EERE Network News
September 09, 2009
News and Events
An innovative solar panel manufacturer in Fremont, California, has received a $535 million loan guarantee from DOE, backed up with Recovery Act funds. Solyndra, Inc. will use the loan to build a manufacturing facility that will have the capacity to produce 500 megawatts of solar panels per year.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is supporting 233 rural renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in 38 states with more than $13 million in loans and grants. The funds are being provided to farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses under the Rural Energy for America Program.
ExxonMobil made a splash this summer when it announced its investment of up to $600 million in the production of biofuels from algae. The major oil company will be in competition with a number of small startup companies that are pursuing the best way to squeeze oil from the microscopic organisms.
Major projects to artificially create geothermal reservoirs deep underground in both California and Australia are facing drilling challenges, while an Australian company that got past those challenges is now dealing with unexpected material failures that caused a well blowout in late April.
A recent research report from McKinsey & Company finds that the United States could reduce non-transportation energy use by 23% by 2020, avoiding 1.1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions. A separate report examining tranportation finds the potential for similar cuts by 2050.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has declared that televisions will have to be 40% more energy efficient than conventional models to earn the Energy Star label after May 1, 2010. A year later, the specification will tighten even more, requiring a 65% energy savings over convential TVs.
U.K. researchers have found that warming oceans are spurring the production of methane from the Arctic seabed, a finding backed up by recent U.S. studies and observations. Meanwhile, U.S. researchers are keeping an eye on methane emissions from the tundra in Alaska.