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EERE Network News -- 03/08/06

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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 , Mar 8, 2006
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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:

      March 08, 2006

      News and Events

      * DOE Sets More Stringent Criteria for Energy Star Dishwashers
      * Global Wind Power Capacity Increases 25 Percent in 2005
      * Arizona Establishes Higher Renewable Energy Requirements
      * New Mexico Approves Solar Energy Tax Credits
      * Ethanol Production Reaches Nearly 4 Billion Gallons in 2005
      * DOE Conducts Energy Assessments at Six Industrial Plants

      Site News

      * Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance Launches New Web Site

      Energy Connections

      * Chevron Investment Highlights Development of Alberta Oil Sands

      News and Events

      DOE Sets More Stringent Criteria for Energy Star Dishwashers

      DOE announced last week that more stringent energy efficient criteria for
      dishwashers carrying the Energy Star label will go into effect on January
      1st, 2007. To meet the new criteria, dishwashers must be at least 41
      percent more efficient than federal energy efficiency standards. The new
      criteria could save U.S. families more than $26 million a year and will
      save more than 160 million kilowatt-hours of energy per year. The Energy
      Star program is a joint effort of DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection
      Agency, and the Energy Star label appears on more than 40 kinds of consumer
      products. See the <http://www.energy.gov/news/3287.htm>DOE press release
      and the
      <http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=dishwash.pr_dishwashers>Energy Star
      Web site.

      Global Wind Power Capacity Increases 25 Percent in 2005

      Last year established new records for wind power, as 11,769 megawatts (MW)
      of wind turbines worth about $14 billion were installed throughout the
      world, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). Wind power grew
      at a 43 percent faster rate than in 2004, when 8,207 MW of wind power were
      installed. As of the end of 2005, the world's total installed wind power
      capacity stands at 59,322 MW, a 25 percent increase over 2004. The United
      States installed the most new wind power capacity in 2005, but Germany
      still leads in terms of total installed wind capacity. Australia nearly
      doubled its wind power capacity in 2005, while Canadian wind power capacity
      grew by nearly 54 percent, and Asian wind power capacity grew by nearly 50
      percent. See the GWEC press release
      (<http://www.gwec.net/uploads/media/Statistics2005_170206.pdf>PDF 79 KB).
      <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html>Download Adobe Reader.

      A number of large wind power projects are now planned for the United
      States. Greenlight Energy, Inc. is developing a 300-MW wind power plant in
      northeast Colorado, to be completed in late 2007. In Minnesota, enXco is
      developing a 205.5-MW wind plant with a proposed commercial operation date
      of November 2007. And Missouri will soon see its first large wind project,
      the 50-MW Bluegrass Wind Ridge Farm, to be built this year northeast of St.
      Joseph. The Wind Capital Group is developing the project with financing
      from John Deere Wind Energy. See the
      <http://www.greenlightenergy.com/projects/Cedar_Creek.htm>Greenlight Energy
      Web site and the press releases from
      <http://www.enxco.com/press_112105.php>enXco and the
      <http://www.windcapitalgroup.com/pressrelease.html>Wind Capital Group.

      In turn, wind turbine companies are doing well: Suzlon Wind Energy
      Corporation is supplying 75 of its 2.1-MW wind turbines to the Edison
      Mission Group, and Vestas Wind Systems A/S is supplying the Edison Mission
      Group with 30 of its 3-MW wind turbines. Vestas is also supplying 800 MW of
      wind turbines to Horizon Wind Energy LLC (formerly Zilkha Renewable Energy)
      over the next three years. GE Energy is supplying 500 MW of wind turbines
      to PPM Energy over the next two years, while Invenergy Wind LLC is buying
      350 MW of GE wind turbines for projects in 2006. See the Suzlon press
      (<http://www.suzlon.com/images/you/EMG_release_framework_phase1.pdf>PDF 52
      KB); the Vestas press releases on the
      Mission Group order and the
      <http://www.vestas.com/uk/news/press/newsDetails_UK.asp?ID=235>first 600 MW
      and the
      200 MW for Horizon; and the press releases from
      <http://www.gepower.com/about/press/en/2005_press/120605n.htm>GE Energy and
      <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html>Download Adobe Reader.

