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    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, 2007.

    '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, 2007.

    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, 2007.

    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, 2007.

    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, 2007.

    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, 2007.

    Austrian bioenergy group Cycleenergy acquired controlling interest in Greenpower Projektentwicklungs GmbH, expanding its biomass operational portfolio by 16 MW to a total of 22 MW. In the transaction Cycleenergy took over 51% of the company and thereby formed a joint venture with Porr Infrastruktur GmbH, a subsidiary of Austrian construction company Porr AG. Greenpower operates two wood chip CHP facilities in Upper and Lower Austria, each with an electric capacity of 2 MW. The plants have been in operation since the middle of last year and consume more than 30,000 tonnes of wood chips and are expected to generate over €5 million in additional revenue. Cycleenergy - February 6, 2007.

    The 2008 edition of Bioenergy World Europe will take place in Verona, Italy, from 7 to 10 February. Gathering a broad range of international exhibitors covering gaseous, liquid and solid bioenergy, the event aims to offer participants the possibility of developing their business through meetings with professionals, thematic study tours and an international forum focusing on market and regulatory issues, as well as industry expertise. Bioenergy World Europe - February 5, 2007.

    The World GTL Summit will take place between 12 – 14th May 2008 in London. Key topics to be discussed include: the true value of Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) projects, well-to-wheels analyses of the GTL value chain; construction, logistics and procurement challenges; the future for small-scale Fischer-Tropsch (FT) projects; Technology, economics, politics and logistics of Coal-to-Liquids (CTL); latest Biomass-to-Liquids (BTL) commercialisation initiatives. CWC Exhibitions - February 4, 2007.

    The 4th Annual Brussels Climate Change Conference is announced for 26 - 27 February 2008. This joint CEPS/Epsilon conference will explore the key issues for a post-Kyoto agreement on climate change. The conference focuses on EU and global issues relating to global warming, and in particular looks at the following issues: - Post-2012 after Bali and before the Hokkaido G8 summit; Progress of EU integrated energy and climate package, burden-sharing renewables and technology; EU Emissions Trading Review with a focus on investment; Transport Climatepolicy.eu - January 28, 2007.

    Japan's Marubeni Corp. plans to begin importing a bioethanol compound from Brazil for use in biogasoline sold by petroleum wholesalers in Japan. The trading firm will import ETBE, which is synthesized from petroleum products and ethanol derived from sugar cane. The compound will be purchased from Brazilian petrochemical company Companhia Petroquimica do Sul and in February, Marubeni will supply 6,500 kilolitres of the ETBE, worth around US$7 million, to a biogasoline group made up of petroleum wholesalers. Wholesalers have been introducing biofuels since last April by mixing 7 per cent ETBE into gasoline. Plans call for 840 million liters of ETBE to be procured annually from domestic and foreign suppliers by 2010. Trading Markets - January 24, 2007.

    Toyota Tsusho Corp., Ohta Oil Mill Co. and Toyota Chemical Engineering Co., say it and two other firms have jointly developed a technology to produce biodiesel fuel at lower cost. Biodiesel is made by blending methanol into plant-derived oil. The new technology requires smaller amounts of methanol and alkali catalysts than conventional technologies. In addition, the new technology makes water removal facilities unnecessary. JCN Network - January 22, 2007.

    Finland's Metso Paper and SWISS COMBI - W. Kunz dryTec A.G. have entered a licence agreement for the SWISS COMBI belt dryer KUVO, which allows biomass to be dried in a low temperature environment and at high capacity, both for pulp & paper and bioenergy applications. Kauppalehti - January 22, 2007.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Norway and Saudi Arabia want carbon storage into the CDM; focus on biomass would end controversy

Oil exporters Saudi Arabia and Norway will cooperate to get carbon capture and storage (CCS) recognized under the UN's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) which offers a way for rich countries to offset their emissions. Some environmentalists are opposed to this idea because they say it takes away attention from the development of renewable energy resources. Nothing is further from the truth, because CCS can be coupled to biomass.

The antagonistic debate over CCS is unnecessary because when the technology is applied to bioenergy instead of fossil fuels, the most radically green energy system emerges, namely one that actively removes CO2 from the atmosphere and thus fights climate change like no other technology.

Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECS) results in "negative emissions", that is, it goes beyond being merely "carbon-neutral" (as are ordinary renewables), but becomes carbon-negative instead: it takes emissions from the past out of the atmosphere.

