As part of President Obama's all-of-the-above energy strategy to help American families and businesses reduce their energy costs, the Energy Department has launched the Utility Data Access Map tool, an interactive Web platform that enables electric utilities across the country to show customers, in a simple way, the data they can access on their electricity use. Currently, DOE has received responses from more than 500 participating utilities.
As part of President Obama's all-out, all-of-the-above energy strategy, the Energy Department today released a renewable energy resource assessment detailing the potential to develop electric power generation at existing dams across the United States that aren't currently equipped to produce power. The report estimates that without building a single new dam, these available hydropower resources, if fully developed, could provide an electrical generating capacity of more than 12 gigawatts (GW), equivalent to roughly 15% of current U.S. hydropower capacity. These findings demonstrate one of the ways the nation can diversify its energy portfolio while achieving the Administration's goal of generating 80% of our nation's electricity from clean resources by 2035.
In support of President Obama's all-of-the-above energy strategy, the Energy Department today announced up to $5 million available this year to assess opportunities to increase power production at up to 40 existing hydropower facilities around the nation. Through this competitive funding opportunity, the Department will work with hydropower professionals to conduct standardized assessments to identify opportunities to increase generation and value at hydropower plants—already the nation's largest source of renewable energy. As much of America's aging hydropower infrastructure is more than 50 years old, this effort could help accelerate the deployment of upgrades at existing hydropower facilities, creating clean energy jobs, supporting our nation's economic competitiveness, and increasing the supply of renewable energy to American families and businesses.
Today, as President Obama went to Ohio State University to discuss the Administration's all-out, all-of-the-above strategy for American energy, the White House announced up to $35 million over three years to support research and development in advanced biofuels, bioenergy and high-value biobased products. The projects funded through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI)—a joint program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Energy Department (DOE)—will help develop economically and environmentally sustainable sources of renewable biomass and increase the availability of renewable fuels and biobased products that can help replace the need for gasoline and diesel in vehicles and diversify our energy portfolio. Today's announcement to invest in advanced biofuels supports President Obama's blueprint for an economy fueled by homegrown, alternative energy sources designed and produced by American workers. These investments will help cut America's oil imports, develop clean alternative energy technologies, and protect American families and businesses from the ups and downs of the global oil market.
The U.S. Department of Energy today released the 2011 U.S. Billion-Ton Update: Biomass Supply for a Bioenergy and Bioproducts Industry report detailing U.S. biomass feedstock potential nationwide. The report examines the nation's capacity to produce a billion dry tons of biomass resources annually for energy uses without impacting other vital U.S. farm and forest products, such as food, feed, and fiber crops. The study provides industry, policymakers, and the agricultural community with county-level data and includes analyses of current U.S. feedstock capacity and the potential for growth in crops and agricultural products for clean energy applications. The biomass resources identified in the report could be used to produce clean, renewable biofuels, biopower, or bioproducts. For example, with continued developments in biorefinery capacity and technology, the feedstock resources identified could produce about 85 billion gallons of biofuels – enough to replace approximately 30% of the nation's current petroleum consumption. This data will be used by both the public and private sector to grow the bioenergy industry and help achieve President Obama's goals of dramatically expanding renewable energy resources and developing alternative fuels for America's transportation sector. "Developing the next generation of American biofuels and bioenergy will help diversify our energy portfolio, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and produce new clean energy jobs," said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "This study identifies resources here at home that can help grow America's bioenergy industry and support new economic opportunities for rural America."
The Corps Network has released a new publication that illustrates how to prepare young people for jobs, postsecondary education, and careers in a growing green economy titled, A Green Career Pathways Framework: Postsecondary and Employment Success for Low-Income, Disconnected Youth. The paper explores the extent to which this emerging green economy can offer a pathway out of poverty for low-income young people, many of whom have disengaged from school and are struggling to find a way into the economic mainstream.
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has created a searchable on-line directory of university and training providers for the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries. Whether you are interested in joining the expanding renewable energy workforce or simply want to expand your knowledge, you can find a program here that meets your needs. Universities across the country are adding courses and developing programs in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. The University Courses directory includes information on four-year universities offering undergraduate and graduate courses in renewable energy and energy efficiency. If you are looking for programs that are less than four years, workshops, or hands-on training, visit the companion directory of training providers for renewable energy training courses.
The 10th annual report from Clean Edge tracks the growth of renewable energy markets and looks at five trends that will shape investment in wind, solar and biofuels for the coming years. The findings show steady growth over the past decade for all three sectors, with wind and solar averaging 30 and 40 percent growth, respsectively, since the first report in 2000. The combined global revenue for solar, wind and biofuels grew 35.2 percent in 2010, up to $188.1 billion from $139.1 billion in 2009.
The 4th National Clean Energy Workforce Education Conference will be held in Saratoga Springs, New York from March 8-10, 2011. The 2011 primary conference sponsor is the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) is the primary organizer.
Written by Greg Lucas who states: "Change one letter in Gordon Gecko’s infamous credo and it becomes the mantra of Democratic policymakers from President Obama to Gov. Jerry Brown and the majorities of the state Senate and Assembly: Green is good. In their eyes, it’s very, very good. Perhaps too good."
Thirty school children descended on the Houses of Parliament to compete in the final of the Renewable Energy Challenge run by educational The Smallpeice Trust, with prizes presented by Charles Hendry, Minister for the Department of Energy & Climate Change. The event also saw the launch of the industry report “Securing Tomorrow's Workforce” which highlights the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) education and training to Britain's future.
The Workforce Development Council of Seattle King-County received a POP grant that focuses on weatherization, de-construction and green manufacturing. Click here if you want to learn more about their outreach efforts.
The Minnesota State Energy Sector Partnership (MSESP) is accepting innovative proposals from Minnesota-based businesses and organizations to train Minnesotans for jobs in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. MSESP, which plans to distribute up to $3 million, will consider proposal requests ranging from $25,000 to $250,000. Partnerships and inter-regional collaborations that extend beyond Minnesota are also eligible. Proposals must provide details about training, job placement and related activities in the energy efficient building, construction and retrofit industries; the renewable electric power industry; and the biofuels industry. Proposals that address supporting sectors and suppliers will also be considered. For more information or to download a copy of the request for proposal, click on "view page now"
The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), a coalition of American businesses from the energy efficiency, renewable energy, and natural gas industries, released today Clean Energy: Fueling Sustainable Global Growth, its policy framework for COP-16/CMP-6. Acknowledging the procedural and substantive challenges facing the negotiations, the framework highlights the current role played by existing clean energy technologies in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing energy security, and driving sustainable economic growth in developed and developing countries alike. Concrete, constructive outcomes are possible in Canc?n, argues Clean Energy: Fueling Sustainable Growth. Through case studies from around the world, the framework also demonstrates that the global clean energy business community stands ready—and, in fact, is already moving forward—to provide the technology solutions that will grow economies and reduce emissions under a balanced, workable international framework.
John Collins Rudolf with the New York Times blogs about how Nascar will use a 15 percent ethanol blend from Sunoco for its three national touring series.
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) awarded five Innovation Awards and six Special Recognition Awards at its 2010 Annual Meeting.
As part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) RE-Powering America’s Land initiative, the agency has developed a two-year draft management plan to advance the development of renewable energy on potentially contaminated land and mining sites. The draft plan describes activities EPA can take to build upon the progress that the initiative has achieved since its launch in September of 2008.