Posts tagged “Department of Energy”
What is DOE’s New “eGallon” and Why is it Useful?
I’ve been looking through a new website developed by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to assist consumers in comparing the energy costs of driving an electric vehicle (EV), relative to posted gasoline prices in their state. I heard about this site at the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) annual energy conference in Washington, DC earlier this week. It sounded like a handy feature for both current EV owners and those considering buying one, but I couldn’t help thinking about it in the context of a presentation I saw at the same conference on the cost effectiveness of federal tax credits for EV purchases. A key question in both instances concerns just what kind of car is being replaced by that new EV.
The website uses simple math, together with the EIA’s continuously updated data on gasoline and electricity prices around the country, to come up with a national and state-by-state price for an “eGallon”. That imaginary construct is essentially the quantity of electricity that would take a typical EV as far as a gallon of gasoline would take the average new conventional car. As the text points out, it’s hard for consumers to do this for themselves. They see gasoline prices everywhere they drive but must dig through their utility bills to find their electricity price–not always obvious–and then might not know how to compare the two.
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Export Terminal Approval
Last year, the Department of Energy (DOE) granted Cheniere Energy a permit to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from a terminal at Sabine Pass in Louisiana. The terminal is currently used as an LNG import terminal, but the company has plans to convert it into an export terminal, with exports beginning by 2015. The permit has been challenged by the Sierra Club, but is expected to be approved.
However, there are about 15 total other permit applications outstanding, with only the one permit accepted. After approving exports from the Sabine Pass terminal, the Obama administration put a hold on further approvals until a Department of Energy study on the economic implications of exports is completed. That study was originally due out in March, then the DOE said it would be released by the end of the summer, now the study is expected before the end of the year. (Read more: Investment Opportunities in Natural Gas)
The following guest article was written by Mathias Aarre Maehlum, an Energy and Environmental engineering student from Norway. He frequently writes on the topics of solar power and other green techs. Read more of his work at his site Energy Informative.
The Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory (LBNL) has recently published a study that looks at the price differences in the solar panel industry in Germany and the U.S. By looking at pre-incentivized prices paid for customer-owned systems (third-party-owned systems were not included in the study), they were able to pinpoint the major differences between the two countries.
In the last five years, German solar panel prices have dropped by more than 50%. Some places in the U.S. are almost on par with German prices, but on average the study found a pretty significant gap:
Image source: Environmental Energy Technologies Division
Internal audit points to $6.6 million in lost savings at DOE facilities
Despite its moniker, a new report shows that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is not as efficient with its electricity as it could be, with millions of dollars in potential savings lost last year due to the department’s failure to implement simple measures intended to reduce electricity use.
The report, issued following a DOE Inspector General audit of five sites managed by the DOE, found that the department “had not always pursued readily available, low-cost energy saving opportunities,” leading to a lost opportunity for savings of $6.6 million. Citing a lack of thorough inspections of heating and lighting systems along with meters that do not monitor electricity use in real-time, the report urges the DOE to take a “more aggressive energy conservation” approach with a particular focus on “low- and no-cost, quick payback measures.”
In response to Republican claims that the Obama administration is not working to lower gasoline prices, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu said that the DOE is on track to lower gasoline prices through some indirect methods, including promotion of alternatives such as biofuels and electric vehicles. Speaking at a White House hearing on the DOE’s budget, Chu said his department is making investments in technologies to improve automobile gas mileage, expand battery life for electric vehicles and develop biofuels to reduce U.S. oil imports. “We very much want to not only slow the price, but reverse the rising cost of gasoline,” Chu said. “We definitely feel the pain that every American and every business feels when the… Continue»
The Department Of Energy has officially put development of national TV energy efficiency standards on its schedule.