In short, a focus on coupling biomass to CCS, would suddenly change the entire debate about the importance of CCS in the CDM. CCS + bioenergy offers the best of both worlds: it puts our historic CO2 emissions back into the ground and utilises existing infrastructures to do so. The carbon capture and storage technologies being developed in the fossil fuel industry, can be readily applied to existing biomass power plants; more feasible is for coal plants to co-fire biomass and then make a full switch, and for gas plants to increasingly utilize biomethane. Especially in the rapidly developing world - China, India - coupling biomass to CCS would be a highly elegant way to lower emissions there - and inclusion in the CDM would speed up the implementation of the technology.

Environmentalists who take climate change serious should be interested in this future option, because it can help cool the planet like no other technology. Researchers from the Abrupt Climate Change Strategy group have calculated that, if implemented on a global scale, BECS systems can take us back in time and reduce atmospheric CO2 levels to pre-industrial levels by mid-century. In short, we can whipe out our dirty past while generating energy in the process... In this sense, bio-energy with carbon storage is the strongest weapon in the climate battle.

The difference between ordinary renewables and BECS is radical: whereas solar PV, wind, nuclear, non-CCS biomass, or hydropower all yield lifecycle emissions of plus 10 to 100 tons of CO2eq per GWh, biomass coupled to CCS yields up to minus 1000 tons (see references below). The more carbon-negative bioenergy we were to use, the faster we solve the climate crisis. What's more, only biomass based systems can become carbon-negative, all other energy concepts perpetually remain carbon neutral at best, slightly carbon positive in practise.

Now consider the difference between CCS coupled to fossil fuels versus biomass, and what it would mean for carbon credits if the concept were to be included under the CDM. A coal plant can reduce its CO2 emissions by up to 650 tons per GWh (from +850 tons to around 200 tons). The plant would receive carbon credits from the reduction. But a biomass power plant, generating energy from renewable fuel that is carbon neutral from the start, would cash in twice: it not only reduces emissions by replacing fossil fuels, it also actively removes up to 1000 tons of CO2 per GWh from the atmosphere. Clearly, biomass + CCS would be highly attractive as a way to obtain carbon credits.

For this reason, Biopact tracks and supports developments in CCS, including attempts to get the concept under the CDM, which is what Norway and Saudi Arabia seem to be pushing for. Our motto in this respect is: everything the fossil fuel industry does, can and will be used against it in the most radical way, by biomass.

According to Dagens Naeringsliv, Norwegian Oil and Energy Minister Aaslaug Haga has asked for Saudi Arabia's support for CCS in meetings in Riyadh on Sunday with Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi.

"Both Saudi Arabia and Norway are concerned about the environment and want to reduce emissions with all possible means. CO2 capture and storage is an excellent way to reduce emissions," al-Naimi said. Haga told the newspaper: "We had very, very useful discussions. I am delighted about the effort that Saudi Arabia will make in this area."

How CCS can be included under the CDM remains up for discussion, but as long as stakeholders do not see the opportunity to couple CCS to biomass, the debate will remain antagonistic - unnecessarily so:
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A U.N. climate conference in Bali, Indonesia, in December postponed a decision on inclusion in the CDM scheme pending further talks this year to clarify safety, legal and commercial viability issues.

An often heard critique against CCS - also expressed in Bali - is the issue of leakage and safety. Well, again, biomass offers a way out. If CO2 obtained from fossil fuels were to leak from its storage site, a serious problem would emerge since the CO2 gets added to the atmosphere. But in the case of biomass the CO2 would be biogenic in nature, and so in case of leakage there would be no new emissions (because the fuel from which the CO2 comes is carbon neutral).

Norway's Deputy Oil Minister Liv Monica said that in any case Norway wants "to get as many countries as possible with us to lobby for this. One part of the cooperation on climate is that Saudi Arabia and Norway want carbon capture and storage to be approved for carbon credits."

The Norwegian government is promoting CCS projects at gas-fired power plants at the Mongstad refinery and the Kaarstoe gas-processing and export plant on Norway's west coast.

Norway's oil and gas company StatoilHydro has been burying carbon dioxide from the natural gas stream below the seabed at its Sleipner field in the North Sea since 1996.

If CCS were accepted within the CDM, it would help create a global market for the technology, although offset schemes on their own would be unlikely to provide sufficient incentives.

