Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume V, Issue 47, November 30, 2015 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

The California Energy Commission has provided a vision of the Possible in its most recent Advanced Energy Communities grant solicitation. Of course, we look at their rosy picture through waste-tinted glasses, but then everyone sees things from their own point of view. Let's translate the Commission's Wish List into Community-scaled projects centered on waste conversion and resource recovery.

First, we're supposed to come up with proposals that minimize the need for new infrastructure. Uh, what about when that is specifically the problem: lack of resource recovery infrastructure? OK: we optimally use what infrastructure is already in place, and frugally add what's missing.

Next, proposals need to show a 'zero net energy' pathway: amount of energy used equals the amount generated. This is an EPIC challenge grant: Electric Program Investment Charge - but 'energy' can be defined well beyond electricity. There's heat, power, cooling of course, but this arguably should include 'energy carriers' such as fuels, and even kinetic energy, the energy of motion. For now, let's just assume Electricity, or compute as electricity-equivalent energy.

Then we are to design in aspects of grid reliability and resilience; storage is given as an example. Anything that levels the electricity supply load and reduces pressures on that power grid should be within bounds. Consider proposing industrial park conversion of food processing waste and other organics for community-scale combined heating, cooling, and power.

The Commission wants to see projects that can simplify grid interconnection and provide long-term grid stability, not short term projects that just make power control more complex. OK, that means long-term waste-sourced feedstock supplies converted with stabile clean technologies for baseload power generation. And whatever we propose needs to be capable of being replicated and scaled up. When we're faced with the tonnages of waste and biomass to be dealt with, this seems moot. Yet it is the design that needs to be replicated, the number of hub-and-spoke resource recovery park complexes that need to be scaled and integrated regionally.

Meanwhile, our proposals should be 'financial attractive' to the Market. Here's an idea: put in the Community-scale infrastructure for turning waste from liability to asset, and you have created an economic driver – moving entire communities out of the red, into the black.

When we consider designs at Community scale, the Commission's goal of affordable access to efficient resource use becomes a core principle. And when you try to integrate all the many elements, yes, you will need to rely on top-notch 'smart-grid' techy stuff and (brace yourself) this is Big Data management we're talking about here. About this time in proposal development, we'll want to make sure we wrap around as many state-wide enviro and socio-economic policies as possible, aspects like the Governor's tree mortality emergency declaration. Got all that? Good: now get busy and propose your own vision of Advanced Energy Communities.

Hey Rube!

Teru will attend the CEC's EPIC symposium on December 3rd and their grant pre-application workshop on December 8th . Do your EPIC homework, show up and give us a shout out. 

This Week's Top Story

Financing and Construction Contract in Place for UK Waste to Power Plant

United Kingdom (UK) company Spencer Group has announced that a financial package and contractor are in place to enable construction of the £200m Energy Works power plant in Hull to begin in January 2016, with the 25MW net power output facility due to be operational by January 2018. 11/28/2015

The Week's News

Ensyn's Renewable Drop-In Gasoline Receives US EPA Regulatory Approval

Delaware company Ensyn Corporation (Ensyn) has announced that it has been granted key regulatory approval from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for RFGasoline, its drop-in renewable gasoline product. 11/28/2015

MyLahore Restaurants Go Zero Waste To Landfill with FCC Environment

United Kingdom restaurant chain MyLahore with facilities in Bradford, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham, teamed up with FCC Environment earlier this year to improve its recycling rates. 11/28/2015

Biofuel Enzymes Market Growing Spurred by Second-Generation Feedstock

BCC Research reports that recent shift in interest from starch-based ethanol to cellulosic ethanol has helped spur growth in the biofuel enzyme market. 11/25/2015

IBI Publishes Version 2.1 of Biochar Standards and Certification Program

The International Biochar Initiative (IBI) has just published Versions 2.1 of the IBI Biochar Standards and of the IBI Biochar Certification Program Manual. 11/24/2015

Global Bioenergies Reaches Two Milestones In BioMA+ Project

French company Global Bioenergies has announced that it has reached two milestones on the labscale development and the industrial scale up of its isobutene process, one of them over two months in advance. 11/24/2015


UK Defra Updates Proposed Refuse Derived Fuel Definition

The United Kingdom (UK) Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has issued an update to its proposed definition for refuse-derived fuel (RDF). 11/23/2015

Genomatica and Braskem Confirm Direct Production of Bio-Butadiene

Genomatica and Braskem announced they have been successfully producing butadiene at lab scale since June 2015, using their direct, bio-based process. 11/23/2015

FCC Is Awarded Contract to Recycle Dallas Waste for 15 Years

Spanish company FCC has announced that it has been awarded a contract by the Texas city of Dallas to build and operate a plant to manage all of the recyclable waste in the city for a period of 15 years, which may be extended by a further 10 years. 11/23/2015

The Week's Action Items

Due 02/05/2016: Grant Applications for CEC EPIC Challenge

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has released a solicitation for Grant Funding Opportunity GFO-15-312 to fund a competition that will challenge project teams to develop innovative and replicable approaches for accelerating the deployment of Advanced Energy Communities in Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE) and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) service territories. 11/25/2015

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