Tag Archives: 2012

News and Events by CCRES June 07, 2012

 

 

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources

News and Events June 07, 2012

DOE to Launch an Energy Innovation Hub for Critical Materials Research

The Energy Department announced on May 31 its plans to invest up to $120 million over five years in a new Energy Innovation Hub that will identify problems and develop solutions across the lifecycle of critical materials. Rare earth elements and other critical materials have unique chemical and physical characteristics—including magnetic, catalytic, and luminescent properties—that are important for a growing number of energy technologies. These critical materials are also at risk for supply disruptions. The new hub, funded by up to $20 million in Fiscal Year 2012, will carry out research aimed both at having a reliable U.S. supply of rare earths and other critical materials, as well as finding efficiencies and alternatives that reduce the amount of critical materials that are needed. The work will aim to advance U.S. leadership in energy-related manufacturing, including the production of electric vehicles, wind turbines, efficient lights, and other products.
Universities, national laboratories, nonprofit organizations, and private firms are eligible to compete and are encouraged to form partnerships when submitting their proposals. The award selection is expected this fall. This will be the fifth Energy Innovation Hub established by the Energy Department since 2010. See the Energy Department press release, the Energy Innovation Hubs website, and the funding opportunity announcement.
 

Administration Backs a $26 Million Competition for Advanced Manufacturing

The Obama Administration announced on May 29 a $26 million multi-agency Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge to foster innovation-fueled job creation through public-private partnerships. The challenge will support projects that aim to help grow a region’s industry clusters by strengthening connections to regional economic development opportunities and advanced manufacturing assets; enhance a region’s capacity to create high-quality sustainable jobs; develop a skilled and diverse advanced manufacturing workforce; increase exports; encourage the development of small businesses; and accelerate technological innovation.
This is the third round of the Jobs Accelerator competition, which is being funded by the Energy Department; the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and National Institute of Standards and Technology; the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration; the Small Business Administration; and the National Science Foundation. In this round, approximately 12 projects are expected to be chosen through a competitive inter-agency grant process. These coordinated investments will help catalyze and leverage private capital, build an entrepreneurial ecosystem, and promote cluster-based development in regions across the United States. The deadline for applications is July 9, 2012. See the interagency press release, the Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge webpage on Manufacturing.gov, and the grant opportunity on Grants.gov.
 

First Commercial Product Meets Rooftop Air Conditioner Challenge

The Energy Department announced on May 24 that Daikin McQuay’s Rebel rooftop unit system is the first to meet DOE’s Rooftop Unit (RTU) Challenge. Five manufacturers—Daikin McQuay, Carrier, Lennox, 7AC Technologies, and Rheem—are participating in this challenge to commercialize highly efficient commercial air conditioners that satisfy a DOE-issued specification for energy savings and performance. When built to meet the specification, these units are expected to reduce energy use by as much as 50%, relative to units built to current standards. Nationwide, if all 10- to 20-ton RTUs met the specification, businesses would save more than $1 billion each year in energy costs. The five companies have until April 1, 2013, to submit a product for independent evaluation according to the specification.
Manufacturers nationwide have a strong motivation to produce highly energy-efficient air conditioning units for commercial buildings. Members in DOE’s Commercial Buildings Energy Alliances (CBEA), such as Target, Walmart, and other participating commercial building owners have expressed an interest in equipment that meets the new energy efficiency specification at an affordable price. The Energy Department is evaluating potential demonstration sites for high-performing products that meet the RTU Challenge and is also developing analytical tools that enable businesses to more accurately estimate the energy and cost savings of using high-performance RTUs in their facilities. The specification for the RTU Challenge, aimed at spurring the market introduction of cost-effective, high-performance commercial RTU air conditioners, was developed by DOE technical experts and informed by industry partners. See the Energy Department’s Progress Alert and the CBEA webpage.
 

Energy Department Names Finalists for the Better Buildings Federal Award

Photo of a large building complex that includes a high-rise tower.

The Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center in Atlanta, Georgia, is one of eight finalists for the Energy Department’s first annual Better Buildings Federal Award.
Credit: FEMP
The Energy Department announced on May 30 eight finalists for the first-annual Better Buildings Federal Award. This competition recognizes the federal government’s highest-performing buildings and challenges agencies to achieve the greatest reduction in annual energy intensity, the amount of energy consumed per square foot. The federal building that achieves the greatest energy savings over a one-year competition period wins.
The finalists, which represent a range of building types, sizes, and agency functions, were selected based upon past and current sustainability efforts that demonstrate leadership and promote ongoing energy savings. They include buildings in Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, Texas, and West Virginia. When selecting finalists, the Department’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) considered energy efficiency measures deployed in the facility, best practices in energy management and building operations undertaken by facility personnel, and institutional change programs and other tools that were used to encourage broad sustainability efforts within the facility. From now until September 30, 2012, the selected finalists will compete in a head-to-head competition to achieve the greatest reduction in Fiscal Year 2012 energy intensity. See the Energy Department Progress Alert and the Better Buildings Federal Award webpage.
 

CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES (CCRES)

  special thanks to U.S. Department of Energy | USA.gov

The Clean Energy Economy is Creating Jobs

The clean energy economy is here, and creating jobs all across the country. In fact, some may even be in your neighborhood.
Recently, Environmental Entrepreneurs reported 137 clean energy job announcements that could create 46,000 jobs in 42 states. From manufacturing plants, to power generation projects, to energy efficient retrofits, more than 126 companies, cities, and organizations are creating jobs across this great land. From Atlanta to Michigan to Arizona, workers are finding jobs in the clean energy field.
In Atlanta a new streetcar will increase mobility for citizens traveling between downtown and the greater Atlanta region. This project will create almost 1,000 construction jobs alone. In Madison County, Indiana, just outside Indianapolis, a 200-megawatt wind farm is being built. Besides generating electricity for up to 60,000 homes, more than 300 workers have been hired to help build the farm. Read the complete story on the Energy Blog.
 

#askEnergy: Live Twitter Chat with A Solar Expert

What do you want to know about solar energy? Now is your opportunity to ask.
This Friday, June 8, at 2 p.m. EDT we are hosting a live Solar Twitter Chat. The discussion will be lead by R. Ramesh—our resident solar expert and director of the Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative. To participate, send your questions and comments using #askEnergy.
Whether you want to know the pros and cons of cadmium telluride or how solar panels work—no question is too basic or complex. And, if you have an idea for, let’s say, making solar energy more accessible to American families and businesses—share it with us during the discussion. To learn more, including ways to participate using email or Facebook, see the Energy Blog.
 

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)

 
 
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News and Events by CCRES May 24, 2012

 

 

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources

News and Events May 24, 2012

Consumers to Save with New Energy Efficient Washers and Dishwashers

Photo of two modern washing machines.

Energy efficiency standards for residential clothes washers and dishwashers are designed to save consumers $20 billion in energy and water costs.
Credit: Dennis Schroeder/NREL
The Department of Energy on May 16 announced energy efficiency standards for residential clothes washers and dishwashers that are expected to save consumers $20 billion in energy and water costs. The clothes washers standard will save households approximately $350 apiece over the lifetime of the appliances. And home dishwashers will use approximately 15% less energy and more than 20% less water, directly providing consumers with savings on monthly bills.
Today, clothes washers and dishwashers account for approximately 3% of residential energy use and more than 20% of indoor water use in U.S. homes. The new standards for clothes washers will reduce the energy consumption of front-loading clothes washers by 15% and reduce water consumption by 35%, while the standards will reduce energy consumption by top-loading washers by 33% and reduce water consumption by 19%. The new standards—developed in partnership with companies such as Whirlpool, General Electric, and LG Electronics, industry advocates, national environmental organizations, consumer groups, and other stakeholders—build on previous minimum energy efficiency requirements for clothes washers and dishwashers. They go into effect starting in 2015 and 2013, respectively. The announcement is the most recent in a series of efficiency standards made by the Obama Administration that have covered nearly 40 different products, and will together save consumers nearly $350 billion on their energy bills through 2030. See the DOE press release and the Building Technologies Program website.

