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    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) kicks off the meeting in Valencia, Spain, which will result in the production of the Synthesis Report on climate change. The report will summarize the core findings of the three volumes published earlier by the separate working groups. IPCC - November 12, 2007.

    Biopact's Laurens Rademakers is interviewed by Mongabay on the risks of large-scale bioenergy with carbon storage (BECS) proposals. Even though Biopact remains positive about BECS, because it offers one of the few safe systems to mitigate climate change in a drastic way, care must be take to avoid negative impacts on tropical forests. Mongabay - November 10, 2007.

    According to the latest annual ranking produced by The Scientist, Belgium is the world's best country for academic research, followed by the U.S. and Canada. Belgium's top position is especially relevant for plant, biology, biotechnology and bioenergy research, as these are amongst the science fields on which it scores best. The Scientist - November 8, 2007.

    Mascoma Corporation, a cellulosic ethanol company, today announced the acquisition of Celsys BioFuels, Inc. Celsys BioFuels was formed in 2006 to commercialize cellulosic ethanol production technology developed in the Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering at Purdue University. The Celsys technology is based on proprietary pretreatment processes for multiple biomass feedstocks, including corn fiber and distiller grains. The technology was developed by Dr. Michael Ladisch, an internationally known leader in the field of renewable fuels and cellulosic biofuels. He will be taking a two-year leave of absence from Purdue University to join Mascoma as the company’s Chief Technology Officer. Business Wire - November 7, 2007.

    Bemis Company, Inc. announced today that it will partner with Plantic Technologies Limited, an Australian company specializing in starch-based biopolymers, to develop and sell renewably resourced flexible films using patented Plantic technology. Bemis - November 7, 2007.

    Hungary's Kalocsa Hõerõmû Kft is to build a HUF 40 billion (€158.2 million) straw-fired biomass power plant with a maximum capacity of 49.9 megawatts near Kalocsa in southern Hungary. Portfolio Hungary - November 7, 2007.

    Canada's Gemini Corporation has received approval to proceed into the detailed engineering, fabrication and construction phases of a biogas cogeneration facility located in the Lethbridge, Alberta area, the first of its kind whereby biogas production is enhanced through the use of Thermal Hydrolysis technology, a high temperature, high pressure process for the safe destruction of SRM material from the beef industry. The technology enables a facility to redirect waste material, previously shipped to landfills, into a valuable feedstock for the generation of electricity and thermal energy. This eliminates the release of methane into the environment and the resultant solids are approved for use as a land amendment rather than re-entering the waste stream. In addition, it enhances the biogas production process by more than 25%. Market Wire - November 7, 2007.

    A new Agency to manage Britain's commitment to biofuels was established today by Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly. The Renewable Fuels Agency will be responsible for the day to day running of the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation, coming into force in April next year. By 2010, the Obligation will mean that 5% of all the fuels sold in the UK should come from biofuels, which could save 2.6m to 3m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. eGov Monitor - November 5, 2007.

    Prices for prompt loading South African coal cargoes reached a new record last week with a trade at $85.00 a tonne free-on-board (FOB) for a February cargo. Strong Indian demand and tight supply has pushed South African prices up to record levels from around $47.00 at the beginning of the year. European DES/CIF ARA coal prices have remained fairly stable over the past few days, having traded up to a record $130.00 a tonne DES ARA late last week. Fair value is probably just below $130.00 a tonne, traders said. At this price, some forms of biomass become directly competitive with coal. Reuters Africa - November 4, 2007.

    The government of India's Harayana state has decided to promote biomass power projects based on gasification in a move to help rural communities replace costly diesel and furnace oil. The news was announced during a meeting of the Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency (HAREDA). Six pilot plants have demonstrated the efficiency and practicability of small-scale biomass gasification. Capital subsidies will now be made available to similar projects at the rate of Rs 2.5 lakh (€4400) per 100 KW for electrical applications and Rs 2 lakh (€3500) per 300 KW for thermal applications. New Kerala - November 1, 2007.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

World ethanol organisations issue joint statement on the biofuels future

In conjunction with F.O. LICHT´S World Ethanol 2007 conference being held in Amsterdam this week, leaders of the world’s largest ethanol production and trade associations issued a joint statement on the necessity of developing a robust and vibrant renewable biofuels industry around the globe.

The following statement was issued jointly by Gordon Quaiattini, President, Canadian Renewable Fuels Association, Canada; Robert Vierhout, Secretary General, European Bioethanol Fuel Association (eBIO), European Union; Bob Dinneen, President, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), United States; and, Marcos Jank, President, Sugar Cane Industry Association (UNICA), Brazil:

"Renewable fuels must be a central component of a global strategy to lessen reliance on fossil fuels, to mitigate the impacts of global climate change, and to provide real economic opportunity for rural residents in every country on Earth.
  • First, as oil prices soar to US$100 per barrel and declining petroleum reserves become ever more costly to extract, it is vital that we move quickly to expand the production and availability of biofuels such as ethanol. A renewable biofuel, ethanol contributes to global fuel diversity and security, particularly when considering that the current alternatives are fossil fuels from the wartorn Middle East and other dangerous regions of the world.
  • Second, today’s global ethanol industry is contributing to a more sustainable energy future unlike any other fuel in history. The use of renewable fuels such as ethanol significantly reduces the emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants that lead to global warming.
  • Third, ethanol will continue to create economic opportunity for farmers in developed and developing countries and who are often most affected by low world agricultural prices. Enhanced rural development means improved income, less pressure on urban areas, and greater opportunities to the world’s poorest who often pay the greatest penalty for high energy prices.
The success achieved by the world’s ethanol industry is in and of itself a good story. But the narrative does not stop here. The rapid evolution of the world ethanol industry is quickly yielding new technologies that are improving production efficiencies at existing biorefineries and introducing diverse new feedstocks such as grasses, bagasse, straw, wood chips and other biomass into the ethanol and bioelectricity generation production process:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

By continuing to work together and sharing ideas, these new technologies promise not only to increase ethanol production where it already exists but to make the benefits of ethanol production available in more countries.

Together with the world’s farmers and entrepreneurs, we can continue to feed as well as begin renewably fueling humankind.

Through cooperation and technology, we can responsibly and sustainably increase the production and use of renewable fuels and encourage others to take the essential first steps toward a more secure and stable energy and environmentally sensible future."

RFA: World Ethanol Industry Speaks Out: Ethanol Key to Energy Security, Environmental Future - November 8, 2007.


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