Norwegian companies developing CCS, including industrial group Aker ASA and engineering group Aker Kvaerner, have pinned hopes on the emergence of a market. Aker Kvaerner has already developed a carbon capturing technique specially designed for implementation in biogenic CO2 streams (more here).

Aker predicted in January that building CCS plants could become a $1.5 trillion to $2.0 trillion per year business as important globally as the construction of oil platforms (previous post).

Reuters: Saudi, Norway back carbon capture for CDM: paper - February 18, 2008.

Biopact: Carbon-negative bioenergy recognized as Norwegian CO2 actors join forces to develop carbon capture technologies - October 24, 2007

Scientific literature on negative emissions from biomass:
H. Audus and P. Freund, "Climate Change Mitigation by Biomass Gasificiation Combined with CO2 Capture and Storage", IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme.

James S. Rhodesa and David W. Keithb, "Engineering economic analysis of biomass IGCC with carbon capture and storage", Biomass and Bioenergy, Volume 29, Issue 6, December 2005, Pages 440-450.

Noim Uddin and Leonardo Barreto, "Biomass-fired cogeneration systems with CO2 capture and storage", Renewable Energy, Volume 32, Issue 6, May 2007, Pages 1006-1019, doi:10.1016/j.renene.2006.04.009

Christian Azar, Kristian Lindgren, Eric Larson and Kenneth Möllersten, "Carbon Capture and Storage From Fossil Fuels and Biomass – Costs and Potential Role in Stabilizing the Atmosphere", Climatic Change, Volume 74, Numbers 1-3 / January, 2006, DOI 10.1007/s10584-005-3484-7

Further reading on negative emissions bioenergy and biofuels:
Peter Read and Jonathan Lermit, "Bio-Energy with Carbon Storage (BECS): a Sequential Decision Approach to the threat of Abrupt Climate Change", Energy, Volume 30, Issue 14, November 2005, Pages 2654-2671.

Stefan Grönkvist, Kenneth Möllersten, Kim Pingoud, "Equal Opportunity for Biomass in Greenhouse Gas Accounting of CO2 Capture and Storage: A Step Towards More Cost-Effective Climate Change Mitigation Regimes", Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Volume 11, Numbers 5-6 / September, 2006, DOI 10.1007/s11027-006-9034-9

Biopact: Commission supports carbon capture & storage - negative emissions from bioenergy on the horizon - January 23, 2008

Biopact: The strange world of carbon-negative bioenergy: the more you drive your car, the more you tackle climate change - October 29, 2007

Biopact: "A closer look at the revolutionary coal+biomass-to-liquids with carbon storage project" - September 13, 2007

Biopact: New plastic-based, nano-engineered CO2 capturing membrane developed - September 19, 2007

Biopact: Plastic membrane to bring down cost of carbon capture - August 15, 2007

Biopact: Pre-combustion CO2 capture from biogas - the way forward? - March 31, 2007

Biopact: Towards carbon-negative biofuels: US DOE awards $66.7 million for large-scale CO2 capture and storage from ethanol plant - December 19, 2007

Biopact: EU launches DECARBit project to research advanced pre-combustion CO2 capture from power plants - November 21, 2007

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Consortium to assess feasibility of dedicated ethanol pipeline in the U.S.

Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P. and Buckeye Partners, L.P. today announced they have begun a joint assessment to determine the feasibility of constructing a dedicated ethanol pipeline. The proposed ethanol pipeline system would safely and efficiently deliver renewable biofuel from the Midwest to distribution terminals in the northeastern United States (New York and Pennsylvania).

The proposed pipeline would have the capacity to supply more than 10 million gallons (37.85 million liters) of ethanol per day - roughly around 165,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day - , enough to meet the needs of millions of northeastern motorists who purchase 10% ethanol blended gasoline or higher ethanol blends such as E85.

