Expansion Complete on BDI Biodiesel Plant

BDIGermany-based BDI – BioEnergy International AG has completed the expansion of a biodiesel plant in Spain. This company news release says the refinery will turn oils and animal fats with very high FFA-content into the green fuel.

ecoMotion Biodiesel S.A. (a company of the international SARIA Group) commissioned BDI with the installation of a “High-FFA esterification” unit in its plant in Barcelona. This technological in-house development from BDI allows BioDiesel producers to use the most challenging oils and fats available on the market – without a limit on free fatty acids (FFA) – whilst retaining the highest BioDiesel quality. BDI therefore sets again a technological milestone in the future market of the BioDiesel production based on oils and animal fats.

“Biodiesel producers are currently facing major challenges as a result of uncertainties with regard to the future European biofuel policy. However, the use of waste and residual materials is safeguarded due to the positive environmental aspects. With the BDI RetroFit-program, we can already integrate the necessary, well-developed solutions in plants for the requirements of tomorrow. We also managed at ecoMotion Spain to prove again our lead regarding technologies for the BioDiesel production from the most challenging animal by-products available on the market”, says Dr. Edgar Ahn – Member of the Board (CSO).

BDI had already been commissioned with the construction of a multi-feedstock biodiesel plant in Barcelona in 2002. This new capability to accept more raw materials is expected to increase the efficiency and flexibility of the refinery.

US Ethanol Getting Exported to More Markets

A few years ago, almost all of U.S. ethanol went to Brazil, Canada and the European Union. But this article from the National Corn Growers Association says new information from the U.S. Grains Council shows just how wide the market has grown.
Ethanol-Exports
Exports to the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines and India experienced the strongest growth in 2014. While the UAE is largely importing U.S. ethanol to blend with its gasoline that is later re-exported, and India is importing for industrial purpose, the Philippines has a blend mandate in place. Domestic production in the Philippines has been unable to meet its 10 percent blend mandate making imports necessary.

Currently, the United States has a 55 percent market share in the Philippines and the Council is hopeful there is room to capture more. To help nurture this market, the Council and its partners, Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, have planned a busy summer with missions heading to the Philippines and other growing markets like China, Indonesia, India and Japan.

SheerWind Licenses Wind Tech in Denmark

SheerWind Inc. has signed a licensing agreement that will allow its technology to be marketed and deployed in Denmark. The agreement will allow wind-power developer E-Venturi to introduce SheerWind’s INVELOX wind delivery system. The first pilot project is expected to be built in Denmark before the end of the year.

INVELOX the New Face of Wind Power (PRNewsFoto/SheerWind)

INVELOX the New Face of Wind Power (PRNewsFoto/SheerWind)

E-Venturi, based in Slagelse, Denmark, will be the first company to market SheerWind’s technology in Europe. Denmark leads the world in wind energy penetration, with 39.1 percent of its electrical consumption coming from wind power. The Danish government plans to quadruple wind power production by 2050 and is pursuing a goal of complete independence from fossil fuels.

“We are thrilled to have the world’s wind leader distributing our technology. This is incredible validation of our technology and we look forward to a prosperous relationship that benefits both our countries for years to come,” said George Manos, the president of SheerWind.

According to SheerWind, the INVELOX technology is a cost-effective, high-performance alternative to conventional wind technology. The system uses no above-ground propellers. Rather, it employs a funnel-driven system that captures the wind and brings it to ground-level power turbines and rotors for safer, easier and cheaper operation and maintenance. The technology is safe for humans and wildlife, requires less maintenance than conventional wind systems, and produces more electricity per dollar invested than conventional systems, adds SheerWind.

“Denmark has a long history of introducing ground-breaking wind technology, and we are pleased to continue that tradition by making available within our company SheerWind’s better way to harvest wind energy,” added Lars Lindebjerg Peterson, the CEO of E-Venturi. “We plan to market this innovative solution to some of the world’s leaders in renewable and environmental advancements, and expect it to aid Denmark in reaching its renewable energy goals.”

Powerhive Begins Operating MicroGrids in Kenya

Powerhive East Africa has achieved something no other private company has done – been given permission to generate, distribute and sell electricity to the Kenyan public beginning in Kisii and Nymaira counties in Western Kenya. Using microgrids, the company, a subsidiary of Powerhive, Inc., will directly deliver electricity to hundreds of rural communities that are beyond the reach of the national grid.

For more than two years, Powerhive has been operating microgrid pilot projects utilizing 100 percent renewable energy in four villages in Kisii, Kenya. The pilot projects serve approximately 1,500 people and have played a critical role in creating new businesses, enabling the use of productive appliances, powering schools, and displacing kerosene and diesel, which emit toxic pollutants.

