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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

Environment


The Environmental Sustainability of Existing Buildings: Refurbish or Replace?

Circular Ecology, May 19, 2015, by Dr. Craig Jones.
http://www.circularecology.com/news/the-environmental-sustainability-of-existing-buildings-refurbish-or-replace#.VWZRE2zbIWo

"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."

How Energy Efficiency Financing Can Help States Meet Clean Power Plan Goals

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), May 27, 2015.
http://aceee.org/blog/2015/05/how-energy-efficiency-financing-can

"Today, ACEEE is releasing the second in a series of step-by-step guides that help states claim emissions reductions resulting from energy efficiency programs and policies. Navigating the Clean Power Plan: A Template for Including Energy Efficiency Finance Programs in State Compliance Plans is focused on helping states incorporate financing programs and policies into their plans for complying with the EPA Clean Power Plan. The tool provides an overview of some types of financing approaches that may be well suited for Clean Power Plan compliance."

Kirkland [WA] Has The World’s Greenest Road

KUOW.org, May 19, 2015, by Hannah Burn and Kim Malcolm.
http://kuow.org/post/kirkland-has-world-s-greenest-road?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social_Media&utm_campaign=051915_environment

"A short street in Kirkland has earned the honor of being the greenest road in the world -- at least by one measure.  The Greenroads Foundation, based in Seattle, evaluates roads worldwide – including in Taiwan, New Zealand and the United Emirates. Washington state looks good on the foundation's site, with five of the six “silver-certified” projects located here."

The State and Utility Pollution Reduction (SUPR) Calculator

ACEEE, Research Report #E1501, Apr. 2015, by Rachel Young and Sara Hayes. (Requires free registration to access the User Guide and/or the SUPR Calculator.)
http://aceee.org/state-and-utility-pollution-reduction-supr

"EPA’s Clean Power Plan allows states to pick from many pollution-reducing technologies and policies—including energy efficiency—when designing their compliance plans. What are the costs and emissions benefits of these various compliance options? ACEEE has developed the State and Utility Pollution Reduction (SUPR) calculator to help states find the answers. Users can choose from 19 policies and technologies to build their state's compliance scenario, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, nuclear power, emissions control, and natural gas. SUPR shows them how much the scenario will cost and what they will get for that investment."

The Most and Least Eco-Friendly States in 2015

EcoBuilding Pulse, Apr. 21, 2015, by Katie Gloede.
http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/research/the-most-and-least-eco-friendly-states-in-2015_c.aspx

"In honor of Earth Week, WalletHub’s latest study ranks the most and least eco-friendly states. The study found that Vermont is the top state for environmental quality and number two in eco-friendly behavior, putting them at the top of the list. Louisiana, on the other hand, is ranked lowest in 2015 coming in 47th for environmental quality and 50th for eco-friendly behavior."

Comprehensive Study Shows Decreasing Emissions from Local Natural Gas Distribution Systems

American Gas Association News Release, Mar. 31, 2015.
https://www.aga.org/news/news-releases/comprehensive-study-shows-decreasing-emissions-local-natural-gas-distribution

"A study published today in Environmental Science & Technology led by a team from Washington State University (WSU) found that emissions from local natural gas distribution systems in cities and towns throughout the U.S. have decreased in the past 20 years, to levels 36 to 70 percent lower than current estimates. This reduction reflects significant upgrades at metering and regulating stations, improvements in leak detection and maintenance activities and replacement of older pipeline materials."

PSU Selling Carbon Credits to Chevrolet, Helping Offset Cost of Energy Efficiency

The Oregonian, Oct. 22, 2014, by Ted Sickinger.
http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2014/10/psu_selling_carbon_credits_to.html

"Portland State University is selling the carbon credits generated by energy efficiency projects during a two and half year period to Chevrolet.

The car giant is looking to burnish it environmental credibility with a voluntary carbon reduction initiative, and is buying carbon credits from 12 universities toward a goal of reducing carbon emissions by 8 million tons."


Energy-Efficient Dwellings – Can Embodied Energy Spoil the Story?

Edge Environment (Australia), Aug. 2014.
http://edgeenvironment.com.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/Lifecycle-emissions-of-energy-efficient-homes.pdf

"Energy-efficient homes reduce their operating energy costs and carbon emissions, and new design principles and technologies are making them ever more efficient. Yet some of the materials used to build them are themselves energy- and emissions-intensive to make. Does that matter? Many believe that the gains from lower operating energy far outweigh the embodied energy in even the most energy-intensive materials. To date, analysis on the question has been relatively rare. The market is uncertain as to how much attention should be given to the resource- and emissions-intensity of quality materials used in sustainable design."

Gov. Inslee Announces Executive Action to Reduce Carbon Pollution and Promote Clean Energy

Washington State Governor's Office, Press Release, Apr. 29, 2014.
http://www.governor.wa.gov/news/releases/article.aspx?id=247

"Gov. Jay Inslee today signed an executive order outlining a series of steps to cut carbon pollution in Washington and advance development and use of clean energy technologies."

Climate Change Fatigue? How to Read the IPCC Reports

Environmental Building News, Apr. 23, 2014, by Alex Wilson.
http://tinyurl.com/oasepo5

"The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, has been busy churning out report after report. Rather than tuning out, we should be reading closely."

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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