The pipeline would gather ethanol from production facilities in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and South Dakota to serve terminals in major markets such as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and the New York harbor (map, click to enlarge). The project, which preliminarily has been estimated to cost in excess of $3 billion, would span approximately 1,700 miles (2,730km) and would take several years to complete.
The most promising liquid fuel alternative to conventional gasoline today is ethanol. But without an efficient means to transport ethanol from the Midwest to other markets, its benefits are limited. Having a dedicated ethanol pipeline running from the Midwest to the eastern markets will help bridge the gap between the Midwest and the East, aiding America's energy security. So I applaud these two companies' efforts and I look forward to working in Congress to support the development of such pipelines. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, an advocate of ethanol pipelines
The feasibility of this project is dependent upon the successful outcome of ongoing studies addressing technical and economic issues associated with the transportation of ethanol via pipeline. Congressional support and assistance is necessary for a project of this nature given the changing federal policies associated with renewable fuels:
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In addition to assessing governmental support, financing and technical issues, Magellan and Buckeye stated that the feasibility study would also review construction requirements, construction costs, project economics, regulatory issues and other matters. The technical and feasibility studies could be complete in the latter half of 2008. However, the necessary governmental support, the timing of which is unknown at this time, is critical for the partnerships to make a decision on proceeding with construction of the proposed ethanol pipeline. Pursuit of the proposed project also is conditioned on changes to federal tax laws to ensure that transportation of ethanol by pipeline will be treated the same as the transportation of natural resources, such as refined petroleum products, by pipeline.
We believe the proposed pipeline is a unique and innovative solution to meeting the growing need for renewable fuels in the Northeast. Pipelines have consistently been chosen over the years as the safest, most reliable and cost effective method for moving liquid fuels. The potential project would be a major step in bringing ethanol into the traditional petroleum infrastructure system. - Don Wellendorf, Magellan's President and Chief Executive Officer
Although there are many hurdles to overcome to make this ethanol pipeline project a reality, the two partnerships are hopeful that the obvious need for a pipeline to deliver ethanol from the Midwest to distribution terminals in the northeastern United States will lead to a viable and successful project.
This feasibility study will evaluate the possible use of existing right-of-ways and workforces as well as other synergies and resources that our companies have. Our goal is to develop a cost effective project that could deliver ethanol from the production hubs in the Midwest to the high demand areas in the Northeast. - Eric Gustafson, Buckeye's Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Both companies have extensive experience handling ethanol at their respective terminal locations. Magellan already blends ethanol at 36 of its petroleum products terminals and is currently investing in six new ethanol blending systems at its terminals in the Midwest and southeastern states. Buckeye currently has 24 terminals with ethanol blending capabilities and is in the process of investing in two new ethanol blending systems at its terminals in the Northeast.

Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P. and Buckeye Partners, L.P. are unaffiliated publicly traded partnerships formed to own, operate and acquire a diversified portfolio of energy assets. The partnerships primarily transport, store and distribute refined petroleum products in their respective service areas.

Brazil has already begun building a dedicated ethanol pipeline to connect its sugarcane growing areas in the Center South (Sao Paulo state) to coastal cities. The 950 km pipeline network is a $800 million project managed by Japan's Mitsui & Co Ltd and state-owned oil company Petrobras.


Magellan Midstream Partners: Magellan Midstream Partners and Buckeye Partners Announce Joint Assessment of Dedicated Ethanol Pipeline - February 19, 2008.

Biopact: Brazil planning $500 million ethanol pipeline network by 2008 - April 14, 2006

Biopact: Sao Martinho announces 30 year ethanol export contract with the Mitsubishi Corporation - March 26, 2007

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Wales outlines Renewable Energy Route Map: bioenergy, marine, wind power can meet all electricity needs by 2025

An important step on the path to making Wales a low carbon energy economy was taken today when the Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing, Jane Davidson launched the Renewable Energy Route Map. The route map sets out an ambitious programme aimed at transforming the way Wales produces and uses energy as part of the Welsh Assembly Government’s commitment to tackling climate change.

Policy makers believe that with Wales’ coastline, geography and climate, it is quite feasible for the nation within 20 years to produce more electricity from renewables than it consumes as a nation.

With sufficient innovation and investment, the right Government framework and public support, Wales could produce some 33TWhr per year of electricity (its current consumption is around 24 TWhr) from renewable sources. The potential for 2025 looks as follows:
  • marine power (wave, tidal stream, tidal range): up to 14TWh of electricity
  • wind (both on and offshore): up to 10 TWh of electricity
  • bioenergy from biomass and waste: 7.7 TWh of electricity and 2.4 TWh of heat
If Wales were to achieve this, then not only could its electricity needs be met entirely from low carbon energy sources but it would also contribute significantly to the UK’s energy security objectives.

The map sets out specific actions on how Wales can meet the renewable electricity self-sufficiency objective, how biomass resources could be used for significant renewable heat production, and how the nation can support challenging energy efficiency and small-scale micro-generation ambitions.

