ACE Power-Update for February 2005

Bright Forecast for The Clean Energy Industry
In his 2005-2006 Economic & Technology Forecast for Austin, Mr. Angelos Angelou emphasized strong growth in the area of clean energy and related technologies. Mr. Angelou, the Principal and Chief Economist of AngelouEconomics, is described as Austin’s most authoritative forecaster. He presented his forecast on January 27, 2005, at the Austin Convention Center, in front of an audience of approximately 1000 including many business, government, education, and community leaders from the greater Austin area as well as representatives from other locations. To find out more, please visit or call 512-225-9318.

Upcoming Local & Regional Events    

February 16, 2005, 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM Central Standard Time
Million Solar Roofs Call Seminar on Zero Energy Homes – Free Registration for MSR Partners
REGISTER NOW for the next MSR Conference Call Seminar on Zero Energy Homes. Zero Energy Homes optimally combine renewable technologies with highly energy efficient building envelopes, appliances, lighting, automated controls, and heating/ventilating/air conditioning (HVAC) systems to produce all the energy they use on an annual basis. The U.S. Department of Energy funded a number of teams to develop the Zero Energy Home concept with production builders, and this seminar will present the results of some of that work. The seminar is free for Million Solar Roof partners, but you must register to attend. To register for this conference call seminar, send your name, organization or company, MSR partner with which you are affiliated, and e-mail address to Larry Sherwood at [email protected]. If you live in the San Antonio area, your MSR partner is Solar San Antonio. If you live in the Austin area, your partner is the Texas Solar Energy Society. More info at:

February 28 – March 4, 2005
Texas Technology Week
The American Electronics Association (AeA), the Metroplex Technology Business Council (MTBC), TechNet Texas and Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute (THBI) are once again hosting the Texas Technology Week. Technology Week will take place during the 79th Legislative Session. Various activities are planned throughout the week to highlight programs and policies that will: bolster job creation in emerging technology fields; build on existing opportunities to spur research and development, innovation and continued investment; enhance Texas’ ability to compete with other states and countries, building a solid workforce; and provide quality education to our future workforce. Technology Week includes a one day conference on February 28, entitled: “Innovation, Investment and Productivity:
Ensuring Texas’ Place In A Competitive 21st Century”, which will be held at the Texas Capitol Auditorium in Austin. For the complete schedule of activities and additional information about this event, visit: or contact Jill Nelson at 972-238-8998 or [email protected].

April 4 – 9, 2005. Austin, Texas
SEI Photovoltaic Design & Installation Workshop
Participants will learn system sizing, site analysis, hardware specification and component selection as well as install an operational system in the field and learn the proper use of tools and safety precautions. The workshop covers typical applications and case study examples. This workshop is for the beginner who wants to use PV or for those seeking employment in the solar industry. The workshop is certified by the Institute of Sustainable Power and fulfills one of the requirements for national photovoltaic certification. For more information and to register, visit and scroll down for the schedule and location.

Through August 2005
Residential Energy Code Workshops
The on-going progressive residential energy code training currently carried out in Texas as part of the education and outreach effort of the energy codes and standards program, is based on the 2000 International Residential Code (IRC) and the 2000 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), including the 2001 Supplement. Training also focuses on simplified compliance path approaches based on the use of the REScheck software, as developed by Pacific National Northwest Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The 77th Texas Legislature established uniform residential building and energy codes in Texas in 2001. These codes, the IRC and the IECC, are still new to most Texas builders, city building officials, architects, and engineers. The State Energy Conservation Office (SECO), through the U.S. DOE Special Projects program and in cooperation with the Texas Association of Builders (TAB), is funding a series of 30 residential energy code workshops in various cities throughout the state of Texas to help disseminate the needed information for compliance with the energy segments of these codes. Please contact Erik Cofield at [email protected], or at (281) 970-8970 for the 2005 workshop schedule and additional information.

