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EERE Network News -- 04/21/04

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  • by way of Tom Gray
    35dafb9.jpg 35db081.jpg A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 21, 2004
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      A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

      April 21, 2004

      News and Events

      Energy Connections

      • EIA: World Energy Use to Grow 54 Percent by 2025

      News and Events

      DOE and Brazil to Cooperate on Hydrogen Energy Research

      U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham and Brazilian Mines and Energy Minister Dilma Rousseff announced on Monday a collaborative effort to advance hydrogen energy research, development, and deployment activities. A joint team of U.S. and Brazilian officials and experts will launch the collaboration by developing a hydrogen energy technology roadmap for Brazil. This roadmap will examine possible pathways for future hydrogen production, storage, transfer, end-use technologies, safety codes and standards, and outreach efforts. See the DOE press release.

      The United States and Brazil are two of the founding members of the International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy (IPHE), an organization to coordinate hydrogen research and technology development among the United States, the European Commission, and 14 other countries, including Brazil. See the IPHE Web site.

      Western Governors Call for More Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

      New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson kicked off the North American Energy Summit last week with a proposed "clean energy" initiative for the West. Governor Richardson and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recommended that the Western Governors' Association (WGA) create a broad-based task force to explore clean energy and energy efficiency opportunities and the policies needed to "make them happen." In a letter to the energy summit attendees, the governors proposed setting objectives to develop 30,000 megawatts of clean energy in the West by 2015 and to increase the efficiency of energy use 20 percent by 2020. Governors Richardson and Schwarzenegger specifically listed renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, and biomass energy as clean energy sources, and also included zero-emission coal plants. The governors intend to create a set of western energy policy proposals for presentation to the WGA by June 2006. WGA represents the governors of 18 western states and three Pacific islands. See the WGA press release (PDF 93 KB) and the governors' letter (PDF 141 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.

      The three-day North American Energy Summit, held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was organized by WGA. The summit featured the release of a new report that finds energy efficiency, renewable energy, and distributed generation are critical to meeting future energy demands along the U.S.-Mexico border. The report focuses on the border regions of Matamoros, Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, and Baja California, and claims that new conventional generating capacity will not come online rapidly enough to meet the border area's burgeoning energy needs. The WGA is also participating in a project to track renewable energy generation in the West, called the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (WREGIS), which is on schedule to begin operating next year. See the reports and related press releases on the WGA's North American Energy Summit Web site, and for additional information, see the WGA's "BorderEnergy" and WREGIS Web sites.

      Four Companies Launch New Mexico Solar Energy Project

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      Spire's manufacturing plant in Chicago has generated high-value, local jobs.
      Credit: Spire Solar Chicago

      Four companies Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, SolarPort, Spire Corporation, and New Energy Capital announced an agreement last week to manufacture solar panels and generate solar electricity in the rural communities of northern New Mexico. Under the agreement, solar panels will be assembled at a future Spire Corporation facility in Taos and installed in various locations around northern New Mexico. New Mexico utilities, including Kit Carson, will purchase the solar-generated electricity, helping them to meet a state requirement for electricity generated from renewable energy. The companies made their announcement at the North American Energy Summit in Albuquerque. See the New Energy Capital press release (PDF 25 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.

      Since 1999, Spire has participated in a similar collaboration in Chicago, called Spire Solar Chicago, which has installed more than 600 kilowatts of solar power in the city. See the Spire Solar Chicago Web site.

      EPA to Buy Renewable Energy Credits for Multiple Facilities

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking to buy renewable energy credits for a number of its facilities in the District of Columbia, Michigan, Minnesota, and Nevada. Over the next three years, the EPA plans to buy renewable energy credits equal to nearly 78 million kilowatt-hours of power generation, including more than 54 million kilowatt-hours for its Washington, D.C., facilities; nearly 14 million kilowatt-hours for its Las Vegas, Nevada, facilities; more than 7 million kilowatt-hours for its facilities in Duluth, Minnesota; and more than 2 million kilowatt-hours for its facilities in Grosse Isle, Michigan. The solicitation was announced by the Defense Energy Support Center on April 8th; proposals are due on May 17th. See the solicitation.

      The solicitation follows a similar one issued earlier this year, which requested 12.45 million kilowatt-hours over three years for the EPA's Athens Regional Laboratory in Athens, Georgia, and another 21 million kilowatt-hours over three years for the EPA Regional Office in Atlanta, Georgia. According to DOE's Green Power Network, those contracts were awarded in March to 3 Phases Energy, which is producing the power from landfill gas projects in Kentucky and North Carolina. As of that procurement, the EPA was reportedly buying about 122.5 million kilowatt-hours of green power products for its facilities each year, accounting for more than 44 percent of EPA's electricity use. If the new procurement goes through as planned, that percentage will increase to about 53 percent. See the Georgia solicitation and the Green Power Network news item.

