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EERE Network News -- 11/10/04

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  • EERE Network News by way of Tom Gray
    [] [] A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 11, 2004
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      A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE)
      <http://www.eere.energy.gov/>Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable
      Energy (EERE). The EERE Network News is also available on the Web at:
      <http://www.eere.energy.gov/news/>www.eere.energy.gov/news/


      November 10, 2004




      News and Events

      * DOE to Help Install Concentrating Solar Power in the West
      * Colorado Voters Approve Renewable Energy Requirement
      * Voters in 11 States Pass Transit Measures
      * Pennsylvania Awards $5 million in Clean Energy Grants
      * Study Finds Low Impact from Massachusetts Offshore Wind Farm


      Site News

      * Clean Energy States Alliance


      Energy Connections

      * Russian Ratification Brings Kyoto Protocol Into Effect
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      News and Events




      DOE to Help Install Concentrating Solar Power in the West

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      Photo of row upon row of trough-shaped mirrors gathering sunlig


      This concentrating solar power plant, built in California in the 1980s, may
      be joined by 1000 megawatts of similar plants by 2010.
      Credit: Warren Gretz, NREL

      DOE announced last week that it will support efforts to install a total of
      1000 megawatts of concentrating solar power (CSP) systems in seven western
      states by 2010. CSP systems involve focusing and collecting the sun's heat
      and converting it into electricity, and are best suited for hot, sunny
      desert climates. With that in mind, the Western Governor's Association
      (WGA) is backing a five-year, $1,860,000 effort to encourage CSP
      installations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas,
      and Utah. Through a cooperative, cost-shared agreement with WGA, DOE's
      Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will provide $90,000 for
      the first year and offer its CSP expertise over the life of the project.
      WGA and the involved states will provide $61,690 toward the project in the
      first year, and WGA expects to provide additional funding in the future.

      During the project's first year, participants expect to form a stakeholder
      group, develop a process by which stakeholders in the region can achieve
      the 1000-megawatt goal, and possibly form a utility consortium. The effort
      supports on-going projects in several states, including a 1-megawatt CSP
      plant being built in Arizona, a 50-megawatt CSP plant slated for Nevada in
      2005, a New Mexico task force to determine the most appropriate CSP
      technology for the state, and a California task force that is developing a
      wide-ranging strategy to advance solar energy. See the
      <http://www.energy.gov/engine/content.do?PUBLIC_ID=16846&BT_CODE=PR_PRESSRELEASES&TT_CODE=PRESSRELEASE>DOE
      press release, and for more information about CSP technologies, see DOE's
      <http://www.eere.energy.gov/solar/csp.html>Solar Energy Technologies Web site.


      Colorado Voters Approve Renewable Energy Requirement

      Colorado voters approved a ballot initiative last week that requires the
      state's largest utilities to draw on renewable energy for 10 percent of
      their power needs by 2015. The measure is the first voter-approved
      statewide renewable energy requirement in the United States, and is a clear
      indicator of public support for renewable energy. The measure also requires
      solar power to provide 4 percent of the renewable energy, and half of the
      solar power must be located at customers' facilities. To encourage their
      customers to install solar power, the utilities must offer a rebate of $2
      per watt for systems up to 100 kilowatts in capacity, and must allow the
      customers' solar power generation to earn credit against their power use, a
      concept known as net metering. The initiative requires the Colorado Public
      Utilities Commission to initiate a rulemaking process before April 1st and
      have the new rules in place a year later. See the
      <http://www.environmentcolorado.org/envcoenergy.asp?id2=14740>press release
      from Environment Colorado or download the full text of the initiative
      (<http://environmentcolorado.org/pdfs/InitiativeLanguage.pdf>PDF 24 KB).
      <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/alternate.html>Download Acrobat Reader.

      According to Platts, an energy information company owned by McGraw-Hill,
      the Colorado renewable energy initiative will require a total of 1,200
      megawatts of wind power capacity in Colorado by 2015. Although biomass,
      geothermal, and solar energy also qualify to meet the requirement, as well
      as fuel cells powered with renewable-generated hydrogen, Platts argues that
      wind power is the lowest-cost choice for the state. Platts also estimates
      the measure could result in 80 megawatts of new solar power in the state.
      See the
      <http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/releases/platts/20041105.shtml>McGraw-Hill
      press release.


      Voters in 11 States Pass Transit Measures

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      Photo of a bus in a transit station


      This hybrid-electric bus, built in Europe by Irisbus, is designed for bus
      rapid transit systems.
      Credit: Leslie Eudy, NREL

      Voters throughout the country showed their support for transit systems on
      Election Day. Of 31 transit-related ballot initiatives in 12 states, 22
      were approved and 2 remain too close to call, according to the Center for
      Transportation Excellence (CFTE), a non-partisan policy research center. At
      least one transit measure passed in each of 11 states: Arizona, California,
      Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia,
      Washington, and West Virginia. See the
      <http://www.cfte.org/success/2004elections.asp#November>CFTE press advisory
      and <http://www.cfte.org/success/2004BallotMeasures.asp>summary of ballot
      measures.

