Global News Summary
NORTH AMERICA The US Senate has approved an energy bill by a bipartisan vote ...
WORLD A survey of 1,000 professionals in 105 countries by the World Conservat...
WORLD A joint US-EU proposal to liberalize trade of green goods and services ...
NORTH AMERICA After the US House of Representatives approved an energy bill o...
WORLD In its annual Outlook for Energy, Exxon Mobil Corporation forecasts wor...
NORTH AMERICA Demand for commercial-grade biodiesel has increased from 500,00...
WORLD Oil prices rose to around $90 a barrel today as OPEC members said they ...
WORLD The US and the EU jointly launched a proposal in world trade talks aime...
NORTH AMERICA Renewable Energy Group Inc. (REG) and East Fork Biodiesel LLC h...
WORLD The growth of the world’s biofuels industry slowed over the last quarte...
News of the Day
The US Senate has approved an energy bill by a bipartisan vote of 86-8 to establish a renewable energy requirement that will increase domestic use of "biomass-based diesel" – including biodiesel – from 500 million gallons in 2009 to 1 billion gallons in 2012. The bill will now be forwarded to the US House for further consideration. The White House indicated that if the bill as passed by the Senate is approved by the House and sent to the President, he will sign it into law. The US House may consider the measure next week.
According to the US Department of Energy's annual outlook, renewable energy consumption, excluding hydroelectric power, will nearly double from 3.4 quadrillion Btu in 2006 to 6.7 quadrillion Btu in 2030. Petroleum, coal, and natural gas still will meet 83% of US energy needs by 2030. The nation's ethanol consumption will grow from 5.6 billion gallons in 2006 to 17 billion gallons by 2030.
The European Union has threatened to boycott US talks among top greenhouse gas emitting nations, accusing Washington of blocking goals for fighting climate change at UN talks in Bali. The Bali talks are split over guidelines for starting two years of formal negotiations on a deal to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, the UN pact capping greenhouse gas emissions of industrialized nations until 2012.
The Pennsylvania State Senate yesterday approved two bills designed to boost Pennsylvania's biodiesel industry, including a 2% mandate that begins when in-state production reaches 60 million gallons, and a producer subsidy of $0.75 per gallon. The bill also increases the per-gallon subsidy from $0.05 to $0.10 for production of other alternative fuels. The state House of Representatives must approve the bills and they must be signed by the governor.
Midwest Biofuel of Clinton, WI is suing ECR Biodiesel Atlanta over leased biodiesel production equipment that allegedly did not comply with Wisconsin requirements for ventilation and other safety factors, claiming that ECR’s start up instructions “would have resulted in a plant that would have killed everyone in the building within hours of starting operations.”
In El Paso, TX, Global Alternative Fuels will receive a 50% refund on property taxes to support construction of a 100 million gallon per year biodiesel plant on a 30-acre site in the city. The company says the plant will process palm, soybean, cottonseed, canola, and waste restaurant grease to produce B-20 fuel.
Biodiesel is reportedly in short supply at Brazil's fuel stations, amid fears of a shortage in 2008. Analysts say producers are holding back product so they can deliver it at the start of next year, while Petrobras is holding back to build up stocks to avoid a shortage when the national mandate begins.
Louis Dreyfus says it will invest $130 million in a biodiesel production project near Bahia Blanca port on Argentina's Atlantic Ocean coast.
Petrobras says it plans to invest $700 million in research of renewable energy and biofuel projects by 2011.
The Netherlands has warned it will not renew subsidies for palm-based biofuel until global producers meet environmental requirements. The world's largest palm-oil producers, including Malaysia and Indonesia, may require up to two years to meet the new criteria, the Dutch environment minister said, following a meeting with the Malaysian commodities minister. The Netherlands are the largest consumer of palm oil in the EU.
The UK government is studying introduction of a rationing system that would impose a limit on the amount of energy or fuel individuals consumed at home and when traveling.
Choren Industries says it will build a 200,000 gallons per year biodiesel production plant in Schwedt, East Germany. Feedstock will include wood, wood chips and sawdust.
Poland’s Economy Ministry has prepared an ordinance on biofuels fixing a national mandate of 3.45% in 2008. It gives market regulators the right to impose fines on producers who do not follow the ordinance.
ASIA / PACIFIC
According to analysts, Frost & Sullivan, total biodiesel consumption in the Asia Pacific region was 415,000 mt in 2006 and is expected to reach almost 8 million mt in 2013. This growth is attributed to strong support for biofuels by many governments in the region, creating significant domestic markets.
Thailand plans to set aside reserves for ethanol-blended gasohol and biodiesel due to rising domestic demand, a senior official at the Energy Ministry said. At present, oil traders are required to set aside 5% of their average total refined oil products sales as reserves. Under the plan, these reserves would also include gasohol and biodiesel.
Indonesia’s government is facilitating the import of 40 to 60 million mt of palm oil seeds to meet the need of palm plantations that require 180 to 200 million mt of seeds to plant 800,000 ha of area per year. The government has set a target to develop 600,000 ha to 800,000 ha of palm oil plantations annually.
A Philippines senator has suggested a 20% tariff on imported biodiesel products entering the country to protect local manufacturers. He said such a move is intended to encourage local use and production of a biodiesel blend as stated in the recently enacted biofuels law. He said the tariff would be implemented in 2011, after all proposed plants are in full operation.
In Japan, tax changes aimed at encouraging motorists to use biofuels are expected in a few months, after the world’s second-largest economy and third-largest oil consumer started to sell ethanol at a limited number of gas stations earlier this year on a trial basis. A preferential tax system for ethanol is expected to be introduced in April 2008, when tariffs may also be lifted on imports of ethanol.
China’s government has launched an investigation into how much land should be used for biofuel crops, amid worries over food supply sparked by surges in international grains prices. The move reflects an increasing worry by the government, which has promoted growing biofuel crops on marginal land as years of urbanization reduce the country's arable land.
Papua, New Guinea's largest palm oil producer, New Britain Palm Oil, plans to list on the AIM in London to raise £90 million. The listing will value New Britain at about £362 million.
In South Africa, the Minerals and Energy Minister announced scaled-back usage targets for biofuels—reduced to 2% from 4.5%--and the exclusion of maize as a feedstock. Plans are in place for three state biofuel plants with capacity for 26 million gallons per year of biodiesel and 52 million gallons of ethanol, about 75% of the new target.
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