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EERE Network News -- 12/07/05

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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 , Dec 9, 2005


      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 07, 2005

      News and Events

      * DOE Energy Saving Team Visits Dow Chemical Plant in Louisiana
      * New Air Conditioner Efficiency Standards Take Effect in January
      * DOE, EPA Join Leadership Group to Boost Utility Efficiency Spending
      * Hawaii Army Bases to Feature 3,000 Homes with Solar Power
      * Corporate Group Reaches 360 Megawatts of Green Power Capacity
      * Canadian Company Begins Commercial Delivery of BioOil

      Site News

      * ACEEE Offers Condensed Online Version of its Consumer Guide

      Energy Connections

      * EIA Expects High Energy Prices Through 2006

      News and Events

      DOE Energy Saving Team Visits Dow Chemical Plant in Louisiana

      DOE announced last week that it has deployed an Industrial Energy Saving
      Team to identify opportunities to save energy at Dow Chemical Company's St.
      Charles Operations plant near Hahnville, Louisiana, on the Mississippi
      River just west of New Orleans. The visit is one of 200 deployments to
      energy-intensive manufacturing facilities that DOE is carrying out as part
      of the comprehensive national energy efficiency effort, called the
      "<http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/save_energy/>Easy Ways to Save
      Energy" campaign. The industrial part of the campaign is described on a Web
      page called "<http://www.eere.energy.gov/industry/saveenergynow/>Save
      Energy Now," where industries can apply for a free energy-saving visit
      until December 20th. See the
      press release.

      Dow St. Charles Operations is an integrated petrochemical manufacturing
      complex that converts petroleum-based raw materials into a variety of
      chemicals, which wind up in thousands of everyday products. The plant
      produces its own power and steam, which will be a focus of the Energy
      Saving Team. See the
      <http://www.dow.com/ucc/locations/sco/about/facts.htm>Dow Web site.

      New Air Conditioner Efficiency Standards Take Effect in January

      Starting next year, U.S. consumers who buy new houses or upgrade their
      cooling systems could benefit from new, tougher energy efficiency standards
      for central air conditioners. Units manufactured after January 23rd, 2006,
      will have to achieve a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) of 13, a 30
      percent improvement over current standards. The new standards are expected
      to save consumers $1 billion over the next 25 years. In addition, the 2006
      standards will raise the energy efficiency standards for new central heat
      pumps to a SEER of 13 in cooling mode and a Heating Season Performance
      Factor of 7.7, which represents a 13 percent improvement in heating
      efficiency. The new standard will also increase the cooling efficiency of
      single-package air conditioners and single-package heat pumps by 34 percent
      while increasing the heating efficiency of single-package heat pumps by 17
      percent. For more information, see the
      on the Consumer's Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, a DOE
      Web site.

      Appliance efficiency standards are developed by DOE's Appliances and
      Commercial Equipment Standards Program, part of the DOE Office of Energy
      Efficiency and Renewable Energy. See the
      standards on the program's Web site.

      DOE, EPA Join Leadership Group to Boost Utility Efficiency Spending

      DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last week
      that they have joined with more than 50 organizations to form a leadership
      group that will launch a new national commitment to energy efficiency. The
      joint effort will develop an Energy Efficiency Action Plan to substantially
      increase utility funding for energy efficiency, ultimately saving customers
      up to $300 billion on energy bills over the next 15 to 20 years. With a
      number of factors currently limiting utility investment in energy
      efficiency, the leadership group will look at policies and programs that
      are delivering results around the country, develop a common understanding
      of what works, and develop and follow through on recommendations for
      action. In addition to the federal agencies, the group is made up of seven
      state utility commissioners, plus representatives from leading gas and
      electric utilities, state agencies, energy service providers, large energy
      consumers, and environmental and energy efficiency organizations. See the
      press release and the
      <http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/eeactionplan.htm>Energy Efficiency Action
      Plan Web page.

      Hawaii Army Bases to Feature 3,000 Homes with Solar Power

      United Solar Ovonic will provide solar panels to power 3,000 new homes as
      part of a U.S. Army family housing project in Hawaii. The company signed an
      agreement on Monday to provide 7 megawatts of thin-film solar modules to
      Actus Lend Lease for the project on Oahu, which will be the world's largest
      solar-powered residential community. According to United Solar Ovonic, the
      grid-connected solar power systems will reduce dependence on fossil fuels
      by 30 percent for the entire complex of 7,894 new and renovated Army homes.
      Actus Lend Lease announced in May that it had earned the Army contract for
      the project, which involves upgrading the housing and community services at
      seven different Army bases on the island. See the press releases from
      United Solar Ovonic
      72 KB) and
      Lend Lease. <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html>Download
      Adobe Reader.

      A military base on Oahu currently features the largest federal solar power
      array in Hawaii. PowerLight Corporation installed a 309-kilowatt
      installation at Pearl Harbor in September and helped dedicate it in
      mid-October. The solar power system is expected to save the U.S. Navy about
      $40,000 per year. See the
      press release.

