Alternative Energy

Biofuel News

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

Jul 30, 2015

Alternative Fuels

On the Move in the Advanced Bioeconomy: Genomatica, Genera Energy

Jul 29, 2015: Carlos A. Cabrera, was elected executive chairman of Genomatica. Cabrera was formerly chairman, president and CEO of UOP, a Honeywell company, that supplies and licenses process technology and services to the petrochemical, refining and gas processing industries. He also previously served as executive chairman of Ivanhoe Energy; a director at Gevo; and as CEO of […]…

Shampoo, New and Improved! BASF and Solazyme Launch the First Commercial Microalgae-Derived Betaine Surfactant

Jul 29, 2015: In California, BASF and Solazyme have launched of the first commercial surfactant derived from microalgae oil, a high performance algal betaine for use in home and personal care applications. Generally speaking, surfactants, which are the “lifting agents,” if you will, that power the work of detergents and shampoos, are made from C12 to C14 medium […]…

Green Plains Reports Q2 2015 uptick from Q1, and $7.8 million in net income

Jul 29, 2015: In Nebraska, Green Plains is reporting Q2 2015 net income of $7.8 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, compared to net income of $32.3 million, or $0.82 per diluted share, for the same period in 2014. Revenues were $744.5 million for the second quarter of 2015 compared to $837.9 million for the same period in […]…

INVISTA and Plaxica collaborate on bio-based lactic acid

Jul 29, 2015: In England, INVISTA and Plaxica entered into a collaboration expected to accelerate the commercialisation of Plaxica’s technology. Under the agreement, in which INVISTA will have an option for an equity stake in Plaxica, INVISTA will provide Plaxica engineering, technical and commercial support from its global technology licensing organisation. The two companies will work together to develop […]…

Pacific Ethanol switches on Corn Oil production at its Boardman, Oregon plant

Jul 29, 2015: In California, Pacific Ethanol has begun commercial production of corn oil utilizing Valicor’s corn oil recovery system at its Columbia ethanol plant located in Boardman, Oregon. With the completion of this 2-year initiative, all four of the western Pacific Ethanol plants are now producing corn oil. In May, Pacific Ethanol began commercial production of corn […]…

Iowa Wholesale E85 Available for More Than $1.00 Less Than Regular Unleaded Gasoline

Jul 29, 2015: In Iowa, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association highlighted, via its E85 Wholesale Price Listing Program, that wholesale E85 ethanol is available for up to a $1.18 per gallon, or up to 54% discount per gallon compared to Des Moines Rack Average clear regular gasoline.  However, retail gasoline prices (E10) in Iowa are reported at $2.68, […]…

Rice is nice, but can it be less of a methane-belching device? PNNL says “yes, if you take our advice”

Jul 29, 2015: In Washington state, researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have found that with the addition of a single gene, rice can be cultivated to emit virtually no methane from its paddies during growth. With the change, it also packs much more of the plant’s desired properties, such as starch for a richer food source […]…

Algae Biomass Organization Hails Carbon Use provision in Senate Energy Legislation 

Jul 29, 2015: In Washington, The Algae Biomass Organization (ABO), the trade association for the algae industry, hailed language included in the energy reform package released last Wednesday by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that would prioritize research and development of carbon utilization technologies under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fossil Energy program. The Energy Policy Modernization Act […]…

4 minutes with… Andrew Lucero, Manager, Process Research Southern Research

Jul 29, 2015: Tell us about your company and it’s role in the Advanced Bioeconomy. Southern Research is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) scientific and engineering research organization in AL, MD, GA, and NC in the areas of drug discovery and development, advanced engineering, and environmental protection. In NC we conduct research and development into energy related technologies including conversion […]…

Industry’s withering critique of EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard proposals for 2014, 2015, 2016: The Digested version

Jul 29, 2015: Heard dire comments like  “POET expects to stop all future U.S. cellulosic investments if EPA’s proposed base renewable fuel requirements are not strengthened.” Want to understand the substantive concerns on the Renewable Fuel Standard, but lack the time to read the thousands of pages of commentary? Here’s our Digested version of the key comments. In […]…

New Ethanol Production, Corn Oil Comes to Market

Jul 29, 2015: Pacific Ethanol has begun commercial production of corn oil utilizing Valicor’s corn oil recovery system at its Columbia ethanol plant located in Boardman, Oregon. With the completion of this 2-year initiative, all four of the western Pacific Ethanol plants are … Continue reading →…

