Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Projekt Solarni Suncokreti


Projekt Solarni Suncokreti

Projekt Solarni suncokret namijenjen je edukaciji učenika osnovnih škola o obnovljivim izvorima energije - energiji sunca, vjetra, riječnih tokova, morskih mijena i valova, geotermaloj energiji te energiji biomase.
U sklopu projekta, omogućenog donacijom Hrvatskog Telekoma, u 10 osnovnih škola - u Dubrovniku, Hvaru, Zadru, Kaštel Lukšiću, Krku, Puli, Križevcima, Zagrebu, Ivanić-Gradu i Vukovaru - instaliran je po jedan solarni treker, uređaj koji se tijekom dana okreće za suncem, poput suncokreta, iz čega je proizašao i sam naziv projekta.
Solarni trekeri samostojeći su solarni sustavi koji „prate“ sunce tijekom dana tako da se solarni moduli usmjeravaju prema suncu pod optimalnim kutom, što donosi oko 30% veću učinkovitost sustava, a time i više proizvedene električne energije.
Informacije o količini proizvedene električne energije putem „solarnog suncokreta“ prikupljat će se i voditi do sustava na Internetu na kojem će se moći: vidjeti koliko je koji „suncokret“ proizveo električne energije u nekom satu, danu, mjesecu ili godini; usporediti sa solarnim suncokretima u drugim školama; očitati za koliko je smanjena emisija CO2; zbrojiti rezultate svih „suncokreta“ zajedno i sl. Sve navedene informacije na Internetu činit će virtualnu mrežu solarnih suncokreta.
U sklopu projekta organizirana je edukacija za nastavnike te su osigurani materijali koji sadrže prijedlog nastavnog programa i korištenja radnih listova i slikovnica za učenike 3. i 6. razreda osnovne škole (imaju preporuku za korištenje Ministarstva znanosti, obrazovanja i sporta).

Thursday, March 21, 2013

News and Events by CCRES March 21, 2013


Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources 

News and Events March 21, 2013

DOI Approves Three Renewable Energy Projects in California and Nevada


The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) on March 13 announced the approval of three major renewable energy projects in California and Nevada that, when completed, are expected to deliver 1,100 megawatts to the grid. That will be enough electricity to power more than 340,000 homes. The projects will help support more than 1,000 construction and operations jobs.
The 750-megawatt McCoy Solar Energy Project and 150-megawatt Desert Harvest Solar Farm are both located in California’s Riverside East Solar Energy Zone, an area established through the Western Solar Energy Plan and identified as most suitable for solar development. The 200-megawatt Searchlight Wind Energy Project will be constructed on public lands in Clark County, Nevada.
The McCoy Solar Energy Project, located about 13 miles northwest of Blythe, California, will occupy 4,394 acres. The project is expected to employ approximately 500 workers during peak construction, and create 34 permanent jobs. When operational, the facility will generate enough clean power for an estimated 225,000 homes in Southern California. McCoy Solar has agreed to purchase more than 4,500 acres of habitat to protect the Desert Tortoise, Burrowing Owl, and Mojave Fringe-toed Lizard species.
DOI and California state agencies are also engaged in the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, a mutual landscape-level planning effort to streamline renewable energy development in appropriate areas in the California desert and simultaneously conserve important natural resources and natural communities for species protection and recovery. A draft of the plan is expected in summer 2013. Additionally, BLM has identified 23 active renewable energy proposals slated for review this year and next, including 14 solar facilities, six wind farms, and three geothermal plants. See the DOI press release.

New EPA Report Shows Significant Gains in Fuel Economy for 2012


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on March 15 released its annual report that tracks the fuel economy of vehicles sold in the United States, emphasizing major gains in the efficiency of American vehicles, which reduce oil consumption and cut carbon emissions. The EPA estimates that between 2007 and 2012, fuel economy values increased by 16%, while carbon dioxide emissions decreased by 13%. In 2012, there was a significant one-year increase of 1.4 miles per gallon (mpg) for cars and trucks.
EPA’s “Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2012” attributes the improvements to the rapid adoption of more efficient technologies, the increasing number of high fuel economy choices for consumers, and the fact that many automakers are already selling vehicles that can potentially meet more rigorous future fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards. The report indicates that the projected gains for 2012 more than make up for a slight dip in fuel economy in 2011.
The expected 1.4 mpg improvement in 2012 is based on sales estimates provided by automakers to EPA. These projections show a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions to 374 grams per mile and an increase in average fuel economy to 23.8 mpg. These numbers represent the largest annual improvements since EPA began reporting on fuel economy. Compared to five years ago, consumers have twice as many hybrid and diesel vehicle choices, a growing set of plug-in electric vehicle options, and a six-fold increase in the number of car models with combined city/highway fuel economy of 30 mpg or higher. See the EPA press release and the complete report PDF.

