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From Biomass Magazine
Aboitiz Power subsidiary’s Aseagas Corp., which focuses on renewable energy solutions, has inked an agreement with GE’s Distributed Power business to power its first waste-to-electricity project in Lian in the province of Batangas, Philippines.

The 8.8-MW facility, the first “greener” energy venture of Aboitiz, will be a biomass power plant running with GE’s ecomagination approved Jenbacher gas engines. The Batangas plant will utilize organic waste from sugar cane and molasses from a nearby alcohol distillery. Aside from electricity, the plant will have by-products of fertilizer and CO2 that can be sold to farmers and beverage companies, respectively—achieving complete “no additional waste” production. The plant will be able to generate power for an estimated 22,000 homes.

“I think there’s a huge potential for biomass energy in the Philippines. Our population of about 100 million is bound to generate abundant biomass resources including agricultural crop residues, animal wastes and agro-industrial wastes,” says Aseagas chief operating officer Juan Alfonso. “The Philippines’ feed-in tariff allocation right now is 250 megawatts for biomass. Other countries like Germany, for example, have thousands of megawatts of biomass. So we’re just scratching the surface.”

Additionally, the Department of Energy has stated that the Philippines’ supply of biomass resources has the potential to generate a capacity of 4,450 MW, which is equivalent to 40 percent of the country’s energy needs, if developed. Abundant and with zero–carbon dioxide emissions, biomass is considered one of the solutions to the energy challenges of the future.

GE’s innovative gas engines technology will ensure the Aseagas power plant’s high levels of efficiency, modularity and reliability in supplying power to the Philippine grid.

“This collaboration is significant to GE because this is our first power generation deal with the Aboitiz group and is the largest procurement of Jenbacher engines in the Philippines to date,” said John Alcordo, ASEAN regional general manager for GE’s Distributed Power business.
Seven of GE’s Jenbacher gas engines, four J420 and three J320 units, will be delivered to Aseagas by October 2015 for the first of three phases of the project, targeting the power plant to go online before year’s end. The second phase commences early in 2016. DESCO Inc.—GE’s authorized distributor for Jenbacher gas engines in the Philippines—will be in charge of the installation and maintenance of the units.
The Aseagas venture signals rosy prospects in utilizing alternative sources of energy to broaden the country’s energy mix, which is seen as vital in powering sustainable progress. “Aside from contributing to the grid’s power generation mix, hopefully this project also increases awareness on how organic waste can be put to good use, such as for power generation,” Alcordo said.

Founded in 2005, ecomagination is the company’s commitment to technology solutions that save money and reduce environmental impact for its customers and GE’s own operations.

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From Biomass Magazine

US Department of Energy

According to an international report on bioenergy and land use, informed management of bioenergy crops can actually alleviate factors contributing to food insecurity, as well as provide practical avenues to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote sustainable energy production, and preserve biodiversity. The Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), an international nongovernmental organization, published the SCOPE Bioenergy and Sustainability Report, titled Bioenergy and Sustainability: Bridging the Gaps, in April 2015. The Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) funded the work of several national laboratory researchers who contributed to the report.

The 21-chapter report examines global agricultural trends and concludes that land availability is not a limiting factor in the expansion of biobased fuels and products. It features detailed analysis demonstrating how energy crops can be used to improve soil conditions, restore productivity to currently marginalized lands, and expand economic opportunities for agricultural workers. Such findings have significant implications for the growing bioenergy industry, as the study addresses misunderstandings that bioenergy crops inherently compete with food production and worsen food scarcity in certain parts of the world.

Led by researchers from the Sao Paulo Research Foundation, the SCOPE report is the collective effort of 137 experts from 82 institutions and 24 countries to document and analyze impacts, benefits, and constraints related to the global expansion of bioenergy. Contributors include several BETO-funded scientists from Argonne National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

SCOPE used peer-reviewed data and scientific evidence from more than 2,000 sources to evaluate how expanding bioenergy production and use affects energy security, food security, environmental and climate security, sustainable development, and innovation. The report identifies opportunities for bioenergy crops and technologies to improve agricultural productivity and environmental health, and provides a vision for sustainably reducing poverty and reliance on dwindling fossil resources.

BETO funding supports researchers from national laboratories, universities, industry, and non-profit organizations who contribute to peer-reviewed scientific studies such as the SCOPE Bioenergy and Sustainability Report. Learn more about how BETO supports the development of a sustainable bioenergy industry through its Sustainability Program.

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By Erin Voegele
Biomass Magazine

The U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change has released an updated edition of its public attitudes tracking survey, reporting that 78 percent of U.K. households said they support the use of renewable energy provide electricity, fuel and heat. According to the DECC, this result is consistent with survey results from the past three years.

The majority, 71 percent, of respondents said renewable energy industries and developments provide economic benefits to the U.K. That statistic was also consistent with survey results from 2014 and 2013. In addition, 78 percent said that renewable energy developments should provide direct benefits to the communities in which they are located.

Approximately 63 percent of respondents said they support biomass technologies, up from 60 percent last year. In 2012, 64 percent of respondents indicated support for biomass energy.

While support for renewables is widespread, U.K. households showed much less support for non-renewable energy technologies. Only 39 percent of respondents said they support the use of nuclear energy and only 24 percent said they supported the extraction of shale gas to generate heat and electricity in the U.K. Approximately 38 percent of people said were aware of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, and only 52 percent of those who were aware of the technology said they support its use.

The report also addressed public attitudes toward climate change. About 66 percent said they are concerned about climate change. In addition, 40 percent said they attribute climate change solely to human activity, while 42 percent said they believe climate change in caused by a mixture of natural and human causes.

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From Biomass Magazine

By Rep. Annie Kuster's Office

Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., recently announced two grants from the USDA’s Rural Development program that will support projects in two New Hampshire communities.  The Bethlehem School District has received a $30,000 grant that will be used to replace an oil-fired hot water boiler heating system at Bethlehem Elementary School with wood pellet boilers, and the town of Stratford has received a $15,000 grant to improve its town garage, which houses all town vehicles.

“In many rural areas around New Hampshire, Rural Development funding is crucial to recover from the effects of harsh winters and maintain municipal infrastructure,” Kuster said.  “I’m particularly excited to see Bethlehem Elementary making the transition to biomass heat, a renewable energy source that will help keep students warm during the frigid winter months.  I congratulate the recipients of these grants, which will help both towns thrive and serve the citizens of the North Country well.”

Kuster is a strong supporter of biomass energy, and has cosponsored H.R. 1145, the Biomass Thermal Utilization Act, which would establish tax incentives for the installation of biomass heating systems.  The BTU act would help consumers with the initial high cost of installing biomass heating systems, thereby allowing them to save money in the long term by using locally-sourced biomass instead of expensive home heating oil.  A member of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, Kuster has long advocated for the development of renewable energy in order to offset high energy costs, create more jobs for Granite State workers, and protect the environment.

The Rural Development Community Facilities program, which awarded the grants, helps maintain and improve essential community facilities that serve the public in rural areas.

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