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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


What Are Microgrids, and Should Utilities Be Afraid of Them?

Solar Industry, Oct. 2016, by Geoff Sparrow.

"The emerging technology could serve as an asset for grid modernization and the transition to cleaner power."

Liftoff for Drones: New Law Frees Co-ops To Begin Operational Drone Use

Rural Electric Magazine, Sept. 2016, by John Vanvig.

"With technological constraints and regulatory uncertainties slowing their takeoff, utility UAS use has languished. But thanks to a recently signed federal law allowing their use by utilities, rapid advances in range and data-handling capabilities, and the public’s becoming more comfortable with UAS presence, experts expect UAS deployments to soar."

For Utilities Hoping to Unlock Smart Grid Opportunities, Data Is the Key

Utility Dive, Oct. 5, 2016, by Robert Walton.

"Having a smart meter installed doesn't mean an electric customer is interested in, or aware of, clean energy products and services. Conversely, new research shows plenty of consumers without advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) want a smart thermostat, time-varying electric rate or other new offering from their utility. How can utilities bridge that gap and connect these customers to smart grid opportunities? "

Rebates and Beyond: An Array of Utility Programs Can Help FMs Save Money

Building Operating Management, Sept. 2016, by Karen Kroll.

A two-part article on utility rebate programs for facility managers:
Part 1: Rebates and Beyond: An Array of Utility Programs Can Help FMs Save Money
Part 2: Demand Response, Commisssioning, and Training: Utility Partnerships

Microgrid & Microturbine Power Trends

Business Energy, Jul/Aug. 2016, Lyn Corum.

"There are interesting developments happening with microgrids these days. Utilities are adding them to stabilize their grids, and communities are developing a peer-to-peer consumer energy trading system to buy and sell electricity generated by their solar systems."

The Future of Distributed Generation

Rural Electric Magazine, Aug. 2016, by Reed Karaim.

"Electric cooperatives have a long history of integrating distributed generation (DG) sources. But if you want a glimpse of the future of DG, you’ll find it in the wooded hills and valleys of northern Vermont, where Vermont Electric Cooperative is already living with challenges many co-ops will eventually face."

State & Future of the Power Industry

Public Utilities Fortnightly & Navigant, June 2016.

Special Report: "What is the state and future of the electric utility industry? That’s a broad topic, much discussed and debated. This special report takes a unique approach to getting a handle on our present and where we’re heading."

Using Deemed Savings and Technical Reference Manuals for Efficiency Programs and Projects

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, June 27, 2016, by Steven R. Schiller, Jennifer Easler, Chuck Rea, and Tina Jayaweera. (A webinar presentation.)

"Applying well documented stipulated (deemed) values is a common practice for determining the savings from energy efficiency projects and programs and the databases where such deemed values are cataloged are called Technical Reference Manuals (TRMs).  During this webinar, experts will introduce the use of deemed savings, information on setting up and updating TRMs, lessons learned, and resources for state officials. As examples, speakers will discuss the content and development processes used for the Northwest regional TRM and the Iowa state TRM."

Energy Efficiency Program Financing: Where It Comes From, Where It Goes, and How It Gets There

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, June 2016, by Jeff Deason, Greg Leventis, Charles A. Goldman, and Juan Pablo Carvallo.

"In this technical brief we characterize the programmatic energy efficiency financing market from a quantitative perspective. Financing in this report refers to provision of capital—which is paid back over time—to cover up-front costs of energy efficiency. It does not refer to rebates and other types of incentives." 


Planning and Budgeting for the Evaluation of Energy Efficiency Programs

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, May 23, 2016, by Steven R. Schiller, Jennifer Meissner, Katie Rich, and Fred Gordon. (A webinar presentation.)

"In this webinar our panel of experts discussed how states are establishing infrastructures, plans and budgets for their evaluations of efficiency programs funded by utility customers (ratepayers). State representatives, who have developed EM&V strategies, share their experiences and lessons learned."
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