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EERE Network News -- 11/12/03

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  • Tom Gray
    ====================================================================== EERE NETWORK NEWS -- November 12, 2003 A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 13, 2003
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      ======================================================================
      EERE NETWORK NEWS -- November 12, 2003
      A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE)
      Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
      <http://www.eere.energy.gov/>
      ======================================================================

      Featuring:
      *News and Events
      DOE to Invest $61 Million in Industrial Energy Efficiency
      New Green Power Purchases Announced as Leaders Earn Awards
      GM Shifts Hybrid Electric Plans to Focus on "Strong" Hybrids
      Three Energy-Efficient Habitat Duplexes Dedicated in Yonkers
      First Certification Exam Held for Photovoltaic Installers
      Voters Approve Light Rail in Houston; Seattle Breaks Ground

      *Site News
      Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership

      *Energy Connections
      EIA Publishes "Renewable Energy Annual 2002"

      *About this Newsletter


      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      NEWS AND EVENTS
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      DOE to Invest $61 Million in Industrial Energy Efficiency

      On November 5th, DOE announced its selection of 32 new projects to
      improve energy efficiency in U.S. industry. DOE will invest a total of
      $61 million in the projects, which extend over the next three years,
      while industrial partners will contribute more than $54 million. Two
      dozen of the projects will pursue new energy efficiency technologies,
      including 3 projects for the glass industry, 4 for the metal-casting
      industry, and 17 projects developing technologies that can be applied
      throughout industry, such as industrial sensors, advanced materials,
      and automation technologies. In addition to those 24 research and
      development projects, eight projects will identify opportunities to
      improve energy efficiency in industrial plants using technologies and
      practices available today. Six of those eight projects will involve
      plant-wide energy assessments at specific industrial plants. See the
      November 5th press release on the DOE Web site at:
      <http://www.energy.gov/engine/content.do?BT_CODE=PR_PRESSRELEASES>.

      Plant-wide energy assessments really work, as shown by a series of
      case studies and summaries published by DOE. The reports document
      25 plant-wide assessments that found nearly $107 million in annual
      energy savings -- an average of $4.27 million in annual savings at
      each plant. The estimated annual savings ranged from a low of $75,000
      at a small chemical plant to a high of $52 million at a large
      refinery. See the plant-wide assessment case studies and summaries
      -- most of which were published this year -- on DOE's Office of
      Industrial Technologies Web site at:
      <http://www.oit.doe.gov/bestpractices/case_studies_pwa.shtml>.


      New Green Power Purchases Announced as Leaders Earn Awards

      Several organizations have purchased new or greater amounts of green
      power in recent weeks. Pepco Energy Services, for instance, announced
      in late October that the U.S. Departments of Interior, Labor, and
      Transportation are buying more than 10 million kilowatt-hours of green
      power through May 2004. Three-quarters of the power will come from
      landfill gas power plants, and the remainder will come from regional
      wind power plants. Kinko's, Inc. increased its green power purchases
      more than 80 percent, to more than 27 million kilowatt-hours in
      18 states. And Community Energy, Inc. launched its sales of wind power
      in Illinois -- an offer that was quickly taken up by the American Lung
      Association of Metropolitan Chicago, the City of St. Charles, five
      faith-based organizations, and the Delta Institute, a nonprofit
      organization. The Illinois announcement was held in conjunction with
      last week's Green Power Marketing Conference. See the press releases
      from Pepco Energy Services, Kinko's, and Community Energy at:
      <http://www.pepcoenergy.com/news/pr10_28_03.htm>,
      <http://www.kinkos.com/about_us/newsroom/pr_oct202003.php>, and
      <http://www.communityenergy.biz/cei_pr_illinois.html>.

      Last week's conference was also the setting for the Green Power
      Partnership Awards, presented to green power leaders by DOE, the
      U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Center for
      Resource Solutions. The highest honors -- the Green Power Partner of
      the Year Awards -- were presented to the University of Pennsylvania,
      the City of Portland, Johnson and Johnson, and the Dyess Air Force
      Base. Additional award winners include White Wave, Clif Bar, Tower
      Companies, Kinko's, Austin Grill, the State of New Jersey, the City of
      Moab, BMW, Toyota Motors Sales, Fala Direct Marketing, Domaine
      Carneros winery, Hayward Lumber, and two California governments: the
      City of San Diego and Solano County. See the announcement on the
      EPA Green Power Leadership Awards page at:
      <http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/gpleadership.htm>.


