Commercial production of cellulosic ethanol is to begin in the US we learn from Green Car Congress. Sweetwater Energy, Inc.and Ace Ethanol have entered into an agreement to generate cellulosic ethanol at Ace’s corn ethanol production facility in the state of Wisconsin.  The deal is for up to 16 years and enables Ace to produce up to 3.6 million gallons of ethanol per year . The process will convert locally available cellulosic, non-food biomass, such as crop residues, energy crops, and woody biomass into highly fermentable sugar, which Ace will ferment into ethanol. Sweetwater’s technology allows for production economies previously not achievable on a small-scale, allowing this plant to use biomass within just a few miles and therefore reducing transportation and storage expenses. This project is part of a global effort to replace food crops, such as corn, with non-food vegetation to produce transportation fuels.

UPI observed that marginal land in the US that cannot be used to grow food could be used to produce biofuels. Such land could produce enough non-grain biofuel to meet about 25% of the nation’ 2022 target for cellulosic biofuel. Herbaceous native plants such as switchgrass, could provide a non-food biomass source of energy while mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. See also National Science Foundation Marginal Lands Are Prime Fuel Source for Alternative Energy.

Leftover fish parts will be generating electricity in Vietnam writes Deutsche Welle. A research project in the Mekong Delta is researching how fish waste could potentially replace fossil fuels to produce energy.  The Hiep Thanh Seafood company is part of an international project to manufacture biodiesel from fish waste (fish innards, scales and bones). The biodiesel, in turn is used to generate electricity to power the fish factory’s cooling and freezing operations. The factory is still under construction but once it is in full operation, it is expected to produce 13 tons of biodiesel each year

The Bangkok Post says a biofuel plant is planned for Myanmar. The plant will use palm oil as feedstock. Expected to commence operations in 2014, it will be located on Myanmar’s Song island near Thailand’s Ranong province. The biofuel will be used to generate electricity which will be sold in both Myanmar and Thailand.

Discovery says McDonald’s delivery trucks in the United Arab Emirates are being powered by cooking oil. For a year now the renowned fast food company has used recycled cooking oil to power these vehicles. 100% of the used oil from the UAE’s McDonald’s restaurants is turned back into biofuel and it is not mixed with any other fuel. More importantly, since 95% of biofuel production cost is the feedstock, by using recycled oil the cost is much cheaper than growing food crops.

The UAE isn’t the only country the company is operating the system in. McDonald’s vehicles in the UK get 100 percent of their fuel from recycled cooking oil-based biodiesel. In Europe as a whole, 80 percent of the company’s waste oil is turned into biodiesel, and 37 percent of the total fleet is run on the fuel.

Climate Spectator notes that European demand for wood pellets to produce electricity will increase more than three-fold by 2020, as governments offer subsidies for greener energy sources to replace coal. The demand for wood pellets in Europe will reach 29 million tonnes in 2020, up from 8 million in 2010 according to market analysts. Wood pellet use in coal-fired electricity plants will likely place more reliance on imports from Canada, the US. Russia and Brazil. Biomass is attractive in a green energy mix because. unlike intermittent renewable energy sources like wind or solar, it provides stable baseload power. See also blackseagrain Biomass demand to exponentially increase in Europe by 2020.

Dying pine trees are going to be used for biomass energy in the US state of Iowa. thonline reports that the University of Iowa will use 24 acres of dead and dying pine trees to assist it in meeting its alternative energy goals. The school wants to get 40% of its energy from renewable energy sources by 2020. The trees will be converted to 1800 tons of  biomass and the biomass will be burned with coal in the university’s steam-generating boilers.

Biomass Magazine says 100 biomass electric power projects began operation in the US in 2012 representing 543 MW of generation capacity. In 2011, 131 projects, representing 446 MW of electric power were brought online. The US now has 15 GW of biomass-fueled power capacity, representing 1.3% of that country’s total generating capacity.

City waste is a growing source of green power for India according to the Washington Post.

Eco-Business posts that green energy technologies are accelerating across the world. The global green energy sector could hit $1.9 trillion in total revenue from 2012 to 2018 as energy consumption is expected to increase in the coming years according to a study released by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Revenue associated with the installation of wind, solar, and other renewable power is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of eight%, rising annually from $200 billion in 2012 to $327 billion by 2018. The world’s leading economies (members of the Group of 20) dominate the sector, accounting for 95% of all global investments in green energy. Yet investments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America are expected to grow by 10 to 20% annually over the next decade. China has set a goal of obtaining 15% of its energy from non-fossil sources by 2020, a dramatic increase from just 2% in 2010. In less than a decade, the country has become the world’s largest wind market and may soon be the largest solar market. It is also working to become the dominant global producer of both solar and wind technologies, which account for the overwhelming majority of the world’s green energy investment.

Waste Management World notified us that Ethiopia is getting its first waste to electricity plant. The 50 MW facility is to be located in Repe (Koshe). The massive and overflowing Repi waste disposal will serve as the feedstock to generate the electricity.






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