Biofuels – Organizations Supporting Conversion of Organic Waste to Renewable Energy Launch New Educational Platform

The organizations made the announcement in front of 350 participants during the first day of RNG WORKS 2019, the annual two-day Technical Workshop Trade Expo, hosted this year in Nashville, Tennessee.

Using local organic waste sources as a renewable, sustainable solution to decarbonize each of our society’s end-uses for natural gas is a common-sense, increasing global trend that we have just scratched the surface of in North America. Yet the RNG solution has an established history, using technologies proven for decades in the U.S., Canada and Europe. 

Most energy users and many energy decision-makers are still building familiarity with the facts regarding the history and benefits of RNG production and use. When used to fuel vehicles, RNG has proven to have the lowest carbon lifecycle emissions of all transportation fuel options currently available in many markets.

While more than 100 North American sites have started producing renewable natural gas since the early 1980s – and more than half of those in just the past four years – greater opportunities remain. Using our potential RNG resources could annually replace seven billion gallons of diesel used in transportation, and, in the U.S. alone, could create 70,000 or more new clean energy jobs with salaries often two to three times the national median.

 

Green New Dealers Need Buckets of Icy Cold Reality Dumped on Their Climate Emergency

Green New Dealers need to face some hard energy facts.

CNN recently hosted a seven-hour climate bore-athon. That climate cataclysms are real and already devastating our planet was not open to discussion. So host Wolf Blitzer and ten Democratic Party presidential contenders vied to make the most extravagant claims about how bad things are, and who would spend the most taxpayer money and impose the most Green New Deal rules to restrict our freedoms and transform our energy, economy, agriculture and transportation, in the name of preventing further cataclysms.

Cory Booker opened the bidding at $3 trillion. Kamala Harris and Julian Castro raised it to $10 trillion.  Bernie Sanders upped it to $16 trillion. Then they got down to the business of telling us which personal choices and living standards they intend to roll back the furthest.

Among the proposals: Potentially banning commercial air travel (ruling and privileged classes presumably excepted); change our dietary guidelines or ban beef outright; massively increase taxes; “make polluters pay” for emitting greenhouse gases; eliminate onshore drilling, offshore drilling, fracking, coal-fired power plants, internal combustion engines; no new pipelines. In short, ban the fossil fuels that provide approximately 80 percent of America’s energy! No new nuclear power plants either. And then somehow, amid all that insanity, ensure “climate justice.”

They need to be doused with a few buckets of icy cold reality. The first bucket: We do not face a climate emergency. Computer models certainly predict all kinds of catastrophes. But both the models and the increasingly hysterical assertions of planetary chaos are completely out of touch with reality.

The second, even colder bucket of reality: Wind and sunshine may be free, renewable, sustainable and eco-friendly, but the technologies, lands and raw materials required to harness this widely dispersed, intermittent, weather-dependent energy to benefit humanity absolutely are not. In fact, they cause far more environmental damage than any of the fossil fuel energy sources they would supposedly replace.

Biofuels. U.S. ethanol quotas currently gobble up over 40 percent of America’s corn – grown on cropland nearly the size of Iowa, to displace about 10 percent of America’s gasoline. Corn ethanol also requires vast quantities of water, pesticides, fertilizers, natural gas, gasoline and diesel, to produce and transport a fuel that drives up food prices and thus adversely affects food aid and nutrition in poor nations, damages small engines, and gets about one-third fewer miles per gallon than gasoline.            

Replacing 100 percent of U.S. gasoline with ethanol would require some 360 million acres of corn. That’s more than twice the land area of Texas. But eliminating fossil fuel production means we’d also have to replace the oil and natural gas feed stocks required for pharmaceuticals, wind turbine blades, solar panel films, paints, synthetic fibers, fertilizers, and plastics for cell phones, computers, eyeglasses, car bodies and countless other products. That would require growing corn on almost four times the area of Texas.

Solar power. Solar panels on Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base generate a minuscule 15 megawatts of electricity, about 40 percent of the year, from 72,000 panels on 140 acres. Arizona’s Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant generates 760 times more electricity, from less land, 90-95 percent of the time.  

Generating Palo Verde’s electricity output using Nellis technology would require acreage ten times larger than Washington, DC. And the solar panels would still provide electricity only 40 percent of the year.

Generating the 3.9 billion megawatt-hours that Americans consumed in 2018 would mean we would have to completely blanket over twelve million acres – half of Virginia – with solar panels, and get the sun to shine at high-noon summertime Arizona intensity 24/7/365, wherever we install those panels.

Wind power. Mandated, subsidized wind energy likewise requires millions of acres for turbines and new transmission lines, and billions of tons of concrete, steel, copper, rare earth metals and fiberglass.

Like solar panels, wind turbines produce intermittent, unreliable electricity that costs much more than coal, gas or nuclear electricity – once subsidies are removed – and must be backed up by fossil fuel generators that have to go from standby to full-power many times a day, very inefficiently, every time the wind stops blowing. Turbine blades already kill raptors, other birds and bats – perhaps a million or more every year in the USA alone. Their light flicker and infrasonic noise potentially impair human health.

