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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.

 


Dynamic Designs With Electrochromic Glass

Environmental Design + Construction (EDC), Oct. 2014, by Derrick Teal.
http://www.edcmag.com/articles/95904-95904-dynamic-designs-with-electrochromic-glass

"An updated take on a technology is helping designers make buildings more comfortable and energy efficient while adhering to cleaner aesthetic."

American-Made Wind Turbine Blades

News Release, Sandia National Laboratories, Sept. 2014.
https://share.sandia.gov/news/resources/news_releases/american_turbine/#.VFv_cmx0wWo

"Sandia National Laboratories is helping makers of wind turbine blades improve the labor productivity associated with blade fabrication and finishing. This improved productivity makes domestic blades more cost competitive with blades from countries that pay workers lower wages. The Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (AMII), a three-year $6.3 million project, brought together researchers from Sandia, Iowa State University, and TPI Composites of Scottsdale, Ariz., which operates a turbine blade factory in Newton, Iowa."

Watts in a Drop of Water: Savings at the Water-Energy Nexus

ACEEE White Paper, Nov. 5, 2014, by Rachel Young. [Free registration required to view full-text.]
http://aceee.org/white-paper/watts-in-drop-water

"This paper shows a range of energy intensities for water and wastewater services and in residential hot and cold water. We draw from existing data to develop national estimates of energy savings associated with water savings, including energy used in water conveyance, water heating, and water and sewage treatment."

Stadiums Tackle Sustainability

Buildings, Oct. 2014, by Christopher Curtland.
http://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/18021/title/stadiums-tackle-sustainability.aspx

"Green sports facilities set an example for other sites." Sustainability & energy efficiency highlights are given for seven stadiums.

7 Fundamentals of Green O&M

Buildings, Oct. 2014, by Jennie Morton.
http://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/18020/title/7-fundamentals-of-green-o-m.aspx

"Opportunities to run your facility in an environmentally conscious manner abound. Everything from product procurement, cleaning, and waste management to water efficiency, landscaping, and daylighting can and should be driven by sustainability. But with tight budgets and competing interests, keeping green at the heart of your operations is challenging. And no matter how eco-friendly your building’s design is, there’s always room for continuous improvement on the O&M side. We’ve found seven key areas that should be part of any green operations plan."

Community Shared Solar: Policy and Regulatory Considerations

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Sep. 2014.
http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy14osti/62367.pdf

"This paper explores the ways in which the shared solar business model interacts with existing policy and regulations, including net metering, tax credits, and securities regulation. It presents some of the barriers that shared solar projects may face, and provides options for creating a supportive policy environment."

Could Reducing Peak Demand 5% Be As Simple As ... Asking?

Utility Dive, Nov. 4, 2014, by Robert Walton.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/could-reducing-peak-demand-5-be-as-simple-as-asking/329102/

"A pilot program completed over the summer turned up this: When utilities asked customers to turn down the thermostat, they did it. Power providers looking to leverage the benefits of demand response face a big challenge—only about 5% of U.S. households participate in demand response programs. There are a variety of reasons, ranging from the time and difficulty in studying and getting demand response programs approved to ratepayer confusion over dynamic pricing. And while more coordinated, price-oriented and opt-in programs will show deeper savings on a per-meter basis, demand response provider Opower's [Michigan] work in so-called "behavioral demand response" is challenging the traditional route to demand response savings."

Your Own Energy “Island”? ORNL Microgrid Could Standardize Small, Self-Sustaining Electric Grids

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oct. 2014, by Katie Jones.
http://www.ornl.gov/ornl/news/features/2014/a47cc734-54f3-4aec-95ba-df1bbbdb25ad

"Microgrids are designed to not only continue power to local units such as neighborhoods, hospitals or industrial parks but also improve energy efficiency and reduce cost when connected to the main grid. Researchers predict an energy future more like a marketplace in which utility customers with access to solar panels, battery packs, plug-in vehicles and other sources of distributed energy can compare energy prices, switch on the best deals and even sell back unused power to utility companies. However, before interested consumers can plug into their own energy islands, researchers at facilities such as ORNL’s Distributed Energy Control and Communication (DECC) lab need to develop tools for controlling a reliable, safe and efficient microgrid."

A Tale of a Poorly Designed [Incentive] Program and Overly Judgmental Evaluators

ACEEE Blog, Nov. 4, 2014, by Steven Nadel.
http://aceee.org/blog/2014/11/tale-poorly-designed-program-and-over

"The E2e project released a working paper recently that evaluates the State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program (SEEARP), funded in 2009 by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In the paper, authors Sebastien Houde and Joseph Aldy find that the SEEARP program provided little economic stimulation or energy savings."

Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities: A Guide to Federal Programs....

U.S. Department of Agriculture and various other organizations, Oct. 2014.
https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=279

"This guide is written for anyone seeking help from federal programs to foster sustainable and innovative initiatives in this country associated with agriculture and forestry. Sustainability is commonly understood to embrace the triple concepts of economic, environmental and social viability. Specifically, the guide provides information about program resources pertaining to economic development, farm loans, insurance and risk management, natural resources conservation and management; nutrition and consumer food access, renewable energy and energy conservation, research and outreach, and value added and marketing innovations."

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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.