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February 14 Meeting: Renewable Diesel Boating

Marta Krissovich | Published on 1/22/2023

Peter Wilcox
Renewable diesel (R99), a green fuel that meets the same specs as petrol diesel (D975), is already used in California and at most cardlock fuel dealers in Oregon and in SW Washington, and whole government fleets have converted to it. Please join us for a presentation by Captain Peter Wilcox on this and other accessible ways to reduce the carbon footprint of boating in the incredible place we live.

Captain Peter Wilcox is Founding Director of the Inside Passage Decarbonization Project (IPDP) which focuses on the Pacific Northwest. The IPDP advocates for decarbonization efforts partly by helping create demand for a green marine fueling system that brings local distribution of certified biofuels, 100% bonified renewable shore power, and safe renewable lubricants to Inside Passage fuel docks, marinas and chandleries.  More info at the IPDP website.

Peter is a USCG licensed master mariner, author, boatbuilder, economist, architect and longtime renewable energy user and advocate.  Peter is both a Sage and Cascadia Fellow, and was named a Canadian Coastal Champion in 2017.  Peter was the President of Columbia Riverkeeper for four years and served on its board for 12 years.  He credits an ecology elective that he took in his first quarter in college for changing his perspective on his personal mission and establishing the course of his life’s ongoing work.

With his petroleum geologist father’s strong encouragement, he taught solar architecture at three universities, led his own architecture firm focused on green affordable house ing, and was recruited to be Multnomah County’s first Housing Director.  During this time, he build several smallish wooden boats while developing a few award-winning green housing projects.  He was a co-founder of Sequential Biofuels, first using UCO (used cooking oil) biodiesel some 25 years ago and then switching to renewable diesel (RD) in his Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding-built 36’ motorsailer and “floating marine decarbonization lab” four years ago.

Peter and wife, Bridget, have taken mostly longer Inside Passage (IP) voyages in AMA Natura over the last 15 years, all without burning any petroleum diesel. On these voyages they have stopped at most of the IP's ports, marinas, villages and fuel docks to share their enthusiasm for waste-based bio-based fuels and presenting decarbonizing workshops at boat shows, including fifteen times in Port Townsend.  Currently, they are working with the Haíłzaqv First Nation and BC government on a six-month RD pilot project that they expect will lead to RD becoming the predominant marine fuel on the Central Coast of Canada, and eventually all of Washington and Alaska. Peter and Bridget live in a small floating home on the Columbia River in Portland.

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