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2015-11-17 | USA | press release | Algae

U.S. company Algenol reduces work force

Algenol Biotech LLC (“Algenol”) reduces work force. The company is sharpening its focus on advancing its technology for commercial readiness. To that end, the company has reduced its work force by approximately 20 % and will be reducing its public profile. Algenol is confident that the sharpened focus will position the team to take its technology to commercial readiness and beyond. The local employment numbers will continue to meet Algenol’s obligations, as outlined in the Lee County grant, with a talented staff in place to continue to advance Algenol’s technology.

Algenol also announced that its Board of Directors has accepted the resignation of CEO, Paul Woods. Paul is resigning for personal reasons and he will remain on the board of the company for continuity purposes and to assist the company on its road to commercialization of algal based products.

Source: Algenol

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2015-11-17 | International | press release | markets

Compare vehicle standards worldwide

Nine countries and regions, which together account for 75% of global fuel consumption by light-duty vehicles, have adopted mandatory or voluntary standards for increasing fuel economy and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The intent and structure of these emissions policies vary widely around the world. Because fuel economy and GHG emissions policies have large effects on fuel consumption, vehicle standards are one of the most important components of future demand for liquid fuels.

Fo to article: U.S. Energy Information Administraion (EIA)

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2015-11-17 | Indonesia | press release | biofuels

Indonesia: Pushing for Aviation Biofuel

All airline companies operating in Indonesia will be obliged to use aviation biofuel for their aircraft instead of avtur from 2018 onwards, which aims to help reduce air pollution, Minister of Transportation Ignasius Jonan has said. According to the minister, the government had planned to produce aviation biofuel from palm oil or water hyacinth as raw materials, the supply of which is abundant in Indonesia.

Source: globalindonesianvoices.com

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2015-11-17 | France | press release | biodiesel

France: Avril opens 100,000 t/yr biodiesel plant in Mediterranean

The French biofuels producer Avril has opened a 100,000 t/yr biodiesel plant to meet the higher blending levels issued by the French government. The plant will raise the company’s biodiesel production capacity to 1.7 mio. t. In 2013 Avril shut down its two northern France facilities in the aftermath of the government’s refusal to raise biodiesel blending level beyond 7%. However, late last year the government agreed to increase the blend level by 1%, bringing it to 8%. The €13 million Avril plant is set to compete with Total’s planned factory, also to be constructed in southern France and expected to have an output of 500,000 tonnes of biodiesel by 2017.

Source: Biofuels International

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2015-11-17 | EU | publication | markets

GAIN EU Biofuels Annual 2015 Report

The Global Agriculture Information Network (GAIN) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its report on the EU biofuel market.

On April 28, 2015, the European Parliament approved the reform of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), which includes a 7 % cap on food crop based biofuels for the transport sector. The current blending of food crop based ethanol and biodiesel is estimated at respectively 3.3 and 4.3 %. Further growth in the use of conventional biofuels will mainly depend on the successful introduction of the higher blends such as E10 and E85. The blending of non-food based biofuels is estimated at 0.6 %. Since the past five years, production of biodiesel from waste has taken off, while the commercialization of cellulosic ethanol is lagging behind. The market for biomass for heating and power, in particular wood pellets is surging. The large scale industrial use of pellets is however dependent on the implementation of funding and sustainability requirements by the individual Member State Governments.

Download report

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2015-11-18 | International | event note | sustainability

Global Bioeconomy Summit 2015

Berlin, 25 to 26 November 2015

Food security, sustainable development, economic growth and the conservation of scarce natural resources – the promises of bioeconomy are manifold. The Global Bioeconomy Summit is the first community building platform to discuss bioeconomy policies globally. This summit builds on the post 2015 development goals to start a multilateral agenda setting process for a sustainable bioeconomy. For this purpose the German Bioeconomy Council invites more than 500 leaders from policy, research, industry and civil society to Berlin.

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has assumed patronage of the Global Bioeconomy Summit.
See her statement

Go to summit website

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2015-11-18 | USA | publication | biofuels

USDA Report: Ethanol - Policy, Production, Use, Distribution, and Market Interaction

Inquiries concerning ethanol from a broad spectrum of people, including U.S. policymakers, international leaders, and various interest groups, led to the commissioning of this report of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The report intends to bring clarity to the complex interaction of ethanol production with agricultural markets and government policies. It provides detailed and current analyses on ethanol production costs, profitability, processing technology, and the infrastructure that supports the industry. Also examined are the economics of blending ethanol into gasoline. Federal and State policies are described to illustrate the importance of energy legislation, environmental regulation, and farm policy to the development of the ethanol industry.

Beside these reviews a chapter on the future direction of biofuels is included. While continued support is needed to help stimulate investment in advanced biofuel production, it has become more difficult to fund biofuel programs due to the current efforts to cut Government spending and reduce the deficit. It is also being argued that programs like the RFS are no longer needed, because new sources of fossil energy in North America negate the necessity of renewable energy. With advances in drilling, large new reserves of oil and gas have become available in. Oil prices have felt the effect of these new sources of energy supplies with prices starting a steady decline in June, 2014 falling from about $100 per barrel to about $50 per barrel by the end of 2014. More optimistic energy forecasts could make public investment in biofuels a lower priority in future energy policies. However, it seems unlikely that policymakers would abandon their efforts to diversify the U.S. fuel supply. For over 20 years, U.S. policy has viewed fuel diversification as part of a long-run strategy to increase energy security and reduce air emissions from motor vehicles. While the recent energy boom is helping the U.S. become more energy independent, fuel diversification is likely to remain an important component of our long-term clean energy strategy.

