- 2-4 November 2010, Atlanta, Georgia, USA: Southeast Biomass Conference & Expo. (Themes: advanced biofuels, biomass-derived electricity, biorefining, industrial heat and power, technology, waste)
- 8-11 November 2010, Jakarta, Indonesia: 8th Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil meeting. (Themes: palm oil, RSPO, sustainability)
- 8-11 November 2010, Venice, Italy: Third International Symposium on Energy from Biomass and Waste. (Themes: biomass, gasification, waste-to-energy, etc.)
- 9-10 November 2010, San Francisco, California, USA: Advanced Biofuels Markets. (Themes: advanced biofuels, algae, bio-butanol, cellulosic ethanol, drop-in fuels, feedstocks, markets, solar liquid fuels)
- 15-18 November 2010, Washington, D.C., USA: Cellulosic Biofuels Summit 2010. (Themes:cellulosic ethanol, cellulosic feedstocks, markets)
- 16-19 November 2010, Hannover, Germany: BioEnergy Decentral - The global meeting place for decentralized energy supply. International exhibition for bioenergy and decentral energy supply.
- 29 November-10 December 2010, Cancun, Mexico: 16th Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. (Themes: climate change, international cooperation, UNFCCC)
- 29 November-1 December 2010, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada: 7th Annual Canadian Renewable Fuels Summit. (Themes: biodiesel, cellulosic ethanol, ethanol, grains)
- 30 November-2 December 2010, Delhi, NCR, India: NextGenFuels 2010. (Themes: algae, biofuels, international cooperation, next-generation biofuels, waste)
- FAO Releases Publications on Woodfuels and Mitigation, 30 November 2010 by IISD: "The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has released two publications that examine the potential of woodfuel for mitigating climate change, including country case studies."
- "The report titled 'What Woodfuels Can Do to Mitigate Climate Change' (PDF file) looks at the scope and potential of woodfuels in contributing to climate change mitigation."
- "'Woodfuels and Climate Change Mitigation - Case Studies from Brazil, India and Mexico' (PDF file) carries this discussion forward by analyzing the situation in three case study countries."
- NRDC Assesses Biochar - Says High Hopes For Carbon Storage Premature , 29 November 2010 by Treehugger: "There's been lots of back and forth in the past year on biochar, ranging from research showing it has huge potential for absorbing carbon emissions on one side, to uncertainty about its potential, to outright hostility towards the enthusiasm shown towards it--and all from people with good environmental credentials. A new report from NRDC tries to sort it all out, and comes down somewhere in the middle."
- "Biochar: Assessing the Promise and Risks To Guide U.S. Policy (PDF file) arrives at the overall conclusion that there is great technical potential for biochar on a global scale....It's just premature to claim with certainty what the impact of widespread biochar production and application will be..."
- "The main point made about developing biochar systems with the best environmental performance is using the right feedstock." The report claims that already existing 'concentrated sources of waste biomass, such as animal manures, organic municipal solid waste, and urban wood residues', as opposed to plants grown explicitly for use as biochar feedstocks, would be the best material for biochar production, as such existing feedstocks are not linked to land-use changes.
- "As for the optimum method of producing the biochar itself, the report says slow pyrolysis is best for maximizing output and creating the best, most uniform product."
- Download the report: Biochar: Assessing the Promise and Risks To Guide U.S. Policy (PDF file)
- Brazil airline successfully tests aviation biofuel, 23 November 2010 by Stan Lehman: "Brazil's largest airline announced Tuesday that it has successfully conducted what it called the first experimental flight in Latin America using aviation biofuel."
- "The statement said the biofuel was mixed half and half with conventional aviation kerosene."
- "Continental, Japan Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Air New Zealand and KLM have held similar experimental flights with biofuel produced from Jatropha and other materials such as coconut oil, algae and the camelina oil seed."
- Some GOP Senators Become Unlikely Allies Of Green Groups In Fight To Gut Ethanol Subsidies, 23 November 2010 by the Huffington Post: "After being elected with a strong mandate to cut spending, all Republicans don't agree on how best to rein in the deficit -- and some have become unlikely allies with green groups in the fight to gut federal subsidies of ethanol."
- "Nathanael Greene, director of renewable energy policy at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the issue is beyond left and right."
- "Greene said that the money being spent on corn ethanol is money that can't be invested in other clean energy technologies, noting 75 percent of the money the federal government spends on renewables goes to corn ethanol."
