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Re: [hreg] EERE Network News -- 06/15/05

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  • Jim & Janet
    Tom, please remove me from the EERE Newsletter mail list. I receive it with graphics via my own subscription. I am not able to block it without blocking the
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 15, 2005
      Tom, please remove me from the EERE Newsletter mail list. I receive it with graphics via my own subscription. I am not able to block it without blocking the HREG posts which I don't want to do.
      Jim Duncan
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2005 8:40 AM
      Subject: [hreg] EERE Network News -- 06/15/05



      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:

      June 15, 2005

      News and Events

          * 18 Student Teams to Participate in DOE's Second Solar Decathlon
          * Energy Secretary Bodman Visits "Net-Zero Energy Home" Near Denver
          * USDA awards $4.4 Million for Woody Biomass Projects
          * New Tax Credit Sparks First Biodiesel Plant in Oklahoma
          * University of Waterloo wins First Year of Challenge X
          * Report on Bat Mortality at Wind Plants Yields New Insights

      Site News

          * DOE Launches New State Portal for Efficiency and Renewable Energy

      Energy Connections

          * DOE: Strategic Petroleum Reserve will be Full in August

      News and Events

      18 Student Teams to Participate in DOE's Second Solar Decathlon

      DOE announced last week that 18 teams from colleges and universities in the
      United States, Canada, and Spain will participate in the second Solar
      Decathlon competition in Washington, D.C. The event runs from October 7th
      through the 16th and requires each Solar Decathlon team to build and
      operate an energy-efficient solar-powered home on the National Mall,
      forming a temporary "solar village." As the name suggests, each Solar
      Decathlon team will compete in 10 contests that will judge architecture,
      livability, comfort, and power generation for heating and cooling, water
      heating, and powering lights and appliances, including an electric car. The
      event, which is open to the public, will feature cutting-edge architecture,
      engineering, and technology that could be applied in homes today, allowing
      them to generate their own energy, not simply consume it.

      Photo of three team members on scaffolding and the roof of a sm

      The University of Puerto Rico team installs solar electric panels on the
      roof of its house during the
      2002 Solar Decathlon.
      Credit: NREL

      For the past two years, the 18 teams have worked on the design, research,
      and testing necessary to construct and power these homes. Fifteen teams are
      representing colleges and universities in 13 states: California, Colorado,
      Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York,
      Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. The remaining
      three teams are from the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico; Montreal, Quebec;
      and Madrid, Spain. Because of time constraints, the teams partially build
      their entries on or near their campuses and then ship the entries to
      Washington, D.C.­a necessity that creates special challenges for the teams
      from the West, Puerto Rico, and Spain. See the
      press release.

      The DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is sponsoring the
      Solar Decathlon, along with DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the
      American Institute of Architects, the National Association of Home
      Builders, BP, the DIY Network, and Sprint. The first-ever Solar Decathlon
      in 2002 featured examples of ingenuity such as homes with translucent walls
      that provided light and insulation, solar-heated fluid that flowed under
      floors to provide warmth, and fiber optic cables that transmitted light
      from solar collectors into a home. This year's competition will once again
      employ a wide-range of innovative technologies to demonstrate the
      tremendous possibility of solar power and other renewable energy sources.
      To learn more about the teams, the 10 contests, and the event in general,
      see the <http://www.eere.energy.gov/solar_decathlon/>Solar Decathlon Web site.

      Energy Secretary Bodman Visits "Net-Zero Energy Home" Near Denver


      Energy Secretary Bodman, wearing a hard hat, applies caulk to t

      Energy Secretary Bodman lends a hand at the Habitat for Humanity house as
      NREL's Paul Torcellini looks on.
      Credit: Jack Dempsey, NREL

      Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman visited Habitat for Humanity's first
      "true net-zero energy home" in a suburb of Denver, Colorado, on Monday. The
      home, which is currently under construction, will be super-insulated, very
      tightly constructed, and designed for passive solar gain to reduce heating
      loads. In addition, a heat-recovery ventilation system will assure indoor
      air quality while recovering ventilation air thermal energy. To meet its
      energy needs, the home will be equipped with a solar water heating system
      and a grid-connected 4-kilowatt solar power system, sized to produce excess
      energy in the summer to balance out winter consumption, leading to net zero
      annual energy consumption.

