“Climate of Opportunity” Theme for Biofuels Conference

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 12.23.20 PMSome biofuels producers have had some profitable times in the last couple of years, and an upcoming conference will give attendees information on how to take advantage of the opportunities put before them. Nationally known accounting and consulting firm Christianson & Associates will host its 10th annual Biofuels Financial Conference with the theme “Climate of Opportunity,” Aug. 27-28, 2014 in Minneapolis, Minn. at the Bloomington Embassy Suites.

This year’s Biofuels Financial Conference is focused on the best ways to take advantage of the many opportunities to optimize financial health and stability in today’s changing biofuels industry. By understanding current policy and knowing all available options for improving and diversifying production, attendees will learn how to capitalize on current strengths, identify and shore up any potential weaknesses, and create a strategic plan for growth creates an ongoing climate of opportunity.

“It’s important for board members and financial decision-makers to understand the opportunities in the current liquid fuels marketplace,” said [John Christianson, CPA and Partner at Christianson & Associates]. “What is the impact of the latest legislation changes, what are the marketplace opportunities, what are the technology investments that will bring a plant successfully into the next generation?”

Those attending the conference will be able to network with and learn from biofuels professionals from across the industry. More information is available here.

Don’t Miss the Innovators Panel at ACE’s Conference

The American Coalition for Ethanol’s (ACE) 27th annual Ethanol Conference is set for August 4-6, 2014 in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the line-up of great speakers and sessions is already being unveiled. The Innovators Panel on August 5th will include: Ron Alverson from Dakota Ethanol; Ray Baker with Adkins Energy; Delayne Johnson with Quad County Corn Processors; and Mike Erhart with Prairie Horizon Agri-Energy.

Some of the topics panelists will cover include projects to add biodiesel or renewable diesel to existing ethanol plants, progress with conversion of corn kernel fiber to cellulosic biofuel, and steps to reduce the carbon footprint of ethanol.

“The people who make ethanol are always looking forward, they are never satisfied with the same old, same old. This panel discussion will be an outstanding example of the type of product and process technology innovations being developed by ACE members to create new revenue streams and improve efficiency,” said Brian Jennings, executive vice president of ACE.

Power_by_people_bannerThe ACE Conference will also feature a Retailer Roundtable, involving gas station owners who are making money and attracting new customers by selling higher blends of ethanol fuel. Other topics to be covered at the event include a discussion of the octane and high performance potential of ethanol in automobiles, a look at proposed regulations based upon the Food Safety Modernization Act, overseas opportunities for ethanol producers and an examination of rail regulations and possible long-term improvements of the domestic rail system.

Click here to register to attend the upcoming ACE Conference.

Wet and Dry Milling Focus of Conference

cutc-14-martinThe 2014 Corn Utilization and Technology Conference is underway in Louisville, Kentucky and this year the focus is on wet and dry milling technologies and new uses.

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) president Martin Barbre says the event brings together researchers with the common goal of facilitating the next ground-breaking technologies and corn-based products of the future. “It’s a great place for researchers to see what others are doing,” he said. “We also have a very good international focus with visitors and attendees from all four corners of the world.”

As corn growers are just about finished planting what is expected to be another record crop this year, Barbre says they are happy to see increased export demand for corn and the ethanol co-product distillers grains. “When you put an ethanol plant in, it doesn’t change the market (for corn),” he said. “Really there’s only two things that change the market – weather and exports. We’re working hard to increase corn exports worldwide and we’re even working with other countries to open up new markets.” Interview with NCGA president Martin Barbre


2014 CUTC Photo Album

Growth Energy’s ‘State of the Industry’

Ethanol industry leaders met in Phoenix, Arizona this week to discuss the state of the renewable fuels industry. The event was kicked off by Jeff Broin, co-chair of Growth Energy’s Board of Directors with a “state of the industry” address.

Broin noted the resilience of the industry and outlined how Congress made a promise to America to reduce its dependence on foreign oil, to clean our environment and to create American jobs. He also stressed that the industry “will continue to hold Congress and the Growth_Energy_logo-1Environmental Protection Agency accountable,” and that as an industry, “we will do whatever we can to make sure they keep their promise.” Broin also discussed the importance of “educating Americans on the benefits of homegrown, renewable American ethanol.”

In conclusion, Broin concluded thanked all of Growth Energy’s members who have weathered the challenges in the renewable fuels industry and continue to succeed no matter the challenges, noting that collectively, “we can make ethanol a major player in the liquid fuels industry.”

