Vidaris Expands Renewable Energy Division

Vidaris Inc. has expanded its Vadaris Renewable Energy Division to address the growing demand for renewable energy solutions. The company’s industry list includes solar photovoltaic, building-integrated building-integrated photovoltaic, building-applied photovoltaic, wind, and solar thermal integrated technologies. More specifically, the company has expertise in renewable energy systems including solar photovoltaic, BIPV, BAPV, wind, and solar thermal systems for both new construction projects and existing building upgrades.

The company provides clients with an independent, third-party advisor to evaluate project opportunities and assist in the design, integration and implementation of renewable energy technologies.

“Our Renewable Energy Division enables clients to strategically navigate the renewable energy marketplace and take advantage of the many benefits renewable energy offers to building value,” concluded John Hannum, PE, VP of Energy Services.

This December Head to Canada

This December head to Ottawa, Canada for the 9th Annual Canadian Renewable Fuels Summit (CRFS) being held December 3-5, 2012. This year’s theme, “Sustainable, Secure & Diverse Energy Now!” will focus on Canadian policy for the ethanol and biodiesel industries.

Program topics include: The Future of the Bioeconomy in Canada; Forces Shaping the North America Biodiesel Industry; Ensuring Market Opportunities and Fuel Quality Throughout the Supply Chain; Dedicated Crop Opportunities for Drop-In Renewable Jet Fuel; Industry Perspectives on Next Generation Production in Canada; and Updates from International Sustainability & Carbon Certification Association (ISCC) and Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC).

Conference keynote speakers include: Chantal Hébert, Columnist for the Toronto Star; Mark Jaccard, Professor, Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University; Senator JoAnne L. Buth, Senate of Canada; and many more.

Click here to learn more about this year’s program and to register online.

Propel & Solazyme Deliver Algae-Based Fuel

Propel Fuels is believed to be the first in the nation to sell consumers algae-based fuel at the pump compliments of Solazyme Inc. The two companies have joined together to offer Solazyme’s algae-based Soladiesel®BD in the Bay Area. The month long pilot program provides the biofuels industry the first opportunity to test consumer response to the advanced biofuel.

According to a statement from Propel, Solazyme’s high quality algae-based SoladieselBD meets or exceeds ASTM quality specifications and has shown performance enhancements including cold temperature operating performance. The fuel is compatible with existing diesel engines and Propel is guaranteeing the fuel’s performance. The algae-based fuel will be sold at the same price as conventional diesel fuels and will be available exclusively at Propel’s Clean Fuel Points in Redwood City, San Jose (N. First St.), Berkeley, and Oakland.

“Propel is committed to providing our customers with access to the highest quality, most sustainable, domestically produced fuels, so we’re proud to introduce the next generation of fuels to the retail market,” said Matt Horton, CEO of Propel Fuels. “Propel’s growing station network provides the critical link between these future fuels and today’s consumer fuel tanks, giving our customers a chance to make history.”

Solazyme’s technology platform converts plant sugars into oils in a few days. Testing undertaken by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) shows that, in a 20 percent blend, SoladieselBD significantly outperforms ultra-low sulfur diesel in total hydrocarbons (THC), carbon monoxide (CO) and particulate matter tailpipe emissions. This includes an approximate 30 percent reduction in particulates, a 20 percent reduction in CO and an approximate 10 percent reduction in THC.

“Solazyme’s revolutionary algae-based technology platform has supplied our development partners and customers with advanced biofuels that meet or exceed some of the world’s most stringent fuels specifications and requirements, “ added Bob Ames, VP of Fuels, Solazyme.  “We’ve successfully demonstrated our land-based fuels in fleet vehicles and corporate busses, and are excited about this pilot program with Propel because it enables us to make these fuels available to the public.”

Lallemand & NABC Create New Business

A new partnership has been formed in the biofuels industry. Lallemand Ethanol Technology and North American Bioproducts Corporation (NABC) have joined together to form a new business: Lallemand Biofuels & Distilled Spirits (LBDS).  According to a company statement, the name change reflects their continued commitment to both of these industries by combining the best elements from both companies to form a more “fermentation focused” entity.

