BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDFMinneapolis-based solar specialists JJR Power have announced they are carving out a niche by helping customers navigate the complex financial waters. The company works with businesses, schools, nonprofits and farms, assisting them in gaining the clear economic value that solar can provide when coupled with the available incentives.
  • A student team at the University of Missouri-Columbia (UMC) will receive $14,874 from EPA to study the feasibility of treating food waste mixed with swine manure and gather data from the process related to energy use, greenhouse gases and recovered nutrients. The UMC project is one of only 42 student team projects funded this year in Phase I of EPA’s People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) program. The P3 program is designed to stimulate the development of projects and designs that deliver sustainable, alternative approaches to address environmental challenges.
  • Lallemand Biofuels & Distilled Spirits has promoted Craig Ammann to the position of Director of Sales – North America. Craig is responsible for leading, communicating and directing the Regional Sales, Technical and Product Managers within this group.
  • Admirals Bank, a national leader in residential solar and renewable energy financing, is announcing the addition of two new residential loan products to its suite of innovative financing options: The FastTrack and FastTrack Deferred loan programs. These products allow for faster loan approval times, a more seamless application process, and enhanced service levels and availability. The FastTrack program will be offered through a dealer program.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDFThe Abengoa Bioenergy plant in Hugoton, Kansas, which converts plant cellulose into ethanol, will celebrate its grand opening October 17, 2014 with a visit from U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. The plant was built to produce 25 million gallons of ethanol from nearly 350,000 tons of biomass annually. The event will be 11 a.m. at the Abengoa Bioenergy plant, 1043 Road P, Hugoton.
  • The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) has released a graphic highlighting the complexity of regulating the generation of electricity under the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan. View the graphic here.
  • The new Global Wind Energy Outlook 2014 presents three visions of the future of the global wind energy industry out to 2020, 2030 and up to 2050 showing how the global wind industry will deliver in terms of covering global electricity demand, new jobs, CO² emission savings, cost reductions & investment rates, offshore development, and more.
  • Vista Solar has announced that it will participate in TechWomen 2014. As part of the U.S. Department of State’s TechWomen exchange program, leading companies in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley will host 78 women from the Middle East and Africa during October. Through mentorship and exchange, the program provides participants access and opportunities to advance their careers in the STEM fields, and inspire women and girls in their communities.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDFTrina Solar Limited announced that its high-efficiency Honey solar module has set a new world record for peak power output for P-type monocrystalline silicon PV modules, as independently certified by TUV Rheinland. The module was developed in the company’s State Key Lab of PV Science and Technology and is composed of 60 156mm x 156mm high-efficiency Honey monocrystalline silicon cells. It generates a peak power output of 335.2W, breaking the previous world record of 326.3W, set by Trina’s Solar’s original Honey module in April 2014.
  • VIASPACE Inc. reported that Giant King Grass was shipped to and planted by its partner, Sagay Central, Inc., in Negros Occidental, Philippines. Sagay Central is a sugar milling and sugar growing company in the center of the Philippines sugar industry. Using the Giant King Grass, their power plant will begin operating 12 months per year and provide the excess electricity to the national grid and will also sell Giant King Grass to other sugar mills to do the same.
  • SunEdison, Inc. announced new zero white space (ZWS) solar module technology. The technology can increase solar module power output by up to 15%, effectively decreasing the total system cost by up to 8%.
  • Rwanda has made the Fund for Environment and Climate Change (FONERWA) a permanent fund to counter climate change. The biggest of its kind in Africa, government and financiers say the fund should guide Rwanda to a green economy for the next 50 years. The project has mobilized Rwf 59 billion (US$85m). Eighteen proposals have been accepted and five others are already operational. FONERWA finances at least 70% of the costs needed to run a project – for both local and foreign players.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDFThe Ukrainian government has approved a new National Action Plan state decree for the development of wind energy. The ambitious new goals called for by the decree include increasing the wind energy capacity of the country up to 2.28 GW by the year 2020 — which represents a 500% increase on the current figure of 410 MW.
  • Oman plans to build its first major wind farm at a cost of $125 million to generate electricity in its southern governorate of Dhofar, as part of efforts to limit the use of oil and gas in power generation. The wind farm at Harweel will have a capacity of 50 megawatts, enough to meet about 50 per cent of demand in the governorate during the winter, and is expected to begin operating early in 2017. The project will be coordinated by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co (Masdar) and financed by a grant from the Abu Dhabi government. The turbines will be made in a Western nation while local contractors will be given a large share of the construction work, RAEC said without elaborating.
