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EERE Network News -- 12/14/05

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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 14, 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 14, 2005

      News and Events

      * DOE Sends Energy Saving Teams to Six Facilities in Five States
      * New Energy-Saving Campaign Emphasizes "The Power is in Your Hands"
      * Twenty-Six States and D.C. Join the Energy Star Challenge
      * Massachusetts and Connecticut Offer Renewable Energy Funding
      * USDA Announces Farm Energy Strategy and Awards Biomass Funding
      * Geothermal Power Plants Moving Ahead in Idaho and Utah

      Site News

      * Alliance to Save Energy Launches State Energy Efficiency Index

      Energy Connections

      * EIA Boosts its Long-Term Projections for Oil Costs

      News and Events

      DOE Sends Energy Saving Teams to Six Facilities in Five States

      Federal Energy Saving Teams have visited six federal facilities in five
      states over the past week. The teams were deployed to a Bureau of Prisons
      facility in Allenwood, Pennsylvania; a U.S. Coast Guard facility in Cape
      May, New Jersey; a Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital in Charleston, South
      Carolina; a federal courthouse in Montgomery, Alabama; a U.S. Army arsenal
      in Huntsville, Alabama; and the Denver Federal Center in Colorado to
      identify low-cost and no-cost measures to save energy and money. The
      no-cost energy assessments are part of DOE's
      "<http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/save_energy/>Easy Ways to Save
      Energy" campaign, which in the coming months will send Energy Saving Teams
      to the 30 largest federal facilities and the top 200 energy-intensive
      manufacturing facilities in the United States. See the DOE press releases
      about the
      Guard facility,
      and the
      Federal Center.

      The Allenwood Federal Correctional Complex, located in Pennsylvania's
      northern Allegheny Mountains, consists of four facilities, ranging from a
      minimum-security camp to a high-security federal penitentiary. The Cape May
      Coast Guard Training Center in New Jersey is the basic training center for
      all Coast Guard recruits. The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in South
      Carolina provides acute medical, surgical and psychiatry inpatient care as
      well as primary care and specialized outpatient services. The Frank M.
      Johnson, Jr. Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Alabama is named for a
      federal judge who served in the courthouse and made many rulings that
      advanced the cause of civil rights in Alabama. Although the original
      building is on the National Register of Historic Places, a major new
      addition to the building was dedicated in 2002. See the
      <http://www.bop.gov/locations/institutions/alx/index.jsp>Bureau of Prisons
      and <http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/civilrights/al6.htm>National Park
      Service Web sites.

      Two of the Energy Saving Teams face quite a challenge because of the scale
      of the sites. Redstone Arsenal in Alabama sits on 40,000 acres and has 11.7
      million square feet of building space, including administrative buildings,
      laboratories, flight test ranges, and other specialized buildings and
      equipment. The arsenal employs about 19,000 federal government and contract
      workers. The Denver Federal Center covers less area but comprises 90
      buildings with more than 4 million square feet of floor space, hosting 26
      different federal agencies with 6,000 federal employees. But huge sites can
      yield huge energy savings: In 2002, an Energy Saving Performance Contract
      (ESPC) allowed agencies at the Federal Center to save more than $450,000 in
      annual energy costs. See the
      <http://www.garrison.redstone.army.mil/sites/about/facts.asp>U.S. Army Web
      site and the ESPC Case Study
      (<http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy02osti/31073.pdf>PDF 170 KB) from DOE's
      <http://www.eere.energy.gov/femp/>Federal Energy Management Program.
      <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html>Download Adobe Reader.

      New Energy-Saving Campaign Emphasizes "The Power is in Your Hands"

      Consumers have the power to employ energy efficiency to lower their heating
      bills, which is why a broad-based coalition launched a new campaign called
      "The Power is in Your Hands" on Tuesday. Led by the Alliance to Save Energy
      (ASE) and the American Gas Association, the campaign brings together
      business, industry, utilities, trade associations, federal agencies, and
      community groups whose common goal is to reduce energy use in order to
      lower prices in the long run. The coalition's 20-plus members include DOE,
      the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, The Dow Chemical Company, the
      North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, and the Edison
      Electric Institute.

