EREN Network News
July 25, 2001
News and Events
- U.S. Investment in Energy Efficiency Research Pays Off
- Company Builds First 5,000-Horsepower HTS Motor
- Honda, BMW Start Up Hydrogen Fueling Stations
- Texas Wind Plant Expands; Shell Buys Wyoming Plant
- Tyson Foods to Convert Chicken Manure to Energy
- University of Michigan Leads American Solar Challenge
Energy Facts and Tips
About this Newsletter
- Study: Earth Likely to Warm 4 to 7 Degrees by 2100
News and Events
U.S. Investment in Energy Efficiency Research Pays Off
The United States has reaped huge economic benefits
from its investments in energy efficiency research and
development, says a report released last week by the
National Research Council (NRC). An NRC panel examined
17 energy efficiency projects that represented $1.6 billion in
federal investment, or roughly 20 percent of the $7.3 billion
that DOE has spent over the past 22 years. The panel
estimates that the $1.6 billion investment yielded net
economic benefits of $30 billion.
Incredibly, three DOE projects that cost only $11 million
resulted in most of the economic benefit: compressors for
refrigerators and freezers, energy-efficient fluorescent-
lighting components called electronic ballasts, and low-emissivity
(low-e) window glass that resists the transmission
of heat through windows. The NRC also credits federal
standards and regulations that incorporated the efficiencies
attainable by these new technologies, ensuring that the
technologies would be adopted nationwide.
As part of the report, the panel also examined federal
investments in fossil energy research and development. For
22 projects costing $11 billion about 73 percent of the
$15 billion spent over 22 years the NRC estimates net
economic benefits of $10.8 billion. See National Academiespress release.
See also the full report especially the executive
Summary on the National Academy Press Web site.
Company Builds First 5,000-Horsepower HTS Motor
American Superconductor Corporation has built the first
5,000-horsepower motor that uses high-temperature
superconducting (HTS) wires in its rotor, the company
announced last week. Because HTS wires carry large
amounts of electrical current with low energy losses, the
HTS motor is roughly half the size and weight of a
conventional motor, and also reduces the energy losses by
up to 50 percent. According to the company, motors greater
than 1,000 horsepower in size use one-quarter of the
electricity generated in the United States, so the potential
energy savings from large HTS motors could be significant.
See the American Superconductor Web site.
Honda, BMW Start Up Hydrogen Fueling Stations
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. announced in early July the
startup of a hydrogen fueling station for its fuel-cell-powered
vehicles. Located at Honda's research and development
center in Torrance, California, the station uses solar power
to extract hydrogen from water. The solar panels on the
station generate enough hydrogen to power one fuel-cell
vehicle, but additional electrical power from the power grid is
used to increase the hydrogen production capacity. The new
station will support Honda's fuel cell vehicle development
program and will be used for hydrogen production, storage
and fueling. See the Honda press release.
BMW also opened a hydrogen fueling station this month.
The company's new liquid hydrogen fuel station is located at
its Engineering and Emissions Control Test Center in
Oxnard, California. BMW is taking a different approach than
most car companies, burning hydrogen directly in advanced
internal-combustion engines. A fleet of its 12-cylinder
hydrogen-fueled cars came to Los Angeles this month as
part of the company's "CleanEnergy WorldTour 2001"
several of the cars will remain at the Oxnard facility for
extensive testing and demonstrations. See the BMW press
QUANTUM Technologies WorldWide, Inc. is also doing its
part for hydrogen-powered vehicles: the company has
developed a vehicle storage tank for hydrogen that can hold
the gas at pressures of 10,000 pounds per square inch. See
the press release.
Texas Wind Plant Expands; Shell Buys Wyoming Plant
TXU Corporation and American Electric Power (AEP)
announced last week that AEP's wind plant in west Texas
will be expanded by 20 megawatts. The Trent Mesa Project,
now under construction near Abilene, will have a capacity of
150 megawatts when the expansion is complete. Power
generation will begin there this fall. See the press release on
the Trent Mesa Project Web site.
Shell Renewables announced Monday that it has stepped
into the U.S. wind energy market by buying the 50-megawatt
Rock River I wind facility in Wyoming. The facility, which is
scheduled to begin operation in October, marks the start of
Shell Renewables' U.S. wind power company, which is
called Shell WindEnergy Inc. See Royal Dutch/Shellpress release.
Construction of Rock River I was announced in June by
SeaWest WindPower Inc., which is selling the facility to Shell
WindEnergy. See the June 6th edition of EREN Network
Since wind power is an intermittent source of electricity it
is only available when the wind blows how much wind
power can a utility use without impacting electric system
operations? This issue called "wind integration" within the
power industry is being tackled through a new study
coordinated by the Utility Wind Interest Group (UWIG).
DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory will provide
technical support for the study, which will be performed by
Electrotek Concepts. See the UWIG press release.
Tyson Foods to Convert Chicken Manure to Energy
Up to 85,000 tons per year of chicken manure in the
Chesapeake Bay region will find a new use within the next
few years, as Tyson Foods, Inc. plans to convert it into
energy. The company announced earlier this month that it is
beginning the permitting process to build a gasification
facility at its processing plant in Temperanceville, Virginia.
The new facility will convert both the chicken manure and
about 30,000 tons per year of sludge from its wastewater
treatment plants into steam for use in the processing plant.
The $12 million plant will be able to produce 120,000 pounds
of steam per hour, and should be completed roughly
18 months after ground is broken for the project. See the
Tyson Foods press release.
University of Michigan Leads American Solar Challenge
Today is the last day of the American Solar Challenge the
solar car race that runs from Chicago to Los Angeles and
the University of Michigan is in the lead. Michigan took the
lead from the University of Missouri-Rolla on Thursday and
has held onto it ever since. To check on the current status of
today's race, click on the American Solar Challenge link on
the Terion Web site.
As of Monday, 28 cars remained in the race, although only
13 had reached Barstow, California. To check the latest
results, see American Solar Challenge.
See also the press releases for the race.
Green Energy Ohio
This site, sponsored by the Ohio chapter of the American
Solar Energy Society, promotes environmentally and
economically sustainable energy policies and practices in
Ohio. It includes a monthly newsletter, a renewable energy
directory for Ohio, and brochures and fact sheets on
renewable energy and electric choices.
For this and other recent additions to the EREN Web site.
Energy Facts and Tips
Study: Earth Likely to Warm 4 to 7 Degrees by 2100
The Earth is most likely to experience a global warming of
4 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, according to a new
probability analysis performed by scientists in the United
States and Europe. A 5-degree temperature rise has the
highest probability, and the probability is 90 percent that the
temperature rise will be between 3 and 9 degrees, say the
researchers. The study was published in the July 20th issue
of the journal Science.See the press release from the National Center for Atmospheric Research
Injecting probability analysis into climate models is a recent
trend in the science of global warming a similar analysis
performed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in
March reached very similar conclusions. See the April 25th
edition of the EREN Network News
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