East Asia Summit Energy Cooperation Task Force Announced


The United States and Brunei announced on March 14 that they will create, and jointly chair, a new workstream of activities on renewable energy power generation to promote and accelerate the deployment of renewable energy technologies in the countries participating in the East Asia Summit (EAS)
Proposed projects include a public-private dialogue on eliminating policy barriers to renewable energy investment. The partners will also address the dissemination of information needed to make investment decisions, such as results of solar power technology testing at Brunei’s new demonstration facility, which will be combined with information from Energy Department research on performance in different environments. The United States and Brunei will also share research about the impacts of climate change on hydropower production. The Energy Department and its laboratories, in partnership with the newly-established Brunei National Energy Research Institute, will advance the proposed work, and all EAS countries are being encouraged to participate and contribute. See the Energy Department press release.

President Obama Highlights Proposal for an Energy Security Trust


President Obama on March 16 highlighted his “all-of-the-above” approach to American energy, including his proposal to establish an Energy Security Trust, that would invest revenue from offshore oil and gas development in research to help transition cars and trucks from reliance on oil. Investments made through the Energy Security Trust would focus on a range of technologies, including electric vehicles (EV) and advanced batteries, as well as advanced biofuels and cars that run on natural gas. The investments will continue to reduce U.S. dependence on oil, support job creation, increase energy security, and save families money at the pump, while also cutting harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
"In my State of the Union Address, I called on Congress to set up an Energy Security Trust to fund research into new technologies," President Obama said. "Much of our energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together. So I’m proposing that we take some of our oil and gas revenues from public lands and put it towards research that will benefit the public, so that we can support American ingenuity without adding a dime to our deficit." The president credited the idea to a proposal put forward by a non-partisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals. See the White House press release.


  special thanks to U.S. Department of Energy |

Energy Department Turns Up the Heat and Power on Industrial Energy Efficiency


Katrina Pielli, senior policy advisor, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Industrial processes—from petroleum refineries and paper mills to chemicals and metals industries—consume about one-third of all energy produced in the United States. While the Energy Department is investing in advanced energy-saving technologies like carbon fiber and 3D printing, we also see great potential in more traditional technologies—such as combined heat and power (CHP)—that strengthen U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, lower energy consumption, and reduce harmful emissions.
In August 2012, President Obama directed federal agencies to help facilitate investments in industrial energy efficiency, such as CHP systems, that can save manufacturers as much as $100 billion in energy costs over the next decade. The President’s Executive Order established a new national goal of 40 gigawatts of new CHP capacity by 2020, which is a 50% increase from today. Meeting this goal would save American manufacturers and companies $10 billion each year, resulting in $40 to $80 billion in new capital investment in plants and facilities that would create American jobs and reduce emissions equivalent of taking 25 million cars off the road.
These efforts underscore President Obama’s goal of cutting energy waste from homes and businesses in half over the next two decades and accelerating the resurgence of American manufacturing, as announced in the State of the Union last month. For the complete story, see the Energy Blog.

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

News and Events by CCRES March 14, 2013


Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources

News and Events March 14, 2013

Energy Department Offers $50 Million to Advance PEV Technologies


The Energy Department on March 8 announced more than $50 million in funding for new projects that will accelerate the development of advanced plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) technologies to improve vehicle fuel economy and performance. This new funding supports the Energy Department's EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, which aims to make PEVs as affordable to own and operate as today's gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 10 years and will help to advance the technology goals outlined in the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge.
The Department will select new research projects that focus on lowering the cost and increasing the efficiency of PEV components and develop models and tools to predict these vehicles' performance and help improve fuel economy. The Department will fund projects that cover 12 areas of interest across five major areas of research and development, including: advanced light-weight and propulsion materials; battery development; power electronics; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems; and fuels and lubricants.
Through the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance between the Department of Energy and the U.S. Army, the Army is contributing $3.5 million in co-funding in several areas where there are joint development opportunities. The Energy Department will accept applications from industry, national laboratories, and university-led teams to address these challenges and enable technologies that will drive innovation in vehicle design. See the Energy Department Progress Alert, the Vehicle Technologies Office website, and the funding announcement.

DOE Announces Winners of Student Energy-Efficiency Building Competition


The Energy Department on March 8 announced the winners of the second annual Better Buildings Case Competition, which challenges university teams to develop and present real-world solutions to cut energy waste and improve the efficiency of commercial buildings. The winners included the Carnegie Mellon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California-Santa Barbara, University of Chicago, and Yale University. The Better Buildings Case Competition supports President Obama's goal of cutting energy waste from homes and businesses in half over the next two decades.
This year, 14 university teams analyzed case studies focusing on a range of challenges faced by private-sector organizations and state and local governments that are looking to improve the energy efficiency of their operations. The case studies consisted of real scenarios, background information, and data provided by organizations that included partners in the Better Buildings Challenge program—a broad public-private partnership working to make U.S. commercial and industrial buildings 20% more efficient by 2020.
Student teams competed to find the best solutions to energy efficiency challenges presented in real-world case studies for the City of Fort Worth, Texas; the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub; the U.S. General Services Administration; and the "Everything Store," representative of several retail stores including Kohl's, Staples, and Target. These teams presented their ideas and written proposals to a panel of commercial real estate and energy experts at the White House. See the Energy Department Progress Alert and the Better Buildings case studies website.

