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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.

 

Category: Renewable Energy

Renewables


The Dynamic Challenge of Integrating Variable Resources

Power, June 2014, by Sonal Patel.
http://www.powermag.com/the-dynamic-challenge-of-integrating-variable-resources/

"All aspects of system operations are tested by unique challenges as more variable energy resources are connected to the grid."

Why Owning Your Own Power Plant Might Not Be Crazy

RMI Outlet, Rocky Mountain Institute, May 2014, by Leia Guccione.
http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2014_05_22_owning_your_own_power_plant

"...it’s not that far-fetched to imagine a day when large segments of customers choose to go mostly or even entirely off-grid with clean, quiet, distributed solar-plus-battery systems. In fact, could owning your own power plant become as convenient and practical—if not quite as ubiquitous—as the consumer appliances and electronics already so commonplace that we take them for granted in our daily lives—a refrigerator, a clothes dryer, or a computer?"

Policy Brief: Clean Energy Keeps the Lights On

Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), Jun. 2014.
http://www.raponline.org/document/download/id/7175

"A new policy brief from the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), Clean Energy Keeps the Lights On, dispels the myth that electricity portfolios with high penetrations of variable renewable resources threaten reliability. The authors review eight recent studies commissioned by utilities, governments, and non-governmental organizations to address this issue, and find that none suggest insurmountable reliability problems."

An Analysis of the Costs, Benefits, and Implications of Different Approaches to Capturing the Value of Renewable Energy Tax Incentives

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, LBNL-6610E, May 2014, by Mark Bolinger. http://emp.lbl.gov/publications/analysis-costs-benefits-and-implications-different-approaches-capturing-value-renewable

(Page includes links to the report, as well as a summary page, and a 30 minute webinar presentation.)

"This report analyzes and compares the relative costs, benefits, and implications of capturing the value of renewable energy tax benefits in these three different ways – i.e., applying them against outside income, carrying them forward in time until they can be fully absorbed internally, or monetizing them through third-party tax equity investors – to see which method is most competitive under various scenarios.... and more."

Mandates Unleash Power of Large Battery Storage [in California]

Solar Industry, May 2014, by Michael Puttre.
http://www.solarindustrymag.com/issues/SI1405/FEAT_03_Mandates-Unleash-Power-Of-Large-Battery-Storage.html

"California has essentially jump-started the renewable energy storage market in North America with its requirement that the big three public utilities in the state deploy a total of 1.325 GW of grid storage capacity by 2024." Article also discusses various battery storage technologies.

David Crane and the Coming Electric Utility Apocalypse

Power Magazine, May 2014, by Kennedy Maize.
http://www.powermag.com/david-crane-and-the-coming-electric-utility-apocalypse/

"The hyperbole in the headline comes not from the author but from those nipping at the heels of the traditional electric utility industry. Hyperbole aside, several recent and likely future developments have set the stage for a new set of industry players" such as net-metering, distributed generation, demand-side management, government incentives, etc.

The Year Energy Storage Hit Its Stride

Power Magazine, May 2014, by Thomas W. Overton.
http://www.powermag.com/the-year-energy-storage-hit-its-stride/

"After operating on the sidelines for years, the energy storage sector is finally poised to begin making its mark, driven by greater policy support and technological advances that have begun making new solutions economic."


Amory's Angle: Ramping Up Renewable Electricity

Rocky Mountain Institute, Winter 2014, by Amory B. Lovins.
http://www.rmi.org/winter_2014_esj_ramping_up_renewable_electricity

"Many people in the electricity industry long thought that the two renewable sources of electricity that vary widely over time—windpower and solar photovoltaics (PVs) —could provide only a few percent of total generation without endangering reliability. Those who still believe this now face increasingly severe reality tests.

As we’ll see, Germany and other countries are successfully powering their grids with astonishingly high fractions of renewable generation by combining five techniques: a) leveraging diverse generation sources across interconnected regional and national grids, b) improving renewables’ forecasting and predictability, c) integrating dispatchable renewables, d) adding distributed storage, and e) leveraging demand response."




Community Solar Offers a New Path Forward in Growing Distributed Generation with Customers

Northwest Public Power Association Bulletin, Apr. 2014, by Genevieve Liang. (Scroll or jump to page 15 of the PDF.)
http://www.nwppa.org/External/WCPages/WCWebContent/WebContentPage.aspx?ContentID=1701

"As solar energy becomes more mainstream in the public awareness, American utilities both large and small are trying to determine how to best incorporate solar into their resource mix, and how to handle the pathways via which consumers are adopting and using solar.

The looming question that is becoming more dominant in electric utility managers’ minds is: How can we actively engage with our customers and serve as their go-to source for solar, rather than being sidelined in this important conversation?"


Alternative Energy Fires Up Plants

Design News, Mar. 2014, by Rob Spiegel.
http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=271886&dfpPParams=ind_182,aid_271886&dfpLayout=article

"For decades, renewable energy was the stepchild of the energy mix used to run [industrial] plants. Everyone thought clean energy was a good idea (how could you not?), but it was considered impractical, unreliable, and costly. Recent years have seen a sizable shift in that view. Between government subsidies, government mandates, and improved technology, alternative energies have elbowed their way to the big kids' table."
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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.

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