The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG) helps members develop and bring to market their innovative biobased and renewable chemical products through insightful policy and regulatory advocacy. BRAG is managed by B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C., an affiliate of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On January 16, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) released the agenda for the 2019 Project Peer Review that will take place in Denver, Colorado, from March 4-8, 2019.  An annual event hosted by BETO, this is an opportunity for BETO to present early-stage development projects across its technology areas and have the projects reviewed by experts from industry, academia, and other federal agencies.  The technology areas include Advanced Algal Systems, Conversion Technologies, Feedstock Supply and Logistics, Advanced Development and Optimization, and Analysis and Sustainability.  The event is open to the public, and includes presentations from over 300 researchers.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On January 17, 2019, DOE BETO announced that the deadline for submission to its Manufacturing Innovator Challenge has been extended to February 10, 2019.  As DOE seeks new concepts in biobased materials to address today’s manufacturing challenges, the Manufacturing Innovator Challenge is an effort to incentivize solutions that increase energy productivity and strengthen the U.S. industrial base.  Prizes are open for ideas focused on Biobased Additive Manufacturing (BAM) and will be distributed to three winners.  BAM involves the production of rapid prototyping of complex structures through biobased three-dimensional printing.  To qualify for the BAM prize, candidates are required to identify new materials that are made from at least 90 percent plant matter or algae, and that can meet or improve the performance of current three-dimensional printing materials.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On January 21, 2019, Bio-Based World News announced the opportunity to apply for the platform’s 2019 Bio-Based World News Innovation Awards.  Awards will be distributed to leading innovators from across the biobased industry during a ceremony at the World Bio Markets flagship event in Amsterdam in April 2019.  Five rewards, listed below, will be separately awarded in recognition of the commitment to sustainability:

  • Bio-based Product of the Year;
  • Bio-based Chemical Innovation of the Year;
  • Best Use of Alternative Feedstocks;
  • Sustainability Commitment; and
  • Bio-based Industry Story of the Year 2019.

Eligible applicants must submit their entries for the first four awards by February 15, 2019.  The stories published that are candidates for the award for Bio-based Industry Story of the Year 2019 are listed online where votes from the general public are being accepted.


 

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On January 10, 2019, more than 600 environmental groups signed a letter submitted to U.S. Representatives urging them to consider certain principles on climate change as a Green New Deal is developed.  As the 116th Congress begins to take into account climate change legislation, environmental groups would like to see affirmative actions focused on six key areas:

  • Fossil fuel phase-out;
  • Transition into renewable energy;
  • The role of public transportation;
  • The power of the Clean Air Act (CAA);
  • Community-led transitions; and,
  • The importance of indigenous rights.

Tying together these six concepts, the environmental groups’ letter highlights the role played by legislators and day-to-day community leaders/workers in integrating a 100 percent renewable energy system in the U.S. The suggested principles call for the expansion of public transportation as a means to phase out fossil fuel vehicles, as well as the prioritization of support for communities that have been historically most harmed by the dirty energy economy. In addition, a reference to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is made to emphasize Indigenous Peoples’ rights to receive remedies of losses or damages of their property. The signatory environmental groups also explicitly oppose rollbacks of existing environmental and human health protection policies, legislation that protects the fossil fuels industry, and policies that promote corporate profits over community burdens.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

In early January 2019, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) published a report called A New World: The Geopolitics of Energy Transformation. Analyzing the geopolitical implications of the global energy sector that is being driven by renewables, the report was created by the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation in early 2018. A ten-month project, the deliberations by the Commission consider the move of renewables to the center of the global energy landscape. The report claims that global energy transformation driven by renewables “will reshape relations between states and lead to fundamental structural changes in economies and society. […] Global power structures and arrangements will change in many ways and the dynamics of relationships within states will also be transformed.” Arguing that power will become more decentralized and diffused, states that are heavily invested in renewable technologies (such as China) will have greater influence. In contrast, states that rely on fossil fuel to a greater extent will lose influence. Furthermore, the abilities for countries to achieve energy independence will enhance their development, security, sustainability, and equity. As an important step in the direction of addressing climate change, combatting pollution, and promoting prosperity and sustainable development, states must be prepared to create a foundation for dialogue, debate, and policy actions focused on energy transformation.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On January 15, 2019, DOE BETO announced that a current study being funded by DOE BETO’s Advanced Algal Systems has been published by scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The study researches strains found in a single culture of green algae that might be a candidate for biofuel production. Scientists are working to develop genetic engineering tools that would allow algae to grow faster, accumulating more biomass for biofuel. Further details on the research being conducted can be accesses here.


 

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On January 8, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced the extension of the deadline for algae, biomass, and waste feedstock research request for information (RFI).  EERE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is requesting information on research opportunities associated with alternative feedstocks that can be used in the production of biopower, bioproducts, and biofuel.  Particularly of interest to DOE are the following topic areas:  Outdoor Algae Research; Biomass Characteristics and Feedstock Performance; and Renewable Energy from Urban and Suburban Waste.  Seeking input from academics, industry experts, national laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders, the RFI is designed to support early-stage research and development on technologies that can contribute to the maximization of U.S. biomass resources.  Responses to the RFI must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. (EST) on January 18, 2019.

Tags: DOE, EERE, RFI, BETO, Biofuel

 
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