Kevin Dailey, President of LBDS says this combination makes them the clear #1 fermentation ingredient supplier to both the fuel ethanol and distilled spirits industries.

“We are very excited about our new corporate image. It represents the combination of these two highly respected former competitors into one entity,” continued Dailey. “We feel that taking the strengths from both companies will better position us to be able to meet the fermentation needs of our customers and focus on improving their margins in these tough economic times.”

Dyadic Receives 12th Patent

Dyadic International has received its 12th patent, U.S. Patent No. 8,304,212 entitled “Methods and compositions for degradation of lignocellulosic material”. The patent covers methods and compositions for using enzymes mixtures to convert plant biomass into fermentable sugars for the production of various products. The patent also covers novel combinations of enzymes including those that provide a synergistic release of sugars from plant biomass.

“In developing and selling industrial enzymes, our customers and partners not only benefit from Dyadic’s patented C1 platform technology but also from Dyadic’s fungal strains and technologies based on the Trichoderma fungal organism,” said Dyadic’s President and CEO, Mark Emalfarb. “Dyadic uses these strains to produce specialty enzymes that can be used for a variety of applications in such fields as animal health and nutrition, biofuels and bio-based chemicals. As with our growing portfolio of patents covering the C1 technology, this patent will provide Dyadic, its customers and licensees with additional protection for our Trichoderma-based enzyme mixtures.”

The patent also specifically describes methods of increasing the yield of fermentable sugars from fermentation of dried distillers grains (DDGs) using enzyme mixtures comprising glucoamylase, beta-glucosidase and alpha-arabinofuranosidase. More specifically, it specifically covers Trichoderma-based enzyme mixtures, which significantly and unexpectedly increase the yield of fermentable sugars from DDGs. DDGs are obtained after the fermentation of the starch derived from a number of grains including corn, wheat, barley, oats, rice, and rye and are typically used for animal feed. DDGs are also a byproduct of ethanol production which creates synergies in using enzymes for both biofuels and animal feed applications.

Global Biofuel Enzymes Industry to Grow

A new report, “Biofuel Enzymes Market – Global Industry Size, Market Share, Trends, Analysis and Forecast, 2012 – 2018,” published by Transparency Market Research, concluded that global biofuel enzymes demand was worth USD 1,021,9 million in 2011 and is expected to reach USD 1,653.1 million in 2018. This would be a CAGR growth rate of 7.6 percent during this timeframe.

Today, North America represents the largest market; however, Asia Pacific is growing steadily. The European Union is making progress and in China is an attractive market for biofuel enzymes due to its low cost structure.

According to the report, the global biofuel enzyme market is primarily driven by growth in end application markets, for example growing consumption of biodiesel and bio-based ethanol. This growth, in turn, has been driven by an increase in awareness regarding biofuel sustainability and changing economics of fossil fuels, when combined have encouraged governments to pass biofuel legislation and consequently, grow  biofuels markets, and finally grow the biofuel enzyme market.

The biofuel enzyme market includes amylases, industrial lipases and others with amylase representing the fastest growing segment of the global biofuel enzymes market due to its capability to withstand a wide range of temperatures and pH levels. The market for amylases enzymes is growing at a CAGR of 8.0 percent from 2013 to 2018 and it is further subdivided into two types:  cellulase and industrial proteases enzymes. The market for industrial proteases is growing rapidly at a CAGR of 8.7 percent from 2013 to 2018.

The research estimated and analyzed the demand and performance of biofuel enzymes, for various enzyme segments, in a global scenario. It also provides an in-depth analysis of biofuel enzymes manufacturers, product segments and sales and trend analysis by segments and demand by geography.

