Renewables To Power Nearly Half of World Electricity By 2050

(October 28, 2019) — In 2018, 28% of global electricity was generated from renewable energy sources, writes the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Most of that generation, 96%, was produced by hydropower, wind, and solar technologies. In its International Energy Outlook 2019, EIA projects that renewables will collectively increase to 49% of world electricity generation by 2050. Of the top three renewable sources, the agency expects the share for solar generation to grow the fastest and hydroelectricity’s share to rise the slowest.
Renewables will generate 49% of world electricity by 2050 according to EIA reports BPN's exclusive Weekly Propane Newsletter the propane industry's trusted source for news and every LPG price around the country since 1939. Oct 28 2019
EIA’s international outlook includes analysis of eight countries and eight multi-country regions. Different regional- and technology-specific factors influence the growth rates of renewable technologies throughout the world. Resource availability, renewable policies, regional load growth, and declining technology costs drive EIA’s projected increase in global electricity generation from solar technologies. As more solar power systems have been installed, installation costs have experienced the steepest declines of all renewable technologies in recent years. EIA expects that they will continue to fall as a result of learning-by-doing effects.

In many regions, solar resources are also generally more abundant than wind resources, and typically follow predictable daily and seasonal generation patterns. Resource availability and predictability, and relatively simple plant construction technology, also support favor- able economics for solar photovoltaics, the most common solar-generation technology in EIA’s reference case.

EIA projects China will experience the most growth in solar generation because of its growing demand for electricity, favorable government policies, and competitive technology costs. Growth in solar generation is also strong in India, in European nations that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and in the U.S. All have near-term renewable policies in place.

Wind power is still a relatively new technology, and the declining capital costs it experiences as a result of learning-by-doing effects are not as steep as solar technologies. Wind technology adoption has significant growth potential, owing to many wind resource areas around the world remaining undeveloped. Similar to solar power, EIA forecasts that near-term renewable policies in India and OECD Europe will lead to wind generation growth in those areas. In China, wind is among the many sources meeting the country’s increasing demand for electricity.

Hydroelectricity was the predominant global renewable electricity generation source in 2018, but EIA expects relatively little growth in hydroelectric generation through 2050. Hydroelectricity is a mature technology, established in the 19th century, so many of the best sites for hydropower plants have already been developed. New hydro plants are not being built as rapidly as other renewable technologies because construction of new facilities is relatively disruptive and capital intensive. EIA forecasts China, Brazil, and OECD Europe nations will have the greatest growth in hydroelectric generation in 2050, noting they tend to have extensive and accessible hydropower resources.

(SOURCE: The Weekly Propane Newsletter, Oct. 28, 2019. Available by subscription. Photo: Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service)

NFPA 58 Code Change: Face Seal Inspection Now Required

(October 28, 2019) — Due to an increasing number of reported leaks with Overfill Protection Device (OPD) valves on consumer propane cylinders has necessitated a code change to NFPA 58, effective January 2020.

NFPA 58 Updates requirements on overfill protection device (OPD) propane cylinder valves to update safety seal requirements reports BPN the LPG industry's trusted news source since 1939. oct 28 2019The change in the 2020 NFPA 58 code requires the inspection of the face seal on OPD valves. It is important that this be communicated to anyone who is filling propane cylinders or taking the Dispensing Propane Safely program. Below is a link to download a one-sheet Inspection Guide to help you identify cylinder valve defects and understand the new code requirements.

Please notify your staff of the code change that becomes effective January 2020
.
NFPA 58 2020 Edition section 7.2.2.7: Prior to filling a cylinder, the face seal on CGA 791 and 793 connections shall be visually inspected for defects (e.g., cracking, gouging, tearing, roping, etc.). If a defect on the face seal is found, the cylinder MUST NOT be filled.
 


What it means

If you are filling a propane cylinder with either of these valves, the face seal needs to be inspected prior to filling.
 


Why it changed
If you dispense propane into a cylinder with a damaged face seal, you may experience connection leaks, property damage, or personal injury. A cylinder with a damaged face seal is also a potential source of leakage to a customer that connects it to an appliance.
 


