EERE Network News
March 22, 2006
News and Events
The annual Energy Star awards ceremony took place on March 21st, honoring 67 organizations for achieving energy savings or helping consumers to save energy. The top awardees include a utility; retail and hardware stores; and manufacturers of appliances, lights, windows, and doors.
The most significant change in this year's list of top utility programs for green power is not the rankings, but the total sales. Utility sales of renewable power grew 30 percent in 2005, thanks in part to reduced premiums. At three utilities, customers saved money by buying green power.
A newly passed Wisconsin law beefs up the state's renewable energy requirement, mandating that 10 percent of the state's electricity come from renewable sources by 2015. The law will also lead to biodigester research, updated building codes, and bolstered energy efficiency programs.
A biodiesel plant planned for Indiana will produce more biodiesel each year than was produced in the entire U.S. in 2005. Other biodiesel plants in the works would increase biodiesel production five-fold over the next five years ... and those are just the plans that have been publicly announced.
A project of California's South Coast Air Quality Management District is bringing hydrogen fueling stations to five cities in southern California, while the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District just launched its own hydrogen demonstration program, called the HyRoad program.
Buyers of the new Lexus GS 450h hybrid sedan probably won't earn any high-fives from their environmentally minded friends, but may earn respect from sports car enthusiasts. The luxury sedan achieves less than 30 miles to the gallon, but zooms to 60 miles per hour in only 5.2 seconds.
A recent DOE report says that China's rapid growth in energy demand is a much greater concern for world energy markets than any particular energy acquisition by Chinese companies. However, China's energy investments could be of political concern when they run counter to U.S. strategic interests.