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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


"Emiciency": Rethinking How We Measure Efficiency

Rural Electric Magazine, Nov. 2016, by Keith Dennis, Ken Colburn, and Jim Lazar.
http://remagazine.coop/emiciency-rethinking-measuring-energy-efficiency/

"The nature of the electricity grid is changing dramatically, as are our nation’s environmental goals, so our policy thinking needs to change profoundly too. Mounting research suggests that aggressive electrification of energy end uses—such as space heating, water heating, and transportation—is needed if the United States and the world are to achieve ambitious emissions-reduction goals for carbon dioxide (CO2). This concept, the electrification of energy end uses that have been powered by fossil fuels (natural gas, propane, gasoline, diesel, or fuel oil) in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is called “environmentally beneficial electrification."

Can the US Cut Its Energy Use In Half By 2050?

ACEEE Blog, Dec. 7, 2016, by Steven Nadel.
http://aceee.org/blog/2016/12/can-us-cut-its-energy-use-half-2050

"Yes, but we will have to double down on our efforts....We also thought it would be useful to look at potential savings in terms of cost-effective efficiency policies in order to more clearly outline what needs to be done to reach this 2050 goal. So today we release a new white paper with the results of our new analysis. These energy savings are important, because they can save the nation billions in energy bills, create domestic jobs, protect the environment, and yield numerous other benefits."

What It Takes To Get Community Solar Done

Solar Industry, Nov. 2016, by Tim Braun.
http://issues.solarindustrymag.com/article/what-it-takes-to-get-community-solar-done

"Early distributed generation (DG) models inspired us to believe that we could all participate in the mission to democratize and decarbonize our energy infrastructure. Yet, for a long time, that was really only true for a quarter of U.S. households and businesses. For the other 75% or so, putting a solar PV system on their roof or property either wasn’t possible or wasn’t practical. Those hurdles are being addressed today through the proliferation of community solar, an adaptive DG model that has opened the door to a vast new customer base – one that includes all of us."

Northwest Again Leads Nation in Energy Efficiency Investments

Northwest Power and Conservation Council, Nov. 18, 2016, by John Harrison.
http://www.nwcouncil.org/news/blog/energy-efficiency-2015-survey-results/

"Based on the results of a new regional survey, the Council reported this month that the Pacific Northwest has reduced demand for electricity by 1,739 average megawatts over the last six years — enough saved electricity to meet the annual power demand of 1.25 million homes and avoid the need to build four new average-size natural gas-fired power plants."

The Top 10 Utility Regulatory Commission Issues of 2016

Utility Dive, Nov. 28, 2016, by Krysti Shallenberger.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/the-top-10-utility-regulatory-commission-issues-of-2016/431164/

"From rate design to grid modernization and storage, state utility regulators had their hands full in 2016."

Low-Income Energy Efficiency Quick Start Guide

Bonneville Power Administration and LIEE Workgroup, Nov. 2016.
https://www.bpa.gov/EE/Policy/Documents/Second%20Edition%20Quick%20Start%20Guide%20with%20Appendices.pdf

"This document is intended to help participants learn the history, background, and procedures for serving low-income customers. This Quick Start Guide was developed using information that has been gathered and shared in the LIEE Workgroup meetings with additional components deemed necessary to "stitch together" the information in a comprehensive manner."

Energy Efficiency Financing: Barriers and Opportunities in the Small Utility Market

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, Nov. 1, 2016, by Christine Grant and Patrick Keegan.
http://neea.org/docs/default-source/reports/energy-efficiency-financing-barriers-and-opportunities-in-the-small-utility-market.pdf

"High upfront costs and a lack of easily accessible financing are commonly cited as the key barriers to investments in energy efficiency (EE). If designed and implemented optimally, EE financing can be an important tool for catalyzing EE market transformation."

Oregon Utility Targets Energy Efficiency, Demand Response [PGE]

Utility Dive, Nov. 17, 2016, by Robert Walton.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/oregon-utility-targets-energy-efficiency-demand-response/430645/

"Portland General Electric has filed its 2016 Integrated Resource Plan with the Oregon Public Utility Commission, outlining a strategy that focuses on energy efficiency and customer-side demand response, in the next four years, while also leaning on natural gas to replace coal."

How Residential Utility Programs Could Reach More Diverse Households

ACEEE, Nov. 13, 2016, by Marti Frank.
http://aceee.org/blog/2016/11/how-residential-utility-programs

"Many energy efficiency programs are designed around measures rather than people. These “untargeted” programs focus on meeting energy savings and cost-effectiveness goals, and are ostensibly impartial about the characteristics of the households that receive the offering. Our new examination of program demographics shows how, in practice, untargeted programs often limit participant diversity."

Accounting Methodology for Source Energy of Non-Combustible Renewable Electricity Generation

U.S. Dept. of Energy, EERE, Oct. 2016.
http://energy.gov/eere/analysis/downloads/accounting-methodology-source-energy-non-combustible-renewable-electricity

"As non-combustible sources of renewable power (wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal) do not consume fuel, the “source” (or “primary”) energy from these sources cannot be accounted for in the same manner as it is for fossil fuel sources. The methodology chosen for these technologies is important as it affects the perception of the relative size of renewable source energy to fossil energy, affects estimates of source-based building energy use, and overall source energy based metrics such as energy productivity. This memo reviews the methodological choices, outlines implications of each choice, summarizes responses to a request for information on this topic, and presents guiding principles...."

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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