      Tradable renewable energy credits also called "green tags" represent the environmental attributes of renewable power. Typically, renewable energy producers will sell renewable energy credits when they wish to sell their power into the commodity electricity markets. Groups or individuals that buy the credits can then claim that they have offset their energy use by purchasing renewable energy. For more information, see the Green-e Web site.

      New 3-Megawatt Landfill Gas Project Online in Wisconsin

      Dairyland Power Cooperative and Eau Claire Energy Cooperative announced last week that a new 3-megawatt landfill-gas-to-energy project is now online in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Dairyland is buying the waste gas from the Seven Mile Creek Landfill and converting it into electricity in a facility designed and built by Ameresco. Dairyland is also working to install anaerobic digesters at several dairy farms in its service territory. The digesters convert manure into a biogas that is used to produce electricity, and are expected to begin producing power later this year. See the Dairyland press release.

      Anaerobic digestion has been gaining momentum in the Midwest, and new projects are starting up in other states outside the region. In Idaho, for instance, Intrepid Technology and Resources, Inc. is planning to build an anaerobic digestion complex north of Rupert that will convert the manure from 4,000 dairy cows into a biogas. The company plans to sell the biogas as a heating fuel and is establishing a test center to develop and commercialize new commercial uses of the biogas, which is primarily methane. And thanks to a grant from the DOE-funded State Technologies Advancement Collaborative, southern New Mexico will soon get its first anaerobic digester. The New Mexico Energy Conservation Management Division (ECMD) is leading a partnership to build a digester that will use low amounts of water to convert 5,000 tons of cow manure each year into about 1,500 kilowatt-hours of electricity. See the press releases from Intrepid and the New Mexico ECMD (PDF 137 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.

      DOE Retains MRI to Run the National Renewable Energy Laboratory

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      NREL's Solar Energy Research Facility incorporates solar energy and energy efficiency technologies.
      Credit: Warren Gretz, NREL

      DOE officials signed a contract last week that will allow the Midwest Research Institute (MRI) to continue operating and managing DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for another four years. MRI, a not-for-profit research institute headquartered in Kansas City, has managed NREL since 1977. Battelle Memorial Institute is also part of the NREL management team.

      Located in Golden, Colorado, NREL has a permanent staff of roughly 1,000. NREL is the nation's primary laboratory for research and development of solar, wind, hydrogen, and biomass energy, as well as biofuels and energy-efficient buildings. See the NREL Web site.

      "The work performed by NREL is absolutely critical to our national security," said Deputy Energy Secretary Kyle McSlarrow, who participated in the signing ceremony. "Developing reliable, affordable domestic sources of energy and using energy more efficiently are the only ways we can reduce our reliance on imported oil." See the DOE press release.

      Energy Connections

      EIA: World Energy Use to Grow 54 Percent by 2025

      Strong growth in energy use in developing nations particularly in Asia is expected to drive world energy use up 54 percent by 2025, according to DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA's "International Energy Outlook 2004," released last week, projects a 91 percent increase in energy use in developing countries between 2001 and 2025. In contrast, energy use in the industrialized countries is expected to grow about 33 percent.

      EIA projects the increased energy demand to cause oil production to increase 57 percent by 2025, accompanied by a 67 percent increase in natural gas production, a 51 percent increase in coal production, and a doubling in worldwide electricity use. The report projects a 57 percent growth in renewable energy over the same time period, which means that renewable energy will continue to hold about the same share of the world's energy market. However, the EIA noted that its projections would change if government policies and programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are established. Under the current scenario, emissions of carbon dioxide the primary greenhouse gas increase 55 percent by 2025. See the EIA press release and the full report.

      EIA's projection is down slightly from last year, when the agency projected a 56 percent growth in world energy use by 2025. Last year's report also projected a slightly lower growth in oil production, but a much larger increase in natural gas production. See the story from the May 7th, 2003, edition of this newsletter.

      This newsletter is funded by DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and is also available on the EERE news page. You can subscribe to the EERE Network News using our simple online form, and you can also update your email address or unsubscribe online.

      If you have questions or comments about this newsletter, please contact the editor, Kevin Eber, at kevin_eber@....
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