Tag: BioFeatured

Obama’s Clean Power Plan: A “Huge Win for Algae”

In Washington, the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan has been hailed by the Algae Biomass Organization and other sections of the advanced bioeconomy as a “huge win for algae” with its OK for carbon capture and use technologies.

The Clean Power Plan sets federal guidelines for states to follow in order to cut carbon emissions by 32 percent before 2030. According to the EPA, CO2 alone is responsible for 84 percent of the greenhouse gas problem. More than a third of that comes straight from existing power plants.

The Plan is a final rule from the EPA, capping a years-long effort by the Obama Administration to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act, after efforts to pass legislation for cap-and-trade failed in the Congress during Obama’s first term. Along the way, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed the Administration’s right to regulate CO2 as a pollutant.

World’s First Integrated Geothermal and Biomass Plant Goes Online

Enel Green Power has announced the completion of a 5 megawatt (MW) biomass power plant in Italy’s Tuscany region that integrates biomass with geothermal steam generation.

A first of its kind, the newly constructed biomass plant will use locally sourced virgin forest organic matter and a “super-heater” boiler to increase steam temperatures at the nearby 13-MW Cornia 2 geothermal plant. Geothermal steam temperatures entering the Cornia 2 plant will be raised from 300 degrees to over 700 degrees (Fahrenheit). The result, according to Enel Green Power, will be an increase in the geothermal plant’s net electricity generation capacity.

It is projected that the integration of the biomass plant will boost the overall Cornia 2 geothermal plant output by some 30 gigawatt hours (GWh) a year. It will also mitigate the emission of 13,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. This innovative technological approach will result in minimal local environmental impact and secure “total renewability” within the resources used and the cycle of energy generation.

Francesco Venturini, CEO of Enel Green Power, said the combination of the two technologies is “a major step forward for the future of renewable energy” and expects it will result in the establishment of a replicable model that “opens up new local energy, economic and employment opportunities.”

Poplar-Based Bioethanol Production Awaits Spike In Price Of Crude

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.

How to Win Planning Permission for Renewable Energy Projects (and Influence People)

At Tuesday afternoon’s POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy World Europe conference session in Amsterdam, Paul Davison of PR firm Proteus discussed how to best communicate with the public regarding renewable energy projects, specifically energy from waste (EfW).

“Why does the public regularly resist the development of renewable energy?” he asked, answering that most often it is because project developers have failed to effectively engage with them. While support for renewable power in Europe is overwhelming, and in his home country, the UK, 80 per cent of the public supports it, three in four planning applications fail. According to Davison, “as soon as you get specific” about the details of a project, such as where it will be located and what technology is involved, “you lose the public”.

Who Is Weathering the $50 Oil Storm in Biofuels, and How?

A period of lower-cost oil has, famously, descended on the market, reminding us that business models should always take into account “black swan” economic events such as the battle between OPEC and unconventional oil producers over some 10 percent of global market share, which has tumbled oil prices some 20 percent down, with US currency strength causing another 20 percent or so tumble.