Upcoming National & International Events    

March 1- 3, 2005, Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada
POWER-GEN Renewable Energy Conference
POWER-GEN Renewable Energy brings together the renewable energy (wind, solar, hydro power, geothermal energy, ocean/tidal, and biomass), renewable fuels (biofuels, ethanol, methanol, and biodiesel), and emerging energy technology (hydrogen systems, fuel cells, microturbines and energy storage) sectors of the energy industry to discuss the key technical, regulatory, structural, economic and market issues impacting their commercial future. With a conference program featuring multiple tracks of sessions covering technologies and business issues, plus an exhibit floor showcasing the latest products, systems and services, POWER-GEN Renewable Energy is the industry’s premier event covering all major aspects of the renewables market. Contact: Lisa Gasaway Event Manager Ph: 918.832.9245, [email protected].

August 6 – 12, 2005, Orlando, Florida
Solar World Congress
Please join the International Solar Energy Society (ISES), the American Solar Energy Society, and all of the other participating organizations as we welcome the ISES Solar World Congress back to the United States. Leading researchers, scientists, engineers, architects, designers and other renewable energy professionals from around the world will attend and participate in this comprehensive program. For more information, please visit

Article & Info Picks    

Bush Should Look To Texas If He Doesn’t Want the Nation To Become California
Texas is beginning to look more and more like California. That might sound good to folks like me living here on the Left Coast, but for the Bush Administration touting the concept of electricity deregulation as the solution to our power supply woes, what is going on in our president’s home state is proving that the devil is always in the details. Putting oil and chemical companies ahead of ordinary consumers is never a good idea, even in Texas. Full story at

New Standards to Guide Next-Gen U.S. Wind Power
In a clear sign that wind power facilities are being considered an increasingly relevant and important part of the U.S. electrical grid, the nation’s top regulatory agency released details of their new proposed interconnection guidelines. Once official, they will have a far-ranging impact on the U.S. wind power industry including manufacturers, developers, and grid-operators alike. Full story at

Solar Power Used for Seismic Mapping Stations

Understanding how and why the earth’s crust shifts like it does requires data collection from areas that aren’t close to a power supply. Northern Power Systems was awarded a contract to supply 30 of its TeleSol photovoltaic (PV) power systems for the USArray component of EarthScope, an experiment that is exploring the structure and evolution of the North American continent and the physical processes controlling earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Full story at

Israel Seeks Partners for 100 MW Solar Power Plant

Solar projects of this size don’t come along very often. Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructures of Israel (MNI) is considering issuing a Request for Proposals for the construction and operation of a 100 MW solar power plant in the south of the country. Full story at

Low-Drag Trucks: Aerodynamic Improvements & Flow Control System Boost Fuel Efficiency in Heavy Trucks
Flow control techniques and aerodynamic improvements developed at the Georgia Institute of Technology could save the U.S. trucking industry hundreds of millions of gallons of fuel per year. Recent tests done using a full-size tractor-trailer truck show the techniques – which are based on systems originally developed for jet aircraft wings – could increase fuel economy by as much as 11-12 percent. The improvements could also enhance braking and directional control, potentially improving safety for the big vehicles. The aerodynamic improvements produced by geometry changes – which generate fuel savings of as much as six to seven percent — involve rounding aft trailer corners, installing fairings and making other changes that smooth air flow over the boxy trailers. Fuel savings of an additional five percent come from pneumatic devices that blow air from slots at the rear of the trailer to further improve and prevent separation of air flow. Full press release at .

Discount on New Reference Book Publications Available from The Association of Energy Engineers
AEE is pleased to announce the publication of several new reference books for you to consider adding to your or your company’s library. These are a part of this month’s featured books. Save 10% off these titles by ordering by 02/20/05. To order, please visit , send an e-mail [email protected] , or call 770-925-9558.

New Magazine Launch—greenlight—for People Who Lean Green Former Austinite launching a consumer magazine in the emerging LOHAS market seeks subscribers, investors, and advertisers for greenlight—the one-stop resource for people who lean green. One third of Americans already take the environment into consideration in their decision making for their lives. green*light is the guide to earth-friendly living. To subscribe (first 4 issues FREE) and find out more, go to To invest, contact Thea Selby @ 415 773 1841
To advertise, call Susan Werner @ 415 441 2762.

