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[renewable-energy] EREN Network News -- 3/1/00

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  • Kevin Eber by way of Tom Gray
    ================================================= EREN NETWORK NEWS -- March 1, 2000 A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy s (DOE) Energy
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2000
      EREN NETWORK NEWS -- March 1, 2000
      A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE)
      Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network (EREN).

      *News and Events
      Designers to Compete on New "Sun Wall" for DOE
      Report Shows Rapid Growth in California Green Power
      Reports: Texas, Florida Can Create Jobs, Cut Air Emissions
      Homeowner Installs Record-Setting Solar Energy System
      Princeton Researchers Develop Energy-Efficient LEDs

      *Site News
      Office of Hydropower Licensing

      *Energy Facts and Tips
      A Closer Look at High Oil Prices

      *About this Newsletter

      Designers to Compete on New "Sun Wall" for DOE

      A 30,000-square-foot south-facing wall on the DOE
      headquarters building in Washington, D.C., may soon sport
      the largest solar energy system on any government building
      in the United States. Starting today, designers can compete
      for a $20,000 cash prize for the winning "Sun Wall" design.
      The competition -- sponsored by DOE and the American
      Institute of Architects -- closes on August 1st, with winners to
      be announced in October 2000. The project is meant to
      demonstrate that solar energy systems can be attractive as
      well as practical. DOE estimates that the Sun Wall can
      generate as much as 200 kilowatts of electricity, enough to
      power more than 60 homes. See the new Sun Wall Web site
      at: <http://www.doe-sunwall.org/>.

      DOE's Sun Wall will be in keeping with President Clinton's
      Executive Order 13123, which sets energy efficiency goals
      for federal agencies and encourages the use of renewable
      energy and water management technologies. DOE's Federal
      Energy Management Program (FEMP) has recently released
      guidance documents to help federal agencies implement the
      Executive Order. See the FEMP Web site on EREN at:

      Report Shows Rapid Growth in California Green Power

      A recent report on California's market for green power --
      electricity from renewable energy -- found that the market
      enjoyed rapid growth in 1999, but that the growth is largely
      dependent on state-funded incentives. Written from the
      business perspective by Warren W. Byrne of Foresight
      Energy Company, the report notes how, in states that allow
      green power markets, the rules that govern how those
      markets operate often end up hampering the development of
      the market. The report is posted on the Center for Energy
      Efficiency and Renewable Technologies Web site at:

      In related news, the National Association of Attorney Generals
      has adopted a resolution that finalizes its Environmental
      Marketing Guidelines for Electricity. The guidelines are
      intended to discourage deceptive environmental claims by
      companies selling electricity. The guidelines include many
      examples of what the state Attorney Generals consider
      deceptive versus non-deceptive advertising. In particular,
      they specify that deriving electricity from renewable energy is
      not in itself sufficient for the claim of "green" or "clean" --
      companies have to show that the environmental impacts are
      low. Attorney Generals throughout the United States are
      likely to use the guidelines in deciding whether to prosecute
      electricity marketers. The guidelines and relevant supporting
      material are posted on EREN's Green Power Network at:

      Reports: Texas, Florida Can Create Jobs, Cut Air Emissions

      Two separate reports prepared recently by the Tellus
      Institute, a non-profit research and consulting organization,
      find that both Florida and Texas can reduce air emissions
      while saving money and creating new jobs. According to the
      reports, Texas and Florida can create a total of 123,800 jobs
      by pursuing a number of approaches, the majority of which
      involve energy efficiency and renewable energy. The same
      steps would save taxpayers in the two states $87 billion by
      2010, while cutting the projected carbon emissions in both
      states by roughly 35 percent -- about 15 percent below 1990
      emission levels for both states.

