EERE Network News
July 23, 2008
News and Events
DOE national laboratories and other facilities were lauded with 30 R&D 100 Awards, and nine of those were in the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energy. Five national labs won awards for their work in solar cells, biofuel production, lithium batteries, appliance controllers, and other technologies.
Large solar power facilities are planned for locations throughout the country, including solar thermal power plants in California, New Mexico, and Florida, and megawatt-scale solar photovoltaic power projects in Florida, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
A new $500 million fund in Pennsylvania will offer a wide range of grants, loans, and rebates to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency in the state, while additional programs will provide $100 million in incentives plus $50 million in tax credits over the next 8 years.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas has approved a plan to build transmission lines that will deliver up to 18,456 megawatts of wind power to metropolitan areas of the state. The $4.93 billion transmission system upgrade will be in service in about 4 or 5 years.
The California Building Standards Commission has adopted the nation's first statewide green building code. The code encourages builders to reduce the energy use of their structures and employ onsite renewable energy production, but the standards are only voluntary for now.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will award $6.9 million in loans and grants for 27 renewable energy systems and energy efficiency projects at farms and rural small businesses across Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
La Niña conditions depressed sea surface temperatures for much of the first half of 2008, but despite that effect, the year currently ranks as the ninth warmest on record. With La Niña now history, warmer ocean temperatures are expected for the second half of the year.