Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Face of the new, green economy

BLUEFUELENERGY.COM: People love to talk about the new, green economy, often in broad, sweeping terms, such as how it can help mitigate global warming and thus prevent ocean levels from rising, or plant and animal species from disappearing. Big picture stuff.

But an economy is a human construct. It’s created by humans and propelled by humans. And it’s composed of countless human faces. Renewable energy—fundamental to the new, green economy—is now generating countless jobs, each of which has a face. One of those faces is that of Troy Galloway, who now makes wind turbine components. Troy’s story puts a face on the new, green economy and reminds us that using renewables such as wind to produce Blue Fuel/DME does more than prevent ice caps from melting or enhance air quality. It also generates jobs that enrich people’s lives and bring communities back to life. We hope you enjoy this little movie.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Government of Canada funds carbon capture projects

BLUEFUELENERGY.COM: Fundamental to the production of Blue Fuel using renewables and waste carbon dioxide is the capturing of waste carbon dioxide from the flue gases of various industrial operations. For Blue Fuel Energy and other companies in Canada considering doing just this, a recent announcement by the Government of Canada that it will contribute funding to eight carbon capture projects is a most positive development.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Helijet joins Pacific Carbon Trust and goes carbon-neutral

BLUEFUELENERGY.COM: Being based in British Columbia, Canada, we at Blue Fuel Energy take particular pride in sharing local news that we feel has a global impact for the environment. This is just such a story.

The Climate Action Plan was initiated by the Government of British Columbia in 2007. This plan lays out a framework that will help the province achieve 73% of its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 33% by 2020.

Pacific Carbon Trust was subsequently created as a Crown corporation in 2008 by the Government of British Columbia as a part of the Climate Action Plan. The goal of Pacific Carbon Trust is to facilitate the provision of carbon offsets to help the public sector attain its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2010 and to aid British Columbia companies in meeting their carbon reduction goals.

Helijet International Inc. is North America's largest scheduled helicopter service and they have become the first private-sector customer of Pacific Carbon Trust. They will pay $1.37 to the trust for every passenger ticket sold. In this way they will offset 4000 metric tonnes of greenhouse gases for a total cost of approximately $100,000 annually, based on the trust's price of $25 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent removed or reduced from the atmosphere. For more details, visit: http://www.helijet.com/

We congratulate Helijet for making this bold step. And we thank the Government of British Columbia for having the foresight to set up Pacific Carbon Trust. For not only does the trust allow companies like Helijet to go carbon-neutral, it will use the funds it receives from companies like Helijet to help finance projects in British Columbia that produce renewable energy, that conserve energy and that capture or store carbon from the atmosphere, according to the B.C. Minister of the Environment Barry Penner.

And of course we see an opportunity for companies like Blue Fuel Energy and other renewable energy companies in British Columbia to provide the carbon offsets that companies like Helijet will be purchasing to help propel British Columbia into a global leadership role in the offset industry.

For more information, visit: www.pacificcarbontrust.ca

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Economic stimulus package to provide funding for carbon capture, storage and related technologies

BLUEFUELENERGY.COM   If there were a contest for "Catchphrase of the Year", this year's winner would surely be "economic stimulus package". You cannot turn on a radio or television without hearing the phrase. But for all the talk, what do we know about how these packages will be applied in the real world?

The American economic stimulus packages takes the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestments Act (ARRA). An example of how the act will manifest itself in the energy field is presented in a US Department of Energy (DOE) press release:

"In response to ARRA, the Department of Energy's National Technology Laboratory (NETL) intends to issue, on behalf of the DOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE), a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) entitled "Carbon Capture and Sequestration from Industrial Sources". DOE plans to issue the FOA in March 2009.

The purpose of the FOA is to issue a new, two-part competitive solicitation: (a) Large-scale industrial CCS projects from industrial sources; (b) Innovative concepts for beneficial CO2 reuse.

(a) Large-scale industrial CCS projects from industrial sources: The large-scale CCS projects include integration of CO2 capture, transportation, and sequestration incorporating comprehensive Monitoring, Verification and Accounting (MVA). The projects may include plant efficiency improvements for integration with CO2 capture technology, and projects that couple capture with CO2-enhanced oil recovery (EOR) to advance EOR as a sequestration option. The industrial sources include, but are not limited to, cement plants, chemical plants, refineries, steel and aluminum plants, manufacturing facilities, natural gas processing, and petroleum coke-fired and other power plants.... DOE's objectives are to operate at commercial scale in a commercial setting, technologies that make progress towards capture and sequestration of 75% of the CO2 that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere and at a scale sufficient to evaluate the full impact of the CO2 capture technology on plant operations, economics, and performance...

