Hawaii Trans Director Commits to 20% Biodiesel

pacificbiodieselHawaii’s head of its state transportation department is committing his agency to using a 20 percent blend of biodiesel, B20. This article from Big Island Now says State Transportation Director Ford Fuchigami made the remarks as he, Governor David Ige and Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui toured Pacific Biodiesel’s refinery this week during Biodiesel Day.

“We are committed to convert all of our diesel fuel equipment and vehicles to B20. This fuel is a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel. We support initiatives to buy local and promote the use of clean energy fuels,” Fuchigami said.

During the visit, Gov. Ige emphasized the state’s serious commitment to food security and energy sustainability. He commended Pacific Biodiesel for being a global pioneer in the field of biofuels and for company president Robert King’s vision to position Hawai’i to become an energy independent and self-sustainable state.

The City & County of Honolulu have been using B20 for more than a decade.

Solar Impulse 2 Takes to the Skies

Solar Impulse 2 has set off on a 35,000-kilometer journey around the world, powered only by solar energy. Schindler, a leading global elevator and escalator provider, is one of the project’s four main partners and welcomed the aircraft as it stops over at the Mandalay International Airport in Mandalay, Myanmar.

The Solar Impulse 2 is a single-seater aircraft made of carbon fiber, with a 72 meter wingspan – larger than that of the Boeing 747 – weighting just 2,300 kg. The 17,248 solar Solar Impulse 2 eighteenth flightcells built into the wing supply four electric motors (17.5 CV each) with renewable energy. During the day, the solar cells recharge lithium batteries, weighing 633 kg, that allow the aircraft to fly at night and therefore to have virtually unlimited autonomy.

The aircraft took off from Abu Dhabi on March 9, 2015 and will stop at 12 locations. The route includes stops in Muscat, Oman; Ahmedabad and Varanasi, India; Mandalay, Myanmar; and Chongqing and Nanjing, China. After crossing the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii, Solar Impulse 2 will fly across the USA stopping in three locations –Phoenix, a location in the Midwest and New York City at JFK. After crossing the Atlantic, the final legs include a stop-over in Southern Europe or North Africa before arriving back in Abu Dhabi. With the plane traveling at a maximum speed of 90 to 140 km/h, depending on the flying altitude, the journey will take five months to complete, including 25 days of flight time.

Schindler, which has been operating in Myanmar since 1999, is proud to participate in the project. “This is a historic moment and we are delighted to be part of a team that shares Solar Impulse takes-off from Varanasi to Mandalaythe same pioneering spirit and passion for engineering excellence, with the common objective to move people safely while using less energy,” said Jujudhan Jena, Chief Executive of Jardine Schindler Group.

Solar Impulse’s founders have welcome Schindler’s participation as an important illustration of how forward-looking companies are approaching sustainable development and seeing the industrial potential of using clean technology and renewable energy.

“Our partnership with Solar Impulse exemplifies our longstanding dedication to invest in clean technologies for sustainable mobility,” added Jena. “Just like those of the Solar Impulse team, the intensive efforts made by our R&D teams over the years have given birth to ground-breaking solutions that have redefined industry standards.”

Survey: Electric Grid 70% Renewable by 2050

According to a new survey from DNV GL, there is a global consensus that a renewables based electricity system can be achieved. More than 1,600 energy sector participants representing more than 70 countries participated in a study addressing three key Beyond Integrationquestions on how to move forward the integration of renewables into the global electricity grids of the future. Eight out of 10 respondents believe that the electricity system can be 70 percent renewable by 2050 while nearly half of the respondents believe this can be achieved in the next 15 years. The culmination of the study was published in the report, “Beyond Integration: Three dynamics reshaping renewables and the grid“.

Key questions asked included posing a scenario in which renewables account for 70 percent of power sector generation. How likely did they feel this was to come about? What time frame might they assign to such a scenario? To whom would the scenario pose challenges? To whom might it offer opportunities?

The analysis sheds light on three dynamics reshaping renewables and the grid for the energy transition: convergence of metrics, rebalancing of rules and expansion of horizons.