      Arizona Establishes Higher Renewable Energy Requirements


      Aerial photo of about 15 rows of solar panels stretching into t

      Arizona's existing renewable energy requirement encouraged utilities to
      build solar power systems, including this two-megawatt facility near
      Prescott. Credit: Arizona Public Service

      The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) voted last week to require the
      state's regulated utilities to draw on renewable energy for 15 percent of
      their electricity production by 2025. For 2006, utilities must meet 1.25
      percent of their power needs with renewable energy. Some of the renewable
      power must come from distributed energy sources, such as solar power
      systems on homes or businesses. In 2007, distributed energy must supply 5
      percent of the renewable power, increasing to 30 percent after 2011. The
      new standard replaces an existing standard that topped out at 1.1 percent
      in 2007, but required half of the power to come from solar energy. Before
      taking effect, the new rules must be reviewed by the Arizona Attorney
      General's office, followed by a formal rulemaking by the Arizona Secretary
      of State. The ACC expects binding regulations to take effect later this
      year. See the <http://www.cc.state.az.us/news/pr02-28-06.htm>ACC press
      release and the draft rules
      (<http://www.cc.state.az.us/utility/electric/EPS-Rules-02-03-06.pdf>PDF 706
      KB). <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html>Download Adobe

      The new requirements align closely with a Sustainable Energy Portfolio
      approved by the Salt River Project (SRP) Board of Directors in early
      February. The portfolio sets a target of meeting 15 percent of SRP's retail
      sales with sustainable resources by 2025. The SRP serves nearly 860,000
      customers in the Phoenix area and is not regulated by the ACC. See the
      <http://www.srpnet.com/newsroom/releases/020606.aspx>SRP press release.

      New Mexico Approves Solar Energy Tax Credits

      New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson signed a bill last week that
      establishes state tax credits for solar energy installations. Senate Bill
      269 allows an individual tax credit of 30 percent of the purchase and
      installation costs for solar electric and solar thermal systems, up to
      $9,000 for each system. The system must be certified by the New Mexico
      Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department and must be installed by
      2015. The bill provides $3 million for solar electric tax credits and $2
      million for solar thermal tax credits each year. According to the
      governor's press release, when the state tax credit is combined with
      federal tax credits, they will reduce the cost of a residential solar
      energy system by about one third. See the
      <http://www.governor.state.nm.us/press.php?id=189>governor's press release
      and the
      text of the bill.

      To help homeowners take advantage of the federal solar energy tax credits,
      the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has published "The SEIA
      Guide to Federal Tax Credits for Solar Energy," a 40-page manual in the
      form of a 1.4-MB PDF file. See the
      <http://www.seia.org/solarnews.php?id=96>SEIA press release and
      <http://www.seia.org/manualdownload.php>sign up on the SEIA Web site to
      receive a copy of the guide via email.

      Ethanol Production Reaches Nearly 4 Billion Gallons in 2005


      Photo of an industrial site featuring several distillation colu

      New ethanol fuel plants are cropping up in rural areas across the United
      States. Credit: Chris Standlee

      The U.S. ethanol industry produced a record 3.9 billion gallons of fuel in
      2005, according to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). In December 2005,
      ethanol fuel production reached 364.4 million gallons, but fell short of
      demand, which rocketed to 403.2 million gallons. The excess demand was
      partially met by imports of 32.2 million gallons of ethanol, while 233.6
      million gallons of ethanol in storage provide about 20 days of reserve to
      help meet demand. Last week, a new ethanol plant began production in Iowa,
      adding another 60 million gallons of ethanol production capacity. According
      to the RFA, the U.S. ethanol industry now comprises 96 ethanol plants with
      the capacity to produce 4.4 billion gallons annually. There are 33 ethanol
      plants and 8 major expansions under construction, with a combined annual
      capacity of more than 2 billion gallons. See the RFA press releases on the
      record and the
      <http://www.ethanolrfa.org/media/press/rfa/view.php?id=580>new ethanol plant.

      Demand for ethanol is expected to grow sharply this year. A recent analysis
      from DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA) notes that many
      petroleum companies plan to stop using MTBE before the summer driving
      season. MTBE is an oxygenating fuel additive, similar in function to
      ethanol. The EIA report "Eliminating MTBE in Gasoline in 2006," notes that
      most companies will switch to ethanol instead, a move that could put
      strains on ethanol supplies. According to the EIA, the complexity of the
      transition may cause local supply shortages, which could cause some price
      spikes. See the

      DOE Conducts Energy Assessments at Six Industrial Plants

      DOE launched Energy Saving Assessments at six industrial plants in early
      March, including a refinery in New Jersey; a tire plant and a steel mill in
      Tennessee; a Texas paper mill; and a paper mill and a printer in Wisconsin.
      Through its free energy assessments, DOE is working with major
      manufacturing facilities to identify energy-saving opportunities, primarily
      by focusing on steam and process heating systems. DOE's Energy Saving Teams
      have completed visits to 29 large federal facilities and are in the process
      of visiting 200 U.S. manufacturing facilities as part of the national
      "<http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/save_energy/>Easy Ways to Save
      Energy" campaign launched in October 2005. The first nine Energy Saving
      Assessments have identified a total of $28 million per year in potential
      energy cost savings that could reduce natural gas consumption by more than
      three trillion Btu per year.