Energy Department Partnerships Speed Advanced Vehicle Technologies


The Energy Department on March 5 announced that 16 major U.S. employers and two stakeholder groups have joined the Department's Workplace Charging Challenge to give more workers access to new transportation options. Also, another three U.S. corporations have joined the National Clean Fleets Partnership.
As part of the Energy Department's EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, the Department announced that the new partner employers have joined the Workforce Charging Challenge, which aims to expand the availability of workplace vehicle charging for U.S. workers—increasing the convenience of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). The new partners include AVL, Bentley Systems, Biogen Idec, Bloomberg LP, The Coca-Cola Company, the City of Sacramento, Dell, Facebook, The Hartford, The Hertz Corporation, National Grid, New York Power Authority, NRG Energy, OSRAM SYLVANIA, Raytheon Company, and Southern California Edison. Each partner organization commits to assessing workforce PEV charging demands and then developing and implementing a plan to install workplace charging infrastructure for at least one major worksite location. In addition, the California Center for Sustainable Energy and the Green Parking Council have signed the Ambassador Pledge to develop and execute plans to support and promote the workplace charging initiative.
Further, the Energy Department announced that three new corporate partners—AMP Americas, Kwik Trip, and Waste Management—are joining the National Clean Fleets Partnership, a broad public-private partnership that assists the nation's largest fleet operators in reducing the amount of gasoline and diesel they use nationwide. The new Clean Fleets Partners join with 18 other major national companies that are improving the fuel economy of their commercial fleets, integrating alternative fuels like natural gas and electricity into their daily operations, and reducing their overall fuel use. The National Clean Fleets Partnership is part of the Energy Department's Clean Cities Initiative. See the Energy Department press release, the EV Everywhere website, and the Clean Cities website.

FEMP Issues Guide for Large Renewable Energy Projects at Federal Facilities


The Energy Department's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) on March 11 issued a new resource that provides best practices and other helpful guidance for federal agencies developing large-scale renewable energy projects. The Large-Scale Renewable Energy Guide: Developing Renewable Energy Projects Larger than 10 MWs at Federal Facilities provides a comprehensive framework, including active project management strategies, common terms, and principles that promote partnerships among the federal government, private developers, and financiers. Improving coordination on large-scale renewable energy projects will help ensure successful projects while diversifying the U.S. energy supply, creating jobs, and advancing national goals for energy security.
Renewable energy at federal facilities represents a large clean energy resource for the United States. Federal energy policies, requirements, and goals require the development of nearly 3 gigawatts of renewable power projects over the next decade.
Federal project managers who use the guide to design and develop their projects will learn best practices for private-sector financing across a variety of funding options and competitive acquisition processes. The guide will also help commercial developers better understand federal energy planning and acquisition processes. The guide was developed by FEMP and the Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, with contribution and assistance provided by the U.S. Army Energy Initiatives Task Force. See the Energy Department's Progress Alert, the complete FEMP report PDF, and the FEMP website.


  special thanks to U.S. Department of Energy |

Energy Department and USDA Partner to Support Energy Efficiency in Rural Communities


By Dr. Kathleen Hogan, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency, and Todd Campbell, alternative energy advisor, USDA
Each year, urban households in the United States combined use more than three times the total energy that rural households use. Yet, the Energy Information Administration estimates that rural families spend about $400 more per year in energy bills compared to the typical urban household. Unlocking new opportunities to save energy will help rural Americans save money while improving our energy security, creating jobs, and protecting our air and water.
We have seen this work firsthand at USDA Rural Development. Through our Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), we have partnered with agriculture producers and rural small businesses to construct 6,605 renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvement projects since 2009, providing $213 million in grants and $178 million in loan guarantees. When complete, these projects will be responsible for generating or saving 7.32 billion kWh annually, enough energy to power 680,000 households each year. At the Energy Department, the Weatherization Assistance Program is helping low-income rural households save on their utility bills through a broad range of home efficiency upgrades—from installing insulation to replacing leaking windows to repairing heating and cooling systems. Since the program’s inception in 1976, we’ve helped low-income families permanently reduce their energy bills to the tune of hundreds of dollars per year. This is a good start, but there is much more work that can be done. For the complete story, see the Energy Blog.

