EREN Network News
June 7, 2000
News and Events
- DOE Report Finds Utility Barriers to Do-It-Yourself Power
- DOE Provides $10 Million to Develop Biobased Products
- DynaMotive's Biobased Oil to be Tested as a Power Source
- LADWP to Install Fuel Cell System at its Headquarters
- FutureTruck Competition Featured on Live Webcast
Energy Facts and Tips
- Which of Today's Cars is the Greenest?
About this Newsletter
News and Events
DOE Report Finds Utility Barriers to Do-It-Yourself Power
A new DOE report identifies significant barriers facing most
homeowners and businesses that seek to generate their own
electricity while remaining connected to the utility power grid.
DOE believes that such "distributed power" systems
generators that are distributed throughout a utility's service
area, rather than centrally located could help avoid
summer power shortages that have already hit the East and
West Coasts. The DOE report examined 65 distributed
power projects and found that 89 percent of them had to
overcome major utility-related barriers. Seventeen of the
projects were delayed more than four months by these
barriers. See the DOE press release.
The report, "Making Connections: Case Studies of Barriers
to Interconnection of Distributed Power," is posted on the
new Distributed Power Program Web site on EREN.
DOE Provides $10 Million to Develop Biobased Products
DOE announced Monday that it is making $10 million
available for the development of products and chemicals
from biomass sources. Organic material from crops, trees,
and agricultural and forest wastes can be chemically
converted into such products as plastics, paints, and
adhesives, thereby replacing petrochemical sources for
these products. DOE will fund collaborative partnerships with
industry to develop such "bioproducts" over the next three
years. DOE expects to divide the funds among three to six
DOE also announced that it is awarding $675,000 to five
universities for small-scale research and feasibility studies
on the burning of biomass mixed with coal in utility or
industrial boilers. Such "co-firing" of biomass is expected to
significantly reduce emissions from coal-fired boilers. The
universities will use their on-campus heating plants for the
research studies. See the DOE press release.
DOE heads the Bioenergy Initiative, an effort to facilitate
technology advances that will foster an integrated and
competitive bioenergy industry. See the Bioenergy Initiative
Web site on EREN.
DynaMotive's Biobased Oil to be Tested as a Power Source
DynaMotive Technologies Corporation announced yesterday
that its BioOil fuel will be tested as a fuel source for a gas
turbine. Genergy will test the fuel as power source for a
5-megawatt Solar Taurus 60 gas turbine. The testing will be
performed at the Solar Turbines Incorporated facility in San
BioOil is produced by heating forest and agricultural wastes
in the absence of oxygen, a process known as pyrolysis.
BioOil burns clean with low emissions of sulfur dioxide and
nitrous oxides. DynaMotive currently produces BioOil for
testing in a pilot plant in Vancouver, British Columbia, but the
company intends to scale up to commercial BioOil
production within the next two years. See the press releases
on the DynaMotive Web site.
The announcement was made at the 1st World Conference
and Exhibition on Biomass for Energy and Industry, now
being held in Seville, Spain. More than 1000 delegates are
expected at the conference. See the press release from the
In addition, a conference program is available.
LADWP to Install Fuel Cell System at its Headquarters
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP)
announced last week that it will install a 250-kilowatt fuel cell
plant in its headquarters building. FuelCell Energy, Inc. will
supply the fuel cell system, which should be operational by
March 2000. See the LADWP press release.
LADWP also hosted the "First GreenLA Interfaith
Environmental Summit" last week at its headquarters.
Leaders from 30 church, synagogue and religious-based
organizations viewed numerous exhibits featuring the most
recent environmentally friendly and energy-saving
innovations. General Manager S. David Freeman told the
religious leaders to channel their moral outrage about how
we're affecting our environment to their congregations,
encouraging them to take advantage of green power
programs and energy-saving technologies.
See the LADWP press release.
The connection of religion to energy is a recent development
that has drawn a lot of attention. As just one example, an
Earth Day mailing from the National Council of Churches
(NCC) encouraged congregations to become "faithful energy
stewards." See the NCC press release.
FutureTruck Competition Featured on Live Webcast
If you're wishing for better fuel economy from your sport
utility vehicle (SUV), FutureTruck is the event for you.
FutureTruck challenges engineering students to redesign a
full-size SUV to achieve low emissions and high fuel
economy without sacrificing performance, utility, or
affordability. DOE and General Motors corporation have
teamed up with 200 students from 15 U.S. and Canadian
universities to apply cutting-edge technologies to brand new
Chevrolet Suburbans. This year, the teams' oral presentations
and the final awards will be featured on live Webcasts, held
on Monday, June 12th, and Thursday, June 15th,
respectively. See the FutureTruck Web site.
This site provides information on European hydrogen and fuel cell
projects, summarizes the technical and economical status of
hydrogen, and offers perspectives in the areas of production,
transportation, storage, handling and applications. A
quarterly online newsletter and calendar of events is also
Energy Facts and Tips
Which of Today's Cars is the Greenest?
The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy
(ACEEE) has just updated its popular "Green Book: The
Environmental Guide to Cars & Trucks," and there's a tie for
first place. Due to its classification as a Super Ultra Low
Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) a California clean air standard
the natural-gas powered Honda Civic GX now ties with
General Motors' electric vehicle, the EV1. But the relatively
limited availability of the EV1 means most consumers won't
have to flip a coin to choose between the two.
ACEEE's Green Book rates vehicles based on both tailpipe
pollution and global warming impacts, including emissions
from auto factories, petroleum refineries, and, for electric
vehicles, from power plants. See the press release, with
links to the online version of the Green Book, on the ACEEE
Although ACEEE charges a nominal price for the Green
Book, highlights are available for free.
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