Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources
News and Events February 21, 2013
Clean Energy Highlighted in President’s State of the Union
President Obama on February 12 highlighted clean energy and challenged the nation to become even more energy efficient during his State of the Union address to Congress. During the speech marking the start of his second term of office, President Obama spoke about a range of clean energy topics, including cars and transportation, energy efficiency, manufacturing, and wind and solar energy. He called for continued national investment into research, saying “now is the time to reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the Space Race. And today, no area holds more promise than our investments in American energy.” He added, “We are finally poised to control our own energy future.”
President Obama cited recent advances in wind and solar energy over the past four years, a period which began as “other countries dominated the clean energy market and the jobs that came with it.” He noted that conditions in the clean energy market are improving in the United States. “Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America. So let’s generate even more. Solar energy gets cheaper by the year—so let’s drive costs down even further.”
President Obama also heralded new manufacturing efforts by announcing the launch of three more manufacturing hubs where businesses will partner with the Departments of Energy and Defense “to turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs.” He said he is asking Congress to help create a network of 15 of these hubs to ensure that the United States remains a leader in manufacturing. As an indicator of progress, President Obama affirmed that now “we buy more American cars than we have in five years, and less foreign oil than we have in 20.” Furthermore, he noted that those cars are more fuel efficient. “We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas,” he said.
As he cited the benefits of reduced dependence on foreign oil, particularly the decline in carbon pollution as result of increased renewable energy usage, he challenged the nation to become even more energy efficient. “I’m also issuing a new goal for America: let’s cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next 20 years.” See the full text of the State of the Union address on the White House website.
DOE Announces New Investment in Hydrogen Fuel Technologies
The Energy Department on February 14 announced a $1 million investment to analyze potential cost-competitive pathways for producing and transporting hydrogen fuel. The project selected will identify cost-effective and efficient materials and processes to produce hydrogen from renewable energy sources. This investment supports the Energy Department’s broader goal to lower the cost of hydrogen fuel to $2-$4 per gallon gasoline equivalent (gge) by 2020 to make hydrogen fuel cost-competitive with gasoline.
The project, led by Strategic Analysis in Arlington, Virginia, will help accelerate commercialization of cost-competitive, U.S.-made hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. The project will conduct thorough cost analyses of hydrogen pathways to identify the most economical hydrogen production and delivery methods and highlight remaining research and development challenges. With the help of this Energy Department investment, Strategic Analysis will examine a range of hydrogen production pathways, including electrolysis from the electrical grid and renewable energy sources, converting biofuels to hydrogen, biomass gasification, solar thermochemical hydrogen, photoelectrochemical hydrogen, and biological hydrogen. See the Energy Department Progress Alert.
DOE Announces Winners of Next Generation Luminaires Design Competition
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on February 14 announced the winners of the fifth annual Next Generation Luminaires™ Design Competition for outdoor lighting. The competition was launched in 2008 to promote excellence in the design of energy-efficient commercial lighting fixtures, or “luminaires,” that employ light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The “best-in-class” winners for four categories of outdoor lighting include The Lighting Quotient of West Haven, Connecticut, for its façade-lighting fixture, the fraqti™ Outdoor-Style S170 luminaire; Relume Technologies of Oxford, Michigan, for its Oxford decorative acorn fixture for streetscapes and walkways; GE Lighting of East Cleveland, Ohio, for its roadway lighting fixture, the Evolve™ LED Scalable Cobrahead luminaire; and Edge Lighting of Chicago, Illinois, for its decorative wall sconces, the “TV” and “Dial” LED luminaires.
The competition was sponsored by the Energy Department, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, and the International Association of Lighting Designers. A panel of eight judges from the architectural lighting design community evaluated 120 outdoor lighting entries from 42 manufacturers based on lighting quality, appearance, construction, serviceability, efficacy, and value. In addition to the four “best-in-class” winners, 33 entries were judged as meeting the stringent requirements of the competition. These recognized winners represented a wide range of manufacturers and applications, including lighting for roadways, streetscapes, walkways, parking lots, parking garages, canopies, façades, and landscapes, as well as decorative lighting and wall-mounted area lighting.
Design competitions are a key part of the Energy Department’s national strategy to accelerate solid-state lighting technology advances from laboratory to marketplace. Solid-state lighting, which includes both LED and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technologies, has the potential to save Americans $30 billion per year in energy costs by 2030. See the Energy Department Progress Alert and Solid-State Lighting website, and see the Next Generation Luminaires website for photos and details about all the winners of this year’s competition.
EPA Releases Latest Quarterly Green Power Partnership Rankings
The latest U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Power Partnership’s Top Partner Rankings show that two more companies have now purchased enough green power to account for 100% of each of their total U.S. electricity use. Since the EPA’s last quarterly Green Power Partnership update in October 2012, Intel expanded its use of green power from 88% to 100% of its total electricity use by purchasing 300 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, while Staples increased from 80% to 101% green power use by adding 120 million kWh of green power. Intel and Staples join 15 other Top 50-ranked Green Power Partners in obtaining 100% or more of their electricity from renewable energy sources. The recently-released totals are up to date as of January 9, 2013.
Intel, which currently ranks first in the total amount of purchases on the Green Power Partnership Top 50 list, uses electricity generated from biogas, biomass, small hydro, solar, and wind. Staples, ranked sixth overall on the Top 50 list, sources its electricity from biogas, solar, and wind energy.
The Green Power Partnership works with a variety of organizations including major companies, colleges and universities, as well as local, state, and federal governmental agencies to promote the use of green power. Organizations can meet EPA Green Power Partnership requirements using any combination of three different product options: renewable energy certificates; on-site generation; and utility green power products. Combined, the top 50 largest purchases of green power by EPA Green Power Partners amount to more than 17 billion kWh annually, which represents nearly 70% of the green power commitments made by all EPA Green Power Partners. Usage amounts in the rankings reflect U.S. operations only and are sourced from U.S.-based green power resources. See the EPA Green Power Partnership Top 50 webpage and DOE’s Green Power Network website.
What’s Your PEV Readiness Score?
Removing early market barriers is essential to increasing the number of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) on the road. To help cities, counties and states cut red tape, save time and improve drivers’ experiences, the Energy Department’s Clean Cities initiative created the Plug-in Electric Vehicle Readiness Scorecard.
The Scorecard is an interactive online tool that allows community managers to measure their regions’ current “PEV-friendliness”—the ability to meet the needs of electric vehicle drivers. To calculate their scores, community representatives answer a series of multiple-choice questions covering diverse topics ranging from the time required to issue a residential charger permit to incentives available to PEV drivers. The Scorecard questions, which are based on best practices and input from key stakeholders, require real, on-the-ground data from the community. Because PEV community readiness often involves a number of city agencies, non-governmental organizations, and even local businesses, multiple users can enter information for the same region on one account. For the complete story, see the Energy Blog.
CCRES BIOFUELS FROM ALGAE
EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) is an initiative of the European Commission that first took place in 2006 with hundreds of organisations and individuals participating each year.
The next edition of the European Union Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will take place from 24 to 28 June 2013.
Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)