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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 Greatest Energy Story You Haven't Heard: How Investing in Energy Efficiency Changed the US Power Sector and Gave Us a Tool to Tackle Climate Change

ACEEE, Research Report U1604, August 19, 2016, by Maggie Molina, Patrick Kiker, and Seth Nowak.
http://aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/u1604.pdf

"An invisible resource is working quietly behind the scenes to provide American families and businesses with the power necessary to live and work. This resource lowers harmful pollution, creates US jobs, reduces energy burdens for those most in need, and strengthens community resilience. It also improves the bottom line for business, returns at least double its investment, and saves American households, on average, $840 dollars a year. Energy efficiency has become the nation’s third-largest electricity resource. With increased support it could become the largest—and one of the world’s core strategies to tackle climate change."

Proving its Long-Term Mettle: Longevity, Whole-Building LCAs, and Stainless Steel

The Construction Specifier, Aug. 2016, by Catherine Houska.
http://www.constructionspecifier.com/proving-its-long-term-mettle-longevity-whole-building-lcas-and-stainless-steel/

"Whether the project is a new building or major renovation, sustainability is an increasingly important factor in decision-making. Whole-building life cycle assessment (LCA) makes it possible to look at all phases of a building, from material extraction through construction to decommissioning and, when possible, recycling into a ‘new’ useful material. When it comes to comparing materials, increasingly available data, an ASTM standard procedure, and LCA analysis software are helping design professionals make better choices to reduce the building’s carbon footprint."

How Increasing Efficiency Can Stem Climate Change Impacts On the Energy-Water Nexus

ACEEE Blog, Aug. 5, 2016, David Ribeiro.
http://aceee.org/blog/2016/08/how-increasing-efficiency-can-stem

"In this post, we explore the roles of energy efficiency and water efficiency in moderating some of the adverse impacts of climate change that we covered in the prior post."

Pushing the Envelope: PNC Tower, World's Greenest High-Rise, Is A Study In Simplicity

Building Operating Management, Apr. 2016, by Ronald Kovach.
http://www.facilitiesnet.com/green/article/PNC-Tower-Worlds-Greenest-High-Rise-Is-A-Study-In-Simplicity--16527

"For all the complexity of its systems and building envelope, the structure that is being touted as the greenest high-rise in the world is also a study in simplicity. The Tower at PNC Plaza, which opened in October in Pittsburgh, is using that most primal of objects — the sun — to help create essential building systems, namely HVAC and lighting. And a gigantic solar-fired version of another fundamental — hot air rising up a chimney — is also a vital part of how the building works. At the same time, it is the sun that has created the structure’s biggest surprises."

Understanding Highly Insulated Wall Assemblies’ Relationship with Global Warming

The Construction Specifier, Mar. 2016, by Jim Lambach.
http://www.constructionspecifier.com/understanding-highly-insulated-wall-assemblies-relationship-with-global-warming/

"A well-insulated building envelope is the starting point in any energy conservation strategy. The embodied global warming potential (GWP) of the insulating material, as part of a complete wall assembly, must be weighed against the use-phase energy efficiency contribution to see the complete environmental picture. This article examines the impact of both high- and low-embodied GWP insulation materials on the ultimate benefit of highly insulated wall assemblies."

A Retrospective Analysis of the Benefits and Impacts of U.S. Renewable Portfolio Standards

Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Jan. 2016.
https://emp.lbl.gov/publications/retrospective-analysis-benefits-and

"This is the second in a series of reports exploring the costs, benefits, and other impacts of state renewable portfolio standards (RPS). This report focuses on the benefits and impacts of all state RPS programs, in aggregate, for the year 2013. Relying on a well-vetted set of methods, this report evaluates a number of important benefits and impacts in both physical and monetary terms, where possible, and characterizes key uncertainties."

There Is No Such Thing as a Green Product

Stanford Social Innovation Review, Spring 2016, by Trevor Zink & Roland Geyer.
http://ssir.org/articles/entry/there_is_no_such_thing_as_a_green_product

"Touting products like LEDs and recycled plastic packaging as “green” is misleading, because it fails to account for their effects on markets and consumer behavior and for the resulting environmental consequences. The authors offer what they say is a better approach: measuring the overall “net green” impact of the product."

New Report Reveals How Clean Power Plan Can Reduce Electric Bills

Biomass Magazine, Feb. 3, 2016, by Katie Fletcher.
http://www.biomassmagazine.com/articles/12862/new-report-reveals-how-clean-power-plan-can-reduce-electric-bills

"Synapse Energy Economics Inc., a research and consulting firm, recently released a new report that reveals how EPA’s Clean Power Plan can reduce emissions and consumer electric bills. The report published on Jan. 14, “Cutting Electric Bills with the Clean Power Plan,” examines state-by-state impacts of various compliance options and found that using strong energy efficiency policies in state implementation plans can produce significant electricity bill savings for consumers while reducing carbon pollution."

Want to Weigh Your State’s Clean Power Plan Compliance Options? Check Out Our New SUPR 2 Calculator

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Jan. 19, 2016, by Cassandra Kubes.
http://aceee.org/blog/2016/01/want-weigh-your-state-s-clean-power

"As states consider plans to submit to EPA, they will want to evaluate the costs of their compliance options, but comparing different strategies can be complex. To assist states in exploring the cost and pollution reduction potential of different options, ACEEE has created the State and Utility Pollution Reduction Calculator Version 2 (SUPR 2)."

Innovative Study Helps Offshore Wind Developers Protect Wildlife

U.S. Department of Energy, Oct. 27, 2015.
http://energy.gov/eere/articles/innovative-study-helps-offshore-wind-developers-protect-wildlife

"Thanks to a first-of-its-kind in-depth study of wildlife distribution and movements, the nation’s Eastern Seaboard is better prepared than ever for offshore wind energy."
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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