Energy Department Announces Funding to Test a Wave Energy Device

The Energy Department on May 18 announced that $500,000 is available this year to test the technical readiness of technologies that can harness energy from waves to supply renewable power to highly-populated coastal regions. The funding will support one project to deploy and test a wave energy conversion device for one year at the Department of Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site off of the Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu. This funding will demonstrate and accelerate wave power technologies that could further develop the country’s significant ocean energy resources.
These efforts complement an ongoing collaboration with the Navy, underscoring how increased cooperation between the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the Energy Department can further the nation’s objectives toward renewable energy development. Through the funding opportunity, the Energy Department will provide technical support to test and evaluate the best wave energy options to provide power to DOD facilities. The Energy Department estimates that there are over 1,170 terawatt hours per year of electric generation available from wave energy off U.S. coasts, although not all of this resource potential can realistically be developed. The Navy has supported wave energy conversion research with the expectation that this technology can be used to assist DOD in reaching its agency goal of producing or procuring 25% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025.
The Energy Department expects to select a proposed wave energy device that is substantially complete and ready for testing and data collection without significant modification. The testing will include a comprehensive performance assessment—as well as a review of all pre- and post-deployment activities, operations and maintenance activities, and related analysis—to advance understanding of these innovative technologies and identify areas of performance improvement that will benefit this emerging industry as a whole. See the Progress Alert and the funding opportunity announcement.

Winners of Design Competition to Advance Energy Efficient Lighting Named

The winners of the indoor lighting category of the fourth-annual Next Generation Luminaires Design Competition were announced recently at the LIGHTFAIR International conference in Las Vegas. The competition, sponsored by the Energy Department, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, and the International Association of Lighting Designers, was launched in 2008 to promote excellence in the design of energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) commercial lighting fixtures, or “luminaires.” Solid-state lighting, which includes both LED and organic light emitting diode technologies, has the potential to save $30 billion a year in energy costs by 2030.
A panel of eight judges, including experts from the architectural lighting design community, evaluated the next generation luminaires entries based on lighting quality, appearance, serviceability, efficacy, value, dimming, and lifetime. The Best in Class winners came from three different manufacturers and covered three different lighting types. Intense Lighting was awarded Best in Class for its MBW2 LED Track accent lighting fixture; Albeo Technologies Inc. won Best in Class for its H-Series LED high-bay fixture; and Lithonia Lighting earned Best in Class for its ST Series LED utility/general purpose fixture. Design competitions are a key part of DOE’s national strategy to accelerate technology advancements from laboratory to marketplace and boost the adoption of energy efficient lighting products. See the DOE Progress Alert, the Building Technologies Program Solid-State Lighting Web page, and the Next Generation Luminaires website.

Interior Advances Offshore Atlantic Transmission Line

The U.S. Department of the Interior and its Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced on May 14 a finding of “no competitive interest” for the proposed Mid-Atlantic offshore wind energy transmission line. The decision clears the way for the project to move forward with the environmental review necessary to grant the company, Atlantic Grid Holdings, LLC, a right-of-way for the proposal to build a “backbone” transmission line that would enable up to 7,000 megawatts of wind turbine capacity to be delivered to the grid.
The proposed project is a high-voltage, direct-current subsea transmission system that would collect power generated by wind turbine facilities off the Atlantic coasts of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia. The first such offshore infrastructure proposed in the United States, the system’s parallel, redundant circuits would total about 790 miles in length. The proposed transmission line would be constructed in phases to connect offshore wind power to the grid based on the company’s estimates of when offshore wind generation facilities will be in place. A right-of-way grant occupies a corridor 200 feet wide, centered on the cable with additional widths at the hubs. The right-of-way grant corridor is anticipated to extend about 790 miles. Full construction of all phases of the multi-stage project would take about 10 years.
Before proceeding with the review of this project, BOEM had to determine whether there were other developers interested in constructing transmission facilities in the same area. Last December, BOEM put out a request for competitive interest in order to gather that information. BOEM also solicited public comment on site conditions and multiple uses within the right-of-way grant area that would be relevant to the proposed project or its impacts. See the Interior press release.

CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES (CCRES)

  special thanks to U.S. Department of Energy | USA.gov

Apps for Energy Public Voting Starts

Back in April, we launched Apps for Energy—challenging developers to build mobile and web applications that bring Green Button electricity data to life. You answered our call—sending in innovative, creative and fun apps that help consumers make informed decisions about their energy usage data in ways that save energy and money.
Now that Apps for Energy submissions are in, we want your input. Starting May 17, you can vote for your favorite Apps for Energy submissions as part of our public voting contest. To participate, visit our challenge page at appsforenergy.challenge.gov. There, you can browse our submission gallery and view photos, videos and detailed descriptions for more than 50 web and mobile applications. Your vote will help determine the Grand Prize and Second Place winners for the Apps for Energy Popular Choice Awards. You can vote only once—but for as many submissions as you’d like until the close of public voting on May 31. For the complete story, see the Energy Blog.

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)

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News and Events by CCRES May 09, 2012

 

 

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources

News and Events May 09, 2012

Energy Department Offers $5 Million to Spur EV and Alt Fuels Adoption

The Energy Department on May 8 announced that up to $5 million in funding is available this year to help expand the use of alternative fuel vehicles, including electric vehicles (EVs), in cities and towns across the country. The funding will help cut through red tape for homeowners and businesses, provide training for mechanics and first responders, and support community planning to expand fueling infrastructure. The Energy Department anticipates awarding 10 to 20 projects this year to be completed within two years. The support of alternative fuel vehicles is part of a strategy to increase energy security in the United States, reduce emissions, and help drivers save money.
This initiative will help communities streamline and quicken permitting processes, and coordinate alternative fuel vehicle and EV infrastructure deployment across state, regional, and local governments. Selected projects will also help communities build workforces with the skills to facilitate these vehicles and infrastructure by training first responders and mechanics. In addition, they will provide resources, such as educational materials and tools, to help consumers understand the economic and environmental benefits of alternative fuel vehicles, and to choose the right vehicle for their needs.
The Energy Department seeks proposals that address barriers to the adoption of these vehicles, provide safety training, coordinate initiatives, and drive market development and transformation to make alternative fuel vehicles and fueling infrastructure widely available. Proposed projects should cover each of these areas. This funding opportunity does not provide for the purchase or installation of vehicles or infrastructure. DOE strongly encourages organizations to form teams that include one or more active, designated Clean Cities coalition as well as other partners with relevant experience and expertise. Applications are due by June 18, 2012. See the Energy Department Progress Alert and the funding opportunity announcement.
 
 
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Energy Department Announces $2.5 Million for Fuel Cell Baggage Vehicles

The Energy Department announced on April 25 up to $2.5 million in funding is available this year to demonstrate and deploy fuel cell electric vehicles for transporting passenger baggage at major U.S. airports. Up to three projects selected for funding will demonstrate first-generation, fuel cell-powered baggage-towing tractors under real-world operating conditions, and will collect and analyze data to test their performance and cost-effectiveness. The funding will help industry bring advanced fuel cell technologies into emerging markets. It will also provide airlines and airports with new choices for ground support operations that cut energy costs, air pollution, and petroleum use.
The Energy Department seeks applicants to demonstrate and test the performance and economic viability of advanced fuel cell systems for up to three years. The 50% cost-shared projects will supply both information on fuel cell system operation and data on the economics of these vehicles to the Hydrogen Secure Data Center at the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory for analysis and comparison. Data will be collected from actual airport operations so that engineers and economic analysts can assess the technology’s performance, durability, and cost-effectiveness under the real-world conditions of commercial airports. Conclusions will be drawn from the data to evaluate the commercial viability of this fuel cell application, and the data will be shared with fuel cell manufacturers, helping to improve their designs and optimize overall performance and costs. See the DOE Progress Alert and the funding opportunity announcement.
 
