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EERE Network News -- 12/03/03

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  • Tom Gray
    ====================================================================== EERE NETWORK NEWS -- December 3, 2003 A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 5, 2003
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      ======================================================================
      EERE NETWORK NEWS -- December 3, 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
      Coming Soon: "Made With Renewable Energy" Labels on Products
      Aeronaut's Goal: Around the World on Solar Power
      Seattle-Area Utility Pursues Wind Power, Energy Efficiency
      California Plant Begins Continuous Production of Biodiesel
      Canadian Company Continues to Advance BioOil Technology
      Two DOE-Funded Reports Show Promise for LED Lighting

      *Energy Connections
      EPA's Voluntary Programs Reduced Greenhouse Gases in 2002

      *About this Newsletter


      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      NEWS AND EVENTS
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      Coming Soon: "Made With Renewable Energy" Labels on Products

      The Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) -- the people that brought you
      the "Green-e" certification for green power products -- announced in
      early November that it will launch a new "Made With Renewable Energy"
      label for products in 2004. The label will feature the distinctive
      Green-e logo and will be available to companies that buy a
      "significant" amount of certified renewable energy for their buildings
      and factories. According to CRS, a number of companies have already
      applied for the label, including White Wave (a maker of soy milk
      products), the Interface Fabrics Group, Choice Organic Teas, and
      Lundberg Family Farms, a producer of rice. See the announcement on the
      Green-e Web site at: <http://www.green-e.org/media_ed/made.html>.

      This Thanksgiving, shoppers in much of the eastern United States had
      the opportunity to buy turkey that had been raised using 100 percent
      wind energy. Plainville Turkey Farms in New York State is buying its
      wind power from Community Energy, Inc. (CEI) and is now labeling six
      of its turkey products with the NewWind Energy logo. Consumers in the
      mid-Atlantic region can even shop at wind-powered groceries, since
      Whole Foods Market, Inc., is now buying wind power to meet 10 percent
      of the electricity needs at its 24 locations there. The company will
      buy six million kilowatt-hours of wind power each year from CEI.
      See the CEI press releases at:
      <http://www.communityenergy.biz/cei_pr_turkeyfarm.html> and
      <http://www.communityenergy.biz/cei_pr_wholefoods.html>.

      The "Made With Renewable Energy" label might eventually appear on a
      wide variety of products, thanks to a recent record purchase by the
      corporate members of the Green Power Market Development Group.
      Sterling Planet, Inc. announced in late November that it will provide
      a total of 795 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy certificates
      over the next several years to select members of the group, including
      Alcoa Inc., Delphi Corporation, DuPont, Interface, Pitney Bowes, and
      Staples. Sterling Planet's Green America renewable energy certificates
      are Green-e certified. See the Sterling Planet press release at:
      <http://www.sterlingplanet.com/sp/newsRelease27.jsp>.


      Aeronaut's Goal: Around the World on Solar Power

      A team of aeronauts -- the first to circumnavigate the globe in a
      hot-air balloon without stopping -- now aims to repeat the feat in a
      solar-powered aircraft. Dr. Bertrand Piccard announced on Friday that
      he will team with Brian Jones, his former balloon co-pilot, and Andre
      Borschberg, an engineer and jet pilot, to accomplish the task. To
      develop a solar-powered airplane capable of flying continuously, the
      Piccard team will receive scientific assistance from the Swiss Federal
      Institute of Technology in Lausanne. A team of 30 experts from
      several departments of that institute has been investigating the
      feasibility of the solar-powered aircraft, called the "Solar Impulse,"
      since March.

      As envisioned by the team, the Solar Impulse aircraft will have an
      extremely long wingspan, advanced aerodynamics, and a revolutionary
      structure in order to capture and store sufficient solar energy during
      the day to be able to maintain itself in flight during the night.
      Piccard's plans call for the design and construction of a prototype
      aircraft over the next two years, followed by initial test flights in
      2006. The team expects to achieve its first overnight flight in 2007,
      but they have not yet set a date for their flight around the world.
      See the Solar Impulse press release (a 140-kilobyte PDF file) and
      Web site at: <http://www.solar-impulse.com/en/press.pdf> and
      <http://www.solar-impulse.com/en/index.php>.

