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Energy Newsbriefs

Articles for July 8, 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.


"The Science behind Virtual Energy Audits Versus Traditional Audits" was co-written by Hugh Gaasch and Chris Muth, both of Retroefficiency; it was posted on the Greentech Media website on May 15, 2013. It explains how virtual audits are conducted and with what kinds of data. The article refers to two other recent ones posted on the same website: "Why Virtual Energy Audits Don’t Go Far Enough" (by Jeff Beck) and "Intelligent Efficiency: Innovations Reshaping the Energy Efficiency Market" (by Stephen Lacey).


The following four articles were published in the May/June 2013 issue of Biodiesel Magazine:

  1. "The Algae Farmer" is the text of an interview with James Umen, an algae researcher at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis; the interviewer was Melanie Bernds, PR Manager at Danforth. There is discussion of algae diesel supplementing or replacing petro diesel fuel, of algae needing more water than land crops, of tax incentives having an important effect on the biofuels sector, and more.
  2. "The Distillers Corn Oil Craze," by Ron Kotrba, Editor, Biodiesel Magazine, reviews some of the advantages of distillers corn oil (DCO) over yellow grease and used cooking oil as biofuels, but cautions biodiesel producers that there are other things just as important to consider.
  3. "German Biodiesel Quality: 2012 AGQM Survey," by Juergen Fischer, Chairman of the Board, AGQM, (the German Quality Management Association for Biodiesel) reports that the quality of Germany's biodiesel compares favorably with that of fuels that meet the European Standard (EN 14214) or the more stringent German version of that standard (DIN EN 14214).
  4. "The New World of Biodiesel Feedstocks," by Nate Burk, Risk Management Consultant, FCStone LLC, is a discussion of where prices are headed for feedstocks such as soybean oil and fats and greases and which feedstocks will be likely to be in enough supply to fill the growing need in biodiesel production.


"Lessons in Sustainability," by Tom O'Neil, AIA, LEED AP, is a case study, published in the July-August 2013 issue of Solar Today, of the new Fireside Elementary School in Phoenix which is a near-net-zero energy and water facility. It generates energy with efficiencies, conservation, and solar, and it generates water through efficiencies, conservation, and the harvesting of rainwater. The article includes a sidebar, "Predicted Energy Consumption," that explains the use of Sankey energy diagrams that help readers visualize energy usage more easily than traditional pie charts.


"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.


"Optimized Wind Farm Operation and Maintenance" was written by Robert Bergqvist, Vice President of Sales And Marketing, UpWind Solutions, Inc.; it was published in the May 2013 issue of Wind Systems. The wind-farm owner has to decide whether to rely on vendors (the supply chain) for O&M products and services or to try to handle O&M in-house. The former requires scrutiny of vendors and the quality and reliability of what they provide. The latter necessitates broadening the business into what may be quite unfamiliar territory. The author provides insights about both and offers suggestions for getting the most out of each.

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