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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: Policy

Policy


Report: Energy Efficiency Still Less Expensive Than Building New Power Plants

Utility Dive, Apr. 5, 2016, by Robert Walton.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/report-energy-efficiency-still-less-expensive-than-building-new-power-plan/416852/

"No matter how you cut it, efficiency is cheaper than building a new power plant. That's the takeaway from a short paper on efficiency's costs put out by ACEEE. In it, the group indicates it has a forthcoming report which will peg the cost at 3.5 cents/kWh – less than half the cost used by the federal government, but slightly higher than other estimates."

How Utilities Can Boost Customer Savings by Marrying Efficiency and DR Programs

Utility Dive, Apr. 6, 2016, by Robert Walton.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/how-utilities-can-boost-customer-savings-by-marrying-efficiency-and-dr-prog/416766/

"A new report from Navigant Research examines the global market for integrated demand-side management (IDSM), focusing on energy efficiency and demand response (DR) programs, with market forecasts for spending, through 2025."

Big Savers: Experiences and Recent History of Program Administrators Achieving High Levels of Electric Savings

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, April 2016, by Brendon Baatz, Annie Gilleo, and Toyah Barigye.
http://aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/u1601.pdf

"Energy efficiency savings have grown substantially in the past ten years, and national leaders in program administration have emerged as savings levels have increased. This report reviews annual program performance for 14 leading energy efficiency program administrators, with a focus on costs, electricity savings, cost effectiveness, and portfolio design. We also interviewed program managers for insights on past and future challenges, keys to achieving and sustaining high levels of savings, and future large savings opportunities."  Includes Energy Trust of Oregon, Pacific Gas and Electric, and Seattle City Light.

Building Better Energy Efficiency Programs for Low-Income Households

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Mar. 10, 2016.
http://aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/a1601.pdf

"This report addresses the key questions and challenges around low-income programs for single-family homes. It draws from a range of programs to provide recommendations for increasing the savings and reach of efficiency programming in this sector. We detail practices that program administrators are using to overcome challenges, and we explore strategies to use underutilized technologies and measures to realize greater savings."

A Retrospective Analysis of the Benefits and Impacts of U.S. Renewable Portfolio Standards

Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Jan. 2016.
https://emp.lbl.gov/publications/retrospective-analysis-benefits-and

"This is the second in a series of reports exploring the costs, benefits, and other impacts of state renewable portfolio standards (RPS). This report focuses on the benefits and impacts of all state RPS programs, in aggregate, for the year 2013. Relying on a well-vetted set of methods, this report evaluates a number of important benefits and impacts in both physical and monetary terms, where possible, and characterizes key uncertainties."

How Much Does Energy Efficiency Cost?

American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, Mar. 2016.
http://aceee.org/sites/default/files/cost-of-ee.pdf

"Summarizes the results of studies by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, ACEEE and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the cost of energy efficiency programs. Finds that energy efficiency is consistently a lowest cost option for meeting electric demand. One of the studies finds that the costs of energy efficiency have been level in recent years."

CHP Update: Policies, Partnerships, and Challenges

Power Magazine, Feb. 2016, by Thomas W. Overton.
http://www.powermag.com/chp-update-policies-partnerships-challenges/

"Though combined heat and power (CHP) is getting increasing attention as a means of efficiency and reducing carbon emissions, the sector’s traditional challenges remain. But some generators and policymakers are working hard to deploy CHP in new and more economic ways."

Empowerment Over Protection: How Solar and DERs Can Help the Disadvantaged

Utility Dive, Feb. 23, 2016, by James Tong and Jon Wellinghoff.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/empowerment-over-protection-how-solar-and-ders-can-help-the-disadvantaged/414273/

"The boom in rooftop solar has sparked concerns about a “green divide” and even undertones of class warfare. And it’s true that solar customers to date have tended to be more affluent than average households. Although recent data suggest that solar is now expanding into neighborhoods of more modest incomes, fear persists that solar policies will continually favor the wealthy at the expense of everyone else, particularly the most vulnerable. Critics thus demand reforms and fees for solar customers. What they overlook, however, is how policies designed to protect the poor can actually make them worse off."

Northwest on Path to Lead Nation in Maximizing Energy Efficiency as Priority Energy Resource

Northwest Power and Conservation Council, Feb. 10, 2016.
http://www.nwcouncil.org/news/press-releases/2016-02-10_7th_plan_adopted/

"Today the Northwest Power and Conservation Council members appointed by the Governors of the four Northwest states unanimously approved the Council’s Seventh Power Plan after conducting a 60-day public comment period."

New Report Reveals How Clean Power Plan Can Reduce Electric Bills

Biomass Magazine, Feb. 3, 2016, by Katie Fletcher.
http://www.biomassmagazine.com/articles/12862/new-report-reveals-how-clean-power-plan-can-reduce-electric-bills

"Synapse Energy Economics Inc., a research and consulting firm, recently released a new report that reveals how EPA’s Clean Power Plan can reduce emissions and consumer electric bills. The report published on Jan. 14, “Cutting Electric Bills with the Clean Power Plan,” examines state-by-state impacts of various compliance options and found that using strong energy efficiency policies in state implementation plans can produce significant electricity bill savings for consumers while reducing carbon pollution."
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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