EREN Network News
February 21, 2001
News and Events
- BPA Starts $200-Million Program for Renewables, Efficiency
- More Than 400,000 Ohioans May Receive Green Power
- Reports Examine the Energy Future of the Midwest
- New Clean Car Prototype Features Honda-Made Fuel Cell
- California Winery Uses Clean Energy to Stabilize Costs
Energy Facts and Tips
About this Newsletter
- Scientists Release New Assessment of Climate Change Impacts
News and Events
BPA Starts $200-Million Program for Renewables, Efficiency
The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) announced last
week the launch of a $200-million program to save energy
and develop renewable energy resources. Over the next five
years, regional utilities that buy power from BPA and choose
to participate will get a discount on their wholesale power bill
if they agree to invest in energy efficiency measures or
renewable resources. Each utility will decide how to spend
its discount funds to achieve the desired results for its
service area. BPA's principal service territory includes the
states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, and the portion of
Montana west of the Continental Divide. BPA also directly
serves small portions of California, Nevada, Utah and
Wyoming. See the BPA press release.
More Than 400,000 Ohioans May Receive Green Power
Green Mountain Energy Company announced last week that
it has been selected to serve more than 400,000 electricity
customers in Ohio. A group called the Northeast Ohio Public
Energy Council (NOPEC) has brought together the
customers from nearly 100 communities in the Cleveland
area to buy power as a group a process known as
"aggregation." NOPEC selected Green Mountain Energy
Company and will enter into a six-year supply contract with
the company. Green Mountain Energy Company will provide
power to customers within NOPEC unless these choose to
According to a NOPEC press release, Green Mountain
Energy Company will obtain 98 percent of its electric supply
from natural gas-fired power plants and 2 percent from
renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power.
The company will also install solar energy systems at eight
schools, offering students the opportunity for hands-on study
of solar power. See the Green Mountain Energy Company press release.
For more information about NOPEC, including their press release, see the NOPEC Web site.
Reports Examine the Energy Future of the Midwest
What does the future hold for Midwestern states like Ohio?
At least one organization, the Environmental Law and Policy
Center, sees the ten Midwestern states using energy
efficiency to curb electricity consumption a full 28 percent by
2020, with renewable energy providing 22 percent of the
electricity that is used. See the "Repowering the Midwest" report.
What would it cost, for example, to supply 10 percent of
Nebraska's electricity needs with wind power? According to
a recent report from the Union of Concerned Scientists
(UCS), doing so by 2012 would create 360 more jobs,
$8 million more in income, and $35 million more in gross
state product than producing the same amount of electricity
from coal and natural gas generation. The study also found
that the net benefits to the state economy would exceed the
additional cost of developing wind power by nearly
$15 million per year over a 20-year period. See the UCS
New Clean Car Prototype Features Honda-Made Fuel Cell
Honda Motor Company, Ltd., unveiled its latest fuel-cell-
powered vehicle, the FCX-V3, last week. Unlike previous
Honda prototypes, which ran on fuel cells made by Ballard
Power Systems, Inc., the new model features a fuel cell
designed by Honda. The vehicle starts up in only four
seconds and uses an ultracapacitor to improve response. It
will be road tested as part of the California Fuel Cell
Partnership's public highway demonstration program. See
the Honda press release.
Mazda has also built a prototype fuel-cell car, the Premacy
FC-EV, which it will road test in Japan. Mazda has been
working with Ford Motor Company on research and
development of the FC-EV. See the Mazda press release.
California Winery Uses Clean Energy to Stabilize Costs
While many businesses in California have seen their energy
costs skyrocket, at least one business is riding out the storm
with stable energy costs. Through a combination of an
aggressive energy-efficiency program, a solar electric
system, and a contract to buy 100 percent of its power from
renewable energy sources, Fetzer Vineyards of California's
Mendocino Valley has held its energy costs steady. Despite
plans to boost its production above its current three million
cases of wine per year, the winery expects that new energy-
saving approaches will greatly reduce its energy use this
year. See the Fetzer Vineyards press release.
Meanwhile, the electrical crisis in California appears to have
lessened, at least temporarily. After 32 days at Stage Three
(operating reserves at or below 1.5 percent, with rolling
blackouts possible), the operator of the California electrical
grid went to Stage Two (operating reserves at or below
5 percent) on Friday near midnight, and remains at Stage
Two as of press time. See the California Independent
System Operator Web site.
Consumer Energy Center
Developed by the California Energy Commission, this site
offers consumers a variety of information on energy topics,
ranging from the cost and benefits of investing in solar
panels and small scale wind projects to building efficiency
and construction practices to suit California's various climate
regions. Tips on conserving electricity while using today's
modern conveniences are included, as well as specific
advice for industrial and agricultural consumers.
For this and other recent additions to the EREN Web site,
Energy Facts and Tips
Scientists Release New Assessment of Climate Change Impacts
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
announced last week that its latest assessment of the
worldwide impacts of climate change has been completed.
The report finds that recent regional climate changes,
particularly temperature increases, have already affected
many physical and biological systems throughout the world.
There are also preliminary indications that some social and
economic systems have been affected by an increasing
frequency of floods and droughts. The IPCC was established
by the World Meteorological Organization and the United
Nations Environment Programme in 1988. Although its full
report is not yet available, a "Summary for Policymakers" is
available on the IPCC Web site.
About this Newsletter
To subscribe, unsubscribe, or change your e-mail address, please go to the Web
The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network (EREN)
home page is located at http://www.eren.doe.gov/.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have
questions or comments about the EREN Web site.
If you have questions or comments about this
newsletter, please contact the editor.