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$30 million backing for biofuel pioneer

Fulcrum BioEnergy will be able to accelerate the development of its waste to jet fuel renewable plants after agreeing a multi-million dollar partnership with BP.  The $30 million investment by BP is designed to give its Air BP business – one of the world’s largest suppliers of aviation fuel products and services – guaranteed access to Fulcrum BioEnergy’s product for the next decade.  Fulcrum converts municipal solid waste (MSW) into biofuels and will use the investment to progress its plans to build waste-to-fuel plants in North America and, longer term, globally.

Fuel Price Impacts of the Renewable Fuel Standard

Gasoline prices are the lowest they’ve been in a decade, and according to recent data from the Department of Energy, Americans are buying more gas than ever. While low gas prices are good for consumers, they may be troublesome to those who worry about greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, two important federal policies are pushing ahead to decrease transportation sector emissions by increasing vehicle efficiency and the use of renewable fuels: the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards and the US Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Washington voters reject initiative to impose carbon tax on fossil fuels

Initiative 732, the nation’s first state ballot measure to impose a carbon tax on fossil fuels, failed Tuesday on a crowded slate of statewide initiatives facing Washington voters. Initiative 732, which sought to apply a tax on energy-derived coal, oil gas  garnered just 42 percent after ballot counts around the state, including an early Wednesday update in King County.  King County was the lone county in Washington to support the measure.

Fuel from sewage is the future -- and it's closer than you think

It may sound like science fiction, but wastewater treatment plants across the United States may one day turn ordinary sewage into biocrude oil, thanks to new research. The technology, hydrothermal liquefaction, mimics the geological conditions Earth uses to create crude oil, using high pressure and temperature to achieve in minutes something that takes Mother Nature millions of years.

The Northeast is emerging as a clean energy leader

This year, Grassroots Solar announced partnerships with SunPower, a leading U.S. rooftop solar company, and sonnenBatterie, a German storage company, allowing Laberge to provide his customers with both solar technology and innovative battery backup — and he’s also capitalizing on a Vermont’s push for consumers to use cold-climate heat pumps and switch to electric cars. “We just did a system for a couple who only required 24 panels to cover their current needs, but [who knew they’d] eventually put in cold-climate heat pumps and electric cars,’’ Laberge said.

Waste heat from combustion could power 11.4 million U.S. homes a year

Engineers at Berkeley, California start-up Alphabet Energy have developed a cutting-edge renewable energy device that taps the energy from an often over-looked source: waste heat.  Now, we've definitely seen technologies before that harness energy from waste heat, but according to Berkeley Engineer, Alphabet's devices are the most efficient thermoelectric devices ever created and the company is setting their sights on major sources of waste heat -- combustion exhaust from power plants and vehicles.  “Waste heat is everywhere,” said CEO Matt Scullin.

Iowa Approves New $3.6 Billion Energy Plan

For the past 12 years, Iowa and MidAmerican Energy have worked to achieve their goal of 100% renewable energy across the state. Now, the largest wind energy project in the history of Iowa is underway – this revolutionary project, which will begin in 2017, is called Wind XI.     “Renewable energy is going to be good for our customers,  the environment, Iowa communities and our economy,” Ashton Hockman, MidAmerican Energy representative, said.  Wind XI, MidAmerican Energy’s eleventh wind project, was initially approved in August 2016.

Vermont releases renewable energy siting rules

The rules, implemented under Act 174, allow towns to have a say in how renewable energy projects are sited, but does not give municipalities the ability to reject solar and wind developments altogether.  The regulations require municipalities to participate in a local and regional planning process.  While the Public Service Board will consider municipal plans, the board has the ultimate say regarding where renewable energy projects are sited. Critics have objected to Act 174 because it doesn’t give towns veto power.

Share of Farm Businesses Receiving Lease and Royalty Income From Energy Production Varies Across Regions

Hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and oil trapped in shale formations, commonly referred to as “fracking,” impacts agriculture in many ways. Farms in shale regions, for example, face competition from energy companies for labor, water, and transportation infrastructure—as well as an increased risk of drilling-related soil or water contamination. But farmers may also earn payments from energy companies.  Whether fracking’s net effect on a farm is positive or negative depends largely on who owns the farm’s mineral rights.

EPA moves forward with optional cap-and-trade system for climate rule

The Obama administration is moving forward with an optional cap-and-trade system that states could use to comply with its climate change rule for power plants. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final model trading rule went to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review, the office said Friday, despite the fact that the underlying Clean Power Plan is on hold by order of the Supreme Court.

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