A regional program established in North Carolina in 2009 designed to help universities increase energy efficiency and save money is expanding into a national effort with a mandate to curb greenhouse gas pollution in four states—Texas, Georgia, New York, and New Jersey—as well as Washington D.C. Climate Corps Public Sector, the forward thinking summer fellowship program developed by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), specially trains graduate students to seek out energy efficiency savings in local governments, higher education and other organizations.
According to a new report from GTM Research, the United States smart grid market will grow more than 70 percent over the next five years, reaching $9.6 billion by 2015. The U.S. Smart Grid Market Forecast: 2010–2015 analyzes key trends in four technology sectors – Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), Distribution Automation (DA), Home Area Networks (HAN) and Smart Utility Enterprise. The study concludes that the factors driving the market expansion include federal ARRA grants for utility modernization, increased market competition and consolidation, and enhanced technology synergies.
In the Obama administration’s ongoing efforts to cut emissions that cause smog, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing new regulations to tighten restrictions on pollution from coal-burning power plants owned by utilities including Duke Energy, American Electric Power Co., and Southern Co. The new proposal, called the Transport Rule, targets 31 states from Massachusetts to Texas and the District of Columbia. The measure requires a reduction in smog , acid rain, and soot-producing emissions that can travel long distances in the wind in order to “cut air pollution that impairs air quality and harms the health of people downwind.” The EPA estimates the rule would prevent as many as 36,000 premature deaths a year.
The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has expanded ECOtality’s EV Project to include Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. In addition, the project will also offer free home chargers to qualified new owners of Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended-range capability and an additional 1,000 Nissan LEAF zero-emission cars. The expansion of the EV Project is funded by a $30 million DOE grant extension which includes $15 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding which will be matched by private funds.