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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.


How Agriculture Can Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Wall Street Journal Blog, Oct. 16, 2016, by Jason Bordoff.

"WSJ Energy Expert says that while changing eating habits is important, changing agricultural practices will have a much bigger impact on carbon emissions."

A Method to Estimate the Costs and Benefits of Undergrounding Electricity Transmission and Distribution Lines

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Oct. 2016, by Peter H. Larsen.

"There has been a general shortfall of peer-reviewed literature identifying methods to estimate the costs and benefits of strategies employed by electric utilities to improve grid resilience. This paper introduces—for the first time—a comprehensive analysis framework to estimate the societal costs and benefits of implementing one strategy to improve power system reliability: undergrounding power transmission and distribution lines. It is shown that undergrounding transmission and distribution lines can be a cost-effective strategy to improve reliability, but only if certain criteria are met before the decision to underground is made."

Getting to Net-Zero Carbon in Multifamily Homes

Rocky Mountain Institute, Oct. 14, 2016, by Kelly Vaughn.

"Consumers wanting to undertake a deep energy retrofit of a home currently face a challenging process that involves multiple complex steps, as shown in the infographic [shows barriers and opportunities] below. For this reason, many give up on energy efficiency."

Six Common City-Level Energy Policies Could Reduce Nationwide Carbon Emissions by up to 480 Million Metric Tons Annually

National Renewable Energy Lab, Oct. 19, 2016.

"...[NREL] recently examined the carbon abatement potential of city actions in six policy areas as part of the DOE's Cities Leading through Energy Analysis and Planning (Cities-LEAP) project. The analysis uses new data on energy use in more than 23,400 U.S. cities and estimates the aggregate impact of city actions related to: building energy codes, public transit, building energy incentives, rooftop photovoltaics, smart growth, and municipal actions."

Commitment to Maintenance Leads to Reliability [District Energy]

District Energy, 4th Quarter 2016, by Charlie Michalak, TECO.

Looks at maintenance practices on the District Energy System on the campus of the Texas Medical Center in Houston.

Stanford University's "Fourth-Generation" District Energy System

District Energy, 4th Quarter 2016, by Joseph C. Stagner.

"In 1987 Stanford took a giant step forward in efficiency and environmental stewardship with the installation of a 50 MW natural gas-fired cogeneration plant to provide electricity, steam and chilled water for its campus. Three decades later, the Cardinal Cogeneration plant has been replaced by the new $468 million Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI) project...."

Energy Storage as a Power Resource

Northwest Power and Conservation Council, Oct. 17, 2016, by John Harrison.

"As renewable energy, primarily wind and solar power, proliferates across the Northwest and increases our supply of low-cost, carbon-free energy, there also is a growing need to store energy so it can be released into the regional power grid when renewable generation declines, as when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. Consequently, research and development is focused on promising, utility-scale storage devices and also on identifying and resolving regulatory issues so that storage, like renewable energy, can proliferate. While there is progress, technological and policy hurdles remain, a panel of energy storage experts told the Council at a recent meeting."

Impacts of Model Building Energy Codes: Public Review Draft

Pacific Northwest National Lab, Oct. 2016, PNNL-25611.

"The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program (BECP) periodically evaluates national and state-level impacts associated with energy codes in residential and commercial buildings. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), funded by DOE, conducted an assessment of the prospective impacts of national model building energy codes from 2010 through 2040. This report describes the methodology used for the assessment and presents the impacts in terms of energy savings, consumer cost savings, and  reduced CO emissions at the state level and at aggregated levels. "

New Report: Geothermal Power Market Showing Strong Growth

International District Energy Association, Oct. 14, 2016.

"A new report by the US Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) projects sustained strong growth for geothermal power through 2016. The “2016 Annual U.S. & Global Geothermal Power Production Report” forecasts that projects now under development when completed would increase capacity outside the U.S. by 25%."

2016 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard

ACEEE, Sept. 26, 2016.

"This tenth edition of the State Energy Efficiency Scorecard measures the progress of state policies and programs that save energy while also benefiting the environment and promoting growth. We use data vetted by state energy officials to rank states in six categories—utility programs, transportation, building energy codes, combined heat and power, state initiatives, and appliance standards."
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