EREN Network News
August 9, 2000
News and Events
- Businesses to Build a 1000-Megawatt Green Power Market
- General Motors to Produce Hybrid-Electric Pickup by 2004
- Federal Government Shelves Snake River Dam Removal
- California Governor Orders Energy-Efficient State Buildings
- SMUD Reduces Load by Cycling Customer Air Conditioners
- DOE Awards $13 Million for Ultra-Clean Energy Plant
- Solar Car Breaks Records with Cross-Canada Trip
Energy Facts and Tips
- Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program
About this Newsletter
- EPA Reports Cleaner Air, Stresses Need for Improvement
News and Events
Businesses to Build a 1000-Megawatt Green Power Market
Eleven large U.S. businesses announced Monday that they
will work to develop corporate markets for 1000 megawatts
of new green power capacity the equivalent of three or
four average-sized U.S. coal plants in the next 10 years.
The businesses include such heavy hitters as DuPont,
General Motors, IBM, Interface, Johnson & Johnson,
Kinko's, and Pitney Bowes. The World Resources Institute
(WRI) and Business for Social Responsibility will work with
the 11 businesses in a partnership called the Green Power
Market Development Group. The group hopes to identify its
first sources of cost-competitive green power within the year.
See the press release on the WRI Web site.
In related news, Kinko's has announced its intentions to
meet 50 percent of its electrical demand in the state of New
York using wind power. Kinko's will buy roughly 4.5 million
kilowatt-hours of electricity from the 11.5-megawatt Madison
Windpower Project, now under construction in central New
York State. PG&E Corporation is building the facility with
partial funding from the New York State Energy Research
and Development Authority. See the PG&E Corporation press release.
General Motors to Produce Hybrid-Electric Pickup by 2004
General Motors Corporation (GM) announced last week that
it will produce a full-size hybrid-electric pickup truck
beginning in 2004. The company will produce hybrid electric
versions of its popular Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra,
which will deliver top performance with nearly 15 percent
better fuel economy. GM will start testing the hybrid pickups
in several U.S. cities this year. GM will also begin delivering
a hybrid diesel-electric transit bus this year. The transit bus
will achieve a 50 percent better fuel economy than typical
transit buses. See the GM press release.
Federal Government Shelves Snake River Dam Removal
Two draft documents released in late July by a team of
federal agencies concluded that a strategy for salmon
recovery should not include breaching the four lower Snake
River dams at this time. This decision will leave in place the
hydroelectric capacity currently installed there. A number of
other recovery strategies will be tested for the next 10 years
to determine if more aggressive efforts, including dam
breaching, should be considered. See the July 27th press
release on the NOAA Web site.
The National Hydropower Association (NHA) commended
the decision, but recommended that advanced hydropower
turbine technologies be included in the salmon recovery
plan. See the NHA press release.
Advanced hydropower turbine technologies are currently
being developed by DOE. See DOE's Hydropower Program
California Governor Orders Energy-Efficient State Buildings
A heat wave in California severely strained the state's
electricity supply last week. As a long-term response to the
high electricity demand, California Governor Davis issued an
executive order that directs state agencies to improve the
energy efficiency in all state buildings. It also directs the
Secretary for State and Consumer Services Agency to
include sustainable building practices in all plans for new
state building projects, including measures to improve the
energy efficiency of lighting, windows, and heating and
cooling systems. See the Governor's August 2nd press
SMUD Reduces Load by Cycling Customer Air Conditioners
While California struggled to keep the lights on through last
week's heat wave, some utilities had more options to deal
with the problem than others. The Sacramento Municipal
Utility District (SMUD), for instance, has a program called the
Volunteer Emergency Peak Corps, which automatically
shuts off customers' air conditioners for 15 minutes out of
every hour during energy emergencies. The utility has nearly
105,000 residential participants in the program, and by
remotely turning off one-quarter of their air conditioners at
any one time, the utility was recently able to reduce its
electrical load by roughly 50 megawatts nearly 2 percent
of its peak electrical load. SMUD also has commercial
participants in the program, and all participants receive a
discount on their electric bills by volunteering. As one
example, see SMUD's press release from August 2nd.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
noted last month that the period from January through June 2000
was the warmest first half of the year on record for the United
States. See the NOAA press release.
DOE Awards $13 Million for Ultra-Clean Energy Plant
DOE awarded on Monday nearly $13 million for seven
projects that will advance the Vision 21 program, which aims
to develop a pollution-free power plant by 2015. Four of the
projects will develop materials and components for
gasification technologies and for separating hydrogen and
other components from the gas; the other three projects will
develop advanced plant design and visualization software.
See the DOE press release.
Solar Car Breaks Records with Cross-Canada Trip
A car powered solely by solar photovoltaic panels completed
a cross-Canada trip in late July, setting a distance record for
solar cars. The Queen's University Solar Vehicle Team's car
covered 7044 kilometers (nearly 4400 miles) during the trip,
which took most of July. See the team's Web site.
Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program
This site shares comprehensive information on energy
efficiency standards and labeling in countries around the
world. In addition, the site provides a clearinghouse of
technical resources and government-based programs for
implementing appliance and equipment standards and
For this and other recent additions to the EREN Web site,
Energy Facts and Tips
EPA Reports Cleaner Air, Stresses Need for Improvement
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released
its annual air quality trend report on Monday. Although air
quality continues to improve, 62 million Americans still live in
areas that have unhealthy air. EPA Administrator Carol
Browner emphasized the need for cleaner vehicles and
fuels, plus actions to protect areas from pollutants blown in
from other regions. See the August 7th press release by
choosing "EPA Headquarters Press Releases" on the EPA
Web site. The full report is posted.
In related news, EPA last week issued its final rule for
cleaner bus and truck engines. The improved engines will
emit 40 percent less air pollution by 2004. See the August
1st press release by choosing "EPA Headquarters Press
Releases" on the EPA Web site.
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