The keynote address was delivered by Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy and he focused on the critical priorities of the ethanol industry. He outlined how defending the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), and building out the necessary infrastructure for higher blends of ethanol and widespread availability of E15 in the commercial marketplace will be the main priorities of the industry in 2014.

Buis also highlighted the importance of breaking down the so called “blendwall”. He explained that higher blends of renewables should be available to the American consumer, so they have a choice of a high octane, high performance fuel and also a choice of a fuel that supports American jobs, while also saving them money.

Buis also called on both members of Congress and the administration to stop accepting the status quo of fossil fuels and foreign oil. In stressing the importance of scaling the blendwall, Buis said, “President Obama, if you seek to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs here in the US that cannot be outsourced and strengthen the rural economy, and, if you truly want cleaner air, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, a better environment for our children and lower gas prices for American consumers, tear down this blendwall!”

In conclusion, Buis noted that this will not be an easy challenge, and that, “We all know that this is a battle – one over market share, and one that will not be accomplished overnight.”

But Buis reminded members why they are all fighting – “that we are fighting for American farmers, for the resilient men and women who work hard every day to fuel America and feed the world. For vibrant small town communities that have known hard times and are ready for a comeback. We are fighting for our brave troops. For those who fight for us, to ensure that they are never placed in harm’s way again, solely for our energy needs. We are fighting for the energy independence and national security of this great country – we are fighting for the United States of America.”

Growth Energy is Taking it to the Streets

Growth Energy is holding its fifth annual executive leadership conference at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix, Arizona, from February 27, 2014 through March 2, 2014.
The conference will open on Thursday at 7:00 am and will showcase a number of speakers, including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Growth_Energy_logo-1During the opening day of the conference, there will be key addresses, including a “Chairman’s Report” from Growth Energy Board of Directors Co-Chair and Executive Chairman of POET, Jeff Broin and a “State of the Industry” address from Growth Energy CEO, Tom Buis.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Taking it to the Streets,” and a major focus will be on building out the necessary infrastructure so higher blends of renewables, such as E15, will be available to retailers and consumers. Another important topic will be the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), its future and how this policy has successfully helped drive innovation, investment and growth within the biofuels industry.

Guests will also hear unique global perspectives on the future of agriculture, the future of energy, NASCAR and the political landscape from speakers including: Harry Stine of the Stine Seed Company; Richard Childress and Austin Dillon from Richard Childress Racing; noted political analyst, Charlie Cook; and several others.

To cap off the conference, all attendees are invited to join Growth Energy at the Phoenix International Raceway during the Sprint Cup race on Sunday to cheer on American Ethanol, one of NASCAR’s official sponsors.

Growth Energy will be live streaming much of the conference at for those unable to attend.

Iowa Wind Energy Conference Around the Corner

The 7th Annual Iowa Wind Power Conference is just around the corner taking place at the FFA Enrichment Center on the Campus of Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa, March 11-12, 2014. Sponsored by the Iowa Wind Energy Association (IWEA), there is a strong line-up of speakers, informative sessions, exhibitors and new research displays.

IWEA logoThe general sessions planned feature nationally recognized leaders in the wind energy industry, elected leaders, policy development specialists and utility leaders in the wind energy industry. A special feature of this year’s conference will be the first ever Education/Job Fair on March 11, 2014 which will provide wind energy companies an opportunity to meet with wind energy training programs and job seekers. There will also be an opportunity for K-12 students and educators to learn more about job opportunities in wind energy.

There will be 30 exhibitors showcasing their products and services during the conference including dozens of university wind energy research project displays will be available during the conference. These project displays will be judged by a panel of experts and cash awards will be given to the top projects in several categories.

Registration is now open.

2014 Propane Engine Fuel Summit

The fourth annual 2014 Propane Engine Fuel Summit will take place on March 27, 2014 in Irving, Texas. The event will include panels of industry experts discussing topics such as how fueling with propane autogas can benefit your company’s bottom line, which propane autogas vehicle technologies are available now, which OEMs offer propane applications, and more.

2014 Propane Engine Fuel SummitJoe Thompson, president of ROUSH CleanTech, will be a keynote speaker. Thompson plans to share his years of experience in the automotive industry while addressing technological advances in the field of propane autogas fuel systems in the session, “This Isn’t Your Grandpa’s Propane Vehicle.”

“The leaders in the propane industry have a wealth of new knowledge to share about our rapidly advancing industry,” Thompson said. “This domestic resource supports job creation, economic growth and energy security nationwide — all while providing both economical and environmental advantages.”

