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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: Utilities

Utilities


Why Rural Electric Cooperatives Are Opting for Community-Scale Solar

Rocky Mountain Institute Outlet, Mar. 31, 2016, by Kevin Brehm and Joseph Goodman.
http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2016_03_31
_why_rural_electric_cooperatives_are_opting_for_community_scale_solar


"The successful idea of the moment is community-scale solar. Rural electric cooperatives are spreading the word on how local clean power can save money, support communities, and diversify energy supplies. Community-scale solar is becoming an important tool for rural electric cooperatives as they begin their transition from a centralized fossil-fuel-based energy system to an increasingly distributed and renewable system."

Report: Energy Efficiency Still Less Expensive Than Building New Power Plants

Utility Dive, Apr. 5, 2016, by Robert Walton.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/report-energy-efficiency-still-less-expensive-than-building-new-power-plan/416852/

"No matter how you cut it, efficiency is cheaper than building a new power plant. That's the takeaway from a short paper on efficiency's costs put out by ACEEE. In it, the group indicates it has a forthcoming report which will peg the cost at 3.5 cents/kWh – less than half the cost used by the federal government, but slightly higher than other estimates."

How Utilities Can Boost Customer Savings by Marrying Efficiency and DR Programs

Utility Dive, Apr. 6, 2016, by Robert Walton.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/how-utilities-can-boost-customer-savings-by-marrying-efficiency-and-dr-prog/416766/

"A new report from Navigant Research examines the global market for integrated demand-side management (IDSM), focusing on energy efficiency and demand response (DR) programs, with market forecasts for spending, through 2025."

Big Savers: Experiences and Recent History of Program Administrators Achieving High Levels of Electric Savings

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, April 2016, by Brendon Baatz, Annie Gilleo, and Toyah Barigye.
http://aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/u1601.pdf

"Energy efficiency savings have grown substantially in the past ten years, and national leaders in program administration have emerged as savings levels have increased. This report reviews annual program performance for 14 leading energy efficiency program administrators, with a focus on costs, electricity savings, cost effectiveness, and portfolio design. We also interviewed program managers for insights on past and future challenges, keys to achieving and sustaining high levels of savings, and future large savings opportunities."  Includes Energy Trust of Oregon, Pacific Gas and Electric, and Seattle City Light.

SEPA Report Details Key Drivers for Cutting Utility-Scale Solar LCOE

Smart Electric Power Alliance, Mar. 2016.
http://www.solarelectricpower.org/about-sepa/sepa-news/press-releases/sepa-report-details-key-drivers-for-cutting-utility-scale-solar-lcoe.aspx

"...a new report from the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) says, not all solar projects are created equal. Utilities looking to procure cost-competitive, high-value solar projects need to evaluate a range of factors, from regional solar resource intensity to local labor and permitting costs to system design issues, such as whether to use a fixed-tilt or single axis tracking system. The report was produced in partnership with solar project developer Recurrent Energy, a subsidiary of Canadian Solar."

Next-Generation Utility Programs: How M&V 2.0 is Enabling a “Negawatt” Market

Rocky Mountain Institute, Jan. 29, 2016, by Ellen Franconi.
http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2016_01_29_next_generation_utility_programs

"California’s recently passed Senate Bill (SB) 350 reinforces the state’s reputation as a leader in climate change policy. The bill sets state targets of 50 percent electricity generated by renewables and 50 percent increase in building energy efficiency by 2030. But what may be most remarkable in the bill is the change in how the state evaluates and promotes energy efficiency.  The bill proposes tracking efficiency by actual meter-based savings and authorizing pay-for-performance programs that link incentives directly to those savings."

Yes, Saving Energy is Cheaper than Making Energy

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Environment, Jan. 27, 2016, Annie Gilleo.
http://aceee.org/blog/2016/01/yes-saving-energy-cheaper-making

"Utilities have options when it comes to meeting customer demand for electricity. They can build power plants to convert fossil fuels to energy. They can capture renewable resources like solar and wind. And they can work with residents and businesses to lower demand by implementing energy efficiency programs."

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

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Electricity Markets and Policy Group, 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. In particular, the study evaluates potential societal benefits associated with reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution emissions, and water use."


What Are Transient Loads, and How Do I Reduce the Effect On My Turbines?

Wind Systems, Oct. 2015, by Doug Herr.
http://www.windsystemsmag.com/article/detail/1039/what-are-transient-loads-and-how-do-i-reduce-the-effect-on-my-turbines

"In the wind industry today, there is more discussion than ever on loads in the drivetrain of turbines. A significant amount of work has been done over the past few years to show that transient loads, particularly transient torque reversal loads, are occurring more often than expected. NREL’s Gearbox Reliability Collaborative has discussed transients and developed test cells to better understand the dynamics within the drivetrain."

Pot Power: How Utilities and Regulators are Dealing with the Budding Marijuana Industry

Utility Dive, Nov. 13, 2015, by Gavin Bade.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/pot-power-how-utilities-and-regulators-are-dealing-with-the-budding-mariju/409172/

"Marijuana growing is becoming so mainstream — and is consuming so much energy — that electric utilities and their regulators from coast to coast are sitting up and taking notice."
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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