EREN Network News
November 1, 2000
News and Events
- Federal Solar Energy Systems Dedicated in Maryland, Chicago
- Hybrid Fuel Cell-Turbine System Planned for Federal Site
- DOE Announces New National Bioenergy Center
- Renewable Energy Research Funding Increases 20 Percent
- DaimlerChrysler Unveils Fuel-Cell-Powered Jeep
- Green Power Comes to Maryland, South Carolina
- DOE Awards $11.8 Million for Energy-Efficient Glass Making
- Hogs' Manure Lights Their Own Barn Through Biodigestion
Energy Facts and Tips
About this Newsletter
- EIA: Carbon Emissions Increased 1.3 Percent in 1999
News and Events
Federal Solar Energy Systems Dedicated in Maryland, Chicago
DOE and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
dedicated a 100-kilowatt solar electric system last week at
the Suitland, Maryland Federal Center near Washington,
D.C. The 2800 solar photovoltaic panels comprise the
largest multi-celled thin-film solar power system in the
country. In dedicating the system, DOE noted that the
President's Million Solar Roofs initiative has installed more
than 100,000 solar roofs since 1997, nearly double the goal
of 51,000 roofs by the end of this year. See the DOE press
DOE, GSA, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) also unveiled Monday an 84-panel solar electric system
on the roof of the Metcalfe Federal Building in Chicago. EPA and GSA provided funding for the $100,000 project. See the EPA press
For more information about the Million Solar Roofs initiative,
see the Web site on EREN.
Hybrid Fuel Cell-Turbine System Planned for Federal Site
DOE announced last week plans to power an EPA facility in
Fort Meade, Maryland, with a revolutionary hybrid system that
combines a fuel cell with a microturbine. The Siemens-
Westinghouse Power Corporation will build the 1,000-kilowatt
power plant, which uses tubular ceramic fuel cells that operate
under high pressure. The hot, pressurized exhaust gas is then
used to power the microturbine. The system will be installed at
EPA's Environmental Science Center and should be
operational by mid-2002. See the DOE press release.
Siemens-Westinghouse began testing the first system of this
type in April. See the April 19th edition of EREN Network News.
DOE Announces New National Bioenergy Center
DOE announced yesterday the creation of a new National
Bioenergy Center, to be based at DOE's National Renewable
Energy Laboratory (NREL). NREL and the Oak Ridge National
Laboratories (ORNL) will lead the center, which will link DOE-
funded biomass renewable energy research programs with the
resources and capabilities of DOE laboratories, universities,
the private sector, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and
Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National
Science Foundation, and several other federal agencies.
NREL's $33 million biomass research program focuses on
the conversion of biomass feedstocks into electric power,
transportation fuels and chemical products. ORNL's
$6 million research program focuses on biomass crop
research. See the DOE press release.
The center is part of DOE's efforts to implement President
Clinton's federal initiative to triple the nation's use of bioenergy
and bioproducts by 2010. See the Bioenergy Initiative on the EREN Web site.
Renewable Energy Research Funding Increases 20 Percent
President Clinton last week approved the Energy and Water
Development Appropriations Act, which includes a $65 million
increase in funding for research in renewable energy
technologies. That represents about a 20 percent increase
over fiscal year 2000 funding, bringing the total funding to
$375 million. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will
also receive $123 million a 19 percent increase for its
Climate Change Technology Initiative, which helps businesses
and consumers save energy and money. See the October 27th
White House press release and statement by the President.
DOE noted Monday that its Weatherization Assistance
Program which is funded separately received a 13 percent
increase in funds, bringing its budget to $153 million for fiscal
year 2001. The funding is distributed to states to support the
weatherization of the homes of low-income families.
Weatherization can include installing insulation, retrofitting
furnaces and boilers in cold climates, and providing cooling
measures in warm climates. See the DOE press release.
Monday was declared "Weatherization Day" by DOE. See the
Weatherization Assistance Program on the EREN Web site.
