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SnoPUD Pilot Increases Com. Building Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
Energy Efficiency
Date: 2017-08-18
In Washington State, the Snohomish County Public Utility District (SnoPUD) and MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions, Inc. have developed an Energy Savings Purchasing Program (ESPP), an initiative that elevates the ease of energy efficiency for commercial customers.

With no upfront costs, the program aims to eliminate wasted energy consumption and promote long-term energy savings and maximize building operating efficiency, while helping SnoPUD achieve its conservation target of 5 million kWh per year. The ESPP details are available at www.macmiller.com/ESPP. (Source: SnoPUD, Aug., 2017) Contact: MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions,, www.macmiller.com; SnoPUD, (425) 783-1000, www.snopud.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  SnoPUD,  


World's Largest "Green" Data Center Planned for Norway (Int'l)

Date: 2017-08-18
Startup Kolos reports it plans to construct a "green" data center in the town of Ballangen, within the Norwegian Arctic Circle. The four-story, 600,000 sq/meter complex will use chilled air and local hydropower to help keep energy costs down. The data center will initially consume 70 MW of power but is expected to expand to 1,000 MW within 10 years. The project, which will be the largest green data center in the world, is expected to break ground late in 2018.

Kolos recently raised "several million dollars" from a Series A funding round involving Norwegian investors and is now working with an unidenditfied US investment bank to secure the necessary remaining funds, according to the company. (Source: Kolos, BBC, ITPro, 15 Aug., 2017) Contact: Kolos, Havard Lillebo, CEO , hello@kolos.com, www.kolos.com


Trump Trumps Obama Climate Change Impact Rules (Reg & Leg)
Climate CHange
Date: 2017-08-18
In yet another executive order from the White House, U.S. Pres. "The Donald" Trump has revoked an Obama-era executive order requiring infrastructure projects to consider the project's possible impact on climate impacts during the planning stage.

The Trump order establishes a two-year deadline for major infrastructure plan permits and introduces a "one Federal decision" protocol to ensure one agency leads the permitting process, even if other agencies are required for environmental reviews.

The Obama order was intended to reduce US exposure to expected climate change related increases in sea level, droughts and floods over the coming century and was widely applauded by environmentalists and infrastructure experts. (Source: Various Media, Business Green, 16 Aug., 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Trump ,  


Aussie Big Coal Pumps $225Mn into Clean Coal R&D (Int'l, R&D)
Australia Minerals Council
Date: 2017-08-18
In the Land Down Under, the Australian black coal industry reports it will extend its Coal21 Fund for another ten years and invest an addition $255 million in the fund to further clean coal R&D.

Coal21, which was established in 2006 by the Australian Coal Association now merged into the Minerals Council of Australia, has to date invested $300 million in cleaner coal projects, including carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) initiatives at the Queensland Callide power plant in Victoria's Otway Basin.

The Coal21 Fund has also received $550m from the Australian and state governments and coal related industry. The fund is primarily financed by a levy on coal production at Australia's thermal and coking coal mines. Major players include Glencore, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Peabody Energy. (Source: Minerals Council of Australia, The Australian, 16 Aug., 2017) Contact: Australia Minerals Council of Australia , +61 2 6233 0600, www.minerals.org.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Coal,  Australia Coal,  


BC Hydro Touts Powerley Energy Bridge Pilot (Ind. Report)
BC Hydro
Date: 2017-08-18
In British Columbia, the BC Hydro utility is reporting the pilot launch of its Powerley Energy Bridge platform to households equipped with smart (AMI) meters. The residential energy management program aims to elevate energy efficiencies and customer engagement through a BC Hydro branded experience called HydroHome.

With the Powerly Energy Bridge program, BC Hydro pilot customers can use their smart phone to manage home energy and smart home devices through the HydroHome app. With a constant connection to the home's smart meter, the Powerley Energy Bridge enables real-time access in energy usage for the home as well as disaggregation into various appliances.

The Powerley Energy Bridge acts as a smart home hub, allowing control and automation of thermostats, power outlets, light switches, sensors and other smart devices. The Powerley platform also allows utilities secure access to analyze behavioral data, execute advanced demand response programs, manage program logistics and capture energy usage insights. (Source: BC Hydro, EL&P, 14 Aug., 2017) Contact: BC Hydro, Tim Mosley, Senior Program Manager, https://twitter.com/timmosley, www.bchydro.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News BC Hydro,  SMart Meter,  Energy Management,  Energy Efficiency,  


CEFC Investing in Wattwatchers (Int'l., Ind. Report)
Wattwatchers ,Clean Energy Finance Corporation
Date: 2017-08-18
In Australia, Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) reports it is investing $2 million in Sydney, NSW-based clean-tech company Wattwatchers to help develop Wattwatchers' power-measuring system. The system tracks real-time energy consumption enabling consumers to better control of their power consumption.

The Wattwatchers system works with various cloud-hosted management interfaces and a wide range of software, and can be used across Australian residential, commercial, industrial and utility services. (Source: Energy Matters, 15 Aug., 2017) Contact: CEFC, Ian Learmonth, CEO, Blair Pritchard, Dir. Investment Development, 1300 002 332, info@cefc.com.au, www.cefc.com.au; Wattwatchers, +61 2 8316 7540, info@wattwatchers.com.au, www.wattwatchers.com.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Energy Finance Corporation,  Energy Management,  Energy Software,  Wattwatchers ,  


Targray Launches New Biodiesel Retailing Program (Ind. Report)
Targray
Date: 2017-08-18
Biofuels Marketer Targray is touting the launch of its 24/7 biodiesel solution for convenience stores and fuel retailers. The program enables both chains and independently owned c-stores and fuel retailers to achieve a positive return on investment from their first Biodiesel order. Typical savings range anywhere from 3c to 10c per gallon of fuel sold, depending on regional market conditions and federal and state program eligibility.