 
 
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University Regional Clean Energy Business Winners Named

The Energy Department on May 4 announced the regional winners of its National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition. The event inspires university teams across the country to create new businesses and commercialize promising energy technologies developed at U.S. universities and DOE’s national laboratories. The regional finalists—Northwestern University, University of Utah, University of Central Florida, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, and Columbia University—will go on to compete in the first national competition in Washington, D.C., June 12 to 13.
The competition aims to promote entrepreneurship in clean energy technologies that will boost U.S. competitiveness, bring cutting-edge clean energy solutions to the market, and strengthen the nation’s economic prosperity. Each team of students identified a promising clean energy technology from a university or national lab and created a business plan around the technology that detailed how they could help bring it to market. For example, MIT teamed with SolidEnergy to leverage its battery technology innovation, which improves the safety and energy density of rechargeable lithium batteries and is intended to accelerate the deployment of electric vehicles. The contest includes financing, product design, scaling up production and marketing. Each of the six regional competitions across the country was run by a nonprofit or university that worked with teams over the last three years. Each of the winning regional teams has already received $100,000 in prizes to continue plans to commercialize the products. See the DOE press release.
 
 
 
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Interior Department Flips Switch on First Public Lands Solar Project

Photo of a solar panels in the desert.

Officials flipped the switch to start Silver State North, a 50-megawatt solar plant located 40 miles south of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Credit: Enbridge
U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on May 7 flipped the switch to start the first large-scale solar energy facility on U.S. public lands delivering power to consumers. Silver State North is a 50-megawatt plant located 40 miles south of Las Vegas, Nevada, that will use photovoltaic (PV) technology to generate enough power for about 9,000 Nevada homes. The plant was built on 618 acres of public land managed by Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, after the solar facility underwent full environmental analysis and public review. It was developed by First Solar and is owned by Enbridge.
Prior to 2009, there were no solar energy projects permitted on public lands. Since then, the Interior Department has authorized 29 large-scale renewable energy projects on or involving public lands, including 16 solar facilities, 5 wind farms, and 8 geothermal plants. See the Interior Department press release.
 
 
 
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Wind Turbine Installations in Q1 Jump 50% from Q1 in 2011: Report

The U.S. wind power industry posted one of its busiest quarters ever in the first quarter of 2012, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The United States saw 1,695 megawatts (MW) of wind capacity installed in that period, with 788 new turbines producing power in 17 states. No other first quarter has been as strong for the American wind power industry, AWEA reported. The wind energy industry installed 52% more MW in the first quarter than it did in the same quarter last year.
During the first quarter, California (370 MW), Oregon (308 MW) and Texas (254 MW) led all states for adding the most wind power. Rounding out the top five were Washington (127 MW) and Pennsylvania (121 MW). One notable trend, previously highlighted in AWEA’s 2011 annual market report, is that with ever-improving technology, wind power is accessing wind resources in geographic areas considered to have inadequate wind resource just a few years ago. Topping that category of states formerly considered to have inadequate wind resources is New Hampshire with 388% growth. See the AWEA press release.
 
 
 
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CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES (CCRES)

  special thanks to U.S. Department of Energy | USA.gov

Maine Project Takes Historic Step Forward in U.S. Tidal Energy Deployment

A pilot project that will generate electricity from Maine’s ocean tides could be a game-changer for America’s tidal energy industry at-large.
At the direction of the Maine Public Utilities Commission, three of the state’s electricity distributors will purchase electricity generated by Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC)—the company leading the Maine pilot project. Once finalized, the contracts will be in place for 20 years, making them the first long-term tidal energy power purchase agreements in the United States. The implications of these agreements are far-reaching, helping to advance the commercialization of tidal energy technologies. The project, which has brought more than $14 million into Maine’s economy and has created or helped retain more than 100 jobs, is supported by $10 million in funding from the Energy Department.
For the pilot phase of the project, ORPC will deploy cross flow turbine devices in Cobscook Bay, at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. These devices are designed to generate electricity over a range of water currents, capturing energy on both ebb and flood tides without the need for repositioning. To read the complete story, see the DOE Energy Blog.
 
 

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)

 
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