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2666EERE Network News -- 08/25/04

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  • EERE Network News by way of Tom Gray
    Aug 26 4:26 AM


      A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE)
      <http://www.eere.energy.gov/>Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable
      Energy (EERE). The EERE Network News is also available on the Web at:

      August 25, 2004

      News and Events

      * California Plans to Install Solar Power on One Million Homes
      * PowerLight Continues to Install Large Solar Power Systems
      * Wave Energy Device Provides Power to U.K. Grid
      * GM Provides Hybrid Vehicles to the Republican National Convention
      * Northwest Alliance Devotes $14 Million to Energy Efficiency

      Site News

      * Building Technologies Program Constructs a New Web Site

      Energy Connections

      * EIA: U.S. Renewable Energy Use Up 3 Percent in 2003


      News and Events

      California Plans to Install Solar Power on One Million Homes

      California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled a plan last week to
      install solar power systems on one million homes by 2017. The Million Homes
      Plan initially starts with the state's current incentives for solar power,
      but beginning in 2008, home builders will offer solar power as an option in
      any subdivision that has 25 houses or more. Customers who install solar
      power systems will pay a time-of-use rate, which can result in added
      savings, and will also be able to sell excess power back to the utility at
      the retail rate, a process known as net metering. See the governor's

      Solar power is already proving popular in San Diego County, where 1,500
      customers have connected renewable energy systems to the power grid.
      According to San Diego Electric and Gas (SDG&E), only 11 customers applied
      for net-metering connections in 1999, but by 2003, that number grew to 535.
      More than 450 net metering applications have been filed so far this year.
      See the
      press release.

      If the concept of a million solar homes sounds familiar, you're probably
      thinking of the DOE-led Million Solar Roofs Initiative. Announced in June
      1997, that initiative aims to install either solar power or solar thermal
      systems on one million U.S. roofs by 2010. As of last year, the initiative
      had yielded at least 200 megawatts of solar energy installations, including
      40 megawatts of solar power, with 822 partners throughout the country
      helping to advance the initiative's goals. See the
      <http://www.millionsolarroofs.org/>Million Solar Roofs Web site.

      PowerLight Continues to Install Large Solar Power Systems



      Bird's eye view of the winery shows an extensive red roof, abou

      Blue solar panels now cover much of the roof at the St. Francis Winery.
      Credit: PowerLight Corp.

      PowerLight Corporation continues to benefit from California's favorable
      solar power incentives: the company recently installed a 457-kilowatt solar
      power system at the St. Francis Winery & Vineyards
      near Santa Rosa. PowerLight also upgraded the lighting in the winemaking
      and refrigerated barrel storage areas to reduce the winery's electrical
      load for lighting by 48 percent. Completed in June, the solar power system
      was dedicated on August 10th.

      But PowerLight is not limiting its installations to California, or even the
      United States: the company is currently helping to construct the world's
      largest photovoltaic power installation, a 10-megawatt system, in the
      German state of Bavaria. The record-breaking system is about one-third
      complete. See the PowerLight press releases from
      10th and

      Wave Energy Device Provides Power to U.K. Grid

      Ocean Power Delivery, Inc., (OPD) announced Monday that its Pelamis wave
      energy converter has been successfully installed at the new European Marine
      Energy Center (EMEC), and has been providing power to the U.K. power grid
      since the evening of August 15th. The 750-kilowatt device is a full-scale
      prototype consisting of a series of floating cylinders, each about 11.5
      feet in diameter, stretching out over a length of about 130 yards. The
      device is moored perpendicular to oncoming waves, and three hinges along
      its length allow the segments to move up and down as waves pass. As each
      hinge pivots up and down, it pumps high-pressure oil, which is used to
      drive a generator to produce power. See the OPD press release
      (<http://www.oceanpd.com/PDFS/OPD%20EMEC%20PR%2023-AUG-2004.pdf>PDF 50 KB)
      as well as the company's
      <http://www.oceanpd.com/Pelamis/default.html>description of the Pelamis.
      <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/alternate.html>Download Acrobat Reader.

