in low carbon power and storage to complement its existing alternative energy division. Areas of interest include: advanced mobility; bio and low carbon products; carbon management; power and storage, and digital. (Source: BP, Clean Energy, Others, 7 Feb., 2018) Contact: BP,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News BP,  Low Carbon Energy,  Clean Energy,  

    Invenergy Refinancing 110.4-MW Michigan Wind Farm (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2018-02-14
    Chicago-headquartered renewable energy developer Invenergy Wind LLC reports it has secured debt from existing and new lenders -- Natixis, Norddeutsche Landesbank, Zions Bancorporation, and Siemens Financial Services -- to refinance the 110.4-MW Gratiot County wind farm in Michigan.

    The Gratiot County wind farm near the village of Breckenridge, is powered by 69 General Electric turbines of 1.6 MW each. The facility has been onlione since 2012, selling its output to utility DTE Energy under a 20-year PPA through 2032. (Source: Invenergy Wind LLC, Renewables Now, Others, 13 Feb., 2018) Contact: Invenergy Wind LLC, (312) 224-1400,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Invenergy,  Wind,  

    Low-Income Energy Efficiency -- A Pathway to Clean, Affordable Energy for All -- EDF Report Attached (Ind. Report)
    Environmental Defense Fund
    Date: 2018-02-14
    Low-Income Energy Efficiency -- A Pathway to Clean, Affordable Energy for All, a new Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) report outlines the benefits of low-income energy efficiency programs and concrete steps that states can take toward energy efficiency.

    According to the report, about 30 pct of U.S. households have incomes at or below twice the federal poverty level. Those households use roughly 30 pct of all residential electricity, but only six percent of U.S. energy efficiency spending is geared toward them. Maximizing the potential from low-income energy efficiency could save more than $7.4 billion worth of electricity every year and cut carbon pollution by 48 million tpy -- the equivalent of taking 9 million cars off the road.

    EDF partnered on the report with the Applied Public Policy Research Institute for Study and Evaluation (APPRISE).

    Download the EDF report HERE. (Source: EDF, 13 Feb., 2018)Contact: EDF,; Applied Public Policy Research Institute for Study and Evaluation,;

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Environmental Defense Fund ,  

    Sylvatex, Valicor Tout Blendstock Development Agreement (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2018-02-14
    Green nano-chemistry company Sylvatex and Dexter, Michigan-headquartered Valicor are reporting a new joint development agreement (JDA)for the development, construction and commercialization of Sylvatex's MicroX technology to convert distillers corn oil (DCO) and other plant-based oil feedstocks into the company's proprietary renewable blendstock.

    Sylvatex creates renewable nanoscale emulsion systems that can be used in fuels and other specialty chemical applications. Valicor specializes in the recovery and repurposing of byproducts from a range of production facilities including corn oil extraction for ethanol production. (Source: Sylvatex, Various Media, Biofuels Int'l, 13 Feb., 2018) Contact: Sylvatex, Virginia Klausmeier, CEO, (415) 667-3835,; Valicor, (734) 659-0244,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel,  Corn Oil,  

    New Carbon Neutral Mortgage Offsets Home Ownership Carbon Footprint (Ind. Report)
    Carbon Credit Capital ,Residential Home Funding Corp. of America
    Date: 2018-02-14
    NYC-headquartered Carbon Credit Capital (CCC) and Residential Home Funding Corp. of America (RHF) report the offering of a new "Carbon Neutral Mortgage" where the fees borrowers typically pay to banks and underwriters upon closing their loans are instead put towards carbon offset projects to fully mitigate the projected carbon footprint of owning and operating the home, for the life of the loan.

    CCC and RHF put together a package of carbon credits for borrowers equal to the estimated amount of carbon emitted by a similarly sized house over the course of one year, and subsequently, the life of the loan. Calculations are based on square footage and state energy data. The Carbon Neutral Mortgage is currently available in New Jersey, and is expected to expand to more states later this year.

    When borrowers close a Carbon Neutral Mortgage, they receive acknowledgement, personalized certification and have a specified number of carbon offsets removed from circulation in the global carbon markets and “retired” in their name — meaning that they, and only they, can ever get credit for reducing those emissions.

    The carbon credits included in each package are vetted by Gold Standard, Voluntary Carbon Standard and the Clean Development Mechanism. Each RHF Carbon Neutral Mortgage amounts to an estimated 100 - 350 metric tons of CO2 emissions. Through the new partnership, CCC and RHF expect to deliver tens of thousands of tons of CO2 emission reductions every year. (Source: Carbon Credit Capital, Sustainable Brands, 13 Feb., 2018)Contact: Carbon Credit Capital, (212) 925-5697,,; Residential Home Funding Corp. of America, (888) 763-3500,

    PwC UK Outlines Carbon Footprint Reduction Goals (nt'l Report)
    Date: 2018-02-14
    Professional services and auditing giant PwC UK reports it plans to cut its carbon footprint by 40 pct by 2022 by utilizing 100 pct renewable energy, further reducing its travel, and further reducing its energy consumption.

