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U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced details of the DOE’s SunShot initiative, a plan designed to reduce the costs of photovoltaic solar energy systems by about 75%.  This initiative could have solar energy achieve cost competiveness with other forms of energy.


The EPA has announced the formation of Sustainable Communities Building Blocks, a program designed to help communities adopt sustainable planning methods.  Interested communities are invited to apply for technical assistance; the application period begins on February 3 and ends February 23, 2011.


The DOE has announced a loan guarantee of up to $967 million for the Agua Caliente Solar project in Yuma County, AZ.  The Agua Caliente project will create approximately 400 jobs and produce a 290-megawatt photovoltaic solar generating facility, utilizing thin film panels from First Solar, Inc.


ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, was published in November 2010. 


RTKL has completed participation in a year-long working committee known as the Hospitality Adaptations Working Group, facilitated by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) that was charged with developing sustainable design guidelines for hospitality facilities. 


The EPA is proposing to retain the current national air quality standards for carbon monoxide (CO), while taking additional steps to monitor and gather data.


February 2011 has been designated as National Care About Your Indoor Air Month. Poor IAQ has improved in North America over the past few decades but it is still a significant problem in homes, schools, offices, and medical facilities.

Vice President Biden took the “White House to Main Street Tour” to Greenfield, Indiana, and visited manufacturer Ener1, Inc, with the plan of bringing one million advanced energy vehicles to U.S. roads by 2015. 

Princeton University engineers have developed an air laser sensing technology that can potentially be used to detect bombs at a distance and measure airborne pollutants and greenhouse gasses.


ASHRAE is rolling out a new book, Green Tips for Data Centers, to assist building operators and facility managers in optimizing energy efficiency in existing datacom facilities.


A study coauthored by Standford researcher Mark Z. Jacobson states that the world could be powered by today’s existing alternative energy solutions within the next 20 to 40 years, with societal and political support.


ASHRAE’s Duct Fitting Database (DFDB) desktop application has become more flexible as a smart phone app, allowing for engineers to make calculations in the field and get results they need quickly.

New York University has announced the completion of a natural gas-fired Co-Generation (CoGen) plant, which will decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 23% and air pollutants by 68% when compared to the previous oil-fired CoGen.

The AIA has released figures detailing a slow recovery for the nonresidential construction industry, predicting no increase in spending until late in 2011.  In fact, nonresidential construction spending is expected to take a 2% dip, with recovery and increases coming in 2012.


The Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) will be making its exhibiting debut at the International Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration (AHR) Expo, January 31 through February 2 in Las Vegas, NV.


Are we moving to the next generation of clean cars?  The DOT, the EPA, and the state of California have announced a timeframe for proposal of fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for model year 2017-2025 cars and light-duty trucks.


Johnson Controls has announced a new technology designed to help reduce energy consumption in central chilled water plants in buildings and facilities by up to 60%. 


Aharon Gedanken and his colleagues are reporting successful lab tests of “killer paper,” a material intended as next-generation food packaging material to combat bacteria that cause spoilage.  However, this food packaging material has a lot of potential for commercial use as well, as a germ-fighting coating for plastics, fabrics, and metals in hospitals, kitchens, and bathrooms.

Accor North America and Motel 6 have implemented the “Phoenix My Break Room” initiative, a energy-saving employee incentive program.  This simple plan has potential for use across many industry sectors, including retail, restaurant, and commercial locations.

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and the DOE have announced initiatives to promote tribal energy development.  Up to $10 million will be available this year through the Tribal Energy Program to support energy efficiency and renewable energy resources on tribal lands.

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