EERE Network News
January 19, 2005
News and Events
Three showcase homes at the 2005 International Builders' Show demonstrated the latest energy-efficient building technologies. The Not So Big Showhouse, the New American Home, and the PATH Tutorial Townhouses all demonstrated the latest ways to save energy in new home construction.
Twenty-four home builders in ten states earned Energy Value Housing Awards in mid-January for their efforts to make homes more energy efficient. The Builder of the Year award went to John Wesley Miller of Tucson, Arizona, who has been a leader in energy-efficient green building.
Volvo brought the all-electric 3CC sports car to the 2005 North American International Auto Show, demonstrating the potential of lithium-ion batteries and carbon-fiber bodies. But drivers can buy the lithium-ion-powered Venturi Fetish today, if their bank account is fat enough.
While fuel-cell vehicles are still under development, vehicles with internal combustion engines that run on hydrogen are hitting the road. Ford will deliver eight hydrogen-fueled buses to Florida next year, and BMW has been setting international speed records in its H2R prototype.
Now that Idaho Power Company has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement, U.S. Geothermal Inc. is pressing ahead with its plans to build the 10-megawatt Raft River Geothermal Power Plant in southern Idaho. The plant is scheduled to begin producing power in mid-2006.
Researchers at the University of Toronto have found a way to build a solar cell that captures infrared radiation by using "quantum dots"—nanometer-sized semiconductor spheres. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech researchers have found the trick ingredient for better organic solar cells: bucky balls.
The latest annual review of global climate data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration finds that 2004 was the fourth warmest year on record. Last year was slightly cooler than 2002 and 2003, which tied for the second-warmest year. The warmest year on record was 1998.