    PwC UK achieved and exceeded its 2007 sustainability goal of reducing carbon emissions by 25 pct by increased building efficiencies, holding carbon emissions from travel flat and cutting its energy consumption by half. (Source: PwC, PR, 13 Feb., 2017) Contact: PwC UK,

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

    Carbon-Capture Tax Extensions Included in Trump Budget (Reg & Leg)
    Carbon Capture
    Date: 2018-02-14
    In Washington, the office of U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) reports the bipartisan FUTURE Act, S. 1535, bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Capito to bolster carbon-capture system development while reducing carbon emissions has been incorporated Trump administration's budget as signed by the president on Feb. 9.

    The Furthering Carbon Capture, Utilization, Technology, Underground storage, and Reduced Emissions Act (FUTURE Act, S. 1535) expands the federal tax credit for per-ton carbon dioxide disposal in a secure geologic storage unit, according to the legislation text of Capito's original bill.

    Under the bill, the credit applies to carbon oxide storage, encompassing any of three carbon oxides: carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and carbon suboxide. Expanding the credit enables wider CCUS adoption by power generators not currently eligible for the 45Q tax credit and offers certainty for companies that need to use the credit for securing private funding for carbon-capture projects, such as those using certain carbon oxides for improved oil recovery and for converting carbon into usable manufactured products including fuel, carbon fiber and plastic, and others. (Source: Office of U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, Rippon Advance, 13 Feb., 2018) Contact: U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emission,  Carbon Tax,  CCS,  Carbon Capture,  

    Transport UK's Worst GHG Polluiton Emitter (Int'l Report)
    Carbon Emissions,CO2
    Date: 2018-02-12
    The Irish Independent is reporting that, based on the latest data, the majority of UK's greenhouse gas emissions now come from transport. The figures suggest gasoline and diesel fueled transport now accounts for 26 pct of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions while 25 are from power generation sources.

    Since 1990, UK greenhouse gas emissions have fallen 41 pct while carbon dioxide -- the main greenhouse gas -- is down 36 pct, emissions from energy generation are down 57 pct from that point, transportation emissions are only down 2 pct from 1990 levels, making transportation the worst performing sector.

    To address the issue, the Government has announced plans to end the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040 as part of efforts to tackle climate change and air pollution. (Source: The Independent, 6 Feb., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GHGs,  Carbon Dioxide,  CO2,  Transportation Emissions,  

    EP Cuts CO2 Emissions, Funds Low-Carbon Innovation (Int'l)
    European Parliament
    Date: 2018-02-12
    In Brussels, the European Parliament (EP) reports iy has passed legislation to strengthen European Union's curbs on industrial CO2 emissions so as to begin delivering on Paris climate accord pledges. The new law, already informally agreed with EU ministers, will accelerate the withdrawal of emission allowances available on the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) Carbon Market which covers around 40 pct of EU greenhouse gas emissions. The new law provides for:
  • an increase in the yearly reduction of emission allowances to be placed on the market by 2.2 pct from 2021, up from the 1.74 pct planned at present -- this factor will also be kept under review with a view to increasing it further by 2024 at the earliest;
  • a doubling of the EU ETS Market Stability Reserve's capacity to mop up excess emission allowances on the market -- when triggered, it would absorb up to 24 pct of excess allowances in each auctioning year, for the first four years, thus increasing their price and adding to the incentive to reduce emissions.

    The EP also approved two funds to help foster innovation and spur the transition to a low-carbon economy. A modernization fund will help to upgrade energy systems in lower-income EU member states. MEPs tightened up the financing rules so that the fund is not used for coal-fired projects, except for district heating in the poorest member states. An innovation fund will provide financial support for renewable energy, carbon capture and storage and low-carbon innovation projects.

    The law also aims to prevent "carbon leakage" , i.e. the risk that companies might relocate their production outside Europe due to emission reduction policies. The sectors at the highest risk will receive their EU ETS allowances for free. Less exposed sectors will receive 30 pct for free. (Source: European Parliament, PR, Feb., 2018) Contact: European Parliament, Baptiste Chatain. +32 228 40992,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Parliament,  Carbon Emissions,  EU ETS,  

  • Solar Developer Renewable Properties Secures $12.5Mn (Funding)
    Renewable Properties
    Date: 2018-02-12
    In the Golden State, San Francisco-based Renewable Properties is reporting closing of a new $12.5 million capital commitment from New Energy Capital Partners to develop, finance, and operate large-scale solar energy projects for utilities, local governments and commercial entities. The funds will be used for operating expenses, acquisitions and development related activities including securing land, interconnection applications and studies, permitting, environmental studies and reviews.