Targray is a multinational renewable commodities company that develops commercial solutions for 4 major industries: Battery & Energy Storage, Solar Photovoltaics, Biofuels, and Optical Media. As one of North America's leading biodiesel suppliers, Targray operates one of the industry's largest dedicated rail fleets and over 40 supply terminal tanks nationwide. from coast to coast. (Source: Targray, Newswire, DigitalJournal, 16 Aug., 2017) Contact: Targray, www.Targray.com/biofuels

More Low-Carbon Energy News Targray,  Biodiesel,  


INL Investigating Alfalfa's Biofuel Potential (Ind. Report)
Idaho National Laboratories Biomass Feedstock National User Facility
Date: 2017-08-18
. Researchers at the US DOE's Idaho National Laboratories Biomass Feedstock National User Facility (INL) in Idaho Falls, Idaho, have been studying the benefits of contaminated, pelleted alfalfa use as a combustible fuel in coal-fueled plants.

The INL team monitored the air to determine if bromide was released at any point when alfalfa is processed into fuel. Researchers found bromide was only released during an emergency procedure in the pelletizing process. Burning the produced fuel also yielded no bromide to the air. It stayed in the ash, which can then be used to produce cement.

Although alfalfa can burn as a fuel, there's still work to be done as alfalfa fuel tends to "foul" burning chambers, leaving a material not unlike creosote caked in a home chimney. (Source: INL, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications, Crop Biotech Update, Aug., 2017) Contact: Idaho National Laboratories Biomass Feedstock National User Facility, (866) 495-7740, https://bfnuf.inl.gov/SitePages/BFNUF%20Home.aspx

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Alfalfa,  Biomass,  


Novozymes Reports Rising Bioenergy Division Sales (Ind. Report)
Novozymes
Date: 2017-08-18
Following-up on our April 28th coverage, in its recently released Q2 report, Copenhagen-headquartered bioscience giant Novozymes reports increased yeast for ethanol production and bioenergy division sales during the first half of 2017 grew by 7 pct organically, and by 9 pct in Danish krones (DKK) when compared to the same period in 2016.

According to the report, Novozymes' bioenergy division generated 18 pct of company's sales during the first six months of 2017. The company currently supplies enzymes to five biomass conversion facilities. (Source: Novozymes, Various Media, Aug., 2017) Contact: Novozymes, Peder Holk Nielsen, CEO, Michael Burns, Biorefining Business Development North America, Peter Halling, VP Biofuel, (919) 496-6926, www.novozymes.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Novozymes,  Biofuel,  Enzymes,  BViofuel Blend,  


TRIG Purchases 20-MW Scottish Energy Storage Project (Int'l, M&A)
THE Renewable Infrastructure Group
Date: 2017-08-16
In the UK, London-listed THE Renewables Infrastructure Group Ltd is reporting acquisition of Renewable Energy Systems' (RES) 20-MW Broxburn battery energy storage project in Scotland for a total cost of £20 million ($26 million). The transaction will be financed from cash resources and a draw-down of the group's revolving acquisition facility.

The RES battery energy storage project is currently under construction in West Lothian and is slated for commissioning early next year. The system has a bilateral contract with National Grid Electricity Transmission Plc to provide dynamic, two-way grid balancing services. This is TRIG's first energy storage project. (Source: THE Renewable Infrastructure Group, Renewables Now, 14 Aug., 2017) Contact: THE Renewable Infrastructure Group, www.trig-ltd.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News TRIG,  THE Renewable Infrastructure Group,  Energy Storage,  


CleanFund Touts First Colorado C-PACE Project (Ind. Report)
ClearFund
Date: 2017-08-16
in San Francisco, CleanFund Commercial PACE Capital, Inc. the leading direct provider of commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing, is reporting completion of their first transaction in Colorado opening up a new source of energy efficiency, solar and other building improvements financing statewide.

For the company's first project in Colorado, CleanFund partnered with Energesco Solutions, and provided $296,000 to retrofit that included LED lighting, a new HVAC and control system and a roof-mounted solar array on an existing 9,616 square-foot suburban office building in Boulder.

CleanFund worked with the Colorado New Energy Improvement District, the program sponsor, and Sustainable Real Estate Solutions (SRS), which administers the Colorado C-PACE program, to complete the transaction. (Source: CleanFund Commercial PACE Capital, PR, 15 Aug., 2017) Contact: CleanFund Commercial PACE Capital, Joshua Kagan, Vice President of Business Development, www.CleanFund.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News PACE,  C-PACE,  ClearFund,  Energy Efficiency,  


Rhode Island Legislation Encourages Renewable Energy (Reg & Leg)
Renewable Energy
Date: 2017-08-16
In Providence, Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo (D) has signed into a law a 10 year extension of the renewable energy growth program -- H 5274A and S 112A -- adding 400 MW of solar and wind capacity between 2020 and 2029. Other legislation passed into law streamlines the permitting process for solar power projects and for connecting renewable energy installations to the grid.

The governor also approved legislation allowing farmers to build renewable energy projects on their land on the proviso that the project covers no more than 20 pct of total acreage. The state's renewable portfolio standard calls for 38.5 pct renewables energy by 2035. (Source: Various Media, Utility Dive, 10 August, 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  


Senvion Installs Low-Speed Turbine Prototype (New Prod & Tech)
Senvion,Notus Energy
Date: 2017-08-16
German wind turbine maker Senvion SA is reporting the first installation of its 3.4M140 model wind turbine prototype wind turbine at Notus Energy Group's project in the municipality of Heckelberg-Brunow in Brandenburg, northeastern Germany.

