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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


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."

Undergrounding Gains Ground

Public Power, Jul/Aug 2014, by Brent Barker.
http://www.publicpower.org/Media/magazine/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=41392

"After every storm that leaves the overhead electric distribution system in shambles, the inevitable question arises: “Why not put it underground?” The fervor usually cools once the parties begin to look at costs. Undergrounding remains an expensive proposition—about three to five times the cost of overhead."

Banking Water for Power

Public Power, Jul/Aug 2014, by Alice Clamp.
http://www.publicpower.org/Media/magazine/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=41566

"Public utilities often provide water service to their customers as well as electrical service. And many of them have noteworthy water conservation programs to manage cyclical variations in supply. Utilities are also banking and recycling water used in power plants to realize greater operational efficiencies."

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."

The Value of the Integrated Grid

Electric Perspectives, May/Jun 2014, by Michael W. Howard.
http://mydigimag.rrd.com/publication/frame.php?i=207808&p=38&pn=&ver=flex

"EPRI's recent report on the future of the electric power system highlights the need to integrate distributed energy resources with the planning and operation of the grid."

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

David Crane and the Coming Electric Utility Apocalypse

Power Magazine, May 2014, by Kennedy Maize.
http://www.powermag.com/david-crane-and-the-coming-electric-utility-apocalypse/

"The hyperbole in the headline comes not from the author but from those nipping at the heels of the traditional electric utility industry. Hyperbole aside, several recent and likely future developments have set the stage for a new set of industry players" such as net-metering, distributed generation, demand-side management, government incentives, etc.

Coal is Going, Going... Gone?

Utility Dive, Apr. 24, 2014, by Claire Cameron.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/coal-is-going-going-gone/253641/

"Coal power was the backbone of American industry for the last 100 years. But by 2020, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that about 60 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired capacity will be retired. That's 6.2% of all U.S. capacity, according to calculations based on NERC data."

Amory's Angle: Ramping Up Renewable Electricity

Rocky Mountain Institute, Winter 2014, by Amory B. Lovins.
http://www.rmi.org/winter_2014_esj_ramping_up_renewable_electricity

"Many people in the electricity industry long thought that the two renewable sources of electricity that vary widely over time—windpower and solar photovoltaics (PVs) —could provide only a few percent of total generation without endangering reliability. Those who still believe this now face increasingly severe reality tests.

As we’ll see, Germany and other countries are successfully powering their grids with astonishingly high fractions of renewable generation by combining five techniques: a) leveraging diverse generation sources across interconnected regional and national grids, b) improving renewables’ forecasting and predictability, c) integrating dispatchable renewables, d) adding distributed storage, and e) leveraging demand response."



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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

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

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