    Renewable Properties plans to bring approximately 75 MW DC of solar capacity online in 2018, and is actively hiring in all functions across the solar development value chain. (Source: Renewable Properties, PR, Digital Journal, Feb., 2019) Contact: Renewable Properties, Aaron Halimi, Pres., (310) 430-1091,; New Energy Capital, Patrick Fox, Managing Partner ,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  Renewable Properties,  New Energy Capital Partners ,  

    Bhutan REDD+ Project to Fight Climate Change Scores $4.8Mn (Int'l)
    World Bank,REDD+
    Date: 2018-02-12
    The World Bank reports it has granted $4.8 million to support Bhutan's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through strengthening the country's forests under the Bhutan REDD+ Readiness Project.

    The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, and Conservation, Sustainable Management of Forest and Enhancement of Forest Carbon Stocks (REDD+) is a mitigation mechanism to combat climate change. The international programme operates under the principles of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and enhancing carbon sequestration through improved forest protection and management.

    The REDD+ Readiness programme was established in Bhutan in 2010. In 2013, the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility of the World Bank approved the REDD+ Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) and the project was implemented from 2015 with $3.8 million in World Bank grant funding. In the three years, the project completed the National Forest Inventory, established heritage forests, land use and land cover mapping 2016, revised forest and nature conservation rules and regulations of 2017, build capacity for forest management, and institutionalized national forest monitoring system and forest reference emission level including the forest resource information management system. (Source: Kuensel, World Bank, 12 Feb., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News REDD+,  World Bank,  Reforestation,  Deforestation,  Climate Change,  

    Getting to Zero Status Update and List of Zero Energy Projects for 2018 -- New Buildings Institute Report (Ind. Report)
    New Buildings Institute
    Date: 2018-02-12
    The New Buildings Institute reports the release of its Getting to Zero Status Update and List of Zero Energy Projects for 2018 -- a compilation of almost 500 certified, verified and emerging zero energy (ZE) projects in the U.S. and Canada.

    Of the ZE verified projects, 70 pct are LEED-certified or registered with LEED, with most reaching either platinum- or gold-certification levels. The report notes that 36 pct of the ZE Emerging projects -- those either not yet verified as ZE or recently occupied -- are LEED-certified or registered with LEED.

    The significant overlap between ZE buildings and LEED-certified buildings in the NBI list illustrates how LEED specifically promotes features that can help projects reach zero energy goals. Virtually all of the LEED Energy and Atmosphere credits support the advanced energy performance necessary for zero energy.

    Access the NBI 2018 Getting to Zero Status Update and List of Zero Energy Projects HERE. (Source: New Building Institute, ProudGreenBuilding, USGBC, 8 Feb., 2018) Contact: NBI,; USGBC, Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO, (202) 552-1500,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News New Buildings Institute,  LEED Certification,  USGBC,  

    CEFC Commits $250Mn to Energy Efficient Community Housing (Funding)
    Clean Energy Finance Corporation
    Date: 2018-02-12
    In the Land Down Under, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) reports it will invest $250 million on a new , 1,000 home energy efficient community housing program in Sydney.

    The new homes will be built to an average 7 star Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) rating. A higher rating means less energy goes to heating, cooling and powering appliances. The Australian government requires all new homes to have at least a 6 star NatHERS rating. However, a 7 star rating should translate into a 25 per cent cut in energy use compared with the average home.

    According to the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy, Australian households are responsible for about 20 pct of greenhouse gas emissions. The average household generates more tham 7 tpy of greenhouse gas emissions. (Source: Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Energy Matters, 9 Feb., 2018) Contact: CEFC,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Energy Finance Corporation,  Energy Efficiency ,  

    $81Mn Energy Efficiency Funding Available in Alberta (Funding)
    Date: 2018-02-12
    in Edmonton, the Province of Alberta and federal governments have announced the availability of $81 million in new funding over 4 years to help Alberta farmers, ranchers and food processors improve energy efficiency, save on energy costs and reduce emissions. Of the total, the province is providing $61 million primarily from the provincial carbon tax revenue, and the feds are contributing $14 million.

    The funds are available to producers who want to install solar panels, convert their irrigation to low-pressure systems or add things like natural gas monitors and LED lights to improve energy efficiency.

    To date, more than 300 applications are reported to be awaiting approval. Approximately $42 million is earmarked for the Farm Energy and Agri-processing program, which is designed to encourage energy management for farms and small processors. (Source: Gov. of Alberta, Western Producer, 8 Feb., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Alberta Energy Efficiency,  Alberta Carbon Tax,  Energy Efficiency,  

    MOCA Awarded $79,000 for Modern Energy Savings (Ind. Report)
    Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
    Date: 2018-02-12
    The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Custom Performance Program (CPP) has awarded the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) $79,078 in rebates for the installation of energy efficient controls and upgrades to its HVAC system.

