EREN Network News
June 13, 2001
News and Events
- DOE Swears in Garman to Head Efficiency, Renewables
- Green Power to Supply 20 Percent of Chicago's Electricity
- New York State Also Plans to Buy 20 Percent Green Power
- Solar Electric System to Form Facade of New York High-Rise
- Honda Insight Sets New Sales Record; New Model Available
- Solar Cars Hit the Road for U.S., International Car Races
Energy Facts and Tips
About this Newsletter
- National Research Council Reports on Global Warming
News and Events
DOE Swears in Garman to Head Efficiency, Renewables
DOE announced last week the swearing in of David Garman
as the new Assistant Secretary of Energy for Energy
Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Garman is the
former chief of staff to Senator Frank Murkowski and served
as a staff member on the Senate Energy and Natural
Resources Committee from 1995 to 1998. See the DOE
As noted last week, one of Garman's first responsibilities will
be the coordination of a review of the EERE programs, as
called for in President Bush's National Energy Policy. As part
of this review, the first two of seven public meetings were
held yesterday in Chicago and Atlanta; additional public
meetings will be held in Boston, Seattle, Denver, and
Philadelphia next week, concluding in Washington, D.C., on
June 26th. See the DOE press release.
Green Power to Supply 20 Percent of Chicago's Electricity
Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley announced last week that
the city has chosen Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) to
supply 20 percent of the city government's electrical needs
from renewable energy sources. The city government has
teamed with the Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago City
Colleges, the Chicago Park District, and 48 suburban
governments to buy power as a group. In the first year of the
agreement, ComEd will supply 10 percent of the group's
electricity needs from power plants fueled with methane
recovered from landfills. Within five years, ComEd will add
new renewable energy facilities, including wind and solar
plants, to provide 20 percent of the group's electrical needs
a total of 80 megawatts, or enough to power 80,000 homes.
See the mayor's press release
Environmental Resources Trust (ERT), a non-profit
organization, has certified the environmental benefits of the
initial green power supplied by ComEd, and will work with
ComEd in the coming years to certify all the green power
supplied to the city. ERT will also oversee a "reinvestment
fund" for renewable energy sources that will be generated by
the city's green power purchase. ERT expects the fund to
exceed $3 million within five years. See the ERT press
Mayor Daley first announced plans to buy the power in July 2000.
See EREN Network News, July 26, 2000.
New York State Also Plans to Buy 20 Percent Green Power
New York Governor George E. Pataki issued an Executive
Order on Sunday mandating that all state agencies purchase
no less than 10 percent of their electricity from renewable
energy sources by 2005. The green power mandate will
increase to 20 percent by 2010. The Executive Order
requires state agencies to implement energy efficient
practices at state buildings, increase purchases of energy
efficient products, and follow "green building" standards
during new construction or substantial renovation projects.
The governor also announced the formation of a New York
State Greenhouse Gas Task Force to develop policy
recommendations for greenhouse gas emissions and global
warming. The task force will be comprised of representatives
from the business community, environmental organizations,
state agencies, and universities. The task force will report
back to Governor Pataki with specific policy recommendations
for incorporation in the New York State Energy Plan, a draft
of which will be completed in December. A final report from
the Greenhouse Gas Task Force is due by March 2002, and
the final energy plan will be released in the spring of 2002.
See the governor's press release.
Solar Electric System to Form Facade of New York High-Rise
AstroPower, Inc. announced June 1st that it will provide a
30-kilowatt solar electric system for a new residential high-
rise building in New York City's Battery Park. Rather than an
add-on to the building, the solar photovoltaic panels will be
integrated into the facade of the building an approach
known as building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems.
The system will produce up to 5 percent of the building's
electrical needs. See the AstroPower press release.
Honda Insight Sets New Sales Record; New Model Available
The American Honda Motor Co., Inc. announced yesterday
that U.S. sales of its hybrid electric Insight reached a new
record of 903 vehicles in May, up from 380 vehicles a year
ago and 573 vehicles in April. Honda credited increased gas
prices for the sales surge, although it may also be due to the
addition of a new model with a continuously variable
transmission (CVT). The Insight CVT drives like an
automatic transmission, but it continuously adjusts gear
ratios, rather than shifting between specific gears. The
Insight CVT achieves EPA fuel economy ratings of 57 miles
per gallon (mpg) in the city and 56 mpg on the highway.
