Alternative Energy

Biofuel News

The latest alternative fuel news from our biodiesel, biofuel, and ethanol fuel news sources.

Aug 27, 2016

Alternative Fuels

Moving Beyond the Generation Fixation: Grid Transformation Key to Delivering on Paris

Aug 26, 2016: The year is 1878. The city of Paris is hosting the third annual World Fair, featuring the latest in fine art and innovative machinery. For the first time in history, 64 electric street lamps, running the length of the Avenue de l’Opera from the Louvre to the Palais Garnier Opera House, are lit with the flick of a switch.

IFC, Canadian Government Invest in Biomass Power for the Philippines

Aug 26, 2016: The International Finance Corporation (IFC), in cooperation with the Government of Canada and the Clean Technology Fund, will invest $161 million in three biomass power plants in the Philippines.

#Ethanol Groups Disappointed in European Appeal on Duties

Aug 26, 2016: The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Growth Energy are disappointed with today’s decision by the European Commission (EC) to file an appeal with the EU General Court related to its ruling two months ago invalidating certain ethanol duties. The EC had approximately two months from the June 9 court ruling to appeal. That ruling annulled the European Union’s 9.5 percent ... Read More…

Enerkem Biomethanol Receives ISCC Certification

Aug 26, 2016: Canadian waste-to-bioproducts producer Enerkem has announced that it has received certification from the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) system for biomethanol production from its biorefinery Alberta Biofuels located in Edmonton, Canada. According to the company, this facility is the first ISCC certified plant in the world to convert municipal solid waste in biomethanol. “This reputable third-party certification confirms that ... Read More…

Mark Your Calendar for the 2016 Energy Conference

Aug 26, 2016: Mark your calendar for the 2016 Energy Conference taking place in Des Moines, Iowa September 19-21, 2016. The event brings together public and private entities to discuss energy policy, climate change (carbon credits) and to network. According to event planners the purpose of the event is to “create profit-driven opportunities that accomplish the goals of an energy independent future for ... Read More…

Group from Taiwan Learns About U.S. DDGs

Aug 26, 2016: Taiwan is the seventh largest U.S. ag export market and the sixth for corn so a trip to the U.S. to learn about corn and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGs) was successful for a group of grain buyers from the country. The participants visited Indiana and Michigan and learned about production, application, grading and quality standards. In addition, the ... Read More…

Green Plains Opens #Ethanol Plant in Virginia

Aug 26, 2016: Green Plains Inc. hosted a ribbon cutting and open house event at its new Hopewell, Virginia ethanol production facility which the company acquired in October 2015. Among those in attendance at the celebration was National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Chip Bowling who farms corn, soybeans, and sorghum just 100 miles away in Newburg, Maryland. “We are excited to see ... Read More…

Chinese ethanol imports fall 78% in July

Aug 26, 2016: In China, July ethanol imports fell to by 78% on the year to 24,639 cu m, following in line with the lower imports also seen in June that were 111,651 cu m. Total exports for the year through July reached 644,221 cu m. July denatured ethanol imports were about 20% of the volume imported in […]…

India’s oil marketing companies give up on jatropha biodiesel definitively

Aug 26, 2016: In India, the joint ventures owned partly by three oil marketing companies that sought to produce biodiesel from jatropha have been shut down due to unviability. Many believed that jatropha could be successfully grown in dry wastelands without irrigation. The three companies had planned to grow jatropha on 180,000 hectares across Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and […]…

Nebraska Ethanol Board develops Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures for agriculture

Aug 26, 2016: In Nebraska, the Nebraska Ethanol Board recently partnered with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Engineering’s Partners in Pollution Prevention program to develop a Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) plan for agriculture producers who maintain their own fuel storage. To assist producers in becoming compliant with the regulations, multiple tools and documents were developed […]…

ICM successful bidder for Abengoa Colwich plant at $3.1 million

Aug 26, 2016: In Kansas, ICM was the successful bidder of the Abengoa plant in Colwich located just a few hundred yards from the company’s headquarters. The company bought the facility that has been mothballed since November for $3.1 million. The ethanol plant was bought by Abengoa in 2001 and had been operating for 20 years before then. […]…

Brazilian hydrous ethanol sales down 15% on year in July but still high for 2016

Aug 26, 2016: In Brazil, the National Petroleum Agency ANP said domestic hydrous ethanol sales were down 15% on the year in July at 1.31 billion liters but the volume was 4% higher than in June and the second-highest volume of sales so far in 2016 following May’s record of 1.32 billion liters. Of the total, 93% of […]…