DaimlerChrysler Unveils Fuel-Cell-Powered Jeep
DaimlerChrysler Corporation last week announced its
production of a prototype fuel-cell-powered Jeep
Commander 2. The Jeep runs off methanol, which is
converted to hydrogen onboard to power the fuel cell. Front
and rear electric motors produce a total of 82 kilowatts of
power about 110 horsepower. Featuring a nickel-metal-
hydride battery pack and regenerative braking, which
recharges the battery pack, the Jeep achieves about
12 miles per gallon of methanol the energy equivalent of
about 24 miles per gallon of gasoline. The company plans to
market its fuel-cell-powered buses in 2002, followed by a
fuel-cell-powered car in 2004.
DaimlerChrysler also announced last week that it has acquired
Global Electric MotorCars, LLC (GEM), the largest U.S.
producer of so-called Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs).
NEVs have a maximum speed of 25 mph and are certified for
operation on roads posted at 35 mph or less. Thirty-two states
presently have approved the use of NEVs, and the State of
California certifies the vehicles as Zero Emission Vehicles.
GEM will produce more than 5,000 electric vehicles this year.
See the October 23rd press releases by selecting "Press
Releases & Speeches" on the DaimlerChrysler Web.
Green Power Comes to Maryland, South Carolina
Pepco Energy Services announced last week that it has begun
offering the first green power in Maryland. The company's
"PowerChoice Green Electricity" will use renewable energy
sources to produce at least half its power. See the company's
In South Carolina, Santee Cooper, the state-owned electric
and water utility, will start producing power from the methane
gas generated by a landfill. Santee Cooper announced last
week that it will build a 2.2-megawatt facility in Horry County,
producing enough electricity to power 400 homes. The green
power, the first in the state, will be sold to Santee Cooper
and Horry Electric Cooperative customers at a premium
price. See the Santee Cooper press release.
DOE Awards $11.8 Million for Energy-Efficient Glass Making
DOE announced last week the award of $11.8 million to four
glass-making firms and DOE's Argonne National Laboratory
to improve the energy efficiency of glass making. The
projects will range from in-house recycling of glass waste to
improvements in glass furnace technology. See the DOE
Hogs' Manure Lights Their Own Barn Through Biodigestion
Our continuing series of manure-to-energy stories turns this
week to hogs. A new biodigester at a hog farm in Schuylkill
County, Pennsylvania, is now converting hog manure to
methane, which is then burned to produce electricity. Partly
funded by DOE and the Pennsylvania Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP), the system reduces
methane odors from the hog farm while producing enough
electricity to light the barn. See the October 26th press
release on the DEP Web site.
Energy Saving Trust
This nonprofit agency works with a range of partners to
deliver energy efficiency to consumers in the United
Kingdom (U.K.). In addition to general information about the
agency, the site hosts two smaller subsites that provide
information for consumers on energy efficiency and
alternative fuel vehicles. Visitors can find out about saving
energy in the home and can use a calculator to determine
the potential savings from energy efficient appliances. A
database of energy efficiency grants in the U.K. is also
available for both homeowners and small businesses. The
alternative fuels portion, called Powershift, focuses on
alternative fuels for transportation that are viable in the U.K.
today. Users can find information on the financial assistance
available to purchase approved clean-fuel vehicles.
For this and other recent additions to the EREN Web site,
Energy Facts and Tips
EIA: Carbon Emissions Increased 1.3 Percent in 1999
Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel use increased by
1.3 percent in 1999, according to a report released
yesterday by DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The result follows an increase of only 0.1 percent in 1998
and is closer to the decade's average increase of about
1.4 percent. Carbon dioxide emissions from transportation
increased 2.9 percent, accounting for most of the increase.
Total greenhouse gas emissions, which include methane
and other greenhouse gases, increased by 0.8 percent in
1999. The emissions of greenhouses gases other than
carbon dioxide all stayed level or decreased in 1999. See
the EIA press release.
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