EREN Network News
July 5, 2000
News and Events
- Oakland to be Largest Municipal Purchaser of Green Power
- DOE Awards $4.3 Million to Develop Bio-based Products
- Toyota Begins Online Sales of Prius Hybrid Electric Car
- Volkswagen Team to Go Around the World on 1000 Liters
- Marylanders Get Energy Star Appliances Tax-Free
- Southeastern National Parks to Get Energy Efficiency Boost
- Cogeneration Plants Planned for Louisiana and Alabama
Energy Facts and Tips
- Australian Renewable Energy Web site
- Report: 117 Million Americans Breathe Smoggy Air
About this Newsletter
News and Events
Oakland to be Largest Municipal Purchaser of Green Power
Oakland City Council voted late last month to have all of its
municipal facilities powered solely by electricity from
renewable energy. Oakland will buy roughly 9 megawatts of
electrical power enough to power 27,000 homes for its
City Hall, administration buildings, and street and traffic
lights. The commitment makes Oakland the world's largest
municipal green power purchaser. ABAG Power, a power
purchasing program of the Association of Bay Area
Governments, will provide the green power. ABAG Power
intends to supply 20 percent of the electricity from new
renewable energy projects by 2003. See the press release
on the EREN Green Power Web site.
DOE Awards $4.3 Million to Develop Bio-based Products
DOE announced last week the award of four grants, totaling
$4.3 million, for the development of bio-based fuels and
products that is, products made from trees, crops, and
other agricultural, forest and aquatic resources. The
grantees will investigate methods to convert corn wastes into
ethanol and plastics, to use bark as a source of resin for
plywood manufacture, and to convert hog manure into
methane fuel and fertilizer. See the DOE press release.
Toyota Begins Online Sales of Prius Hybrid Electric Car
Last week, Toyota began selling its hybrid electric car, the
Prius, online. The four-door, five-passenger sedan features a
1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine teamed with a 33-kilowatt motor.
Unlike its competition, the Honda Insight, the Prius can
operate on the electric motor only during low-speed trips
around town. Its mileage is estimated at 52 miles per gallon
in the city and 45 miles per gallon on the highway. The
manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) is $20,450.
Toyota is adding a special 8-year/100,000-mile warranty on
all hybrid-electric components. See the Toyota Prius Web
Volkswagen Team to Go Around the World on 1000 Liters
A team of Germans just completed the North American
stretch of a car trip that will take them "around the world in
80 days." The team is driving a Volkswagen Lupo equipped
with a 3-cylinder turbocharged direct-injection (TDI) diesel
engine. The Lupo 3L TDI, which is not available in the United
States, achieves roughly 79 miles per gallon of diesel fuel.
Volkswagen says it's the most fuel-efficient car in the world.
The team started on May 16th and will travel 20,712 miles by
August 3rd, using only 1000 liters (264 gallons) of fuel. The
car is flown between port cities along the route. See the
Volkswagen press release.
More details about the Lupo and the trip are available in
German only on the Volkswagen Web site.
The TDI engine's high fuel efficiency make it a good
candidate for hybrid electric vehicle applications. For more
information, see DOE's Fuel Economy Web site.
Marylanders Get Energy Star Appliances Tax-Free
Residents of Maryland will pay no state sales tax when they
buy energy efficient clothes washers, refrigerators, and room
air conditioners, thanks to a new law that went into effect
July 1st. In addition to waiving the sales tax on these Energy
Star appliances, the new law establishes tax incentives for
the use of solar power, hybrid automobiles, fuel cells, and
biomass fuels. DOE applauded the law in a ceremony last
week. See the DOE press release.
Southeastern National Parks to Get Energy Efficiency Boost
DOE signed an agreement with the National Park Service
last week to help incorporate energy efficiency and
renewable energy technologies and practices in national
parks in the southeastern United States. The agreement is
part of the Green Energy Parks Initiative, initiated in 1999 by
DOE and the U.S. Department of the Interior. See the DOE
For more information about the Green Energy Parks
Initiative, see the Federal Energy Management Program Web site on EREN.
Cogeneration Plants Planned for Louisiana and Alabama
American Electric Power (AEP) announced last week that it
will build a natural gas-fired cogeneration plant at Dow
Chemical Company's chemical complex in Plaquemine,
Louisiana. Cogeneration plants also called combined heat
and power (CHP) plants achieve superior energy
performance by generating both electricity and heat for use
in industrial processes. The 900-megawatt Plaquemine
facility will also provide steam to the Dow chemical plant.
See the AEP press release.
A cogeneration plant was also announced last week by
Calpine Corporation, an independent power company, which
will build, own, and operate a natural gas-fired plant at the
BP Amoco chemical facility in Decatur, Alabama. The
Decatur facility will generate 660 megawatts of electricity
while supplying steam to the BP Amoco facility. It will also be
capable of generating an additional 130 megawatts of power
during times of peak energy usage. See the Calpine press
For more information about cogeneration plants, see DOE's
Industrial CHP Initiative Web site.
Australian Renewable Energy Web site
This site provides an overview of solar, wind, wave, biomass
and hydro energy, including specific information about
Australia's own renewable energy use. In addition, visitors
can learn how to implement these technologies in the home,
search a database of players in the Australian renewable
energy industry, and find out the latest information on
Australian Government Initiatives.
Energy Facts and Tips
Report: 117 Million Americans Breathe Smoggy Air
A report released last month by the Clean Air Network found
that more than half of the U.S. counties that measure smog
levels consistently exceed U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) air quality standards for ozone. A total of
117 million people live in those counties. The high ozone
levels are caused by nitrous oxides, which are a by-product
of burning fossil fuels, and volatile organic compounds,
which are emitted primarily by vehicles and certain industrial
processes. The Clean Air Network report precedes an official
EPA report, which is expected to be released in 2001. See
the "Smog Watch 2000" report.
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