    The upgrades, which are expected to cut the museum's energy consumption by an estimated 527,187 kWh per year, include the installation of high-efficiency supply and return-fan motors, variable frequency drives and new reconfigured heating and cooling coils, digital data controls and a new energy management system, along with replacing existing evaporative pad humidifiers with a high pressure fog system on their air handling units that service galleries and art storage. The museum is also replacing more than 350 halogen lamps in its galleries with energy saving LEDs. The project is estimated to save over 123,000 kWh per year and earn the museum an additional $9,800 in incentives through LADWP's Commercial Lighting Incentive Program . (Source: LADWP, 8 February, 2018) Contact: LADWP, David H. Wright, GM, (800) 342-5397,; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Los Angeles Department of Water and Power,  Energfy Efficiency,  

    AT&T Confirms 520MW Renewables Power Purchase Agreement (Ind. Report)
    Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers Principles.
    Date: 2018-02-12
    AT&T reports it will purchase 520 MW of wind power through 2 agreements with subsidiaries of NextEra Energy Resources LLC -- 220 MW of power will come from the Minco V Wind Farm in Caddo County, Oklahoma and 300 MW will come from a wind farm in Webb and Duval Counties, Texas. Together, the projects are expected to generate sufficient electric power for approximately 250,000 homes a year.

    AT&T is also signing on to the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers Principles which represent large customers' renewable energy needs and helps them stream-line solutions for buying cost-effective renewable energy. The group is led by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and is made up of large energy buyers working to spur progress on renewable energy and fulfill their increased demand for it. AT&T is also a member of the Business Renewables Center, an initiative that, along with the Buyers’ Principles, forms part of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance.

    Since 2010, AT&T has implemented over 65,000 energy efficiency projects resulting in annualized savings of $427 million. (Source: AT&T, PR, Telecompetitor, 8 Feb., 2018) Contact: NextEra Energy Resources, Mike O'Sullivan, Snr. VP Development, (561) 691-7171,; Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers Principles,; Business Renewables Center,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NextEra Energy Resources,  AT&T,  Renewable Energy,  Wind,  

    World Bank Funds Ghana Climate Change Mitigation Project (Int'l)
    World Bank
    Date: 2018-02-12
    The World Bank (WB) Climate Investment Fund is reporting the launch of Ghana Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Local Communities, a 5-year, $5.5 million project to mitigate the impact of climate change in 52 forest fringe communities in Ghana. The project is being implemented by the Solidarid West Africa, a partner of the WB, which seeks to fight forest loss and half unsustainable land use practices in the drive against climate change and associated impact.

    The first component of the project focuses on the dissemination of knowledge to increase communities understanding of the linkages between climate change and their current land use practices. The second component focuses on the provision of demand driven sub-grants to communities and Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) to put into practice knowledge acquired by the beneficiaries for climate change mitigations.

    The WB and its partners are implementing similar community projects in Mexico, Indonesia, Burkina Faso, Peru, Brazil, Laos and Congo. (Source: GNA, World Bank, 9 Feb., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News World Bank,  Climate Change,  

    Ontario Investing in Social Housing Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)

    Date: 2018-02-12
    At Queens Park, the Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Chris Ballard, and Peter Milczyn, Minister of Housing have launched the GreenON Social Housing program. The new program will help improve the energy efficiency of social housing apartment buildings with fewer than 100 units across the province. Improvements will include upgrades to energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, windows, lighting and insulation, as well as enhance the long-term sustainability of buildings.

    Over the next 3 years, the province is investing $25 million to improve energy efficiency in social housing apartment buildings with less than 100 units, as well as $2 billion dollars in affordable and sustainable housing province-wide. (Source: Province of Ontario, Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, PR, February 9, 2018 ) Contact: GreenON,

    Collaborative Tech.Touts New Biomass Fuel Catalyst (Ind. Report)
    Collaborative Technologies
    Date: 2018-02-12
    Henderson, Nevada-headquartered Collaborative Technologies i reporting the availability of its proprietary biomass fuel catalyst (BFC) specifically developed for use with wood chips, bamboo and palm kernel shells. The product can be used as replacement fuel at power stations as a clean alternative to coal to reduce emissions. BFC offers technical solutions.

    The use of Collaborative Technologies BFC in conjunction with fuels improves burning efficiency and reduces particulate matter and NOx emissions and improves combustion thus cutting maintenance costs, according to the company. (Source: Collaborative Technologies LLC, PR, 5 Feb., 2018) Contact: Collaborative Technologies, (866) 337-0365,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biomass,  

    Great Green Fleet Farm-to-Fleet Biofuel Program Sinks (Ind. Report)
    USDA,US Navy
    Date: 2018-02-12
    As reported in the Federal on Register on 1 Feb., the USDA Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) has withdrawn support for the Farm-to-Fleet Biofuel Production Incentive (BPI) program due to its falling on the Navy's priority list and limited available funds.

    The BPI program was launched by the USDA and the U.S. Department of Navy (Navy) in 2013 to provide incentive funds to companies refining biofuel in the United States from certain domestically grown feedstocks converted to drop-in biofuel for delivery to the Navy under the then "Great Green Fleet" initiative.

