EREN Network News
November 29, 2000
News and Events
- Space Station to Set New Record for Solar Power in Space
- Commercial Wave Power Plant Goes Online in Scotland
- New Residential Fuel Cells Generate Electricity, Heat Water
- TVA to Build 12-Megawatt Fuel-Cell Storage Plant by 2003
- Nevada Test Site Considers Wind Turbine Installation
- American Solar Challenge: Getting Solar Kicks on Route 66
Energy Facts and Tips
- European Electric Road Vehicle Association
About this Newsletter
- Growth Boosts Projections for U.S. Energy Use in 2020
News and Events
Space Station to Set New Record for Solar Power in Space
If the Space Shuttle launches on time tomorrow, astronauts
will begin installing solar panels on the International Space
Station this coming weekend. Lockheed Martin Space
Systems built the flexible solar panels, each of which will be
rolled out to form a "wing" measuring 38 feet by 107 feet and
carrying 32,800 solar cells larger than any previous solar
power array deployed in space. Two of the eight wings are
scheduled to be installed this weekend and will be capable
of generating nearly 62 kilowatts of electric power. The
remaining solar wings will be installed in 2002, 2003, and
2006. See the Lockheed Martin press release.
See also the Space Shuttle press kit.
For the latest news on the mission from the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Commercial Wave Power Plant Goes Online in Scotland
A new form of renewable energy achieved commercial
status last week, when the world's first commercial wave
power station began operating on the Scottish island of Islay,
providing power to the United Kingdom power grid. The
United Kingdom has always been the leader in wave power
technology, with research in various technologies spanning
several decades. The new 500-kilowatt power station uses a
technology called the oscillating water column, in which the
incoming waves push air up and down inside a concrete
tube that is partially submerged in the ocean. The air rushing
into and out of the top of the tube is used to drive a turbine to
produce electricity. See the WAVEGEN press release.
New Residential Fuel Cells Generate Electricity, Heat Water
H Power Corporation announced earlier this month that it
has completed the installation and startup of a residential
fuel-cell system that generates both electricity and hot water.
Powered by propane, the prototype system is being tested at
a laboratory run by Hydro-Quebec, Canada's largest electric
utility. Yesterday, H Power announced that a similar fuel-cell
system, powered with natural gas, has been installed at a
model home owned by a utility in France. The unit will
undergo a five-month evaluation by the French national gas
utility, Gaz de France. See the H Power press releases.
TVA to Build 12-Megawatt Fuel-Cell Storage Plant by 2003
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced in
mid-November that it plans to build a 12-megawatt fuel-cell
facility in Mississippi that will serve as a means of storing
electricity. Fuel cells are typically used to produce electricity
from such fuels as hydrogen and oxygen. The TVA facility
will use "reversible" fuel cells that can literally be operated in
reverse, using electricity to generate hydrogen and oxygen,
then switching to convert the fuels back into electricity. In
this way, the facility will work like a giant battery, storing
electricity during periods of low electrical use and producing
electricity during peak usage periods.
Innogy Technology Ventures of Great Britain will design the
facility and provide the fuel cells. Construction could start as
early as next spring and is expected to take about two years.
See the TVA press release.
Nevada Test Site Considers Wind Turbine Installation
Three locations within the Nevada Test Site where nuclear
weapons were once tested are now being considered for
the installation of more than 300 wind turbines, according to
DOE. The Nevada Test Site Development Corporation
(NTSDC) is proposing the wind project as part of its
membership in the Western Renewable Energy Network, a
group that also includes the El Paso Merchant Energy
Company, Duke Solar Energy, M&N Wind Power (a
subsidiary of NEG Micon), and the Siemens Corporation.
The group is expecting private investment in the project,
which would be overseen by DOE. An initial public meeting
was held November 15th, and DOE is preparing an
Environmental Assessment for the project. See the press
release from DOE's Nevada Operations Office.
In related news, the New Power Company announced early
this month that it will sell wind power to its customers in the
area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The company will buy
the power from Community Energy Inc., which will develop a
new wind turbine site in the mountains of northeast
Pennsylvania. The new wind facility is scheduled to start
producing power by the end of 2001. See the November 7th
press release from the New Power Company.
American Solar Challenge: Getting Solar Kicks on Route 66
Plans are underway for the world's longest solar race, the
American Solar Challenge, to be held in mid-July 2001 along
U.S. Route 66, which runs from Chicago to Los Angeles.
The 2,300-mile race will be open to solar-powered cars built
by university teams, companies, clubs and individuals
worldwide. DOE is the primary sponsor for the race, but both
the race and the individual teams are seeking additional
sponsors. See the American Solar Challenge Web site.
So what's the big deal about Route 66? As a major east-
west route, Route 66 was important to the growth of the
U.S. trucking industry and brought dust-bowl refugees to
California. For many Americans, it represents the call of the
open road. See the National Historic Route 66 Federation Web site.
By the way, you might note that the American Solar
Challenge Web site is hosted by SolarHost, an Internet
company powered entirely by the sun. Started in March of
this year, SolarHost is also an American Solar Challenge
sponsor. See the Web site.
European Electric Road Vehicle Association
AVERE the European Electric Road Vehicle Association
was founded in 1978 as a European network of industrial
manufacturers and suppliers for electric vehicles. The
AVERE site features a database of European electric
vehicles that is searchable by vehicle type and that provides
a complete set of specifications for each entry. In addition,
the site includes a brief history of electric vehicles and how
they work, as well as news and a list of electric vehicle
incentives from member countries.
For this and other recent additions to the EREN Web site,
Energy Facts and Tips
Growth Boosts Projections for U.S. Energy Use in 2020
Long-term economic growth will increase U.S. energy use by
nearly one third by 2020, according to new projections
released yesterday by DOE's Energy Information
Administration (EIA). Last year, EIA projected an economic
growth rate of 2.1 percent per year, but that has been
increased to 3 percent per year in the latest projection. The
new projection sees near-term decreases in the price of oil
and natural gas, followed by a slow but steady increase over
the next two decades.
By 2010, the increase in energy use is projected to cause
combustion-related carbon dioxide emissions to increase to
34 percent above 1990 levels far above the Kyoto Protocol
goal of reducing U.S. carbon emissions to 7 percent below
1990 levels. This increase occurs despite the fact that the
carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product
are expected to decline. See the EIA press release.
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