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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.

 


Energy Efficient Electric Steelmaking

Steel Times International, Apr. 2015,(page 51), by Alessandro Foresti and Daniele Archetti.
http://issuu.com/quartzmetals/docs/steel_times_international_april_201_674168df088c26/51

"Organic Rankine Cycle-based waste heat recovery systems for electric steelmaking are currently few and far between, but a recently installed system in Riesa, Germany and another underway in Brescia, Italy, could bring greater energy efficiency and has opened the way for similar applications."

Transforming U.S. Energy Infrastructures in a Time of Rapid Change: The First Installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review

U.S. Department of Energy, April 2015.
http://energy.gov/epsa/quadrennial-energy-review-qer

"On January 9, 2014, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the administration to conduct a Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). As described in the President’s Climate Action Plan, this first-ever review focuses on energy infrastructure and identifies the threats, risks, and opportunities for U.S. energy and climate security, enabling the federal government to translate policy goals into a set of integrated actions."

The first installment was released in April 2015 and links to the full report are available.

First Energy Efficiency Legislation Passed by New Congress

RESNET News, April 30, 2015, by Laurel Elam.
http://www.resnet.us/blog/first-energy-efficiency-legislation-passed-by-new-congress/

"On April 21, 2015, Congress passed S 535, “The Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015”.  The legislation was sponsored by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jean Shaheen (D-NH). "The modest energy efficiency legislation includes three provisions drawn from a larger efficiency bill sponsored by the two Senators:
  • Promotion of commercial building energy-use benchmarking and disclosure
  • Establishment of a voluntary “Tenant Star” program to promote energy efficiency in rental property that would certify and recognize commercial building tenants for achieving high levels of energy efficiency
  • Adjustment of efficiency standards for “grid-connected” water heaters, so that water heaters needed for demand response and thermal storage programs can continue to be sold"

NREL Report Estimates Market Potential of Shared Solar and Discusses Relevant Securities Regulations

NREL News Release, Apr. 27, 2015.
http://www.nrel.gov/news/press/2015/16496.html

"Analysis from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) finds that by making shared solar programs available to households and businesses that currently cannot host on-site photovoltaic (PV) systems shared solar could represent 32 to 49 percent of the distributed photovoltaic market in 2020."

The State and Utility Pollution Reduction (SUPR) Calculator

ACEEE, Research Report #E1501, Apr. 2015, by Rachel Young and Sara Hayes. (Requires free registration to access the User Guide and/or the SUPR Calculator.)
http://aceee.org/state-and-utility-pollution-reduction-supr

"EPA’s Clean Power Plan allows states to pick from many pollution-reducing technologies and policies—including energy efficiency—when designing their compliance plans. What are the costs and emissions benefits of these various compliance options? ACEEE has developed the State and Utility Pollution Reduction (SUPR) calculator to help states find the answers. Users can choose from 19 policies and technologies to build their state's compliance scenario, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, nuclear power, emissions control, and natural gas. SUPR shows them how much the scenario will cost and what they will get for that investment."

Portland City Council Approves Energy Performance Reporting for Commercial Buildings

City of Portland, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Apr. 22, 2015.
http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/527323

"On Earth Day, Portland City Council voted unanimously to approve a new policy that will require owners of commercial buildings over 20,000 square feet to track energy use and report it on an annual basis. The policy will cover nearly 80 percent of the commercial square footage and affect approximately 1,000 buildings."

Profit in Plug and Play [Waste-to-Energy]

Biomass Magazine, April 20, 2015, by Katie Fletcher.
http://www.biomassmagazine.com/articles/11819/profit-in-plug-and-play

"A cutting-edge waste-to-energy venture at an Oregon landfill will channel flared gas into ethanol production, and potentially other renewable fuels if future markets are favorable."

Metering Best Practices: A Guide to Achieving Utility Resource Efficiency, Release 3.0

Prepared for FEMP, by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Mar. 2015, PNNL-23892.
http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/04/f21/mbpg2015.pdf

The report "provides [Federal] facility/energy managers and practitioners with useful information about energy and resource metering, the relevant metering technologies, communications, applications for data, and ideas for developing and implementing an effective metering plan. In addition, the guide assists in the implementation of metering requirements in accordance with the Energy Policy Act of 2005."

Medical Data Center Controls Uptime, Energy With Variable-Frequency Drives

HPAC Engineering, Mar. 2015, by DANFOSS.
http://hpac.com/motors-drives/medical-data-center-controls-uptime-energy-vfds

A "From the Field: Design Solutions" column, provided by the manufacturer, Danfoss.
"At a medical data center in the upper Midwest, cooling-system uptime reliability is ensured with redundant computer-room air-conditioning (CRAC) units. For example, in a room needing eight units, 10 are employed. Drives cut energy use 40 percent by controlling HVAC fan speed on CRAC units."

Unconventional Diesel: New Technologies are Emerging, but Cheap Oil May Slow Projects

Fuel Magazine, Mar. 2015, by Jack Peckham. (Scroll to page 28 or click on article title from Table of Contents.)
http://dm.hartfuel.com/t/145393-fuel-magazine

"While "unconventional" oil-and-gas production schemes have dominated energy sector news headlines in recent years, "unconventional" diesel fuel schemes also are starting to emerge -- and some of them eventually could likewise prove to be game changers."

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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