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Energy Newsbriefs

Articles for April 29, 2013

ENERGY NEWSBRIEFS is a weekly current awareness service provided by the WSU Extension Energy Program Library and written by Angela Santamaria, WSU Energy Library Manager, to assist users in tracking developments in the energy field. To view past issues or to subscribe to receive an email notification of the publication of a new issue, go to the Energy Newsbriefs home.

Please be aware that although every URL is checked for accuracy prior to the publication of Energy Newsbriefs, URLs are, for various reasons, subject to change. Further, servers sometimes fail to connect to working URLs.


"Facebook Lifts the Lid on Its Water, Energy Use" by Heather Clancy, was published April 22, 2013 on the website. The company, working for two years with its Open Compute Project, claims energy reductions of 38% on its newer centers, representing a dollar savings of 25%.


"Top 10 Energy Efficiency Smartphone Apps," by Allyson Schmutter, was published in the March 2013 issue of Efficiency News. The software applications, which are tools to save energy, are listed and described.


Cities Dependent on Air Conditioning Might Be More Sustainable Than We Think" was authored by Emily Badger, Staff Writer, The Atlantic Cities; it was posted on March 28 on that publication's website. There is new research comparing how much energy it takes to keep Miami buildings comfortably cool and Minneapolis buildings comfortably warm. It appears that heating in cold climates requires much more energy than cooling in hot ones. The article is based on a report of the research, "Air Conditioning versus Heating: Climate Control Is More Energy Demanding in Minneapolis Than in Miami," by Michael Sivak, published March 27, 2013.


"High-Performance LED Street Lighting Using Microlens Arrays" is a 10-page paper by scholars from universities in China and Mexico, published April 24, 2013, in the Vo. 21, No. 9, issue of Optics Express. The authors describe and illustrate their design for a lighting module containing a cluster of LEDs. The module would produce concentrated and continuously recycled light where it is needed and with low glare and minimal (2% vs. the current 20%) losses to illumination outside of the intended area.

POLICY - Lighting

"5th Annual 'SYLVANIA Socket Survey' Shows Even Greater Understanding of Lighting Legislation & Less Use of Incandescents" is a February 25, 2013, press release from OSRAM SYLVANIA explaining the survey results. An excellent 5th Annual SYLVANIA SOCKET SURVEY, which was completed by KRC Research for OSRAM SYLVANIA in November 2012 and published February 2013. The full report includes an Executive Summary on PDF-pages three and four.

POLICY – Tribal Energy

"Advancing Energy Development in Indian Country," by Rachel Sullivan of NREL, is a one-page, March 2013, fact sheet from the DOE Office of Indian Energy's START Program (Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team). The START program provides information, technical assistance and training, and financial support to get next-generation energy development off the ground on tribal lands.

"Developing Clean Energy Projects on Tribal Lands: Data and Resources for Tribes" is a 76-page, February 2013, brochure that was written by Rachel Sullivan, Liz Doris, and Shelley Gonzales, all of NREL, for the DOE Office of Indian Energy. It focuses on the potential for various kinds of renewables on Indian lands.

POLICY - Water

"The Water Resources Utility of the Future: A Blueprint for Action" is a 48-page document from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), and the Water Environment Federation (WEF). Water and energy meet as fundamental resources dependent upon one another. An Executive Summary is on document-pages one through three.


"Spring and Summer Energy-Saving Tips" is a Web page from the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office of the U.S. Department of Energy. The site offers many tips for energy savings for the warmer months.


The following two articles were published in the March 2013 issue of Solar Industry:

  1. "Can Solar Be Cheaper Than Gas [in Texas]?" (bottom of page 6) by Jessica Lillian, Editor, Solar Industry, was published in the March 2013 issue of that journal. The answer could be in the affirmative if certain pricing and evaluation practices were followed.
  2. "Solar Module Testing Practices: Future Standards, Current Limitations" was written by Richard Bozicevich, Vice President of Business Development, TŰV Rheinland Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory. Failures of working PV modules are bad for the customer and PV manufacturer alike. Qualifying a product via standard testing would help avoid such failures. The author explains what testing can and cannot accomplish and cites two respected testing programs: NREL's TTF Protocol and the DOE EERE's Thresher Test for Crystalline Silicon PV.


"Efficiency Infrastructure," by Brent Barker, was published in the March-April issue of Public Power Magazine. It traces the long-term efforts of the State of Vermont and its largest city, Burlington, through its Burlington Electric Department (BED) to bring energy growth to a standstill by relying on energy efficiency in lieu of increased generation. BED's success led the Vermont legislature to name it a statewide efficiency utility.

Past issues of Energy Newsbriefs are available here. Generally, subscription information for the journals cited above can be found at the home page of their web sites. © 2013 Washington State University Extension Energy Program. This publication contains material written and produced for public distribution