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

News and Events by CCRES March 07, 2013


Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources 

News and Events March 07, 2013

President Obama Nominates New Energy Department and EPA Heads


President Obama on March 4 nominated Ernest Moniz to replace Steven Chu as Secretary of Energy, and Gina McCarthy to take over U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) leadership from Lisa Jackson. Of his new Energy Secretary nominee, Obama said "Ernie knows that we can produce more energy and grow our economy while still taking care of our air, our water and our climate." The president praised Moniz, who served as Undersecretary of Energy for President Bill Clinton and directs the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Energy Initiative, which brings together prominent thinkers and energy companies to develop the technologies that can increase energy independence and create new jobs.
In announcing McCarthy's nomination, President Obama called her a top environmental official in Massachusetts and Connecticut, where she helped design programs to expand energy efficiency and promote renewable energy. She previously served as the assistant administrator of the EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. President Obama said both nominees are "going to be making sure that we're investing in American energy; that we're doing everything that we can to combat the threat of climate change; that we're going to be creating jobs and economic opportunity in the first place. They are going to be a great team. And these are some of my top priorities going forward." See the White House press release.

Agriculture Department Awards $8 Million for Smart Grid Technology


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on February 18 announced that rural electric cooperatives and utilities in 12 states will receive loan guarantees to improve generation and transmission facilities, as well as to implement smart grid technologies. The announcement includes support for more than $8 million in smart grid technologies, which help utilities make efficiency improvements to the electric grid and help consumers lower their electric bills by reducing energy use in homes and businesses. States receiving this USDA smart grid funding are Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas.
Smart grid technologies involve adding communication capabilities and control systems to the electrical grid; this is expected to change how people use electricity, resulting in improved home energy management for the homeowner, greater demand control for the utility, and a more reliable power grid overall. Smart grids are also expected to better accommodate the use of renewable energy, all forms of on-site power production, and electric vehicles. See the USDA press release.

GSA Seeks Public Input for Green Building Certification


The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) on February 5 announced that it is seeking additional input from the public regarding the federal government's use of third-party green building certification systems, which reflect building energy efficiency. GSA published a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comments through April 6, 2013, on how the federal government can best use certification systems to measure the design and performance of the federal government's construction and major modernization projects. Federal construction and modernization projects must adhere to the government's own green building requirements, and third party certification systems should help in measuring effectiveness and performance.
GSA is currently evaluating three certification systems for green building standards, including the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) 2009, the Green Building Initiative's Green Globes, and the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge. After the public comment period, GSA will use that feedback and make a recommendation to the Energy Department, which could include one system, multiple systems, or no system. See the GSA press release and the notice in the Federal Register.

Ultra-Efficient VW Hybrid to Debut at Geneva Auto Show


Volkswagen will debut the XL1 hybrid it calls the most fuel-efficient production car in the world at the International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland.
Credit: Volkswagen
Volkswagen (VW) will debut the XL1 hybrid when the 83rd International Motor Show opens on March 7 in Geneva, Switzerland. The automaker calls it "the most fuel-efficient production car in the world" and estimates the vehicle gets 261 miles per gallon (mpg). The plug-in hybrid two-seater can also cover a distance of up to about 31 miles in all-electric mode. The sports car is designed for a top speed of about 100 mph, and has a 20-kW motor and a 2-cylinder, Turbocharged Direct Injection diesel engine. Lightweight carbon fiber-reinforced polymer is used in its construction. The automaker is planning to begin production in 2013.
Also listed as premiering at the show is the Audi A3 Sportback TCNG, which is designed to use synthetic methane, or, as the automaker calls it, renewable "e-gas." Other concept vehicles will be unveiled at the show as well, which runs through March 17. See the VW press release and the Geneva show website.


  special thanks to U.S. Department of Energy |

St. Louis Launches Plan for More Sustainable Community


St. Louis, regarded as the Gateway to the West, is also becoming the gateway to sustainability for the state of Missouri. Central to increasing energy efficiency in St. Louis has been the Energy Department's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program.
St. Louis identified its City Hall, considered the crown jewel of the city's buildings portfolio, as a building that could benefit from retrofit. Before making upgrades, the city conducted an energy audit of the building and determined that it was only occupied 40% of the year. The city saw an opportunity to reduce energy use for the other 60% of the year when the systems require minimal operation. EECBG funds were leveraged to help meet these energy efficiency goals, including HVAC retrofits, internal lighting upgrades, direct digital control upgrades and whole building lighting upgrades, and resulted in energy savings up to 50%.
Additionally, 52 outdated metal halide lamp fixtures were replaced with LED fixture tops in the City Hall parking structure. The new LED fixtures deliver more useful light where it is needed and use a total of 1.3 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy—compared to the 7.8 kWh required by the previous lighting—for an energy savings of nearly 83%. For the complete story, see the Energy Blog.

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)