      The campaign will arm consumers with the information and tools they need to
      manage their home energy bills; inform them about the connection between
      household energy use and energy prices; and inspire them to use energy
      efficiency to reduce their energy use and thereby enhance the nation's
      energy security. The campaign features a new consumer booklet with a wealth
      of energy-saving tips, a laminated card for keeping key tips within easy
      reach, and a new Web site, which features resources, tools, and links to
      more information from campaign partners. The campaign will also include
      additional consumer materials as well as television and radio spots and
      placement of print ads in key markets. See the
      <http://www.ase.org/content/news/detail/2735>ASE press release and the
      <http://www.powerisinyourhands.org/>Power is in Your Hands Web site.

      Twenty-Six States and D.C. Join the Energy Star Challenge

      More than half the states across the nation and the District of Columbia
      are joining with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address
      critical energy issues at the local level in conjunction with the Energy
      Star Challenge. The EPA's Energy Star Challenge calls on businesses,
      governments, schools, and other agencies to improve their energy efficiency
      by 10 percent or more. EPA estimates that if each building owner met this
      challenge, by 2015 Americans would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more
      than 20 million metric tons­equivalent to the emissions from 15 million
      vehicles­while saving about $10 billion.

      Most facilities can save up to 30 percent on their energy bills each year
      through cost-effective energy efficiency improvements. Through the Energy
      Star Challenge, state governments offer a variety of programs to help
      building owners assess how much energy their buildings use now, establish
      efficiency improvement goals of 10 percent or greater, and make efficiency
      improvements wherever cost effective. See the
      press release, the list of participating states
      104 KB), and the
      <http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=leaders.bus_challenge>Energy Star
      Challenge Web page.
      <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html>Download Adobe Reader.

      Massachusetts and Connecticut Offer Renewable Energy Funding

      Both Massachusetts and Connecticut are currently accepting applications for
      renewable energy funding. The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) is
      offering $21 million through its new On-Site Renewable Distributed
      Generation (DG) Program, which is designed to encourage commercial,
      industrial, and institutional facilities to install equipment that produces
      electricity using clean energy technologies. Approved energy sources
      include fuel cells, certain types of hydropower, and wind, solar, and
      biomass energy. See the <http://www.ctcleanenergy.com/news/85.php>CCEF
      press release and the
      Renewable DG Program Web page.

      In contrast, Massachusetts' Renewable Energy Trust is offering financing
      for the companies that provide such energy technologies or services. The
      Sustainable Energy Economic Development (SEED) Initiative will provide
      convertible loans of up to $500,000 to Massachusetts-based companies that
      provide products or services related to energy from fuel cells, solar
      cells, hydropower, or biomass, wave, tidal, or wind energy. The loans could
      also go to companies that are producing products such as inverters,
      controls, switching equipment, storage, and instrumentation for a specific
      renewable energy application. Applications are due on January 13th. See the
      <http://www.masstech.org/seed/index.asp>SEED initiative Web page.

      USDA Announces Farm Energy Strategy and Awards Biomass Funding

      The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) unveiled last week a
      comprehensive energy strategy to help farmers and ranchers deal with high
      energy costs. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced the formation of
      the USDA Energy Council to examine the department's programs and
      authorities and ensure they fit into a comprehensive energy strategy. The
      council will also ensure agricultural producers have a place at the table
      for national energy discussions. The USDA also launched an online energy
      estimator for tillage, and is co-sponsoring the Energy Agriculture Forum,
      which is taking place in St. Louis, Missouri, today and tomorrow. Forum
      participants will discuss new technology, programs, and initiatives that
      will increase energy production from agriculture. See the
      press release and
      Web page.

      As part of its support for energy projects, the USDA awarded $1.2 million
      in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants to eight projects
      involving biomass fuels, byproducts, and power. In addition, the USDA's
      Rural Development program plans to maximize its use of approximately $1.4
      billion in various business and electric loans and loan guarantees to help
      farmers, ranchers, and rural communities create renewable energy systems
      and businesses. Since 2001, the Rural Development program has awarded
      nearly $290 million in renewable energy funding to support renewable energy
      projects such as ethanol plants and wind and solar power installations. See
      the USDA press releases about the
      grants and the
      energy commitments.