The 3.4M140 turbine with hub heights of 110 and 130 meters, is specifically designed for low wind conditions, such as forested and mountainous areas. Serial production of the 3.4M140 is slated to get underway before the year end, according to a company release. (Source: Senvion, Renewables Now, 14 Aug., 2017) Contact: Notus Energy, +49 331 620 4340, http://w3.windmesse.de/notus; : Senvion, Jurgen Geissinger, CEO, +49 40 5 55 50 90 0, www.senvion.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Senvion,  Wind,  Wind Turbine,  


UFOP Calls for Increased EU Biodiesel Bland Rate (Int'l)
German Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants
Date: 2017-08-16
In Germany, the German Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP) reports that German biodiesel consumption is slumping in Germany and that increases in the country's greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction requirements have failed to prevent the slide. In Jan. 2017, the GHG reduction requirement increased from 3.5 pct to 4 pct while diesel consumption rose to 15 million tonnes from 14.15 million tonnes in 2016. Despite this, biodiesel consumption has fallen once again from 0.912 million tonnes to 0.848 million tonnes.

According to UFOP, the GHG reduction requirement is, in principle, the right way to increase raw materials and cost efficiency with sustainably produced biofuels. For that reason, the association claims the same quota should be introduced throughout the EU from 2021, and is calling on EU policy-makers to align GHG reduction requirement to increase the diesel--biodiesel bland rate to 7 pct by volume. (Source: UFOP, Aug, 2017) Contact: UFOP, www.ufop.de

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel ,  


Energyra Plans Netherlands Solar Module Plant (Int'l Report)
Energyra
Date: 2017-08-16
Ducth solar company Energyra is reporting plans to construct a 100-MW PV module factory in Zaanstad, North Holland, at an expected cost of €21 million. The province of North Holland will support the project with a €3 million investment. The new plant is expected to begin production in Q1, 2018.

Energyra's no-busbar polycrystalline 60-cell solar "Pandora" module delivers efficiency of over 18.5 pct and has a power range of 265 W to 285 W, according to the company. The Pandora module is based on a nanocoated anti-reflective, high transmission glass, patented MWT technology and an aluminium/copper backside barrier.

Energyra's 60-cell monocrystalline "Medusa" module offers an efficiency of around 20 pct and is based on the same technology of the Pandora series, and has a power range of 290 W to 310 W. Energyra is planning to start manufacturing activities at the factory in the first quarter of 2018. (Source: Energyra, PV Mag., August 15, 2017)Contact: Energyra, +31 (0) 251 655 569, info@energyra.com, www.energyra.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energyra,  Solar,  


Wind Coming Up in Minnesota (Ind. Report)
Minnesota Commerce Commission
Date: 2017-08-16
According to the US DOE, wind energy accounts for approximately 18 pct of all electricity generated in Minnesota which currently ranks seventh in the nation in terms of wind energy capacity.

In 2016, the state's wind farms generated sufficient electricity to power 150,000 average homes at a cost that is competitive with natural gas and other forms of energy, according to Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. (Source: US DOE, MPR, Hydrogen Fuel News, Aug., 2017) Contact: Minnesota Commerce Commission, Mike Rothman, (651) 539-1600, https://mn.gov/commerce

More Low-Carbon Energy News Minnesota Commerce Commission,  Wind,  


CEI HQ Wins LEED Platinum for Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
Coastal Enterprises Inc,USGBC
Date: 2017-08-16
Coastal Enterprises Inc. (CEI) reports that its new headquarters in Brunswick, Maine has been awarded US Green Building Council LEED Platinum certification for commercial building energy-efficiency and sustainability.

The CEI building energy efficiency features include energy-efficient lighting, heating, cooling and mechanical systems, insulation, and a rooftop solar array that generate more than half of the buildings electric power. The CEI headquarters is the sixth new commercial project in Maine to receive a LEED platinum designation. (Source: Coastal Enterprises Inc., Portland Press, 14 Aug., 2017) Contact: Coastal Enterprises Inc., (207) 504-5900, www.ceimaine.org; USGBC, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

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


$1.9Mn TN. Energy Efficiency, Clean Air Funding Announced (Funding)

Date: 2017-08-16
In Nashville, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has announced that 24 communities in 11 distressed East Tennessee counties will share $1.9 million in funding for energy efficiency and other improvements to public facilities. Funding comes from a 2011 $26.4 million Clean Air Act settlement with the Tennessee Valley Authority. The list of project grants range from $19,095 to $232,810. (Source: Knoxville News Sentinal, 14 Aug., 2017)

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


OK County Considers OG&E Energy Efficiency Program (Ind. Report)
CLEAResult,Oklahoma Gas & Electric
Date: 2017-08-16
In the Sooner State, the Carter County commission reports it is considering participation in Oklahoma Gas and Electric's (OG&E) Schools and Government Energy Efficiency Program for energy efficiency upgrades performed by CLEAResult to county buildings.

Under the OG&E Schools and Government Efficiency Program, the utility provides incentive funding for energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits based on the measures that the organization chooses. These incentives can cover up to 90 pct of the cost of purchasing and installing equipment. (Source: Carter County Commission, Daily Ardmoriete, 13 Aug., 2017)Contact: Carter County Commission, (580) 223-8414, www.cartercountyok.us; CLEAResult, Michele Negley, VP, (512) 327-9200, www.clearesult.com; Oklahoma Gas & Electric, (405) 553-3000, www.oge.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News CLEAResult,  Oklahoma Gas & Electric,  Energy Efficiency,  


Mass. GHG Emissions, Climate Change Strategy Released (Reg & Leg)
Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
Date: 2017-08-16
The Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), in accordance with Governor Charlie Baker's Executive Order 569 -- An Order Establishing an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth -- has issued final regulations that build upon the Bay State's efforts to further reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and protect communities, residents, and infrastructure from the impacts of climate change.