- Biofuel crops fuel worry, 21 November 2010 by Jayashree Nandi: "It might be about time the state asks how green are biofuels. Karnataka, India, is going to be one of the few states to heavily invest in biofuels. It has already covered an area of 13.5 lakh ha and the newly-formed Biofuels Board is going to commence operations next week."
- "Farmers are being encouraged to plant honge and jatropha, along with regular food crops in a multi-cropping pattern. In the long run, this could mean gradual conversion of farmland into biofuel production units."
- "While according to officials most of the planting has happened on wasteland, there's no agency to certify what's a wasteland. Some of these plantations are also being done on forestland."
- "From being a recommendatory body, now the taskforce will be converted to a facilitating body that will route funds for projects from state and central government. Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand have already constituted biofuel boards."
- U.S. corn ethanol "was not a good policy" -Gore, 22 November 2010 by Reuters: "Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore said support for corn-based ethanol in the United States was 'not a good policy', weeks before tax credits are up for renewal."
- "'It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for (U.S.) first generation ethanol,' said Gore, speaking at a green energy business conference in Athens sponsored by Marfin Popular Bank."
- "A food-versus-fuel debate erupted in 2008, in the wake of record food prices, where the biofuel industry was criticised for helping stoke food prices."
- "Gore said a range of factors had contributed to that food price crisis, including drought in Australia, but said there was no doubt biofuels have an effect."
- Gore also stated, "'I do think second and third generation that don't compete with food prices will play an increasing role, certainly with aviation fuels.'"
- Researchers Debate Whether Biofuels Are Truly Greener Than Fossil Fuels, 21 November 2010 by Loren Grush: "The ETC Group, an international organization supporting sustainability and conservation, has just published its newest report, an 84-page document that presents a lengthy criticism of "the new bioeconomy." In it, principal author Jim Thomas argues that using biofuels for energy and resources isn't green -- in fact, he says, in certain ways they can be more harmful to the environment than coal."
- "But other scientists say the biofuel economy is complex, and they note that it's hard to lump absolutely everything labeled biomass together."
- "'One needs to recognize that all biofuels are not the same. The current generation is based on corn in the U.S., based on wheat and rapeseed in Europe,' Dr. Madhu Khanna, a professor of agriculture at the University of Illinois, told FoxNews.com."
- "But even among the first generation, there is also sugarcane, which is a much cleaner fuel, and Brazil has a lot of available land for sugarcane production. You're able to expand without coming into conflict with food production. So you don't hear the same criticism necessarily about sugarcane."
- "Thomas is adamant that land use will become a massive issue for the biomass industry. "This isn't a switch, it's a massive grab on land," he said. "This movement to a plant-based, or so-called green economy, will throw a lot of people off their land in the developing world."
- World 'dangerously close' to new food crisis, United Nations says, 17 November 2010 by the Washington Post: "The bill for global food imports will top $1 trillion this year for the second time, putting the world 'dangerously close' to a new food crisis, according to the United Nations."
- "The warning by the world body's Food and Agriculture Organization adds to fears about rising inflation in emerging countries from China to India."
- The FAO's Food Outlook "report said it was crucial that farm production - particularly of corn and wheat - 'expand substantially' in 2011-12 to meet expected demand and rebuild world reserves."
- "But the FAO also said the production response may be limited, because rising food prices have made other crops, including sugar, soybeans and cotton, attractive to grow."
- Biofuel worse for climate than fossil fuel - study, 7 November 2010 by Reuters: "European plans to promote biofuels will drive farmers to convert 69,000 square km of wild land into fields and plantations, depriving the poor of food and accelerating climate change, a report warned on Monday."
- "As a result, the extra biofuels that Europe will use over the next decade will generate between 81 and 167 percent more carbon dioxide than fossil fuels, says the report."
- "Nine environmental groups reached the conclusion after analysing official data on the European Union's goal of getting 10 percent of transport fuel from renewable sources by 2020."
- "But the European Commission's energy team, which originally formulated the goal, countered that the bulk of the land needed would be found by recultivating abandoned farmland in Europe and Asia, minimising the impact."
- "The debate centres on a new concept known as "indirect land-use change."
- "In essence, that means that if you take a field of grain and switch the crop to biofuel, somebody, somewhere, will go hungry unless those missing tonnes of grain are grown elsewhere."
- "The report was compiled by ActionAid, Birdlife International, ClientEarth, European Environment Bureau, FERN, Friends of the Earth Europe, Greenpeace, Transport & Environment, Wetlands International."
