EERE Network News -- 04/12/06
A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The EERE Network News is also available on the Web at: www.eere.energy.gov/news/enn.cfm
April 12, 2006
- DOE to Offer $52.5 Million for Hydrogen
- Toyota Camry Hybrid to Reach Dealer Showrooms in May
- IRS Releases Tax Credit Figures for Ford and Toyota Hybrids
- Corn Oil Extraction Yields New Benefits for Ethanol Producers
- Biodiesel Distribution Expands via Blending at Fuel Terminals
- DOE Conducts Energy Assessments at Two Paper Mills
- EIA: Gasoline Prices to be Higher this Summer
Honda leased its fuel cell vehicle to this California family last year, but President Bush wants fuel cell vehicles to be an option for all of today's children by the time they are ready to drive.
Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman announced last week a three-year, $52.5-million solicitation to support basic research in hydrogen storage materials, catalysts, and membranes. The solicitation, to be released later in April, will help overcome the scientific challenges associated with the production, use, and storage of hydrogen. It will also address the challenges identified in the report "Basic Research Needs for the Hydrogen Economy," released by DOE last year. The solicitation supports President Bush's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative, which aims to develop hydrogen fuel cell vehicles that meet consumer requirements by 2015, thereby allowing a mass-market penetration of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2020. See the DOE press release, the President's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative, and the DOE report (PDF 7.2 MB). Download Adobe Reader.
Secretary Bodman made the announcement while speaking to the 2006 World Congress of the Society of Automotive Engineers. During his speech, Secretary Bodman implored all automakers to make vehicles that run on clean burning E85 fuel, a mixture of 85 percent ethanol with 15 percent gasoline. The Secretary announced that DOE will soon solicit proposals for public-private partnerships to make E85 more widely available. Secretary Bodman also expressed his desire to see automakers expand their hybrid-electric vehicle line and noted that DOE is requesting more funding for advanced batteries to allow hybrid vehicles to achieve higher fuel efficiencies and travel farther on all-electric power. See Secretary Bodman's speech on the DOE Web site.
The Toyota Camry Hybrid is 40 percent more fuel efficient than the standard
Toyota Motor Sales announced last week that the 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid will be available in May with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $25,900. That's a premium of about $6,450 over the cost of the four-cylinder 2007 Toyota Camry LE, but the hybrid version has more kick with 187 horsepower, compared to 158 horsepower in the four-cylinder Camry. The Camry's Hybrid Synergy Drive System combines a 40 horsepower motor with a four-cylinder, Atkinson-cycle engine that delivers 147 horsepower to the vehicle's continuously variable transmission. The Camry Hybrid is expected to achieve 40 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 38 mpg on the highway, for a combined fuel economy of 39 mpg, a 40 percent improvement over the standard four-cylinder Camry. Toyota expects the Camry Hybrid to be certified as an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV), the California Air Resource Board's most stringent emissions classification for fuel-burning vehicles. See the Toyota press release.
Ford and Toyota hybrids, and for Honda, see the ACEEE estimates (PDF 74 KB). Download Adobe Reader.
Veridium estimates that the five Corn Oil Extraction Systems now under order could produce as much as 9.7 million gallons of corn oil per year, which the company will sell for more than $1 per gallon. According to the company, the distiller's dried grain produced by today's ethanol industry contains roughly 300 million gallons of corn oil, 75 percent of which can be removed by the extraction process. Once extracted, the corn oil can be converted gallon for gallon into biodiesel. The company says the corn oil extraction process also increases ethanol plant efficiencies, since it reduces the energy required for drying the distiller's grain, which is sold as cattle feed. See the Veridium press releases and the description of the technology on the Mean Green BioFuels Web site.
NBB press release and the Earth Biofuels press releases on the terminal, production plant, and biodiesel pumps in California and Mississippi.
The NBB also noted that fuel terminals in Michigan and New York are now offering pre-blended biodiesel. RKA Petroleum Companies added biodiesel to its fuel terminal in Romulus, Michigan, last month, making it the first fuel terminal in the state to offer pre-blended biodiesel. On March 30th, Sprague Energy opened a facility in Albany, New York, that stores approximately 40,000 gallons of pure biodiesel. The biodiesel is blended with diesel fuel at the facility as distribution fuel trucks are filled, eliminating the cost and inconvenience of making separate stops to obtain biodiesel and petroleum diesel. Sprague Energy's facility will supply pre-blended biodiesel to home heating and biodiesel retailers throughout upstate New York, Vermont, and western Massachusetts. See the Sprague Energy press release.
Alabama, Washington, and Illinois.
DOE's Energy Saving Teams have completed visits to 29 large federal facilities and 44 energy-intensive manufacturing facilities as part of the national "Easy Ways to Save Energy" campaign launched in October 2005. The first 21 industrial Energy Saving Assessments have identified a total of $64 million per year in potential energy cost savings. If implemented, these energy-saving measures could reduce natural gas consumption by more than 8 trillion Btu per year.
EIA: Gasoline Prices to be Higher this SummerRetail prices for regular gasoline are projected to be 25 cents higher this summer than they were last year, according to DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA's Short Term Energy and Summer Fuels Outlook, released yesterday, projects summer gasoline prices to average $2.62 per gallon. The high gasoline prices will be largely due to continued high prices for crude oil, which is projected to average $65 per barrel this year. Other contributors to the high prices are a strong growth in demand for gasoline coupled with new requirements for low-sulfur gasoline and voluntary efforts by refiners to phase out their use of the additive MTBE. As noted by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), the MTBE phase-out is only expected to contribute a few cents to the overall cost. Retail diesel fuel prices are also expected to average $2.62 per gallon this summer, with high prices partly caused by a requirement to phase in ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel beginning in June. See the EIA report and the RFA press release.
Retail gasoline prices have been on a steady rise in recent weeks. According to the Fuel Gage Report, a publication of the American Automobile Association, yesterday's prices for regular gasoline averaged $2.686 per gallon in the United States, up more than 32 cents per gallon from a month ago. See the Fuel Gage Report.
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- DOE to Offer $52.5 Million for Hydrogen Research