Climate Deniers Uncovered

Jul 29, 2015: A paper published by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), “The Climate Deception Dossiers,” reveals decades of corporate misinformation campaigns by the fossil fuel industry. The paper focuses on seven deception dossiers, or collections containing nearly 85 internal company and … Continue reading →…

BioEnergy Bytes

Jul 29, 2015: Martifer Solar will begin construction of a 57 MWp portfolio of solar PV projects in Jordan. The portfolio consists of four projects, which were awarded successfully with Power Purchase Agreements under Round 1 of Jordan’s National Renewable Energy Plan. Of … Continue reading →…

Nebraska Names Ethanol Ambassadors

Jul 29, 2015: A pair of college students has been named as the Nebraska Ethanol Board’s ambassadors. This news release from the board says David Hansen and Maggie Louthan have been tapped for the posts in the program that engages them in the … Continue reading →…

Listen Up: Vampires Sucking Power from your House

Jul 29, 2015: Here’s a nightmare for you: at night, when you’re asleep and you think things are quiet, there are vampires sucking power out of your house and increasing your electric bill. The fact of the matter is that every plugged in electrical device in your home uses a small amount of standby power -- even if you think these devices are off.

Block Island Wind Farm Has Steel in Water

Jul 28, 2015: The American wind energy industry along with Rhode Island state legislators and others celebrated what Deepwater Wind is calling a “historic moment” for the offshore wind industry as the first “steel in the water” milestone was met this week for … Continue reading →…

NBB Cites Biodiesel Benefits of RFS

Jul 28, 2015: The comment period has officially ended for the final 2014 and 2015 final Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rule as set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The National Biodiesel Board submitted comments but has a different take on how to … Continue reading →…

BioEnergy Bytes

Jul 28, 2015: The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) released a new economic study detailing a devastating relationship between higher electricity prices and job losses. The study, Affordable Electricity: Rural America’s Economic Lifeline, measures the impact of a 10 and 25 percent … Continue reading →…

RFS Comments Piled High at EPA Doors

Jul 28, 2015: Boxes upon boxes of comments relating to the Renewable Fuel Standard were delivered to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) doors yesterday as the comment period ended for the final 2014/2015 rule. Despite clear legislation on the amount of renewable volumetric … Continue reading →…

Bacteria to Help Grow Better Algae for Biodiesel

Jul 28, 2015: We hear a lot about probiotics when it comes to nutrition for people. But research in California is developing probiotic bacteria that will help protect algae that can be turned into biodiesel. This article from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory says … Continue reading →…

Biodiesel Essay Contest Winners Announced

Jul 28, 2015: Winners of the 2015 Clean Air Choice Biodiesel Essay Scholarship have been announced. The American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest in Minnesota says Brianna Bredeson, a recent graduate of Willmar Senior High School, is the first place recipient of … Continue reading →…

RFA to EPA: Put the RFS Back on Track!

Jul 27, 2015: WASHINGTON — In comments submitted to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) urged the agency to implement the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as Congress intended, and to abandon its proposal to substantially slash the annual amount of biofuels that are to be blended with gasoline. In a letter accompanying the written comments, RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen called the agency’s proposal to substantially reduce the 2014, 2015, and 2016 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) “surprising” and “imprudent.” Dinneen charged the agency with buying into the oil industry’s false narrative regarding the so-called blend wall, and by doin…

Major US Corporations Pledge To Increase Renewable Energy Usage, Decrease Carbon Footprint

Jul 27, 2015: Executives from 13 major U.S. corporations are announcing at least $140 billion in new investments to decrease their carbon footprints as part of a White House initiative to recruit private commitments ahead of a United Nations climate-change summit later this year in Paris. Companies including Apple Inc., Berkshire Hathaway Energy Co., and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will join Secretary of State John Kerry and top administration officials at the White House for the announcement. In addition to pledges to cut emissions, provide financing to environmentally-focused companies, and reduce water consumption, the companies have said they will procure at least 1,600 MW of new, renewable energy. The White House said in a statement that it expects to…

Energy Storage and Geothermal Markets Look To Team Up in the Hunt for Lithium

Jul 27, 2015: In today's fast-paced tech environment, no one can make a splash quite like Elon Musk. So when he decided to enter the energy storage game in 2014, he did it with gusto. Musk is now in the process of building what he coined a "gigafactory," which is a lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in Nevada. Of course, the plant is being built at such an efficient pace that its ahead of schedule and is now set to start production in 2016. Since the gigafactory plans were revealed, Musk has continued to wow the industry with announcements like the unveiling of Powerwall, a residential storage system that pairs with rooftop solar, which can be financed and installed by his other company that you may have already heard of, SolarCity.