Let Production Tax Credit Expire

A new report has been released from the Texas Public Policy Foundation analysts Bill Peacock and Josiah Neely reviewing the impact of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy.  According to The Cost of the Production Tax Credit and Renewable Energy Subsidies in Texas, the PTC’s current annual cost in Texas alone is nearly $567 million. If the PTC continues, the cost of the tax credit would run about $4.1 billion through the 10 years ending in 2015.

“The continuation of the Production Tax Credit will cause more disruption in electricity markets and impose higher costs on consumers and taxpayers,” said Bill Peacock, the Foundation’s Vice President of Research and Director of the Center for Economic Freedom. “The negative consequences of the Production Tax Credit are even more apparent in Texas, as it has more wind-generated electricity than any other state.”

For wind producers in Texas there are several programs to aid in development: the PTC, Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) under the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, federal grants as part of the 2009 stimulus bill and access to transmission through the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) program. When combined, the programs will cost taxpayers about $12.8 billion through 2015 and the cost of subsidies in the state are on the rise.

“Texas is undergoing a major debate over whether price signals are adequate to maintain resource adequacy,” said Josiah Neeley, policy analyst for the Foundation’s Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment. “A significant portion of the problem with price signals can be directly attributed to the subsidies for wind generation, particularly the Production Tax Credit.”

Peacock added, “Electric competition is working in Texas; rather, it is government interference with the market led by the Production Tax Credit that is causing today’s concerns regarding reliability. Congress should allow the Production Tax Credit to expire. If not, consumers, taxpayers, and Texas’ world-class energy-only electricity market will pay the price.”

‘America’s Natural Gas Highway’ Expands

GE and Clean Energy Fuels have announced a partnership to expand the infrastructure for natural gas transportation in the U.S. The idea for the project is to develop a natural gas highway or network that will enable trucks to operate on Liquefied Natural (LNG) from coast to coast. In a press statement, the companies say truck fleets can reduce fuel costs by more than 25 percent and lower tailpipe emissions when using LNG.

Clean Energy Fuels will initially purchase two ecomagination qualified MicroLNG plants from GE Oil & Gas. The modular units rapidly liquefy natural gas while minimizing a site’s physical footprint and will support fueling stations along major transportation corridors across the U.S. To help support the costs of the infrastructure, GE Energy Financial Services is providing up to $200 million in financing.

“GE is proud to be partnering with Clean Energy Fuels to develop natural gas infrastructure in the U.S. Clean Energy is an industry leader in pioneering a new way for America to fuel its vehicles and to further gain energy independence,” said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt. “With an abundance of cleaner, more affordable natural gas here in the U.S., this is an important opportunity for GE to join Clean Energy in changing the way America drives. It’s also a critical step in developing a natural gas-for-transportation fuel model that can be easily exported to other countries interested in exactly these kinds of breakthrough projects.”

Clean Energy expects to complete approximately 70 LNG stations by the end of 2012, with more planned for next year. Clean Energy’s stations are targeted at long-haul, heavy-duty trucks. In 2013, four major manufacturers will introduce the Cummins Westport 12-liter LNG engine, which is the optimum size for long-haul Class 8 trucks. Continue reading

Iowans Drive on E15

Since E15, a fuel blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline, has been sold in Iowa, drivers have already successfully driven more than 125,000 thousand miles, or the equivalent of driving around the world five times. The first E15 station opened in Iowa about two months ago and E15 can be used in all vehicles 2001 or newer. This data tracks consumers using E15 in approved vehicles that are not flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs).

“E15 pricing and performance have started off great in Iowa,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw. “Despite the oil industry’s efforts to scare retailers and consumers, E15 is starting to gain some traction here in Iowa, and consumers are beginning to realize the cost-saving and performance benefits of E15. One hundred and twenty-five thousands miles is more than five times around the world, but the E15 expedition is just getting started.”

Retailers wishing to offer Iowans the choice of E15 should contact the IRFA to learn about the many E15 incentives available and for assistance in complying with state and federal E15 guidelines.