The agenda will include speakers ranging from fleet managers who have adopted propane autogas vehicles in their fleet, to executives from the Propane Education & Resource Council, CleanFUEL USA, the Industrial Truck Association and more.

According to the event hosts, TSN Communications, converting a corporate fleet to propane autogas can create a positive impact on the environment and sizeable savings for an organization. Propane fueling stations, both private and public, are attainable and accessible, and propane industry equipment, such as forklifts and lawn mowers, is now widely available.

The 2014 Propane Engine Fuel Summit can be attended in person or viewed live via the free online webcast on March 27. There is no charge for viewing the entire event online, courtesy of the North Central Texas Council of Governments. The summit kicks off the 5th Annual Texas Alternative Energy & Transportation Conference & Expo.

And the Experts Keep On A Comin

The 8th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit and Trade Show is just around the corner (January 28, 2014) and the list of experts keeps on a comin. The event’s host, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA), has announced a new panel, “The Future Engine Technology Enhanced by Ethanol and Biodiesel” that will feature two experts on future engine designs and auto manufacturing. Registration is still open.

IowaRFAlogoThe panel includes Thomas Apostolos, who is President of Ricardo, Inc., a world-leading engine design, technology, and innovation company. Joining Apostolos will be Reginald Modlin, Director of Regulatory Affairs for Chrysler Group LLC, a leading automobile manufacturer.

“Summit attendees will hear how higher blends of renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel will shape the engine designs of the future with the potential to maximize performance while lowering environmental impacts,” said IRFA Managing Director Lucy Norton. “This panel will be an excellent compliment to previously announced speakers including Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and representatives of the Renewable Fuels Association, the National Renewable Energy Lab, and Love’s Travel Stops.”

Attend the 2014 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit and Trade Show and enter to win a new John Deere Flex-Fuel Lawnmower capable of running on E85. You must be a registered attendee and submit a “Don’t Mess With the RFS” comment to the EPA at the Summit and be present to win.

Iowa Gov Branstad to Speak at IRFA Summit

Biofuel advocate Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will address the 8th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit and Trade Show on January 28, 2014. Branstad has been a vocal supporter of the Renewable Fuel Standard, has participated in an RFS rally held last November and created a Protect the RFS Petition in support of the biofuel legislation that has been attacked by biofuel detractors. In addition, for the first time since the passage of the RFS in 2007, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed to reduce the amount of renewable fuels blended in America’s transportation fuel.

Protect the RFS“Governor Branstad’s staunch, unwavering support of the federal RFS and Iowa’s renewable fuels industry has helped Iowa remain the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production,” said IRFA President Steve Bleyl. “Under Branstad, the state is at the forefront of proactive public policy for E15 and biodiesel. The renewable fuels community looks forward to hearing from the Governor on continuing Iowa’s renewable fuels leadership and urging the EPA to maintain a strong and growing RFS.”

The Summit is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required. Click here to learn more about the event and to register.

RFA’s Bob Dinneen to Keynote IRFA Summit

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen will be the keynote speaker at the 8th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit and Trade Show hosted by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA). The event takes place January 28, 2014 at The Meadows Conference Center at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa.

RFA Bob DinneenIRFA notes that under Dinneen’s leadership for more than two decades, the RFA has been a driving force behind creating a dynamic and robust national ethanol industry. Dinneen was instrumental in enacting the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in 2005 and, two years later, in expanding the RFS to 36 billion gallons by 2022.

“As the ethanol industry faces one of its most challenging times in history, we’re fortunate to have RFA and Bob Dinneen leading the charge to preserve and advance the federal Renewable Fuel Standard,” said Rick Schwarck, IRFA President and President of Absolute Energy in St. Ansgar. “Powerful forces stand in staunch opposition to the RFS and development of next generation ethanol. Summit attendees are lucky to hear the latest RFS and ethanol insight from a top insider like Dinneen.”

The Renewable Fuels Summit and Trade Show is free and open to the public. To register and learn about sponsorship and trade show opportunities, please click here.

China’s Offshore Wind Power Industry on Track

During the 18th Congress of Chinese Communist Party meeting, a call was made to create a “Biological Civilization” strategy that would encompass a plan for more use of green energy including offshore wind. On June 4-6, 2014 Offshore Wind China 2014, Wind Farm O&A China 2014 and Distributed Generation China 2014 are simultaneously taking place at the Shanghai New International Expo Center and Shangri-La’s Kerry Hotel Pudong.

Optimale Bedingungen / Ideal conditionsThe organizers of the June events include Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association, Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Committee, China National Renewable Energy Centre and Shanghai International Exhibition Co., Ltd. The groups have announced they will focus on the seven topics for the conferences in an effort to move the offshore wind industry and green energy industries forward.