The regulations are intended to ensure the Commonwealth achieves the greenhouse gas emissions limits for 2020, required by the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008. The final regulations lay out an approach to reduce GHG emissions from multiple sectors to 25 pct below 1990 emissions levels and an 80 pct reduction by 2050.

The regulations address CO2 emissions; reducing methane emissions from natural gas distribution mains and services; increasing clean energy through the development of a clean energy sandard; reducing CO2 missions from electric power plants; cutting sulfur hexafluoride emissions from gas-insulated switchgear; and others.

The Executive Order also directs the state to begin planning for climate change adaptation and working with communities statewide state to assess vulnerability and build resiliency to address climate change impacts.

Access the MassDEP final rules HERE. (Source: Mass DEP, Aug., 2017) Contact: MassDEP, Martin Suuberg, Dir., (617) 292-5500, www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/about

More Low-Carbon Energy News GHGs,  Greenhouse Gas Emissions,  Climate Change,  


Energy Consumption, Emissions Cutbacks Require Consumer Behavior Changes (Ind. Report)
UC Davis
Date: 2017-08-16
Getting to 80%: Mobilizing Feedback, Lifestyles, and Social Practices Research to Shape Residential Energy Consumption -- a new report by Bridget Clark at University of California-Davis -- suggests that with all the advances in building more energy-efficient air conditioners, better insulated homes and cars that run on less or no fuel, consumers have actually increased their energy consumption and that the expected energy savings have been outweighed by people living in larger homes with more and more often used appliances.

In her paper, Clark looked at the goals of recently passed legislation mandating that the state of California cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 pct of 1990 levels by 2030, and a further reduction to 80 pct by 2050. Along with these cuts are authorizations for policy changes, technology improvements and other measures, such as rebates and upgrades in the electrical grid, that would help California achieve its goals. But policy changes and technology improvements alone won't work because people want to be comfortable in a cool (or warm) room, have convenient ways to cook food, and have lighting in their homes they consider to be warm and pleasing.

The report suggests that Californians should consider interventions to limit CO2 emissions similar to those undertaken in Japan which mandated that all government buildings could not be heated or cooled when temperatures are between 20 and 28 degrees Celsius (68-82 F). Within two years of implementation, the program led to an estimated 1.14 million-ton reduction in emissions.

What is needed is more sociological research that focuses on consumer behavior and policy that focuses on reducing the overall consumption of energy, according to the study. "Through deeper examinations of the ways in which energy consumption is socially and culturally determined we can begin to construct more holistic policies that take into account why and how people actually consume energy." (Source: UC Davis, DOE Science News Source, 14 Aug., 2017) Contact: UC-Davis, Dept. of Socialogy, Bridget Clark, (530) 752-0782, www.ucdavis.edu

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


India Planning Biofuel Powered Navy (Int'l Report)
Biofuel
Date: 2017-08-16
In New Delhi, the Indian government reports it plans to replace conventional petroleum fuel with biofuel in Indian war ships and the use of methanol fuel for propelling barges. To that end, the government is expected to introduce a policy to increase biofuels production and state owned companies are reportedly planning to invest approximately $2 billion in cellulosic biofuels R&D and production. The initiative is aimed at cutting crude oil imports and saving an expected $15 billion per year in fuel costs.

An understanding is expected to be signed between government run Goa Shipyard limited, the Indian Coast Guard and energy producer Gas India Limited (GAIL) for conducting further study of the government plan.

(Source: Sputnik, Various Media, 14 Aug., 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Cellulosic,  Methanol,  


Japan's 1st Palm Oil Fired Power Plant Completed (Int'l)
Sankei Energy
Date: 2017-08-16
Osaka, Japan-headquartered Sankei Energy Corp reports the completion of Japan's first palm oil-fueled power plant in Fukuchiyama City, Kyoto Prefecture. Palm oil-fired power plants are less affected by weather conditions than other biofuels such as biodiesel or woody biomass, according to the company.(Source: Sankei Energy Corp,, Japan Today, 14 Aug., 2017) Contact: Sankei Energy, www.sankei-energy.jp

More Low-Carbon Energy News Palm Oil,  Biofuel,  


Greenfield Considering Quebec Ethanol Plant Expansion (Ind. Report)
Greenfield Global Inc
Date: 2017-08-16
Canada's largest ethanol producer Greenfield Global Inc. -- formerly Greenfield Specialty Alcohols -- reports it has begun a feasibility study to expand biofuel production from 170 million metric lpy to 300 million metric lpy at its biorefinery in Varennes, Quebec. -- the province's first ethanol plant. The study will investigate the adaptation of emerging advanced biofuels technologies using non-traditional feedstocks and processes, including cellulosic ethanol, renewable diesel, and renewable natural gas.

Presently, as part of its 2030 Energy Policy, the Province of Quebec's 2017-2020 Action Plan calls for the establishment of the province's first biofuels volumetric blending requirements starting at 5 pct for gasoline and 2 pct for diesel; as well as a 5 pct for renewable natural gas. (Source: Greenfield Global, PR, 15 Aug., 2017) Contact: Greenfield Global, Howard Field , CEO, info@gfsa.com, www.greenfield.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Greenfield Global,  Ethanol,  Biofuel,  Renewable Fuels,  


Rentech Canceling DRAX Wood Pellet Supply Contract (Ind. Report)
Rentech,DRAX
Date: 2017-08-16
Wood pellet producer Rentech reports it is negotiating the cancellation of its outstanding 193,000 metric tonne wood pellet supply agreement for 2017 with UK utility DRAX. As previously reported, Rentech idled its Wawa, Ont., facility and lowered production at its Atikokan, Ont., facility earlier this year due to equipment and operational concerns.

