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EERE Network News -- 01/12/05

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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 , Jan 12, 2005
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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:

      January 12, 2005

      News and Events

      * Ford Commits to Four New Hybrid Vehicles in Next Three Years
      * Ford Escape Hybrid Named 2005 Truck of the Year
      * General Motors Unveils the Fuel-Cell-Powered "Sequel"
      * Energy Star Sets New Guidelines for External Power Supplies
      * USDA Publishes Rules for Federal Purchasing of Bioproducts
      * Student's Wave Energy Invention Wins National Award
      * Editor's Note on New Jersey Clean Energy Funds

      Site News

      * National Fuel Cell Education Program

      Energy Connections

      * Groups Push Competing Proposals for the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline

      News and Events

      Ford Commits to Four New Hybrid Vehicles in Next Three Years

      Ford Motor Company announced Monday that it will launch four new hybrid
      electric vehicles over the next three years, starting with the Mercury
      Mariner Hybrid sport utility vehicle (SUV), which will go on sale later
      this year. That vehicle will be followed by the Mazda Tribute Hybrid SUV in
      2007 and the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Mercury Milan Hybrid mid-size sedans in
      2008. All four will be "full" hybrids, which operate in electric-only mode
      at low speeds. See the
      press release.

      Photo of the Mercury Meta One.

      The Mercury Meta One is one of several hybrid-electric concept cars on
      display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
      Credit: Ford Motor Company

      Ford made the announcement at the North American International Auto Show
      (NAIAS) in Detroit, where Ford also unveiled its Mercury Meta One concept
      car, a hybrid vehicle that uses a twin-turbocharged V-6 diesel engine to
      produce as much torque as a V-10 gasoline engine, but with much lower fuel
      consumption. Ford claims the vehicle can also meet strict emission
      standards. See the
      <http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=19835>Ford press release.

      General Motors Corporation (GM) also announced during the auto show that it
      will make 12 different hybrid models in the future, based on its
      highest-volume global car and truck platforms and using three distinct
      hybrid propulsion systems. GM unveiled two hybrid-electric concept
      vehicles: the Opel Astra Diesel Hybrid, which combines Opel's 1.7-liter
      diesel engine with one 30-kilowatt and one 40-kilowatt motor, achieving 25
      percent better fuel economy in the two-door sedan; and the GMC Graphyte
      SUV, which combines two electric motors with a V-8 engine featuring GM's
      Displacement on Demand technology. Both vehicles use GM's two-mode full
      hybrid system, which will be incorporated into the GMC Yukon and Chevy
      Tahoe in 2007. GM announced in December that it would work with
      DaimlerChrysler AG to further develop the two-mode hybrid system for a
      variety of vehicles. See the GM press releases for the
      Astra Diesel Hybrid and the
      Graphyte. For additional information on the two concept vehicles, including
      photos, select "Concepts" on the
      <http://www.gm.com/company/gm_exp_live/events/naias_2005/>GM 2005 NAIAS Web
      page, or you can view the
      or peruse the <http://media.gm.com/events/autoshows/05naias/atv.html>text
      of GM's press conference at the NAIAS.

      Ford Escape Hybrid Named 2005 Truck of the Year


      Photo of the Ford Escape Hybrid with wind turbines in the backg

      The Ford Escape Hybrid is the 2005 North American Truck of the Year.
      Credit: Ford Motor Company

      While the North American International Auto Show is partly dedicated to
      looking toward the future of automobiles, participants also take time to
      recognize the best vehicles of the present, and this year, the Ford Escape
      Hybrid has been named the 2005 North American Truck of the Year. The North
      American Truck of the Year award is designed to recognize the most
      outstanding truck of the year based on factors including innovation,
      design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction, and value for the dollar. A
      panel of 50 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada
      determines the award winner. Ford has sold 4,000 Escape Hybrids to date.
      See the
      press release.

      Last year's North American Car of the Year, the Toyota Prius, remained a
      big seller throughout the year. Toyota announced in early January that
      Prius sales reached 53,991, an increase of 118.5 percent over sales in
      2003. North America's third hybrid-vehicle seller, Honda, continues to
      achieve brisk sales as well, selling 27,215 hybrid vehicles in 2004, of
      which 25,571 were Civic Hybrids, 583 were Insights, and 1,061 were Accord
      Hybrids, which went on sale late in the year. Honda has sold 74,608 hybrid
      vehicles since the Insight went on sale in December 1999. See the press
      releases from
      and <http://www.hondanews.com/CatID1001?mid=2005010455134&mime=asc>Honda.

