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EERE Network News -- 12/15/04

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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 , Dec 15, 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:

      December 15, 2004

      News and Events

      * Sam Bodman Nominated as Secretary of Energy
      * General Motors and DaimlerChrysler to Team Up on Hybrid Vehicles
      * Honda Debuts Its Third Hybrid Vehicle, the Accord Hybrid
      * Bay-Area Postal Facilities to Combine Efficiency, Fuel Cell, and
      Solar Power
      * Major Corporations Buy 62 Megawatts of Green Power in 2004
      * Wood Products Companies in Oregon Achieve Big Energy Savings

      Site News

      * Waste-to-Energy Research and Technology Council

      Energy Connections

      * U.S. Dependence on Imported Energy to Grow by 2025


      News and Events

      Editor's Note: The EERE Network News will take the next two weeks off for
      the holidays. We'll be back on January 5th; until then, we wish you a happy
      and energy efficient holiday, with hope that the New Year brings you
      renewed energy!

      Sam Bodman Nominated as Secretary of Energy



      Photo of Sam Bodman behind a podium, with President Bush lookin

      Sam Bodman accepts President Bush's nomination.
      Credit: Paul Morse, White House

      President George W. Bush nominated Sam Bodman as the new Secretary of
      Energy last week. Described by President Bush as a "problem solver," Bodman
      has worked as a professor of chemical engineering at the Massachusetts
      Institute of Technology, as the president of an investment firm, and as the
      chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Cabot Corporation, a global
      chemical company. Over the past four years, Bodman has served the Bush
      administration as Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Deputy Secretary of the
      Treasury. At the Department of Commerce, Deputy Secretary Bodman had
      oversight of three important science and technology agencies: the National
      Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Patent and Trademark Office,
      and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

      Both President Bush and Bodman expressed gratitude toward departing Energy
      Secretary Spencer Abraham­the longest-serving Energy Secretary yet­who in
      turn welcomed Bodman. See the press releases from the
      House and
      and see <http://www.commerce.gov/bios/bodman_bio.html>Bodman's biography on
      the Department of Commerce Web site.

      There has also been a change to the senior staff at DOE's Office of Energy
      Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Douglas Kaempf is returning as
      program manager for the Biomass Program, and three people are taking on
      positions as acting program managers: David Rodgers for the Industrial
      Technologies Program, Patricia Hoffman for the Federal Energy Management
      Program, and Deborah Haught for the Distributed Energy Program. See the
      revised EERE organization chart
      (<http://www.eere.energy.gov/office_eere/pdfs/orgchart_05.pdf>PDF 92 KB).
      <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/alternate.html>Download Acrobat Reader.

      General Motors and DaimlerChrysler to Team Up on Hybrid Vehicles

      DaimlerChrysler AG (DCX) and General Motors Corporation (GM) announced on
      Monday that they will work together to develop a hybrid propulsion system
      for use in GM, Chrysler Group and Mercedes Car Group vehicles. Although
      both companies have been working independently on their own hybrid
      propulsion systems, they have signed a non-binding "memorandum of
      understanding" for the joint hybrid project and intend to enter into a
      definitive agreement in early 2005. See the
      press release.

      The companies will be working on a patent-protected hybrid system that
      incorporates two electric motors into an electrically variable
      transmission, creating a system that uses much smaller motors than today's
      hybrid vehicles. The system appears to be modeled on a drive for buses and
      other transit vehicles developed by Allison Transmission and used by GM in
      its hybrid electric buses, since both the system under development and the
      Allison system are described as "two-mode" hybrid systems. The Allison
      system uses the electric power of the motors to accelerate from a stop,
      then uses the engine to assist at higher speeds. At high speeds, the engine
      will power the vehicle without help from the motors. Both the motors and
      the engine can independently drive the wheels. See the
      of Allison's hybrid drive on the Allison Transmission Web site.

      Honda Debuts Its Third Hybrid Vehicle, the Accord Hybrid

      The 2005 Honda Accord Hybrid went on sale in the United States last week.
      Honda's third hybrid vehicle carries a manufacturer's suggested retail
      price (MSRP) of $29,990. The vehicle comes standard with a large number of
      luxury add-ons that make it essentially equivalent (with the exception of a
      moon roof) to a Honda Accord EX V-6, which carries an MSRP of $26,700.
      Based on that comparison, the markup for the hybrid system is about $3,290.
      The Accord Hybrid with a 5-speed automatic transmission has earned fuel
      economy ratings from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of 29
      miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.