David Walker, CEO DNV GL-Energy, said of the report, “DNV GL’s analysis of these findings concludes that the solution for a high renewables future demands a dramatic change in the industry’s approach to the integration of new technology. We need to adopt more collaborative approaches and go beyond old metrics, beyond old rules and beyond old silos. A shift away from a paradigm in which renewables are considered a nuisance to be accommodated to one in which the true potential of renewables in balancing and securing grids is unlocked. The debate needs to move ‘beyond integration’. DNV GL is taking the broader view and opening that discussion.”

Report findings are organised around three dynamics, which DNV GL sees reshaping not just electricity, but the entire energy sector:

  1. Convergence – New economic metrics must converge the needs of policymakers and system operators. The survey indicates that policymakers and system operators place diverging demands on renewable developers. Qualitative data stress that securing political will depends on affordability, while in a high renewables future developers must also engage with the increasing system operation challenges.
  2. Rebalancing – New rules are needed to rebalance the opportunities and challenges for developers and system operators. Developers, independent power producers and original equipment manufacturers are relishing the opportunities brought about by the shift to a high renewables system, while system operators and utilities identify themselves as being challenged by the transition.
  3. Expansion – New entrepreneurial solutions will expand the electricity business into a true ‘internet of energy’. Current high interest in energy storage, which 66 percent of respondents select as a top 3 lever for a high renewables future, is an example of the increasingly blurry lines between power, transport and heat. Meanwhile, respondents’ emphasis on smart grids underscores the role for IT in helping to manage the variability of renewables. The electricity sector is becoming more interconnected with the wider energy system, and also with newer sectors such as IT.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • http://domesticfuel.com/category/bioenergy-bytes/Aria Energy has announced the beginning of commercial operations and renewable energy production at Sarasota County’s Central County Solid Waste Disposal Complex located in Nokomis, Florida. The project is a 4.8 MW landfill gas-to-energy facility that produces renewable energy by capturing and processing the methane gas generated at the landfill through organic decomposition. Aria Energy designed, built, owns and operates the facility, and sells the electricity to JEA under a power purchase agreement.
  • Solar Power, Inc. has announced its partnership with Aqua Clean Energy (ACE) for the co-development of floating PV projects in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Mexico. Under the terms of the agreement, ACE and SPI will co-develop an identified pipeline of floating PV projects in the licensed territories with an estimated combined size of over 50 MW by establishing a joint venture holding company, Aqua Clean Energy Fund, LLC.
  • Sunrun has announced that Bob Komin has joined the company as chief financial officer (CFO). Komin is responsible for the overall finance, accounting, and structured finance activity of the company. He assumed his new role March 9 replacing Anne Brennan, and will work closely with her to transition activities over the next few weeks.
  • OneRoof Energy, Inc., wholly owned subsidiary of OneRoof Energy Group, Inc., has announced that it has closed the financing agreement with Spindrift Equities, LLC, one of OneRoof Energy’s existing investors. As announced on March 13, 2015, the US$2.0 million represents a portion of the US$15.0 million of capital previously announced on November 24, 2014 from Black Coral Capital, LLC and other investors in the form of secured convertible promissory notes.

Biofuel Advocates Invite Candidates to Learn RFS

ARF-LogoIt won’t be long until presidential candidates invade Iowa once again (and some already have). So, Iowa-based America’s Renewable Future (ARF) has publically invited Sen. Ted Cruz and all potential 2016 presidential candidates to tour Iowa renewable fuel facilities across the state to learn more about the success of the industry.

“The goal of our organization is to educate candidates on the economic importance of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its many advantages, not only locally, but nationally,” said former Lt. Gov. and ARF co-chair, Patty Judge, “the RFS sustains 73,000 jobs in Iowa and over 800,000 nationally. Iowa farmers epitomize hard work and are a beacon of rural America’s success and we hope that Sen. Cruz will stand with them.”

Following Sen. Ted Cruz’s opposition to the standard at the March 7 Iowa Ag Summit, the organization is especially interested in drawing the Texas senator to an ethanol plant tour on his upcoming trips in April. “Sen. Cruz’s remarks show that there is a chance to have important dialogue on this issue,” said ARF co-chair and Nevada, IA cattleman, Bill Couser, “I had a chance to personally invite Sen. Cruz at the Ag Summit in addition to the two formal invitations ARF has sent to his campaign and I hope that he will not miss this chance to see just what this policy means for real Iowans and their families.”

