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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.

 


Battle of the Kilowatts: Challenge Occupants to Reduce Energy with Games and Competitions

Buildings, July 2014, by Jennie Morton.
http://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/17610/title/battle-of-the-kilowatts.aspx

"The relationship facility managers have with tenants can be a wary one at best, fraught with skirmishes over space heaters, thermostat settings, and light levels. But with the growing impact of plug loads, building owners need to recognize that human behavior can make or break an efficiency program."

Destination: Certification: 6 Steps to Navigate LEED 2009 and v4 for Existing Buildings

Buildings, July 2014, by Janelle Penny.
http://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/17640/title/destination-certification.aspx

"For the next 11 months, your LEED for Existing Buildings certification plans will face a fork in the road. Projects can register under either LEED 2009 or v4 until June 2015, when the field narrows to just v4. So which is best for your facility? Whichever path you’re on, it’s vital that you chart smart. Consider these six steps to lay out the best route to certification success."

USDA, DOE and EPA Release Biogas Opportunities Roadmap

Biomass Magazine, Aug. 2014, by Erin Voegele.
http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/10761/usda-doe-and-epa-release-biogas-opportunities-roadmap

"The USDA has published its Biogas Opportunities Roadmap, a document that builds on progress made to date to identify voluntary actions that can be taken to reduce methane emissions through the use of biogas systems. It outlines strategies to overcome barriers limiting further expansion and development of a robust biogas industry in the U.S. The USDA also noted that the roadmap supports the U.S. dairy industry’s 2008 goal to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25 percent by 2020."

Understanding Renewable Energy Feed-in-Tariffs

North American Clean Energy, Jul/Aug 2014, by Justin R. Boose & Samantha Leavitt. (Scroll to page 8.)
http://www.nacleanenergy.com/magazine/julaug_2014/index.html

"One promising approach to encouraging the production of renewable energy has been the implementation of feed-in-tariff (FIT) programs. A FIT is a mechanism whereby utilities make purchases from a generator--typically at fixed prices and under long-term contracts. Such programs help create a stable market for renewable energy investment by providing certainty regarding the terms and conditions for interconnection and the sale of power."

Pass the Mustard: Why Carinata is Taking Root as Biofuel

North American Clean Energy, Jul/Aug 2014, by Don Konantz.
http://www.nacleanenergy.com/articles/18236/pass-the-mustard-why-carinata-is-taking-root-as-biofuel

"This new kid on the biofuel block taking root is the carinata seed. Carinata is a leafy plant, originating in Ethiopia. Also referred to as Ethiopian mustard and Abyssinian mustard, it produces oil seeds that can be (and have been) used as a biofuel, which mimic the attributes of its petroleum-derived counterpart. The oil seeds also work in ground and air transportation engines, and without engine modifications or blending. To date, carinata has demonstrated agronomic success across 60 commercial sites and farms in the Canadian and the US prairies."

Germany, Italy, EU, China, and France Top Global Energy Efficiency Rankings

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) Press Release, July 17, 2014, by Ailis Aaron Wolf.
http://www.aceee.org/press/2014/07/germany-italy-eu-china-and-france-to

"Now in its second edition, the ACEEE report, The International Energy Efficiency Scorecard,  (http://aceee.org/portal/national-policy/international-scorecard) finds that, while some countries are still significantly outperforming others, there are substantial opportunities for improved energy efficiency in all economies analyzed, including the U.S., which ranked 13th out of 16 nations – behind countries such as China, Canada, and India."

Improving the Smart Grid: By Using ACCC Conductor

North American Clean Energy, Jul/Aug 2014, by D.C. Bryant.
http://www.nacleanenergy.com/articles/18221/improving-the-smart-grid-by-using-accc-conductor

"In the attempt to modernize transmission infrastructure, it’s important to re-consider the capacity, efficiency, and reliability of the conductors used in the Smart Grid. It’s worth recalling past experiences, and the lessons that underscore the significance of conductor sag, along with the limitations of computers and telemetry devices during peak demand periods, N-1 conditions, and other emergency conditions.

How Sweet It Is: New Tool for Characterizing Plant Sugar Transporters Developed at Joint BioEnergy Institute

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory News Release, July 28, 2014, by Lynn Yarris.
http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2014/07/28/new-tool-for-characterizing-plant-sugar-transporters-developed-at-joint-bioenergy-institute/

"A powerful new tool that can help advance the genetic engineering of “fuel” crops for clean, green and renewable bioenergy, has been developed by researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), a multi-institutional partnership led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The JBEI researchers have developed an assay that enables scientists to identify and characterize the function of nucleotide sugar transporters, critical components in the biosynthesis of plant cell walls."

No Excuses for Not Using Energy Star

Building Operating Management, July 2014, by Angela Maas.
http://www.facilitiesnet.com/energyefficiency/article/Misconceptions-About-Energy-Star-Can-Prevent-Facility-Managers-From-Seeing-Its-Benefits--15125

"What facility manager doesn't know about Energy Star? The program is now in its 20th year, and more than 20,000 facilities carry Energy Star certification. But as well known as Energy Star may be, more than a few facility managers have misconceptions about the program, which may be preventing them from taking advantage of resources that will help them to use less energy and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions."

Reducing Costs of Residential Solar PV: Through Module & Hardware Innovations

North American Clean Energy, Jul/Aug 2014, by Tom Hood & Sicco W.T. Westra.
http://www.nacleanenergy.com/articles/18223/reducing-costs-of-residential-solar-pv-through-module-hardware-innovations

"To make life easier for solar system owners, several companies are working to lower BoS [Balance-of-System] costs and simplify racking designs and installation efficiencies. For instance, cost-competitive, roof-mounting brackets are one option now available to installers that can accommodate different types of rail supports for solar modules. Support rails with built-in wire clips are another example of a simplified BoS design, which lowers the cost of hardware and installation by five to ten percent."

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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.