      Carbon emissions are the primary contributors to the
      greenhouse effect, which causes global warming. Florida
      and Texas are particularly vulnerable to any sea level
      increases due to global warming. The reports were
      commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and are
      posted on the WWF Web site at:

      In related news, a recently updated public opinion poll by the
      Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) has found
      that more than 80 percent of the U.S. public thinks global
      warming is a real problem that requires action. The poll
      found that most Americans are not persuaded by the
      argument that taking action to reduce global warming will
      incur unacceptable economic costs. A strong majority also
      favored the Senate ratification of the Kyoto treaty on global
      warming. Unlike some pollsters, PIPA posts the actual
      questions, so readers can see that the questions are not
      slanted nor leading in any way. See the report on the PIPA
      Web site at:

      Homeowner Installs Record-Setting Solar Energy System

      A family in Morrison, Colorado, has installed a record-setting
      solar electric system at their home. The 12-kilowatt system
      will provide most of the electricity for Jack Rickard's 6,000-
      square-foot home and family of eight. The system is the
      largest residential installation in the United States to be
      registered with DOE's Million Solar Roofs program. Rickard
      will also be able to sell excess electricity back to his electric
      utility, Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo) -- an
      approach known as "net metering." PSCo is partnering with
      Altair Energy to install home photovoltaic systems through a
      program called Solarsource. For more information, see the
      Altair Energy press release at:

      For more information about DOE's Million Solar Roofs
      program, see the Web site on EREN at:

      Princeton Researchers Develop Energy-Efficient LEDs

      Researchers at Princeton University have developed a light-
      emitting diode (LED) that will be four times more efficient
      than conventional LEDs, which use fluorescent materials.
      Working with organic LEDs, or OLEDs, the researchers
      found that adding small quantities of phosphorescent
      molecules to fluorescent materials resulted in products that
      emitted light in a highly efficient manner. The discovery
      could lead to more energy-efficient flat-panel displays, and
      should also allow developers of displays to choose from a
      much wider range of materials than previously available. See
      the Princeton press release at:

      OLEDs may one day be used in applications where regular
      LEDs are now being used. One such application that has
      gained attention lately is LED traffic lights, which use 80 to
      90 percent less energy than standard traffic lights. The
      Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) is promoting this
      technology through its LED Traffic Signal Initiative, launched
      in December 1999. See the CEE Web site at:

      Office of Hydropower Licensing

      This Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) office
      is responsible for determining if proposed hydropower
      projects are best adapted for public use, ensuring that
      environmental concerns are addressed, and making sure
      that projects comply with applicable laws and regulations.
      The site includes information on the Commission's dam
      safety program, licensing of hydroelectric projects, and on
      FERC�s new Emergency Action Plan Design course.

      For this and other recent additions to the EREN Web site,
      see <http://www.eren.doe.gov/new/whats-new.html>.

      A Closer Look at High Oil Prices

      Crude oil prices have surged above $30 per barrel, due
      largely to reduced output from countries in the Organization
      of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other oil
      exporting countries, according to DOE's Energy Information
      Administration (EIA). The high crude prices are partly to
      blame for a recent spike in the price of home heating oil in
      the Northeast, which depends heavily on heating oil as a
      source of home heating. Also to blame were low inventory
      stocks, exceptionally cold weather, and supply problems due
      to frozen rivers and high winds hindering the arrival of new
      supplies. In the three weeks between January 17 and
      February 7, New England home heating oil prices rose
      78 cents per gallon, from $1.18 to $1.96. The crude oil market
      has also pushed up gasoline prices, which are expected to
      go higher in spring. For the full story, see the reports and
      testimony on the Petroleum page of EIA Web site:

      To help low-income homeowners cope with the high heating
      oil prices, President Clinton has asked Congress to provide
      an additional $600 million in funds for the Low Income
      Housing Energy Assistance Program, $1 million in loans to
      small businesses, and $19 million in funds for the DOE's
      Weatherization Assistance Program. In a speech on
      Monday, the President noted, "I hope that we will begin a
      discussion about how to make our economy even more
      energy efficient, so we're not so dependent on the ups and
      downs of supplies or so affected by future oil prices." See
      the White House press release at:

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      The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network (EREN)
      home page is located at <http://www.eren.doe.gov/>.

      If you have questions or comments about this
      newsletter, please contact the editor, Kevin Eber, at
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