  • Bobby Likis, automotive expert and host of nationally syndicated car-talk program “Bobby Likis Car Clinic“, will shared the microphone with Jeff Oestmann, President and CEO of East Kansas Agri-Energy on the Car Clinic globalcast in a hard-hitting discussion of the local, regional and national issues surrounding ethanol production.
  • During the SXSW Eco conference in Austin, Texas, SolarCity and Honda renewed their partnership with a new fund expected to finance $50 million in solar projects. The new commitment will make solar power more affordable and available to Honda and Acura customers and dealerships in the U.S. The companies have completed or initiated a range of solar projects for homeowners, dealerships and corporate facilities that total more than 12.5 MW of solar generation capacity.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDFA new analysis identifies many real-world examples where government policies and sustained technological progress in the U.S. are creating opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while delivering net economic benefits. Emerging technologies could help the country achieve deeper reductions even faster with targeted policy support, according to “Seeing Is Believing: Creating a New Climate Economy in the United States,” a study by World Resources Institute.
  • ISM Solar Solutions has partnered with WatershedGeo, a company offering permanent closures for landfills and brownfields using their patented products, including ClosureTurf to design, develop and construct utility scale solar arrays on existing and new ClosureTurf installations. This joint venture will provide innovative solutions specific to landfill closures, while creating opportunities to develop renewable energy across North America.
  • Brazilian electricity utility Light has announced the formal agreement of the largest smart grid project in South American history, in partnership with global energy management company Landis+Gyr. Valued at approximately $313 million US, the five year contract covers the supply, implementation, operation and maintenance of Landis+Gyr’s Gridstream smart grid solution. The collaboration also includes deployment of 1.1 million endpoints, comprised of advance SGP+M anti-tampering meters and automation of power vaults and reclosers.
  • Enovos Luxembourg SA inaugurated its first photovoltaic power plant in Portugal. Located in the Alcoutim region in the south of Portugal, this photovoltaic power plant is comprised of 13,774 concentrator modules with a combined power of 1.29 MWp. The modules are made up of lenses capable of concentrating sunlight 500 times and focus it into small highly efficient, multi-junction solar cells.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDFThe SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing will be held November 9-11, 2014 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Conference organizers have announced that Amory B. Lovins of Rocky Mountain Institute and Bloomberg New Energy Finance Founder Michael Liebreich have both signed on to be keynote speakers.
  • The proliferation of distributed generation (DG) is beginning to take a toll on utilities, in high penetration markets such as Hawaii, California and Germany. To cope with the intermittent nature of these assets and optimize their performance, companies have developed a new class of software called distributed energy resource management systems, or DERMS. In a new report, “Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems 2014: Technologies, Deployments and Opportunities,” GTM Research forecasts the annual North American DERMS software market to more than double by 2018 to $110 million.
  • Discovery Green, an urban park in downtown Houston, Texas has committed to power the park and facilities through 2016 with 100% wind power from Green Mountain Energy. Discovery Green first teamed with Green Mountain Energy in 2008 and has been powered with 100% wind energy since 2012. The purchase is estimated to avoid an additional 6.2 million pounds of carbon dioxide.
  • NTC announced that it has been recognized by this year’s Fierce Innovation Awards: Energy Edition, a unique industry awards program powered by the publishers of FierceEnergy and FierceSmartGrid. NTC received top honors in the “Customer Engagement” category.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDFOriginOil Inc., developer of Electro Water Separation (EWS), the high-speed, chemical-free process to clean up large quantities of water, announced today that in a letter to shareholders, CEO Riggs Eckelberry reported that the prototype of a GEN 2 frack water cleanup system is complete and on its way to Colorado for field testing. The full report is now available on OriginOil.com’s website.
  • The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) announced that U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will keynote the general session at Solar Power International (SPI) in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Wednesday, Oct. 22. In his cabinet role, Dr. Moniz implements critical Department of Energy (DOE) missions in support of President Obama’s goals of growing the economy, enhancing security and protecting the environment.
  • Baker Electric Solar announce it has installed its first SolarTrackr DUO system. Wovn Energy’s Hi-Yield Solar Initiative (HYSI) solar tracker product points a system’s solar panels towards the sun all day increasing efficiency and reliability.