Canada’s ethanol market seen steady through 2017

Aug 26, 2016: In Canada, ethanol imports this year through May have led the USDA to estimate slightly lower imports for 2016 at about 1 billion liters, 83,000 liters less than in 2015 due to shifts in discretionary ethanol blending. The industry has been at full production capacity since 2009 and that is expected to remain the same […]…

University of Michigan study says biofuel worse than fossil fuels while Growth Energy hits back

Aug 26, 2016: In Michigan, new study from University of Michigan researchers challenges the widely held assumption that biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel are inherently carbon neutral. Contrary to popular belief, the heat-trapping carbon dioxide gas emitted when biofuels are burned is not fully balanced by the CO2 uptake that occurs as the plants grow, according to […]…

Brazilian government to drop PIS/Cofins tax breaks in December for good

Aug 26, 2016: In Brazil, the government has decided to not renew PIS/Cofins tax breaks at the pump for ethanol following their expiry in December. The effect will be to encourage mills to produce more sugar because ethanol will be less attractive at the pump. The country’s lack of financial strength is the reason for ending the tax […]…

Early-stage, Breakthrough Technologies: Biofuels, 10 of the Best

Aug 25, 2016: By Lorenz Bauer and Gerald Kutney, Lee Enterprises Consulting Special to The Digest The concept of early stage, breakthrough technologies is a bit of an oxymoron: at an early stage how do you determine if it is a breakthrough technology? The only way is for experts to give their opinion, and, usually, they are wrong, […]…

Where’s butanol, or other substitutes for gasoline besides ethanol?

Aug 25, 2016: A reader writes: I’d hoped that the biofuels crowd would have gotten beyond ethanol by now.   The industry has made progress creating all kinds of specialty chemicals from renewable sources and more or less successfully brought them to market.  There’s jet and diesel in commercial use whether or not they’re yet profitable. However they […]…

U.S. Navy, Queensland Create Biofuel R&D Partnership

Aug 25, 2016: The U.S. Navy has entered into a partnership with Queensland and Palaszczuk Government to develop a biofuel R&D center. The facility will become the biofuel hub of the Asia-Pacific region. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and United States Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy for Management Thomas Hicks signed a Statement of Cooperation as part of the Great Green Fleet initiative, a ... Read More…

#Oil Industry Report Ignores #Biofuel Climate Benefits

Aug 25, 2016: A new study has been released out of the University of Michigan Energy Institute led by anti-biofuel Professor John DeCicco. The report challenges the assumption that biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel, are inherently carbon neutral. The study, based on USDA crop-production data, finds that during the period of increased biofuel growth, the increased carbon dioxide uptake by the crops ... Read More…

Five Things You Need to Know Before the Clean Power Plan Oral Argument

Aug 25, 2016: The Clean Power Plan oral argument is coming up soon. On Sept. 27, attorneys will present their arguments in front of the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Which Candidate is Best for #Biofuels?

Aug 25, 2016: The Iowa State Fair was a lot quieter this year politically. Last year the fair played host to a total of 20 presidential candidates of both parties last summer while this year it was only the vice presidential candidates of the two major party nominees who visited the butter cow and ate pork with Hawkeye State political figures. Does that ... Read More…

Renewable Energy Was 16.9 Percent of US Electric Generation in the First Half of 2016

Aug 25, 2016: It’s finally happening. After years of research and development, of policy debates over subsidies and climate change and energy independence; renewable energy is finally starting to replace fossil fuel sources of electric generation across the nation.

The Clean Power Plan: Justice Delayed

Aug 24, 2016: In the case of the Fossil Fuel Industry, et. al. VS Earth, et. al., I find myself asking—not for the first time—is justice delayed, justice denied? It should come as no surprise that I am convinced it is.

