Bookmark and Share

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.

 


Your Own Energy “Island”? ORNL Microgrid Could Standardize Small, Self-Sustaining Electric Grids

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oct. 2014, by Katie Jones.
http://www.ornl.gov/ornl/news/features/2014/a47cc734-54f3-4aec-95ba-df1bbbdb25ad

"Microgrids are designed to not only continue power to local units such as neighborhoods, hospitals or industrial parks but also improve energy efficiency and reduce cost when connected to the main grid. Researchers predict an energy future more like a marketplace in which utility customers with access to solar panels, battery packs, plug-in vehicles and other sources of distributed energy can compare energy prices, switch on the best deals and even sell back unused power to utility companies. However, before interested consumers can plug into their own energy islands, researchers at facilities such as ORNL’s Distributed Energy Control and Communication (DECC) lab need to develop tools for controlling a reliable, safe and efficient microgrid."

A Tale of a Poorly Designed [Incentive] Program and Overly Judgmental Evaluators

ACEEE Blog, Nov. 4, 2014, by Steven Nadel.
http://aceee.org/blog/2014/11/tale-poorly-designed-program-and-over

"The E2e project released a working paper recently that evaluates the State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program (SEEARP), funded in 2009 by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In the paper, authors Sebastien Houde and Joseph Aldy find that the SEEARP program provided little economic stimulation or energy savings."

Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities: A Guide to Federal Programs....

U.S. Department of Agriculture and various other organizations, Oct. 2014.
https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=279

"This guide is written for anyone seeking help from federal programs to foster sustainable and innovative initiatives in this country associated with agriculture and forestry. Sustainability is commonly understood to embrace the triple concepts of economic, environmental and social viability. Specifically, the guide provides information about program resources pertaining to economic development, farm loans, insurance and risk management, natural resources conservation and management; nutrition and consumer food access, renewable energy and energy conservation, research and outreach, and value added and marketing innovations."


Energy Efficiency and Building with Wood

The Construction Specifier, Oct. 2014, by Nabih Tahan.
http://www.constructionspecifier.com/energy-efficiency-and-building-with-wood/

"New wood building systems have been developed to offer greater airtightness to minimize energy consumption. The building industry should focus on combining the two aspects of using renewable building materials and energy efficiency to achieve comfortable buildings, while optimizing indoor air quality (IAQ) and reversing the negative effect of climate change."

Innovations Bring HVAC Energy Gains

Building Operating Management, Oct. 2014, by Bruce McKinlay and Jamey Lyzun.
http://www.facilitiesnet.com/hvac/article/Innovations-Offer-HVAC-Energy-Gains-But-Are-Often-Ignored--15410#

A three-part article:
Part 1: Innovations Offer Reductions In HVAC Energy Consumption But Are Often Ignored
Part 2: Consider These Passive Or Energy-Efficient Active HVAC Systems
Part 3: Net-Zero Energy Buildings: Waste Heat Recovery And Renewable Energy

Next-Generation Energy Management: Solutions For The Next Level of Performance In Corporate Real Estate

Rocky Mountain Institute and CoreNet, Oct. 2014. [Free registration required to download report.]
http://www.rmi.org/next_gen_energy_management

"Inspired by CoreNet Global’s 2013 call for companies to strive for net-zero energy in their facilities, RMI and CoreNet co-wrote the recently released Next-Generation Energy Management report, providing a set of strategic solutions for corporate real estate professionals to achieve the highest goals practical and profitable for building energy performance."

Saving on Natatorium Energy Costs with Green Options

The Construction Specifier, Oct. 2014, by Ralph Kittler.
http://www.constructionspecifier.com/saving-on-natatorium-energy-costs-with-green-options/

"When it comes to designing indoor swimming pool facilities, it is critical to ensure not only a healthy interior environment, but also energy efficiency. New technologies can provide both optimal natatorium environmental control and curtail utility consumption when specified."

The Fight Over Solar Moves from Net Metering to Rate Design

Utility Dive, Nov. 3, 2014, by Herman K. Trabish.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/the-fight-over-solar-moves-from-net-metering-to-rate-design/327742/

"Fights over electricity rates are brewing all across the country. Utilities say new rate proposals will protect customers who haven’t moved to solar and energy efficiency. But those who have moved say the proposals only protect utilities." "There are two categories of rate restructuring and rate design changes bubbling up,” explained Environmental Law & Policy Center Sr. Attorney Brad Klein. “The first is to move cost recovery from the variable per-kilowatt-hour charge and increase the monthly fixed charge. The other is to impose a monthly dollars-per-kilowatt charge on owners of distributed generation.”

EnergyIQ™: Action-Oriented Energy Benchmarking

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
http://energyiq.lbl.gov/

"In isolation, benchmarking can inspire action but provides no practical guidance. With sponsorship from the California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program, the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is building the next generation of energy benchmarking methods to address this problem. EnergyIQ—the first "action-oriented" benchmarking tool for non-residential buildings—bridges this gap by providing a standardized opportunity assessment based on benchmarking results, along with decision-support information to help refine action plans."

Vacuum Steam Heating: Past, Present...Future?

District Energy, Fourth Quarter, 2014, by Igor Zhadanovsky.
http://www.districtenergy-digital.org/districtenergy/2014Q4?sub_id=DOwgMT0rNL8TV#pg29

"Every so often, a technology that had been abandoned for a long period of time comes back to life thanks to new developments that make it viable and competitive once again. While it's too early to predict with certainty, this may be the pattern that we see for one of the heating industry's oldest technologies: vacuum steam heating. This article describes the evolution of that technology, its benefits and drawbacks, and a new approach that may make it a cost-effective option in the 21st century.

About

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