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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.

 


The Amazing Drop in Home Appliance Energy Use

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Jan. 15, 2016, by Marianne DiMascio.
http://aceee.org/blog/2016/01/amazing-drop-home-appliance-energy

"Appliance efficiency has increased remarkably over the past several decades.... The decline in energy use parallels the rise of appliance efficiency standards, first at the state level, and then at the federal level."

How Technical Advances are Driving Flow Batteries Closer to Mass Commercialization

Utility Dive, Jan. 12, 2016, by Peter Maloney.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/how-technical-advances-are-driving-flow-batteries-closer-to-mass-commercial/411923/

"Recent technical advances are sparking interest in flow batteries by offering the promise of significant cost reductions that could make them better able to compete for market share with solid state storage devices, such as the nearly ubiquitous lithium-ion battery. But full commercialization is still several years off, analysts say."

Making it Count: Understanding the Value of Energy Efficiency Financing Programs Funded by Utility Customers

SEE Action, Dec. 10, 2015.
https://www4.eere.energy.gov/seeaction/publication/making-it-count-understanding-value-energy-efficiency-financing-programs-funded-utility

"In some jurisdictions, policy makers are considering large-scale financing programs that use utility customer funds to attract larger amounts of private capital. In some cases, these strategies support a goal to shift away from traditional energy efficiency program strategies (such as rebates and technical assistance and audits) and toward financing over time."

Meat Processing Plant Drops Compressed Air Costs 60%

Compressed Air Best Practices, Jan/Feb 2016, by Ron Marshall.
http://www.airbestpractices.com/system-assessments/end-uses/meat-processing-plant-drops-compressed-air-costs-60

"One of the statements made in the Compressed Air Challenge’s Fundamentals of Compressed Air Systems seminar is that improvements can always be made to every compressed air system, including new ones. The statement definitely applies to a Canadian pork processing facility built a few years ago. This article is based on a compressed air audit performed two years into the life of a brand new plant. The audit found numerous problems and made recommendations that helped reduce plant compressed air operating costs by 60 percent."

Hydraulic Institute Supports the Pump Industry as the DOE Issues Final Rules on Test Procedures and Energy Conservation Standards For Commercial And Industrial Pumps

Water Online, Jan.. 6, 2016.
http://www.wateronline.com/doc/hydraulic-institute-pump-industry-doe-test-procedures-industrial-pumps-0001

"The Hydraulic Institute, North America’s largest pump trade association, announces the release of two final rules (1) The Energy Conservation Standard and (2) The Test Procedure for Commercial and Industrial Pumps by the United States Department of Energy (DOE). The rulings are now available through the HI website. The compliance date for the Energy Conservation Standard will be 2020 and DOE estimates it will save 0.29 quadrillion BTUs (2020 – 2050)."

The Internet Shouldn’t Run on Dirty Energy

Harvard Business Review, Dec. 16, 2015, by Nate Springer and Kelly Gallo.
https://hbr.org/2015/12/the-internet-shouldnt-run-on-dirty-energy

"The internet may seem to exist in the ether, but its plumbing includes a vast network of data centers, also known as server farms, which need power to function. In 2010, data centers represented 2% of all electricity use in the United States. Globally, it equates to 2% of all annual emissions linked to climate change. While that amount may not sound like much, it is almost equivalent to the impact of shipping all goods around the world each year. If the world is to become ever more efficient and reach global climate goals, internet power will need to play its part."

A Systems Approach Helps Rockline Industries Retrofit a Compressed Air System

Compressed Air Best Practices, Jan/Feb 2016, by Andrew Chase Harding and Darin Nutter.
http://www.airbestpractices.com/industries/paper/systems-approach-helps-rockline-industries-retrofit-compressed-air-system

"Rockline Industries is one of the largest global producers of consumer products, specializing in wet wipes and coffee filters. The company contacted the Arkansas Industrial Energy Clearinghouse after identifying that the compressed air system in their Springdale, Arkansas facility was a potential source of significant savings. Experts from the Clearinghouse then began working with Rockline Industries, representatives of the electric utility, and a local compressed air vendor to perform a complete evaluation of the system."

A Retrospective Analysis of the Benefits and Impacts of U.S. Renewable Portfolio Standards

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Electricity Markets and Policy Group, Jan. 2016.
https://emp.lbl.gov/publications/retrospective-analysis-benefits-and/

"This is the second in a series of reports exploring the costs, benefits, and other impacts of state renewable portfolio standards (RPS). This report focuses on the benefits and impacts of all state RPS programs, in aggregate, for the year 2013. Relying on a well-vetted set of methods, this report evaluates a number of important benefits and impacts in both physical and monetary terms, where possible, and characterizes key uncertainties. In particular, the study evaluates potential societal benefits associated with reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution emissions, and water use."


Future Opportunities and Challenges with Using Demand Response as a Resource in Distribution System Operation and Planning Activities

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Electricity and Markets and Policy Group, Jan. 2016.
https://emp.lbl.gov/publications/future-opportunities-and-challenges

"The design and operation of the electric distribution system in the United States has been relatively constant and stable for many decades. Its simple radial "hub-and-spoke" design has effectively and efficiently transported electricity from the bulk power system to end-use customers. However, factors are at play that may fundamentally change the design and operation of the electric distribution system in the coming decade.... This scoping study focuses on identifying the ability for current and future Demand Response opportunities to contribute to distribution system management."

Choosing the Proper VFD can Limit Harmonics

Pumps & Systems, Dec. 2015, by Jeffery Lovelace.
http://www.pumpsandsystems.com/pumps/december-2015-choosing-proper-vfd-can-limit-harmonics

"Facilities predominantly using these drives may face concern from power utility companies. Variable frequency drives (VFDs) have vastly evolved during the last 25 years.

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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