EERE Network News -- 06/02/04
A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The EERE Network News is also available on the Web at: www.eere.energy.gov/news/
June 02, 2004
- DuPont and Tate & Lyle to Produce Products from Corn
- GM Delivers 235 Hybrid Buses to King County, Washington
- Long Island Power to Negotiate with FPL Energy for Offshore Wind Plant
- World Conferences Focus on Renewable Energy
- Energy Star Expands to Include Commercial Building Design
- EERE Launches Web Site Survey
- European Union Falling Short on Renewable Energy Targets
BioProducts, LLC, plans to construct its initial commercial manufacturing plant adjacent to an existing facility in Loudon, Tennessee, with startup scheduled for 2006. A pilot facility in Decatur, Illinois, has been operating for several years.
The joint venture will use a proprietary fermentation and purification process developed jointly by DuPont and Tate & Lyle to produce 1,3 propanediol (PDO), the key building block for DuPont Sorona polymer. Sorona polymer can be used in a variety of applications, including textile apparel, interiors, engineering resins, and packaging. The new bio-based technology uses less energy and employs renewable resources, replacing the need for traditional petrochemicals now used to produce PDO. See the DuPont press release.
DuPont announced in October 2003 that it is working with DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory to create an integrated "biorefinery" that would produce fuels and chemicals from corn or other organic materials. That announcement also mentioned the use of corn-based PDO to produce DuPont's Sorona polymer. See the story from the October 8th edition of this newsletter.
A GM hybrid-electric bus takes to the streets of Seattle.
Credit: Ned Ahrens, King County
General Motors Corporation (GM) announced last week its delivery of 235 hybrid diesel-electric buses to King County, Washington, home to the city of Seattle. According to GM, that's the largest order of hybrid buses yet. King County Metro Transit will operate 213 of the buses making it the country's largest hybrid bus fleet while Sound Transit Regional Express will operate the remaining 22 buses. The GM hybrid buses deliver 60 percent greater fuel economy than conventional transit buses, and can reduce certain emissions up to 90 percent. The new buses will begin going into service this weekend. See the press releases from GM and King County.
The proposed Long Island facility will use GE's 3.6-megawatt wind turbine, shown here installed off the coast of Ireland.
Credit: Robert Thresher, NREL
The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) unveiled its comprehensive plan to meet the island's energy needs last week, including new details on the utility's plan to develop an offshore wind power plant. In January 2003, LIPA requested bids for an offshore wind plant that would produce 100 to 140 megawatts of power. According to the newly released plan, LIPA is now planning to negotiate with FPL Energy on its proposal to build a 140-megawatt wind energy facility using 39 of General Electric's 3.6-megawatt wind turbines. The facility would be located three miles southwest of Robert Moses State Park, which is on the far western tip of Fire Island. LIPA notes that the project "will undergo extensive environmental and regulatory review by numerous regulatory entities before any construction can begin."
LIPA's energy plans aren't just for offshore wind power, however. LIPA is also planning to contract with six companies for a wide range of energy efficiency services, which are expected to yield 73 megawatts of long-term energy savings. LIPA will also pursue three new fossil-fueled power plants on Long Island, as well as a 660-megawatt power cable that will connect the island to power sources in New Jersey. All of the energy proposals still need to go before the LIPA Board of Trustees for approval. See the LIPA press release.
To date, no offshore wind plant has been built in the United States, although at least 10 have been built in Europe. Currently, the only other offshore wind energy project that is making serious progress is the 420-megawatt Cape Wind project, proposed for Horseshoe Shoal, five miles off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Cape Wind Associates, LLC is currently in the process of applying for permits for the project. See the Cape Wind Web site.
renewables 2004 and ACORE Web sites.
In late August, the international energy spotlight will swing over to Denver, Colorado, where the World Renewable Energy Congress (WREC) will take place from August 29th through September 3rd. Held every two years, the Congress provides an international forum that attracts several hundred delegates from nearly 100 countries. This year's plenary speakers, announced last week, include Stephen Timms, the U.K. Minister of State for Energy, e-commerce, and Postal Services. An Energy Technology Expo is also running in conjunction with the Congress. See the WREC Web site.
Looking for something a bit more hands-on? Try the Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. Held from June 18th to the 20th in Custer, Wisconsin, the fair features more than 100 workshops, working demonstrations of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, and a wide variety of energy-saving products. The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) sponsors the fair, and more information is available on the MREA Web site.
EPA press release and the Energy Star New Building Design Web page.
EERE Web site survey.
European Union Falling Short on Renewable Energy TargetsAs the International Conference for Renewable Energies takes place in Bonn (see above article), attendees are facing some unpleasant news from the European Commission: the European Union (EU) members are falling short of their renewable energy commitments. The commission projects that renewable energy will provide 18 to 19 percent of the electricity needs for the 15 original EU members (the "EU15") by 2010, short of the 22-percent target. The analysis shows that only Denmark, Finland, Germany, and Spain are meeting their targets. The EU15 also have a goal of meeting 12 percent of their total energy needs with renewable energy, but the commission says that at best, a 10 percent share will be achieved. To remedy the situation, the commission is calling for a stronger commitment from the EU countries. See the European Commission press release.
The EU is also falling short on meeting its Kyoto Protocol targets for limiting greenhouse gas emissions, according to a report released by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in December 2003. The EEA projected that EU nations (meaning the EU15) would reduce their emissions to only 0.5 percent below 1990 levels by 2010, far short of the goal to cut emissions to 8.0 percent below 1990 levels. The EEA says the increase in emissions from transportation, especially from road vehicles, was the main reason for the emissions increase. On the bright side, the EEA found that the EU15 could pull to within 0.5 percent of the goal if a number of policies and measures planned in 11 EU countries were put in effect. See the EEA press release or go directly to the full report.
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