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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.

 


Energy Management Systems: Using EMS to Support Distributed Energy Resources

Distributed Energy, Mar/Apr. 2017, by Carol Brzozowski.
http://foresternetwork.com/distributed-energy-magazine/be-energy/ems/energy-management-systems-2/

"Today’s energy management systems are not only about day-to-day control and management, “but the big opportunity for customers is to use them to manage variability and to understand where the energy dollars are going within the enterprise so that when they do get squeezed, they know where to look,” says [Greg] Turner. Honeywell Business Solutions offers turnkey energy performance contracting installation and service conditioning hardware, software, and services designed to help end-users manage the energy risk and variability...."

Flat Rates & Permitting Issues Undermine Residential Solar-Plus-Storage Market

Microgrid Knowledge, Mar. 31, 2017, by Lisa Cohn.
http://microgridknowledge.com/solar-plus-storage-barriers/

"Flat utility rates, permitting issues, and ambiguous or nonexistent incentives are undermining the residential solar-plus-storage market, according to a new analysis. The report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Rocky Mountain Institute, and the US Department of Energy also analyzes the prices of solar PV-plus-storage and describes hard-to-quantify benefits. It concludes that “gaps remain” in understanding and communicating costs and value. 'Installed Cost Benchmarks and Deployment Barriers for Residential Solar Photovoltaics with Energy Storage: Q1 2016' names permitting challenges as one of the major obstacles to increased deployment of solar-plus-storage."

Smart Manufacturing Improves Energy Efficiency

American Machinist, Apr. 12, 2017, by Megan Ray Nichols.
http://americanmachinist.com/automation/smart-manufacturing-improves-energy-efficiency

"Most of us understand how Smart Manufacturing can improve operational efficiency across the board. What many manufacturers don't consider is the resulting improvement in energy efficiency that also can be achieved. Not only is this next-gen approach to production planning and execution leading to heightened productivity and output, but it's also paving the way for “greener” operations in the near future."

[CEE] Report: Efficiency, Demand Response Spending Continues to Rise, Nears $9B

Utility Dive, Apr. 5, 2017, by Robert Walton.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/report-efficiency-demand-response-spending-continues-to-rise-nears-9b/439566/

"Utilities continue to recognize the value of conservation and are spending more than ever on demand side management programs, with the bulk of that going into energy efficiency, according to a new report from the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE). [Their] 11th Annual Industry Report finds energy efficiency and demand response program spending reached $8.7 billion in 2015, up 1% from 2014 levels. About 15% of the spending went towards natural gas programs, with the remainder on the electric side."

Renewable Energy and Microgrids Offer Colleges a Path to Cutting Carbon: Report

Microgrid Knowledge, Mar. 27, 2017, by Lisa Cohn.
http://microgridknowledge.com/renewable-energy-and-microgrids-report/

"It’s no secret that colleges and universities are some of the biggest microgrid users. But a new report says we should see more renewable energy and microgrids at these institutions. The report, from Environment America Research & Policy Center, 'Renewable Energy 100: The Course to a Carbon-Free Campus,' says that the shift to 100 percent renewable energy can be led by colleges and universities eager to become carbon neutral."

The Top 5 States for Utility Grid Modernization and Business Model Reform

Utility Dive, Apr. 3, 2017, by Krysti Shallenberger.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/the-top-5-states-for-utility-grid-modernization-and-business-model-reform/439550/

"From expansive sector redesigns to step-by-step DER [Distributed Energy Resources] dockets, states across the nation are rethinking grid operations and revenues"

Motor Control Centers Enhance Smart Pumping Systems

Pumps & Systems, Mar. 2017, by Glynn Newby.
http://www.pumpsandsystems.com/motors-instrumentationcontrols/march-2017-motor-control-centers-enhance-smart-pumping-systems

"Modern motor control technologies have surfaced that address evolving smart pumping system requirements. They protect pumping systems by simultaneously providing a new level of diagnostics, energy awareness and control, as well as by enhancing operator safety."

Legal-Weed Buzz Fades For Utilities

Bloomberg News, Mar. 30, 2017, by Chris Martin.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-30/a-buzzkill-for-utilities-high-on-hope-for-legal-weed-power-surge

"With local restrictions on marijuana easing across the U.S., power suppliers from California to Maine were expecting a little buzz of their own from newly legitimate pot farmers. After all, a 5,000-square-foot warehouse filled with hydroponic growing systems can draw five times the electricity of a typical industrial user. But after an initial jolt in electricity use, when western states began legalizing marijuana cultivation and sales, demand has fallen off in some areas, according to utilities and analysts."

Smart Manufacturing Must Embrace Big Data

Nature Comment, Apr. 5, 2017, by Andrew Kusiak.
http://www.nature.com/news/smart-manufacturing-must-embrace-big-data-1.21760

"Study and model industrial processes to save money, energy and materials, urges Andrew Kusiak."


Why Rate Design Matters for Energy Efficiency

ACEEE Blog, Mar. 22, 2017, by Brendon Baatz.
http://aceee.org/blog/2017/03/why-rate-design-matters-energy

"Today, most American households pay for electric service via a two-part electric rate. This typically consists of a small, fixed customer charge ($ per month) and an energy rate applied per unit of electricity ($ per kilowatt hour). There are some variations on this model, including energy rates that vary based on time of day or total monthly consumption, but the basic structure of residential rates hasn’t changed much over time. In recent years, utilities have proposed significant departures to this format to address the changing dynamics of the electric utility industry."

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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