News Updates for the Week of August 29 - Energy Watch News

News Updates for the Week of August 29

1.    OUCH! More Bad Economic News Gross domestic product growth rose at annual rate of 1.0 percent the Commerce Department said, a downward revision of its prior estimate of 1.3 percent.  In the first quarter, the economy advanced just 0.4 percent. The government’s second GDP estimate for the quarter confirmed growth almost stalled in the first six months of this year.Economists estimate that the natural rate of unemployment is 5.2 percent. If the economy began growing immediately at the same rate the payroll survey reported during the tech bubble (+265,000 jobs per month), unemployment would not return to this level until mid-2014. More realistically, if employers began hiring at the same average rate they did during the 2003–2007 expansion (+176,000 jobs per month), unemployment would not return to its natural rate until 2018.
2.     Standard 90.1-2007 Established as National Reference Standard for Federal, Commercial Buildings by DOE – ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, has been established by the DOE as the commercial building reference standard for state building energy codes under the federal Energy Conservation and Production Act. As a result, states are required to certify by July 20, 2013, that they have reviewed and updated the provisions of their commercial building code regarding energy efficiency, including a demonstration that the provisions of their commercial building codes regarding energy efficiency meet or exceed 90.1-2007.The DOE also has issued a rule that requires new federal buildings, for which the design for construction begins on or after Oct. 11, 2012, to meet the requirements of 90.1-2007.
3.     DOE Announces Round 8 Funding Opportunities for Solid-State Lighting –The US DOE has announced two solid-state lighting (SSL) funding opportunities seeking applications for projects to advance research, development, and market adoption of SSL technology. The funding is directed toward two existing DOE SSL R program areas for Core Technology Research and Product Development: (1) Core technology projects; (2) Product development projects. Potential applicants should note that the response time for both opportunities has been lengthened and applications are due 3 November.
4.     NAESCO Northeast Regional Meeting – September 19, 2011 – Con Edison Building, 4 Irving Place, New York, NY.  The NAESCO Northeast Regional meeting will focus on the project implementation and program challenges remaining in one of the most robust markets for energy efficiency in the United States.
5.     Electric Vehicle Market Forecasts – Production of electrified vehicles is gearing up all over the world, and automakers are planning to launch an increasing variety of new models over the next few years.  Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will all share the market stage as electrified vehicles continue to capture a larger portion of the total vehicle market. Pike Research anticipates that the annual market for hybrid electric and plug-in electric vehicles will grow to 2.9 million vehicles by 2017.  This report analyzes the key market forces playing a role in the electric vehicle market and provides comprehensive lists of expected vehicle launches.
6.     Demand Side Management Solution, Free Industry White Paper Utilities are increasingly focused on conservation and managing energy demand. Many markets and jurisdictions want to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, increase use of renewable energy, and decrease energy consumption and demand. To achieve these goals, utilities need greater influence over customers’ energy efficiency – a function of how much energy they use and when they use it – through energy efficiency and demand response programs. SAP® software for demand side management will help manage your portfolio of programs – from design and marketing to enrollment and payment of incentives – while providing visibility across your organization.
7.     Keeping Manufacturing in the United States – The U.S. solid-state lighting (SSL) industry sits on the cusp of major technology advances that will revolutionize the industry and greatly accelerate energy efficiency here and around the world. In 2007, lighting manufacturers employed almost 60,000 people nationwide and shipped products valued at $13.5 billion.  Large and small manufacturers, as well as technology start-ups, are well aware of the worldwide regulatory trend toward more energy-efficient lighting. In 2009 alone, U.S. companies, many of them start-ups, raised about $300 million in venture capital for advanced lighting products. However, as in the semi-conductor and information technology sectors before, U.S. solid-state lighting companies are faced with economic factors that have led to the globalization of those industries, including lost jobs, a dispersal of the technology infrastructure largely built in this country, and ultimately a U.S. trade deficit.  DOE aims to help improve U.S. manufacturing efficiency and avoid the loss of technological expertise, intellectual property and manufacturing jobs to other countries.
8.     LED Market Continues to Grow Rapidly, Transitioning to Lighting Applications Backlight Demand Predicted to Peak in 2013, to be Overtaken by an Increased Demand for LED Lighting.  As shown in the latest DisplaySearch Quarterly LED Supply/Demand Market Forecast Report, market indicators continue to predict a rise in LED usage across applications, with lighting leading the way in LED applications with a predicted increase of 20% over 2010. The total package revenue for backlight and lighting applications was $7.2 billion in 2010 and is forecast to reach $12.7 billion in 2014. A heightened demand for LED lighting applications is the main driver of this dramatic increase.  Fortunately, suppliers have taken note of these trends and have planned for increased capacity in the future. In 2011, DisplaySearch predicts global LED capacity will reach 180 billion units, and by 2013 will reach 227 billion. Figure 1: Changes in LED Applications Over Time
9.     Osram IPO Threatened by Economic Woes and LED Slowdown Siemens has planned to take its lighting subsidiary Osram public in a fall IPO, but bad news in financial markets and slower than expected LED sales could change those plans. Siemens AG announced in March a plan to publicly list its Osram GmbH LED and lighting subsidiary in an initial public offering (IPO) planned for this fall, but recent stories in the press have suggested that Siemens may change its plans. The combination of a tough solid-state-lighting (SSL) market and weakness in the equity markets may have significantly lessened the potential IPO value. A Reuters story published earlier this month was among the first to suggest that Siemens might delay the IPO or pursue a different strategy for spinning out the Osram unit. Analysts that had valued Osram as high as 6 to 8 billion euros ($8.6 to $11.4 billion) now expect a drop in valuation of as much as 35%.
10.  Industrial Market: Opportunity for Energy Efficiency Growth by Dan CarazoThe single largest mega-market in the U.S. economy for future energy efficiency gains is the Industrial Sector. Since 1980, the U.S. Industrial Sector has cut the amount of energy it uses to produce each dollar’s worth of goods in half. Yet despite this, the total energy consumption for industrial use has increased dramatically over the past three decades. The share of electricity utilized by the industrial sector increased between 1990 and 1994 from 25% to 35% of all U.S. energy consumption. By 2007, the U.S. Industrial Sector was responsible for nearly 32% of the country’s entire energy consumption with electricity representing the single largest percentage of the consumed fuel that powers industry. As companies have become more concerned with their operational costs, energy efficiency solutions are increasingly being adopted by industrial customers. Since 2000, according to Trends in Global Energy Efficiency, 2011, a report published by ABB, the industrial sector’s energy consumption has steadily declined by 2.9% per year, falling by 12% in 2009 alone with electricity accounting for 26% of all industrial energy sources.  Energy-efficient upgrades—including lighting, motors, drives and solar energy production—will remain top choices.
11.  Report Outlines Breakthroughs in Energy Efficiency for Buildings – The DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) authored the report, which investigates 190 research and development projects sponsored by the department from fiscal year 2005 to 2009.  Technologies detailed in the report are organized in four critical areas: building envelope, HVAC and water heating, lighting and windows. The report highlights:
·         11 commercially available products
·         41 emerging technologies projected to enter the market within the next three years
·         68 technologies being researched for potential market introduction
12.  NYSERDA Announces $3 Million Rebate Program – The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority announced a $3 million rebate program for the purchase of high-efficiency ENERGY STAR refrigerators and clothes washers. The program, which was announced Wednesday, will begin Sept. 2. Rebates of $350 will be available for high-efficiency refrigerators and $250 for high-efficiency clothes washers that meet Consortium for Energy Efficiency super-efficiency levels. More information about eligible appliances is available at
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