ESG & Industry Updates

BioHeat Workshop Buzz

Posted by Ed Burke on Oct 27, 2011 8:22:00 PM

The industry buzz at the Northeast Bioheat Workshop this year in Pittsburg centered on the aggressive advertising campaign by the Natural Gas industry that promotes its product as the lower cost, domestically produced and more environmentally friendly solution to conventional oil heat.

NORA president John Huber took issue with the claims to environmental benefits, pointing out that “Methane is one of the world’s worst greenhouse gases, but the natural gas industry has ignored that.” (Methane is the primary component of natural gas and the largest source for greenhouse gas emissions. Methane is lost in all phases of natural gas production and distribution)

Massachusetts Oilheat Council President Michael Ferrante noted that the commercials were largely accurate, but struck a nerve. Ferrante said that the Oilheat market needs the environmental and efficiency benefits of biodiesel in order to compete with natural gas.

Bioheat blended with ULSD at the B20 level clearly outperforms domestic natural gas. However, heating systems are currently only approved at a B5 level. It is estimated that there are between 6 to 7 million Oilheat furnaces in residential homes. Expecting these homeowners to switch to new burners so they can run higher blends of Bioheat is not realistic, so it is critical that Bioheat’s impact on older equipment is assessed.

Michael Devine from the National Biodiesel Board spoke about the extensive marketing campaign underway in New York City to garner market acceptance for Bioheat, saying “Bioheat is the evolution of oil heat.”

Home heat dealers say that establishing legacy safe limits and bringing equipment approved for higher bioheat blends seems slow in coming. The industry is poised, waiting for state mandates to bring bioheat infrastructure forward. Although state mandates put fuel dealers all on a level playing field, it does not with other energy sources. How soon will we see equipment approvals and bioheat mandates to higher blends move forward?

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Topics: natural gas, MOC, massachusetts biodiesel mandate, Bioheat, NORA, Biodiesel

Creating new Off Road Opportunities with Biodiesel

Posted by Ed Burke on Jun 16, 2011 11:50:00 AM

This month's issue of Biodiesel Magazine features an article from yours truly regarding Bioheat and Off-Road Bio usage from water taxis to municipal heating. Pretty interesting the way Biodiesel has gained strength in areas one wouldnt normally associate with it, especially in the off road arena.  

Click on the image below to read the full article, or just click here

Biodiesel Off Road usage



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Topics: massachusetts biodiesel mandate, Waste Feedstock Biodiesel, Biodiesel

Déjà vu all over again

Posted by Ed Burke on Mar 11, 2011 6:43:00 AM

While still in the winter of 2011 we return to a season of discontent. Oil prices are soaring, food prices are soaring, as well as other commodities. The recent Biodiesel Conference was very much counter seasonal with many warm summer breezes:

  • the tax credit of 1.00/gallon came back
  • RIN values have risen dramatically making biodiesel competitive to petroleum diesel in price

Many argue that Massachusetts was very wise to insist on waste feedstock for biodiesel, which takes the food price argument off the table.

Massachusetts has demonstrated a very successful program, so successful that the Massachusetts state mandate may be postponed indefinitely to rely on voluntary efforts.

As energy independence and reducing spending (especially on foreign energy spending) dominates the news, it is great to have a great story in biodiesel.

I happen to be especially proud of Massachusetts – remember, Massachusetts is where America started!

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Topics: massachusetts biodiesel mandate, Waste Feedstock Biodiesel, Energy Independence, Biodiesel Tax Credit, Biodiesel

Let’s Get Blogging

Posted by Ed Burke on Jan 2, 2011 6:38:00 AM

As we start 2011, God Bless America!

Here are a few 2010 issues I’d like to discuss and get some industry input.

The Massachusetts Biodiesel Mandate, will we see any progress this year?

The Biodiesel Tax Credit is back and RINS values are soaring, does this play a role for Massachusetts?

Moving toward reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil, will solar power and electric cars become more accessible?

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Topics: Solar, massachusetts biodiesel mandate, Biodiesel Tax Credit, Biodiesel, RINs

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