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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

Policy


Making the Grade: Assessing U.S. [Wind] Policy

North American Windpower, Aug. 2014, by Mark Del Franco.
http://www.nawindpower.com/issues/NAW1408/FEAT_02_Making-The-Grade-Assessing-U.S.-Policy.html

"Industry stakeholders help review several state and federal policy decisions and the potential impacts on wind power."

Includes:
  1. EPA's Clean Power Plan
  2. Ohio's Double Whammy
  3. Master Limited Partnerships
  4. Wind PTC

Government Works: Federal Agency Actions on Energy Efficiency

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Sep. 2014, by Lowell W. Ungar, and others.
http://aceee.org/white-paper/government-works

An ACEEE White Paper: 
"Federal agency actions on energy efficiency under existing legislative authority are saving consumers money, creating jobs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, and reducing oil use and imports. In this paper we examined four sets of recent and prospective agency actions on energy efficiency: appliance standards, vehicle standards, power plant emissions standards, and select housing policies."

Bright Future for Energy Storage

Power Magazine, Aug. 2014, by Patrick Ferguson.
http://www.powermag.com/bright-future-for-energy-storage/

"Many Americans will likely someday rely in part on battery systems to power their appliances and cars, store electricity generated by their solar PV panels, and help regulate the frequency and efficiency of the overall power grid. By setting aggressive targets, reducing the barriers to entry, and providing long-term funding, California has incentivized the development of battery storage systems. If these programs prove successful in California, other states could begin offering similar incentives in the coming years."

Combined Heat and Power and Clean Distributed Energy Policies

American Council for and Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), July 2, 2014, by Anna Chittum and Neal Elliott. (Free registration required to view full-text of report.)
http://www.aceee.org/policy-brief/combined-heat-and-power-and-clean-distributed-energy-poli

"Combined heat and power (CHP) systems generate electricity and useful thermal energy in a single, integrated system. CHP is not a technology, but a particular way to deploy existing technologies. Heat that is normally wasted in conventional power generation is recovered as useful energy, so CHP systems are more efficient and provide environmental, economic, and energy system infrastructure benefits. However, several barriers impede cost-effective CHP applications, including lack of common interconnection protocols, discriminatory standby rates, and emissions regulations that do not recognize the improved efficiency levels of CHP systems."

Legislation May Usher in a New Golden Age for U.S. Hydropower

Hydro Review, July 2014, by Luke Rose and Rebecca K. Blood.
http://www.hydroworld.com/articles/hr/print/volume-33/issue-6/articles/legislation-may-usher-in-a-new-golden-age-for-u-s-hydropower.html

"With its revival for fiscal year 2014, the Hydroelectric Production Incentives Program shows promise as a new federal revenue stream for hydro facilities."

PURPA: It’s Not Just for IOUs Anymore

Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA) Bulletin, Jul. 2014, by Richard Lorenz. (Scroll to page 18.)
http://www.nwppa.org/External/WCPages/WCWebContent/WebContentPage.aspx?ContentID=1805

"There may be a misconception in our region that PURPA (Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act) only applies to investor-owned electric utilities that are subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). However, this is not the case."

California's Wild Solar Ride Nears a Crossroads

Solar Industry, July 2014, by Michael Puttre.
http://www.solarindustrymag.com/issues/SI1407/FEAT_02_California-s-Wild-Solar-Ride-Nears-A-Crossroads.html

"Policy direction and bipartisan support are needed as the solar sector approaches a critical juncture in 2016."

A Survey of State-Level Cost and Benefit Estimates of Renewable Portfolio Standards

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) & LBNL Technical Report, NREL/TP-6A20-61042 & LBNL-6589E, May 2014.
http://emp.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/lbnl-6589e.pdf

"This report surveys and summarizes existing state-level RPS cost and benefit estimates and examines the various methods used to calculate such estimates. The report relies largely upon data or results reported directly by electric utilities and state regulators."
 

Policy Brief: Clean Energy Keeps the Lights On

Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), Jun. 2014.
http://www.raponline.org/document/download/id/7175

"A new policy brief from the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), Clean Energy Keeps the Lights On, dispels the myth that electricity portfolios with high penetrations of variable renewable resources threaten reliability. The authors review eight recent studies commissioned by utilities, governments, and non-governmental organizations to address this issue, and find that none suggest insurmountable reliability problems."

Power and Water: Will Feds Allow It for Pot?

Tacoma News Tribune, May 20, 2014, by C.R. Roberts.
http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/05/20/3202349/power-and-water-will-feds-allow.html

"Nobody seems quite sure of the answer: Will the federal government withhold services to the state, given the conflict between legally grown marijuana in Washington and a national drug policy that finds marijuana illegal?"

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/05/20/3202349/power-and-water-will-feds-allow.html#storylink=cpy

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

Archives of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs, from Oct. 2012 – Jan. 6, 2014, may be found on the WSU Energy Library web page.