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Energy Newsbriefs Blog

The WSU Energy Program Library prepares this current awareness blog with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program. These articles highlight energy-related news, articles, and reports about energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable sources of energy for energy professionals and interested members of the public.

Category: Policy

Policy


[CEE] Report: Efficiency, Demand Response Spending Continues to Rise, Nears $9B

Utility Dive, Apr. 5, 2017, by Robert Walton.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/report-efficiency-demand-response-spending-continues-to-rise-nears-9b/439566/

"Utilities continue to recognize the value of conservation and are spending more than ever on demand side management programs, with the bulk of that going into energy efficiency, according to a new report from the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE). [Their] 11th Annual Industry Report finds energy efficiency and demand response program spending reached $8.7 billion in 2015, up 1% from 2014 levels. About 15% of the spending went towards natural gas programs, with the remainder on the electric side."

Top Six [Wind] News Stories To Start 2017 as First Quarter Closes

AWEA Blog, Mar. 31, 2017, by Anna Luke.
http://www.aweablog.org/top-six-good-news-stories-builds-2017-first-quarter-closes/

"Since the start of the year, there have been almost too many exciting developments in wind power to count. But we’ll try! Here are six top news items from the first three months of the year."

Putting the Potential Rate Impacts of Distributed Solar into Context

Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Jan. 2017, by Galen Barbose.
https://emp.lbl.gov/publications/putting-potential-rate-impacts

"Concerns about the potential impacts of net-metered PV on retail electricity prices have led to an array of proposals to reform rate structures and net metering rules for solar customers. These proposals have typically been met with a great deal of contention and often absorb substantial time and administrative resources, potentially at the expense of other issues that may ultimately have greater impact on utility ratepayers. Given those tradeoffs, this paper seeks to help regulators, utilities, and other stakeholders gauge how much attention ought to be given to evaluating and addressing the possible effects of distributed solar on retail electricity prices."


Electricity End Uses, Energy Efficiency, and Distributed Energy Resources Baseline

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Jan. 2017.
https://emp.lbl.gov/publications/electricity-end-uses-energy

"Berkeley Lab contributed a foundational analysis underlying the QER [DOE Quadrennial Energy Review]—a detailed analysis of electricity consumption by market sector, including cost, technology, and other trends. It looked at energy efficiency and distributed energy resources, like rooftop solar, and their impact on electricity supply and demand. [This] report, Electricity End Uses, Energy Efficiency, and Distributed Energy Resources Baseline, also describes the benefits of these resources as well as barriers to their adoption by examining a number of policies and programs. An appendix to the report reviews innovations in evaluation, measurement and verification to assess their impact."

Net Metering’s Confusing Future

Energy Manager Today, Jan. 9, 2017, by Carl Weinschenk.
http://www.energymanagertoday.com/net-meterings-confusing-future-0129594/

"There is confusion about changes to net metering rules.... Businesses like certainty. Those considering big solar investments are less likely to move forward until there is more clarity on the long-term future of net metering. Some might go forward even if the compensation limits are cut. But others, almost certainly, will bow out."

Growing Energy Efficiency and How We Measure It

Northwest Power and Conservation Council, Jan. 3, 2017, by Tina Jayaweera.
http://www.nwcouncil.org/news/blog/ee-baseline/

 "Since 1978, the Pacific Northwest has successfully saved 6,000 average megawatts of electricity, and energy efficiency is now our second largest resource after hydropower. But, how do we know it’s grown that much? To begin with, to measure growth, you have to start with a fixed point. For the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, when we estimate the energy-efficiency potential for the region, we use a “frozen efficiency baseline” as our starting point. And the baseline is based on the efficiency of products available today."


New Report: States with Strong Domestic Clean Energy Choices are Creating Jobs and Economic Growth

Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Information Technology Industry Council, Jan. 10, 2017.
https://www.rila.org/news/topnews/Pages/New-Report-States-with-Strong-Domestic-Clean-Energy-Choices-are-Creating-Jobs-and-Economic-Growth.aspx

"A groundbreaking study [The Corporate Clean Energy Procurement Index: State Leadership & Rankingsundertaken for the first time and jointly released today by the nation's retail and technology industries concludes that states that are investing in clean domestic energy production are also the most likely to attract businesses, creating thousands of jobs in their communities. The new analysis, released today by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) ranks all 50 U.S. states for the first time, based on the ease with which America's most recognizable brands can procure domestic renewable energy such as solar and wind for their operations."

Trends in the Program Administrator Cost of Saving Electricity for Utility Customer-Funded Energy Efficiency Programs

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Jan. 2017, by Ian M. Hoffman, Greg Leventis, and Charles A. Goldman.
https://emp.lbl.gov/publications/trends-program-administrator-cost/

"This technical brief presents trends in the cost of saved electricity for energy efficiency programs between 2009 and 2013. We collected and analyzed more than 5,400 program years of data collected in 36 states from 78 administrators of programs funded by customers of investor-owned utilities. These administrators provide efficiency programs to customers of investor-owned utilities that serve about half of total U.S. electricity load."

U.S. Department of Energy Cabinet Exit Memo

U.S. DOE Press Release, Jan. 5, 2016, Secretary Ernest Moniz.
https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/01/f34/Department%20of%20Energy%20Cabinet%20Exit%20Memo.pdf

"The Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for advancing the energy, environmental, and nuclear security of the United States; promoting scientific and technological innovation in support of that mission; sponsoring basic research in the physical sciences; and ensuring the environmental cleanup of  the nation’s nuclear weapons complex. The DOE enterprise has 64 sites across 29 states and the District of Columbia, including 17 National Laboratories that form a critical part of America’s research enterprise. During the eight years of the Obama Administration, DOE has delivered on its mission. The results have included dramatic growth in clean energy jobs, vital progress on securing and diminishing the amount of nuclear material globally, and major scientific and technological (S&T) discoveries."

Utility of the Future: An MIT Energy Initiative Response to an Industry in Transition

MIT and IIT-Comillas, 2016.
http://energy.mit.edu/research/utility-future-study/

"The Utility of the Future brings together a diverse consortium of leading international companies to address emerging issues in the electric power sector, and provides a neutral framework within which to evaluate the economic, regulatory, and technological impacts of the ongoing evolution of the power sector worldwide. The study team from MIT and IIT-Comillas combines a breadth of skills in quantitative economic and engineering modeling, with a sophisticated understanding of the complex interactions in the electric power industry."
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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