1. Experience Wind Power Industry’s Turn-around through Release of Latest Progress on Offshore Wind Projects. Offshore wind power developers along with planning and design organizations will be invited to deliver speeches on progress of offshore wind power projects.

2. Catch New Industry Trends by Bringing together Leading Wind Turbine Manufacturers. Key offshore wind turbines manufacturers, including Vestas / Mitsubishi, Goldwind, Gamesa, United Power, Sinovel, Shanghai Electrics / Siemens and Ming Yang will gather to present the advanced offshore wind technologies.

3. Capture Future Market Opportunities in Sector of Wind Farm Operation and Maintenance. The event features Wind Farm O&M Market to explore life-cycle management and after-sales services of onshore and offshore wind farms.

4. Provide Full-range Solutions with Focus on Offshore Installation and Construction. With a focus on offshore installations and construction, leading offshore installation companies including CCCC Third, ZPMC, Jiangsu Longyuan Zhenhua, CCCC Fourth will gather at this event to showcase installation equipments and share practical experiences.

5. Join Hands with Leading Wind Power Nations to Share in Advanced Experience. Attendees will meet with associations and delegations from developed countries including U.K., Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and U.S. to have exchanges with overseas firms.

6. Improve Trade Mechanism by Expanding On-site Communications and Negotiations. The event will further enhance the trade mechanism to hold “On-Site Match-making Meetings between Turbine Manufacturers and Components Suppliers”.

7. Witness Offshore Mega Project by Visiting Offshore Wind Farm under Construction. Attendees will have opportunity to visit East Sea Bridge Offshore Wind Farm (Phase II) during its construction stage, and the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, the first of its kind in China.

IRFA 2014 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit Announced

2013 Iowa RFA SummitThe Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) has announced the start of registration for the 8th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit and Trade Show. The Summit is free, open to the public, and will be held January 28, 2014 at The Meadows Conference Center at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa.

With discussion over renewable fuels policy at fever pitch, the 2014 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit will discuss state and national issues facing the renewable fuels industry, including the future of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), biofuels’ impact on future engine technology, and emerging markets for cellulosic ethanol, E15, and biodiesel. Featured speakers will be announced leading up to the Summit.

“The Renewable Fuels Summit is Iowa’s premier renewable fuels event bringing together industry leaders, decision makers and the general public to shape Iowa’s energy future,” said IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “This event provides a great opportunity to hear experts address state and national issues facing the future of renewable fuels, as well as network with biofuels professionals and business leaders throughout the Midwest.”

Click here to register for the Summit and learn about sponsorship and trade show opportunities.

WEC Issues 10-Point Action Plan for Sustainable Future

The World Energy Council (WEC) has issued a 10-point action plan for how governments, industry, and key decision-makers should refocus their efforts and resources to achieve real progress in resolving the energy trilemma. The World Energy Congress is taking place 2013TrilemmaCoverThumbnail-209x300in Daegu, Korea this week. The report, “World Energy Trilemma: Time to get real – the agenda for change,” provides a detailed guide to creating a global policy framework that addresses the energy trilemma: energy security, energy equity, and environmental sustainability.

The WEC said the report is the culmination of the findings of a two-year World Energy Council study, “World Energy Trilemma,” conducted with Oliver Wyman, the management consulting firm. Recommendations from the past two years of study were the result of interviews with over 100 energy leaders in 41 countries, including chief executives, ministers, and heads of development banks.

“Governments face a daunting challenge to deliver secure, affordable and environmentally sustainable energy services,” said Joan MacNaughton, executive chair of the WEC’s World Energy Trilemma studies. “How well they meet it has a fundamental bearing on the social and economic prospects of their countries. Over the last two years our World Energy Trilemma study has identified what governments and energy leaders believe is needed to balance the energy trilemma.”

WEC Balancing Energy TrilemmaMacNaughton noted that while leaders say they are ready to act now, they acknowledge the need for more guidance and support. “Our analysis provides the basis for countries to assess their political and institutional risk, and our new ‘Agenda for Change’ report describes how they can mitigate such risk and unlock the investment to deliver the required energy infrastructure. This subject will be the core of discussions between government and business leaders at the World Energy Congress,” added MacNaughton.

