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3195EERE Network News -- 08/03/05

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  • EERE Network News by way of Tom Gray
    Aug 3, 2005


      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 03, 2005

      News and Events

      * U.S. Joins Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development
      * University of Michigan Wins the North American Solar Challenge
      * Texas More than Doubles its Renewable Energy Requirement
      * New York State Sets Efficiency Standards for Appliances
      * Northwest Alliance to Promote Efficient Commercial Buildings

      Energy Connections

      * Asia's Growth to Help Boost World Energy Use 57 Percent by 2025

      News and Events

      U.S. Joins Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development

      President Bush announced last week that the United States has joined with
      Australia, China, India, Japan, and South Korea to create a new
      Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development. This new partnership will
      allow the six nations to develop and accelerate deployment of cleaner, more
      efficient energy technologies to address pollution reduction, energy
      security, and climate change concerns in ways that reduce poverty and
      promote economic development. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and
      Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman will meet with their international
      counterparts this fall to carry the new partnership forward. See the
      House announcement.

      A White House fact sheet that accompanied the announcement noted that an
      increase in greenhouse gases caused by human activity is warming the
      surface of the Earth, and suggested the key to addressing this climate
      challenge is to develop and deploy cleaner, more efficient technologies.
      Among the energy technologies specifically mentioned in the fact sheet are
      energy efficiency, methane capture and use, biomass energy, geothermal
      energy, hydropower, wind power, solar power, and energy systems for
      villages and rural areas. See the
      House fact sheet.

      University of Michigan Wins the North American Solar Challenge


      Photo of a low, flat, yellow solar car, its top surface covered

      The University of Michigan takes the checkered flag.
      Credit: Stefano Paltera/North American Solar Challenge

      The University of Michigan held onto a narrow lead over the University of
      Minnesota last week to win the 2005 North American Solar Challenge. The
      2,500-mile solar race­the longest in the world­concluded on July 27th in
      Calgary, Canada. Despite racing for 54 hours over the course of the event,
      the Michigan team finished less than 12 minutes ahead of Minnesota, with an
      average speed of 46.2 miles per hour (this includes low-speed driving in
      cities and towns). In contrast, the winners of the 2003 race beat their
      nearest rival by nearly five hours. The race was sponsored by DOE, DOE's
      National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Natural Resources Canada.

      Stanford University won the race's "stock" category, in which the cars use
      lead-acid batteries and less expensive, lower-efficiency solar cells.
      Despite those limitations, the Stanford team's total racing time was just
      14 hours longer than the Michigan team. The Stanford win was particularly
      impressive after its troubles in the first stage of the race, when it fell
      more than two hours behind the leading stock solar car. See the press
      89 KB), the
      race standings, and
      parting thoughts from the solar racers (in the last entry of "Reports from
      the Road" by DOE's Richard King).
      <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/alternate.html>Download Adobe Reader.

      Solar racing fans have just under two months to wait for the next big
      event: the World Solar Challenge in Australia. The 1,864-mile race bisects
      the country, departing from Darwin on September 25th and ending in Adelaide
      some four to seven days later. See the <http://www.wsc.org.au/>World Solar
      Challenge Web site.

      Texas More than Doubles its Renewable Energy Requirement


      Photo of many wind turbines arranged in zigzag lines that reced

      FPL Energy's 278-megawatt King Mountain Wind Ranch is one of many wind
      power plants built in Texas to meet the requirements set in 1999.
      Credit: Todd Spink

      Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a bill on Monday that will significantly
      increase the state's requirement for the use of renewable energy in its
      electrical supply. Senate Bill 20 (SB 20) requires the state's generating
      capacity from renewable energy sources to reach 5,880 megawatts by 2015, an
      amount capable of producing about 5 percent of the state's electricity
      needs. It also sets a goal of reaching 10,000 megawatts in renewable energy
      capacity by 2025. The bill helps to further diversify the state's sources
      of energy by requiring that 500 megawatts be produced by renewable energy
      sources other than wind power. The bill instructs the Public Utility
      Commission (PUC) of Texas to require utilities to add to their transmission
      systems as necessary to meet the renewable energy goal, and to allow
      utilities to recover the cost of such projects in their electric rates. See
      the governor's
      release and the text of the bill
      47 KB). <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/alternate.html>Download
      Adobe Reader.

