California Assemblyman Tom Bates describes his proposal for a new hybrid vehicles industry to LBL staff.
California Assemblyman Tom Bates met with LBL staff recently to talk about the future of California's economy and his efforts to develop a new industry-building hybrid electric vehicles-at the sites of San Francisco Bay area military bases slated for closure. Participants at the January 28 meeting discussed enthusiastically the job-creation and environmental promises of a hybrid-vehicle industry. They pledged to work with a unique government/private-sector collaboration investigating the technological and economic inputs required to get such an industry started. Assemblyman Bates is a member of the Bay Area's Defense Conversion Task Force and several Assembly committees, including Natural Resources, and is the California Assembly's liaison to the Clinton administration.
Hosted by the Energy Analysis Program and its director, Mark Levine, Project 3 Working Group A of the World Energy Council (WEC) met at LBL in mid-January. WEC is an international organization whose objectives include analyzing energy policy and promoting the peaceful uses of energy. Working Group A identifies ways of using high technology to improve energy efficiency. Representing seven countries- Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, the U.S, and Sweden-the group will present its report at the Triennial Congress of the WEC in Japan next year. Participants at the January meeting finalized the selection of case studies of advanced technologies that can successfully and cost-effectively spur energy efficiency for the report. They also discussed the use of computer information systems in energy efficiency.
Another recent visitor to the Center was John Hoffman, Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Global Change Division. Hoffman described the EPA's plans to expand the successful model provided by its Green Lights Program to embrace more energy end-uses in commercial and residential buildings. Possible LBL collaboration with the EPA includes developing advanced CFL fixtures and other aspects of residential lighting; demonstrating and validating advanced technologies such as thermal distribution via radiant cooling and more efficient ducts; improving design tools and decision-support software; developing efficiency rating systems (such as for residential windows); and integrating indoor air quality with the overall concept of "green buildings." Hoffman also identified building commissioning and improved operating procedures as important strategies. New LBL work with geographic information systems will be useful in identifying energy savings opportunities and relative cost-effectiveness at regional and state levels.
Stephen Selkowitz, head of the Building Technologies Program, was a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Advanced Engineering (CAE) at the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch, New Zealand, from February 21 to March 3. He was one of five fellows reviewing and discussing a series of reports on CAE's Energy Efficiency Project for the government of New Zealand. Selkowitz spent the first four days in the Energy Efficiency Project workshop in Wellington. He then described the Center's building energy-efficiency projects and other work at seminars titled "International Perspectives on Energy Efficiency," held in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland.
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