Regional News from the July/August 2015 Digital Edition of Renewable Energy World

Jul 24, 2015: EcoFasten Solar announced that it launched a new mounting "Rock-It System" that it would be displaying during Intersolar. Product compliance was determined through testing per UL Subject 2703, which reviews integrated grounding and bonding, fire classification and mechanical loading. EcoFasten Solar's solar roof mounts and components are designed, engineered and manufacturered in Morrisville, VT. Working closely with leading solar developers, racking system providers, roofing manufacturers and commercial installation companies, the company said that its products are fast and easy to install and "were designed with the installer in mind."…

Motorcyclists Celebrate 75 Years at Sturgis

Jul 22, 2015: WASHINGTON — The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) will once again partner with the Buffalo Chip Campground to host the 75th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which is set to take place Aug. 3–9 in Sturgis, South Dakota. This year’s event hopes to set attendance records, with more than 1.5 million bikers expected to make the trek to Sturgis. Similar to years past, the event offers a unique opportunity to promote the benefits of high-octane, low-cost ethanol to the motorcycling community. RFA educational and promotional materials will be prominently displayed at the rally. Throughout the day and during the night-time concerts, jumbotrons will display commercials about ethanol. RFA banners will be visible at various locations…

UK Government Proposes Solar and Biomass Subsidy Cuts

Jul 22, 2015: The U.K. proposed to reduce support for the solar and biomass-power industries to help consumers who fund the subsidies through their energy bills. Ministers plan to end a government aid program for small solar projects a year early and will no longer allow small-scale renewables developers to lock in guaranteed power prices under the feed-in tariff program, according to documents on the Department of Energy and Climate Change website. Prime Minister David Cameron’s administration is scaling back renewables assistance as part of its drive to keep a lid on public spending and reduce the costs to consumers of government policy. Today’s revisions follow cuts to onshore wind subsidies last month and to larger solar projects in April…

Boat Racers Return to Kansas for “Shootout” on the Water

Jul 22, 2015: WASHINGTON — The National Boat Racing Association (NBRA) recently held its annual Garnett Ethanol Hydroplane Shootout in Garnett, Kansas. The July 12–13 event, which was sponsored by the Renewable Fuels Association, East Kansas Agri-Energy and the Kansas Corn Commission, invited boat racers from across the country to compete on the waters of Lake Garnett with ethanol-powered hydroplanes. The Shootout is a popular family attraction that also demonstrates the benefits that ethanol brings to the performance of a marine engine. E10 is approved for use by all boat manufacturers for their engines. The NBRA, which represents more than 250 drivers in 30 states, has used E10 as its primary fuel source for years and has a long history of…

Some Hope for US Renewable Energy Tax Credits As Extension Bill Passes Committee

Jul 22, 2015: In a lopsided 23-3 vote, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee voted yesterday to extend a number of renewable energy production tax credits through the end of 2016. The vote allows developers of wind, geothermal, biomass, landfill gas, incremental hydroelectric, and ocean energy to take advantage of federal tax credits for projects begun before December 31, 2016. Chief among big renewable winners was the wind energy industry, which received extensions to the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). If passed, wind farms would qualify for a 2.3-cent-per-kilowatt-hour (kWh) credit through the end of 2016.

Statement on Senate Finance Mark-Up

Jul 21, 2015: WASHINGTON — Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, released the following statement in response to today’s markup by the Senate Finance Committee of a tax extenders bill that contained several provisions of importance to the biofuels industry. The bill contains a two-year extension of the Second Generation Biofuel Producer Tax Credit, the Special Depreciation Allowance for Second Generation Biofuel Plant Property, and the Alternative Fuel Mixture Excise Tax Credit. “I commend the Senate Finance Committee’s leadership for recognizing how important these tax credits are for the continued growth and innovation of the U.S. biofuels industry. Stability in the marketplace is crucial to encourag…