Texas A&M Offers Biofuel Short Course

Aug 24, 2016: A short course is being offered by the Processing Engineering R&D Center entitled, “Practical Short Course on Plant Operations and Process Engineering for Solvent Biofuel Facilities“. The Center is part of Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and is taking place October 16-19, 2016 at Texas A&M University, located in College Station, Texas. As part of the course, students will have ... Read More…

#Ethanol Safety Seminars Scheduled

Aug 24, 2016: More free ethanol safety seminars are on the docket taking place in Nebraska and Connecticut. Hosted by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), attendees will learn proper training techniques that emergency responders and hazmat personnel need to effectively respond to an ethanol-related emergency. Certificates of Completion will be handed out to all attendees at the end of each safety seminar. The ... Read More…

Will the G20 Spur Post-Paris Climate Action? 3 Signs to Look For

Aug 22, 2016: The G20 meeting in Hangzhou, China, this September brings together leaders of the world’s largest economies for the first such gathering since the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate. G20 Leaders Summits traditionally focus on economic growth and financial stability, but since more than 190 countries collectively agreed to greatly enhance mitigation of the causes and impacts of climate change, the need to tackle a changing climate and foster clean energy has become a clear economic and business reality.

Erex Eyes Biomass, Wind to Expand in Japan Power-Retail Business

Aug 22, 2016: Erex Co., a Japanese power supplier, will add more biomass power plants and expand into wind farms as it seeks to reach out to more customers following the opening up of Japan’s power-retail market.

US Navy to Tap Australian Biofuel Hub

Aug 18, 2016: The U.S. accepted Australia’s offer to supply biofuel for its Asia-Pacific fleet, advancing the Navy’s goal of getting half its power from renewables by 2020.

Renewable Power Future Needs Facilitative Power Grid

Aug 18, 2016: Can America’s power grid accommodate a more dominant role for renewables in the energy mix? As the grid stands today, the answer is no. Our society is putting increasing demands on electric infrastructure that wasn’t designed for today needs — much less what we’re asking of it to support a cleaner energy future. Modern, robust and flexible infrastructure for delivering electricity generation over long distances is essential to the nation’s successful transition to a larger share of renewable energy.

Charting A Path for Sustainable Jet Fuels

Aug 17, 2016: A new report by the White House’s National Science and Technology Council called the Federal Alternative Jet Fuels Research and Development Strategy outlines the federal government’s plans to lower the cost of alternative jet fuels through coordinated, targeted research and development by agencies including the Energy Department, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Greece Approves New Renewable Energy Law

Aug 17, 2016: Greece’s parliament has approved a new law governing the renewable energies sector. The new law, which allows for feed-in premiums, competitive tenders and virtual net metering, comprises a significant rearrangement of the country’s energy sector.

How A Land Use Plan For the California Desert Turned Climate Change Allies Into Foes

Aug 16, 2016: CHUCKWALLA VALLEY, Calif. - Just after noon on a 110-degree summer day, the 5.6-square-mile Desert Sunlight Solar Farm - the biggest of its kind erected on U.S. federal land - is proving why this desolate spot is such a good one for harnessing the sun's rays.

Part VI: The End Is Nigh — Advocacy, Climate Change and Renewables Growth

Aug 15, 2016: Today’s installment—the last in the series—identifies some of the fissures I see forming in the advocacy community. That is, the group of dedicated renewable energy and environmental advocates whose commitment and diligence to the task of saving the world from itself has gotten us this far down the path to sustainability.

MEGA-BIO and the Three Amigos: DOE Hands Out $11.3M — Who for, and Whyfor?

Aug 12, 2016: In Washington, the U.S. Department of Energy announced up to $11.3 million for three projects that support the development of biomass-to-hydrocarbon biofuels conversion pathways that, as the DOE remarked, “can produce variable amounts of fuels and/or products based on external factors, such as market demand.”…

Why Impact Investing is Great News for Renewables

Aug 12, 2016: In July, global wind and solar company Mainstream Renewable Power closed a $117.5 million equity financing package as part of its funding commitment to Lekela Power — a $1.9 billion joint venture between Mainstream and private equity manager Actis that will build 1.3 GW of solar and wind power capacity across Africa over the next three years.

India Seeks to Expand Biofuels Market to $7.5 Billion by 2022

Aug 11, 2016: India is targeting a more than sevenfold expansion in its biofuels market over the next six years, stepping up the country’s efforts to cut its reliance on energy imports.

Part V: Dissociative State Disorders—The Direction of US Policies and Programs for Clean Energy

Aug 11, 2016: Divided was the third most quoted word given by U.S. voters in response to a recent Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll asking for a one-word description of the current state of the union. Confused ranked fifth.

