FYI.  Kathleen Pagan, Alachua County


From: EERE Network News [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Subject: EERE: A Boost for Fuel Cells, Energy Star Partners, and U.S. Energy Use


A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). View the Web version.


Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

EERE Network News

April 09, 2014

News and Events


News and Events

Energy Department Invests $3 Million to Advance Fuel Cell Market

The Energy Department on April 8 awarded more than $3 million to Connecticut-based FuelCell Energy for a project that could increase U.S. competitiveness in the fuel cell market and give businesses more affordable, cleaner power options. This project will enhance the performance, increase the lifespan, and decrease the cost of stationary fuel cells being used for distributed generation and combined heat and power applications.

With support from the Energy Department, the private sector and the Department's national laboratories have significantly reduced costs and improved performance in fuel cell and hydrogen technologies. Building on this progress, the project awarded to FuelCell Energy will focus on developing an innovative carbonate fuel cell electrolyte matrix, which promises enhanced cell output and the doubling of service life, which will reduce the costs and enhance the market for efficient, clean fuel cell power. In addition, the project will look for more opportunities to reduce costs through greater production by incorporating manufacturing process improvements. See the Energy Department news release.

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EPA, Energy Department Honor 2014 Energy Star Partners of the Year

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Energy Department on April 3 announced that they are honoring 127 organizations for their commitment to protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency. Recipients of the 2014 Energy Star Partner of the Year Award include the Des Moines Public School District; KB Home; Meritage Homes Corporation; PepsiCo., Inc.; Sears Holdings Corporation; and Samsung.

The winners were selected from 16,000 Energy Star partners—including manufacturers, retailers, public schools, hospitals, real estate companies, and home builders—for their dedication to protecting the environment through greater energy efficiency. Products, homes, and buildings that earn the Energy Star label prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy efficiency requirements set by the EPA. See the EPA news release and the complete list of winners.

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LLNL Report: U.S. Energy Usage Up in 2013

The Energy Department's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) on April 2 released information showing that U.S. consumers used 2.3 quadrillion thermal units more energy in 2013 than the previous year. The nation's energy-related carbon dioxide emissions increased to 5,390 million metric tons, the first annual increase since 2010, according to LLNL.

In the utility industry, wind energy continued to grow strongly, increasing 18% from 1.36 quadrillion BTUs, or quads, in 2012 to 1.6 quads in 2013, the equivalent of about 470.6 million kilowatt-hours. New wind farms continue to come on line with bigger, more efficient turbines—most new wind turbines can generate 2 to 2.5 megawatts of power. Similarly, the transportation sector is using more renewable energy, specifically biomass-based ethanol. The majority of energy use in 2013 was used for electricity generation (38.2 quads), followed by transportation, industrial, residential, and commercial applications.

Energy use in the residential, commercial transportation, and industrial sectors all increased slightly. See the LLNL news release.

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Volvo Recognized for Leadership in Energy Efficiency

The Energy Department on April 1 recognized Volvo Group North America for its leadership in energy efficiency at the New River Valley assembly plant near Roanoke, Virginia. As a Better Buildings, Better Plants partner, the Volvo Group has already achieved 16% savings across its U.S. plants and continues working toward its goal of becoming 25% more energy efficient within 10 years.

Volvo Trucks’ New River Valley assembly plant is the company’s largest truck manufacturing plant in the world, covering more than 1.6 million square feet. In 2012, the New River Valley facility was one of the first facilities in the United States to be certified under the Energy Department’s Superior Energy Performance program for facilities. The Superior Energy Performance program helps facilities establish energy baselines and savings goals, and provides certifications when facilities achieve significant savings. New River Valley achieved a 26% improvement in energy efficiency in three years. As a partner in the Better Buildings Industrial Superior Energy Performance Accelerator, the Volvo Group is now implementing the Superior Energy Performance program at facilities nationwide. See the Energy Department news release.

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Deadline Extended for New Green Lease Recognition Program

The Energy Department's Better Buildings Alliance and the nonprofit Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) have extended the submission deadline for the new Green Lease Leaders recognition program until April 22. The program is for firms and brokers successfully using green leasing to save energy in commercial buildings.

The Green Lease Leader recognition program recognizes firms and brokers that are successfully introducing green lease language into their new or existing leases to save energy in buildings. The Green Lease Leader recognition strives to identify a new standard for sustainable relationships between tenants and landlords. Adopting changes to standard lease language may help reduce electricity and water consumption, improve tenant comfort, and allow the landlord and tenant to better control operating expenses while minimizing waste. See the IMT press release.

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 EERE Blog

We're Data Jammin': Building Interactive Educational Materials to Teach Energy

In an increasingly digital world of mobile apps, internet games, and social media, it can be difficult to keep students focused on education—especially when lessons often come in the form of printed textbook pages. But what if we could transform this old-school learning experience into a visually engaging, interactive, and intellectually stimulating activity?

To help address this, the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, along with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory hosted an Energy Education Data Jam on March 27 to advance innovative education tools and applications that improve energy literacy in the United States.

More than 60 participants, including educators from schools and universities throughout the country, data and code gurus, and energy experts from the Energy Department and the Energy Information Administration, brainstormed and created proofs of concepts related to visualizations, games, and web-based tools using energy education data. For the complete story, see the EERE Blog.

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This newsletter is funded by DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and is also available on the EERE website. If you have questions or comments about this newsletter, please contact the editor, Ernie Tucker.

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