FedEx Express Soon To Be Powered by Biofuel

Jul 21, 2015: Beginning in 2017 anyone sending a package via FedEx may be sending it a little bit more sustainably. Today Red Rock Biofuels announced that it would produce approximately three million gallons of low-carbon, renewable jet fuel per year for FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. The agreement runs through 2024, with first delivery expected in 2017. Between the two of them, Southwest Airlines and FedEx will be purchasing Red Rock’s total available volume of jet fuel. Red Rock’s first refinery, funded in part by a $70 million Title III DPA grant from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Navy, is scheduled to break ground this fall in Lakeview, Ore. and will convert approximately 140,000 dry tons of woody biomass int…

Biofuel Trade Organizations Ask for Extension of Advanced Biofuel Tax Incentives

Jul 17, 2015: WASHINGTON — A group of biofuel trade organizations today sent a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) encouraging extension of critical advanced biofuel tax incentives — the Second Generation Biofuel Producer Tax Credit, the Special Depreciation Allowance for Second Generation Biofuel Plant Property, the Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Fuels Credit, and the Alternative Fuel and Alternative Fuel Mixture Excise Tax Credit. The trade groups signing the letter included the Advanced Ethanol Council, Advanced Biofuels Association, Algae Biomass Organization, Biotechnology Industry Organization, Growth Energy, National Biodiesel Board, and Renewable Fuels Association. The…

Poplar-Based Bioethanol Production Awaits Spike In Price Of Crude

Jul 17, 2015: As the world’s fastest growing temperate tree species, poplar can add a dozen feet annually and reach maturity in as few as four years.  One of its hybrids, populus x generosa, has the widest land suitability footprint of any bio-energy crop, including willow and switchgrass.  But the poplar species’ malleable, rich genetics also make it ideal for maximizing its potential as a source of fuel-quality cellulosic ethanol.

Climate Talks Nearing Consensus in Behind-the-Scenes Meetings

Jul 16, 2015: Publicly, the United Nations climate-change talks look mired in disputes over everything from money to the length of the proposed agreement.

Global Renewable Energy Is Status Positive

Jul 16, 2015: The headline figure from the authoritative REN21 Renewables Global Status Report 2015 (GSR) states renewables accounted for more than 59 percent of all new electricity generating capacity installed worldwide during 2014.

Mid-Year Celebrations: Fireworks, A World Cup, And Clean Energy Momentum

Jul 15, 2015: This month alone, we Americans celebrated our nation’s birthday, capped off perfectly by the USA women’s soccer team’s sensational 5-2 victory in the World Cup final. As we hit the halfway point of 2015, the clean-energy industry also has much to celebrate, much of it in the month of June alone and much of it financial.

UNICA Joins Global Renewable Fuels Alliance

Jul 14, 2015: TORONTO — On Monday, the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA) welcomed UNICA as its newest member. “Brazil is truly a trailblazer in the global biofuels industry, not only as one of the world’s largest producers of biofuels, but one of the first,” said Bliss Baker, spokesperson for the GRFA. “As the largest ethanol producer in Brazil, we are honoured to have UNICA join our ranks to represent the industry on the world stage.” The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) is the largest organization in Brazil representing sugar, ethanol and bioelectricity producers. It was created in 1997, following a consolidation process involving regional organizations in the State of São Paulo after gove…

The Latest Sign That Coal Is Getting Killed

Jul 13, 2015: Coal is having a hard time lately. U.S. power plants are switching to natural gas, environmental restrictions are kicking in, and the industry is being derided as the world's No. 1 climate criminal. Prices have crashed, sure, but for a real sense of coal's diminishing prospects, check out what's happening in the bond market.

Sandia Lab Program To Assist Small Clean Energy Companies

Jul 13, 2015: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) chose Sandia National Laboratories as one of five leads in a pilot that will give small, clean-energy companies access to national laboratory expertise and resources. Sandia will receive $2.75 million of DOE’s $20 million investment to launch the voucher pilot for small business assistance and collaborative research.  …

What’s Up with the Algae Biofuels Industry?

Jul 13, 2015: Algae, algae, algae —  biofuels made from and by the littleist creatures in the advanced bioeconomy is back in focus this week, as the DOE puts $18 million in funding into the marlet aimed at stimulating sub-$5 per gallon algae biofuels by 2019.

FERC Removes Obstacles that Limit Distributed Renewable Energy in Colorado

Jul 10, 2015: In a July 1 ruling FERC (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) cleared the way for Colorado’s Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA), along with other electric co-ops, to step outside the bounds of a 40-year power supply contract with Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association and tap into local renewable energy supplies. FERC's ruling, which was unanimous, clarifies what had been deemed unclear wording in PURPA (Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act), as well as Tri-State's regulatory status. The contract DMEA and 43 other electric co-ops had signed with Tristate in 2001 required them to purchase 95 percent of their electricity from Tri-state. In short, FERC ruled that as per PURPA DMEA not only had the right but…

Is the Spanish Government Putting the Brakes on Solar PV?

