Category: Biofuels

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White Paper Explains New Advanced Renewable Fuel Standard/RFS2

My colleague Graham Noyes and Clayton McMartin of Clean Fuels Clearinghouse recently published a white paper on the massive and staggeringly complex revision of the federal Advanced Fuel Standard (RFS) issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on February 3, 2010. Graham and Clayton describe how this second generation renewable fuel initiative (RFS2) will bring … Continue Reading

Growing America’s Fuel – President Obama Announces Strategies to Achieve U.S. Biofuels Goals

President Obama met today with a bipartisan group of governors from around the country and announced a series of steps the administration is taking to boost biofuels production in the United States.  The President’s Biofuels Interagency Working Group released a report spelling out ways to promote the development of the biofuels industry in the United States … Continue Reading

Show me the Money: $564 Million Awarded to Integrated Biorefinery Projects

In an earlier blog post, Debra Frimerman reported that the U.S. Department of Energy was seeking applications for grants to help promote the construction and operation of pilot, demonstration, and commercial scale integrated biorefinery projects. Today, DOE announced the selection of 19 projects to receive up to $564 million in grant money authorized by the American … Continue Reading

EPA: Possible Increase in “Blend Wall”

  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) expects to make a final determination in mid-2010 regarding a potential increase in the current 10% allowable ethanol content in fuel, the so-called “blend wall”.   In May 2009, Growth Energy, a biofuels industry association headed up by General Wesley Clark, requested a waiver that would allow the … Continue Reading

Come Visit Us at E3, The Midwest’s Premier Energy, Economic and Environmental Conference, on Nov. 17, 2009

As a proud Exhibit Hall sponsor of E3, the Midwest’s premier energy, economic and environmental conference, Stoel Rives LLP would like to encourage you to attend this annual event. Hosted by the University of Minnesota’s Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment, E3 will focus this year on the intersection of innovative technologies and policies, … Continue Reading

Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act Promotes Advanced Renewable Fuels

The Chairman’s Mark of the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act contains proposed language that would clarify that algae-based and other advanced fuels are included in the definition of biofuels for purposes of the Renewable Fuel Standard.  The Environment and Public Works Committee started legislative hearings today on the Clean Energy Jobs and American … Continue Reading

News from the 2009 Northern Plains Bioeconomy Conference

Below are some perspectives from the recent 2009 Northern Plains Bioeconomy Conference, as attended (and prepared by) my colleague, Joel Dahlgren. According to Dr. Bruce Dale, a professor of chemical engineering at Michigan State University (MSU), in a carbon-constrained world, cellulosic biomass is the cheapest energy per dollar of gigajoule (GJ) of energy produced. At $60 per ton … Continue Reading

$13 Million Awarded from the Rural Energy for America Program

In an earlier blog, my colleagues, Debra Frimerman and Janet Jacobs reported about the Rural Energy for America Program (“REAP”), in general and specifically in regards to small wind projects.  REAP is a Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) program that provides grants and loan guarantees to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase renewable energy systems, … Continue Reading

November 17: Energy, Economics and Environment (E3) Conference

The University of Minnesota’s annual conference on Energy, Economics and the Environment – E3 – will be held in St. Paul on November 17. Hosted annually by the University of Minnesota’s Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment (IREE), this year’s conference will explore current technologies, environmental benefits and market opportunities in renewable energy. Stoel … Continue Reading

Free Webinar on Loan Guarantee Program Hosted by DOE

The U.S. Department of Energy is hosting a free webinar on "How to Build a Strong Application" for the DOE Loan Guarantee Program on Tuesday, September 8, 2009 from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST.  The webinar is intended to explain the loan guarantee program and help lenders and applicants navigate the application process.  DOE will also be … Continue Reading

Australia passes 20% renewable energy target by 2020

From my colleague Adam Walters: On August 20 the Australian government announced the passage of a bill quadrupling its Renewable Energy Target (RET) to ensure that 20% (approximately 45,000 GWh) of Australia’s electricity is generated from renewable energy sources by 2020.   How does Australia’s RET Scheme Work?   The RET scheme is an expansion … Continue Reading