      The previous requirement, set in 1999, was for 2,880 megawatts of renewable
      power by 2009, an increase of 2,000 megawatts over the 880 megawatts of
      renewable generating capacity that was installed at that time. However, the
      PUC announced in March that the state would probably meet that goal by the
      end of this year. According to the PUC, wind power accounts for 96 percent
      of the renewable energy capacity added in the state since 1999. See the
      <http://www.puc.state.tx.us/nrelease/2005/021505.cfm>PUC of Texas press

      New York State Sets Efficiency Standards for Appliances

      New York Governor George Pataki signed a bill last week that will set
      energy efficiency standards for household appliances and electronic
      equipment. The new law sets energy efficiency standards for items not
      covered by federal efficiency standards, including ceiling fans and ceiling
      light kits; furnace air handlers; commercial washing machines; commercial
      refrigerators, freezers, and icemakers; torchiere lighting fixtures; unit
      heaters; reflector lamps; large air-conditioning equipment; and other
      commercial and household items. The state expects the standards to save up
      to 2,096 gigawatt-hours of electricity per year, an amount equal to the
      energy required to power 350,000 homes, while saving the state's consumers
      $284 million annually through lower energy bills.

      Under the Appliance and Equipment Energy Efficiency Standards Act of 2005,
      the New York Secretary of State will consult with the president of the New
      York State Energy Research and Development Authority to develop the energy
      efficiency standards for the specified products, although standards for
      most of the products are already included in the bill. They will also
      develop energy efficiency standards for products such as DVD players to
      reduce their energy use when in standby mode. Arizona, California,
      Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey have already adopted similar
      efficiency standards. See the
      press release and the <http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A08757&sh=t>full
      text of the bill.

      Northwest Alliance to Promote Efficient Commercial Buildings

      The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance announced last week that it will
      spend $18.6 million over the next three years to promote energy efficiency
      in commercial buildings. The Commercial Sector Initiative, better known as
      BetterBricks, is expected to cut energy demand in the Northwest by 31
      megawatts by 2015. The initiative will work with building owners and
      managers to encourage them to ask for energy-efficient, high-performance
      building practices in their new and existing buildings. Building types to
      be targeted under the effort include hospitals and other health care
      facilities, grocery stores, and commercial real estate such as office
      buildings. See the
      press release, a related
      <http://www.nwalliance.org/news/csi_renewal_fs.asp>fact sheet, and the
      <http://www.betterbricks.com/default.aspx>BetterBricks Web site.

      The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance is a non-profit corporation
      supported by the Bonneville Power Administration, electric utilities,
      public benefits administrators, consumer interest groups and efficiency
      industry representatives. According to the Alliance's 2004 Annual Report,
      released last month, projects supported by the Alliance and related efforts
      cut energy demand in the region by 35 megawatts last year. One indicator of
      the Alliance's success: consumers in the Northwest bought more than 5
      million compact fluorescent lamps in 2004, up from 3.8 million in 2003. See
      the annual report
      (<http://www.nwalliance.org/resources/documents/A_2004AR.pdf>PDF 475 KB).
      <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/alternate.html>Download Adobe Reader.

      Energy Connections

      Asia's Growth to Help Boost World Energy Use 57 Percent by 2025

      A burgeoning energy demand in the rapidly developing countries of Asia will
      help increase world energy use by 57 percent over the next 20 years,
      according to DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA's
      "International Energy Outlook 2005," released last week, projects a
      doubling of energy use in the emerging economies of China and India, while
      the United States and other developed countries will experience a 27
      percent growth in energy use. In addition, the EIA expects energy use to
      increase by 45 percent in Eastern Europe and the countries of the former
      Soviet Union.

      As a result, the EIA expects world oil use to increase to 119 million
      barrels per day by 2025, requiring an increase in production of 35 million
      barrels per day relative to today's oil production. That's actually a
      slight decrease from last year's projection, because the EIA expects high
      oil prices to moderate demand. And despite recent escalations in oil
      prices, the EIA still expects prices to decline to $31 per barrel (in 2003
      dollars) by 2010, then increase to $35 per barrel by 2025.

      Meanwhile, grid-connected renewable energy sources are expected to keep
      pace with energy growth, maintaining an 8 percent share of world energy
      use. And although the Kyoto Protocol is now in effect, the EIA expects
      global carbon dioxide emissions to increase by nearly 60 percent over the
      next 20 years. See the <http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/press/press259.html>EIA
      press release and the <http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ieo/index.html>full report.

      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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