    As we reported on Dec. 21, 2016, In 2009, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus launched the Navy's "Great Green Fleet" of ships. In its 2012 demonstration, the Green Fleet used biofuels that cost $27 per gallon, compared to about $3.50 per gallon for conventional fuels. The Navy eventually scaled back its ambitions and the Green Fleet's 2016 Mediterranean voyage used a blend that was 95 pct conventional fuel to 5 pct biofuels at a cost of $14.60 per gallon compared to the $1.60 per gallon price of conventional fuels. (Source: Federal Record, 1 Feb., Nat. Law Review, Various Media, Bergeson & Campbell, Feb. 2018) Contact: USDA, Farm-to-Fleet Biofuel Production Incentive Program,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Great Green Fleet,  US Navy,  Drop-in Biofuel,  USDA,  

    Gates Backing Carbon-Neutral A2F Fuel Project (New Prod & Tech)
    Greyrock,Carbon Engineering
    Date: 2018-02-12
    Following up on our October 7, 2016 coverage, A new carbon-neutral fuel project that extracts carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and converts it into a new transportation fuel is being touted by its developers Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates, Sacramento-based Carbon Engineering, and Harvard physicist David Keith, is being developed and tested in Squamich, BC.

    The project, which is being funded by Bill Gates, involves the capture of air and technology involving water electrolysis and fuels synthesis to make a liquid, carbon-neutral synthetic fuel.

    Carbon Engineering's prototype plant will extract 1 tpd of pure CO2 for a year. The company is working with Greyrock Energy and directly synthesizing CO2 and hydrogen split from water with clean electricity, and a mixture of petrol and diesel, to create a process called Air-to-Fuels (A2F). (Source: Carbon Engineering, GreenerIdeal, 10 Feb., 2018) Contact: Carbon Engineering, Geoff Holmes, Dir. Business Dev.,,; Greyrock Energy, Robert Schuetzle, CEO, Charles Nelson, VP Sales & Marketing,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News A2F,  Carbon Neutral Fuel,  Greyrock,  Bill Gates,  Carbon Engineering,  

    REGI Comments on Federal Biodiesel Mixture Excise Tax Credit for 2017 Reinstatement (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Renewable Energy Group, Inc
    Date: 2018-02-12
    In Ames, Iowa, Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (REGI) president Randy Howard released the following statement with regards to Federal Biodiesel Mixture Excise Tax Credit for 2017 Reinstatement:

    "We are pleased that Congress recognized the importance of biomass-based diesel and its place in the value chain and passed a retroactive extension of the biodiesel mixture excise tax credit for 2017. This credit will allow needed infrastructure investments to grow the production and distribution of these valuable renewable products. However, we are disappointed that despite strong bi-partisan support, Congress did not complete the job and continue the biodiesel tax credit into the future. Though frustrated with the partial outcome, we would like to thank all of our supporters and champions; a large group of members worked tirelessly on our behalf and we appreciate their efforts. Specifically, we would like to thank Sen. Grassley, Sen. Cantwell and their allies for their unwavering support for our industry.

    "We are pleased our supporters in Congress continue to recognize the value the biodiesel tax credit brings, like lower RIN costs, continued economic development, jobs, support of our nation’s farmers and a cleaner environment. We will continue to work alongside our elected officials and the administration on a long-term extension of the biodiesel and renewable diesel tax incentive. Doing so is not only smart energy policy, it's smart tax policy." (Source: Renewable Energy Group, Inc.,PR, Feb., 2018) Contact: REGI, Randy Howard, CEO, (703) 822-1972, Scott Hedderich Executive Director, Corporate Affairs, (515) 710-6248,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy Group,  ,  REGI,  Biodiesel,  

    Rise Expected in 2018 Energy-Related CO2 Emissions (Ind. Report)
    US EIA
    Date: 2018-02-12
    In its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook report, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions will increase by 1.8 pct this year then remain stable in 2019. The agency also noted that US energy-related CO2 emissions fell by 14 pct from 2005 to 2017 due in part to a 39 pct decline in coal-related emissions and an 11 pct fall in petroleum related emissions. Natural gas-related emissions, however, increased by 24 pct over that period.

    EIA estimates that global energy-related CO2 emissions rose 21 pct between 2005 and 2017 at an annual growth rate of 1.6 percent. The rate is projected to slow to 1 pct in 2018 and remain essentially flat in 2019. (Source: US EIA, Feb., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US EIA,  Carbon Emissions,  

    Conn. Lawmakers Renew Carbon Tax Proposal (Reg & Leg)
    Carbon Tax
    Date: 2018-02-12
    In Hartford, a group of Connecticut lawmakers are reintroducing a proposed $15 per ton state carbon tax again introducing a carbon tax levied on emissions from coal, oil, natural gas, propane, or any other petroleum products. It would also be levied on electricity generators that use fossil fuels. In 2017, the bill died in committee after a public hearing.

    Connecticut is a RGGI member state along with Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire. New Jersey, a former RGGI member state is rejoing and Virginia is seeking entry. (Source; CT News Jumkie, 5 Feb., 2018) Contact: RGGI, (212) 417-3179,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  RGGI,  

    Denmark Increases Wind Turbine R&D Support by €27Mn (Int'l)
    Danish Wind Industry Association
    Date: 2018-02-12
    In Copenhagen, the Danish Energy Ministry is reported to have agreed upon a €27 million package to fund wind energy turbine test beds outside of existing national test centers through 2018 1nd 2019.