- Common roadside plant could become new source of biofuel, 5 November 2010 by Sify.com: "Scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency, have found that field pennycress yields impressive quantities of seeds whose oil could be used in biodiesel production."
- "Field pennycress belongs to the Brassicaceae family, along with canola, camelina and mustard-other prolific producers of oil-rich seeds. The ARS studies help support USDA's efforts to develop new sources of bioenergy."
- "Pennycress can be grown during the winter and harvested in late spring, so farmers who cultivate pennycress can also maintain their usual summer soybean production without reducing crop yields."
- Netherlands Will Only Use Certified Sustainable Palm Oil by 2015 - First National-Level Commitment, 5 November 2010 by TreeHugger: "In a big boost for the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil certification standard, the Netherlands has committed to only using sustainable palm oil by the end of 2015--and becomes the first nation to do so. Dutch businesses are Europe's largest importer and exporter of palm oil (about 2 million tons annually) with much of it going into products sold throughout the European Union."
- "Here's more: Manifesto of the Task Force Sustainable Palm Oil (PDF)."
- Tsunami: Top 10 Impacts for Biofuels from US Elections, 3 November 2010 by Biofuels Digest: "US voters gave control of the House of Representatives to the Republican Party, when Democrats lost at least 57 seats in the House and six Senate seats in the 2012 mid-term elections."
- "But what does it mean for biofuels? ...[Ten] impacts — ranging from people to policies — can be seen even now."
- "The bottom line: moderately positive for biofuels. One of the few areas where Republicans and Democrats agree on priorities is the importance of reforming US energy policy, and biofuels enjoy bipartisan support, especially advanced biofuels. Though the Farm Bill may push to 2013, and gridlock may reign, Obama will have to run on something other than health care and the 2009 stimulus, and is likely to reach out on energy."
- "Among the survivors. The leadership of the House Algae Energy Caucus, Brian Bilbray of California and Jay Inslee of Washington, sailed through this election cycle. Senator Chuck Grassley faced only token opposition, and Senator John Thune of South Dakota was unopposed. Jerry Moran of Kansas moved up successfully from the House to the Senate. Rick Perry, who requested that the EPA waive the Renewable Fuels Standard in 2008, was elected to a third term as Governor of Texas, while Sam Brownback, a staunch friend of bioenergy while in the Senate, becomes the new Governor of Kansas. Leonard Boswell of Iowa survived a challenge to his House seat from Brad Zaun, who had opposed the biodiesel tax credit extension."
- "Among the new faces. John Hoeven, the incoming Senator from North Dakota, was a strong proponent of E15 ethanol while Governor, and was sharply critical of foot-dragging at EPA on the issue."
- "Ethanol tax credit. Full-court pressure will now be on to pass the ethanol tax credit before a huge freshman class of spending-wary House members come to Washington. With time pressure, ethanol proponents will take less of a hard line, and look for the ethanol tax credit to drop to 36 cents or lower."
- Grasses Have Potential as Alternate Ethanol Crop, Illinois Study Finds, 1 November 2010 by Science Daily: "Researchers at the University of Illinois have completed the first extensive geographic yield and economic analysis of potential bioenergy grass crops in the Midwestern United States."
- "[F]ederal regulations mandate that 79 billion liters of biofuels must be produced annually from non-corn biomass by 2022. Large grasses, such as switchgrass and miscanthus, could provide biomass with the added benefits of better nitrogen fixation and carbon capture, higher ethanol volumes per acre and lower water requirements than corn."
- "Switchgrass is large prairie grass native to the Midwest, and Miscanthus, a sterile hybrid, is already widely cultivated in Europe as a biofuel crop."
- "The team published its results in the October issue of the journal Global Change Biology Bioenergy."
- "The researchers found that, in general, the yield is very high for miscanthus -- up to three times higher than switchgrass in the Midwest. Even through switchgrass is native to the region, it doesn't grow well in higher latitudes like Minnesota or Wisconsin because it has poor tolerance for cold temperatures."
- "Most notably, for the southernmost counties -- much of southern Illinois and nearly all of Missouri -- the model predicts greater production of grasses than of current corn and soy crops. This could be a key factor in farmers' decisions to cultivate biofuel crops."
- "Unlike annual crops that provide a farmer with a crop every year, miscanthus and switchgrass require a lag of at least two years before harvesting."
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