Electric starts feeding biogas to its natural gas pipelines <body> --------------
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    At the 148th Meeting of the OPEC Conference, the oil exporting cartel decided to leave its production level unchanged, sending crude prices spiralling to new records (above $104). OPEC "observed that the market is well-supplied, with current commercial oil stocks standing above their five-year average. The Conference further noted, with concern, that the current price environment does not reflect market fundamentals, as crude oil prices are being strongly influenced by the weakness in the US dollar, rising inflation and significant flow of funds into the commodities market." OPEC - March 5, 2008.

    Kyushu University (Japan) is establishing what it says will be the world’s first graduate program in hydrogen energy technologies. The new master’s program for hydrogen engineering is to be offered at the university’s new Ito campus in Fukuoka Prefecture. Lectures will cover such topics as hydrogen energy and developing the fuel cells needed to convert hydrogen into heat or electricity. Of all the renewable pathways to produce hydrogen, bio-hydrogen based on the gasification of biomass is by far both the most efficient, cost-effective and cleanest. Fuel Cell Works - March 3, 2008.

    An entrepreneur in Ivory Coast has developed a project to establish a network of Miscanthus giganteus farms aimed at producing biomass for use in power generation. In a first phase, the goal is to grow the crop on 200 hectares, after which expansion will start. The project is in an advanced stage, but the entrepreneur still seeks partners and investors. The plantation is to be located in an agro-ecological zone qualified as highly suitable for the grass species. Contact us - March 3, 2008.

    A 7.1MW biomass power plant to be built on the Haiwaiian island of Kaua‘i has received approval from the local Planning Commission. The plant, owned and operated by Green Energy Hawaii, will use albizia trees, a hardy species that grows in poor soil on rainfall alone. The renewable power plant will meet 10 percent of the island's energy needs. Kauai World - February 27, 2008.

    Tasmania's first specialty biodiesel plant has been approved, to start operating as early as July. The Macquarie Oil Company will spend half a million dollars on a specially designed facility in Cressy, in Tasmania's Northern Midlands. The plant will produce more than five million litres of fuel each year for the transport and marine industries. A unique blend of feed stock, including poppy seed, is expected to make it more viable than most operations. ABC Rural - February 25, 2008.

    The 16th European Biomass Conference & Exhibition - From Research to Industry and Markets - will be held from 2nd to 6th June 2008, at the Convention and Exhibition Centre of FeriaValencia, Spain. Early bird fee registration ends 18th April 2008. European Biomass Conference & Exhibition - February 22, 2008.

    'Obesity Facts' – a new multidisciplinary journal for research and therapy published by Karger – was launched today as the official journal of the European Association for the Study of Obesity. The journal publishes articles covering all aspects of obesity, in particular epidemiology, etiology and pathogenesis, treatment, and the prevention of adiposity. As obesity is related to many disease processes, the journal is also dedicated to all topics pertaining to comorbidity and covers psychological and sociocultural aspects as well as influences of nutrition and exercise on body weight. Obesity is one of the world's most pressing health issues, expected to affect 700 million people by 2015. AlphaGalileo - February 21, 2008.

    A bioethanol plant with a capacity of 150 thousand tons per annum is to be constructed in Kuybishev, in the Novosibirsk region. Construction is to begin in 2009 with investments into the project estimated at €200 million. A 'wet' method of production will be used to make, in addition to bioethanol, gluten, fodder yeast and carbon dioxide for industrial use. The complex was developed by the Solev consulting company. FIS: Siberia - February 19, 2008.

    Sarnia-Lambton lands a $15million federal grant for biofuel innovation at the Western Ontario Research and Development Park. The funds come on top of a $10 million provincial grant. The "Bioindustrial Innovation Centre" project competed successfully against 110 other proposals for new research money. London Free Press - February 18, 2008.

    An organisation that has established a large Pongamia pinnata plantation on barren land owned by small & marginal farmers in Andhra Pradesh, India is looking for a biogas and CHP consultant to help research the use of de-oiled cake for the production of biogas. The organisation plans to set up a biogas plant of 20,000 cubic meter capacity and wants to use it for power generation. Contact us - February 15, 2008.