“This comes down to supporting independence from foreign oil while supporting American jobs or giving in to foreign interests and Big Oil,” added Couser, “We hope that Sen. Cruz we will make time to hear from folks who have seen the success in this industry and ask questions about his concerns.”

Pearson Fuels to Celebrate First Frisco E85 Station

pearsonfuelslogoPearson Fuels will celebrate the opening of San Francisco’s first E85 station. The company says there will be a ribbon-cutting today at All Stars Fuel located at 2831 Cesar Chavez Street in San Francisco, where the high-blend of ethanol will sell today for just 85 cents a gallon.

Pearson Fuels General Manager, Mike Lewis states, “It is crazy that a city as large and progressive as San Francisco, has never had an E85 dispenser! E85 burns much cleaner than gasoline and add to that the fact that it is renewable, domestically produced and currently selling at substantial discounts to gasoline. We expect this new station to do very well. Our preliminary projections show that it might be one of the highest volume dispensers we supply. We estimate that there are at least 50,000 E85 compatible vehicles driving in San Francisco every week and we are happy those vehicles now have an alternative to gasoline available.

Station owner Ali Yaldiz said, “We are very glad to be working with Pearson Fuels on this project. We contacted them and they were right on it. They handled all the permitting and signage, they made sure we did it the right way and we look forward to working with them for many years. It is just refreshing to work with a group that does what they say they are going to do. We are happy and proud to be the first station in all of San Francisco to offer this progressive fuel and we hope the public embraces it is much as we do. To get things started off right, we decided to offer it way under cost for most of the day to show the public we appreciate them and we mean business!”

The project was partially funded by the California Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program.

Propel Debuts High Performance Renewable Diesel

Propel1California-based Propel Fuels has debuted North America’s first retail rollout of High Performance Renewable (HPR) diesel. This company news release says the green fuel uses Neste Oil’s NEXBTL renewable diesel.

“Diesel HPR exceeds conventional diesel in power, performance and value,” said Rob Elam, CEO and Co-Founder of Propel. “Propel is committed to offering Californians the most advanced low carbon fuels that meet our high standards for quality and value.”

Incorporating diesel refined from renewable biomass through Neste Oil’s advanced hydrotreating technology called NEXBTL, Diesel HPR meets the toughest specifications required by automotive and engine manufacturers, enabling the fuel to be used by any diesel vehicle. Diesel HPR is designated as ASTM D-975, the standard for all ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel in the U.S., and is recognized as “CARB diesel” by the California Air Resources Board. Diesel HPR provides increased engine power and torque, as well as significant reduction in harmful tailpipe emissions, NOx emissions and particulates (PM).

“This renewable diesel joins a growing suite of new, cleaner transportation fuels in California thanks to our Low Carbon Fuel Standard and forward thinking companies like Propel,” said California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols.

Diesel HPR will be available at 18 Propel locations in Northern California.

Thank a Farmer Today

Today is National Agriculture Day. People around America are taking time today to learn something about ag, and many are also taking an opportunity to thank the farmers who produce our food, feed and fuel.

National Ag Day“American farmers are to be admired. They are stewards of the land who ensure sustainability for future generations. They are innovative, dedicated and produce an abundance of food and fuel for our nation and the world. Efficient and hardworking, American farmers are the backbone of our nation. They help to bolster rural economies while growing our nation’s economy, providing economic security for all. It takes a lot to get food from the farm to the table and we all have America’s farmers and ranchers to thank for it,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy.

“Additionally, American agriculture is at the forefront of biofuel development. Farmers are helping produce homegrown, sustainable biofuels that are reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil, creating jobs that cannot be outsourced and improving our environment, all while providing consumers with a choice and savings at the pump.