What you can do
Click here to download and share the document with your dispenser operators. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Eric Kuster, vice president of safety, education and compliance at the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), 202-452-8975 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Very Entrepreneurial Side of the Propane Industry

BPN the propane industry's trusted source for news since 1939 profiles Tom Knauff of Energy Distribution Partners (EDP) for 80th anniversary special Then and Now profiles Oct. 2019(October 25, 2019) — It came as no surprise to many in the propane industry that earlier this year Tom Knauff, chairman and CEO of Energy Distribution Partners (EDP; Chicago), was named a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 in the Midwest. The awards program recognizes entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies who excel in innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to businesses and communities, while also transforming the world. Although not ultimately the winner, being in the select group of finalists for such a prestigious award was a true honor for Knauff and the team that has helped him build EDP. Founded in 2012, EDP completed its 25th acquisition in August. The company is now the eighth-largest independent provider of propane and light fuels, has locations in 10 states, and is showing no sign of slowing down its growth. In the past three fiscal years, revenue more than doubled and EBITDA more than tripled.

For Knauff, the entrepreneurial spirit began long before EDP. He has been a leader in the start-up and acquisition process that built two previous companies, Propane Continental and Liberty Propane. Prior to that, he played a role in the growth of Ferrellgas, a company that had just 18 retail locations when he joined it in the early 1980s. “Ferrellgas was a young, growing, and vibrant place to work. I began in the wholesale and trading group, a fast-paced business [that] I found very interesting,” Knauff said. “It was fascinating to see how global and national factors affected propane cost.”
Knauff photo EDP
Ferrellgas grew dramatically in 1986 with the acquisition of Buckeye Gas Products Co., a move that took Ferrellgas from a regional company to the third-largest U.S. retail propane marketer. Knauff was appointed to a four-manager team to integrate the $415-million buyout, the largest acquisition by Ferrellgas to this point. Additional acquisitions continued the growth. “It was a fascinating time. I had moved from the wholesale and trading group to overseeing 150 retail locations across diverse geographies,” Knauff explained. “The culture created a lot of energetic, young executives who almost functioned as if they were CEO of their part of the company. We were completely accountable.”

“The whole propane industry was and is still very interesting to me,” said Knauff whose first job out of graduate school—where he taught Freshman Composition and Literature—was as a private investigator. He then had brief roles in capital equipment distribution and as a communications consultant for AT&T prior to joining the propane industry. “There are many of us who agree this industry is one you don’t want to ever leave. There is an amazing team spirit in the propane industry.”

Decision to Launch a New Company
“I think every businessperson at some point considers whether or not to start his or her own business,” Knauff said. “For me, I saw an opportunity to take my knowledge of how independent retail operations work as well as knowledge of the corporate side to build a company.” Knauff, of course, had learned a lot about the acquisition process during eight years at Ferrellgas, which made him more inclined to build a retail propane company through acquisitions rather than building companies from scratch. Propane Continental was launched in the early 1990s. “Tri-Power Fuels became a backer of Propane Continental,” Knauff said. “Kent Misemer, Kevin Cronin, and Larry Weinstein were key leaders at Propane Continental. They were a fabulous team to work with. We had three areas: the Northeast, Ohio Valley, and South Rockies.”

Knauff described the process of raising capital for the growing company as full of trial and error. “After 80 presentations, we had been turned down 78 times,” Knauff said. “A breakthrough came, though, in a visit with Goldman Sachs even though they turned us down. They actually took us to dinner to let us know they were not going to invest, but they said they wanted to give us some pointers that would get us to ‘yes’ with the right investors.” They changed their approach in a discussion with CID, an Indiana-based private equity group. The private equity group, too, declined, saying they were too small, but they recommended Allstate Insurance, a large private equity investor, who agreed to invest. In the process, CID ultimately decided they could participate with the invitation of Allstate Insurance to be a junior investor.

The next major investing challenge came seven years later when senior management at Allstate Insurance changed and the decision was made to exit all 89 of its private equity investments. “Propane Continental was just hitting its stride after seven years and 36 acquisitions,” Knauff added. “It was establishing its place in the industry and structured well financially.” Nonetheless, Knauff and his team were faced with the need to get the capital out of Propane Continental, and the company was sold to Cornerstone Propane Partners LP. Knauff served as executive vice president at Cornerstone following the Propane Continental acquisition in 1998. “Private equity investors often want to get in and out of investments in a three- to seven-year period. Five years is often the sweet spot,” Knauff explained. “We needed a different approach for future projects.”