  • Michigan’s evolving energy industry, one of the state’s largest employers, will be in the spotlight next week, as part of a national campaign to recruit talent for the energy workforce of the future. Gov. Rick Snyder has proclaimed Oct. 13-19, 2014 as “Careers in Energy” week to raise awareness about a sector that boasts 84,000 jobs in Michigan and creates more than 1,200 new opportunities a year. In addition, Consumers Energy and DTE Energy collectively provide more than 500 internship and co-op jobs for high school and college students.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDFBiochemtex and Beta Renewables announced they have signed a definitive agreement with ENERGOCHEMICA SE for the construction of a 2nd Generation Ethanol plant and the annexed Energy Block for the generation of power and steam. The plant, that will be built in Strazske, Slovak Republic , will deliver 55,000 metric tons per year of cost-competitive cellulosic ethanol while using non-food biomass as its feedstock.
  • Capital Dynamics announced the financial closing of the first phase of a 300 megawatt (MW) onshore wind project in Texas- Green Pastures. Once commissioned, Green Pastures will generate enough electricity to power 110,000 homes. Green Pastures is Capital Dynamics’ first onshore wind project in the United States and fourth overall, following on the heels of three wind projects in the United Kingdom.
  • Global solar photovoltaic (PV) installations added during the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2014 are forecast to exceed 19.5 gigawatts (GW), pushing global cumulative PV deployment towards the 200 GW mark. The amount of solar PV deployed in Q4 is forecast to be equivalent to the energy supplied by five large-scale nuclear power plants and will surpass the total annual solar PV deployed in 2010. According to findings in the latest NPD Solarbuzz Quarterly report, this record quarterly figure will be driven in large part by China, and will ensure that the PV industry approaches the previously forecast 50 GW annual installation level in 2014.
  • The REF-2014 KYIV Forum 2 is taking place October 14-14, 2014 in Kyiv, Ukraine, NSC “Olimpiskiy”. REF-2014 Kyiv is focused on sustainable energy within Eastern Europe with attendees including key players in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency as well as heads of state departments, engineers, producers and suppliers of technical solution and equipment; bankers and investors, best international experts and professional associations representatives, aiming to strengthen legislative and economic basis for projects development in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDFLSU AgCenter has released the Sweet Sorghum Production Guide. The guide was written to supply producers with information they will need to grow profitable sweet sorghum crops. AgCenter researchers are studying how to produce sweet sorghum, as well as energycane, for use as feedstocks for biofuels as part of its Sustainable Bioproducts Initiative. The study focuses on evaluating geographic zones for adaptation, producing commercial yields on marginal soils and determining low-input sustainable production practices.
  • The U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change has announced a record 464 million liters of liquid biofuels were consumed by the country’s transportation sector during the second quarter. Consumption of liquid biofuels increased 17.8 percent from the 394 million liters consumed during the same period of 2013. Ethanol accounted for 4.5 percent of gasoline during the three-month period, while biodiesel accounted for 3.7 percent of diesel. On a combined basis, the liquid biofuels comprised 4 percent of gasoline and diesel fuels, an increase of 0.6 percent compared to the second quarter of last year.
  • Texas Tech researchers received $1.4 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a new radar prototype. John Schroeder, a professor of atmospheric sciences and principal investigator for the project, said the design for wind energy research will focus on enhancing clear air sensitivity relative to the currently available radar system. He hopes to lead to revelations that could help them optimize the wind farm more. If accomplished, they could get more power output of the farms and lower the cost of electricity.
  • On Friday, October 10th, Kersey will be hosting a ribbon cutting event for the new 143 kilowatt solar array which provides 100% of the annual energy needs of their modern sequential batch reactor waste water treatment plant. The project is the result of cooperation between the developer/builder Bella Energy, the Town of Kersey, Colorado and The Atmosphere Conservancy. Kersey will purchase the solar energy from Kersey Renewable Energy LLC, allowing the company to receive all their annual energy needs for the plant at about 16% less cost than they were paying before from the grid.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDFThe Massachusetts Clean Energy Center has released its annual industry report detailing the impressive growth of the state’s clean energy industry and the impact it is having on jobs and economic activity across Massachusetts. The 2014 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report describes the size, scope, and growth of the Commonwealth’s clean energy industry.
  • The SunShot Initiative team recently enjoyed a day in the sun on a rooftop in Washington, D.C., where they volunteered to install a solar energy system on a Habitat for Humanity home. The install was organized by GRID Alternatives as part of a two-day event to bring solar power to underserved communities and to celebrate the launch of GRID’s new mid-Atlantic office. GRID has a decade-long track record of successful solar deployment in low-income communities in California, Colorado, New Jersey and New York.