      GM Shifts Hybrid Electric Plans to Focus on "Strong" Hybrids

      General Motors Corporation (GM) announced last week that it will
      launch "strong" hybrid electric versions of its full-size sport
      utility vehicles (SUVs) and pickup trucks, starting in 2007. A
      "strong" hybrid is capable of running on electric power only at low
      speeds (as in today's Toyota Prius). The vehicles will also feature
      GM's "Displacement on Demand" technology, which shuts down unneeded
      cylinders when the engine is running at low loads. Using both
      technologies, GM expects to improve the vehicles' fuel economies by
      about 30 percent.

      Meanwhile, GM has dropped plans to introduce a strong-hybrid Saturn
      VUE sedan in 2006, and will instead launch a Saturn VUE featuring an
      alternator that doubles as a starter, allowing the engine to shut off
      at a stop. That model, to be launched in spring of 2006, will also
      include a continuously variable transmission. The two features should
      boost the car's mileage by 12 to 15 percent. See the November 6th
      press release on the GM Media Web site at:
      <http://www.media.gm.com/news/releases/index.html>.

      The new GM plans are a significant departure from the company's
      January announcement, when it had planned "mild" hybrid versions of
      two pickups and two SUVs, meaning that the engine would always run and
      the motor would provide supplementary power (as in today's Honda
      Insight and Honda Civic Hybrid). GM had also planned to introduce the
      starter/alternator feature on an SUV and on the Chevrolet Malibu
      sedan. See the January article from this newsletter at:
      <http://www.eere.energy.gov/news/news_detail.cfm?news_id=452>.

      Ford Motor Company is launching its own strong hybrid, the Ford Escape
      Hybrid, beginning next summer. The 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid is expected
      to achieve between 35 and 40 miles per gallon in city driving, with
      low emissions. Ford will build the vehicle in Kansas City, Missouri.
      See the October 30th press release on the Ford Media Web site at:
      <http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=16755>.


      Three Energy-Efficient Habitat Duplexes Dedicated in Yonkers

      Three new Habitat for Humanity duplexes are nearing completion in
      Yonkers, New York, and were dedicated in late October. The six
      families that are waiting for their new homes have an extra advantage
      to look forward to: low energy bills. The walls in the homes are made
      from structural insulating panels (SIPs) and the foundations are made
      with insulated concrete forms, both of which provide high levels of
      insulation while helping to prevent air inleakage. The homes also
      feature low-e windows and high-efficiency direct-vent boilers, and
      1.2-kilowatt solar power systems are being installed on the roofs of
      each of the three buildings. The project was supported by the
      Partnership for Advanced Technology in Housing (PATH) -- a program of
      the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development -- as well as the
      New York State Energy and Research Development Authority. Steven
      Winter Associates, Inc. provided technical support. See the
      Steven Winter Associates press release, in PDF format only, at:
      <http://www.swinter.com/PressReleases/Yonkers.pdf>.

      See also the project description on the PATH Web site at:
      <http://www.pathnet.org/sp.asp?id=1353>.

      Similar highly efficient Habitat for Humanity homes are being built
      throughout the country. In Lenoir City, Tennessee, the Tennessee
      Valley Authority, DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the Joint
      Institute for Energy and Environment (JIEE) are building five research
      houses that are expected to have a net annual energy use near zero.
      Meanwhile, a home built in Westminster, Colorado, with the help of
      DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has earned the
      Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver an Energy Star New Millennium
      Builder Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The
      1,425-square-foot home earned an E-Star rating of 95.9, on a scale of
      zero to 100. See the JIEE Web site and the NREL press release at:
      <http://www.jiee.org/houses.html> and
      <http://www.nrel.gov/news/press/2003/3103_habitat_home.html>.