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Nick Babic
PowerUpdate Editor
On behalf of the ACE PowerUpdate Team

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Legal Information
The news and other information reported in PowerUpdate do not necessarily reflect the official position of ACE. Some links in the ACE PowerUpdate are time-sensitive. These links may move or expire as the news and information changes. Some sources also may require registration or fee-based subscriptions.

Copyright © 2005 Austin Clean Energy Initiative

posted by Jon Lebkowsky on 1:38 PM | ~permalink~

Monday, November 29, 2004

November, 2004 Power-Update

November 22, 2004
PowerUpdate is brought to you by the Austin Clean Energy Initiative

Local Spotlight     

The First Texas Clean Energy Congress & 20th Anniversary Meeting
This historic event was organized by the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association (TREIA) and held in Austin, Texas, November 14 – 16, 2004. More than 150 participants representing more than 50 organizations from across Texas and beyond and including professionals from renewable and traditional energy industries, environmentalists, consumers, religious communities, and governmental organizations, gathered to call for bold, new energy goals for Texas. Among attendees was also a delegation from The Institute Of Energy Economics, Japan. Congress and Meeting highlights included the election of the Congress Chair; the discussion, drafting, and adoption of the “Declaration of Sustainability and Sustainable Energy Bill of Rights” which calls for Texas to create the appropriate policies, programs and business climate to meet the majority of its total energy needs with sustainable energy by the year 2020; the call-to-action training sessions; the renewable energy sector sessions that covered hot wind, solar, biomass and building energy topics; and finally, a tour of the Austin area solar installations. The meeting ended with a bonus, one-day session, “Renewables Made In Germany”, that turned out to be an outstanding program put together by key leaders and companies involved in Germany’s renewable energy program. For additional information about this event, please visit the TREIA website and see the press release on the Texas Impact web site.

Clean Energy Incubator Hosts Korean Electric Power Corporation
The Clean Energy Incubator (CEI) has been hosting sixteen executives from the Korean Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) this fall in a program developed by the IC2 Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. The KEPCO executives arrived in Austin in August and will return to Korea in December. The unique program offers a wonderful educational and cultural learning experience for the group during their sabbatical from KEPCO with the goal of providing insight into the United States electric utility industry and particularly the effects of deregulation. Other goals of the program are to increase English skills and gain a general understanding of the American business culture.

The program is comprised of several classes including a ESL (English as a Second Language) class and a Marketing Management class where Professor Kate Mackie, Ph.D. has been teaching a specially designed, strategic marketing course that includes a market simulation game. Each KEPCO visitor has been auditing also a MBA course of their choosing at The UT McCombs School of Business. The program is enhanced by several special guest lectures given by various faculty and local business leaders. Topics have ranged from energy finance and corporate strategy to government efficiency programs. Finally, to complete the group’s experience, field trips to Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio have been arranged where meetings with respective utility companies have been combined with a little fun and sightseeing. CEI hopes to have the opportunity to continue this program next year.
If anyone is interested in speaking with the KEPCO executives, please contact George Langdon at CEI (512-305-0050). For more information about The Clean Energy Incubator, please visit CEI’s website.

Ford Markets The Escape Hybrid SUV To Austin Area Residents
On its road trip to market the new Ford Escape Hybrid sports utility vehicle, The Ford Motor Company made Austin a key stop. On November 20, 2004, Austin residents were given the opportunity to test drive and learn about the vehicle, find out about Ford’s participation in “green” activities, and even pick up a few goodies such as a tee-shirt made from a blend of recycled cotton and Fortrel (R) EcoSpun (TM) fabric produced from recycled plastic bottles. The Ford Escape Hybrid is the world’s first full-hybrid SUV. Full-hybrids can be driven on electric power alone, on gasoline alone, or on both at the same time. The Escape Hybrid has a EPA-estimated mileage of 36 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway (33 mpg and 29 mpg respectively for a 4-wheel drive version). Full-hybrid technology normally gives better mileage in city traffic because the system shuts off the gasoline engine and runs on electricity only at each stop. Nick Babic, the editor of the ACE PowerUpdate newsletter, experienced a 29.4 mpg average during a short test which included stop-and-go and highway driving. According to a Ford representative at the Austin event, 2005 sales of the Escape Hybrid will be limited to some 20,000 vehicles because of the limited supply of batteries used by the vehicle. Most Texans interested in buying should expect to wait for 2006 to roll around before their dream can be realized. More about the Escape Hybrid can be found on Ford’s website.