In Q2 of this year, Rentech's industrial wood pellet revenues fell to $3.2 million compared to $6.5 million for the same period in 2016. Operating loss was $2.7 million for Q2 2017, compared to $6.6 million for the same period last year, due primarily to the idling of its Wawa plant, according to a company report. (Source: Rentech, Others, Cdn. Biomass, 15 Aug., 2017) Contact: Rentech, Sean Ebnet, VP Wood Fiber Bus., Julie Dawoodjee Cafarella, VP Investor Relations, (310) 571-9800 ext 341, jdawoodjee@rentk.com, www.rentechinc.com; DRAX Group, Dorothy Thompson, CEO, DRAX Biomass, Pete Madden, Pres., CEO, +44 (0)1757 618381, www.draxpower.com, www.draxbiomass.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Rentech,  DRAX,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  


El Nino Increased 2014-16 CO2 Release, says NASA (Ind. Report)
NASA
Date: 2017-08-16
According to data from NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite, which measures level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the 2014-16 El Nino caused the release of more than 3 billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere, pushing carbon dioxide concentration to record levels.

El Nino is a periodic climate event that causes waters to warm up in east-central Pacific Ocean, which in turn causes huge changes in wind directions bringing less rain to south-east Asia and the Indian subcontinent, while increasing rain in other parts of the world. According to a report in the scientific journal Nature, the El Nino led to excessive carbon dioxide releases through hot weather and drought which caused extensive wildfires in south-east Asia, while drought in the Amazon rainforest stunted plant growth, reducing the amount of carbon they absorb while growing. Besides these, warmer weather and near normal rainfall in Africa caused forests to exhale more CO2.

The NASA measurements are a first for satellite tracking CO2 levels. Earlier, changes in greenery were tracked and from that deductions were made. In recent times, CO2 emissions from burning of fossil fuels had flattened out to about 36.2 billion tonnes in 2014 and 2015. Projections for 2016 indicated that emissions were still flat. (Source: NASA, Times of India, Economic Times, 14 Aug., 2017) Contact: NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory, (818) 354-7716, www.nasa.gov

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


Conn. Congressman Touts $1.8Tn Carbon Tax Proposal (Ind. Report)
Carbon Tax
Date: 2017-08-16
Connecticut congressman John Larson (D) has proposed "upstream" carbon tax on fossil fuels legislation that would raise $1.8 trillion over 10 years.

Under the congressman's proposal, the carbon tax funds, which would be held in trust and administered by the US. Treasury, would be used for infrastructure projects, a consumer tax rebate and support for "carbon-intensive industries workers such as coal workers." Approximately $50 billion over the 10 year period would go toward mine-worker pensions and training; health benefits; abandoned mine reclamation; economic development; development of carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies. (Source: U.S. Rep. John Larson, PR, Aug., 2017) Contact: Rep. John Larson, (202) 225-2265, (860) 278-8888, www.larson.house.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  


Univ. Guelph Bioproducts Researchers Score Funding (Ind. Report)
University of Guelph
Date: 2017-08-16
Guelph Researchers Score $630,000 Funding (Ind. Report) In Ontario, Canada, the University of Guelph reports it has received more than $630,000 in funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) John Evans Leaders Fund for projects ranging from health to converting agri-food waste into energy.

Among the funding recipients, engineering professor Animesh Dutta will receive $177,127 from CFI. Along with engineering professors Shohel Mahmud and Emily Chiang, he will study how to turn agri-food waste into bioproducts including bio-carbon, a potential replacement for coal, bio-oil, a possible substitute for petroleum, and syngas, an alternative for natural gas. (Source: University of Guelph, PR, Guelph Today, 15 Aug., 2017)Contact: University of Guelph, Prof, Animesh Dutta, (519) 824-4120, www.uoguelph.ca

More Low-Carbon Energy News University of Guelph,  Biofuel,  Bioenergy,  


Indian Solar Maker Faces Insolvency Over Cheap Imports (Int'l)
Moser Baer Solar
Date: 2017-08-16
In India, the Financial Express is reporting that the Central Bank of India (CBI) has submitted an insolvency petition with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) against Indian solar panel maker Moser Baer Solar, a subsidiary of Moser Baer India Ltd.

The solar manufacturer has reportedly been in financial trouble due to lower priced solar panel imports from China and falling solar tariffs in India, and has been unable to restructure its approximate $ 149 million debt. The firm now has up to 270 days to resolve its debt problem or face liquidation. (Source: Moser Baer India, Financial Express, Various Media, 14 Aug., 2017) Contact: Moser Baer Solar, +91 120 465 8000, www.moserbaersolar.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Moser Baer Solar,  Solar,  


SolarReserve Inks 150MW Solar Thermal Energy Storage Deal (Int'l)
SolarReserve
Date: 2017-08-16
In the Land Down Under, Santa Monica, California-headquartered SolarReserve reports it has signed a long-term Generation Project Agreement (GPA) to construct a 150 MW solar thermal power station with 8 hours of energy storage near the town of Port Augusta, South Australia

The Aurora Solar Energy Project will utilize SolarReserve's solar thermal technology with integrated molten salt energy storage. With a massive 1,100 MWh of energy storage capability, Aurora will be the largest project of its kind in the world.

The Generation Project Agreement is similar to a Power Purchase Agreement for renewable energy, except that emphasis is placed on the available capacity of the facility during peak demand periods rather than the energy that can be delivered in kWh. Aurora will deliver power into the National Electricity Market (NEM) at high value electricity periods, providing additional capacity, energy security and reliability services, as well as competition into the South Australian market. As part of the project, SolarReserve will establish a research partnership with South Australian universities to advance solar thermal research and education in South Australia. (Source: SolarReserve, PR, 14 Aug., 2017) Contact: SolarReserve, Tom Georgis, Senior VP of Development, (310) 315-2200, www.solarreserve.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News SolarReserve,  Solar Thermal,  Energy Storage,  


Korea Readies for Wind Expansion (Int'l. Ind. Report)
World Wind Energy Association
Date: 2017-08-14
In Bonn, Germany, the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) and Korean Wind Energy Industry Association (KWEIA) are reporting the signing of a research agreement , the results of which are intended to guide the Korean government's efforts to boost the Korean wind industry.