      The Accord Hybrid employs the third generation of Honda's hybrid propulsion
      system in combination with its new cylinder deactivation technology, which
      shuts down three of the cylinders while cruising. The vehicle generates 255
      peak horsepower (hp)­6 percent more than the Accord V-6 Sedan­with "a
      remarkably broad and flat torque curve," according to Honda. See the
      <http://hondanews.com/CatID2128?mid=2004121041348&mime=asc>Honda press release.

      Photo of a room full of SMART cars undergoing modifications.

      SMART cars are being upgraded to U.S. standards at a California facility in
      preparation for going on sale in early 2005.Credit: ZAP

      While Honda launches its largest and most powerful hybrid to date, ZAP, a
      seller of advanced-technology vehicles, is preparing to market the tiny
      SMART two-passenger vehicle in the United States. The vehicle is
      manufactured in France by smart gmbh, a DaimlerChrysler company, and ZAP
      has earned approval from the EPA and the U.S. Department of Transportation
      to sell a modified version in the United States. The SMART features a
      six-speed transmission and a 61-hp, 3-cylinder turbocharged engine.
      Although ZAP claims the SMART achieves 60 mpg, EPA tests pegged it at 37
      mpg. ZAP intends to start selling the SMART in early 2005 and is currently
      auctioning off one vehicle on e-Bay. See the
      <http://www.zapworld.com/about/news.asp>ZAP press releases and
      <http://www.zapworld.com/cars/smartCar.asp>SMART Web page.

      Bay-Area Postal Facilities to Combine Efficiency, Fuel Cell, and Solar Power

      Chevron Energy Solutions announced in early December that it will complete
      major energy efficiency upgrades and install a fuel cell and two solar
      power systems at the U.S. Postal Service's largest mail processing and
      distribution facilities in San Francisco: the San Francisco Processing and
      Distribution Center and the Embarcadero Postal Center. The energy
      efficiency measures will include new energy management and compressed air
      systems, lighting retrofits, and upgrades to the heating, ventilation and
      air conditioning systems. Chevron Energy Solutions will also upgrade the
      Processing and Distribution Center with high-efficiency natural gas cooking
      equipment for the cafeteria.

      That facility will also host a new hybrid solar/fuel cell power plant
      comprised of a 250-kilowatt fuel cell, a 100-kilowatt roof-mounted solar
      power system, and a 185-kilowatt solar power system mounted on a parking
      canopy that will track the sun. FuelCell Energy, Inc. will provide the fuel

      The improvements at both facilities will cut power purchases by about 10
      million kilowatt-hours­a 46 percent reduction. In addition, the energy
      efficiency upgrades will reduce the heating needs by 69 percent at the San
      Francisco Processing and Distribution Center and by 28 percent at the
      Embarcadero Postal Center. See the press releases from
      Energy Solutions and
      <http://ir.ccbn.com/ir.zhtml?t=FCEL&s=412&item_id=648858>FuelCell Energy.

      Major Corporations Buy 62 Megawatts of Green Power in 2004

      The World Resources Institute (WRI) announced last week that the members of
      its Green Power Market Development Group have bought 62 megawatts (MW) of
      electricity from renewable energy sources over the past year. The Green
      Power Group is a WRI project that established a unique partnership
      dedicated to building corporate markets for green power. Its members are
      Alcoa Inc., Cargill Dow LLC, Delphi Corporation, The Dow Chemical Company,
      DuPont, FedEx Kinko's, General Motors Corporation, IBM, Interface Inc.,
      Johnson & Johnson, Pitney Bowes, and Staples.