Renewable resources

Wales' marine energy resources can be split into 3 components: wave-power, tidal stream and tidal range. The tidal range is better known as barrage and lagoon projects. The Assembly Government has started down this path with financial support for early stage wave and tidal stream projects.

Possible actions include:
  • support opportunities for and encourage marine feasibility studies and research
  • examine whether EU Convergence Funds could be used to run a competition to identify the best tidal lagoon site in Wales and support the preparatory phases of constructing perhaps the world’s first tidal-energy lagoon
  • develop a Wales marine energy action plan to take forward all the marine proposals

It is estimated that up to 14TWhr per annum of renewable energy could be produced from Wales' marine resources by 2025 - allocating a notional half the output of any major Severn barrage to Wales and half to the south west of England (table, click to enlarge).

Wales has shown the way with its TAN8 renewables planning guidance, for large on shore wind farms. Offshore, Wales already has the North Hoyle wind-farm off Prestatyn and other major projects are at various stages of development (map shows current wind projects).

Possible actions under the Renewable Energy Route Map include:
  • continue to pursue the proposals in Tan 8 and monitor the uptake of wind farm sites before a further review starts in the light of this and other consultations
  • develop with partners a strategic bid for a Convergence Fund project aimed at delivering a series of community scale wind energy generation projects across the eligible area
  • support UK work on a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) for offshore wind generation in English and Welsh territorial waters.

If all potential projects were to go ahead in full, wind-farms within the TAN 8 strategic search areas could produce up to 2500MW of capacity: three times the existing TAN 8 indicative target for 2010. This could create almost 7TWhr per annum from onshore wind by 2015 – almost a third of Wales’ current electricity demand. Major new offshore wind projects could add at least another 3 TWhr annually (table, click to enlarge).

Biomass and energy from waste
Biomass-energy involves the use the forestry products and energy crops from land and in some cases wastes either directly converted into energy (dedicated biomass power plants, co-firing), or through bio-refining into other materials to produce electricity, heat or transport fuels-either separately or in combination (map shows current biomass projects in Wales).
Possible actions include:
  • support the development of community heat and power units under a new wood energy business scheme- which could be funded through EU Structural Fund programmes;
  • ask designers and contractors to use biomass-energy plants where possible in the development of residential and commercial properties on Assembly Government owned land;
  • provide advice through the newly formed Sustainable Energy Network on opportunities for community heat and power schemes across Wales;
  • encourage all other public sector bodies to support biomass energy developments, where possible through long term feedstock purchase contracts which give growers the confidence to make the necessary investments;
  • consider the scope for requiring biomass combined heat and power for larger-scale developments
  • support larger scale biomass projects where the fuel source is demonstrably sustainable
  • support the development of community heat and power units under a new wood energy business scheme which could be funded through EU Structural Fund programmes
  • publish for consultation a biomass energy strategy/action plan which fully explores these complexities for Wales
  • explore how the new Better Woodlands for Wales grant scheme could be more closely targeted or arrangements made to encourage cooperative action on the part of groups of farmers to identify and source biomass material for specific initiatives
  • examine skills needs with the Sector Skills Councils, to ensure an effective micro-generation equipment supply and fitting sector.
  • produce a ‘best-practice’ design guide for new waste management facilities with exemplar facilities illustrating to developers and local authorities what can be achieved

:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

An interim analysis indicates that biomass (both indigenous and imported) might annually generate some 4 to 7TWhr pa of electricity and about 1.5TWh pa of heat (table, click to enlarge) and that a policy which gives highest priority ‘ to local biomass for local energy production’ is likely to meet most sustainable development objectives. This might be achieved by 2015, especially if public sector projects can be used as exemplars as soon as possible.

Examples of the potential for ‘energy from waste’ are set out in the table above (click to enlarge).

Energy efficiency, micro-generation and distributed generation

Energy Efficiency
Wales wants to ensure that all new buildings are built to the highest possible low carbon standards. Higher standards through devolved Building Regulations would be aimed at delivering the aspiration for all new buildings to be zero carbon by 2011.

The Assembly Government also commits to expanding services available through the new Sustainable Energy Network as well as encouraging rapid progress with smart meter installations and take up of support from energy suppliers under the new carbon emissions reduction target, CERT initiative.

