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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: Environment


What Boiler MACT Means to an Energy Engineer

Hudson Technologies, Oct. 15, 2015.

"Boiler MACT [Maximum Achievable Control Technology] is one of the first federal environmental regulations that have specifically called for conducting an energy assessment as a compliance activity. Energy assessments are nothing new; but how does integrating them into an environmental compliance activity impact the assessment process? As energy engineers, what can we learn from this new frontier?"

Supermarkets: A Bellwether of Industry Changes

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, Sep. 7, 2015, by Ron Rajecki.

"Supermarkets and their needs will always be one of the front-and-center elements of the HVACR industry. These high-profile businesses operate long hours, use large amounts of energy, and have tens of thousands of dollars in perishable product that needs refrigeration 24/7. Trends in supermarkets can often provide insights into changes to come for the rest of the commercial refrigeration world, and — as is the case industry-wide — refrigerants are on the minds of many in the supermarket sector."

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."

Post-HFC-Phaseout Refrigerant Options

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, Aug. 3, 2015, by Ron Rajecki.

"The July 2 ruling from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that sets forth the timeframes for the phaseout of certain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in specific applications presents some challenges for the refrigeration industry. The ruling also presents new opportunities for growth of the natural refrigerants market. The ruling, however, was not unexpected, and it did not catch many of the major refrigerant manufacturers flatfooted."

Schools Save Energy with CHP

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, Aug. 3, 2015, by Jen Anesi.

"With elementary and secondary schools tightening their purse strings, and with post-secondary institutions seeing a drop in enrollment numbers over the past couple years, schools across the nation are looking for ways to cut costs. Increasingly, they are turning to cogeneration as a way to save money while also being more environmentally friendly. And, while cogeneration is still largely an industrial process, the market has significant potential for educational institutions coast to coast."

Energy Efficiency in the Clean Power Plan: Take One

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Aug. 12, 2015, by Cassandra Kubes.

"On August 3rd, EPA released the final Clean Power Plan (CPP), a rule that sets performance rates and individual state targets for carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. Now that the emissions targets are set, energy efficiency plays a prominent role as a proven strategy that states can use to reduce energy, cut emissions, and boost the economy."

NASEO Releases Working Paper on Least Cost, Energy Efficiency Approaches to Address EPA's Clean Power Plan

National Association of  State Energy Officials (NASEO), July 31, 2015.

"On July 31, 2015, NASEO released its working paper “Energy Efficiency Strategies for Clean Power Plan Compliance: Approaches and Selected Case Studies” to support state consideration of “no regrets” and often least-cost energy efficiency strategies for prospective Clean Power Plan (CPP) compliance.  While NASEO has not taken a position on the CPP, we are working to ensure states are given wide flexibility in addressing key reliability, affordability, and other state imperatives. Energy efficiency approaches offer among the most cost-effective means to meet both air quality and energy goals, while also supporting energy system reliability.

The NASEO paper discusses the case for energy efficiency and explores some high-level issues of state compliance strategy

Clean Power Plan Toolbox for States

Environmental Protection Agency, Aug. 4, 2015.

"Resources to help develop state plans: As co-regulators, states will develop plans to meet the guidelines in the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The federal resources below provide information on state plan development and can help states determine the most cost-effective approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. Please note that inclusion of a measure in the toolbox does not mean that a state plan must include that measure. In addition, inclusion of these measures does not necessarily imply the approvability of an approach or method for use in a state plan. States will need to demonstrate that any measure included in a state plan meets all relevant criteria and adequately addresses elements of the plan components."

EPA Releases Clean Power Plan

The National Law Review, Aug. 4, 2015., by Stephen L. Miller, Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC.

"On August 3, 2015, President Obama and EPA Administrator McCarthy released the agency’s Clean Power Plan, regulations designed to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from power plants, as well as promoting low-emitting power sources and energy efficiency. These sweeping new rules may revolutionize the nation’s power generation system, and will be challenged vigorously in federal court."

Includes links to the Plan, as well as other related fact sheets and key documents.

The Environmental Sustainability of Existing Buildings: Refurbish or Replace?

Circular Ecology, May 19, 2015, by Dr. Craig Jones.

"There comes a time in the life of every building where extensive refurbishment is required. For many a building this seems to bring with it thoughts of starting again – essentially to demolish and ‘rebuild’. The normal practice in modern times seems to be the preference to demolish and replace. Whereas conservationists naturally prefer to retain existing structures so to repair them and bring them back to their former glory. This latter approach retains the existing character and heritage of a building, but proponents of the ‘remove and replace’ philosophy ague about their reduced energy performance."
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