EREN Network News
February 9, 2000
News and Events
- President's Budget Highlights Energy Efficiency, Renewables
- White House Proposes International Clean Energy Initiative
- Organizations Gear Up for Earth Day 2000
- Study: Wind Energy Could Save Iowa Consumers Millions
Energy Facts and Tips
- Consortium for Energy Efficiency
- Will the Internet and E-Commerce Affect U.S. Energy Use?
About this Newsletter
News and Events
President's Budget Highlights Energy Efficiency, Renewables
President Clinton sent his budget for fiscal year 2001 to
Congress on Monday. The budget increases federal funding
for efforts to advance energy efficiency and renewable
energy technologies, and also proposes a number of tax
incentives for businesses and consumers who put these
technologies to work. The President's budget is meant to
serve as a starting point for Congressional budget
As reported last week, the President is proposing tax credits
totaling $9 billion over ten years for the purchase of energy-
efficient cars, homes, and appliances, and for the production
of wind, solar, and biomass power. The budget also includes
$1.4 billion in funding a 30 percent increase for DOE's
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE),
which develops and deploys renewable energy and energy
efficiency technologies for buildings, transportation, industry
The White House framed these budget proposals in terms of
climate change and the need to meet the challenge of global
warming. For specific details, see the White House
announcements regarding the climate change budget and
climate change tax incentives.
For an overall look at the President's budget, see the White
House Web site.
DOE also released its requested budget, which includes an
18 percent budget increase for EERE. See the DOE press
release (with a link to more details).
To examine the EERE budget request in detail, see the
EERE "Budget-In-Brief" on the EREN Web site.
White House Proposes International Clean Energy Initiative
The President's proposed budget includes $200 million a
105 percent increase to promote the export of clean
energy technologies to developing nations through a new
multi-agency initiative. The "Clean Energy for the 21st
Century: International Initiative" will encourage the use of
clean energy to meet the growth in energy use in developing
countries. These new energy markets are projected to total
$4 to $5 trillion over the next 20 years, and $15 to $25 trillion
over the next 50 years. Energy use in developing countries
is expected to account for three-fourths of the increase in
global energy use between now and 2050. See the White
The International Initiative follows the recommendations of
the President's Committee of Advisors on Science &
Technology (PCAST) and follow-up studies by a working
group from the National Science and Technology Council.
See the PCAST report on the White House Web site.
Organizations Gear Up for Earth Day 2000
April 22nd is rapidly approaching, and the preparations for
Earth Day 2000 are gaining momentum around the country
and around the world. The Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) is
doing its part by hosting a Web contest. Entry is simple
just test your energy smarts with a four-question quiz and
the prizes are all energy-efficient Energy Star appliances.
See ASE's Earth Day 2000 Web site.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is
encouraging everyone to make the Energy Star label a part
of their celebrations. The EPA has suggestions for using the
Energy Star label and its family of energy-efficient products
in your community, school, business, and other
organizations. See the EPA Web site.
The Earth Day 2000 preparations are being coordinated
worldwide by the Earth Day Network, a non-profit
organization. This year's theme "Clean Energy Now!"
focuses on energy efficiency and renewable energy. In the
United States, the main event will be the EarthFair 2000 on
the Mall in Washington, D.C. Hosted by Leonardo DiCaprio,
the event will feature hundreds of clean energy exhibits. To
learn about Earth Day 2000 events in the United States and
throughout the world, see the Earth Day Network Web site.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is
contributing to EarthFair 2000 by holding its annual
conference in Washington, D.C., during Earth Day.
SOLTECH 2000 will be held just 12 blocks from the Mall,
where SEIA will also erect a Solar Exhibition Tent featuring
40 booths plus technology demonstrations. See the SEIA
Study: Wind Energy Could Save Iowa Consumers Millions
A new study finds that meeting 10 percent of Iowa's
electricity needs with wind energy will save Iowa consumers
more than $300 million over the next 30 years. The study is
based on a proposal to generate 10 percent of Iowa's
electricity from wind by 2015. It finds that wind energy would
initially raise the average household's electric bill by 10 to 30
cents per month, but from 2015 on, the average electric bill
would be lower by an average of 66 cents per month. See
the report on the "Wind Power in Iowa" Web site.
Consortium for Energy Efficiency
Supported primarily by DOE and the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency, the Consortium for Energy Efficiency
encourages utilities and other partners to pool their market
influence by voluntarily adopting common programs and
efficiency specifications. The Web site features information
for both consumers and members, including frequently
asked questions about energy efficiency and information
about energy efficient appliances, as well as member news,
factsheets, a library of materials, and a discussion area.
For this and other recent additions see the EREN Web site.
Energy Facts and Tips
Will the Internet and E-Commerce Affect U.S. Energy Use?
Two conflicting portrayals of the Internet's affect on
U.S. energy use have caused some confusion lately among
energy efficiency professionals. An article in the May 31,
1999, edition of Forbes magazine, titled "Dig More Coal The PCs are Coming," suggested that there are more than
200 million personal computers (PCs) in use in the United
States, and that PCs and Internet equipment are consuming
8 percent of the country's electricity. The article based on
a study by Mark Mills, Senior Fellow at the Competitive
Enterprise Institute and Scientific Adviser to the Greening
Earth Society projected that within 10 years, half of the
U.S. electricity generation would be powering PCs and
The opposing view, from a study by Joe Romm of the Center
for Energy and Climate Solutions, found that e-commerce is
more energy efficient than typical businesses, and
suggested that the use of the Internet could drastically lower
the projected increase in U.S. energy use over the next
Now Jay Hakes, administrator of DOE's Energy Information
Administration, has cleared things up a bit. In written
testimony presented before a House panel, Hakes noted that
the Forbes article had overestimated PC use by a factor of
eight. According to Hakes, the article also overestimated the
electricity use of computers and Internet equipment, which
Hakes said is only about 3 percent of U.S. electricity sales.
Based on these lower numbers, Hakes said that it was
"unlikely that the Internet will require 30 to 50 percent of the
electric grid in the coming years."
On the other hand, Hakes noted that although the Internet
offers the potential for businesses to operate more
efficiently, "it is too soon to come to any conclusions as to
the precise path of electricity use resulting from [the] Internet
and Internet-based commerce."
Hakes' testimony was presented February 2nd in a hearing
titled, "Kyoto and the Internet: the Energy Implications for the
Digital Economy." See his full written testimony, along with
testimony from Mark Mills and Joe Romm.
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