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Obama Wants Smarter Windows

In the first quarter following his re-election, President Obama’s administration is working to emphasise its ‘green’ credentials.

President Obama has come up with a Better Buildings national energy efficiency initiative, and building windows are front and center in the plan.

Windows have been a thorn in the side of energy efficient building designs, and though they have gotten better at insulation, they are still not at a capability which can be accepted.

The Department of Energy is leading the way, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (APRA-E), which is part of the DOE, has awarded a grant of $3 million to the Molecular Foundry to develop a new electrochromic window coating that adjusts to changes in weather and light conditions.

The coating on these windows, being dubbed “smart windows”, serves as a self-regulating interface which prevents too much light and heat from getting into a building. Conversely, the coating admits more light and heat whenever that would lead to the building saving energy.

In an effort to further expand the use of renewable energy, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), at the behest of President Obama, is opening up bids for offshore wind farming off the Atlantic Coast.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Tom Beaudreau, and Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes announced a proposal to open bids for 278,000 acres of offshore wind energy in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Virginia.

The release said. “Wind energy along the Atlantic holds enormous potential, and today we are moving closer to tapping into the massive domestic energy resource to create jobs, increase our energy security and strengthen our nation’s competitiveness in this new energy frontier,” said Salazar in a statement.

The future of renewable energy and energy technology is fast approaching, and President Obama and his administration are the most important actors in the situation, since he signs the papers.

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