EERE Network News
March 23, 2005
News and Events
When the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) starts accepting sign-ups for its Conservation Security Program on March 28th, eligible farmers and ranchers will have an opportunity to receive compensation for energy audits, cutting energy use, and using renewable energy and fuels.
The California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), a new $30 million investment fund, has agreed to allow three leading venture capital firms to each invest $8.5 million in companies involved in renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, and enabling technologies and services.
North Dakota will soon host the first ethanol plant to draw some of its energy from a nearby coal-fired power plant. Construction is also underway on an ethanol plant that will use lignite as its energy source. Developers of both plants expect to use less energy to produce their ethanol.
Construction began on March 15th on the first new geothermal power plant to be built near Steamboat, Nevada, in more than a decade. The 20-megawatt geothermal plant is the first geothermal project to begin construction since a state renewable energy requirement was passed in 2001.
Developers of E-85 fueling facilities in Illinois now have an opportunity to receive up to $2,000 in state funds for converting an existing facility or up to $40,000 in state funds for building a new facility. E-85 is a blend of gasoline with 70 to 85 percent ethanol.
While a new report predicts a boom in the markets for solar photovoltaic devices, wind power technologies, and fuel cells and distributed hydrogen over the next decade, the expanding clean energy market is also demonstrated by a surge in interest in clean energy conferences.
DOE's new Hydrogen Program Web site, launched in mid- March, links the four DOE offices that participate in the President's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative. Meanwhile, a hydrogen task force in the President's National Science and Technology Council has developed the overarching Hydrogen.gov site.
As both gasoline and diesel fuel prices in the United States have reached record highs, a new report from an affiliate of J.D. Powers and Associates finds that consumer interest in full-size sport utility vehicles (SUVs) has dropped significantly.