South Korea, which to date has been a marginal wind industry player, is phasing out coal and nuclear power generation and accelerating the deployment of renewable energy for power generation. (Source: World Wind Energy Association, 8 Aug., 2017) Contact: World Wind Energy Association, www.wwindea.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  World Wind Energy Association,  


Wood Pellet Plant Planned for Bonfield, Ontario, (Ind. Report)
International Wood Industries
Date: 2017-08-14
Thornoton, California-headquartered wood products manufacturer International Wood Industries reports it will build a sawmill in conjunction with a sawmill waste wood pellet mill in the town of Bonfield, Ontario, Canada. Plant capacity and financial details have not been released but the project is expected to get underway early in 2018 for a January 2019 startup. (Source: International Wood Industries, Various Media, Biomass Mag., 10 Aug., 2017) Contact: International Wood Industries , Gerg Medvid, Pres., www.iwiproducts.com

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


Notable Quote

Date: 2017-08-14
"Use of fuel is increasing day by day. Diesel is being extensively used. The ministry of Petroleum has increased the manufacturing of biofuel. The manufacturing of ethanol by (from) sugar cane peel will be doubled in the next 5 years." -- Sanjay Kumar Bharati, Indian Oil Corporation, 10 Aug., 2017

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  


Conifex Reports Record Q2 Results (Ind. Report)
Conifex
Date: 2017-08-14
In Vancouver, British Columbia, Conifex Timber Inc., a growth-oriented publicly traded Canadian company focused on forestry, saw-milling and biomass power generation, has reported results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2017.

Adjusted EBITDA in the second quarter of 2017, which excludes countervailing duty deposits of $4.6 million, was a record $14.8 million, compared to $6.1 million in the first quarter of 2017 and $9.0 million in the second quarter of 2016. Compared to the previous quarter, an improvement in lumber segment adjusted EBITDA of $10.3 million was partially offset by seasonally lower bioenergy segment adjusted EBITDA and foreign exchange translation loss. Compared to the second quarter of 2016, lumber segment adjusted EBITDA improved by $6.7 million and bioenergy segment adjusted EBITDA was lower by $0.6 million. (Source: Conifex, PR, 10 Aug., 2017) Contacts: Conifex, Yuri Lewis, CFO, (778) 331-8687, www.conifex.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Conifex,  Biomass Power,  


Manatee Earns Fla. Green Building First (Ind. Report)
Florida Green Building Council
Date: 2017-08-14
In the Sunshine State, Manatee County reports it is the first county in Florida to earn LEED Platinum certification from the Florida Green Building Coalition. In 2011 the county earned LEED Silver certification.

Among the programs noted by the FGBC in Manatee County are the county's use of an energy efficient downtown chiller plant, a transition to single-stream recycling as the Manatee Library, expansion of the county's "green practices" staff, cutting city landfill energy costs and the launch of numerous other energy efficiency initiatives and projects. (Source: Manatee County, SRQ, 14 Aug., 2017) Contact: US Green Building Council, Manatee County , Diana Robinson, Energy Manager, (941) 784-4501, www.mymanatee.org; Florida Green Building Coalition , Exec. Dir., C.J. Davila, (407) 777-4914, floridagreenbuilding.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News USGBC,  LEED Certification. Green Building,  Energy Efficiency,  


Tree Height Carbon Capture Capacity Examined (Ind. Report)
University of Arizona BIO5 Institute
Date: 2017-08-14
Researchers from the University of Arizona BIO5 Institute have determined that trees growing in mountain valleys (low altitude) hold more carbon than higher altitude trees on mountain peaks. The researchers examined precipitation records and data collected by aircraft showing tree density and height at sites in Colorado and noted that the same species of tree at low altitude, valley floors were at least twice as tall as those on nearby ridges and slopes.

According to the researchers, "a tree growing on a ridge may only ever grow to be 30 feet tall. But the same species down in the drainage bottom could be 150 feet tall and it could have 10 times the biomass, and that would mean it was doing maybe 10 times the carbon capture of the trees on the ridges." Simply put, trees and other plants use biomass, or their living tissue, to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as part of the photosynthesis process that puts oxygen back into the atmosphere. Taller trees have more biomass. The research could be useful to land managers and scientists modeling the effects of climate change. (Source: University of Arizona BIO5 Institute, Aug., 2017) Contact: University of Arizona, Tyson Swetnam, Ecologist, (520) 626-2465, https://research.arizona.edu/learn-more/bio5-institut, www.bio5.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Capture,  


Energy Efficiency Saves Tesco £200Mn per year (Int'l)
Tesco
Date: 2017-08-14
In the UK, grocery giant Tesco reports it saved approximately £200 million last year through its refrigeration and energy efficiency efforts. According to Carbon Trust estimates, a 20 pct cut in a retailers' energy costs represents the same bottom-line benefit as a 5 pct increase in sales. . (Source; Tesco, Retail Week, Aug., 2017) Contact: Tesco, +44 (0) 11 44 1992 632222, www.tesco.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Tesco,  Energy Efficiency,  


$150Mn Bonds Approved for Nevada Biofuels Plant (Ind. Report)
Fulcrum Bioenergy
Date: 2017-08-14
Further to our August 2nd coverage, in the Silver State, Fulcrum Bioenergy's planned plant to convert the town of Lockwood municipal dump waste into syncrude for jet and diesel fuel production has won Nevada Finance Board approval to use $150 million in bonds to build Phase II of the project at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center.

