EREN Network News
February 2, 2000
News and Events
- Renewables Touted in President's State of the Union Address
- White House Announces Proposed Bioenergy Tax Credits
- TXU Electric & Gas Pursues New Renewable Energy Sources
- Pennfuture Campaign Promotes Pennsylvania Green Power
- DOE Awards $6 Million for Energy-Saving Innovations
- DOE Joins California Fuel Cell Partnership
Energy Facts and Tips
- World Energy Use Holds Steady in 1998
About this Newsletter
News and Events
Renewables Touted in President's State of the Union Address
President Clinton's final State of the Union Address last
week included several proposals to advance renewable
energy technologies. The President's speech called for
"expanding our programs for bio-based fuels and products."
Bio-based or "bioenergy" fuels and products draw on
biomass resources such as plants, trees, trash, and wastes
from agriculture, forestry, and industries. The President also
proposed new tax incentives for clean energy.
"To speed innovation in these kind of technologies, I think
we should give a major tax incentive to business for the
production of clean energy, and to families for buying energy-
saving homes and appliances and the next generation of
super-efficient cars when they hit the showroom floor," said
President Clinton. "I also ask the auto industry to use the
available technologies to make all new cars more fuel-efficient right away."
The President also proposed making clean energy
technologies more readily available to the developing world,
and asked for a $3 billion increase in the "Twenty-First
Century Research Fund" that encourages private research in
science and technology. See the State of the Union Address
on the White House Web site.
See also the related White House announcements on
bioenergy and the Twenty-First Century Research Fund.
White House Announces Proposed Bioenergy Tax Credits
In a separate announcement, the White House spelled out
several of the proposed tax credits for bioenergy. These
include extending the current tax credit for biomass power
plants that are fueled by trees and plants grown specifically
as fuel. New tax credits would apply to biomass power plants
that are supplied by agricultural and forestry wastes. The
President is also proposing tax credits for landfill methane
power plants and for coal-fired power plants that mix
biomass with their coal. See the White House announcement.
TXU Electric & Gas Pursues New Renewable Energy Sources
In what it's calling "one of the largest renewable energy
proposals in U.S. history," TXU Electric & Gas announced in
late January that it is seeking bids for projects to supply
500 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year from
renewable energy sources. That's enough to supply the
annual electricity needs of 29,000 homes. For comparison,
the company's award-winning Big Spring Wind Power
Project generates about one-fourth as much electricity, at
137 million kilowatt-hours per year.
TXU Electric & Gas services 2.5 million electricity customers
in Texas. The company's request for bids is not entirely
surprising, as it is in response to a new Texas state goal to
add 2,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2009.
See the TXU press release.
Pennfuture Campaign Promotes Pennsylvania Green Power
Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future, also known as Pennfuture,
announced last week a new ten-year initiative to encourage
people in that state to buy their electricity from renewable
energy sources. The "Green Power: Turn it On!" campaign is
endorsed by a host of groups, including the Pennsylvania
Council of Churches and the American Lung Association.
The initiative has the goal of meeting 10 percent of
Pennsylvania's electricity needs with green power by 2010.
See the Pennfuture Web site.
DOE Awards $6 Million for Energy-Saving Innovations
DOE announced Monday that it was awarding more than
$6 million in grants to help develop, demonstrate, and
commercialize new energy-saving inventions. The
32 projects range from a highly efficient industrial furnace to
automotive glass that can selectively filter out the sun's heat.
The grants were awarded through two DOE programs: the
National Industrial Competitiveness through Energy,
Environment and Economics (NICE3) program and the
Inventions and Innovations (I&I) program. While the NICE3
program works with industry, the I&I program assists
inventors and entrepreneurs. See the DOE news release.
For more information about the NICE3 and I&I programs,
see DOE's Office of Industrial Technologies Web site.
DOE Joins California Fuel Cell Partnership
The California Fuel Cell Partnership announced last week
that DOE has joined as a partner. The partnership was
formed in April 1999 to help commercialize fuel-cell electric
vehicles. Fuel cells convert hydrogen into electricity and emit
only water vapor. The vehicles can be fueled with hydrogen
or can derive the hydrogen from fuels such as methanol,
ethanol, natural gas, or gasoline. The electricity from the fuel
cell is used to power an electric motor that propels the car.
To commercialize fuel-cell electric vehicles, the California
Fuel Cell Partnership has brought together four automakers,
three oil companies, a fuel cell company, the State of
California, and now the federal government. The partnership
intends to place 50 fuel-cell cars and buses on the road by
2003. In December, it announced the construction of a
hydrogen refueling station and a facility for maintenance and
testing of fuel-cell electric vehicles. See the partnership's
Operated by DOE's Office of Scientific and Technical
Information and sponsored by the International Energy
Agency, the Energy Technology Database Exchange World
Energy Base (ETDEWEB) features information from
18 member countries on the environmental impact of energy
production and use. ETDEWEB includes such topics as
climate change, energy research and development, energy
policy, and renewable and non-renewable energy
technologies. This growing collection includes more than
600,000 bibliographic records, with more than 3.5 million
downloadable full-text pages dating back to early 1995.
People from any of the member countries can register and
gain free access to the collection.
For this and other recent additions see the EREN Web site.
Energy Facts and Tips
World Energy Use Holds Steady in 1998
The world's consumption of energy dropped slightly from
1997 to 1998, according to a new report by DOE's Energy
Information Administration (EIA). The "International Energy
Annual 1998" found that world energy use stayed essentially
the same, dropping only 0.1 percent. According to EIA, 1998
was the first year of no growth since 1982. The same report
shows world population growing by nearly 1.4 percent from
1997 to 1998. See the report on the EIA Web site.
See in particular the bottom of the energy consumption table.
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