EERE Network News -- 04/21/04
A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
April 21, 2004
- DOE and Brazil to Cooperate on Hydrogen Energy Research
- Western Governors Call for More Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
- Four Companies Launch New Mexico Solar Energy Project
- EPA to Buy Renewable Energy Credits for Multiple Facilities
- New 3-Megawatt Landfill Gas Project Online in Wisconsin
- DOE Retains MRI to Run the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- EIA: World Energy Use to Grow 54 Percent by 2025
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
EIA: World Energy Use to Grow 54 Percent by 2025Strong 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.
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