EERE Network News
April 06, 2005
News and Events
Tougher minimum efficiency standards for clothes washers will go into effect on January 1st, 2007, and when they do, the requirements for washers carrying the Energy Star label will be even more stringent: 36 percent more efficient than the new minimum standard, plus a requirement to save water.
Automakers, energy companies, and fuel cell companies are now working in four teams to advance fuel-cell vehicles. DOE announced on March 30th the details of its "Hydrogen Learning Demonstration" partnerships, a five-year, $380-million project, for which DOE is providing half the funds.
Ballard Power Systems has developed a technology "road map" for fuel cell development, with a target of demonstrating a commercially viable fuel cell stack for hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2010. The Ballard "road map" is closely aligned with DOE program goals.
Toyota's new Highlander Hybrid achieves higher performance than its non-hybrid predecessor, while boosting fuel efficiency by an estimated 30 percent. The vehicle couples a V6 engine with a more powerful version of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive, yielding 268 horsepower at its peak power output.
Atlantic City is known mainly for its gambling, but the Atlantic County Utilities Authority is also turning it into a mecca for renewable energy. In addition to a wind plant now under development, the city's wastewater treatment plant will soon sport one of the East Coast's largest solar power systems.
Installing solar power, wind power, or a micro-hydro system in Massachusetts can now earn you a rebate, as can installing a solar water heating or solar power system in Maryland. Meanwhile, public schools in New Jersey have shown a strong interest in solar rebates, forcing regulators to set new rules.
Created in January, the Green Building Initiative works closely with the National Association of Home Builders and local home builder associations to create green building programs.
U.S. energy companies are marching ahead in their pursuit of the next generation of nuclear power plants. In early March, a site near Clinton, Illinois, earned preliminary approval for and Early Site Permit, and Duke Power met with regulators to discuss a possible "combined license" to build a nuclear plant.