Part IV: Ranks and Hackles—COP21 and Judicial Review of the Clean Power Plan

Aug 8, 2016: The complex case of West Virginia v. EPA illustrates the uncertainty injected into the national effort of the U.S. to meet its COP21 commitments, as a result of day-to-day realities. The case is the basis for the Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) staying the implementation of the Clean Power Plan (CPP or Plan). It is the lynchpin holding up the U.S. promise made in Paris.

Chile: A Hotbed for Renewable Energy Investment

Aug 8, 2016: With over 6,000 km of coastline, 123 active volcanoes and numerous deserts and mountains, Chile’s renewable energy market is teeming with potential.

Nominate a Project or Woman of the Year

Aug 4, 2016: The power generation industry lit up Twitter with pictures of projects from all over the world during our #BestPowerProjects TweetUp.

Part III: The Certainty of Uncertainty: Energy, Environment and the US Presidential Race

Aug 4, 2016: The certainty of uncertainty, in the political arena, is the only thing of which I am certain. The 2016 presidential election is already a cross between The Rocky Horror Picture Show and a full contact spectator sport. If it didn’t have such an impact on the global environment, I might find these theatrics of the absurd entertaining.

Renewable Energy is Here—But Are Energy & Utilities Leaders Ready?

Aug 3, 2016: Don’t let recent negative news, such as the bankruptcy filing at SunEdison, fool you — renewable energy’s time has arrived. Though market adoption has been slow, renewable energy — driven largely by wind and solar — has gained market share over the past few years, overtaking nuclear power in 2011 and accounting for more than 10 percent of all energy used in the U.S. in 2015. As interest and demand for renewables continue to build, setbacks like the SunEdison collapse should serve as a warning sign to renewable energy and utility (E&U) companies to carefully consider how they innovate and build scale in their business.

States in US Northeast Prioritize Renewable Energy

Aug 3, 2016: New York this week joined neighbor Vermont in aggressively pushing for more renewable energy in its power portfolio. The New York State Public Service Commission approved a mandate issued last fall by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that New York supply 50 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030.

IRS Notice Expands the Safe Harbor for Claiming Production Tax Credits

Aug 2, 2016: Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Notice 2016-31, released initially in May 2016, clarifies and expands previous IRS guidance on satisfying the “beginning of construction” requirement for renewable energy facilities to qualify for production tax credits, reflecting the extensions of the PTC under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015.

Part II: Are You Ready for Some Paranoid? Insights into Policy, Politics and COP21 Climate Goals

Aug 1, 2016: The global climate is not the only environment suffering from an abundance of hot air and inclemency. Consider the political/policy climate in the U.S., e.g., November elections, and abroad, e.g., Brexit, and the near-term impact of these socio-economic factors on national and international efforts to sufficiently slow the rate of climate change. As we ponder these events, we must remember that time is of the essence! Delayed implementation of emission reduction targets of even a few years can have an outsized negative impact upon the rate of warming.

Brexit: A Hard or Soft Landing for Renewables?

Aug 1, 2016: In June, the UK electorate voted to leave the European Union. Now, the question is: will the UK’s departure be a “Soft Brexit” or a “Hard Brexit” and what will be the impact for the renewables industry?

UK’s Biggest Coal Station Now Runs Mainly on Biomass

Jul 29, 2016: What was once Britain’s biggest coal station is now powered mainly by wood pellets and its owner, Drax Group Plc, will learn in the next few months if can complete the conversion of another unit to run on renewable fuel.

Swaziland Plans 35-MW Biomass Plant

Jul 29, 2016: Swaziland, a tiny landlocked monarchy, sandwiched between South Africa and Mozambique, and known for its wilderness reserves and festivals showcasing traditional Swazi culture, is planning a 35-MW biomass-powered plant to begin operations in three years.

Russia May Shift from Export to Domestic Use of Wood Pellets

Jul 29, 2016: In the near future, Russia may take advantage of production of renewable energy from wood pellets for the needs of remote towns and villages where such practice could cut the cost of energy nearly ten times, according to a recent study of National Research University — Higher School of Economics.

50 Hot Bio-Based Companies, 50 Quick Takes

Jul 29, 2016: Renewables are coming to replace petroleum, predicted by self-proclaimed tech prognosticators everywhere. On the other end — inflated and unrealistic valuations, a shaky stock market, and a weak China, and as the oil prices fluctuate, they will take many smaller and un-mythical bio-based startups down. Why? Because you cannot have a successful bio-based company without a subsidy or an incentive from the government with the era of $44 crude oil! That is the usual reply from the unfamiliar!