(b) Innovative concepts for beneficial CO2 reuse: The innovative concepts for beneficial CO2 use/reuse include, but are not limited to, CO2 mineralization to carbonates directly through conversion of CO2 in the flue gas or indirectly through capture of CO2 from air, use of CO2/algae for biomass production, conversion of CO2 to fuel and chemicals, and desalinization of water produced from CO2 storage in saline formations."

Blue Fuel Energy applauds DOE's efforts to launch such progressive proposals. We particularly appreciate the "outside the box" thinking involved in the pursuit of innovative concepts for the beneficial reuse of CO2 - concepts that Blue Fuel Energy may well use to produce carbon-neutral Blue Fuel/DME. If these are the kinds of projects that will be pursued through the various economic stimulus packages around the world, then we may well weather this economic downturn and emerge in a cleaner, more sustainable future.

Monday, March 9, 2009

BC Hydro solicits bids for biomass energy projects

BLUEFUELENERGY.COM: On March 5th, BC Hydro, the British Columbia Crown corporation responsible for the generation and distribution of electricity in Canada's westernmost province, issued a press release to mark the launch of phase two of its Bioenergy Call for Power.

BC Hydro is conducting what they are describing as a two-stream call process. The first stream is a competitive call for larger-scale biomass energy-generation projects. Any form of biomass will be eligible and it will include wood waste sourced from new forest tenure enabled through provincial legislation in May 2008. The target is to acquire 1,000 GW/h per year of energy through this stream.

Phase II will encourage opportunities for clean, carbon-neutral energy from biomass fuel sources, including underutilized forest-based biomass (e.g. trees and wood chips) and those using other forms of biomass derived from renewable organic matter, such as crops, aquatic plants, manure, or clean, organically sourced material separated from municipal solid waste. The biomass source used as fuel must comply with the Province’s Clean or Renewable Electricity Definitions.

"The Bioenergy Call is part of an effort to transform the future of forestry in B.C. while moving us another step forward on the road to achieving electricity self-sufficiency by 2016," said Blair Lekstrom, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. "The call creates opportunities for new jobs, new revenue streams and new electricity generation in communities around the province, while creating new uses for wood and agricultural waste products."

Although the implications for DME/Blue Fuel in this biomass electricity generation project are not immediately clear, since biomass is currently one of the major feedstock categories for DME production in places like Sweden, the jump from using biomass for electricity production to using it for DME is not a giant leap. BC Hydro says that forest-industry wood waste will be one of the sources of fuel burned to create heat for steam-driven turbines - so why couldn't this same biomass be used to drive DME-driven turbines?

Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell says that "Bioenergy is a real opportunity to convert underutilized forest biomass to clean, carbon-neutral electricity." From a DME/Blue Fuel perspective, the key phrase here is "carbon neutral."

Minister Bell also said that "If you have ideas on clean-energy production and it's broader than just wood waste, we are willing to look at them." Could this mean DME/Blue Fuel? There's absolutely no reason it couldn't.

Minister Lekstrom stated that the projects most likely to come to fruition are those that involve smaller, remote communities that are located off the Hydro grid at present - ideal candidates for DME/Blue Fuel.

BC Hydro is Canada's third-largest electric utility and and serves customers in an area containing over 94% of BC's population.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Legislation authorizes carbon capture and storage funding

$2 billion will help fund three to five large-scale projects
BLUEFUELENERGY.COM: The Government of Alberta has introduced new legislation that provides the legal authority to administer the $2 billion in provincial funding for carbon capture and storage (CCS) announced by Premier Ed Stelmach in July 2008.

“The Government of Alberta is investing in the science of solutions,” said Energy Minister Mel Knight. “This new bill demonstrates the Government of Alberta’s commitment to its goal of clean energy production. We expect the carbon capture and storage projects built with these funds will reduce CO2 emissions by five million tonnes annually by 2015.”

The Carbon Capture and Storage Funding Act
, Bill 14, will enable the province to administer funding to support three to five large-scale carbon capture and storage projects. Companies vying for the funding are completing full project proposals, which will be submitted to government by March 31. The selected projects will be announced by June 30.

“Alberta is a small contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions but as we develop CCS technology that can be shared with the world, we can make a significant contribution to the climate change solution,” said Knight.

While some carbon capture projects around the world face serious challenges, particularly due to the falling price of carbon credits, this initiative by the Government of Alberta is another reminder that carbon capture is alive and well in western Canada. Carbon capture is fundamental to Blue Fuel Energy’s plans to use renewable energy to produce carbon-neutral Blue Fuel in BC’s Peace River region—just across the border from Alberta’s upcoming carbon capture projects.