    The Andersons, Inc. and Marathon Oil Corporation today jointly announced ethanol production has begun at their 110-million gallon ethanol plant located in Greenville, Ohio. Along with the 110 million gallons of ethanol, the plant annually will produce 350,000 tons of distillers dried grains, an animal feed ingredient. Marathon Oil - February 14, 2008.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

California's Pacific Gas & Electric starts feeding biogas to its natural gas pipelines

Pacific Gas and Electric Company and BioEnergy Solutions announced that their biogas-to-pipeline injection project in Fresno County has begun production of renewable natural gas derived from animal waste. It is the first project in California that will deliver pipeline-quality, renewable natural gas to a utility. California thus follows in the footsteps of Europe, where the gaseous biofuel is being fed into the grid on an increasingly large scale.
With nearly two million dairy cows in California, there is great potential for the state's agriculture and power sectors to work together to address the challenges of climate change. This project is yet another example of our company's commitment to add innovative forms of clean renewable energy to help meet our customers' future power needs. - Roy Kuga, vice president of energy supply at PG&E
Under a long-term contract approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), BioEnergy Solutions will deliver up to three billion cubic feet (85 million cubic meters) of renewable natural gas a year to PG&E (earlier post).

The BioEnergy Solutions system reduces emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide, by 70 percent on a 5,000-cow dairy, while carbon dioxide emissions are offset by switching from fossil natural gas to renewable bio-based gas.
We have developed an innovative way to bring dairies and power companies together to generate a new source of green energy for California. Using proven technologies, we design, build and operate highly-efficient biogas systems that enable dairymen to meet new air quality requirements and help utilities meet their goals for the production of energy from renewable sources. - David Albers, president of BioEnergy Solutions
Vintage Dairy, the site of BioEnergy Solution's first project, is located near the town of Riverdale in western Fresno County, California. Manure from the dairy's 5,000 milk-producing cows and calves is flushed into a covered lagoon - equal in size to the area of nearly five football fields and over three stories deep - that traps the methane gas produced as the manure decomposes. The methane is upgraded, or 'scrubbed' to remove corrosive materials to meet PG&E's industry-leading environmental standards for power plants and then delivered to PG&E through the utility's pipeline. PG&E uses the natural gas to deliver renewable electricity to its customers in central and northern California:
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BioEnergy Solutions is based in Bakersfield and was founded by David Albers, a third-generation dairyman who also owns Vintage Dairy. The company installs at its own expense the infrastructure needed to collect and process the manure and then pump the gas into PG&E's pipeline. BioEnergy also shares the proceeds from the sale of gas and resulting emissions credits with dairy owners.

PG&E is a leader in utilizing biogas in the United States. In addition to the utility's contract with BioEnergy Solutions, PG&E is working to cultivate the next generation of biogas technologies through its biomethanation research project. This recently launched project explores emerging biomethanation technologies and processes that may increase conversion efficiency, expand the range of usable feedstocks and improve the quality of biomethane products.

PG&E expects to have 14 percent of its energy from renewable sources that qualify under California's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Program in 2008. On average, more than 50 percent of the energy PG&E delivers comes from carbon-free sources, and the utility now has contracts to provide 20 percent of its future energy supply from renewable sources. Qualifying renewable sources in PG&E's portfolio include solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and small hydroelectric.

California's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Program requires each utility to increase its procurement of eligible renewable generating resources by one percent of load per year to achieve a 20 percent renewables goal by 2010. The RPS Program was passed by the Legislature and is managed by the CPUC and California Energy Commission.

PG&E earlier also announced that it had issued a Request for Information (RFI) to identify partners for a potential project to demonstrate technologies that could cost-effectively produce significant quantities of biomethane - pipeline-quality, renewable natural gas (more here).

PG&E: PG&E and Bioenergy Solutions Turn the Valve on California’s First “Cow Power” Project - March 4, 2008.

Biopact: Pacific Gas & Electric Company to research large-scale biomethane resources for its customers - January 25, 2008


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