      The USDA seems to be getting it right, according to participants in the
      "Forum on Energy Efficiency in Agriculture" held by the American Council
      for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) in mid-November. The USDA's
      increased emphasis on energy also follows recommendations from the forum.
      Presentations at the forum provided valuable information on saving energy
      in a wide variety of farming and ranching processes. See a
      <http://aceee.org/conf/af05/af05reflections.htm>summary of the forum and
      the <http://aceee.org/conf/af05/af05agenda.htm>forum presentations on the
      ACEEE Web site.

      Geothermal Power Plants Moving Ahead in Idaho and Utah

      Two new contracts bode well for geothermal power development and will
      likely result in a new 10-megawatt geothermal plant located in
      south-central Idaho and a new 42-megawatt plant in southwest Utah.

      In Idaho, U.S. Geothermal has entered into a contract with Ormat Nevada,
      Inc. for the engineering, procurement, and construction of its first
      10-megawatt geothermal power plant at Raft River, with an option to build
      two more plants at the site. U.S. Geothermal has signed power purchase
      contracts with the Idaho Power Company for three 10-megawatt geothermal
      power plants. Ormat Nevada is a subsidiary of Ormat Technologies Inc.,
      which has over three decades of experience in the design, engineering,
      manufacturing, construction, and operation of geothermal power plants. See
      the U.S. Geothermal press release
      (<http://www.usgeothermal.com/news/nr120605>PDF 20 KB).
      <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html>Download Adobe Reader.

      In Utah, PacifiCorp signed a 20-year power purchase agreement for all the
      power produced by a 42-megawatt geothermal power plant that will be located
      near Cove Fort, Utah. Amp Resources LLC will develop, own, and operate the
      project and plans to have it online in 2007. The Cove Fort project was
      selected as part of a PacifiCorp request for proposals, issued in February
      2004 with the aim of acquiring up to 1,100 megawatts of cost effective
      renewable resources. See the
      press release.

      Site News

      <http://www.ase.org/content/article/detail/2356>Alliance to Save Energy
      Launches State Energy Efficiency Index

      The Alliance to Save Energy recently launched a Web-based index that allows
      policy makers, state officials, advocates, and citizens to search for
      energy-efficiency laws by state or by policy topic. Users can access a
      state-by-state listing for specific policy options or click on an
      interactive U.S. map to view a list of energy efficiency policies, funds,
      and tax incentives for each state. See the
      <http://www.ase.org/content/article/detail/2356>State Energy Efficiency Index.

      Energy Connections

      EIA Boosts its Long-Term Projections for Oil Costs

      World oil prices are expected to drop over the next ten years, but they'll
      be back up to near today's levels by 2025, according to a report released
      Monday by DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA's latest
      "Annual Energy Outlook" projects oil prices falling to $47 per barrel in
      2014, but rising to $54 per barrel in 2025. That's $21 per barrel higher
      than the EIA was projecting a year ago. According to EIA, those higher
      prices will stimulate a greater use of ethanol and biodiesel, as well as
      technologies to convert coal into liquid fuels. The high prices also reduce
      demand, and in the new scenario, oil imports supply 60 percent of U.S.
      petroleum demand in 2025, down from the 68 percent projected in last year's

      The EIA also anticipates that higher oil and natural gas prices will spur
      an increased use of coal and nuclear power. The new report projects a 64
      percent increase in coal consumption by 2030 along with the addition of
      6,000 megawatts of new nuclear power plants. On the other hand, imports of
      liquefied natural gas (LNG) are expected to grow to 4.1 trillion cubic feet
      in 2025, down significantly from the 6.4 trillion cubic feet projected last
      year. Carbon dioxide emissions from energy use are projected to increase at
      an average annual rate of 1.2 percent between 2004 and 2030, down from the
      1.5 percent growth projected last year. And the carbon intensity of the
      economy, measured as energy-related carbon dioxide emissions per dollar of
      gross domestic product, is projected to decline at an average annual rate
      of 1.7 percent per year from 2004 through 2030. See the
      <http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/press/press265.html>EIA press release and the
      <http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/index.html>Annual Energy Outlook.

      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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