In a new venture called Jordan Knauff & Co., founded in 2001, Knauff and partner Cook Jordan sought to provide quality investment banking services to middle-market companies. Knauff became a founding partner and board member of Liberty Propane, a new propane retailer founded in 2003. Headed by Kent Misemer, who Knauff worked with at Propane Continental, it was believed that Liberty Propane would not have the same challenges Propane Continental had with just a single investor. In fact, by 2008 the company had grown to become the ninth-largest U.S. propane retailer with 41 locations. But the financial crisis that year was affecting investors across all industries and—even though Liberty Propane was growing and performing well—its investors required liquidity and the company was sold to Inergy Propane.

Knauff wanted to spend extra time to develop an investment strategy that would allow his next venture, which would be EDP, to grow for a longer time without the worry of investors needing to exit. “We’d seen the movie twice before with the previous companies,” Knauff said. “We began working on the plans for EDP in 2010, a full two years and 10 months before the company was launched. This allowed time to formulate a more unique plan [that] aligned many more of the right investors with the company that would be developed. Today, with over 50 investors, we have investors with a variety of needs. Some investors have shorter-term time horizons, but these can be allowed to exit while other investors are in place to take over.”

The Values of EDP
“With all three companies, we kept the local brand as we acquired companies. With EDP, I feel we are maintaining the local brand with the highest degree of expertise,” Knauff said. “Having grown up in Winfield, Kan., I can compare the experience there with local brands versus large national chains. Many can relate to large chain stores such as Walmart and McDonalds coming into a town and wiping out a lot of independent local businesses. We want to keep the local name and local brand the same so that customers feel as comfortable as they always have with the business.” Knauff feels that continuing to take care of employees, support the same charities, and support the same local sponsorships is very important to keeping the business strong. “Cutting off a special agreement with a local church can seem to an acquirer like a way to save money, but don’t forget everyone in the congregation may feel a loyalty to the company taking care of their church.”

Time and title policies are honored by EDP so employees who stay under the new ownership do not have to lose benefits as if they are newly hired employees. “If you have been with the company for 20 years, you will be treated as if the ownership never changed,” Knauff said. “Employees are actually more important to a company than customers. We want employees to treat customers as well as they feel they are treated.” Having been on the buyer side of the acquisition of 82 businesses, Knauff feels he has experienced many of the nuances of the issues sellers have. “I feel we have the experience to mold a transaction to meet the unique needs of any seller. Most respond well to knowing we’ll keep their legacy alive and that their employees will be taken care of.”

In a few circumstances, charitable initiatives that were already successful at one company acquired by EDP have been implemented at other EDP companies. “We support the American Breast Cancer Foundation. We have pink bobtails and we even have a local dispatcher/CSR at our WOC Energy operation, Donny Vanness, who dyes his beard pink in support of the cause,” Knauff said. “We love it! We definitely want to support the communities as well as the previous owner has in the past. We want to be a company people would want their kids to go to work for.”

Remembering Marlo YoungBPN's special Then and Now 80th anniversary special features Energy Distribution Partners (EDP) Tom Knauff  who honors partner marlo young Oct 2019 issue of BPN magazine the propane industry's leading source for news since 1939
“Every leadership team has been the right team at the right time in the retail companies, I feel,” Knauff said. Mark Janek, Mark Zimora, and David Stroupe currently join Knauff on the EDP leadership team. Sadly, a key player, co-founder Marlo Young, who served as COO, passed away unexpectedly earlier this year. Young had been a member of EDP’s executive team since its founding in 2012. He had previously served in operating and executive roles with Ferrellgas, Cornerstone Propane, and Inergy Propane. “Marlo Young had great operating expertise and a special way of understanding the local geography of each location,” Knauff said. “He was a great partner to work with; very capable. Marlo and I agreed on about 90% of decisions and we were very stubborn about the other 10%. He is greatly missed.”