      General Motors Unveils the Fuel-Cell-Powered "Sequel"

      General Motors Corporation (GM) unveiled its latest fuel-cell-powered
      concept car, the Sequel, at the North American International Auto Show
      (NAIAS) on Sunday. Named because it's "a sequel to the first 100 years of
      the automobile," the Sequel achieves a 300-mile range and can accelerate to
      60 miles per hour in less than 10 seconds, according to GM. The company
      aims to design and validate a competitive fuel cell propulsion system by 2010.

      The Sequel draws on GM's latest fuel cell stack—25 percent more powerful
      than its previous model—to deliver 73 kilowatts of power. A 60-kilowatt
      motor drives the front wheels, while a 25-kilowatt motor is mounted in each
      of the rear wheel hubs. A high-voltage lithium-ion battery system, supplied
      by Saft, provides 65 kilowatts of power, boosting power to the three
      electric motors during acceleration while storing power regenerated during
      braking. Sequel's 300-mile range is made possible by advances in
      high-pressure storage that enable the vehicle to carry 8 kilograms of
      hydrogen. Developed in conjunction with Quantum Technologies, three
      lightweight, carbon-composite tanks store hydrogen at 10,000 pounds per
      square inch (psi), compared to 5,000 psi in Hywire, Sequel's predecessor.

      Following the design principle used in the Hywire, nearly everything needed
      to power and control the car, including the fuel cell and hydrogen storage
      tanks, are packaged into the Sequel's 11-inch-thick chassis structure. Like
      the Hywire, the GM Sequel achieves enhanced braking, accelerating, and
      handling characteristics by replacing traditional mechanical systems with
      electronically controlled "by-wire" systems. See the
      press release and for additional information, select "Concepts" on the
      <http://www.gm.com/company/gm_exp_live/events/naias_2005/>GM 2005 NAIAS Web
      page. You can also view the
      or read the <http://media.gm.com/events/autoshows/05naias/atv.html>text of
      GM's press conference at the NAIAS.

      Energy Star Sets New Guidelines for External Power Supplies

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last week that the
      Energy Star label is now available for external power supplies, which are
      used to power electronic products such as cell phones, personal digital
      assistants, digital cameras, camcorders, MP3 players, routers, and other
      electronics and appliances. The EPA is working with manufacturing and
      retail partners such as Phihong, Lite On, Bias Power, Hewlett-Packard,
      Samsung Telecommunications America, and Panasonic. On average,
      Energy-Star-qualified power supplies will be 35 percent more efficient than
      today's typical models.

      The EPA estimates that as many as 1.5 billion external power supplies are
      in use in the United States, about five for every person. According to the
      EPA, more efficient power supplies have the potential to save more than 5
      billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, avoiding the release of more than 4
      million tons of greenhouse gases. See the
      press release.

      The new Energy Star specification is equal to California's "Tier 1"
      efficiency standards, which take effect in July 2006, and is also equal to
      the international efficiency marking protocol of "III." Power supplies
      bearing a "III" within a circle will meet this standard. For more
      information the Energy Star specification and the international efficiency
      marking protocol, see the <http://www.energystar.gov/powersupplies>Energy
      Star Web site.

      The EPA also announced last week that it has tightened the energy
      efficiency requirements for Energy Star-labeled computer monitors. While
      the old standard only addressed energy use in the "sleep" mode, the new
      standard also addresses energy consumption while the monitors are in use.
      See the
      press release.

      USDA Publishes Rules for Federal Purchasing of Bioproducts

      The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Sunday the
      publication of a final rule to implement the Federal Biobased Products
      Preferred Procurement Program, which requires all federal agencies to
      preferentially purchase biobased products. The program, authorized by
      section 9002 of the 2002 Farm Bill, gives the USDA the authority to decide
      which products are eligible as biobased products. The rule was published in
      yesterday's Federal Register, and federal agencies have one year to comply
      with it.

      "This rule promotes energy independence and the use of environmentally
      sustainable energy from biological sources, while at the same time creating
      new demand for agricultural commodities and new business investment and job
      growth in rural America," said Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman.

      USDA plans to soon begin issuing a series of proposed rules that will
      designate specific items for program eligibility. After considering public
      comments, final rules will be promulgated. This process of designating
      items by rulemaking is expected to extend over the next three years. See
      the <http://www.usda.gov/2005/01/0005.xml>USDA press release, the
      Biobased Products Preferred Procurement Program Web site, and the
      text of the final rule as published in the Federal Register.

