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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.

 


Avista’s Aging Headquarters Gets Energy-Efficiency update

The Spokesman-Review, Dec. 12, 2014, by Becky Kramer.
http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2014/dec/12/avistas-aging-headquarters-gets-energy-efficiency/

"When the heating-and-cooling system at the Spokane utility’s corporate headquarters passed the half-century mark a few years ago, officials decided it was time for replacement.

The new system is part of a $28 million energy-efficiency remodel that will eventually cut power costs at the utility’s headquarters on Mission Avenue by $275,000 per year. The updates will save about 2.8 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, or enough to power 233 homes."

Compressed Air Supply at a Metal Machining Plant

Compressed Air Best Practices, Nov. 2014, by Don van Ormer.
http://www.airbestpractices.com/system-assessments/compressor-controls/compressed-air-supply-metal-machining-plant

"This metal fabrication and machining facility produces high-quality precision-built products. Over the years, the plant has grown and there have been several expansions to the current location. The company currently spends $227,043 annually on energy to operate the compressed air system....The set of projects recommended, as a result of the system assessment, could reduce these energy costs by $89,092 or 39%."

Power Savings of Smart Meters Prove Slow to Materialize

New York Times, Dec. 5, 2014, by Matthew L. Wald.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/06/business/energy-environment/power-savings-of-smart-meters-prove-slow-to-materialize.html

"Although the goal is to shift consumption to off-peak hours when cheaper, cleaner electricity is available, experts say it is still many years away, despite billions in federal subsidies that have helped finance the switch to the so-called smart grid."

The Effect of State Policy Suites on the Development of Solar Markets

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Nov. 2014.
http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy15osti/62506.pdf

"Many states and local governments have undertaken a variety of policy initiatives with the goal of encouraging private investment and building robust solar photovoltaic (PV) markets. While some states have seen many-fold increases in solar PV installations over the last decade, many other states, some with similar policies, have been less successful. The perceived lack of a clear relationship between implementation of specific policies and increases in solar installations has been challenging to policymakers seeking to support solar markets within their jurisdictions."

Utilities Face Significant Revenue Losses from Growth of Solar, Storage and Energy Efficiency, Accenture Research Shows

Accenture News Release, Dec. 8, 2014.
http://newsroom.accenture.com/news/utilities-face-significant-revenue-losses-from-growth-of-solar-storage-and-energy-efficiency-accenture-research-shows.htm

"Continued growth of distributed energy resources and energy efficiency measures could cause significant demand disruption and drive down utilities’ revenues by up to $48 billion a year in the United States and €61 billion a year in Europe by 2025, according to Accenture’s Digitally Enabled Grid research."

Solar Photovoltaic Output Depends on Orientation, Tilt, and Tracking

Energy Information Administration, Nov. 19, 2014.
http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=18871

"Financial incentives, renewable portfolio standards, cost declines, and system performance improvements have led to more customer-sited solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, especially in states such as California. Because PV panels are able to capture more solar energy when they are pointed directly at the sun, installers may configure systems to optimize output by adjusting the orientation and tilt of a system, or by using mechanisms that track the sun as it traverses the sky."

Almost All U.S. Nuclear Plants Require Life Extension Past 60 Years to Operate Beyond 2050

Energy Information Administration, Dec. 8, 2014.
http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=19091

"When nuclear power plants are built, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has the authority to issue initial operating licenses for a period of 40 years. Beyond that, the reactors need license renewals, and the NRC has granted 20-year license renewals to 74 of the 100 operating reactors in the United States. These reactors may now operate for a total period of 60 years."

New Standards to Improve Efficiency of Clothes Washers in Laundromats and Apartments

Appliance Standards Awareness Project, Dec. 8, 2014, by Joanna Mauer.
http://www.appliance-standards.org/blog/new-standards-improve-efficiency-clothes-washers-laundromats-and-apartments

"The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued new efficiency standards today that will reduce the energy and water use of commercial clothes washers, which are used in laundromats and multi-family buildings."

Northwest Public Utilities, BPA Top Five-Year Energy Savings Target

Bonneville Power Administration Newsroom, Nov. 25, 2014.
http://www.bpa.gov/news/newsroom/Pages/Northwest-public-utilities-BPA-top-five-year-energy-savings-target.aspx

"Since 2010, Northwest publicly owned electric utilities and the Bonneville Power Administration have saved at least 560 average megawatts of electricity, greatly surpassing the five-year goal of 504 aMW set by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Sixth Power Plan."

Moving Forward Requires Code Enforcement

Environmental Design + Construction, Nov. 2014, by Eric Elizondo.
http://www.edcmag.com/articles/95972-moving-forward-requires-code-enforcement

"Building codes were created to keep the general public safe. To that end, most U.S. citizens probably believe that building codes are enforced well in this country and believe their buildings will stand in times of crisis.... However, throughout my career I have found that the majority of building officials around the country do not enforce the current energy codes."

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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