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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: Power Generation

Power Plants


The State of Wind Farm Underperformance Syndrome

Wind Systems Magazine, Mar. 2016, by Bruce H. Bailey.
http://www.windsystemsmag.com/article/detail/1149/the-state-of-wind-farm-underperformance-syndrome

"It is fair to expect that the energy output of an operating wind farm should be close to what it was designed to produce. If the wind conditions for a particular site are well-measured and the selected turbine is a well-known model, then logic would conclude that the energy prediction process is fairly straightforward. But is this an oversimplification? Industry experience has shown that it is, since the majority of operating wind farms don’t meet their predicted P50 energy values in an average year."

Update on DOE’s Wave Energy Prize

Hydro Review, Apr. 2016, by Alison LaBonte. http://www.hydroworld.com/articles/hr/print/volume-35/issue-3/articles/update-on-doe-s-wave-energy-prize.html "A new initiative, called the Wave Energy Prize, was announced in 2015 during the keynote address at the annual National Hydropower Association conference, International Marine Renewable Energy Conference, and Marine Energy Technology Symposium. This announcement represented a milestone for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Wind and Water Power Technologies Office - the commencement of its first public prize challenge, with a total prize purse of US$2.25 million, stemmed from realizing that a technology leap in the efficiency of wave energy converter (WEC) devices was needed to jolt wave energy onto a pathway toward sweeping cost reductions. This pathway could ultimately make wave energy, which is still in the early stages of technology development, competitive with more traditional forms of energy, paving the way to large-scale implementation within ... Read the rest of entry »

Solar-Panel Installers Face Clouded Future

Wall Street Journal, Mar. 25, 2016, by Cassandra Sweet.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/solar-panel-installers-face-clouded-future-1458926502

"Many U.S. states are considering dialing back solar-power incentives amid growing pressure from local electric utilities, potentially dealing a blow to the companies that install home solar systems around the country."

SEPA Report Details Key Drivers for Cutting Utility-Scale Solar LCOE

Smart Electric Power Alliance, Mar. 2016.
http://www.solarelectricpower.org/about-sepa/sepa-news/press-releases/sepa-report-details-key-drivers-for-cutting-utility-scale-solar-lcoe.aspx

"...a new report from the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) says, not all solar projects are created equal. Utilities looking to procure cost-competitive, high-value solar projects need to evaluate a range of factors, from regional solar resource intensity to local labor and permitting costs to system design issues, such as whether to use a fixed-tilt or single axis tracking system. The report was produced in partnership with solar project developer Recurrent Energy, a subsidiary of Canadian Solar."

Engine Block Heaters: Quick Starts for Standby Power

Forester Daily News, Mar. 14, 2016, by Penelope B. Grenoble.
http://foresternetwork.com/daily/energy/energy-conservation/engine-block-heaters-quick-starts-for-standby-power/

"...whether you call them block heaters, water jacket heaters, or engine preheaters, they’re essential to getting diesel-fueled gen sets up and running at full power in the 10 seconds that are standard for emergency power applications."

Learning from Islands: Renewable Transitions for Mines, Industrial Facilities, and the Military

Rocky Mountain Institute Outlet, Mar. 11, 2016, by Kaitlyn Butler and Kate Hawley.
http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2016_03_11_learning_from_islands_renewable_transitions

"What do mines, industrial facilities, and the military all have in common? They all have a need for reliable electricity in remote locations. It turns out these places and others can learn a lot from islands. Rocky Mountain Institute and Carbon War Room’s recent microgrid casebook, Renewable Microgrids: Profiles from Islands and Remote Communities Across the Globe, explores 10 examples of islands and remote communities from around the world that have transitioned from 100 percent oil-based electricity systems to high-penetration renewable microgrids."

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."

The Next Quantum Leap in Electric Efficiency—Game On

The Regulatory Assistance Project, Jan. 2016, by Chris Neme, Jim Grevatt.
http://www.raponline.org/featured-work/the-next-quantum-leap-in-electric-efficiency-game?utm_source=ZohoCampaigns&utm_campaign=US+RAPPORT+February+2016_2016-02-02_1&utm_medium=email

"Ten years ago, the most aggressive electric efficiency efforts in the country were achieving first-year electric savings of about 1.0 percent of annual sales. Today, at least five different states have—or plan to—double those levels of savings, achieving between 2.0 and 2.5 percent first-year savings annually..... We at RAP think that the efficiency bar could be raised substantially. In our recent paper, The Next Quantum Leap in Efficiency: 30 Percent Electric Savings in 10 Years, we examine whether it would be possible to meet 30 percent of electricity system needs in ten years with efficiency."

Yes, Saving Energy is Cheaper than Making Energy

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Environment, Jan. 27, 2016, Annie Gilleo.
http://aceee.org/blog/2016/01/yes-saving-energy-cheaper-making

"Utilities have options when it comes to meeting customer demand for electricity. They can build power plants to convert fossil fuels to energy. They can capture renewable resources like solar and wind. And they can work with residents and businesses to lower demand by implementing energy efficiency programs."

U.S. Wind Sees Second Strongest Quarter in History, Ready for 2016

Into the Wind (AWEA Blog), Jan. 27, 2016, by Hannah Hunt.
http://www.aweablog.org/u-s-wind-sees-second-strongest-quarter-in-history-ready-for-2016/

"The fourth quarter numbers are in, and they are impressive: the U.S. wind industry recorded its second strongest quarter in history. Combined with the best policy certainty it’s ever known, American wind is poised for a take-off."
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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