According to Powerfhive, the Kenya Energy Regulatory Commission’s (ERC) decision to provide a concession to an off-grid utility company reflects the beginning of a global transformation in the energy sector. “The Powerhive permit was granted in recognition of the fact that grid expansion is not always the most economical choice to expand energy access; off-grid alternatives have a role to play,” wrote Dr. Frederick Nyang, director of economic regulation for the Kenya ERC, in a letter. “[Powerhive has demonstrated] that its microgrids are capable of operating in compliance with the prescribed standards for residential and commercial electricity service provision.”

Powerhive microgrid in KenyaHistorically, explains Powerhive, governments have pursued rural electrification almost exclusively through major public investments in grid expansion. Through its distributed energy delivery solutions, Powerhive aims to complement such government and utility efforts by focusing on areas that are too costly for grid extension. Powerhive East Africa’s concession, and the resulting deployment of microgrid projects, will set the stage for rapid global expansion and support Kenya’s goal of electrifying 100 percent of the population by 2030.

“The government of Kenya recognizes that the fastest and least expensive approach to reach 100% electricity access is to allow private investment in distributed generation infrastructure,” said Powerhive East Africa’s Managing Director Zachary Ayieko. “Other national governments aggressively pursuing rural electrification targets can also benefit greatly by using Powerhive’s energy access solution.”

Vattenfall’s DanTysk Offshore Wind Project Online

Vattenfall has officially begun operations of its DanTysk offshore wind farm. Located 70 kilometers west of Sylt Island, the project is the first infrastructure project jointly implemented by Vattenfall and SWM. DanTysk is comprised of 80 Siemens wind turbines with a total installed capacity of 288 MW.

globalassets-cision-images-20150430-en-1881382-1The event was celebrated by several key energy players in Europe including: German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel; Swedish Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Mikael Damberg; Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz and Torsten Albig; Prime Minister of the State of Schleswig-Holstein; Magnus Hall, President and CEO of Vattenfall; and Dr Florian Bieberbach, CEO of SWM.

Sigmar Gabriel, German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs said during the event, “Last year we created the necessary investment security with EEC 2014, which led to a real breakthrough in the development of offshore wind power. By 2030 there should be 15 gigawatts of installed capacity, amounting to a capital investment of several billion Euros in wind farms and infrastructure, with high added value for Germany. Together with the DanTysk wind farm, by the end of this year Germany will generate green power from more than 3,000 megawatts of installed offshore capacity. That is a real boost for the energy transition.” Continue reading

Kyocera Dedicates Floating Mega Solar Plants

1.7MW floating solar power plant at Nishihira Pond 1Kyocera Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation’s joint venture Kyocera TCL Solar has completed construction of two floating mega-solar power plants at Nishihira Pond and Higashihira Pond in Kato City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. The plants will generate an estimated 3,300 megawatt hours (MWh) per year.

The solar modules are 255-watt Kyocera modules with 11,256 used in total for the project that began in September 2014 and was officially completed in March 2015. The electricity generated will be sold to the local utility, The Kansai Electric Power Company through Japan’s feed-in tariff system.

1.7MW floating solar power plant at Nishihira Pond 2According to Kyocera TCL Solar, there are several benefits of the floating mega solar power plants:

  1. Floating solar power generating systems typically generate more electricity than ground-mount and rooftop systems due to the cooling effect of the water.
  2. They reduce reservoir water evaporation and algae growth by shading the water.
  3. Floating platforms are 100% recyclable, utilizing high-density polyethylene, which can withstand ultraviolet rays and resists corrosion.
  4. The floating platforms are designed and engineered to withstand extreme physical stress, including typhoon conditions.

Aemetis Starts India Biodiesel Manufacturers Assoc.

aemetislogo1India is getting a biodiesel makers association. With a little help from California-based Aemetis (which also runs a biodiesel plant on the east coast of India), the Biodiesel Manufacturers Association (BEMA) has been launched with Sanjeev Gupta, President of Aemetis International, as the new group’s chairman and president.

The BEMA group was launched as an eight-member association with a focus on expanding the biodiesel market in India, decreasing air pollution and reducing India’s dependence on foreign oil. The organization will serve to further the interests of biodiesel manufacturers by removing regulatory hurdles while educating India corporate and retail consumers about the environmental and cost benefits of biodiesel.