      "The Habitat for Humanity Zero Energy Home is a glimpse into the future of
      home construction in America," said Secretary Bodman. "Inefficient
      buildings and homes waste a tremendous amount of energy. Home energy
      efficiency can save families money by reducing energy consumption."

      Habitat for Humanity is building the "true net-zero energy" home with
      technical assistance from DOE's Building America Program and National
      Renewable Energy Laboratory. Habitat plans to adopt many of the techniques
      used in this home into its standard construction practices. See the
      press release and the
      <http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/building_america/>Building America
      Web site.

      USDA awards $4.4 Million for Woody Biomass Projects

      The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced in early June that it
      has selected 20 small enterprises to receive a total of $4.4 million to
      develop innovative uses of woody biomass as a source of biomass energy and
      new products. The projects will draw on tree parts and scrub removed from
      national forests as part of forest thinning activities for ecological
      restoration and hazardous fuel reduction. The projects will be carried out
      in nine western states, as well as Louisiana, Minnesota, and South
      Carolina. See the <http://www.usda.gov/2005/06/0195.xml>USDA press release.

      New Tax Credit Sparks First Biodiesel Plant in Oklahoma

      Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry signed into law last week a bill that will
      provide tax credits for the production of biodiesel within the state,
      creating an incentive that has already spurred construction of the state's
      first biodiesel facility. House Bill 1398 will provide a tax credit of 20
      cents per gallon of biodiesel for the first five years of production, up to
      $5 million per year. It applies to new and expanded facilities producing at
      least 25 percent of their capacity. Biodiesel plants placed into production
      after 2012 will earn a smaller tax credit: 7.5 cents per gallon for the
      first three years of production, capped at $750,000 per year. The bill's
      passage in the legislature led Apollo Resources Inc. to announce that its
      subsidiary, Earth Biofuels, had completed the purchase of four acres of
      land in Durant for construction of a biodiesel refinery that will produce
      10 million gallons of biodiesel per year. Construction will begin
      immediately, and the plant could start producing biodiesel in October. See
      <http://www.apolloresources.com/NewsDetail.asp?newsid=35>Apollo Resources
      press release and House Bill 1398
      698 KB). <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/alternate.html>Download
      Adobe Reader.

      Biodiesel is already firmly rooted in Iowa, but the state will gain another
      biodiesel plant if Cargill's newly announced plans come to fruition. The
      company plans to build a plant in Iowa Falls capable of producing 37.5
      million gallons of biodiesel per year. The plant will initially draw on
      soybean oil but could eventually accept animal fat or waste grease as its
      biodiesel source. If approved, construction will begin this summer, and
      biodiesel production will start in April 2006. See the
      press release.

      According to the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), U.S. biodiesel plants can
      currently produce 110 million gallons of biodiesel per year, but idled
      chemical industry facilities could potentially double U.S. biodiesel
      production; these facilities are increasingly contributing to U.S.
      biodiesel supplies. Meanwhile, the NBB estimates that dedicated biodiesel
      production capacity could double within the next year. See the NBB Fact
      Sheet, "U.S. Biodiesel Production Capacity"
      68 KB).

      University of Waterloo wins First Year of Challenge X

      The University of Waterloo is the winner of the first-year competition for
      "Challenge X: Crossover to Sustainability," a three-year contest to
      reengineer a Chevrolet Equinox with the goal of improving fuel economy and
      reducing emissions while maintaining performance and safety. Challenge X
      closely mirrors real-world automotive engineering processes, so the first
      year of the competition, which concluded last week, emphasized vehicle
      simulation, powertrain testing, and the engineering trade-offs that occur
      in the early stages of vehicle design. The Waterloo team's winning
      propulsion system design combines a fuel cell with a nickel-metal hydride
      battery. The University of Akron took second place with a parallel hybrid
      design that pairs an electric motor with a biodiesel-fueled Volkswagen
      diesel engine, and Ohio State University came in third with a similar
      design based on a Fiat diesel engine.