Friday Webinar on Commercialization of Advanced Biofuels (Algae)

On Friday August 28, Eric Lindeman of The Energy Daily will be moderating a webinar about "Advanced Biofuels: What Are the Commercial Possibilities?  Why All the Interest in Algae?"  My partner, the always-entertaining John Eustermann, will be speaking at the Webinar along with Connie Lausten (VP, Regulatory and Legislative Affairs, New Generation Biofuels (NGBF)) and Glenn … Continue Reading

IRS Issues Notice on Depreciation of Ethanol Facilities

On Monday, August 24, the IRS issued Notice 2009-64.  The notice sets forth a proposed revenue ruling that concludes that ethanol facilities are depreciable over 7 years (rather than 5 years).  A link to the notice appears below. The proposed ruling classifies ethanol facilities as assets used in Waste Reduction and Resource Recovery Plants (7 … Continue Reading

LAW OF ALGAE AVAILABLE NOW

We are pleased to announce that the first edition of THE LAW OF ALGAE is available now. The LAW OF ALGAE is a guide to the business and legal issues in developing a commercial scale algae biofuels facility. We are introducing THE LAW OF ALGAE in an on-line “wiki” format where the contents can be accessed at … Continue Reading

Fish Farms?: Algae to Fuel Entrepreneurs Are Moving Up the Food Chain

Today, the Wall Street Journal’s Russel Gold reported that entrepreneurs are looking into massive algae blooms in the Gulf of Mexico that create "dead-zones" for sea life as a potential feedstock of algae for biofuel production.  The dead zones are a result of run-off of fertilizers and other agricultural waste creating nutrient rich areas for algae to grow.  Eventually, the algae … Continue Reading

Show me the Money: DOE Proposes Amendments to its Loan Guarantee Program

Today, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend 10 CFR Part 609, the rule regulating the loan guarantee program authorized by section 1703 of Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  The two principal goals of section 1703 of Title XVII are to encourage commercial use of new or … Continue Reading

Show me the Money: $5.5 million available for Ethanol Blends

Today, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced the release of a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) related to ethanol blends.  The FOA provides up to $5.5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to increase the use of higher ethanol blends through expanding refueling infrastructure and funding outreach to promote public awareness. $3.5 million is available … Continue Reading

USDA Accepting Biomass Assistance Applications

On July 29, 2009, USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Jonathan Coppess announced that biomass conversion facilities can begin signing up to participate in the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), which will help increase production of renewable energy.  The program, authorized in the 2008 farm bill, provides financial assistance to producers who deliver eligible material to … Continue Reading

EPA Shows Positive Interest in Algae

    From InsideEPA.com (reproduced essentially verbatim with the permission of the publisher Inside Washington Publishers): EPA will measure the greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts of algae-based biofuels in its final rule to implement the renewable fuels standard (RFS) in response to growing interest in the renewable feedstock, including recent announcements by Exxon-Mobil (as noted in … Continue Reading

Funds Available to Repower Biorefineries

USDA recently announced that it will deploy up to $20 million to encourage the use of renewable biomass as a replacement fuel source for fossil fuels as well as to provide process heat or power in the operation of eligible biorefineries. Eligible biorefineries are biorefineries that meet all of the following criteria: Convert renewable biomass into biofuels and … Continue Reading

$22 Million for Community Renewable Energy

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced this week that up to $22 million from the Recovery Act would be allotted to up to 4 eligible communities nationwide in order to encourage utility-scale renewable energy systems that provide clean, reliable, and affordable energy supplies for their communities, while creating jobs and new economic development opportunities. The projects will demonstrate how … Continue Reading

Algal Fuels Developments

The recent blog posting (available here) regarding Exxon’s $600 million investment in biofuels served as a reminder to me that comments are due soon (August 3, 2009) on the Department of Energy’s draft  "National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap" (the "Roadmap"). The Roadmap was prepared by a working group commissioned by DOE.  The working group was commissioned … Continue Reading
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