“With the deregulation of the diesel market in India and ending of diesel subsidies last October, India is a new frontier for Aemetis to grow in a large 25 billion gallon diesel market,” said Sanjeev Gupta, President of Aemetis International. “With the recent approval of direct sales to bulk customers, we have launched direct delivery of biodiesel to customers and are moving rapidly to expand production at our 50 million gallon per year capacity East Coast plant in Kakinada to supply the domestic India market,” added Gupta.

“Sanjeev’s chairmanship of the newly formed organization for biodiesel producers in India recognizes the leadership position held by our Univeral Biofuels subsidiary in one of the fastest growing biofuels markets in the world,” said Eric McAfee, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aemetis. “Biodiesel is now a less expensive fuel than diesel in India, with the removal of the large diesel subsidy that had blocked sales of biodiesel in India until recently. The formation of BEMA is an important milestone expanding the biodiesel market in India to replace diesel with a healthier and lower cost alternative,” added McAfee.

Canadian Canola Growers Want More Biodiesel

ward-tomaCanola growers in Canada want politicians to prove they are truly dedicated to addressing climate change – by voting for biodiesel. This article from the Alberta Farmer Express says Ward Toma, the general manager of Alberta Canola Producers Commission, wants them to start by hiking Alberta’s biodiesel mandate.

“In their election platforms, almost all political parties talk about climate change and greenhouse gas reduction,” said Ward Toma. “Biodiesel is a low-carbon fuel, compared with some of the other ones, so it does help with greenhouse gas and carbon emissions.”

And Toma is quite specific about what government should do: Hike the percentage of biodiesel blended with regular diesel to five per cent (up from the current two per cent) by 2020; set tougher greenhouse gas reduction and biomass production targets; and extend the bioenergy producer credit program (set to expire in March 2016).

Those changes would be a win-win for both the province and growers, he said.

“One of the things biodiesels can do is create another demand stream for the crop sector, but we can also help with greenhouse gas target reductions and have a sustainable biomass,” said Toma.

Toma says that they’ll have to see where the politicians truly stand on biodiesel… after the elections are over.

France’s Total to Convert Refinery to Biodiesel

totalFrance’s Total is converting its petroleum processor in La Mède to make biodiesel. This news release says the $216 million conversion will make the facility France’s first biorefinery and will stop refinering petroleum by the end of 2016.

“There are three possible responses to the crisis in the European refining industry. The first is to throw in the towel. The second is to do nothing and perish. The third is to innovate and adapt to meet shifting demand trends. The central focus of Total’s plan for our French refining business is to realign our operations and products to changing markets. The plan that we are presenting today offers sustainable solutions for the Donges and La Mède refineries. It gives both facilities a future and strengthens Total’s refining base in France,” commented Patrick Pouyanné, Chief Executive Officer of Total. “As was the case for the project to secure the future of the Carling plant in eastern France, the master words for the plan’s deployment are: anticipation and consensus. Total will implement this industrial transformation without layoffs or imposed geographical transfers for non-exempt employees.”

Total officials say the move is a response to industry and market trends, as European demand for petroleum products has declined 15 percent since 2008, shrinking outlets for the continent’s refining industry.

Aemetis to Sell Biodiesel to India Tourism Buses

aemetislogo1California-based Aemetis, Inc. will start selling biodiesel to travel bus operators in India’s tourism industry. This company news release says a move by India government that allows biodiesel manufacturers such as Aemetis to sell to customers directly helped make the deal possible.

According to a study carried out by Nielsen Research for the Department of Petroleum Planning and Analysis, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India, buses consume about 10% of the annual diesel used. Diesel use by buses equates to 2.5 billion gallons of yearly consumption in India, of which more than 1 billion gallons is consumed in Southern and Western India providing a potential source of significant demand for the Aemetis biodiesel plant in Andhra Pradesh.

“Prime Minister Modi and the India Government are actively promoting biodiesel as an alternative to petroleum diesel to reduce more than $120 billion per year of crude oil imports,” said Eric McAfee, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aemetis. “The lower cost of biodiesel compared to diesel is only one of several important drivers for the growth in the biodiesel market. By using biodiesel from Aemetis, travel operators are supporting improved air quality, expanded domestic jobs and reduced operating costs.”

“We have recently begun deliveries to travel bus operators in Southern and Western India,” said Sanjeev Gupta, Managing Director of the Universal Biofuels subsidiary of Aemetis. “The travel and tourism industry contributed about 6.2% of India’s GDP in 2013 and is forecasted to rise by 7% per year through 2024. The travel and tourism industry supports about 22 million jobs and helps India generate meaningful foreign exchange reserves.”

Aemetis owns and operates a biodiesel refinery able to produce about 50 million gallons per year on the East Coast of India.