      The 62 MW of green power­enough to power 46,000 homes­represents purchases
      made for more than 80 facilities in 18 states. It includes 39 MW of
      certified renewable energy credits (supporting 21 MW of biomass power and
      18 MW of wind power), 21 MW of power from landfill gas (supported by DuPont
      and Johnson & Johnson), and 2 MW of wind and solar power installed at
      facilities owned by Johnson & Johnson and IBM. In addition, Staples is
      installing two 280-kilowatt solar power systems at facilities in
      California. According to WRI, five of the Green Power Group members now
      draw on renewable energy for 10 percent or more of their power needs in the
      United States. See the
      <http://climate.wri.org/newsrelease_text.cfm?NewsReleaseID=313>WRI press

      Wood Products Companies in Oregon Achieve Big Energy Savings

      Three wood products companies in Oregon have proven that there are many
      routes to energy savings. Roseburg Forest Products installed a new "rolling
      screen" system to sort wood pieces for manufacturing particleboard,
      replacing steam-driven refiners and saving about 22 million kilowatt-hours
      of electricity per year. Cascade Wood Products installed new systems for
      dust collection, air compression, and lighting, saving nearly 2 million
      kilowatt-hours per year. Both companies received financial incentives from
      the Energy Trust of Oregon and expect to receive Business Energy Tax
      Credits and other rebates from the State of Oregon. Weyerhouser Company
      also saved about 1.3 million kilowatt-hours per year at its sawmill in
      Coburg by upgrading the facility's compressed air system. That success
      story is documented in a BestPractices Case Study, produced by DOE's
      Industrial Technologies Program. See the Energy Trust of Oregon press
      34 KB) and the BestPractices Case Study
      385 KB). <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/alternate.html>Download
      Acrobat Reader.

      With today's high cost of energy, all types of industries are pursuing
      energy-saving projects. For instance, the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) is
      testing a gas-fired paper dryer at Liberty Paper Inc., a paper manufacturer
      in Minnesota. According to GTI, that technology could cut energy use at
      paper mills by 7 percent. Ohio recently presented its Awards for Excellence
      in Energy Efficiency, and included among the winners was Anheuser Busch,
      Inc., which is generating methane from its brewery wastewater and feeding
      it back into its boilers. In 2003, the system collected more than 200
      million cubic feet of methane gas. Delphi Corporation also won an award for
      its plastic injection molding facility. By replacing its molding machines
      with all-electric models, it saved 11.7 million kilowatt-hours per year.
      See the press releases from
      and the <http://www.odod.state.oh.us/newsroom/releases/1113.asp>Ohio
      Department of Development.

      Looking ahead, DOE's Industrial Technologies Program just selected six
      facilities for plant-wide assessments, which investigate energy-saving
      opportunities and projects. The facilities include a synthetic fiber plant
      in South Carolina, owned by Shaw Industries Group, Inc.; a cement plant in
      Arizona, owned by the California Portland Cement Company; a fiberglass
      plant in Ohio, owned by Johns Manville; a chemical plant in West Virginia,
      owned by PPG Industries; a chicken processing plant in Texas, owned by
      Pilgrim's Pride Corporation; and 10 die casting plants owned by eight
      companies. See the
      from the Industrial Technologies Program.


      Site News

      <http://www.seas.columbia.edu/earth/wtert/>Waste-to-Energy Research and
      Technology Council

      The Waste-to-Energy Research and Technology Council (WTERT) is an
      organization of industry, government, and university researchers that works
      to advance the economic and environmental performance of waste-to-energy
      technologies. Its <http://www.seas.columbia.edu/earth/wtert/>Web site
      offers answers to frequently asked questions, research, and links to
      international industry contacts.

      Energy Connections

      U.S. Dependence on Imported Energy to Grow by 2025

      A growing U.S. thirst for oil and natural gas will draw increasingly on
      foreign imports over the next 20 years, according to the DOE's Energy
      Information Administration (EIA). The EIA's "Annual Energy Outlook 2005,"
      released last week, says that by 2025, as much as 68 percent of the U.S.
      petroleum demand could depend on imported oil, up from 56 percent in 2003.
      Meanwhile, U.S. natural gas consumption will increase by 9 trillion cubic
      feet, a 41 percent increase, of which 6.4 trillion cubic feet are expected
      to come from imported liquefied natural gas (LNG). That will cause LNG
      imports to increase 16-fold from the 2003 level of 0.4 trillion cubic feet.
      Meanwhile, the amount of electricity produced from renewable
      energy­including large-scale hydropower and combined heat and power
      generation­is projected to grow only 1.4 percent per year, increasing from
      359 billion kilowatt-hours in 2003 to 489 billion kilowatt-hours in 2025.
      See the <http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/press/press244.html>EIA press release
      and the early release of the
      "<http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/index.html>Annual Energy Outlook 2005."

      This newsletter is funded by DOE's <http://www.eere.energy.gov/>Office of
      Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and is also available on the
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