November 15, 2018
DOE Announces Phase II Topics For FY 2019
On November 13, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the topic areas for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) for research and development (R&D) proposals for funding by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) in fiscal year (FY) 2019. The topics include: advanced manufacturing; bioenergy; buildings; fuel cells; geothermal; solar; vehicles; water; and wind. They also include the following joint topics: advanced manufacturing and solar energy technologies offices; advanced manufacturing and geothermal technologies offices; and advanced manufacturing and fuel cell technologies offices. DOE EERE, emphasizing its support of early-stage research and the development of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, plans to fund $20 million for over 100 new projects. Letters of intent for applying for funding in any of the aforementioned topics are due by December 17, 2018. Applications will be due on February 4, 2018.
DOE Announces New Director For NETL
On November 9, 2018, DOE’s Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, Steven Winberg, announced the new director of the DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL): Brian J. Anderson, Ph.D. Dr. Anderson will serve, as of November 11, 2018, as the new director of NETL. Dr. Anderson founded and headed the West Virginia University Energy Institute prior to taking the role of NETL director. Winberg highlighted that Dr. Anderson’s background in fossil fuel energy and chemical engineering will be assets to his role at NETL, which focuses on coal, natural gas, and oil R&D. Dr. Anderson demonstrated appreciation for the role stating that “[t]he work that is being conducted at NETL is critical to advancing technologies that will transform the use of our nation’s vast coal, natural gas, and oil resources to protect our environment and enhance our nation’s energy security.” The position became available after NETL’s former acting director, Sean Plasynski, Ph.D., was appointed as the laboratory’s deputy director and chief operating officer (COO).
EPA Submits ICR To OMB On RFS Recordkeeping And Reporting
On November 13, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the submission for review of an information collection request (ICR) on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). 83 Fed. Reg. 56319. The Federal Register notice states that purpose of this submission is to obtain OMB approval of an ICR that consolidates some existing collections. By consolidating the existing collections and recordkeeping updates, EPA is aiming to create a new, consistent, and easily understandable format to report burden and cost estimates related to the RFS program. Additionally, the ICR requests approval of updates to the recordkeeping and reporting burden along with cost estimated in December 2017. EPA requested comments on this ICR for a 60-day period. The November 13, 2018, notice extends the request for public comments by an additional 30 days. Additional comments may be submitted on or before December 13, 2018. The estimated burden approximates 566,665 hours per year, with a total estimated cost of $57,457,330 per year. The cost estimate includes $0 of annualized capital or operation and maintenance costs.
European Parliament Sets Targets On Renewables And Energy Efficiency
On November 13, 2018, the European Parliament (EP) announced its approval of new targets for renewables and energy efficiency rates to be achieved by 2030. According to the press release, “[b]y 2030, energy efficiency in the [European Union (EU)] has to have improved by 32.5%, whereas the share of energy from renewables should be at least 32% of the EU’s gross final consumption.” Highlighting the crucial role of second generation biofuels rather than first generation biofuels which lead to land use changes, the EP declared that the latter will no longer count towards the EU energy goals from 2030. Starting in 2019, the plan is to phase out first generation biofuels gradually until it reaches zero. By December 31, 2019, member states will be required to present a ten-year national energy and climate plan, which outlines the national measures that will be taken.
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The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) helps members develop and bring to market their innovative biobased chemical products through insightful policy and regulatory advocacy. BRAG is managed by B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C., an affiliate of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.