Renewables & Efficiency

Iceland – Creating a Hydrogen Economy

TESTINGDaimlerChrysler, EcoEnergy Ltd., Norsk Hydro, and Royal Dutch/Shell Group are jointly investigating the potential to replace fossil fuels in Iceland with hydrogen, creating the world’s first “hydrogen economy.” The initial $1 million investment will test hydrogen-burning fuel cells that can replace gasoline-power in motor vehicles. Ultimately the goal is to convert public and private transportation sectors, including fishing vessels, in a country where 67 percent of energy consumption is supplied by hydro- and geothermal sources, the highest percentage share from renewables among OECD countries. Sustainable Energy Coalition Weekly Update: kbossong@cais.com

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Union of Concerned Scientists Define Benefits of Renewables

TESTINGThe U.S. could increase the share of electricity generated from renewable sources (wind, solar, plants and geothermal) to about 10 times current levels over the next 20 years, and still see a 13 percent decrease in electricity prices, according to Union of Concerned Scientists study, “A Powerful Opportunity: Making Renewable Electricity the Standard.” Expanding renewable electricity use to these levels would freeze power plant emissions of carbon dioxide at about year 2000 levels, making a major contribution to meeting the US reduction targets under the Kyoto global warming treaty. Another report, “Powerful Solutions: 7 Ways to Switch America to Renewable Electricity,” UCS details methods to switch America to renewable electricity: renewable portfolio standards, public benefits funding, net metering, fair transmission and distribution rules, fair pollution rules, consumer information, and putting green customer demand to work. ucs@ucsusa.org The reports are available online: [sorry this link is no longer available]

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Union of Concerned Scientists Define Benefits of Renewables

TESTINGThe U.S. could increase the share of electricity generated from renewable sources (wind, solar, plants and geothermal) to about 10 times current levels over the next 20 years, and still see a 13 percent decrease in electricity prices, according to Union of Concerned Scientists study, “A Powerful Opportunity: Making Renewable Electricity the Standard.” Expanding renewable electricity use to these levels would freeze power plant emissions of carbon dioxide at about year 2000 levels, making a major contribution to meeting the US reduction targets under the Kyoto global warming treaty. Another report, “Powerful Solutions: 7 Ways to Switch America to Renewable Electricity,” UCS details methods to switch America to renewable electricity: renewable portfolio standards, public benefits funding, net metering, fair transmission and distribution rules, fair pollution rules, consumer information, and putting green customer demand to work. ucs@ucsusa.org The reports are available online: [sorry this link is no longer available]

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U.S. Senate Launches Renewable Energy Caucus

TESTING21 members (11 Democrats, 10 Republicans) of the U.S. Senate recently launched the Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus, chaired by Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO). Membership in the House Renewable Energy Caucus, chaired by Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), is at an all-time high of almost a third of all members in the House (77 Democrats, 62 Republicans). The Caucuses serve as a bi-partisan forum for the exchange of information on the status and potential of solar, wind, geothermal, bioenergy, and hydroelectric technologies as well as energy efficiency. Members attend periodic briefings and stage an annual “Expo” at which dozens of energy companies, government laboratories, and trade associations demonstrate their latest technologies. Almost 3000 people attended last year’s expo. The 1999 show will be held April 21. For a list of House and Senate Caucus members, and further details: [sorry this link is no longer available]

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Alliance Proposes Fix for National Model Energy Codes

TESTING1999 is a pivotal year for residential energy codes in the United States. The International Code Council, which develops model codes for states and localities to adopt, is trying to resolve a conflict between its energy code and a new residential code. The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is used as a model by dozens of states, but the new International Residential Code (IRC) has its own energy standards which are weaker than the IECC. If states start using the IRC, new homes will be less energy efficient. A contentious set of hearings are set for March and September. In general, energy codes are too weak. If you’d like to get involved, contact the Alliance to Save Energy. Bill Prindle: brindle@ase.org http://www.ase.org David Eisenberg, at the Development Center for Appropriate Technology is also working on greening building codes: DCAT@azstarnet.com

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Alliance Proposes Fix for National Model Energy Codes

TESTING1999 is a pivotal year for residential energy codes in the United States. The International Code Council, which develops model codes for states and localities to adopt, is trying to resolve a conflict between its energy code and a new residential code. The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is used as a model by dozens of states, but the new International Residential Code (IRC) has its own energy standards which are weaker than the IECC. If states start using the IRC, new homes will be less energy efficient. A contentious set of hearings are set for March and September. In general, energy codes are too weak. If you’d like to get involved, contact the Alliance to Save Energy. Bill Prindle: brindle@ase.org http://www.ase.org David Eisenberg, at the Development Center for Appropriate Technology is also working on greening building codes: DCAT@azstarnet.com

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Santa Monica Votes Yes to Green Power

TESTINGSanta Monica, California is the first city in the world to have all its municipal power needs supplied by renewable energy. The City Council voted unanimously to purchase five MW of power from Commonwealth Energy – the equivalent to supply 5,000-6,000 homes. The power will come from geothermal plants located in Sonoma County. Clean energy will cost Santa Monica only about five-percent more. lori@ceert.org Source: Green Power Notes: [sorry this link is no longer available]

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Santa Monica Votes Yes to Green Power

TESTINGSanta Monica, California is the first city in the world to have all its municipal power needs supplied by renewable energy. The City Council voted unanimously to purchase five MW of power from Commonwealth Energy – the equivalent to supply 5,000-6,000 homes. The power will come from geothermal plants located in Sonoma County. Clean energy will cost Santa Monica only about five-percent more. lori@ceert.org Source: Green Power Notes: [sorry this link is no longer available]

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China Makes Renewable Energy Development a Priority

TESTINGDevelopment of solar, wind, geothermal and tidal energy will be given priority by the Chinese government, expanding on the 300 million tons of coal equivalent that provides 25% of national primary energy consumption. China has 7,000 hydro stations, five million square metres of solar heaters, six million square meters of fixed solar panels, 40,000 square meters of solar-heated greenhouses and 140,000 solar-heated stoves. There are 160,000 small wind turbines and 15 power plants with large turbines from Denmark, the Netherlands, and the U.S. Ten tidal power stations have also been built.

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GM to Introduce Hybrid Bus

TESTINGIn 1999, General Motors will test its hybrid diesel-electric bus in New York City. GM alternative fuel focus is on the commercial vehicle market, which includes buses, postal trucks, and garbage trucks. Robert Purcell, GM’s advanced vehicle technology operations executive director, anticipates this market to be profitable because unlike individuals, fleet owners are more likely to purchase these vehicles at a higher price, knowing they are less expensive to run in the long run.

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