EERE Network News
September 13, 2006
News and Events
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed rules for a program requiring the United States to use increasing levels of renewable fuels over the next six years. The program will guarantee a market for the fuel to be produced by an ongoing ethanol refinery construction boom.
Will Virgin Fuels do for biofuels what the Virgin record label did for Sid Vicious, Phil Collins, and Boy George? That remains to be seen, but the latest venture of the Virgin Group promises to invest up to $400 million in renewable fuels over the next three years, starting with ethanol plants in California.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in late August that it is now buying renewable energy, or "green power," equivalent to 100 percent of its annual electricity needs. The agency's latest purchase supports wind power in California, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
A process that employs refining processes to remove impurities from metallurgical-grade silicon may be the solution to a supply bottleneck that is hindering the growth of the solar power industry. Dow Corning claims its new silicon product can be blended with polysilicon to make solar cells.
The Alliance to Save Energy has named Wal-Mart Stores and Dow Chemical Company as two of its 2006 Stars of Energy Efficiency. Other winners are a Mexican energy efficiency group, the National Affordable Housing Network, Power Integrations, and the City of Syracuse and its mayor.
To help the State of California meet the requirements of its governor's Green Building Initiative, the California Department of General Services is collaborating with the state's largest utilities on a $17 million project to boost energy efficiency in a variety of state-owned facilities.
U.S. retail prices for regular unleaded gasoline have fallen from $3.04 per gallon in early August to $2.62 per gallon as of September 11th. DOE's Energy Information Administration credits the price drop to decreasing demand, a switch to winter-grade gasoline, and falling petroleum prices.