The plant, which will convert 175,000 tpy of garbage into 11 million gpy of fuel, is expected to break ground in next month. (Source: Nevada Appeal, 10 Aug., 2017) Contact: Fulcrum BioEnergy, Jeanne Benedetti, VP, Jim Macias, CEO, Pres., (925) 730-0150, info@fulcrum-bioenergy.com, www.fulcrum-bioenergy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Fulcrum Bioenergy,  Syncrude,  Biocrude,  


Energy Efficiency Standards for Appliances, Lighting and Equipment Report -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
Environmental and Energy Study Institute
Date: 2017-08-14
According to the attached report from the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, over 40 pct of the total energy consumed in the U,S. is used for operating buildings, and most of that energy goes toward appliances and building-related equipment. In accordance with the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA), as amended , the U.S. DOE implements minimum efficiency standards for a wide range of appliances and equipment used in residential and commercial buildings.

Within the parameters of technical feasibility and cost effectiveness, federal efficiency standards compel product designers and manufacturers to reduce the amount of energy and water necessary for the proper operation of appliances and other building equipment. Operational efficiency means less waste of natural and financial resources. The legal limit on energy/water consumption for designated products -- applied equally to all manufacturers of those products -- makes energy efficiency a priority instead of an afterthought or a competitive disadvantage .

Download the Environmental and Energy Study Institute Energy Efficiency Standards for Appliances, Lighting and Equipment report HERE Contact: EESI, (2020 628-1400, www.eesi.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Environmental and Energy Study Institute,  


Smart Solar's Kumamoto Solar Park Construction Underway (Int'l)
Smart Solar
Date: 2017-08-14
Japanese solar developer Smart Solar Corp reports it has begun construction on a 34.6 MW photovoltaic (PV) plant of in Kumamoto prefecture.

The Kumamoto Yamaga Solar Park C will incorporate 125,280 solar panels to generate 38 million kWh per year -- sufficient power for 12,000 homes -- and offset approximately 21 million tpy of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Smart Solar presently operate has 30 solar power stations totaling 200 MW in Japan. (Source: Smart Solar Corp., Renewables Now, 10 Aug., 2017) Contact: Smart Solar Corp., +81-3-5623-2345, www.smartsolar.co.jp

More Low-Carbon Energy News Smart Solar,  Solar,  


Ontario $24Mn Cap-and-Trade Cash for Green Job Training (Ind. Report)
Ontario, Cap-and-Trade
Date: 2017-08-14
At Queen's Park in Toronto, the Ontario Government is offering $24 million in funding from the new provincial cap-and-trade program to help labour training centres develop and educate high skilled workers for low-carbon, energy efficient green building jobs. To access the one-year program, training centres must apply for part of the funding.

As previously reported, the province is expecting approximately $1.3 billion in revenue from the newly created cap-and-trade program in 2017 -- the programs first year. (Source: Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, CBC News. 10 Aug., 2017) Contact: Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, (416) 212-7307, https://www.ontario.ca/ministry-environment-and-climate-change

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ontario Cap-and-Trade,  


Bay State Finalizes GHG Reduction Plan (Ind. Report, Reg & Leg)

Date: 2017-08-14
In Concord, Massachusetts regulators are reporting the details of a just released plan to tackle greenhouse gas emissions. The plan requires a clean energy standard, carbon dioxide emissions limits for the transportation and energy sectors,curbs on methane pollution, and other initiatives to reduce emissions in the state.

The new rules require utilities produce 80 pct of their power from low-carbon sources by 2050, and creates a cap-and-trade program for 21 fossil fuel power plants in the state Mass Live reports. The rules also call for lower emissions from state-owned or leased vehicles and a reduction in methane leaks along natural gas distribution lines.

The expanded regulations come nine years after Massachusetts lawmakers passed a climate change law to cut emissions by 25 pct below 1990 levels by 2020, and by 80 pct before 2050. As of 2014, the Bay State's emissions were down 21 pct from 1990 levels. (Source: Mass Live, the Hill, Others, 11 Aug., 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News GHG Emissions,  GReenhouse Gas Emissions,  


India Investing $2Bn in Methanol, Biofuels (Int'l)
Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas
Date: 2017-08-14
In New Delhi, the Indian Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas reports that state-run companies are investing $2 billion in R&D on second-generation biofuel refineries to meet the fast growing demands of the transportation sector. At the same time, the Indian transport minister cautioned that a 22 pct annual growth in the number of automobiles was unsustainable without promoting public transport running on alternative fuels.

To that end, the transportation ministry is promoting biofuel and electric powered public transportation and working with the Finance Ministry to cut the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on biodiesel from the present 18 pct to 5 pct. The government has also passed legislation requiring flexi-engines, shipping and inland waterways to use methanol and other Biofuels . (Source: Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Times of India, 11 Aug., 2017) Contact: Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas www.petroleum.nic.in

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Methanol,  


TGC Closes Latest Fund Reaching $350Mn Cap (Ind. Report)
True Green Capital Management
Date: 2017-08-14
Westport, Connecticut-headquartered True Green Capital Management LLC (TGC), an institutional asset manager specializing in distributed power generation and commercial PV solar, reports it has closed its $350 million discretionary True Green Capital Fund III, L.P.

To date, TGC has deployed approximately 30 pct of its Fund III capital on building and financing renewable energy electric power infrastructure projects. The existing investment portfolio consists of commercial and sub-utility scale solar power plants with contracted offtake agreements with municipal utilities, military bases, universities, and corporate clients. (Source: True Green Capital Management LLC, PR, 10 Aug., 2017) Contact: True Green Capital, (203) 557-6224, www.truwgreencapital.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  PV,  


Connecticut Green Bank Touts C-PACE Program (Ind. Report)
Connecticut Green Bank,PACE,C-PACE
Date: 2017-08-14
The Connecticut Green Bank reports it has leveraged more than $1 billion through public-private partnerships to make clean energy more affordable and accessible to homeowners, businesses and industry since its founding in July, 2011. By the end of fiscal 2016,, the Green Bank had used some $165 million in state funds to attract $750 million in private investment, according to the Green Bank's most recent audit. It also topped $100 million in projects completed under the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program for a wide range of cumulative 165 projects that reduce energy use, solar panel installations, switching to more efficient lighting and/or replacing outdated boilers.