“Green” Building & Home Improvement Center Opens In Austin, Texas
Austin residents and businesses now have an alternative to conventional home building and improvement centers. Environmental Depot proudly announces the opening of its new store at 9914 Hwy 290 W., in southwest Austin. This “green” building and home improvement center is dedicated to providing natural, ecologically safe, sustainable, hypoallergenic, and non-toxic products. With over 15 years experience supplying environmentally friendly solutions to the New York area, Environmental Depot now brings this expertise to the Austin community. E.C.O. of New York has teamed up with local environmentalists, Jon and Alyssa Alvord, in creating the one-stop showroom and supply center for “green” construction materials. Environmental Depot staff not only sells ecologically friendly products but also uses their extensive experience to consult with professionals and do-it-yourselfers to create “green” and non-toxic homes and workplaces, with emphasis on meeting the needs of chemically sensitive clients. For additional information, please visit or call the store at 512.288.6161.

Upcoming Local & Regional Events    

December 14 – 16, 2004, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, Texas
Emissions Reduction & Energy Leadership Summit 2004
The Summit will feature the following tracks: Texas Emissions Reduction Program (TERP) & the Texas Energy Partnership, relating to Senate Bill 5, geared toward local government staff and officials charged with reducing energy consumption and air emissions; Green Building (commercial and residential), geared toward builders, architects and the building trades, providing information about green building concepts, programs and techniques; Sustainable Technologies track in which the exhibitors will take turns speaking about their sustainable products and services; Clean Cities, a Department of Energy sponsored program, organized by the Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG), will feature workshops on Anti-Idling and Clean Diesel. A Student Awards Program where students ranging from elementary school through university level can compete for recognition and cash prizes will wrap up the event. Co-hosts of the Summit are the Metropolitan Partnership for Energy, the Texas A&M Energy Systems Lab and the DOE Clean Cities Program. For the latest program, tour, sponsorship, exhibitor and registration info, please visit

January 27, 2005, 7:00 – 9:30 AM, Austin Convention Center, Austin, Texas
2005-2006 Economic & Technology Forecast
Angelos Angelou, the Principal and Chief Economist at AngelouEconomics and described as Austin’s most authoritative forecaster, will speak about the future of the area’s technology economy. More about the event and Angelos Angelou at

Upcoming National & International Events    

December 5, 2004. Application Deadline
Call For Entries – International Re-Think and Re-Use Home Design Competition
Get creative, participate and win 1,500 to 5,000 Euro! Designboom and the MACEF International Home Show on-line design competition participation is open to applicants from every country in the world, including professionals, students, and amateur design-enthusiasts. Free registration required. Designboom is looking for your designs for home accessories that are aligned with the concept of RE-cycling or RE-using (energy, water, metal, plastics, paper, glass, …) and bring a fresh approach to the tiring topic of waste!

Article & Info Picks    

Ground Breaking Study Estimates Costs To Develop “Green” Federal Facilities
A ground breaking study commissioned by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and completed in October 2004, estimates the costs to develop “green” federal facilities using the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Building Rating System, Version 2.1. The study report provides a detailed and structured review of both the hard cost and soft cost implications of achieving Certified, Silver, and Gold LEED ratings for two GSA building types, using GSA’s established design standards as the point of comparison. These two building types reflect a significant percentage of GSA’s planned capital projects over the next five to ten years. The complete report can be obtained at the Whole Building Design Guide website.

