NewEnergyNews: EFFICIENCY, EFFICIENCY, EFFICIENCY

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The new challenge: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: THE STATE OF THE U.S. WIND INDUSTRY (AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR UTILITIES)
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW SACRAMENTO'S PUBLIC UTILITY IS GETTING IN THE RESIDENTIAL SOLAR BUSINESS
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HAS APS INVENTED A ROOFTOP SOLAR BUSINESS MODEL FOR UTILITIES?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: THE GRID NEEDS INDEPENDENT DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM OPERATORS
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    GET THE DAILY HEADLINES EMAIL: CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR SEND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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    THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW SHOULD UTILITIES VALUE SOLAR?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: IS PUERTO RICO THE NEW POSTER CHILD FOR THE UTILITY DEATH SPIRAL?
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • Weekend Video: Reindeer Stresses
  • Weekend Video: Pink Fracking
  • Weekend Video: Fighting Duke For Solar
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: ARE NATURAL GAS AND RENEWABLES THE FUTURE OF TEXAS' POWER GRID?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: COULD FERC PUT A PRICE ON CARBON?
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: CAN GEOTHERMAL REPLACE FOSSIL FUELS IN THE WEST?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: WHAT THE E3 STUDY OF NEVADA NET ENERGY METERING REALLY SAYS
  • --------------------------

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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

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    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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    Your intrepid reporter

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      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • Monday, April 28, 2008

    EFFICIENCY, EFFICIENCY, EFFICIENCY

    After studying the subject of efficiency, U.S. News & World Report energy writer Marianne Lavelle came to the conclusion that efficiency remains a vital and unappreciated fraction in the New Energy equation. More disturbingly, it is the same vital and unappreciated fraction it has been for more than three decades.

    As Carl Pope pointed out at a recent Sierra Club panel discussion, the U.S. spends billions subsidizing poor people’s heating fuel bills but if the same subsidies were used just ONCE to retrofit those folks' homes it could stop paying for unnecessarily burning fuel over and over.

    Pondering why efficiency remains unappreciated and unrealized, Lavelle suggested several possibilities and came to several conclusions. First, Lavelle realized the same efficiency ideas have been floated so often (insulation, sealing windows and doors) everybody assumes they’ve all been done or are too boring to do. Lavelle: “That's the thing about energy efficiency. We've heard before—time and again—that we could use a lot less electricity—but we keep using more…”

    Second, she realized that new ideas aren’t being developed because not enough research is going into finding them: “If you want a measure of how unexcited the nation is about the idea of saving power, take a look at how we've spent our energy research and development budget…” (A
    new Energy Information Administration (EIA) study on federal energy subsidies finds funds going to efficiency development programs to be one of the smallest sections of the budget.)

    Third, she realized that changing habits means moving entrenched interests: “…it [building efficiency] isn't being done, except by builders who are devoted to "green" construction. As the home builders association explains in my story, the industry would view any mandate as a burden.”

    Perhaps the most disturbing reason efficiency measures don't get implemented came from a Berkeley professor who suggested people just don’t take to change.

    Lavelle came to a different conclusion: “I wonder also if it is just that Americans want…to hear something we haven't heard before. Something…more magical than turning off the lights we're not using or using bulbs that generate more light than heat. Something with a lot less upfront cost than insulation or new windows. Something that's a lot more fun and not heavy lifting…Energy efficiency, conservation—they may work, but they don't make us feel we're solving the problem. Quite the contrary: They make us realize that we're part of the problem. And that's a painful reality that we've been avoiding for 30 years.”


    It's simple and yet it makes all the difference. (click to enlarge)

    Efficiency: The Unloved Solution That Works
    Marianne Lavelle, April 21, 2008 (U.S. News & World Report)

    WHO
    Marianne Lavelle, senior writer, U.S. News & World Report; Lee Schipper, energy efficiency scientist/visiting scholar on transportation sector issues, University of California-Berkeley

    click to enlarge

    WHAT
    In conjunction with U.S. News & World Report stories on efficiency measures for homes and businesses, LaVelle offers thoughts on efficiency – simply reducing consumption of electricity and other fuels – a crucial but overlooked component of the New Energy strategy.

    WHEN
    1978 through 2008: Energy efficiency R&D was 15% of total Energy R&D while nuclear R&D was 41%, fossil fuels R&D was 25% and New Energy was 16%.

    click to enlarge

    WHERE
    Lavelle mentions work done on energy and efficiency at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

    WHY
    - Putting Your Home on an Energy Diet; Simple steps with fast payback can cut family power bills describes managing appliances and structural improvements in the home.
    - Three Ways Businesses Can Save on Power; Factories and offices often waste energy needlessly describes ways to use wasted heat to generate electricity, new multi-speed motors to run pumps, fans and processors and developing landlord-tenant relationships to retrofit inefficient buildings in affordable ways.
    - A Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory efficiency website supports developing best practices.
    - Examples of home efficiencies: Ductwork construction inside the house “envelope” (instead of the attic or crawl space) cuts heating and air conditioning costs 25% to 33%.

    Personal responsibility is always the hardest. (click to enlarge)

    QUOTES
    Lee Schipper, energy efficiency scientist/visiting scholar on transportation sector issues, University of California-Berkeley: "…We've been doing these scenarios and potentials for 35 years. The question is why are we still doing it? There is a fundamentally deep and disturbing opposition to the notion that things can change…"

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