Modern coal and gas-fired power plants can generate 600 megawatts some 95 percent of the time from less than 300 acres. Indiana’s Fowler Ridge wind farm also generates 600 megawatts – from 350 towering turbines, sprawling across more than 50,000 acres (much more than Washington, DC), less than 30 percent of the year. 

Now let’s suppose we’re going to use wind power to replace those 3.9 billion megawatt-hours of U.S. electricity consumption. Let’s also suppose we’re going to get rid of all those coal and gas-fired backup power plants, natural gas for home heating, coal and natural gas for factories, and gasoline-powered vehicles – and replace them all with wind-powered electricity. We’ll also use wind turbines to generate enough extra electricity every windy day to charge batteries for just seven straight windless days.

That would require a lot of wind turbines, as we are forced to go into lower and lower quality wind locations. Instead of generating full nameplate power maybe one-third of the year, on average, they will do so only around 16 percent of the year. Instead of the 58,000 turbines we have now, the United States would need some 14 million turbines, each one 400 feet tall, each one capable of generating 1.8 megawatts at full capacity, when the wind is blowing at the proper speed.

Assuming an inadequate 15 acres apiece, those monster turbines would require some 225 million acres! That’s well over twice the land area of California – without including transmission lines. Their bird-butchering blades would wipe out raptors, other birds and bats across vast stretches of America.

But every turbine really needs at least 50 acres of open space, and Fowler Ridge uses 120 acres per turbine. That works out to 750 million acres (ten times Arizona) – to 1,800 million acres (ten times Texas or nearly the entire Lower 48 United States)! Eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures, geese and other high-flying birds and bats could virtually disappear from our skies. Insects and vermin would proliferate.

Manufacturing those wind turbines would require something on the order of four billion tons of steel, copper and alloys for the towers and turbines; eight billion tons of steel and concrete for the foundations; four million tons of rare earth metals for motors, magnets and other components; one billion tons of petroleum-based composites for the nacelle covers and turbine blades; and massive quantities of rock and gravel for millions of miles of access roads to the turbines. Connecting our wind farms and cities with high-voltage transmission lines would require still more raw materials – and more millions of acres.

All these raw materials must be mined, processed, smelted, manufactured into finished products, and shipped all over the world. They would require removing hundreds of billions of tons of earth and rock overburden – and crushing tens of billions of tons of ore – at hundreds of new mines and quarries.

Every step in this entire process would require massive amounts of fossil fuels, because wind turbines and solar panels cannot operate earth moving and mining equipment – or produce consistently high enough heat to melt silica, iron, copper, rare earth or other materials.

CNN’s hosts and the Green New Deal presidential candidates failed to so much as mention any of this – aside from Sen. Booker who suggested nuclear power as an alternative, saying, “people who think that we can get [to zero carbon electricity by 2030] without nuclear being part of the blend just aren’t looking at the facts.” To them, “renewable” energy will just happen – like manna from Gaia, or beamed down from the Starship Enterprise.

They must no longer be allowed to dodge these issues, to go from assuming the climate is in crisis, to assuming reliable, affordable, renewable, sustainable, eco-friendly alternatives to fossil fuel (and nuclear) energy will just magically appear, or can simply be willed or subsidized into existence.

Citizens, newscasters, debate hosts and legislators who are more firmly grounded in reality need to confront Green New Dealers with hard questions and icy cold facts – and keep repeating them until candidates provide real answers. No more dissembling, obfuscation or incantations permitted.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy, climate, environmental and human rights issues.

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Dow to tackle plastic waste


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Dow and SCG recently signed a collaboration agreement to develop new complete recycling solutions to add value to plastic waste and prevent them from ending up in the environment. This agreement is an attempt to create a circular economy for plastic in Thailand.

“Our industry and society as a whole must do a better job of capturing and reusing plastic by scaling investments in collection, waste management, recycling technologies and new end-markets,” said Jim Fitterling, chief executive officer of Dow. “Dow continues to join forces with partners across the globe to more effectively reuse and recycle plastic waste. Working together with companies like SCG we can create a world where no plastic ends up in the environment.”

The agreement was based upon the shared vision to close the loop of plastics waste management for the reduction of plastic leakage to the environment.


The products anticipated from this collaboration are outputs of mechanical recycling, feedstock recycling as well as renewable feedstock, which include but are not limited to recycled resin, recycled products made from plastic waste, petrochemical feedstocks from plastic waste and renewable plastic resins.

“This collaboration not only represents our joint commitment in taking action to solve the problems through technology and making real changes but also provides us with new business opportunity, enhancing sustainability and bringing about practical solutions for recycling and upcycling of plastic waste in Thailand,” said Roongrote Rangsiyopash, president and chief executive officer of SCG.

SCG, Chemicals Business, is one of the largest integrated petrochemical companies in Thailand and a key industry leader in Asia. It offers a full range of petrochemical products ranging from upstream production of olefins to downstream production of 3 main plastics resins; polyethylene, polypropylene and polyvinyl chloride.

