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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.


Stanford University's "Fourth-Generation" District Energy System

District Energy, 4th Quarter 2016, by Joseph C. Stagner.

"In 1987 Stanford took a giant step forward in efficiency and environmental stewardship with the installation of a 50 MW natural gas-fired cogeneration plant to provide electricity, steam and chilled water for its campus. Three decades later, the Cardinal Cogeneration plant has been replaced by the new $468 million Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI) project...."

Energy Storage as a Power Resource

Northwest Power and Conservation Council, Oct. 17, 2016, by John Harrison.

"As renewable energy, primarily wind and solar power, proliferates across the Northwest and increases our supply of low-cost, carbon-free energy, there also is a growing need to store energy so it can be released into the regional power grid when renewable generation declines, as when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. Consequently, research and development is focused on promising, utility-scale storage devices and also on identifying and resolving regulatory issues so that storage, like renewable energy, can proliferate. While there is progress, technological and policy hurdles remain, a panel of energy storage experts told the Council at a recent meeting."

Impacts of Model Building Energy Codes: Public Review Draft

Pacific Northwest National Lab, Oct. 2016, PNNL-25611.

"The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program (BECP) periodically evaluates national and state-level impacts associated with energy codes in residential and commercial buildings. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), funded by DOE, conducted an assessment of the prospective impacts of national model building energy codes from 2010 through 2040. This report describes the methodology used for the assessment and presents the impacts in terms of energy savings, consumer cost savings, and  reduced CO emissions at the state level and at aggregated levels. "

New Report: Geothermal Power Market Showing Strong Growth

International District Energy Association, Oct. 14, 2016.

"A new report by the US Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) projects sustained strong growth for geothermal power through 2016. The “2016 Annual U.S. & Global Geothermal Power Production Report” forecasts that projects now under development when completed would increase capacity outside the U.S. by 25%."

2016 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard

ACEEE, Sept. 26, 2016.

"This tenth edition of the State Energy Efficiency Scorecard measures the progress of state policies and programs that save energy while also benefiting the environment and promoting growth. We use data vetted by state energy officials to rank states in six categories—utility programs, transportation, building energy codes, combined heat and power, state initiatives, and appliance standards."

Estimating Renewable Energy Economic Potential in the United States: Methodology and Initial Results

National Renewable Energy Lab, Aug. 2016 [NREL/TP-6A20-64503].

"This report describes a geospatial analysis method to estimate the economic potential of several renewable resources available for electricity generation in the United States."

What Are Microgrids, and Should Utilities Be Afraid of Them?

Solar Industry, Oct. 2016, by Geoff Sparrow.

"The emerging technology could serve as an asset for grid modernization and the transition to cleaner power."

Liftoff for Drones: New Law Frees Co-ops To Begin Operational Drone Use

Rural Electric Magazine, Sept. 2016, by John Vanvig.

"With technological constraints and regulatory uncertainties slowing their takeoff, utility UAS use has languished. But thanks to a recently signed federal law allowing their use by utilities, rapid advances in range and data-handling capabilities, and the public’s becoming more comfortable with UAS presence, experts expect UAS deployments to soar."

Looking North for Solutions [Canadian Windpower]

Wind Systems Magazine, Sept. 2016, by Jean François Nolet.

"For years, Canada’s wind-energy industry has had the potential to expand its market through exports to the United States, but it is only now — bolstered by a perfect storm of supply-and-demand drivers — that the opportunity is finally becoming concrete."

New NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center Led by WPI Aims to Dramatically Reduce Energy and Water Use by Improving Industrial Drying

Worcester Polytechnic Institute News, Oct. 4, 2016.

"Funded by the National Science Foundation, the new center will attack one of the most energy-intensive processes [industrial drying] in manufacturing; its research could help save 200 trillion BTUs of energy in United States each year."


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