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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


Water Utilities Are Starting to Take Their Own Conservation Advice

Governing, Aug. 2014, by Elizabeth Daigneau.
http://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-infrastructure/gov-water-utilities-conservation.html

"Wastewater treatment plants are often the biggest consumers of electricity in their area. Gresham, Ore., and Washington, D.C., are making moves to change that."

Reducing Offshore [Wind] Costs Through Integrated Design

Wind Systems Magazine, Jul. 2014, by James Dobbins, David Quarton, Paul Reynolds, and Joe Phillips.
http://www.windsystemsmag.com/article/detail/684/reducing-offshore-costs-through-integrated-design

"Compared to its land-based cousin, offshore wind is a new energy technology. This relative immaturity as well as the technical challenge of offshore wind means that it is currently around 50 percent more expensive to produce a unit of energy offshore than it is onshore. But the stronger, more consistent wind at sea means that there are real opportunities to narrow the gap and there are several government and industry-sponsored programs aimed at doing just that in the UK, Germany and Denmark — all leading countries in the creation of offshore wind sectors."

Successful Practices in Combined Gas and Electric Utility Energy Efficiency Programs

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Research Report U1406, Aug. 6, 2014. (Free registration required for access to full report.)
http://www.aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/u1406.pdf

"Compared to single-fuel programs, combined natural gas and electric energy efficiency programs often deliver additional energy and dollar savings at lower cost to utilities and consumers. They also enhance customer satisfaction. Many leading dual-fuel programs demonstrate these benefits. This report presents successful examples of combined natural gas and electric programs—residential, commercial, and industrial—in every region of the country in which there are both types of programs."

NASEO State [EPA] 111(d) Resource Hub

National Association of Energy Officials, June 2014.
http://111d.naseo.org/

"The State 111(d) Resource Hub will provide information for State Energy Offices on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) rulemaking for regulating greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.  The EPA rulemaking will set guidelines for states to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. The rule, known as the Clean Power Plan, was released by EPA on June 2, 2014. It allows states to meet state-specific goals through a mix of strategies, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, and demand-side management."

PURPA: It’s Not Just for IOUs Anymore

Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA) Bulletin, Jul. 2014, by Richard Lorenz. (Scroll to page 18.)
http://www.nwppa.org/External/WCPages/WCWebContent/WebContentPage.aspx?ContentID=1805

"There may be a misconception in our region that PURPA (Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act) only applies to investor-owned electric utilities that are subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). However, this is not the case."

California's Wild Solar Ride Nears a Crossroads

Solar Industry, July 2014, by Michael Puttre.
http://www.solarindustrymag.com/issues/SI1407/FEAT_02_California-s-Wild-Solar-Ride-Nears-A-Crossroads.html

"Policy direction and bipartisan support are needed as the solar sector approaches a critical juncture in 2016."

Big Corporations To Utilities: Please Make It Easy to Buy Renewable Energy

Sustainable Business.com, July 21, 2014, by Rona Fried.
http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/25818

"We've written about the increasing amounts of renewable energy big corporations are using, but they would use much more if utilities made it easier for them to buy."

Undergrounding Gains Ground

Public Power, Jul/Aug 2014, by Brent Barker.
http://www.publicpower.org/Media/magazine/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=41392

"After every storm that leaves the overhead electric distribution system in shambles, the inevitable question arises: “Why not put it underground?” The fervor usually cools once the parties begin to look at costs. Undergrounding remains an expensive proposition—about three to five times the cost of overhead."

Banking Water for Power

Public Power, Jul/Aug 2014, by Alice Clamp.
http://www.publicpower.org/Media/magazine/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=41566

"Public utilities often provide water service to their customers as well as electrical service. And many of them have noteworthy water conservation programs to manage cyclical variations in supply. Utilities are also banking and recycling water used in power plants to realize greater operational efficiencies."

A Survey of State-Level Cost and Benefit Estimates of Renewable Portfolio Standards

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) & LBNL Technical Report, NREL/TP-6A20-61042 & LBNL-6589E, May 2014.
http://emp.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/lbnl-6589e.pdf

"This report surveys and summarizes existing state-level RPS cost and benefit estimates and examines the various methods used to calculate such estimates. The report relies largely upon data or results reported directly by electric utilities and state regulators."
 

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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

Archives of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs, from Oct. 2012 – Jan. 6, 2014, may be found on the WSU Energy Library web page.

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