“Circular economy is an economic opportunity as much as a solution to a pressing environmental issue,” said Jonathan Penrice, president of Dow in Asia Pacific. “We will build on Dow’s unique materials science and application knowledge and our 50-year experience in Thailand to develop solutions that maximize the value of plastics in the country.”


This collaboration is aligned with the Thai government’s ambition to drastically increase the recycling rate of plastic waste in the country by 2027. Plastic waste in the environment is considered a critical environmental issue which Dow and SCG have innovated around in the past, such as developing certain technologies to incorporate materials derived from transformed plastic waste in polymer modified asphalt roads. This solution will add value to low or no value plastic waste such as multi-layer plastic packaging and contaminated plastic waste.

Most businesses today operate a linear system, whereby natural resources are extracted, transformed into products, and eventually disposed of. A circular economy, on the other hand, is aimed to reuse, renew and recycle valuable resources, thereby reducing environmental impact.

Dow and SCG are founding members of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, a not-for-profit organization, partnering with the finance community, government and civil society, including environmental and economic development NGOs to make the dream of a world without plastic waste a reality.

Eco-Friendly Digital Currencies: the Future of Our Planet

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Cryptocurrency is a hot buzzword in our financial landscape today. Even most of us who don’t use digital currencies have a basic understanding of what they are. Every year, the spotlight of crypto grows bigger.

Yet, one of the major issues surrounding cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, is the high carbon footprint it carries. The fact is, Bitcoin’s energy consumption is massive. When a bitcoin transaction takes place, computers all around the world are tasked with its verification.

Why Does Bitcoin Consume So Much Energy?

To understand why these tasks require so much power, let’s take a look at how bitcoins are generated in the first place.

To acquire bitcoins, computers across different networks must solve complex mathematical equations, grouping transactions into blocks. These blocks constitute “proof of work” that, like gold-mining, produces a unique and valuable asset, a cryptographic file that represents value that can be turned into money. During Bitcoin’s inception, bitcoins were mined using simple, store-bought computers. But with a finite number of minable bitcoins out there, the mathematical equations necessary to score a bitcoin becomes increasingly difficult each time a bitcoin is created.

Today, the specialized software required for mining require huge machines that consume large amounts of electricity. The people most likely to mine own companies and warehouses to support that computer infrastructure.

According to the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index, a single bitcoin transaction pulls the same amount of energy it takes to power roughly 31 homes in the United States for one day. And every day, hundreds of thousands of bitcoin transactions take place. Currently, annual energy consumption levels sit at 61.56 terawatt hours. To put this into perspective, that’s enough energy to power every home in Switzerland for a year.

With the rise of Bitcoin, awareness of its effect on the environment is growing. Not only is this unsustainable, but it’s also ineffective. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are victim to fluctuating value, and sharp declines have hurt mining companies that rushed to build facilities to compete and meet demand.

A Trend Towards Sustainable Digital Currencies

According to the 2017 Global Carbon Budget, the Earth has 32 years left before carbon emissions peak — rendering our planet unlivable.

But it’s important to note that not all cryptocurrencies are harmful — conversely, some forms of digital currency can actually help the environment by factoring in carbon offsets or tree-planting programs that sequester CO2 over the long term.

Already, financial technology companies have begun tackling bigger environmental and social issues, incorporating sustainable development goals and designing innovative solutions towards clean energy and climate action. Today’s big forward-thinking businesses are focusing on economic capital while supporting the greater good of our Earth.

Digital currencies backed by commodities offer a prime example of this. These currencies, which can be backed by a myriad of different commodities, may be both environmentally beneficial and secure for investors. The diversification of digital currency allows these coins to be more stable, absolving them from the volatility of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.

Some Greener Cryptocurrency Solutions

The following are just a few examples of digital currencies that are striving to be more environmentally friendly as well as sustainable and stable.

Ven

Ven currency is a stable coin backed partially by carbon. The coin is 100 percent backed by issuance; that is, it is tied to a currency to minimize inflation risk. Unlike Bitcoin, trading with Ven offers some environmental benefits. Because trees store carbon and soak up high amounts of pollution, they can be tied to a financial instrument, a carbon credit that ensures retirement of CO2 in stable storage. A single carbon credit allows the holder to legally emit one metric ton of carbon dioxide. Each time that Ven currency is issued, my company, Hub Culture, purchases carbon credits to offset the transaction. Carbon credits can also be purchased through its Hub Culture platform. This protects forests — whose high absorption of carbon dioxide create “carbon sinks” — from further degradation. 

Carbon credits represent roughly 7 percent of Ven’s overall value, and as of 2016, Ven currency has helped protect 25,000 acres of Amazon rainforest. Increased demand and financial support for environmental assets like carbon help ensure those assets remain protected. After all, the ultimate goal of carbon credits is to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by limiting permissible emissions. Other big businesses like IBM have followed suit, partnering with third-party organizations to tokenize carbon credits and reduce their footprint.

Power Ledger

Other types of green crypto solutions are also making a difference to our planet.

Australian-based startup Power Ledger is built upon a modest goal of helping consumers transact energy, trade environmental commodities, and invest in renewables. Through the software, people can buy and trade electricity in real time. For instance, a household that uses solar panels on their rooftop could sell excess energy to a neighbor. Conversely, you could use its blockchain technology to track energy from various renewable sources to offset emissions and trade renewable energy credits.

