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Monday, September 24, 2012
feature story
ITS—More than Just Icing on the Cake
by NEMA's Craig Updyke, Manager, Trade and Commercial Affairs

ITS imageAt NEMA, the big "T" usually means transmission—related to electricity—but the organization also keeps a close eye on and advocates industry positions regarding another big T—transportation. On the front lines of this activity are members of NEMA's Transportation Management and Associated Control Devices Section who create and provide Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technologies.

To a great extent, these companies’ customers are state and local transportation authorities charged with building and operating highways, roads, bridges, public parking and transit facilities, managing traffic congestion, and ensuring traveler safety.

Not only do members of NEMA's Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Section have a direct interest in the new generation of transportation options, but all NEMA members have a keen interest in making sure their products travel to customers over the roads in a safe and timely manner.

So in late June, after several years of advocacy, NEMA welcomed a new two-year law to authorize continued receipt of federal taxes on diesel fuel and gasoline and allocation of those and other funds to states for transportation infrastructure projects. The law, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), maintains current funding levels (instead of cutting them) and provides states with at least two years of policy certainty to get projects off of the drawing board, through the permitting and construction process, and into operation. The law also includes several reforms to the project approval process aimed at accelerating completion.

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09.19.12
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One of the most vexing problems with renewable energy sources such as wind and solar is that they generate electricity intermittently, and there’s no good way to store surplus power for later; it’s a matter of use it or lose it. A Corvallis startup, Applied Exergy, is hoping to solve that problem with a new technology called TAGES, or Thermal Approach to Grid Energy Storage. TAGES (pronounced “tags”) uses a new kind of heat exchanger developed at Oregon State University to store energy.
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On the Hill/Around the Nation

09.20.12
Energy Department Invests $43M In Storage Projects for EV, Grid Tech
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $43 million in funding to 19 new projects focused on innovations in battery management and storage to advance electric vehicle (EV) technologies, help improve the efficiency and reliability of the electrical grid and provide energy security.
—Renew Grid

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International News

09.24.12
NH Small Firms to Get More Help Exporting
Even small firms that send products overseas can find the export business daunting. Just ask Axenics. “We have shipped some of our units to Israel, to France and other countries,” said Chris Coutis, vice president of the Nashua-based contract manufacturer, which makes specialty equipment for use in various tech industries.
—Telegraph Publishing Company

09.18.12
Denmark Reaches 2020-Goal for Solar Energy Before Time
Already this year, Denmark will reach the 2020 Government goal of 200 megawatt solar cell capacity. Huge interest for solar energy solutions has made the amount of solar cells multiply much faster than expected. This is made possible by favourable framework conditions. In fact the solar cell capacity will be a hundred times bigger this year compared with 2010. Currently 36 MW capacity is being mounted every month.
—Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark

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