About 60 pct of C-PACE projects are solar and another 20 pct involve solar combined with other energy-efficient practices, according to the Green Bank. C-PACE projects have generated 21.2 MW of clean energy, created nearly 1,500 green jobs, eliminated nearly 19,600 tons of greenhouse gas emissions and saved $198 million in energy costs, according to the Green Bank's its second-quarter report for 2017. (Source: Connecticut Green Bank, News Times, 12 Aug., 2017) Contact: Connecticut Green Bank, Mackey Dykes, VP, (860) 563-0015, www.ctgreenbank.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News PACE,  C-PACE,  Green Bank,  Energy Efficiency,  


First Corn Ethanol Plant Commissioned in Brazil (Int'l Report)
FS Bioenergia
Date: 2017-08-14
Privately owned Sao Paulo-headquartered FS Bioenergia is reporting the inauguration of Brazil's first corn ethanol plant with a capacity of 63.4 million gpy, 6,200 topy of corn oil and 60,000 MW of power.

FS Bioenergia, a joint venture between Brazil's Fiagril Participaçoes and U.S.-based Summit Agricultural Group, produces ethanol and corn co-products in the city of Lucas do Rio Verde, Mato Grosso state. The state is Brazil's largest producer of corn, soybeans and livestock. There are currently around 360 sugar cane-based ethanol plants in Brazil. (Source: FS Bioenergia, Reuters, Contact: FS Bioenergia, +55 65 35 48 1500, www.fsbioenergia.com.br

More Low-Carbon Energy News FS Bioenergia ,  Corn Ethanol,  Brazil Ethanol,  


Sumitomo Takes Stake in Canadian Pacific Bioenergy (M&A)
Canfor, Sumitomo,Canadian Pacific Bioenergy
Date: 2017-08-14
Japanese Sumitomo reports it has acquired a minority 47.6 pct stake in Canadian Pacific Bioenergy (PBEC) which simultaneously purchased the 34 pct share in Pacific Bio-Energy Limited Partnership (PBLP) that was previously held by French Engie and thereby holds all the shares in the operator of the 350,000 tpy wood pellet works in Prince George , British Columbia. Financial and other details of the transaction were not released.

PBLP has operated two wood pellet works with a combined capacity 175,000 tpy in cooperation with Canfor Corp. of Vancouver, British Columbia, at Canfor's Chetwynd and Fort St. John saw-milling facilities since 2016. (Source: Sumitomo, EUWID, 14 Aug., 2017) Contact: Canadian Pacific Bioenergy, www.pacificbioenergy.ca; Canfor Pulp, Martin Pudlas, VP OPerations, Don Kayne, (604) 661-5241, info@canfor.com, www.canfor.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Canfor,  Canadian Pacific Bioenergy,  Bioenergy,  Wood Pellet,  


£4.4Mn Ear-Marked for Scottish Energy Efficiency Pilots (Int'l)
Scotland Energy Efficiency
Date: 2017-08-14
In Scotland, 15 local and community councils are to share £ 4.4 million in funding for pilot energy efficiency projects under Scotland's Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP). Pilot projects are testing innovative ways to reduce emissions and tackle fuel poverty before the programme starts in full in 2018.

Pilot projects include the installation of two large-scale ground source heat pumps in Edinburgh's Saughton Park Winter Gardens and new building developments, energy efficiency measures in NHS Lanarkshire health centres and Orkney schools, and the extension of a district heating network to tower blocks in Falkirk. (Source: Various Media, Energy Voice, 10 Aug., 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


YDE Building Solar Plant for Middle East Insulation (Int'l)
Yellow Door Energy
Date: 2017-08-14
The UAE, Dubai-based solar and energy efficiency specialist Yellow Door Energy (YDE) and Middle East Insulation, a leading player in the UAE's cladding and roof industry, are reporting a partnership to install a 205 kWp solar PV plant at Middle East Insulation's newest facility in the Dubai Investment Park.

The project construction is expected the get underway this month for operation by the end of the year. YDE will manage the construction, operation and maintenance of the solar PV plant for the next 15 years.

This system will provide 347,000 kWh of electricity per year and cut CO2 emissions 244 tpy, according to a statement.

YDE identifies, finances and implements solar and energy efficiency solutions for commercial and industrial energy consumers in the Middle East and Africa. (Source: Yellow Door Energy, TradeArabia News Service, 13 Aug., 2017) Contact: Yellow Door Energy, Jeremy Crane, CEO, +971 4 454 3033, contact@yellowdoorenergy.com, www.yellowdoorenergy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Yellow Door Energy,  Solar,  


WPPI to Purchase Invenergy Wind Energy (Ind. Report)
WPPI,Invenergy
Date: 2017-08-14
Sun Prairie-based WPPI Energy -- a not-for-profit regional power company serving 51 locally owned electric companies in Wisconsin, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Iowa -- reports it will buy all of the electricity generated from Invenergy's proposed 53-turbine, 132 MW Bishop Hill 3 wind farm in Illinois for a 22 year period.

The Bishop Hill 3 wind farm is expected to generate sufficient electr power for as many as 53,000 homes and businesses, according to WPPI. Currently, 14 pct of the electricity WPPI owns or is contracted to buy comes from renewable resources. Details of the Invenergy – WPPI agreement were not disclosed. (Source: WPPI, Wisc. State Journal, 12 Aug., 2017) Contact: WPPI, Mike Peters, CEO,

More Low-Carbon Energy News WPPI news,  Invenergy news,  Wind news,  

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