Unlike the standard Insight, the CVT model meets
California's Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV)
standard, the most stringent exhaust emission standard in
the world. See the Honda press release.
Solar Cars Hit the Road for U.S., International Car Races
The summer solstice is approaching, and that means it's
prime time for solar car racing. This year's early entry in the
race circuit was the Formula Sun Grand Prix, held from
May 10th through 12th in Topeka, Kansas. The Rose-
Hulman Institute of Technology took top honors by
completing 353 of the 1.2-mile laps during the three-day
race. A second race will be held in July in South Haven,
Michigan. See the race results.
Both of the Formula Sun Grand Prix races serve as qualifiers
for the American Solar Challenge, a 2300-mile race from
Chicago to southern California, following historic Route 66.
The race will run from July 15th through the 25th. See the
American Solar Challenge Web site.
Solar cars were only one of eight vehicle categories at the
13th Annual Tour de Sol, held in late May and organized by
the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA). The
300-mile road rally is billed as the world's largest and most
diversified competition and showcase for advanced, cleaner
vehicle technologies. Among the winners was a prototype
biodiesel-fueled hybrid electric car called the Aluminum Cow,
entered by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For a full
list of winners, see the NESEA press release.
And this week, Malaysia sponsored its first World Solar Car
Championship, an international solar car race that is
sanctioned by the International Solar Car Federation. The
race featured 11 cars from Japan, one from Taiwan, and two
from Malaysia. It ran from Shah Alam to Malacca and
finished yesterday no word yet on who won. See the
championship's official Web site.
Fuel Cell World
This site, sponsored by the World Fuel Cell Council, explains
how fuel cells work and where they are used, their benefits,
and the status of technology development. The site also
contains papers and presentations from the council and a
roundup of fuel cell newsletters.
For this and other recent additions to the EREN Web site.
Energy Facts and Tips
National Research Council Reports on Global Warming
At the request of President Bush, a committee of the
National Research Council (NRC) released last week a
report summing up science's current understanding of global
warming. The report confirmed that the Earth's surface
temperature increased about 1 degree Fahrenheit
(0.6 degrees Celsius) during the 20th century, with an
increase in intensity over the past 20 years.
The NRC also confirmed that the current thinking of the
scientific community is that the last 50 years of global
warming is likely the result of increases in greenhouse
gases. Based on assumptions that emissions of greenhouse
gases will accelerate and conservative assumptions about
how the climate will react to that, the NRC says computer
models suggest that average global surface temperatures
will rise between 2.5 and 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit (1.4 and
5.8 degrees Celsius) by the end of this century.
However, the report also cautioned that uncertainties remain
concerning the effects of greenhouse gases. Uncertainties
arise because of the level of natural variability inherent in the
climate on time scales from decades to centuries, the
questionable ability of models to simulate natural variability
on such long time scales, and the degree of confidence that
can be placed on estimates of temperatures going back
thousands of years based on evidence from tree rings or ice
See the National Academies press release.
See also the full report in either html or Adobe PDF formats (PDF 304 KB),
Download Acrobat Reader
President Bush remarked on the NRC report in a speech on
Monday. "Our country, the United States, is the world's
largest emitter of man-made greenhouse gases," noted the
President. "We account for almost 20 percent of the world's
man-made greenhouse emissions. We also account for
about one-quarter of the world's economic output. We
recognize the responsibility to reduce our emissions."
"…I call on Congress to work with my administration on the
initiatives to enhance conservation and energy efficiency
outlined in my energy plan, to implement the increased use
of renewables, natural gas and hydropower that are outlined
in the plan, and to increase the generation of safe and clean
nuclear power," said President Bush. "By increasing
conservation and energy efficiency and aggressively using
these clean energy technologies, we can reduce our
greenhouse gas emissions by significant amounts in the
See the full text of the President's speech on the White
House Web site.
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