Hydrominer

Another company called Hydrominer strives to replace the traditionally power-heavy mining process with a more sustainable alternative via hydropower. This hydropower backed “green mining” process cuts energy usage and costs.

Our future shouldn’t rely on fossil resources and unsustainable mining practices. However, using renewable energy isn’t the same thing as saving it. While renewable energy is certainly a fair step towards sustainability, additional efforts need to be explored.

BitGreen

Enter BitGreen (formerly Bitcoin Green), an energy-efficient alternative to Bitcoin that promises to reinvent the “proof-of-work” mining strategy by reversing the incentive structure. In this model of cryptocurrency mining, the coins already held by a miner prove that they can access more and this functions as a credit, reducing electricity needed to mine or “prove” a transaction. This would drastically reduce energy consumption and speed up the transaction process. With this new “proof-of-stake” concept, anyone could mine without the use of extensive hardware and pricey facilities. But there’s still a long way to go before this sustainable variant of the most popular cryptocurrency reaches the masses.

“Although right now the odds are not in our favor, we believe it is only a matter of time before proof-of-work energy consumption becomes so egregious that people will begin to more aggressively seek out sustainable solutions,” Bitcoin Green’s spokesperson, Daoud Schellin, told Grist.

VenusEnergy

And over in Estonia, mining company VenusEnergy plans to produce its own green electricity by building wind turbines along the windy Lithuanian coast.

Future Changes in Cryptocurrency Energy Consumption

In the future, we can expect more cryptocurrencies to evolve and change the way we use energy to build transparent, fortified transactional systems. After all, the traditional proof-of-work system is imbued with major ecological and economic issues. It’s clear that the digital currencies we know well have underlying structural problems that aren’t sustainable.

Because of the massive power necessary for these systems, we can also expect future regulations to reduce usage. Companies could be penalized or decimated altogether for exceeding their allocated energy usages. Moving forward, it’s time to start exploring eco-friendly ways to power our transactions and maintain our privacy.

About the Author

Stan Stalnaker, founding director of Hub CultureStan Stalnaker is the founding director of Hub Culture, a social network service that operates Ven, the only digital currency to thrive on a basket of commodities currencies and carbon futures, making it the world’s first green monetary system. A leader in the market, Ven is a stable digital currency that is recognized by global financial markets and indexed by Thomson Reuters. Since 2007, Hub Culture has traded over 500 million Ven, helping to protect 25,000 acres of rainforest. Ven has become the world’s first environmentally-backed hedge currency.

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How to make your start-up business sustainable from day one

Starting a new business is an exciting time, as you embark on your entrepreneurial future with passion and determination. For many of us, new ventures often have sustainability as a focus. Whether it’s a drink, a clothing brand, jewellery or a café, many of us want commit to a sustainable ethos as part of our brand. But what about our own sustainable efforts? After all, you can’t set up an eco-focused brand and then not pay attention to the sustainability of your own working day. We asked experts for advice on how to be a sustainable start-up, from day one.

Make your launch party and gifting sustainable

Planning an event and gifts for customers to welcome your new ‘business baby’ into the world is all very well, but you need to do it in an eco-friendly way. Bec Evans is author of How to Have a Happy Hustle. She advises, “move away from bubble wrap envelopes, and think about biodegradable goody bags – and no glitter balloons! Think about plastic in gifts and plastic waste when gifting. It’s about showing intention – when you set up a business it’s about building a community and working with early users. Think ‘does the world really need this?’”.

Related | 9 sustainable economy startups aiming to clean up our future

Make sustainability a ‘given’, not a ‘must do’

Jesse Tran and Son Chu are fellow students from Vietnam who are starting their own trainer business and their products are made from recycled coffee cups. Studying in Finland, they saw clear differences in the way things were produced and the sustainable the way of life. They’ve channelled that into their brand, RENS. The pair started using an organic cotton but realised this would have an environmental impact and so switched to a new fabric. “As millennials, for us sustainability should be a given,” says Jesse. “We want to play a role as ambassadors – it’s easier to live a sustainable life in Finland!”

Related |The brands launching sunglasses made from human hair, milk bottles and coffee waste

Think about the entire production chain

So you’ve chosen your start-up. Now to find a way to produce the product. Sustainability needs to be considered from start to finish. Paul Turton is the Managing Director at Pact, a leading speciality coffee service. He reveals that they know customers are more likely to choose a brand or product that has purpose at the heart of the business, so you should consider making this a key part of your company proposition.

“Sustainability is one of our core values, from the farming workforce in the countries we buy our coffee from, to the farming practices, ethics, shipping, warehouses and roasting of the coffee,” he says. “It wouldn’t be right to ask people to work in a way that doesn’t show us upholding our own standards – no matter the size of our business.”

Jesse and Son from Rens agree that their biggest tip is to find a good sustainable base. They work from Aalto university. “The lights are all automatic, and everything is optimised,” says Jesse.

Is your office space sustainability-friendly?