      The closest thing yet to the Solar Impulse was the Helios, an unmanned
      solar-powered aircraft developed by AeroVironment, Inc. for the
      National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Helios was
      designed to use a fuel cell to maintain flight overnight, but it
      crashed in June before accomplishing that goal. The crash
      investigation is still underway. Meanwhile, NASA is investigating the
      use of ground-based lasers to power an aircraft that has solar cells
      mounted on the bottom of its wings. See the Helios project page and
      the laser-powered aircraft press release on NASA's Dryden Flight
      Research Center Web site at:
      <http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/Research/Erast/helios.html> and
      <http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewsReleases/2003/03-54.html>.


      Seattle-Area Utility Pursues Wind Power, Energy Efficiency

      Puget Sound Energy (PSE), the utility serving the Seattle area, issued
      a request for proposals for 150 megawatts of wind power in late
      November. PSE seeks to buy wind power either through long-term power
      purchase contracts or through ownership of a wind power plant. PSE is
      holding a pre-bid conference this afternoon, with responses due by
      January 9th. The utility expects one or more wind power projects to be
      in place by the end of 2005. See the PSE press release and the request
      for proposals at: <http://www.pse.com/news/2003/pr20031113a.html> and
      <http://www.pse.com/about/supply/resourceplanning.html>.

      PSE also plans to expand its energy efficiency programs and has
      proposed higher targets for 2004 and 2005. Over the next two years,
      the utility plans to avoid 39.2 average megawatts of electrical load,
      while saving more than 5 million therms of natural gas. The utility
      has proposed a wide range of programs for its residential, commercial,
      and industrial customers, ranging from consumer rebates to business
      grants. PSE also intends to launch pilot programs for heat-pump
      maintenance, lighting retrofits in multi-family housing, duct system
      enhancements in mobile homes, and ventilation system maintenance for
      commercial customers. The PSE plan is subject to regulatory approval.
      See the PSE press release at:
      <http://www.pse.com/news/2003/pr20031105a.html>.

      While it plans to increase its use of wind power and energy
      efficiency, PSE is decreasing its reliance on hydroelectric power.
      The utility announced last week that it will no longer pursue a new
      operating license for its 92-year-old White River Hydropower Station,
      because meeting current environmental standards at the facility would
      be cost prohibitive. PSE will shut down the 70-megawatt station in
      January. Meanwhile, the utility continues to pursue a new license for
      the Baker River Project, a 175-megawatt installation consisting of
      powerhouses on two dams near Concrete, Washington. The project's
      50-year license expires in April 2006. See the PSE press release and
      hydropower licensing Web page at:
      <http://www.pse.com/news/2003/pr20031121a.html> and
      <http://www.pse.com/hydro/index.html>.


      California Plant Begins Continuous Production of Biodiesel

      Green Star Products, Inc. announced in November that it had completed
      initial product test runs at its new biodiesel production plant in
      Bakersfield, California. The plant will be the first in the United
      States to use a continuous-flow process to produce biodiesel. Other
      U.S. plants produce biodiesel fuel in batches; continuous production
      processes can potentially produce greater volumes of product at lower
      costs.

      The company tested both recycled and virgin vegetable oil for its
      initial production of biodiesel, and was able to deliver product to
      U.S. Hondo Chemical, which is using biodiesel in its off-road
      vehicles. Although the Bakersfield Biodiesel Plant is currently
      capable of producing 2.5 million gallons of biodiesel per year, the
      company claims that the plant could be expanded to produce 35 million
      gallons per year, which would be more than twice the national
      production of biodiesel in 2002. See the Green Star Products press
      release at: <http://www.greenstarusa.com/news/03-11-06.html>.

      The U.S. Navy will also become a biodiesel producer in the near
      future, according to the National Biodiesel Board (NBB). The Naval
      Base Ventura County in Port Hueneme, California, plans to recycle the
      Navy's used cooking oil into biodiesel fuel. The demonstration plant
      will be able to produce one million gallons of biodiesel each year.
      The NBB has also noted a number of biodiesel developments in Colorado,
      including the first retail pumps in Boulder and Denver and the use of
      biodiesel in the buses for 12 Denver-area school districts, funded
      through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And
      with a $3.8-million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the
      NBB will now be working even harder to educate the public about
      biodiesel. See the NBB press releases at:
      <http://www.biodiesel.org/resources/pressreleases/default.asp>.


