Bookmark and Share

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.


Irrigation Modernization Program Wins National Award

The Bulletin (Bend, OR), June 21, 2016.

"Eight irrigation districts in Central Oregon are taking part in a water-saving program that recently won a national award. The program seeks to modernize irrigation systems by replacing open canals with piping to keep water from evaporating or leaking while being diverted to farms and ranches."

Energy-Water Nexus Issues Heighten in the Face of Climate Change

ACEEE, Jul 8, 2016, by Steven Nadel.

"ACEEE and many others have noted the importance of the nexus between energy and water issues. Energy is used to move, treat, and heat water. Water is vital for producing energy, such as for cooling electric generating plants. Insufficient water availability can increase energy use for pumping and decrease energy production. Flooding can damage both energy and water systems. And there are many opportunities to promote both energy and water efficiency at the same time."

Forecasting Wind Energy Costs and Cost Drivers: The Views of the World’s Leading Experts

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, June 2016, LBNL-1005717.

"This report summarizes the results of an expert elicitation survey of 163 of the world’s foremost wind energy experts, aimed at better understanding future wind energy costs and potential technology advancement. We specifically sought to gain insight on the possible magnitude of future cost reductions, the sources of those reductions, and the enabling conditions needed to realize continued innovation and lower costs. In implementing what may be the largest single elicitation ever performed on an energy technology in terms of expert participation, we sought to complement other tools for evaluating cost-reduction potential, including learning curves, engineering assessments, and other means of synthesizing expert knowledge."

Energy Trust Names NYSERDA Veteran As New Executive Director

Energy Trust of Oregon, June 7, 2016.

"Energy Trust of Oregon appointed Michael Colgrove as the nonprofit organization’s new executive director. Colgrove will join Energy Trust after 15 years with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority where he was both the director of the New York City office and director of multifamily programs. NYSERDA promotes energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources to reduce customer energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions, while accelerating economic growth."

Farm to Fleets: Manure Helps Chicago Startup Build Natural Gas Network

Chicago Tribune, Mar. 2016, by Ally Marotti.

"Chicago startup AmpCNG launched at a farm in northwest Indiana that converted cow manure to renewable natural gas. Nearly five years later, that manure from Fair Oaks Farm is still a core part of the West Loop-based startup’s business. But its reach has grown. It now owns and operates 19 compressed natural gas, or CNG, stations in eight states, fueling the increasing number of vehicles that operate on the resource."

State & Future of the Power Industry

Public Utilities Fortnightly & Navigant, June 2016.

Special Report: "What is the state and future of the electric utility industry? That’s a broad topic, much discussed and debated. This special report takes a unique approach to getting a handle on our present and where we’re heading."

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Technologies Get Boost Toward Market

Tri-City Herald, Jul 2, 2016.

"The Department of Energy has awarded PNNL in Richland about $4.4 million of a total $12 million given to national laboratories from the Technology Commercialization Fund of DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions. PNNL’s winning projects, all nearing commercialization, include:

▪  A solar system that converts natural gas into hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles.
▪  Making fertilizer from coal fly ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants.
▪  Self-powered acoustic fish-tracking tags for evaluating fish passage at dams.
▪  Material manufacturing techniques to make more durable, longer-lasting components for dams.
▪  A method to join aluminum parts made of different thicknesses and alloys for car manufacturing....and more."

Using Deemed Savings and Technical Reference Manuals for Efficiency Programs and Projects

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, June 27, 2016, by Steven R. Schiller, Jennifer Easler, Chuck Rea, and Tina Jayaweera. (A webinar presentation.)

"Applying well documented stipulated (deemed) values is a common practice for determining the savings from energy efficiency projects and programs and the databases where such deemed values are cataloged are called Technical Reference Manuals (TRMs).  During this webinar, experts will introduce the use of deemed savings, information on setting up and updating TRMs, lessons learned, and resources for state officials. As examples, speakers will discuss the content and development processes used for the Northwest regional TRM and the Iowa state TRM."

Motors: The Proactive Approach To Voltage Unbalance

Engineered Systems, June 2016, by Thomas H. Bishop.

"Once we distinguish voltage unbalance from voltage variation, the need to tackle the issue intelligently becomes even more clear. Learn about common causes and effects, testing for unbalanced voltages and single-phasing, and ways to correct the problem if it does manage to arise."

A Compressed Air Piping System Assessment

Compressed Air Best Practices, June 2016, by Gary Wamsely.

"During an Energy Review at a relatively new health care garment factory, in the Southwest, we found all three of the 100 psig nominally rated rotary screw air compressors were operating at 115-120 psig continuously. We asked the Production Superintendent if this was normal or if something had recently changed. He explained that initially they operated two air compressors but had to begin running the 3rd unit in ‘trim’ mode after some converting machines were up-graded. Then, a new larger converting machine was recently installed and air pressure quickly became a production issue. Since capital funds were tight, the project engineering team determined the third air compressor had sufficient capacity."


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