With almost four decades working in and around the propane industry, Knauff feels most change has been for the positive. “As I’ve watched the independent retail propane marketers closely in the acquisition process, I have noticed the independent companies becoming more sophisticated,” he said. “They have responded well to the challenges in their marketplace: efficiency lowering per capita usage, costs of people and assets such as steel are higher, and there are more regulatory requirements to contend with. On the positive side, the price of product is down. Programs like CETP and benchmarking have been critical to keep employees and leaders up to speed on best practices to keep the industry moving forward. And when it comes to safety best practices, that is certainly the highest priority for all of our EDP operations.” — Pat Thornton

Boyd H. McGathey Joins Energy Distribution Partners As COO and EVP

Chicago, Illinois (October 24, 2019) — Energy Distribution Partners (“EDP”) is pleased to announce that Boyd H. McGathey has joined the company as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. McGathey brings nearly 30 years of experience in the propane industry, having served in a variety of senior level positions where he managed retail operations, sales, safety, service quality, customer retention and profitability, among other responsibilities. He most recently served as Chief Operating Officer for WESROC Monitoring SolutionBoyd McGathey joins chicago-based Energy Distribution Partners (EDP) as COO EVP reports BPN the propane industry's trusted source for news and info since 1939. oct 2019s, an Independent Technologies company that provides tank monitoring equipment for propane and refined products industries.

Prior to that, McGathey held executive positions with a number of multi-state marketers including Inergy Propane, Liberty Propane and Ferrellgas. McGathey is a Board Member of the International Young Gassers Association.

Tom Knauff, Energy Distribution Partners’ Chief Executive Officer commented, “I am delighted to have Boyd join EDP. He is a seasoned industry veteran whom I have known for many years, and I am confident he will make a significant contribution to our company as we continue to grow.”

About Energy Distribution Partners
Energy Distribution Partners is a rapidly-growing company in America's fast-changing energy landscape – with deep experience in retail and commercial propane sales, operations and finance. The company provides safe, reliable propane service to residential and commercial customers in California, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and New York. EDP is actively seeking partners for growth. For more information, please visit www.edplp.net.

RegO Announces Major Expansion of Manufacturing Capabilities at NC Facility

ELON, N.C. (October 24, 2019) – RegO, the leading provider of advanced valves and controls for liquid and gas in LPG, LNG, cryogenic and industrial gas industries, announced yesterday a multi-million-dollar expansion of its U.S. manufacturing capacity at the company’s Whitsett, NC, facility. RegO will upgrade several of its machining work centers with state-of-the-art equipment that will enhance operational efficiency and significantly increase machine throughput across its manufacturing lines.

rego expands manufacturing facilitiy in North Carolina reports BPN the propane industry's trusted source for news since 1939 oct 2019The manufacturing line upgrade consists of four new machining stations — two automated gantry CNC lathe/saw/washer combination cells and two automated rotary transfer machines that incorporate several machining process steps to achieve high volume production of components from bar stock of brass and stainless steel, as well as forgings of brass, stainless steel & ductile iron, without the need for operators to manually change parts between different machines. The machines are planned for installation in stages at RegO’s Rock Creek manufacturing facility over the next eight months.

“RegO is committed to keeping our US manufacturing facilities at the cutting edge of efficiency, reliability, and cost-effective operation,” said Mike Lucas, RegO CEO.

“By replacing existing machinery with the new automated CNC machining cells, we’ll be able to double our throughput capacity for the parts made on that manufacturing line with a 60% increase in efficiency,” Lucas continued. “With the new transfer machining stations for the high-volume brass product line, we can increase production to more than 5 million parts per year with optimum overall equipment efficiency.”

“While many other suppliers in our industry have chosen to move production offshore, RegO has continued our commitment to maintaining a world class manufacturing capability here in the US,” explained Lucas. “This latest investment, together with the skill and experience of our manufacturing team, gives our company the ability to deliver the highest quality parts for our customers at a competitive cost.”


About RegO Products
RegO® has manufactured gas control products since 1908, with pioneering gas control solutions that helped launch the LP gas industry. The company invented the MultiValve® that combined several valves into one, Chek-Lok®, MultiPort®, filler valves, and pop action relief valves. Today, RegO is a global provider to the LPG, LNG, cryogenic, and industrial gas industries, with distribution centers located around the world.

RegO products are manufactured in the USA at four facilities in North Carolina, using only the highest quality materials, careful machining with exacting precision requirements, and stringent quality control. All products are 100% tested for reliable performance. All RegO LP-Gas products feature an industry-leading 10-year warranty.
RegO distributors are indispensable contributors to the company’s success as valuable partners in serving customers, and are supported by RegO with training, inventory and technical support.