EERE Network News
July 20, 2005
News and Events
As of July 18th, the University of Minnesota was the leader in the North American Solar Challenge, a 2,500-mile solar race from Austin, Texas, to Calgary, Alberta. The solar racers are currently on an all-out run for the border, attempting to reach Winnipeg, Manitoba, as soon as they can.
DOE and the U.S. Council for Automotive Research (USCAR)—a cooperative research organization formed by the "Big Three" U.S. automakers—have agreed to invest up to $125 million in advanced batteries for vehicles, boosting their total joint investments to $195 million over five years.
Low-income families in 19 states will benefit from $92.5 million in funds announced by the U.S. Department of Energy on July 18th. The funds will go toward energy audits and energy efficiency improvements in these families' homes, cutting the average home's energy costs by $237 per year.
A solar module manufacturing company in Auburn Hills, Michigan, broke ground on June 14th on a plant that will double the company's production capacity. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman joined United Solar Ovonic in the groundbreaking event.
When Spectrolab announced in June that it has built a concentrating solar cell with a record efficiency, the technology moved one step closer to commercial success. Two companies are building a plant this year that will produce 10 megawatts of concentrating solar cells per year.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will guarantee up to $200 million in loans to farmers, ranchers, and small rural businesses for renewable and energy efficiency projects. The loans can cover energy or hydrogen production from biomass, geothermal, solar, or wind energy.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently launched "Energy Efficiency: Policies and Measures," a Web site that provides a compilation of recent government actions to improve energy efficiency in member countries.
DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA) currently expects crude oil prices to average $59 per barrel for the third quarter of 2005, and summer gasoline prices for regular unleaded to average $2.25.