“American consumers pay less per capita than any other country for food. Our grocery stores are well stocked and American agriculture is the envy of the world. Agriculture creates economic security for our rural communities and has allowed hardworking Americans to secure a place in the middle class. As we celebrate National Ag Day, Americans nationwide should be proud to acknowledge the many contributions agriculture has made to society and the leading role farming communities will continue to play in our country’s economy,” Buis concluded.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • http://domesticfuel.com/category/bioenergy-bytes/Alstom has signed two contracts with Danish power plant specialist Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC) for Geared Reaction steam turbines (GRT) to be used in two UK biomass projects. The first contract uses a 23MW GRT for a waste wood combined heat and power (CHP) biomass plant in Widnes, Merseyside that is being developed by BWSC and UK logistics company Stobart Group. While the second is a 50MW GRT for the Snetterton Biomass Plant, in East Anglia, which will burn energy crops such as straw, cereals and oilseed rape.
  • A new solar report from GTM Research provides an in-depth look at the changing inverter market landscape, including coverage of new technologies, grid integration, solar-plus-storage, module-level power electronics, market drivers and pricing, and region-specific inverter markets. It details the current global and regional competitive landscape and contains comprehensive profiles and analysis of 45 leading manufacturers.
  • Justin DeAngelis from the energy and resources focused global private equity firm Denham Capital recently wrote a detailed white paper looking at the economic benefits of renewable power in Africa, which featured in Clean Energy Pipeline’s Clean Energy Africa Finance Guide. Download the free white paper here.
  • Global expenditure for wind turbine Operations and Maintenance (O&M) will rise from $9.25 billion in 2014 to an estimated $17 billion by 2020, driven by increasing numbers of installations and aging turbines, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData. “Global Wind Turbine Operations & Maintenance Market, Update 2015 – Market Size, Major Contenders, Trends, and Analysis to 2020,” states that on average, offshore O&M is two to four times more expensive than onshore O&M. Offshore wind power accounted for about 2.4% of the world’s cumulative wind power capacity in 2014, but accounts for approximately 10% of the global wind O&M market.

Offshore Wind Tech Being Tested

China Ming Yang Wind Power Group Limited’s super compact drive (“SCD”) offshore wind turbine prototype of 6.5MW platform has begun a commercial trial operation in Rudong,Jiangsu Province, China. The 5 -7 MW wind turbine prototype features a two-blade design with a light weight permanent magnet generator and is able to adapt to various extreme offshore weather conditions, offering high reliability at a lower weight to offshore wind farm operators, particularly in typhoon-prone regions.

dreamstimefree_100632“We are proud to see that the world’s first SCD offshore wind turbine prototype of 6.5MW platform has beenconnected to the grid and put into trial operation,” said Chuanwei Zhang, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ming Yang. “Our unique model provides our customers with a cost-effective solution for their offshore wind farm projects in typhoon-prone coastal areas where extreme weather conditions prevail, for example the eastern and southern coast of China, potentially one of the world’s largest offshore markets.”

Zhang added, “Meanwhile, I am also pleased to announce that in response to our customers needs and to meet China’s complex offshore conditions, Ming Yang is planning to develop an innovative three-blade SCD wind turbine model, specializing in catching low speed wind. We expect that we will be able to seize the huge market opportunities by providing a wider product mix as well as value-added services, as the PRC government continues to push for renewable energy solutions in an effort to combat air pollution.”

Emerging Issues Forum Features Biz Issues & Trends

The 10th annual Ethanol 2015: Emerging Issues Forum is set for April 16-17, 2015 in Omaha, Nebraska hosted by the Nebraska Ethanol Board (NEB). The event is designed for ethanol producers and others integrally involved in production, technology, policymaking and marketing of ethanol and its co-products.

NEB has announced that Paul Argyropoulos, senior policy advisor to the Office of Air Quality and Transportation at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will be the featured speaker April 16th.  Argyropoulos will address EPA’s plans for the final rule on NEB logoRenewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes for 2014 and plans for 2015 and 2016. In addition, he will address issues associated with the RFS including steps EPA is taking to get the RFS back on track.

“Paul is as knowledgeable as they come on these issues and we are absolutely delighted that he will be able to join us this year,” said Todd Sneller, NEB administrator. “He has worked on fuel and air quality programs for more than 20 years and with new ozone standards, the Tier 3 program and fuel economy standards all impacting the future of ethanol. It is a very timely addition to the program.”

Other topics during the forum include ethanol marketing challenges; domestic and international ethanol marketing opportunities and barriers; emerging trends in ethanol co-products; low carbon fuel standards; and integrating technology for efficiency, profitability and sustainability.

