EERE Network News -- 12/15/04
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
* Major Corporations Buy 62 Megawatts of Green Power in 2004
* Wood Products Companies in Oregon Achieve Big Energy Savings
* Waste-to-Energy Research and Technology Council
* 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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
<http://www.seas.columbia.edu/earth/wtert/>Waste-to-Energy Research and
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.
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."
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