      Corporate Group Reaches 360 Megawatts of Green Power Capacity

      A group representing a dozen corporate buyers of green power has contracted
      for a total of 360 megawatts of renewable power capacity, equal to an
      average U.S. coal plant. World Resources Institute (WRI) announced last
      week that its Green Power Market Development Group has contracted for 185
      megawatts of green power in the past 11 months alone. The 360-megawatt
      achievement places the group one-third of the way toward its goal of
      building markets for 1,000 megawatts of new green power in the United
      States. The group includes Alcoa Inc., The Dow Chemical Company, DuPont,
      FedEx Kinko's, General Motors Corporation, IBM, Interface, Johnson &
      Johnson, NatureWorks LLC, Pitney Bowes, Staples, and Starbucks. Among the
      notable green power purchases: Starbucks is purchasing 150 million
      kilowatt-hours per year, equivalent to 20 percent of the annual electricity
      use in its U.S. company stores, and NatureWorks, LLC is buying enough green
      power to make its biobased polymer, NatureWorks PLA, the first greenhouse
      gas-neutral polymer. WRI is so pleased, it's launching a similar effort in
      Europe. See the
      <http://climate.wri.org/newsrelease_text.cfm?NewsReleaseID=350>WRI press

      Canadian Company Begins Commercial Delivery of BioOil

      Twenty months after breaking ground, DynaMotive Corporation has started
      commercial production of BioOil at its new production facility in West
      Lorne, Ontario, near Lake Erie. The company sent out its first shipment of
      the biomass-derived fuel on November 22nd under a contract with a U.S.
      company. The contract will last for 5 years and calls for monthly
      deliveries of BioOil from West Lorne starting at 22 tons per month and
      increasing to 275 tons per month at its peak (3,300 tons per year). At
      their peak, the shipments will represent 15 percent of the plant's annual
      production of BioOil. See the
      <http://www.dynamotive.com/news/newsreleases/051121.html>DynaMotive press
      release and <http://www.dynamotive.com/comship/truckpic1.html>photos of the

      DynaMotive converts biomass into BioOil using a patented fast pyrolysis
      process, which involves heating the biomass to high temperatures in the
      absence of oxygen. The West Lorne facility is designed to convert 100 tons
      per day of wood residue into 70 tons of BioOil, 20 tons of char, and 10
      tons of gases. Erie Flooring and Wood Products supplies the wood residue,
      and DynaMotive plans to burn about 50 tons of BioOil each day in a gas
      turbine to produce 2.5 megawatts of electricity, which powers the Erie
      Flooring plant. The gas turbine will also generate steam for the plant. The
      company began producing power at the facility in late June. DynaMotive is
      currently scaling up its process for a plant that would produce 220 tons of
      BioOil per day. See the
      <http://www.dynamotive.com/biooil/technology.html>DynaMotive Web site and
      press releases about the
      <http://www.dynamotive.com/news/newsreleases/040414.html>new facility, the
      <http://www.dynamotive.com/news/newsreleases/050628.html>startup of the gas
      turbine, and the
      <http://www.dynamotive.com/news/newsreleases/050609.html>design of the
      220-ton-per-day plant.

      Site News

      <http://aceee.org/consumerguide/mostenef.htm>ACEEE Offers Condensed Online
      Version of its Consumer Guide

      The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) announced
      Monday that it has launched a condensed online version of its popular book,
      the "Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings." The online Consumer Guide
      details what homeowners and renters can do today and throughout the year to
      save energy and increase the comfort of their homes. It offers
      energy-saving tips and detailed information on heating and cooling systems,
      water heaters, windows, appliances, lighting, and much more, and also
      offers a Checklist for Action to get you started. See the
      <http://www.aceee.org/press/0512winter.htm>ACEEE press release, the
      <http://aceee.org/consumerguide/mostenef.htm>Consumer Guide: Condensed
      Online Version, and the
      <http://aceee.org/consumerguide/chklst.htm>Checklist for Action.

      Energy Connections

      EIA Expects High Energy Prices Through 2006

      Energy prices will remain high through 2006, with crude oil prices
      averaging $63 per barrel, retail regular gasoline averaging $2.41 per
      gallon, and natural gas averaging $9.30 per thousand cubic foot, according
      to the latest projections from DOE's Energy Information Administration
      (EIA). The EIA's "Short Term Energy Outlook," released yesterday, expects
      elevated energy prices in light of continuing tight international supplies
      and hurricane-induced supply losses, combined with a projected 2 percent
      increase in U.S. energy demand. There is some good news, though: October
      and November were warmer than anticipated, so the EIA has slightly reduced
      its projections for this winter's heating costs. See the EIA's
      "<http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/steo/pub/contents.html>Short Term Energy

      According to Monday's "Gulf Coast Hurricanes Situation Report," issued by
      DOE, about 34 percent of Gulf oil production and 27 percent of Gulf natural
      gas production remains unavailable. According to the Department of
      Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS), so far the Gulf has lost 18
      percent of its annual oil production and 14 percent of its annual natural
      gas production because of the storms. Two refineries in Louisiana and one
      in Texas remain shut down, while one refinery in each state is operating at
      a reduced rate. See the latest
      <http://www.electricity.doe.gov/program/electric_oa4.cfm>DOE and
      <http://www.mms.gov/ooc/press/2005/press1205a.htm>MMS reports.

      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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