Jason Barton

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Archive for the ‘Chu’ tag

Secretary Chu Announces $187 Million to Improve Vehicle Efficiency for Heavy-Duty Trucks and Passenger Vehicles

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January 11, 2010

At an event today in Columbus, Indiana, Secretary Chu announced the selection of nine projects totaling more than $187 million to improve fuel efficiency for heavy-duty trucks and passenger vehicles. The funding includes more than $100 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and with a private cost share of 50%, will support nearly $375 million in total research, development, and demonstration projects across the country. The nine winners have stated their projects will create over 500 jobs, primarily researchers, engineers, and managers who will develop these new technologies. By 2015, the projects expect to create over 6,000 jobs—many in manufacturing and assembly.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

January 11th, 2010 at 11:05 pm

The Rosenfeld Effect

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I’m embarrassed to admit that, like John Stewart, I hadn’t heard of Art Rosenfeld either until very recently. Already he’s one of my heroes. Energy efficiency is absolutely the most important energy issue. That means not only creating cars, appliances, and homes that use less energy, but using those devices less. (Yes, I am aware of the irony of typing these words into a computer so that other people may read these words from their computers.) Finding and improving alternative and renewable energy resources is important, but is secondary to maximizing efficiency. Invoking my favorite energy analogy, I’ll use finances as a familiar example. It’s great for individuals to find new ways to make money, but if the focus on that objective means forgetting inefficient expenditures, late payment fees or interest charges on credit cards spring to mind, then each dollar earned from that new revenue provides that much less utility.

A common complaint against renewable energy sources is that they cannot provide a significant proportion of U.S. consumption. Currently it accounts for just over 7% of our energy resources (DOE, EIA), but if we cut consumption by half, a difficult but definitely accomplishable objective, without any additional advancements or investments in renewables, it would suddenly account for 15%. Just look at the figure describing “The Rosenfeld Effect.” California’s electricity consumption has remained relatively flat for almost four decades. That means that while U.S. consumption has risen by nearly 60%, California spends about the same on energy now as they did in 1973! And that’s the beauty of energy efficiency: it SAVES money! Yeah, I dig Art Rosenfeld’s energy stuff. Top-notch weatherizing guy.

Art Rosenfeld, the ‘godfather’ of energy efficiency

Posted: 12/27/2009 12:01:00 AM PST

Updated: 12/27/2009 12:17:06 PM PST

When U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu appeared on the “The Daily Show” in July, he bantered with host Jon Stewart about energy-efficient “white roofs,” a powerful tool in the race to combat climate change.

Chu credited much of the research on white roofs to “Art Rosenfeld, one of my local heroes.” “Rosenfeld. I love his energy stuff,” cracked Stewart, who didn’t appear to know who he is. “Top-notch weatherizing guy.”

But Rosenfeld, 83, is getting a lot of credit these days — credit many feel is long overdue. Often referred to as the “godfather” of energy efficiency, Rosenfeld spent much of his career teaching physics at UC-Berkeley and at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He has served on the California Energy Commission since 2000 and steps down Jan. 13, when his current term expires.

Rosenfeld has long championed energy efficiency as the “low-hanging fruit” in the battle against climate change, and it irks him that solar power has traditionally gotten more attention. He has dedicated his life to making homes, commercial buildings and appliances — including lighting, refrigerators and televisions — more energy efficient. And his ideas finally have political capital: President Barack Obama regularly stresses energy efficiency as key to reducing carbon emissions, saving consumers money and creating jobs.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

December 27th, 2009 at 6:00 am

Secretaries Chu and Vilsack Announce More Than $600 Million Investment in Advanced Biorefinery Projects

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December 04, 2009

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of 19 integrated biorefinery projects to receive up to $564 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to accelerate the construction and operation of pilot, demonstration, and commercial scale facilities. The projects—in 15 states—will validate refining technologies and help lay the foundation for full commercial-scale development of a biomass industry in the United States. The projects selected today will produce advanced biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts using biomass feedstocks at the pilot, demonstration, and full commercial scale. The projects selected today are part of the ongoing effort to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, spur the creation of the domestic bio-industry, and provide new jobs in many rural areas of the country.

“Advanced biofuels are critical to building a cleaner, more sustainable transportation system in the U.S.” said Secretary Chu. “These projects will help establish a domestic industry that will create jobs here at home and open new markets across rural America.”

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

December 5th, 2009 at 8:22 am