World Production of Solar Cells Jumped 32% In 2003
World production of solar cells soared to 742 MW in 2003, a jump of 32 percent in just one year according to the October 19, 2004 article by the Earth Policy Institute. The top five manufacturers of solar photovoltaic (PV) cells — Sharp, Kyocera, Shell Solar, BP Solar, and RWE Schott Solar — account for 60 percent of the market share. With solar cell production growing by an average of 27 percent annually over the past five years, cumulative world production is now at 3,145 MW, enough to meet the electricity needs of more than a million homes. This superb growth is driven partially by improvements in materials and technology, but primarily by market introduction programs and government incentives. Japanese PV production—which accounts for 49 percent of the world total—has benefited from a variety of government incentive programs. European production has also boomed. With a growth of 41 percent in 2003, PV production in Europe reached 190 MW. Despite the lack of a unified EU approach toward renewable energy, individual member countries’ policies have improved Europe’s position in the world market, with Germany alone being the the second largest market for photovoltaics. In contrast, PV production in the United States decreased by 14 percent in 2003, dropping to 104 MW. This was due to lowered production by BP Solar, the repurchasing of solar cells by Shell Solar, and the bankruptcy of Astropower—the second largest producer of solar cells in the United States. Furthermore, the Million Solar Roof Initiative—a national program designed to support states and local communities as they develop solar energy technologies—that was launched in 1997 by President Clinton lacks a dedicated budget, which has stymied progress. State policies and programs, including tax exemptions, loan programs and grants, and renewable content requirements, have been more effective, however. For the complete article, visit the Earth Policy Institute website.

Federal Tax Credit Extension Puts Wind Energy Back to Work: 2005 Expected to Break Capacity Installation Records
With the extension of the federal wind energy production tax credit in September 2004, capacity installations in 2005 may very well beat all previous records, AWEA stated on October 28, 2004, in its quarterly U.S. market outlook. The previous, yearly record for new wind power capacity installations was 1,696 megawatts in 2001. Most in the industry agree that 2005 will be a better year, with some predicting installations to exceed 2,500 MW. See the complete AWEA News Release.

Wind Power Development Can Create 1000’s of Manufacturing Jobs in Hardest Hit States
According to a report released in October 2004 by the Renewable Energy Policy Project (REPP), increasing wind energy installations in the U.S. to approximately eight times today’s levels could create 150,000 manufacturing jobs nationwide, with most jobs being added in the 20 states that were hardest hit over the past three years. For the complete report, visit the REPP website.

List Of “Windy” Holiday Gifts
To facilitate environmentally friendlier shopping this holiday season, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is providing a sample of products that are now being made with electricity from wind power, a pollution-free, clean, domestic resource. The gift list is provided in a AWEA News Release.

Renewable Energy Takes A Back Seat To Hydrogen
Move over solar, wind power, geothermal and other renewable energy technologies — it’s all about hydrogen these days. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently selected a host of recipients from across the country for over US$75 million in research and development funding for the President’s Hydrogen Fuel Initiative. In his 2002 State of the Union address, President Bush pronounced his vision that, “the first car driven by a child born today could be powered by hydrogen, and pollution-free.” The research projects announced in this latest round of funding are meant to address major technical and economic hurdles in renewable and distributed hydrogen production technologies that will have to be overcome to make the President’s vision a reality. For the complete article, visit the Renewable Energy Access website.

Wind Energy Cooperatives to Produce Electricity and Hydrogen for the Residential, Commercial and Transportation Industry Nationwide
U.S Wind Farming, Inc. announced the next generation of Wind Farming Technologies creating not only electricity for sale during Peak Load Requirement times, but then producing Hydrogen for sale during off-peak times. This provides U.S. Wind Farming with the ability to harvest wind power to create valuable commodities garnering prime prices during all times of wind generation. This also allows U.S. Wind Farming to establish Wind Energy Electricity/Hydrogen Cooperatives nationwide in areas previously thought to not be viable candidates for wind energy development because of reduced wind velocities. U.S. Wind Farming expects to commission GE Wind Energy ( to install and maintain all wind turbines and Stuart Energy ( to install and maintain all Hydrogen Production/Pressurization/Storage and Dispensing equipment for the Wind Energy Electricity/Hydrogen Cooperatives across the country. Existing wind farms and new wind energy capable sites have approached U.S. Wind Farming to discuss the opportunity. Read the full press release at Business Wire.