  • A new report finds that India’s rapidly growing solar and wind programs are creating enormous economic opportunity, providing significant employment opportunities for India’s workforce, and expanding much-needed energy access for India’s citizens. In just four years, India’s solar market has grown more than a hundred fold and India is now also the world’s fifth largest wind energy producer. Together, the wind and solar industries have already created approximately 70,000 clean energy jobs in India according to new findings by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).
  • Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association (TREIA) is hosting its Texas Renewables 2014 conference taking place Monday, November 3-6 in Dallas, Texas. The event will explore today’s energy landscape, acknowledge the significant contribution the renewable energy industry is making, and discuss the very real role it will play and challenges it will face in shaping Texas’ energy future.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDFGenescape has released a free white paper about the status of cellulosic biofuels and the availability of, and the policy surrounding, cellulosic Renewable Identification Number (RINs) in 2014 and the near future. The paper highlights history and progress of cellulosic liquids and presents projections for the new cellulosic biogas pathways.
  • Dyadic International, Inc. has announced the receipt of a $500,000 licensing payment from Abengoa Bioenergy for commercial scale production of Abengoa’s proprietary cellulase enzymes, used for converting biomass into ethanol, developed under Abengoa’s license agreement with Dyadic.
  • GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association (ESA) are entering into a partnership to develop a series of quarterly reports offering analysis on energy storage markets, policy, and technology. This collaboration will combine GTM Research’s experience in developing impactful market intelligence reports for the renewable energy sector with ESA’s depth of knowledge and expertise in the ever-evolving energy storage industry. These reports will provide energy industry professionals, policymakers, government agencies and financiers with consistent, actionable insight into the burgeoning U.S. energy storage market.
  • The European Wind Energy Association has elected Dr. Markus Tacke, Chief Executive Officer of Siemens Wind Power, as its new chairman. Tacke took the helm at Siemens Wind Power, a division that specialises in turbine manufacturing, on 1 August, 2013. He will succeed current EWEA President Dr. Andrew Garrad, who has served in the post in 2013 and 2014.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDFDuring the United Nations Climate Summit in New York last week, a Global Geothermal Alliance was created. Partners include: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Fiji, Iceland, Kenya, Nicaragua, the Philippines; The Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank Group; and The International Renewable Energy Agency. The Global Geothermal Alliance Action Statement (PDF) states it is “a platform for dialogue and knowledge-sharing among partners as well as a coalition for action to increase the share of installed geothermal electricity and heat generation worldwide.” The partnership plans to develop and adopt a detailed Work Plan for the Alliance by January 2015.
  • The Illinois Farm Bureau RFD Radio Broadcast featured the Midwest Energy International Symposium tomorrow on September 30, 2014. Patriot Renewable Fuels Judd Hulting joined event organizer Sheri Fieweger. You can listen online at rfdradio.com.
  • AcuComm has announced that its Biomass Business Finder Worldwide sales support database now provides access to more than 1,403 biomass plant developments in 106 countries worldwide. Biomass Business Finder Worldwide is the most comprehensive monitor of biomass plant development and upgrade available.
  • Energy companies from 26 countries have been selected as finalists for the Platts Global Energy Awards, an annual program recognizing exemplary industry leadership. The 2014 finalists, chosen from nearly 250 nominees from three dozen nominating countries and representing 6 continents, were announced today by program host Platts, a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information. Established in 1999 and often described as “the Oscars of the energy industry,” the Platts Global Energy Awards highlight corporate and individual innovation, leadership and superior performance in 18 categories that span the entire energy complex.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDFThe Department of Energy (DOE) has posted resources about renewable energy for students and teachers. The Get Current coloring book introduces sources such as geothermal energy for young students. The Get Current activity book uses puzzles and games to teach energy efficiency and renewable energy concepts. Perfect for pre-K and kindergarten students, the coloring book takes the student through solar, wind, water, hydropower, bioenergy and geothermal before demonstrating ways to improve energy efficiency—like plug in electric vehicles. The activity book includes crosswords, word games, math puzzles and more challenging fun ways to help students, learn, understand, and internalize the principles of energy literacy, energy efficiency, and renewable energy.
  • The University of California, Davis and SunPower Corp. plan to build a 16-megawatt, ground-mounted solar power plant that is expected to generate 14 percent of UC Davis’ electricity needs. The university anticipates that, when the plant is completed in 2015, more than one-third of total electricity demand on campus will be served from carbon neutral energy sources. On completion, the project will be the largest solar power installation in the University of California system, and the largest solar power plant to offset the electricity demand of a U.S. university or college campus.
