EREN Network News
March 29, 2000
News and Events
- President Announces Clean Energy Assistance for India
- Green Power Comes to New Jersey
- Energy Star Awarded to 100 U.S. Commercial Buildings
- Report: Renewables Could Benefit from Emissions Trading
- DOE to Advance Energy Efficiency in the Aluminum Industry
- DOE Funds Renewable Energy Studies at Tribal Colleges
Energy Facts and Tips
- Virginia Alliance for Solar Electricity
- Studies: World's Oceans Warming, Ice Melting
About this Newsletter
News and Events
President Announces Clean Energy Assistance for India
As part of President Clinton's effort last week to improve
U.S. economic relations with India, the President announced
the resumption of DOE technical assistance to India for
clean energy projects. The President also announced new
clean energy funding, including $45 million through the
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for
efficient production and use of energy, $50 million through
USAID to promote clean energy throughout South Asia, and
$200 million for clean energy projects through the
Import-Export Bank. See "Remarks by the President at Environmental Signing Ceremony" on the White House Web site.
With new clean energy projects coming to South Asia, DOE
is also focusing its attention on East Asia and the Pacific
Rim. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
Energy Ministers Conference is coming to San Diego,
California, from May 10 to 12. According to Energy Secretary
Bill Richardson, the conference "will give us the opportunity
to consider the challenges of clean and sustainable energy
development in the APEC energy sector and to formulate
policies that collectively address these challenges on a
regional basis." See the conference Web site.
For more information about APEC, see the APEC
Secretariat Web site.
Green Power Comes to New Jersey
GreenMountain.com announced last week that residents of
New Jersey will soon be able to buy their electricity from
renewable energy sources also called "green power." The
company will sell two trademarked power products:
EcoSmart, which will include only 1 percent electricity from
renewable energy sources, and EnviroBlend, which will
derive 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources,
including about 4 percent wind energy. See the
GreenMountain.com press release.
Conectiv Energy is also offering green power in New Jersey.
The company has two products: Nature's Power 100, which
is derived half from biomass power and half from small
hydropower, and Nature's Power 50, which uses the same
mix for half its electricity and provides the remaining half
from conventional sources. See the Conectiv Energy Web
Both of Conectiv Energy's green power products are
Green-e certified, as is GreenMountain.com's EnviroBlend.
Conectiv Energy's products were previously certified for
Pennsylvania, but GreenMountain.com's products are new
and just received certification. See the Green-e Web site.
Energy Star Awarded to 100 U.S. Commercial Buildings
One hundred of the most energy-efficient commercial
buildings in the United States were the first to be awarded
with the Energy Star label yesterday. The buildings qualified
by achieving at least 75 out of 100 points on a benchmarking
test established by the Energy Star Buildings program, a
joint effort of DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA). See the press release, including the list of all
100 Energy Star buildings, by selecting "EPA Headquarters
Press Releases" on this EPA Web page.
See also the Energy Star Buildings Web site.
In related news, DOE and EPA presented awards last week
to 32 organizations that have been pivotal in helping to
implement the Energy Star program. The winners included
Sears, Roebuck & Co. as Retail Partner of the Year and
Whirlpool Corporation as Appliance Partner of the Year. See
the DOE press release.
For a complete list of winners, see the Energy Star Web site.
Report: Renewables Could Benefit from Emissions Trading
Renewable energy technologies for electricity production
emit little or no air pollution, so it would seem logical that
they would benefit from Clean Air Act regulations, which
(among other things) place restrictions on power plant
emissions. Yet a new report from the Renewable Energy
Policy Project (REPP) finds that the existing system to cap
sulfur dioxide emissions and allow trading of emissions
"credits" has not benefited the renewable energy industry,
despite the inclusion of "set asides" for renewable power
The set asides give renewable energy projects one
emissions credit for every 500 megawatt-hours of electricity
produced, but the low trading value of the credits has failed
to make this a meaningful incentive. The REPP report
suggests that future cap-and-trade programs could provide
significant benefits to the renewable energy industry if
structured correctly; the report estimates that renewable
power industries could possibly earn an additional
$1.3 billion by 2010 from such programs. See the report on
the REPP Web site.
The report is timely, as the most recent auction for sulfur
dioxide emissions credits was held Monday by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The annual
auctions are administered by the Chicago Board of Trade. In
1999, the average spot price was $207 per credit. The
lowest spot price was in 1996, at $68 per credit. To learn
more about emissions trading, and to watch for the latest
auction results, see the EPA Web site.
DOE to Advance Energy Efficiency in the Aluminum Industry
DOE announced last week that it was providing $4 million for
seven research projects that will increase the energy
efficiency of the aluminum industry. The projects are diverse
in nature and will be carried out by teams that jointly
represent 30 separate companies, national laboratories,
universities and other organizations. See the DOE press
The aluminum industry is one of nine energy-intensive
industries that DOE is working with through its Industries of
the Future program. See the Industries of the Future Web site.
DOE Funds Renewable Energy Studies at Tribal Colleges
DOE announced last week the availability of $700,000 in
funding for feasibility plans and studies for renewable energy
projects at Native American Tribal colleges and universities.
The feasibility studies will form the basis for the actual
installation of renewable energy projects, for which funding
will be available in 2001. Proposals will be accepted only
from tribal colleges and universities; the projects must be
integrated with educational programs and science curricula.
See the DOE press release.
The actual solicitation is posted on the Golden Field Office
Web site on EREN.
Virginia Alliance for Solar Electricity
The Virginia Alliance for Solar Electricity (VASE) is a grant-
based program designed to develop and deploy low-cost,
standardized solar electric systems throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. In addition to RFP information, the site
features an overview of photovoltaic (PV) systems and a
summary of building-integrated PV activity in 15 different
countries. VASE is funded in part by DOE.
For this and other recent additions see the EREN Web site.
Energy Facts and Tips
Studies: World's Oceans Warming, Ice Melting
Two new studies of the world's oceans and ice cover have
strengthened the scientific evidence of global warming. In a
study published in Science magazine, researchers at the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
reported that the upper 300 meters of the oceans' surface
have experienced a net warming of 0.56 degrees
Fahrenheit. The warming trend extended to deeper depths
than expected. According to one NOAA researcher, "One
criticism of the (climate) models is that they predict more
warming of the atmosphere than has been actually
observed. Climate modelers have suggested that this
'missing warming' was probably to be found in the world
ocean. The results of our study lend credence to this
scenario." See the NOAA press release.
The Worldwatch Institute released a compilation of reports
that together show ice cover melting throughout the world.
According to the institute, Arctic sea ice shrunk by 6 percent
between 1978 and 1996, losing an average of 34,300 square
kilometers each year. In Antarctica, three ice shelves have
disintegrated in the past decade, and two more "are in full
retreat and are expected to break up soon." See the press
release on the Worldwatch Institute Web site.
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