According to Bec Evans, “happiness is the jumping-off point for becoming a ‘side hustler’, and one of the reasons side hustles are growing so much is because you can work from anywhere.” So that’s a good place to start – is your chosen place of work sustainable? Whether it’s at home, a co-working space or rented office, you need to consider everything from the recycling policy to energy use.

Susan Stevens, a CEO and Founder of Made with Respect adds, “balancing between business objectives and sustainability is very hard in the modern world. Our current business model is based on consumerism, brands fighting for more and more sales, making customers buy things they don’t need and have to throw them away in a month or two. Approximately 1.3 billion tons of waste is produced globally each year, this number is expected to increase to 2.2 billion tons per year by 2025. This is alarming.”

Related | 5 stunning examples of green architecture around the world

Commit to recycling

This may feel like a more obvious one, but recycling can get forgotten when you’re wondering about the provenance of the cotton for those new bags you’re making. Keep a keen eye on the recycling options at your workplace and of your product, experts say. Paul Turton adds, “it’s good to get into good habits from the start, then when the business grows, it’s already ingrained in the culture. People don’t often realise you can even recycle used coffee grounds, it’s best to seek out suppliers who can help you do this, we use First Mile Recycling and Bio-Bean or simply get a compost bin in the office.”

First Mile founder and CEO, Bruce Bratley, adds, “when it comes to recycling, it’s important to remember that not all waste companies deal with waste in the same way. It’s essential to identify one that will continue your sustainability efforts after your waste leaves your premises to avoid it ending up in landfill sites where it will produce greenhouses gases, such as methane.”

Find people who are on the same sustainability page as you

Working with like-minded people will mean you develop a strong sustainability mantra across the day and into the future. David Kelly, General Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Deputy, a company that works with lots of start-ups, says, “to grow sustainably and retain talent, you need to bring people on the journey with you. Pay them properly and on time and prove work will fit into their life. Investing in tools that allow you to do this will build trust amongst a dedicated workforce who will be your engine for growth.”

Buy second hand supplies and think about packaging

How exciting is it when you start a new business to go all out on the stationary, fun new pens, plant pots, desk chintz and fancy envelopes? Right? But all these things are sustainability nightmares. You know about fast fashion, but you also need to be aware of ‘fast stationary’. Step away from the pens – you’ve got lots at home already.

And that goes for machines as well as pens, adds Jason Downes, MD at PowWowNow, “when businesses are sourcing office equipment, they should seek appliances with an ENERGY STAR label, which indicates that the equipment has achieved energy efficiency standards set by the EU. Computers, for example, use 30-65 percent less electricity, while there are also greener alternatives for a lot of technology, such as energy-efficient lightbulbs or solar-powered smart speakers.”

Rosalind Rathouse runs a sustainable cookery school. She says, “when setting up the office of your new business or start-up, don’t be tempted to buy everything new. Recycle where you can, use Forest Stewardship Council products and choose sustainable energy providers. Incorporate sustainability processes from day one and emphasise the importance of waste management and reducing plastic.”

Think about your energy supplier

Bills aren’t the most glamorous topic, but choose the right energy supplier; you could save money as well as the planet. Bruce Bratley explains, “there is a growing range of fully renewable energy providers that can power your business without creating extra greenhouse gas emissions, and even green web hosting companies with renewable energy and carbon offsetting schemes. Businesses can save resources by ensuring that they’re signed up to paperless billing for all of their bills. Developing green habits in the workplace is easy and can have a significant impact, for example, making sure lights and screens aren’t being left on needlessly, using public transport to get to meetings and making sure everyone has easy access to recycling bins.”

Think about emotional sustainability, too

Once you’ve done all you can to be sustainable with the practical things, you need to think about your own mental wellbeing, too, adds Bec Evans. “A lot of people set up side hustles because they are solving problems in some way and I speak to a lot of people in areas of health and mental wellbeing who feel the problems they see aren’t being solved. Talk to customers and ask them what they think. Be true to your values. If sustainability is something that motivates you then it’s important to check you’re in line with your own values.”

Words: Jenny Stallard

Renewable natural gas: A climate solution with untapped potential

The following is a contributed piece and does not reflect an editorial position by Waste Dive. Information on what that entails and how you can submit is available here.

When it comes to addressing climate change, we must pursue a diversity of approaches toward reducing carbon emissions. One of the most overlooked opportunities in our arsenal today is renewable natural gas (RNG).

It’s simply not getting enough attention in relationship to its potential for major impact. 

RNG is natural gas derived from processing raw biogas, which is produced from industry, agriculture and waste management. The most common source of biogas – which consists largely of methane – is the breakdown of organic waste at wastewater treatment plants and landfills. Methane is at least 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere, and processing it to make RNG means avoiding those negative effects while also decreasing reliance on fossil fuels.

With RNG, rather than extracting sequestered natural gas from the ground to use as a fuel source, we can repurpose what already exists – creating a “green gas” interchangeable with traditional pipeline-quality natural gas. And RNG acts as a baseload resource when other renewable sources, such as wind and solar, simply cannot.