      Canadian Company Continues to Advance BioOil Technology

      DynaMotive Energy Systems Corporation, a Canadian company, continues
      to advance its production process for a biomass-derived fuel called
      BioOil. DynaMotive can convert a variety of biomass materials, such as
      wood residues, into BioOil using a process called "fast pyrolysis,"
      which exposes the materials to high temperatures in the absence of
      oxygen. In early November, DynaMotive announced that it had fabricated
      a system that will produce BioOil from wood residues and use it to
      produce 12,000 pounds of steam per hour and 2.5 megawatts of
      electricity. The combined heat and power system can also be fueled
      with conventional fuels. DynaMotive expects to finish testing the
      system in early 2004, when it will be installed at Erie Flooring and
      Wood Products in West Lorne, Ontario.

      DynaMotive plans to produce a similar system for Freymond Lumber,
      Ltd., in Bancroft, Ontario. DynaMotive and its development partners
      expect to launch the project in 2004 and complete it in 2005.
      The company also announced yesterday that it is fabricating another
      production plant that will be capable of converting 200 tons of wet
      biomass into BioOil each day -- twice the capacity of the Erie
      Flooring plant. Although the location of the new plant won't be
      announced until next year, it's noteworthy that DynaMotive is working
      with the Municipality of Greenstone in northwestern Ontario to develop
      BioOil plants in the Greenstone area. See the November and December
      press releases on the DynaMotive Web site at:
      <http://www.dynamotive.com/news/newsreleases.shtml>.


      Two DOE-Funded Reports Show Promise for LED Lighting

      Two new reports on solid-state lighting -- lighting using light-
      emitting diodes (LEDs) or organic LEDs (OLEDs) -- find that the United
      States is already achieving significant energy savings from the
      technology, and the promise for the future is, well, bright. The DOE-
      funded reports, prepared by Navigant Consulting, conclude that LEDs
      have already saved more than 8 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity
      in the United States. If LED manufacturers achieve their cost and
      performance goals, the technology will cut future use of energy for
      lighting by 30 percent. LEDs have already made significant headway in
      traffic lights, exit signs, and taillights. The report finds that with
      accelerated investment in the technology, it could achieve energy
      savings by 2025 that would be equal to the power produced by 40 large
      power plants. See the press release from Navigant Consulting at:
      <http://ir.ccbn.com/ir.zhtml?t=nci&s=410&item_id=469896>.

      The full reports are available on the Web site for DOE's National
      Energy Technology Laboratory. See the reports -- a 661-kilobyte file
      and a 413-kilobyte file -- in PDF format only at:
      <http://www.netl.doe.gov/ssl/PDFs/Niche%20Final%20Report.pdf> and
      <http://www.netl.doe.gov/ssl/PDFs/SSL Energy Savi_ntial Final.pdf>.

      What's another market for LED lights? You guessed it: holiday
      lighting! LED lights not only use about one-tenth the energy used by
      the current favorite, mini-lights, but also last much longer and are
      cool, so they won't catch anything on fire. See the "Holiday Lights"
      fact sheet -- a 751-kilobyte PDF file -- on the Western Area Power
      Administration's Energy Services Web site at:
      <http://www.es.wapa.gov/pubs/files/03_WAPA_holiday.pdf>.


      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      ENERGY CONNECTIONS
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      EPA's Voluntary Programs Reduced Greenhouse Gases in 2002

      Voluntary programs administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection
      Agency (EPA) succeeded in avoiding 43 million metric tons of
      U.S. carbon emissions in 2002, according to an EPA report released in
      November. The report notes the achievements of the DOE/EPA Energy Star
      program, which currently labels more than 18,000 energy-efficient
      products in about 35 product categories, while more than 3,000
      builders have constructed about 110,000 Energy Star-qualified homes.
      According to the EPA report, the Energy Star program is saving
      $33 billion in energy bills each year. See the press release under
      "November News Highlights" on the EPA Web site at:
      <http://www.epa.gov/newsroom/2003_nov.htm>.

      The full report is available as a 1.37-megabyte PDF file on the
      EPA Web site at: <http://www.epa.gov/appdstar/pdf/cppdann02.pdf>.

      Last week, DOE proposed new guidelines for the voluntary reporting of
      greenhouse gas emissions. The guidelines are intended to improve the
      accuracy, verifiability, and completeness of the greenhouse gas
      emissions data. DOE will hold a workshop in Washington, D.C., on
      January 15th, 2004, to discuss the proposed guidelines. See the
      announcement, including links to the guidelines and the DOE press
      release, on the DOE Office of Policy and International Affairs Web
      site at: <http://www.pi.energy.gov/enhancingGHGregistry/>.


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