      DOE and the General Motors Corporation (GM) are the lead sponsors for
      Challenge X, in which 17 teams of North American engineering students are
      participating. Because all of the teams met the minimum requirements for
      last week's design competition, each team was handed the keys to a new 2005
      Chevrolet Equinox. The teams will spend the next two years converting the
      vehicles to match their design plans. See the
      press release and see the complete first-year results on the Challenge X
      Web site.

      Report on Bat Mortality at Wind Plants Yields New Insights

      The Bat and Wind Energy Cooperative (BWEC) released its 2004 report on bat
      interactions with wind turbines last week. The peer-reviewed study involved
      daily and weekly searches for bat carcasses at wind power sites in
      Pennsylvania and West Virginia from July 31st to September 13th of 2004. In
      addition, thermal imaging cameras were used to study bat, bird, and insect
      activity at the West Virginia site for most of August.

      The study found a total of 765 dead bats at the two sites, but estimated
      the total number of bat fatalities at between 1,764 and 2,900 for the
      six-week period. None of the bat species found are listed as threatened or
      endangered. The study found that most of the bats were killed on low-wind
      nights, when power production was minimal but the blades were turning near
      their maximum speed. Bat fatalities increased just before and after the
      passage of storm fronts, and bat activity was highest in the first two
      hours after sunset. The presence or absence of aircraft warning beacons on
      the wind turbines did not affect the results. The researchers recommended
      that future studies be conducted over the entire season of bat movement and
      activity, namely April through October, to further study these correlations
      and to help determine "high-risk" times that may be used to mitigate the
      impacts of wind turbines on bat populations.

      BWEC was formed in late 2003 by the American Wind Energy Association, Bat
      Conservation International, DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and
      the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Based on the 2004 findings, the BWEC
      scientists recommended studying the effects of "feathering" wind turbines
      during low winds to cut their speeds, but no wind project owner has been
      willing to conduct such experiments. The BWEC also plans to test the
      reliability of acoustic detectors at wind power sites and to evaluate the
      potential for using alerting or deterring devices at wind power sites. See
      the full report, a summary of findings from the report, and a joint BWEC
      statement on the report on the
      <http://www.batcon.org/wind/research.html>BWEC Web site.

      Site News

      <http://www.eere.energy.gov/states/>DOE Launches New State Portal for
      Efficiency and Renewable Energy

      DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has opened a
      new portal to Web-based state information. Called "EERE State Activities &
      Partnerships," the new Web site organizes links to hundreds of
      state-specific Web pages published by EERE and its technology development
      programs, including such information as DOE grants to the states, resource
      maps, project databases, and contacts. The new portal also includes the
      latest state energy news, publications, and statistics. See the new
      <http://www.eere.energy.gov/states/>EERE State Activities & Partnerships
      Web site.

      Energy Connections

      DOE: Strategic Petroleum Reserve will be Full in August

      DOE announced last week that the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR)
      will be full by August, when it reaches 700 million barrels of oil.
      President Bush ordered the fill in November 2001 as a means to strengthen
      the nation's energy security in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
      Since then, DOE has continuously added oil to the SPR, except when
      deliveries were deferred due to an oil workers' strike in Venezuela and
      when Hurricane Ivan disrupted the oil supply last fall. When the fill is
      complete, the President's decision will have added approximately 159
      million barrels of crude oil to the nation's emergency stockpile. See the
      press release.

      Established in the aftermath of the early 70s oil embargo, the SPR is the
      world's largest inventory of emergency crude oil. The oil is stored in deep
      underground caverns in salt formations along the Gulf Coast of Texas and
      Louisiana, and in the event of a severe oil supply disruption, the SPR can
      be called upon to protect U.S. residents from economic harm and to provide
      fuel for national defense. For more information, see the
      "<http://fossil.energy.gov/programs/reserves/index.html>Petroleum Reserves"
      page of the DOE Fossil Energy Web site.

      According to the latest "Short-Term Energy Outlook," published by DOE's
      Energy Information Administration, the price of crude oil is expected to
      average $53 per barrel for the third quarter of 2005, which places the
      value of the SPR at about $37 billion. See the
      "<http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/steo/pub/contents.html>Short-Term Energy

      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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