An immediate benefit of RNG plants is their ability to create new revenue streams for municipalities, farmers and industrial companies that can sell this resource into the natural gas grid. Phoenix and San Antonio are among multiple cities that have already done so. With so many untapped, domestic methane sources, the potential is tremendous.

In the long term, RNG will also contribute to energy security by providing the gas grid with enhanced diversity of supply. This will further diminish the need to import fuel from foreign sources while also building up the onshore RNG industry. There’s potential to create thousands of “green collar” jobs in building, operating and maintaining RNG plants.

What’s the holdup for adoption? There’s limited awareness of RNG’s potential and a misconception that RNG is only “sellable” to trucking and transportation. Yet institutions across industries are now using RNG to replace fossil fuel combustion, and some utilities are working to decarbonize their pipelines.

SoCalGas has made a commitment to replace 20% of its traditional natural gas supply with RNG by 2030. A study by Navigant Consulting found replacing 16% of California’s natural gas supply with RNG would cut greenhouse gas emissions as much as converting all state buildings to electric-only energy by 2030.

Utilities across the country have also made similar RNG pushes. CenterPoint Energy has proposed offering RNG to its customers in Minnesota, and Summit Utilities is hoping to offer RNG to customers in Maine. 

To unlock its full potential, RNG needs a supportive regulatory environment – locally and nationally.

The federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has driven demand for ethanol-based gasoline and other types of renewable fuels – including RNG. The RFS program has supported the development of the RNG market since 2014, and exponential growth will require a more robust role for RNG in the future. If optimized, RNG could play a massive role in the energy economy; according to the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas, RNG production from 2015 through 2018 has more than doubled under the RFS.

The RNG industry has experienced an average annual growth rate of 30%; in 2018, RNG production outpaced EPA’s projections for the year. At the local level, states can support the RNG market by considering the role of RNG in renewable portfolio standards. These actions combined will allow the U.S. to broadly reap the benefits of RNG in terms of climate change mitigation, revenue generation, energy security and job creation. 

Consider how the San Antonio Water System – the first community water system to create a wastewater-to-biogas plant of its kind – benefited. The plant, which processes over 1.5 million standard cubic feet of RNG per day, captures biogas and then sells it through a commercial gas pipeline, generating annual royalties while also removing 19,739 tons of carbon from the atmosphere: the equivalent of the energy expended to heat more than 4,600 homes for a year.

Phoenix, in partnership with its surrounding communities, recently opened the largest wastewater-to-biogas plant in the U.S. The facility is capable of reducing CO2 emissions by 44,671 tons a year – the equivalent of removing more than 9,400 cars from the road annually.

With success like that in mind, it’s very clear: it’s time to make RNG mainstream.

Michael Bakas is executive vice president of Ameresco.

From fathers business to Global Entrepreneur, Himansh Verma touching sky in Green Inventions

Mumbai September 06 : Leaving no stone unturned, Himansh Verma who is now an eminent global entrepreneur, had started his business career from scratch by working in his father’s jewellery business but lately he is acquiring Intellectual Property (IP) rights which are for creative science and technological concepts in India and much other high profiles eco-friendly projects for our nation.

Himansh Verma is the administrator and author of Navrattan Group, who is thinking of horde of eco-accommodating activities which will end up being a shelter for the general public. Umpteen quantities of creative thoughts are into the shape which will give a stage to the nation to support its economy and will take it to the way of eco-accommodating advancement.

The associations that work for these regions are Navrattan Green Cement Industries Pvt Ltd, Navrattan Green Power Co Ltd, Navrattan Science, and Technology KFT.

24×7 Electricity Generation Technologies

Navrattan Green Power Corporation Limited is a vertical of Navrattan Group that has given us an innovative solution to electricity generation. The technology is called the ‘SUNSUL’ technology which is a self-looped generator that produces continuous energy without polluting the environment. It is a mega green power project based on solar energy. The innovation is brought alive to build the foundations of greener and cleaner tomorrow. SUNSUL Technology can produce incredible amounts of electricity without a constant feedstock of fossil fuels, atomic energy or hydro-powered means. The revolutionary technology can recycle its own energy feedstock in a closed-loop system.

E-Bus by Navrattan Holdings Limited (NHL)

Navrattan Holdings Limited has introduced a novel invention into the market, called the Navrattan Composite Electric Bus (E-Bus). The science and technology venture of Navrattan Group has become the first company in India to do so. E-Bus is a revolution in the transportation sector. The bus is completely environment-friendly, highly efficient, made with superior quality composite plastic, and is user-friendly. At present 50 buses are up and running across the globe that is successfully tried and tested over 3 million kilometers of distance. Its superior charging system power charges the bus such that it can efficiently run for 16 hours with a mere charge of 4 hours.

The idea was brought alive with the efforts of Himansh Verma, the founder and Chairman of Navrattan Group. Verma has globally and nationally developed and acquired over 60 IPRs spread over different industries.

Thermo Chemical Gasification

Thermo Chemical Gasification is an environmentally friendly technology that can convert any carbon-containing feedstock like sewage, agricultural, animal, medical, and municipal solid waste into ‘Green’ electricity, natural gas, and bio-fuel. The gas produced is called the ‘Syngas’ which is a clean, dry, and flexible fuel.