    According to the Danish Wind Industry Association (DWIA), up to 35MW in prototype turbines can be installed in Denmark. The prototype wind turbines will help to maintain important Danish wind energy R&D activities.The new funding is subject to European Commission approval. (Source: Danish Wind Industry Association, Political Lore, 10 Feb., 2018) Contact: Danish Wind Industry Assoc.,; Danish Energy Ministry,; Danish Energy Agency -- Energistyrelsen,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Danish Wind Industry Association,  

    Columbia, Missouri Exceeding Renewable Energy Goals (Ind. Report)
    Columbia Water & Light
    Date: 2018-02-12
    In the Show Me State, the city of Columbia's 2018 Renewable Energy Report notes the city of 120,600 residents now sources almost 16 pct of its energy from renewable sources, easily exceeding the city's 5 pct renewable energy goal throughout 2017. The draft report notes the city's renewable energy goal is pegged at 30 pct by the end of 2028. The report also noted a 91 pct increase in the capacity of customer-installed photovoltaic systems between 2016 and 2017. (Source: Columbia Water & Light, Columbia Daily Tribune, 9 Feb., 2018)Contact: Columbia Water & Light, Tad Johnsen, (573) 874-2489,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Columbia Water & Light,  Renewable Energy,  

    Taiwan EPA OK's Orsted Offshore Wind Projects (Int'l Report)
    Orsted,DONG Energy
    Date: 2018-02-12
    In Taipei, the Taiwanese Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) reports it has approved Orsted's -- formerly DONG Energy -- proposed four offshore wind energy projects for construction off Changhua County in Taiwan.

    With the approval, construction of the first of the four projects could get underway as early as 2019. Upon completion, the four offshore wind farms could generate sufficient green electricity for approximately 2.8 million Taiwanese households. (Source: Orsted, Wind Power Engineering, Others, 9 Feb., 2018) Contact: Orsted, Martin Neubert, CEO Wind Power, +45 99 55 11 11,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Orsted,  DONG Energy,  Wind,  Offshore Wind,  

    LONGi Solar Planning Indian Module Manufacturing Facility (Int'l)
    LONGi Green Energy Technology
    Date: 2018-02-12
    Chinese solar products manufacturer LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd. and its wholly-owned subsidiary LONGi Solar reports it will expand its solar cell and module plant in Andhra Pradesh, India.

    LONGi will invest $309 million -- about $240 million in construction costs and roughly $68 million in working capital -- to double the Andhra Pradesh plants' capacity from 500MW to 1GW respectively. Construction completion and commissioning is expected by the end of August 2019, for full production in January 2020.

    The project is being operated by Lerri Solar Technology (India) Private Ltd, which is 40 pct owned by LONGi and 60 pct owned by LONGi Solar. (Source: LONGi Solar, PR, 7 Feb., 2018)Contact: LONGI Solar, LONGi Green Energy Technology,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News LONGi,  Solar,  LONGi Green Energy Technology,  

    Organic Power Installing GWE Raptor AD Plant in Puerto Rico (Int'l)
    Organic Power Ltd,Global Water Engineering
    Date: 2018-02-12
    County Cork, Ireland-based Organic Power Ltd. reports it is installing a Global Water Engineering (GWE) Raptor anaerobic digestion plant to convert Napier grass feedstock mixed with waste materials into biogas, which will be used for electric power production at its facility in Bega Baja, Puerto Rico.

    According to the company website, "Organic Power plans to commercially deliver clean, competitive, dispatchable electricity by undertaking large scale projects which include intermittent generation sources, energy storage and dedicated High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) grid infrastructure to access appropriate markets which may be in a different location to the energy resource." (Source: Organic Power Ltd., Biomass Mag, Feb., 2018) Contact: Organic Power Ltd., +353 (0) 28 51951,; Global Water Engineering, (512) 697-1930 00 Austin, Texas office,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News anaerobic digestion,  Organic Power Ltd.,  Biogas,  Waste-to-Energy,  Organic Power Ltd,  

    Meridian, Generex Seal Corn Ethanol Byproducts Deal (Ind. Report)
    Meridian Waste Solutions,Attis Innovations
    Date: 2018-02-12
    Further to our Jan. 12, coverage, Atlanta-based Meridian Waste Solutions, Inc. reports it has inked a strategic partnership with Alpharette, Georgia-based Genarex LLC, to develop a range of agricultural waste based bioadditives for the plastics market.

    According to Meridian, the US corn ethanol industry produces about 50 million tpy of distillers dried grains(DDGs) which Genarex's technology converts into a polymerized material branded as Bylox. This material is claimed to have a high value as a functional filler in numerous plastic formulations.

