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Energy Newsbriefs Blog

This current awareness service is prepared by the WSU Energy Program Library with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program. This information is provided for energy professionals and interested members of the public to highlight recent energy-related news, articles, and reports that discuss energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable sources of energy in engineering and policy circles.

 


6 Steps to Creating an Effective Energy Plan

Pumps & Systems, Nov. 2014, by Brenda Phillips & Raisa Johnson.
http://www.pumpsandsystems.com/6-steps-creating-effective-energy-plan

"Manufacturing and other plant operators—such as those who work in wastewater, water treatment and power generation—face the daily challenge of maintaining efficient operations. Manufacturing is the most energy-consuming market in the U.S. Recent data indicate a trend toward increasing energy prices for manufacturing processes. As the U.S. debates energy efficiency and carbon emissions, manufacturers will stand out as leaders in decreasing energy use and reducing carbon emissions."

Method for Assessing and Selecting New Small Hydro Technology

Hydro Review, Nov. 2014, by Quin Fen (Katherine) Zhang, and others.
http://www.hydroworld.com/articles/hr/print/volume-33/issue-9/articles/method-for-assessing-and-selecting-new-small-hydro-technology.html

"With significant development potential available at small run-of-river sites and non-powered dams in the U.S., the authors propose a software program to help interested parties choose the best type of technology to install at these sites."

Boosting Energy Performance in Federal Facilities

Buildings Magazine, Nov. 2014, by Chris Olson.
http://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/18131/title/boosting-energy-performance-in-federal-facilities.aspx

"The federal government manages some 429,000 buildings totaling 3.34 billion square feet. It owns approximately 80% of that space and leases 20%. A portfolio of that mammoth size clearly has an impact on the buildings industry. The Bush and Obama administrations have established a number of targets for facility energy use. GSA,DOE and other federal agencies are developing a variety of approaches, including performance contracting, deep retrofits, a green “proving ground,” and analytics tools. The private sector can learn from the government’s successes."

Avista’s Aging Headquarters Gets Energy-Efficiency update

The Spokesman-Review, Dec. 12, 2014, by Becky Kramer.
http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2014/dec/12/avistas-aging-headquarters-gets-energy-efficiency/

"When the heating-and-cooling system at the Spokane utility’s corporate headquarters passed the half-century mark a few years ago, officials decided it was time for replacement.

The new system is part of a $28 million energy-efficiency remodel that will eventually cut power costs at the utility’s headquarters on Mission Avenue by $275,000 per year. The updates will save about 2.8 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, or enough to power 233 homes."

Compressed Air Supply at a Metal Machining Plant

Compressed Air Best Practices, Nov. 2014, by Don van Ormer.
http://www.airbestpractices.com/system-assessments/compressor-controls/compressed-air-supply-metal-machining-plant

"This metal fabrication and machining facility produces high-quality precision-built products. Over the years, the plant has grown and there have been several expansions to the current location. The company currently spends $227,043 annually on energy to operate the compressed air system....The set of projects recommended, as a result of the system assessment, could reduce these energy costs by $89,092 or 39%."

Power Savings of Smart Meters Prove Slow to Materialize

New York Times, Dec. 5, 2014, by Matthew L. Wald.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/06/business/energy-environment/power-savings-of-smart-meters-prove-slow-to-materialize.html

"Although the goal is to shift consumption to off-peak hours when cheaper, cleaner electricity is available, experts say it is still many years away, despite billions in federal subsidies that have helped finance the switch to the so-called smart grid."

The Effect of State Policy Suites on the Development of Solar Markets

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Nov. 2014.
http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy15osti/62506.pdf

"Many states and local governments have undertaken a variety of policy initiatives with the goal of encouraging private investment and building robust solar photovoltaic (PV) markets. While some states have seen many-fold increases in solar PV installations over the last decade, many other states, some with similar policies, have been less successful. The perceived lack of a clear relationship between implementation of specific policies and increases in solar installations has been challenging to policymakers seeking to support solar markets within their jurisdictions."

Utilities Face Significant Revenue Losses from Growth of Solar, Storage and Energy Efficiency, Accenture Research Shows

Accenture News Release, Dec. 8, 2014.
http://newsroom.accenture.com/news/utilities-face-significant-revenue-losses-from-growth-of-solar-storage-and-energy-efficiency-accenture-research-shows.htm

"Continued growth of distributed energy resources and energy efficiency measures could cause significant demand disruption and drive down utilities’ revenues by up to $48 billion a year in the United States and €61 billion a year in Europe by 2025, according to Accenture’s Digitally Enabled Grid research."

Solar Photovoltaic Output Depends on Orientation, Tilt, and Tracking

Energy Information Administration, Nov. 19, 2014.
http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=18871

"Financial incentives, renewable portfolio standards, cost declines, and system performance improvements have led to more customer-sited solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, especially in states such as California. Because PV panels are able to capture more solar energy when they are pointed directly at the sun, installers may configure systems to optimize output by adjusting the orientation and tilt of a system, or by using mechanisms that track the sun as it traverses the sky."

Almost All U.S. Nuclear Plants Require Life Extension Past 60 Years to Operate Beyond 2050

Energy Information Administration, Dec. 8, 2014.
http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=19091

"When nuclear power plants are built, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has the authority to issue initial operating licenses for a period of 40 years. Beyond that, the reactors need license renewals, and the NRC has granted 20-year license renewals to 74 of the 100 operating reactors in the United States. These reactors may now operate for a total period of 60 years."
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The Energy Newsbriefs Blog is a continuation of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs. Please bookmark this site and return frequently. Although we will not be accepting comments from within the Blog, we would be happy to hear from you by email at library@energy.wsu.edu

Archives of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs, from Oct. 2012 – Jan. 6, 2014, may be found on the WSU Energy Library web page.