      The Pelamis is the first device installed at the EMEC, located near
      Stromness on the northern Scotland island of Orkney. The new facility
      officially opened on August 8th, and includes four test berths for wave
      energy devices, located about a mile and a quarter from shore. The EMEC was
      constructed at a cost of about $9 million (5 million pounds), and plans are
      already underway to expand the facility to test tidal energy technologies.
      See the
      from the Scottish Executive, as well as the <http://www.emec.org.uk/>EMEC
      Web site.

      GM Provides Hybrid Vehicles to the Republican National Convention

      The 2004 Republican National Convention announced Monday that General
      Motors Corporation (GM) will provide a fleet of hybrid-electric buses,
      hybrid pickup trucks, and several other highly efficient vehicles to
      support the convention. Nearly 50,000 visitors are expected at the
      convention, which will be held in New York City from August 30th through
      September 2nd. See the
      release from the Republican National Convention.

      GM previously provided hybrid-electric vehicles at the Democratic National
      Convention, held in Boston in late July. See the
      <http://www.eere.energy.gov/news/news_detail.cfm/news_id=7098>article from
      the July 14th edition of this newsletter.

      GM's hybrid technology will soon help to keep the air clean in a much more
      pristine setting: Yosemite National Park in California. GM announced last
      week that it will supply the propulsion systems for 18 new 40-foot hybrid
      electric buses, which are scheduled to go in service in Yosemite by next
      May. Gillig Corporation manufactures the hybrid buses. GM-hybrid-equipped
      buses are currently in service in Philadelphia and Seattle. See the
      press release.

      Northwest Alliance Devotes $14 Million to Energy Efficiency



      A man attends to a large piece of machinery at a paper producti

      The Alliance is committing $11 million to improve energy efficiency in
      industrial plants, such as this paper production facility.
      Credit: Voith Sulzer Paper Technology

      The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance allocated $11 million in late July
      for an initiative that will encourage energy efficiency in industries
      throughout the region. The Alliance will target food processing and pulp
      and paper plants in the Northwest, as well as the corporations that own and
      operate them. The Alliance will also work with industrial equipment and
      service suppliers, encouraging them to market systems optimization services
      and higher efficiency equipment to their customers.

      In addition to the industrial energy efficiency initiative, the Alliance
      will spend $2.2 million on energy efficiency information projects and
      $925,000 on an effort to improve the efficiency of computer power-supply

      The Alliance is a non-profit corporation supported by electric utilities,
      public benefits administrators, state governments, consumer groups and
      efficiency industry representatives. The $14-million energy efficiency
      initiative is expected to save nearly 130 megawatts of electricity by 2015.
      The funds cover the first four years of the six- year initiative. See the
      <http://www.nwalliance.org/news/press/pr200408.asp>Alliance press release.


      Site News

      <http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/>Building Technologies Program
      Constructs a New Web Site

      The Building Technologies Program, one of 11 energy programs in the DOE
      Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), has constructed a
      new Web site that provides easy access to the research and regulatory
      activities of the program. The Building Technologies Program works to
      improve the energy efficiency of our nation's buildings through innovative
      new technologies and better building practices. See the new
      <http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/>Building Technologies Program Web site.

      The new site also reflects the look and feel of the EERE Web site, and is
      the last of the 11 programs to convert to the new design. Visit all 11
      program Web sites from the <http://www.eere.energy.gov/>EERE home page.

      Energy Connections

      EIA: U.S. Renewable Energy Use Up 3 Percent in 2003

      The U.S. consumption of renewable energy increased 3 percent in 2003,
      according to preliminary data released last week by DOE's Energy
      Information Administration (EIA). The EIA's "Renewable Energy Trends 2003"
      found that more than half the increase came from a 4 percent increase in
      hydropower production, while a 3 percent increase in biomass use provided
      most of the remaining growth. Although U.S. wind energy capacity grew
      significantly in 2003, most of the growth was toward the end of the year,
      so energy production from wind power only grew by about 3 percent,
      providing little contribution to the overall growth in renewable energy
      use. According to the EIA, solar energy use stayed about even, as solar
      thermal energy consumption declined while solar power production increased.
      The EIA data will eventually be incorporated into its "Renewable Energy
      Annual 2003," slated for release in November. See the EIA's
      Energy Trends 2003."

      This newsletter is funded by DOE's <http://www.eere.energy.gov/>Office of
      Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and is also available on the
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