EERE Network News
May 25, 2005
News and Events
Toyota will begin building a hybrid-electric version of its top- selling Camry at its Georgetown, Kentucky, assembly plant in late 2006, marking the first North American production of a hybrid vehicle by the automaker. The announcement follows record sales of hybrid vehicles in the United States.
Silicon solar cells are in such high demand right now that the demand for polycrystalline silicon is exceeding the supply. As a result, a new U.S. factory producing silicon only for the solar industry is expanding, and other companies are developing processes to also manufacture "solar silicon."
Quantum dots—nano-scale particles of semiconductor material—could potentially yield new solar cells that convert 65 percent of the sun's energy into electricity, according to a new DOE study. Other solar power innovations include power-generating flexible plastics and foils.
If you want to convert grains into a biofuel such as ethanol, what better energy source that biomass energy? So goes the thinking for an ethanol plant that will start to be built in Texas this summer. A nearby biodiesel plant follows the same philosophy by drawing on landfill gas for its energy needs.
A Portuguese consortium has ordered the world's first commercial wave energy plant from Ocean Power Delivery, makers of the Pelamis wave energy converter. The plant will start at 2.25 megawatts in capacity but may be expanded to nearly 25 megawatts.
A new global wind energy assessment has found the potential for 72 trillion watts of wind power, or about 20 times the world's current electric generating capacity. The study by Stanford researchers involves a mathematical extension of results from about 8,000 wind speed recording stations.
A consortium of nuclear power companies and nuclear reactor vendors are pressing ahead with plans to develop two advanced nuclear plant designs and pursue licenses for building each plant at a specific location. Potential plant locations have been identified in six states.