      DOE's Energy Saving Teams were sent to the Valero Energy Corporation's
      refinery in Paulsboro, New Jersey, where 184,000 barrels of petroleum
      products are produced each day; the Goodyear Tire & Rubber plant in Union
      City, Tennessee; the Bekaert Steel Wire Corporation facility in Dyersburg,
      Tennessee, where steel wire products are manufactured; MeadWestvaco
      Corporation's bleached paperboard facility in Evadale, Texas; SCA Tissue's
      de-inking and recycling tissue mill in Menasha, Wisconsin, where 400,000
      tons of wastepaper is converted into 240,000 tons of tissue each year; and
      the 1.5-million-square-foot Quad/Graphics plant in Sussex, Wisconsin, where
      a number of popular magazines are printed. See the DOE press releases on
      the visits to <http://www.energy.gov/news/3298.htm>Valero,
      <http://www.energy.gov/news/3295.htm>Bekaert Steel,
      <http://www.energy.gov/news/3293.htm>SCA Tissue, and

      Site News

      <http://www.seea.us/>Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance Launches New Web Site

      The Alliance to Save Energy announced Monday that the Southeast Energy
      Efficiency Alliance (SEEA), a broad coalition formed in 2003 to promote
      energy-efficiency policies and practices in the region, is now furthering
      its mission with the launch of its new Web site. The SEEA Web site includes
      information about the organization and its partners, energy-efficiency tips
      for consumers and businesses, and listings of upcoming energy-related
      events. It also features information from a recent SEEA workshop in Atlanta
      on the new energy efficiency tax credits authorized by the Energy Policy
      Act of 2005. See the <http://www.ase.org/content/news/detail/2951>ASE press
      release and the <http://www.seea.us/>SEAA Web site.

      Energy Connections

      Chevron Investment Highlights Development of Alberta Oil Sands

      Chevron Corporation announced last week that it has acquired leases on
      75,000 acres in northern Alberta that are expected to contain 7.5 billion
      barrels of heavy oil. The acquisition marks a growing trend for oil
      companies investigating "alternative" sources of oil, such as the oil sands
      in Canada. Oil sands are a thick underground layer of sand embedded in
      heavy, tarry oil (called bitumen), located below Alberta's boreal forest.
      Steam is used to wash the bitumen from the sand, after which the heavy oil
      must undergo significant processing at an "upgrader" facility. The oil sand
      can be extracted by strip mining, or for deeper deposits, an in situ
      process can pump steam into the ground and extract the bitumen. Chevron is
      already active in oil sands development in Alberta through a 20 percent
      ownership of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project, which began operation in 2003
      and currently produces about 155,000 barrels of oil per day. See the
      <http://www.chevron.com/news/press/2006/2006-03-02.asp>Chevron press release.

      According to the Alberta government, the Canadian oil sands have proven oil
      reserves of more than 174 billion barrels, second only to Saudi Arabia. The
      oil sands are in three locations with a total area greater than the state
      of Florida; existing oil sands operations are visible from space. A report
      published in May 2004 by Canada's National Energy Board found that 2.5 to 4
      barrels of water are needed to produce one barrel of bitumen, though the
      industry is investigating ways to conserve water. For mined oil sands, 500
      cubic feet of natural gas are burned to produce one barrel of bitumen,
      while the in situ process requires 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas. As a
      result, Canada's Pembina Institute, an environmental policy research and
      education organization, has warned that growing oil sands development could
      result in significant growth in Canada's greenhouse gas emissions in coming
      years. See the <http://www.energy.gov.ab.ca/89.asp>Alberta Government Web
      site; the
      of the National Energy Board report; the Pembina Institute's
      <http://www.pembina.org/newsitem.asp?newsid=164>press release and
      of the oil sands projects; and for the view from space, see the
      Maps Web site.

      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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