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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: Distributed Generation

Distributed Generation


CA Clean Energy Loan Program Grew 10 Times Bigger in 2014

Utility Dive, Dec. 17, 2014, by Herman K. Trabish.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/ca-clean-energy-loan-program-grew-10-times-bigger-in-2014/345321/

"California’s programs to fund energy efficiency retrofits and distributed generation installations for homes and businesses backed about $600 million in projects in 2014, up from about $60 million in 2013, Greentech Media reports. About 75% of the funding went to energy efficiency and 25% to distributed generation."

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."

The Fight Over Solar Moves from Net Metering to Rate Design

Utility Dive, Nov. 3, 2014, by Herman K. Trabish.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/the-fight-over-solar-moves-from-net-metering-to-rate-design/327742/

"Fights over electricity rates are brewing all across the country. Utilities say new rate proposals will protect customers who haven’t moved to solar and energy efficiency. But those who have moved say the proposals only protect utilities." "There are two categories of rate restructuring and rate design changes bubbling up,” explained Environmental Law & Policy Center Sr. Attorney Brad Klein. “The first is to move cost recovery from the variable per-kilowatt-hour charge and increase the monthly fixed charge. The other is to impose a monthly dollars-per-kilowatt charge on owners of distributed generation.”

Preparing for Distributed Generation in the Northwest

Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA) Bulletin, Oct. 2014, by Charlie Black. (open PDF, then scroll or jump to page 26)
http://www.nwppa.org/External/WCPages/WCWebContent/WebContentPage.aspx?ContentID=1928

"In recent years, electric utility customers have begun showing greater interest in distributed generation. Declining costs and expanding availability of on-site electric generating systems, such as roof-mounted solar photovoltaic equipment marketed and installed by third-party service providers, are causing residential and business customers to consider self-supply as an attractive alternative to relying exclusively on centrally generated power delivered via the utility grid."

Options for Emissions, Noise, and Fuel Handling [On-site Generation]

Business Energy, Sept./Oct. 2014, by Ed Ritchie.
http://www.distributedenergy.com/DE/articles/27099.aspx

"Onsite energy continues to prove itself as an economical and sustainable solution for businesses and institutions. But as it grows in popularity, the marketplace and government agencies are adding regulations for noise, emissions, and fuel handling. In the past such requirements would have slowed progress, but today there’s good news from a variety of manufacturers that have developed innovative solutions to these market challenges."

Advancing Microturbine Technology: A Small Package, Turbocharged

Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production, Jul/Aug 2014, by David Dewis.
http://www.cospp.com/articles/print/volume-15/issue-4/features/advancing-microturbine-technology-a-small-package-turbocharged.html

"Advanced microturbine technology with an intercooled and recuperated (ICR) cycle can deliver efficiency and low emissions at a competitive price. Now in the testing stage, ICR microturbines will be the foundation for the next generation of clean and efficient distributed generation, writes David Dewis."

Combined Heat and Power and Clean Distributed Energy Policies

American Council for and Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), July 2, 2014, by Anna Chittum and Neal Elliott. (Free registration required to view full-text of report.)
http://www.aceee.org/policy-brief/combined-heat-and-power-and-clean-distributed-energy-poli

"Combined heat and power (CHP) systems generate electricity and useful thermal energy in a single, integrated system. CHP is not a technology, but a particular way to deploy existing technologies. Heat that is normally wasted in conventional power generation is recovered as useful energy, so CHP systems are more efficient and provide environmental, economic, and energy system infrastructure benefits. However, several barriers impede cost-effective CHP applications, including lack of common interconnection protocols, discriminatory standby rates, and emissions regulations that do not recognize the improved efficiency levels of CHP systems."

PURPA: It’s Not Just for IOUs Anymore

Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA) Bulletin, Jul. 2014, by Richard Lorenz. (Scroll to page 18.)
http://www.nwppa.org/External/WCPages/WCWebContent/WebContentPage.aspx?ContentID=1805

"There may be a misconception in our region that PURPA (Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act) only applies to investor-owned electric utilities that are subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). However, this is not the case."

California's Wild Solar Ride Nears a Crossroads

Solar Industry, July 2014, by Michael Puttre.
http://www.solarindustrymag.com/issues/SI1407/FEAT_02_California-s-Wild-Solar-Ride-Nears-A-Crossroads.html

"Policy direction and bipartisan support are needed as the solar sector approaches a critical juncture in 2016."

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?"
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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.