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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


Guest Commentary: Microgrids: An Integrated Power Solution for Business

Business Energy, May 2015, by Michael J. Zimmer.{}

"North America continues to be a hotbed for microgrid development. Green Energy Corp., a US builder of commercial-scale microgrids, recently estimated that 24,000 US commercial and industrial sites could be developed with large-scale microgrid conversions."

How to Make the Utility of the Future an Energy-Efficient One: New ACEEE Report Series

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), June 10, 2015, by Maggie Molina. "Utilities have traditionally earned profits by simply selling more energy and building more power plants and infrastructure, which put their financial motivations squarely at odds with the goal of greater energy efficiency. Luckily, that business model has started to change, which is good news for the nation’s economy, environment, and for consumers who want more options for saving energy in their homes and businesses. With the proper regulatory tools in place, utilities’ financial motivations can be aligned with energy efficiency outcomes. ACEEE has been researching this issue for years, and today we are releasing a series of three new reports on a range of topics related to utility business models and energy efficiency." 1) Policies Matter: Creating a Foundation for an Energy-Efficient Utility of the Future 2) Beyond Carrots for Utilities: A Nat ... Read the rest of entry »

How Energy Efficiency Financing Can Help States Meet Clean Power Plan Goals

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), May 27, 2015.

"Today, ACEEE is releasing the second in a series of step-by-step guides that help states claim emissions reductions resulting from energy efficiency programs and policies. Navigating the Clean Power Plan: A Template for Including Energy Efficiency Finance Programs in State Compliance Plans is focused on helping states incorporate financing programs and policies into their plans for complying with the EPA Clean Power Plan. The tool provides an overview of some types of financing approaches that may be well suited for Clean Power Plan compliance."

Enabling Wind Power Nationwide

U.S. Department of Energy, May 2015.

A new report "shows how the United States can unlock the vast potential for wind energy deployment in all 50 states—made possible through the next-generation of larger wind turbines. It highlights wind energy’s potential to generate electricity even in states with no utility-scale wind energy development today."

Boston, NYC, Washington, DC, San Francisco, and Seattle Rank as America’s Most Energy-Efficient US Cities

American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), May 20, 2015.

"Mayors and local lawmakers in America’s largest cities continue to take innovative steps to lower energy costs for consumers and businesses, increase their resilience, and reduce pollution through increased energy efficiency, according to the 2nd edition of the City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)."

Getting to Outcome-Based Building Performance Event Report

New Building Institute, May 2015, by Mark Frankel and Jim Edelson.

"This report summarizes the work undertaken by a group of building industry thought leaders who gathered for a Performance Outcome Summit in August 2014 in Seattle, Washington. During a day and a half workshop, the group examined the opportunities, barriers and next steps that will transition the commercial building industry from estimating energy use, based on models in the design phase, to measuring real performance outcomes, based on actual energy use in an occupied building."

Transforming U.S. Energy Infrastructures in a Time of Rapid Change: The First Installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review

U.S. Department of Energy, April 2015.

"On January 9, 2014, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the administration to conduct a Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). As described in the President’s Climate Action Plan, this first-ever review focuses on energy infrastructure and identifies the threats, risks, and opportunities for U.S. energy and climate security, enabling the federal government to translate policy goals into a set of integrated actions."

The first installment was released in April 2015 and links to the full report are available.

The State and Utility Pollution Reduction (SUPR) Calculator

ACEEE, Research Report #E1501, Apr. 2015, by Rachel Young and Sara Hayes. (Requires free registration to access the User Guide and/or the SUPR Calculator.)

"EPA’s Clean Power Plan allows states to pick from many pollution-reducing technologies and policies—including energy efficiency—when designing their compliance plans. What are the costs and emissions benefits of these various compliance options? ACEEE has developed the State and Utility Pollution Reduction (SUPR) calculator to help states find the answers. Users can choose from 19 policies and technologies to build their state's compliance scenario, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, nuclear power, emissions control, and natural gas. SUPR shows them how much the scenario will cost and what they will get for that investment."

ACEEE Releases Tool for Including Building Codes in States’ Clean Power Plans

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) Press Release, Mar. 16, 2015.

"Today the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released a step-by-step guide that helps states document and claim emissions reductions resulting from building energy codes as a means of complying with their obligations under the Clean Power Plan. The paper is the first in a series of guidance documents that demonstrate how a state can take advantage of energy efficiency in its compliance plan."

Opinion: How Solar Advocates are Overvaluing DG Solar

Utility Dive, Mar. 12, 2015, by Ashley Brown.

"Ashley Brown, executive director of the Harvard Electricity Policy Group, argues that rooftop solar is valuable, but should not be paid at full retail value."


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