      Among the winning measures is a plan to improve bus service and add 27
      miles of light rail in Phoenix, Arizona; a measure to expand train service
      and develop express bus and bus rapid transit systems in San Bernardino,
      California; a 12-year plan to expand bus service, add bus rapid transit,
      and build 119 miles of new light rail and commuter rail in Denver,
      Colorado; and an effort to convert existing railroad track into a commuter
      line in Austin, Texas. But one measure that passed was actually a defeat
      for transit, and one measure that failed was a victory: Florida voters
      approved a measure to stop high-speed rail development in the state, while
      voters in Seattle, Washington, defeated a proposal to stop the Seattle
      Monorail project, thereby allowing the project to move ahead. See the
      summaries of the <http://www.maricopa2020.com/theplan/index.asp>Phoenix,
      <http://www.sanbag.ca.gov/meas-i_central.html>San Bernardino, and
      <http://www.rtd-denver.com/fastracks/>Denver plans; the
      <http://www.capmetro.org/news/news_detail.asp?id=208>press release from
      Austin's Capital Metro Transit; and the
      <http://www.floridahighspeedrail.org/>Florida High-Speed Rail and
      <http://www.elevated.org/>Seattle Monorail Project Web sites.


      Pennsylvania Awards $5 million in Clean Energy Grants

      Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced last
      week its award of $5 million to 34 advanced energy projects, marking the
      second round of funding for the state's Clean Energy Harvest initiative.
      The grants will go toward a wide range of projects, including a variety of
      biomass energy projects, four small wind turbines, a wind-driven composting
      facility, eight projects to install a variety of solar power systems, a
      solar- and wind-powered water pumping system, a solar-powered greenhouse
      with a corn-fired furnace, a solar desiccant heat pump, a green roof
      installation, a high-performance green school, a truck stop electrification
      system (which helps avoid unnecessary idling by trucks), and a microturbine
      fueled with methane recovered from the mouth of a coal mine.

      The biomass energy projects include six anaerobic digesters; an effort to
      provide heating, cooling, and power from advanced anaerobic digesters at
      five industrial sites; a project to recover energy from a wastewater
      treatment plant effluent; a landfill gas system; the installation of a
      wood-fired heat and hot water system; an effort to turn trap grease into
      motor fuel and heating oil; an attempt to convert mushroom compost into
      ethanol and electricity; and a project to build the market for biofuels in
      the state. See the
      <http://www.dep.state.pa.us/newsreleases/default.asp?ID=3188&varQueryType=Detail>DEP
      press release.


      Study Finds Low Impact from Massachusetts Offshore Wind Farm

      Cape Wind LLC's proposed wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts will have
      minimal environmental impact, according to the draft Environmental Impact
      Statement (EIS) released yesterday by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The
      3,800-page report is the product of three years of scientific,
      environmental, and economic analysis and includes the input of 17 federal,
      state, and local agencies.

      Cape Wind first proposed the 454-megawatt wind facility in Nantucket Sound
      in 2002. To examine possible alternatives, the Corps identified 17 other
      possible locations for the wind plant, then narrowed that list to the four
      best alternatives. According to Cape Wind, the study finds the Nantucket
      Sound site on Horseshoe Shoal to be technically, environmentally, and
      economically preferable to the other sites. See the announcements from the
      Corps (<http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/news/2004-105.pdf>PDF 28 KB) and
      <http://www.capewind.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=280&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0>Cape
      Wind, or go directly to the
      <http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/projects/ma/ccwf/deis.htm>draft EIS.
      <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/alternate.html>Download Acrobat Reader.
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      Site News




      <http://www.cleanenergystates.org/>Clean Energy States Alliance

      The Clean Energy States Alliance is a multistate coalition of clean energy
      funds that develops and promotes clean energy technologies and creates and
      expands markets for these technologies. Twelve states have established
      funds to promote renewable energy and clean energy technologies. The Clean
      Energy States Alliance provides information and technical services to these
      funds and works with them to build and expand clean energy markets in the
      United States. See the <http://www.cleanenergystates.org/>Clean Energy
      States Alliance Web site.
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      Energy Connections




      Russian Ratification Brings Kyoto Protocol Into Effect

      Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law last week to ratify the Kyoto
      Protocol, which will soon bring the international agreement into effect.
      The Protocol contains legally binding greenhouse gas emissions targets for
      36 industrialized countries, requiring them to reduce their collective
      emissions of six key greenhouse gases by at least 5 percent by 2012,
      compared to 1990 levels. According to the Secretariat of the United Nations
      Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the final step in the
      ratification process will be the deposit of the formal instrument of
      ratification with the Secretary-General of the United Nations in New York,
      an event expected to occur in the coming weeks. The Kyoto Protocol will
      enter into force 90 days after that. Although the United States is not
      participating in the Kyoto Protocol, the agreement is expected to result in
      an international emissions-trading system among developed countries and
      will encourage those countries to finance sustainable energy projects in
      developing countries. See the <http://unfccc.int/2860.php>UNFCCC Web site.

      Russia's ratification came just before Monday's release of the Arctic
      Climate Impact Report, a four-year scientific assessment commissioned by
      the International Arctic Science Committee and the Arctic Council. The
      Arctic Council is a ministerial intergovernmental forum comprised of the
      eight nations that ring the Arctic, including the United States and Russia,
      plus six organizations representing the indigenous Arctic tribes. The study
      finds that the Arctic is warming at nearly twice the rate of the rest of
      the globe, causing the impacts of global warming to be in greater evidence
      there. See the <http://amap.no/acia/>report and associated press releases
      on the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program Web site.
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