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 December 20, 2018, DOE announced the release of the latest Direct Current podcast episode. The podcast covers the potential existing in waste-to-energy technologies and how DOE scientists are working towards transforming waste into useful energy. The podcast delves into the science of making bioenergy from various waste products, including kitchen grease, raw sewage, algae, and coffee grounds.


 

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On December 6, 2018, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) wrote a letter to President Donald Trump requesting that, in 2019, any infrastructure package to be considered include a focus on the clean energy economy to address climate change. Emphasizing that climate change is, in fact, real and caused by humans, Senator Schumer refers to the Administration’s recent National Climate Assessment report and the drastic need to reduce emissions. In the letter, Senator Schumer outlines a number of policies that must be included in an infrastructure package in the next Congress. Among these policies are the need to:

  • Invest in research, development, and deployment of clean energy, energy efficiency, carbon reduction, and energy storage technologies;
  • Provide permanent tax incentives and investments for domestic production of clean energy and renewable power; and
  • Invest in upgrades in clean energy for public schools, buildings, and other infrastructure.

Senator Schumer concludes his letter to President Trump highlighting that “[t]he challenge is immense, but so is the opportunity to revitalize and modernize our infrastructure, create new jobs and economic opportunities, and position the United States as a leader in clean energy innovation.”


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On December 14, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced a request for information (RFI) on algae, biomass, and waste feedstocks that can be used in the production of biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower. DOE BETO’s request seeks information from industry, academia, national laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders. Specifically, information is requested on outdoor algae research, biomass characteristics and feedstock performance, and renewable energy from urban and suburban waste. Responses to this RFI should be submitted electronically to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by 5:00 p.m. (EST) on January 4, 2019.


 

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On December 10, 2018, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) submitted a letter urging Congress to investigate the reason for which DOE has not spent all of its 2018 fiscal year funding for clean energy research, development, and demonstration (RD&D). In the letter to Congress, NRDC expresses concerns that certain DOE Administration officials may be purposefully hindering clean energy RD&D funding from innovative businesses focused on clean energy. The analysis of public data reveals that 79 percent of DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) funds for clean energy RD&D has not been spent from the 2018 fiscal year budget. In addition, 14 percent of the funds have not been spent by DOE’s EERE. According to NRDC, “[t]he consequences of the funds remaining unspent with no apparent plan for utilization is not only an insult to congressional direction but undermines U.S. businesses and entrepreneurs in developing the next generation of clean energy technologies.”

Tags: NRDC, DOE, Biofuel

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On December 5, 2018, the Government of British Columbia, Canada, released CleanBC, a climate plan outlining the province’s path to a cleaner, more sustainable future. The plan includes implementation activities on how to make energy use more efficiently and prevent waste through cleaner technologies. Highlighting increases in funds for renovations and energy retrofits, the plan also states that by 2032, every new building constructed in the province will be “net-zero energy ready.” By 2040, the goal is to make zero-emissions vehicles more affordable as well as make all new cars zero-emission. With a large focus on waste reduction, the plan also focuses on turning waste into clean resources, and launching training programs for clean jobs. These actions will be implemented in the hopes of achieving 75 percent of the way to the 2030 target of 40 percent less emissions below the 2007 levels. In addition to these activities, several initiatives will remain in place. Among them are the Carbon Tax, the Climate Action Charter, the Carbon Neutral Government, and the Clean Energy Act.


 

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On November 15, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced the latest open funding opportunity for 40 new projects (OPEN 2018).  The funds add up to $98 million and are designed to support research and development (R&D) innovators’ projects to transform the U.S. energy system.  Solicitations for ARPA-E OPEN funding are available for scientists and engineers focused on transformational technologies across ARPA-E’s mission.  The projects fall into nine categories:

  • Centralized Generation;
  • Distributed Generation;
  • Electrical Efficiency;
  • Grid;
  • Grid Storage;
  • Manufacturing Efficiency;
  • Transportation Energy Conversion;
  • Transportation Fuels; and
  • Transportation Vehicles.

Of those selected, approximately 43 percent of OPEN 2018 projects will be led by universities, 35 percent by small businesses, and the remainder by large businesses, non-profit organizations, or federally funded R&D centers.  The 40 projects announced will take place in 21 different states and ARPA-E will announce other new program areas.  A list of winners can be found here.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On November 27, 2018, DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) announced the discovery of a new process that uses biomass gasification.  Developed by the Bioenergy Technologies Office and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the process converts solid biomass into gas under high temperatures, creating a new blendstock that is low on aromatic compounds.  The blendstock consists of high-octane gasoline that can be produced in a few efficient and accelerated steps.  “This success provides a path for industry to scale up this novel breakthrough technology in the near term,” writes Zia Abdullah, NREL Program Manager.  Additionally, NREL’s research has contributed to DOE’s Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines initiative.  NREL’s new technology aims at increasing the market penetration for biofuels and advancing U.S. energy security.

Tags: DOE, EERE, Biofuel

 
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