  • ECOHZ has a Call for Projects for landowners, project developers and cooperatives who have renewable energy projects that are close to being realized, but lack top financing. In phase I, ECOHZ is primarily looking at financing mature technology projects using solar, wind or hydropower. The scope is initially limited to projects in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany. The eligible projects need to have the required permits, access to the grid and project start-up planned within a year. The top financing ranges from EUR 50,000 to 500,000, and is limited to 15% of the total investment. In Phase II, ECOHZ will look to top finance projects with different technologies in more geographies.
  • Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company and Coronal Group LLC has announced the completion of nine solar projects in Tulare and Kings Counties in Central California. The projects provide 16.2 MW of energy to Southern California Edison’s grid to power approximately 14,500 homes annually.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDFThe Department of Interior and the California Department of Natural Resources have released a draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). The proposal is a combined state and federal effort – including collaborations between the Bureau of Land Management, the California Energy Commission, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plus input from NRDC, conservation groups, renewable energy companies and other stakeholders. The draft is an unprecedented opportunity to provide a framework for “smart from the start” planning efforts that guide renewable energy development to areas with low environmental and wildlife risk, and conserve the desert’s wildlife, wilderness and treasured landscapes.
  • Lumos Solar, a Boulder has introduced their SmartPark Solar EV Charging Station, featuring the new GSX Glass-Glass Frameless Module System. The company believes SmartPark will revolutionize how solar and EV charging are integrated. The cantilevered SmartPark structures are pre-engineered, prefabricated and designed to be easily deployable in residential, commercial and institutional settings.
  • Sol Systems has announced the successful financing of a 944 kilowatt solar project in partnership with its investor client, Washington Gas Energy Systems (WGES), a subsidiary of WGL. The operational solar energy system is located at Valley Baptist Church in Bakersfield, Calif., and A-C Electric served as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) provider.
  • Media reports about ISIS control of some Middle East oil fields brings up the question of disruption of global oil supplies and pricing. Shanjun Li, an expert on the economics of energy and an assistant professor at Cornell University’s Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, says that the potential disruption in production from the ISIS-controlled region will have an insignificant impact on the global oil market. He proposes two scenarios: U.S. consumption reduces proportionally to the world. That is, the consumption has to go down by 16,000 barrels a day – or 0.08 percent of its daily total. The U.S. gasoline price would increase by 1.4 cents to 2.8 cents per gallon, based on the current price of $3.50 per gallon; and scenario two: U.S. consumption reduces by all 80,000 barrels a day – which is 0.4 percent of its daily total. The gasoline price would increase by seven to 14 cents per gallon with scenario one most likely to happen.

 

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDFMartifer Solar Canada, a subsidiary of Martifer Solar SA, and Triumph, Inc. have entered into a strategic partnership to serve the growing demand for solar photovoltaic (PV) in the Canadian market. The partnership will be called Martifer Solar Triumph and will add unique value to the market based on the companies´ shared complementary competencies. Martifer Solar Triumph will be headquartered in Toronto and focused on the market in Ontario, which has strong incentives for solar photovoltaic installations. The company will be an active player in solar Development, EPC and O&M Service of rooftop and ground-mounted PV projects.
  • Alstom has signed a new contract with Vartinoja 1 Ky to supply a wind farm located in Siikajoki, Northern Finland. The turnkey contract is worth €35 million and covers the engineering, manufacture, delivery and commissioning of 9 ECO 122 wind turbines of the 2.7 MW capacity model, ideal for medium and low wind sites. Together they will generate a maximum capacity of 24 MW. The contract also includes 12 years of operation and maintenance services.
  • A biodiesel plant under construction at the 50 MMgy Adkins Energy LLC biorefinery in Lena, Illinois, is scheduled to begin producing biodiesel in early October. This first-of-its-kind, co-located and fully integrated 2 MMgy biodiesel processing facility, designed and built by WB Services LLC, will be fed by distillers corn oil, a coproduct of ethanol production. The plant will be capable of both enzymatic and chemical biodiesel processing.
  • The European Union will finance Rwanda’s clean energy projects to develop sustainable sources of energy to maintain the country’s rapid growth, but protect the environment, according to new agreements. On September 23, 2014 Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame signed the support agreement in New York with Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, President of the European Commission, at the sideline of the Climate Change Summit. The EU announced that Rwanda will benefit from its €3.3 billion ($4b) financing to clean energy projects along with five other African nations. About €2b will be disbursed to five African countries, including Rwanda, Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Togo.