Possible actions include:

-issue planning guidance to make micro generation easier to install – in particular for:
  • Roof mounted solar heat and solar (photo-voltaic) electric panels
  • Ground, water and air source powered heat pumps
  • Building mounted micro-wind electricity turbines or stand alone small wind turbines
-encourage a fair price from utilities for the ‘export’ of locally produced electricity onto the grid
-biomass electricity or heat generating units, especially for larger properties or community projects
-increasingly build micro-generation into our locally funded programmes, as part of the commitment to zero carbon buildings
-under its green jobs strategy, building on Wales’ already substantial solar photovoltaic industry to be an effective champion for this highly promising technology
-increase the role of renewable/alternative energy solutions under the Home Energy Efficiency Service.

Distributed generation

Possible actions include:
  • support community-sized wind, biomass and hydroelectric schemes through the provision of grants through the climate change framework of the EU Convergence Funds programme
  • guide businesses interested in generating their own renewable energy
  • explore the scope for a CHP scheme for the Cathays Park area of Cardiff where the main Assembly Government office is located
  • explore the scope for developing energy supply companies (ESCo) in Wales that could support off-grid developments and innovative energy efficiency packages.


Welsh Assembly Government: Route to low carbon future for Wales mapped out by Jane Davidson - February 19, 2008.

Welsh Assembly Government: Renewable Energy Route Map for Wales: consultation on way forward to a leaner, greener and cleaner Wales [*.pdf], February 2008.

Welsh Assembly Government: A Guide to the New Renewable Energy Route Map for Wales
Consultation on the way forward to a leaner, greener and cleaner Wales
[*.pdf], February 2008.

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VSE unit to research and test Fischer-Tropsch fuels for USAF

Integrated Concepts and Research Corporation (ICRC), a wholly owned subsidiary of VSE Corporation, announced the recent award of a U.S. Air Force subcontract supporting the Advanced Power Technology Office (APTO) to research, demonstrate and sustain the incorporation of Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) fuel in diesel engines. Fischer-Tropsch fuels are ultra-clean synthetic fuels that can be made from any carbonaceous feedstock, including biomass.

Under a two-year subcontract agreement with Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC), ICRC will provide technical support to facilitate the testing of F-T fuel blended with conventional petroleum-derived JP-8. This 50:50 blend will be evaluated in base storage facilities, Air Force ground support equipment, and Air Force ground vehicles. Potential ICRC revenues under the subcontract are estimated to be $1.38 million over a two year period.

The longer-term goal of the broader Defense Assured Fuels Initiative, which this project supports, is to ultimately use unblended F-T fuel in virtually all military equipment in future decades (schematic, click to enlarge).

One of the main advantages of F-T fuel is that it can be produced using domestic resources like natural gas (gas-to-liquids), coal (coal-to-liquids), and biomass (biomass-to-liquids). The use of F-T fuels can potentially reduce dependency on foreign sources of energy. Starting now with an F-T/JP-8 fuel-blend minimizes risks, while making it possible for the U.S. military to utilize whatever quantities of F-T fuel are likely to become available within the next several years, thus improving the Department of Defense’s knowledge base of synthetic fuels as early as possible:
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ICRC has established a record in alternative fuels research and testing, including several contract agreements with the Department of Energy and the Federal Transit Administration, some of which involved the production, testing and demonstration of F-T diesel fuel. ICRC has previously evaluated the usage of the ultra-clean fuel in transit buses and other diesel vehicles in Fairbanks, Alaska, Washington, DC and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Research, demonstration and testing will take place at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Michigan. ICRC will install its on-board data acquisition system to accumulate engine operational data from the engines’ electronic control systems over the duration of the evaluation period.

In a larger contex, the development of F-T fuels is crucial to actualise the large theoretical biofuel potential. The advent of next-generation techniques to convert biomass into ultra-clean synthetic biofuels, means any type of biomass will soon serve as a feedstock, thus ending the food versus fuel debate.

ICRC is a diversified technical and management services company that serves the government market. The company’s core expertise lies in information technology, advanced vehicle technology, aerospace, engineering and transportation infrastructure.

VSE provides diversified services to the engineering, energy and environment, defense, and homeland security markets from locations across the United States and around the world.

VSE: VSE Unit Wins FT Fuels Research & Testing Contract with USAF - February 13, 2008.

William E. Harrison III, OSD Assured Fuels Initiative: The Drivers for Alternative Aviation Fuels, Assured Fuels Initiative, Department of Defense.

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