The WEC’s 10-point Agenda for Change action plan includes:
Action 1: Connect the energy trilemma to the broader national agenda.
Action 2: Provide leadership to build consensus – nationally and globally.
Action 3: Improve policymaker dialogue.
Action 4: Increase engagement with the financial community.
Action 5: Minimise policy and regulatory risk and ensure optimal risk allocation.
Action 6: Adopt market-based approaches to carbon pricing to drive investments.
Action 7: Design transparent, flexible and dynamic pricing frameworks.
Action 8: Drive (green) trade liberalisation.
Action 9: Meet the need for more research, development & demonstration (RD&D).
Action 10: Encourage joint pre-commercial industry initiatives, including early large-scale demonstration and deployment.

According to the report, addressing strong demand growth, widening access to the 1.2 billion people currently not served by energy grids, and balancing the upgrade of aging infrastructure with environmentally progressive systems requires investment and coordination on an unprecedented scale. However, the impact of shale gas discoveries in more than 40 countries, cost breakthroughs in certain renewable technologies, and increasing the efficiency of transport, construction and household energy use could enable communities to live and work within a widely more sustainable energy landscape.

Strong Optimism for Geothermal Globally

Craig Mataczynski President GEAThe GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo hosted nearly 2,000 delegates in Las Vegas, Nevada for an event that featured the latest technologies in geothermal, and frank discussions on opportunities and challenges internationally as well as within the United States. Optimism was felt throughout the conference and was underscored by the release of Geothermal Energy Association’s (GEA) release of a report featuring more than 700 global geothermal projects.

“Each year, the GEA brings together the geothermal business community from all around the world at its EXPO,” noted GEA Executive Director Karl Gawell. “The sense from the industry was strong optimism for sustained growth in the global market despite lagging U.S. markets, and hope that as the United States works to meet higher state RPS requirements and new climate change goals the value of geothermal will be recognized which will spur growth.”

The report released prior to the event estimated that projects in the pipeline would more than double current worldwide capacity from the 12,000 Megawatts (MW) expected to be on-line by year’s end, and beyond that “developers are actively engaged with 27,000 MW of geothermal resource globally.”

In the U.S., GEA pointed out that as the percentage of electricity produced from intermittent sources increases, the stress on an aging power system designed for fossil fuels encourages geothermal’s continuing role as an important part of the power supply mix.

“The market will turn around as geothermal’s full value to the grid is recognized,” Gawell said. “Its baseload capacity makes it valuable for replacing retiring fossil fuel facilities, and its ability to provide flexible support will add to power system reliability.”

This year’s gathering incorporated a wide range of activities supporting U.S. companies working in the international market. Both the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and the U.S. Agency for International Development supported delegations from Turkey and East Africa, respectively. Presentations in the EXPO hall featured delegates from several countries seeking to develop their geothermal power potential. GEA also held a standing room only dialogue with U.S. companies discussing how to expand U.S. exports of goods and services in key world markets.

A wide range of technology was on display at the GEA Geothermal Energy Expo, which featured 125 booths. EXPO booths highlighted the latest in technology to support today’s power projects and tomorrow’s “enhanced geothermal system” developments.

At the event, GEA also held its annual members meeting and elected a new President for the Association. Craig Mataczynski, President and CEO of Gradient Resources, was elected as GEA’s President. Speaking in the Opening Session of the event, Mataczynski laid out a bold new vision for the industry: “to contribute in excess of 5% of the electric energy needs in the United States and globally.”

Renewable Fuels Association Chooses 2014 Leaders

RFA-logo-13Some familiar faces will stay in leadership roles for the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), as the group elected its officers to the Board of Directors during today’s annual RFA membership meeting held in Minneapolis, MN. Neill McKinstray, President of the Ethanol Group, The Andersons, Inc., remains Chairman of the RFA Board of Directors for a second year after previously serving as Vice Chairman.

“Ethanol has proven to help families, rural communities, and consumers across the country. It reduces prices at the pump, revitalizes rural communities, and makes America safer by decreasing our dependence on foreign oil. The battle we are in will only continue to escalate and it is vitally important that the RFS remain in place.” McKinstray stated. “The RFA is a strong and vocal advocate for the ethanol industry and I look forward to another year working side by side with RFA’s highly professional staff and other producers to continue the growth and evolution of this vital industry. We all know what is ahead and I look forward to facing those challenges head on.”

McKinstray is joined by:

• Vice Chairman Randall J. Doyal, CEO of Al-Corn Clean Fuel in Claremont, Minnesota.

• Treasurer Walter Wendland, CEO of Golden Grain Energy in Mason City, Iowa.

• Secretary Mick Henderson, General Manager of Commonwealth Agri-Energy in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

• President Bob Dinneen, CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, Washington, DC.