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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: Utilities

Utilities


DistribuTECH 2017: Why Utilities Are Skeptical About Transactive Energy

UtilityDive, Feb. 14, 2017, by Gavin Bade.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/distributech-2017-why-utilities-are-skeptical-about-transactive-energy/436047/

"If there was ever a power sector issue that could be said to be sexy, it’s transactive energy. The idea itself isn’t particularly flashy — design a system where distributed energy resources (DERs) can receive locational and temporal compensation for the services they offer to the grid in real time. But transactive energy gets much of its attention from its association with the blockchain, a decentralized network that underlies cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin."

Advanced Battery Technology: A Foundation for New Energy

Solar Today, Winter 2016-2017, by Jim Peterson.
https://tinyurl.com/gu4zv8c

"We are on the cusp of a new generation of energy, both on the residential and large-scale utility fronts. With advanced digital technology and materials such as a new generation of lithium ion batteries, the future for storage battery technology gets brighter every day."

Solar Wars: Net-Metering

Solar Today, Winter 2016-2017, by Bill Ellard.
https://tinyurl.com/zbmkefj

"This is part one of a three-part series discussing "solar wars." There will be three battles in this war: net-metering, tariff reform, and grid defection. This will have short and long therm impacts on the solar industry, and it is expected to drive innovation."


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."


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."

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."

Energy Professionals Invited To Amp Up EE Literacy With Videos, E-Course

Bonneville Power Administration Newsroom, Dec. 14, 2016.
https://www.bpa.gov/news/newsroom/Pages/Energy-professionals-invited-to-amp-up-EE-literacy-with-videos-e-course.aspx

"There’s energy efficiency and there’s intellectual efficiency. And at the intersection of EE and e-learning lies Conduit ED. The program, which began in 2015, offers e-courses that are akin to a “10-minute university” or TED Talk. They’re available on Conduitnw.org, an online community for energy efficiency professionals launched by BPA and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance in 2011. The e-courses are free of charge and available 24/7 to utility professionals wishing to quickly advance their understanding of a foundational area of BPA’s mission and identity with a minimum of effort."

A New Plateau: Broad Structural Changes are Reshaping the Utility Landscape

Rural Electric Magazine, Dec. 2017, by Reed Karaim.
http://remagazine.coop/technology-trends-reshaping-electric-utilities/

"We’re living in an era of rapid and sustained technological change that can sometimes feel like chaos. But many analysts say the recent spate of frenetic innovation is beginning to take shape into three primary trends that will ultimately reshape the electric utility industry.  ...identifies the three plates as increased consumer focus, with consumers becoming more aware of their power options and desires; distribution optimization, the result of smart-grid and other technologies that are vastly increasing the control and analytical capabilities of electric co-ops; and an evolution of the wholesale/retail model, which includes both the growth of distributed generation and evolving state regulations intended to further decentralize power generation.

SGIP White Paper: Transactive Energy Application Landscape Scenarios

SGIP, Dec. 15, 2016.
http://www.sgip.org/wp-content/uploads/SGIP_White_Paper_TE_Application_Landscape_Scenarios_12-15-2016_FINAL.pdf

"This paper presents an analysis of the transactive energy (TE) application landscape, specifically examining the transactive process, business functions, actors in different smart grid (SG) application domains, and time scales. These process steps, business functions, actors and time scales comprise the dimensions of the landscape. Six high-level, operational scenarios are presented which, together, cover the identified TE dimensions, and which can collectively be used to explore TE interactions."

Big Opportunities for Small Business: Successful Practices of Utility Small Commercial Energy Efficiency Programs

ACEEE, Nov. 21, 2016, by Seth Nowack.
http://aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/u1607.pdf

"The great majority of gas and electric utility commercial customers are small businesses. Utility energy efficiency programs are beginning to tap the potential for energy and demand savings in the small business sector. In this report, we provide examples of successful practices and describe emerging approaches."
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