EERE Network News
March 29, 2006
News and Events
Alexander Karsner has been sworn in as the new Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Karsner brings to the post his experience in biomass, wind power, and distributed generation, as well as international experience in Pakistan and southeast Asia.
New geothermal power projects have been proposed or are under development in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Utah, according to the Geothermal Energy Association. Six geothermal plants are now under construction in four of the states.
California has long been the land of surfboards, movie stars, and wind power plants, but a state known more for oil production is on the verge of claiming that last distinction. In 2005, Texas wind power capacity grew 702 megawatts, leaving it just 155 megawatts out of first place.
Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) and Metabolix, Inc. are planning to build a factory in Clinton, Iowa, that produce plastics from cornstarch. ADM's neighboring wet corn mill will provide the cornstarch for the plant, which will produce 50,000 tons of biobased plastics per year starting in 2008.
Enterpreneurs in California and Massachusetts can now earn a cash prize by pursuing their dreams of launching a clean energy business. Similar prizes are offered each year through the NREL Industry Growth Forums, hosted by DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
DOE has recently sent its Energy Saving Teams to a GORE-TEX fabrics plant in Maryland and a Kraft Foods facility in New York.
Ethanol and biodiesel are seen by many as the cure for high gasoline prices, but they may have competition from non-renewable fuel sources. A case in point is a proposed coal-to-liquids plant in Wyoming that would produce low-sulfur diesel fuel.