Download full report

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2015-11-18 | International | press release | biofuels

Neste and Boeing: commercialization of renewable aviation fuels

Neste and Boeing will work together to promote and accelerate the commercialization of renewable aviation fuel. The companies will work toward American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) fuel standard approval allowing the commercial use of high freezing point renewable aviation fuel by airlines. The goal is also to gain widespread market acceptance for renewable aviation fuels, and to progress sustainability accreditation efforts.

Neste anticipates that its high-quality renewable aviation fuel could help the aviation industry to achieve its greenhouse gas saving targets: carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and a net reduction in carbon emissions of 50% by 2050 compared to 2005.

In 2014, Boeing successfully tested Neste's renewable aviation fuel in a 15% blend with petroleum jet fuel in the Boeing ecoDemonstrator 787, a test airplane that assesses technologies. The 787 made an initial flight with this biofuel blend in one engine, followed by several flights with the biofuel blend in both engines. Based on its test flights, Boeing reported that "the airplane performed as designed with the renewable jet blend, just as it does with conventional jet fuel".

Source: Neste

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2015-11-18 | International | press release | sustainability

Volkswagen Scandal and Wood Heat Technology

In a comment in the BIOMASS magazine John Ackerly, President of the U.S. Alliance for Green Heat., states that the Volkswagen scandal should be a wake-up call to everyone who makes appliances that have to be tested for emissions and efficiency. The new reality is that independent, real-world testing is getting cheaper and more common. Passing a government-mandated test is one thing. Standing up to scrutiny by others who test is another.

Read the full comment

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2015-11-18 | UK | publication | emissions

Impact of real-world driving on emissions from UK cars

Passenger cars and vans contribute to 17% of the UK’s total CO2 emissions and have an important role in meeting future targets. Despite rapid falls in the official emissions of new cars sold in the UK, evidence of a growing ‘gap’ between official and real-world driving CO2 emissions has received attention, and Government has become increasingly aware of the risks. The Committee on Climate Change commissioned Element Energy and the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) to understand in detail the specific contributions to the emissions gap for the UK car and van fleet.

The authors of the study conclude:

• While the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedures (WLTP) will provide improvement in the real world emissions, a further move towards independent in-use conformity and on-road testing will be needed to close the gap.
• The CO2 emission data that will be recorded as part of the air pollution approach, could be published and made available for analysis of the on-road CO2 emissions of new vehicle types.
• Given the time required to introduce an improved testing scheme it is likely that the WLTP will be used to underpin future fleet emission targets. If this is the case, regulators will need to take into account the real-world emissions gap.
• Future CO2 targets defined using WLTP should be highly ambitious, ensuring genuine real-world emission reductions.

The introduction of the WLTP as currently planned in 2017.

Source / download report: ICCT

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2015-11-18 | International | press release | bioenergy

IEA Bioenergy Conference 2015 in Berlin - Conclusions

In the context of the COP21 meeting in Paris starting on the 30th of November 2015, the IEA Bioenergy Conference 2015 had as its focus 'Realising the world's sustainable bioenergy potential'. One of the conclusions from the conference are as follows:

• The status of bioenergy can be characterized as
-being the largest global renewable energy contributor today
- requiring a tripling of its contribution to global energy supply by 2050 to avoid exceeding the 2 oC target according to scenarios from both the IEA and IRENA
- generating some controversy regarding its sustainability.

• Bioenergy can deliver substantial greenhouse gas emission reductions when implementation is carried out in an integrated way through the planting of more biomass resulting in increased carbon uptake.

Read full conclusions: IEA Bioenergy

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2015-11-18 | UK | press release | emissions

Lower N2O emissions from UK arable crop products

The results of a major UK research project show emissions on UK arable land to be less than half the level previously estimated. The five-year “Minimising Nitrous Oxide” project was conducted through a consortium of 23 government, academic, farming and commercial partners with interests in the future sustainability of the food, feed and fuel supply chain.

Nitrous oxide emissions during the arable crop production for food, feed and biomass for industry and energy play a significant role in the overall greenhouse gas emission along the value chains “from cradle to grave”. Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an important greenhouse gas (GHG), contributing 41% of agriculture’s GHG emissions.

Following three-year field-based experiments researchers used models to estimate a national picture of emissions due to UK arable crops and their products. Of 24 field experiments conducted in widely contrasting rainfall, soil and crop conditions, 21 showed direct N2O emissions due to fertilizer nitrogen to be less than the 1% default emission factor (EF) assumed by the IPCC.

Source / read more: AHDB Cereals & Oil seeds

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Disclaimer

The Austrian Network Biofuels disseminates information on research, implementation and policies in the field of biofuels. Much information becomes available through Austria’s participation in IEA Bioenergy Task 39: "Commercializing Liquid Biofuels from Biomass". Manfred Wörgetter, BIOENERGY 2020+, manfred.woergetter@bioenergy2020.eu, the Austrian Delegate and Dina Bacovsky, BIOENERGY 2020+, dina.bacovsky@bioenergy2020.eu, collate relevant information.

Errors and omissions excepted. Not for commercial use.

Austrian participation in IEA Bioenergy Tasks is funded by the Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology through its program “IEA Forschungskooperation”.