ACE Announces 2013 DC Fly-In Dates

Each year, the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) highlights the benefits of ethanol during its advocacy event in Washington, D.C. known as the “Biofuels Beltway March”. The fifth annual event will happen on Wednesday, March 13 and Thursday, March 14, 2013.

“In anticipation of a fight over the fate of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in Congress next year it is critically important for ethanol industry supporters to mark their calendars and join ACE for this fly-in,” said Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President of ACE. “With so much at stake, ACE’s fly-in will enable ethanol supporters to proactively explain in their own words what ethanol is doing to reduce gasoline prices, create jobs, and cut our foreign oil dependence so we can win the battle over the RFS and secure market certainty for E15 and higher ethanol blends.”

During the last four years, fly-in participants from all over the country have joined ACE to help drive home the message to Congress of the diversity and breadth of ethanol’s benefits to America. During the fly-in event, participants will break into teams for meetings with Members of Congress or their staff about the importance of the RFS, E15, and other priorities to be determined by ACE membership. Sixty-five ethanol advocates met with nearly 200 congressional offices during the 2012 fly-in.

To learn more about the event or to register, click here.

Izmir Airport in Turkey Goes Solar

The Izmir airport in Turkey has gone solar with the completion of a solar park. The photovoltaic project is comprised of a ground-mounted installation of 450 kW and 90 kW off-grid system on several radar stations. Combined, the projects are now the largest of its kind in Turkey. It is also the first solar project completed under the new Turkish legislation (YEK), that eliminated licensing requirements, to foster renewable energy plants under 500 kW. In the pipeline are several projects totaling 40-50 mW.

The solar panels used in the project were CS6P-P solar modules manufactured by Canadian Solar. This is the second project that Canadian Solar has worked on in collaboration with Gehrlickher Merk Solar, an EPC contractor based in Turkey. The two companies also completed a 95 kW governmental PV project in September 2012.

“The project in Izmir is a very significant achievement for us. Therefore, we relied again on the solar modules of Canadian Solar, as from past experience we could count on a trusted partnership and the high quality of the implemented products; characteristics which helped make this project a success for all parties involved,” said Omer Cihan Karahan, CEO of Gehrlicher Merk Solar.

Dr. Shawn Qu, chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar, added, “We are proud to contribute our modules to this milestone project for the Turkish solar energy sector and for us as a company in this emerging renewable energy market. The new YEK will have a great impact on business development in this industry and we are delighted to be a part of that. With this project as a reference, we believe we will continue this success in other national and international airport projects in the future.”

Advanced Biofuels Conference Around Corner

The National Advanced Biofuels Conference and Expo is just around the corner and down south in Houston, Texas on November 27-29, 2012. A premier event for the industry, opening day will kick off with remarks from Tom Bryan, president of BBI International, the conference host. He will be followed by a keynote presentation from Michael McAdams, president of the Advanced Biofuels Association and a special address by Andrew Holland, senior fellow for Energy and Climate, American Security Project. Next the generation session will begin: A Look Forward, Advanced Biofuels Leadership Looks at the Coming Year and Where Advanced Biofuels Stand in a Post-Election, Post Drought Environment.

Other conference topics include:

  • Petroleum industry perspectives on advanced biofuels
  • Converting existing industrial assets into next-generation biofuels
  • Forging symbiotic agribusiness alliances
  • Aviation and military industry positions on biobased jet fuel
  • Venture capital and private equity viewpoints
  • Overcoming barriers to market entry
  • The national market outlook for biobased fuels and chemicals
  • Exceeding the performance of petroleum-based products

Registration is still open and you can learn more about the speakers and their topics as well as register online here.

Recharge Gets WindMade Designation

The latest WindMade label designation has gone to Recharge, a news service focusing on renewable energy. The organization is now using 100 wind power to generate all of its power needs.

The WindMade label is backed by the UN Global Compact, WWF, Vestas and the Global Wind Energy Council. To be awarded the label, companies must obtain at least 25 percent of their electricity from wind power. Recharge dramatically exceeded this requirement with the generation of all power needs from wind energy.

