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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.


Behavior Change Programs: Status and Impact

ACEEE, Oct. 2016, by Reuven Sussman and Maxine Chikumbo.

"Behavior change programs are becoming a common method for reducing energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency. But what types of programs are out there, why do they work (or fail to work), and how effective are they? This report updates the 2013 ACEEE Field Guide to Utility-Run Behavior Change Programs, with new program evaluations, an analysis of major behavior change strategies, and a focus on programs with evaluated energy savings."

Scaling Up Participation and Savings in Residential Retrofits

ACEEE, Oct. 12, 2016, by Rachel Cluett and Jennifer Amann.

"Whole home retrofits aim to address the biggest residential energy issues. Their number has grown in recent years along with contractor and program experience in delivering successful retrofits. However the demand for these programs and their participation rates have not grown as much, and many of them fail to capture the full range of available savings. This report explores the challenges faced by home retrofit programs and describes the best strategies for improving project-level realization rates."

Wave-Energy Project Puts B.C. at Forefront of Renewable Energy Research

Vancouver [BC] Metro, Oct. 11, 2016, by Wanyee Li.

"University of Victoria (UVic) researchers are buying another wave-measuring buoy using new provincial funding in an effort to turn ocean waves into clean and renewable energy."

Wave Energy Researchers Dive Deep to Advance Clean Energy Source

Science Daily, Oct. 13, 2016.

"...engineers at Sandia National Laboratories are conducting the largest model-scale wave energy testing of its kind to improve the performance of wave-energy converters (WECs). The project is taking place at the U.S. Navy's Maneuvering and Sea Keeping facility at the Carderock Division in Bethesda, Maryland, one of the largest wave tanks in the world at 360 feet long and 240 feet wide and able to hold 12 million gallons of water."

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...."
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