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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.


Next-Generation Utility Programs: How M&V 2.0 is Enabling a “Negawatt” Market

Rocky Mountain Institute, Jan. 29, 2016, by Ellen Franconi.

"California’s recently passed Senate Bill (SB) 350 reinforces the state’s reputation as a leader in climate change policy. The bill sets state targets of 50 percent electricity generated by renewables and 50 percent increase in building energy efficiency by 2030. But what may be most remarkable in the bill is the change in how the state evaluates and promotes energy efficiency.  The bill proposes tracking efficiency by actual meter-based savings and authorizing pay-for-performance programs that link incentives directly to those savings."

The Next Quantum Leap in Electric Efficiency—Game On

The Regulatory Assistance Project, Jan. 2016, by Chris Neme, Jim Grevatt.

"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."

Michigan, Nevada, and Virginia Governors Launch Energy System Modernization Roadmapping through NASEO Initiative Supported by DOE

National Association of State Energy Officials, February 3, 2016.

"Today, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) announced the selection of the Michigan Energy Office, the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy, and the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy as the pilot states for NASEO’s Energy Markets and Planning (E-MAP) program. The governors of the three states committed to the 18-month, state-led process which will develop an energy system modernization roadmap aimed at addressing a growing range of interdependent electricity system and market issues."

National Solar Jobs Census 2015

The Solar Foundation, Jan. 2016.

"The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2015 is the sixth annual edition of current employment, trends, and projected growth in the U.S. solar industry. Given this industry’s rapid transformation, The Solar Foundation has conducted annual employer surveys of the domestic solar labor force and perspectives on job growth and future opportunities."

AESP Honors PSE&G [NJ] Energy Efficiency Program for Outstanding Achievement

PR Newswire, Feb. 3, 2016.

"The Association of Energy Service Professionals (AESP) has named Public Service Electric and Gas Company's (PSE&G's) Residential Multifamily Housing Program as the winner of the 2016 Energy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Residential Program Design & Implementation.  PSE&G accepted the award yesterday at AESP's 26th National Conference & Expo in Phoenix, AZ.  PSE&G's $74 million Residential Multifamily Housing Program funds the installation of energy efficiency measures for eligible multifamily facilities in the utility's New Jersey service territory. "

Claims for Solar Cell Efficiency Put to Test at NREL

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Feb. 4, 2016, Wayne Hicks.

"The sheet of paper taped to the door of Keith Emery's office tells the story. On the paper is a simple fever chart showing the improvements made in increasing the efficiency of two dozen types of solar cells. Some of the lines marking record efficiencies date to the mid-1970s. Others start much more recently, with the advent of newer 
technologies. More than anyone at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Emery has seen the lines on that chart move ever higher. Since joining what at the time was the Solar Energy Research Institute, Emery has made the process of recording record efficiencies of solar cells and modules more accurate

Rock the Watt: An Energy Conservation Campaign at Pacific Northwest National Lab

U.S. Department of Energy, FEMP, Jan. 2016.

"Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), one of the seventeen Department of Energy laboratories, implemented the 3-month Rock the Watt campaign in FY2015 to reduce energy use at its main campus in Richland, Washington. The campaign objectives were to educate PNNL employees on energy conservation opportunities in their workplace and to motivate them to help PNNL to save energy and costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

Top 10 Energy Efficiency Predictions for 2016

CLEAResult, Jan. 21, 2016, by Colleen Langevin.

"We assembled a group of policy, technology, customer engagement and business experts from within our CLEAResult leadership to forecast the future of energy efficiency in 2016. Read our list of trends and predictions related to energy efficiency and where it’s headed in the new year."

Smart Manufacturing: The Internet of Things: Power at Your Fingertips

Food Engineering, Jan. 2016, by Debra Schug.

"The concepts and technologies encompassed by the term “Internet of Things” are rapidly changing the world. Sometimes called “Industry 4.0” or the “Industrial Internet,” it is the idea that manufacturers will be able to connect everything in their operations, allowing information to be easily exchanged and enabling more autonomous plants."

Teaming Up to Apply Advanced Manufacturing Methods to Wind Turbine Production

U.S. Department of Energy, February 1, 2016.

"DOE’s Wind Program and Advanced Manufacturing Office, ORNL, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), and other organizations are partnering to apply this advanced manufacturing technology to the production of wind turbine blade molds. By applying 3D printing to the manufacture of blade molds, it is possible to reduce costs and time associated with manufacturing, experiment with new capabilities, and improve design flexibility. Blades are some of the most important—yet costly—components of a wind turbine, so finding ways to reduce the cost of blade manufacturing will further reduce the costs of wind energy."


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