Ethanol Featured on Bobby Likis Car Clinic

likis-smallSome straight talk this weekend on ethanol on the syndicated car-talk program “Bobby Likis Car Clinic.” Judd Hulting of Patriot Renewable Fuels talked with Bobby about the operations, products and statistics of Patriot’s ten-year old, ethanol plant located near the Quad Cities.

nec14-patriot-juddHulting was able to tout the benefits of ethanol, including the growing worldwide export market for American-made ethanol and distillers grain. Likis was already a fan of ethanol and pointed out that while some Americans are worried about moving up to a 15 percent ethanol blend (E15), Brazil has just moved up to E27 as the baseline for gasoline in the South American country.

You can listen to the conversation between Hulting and Likis here.

Happy National Biodiesel Day!

rudolf-dieselToday we celebrate National Biodiesel Day, the anniversary of Rudolf Diesel’s birthday in 1858. The pioneer of his namesake diesel engine, Diesel designed it to run on a biofuel, peanut oil. The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) reminds us that on this special day, we can do more than just fill up our tanks with clean-burning biodiesel (although that is a good start).

Those who want to do more to support the advanced biofuel can. It is as easy as joining the Biodiesel Alliance. Alliance members range from farmers to fleet managers, and from trade organizations to municipal agencies and local businesses. Biodiesel Alliance members have easy access to news and information about biodiesel and related topics. Sign up is free and a click away.

“Biodiesel works behinds the scenes to deliver a better alternative. It is here now, working today across the country to improve our environment, support our economy and protect energy security,” said Steven J. Levy, Chairman for the National Biodiesel Board. “It is impressive what we have achieved in ten years and clear that responsible policy and industry innovation is working to expand access to America’s Advanced Biofuel while benefitting consumers.”

NBB also reminds us just how much of an economic powerhouse biodiesel is, with diesel engines moving approximately 90 percent of the America’s goods. And biodiesel provided nearly 1.8 billion gallons of a cleaner burning alternative to petroleum diesel.

Record Amount of E85 Ethanol Sold in Iowa

IowaRFAlogoThe high blend of ethanol, E85, had a big year in Iowa last year. The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) says a new record of nearly 12 million gallons was sold in the Hawkeye State in 2014, more than a million-gallon increase over 2013.

“Another year, and another E85 sales record in Iowa,” stated IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “The most impressive aspect of this record is that retail gasoline prices dropped significantly in the second half of the fourth quarter of 2014, yet Iowa motorists remained committed to the homegrown, cleaner-burning fuel by setting a new fourth quarter record for E85 purchases. This fourth quarter data proves that not only is E85 being purchased at a record rate where available in Iowa, but consumers are realizing the benefits of this more locally-produced, environmentally-friendly fuel, beyond simply its cost advantages.”

The nearly 3 million gallons sold in the fourth quarter of 2014 was also a fourth quarter record.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • http://domesticfuel.com/category/bioenergy-bytes/According to a recent report from Navigant Research, 59 percent of light-duty vehicles purchased in 2025 are expected to feature turbochargers. “Automotive Fuel Efficiency Technologies,” analyzes the emerging global market for technologies that improve fuel economy. It examines the consumer demand and regulatory background related to engine technology and lightweight materials for increasing fuel efficiency in vehicles. Global market forecasts for LDV sales, segmented by powertrain, region, and number of cylinders, extend through 2025.
  • Coronal Group LLC, an alternative energy firm that finances and operates solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, has announced that Jonathan D. Jaffrey will step into the role of chairman and CEO and that Edwin Feo will assume the position of president. In addition, the company added two executives, Joseph M. Teltser, deputy general counsel, and Dan Barahona, controller.
  • Solar Power, Inc. has announced that SPI, together with its wholly owned subsidiary, SPI China (HK) Limited, has completed its previously announced acquisition of 4.3 MW of photovoltaic projects in Italy from CECEP Solar Energy Hong Kong Co., Limited.
  • There is still time to register for the 10th Annual Emerging Issues Forum taking place April 16-17, 2015 in Omaha, Nebraska. Hear the latest confirmed speaker, Paul Argyropoulos with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) speaking about “Getting the Renewable Fuel Standard Back on Track” as well as others on various ethanol topics. Register here.