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Energy Economy

December 20, 2011
Homer, population 5,364, known far and wide for its importance to Alaska's commercial fishing industry, spent $847,000 to conduct an initial energy audit and implement energy efficiency improvements that will drop the city's energy bill by $100,000 annually -- a reduction of approximately 14 percent. | Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Saving Clams in the Halibut Capital of the World

Since 2010, officials of the Alaskan municipality Homer have spent $847,000 to conduct an initial energy audit and implement energy efficiency improvements that will drop the city's energy bill by $100,000 annually, a reduction of approximately 14 percent.

December 16, 2011
An aerial view of Sapphire Energy's integrated biorefinery in Luna County, New Mexico. | Photo courtesy of Sapphire Energy.
Sapphire Energy Out to Prove That Crud Can Take On Crude

For most people, the notion that the green gunk coating various pond and river bottoms is a potential fuel source sounds like science fiction. But the fact is, several projects sponsored by the Energy Department are actively developing various ways to turn that “green gunk”, called algae, into a renewable and sustainable transportation fuel that will help reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil.

December 16, 2011
Join us live today at 1 PM EST for a discussion on advanced biofuels | Photo courtesy of FDC Logistics.
TODAY: Advanced Biofuels Q&A with Dr. Valerie Reed

Over the past two weeks, we’ve featured a number of stories about how advanced biofuels are strengthening our national security and creating economic opportunities across the country. Today, we want to hear from you as we host a live Twitter Q&A on biofuels with Dr. Valerie Reed, Acting Manager of the Biomass Program – starting at 1 PM EST this afternoon.

November 10, 2011
This is the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster located at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, which has 270 buildings that consortium members can use to conduct energy efficiency experiments. The Energy Efficiency Buildings Hub is one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s research centers called Energy Innovation Hubs. | Photo courtesy of EEB Hub
Energy Innovation Hub Report Shows Philadelphia-area Building Retrofits Could Support 23,500 Jobs

Recent reports commissioned by the Energy Efficiency Buildings Hub highlight the potential of a massive retrofit project aimed to reduce the area's building energy use by 50 percent in the next 10 years.

October 21, 2011
A computer simulation of the Alden Fish-Friendly Turbine.
Fish-Friendly Turbine Making a Splash in Water Power

A revolutionary new turbine technology for hydropower plants is one step closer to its first commercial deployment. The Alden Fish-Friendly Turbine could change the game for hydropower generation in the United States, and it is likely to have significant export potential.

October 19, 2011
Critical Materials for a Clean Energy Future

Earlier this month, United States, Japanese and European Union officials, along with a number of industry stakeholders, met for a “Trilateral Conference on Critical Materials for a Clean Energy Future.” I had the opportunity to give a keynote address and discuss the role of critical materials in clean energy technologies with a wide range of experts.

October 19, 2011
A 42-U.S. gallon barrel of crude oil yields about 45 gallons of petroleum products. Source: Energy Information Administration, “Oil: Crude Oil and Petroleum Products Explained” and Annual Energy Outlook 2009 (Updated February 2010).
The How's and Why's of Replacing the Whole Barrel

For many, a barrel of oil is almost synonymous with its most prominent product, gasoline. While almost 40% of a barrel of oil is used to produce gasoline, the rest is used to produce a host of products including jet fuel and plastics and many industrial chemicals. As the United States works to reduce its dependence on foreign oil, we must recognize the complexity of that dependence and work to replace the whole barrel.

October 19, 2011
Clean Energy Markets: We've Got the Innovation and Deployment Cart and Horse Backwards

China has become the world’s largest producer of solar modules. But did you know that these Chinese manufacturers are using technology breakthroughs developed in the United States? What’s the disconnect in the US's ability to deploy it?

October 17, 2011
An illustration of the 2011 Chevy Volt, whose lithium-ion battery is based on technology developed at Argonne National Laboratory. | Image courtesy of General Motors.
From the Lab to the Showroom: How the Electric Car Came to Life

In the U.S., businesses tend to invest in research that will pay off in the short term. National laboratories are filling a gap by conducting the essential research that will change the game 10 to 20 years down the road. Learn more about how years of conducting advanced research in both the private and public sectors led to battery technology that made electric cars possible.

October 14, 2011
Bob Repine, Oregon Department of Energy director, presents the Benton County Fairgrounds solar barn built with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. The rooftop solar array will produce nearly a quarter of the energy used at the fairgrounds and the 12,000-square-foot space will house livestock and the Solar Education Center. | Photo courtesy of the Oregon Department of Energy
A Barn Raising For the 21st Century

Benton County, Oregon residents constructed a livestock building powered by 306 roof-top solar modules funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.