      Student's Wave Energy Invention Wins National Award


      Photo of Aaron Goldin at work on his wave energy device.

      Aaron Goldin's wave energy invention, built in his garage, earned him the
      Grand Prize in this year's Siemens Westinghouse Competition.
      Credit: Michael Goldin

      Researchers and companies have been trying for decades to capture the
      energy of waves to produce electric power, but the latest wave energy
      invention comes from an unlikely source: Aaron Goldin, a senior at San
      Dieguito High School Academy in Encinitas, California. In December, Goldin
      won the $100,000 Grand Prize scholarship from the 2004-2005 Siemens
      Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science and Technology, the nation's
      premiere high school science competition, for his invention of the
      "Gyro-Gen," a gyroscope that converts ocean wave energy into electricity.
      The spinning gyroscope, mounted in a buoy, resists the movement of the
      waves by exerting torque on a crank, which turns an electric generator.
      Goldin created his gyroscope prototypes in his garage, scavenging an old
      tape recorder, answering machine, and other household appliances for parts.
      The invention also won the prestigious California Sea Grant John D. Isaacs
      Scholarship for outstanding ocean engineering research in 2004. See the
      announcements from the Siemens Foundation
      141 KB) and the
      <http://www-csgc.ucsd.edu/EDUCATION/Isaacs04.html>California Sea Grant
      College Program.
      <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/alternate.html>Download Acrobat Reader.

      Editor's Note on New Jersey Clean Energy Funds

      Last week's EERE Network News included a story on $745 million that New
      Jersey will dedicate to its Clean Energy Program over the next four years.
      That story incorrectly stated that three-quarters of the funds would go
      toward energy efficiency; in fact, although that is currently true, the
      state will devote an increasing percentage of funds to renewable energy,
      more than tripling its funding for renewable energy programs. See the
      <http://www.eere.energy.gov/news/news_detail.cfm?news_id=8752>corrected story.

      Site News

      <http://www.ecosoul.org/main_ecosoul.html>National Fuel Cell Education Program

      The National Fuel Cell Education Program educates the public about hydrogen
      fuel and fuel cells through curriculum, a speaker's bureau, and more. The
      highlight of the program is its fuel cell kit, which includes a small
      reversible fuel cell, a solar electric panel, and a small electric motor.
      The program was founded in 1993 by Eco Soul Inc., a non-profit organization
      that focuses on education, energy, and the environment. See the
      <http://www.ecosoul.org/main_ecosoul.html>National Fuel Cell Education
      Program Web site.

      Energy Connections

      Groups Push Competing Proposals for the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline

      After years of inaction on a proposed natural gas pipeline to bring natural
      gas from Alaska's North Slope to market, a number of competing proposals
      are now in the works. In December, Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski
      announced that the state had received a proposal from BP, ConocoPhillips,
      and Exxon, while it continues to negotiate with TransCanada on a separate
      proposal. Although those are the only applicants who have signed an
      agreement under the state's Stranded Gas Act, the state is also talking
      with MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, the Alaska Natural Gas
      Development Authority, the Alaska Gasline Port Authority, Embridge, and
      Calpine outside the framework of the Stranded Gas Act. See the governor's
      <http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1430>press release.

      One of the competing plans is the Mackenzie Gas Project, which aims to
      develop a 760-mile pipeline from the North Slope into Alberta via the
      Mackenzie Valley in Canada's Northwest Territories. The developers of that
      project, a number of oil companies, submitted regulatory application in
      October. In contrast, the All-Alaska Gas Pipeline Project aims to build an
      800-mile pipeline from the North Slope to Valdez, where the natural gas
      would be converted to liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export. In December,
      the Alaska Gasline Port Authority (AGPA), which is spearheading the
      All-Alaska Gas Pipeline Project, announced that it had entered into a
      development agreement with Sempra LNG to assist in the project and market
      the LNG. The AGPA also announced it has been granted the option to purchase
      rights of way and associated permits from Yukon Pacific for building the
      gas pipeline, which will run parallel to the existing Trans-Alaska oil
      pipeline. See the <http://www.mackenziegasproject.com/index.asp>Mackenzie
      Gas Project Web site and the AGPA press release
      (<http://alaskagaslineportauthority.com/AGPA_PR122004.pdf>PDF 68 KB).
      <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/alternate.html>Download Acrobat Reader.

      This newsletter is funded by DOE's <http://www.eere.energy.gov/>Office of
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