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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.


PV Modules Update & Trends

Home Power, Sep./Oct. 2015, by Justine Sanchez.

"Now that solar technology is cropping up on rooftops across the country, you might be finding your friends and neighbors looking for more information about this “new” industry. Here are some current solar industry statistics and PV module trends for those increasingly common over-the-fence conversations."

New Standard Bridges the Gap in Commissioning [Windpower]

North American Windpower, Sep. 2015, by Ron Widup.

"A new electrical standard defines expectations and performance during wind farm commissioning." ANSI/NETA ECS-2015 Standard for Electrical Commissioning Specifications for Electrical Power Equipment and Systems (NETA ECS)

Alumni Help Make Strategic Energy Management Stronger Than Ever [Energy Trust of Oregon]

The Champion, Energy Trust of Oregon, Fall 2015.

"More than 140 Oregon manufacturing companies have found Strategic Energy Management, SEM, to be a proven way to reduce energy intensity—and energy costs—at their industrial facilities. SEM brings together individuals from different companies to meet with Energy Trust coaches over the course of a year to develop skills that achieve long-term energy savings. Learn more about the new Core SEM cohorts forming for 2016.

Organic Rankine Cycle Systems - The Latest Innovative Approach to Geothermal Energy

North American Clean Energy, Sep./Oct. 2015, by Anthony Hinde.

"With the worldwide hunt for new sources of green energy, it becomes practical to create electrical energy from geothermal sources at much lower temperatures than previously envisaged. Today, Independent power producers (IPP’s) in the USA, Turkey, Latin America, and Southeast Asia are developing thousands of MW from resources at maximum 200°C (392°F) bottom hole temperature. The main technology used for the exploitation of these lower temperature geothermal sources is the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC), a binary cycle with organic fluid. The ORC system has proven to be the best power generating solution when the enthalpy level of the heat source is low."

WSU to Help Improve Cyber Security in Energy Delivery

WSU News, Oct. 12, 2015, by Tina Hilding.

"Washington State University will participate in a new, five-year $28.1 million U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) initiative to improve computer/communication networks for energy delivery systems like power grids and pipelines."

Unlikely Bedfellows: Unlocking Wind Microgrids with Fossil Fuels

North American Clean Energy, Sep./Oct. 2015, by Marc Hoffman.

"With advancements in the renewable microgrid platform, there’s good news on the horizon: two unlikely bedfellows—wind and fossil fuels—can make beautiful music together after all."

New Horizons for Energy Efficiency: Major Opportunities to Reach Higher Electricity Savings by 2030

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Sep. 2015, by Dan York, and others.

"Higher equipment standards and more stringent building codes are squeezing the amount of savings that energy efficiency programs can harvest. No single measure will yield a dominant share of energy savings for utility program portfolios, as have lighting programs in the past. This report examines the next large opportunities for energy efficiency savings. It analyzes 18 measures—including reduction of plug loads, conservation voltage reduction, and smart manufacturing—that could collectively save 22% of total projected electricity use in the year 2030."

Compare and Save With Web-Based Energy Efficiency Tool [Utilities]

Public Power, Sep./Oct. 2015, by Alex Hofmann.

"...The American Public Power Association and Large Public Power Council have partnered to create a web-based tool that allows utilities to compare themselves to their peers. The tool takes data from the Energy Information Administration Form 861 and outputs it in a digestible, comparable format. Users can filter, sort, compare, benchmark and analyze the data much more easily than if they were to download the spreadsheet file of EIA data and try to reach conclusions on their own — the tool does the work. It generates customizable peer comparison charts by geography, ownership type, size, year-over-year, and other options. The charts address a range of energy efficiency indicators such as energy savings, potential demand reduction, and spending."

Supermarkets: A Bellwether of Industry Changes

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, Sep. 7, 2015, by Ron Rajecki.

"Supermarkets and their needs will always be one of the front-and-center elements of the HVACR industry. These high-profile businesses operate long hours, use large amounts of energy, and have tens of thousands of dollars in perishable product that needs refrigeration 24/7. Trends in supermarkets can often provide insights into changes to come for the rest of the commercial refrigeration world, and — as is the case industry-wide — refrigerants are on the minds of many in the supermarket sector."

Energy Storage Fast Facts

enerG, Jul./Aug. 2015.

"Devices that can store energy for use at a later time have developed
rapidly to meet the rising requirements for energy. The U.S. is on the cusp of a breakout year for energy storage. The U.S. energy storage market is forecast to grow 250 percent in 2015, according to the inaugural U.S. Energy Storage Monitor report from GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association (ESA)."


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