    Attis Innovations, a wholly owned subsidiary of Meridian Waste Solutions Inc., recovers lignin from the byproduct stream of biomass processing industries, such as pulp and paper and cellulosic ethanol. The recovered lignin is said to be unique in that it is a melt flowing biomaterial that is low cost and acts as a polymerized biofiller in applications such as plastics, adhesives and transportation fuels. .(Source: Meridian, WMW, 10 Feb., 2018) Contact: Meridian Waste Solutions, Jeff Cosman, CEO, (917) 658-7878,; Attis,; Genarex LLC, (470) 253-1616,,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Genarex,  Meridian Waste Solutions,  Bioplastic,  Ethanol,  Attis Innovations,  

    AEP Strategic Vision for a Clean Energy Future 2018 -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
    American Electric Power
    Date: 2018-02-09
    Columbus, Ohio-headquartered American Electric Power (AEP) has released a report outlining the company's strategy for a clean energy future.

    The report outlines a business strategy that will lead to reductions in CO2 emissions from its power plants of 60 pct from 2000 levels by 2030 and 80 pct from 2000 levels by 2050 through increased investments in renewable energy and other initiatives.

    Specifically, AEP plans to add 3,065 MW of solar generation and 5,295 MW of wind generation to the portfolio serving its regulated utility customers by 2030. AEP's largest planned renewable energy investment is the $4.5 billion, 2,000-mw Wind Catcher Energy Connection project in Oklahoma. If approved, Wind Catcher will be the largest contiguous wind farm in the U.S. and will deliver nearly 9 million MWh of low-cost wind energy annually to AEP customers in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. Between 2018 and 2020, the company also plans to invest approximately $1.2 billion in contracted renewables and renewables integrated with energy storage.

    AEP has factored future carbon regulations into the company's evaluation of generation resource options for many years and will continue to do so. The company already has cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 44 pct since 2000.

    Download AEP's Strategic Vision for a Clean Energy Future 2018 HERE. (Source: American Electric Power,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American Electric Power,  Carbon Emiossions,  Climate Change,  Renewable Energy,  

    AEP Clean Energy Strategy for Future Carbon Dioxide Reductions -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
    American Electric Power
    Date: 2018-02-09
    Columbus, Ohio-headquartered utility giant American Electric Power (AEP) has released its Strategic Vision for a Clean Energy Future 2018 report outlining the company's strategy for a addressing climate change and a clean energy future. The strategy includes new carbon dioxide emission reduction goals , investments in renewable energy resources and advanced technologies to enhance the efficiency of the power grid.

    Between 2018 and 2020, the company plans to invest approximately $1.2 billion in contracted renewables and renewables integrated with energy storage. AEP has factored future carbon regulations into its evaluation of generation resource options and has cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 44 pct since 2000.

    Download AEP's Strategic Vision for a Clean Energy Future 2018 HERE. (Source: American Electric Power, Feb., 2018) Contact: AEP, (614) 716-1000,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American Electric Power,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  Renewable Energy,  

    Notable Quote -- Carbon Tax
    Date: 2018-02-09
    "We all know the capital markets work best when we have honest pricing signals. Currently carbon pollution, which is costing society hundreds of billions of dollars per year, is priced too low, or in some cases not at all. That's unacceptable." -- Jack Ehnes, CEO, California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) 5 Feb., 2018) Contact: CalSTRS, (800) 228-5453,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CalSTRS,  Carbon Tax,  

    USC Converts Methane into Useful Chemicals (New Prod & Tech)
    University of California
    Date: 2018-02-09
    University of California (USC) Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute scientists report a new, more efficient pathway for converting the potent GHG methane directly into basic chemicals for manufacturing plastics and other valuable chemicals. Methane is reportedly 86 times more potent and damaging as a GHG than CO2 over a 20-year horizon, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    USC researchers used a catalyst called H-SAPO-34 derived from a class of nanoporous crystals (zeolites) to convert methane directly to ethylene and propylene, or olefin. The USC method replaced traditionally difficult, expensive and inefficient processes that add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The majority of ethylene and propylene is produced from petroleum oil and shale liquid cracking, which consumes enormous amounts of energy. Contact time is the key for this effective and simple catalyst to produce usable fuel from methane.

    While similar in structure and name, methane is not directly interchangeable with methanol, although most methanol is synthetically produced from methane. The USC scientists have reduced the steps necessary to efficiently convert methane to olefins.

    The research was made possible with the support of the USC Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute and the U.S. Department of Energy. (Source: University of Southern California News, 5 Feb., 2018) Contact: (USC) Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute (213) 740-5962,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  GHG,  

    Ohio State, Univ. of Toronto Join University Climate Change Coalition (Ind. Report)
    University Climate Change Coalition
    Date: 2018-02-09
    The Ohio State University in Columbus reports it has joined the newly launched University Climate Change Coalition (UC3), an alliance of 13 leading North American research universities that will create a collaborative model to help local communities achieve their climate goals and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future.

    As part of the coalition, and under a 2015 agreement with the province of Ontario, University of Toronto has also joined UC3 and has set a goal to reduce GHG emissions by 37 pct from 1990 levels by the year 2030. Despite a 26 pct growth in floor space and an 18 pct enrollment increase, U of T lowered its total greenhouse gas emissions by 32 pct from 2008 to 2016. The university is also developing programming to engage the Toronto area community in sustainability.