“WindMade is set to play a key role in making sure that public support for wind energy translates into growing industry momentum, as more and more corporations see the benefits of using wind as their main energy source,” said Recharge Editor-in-Chief Ben Backwell. As a high profile media company, it is vital that we practice what we preach, and WindMade makes both commercial sense and fits in with our core values.”

Henrik Kuffner, WindMade’s CEO added, “Recharge is one of the most authoritative publications in the renewable energy sector, but the company’s commitment to renewables extends beyond journalism. We are proud to be awarding the WindMade label to Recharge’s UK operations, and look forward to a constructive partnership with this new member.”

IEA Charges Big Oil with Climate Crimes

Today the International Energy Agency (IEA) released its World Energy Outlook and accused crude oil of exacerbating climate change and putting the brakes on global economy growth. In response, the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA) said biofuels are able to improve the global economy and environment. Bliss Baker, spokesperson for GRFA said there is evidence that shows increasing global biofuels production will not only break or cripple addiction to crude oil but have a positive impact on economy and environment.

The IEA report argued that the current energy system is unsustainable and that is is “putting a brake on our economy” because the crude oil industry is receiving record subsidies and oil prices are still at an all time high. Earlier this year, GRFA commissioned a report that found that in 2010, the global biofuels industry contributed $277.3 billion to the global economy and supported nearly 1.4 million jobs.

Today’s World Energy Outlook also forecasted that global energy demand will increase by more than 1/3 between now and 2035. It also estimated that energy-related CO2 emission will rise to 37 gigatonnes in 2035, up from 31.2 gigatonnes in 2011. The report states that this could result in a long term average temperature increase of 3.6 °C.

The GRFA forecasts that ethanol production alone will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 100 million tonnes globally, or 276,000 tonnes of GHGs per day.

Baker concluded, “It has been clear for years that crude oil has been a drain on our economy and toxic to our environment. Biofuels offer a positive economic boost and cleaner air. We must quickly adopt policies that encourage the development of crude oil alternatives like biofuels for the sake of our economy and environment.”

Wind Turbines Weather Hurricane

The clean-up is in full swing on the east coast as a result of hurricane Sandy. The majority of people who lost power during the storm have had their electricity restored. Yet is there a better way to keep the lights on during a major weather event? Wind power might just be the answer. Several wind energy companies have said that their turbines, directly in the path of the hurricane remained operational and undamaged.

Northern Power Systems said 74 of its wind turbines remained standing, undamaged and performed safely. The turbines were designed that when each turbine detected high force winds, it automatically entered safe mode. When conditions returned to normal, each turbine began generating electricity again.

“The losses experienced from Hurricane Sandy are a tragic reminder of how powerful nature can be,” said Troy Patton, Northern Power Systems president and CEO. “Many of our turbines, from the Caribbean to the eastern seaboard of the US, were directly in the path of Hurricane Sandy, but none were damaged by the high winds. At Northern Power Systems, we have the experience and commitment to continue to make products that are safe and reliable.”

At the peak of energy outages, more than eight million people lost power. However, Capstone Turbine heard from its customers that its wind energy systems continued to operate seamlessly during and after the worst of the storm. Many of the buildings that did not lose power were integral to diaster relief efforts including the Salem Community College in Salem County, New Jersey that served as a Red Cross diaster relief. The college has three Capstone C65 microturbines that provide heating, cooling and emergency powered and they succeed in their charge.

“Users around the world continue to adopt Capstone microturbines because they want the high reliability and low emission benefits of our distributed generation products,” said Darren Jamison, Capstone president and Chief Executive Officer. “Hurricane Sandy is a tragedy that has had a terrible loss of life and property, but I’m proud of the performance of our Capstone product that successfully kept our customers in business during this crisis. It’s unfortunate that in many cases it takes a major event like this to get people to start to think differently about how to reliably deliver their energy needs and change traditional utility buying habits.”

To aid diaster relief efforts, visit the Red Cross website.