Thermo Chemical Gasification is the most sought after technologies for waste treatment and is the most cost-effective and cleaner than conventional combustion process.

“The progression in urbanization and the people living in urban frameworks and towns, and the climbing in the expense of oil, have put weight on standard centrality supplies, and have helped drive the gasification essentially dependably,” said Himansh Verma, Founder and Chairman, Navrattan Group of Companies

Eco-accommodating Navrattan Green Crete

Navrattan Green Cement Industries Pvt Ltd manufactures eco-friendly and sustainable cement called the Navrattan Green Crete. The cement is stronger and has higher compressive and tensile strength as compared to OPC. The cement the manufacturing process does not involve large energy-intensive kilns and does not depend upon limestone burning; thus, the cement manufacturing process is completely pollution-free.

The water and acid resistant cement is durable, ductile and reliable under all climatic conditions, thus, making sure that our structures are forever. The technology substantially reduces our carbon footprint.

Navrattan Holdings Ltd has examined and made different unique advances in the segment of science and technology. The affiliation has a social occasion of surely understood researchers, and specialists who have 24×7 gets to the best of science diaries and particularly masterminded top-level labs to work.

This story is provided by BusinessWire India. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article.

Kohl’s to increase use of renewable energy

STORE SPACES

Kohl’s unveiled a number of initiatives focused on long-term sustainability.

The initiatives, part of the retailer’s corporate social responsibility platform, fall into three key areas: climate action, waste and recycling, and sustainable sourcing. Kohl’s said that its sustainability strategy is guided by leveraging business practices and decisions that enhance the objectives of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Climate Action: Kohl’s climate action goals are focused on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and increase of renewable energy use. The goals are outlined below.

• Reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Kohl’s-owned operations by 50% versus 2014 baseline by 2025.

• Further reduce energy consumption by 10% at Kohl’s facilities by 2025, building off of the company’s existing 20% reduction against 2008 baseline.

• Expand renewable energy platforms by building off the company’s existing 161 solar and wind locations.

• Support the transition to a low-carbon transportation system, building off of the company’s existing 96 locations offering electrical vehicle charging.

Waste/recycling: Kohl’s waste and recycling goals are focused on the management of all wastes, reducing waste generation and promoting relevant recycling information to customers. The goals include diverting 85% of Kohl’s U.S. operational waste from landfills by the end of 2025, labeling 100% of Kohl’s-owned branded packaging with the How2Recycle® label by 2025, and reducing the amount of plastic and cardboard in Kohl’s-owned branded packaging.

Sustainable sourcing: The retailer’s sustainable sourcing goals are focused on the efficient use of natural resources and environmentally sound management of chemicals within the company’s owned branded products. They include achieving 100% sustainably sourced cotton in Kohl’s proprietary brands by 2025, achieving 50% of products containing polyester to be made with recycled materials in Kohl’s proprietary brands by 2025 and emphasizing the elimination and reduction of chemicals in Kohl’s-owned brand products and strive for a zero-discharge supply chain of hazardous chemicals, building off of the company’s existing chemical sustainability program.

The company said it is committed to monitoring and reporting performance and progress against these goals within the company’s annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

“At Kohl’s we are committed to being a responsible corporate citizen, making our communities stronger by supporting initiatives and organizations that focus on health-and-wellness, sustainability, and environmental efforts that benefit all families,” said Michelle Gass, Kohl’s CEO. “We are proud to share our sustainability goals that support Kohl’s efforts to enhance our standing as a retailer of purpose.”

Kohl’s has been recognized in 2019 with the following awards and recognitions for significant progress implementing its environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives:

• 2019 Barron’s Top 100 Sustainable Companies

• 2018 Dow Jones Sustainability Index

• 2019 World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute

• U.S. Department of Energy Better Building Challenge Achiever, surpassing the company’s 2018 goal to reduce energy consumption by 20%

• 2019 EPA Energy Star Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award, for the eighth consecutive year

• 2018 EPA Smartway Shipper

To learn more about Kohl’s commitment to sustainability, visit Kohls.com/Sustainability.

Solar Panel Recycling Market to Reach $269.8 Million by 2023

Rising adoption rate of solar power systems and favorable government norms encouraging sustainable development are the major factors driving the growth of the solar panel recycling market. In 2017, the market generated a revenue of $80.7 million, and it is predicted to attain a size of $269.8 million by 2023, progressing at a CAGR of 22.0% during the forecast period (2018–2023). Solar panels convert solar energy into electricity for various commercial and residential applications; these are made from aluminum, glass, synthetic materials, and silicon.

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These components can be separated through the recycling process after panels’ lifecycle completes. On the basis of recycling method, the solar panel recycling market is classified into mechanical, thermal, and laser process. Out of these, in 2017, the mechanical classification held more than 55.0% revenue share in the market and is further expected to maintain its lead during the forecast period. The reason behind the leading position of this category is the economical and eco-friendly nature of the process.

