Geothermal Heat Pumps: Good for the Bottom Line, Good for the Nation and Good for the Earth

Geothermal Heat Pumps: Good for the Bottom Line, Good for the Nation and Good for the Earth

Geothermal heat pumps (GHPs), also known as ground-source heat pumps, are similar to ordinary heat pumps, but use the thermally stable mass of the earth below the ground instead of outside air to provide heating, air conditioning and, in most cases hot water as well. Because these systems use the earth’s natural reservoir of stable temperatures, they are among the most efficient and comfortable heating and cooling technologies around. GHPs can save substantial amounts of energy and significantly reduce peak demand in buildings that incorporate them.

U.S. To Establish Clean Energy Investment Agency

Last week, Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the “21st Century Energy Technology Deployment Act.” This bipartisan bill, S. 949, is co-sponsored by Sens. Dorgan (D-ND), Voinovich (R-OH), Stabenow (D-MI), Lugar (R-IN), Shaheen (D-NH) and Burr (R-NC). The legislation seeks to improve the loan guarantee program at the Department of Energy (DOE) and to provide additional options for deploying energy technologies. The basis of the bill is to shore up the existing program at DOE, then transition to a new financially-focused agency to perform and expand upon the duties of the program.

Department of Energy Announces Grants To Establish 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers

The White House announced that the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science will invest $777 million in Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) over the next five years. In a national effort to accelerate scientific advances in critical areas of the new energy economy the United States Department of Energy (DOE) will establish 46 new multi-million dollar Energy Frontier Research Centers (or EFRCs) across the nation.

Department of Energy Announces $800 Million in Funding to Biofuels

US Department of Energy Secretary Chu announced plans to provide nearly $800 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act targeted towards advancing biofuels research and development and for commercial-scale biorefinery demonstration projects. The $786.5 million in Recovery Act funding a mix of new funding opportunities and additional funding for existing projects, will be allocated over four main areas. Integrated pilot- and demonstration-scale biorefineries projects are to receive the bulk of the funding with the remainder going to commercial-scale biorefinery projects, fundamental research in key areas to advance cutting-edge conversion technologies, including generating more desirable catalysts, fuel-producing microbes, and feedstocks and to ethanol research.

Green Jobs Spotlight: Manager, SmartGrid Technologies – ICF International, Fairfax, VA

To support our client’s needs, we seek individuals with expertise in the understanding of SmartGrid technologies, as well as implementation and policy issues. In this role you will build and manage a group of engineers, economists and other professionals to support utility and government clients that seek to evaluate and install SmartGrid technologies. You will work directly with internal ICF staff, our customers and partners for the purpose of providing advanced business solutions that address the SmartGrid challenges of the utility industry.

Housing Secretary Donovan and Energy Secretary Chu Announce a Major Partnership to Use Stimulus Funds to Create Green Jobs

Last week, Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan and Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced a major partnership between their departments that will use $16 billion in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help create green jobs and to make it easier for families to weatherize their homes. The program is also designed to spur a new home energy efficiency industry that could create tens of thousands of jobs.

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