Jul 9, 2015: Spain's Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Transport announced this spring that it would hold an auction for the installation of 500 MW and 200 MW of new wind and biomass power capacities, respectively. The date for the auction was not announced but it is expected that the call for submissions will be published in the State Official Bulletin in the near future. Bids for solar power capacity need not apply.

Japan's Long-term Energy Plan Shoots for Ultimate Balance in Economics, Environment and Safety

Jul 9, 2015: What is 3E + S? It is neither a mathematics problem nor chemical equation. It is Japan’s latest long-term energy plan, which was released by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) on June 1stf for review. The draft plan aims to establish an optimum energy mix by the year 2030.

Three Island Nations Are Ready for Renewable Energy

Jul 8, 2015: Powering and fueling societies by harvesting solar, wind and other clean, renewable energy resources makes good sense anywhere, anytime – especially now that technical performance has improved and costs have dropped so dramatically. Nowhere is this more true than it is for small island nations where energy costs are high and human populations, not to mention ecosystems and natural resources, fragile and threatened. Releasing its Renewables Readiness Assessment (RRA) reports for three South Pacific island nations – Fiji, the Marshall Islands and Vanuatu – IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency), concludes that tapping into solar, wind, geothermal, marine, biomass and biofuel energy would not only meet electricity need…

Listen Up: Pope Calls for the Replacement of Fossil Fuels, Renewable Energy and Solar Subsidies

Jul 7, 2015: We’re talking about religion this week. Did I get your attention? How about if we talk about climate change, more renewable energy, dirty fossil fuels and solar subsidies? Okay, we’ve already covered these topics. But now the Pope has chimed in with his “On Care For Our Common Home” Encyclical. I’m probably the worst person to comment on this 180 page Encyclical (I got kicked out of Hebrew School). There is no doubt in my mind that the Pope’s analysis and commentary will definitely affect U.S. politics related to clean energy.

Biofuel Leaders Urge Congress to Reject Legislative Changes to the RFS

Jul 6, 2015: A consortium of biofuel companies sent a letter to members of Congress, urging them to reject proposals that would repeal or “reform” the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The were particularly concerned with the amendment put forth by Barry Loudermilk, a Republican representative from Georgia that calls on Congress to defund the RFS.

Ten Clean Energy Stocks For 2015: Riding The Storm

Jul 6, 2015: The first half of 2015 saw a mild advance in the broad market, but concerns about rising interest rates and the ongoing Greek debt drama sent income stocks, clean energy, and most non-US currencies down decisively.  My Ten Clean Energy Stocks for 2015 model portfolio has heavy exposure to not only clean energy, but income stocks (6 out of 10) and foreign stocks (4 out of 10.)  Despite this the stormy market for all three, the portfolio delivered admirably. …

Corporate Speed Dating: Coupling India's Smart Cities with Smart Investment for Sustainability

Jul 6, 2015: Building off nearly 10 months of extensive public and private sector consultation, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi began in April to green-light initial projects under the country’s Smart Cities Initiative (SCI). The SCI benchmarks, formulated in response to rapid urban population growth, aim to modernize environmentally sustainable transport, housing, utility, and connectivity services for 100 new or refurbished cities across the subcontinent.

Germany Gives Dirtiest Coal Plants Six Years for Phase Out

Jul 2, 2015: German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said 13 percent of power stations burning lignite, a cheap form of coal, would be phased out by 2021 under a program to cut power industry pollution. The government abandoned talks on proposals to impose a climate-change fee that the industry said would have forced mines and plants to close, threatening jobs.

Clean Energy Companies Beat the Stock Market

Jul 1, 2015: Stocks of clean-energy companies are proving to be better investments than those of companies that produce most of the Western Hemisphere's power, and are outperforming the rest of the stock market as well. The evidence is found in the New York Stock Exchange Bloomberg Americas Clean Energy Index. Its 141 companies, all based in North and South America, returned 32.62 percent in the past two years. In contrast, the 40 conventional-energy companies in the Standard and Poor's 500 Energy Index returned 1.02 percent over the same period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Clean energy also is beating the rest of the stock market. The Clean Energy Index is up 6.02 percent so far this year. Lagging behind are both the S&P 500 and the Ru…