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    Mongabay, a leading resource for news and perspectives on environmental and conservation issues related to the tropics, has launched Tropical Conservation Science - a new, open access academic e-journal. It will cover a wide variety of scientific and social studies on tropical ecosystems, their biodiversity and the threats posed to them. Tropical Conservation Science - March 8, 2008.

    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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Friday, March 07, 2008

Florida awards $12.5 million grants for renewable energy: includes sweet sorghum ethanol, biodiesel distribution, multi-feedstock biofuels

The state of Florida recently announced the recipients of new renewable energy technologies grants. Part of the Department of Environmental Protection's Renewable Energy Technologies Grant Program, $12.5 million in funding was awarded to eight organizations to stimulate capital investment in the state and promote and enhance the statewide utilization of renewable energy technologies, including ethanol and biodiesel, bioenergy, solar and wind. Earlier, the state announced $25 million in grants as part of the "Farm to Fuel" initiative, which aims to have biomass meet 25 percent of all of Florida's energy needs by 2025 (more here).

The DEP received 139 grant proposals for the new funding round seeking more than $200 million and providing almost $700 million in cost share for renewable energy projects. The proposals, which include technologies ranging from biomass, to solar and hydrogen, were evaluated by the state based on a number of different criteria: cost share percentage; economic development; technical feasibility; innovative technology; production potential; energy efficiency; fostering awareness; project management; duration and timeline; located served; public integration; and incorporation of multiple technologies.

The Renewable Energy Technologies Grant Program recipients for 2007/2008 are:
  • Central Florida Regional Transit Authority (LYNX), “Go Renewable Energy Efficient Next-Generation Biodiesel Fleets” ($2,500,000) – Located in Central Florida, this partnership will implement a large-scale alternative fuel research and demonstration project that provides biodiesel blending at a central fueling location. By 2010, Orange County, LYNX and Orlando Utilities Commission will have transitioned their entire diesel fleet to biodiesel blended fuel.
  • Vecenergy, “Production of Biodiesel Using Multiple Feedstocks” ($2,500,000) – Located in Manatee County, the project includes construction and operation of a biodiesel facility capable of producing 37.5 million gallons of biodiesel per year.
  • Florida Power and Light, “St. Lucie Wind” ($2,500,000) – This project will construct the first wind energy facility in Florida. As proposed, nine wind turbine generation units would be placed in St. Lucie County and are expected to have the potential capacity of 20 megawatts of electrical power.
  • Florida Solar Energy Research and Education Foundation, “Building Florida’s Solar Infrastructure” ($1,688,216) – This statewide project will accelerate the use of solar energy in Florida by reducing market barriers by collaborating with industry experts as well as developing marketing materials and an outreach campaign.
  • Renergie, Inc., “Development of Florida’s Ethanol Industry Using Sweet Sorghum” ($1,500,483) – This project, concentrated in the Florida Panhandle, will design and build Florida’s first sweet sorghum mechanical harvesting system. In addition, the company will develop and construct a sweet sorghum-to- ethanol facility capable of producing five million gallons of ethanol annually.
  • Exceed Corporation, “Dollars & Sense: Renewable Energy for Florida Builders & Developers” ($990,000) – This project, located in Pinellas County, will develop a profitable model for replication that will provide solutions to up-front cost barriers for renewable energy investments for Florida developers.
  • Orange County Government, “Photovoltaic Demonstration and Research Facility and Climate Change Education Center” ($697,433) – This project enables the completion of a demonstration, research and education program through the installation of the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) system in the South, a one megawatt solar PV system located at the Orange County Convention Center.
  • Progress Energy Florida, “Small-Scale Wind Power in Florida” ($123,868) - This project will evaluate inland opportunities for wind energy generation in Florida by using five wind turbines at five different locations across the state, providing more than 15,000 kilowatt hours of wind generation annually.
In 2007, the Florida Legislature appropriated $12.5 million for the Renewable Energy Technologies Grant Program, providing funding for projects that generate or utilize renewable energy resources, including hydrogen, biomass and solar energy. Since the creation of the Florida Energy Act in 2006, a total of $27.5 million has been appropriated for the Renewable Energy Technologies Grant Program:
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We believe that awards such as these are critical in triggering the development of a renewable energy industry in Florida. With the backing of and an investment from the state, we’re hopeful that these projects will yield positive results and serve as a catalyst for major commercial investment in this industry. - Charles H. Bronson, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture
In addition to the Renewable Energy Technologies Grant Program, the Florida Legislature created the “Farm to Fuel” Grants Program to provide matching grants for projects that promote the production and distribution of renewable energy from Florida-grown crops, agricultural wastes and residues, and other biomass. As part of the program and with DEP’s input, twelve grants totaling $25 million were awarded last month to stimulate investment in projects that will enhance the value of agriculture products and expand agribusiness in the State.

Last summer, Governor Charlie Crist signed a set of executive orders to reduce Florida’s greenhouse gases emissions, increase energy efficiency, and remove market barriers for renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind energy. In the months since the executive orders were signed, Florida has stepped onto the world stage as a major marketplace for advanced energy technologies. Just last month, the Governor announced a $200 million energy and economic development budget recommendation that builds on the policy framework of the Governor’s executive orders, focusing on increasing energy efficiency, stimulating development of renewable sources of energy, and using markets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection: State Awards Grants for Renewable Energy Technologies - February 26, 2008.

Florida's Renewable Energy Technologies Grant Program.

Florida’s climate change initiatives.

Biopact: Florida awards $25 million to biofuel and bioenergy projects in "Farm to Fuel" initiative: 25% of all energy from biomass by 2025 - January 23, 2008


Blogger Saturn said...

These are GREAT initiatives.

The wind turbines on Hutchinson Island have faced a setback from a few very organized NIMBY's, and so the power company had to scale back their plans by a third. Now it's 6 turbines instead of 9, and they're all located on the company's property.

The NIMBY's are still worked up, but the good news is that it's becoming apparent what a minority they are, as 80% of the locals support the project according to this new poll.

11:34 PM  

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