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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.


Category: Policy


The Top 5 Trends in Distributed Energy Policy and Rate Design

Utility Dive, Nov. 23, 2015, by Herman K. Trabish.

"From Maine to Hawaii, regulators continue to be caught between the power of utilities and the passion of renewables advocates on a slew of distributed energy issues, and a new report points out that they aren't likely to subside anytime soon."

2015 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Oct. 21, 2015. (Need to complete free registration to view full report.)

"For the past nine years, the State Energy Efficiency Scorecard has measured the progress of state policies and programs that save energy while also benefiting the environment and promoting economic 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."

To ITC or Not to ITC: What Happens if Solar's Federal Tax Incentives Aren't Extended

Utility Dive, Oct. 1, 2015, by Herman K. Trabish.

"What will happen if the federal investment tax credit (ITC) so many solar developers depend on isn't extended?  “If the investment tax credit is not extended, we see it as a disruption, not a death for the industry,” said Maddy Yozwiak, U.S. Power and RECs analyst  and co-author of the recently-released report, “How extending the investment tax credit would affect US solar build,” from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF)."

Proof of Concept: Community Solar is Ready to Soar Despite Complications

Solar Industry, Sep. 2015, by Sara E. Bergan and Andrew P. Moratzka.

"Minnesota's turmoil over solar gardens provides a laboratory for handling similar efforts across the U.S."

The Economics of Battery Energy Storage

Rocky Mountain Institute, Oct. 2015, Garrett Fitzgerald, and others.

"Much attention has been paid to batteries' impressive cost declines. But this new RMI report shifts the focus to the other important half of the battery equation: value. It shows how customer-sited, multi-use batteries can deliver more services and generate more value for customers and the grid, making batteries cost effective today."

Enhancing Community Resilience through Energy

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Oct. 2015, by  David Ribeiro, and others.

" This report discusses ways in which energy efficiency can increase the resilience of energy systems and the communities they serve. It reviews the resilience-related benefits of efficiency measures, discusses the incorporation of efficiency into resilience planning, and presents four case studies showing how local governments and utilities can leverage energy efficiency to increase the resilience of their communities."

New Horizons for Energy Efficiency: Major Opportunities to Reach Higher Electricity Savings by 2030

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Sep. 2015, by Dan York, and others.

"Higher equipment standards and more stringent building codes are squeezing the amount of savings that energy efficiency programs can harvest. No single measure will yield a dominant share of energy savings for utility program portfolios, as have lighting programs in the past. This report examines the next large opportunities for energy efficiency savings. It analyzes 18 measures—including reduction of plug loads, conservation voltage reduction, and smart manufacturing—that could collectively save 22% of total projected electricity use in the year 2030."

Can Energy-Intensive Manufacturers be Winners Under the Clean Power Plan?

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Sep. 14, 2015, by Meegan Kelly.

"There is a concern that any new environmental regulation can hurt the bottom lines of energy-intensive manufacturers. In the case of the EPA Clean Power Plan, states that comply with the rule by investing in energy efficiency will find the opposite is likely to be true: their businesses will be more productive and their economies will grow."

Verifying Energy Efficiency Job Creation: Current Practices and Recommendations

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Sep. 2015, by Casey J. Bell, and others.

"Among the many benefits ascribed to energy efficiency is the fact that it can help create jobs. Although this is often used to motivate investments in efficiency programs, verifying job creation benefits is more complicated than it might seem at first. In this paper we identify some of the issues that we believe contribute to a lack of consistency in attempts to verify efficiency-related job creation. We then propose an analytically rigorous and tractable framework for program evaluators to use in future assessments."

Here are Some New Tools to Support Local Energy Efficiency

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Aug. 27, 2015, by Tyler Bailey.

"The Local Energy Efficiency Policy Calculator (LEEP-C) is a decision making tool for local policymaking. It estimates the impact select public and residential buildings policies have on energy savings, cost savings, pollution, and other outcomes. We have upgraded the original tool (v. 1.0, released in 2011) to include measures­ in the commercial building and transportation sector."
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