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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.

 


Saving on Natatorium Energy Costs with Green Options

The Construction Specifier, Oct. 2014, by Ralph Kittler.
http://www.constructionspecifier.com/saving-on-natatorium-energy-costs-with-green-options/

"When it comes to designing indoor swimming pool facilities, it is critical to ensure not only a healthy interior environment, but also energy efficiency. New technologies can provide both optimal natatorium environmental control and curtail utility consumption when specified."

The Fight Over Solar Moves from Net Metering to Rate Design

Utility Dive, Nov. 3, 2014, by Herman K. Trabish.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/the-fight-over-solar-moves-from-net-metering-to-rate-design/327742/

"Fights over electricity rates are brewing all across the country. Utilities say new rate proposals will protect customers who haven’t moved to solar and energy efficiency. But those who have moved say the proposals only protect utilities." "There are two categories of rate restructuring and rate design changes bubbling up,” explained Environmental Law & Policy Center Sr. Attorney Brad Klein. “The first is to move cost recovery from the variable per-kilowatt-hour charge and increase the monthly fixed charge. The other is to impose a monthly dollars-per-kilowatt charge on owners of distributed generation.”

EnergyIQ™: Action-Oriented Energy Benchmarking

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
http://energyiq.lbl.gov/

"In isolation, benchmarking can inspire action but provides no practical guidance. With sponsorship from the California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program, the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is building the next generation of energy benchmarking methods to address this problem. EnergyIQ—the first "action-oriented" benchmarking tool for non-residential buildings—bridges this gap by providing a standardized opportunity assessment based on benchmarking results, along with decision-support information to help refine action plans."

Vacuum Steam Heating: Past, Present...Future?

District Energy, Fourth Quarter, 2014, by Igor Zhadanovsky.
http://www.districtenergy-digital.org/districtenergy/2014Q4?sub_id=DOwgMT0rNL8TV#pg29

"Every so often, a technology that had been abandoned for a long period of time comes back to life thanks to new developments that make it viable and competitive once again. While it's too early to predict with certainty, this may be the pattern that we see for one of the heating industry's oldest technologies: vacuum steam heating. This article describes the evolution of that technology, its benefits and drawbacks, and a new approach that may make it a cost-effective option in the 21st century.

Preparing for Distributed Generation in the Northwest

Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA) Bulletin, Oct. 2014, by Charlie Black. (open PDF, then scroll or jump to page 26)
http://www.nwppa.org/External/WCPages/WCWebContent/WebContentPage.aspx?ContentID=1928

"In recent years, electric utility customers have begun showing greater interest in distributed generation. Declining costs and expanding availability of on-site electric generating systems, such as roof-mounted solar photovoltaic equipment marketed and installed by third-party service providers, are causing residential and business customers to consider self-supply as an attractive alternative to relying exclusively on centrally generated power delivered via the utility grid."

A Bright Future for Veterans [Armed Forces Retirement Home, DC]

Environmental Design + Construction (EDC), Oct. 2014.
http://www.edcmag.com/articles/95909-95909-a-bright-future-for-veterans

Excellence in Design Winners 2014:
"The AFRH New Commons Health Care Center, The Scott Building, located on the Old Soldier’s Home grounds in Washington, D.C., is a unique space that combines assisted living user needs, campus-wide program requirements, a historic site and environmental considerations into a multiuse facility. The AFRH Campus is home to more than 500 military veterans from all branches of the armed forces."

Future Solar Cost Reductions Hinge on Raising Solar Cell Efficiencies

Solar Industry, Oct. 2014, by Michael Puttre.
http://www.solarindustrymag.com/issues/SI1410/FEAT_01_Future-Solar-Cost-Reductions-Hinge-On-Raising-Solar-Cell-Efficiencies.html

"Lowering the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of solar photovoltaic power is probably the No. 1 issue facing the industry. For most of the last decade, the focus of that effort has been reducing the costs of solar panels."

Efficiency Beyond Design: Energy Codes

Building Operating Management, Oct. 2014, by Greg Zimmerman.
http://www.facilitiesnet.com/energyefficiency/article/Outcomebased-Building-Codes-Could-Be-Industry-Gamechanger--15369?source=FeaturedBOM-10/2014#

"Outcome-based codes offer a new way to bridge the gap between good design and high-performance operations."

A four-part article:
Part 1: New Energy Code Approach Could Be Industry Game-Changer
Part 2: Outcome-Based Energy Codes Link Operations To Design
Part 3: How Would Outcome-Based Energy Codes Be Enforced?
Part 4: With Outcome-Based Codes, Who Is Responsible For Performance During Measurement Period?
Part 5: ICC Votes On Energy Code Compliance For IgCC

Lighting, Electricity, Steel: Energy Efficiency Backfire in Emerging Economies

The Breakthrough, Oct. 6, 2014, by Ted Nordhaus and others.
http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/issues/energy-efficiency/lighting-electricity-steel

"Countries that expect to consume much more energy will likely experience higher levels of energy efficiency rebound, concludes a new Breakthrough report, released today. Rebound is the phenomenon in which energy efficiency measures increase demand for energy, which diminishes expected energy savings. [This report] presents three historical case studies of when energy efficiency rebound occurred: lighting from 1700 to present, electricity generation in 20th century America, and iron and steel production from 1900 onward."

The Rebound Effect and Energy Efficiency Policy

E2e Working Paper 013, Oct. 2014, by Kenneth Gillingham, David Rapson, and Gernot Wagner.
http://e2e.haas.berkeley.edu/pdf/workingpapers/WP013.pdf

"What do we know about the size of the rebound effect? Should we believe claims that energy efficiency improvements lead to an increase in energy use? This paper clarifies what the rebound effect is, and provides a guide for economists and policymakers interested in its magnitude."

About

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.