    In launching UC3, an initial group of universities from the United States, Canada and Mexico has committed to mobilize their resources and expertise to accelerate local and regional climate action in partnership with businesses, cities and states. All UC3 members have pledged to reduce their institutional carbon footprints, with commitments ranging from making more climate-friendly investments to becoming operationally carbon neutral.

    Specific to Ohio State's carbon footprint is a goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and another to reduce total campus building energy consumption by 25 pct by 2025. Since 2015, Ohio State cut its emissions by 4.8 pct.

    Immediate goals for each UC3 member includes convening a climate change forum in 2018 to bring together community and business leaders, elected officials and other local stakeholders. UC3 will operate in close partnership with Second Nature's Climate Leadership Network, a group of hundreds of colleges and universities that have committed to taking action on climate.

    In 2016, the UC3 coalition together performed about one-quarter of the environmental science research conducted by all U.S. institutions, according to data collected by the National Science Foundation. From 2012 to 2017, researchers at UC3 member institutions were responsible for 48,518 publications on climate science-related topics, including environmental science, agricultural and biological sciences, energy, engineering, earth and planetary sciences, and more. (Source: The Ohio State University, University of Toronto, PR, 6 Feb., 2018) Contact: The Ohio State University,; Second Nature,; UC3 Climate Leadership Network,; University of Toronto, University Climate Change Coalition, Prof. John Robinson, (416) 946-8939,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News University Climate Change Coalition,  

    Saskatchewan Biodiesel Producer Bites the Bullet (Ind. Report)
    Milligan BioFuels
    Date: 2018-02-09
    On the Canadian prairies, Foam Lake, Saskatchewan-based biodiesel producer Milligan BioFuels has been forced into receivership by its secured creditors, including ATB, a Calgary-based energy firm, where the chair of the Milligan board appears to be a principal, and several smaller equipment providers.

    A pioneer in Canadian biodiesel, Milligan was developed through local initiatives and technologies from the University of Saskatchewan and Agriculture Canada. The company produced more than 20 million lpy of biodiesel, using more than 50,000 tpy of canola. (Source: Western Producer, 8 Feb., 2018) Contact: Milligan Biofuel, (306) 272-6284,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Milligan BioFuels news,  Biodiesel news,  

    Aker Expands Into Floating Offshore Wind (Ind. Report)
    Aker Solutions,Principle Power
    Date: 2018-02-09
    Oslo-headquartered Aker Solutions reports it has invested in Emeryville, California-based floating wind power technology company Principle Power Inc., forming an alliance that brings Aker's extensive track record in developing offshore oil and gas fields, with particular capabilities in floating facilities, to the rapidly growing offshore wind sector.

    The partnership will help bring Principle Power's innovative WindFloat offshore wind floating foundations to a broader market. The WindFloat foundation allows wind turbines to be placed at offshore sites with some of the most abundant wind resources, irrespective of water depths. Installation, operation and maintenance of the WindFloat foundation lower the risks, costs and environmental impact compared with competing technology.

    Aker Solutions purchased an initial 5 pct stake in Principle Power and will increase this to 10 pct by the end of this year. It has the option to increase ownership further at a later stage. Financial details of the transaction have not been released. (Source: Aker Solutions, 7 Feb., 2018) Contact: Aker Solutions, Luis Araujo, CEO, Fredrik Berge, Inv. Relations, +47 22 94 62 19,,; Principle Power, (510) 280- 5180,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aker Solutions,  Offshore Wind,  Principle Power ,  

    Ann Arbor Commits to Renewables, Climate Change Fight (Ind. Report)
    City of Ann Arbor,Renewable Energy,Climate Change,DTE
    Date: 2018-02-09
    In Michigan, the city of Ann Arbor City Council reports it has unanimously adopted a resolution to power 100 pct of the city's municipal government operations with renewable energy sources by 2035 or sooner. Currently, an estimated 20-30 pct of the city's energy comes from renewable sources. The resolution is in keeping with the city's Climate Action Plan.

    The city expects to meet its goal through a combination of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and optimal business practices, the possible enrollment in the DTE's MIGreenPower program or building extensive solar infrastructure in Ann Arbor. The 100 pct renewable goal covers Scope 1 emissions (directly produced by city facilities and city vehicles) and Scope 2 emissions (electricity, steam, and heating and cooling that is purchased for city government use). Scope 3 emissions (indirect emissions from commuting or travel, goods, or waste) is not included. Direct purchase of carbon offset certificates is reported to be unlikely.

    In addition to this resolution, the city passed a resolution last August supporting a federal Carbon Fee and Dividend plan, such as the one proposed by Citizens Climate Lobby. (Source: Citizens Climate Lobby, WEMW 7 Feb. 2018) Contact: Citizens Climate Lobby,; City of Ann Arbor, City Council, (734) 794-6161,; DTE MIGreenPower Program,

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