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Talking about the shelf life, the solar panel recycling market is bifurcated into normal loss and early loss. Of these, in 2017, the early-loss shelf life category held a revenue share of more than 80.0% in the market. The key factor behind this is the early degradation or weathering of solar panels due to maintenance problems, negative weather conditions, and lack of product standardization. This is also why this category will lead the market during the forecast period.

Solar panel recycling market competitive landscape

Some of the major players operating in the global solar panel recycling market are Silcontel Ltd., Rinovasol Group, Reiling GmbH Co. KG, ENVARIS GmbH, ECS Refining LLC, Reclaim PV Recycling Pty. Ltd., Silrec Corporation, Canadian Solar Inc., Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited, and First Solar Inc.

GLOBAL SOLAR PANEL RECYCLING MARKET SEGMENTATION

By Process

  • Thermal
  • Mechanical
  • Laser

By Type

  • Monocrystalline
  • Polycrystalline
  • Thin Film

By Shelf Life

  • Normal Loss
  • Early Loss

By Region

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Rest of North America
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • U.K.
    • France
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia-Pacific (APAC)
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • Rest of APAC
  • Central and South America (CSA)
  • Middle East and Africa (MEA)

Cool Roofs Market Size Worth $27.1 Billion by 2025 | CAGR: 5.7%: Grand View Research, Inc.

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The global cool roof market size is expected to reach USD 27.1 billion by 2025, accelerating at a CAGR of 5.7% over the forecast period, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. Rising emphasis on green building projects and increasing use of cool roofs for energy conservation are expected to drive the demand for the product.

Grand View Research LogoGrand View Research Logo

Key suggestions from the report:

  • Single-ply membranes segment accounted for 23.4% of the global revenue in 2018; the membranes are widely used on account of their superior waterproofing characteristics along with high flexibility and durability
  • The cool roofs market in North America is estimated to witness growth of 5.9%, in terms of revenue, from 2019 to 2025 on account of increased awareness among end users concerning product
  • The market in China accounted for over 30.7% of Asia Pacific market revenue in 2018 owing to increasing penetration of products and rising government spending on various construction and infrastructure projects
  • Major players in the industry offer a wide range of products along with personalized services, such as custom designs and installation services, which is aiding companies in gaining an edge over their competitors.

Read 110 page research report with TOC on “Cool Roof Market Size, Share Trends Analysis Report By Roof Type (Steep Slope, Low Slope), By Product (Single-ply Membranes, Asphalt Shingles, Metal Roofs, Coated Roofs), By Application, And Segment Forecasts, 2019 – 2025” at: https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/cool-roof-market

Large-scale construction activities in residential and commercial sectors are likely to complement product growth. This can be attributed to increasing installation of the products to reduce external heat absorption, thereby maintaining the indoor ambient temperature. Adoption of various types of cool roofing systems in residential construction is projected to witness remarkable growth in developed economies.

Growing use of the product in industrial sector is likely to propel industry growth. Increasing construction spending on account of rapid urbanization and the removal of trade barriers for foreign investments are expected to drive the growth of the construction industry. In addition, growing awareness concerning the benefits of the product as compared to other materials is likely to drive demand over the forecast period.

Rapid growth of the construction industry in the North American economies coupled with rising demand for eco-friendly and energy-efficient systems is likely to propel the market growth. Businesses and homeowners are increasing preferring products made from durable roofing materials, which are resistant to damages caused by hailstorms, uplifts due to high winds, and exposure to solar radiations. Furthermore, the adoption of energy codes and solar power in roofing systems across all end-use applications is projected to augment market growth.

Grand View Research has segmented the global cool roofs market on the basis of roof type, product, application, and region:

  • Type Outlook (Volume, Million Square Feet, Revenue, USD Million, 2014 – 2025)
  • Product Outlook (Volume, Million Square Feet, Revenue, USD Million, 2014 – 2025)
  • Application Outlook (Volume, Million Square Feet, Revenue, USD Million, 2014 – 2025)
  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Million Square Feet, Revenue, USD Million, 2014 – 2025)

Find more research reports on Green Building Materials Industry, by Grand View Research:

  • Cold Insulation Market – Growing importance for energy efficiency on account of rising energy costs is expected to be a major factor driving the global cold insulation market over the next six years.
  • High Temperature Insulation Wool (HTIW) Market Global high temperature insulation wool (HTIW) market is expected to witness significant growth on account of its increasing demand from petrochemical industry.
  • Fiber Cement Rainscreen Panels Market – The global fiber cement rainscreen panels market is likely to witness a high growth on account of cost effectiveness, high durability, and low maintenance cost of these panels.

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About Grand View Research

Grand View Research, U.S.-based market research and consulting company, provides syndicated as well as customized research reports and consulting services. Registered in California and headquartered in San Francisco, the company comprises over 425 analysts and consultants, adding more than 1200 market research reports to its vast database each year. These reports offer in-depth analysis on 46 industries across 25 major countries worldwide. With the help of an interactive market intelligence platform, Grand View Research helps Fortune 500 companies and renowned academic institutes understand the global and regional business environment and gauge the opportunities that lie ahead.

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