Outgoing Energy Secretary gives $30 million for energy efficiency research and development

The outgoing Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson announced on 12 January a $30 million investment package over the next three years for 75 new energy-saving industrial research and development projects.


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The cost of the funding package will be shared with research institutions, over 150 private companies, and Energy Department national laboratories, an Energy Department spokesperson told edie. The department’s share of the funding for each project will normally vary from 30% to 50%, depending on its stage of development, with those closest to industrial production receiving the smaller proportion.

“These technologies will improve productivity, save energy and reduce environmental impacts in many energy-intensive industries in the US today,” said Richardson. “Reducing energy demand is crucial to reducing the high price of energy today.”

An example of a project that is to receive the new funding is the first commercial demonstration of a dual pressure steam turbine which can double the amount of electricity generated by making use of the energy available in pressure letdown valves. The potential energy savings for industry is estimated to by 467 trillion British Thermal Units (BTU) per year, which, says the Department of Energy, is sufficient energy to power all the homes in Virginia for about a year.

Another example is a novel process for recovering and reusing in-plant waste polymer raw materials that could result in an energy reduction of 1.6 trillion BTU per year for a plant manufacturing olefin polymers, used for the production of plastics. This project would result in potential annual savings of nearly $4.5 million per plant.

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