      First Certification Exam Held for Photovoltaic Installers

      The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP)
      held its inaugural examination for installers of solar photovoltaic
      (PV) electric systems in late October. Nearly 100 candidates took the
      exam, which was administered at 14 sites around the country. The
      voluntary exam is meant to instill consumer confidence in the men and
      women who install expensive solar equipment on the roofs of homes and
      businesses, connect that equipment to the building's power supply
      (often providing power for sensitive electronic components), and
      frequently connect it to the power grid as well. NABCEP has already
      received strong interest in its next PV Installers Certification Exam,
      which will be held on April 17, 2004. Applications for that exam are
      due in January. See the October 27th press release on the NABCEP Web
      site at: <http://www.nabcep.org/nabcep/www/pages/news/default.asp>.

      PV installers can make sure they get the right training for the exam
      by going to a training organization accredited by the Institute for
      Sustainable Power (ISP). See the "Training Accreditation and Trainer
      Certification" page on the ISP Web site at:
      <http://www.ispq.org/isptraincert.html>.


      Voters Approve Light Rail in Houston; Seattle Breaks Ground

      In last week's elections, voters in Houston narrowly approved a
      regional transit plan that will eventually bring 72 miles of new rail
      service to the city, while expanding bus service by 50 percent. The
      full plan will be completed in 2025 at a cost of $7.5 billion.
      However, voters only authorized the next phase of this plan, which
      will use $640 million in bonds to pay for 22 miles of light rail in
      central Houston. The Metropolitan Transit Authority, or METRO, plans
      to place the next phase of the plan before voters in 2009. Although
      only 51 percent of voters approved the plan, the narrow vote may
      reflect frustration with the city's first light-rail project: a
      7.5-mile line in the heart of the city. That project broke ground in
      April 2001 and is expected to begin operating in January. For now,
      though, the main impact of the project has been the traffic delays
      caused by its construction. See the METRO press release, and a
      description of the long-term transit plan, at:
      <http://www.ridemetro.org/latest/releases/pr110503_2.asp> and
      <http://www.ridemetro.org/motion/solutions/default.asp>.

      A more accessible description of the near-term and long-term plans is
      posted on the "Light Rail Now!" Web site at:
      <http://www.lightrailnow.org/news/n_hou003.htm>.

      Seattle, meanwhile, broke ground last week on its Central Link light-
      rail line, a 14-mile line running from the center of the city to near
      the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Sound Transit, which serves
      the three-county region around Puget Sound, expects the rail project
      to carry 42,500 riders each day by 2020. Sound Transit's first light
      rail project, a 1.6-mile line in downtown Tacoma, started operating in
      late August, and was exceeding all expectations for ridership by early
      September. See the press releases and a description of the Central
      Link project on the Sound Transit Web site at:
      <http://www.soundtransit.org/stnews/releases/streleases.htm> and
      <http://www.soundtransit.org/linkrail/central/routes/routes.htm>.


      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      SITE NEWS
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership
      <http://www.reeep.org/>

      The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) is an
      international coalition of governments, businesses, and organizations
      committed to accelerating the development of renewable energy and
      energy efficient technologies.


      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      ENERGY CONNECTIONS
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      EIA Publishes "Renewable Energy Annual 2002"

      DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA) published the "Renewable
      Energy Annual 2002" last week, summarizing advances in renewable
      energy use in the United States in 2002. As already published in
      recent EIA reports, the new report notes that U.S. renewable energy
      use rose 11 percent in 2002, due mainly to increased production of
      hydropower. Of the other renewable energy technologies, wind power
      grew fastest, increasing by 56 percent in 2002.

      The report includes new information on solar manufacturing activity.
      The shipment of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules increased by
      15 percent in 2002, to a total peak capacity of 112.1 megawatts. The
      average price of PV cells decreased 14 percent in 2002, to $2.12 per
      watt, while the cost of PV modules increased 9 percent, to $3.74 per
      watt. Shipments of solar thermal collectors increased by 4 percent in
      2002, while prices held steady.

      Geothermal heat pump shipments increased 4 percent between 2000 and
      2002, but more of the units were smaller heat pumps for homes. As a
      result, the total heating and cooling capacity of the heat pumps that
      were shipped in 2002 was nearly 24 percent lower than in 2000.

      See the EIA report at:
      <http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/solar.renewables/page/rea2002.html>.


      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
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