Green Energy News

Will 2019 Be the Year Building Energy Codes Take the Next Leap Forward? We Hope So.

Efficiency News - Ср., 2019-01-16 19:21

Most observers of energy efficiency policy will squarely and constantly focus their attention on Washington this year as Congress debates infrastructure and climate change and finds a way to resolve the present funding impasse. But while the House and Senate tango, some of the biggest potential energy savings will be determined later this year by a process that begins in Albuquerque and Las Vegas, where stakeholders will debate the next version of America’s model building energy code and culminates with an online vote by Governmental Members of the International Code Council (ICC).

Every three years, thousands of state and local leaders and building code officials, supported by consultants and advocates, spend weeks and weeks reviewing, amending, and adopting proposals that are compiled into comprehensive building codes that set minimum requirements for new buildings and renovations. Among these is the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), which is adopted by most states and local governments to ensure that energy efficiency is “built in” to homes and commercial buildings and delivers decades of lower utility bills. Once developed, thanks to a citation tucked away in federal statute (42 U.S.C. §6933), the latest version of the IECC becomes the basis for federal energy efficiency policy for buildings.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the building sector consumes about 40 percent of all U.S. energy, including a little more that 70% of all electricity, and accounts for about 40 percent of carbon emissions. Building energy codes are needed to help keep these financial and environmental costs under control, which helps explain why the IECC is so important to federal policy and a top priority for the Alliance in 2019. The Department of Energy estimates that building energy codes will save about $126 billion through 2040 and lead to carbon emissions reductions of 841 million metric tons.

About two-thirds of Americans live in a jurisdiction covered by either the current version – the 2018 IECC, which was developed over the course of 2016 – or the 2012 or 2015 editions, which are roughly equivalent in energy efficiency terms. That is good news for sure, but it leaves some room for improvement. It would be better if more states and local governments adopted the latest version of the IECC, which includes thermal envelope improvements and other energy-efficient features. And it would be much better if the 2021 IECC were to provide a boost of energy efficiency and lay the groundwork for a glide path to net-zero energy construction. That last point is the goal of the Energy-Efficient Codes Coalition (EECC).

The Alliance established EECC in 2007 in response to two decades of meager energy efficiency progress in the IECC. EECC and its network of stakeholders and supporters worked hard to secure significant gains (nearly 40 percent cumulative improvement!) in the next two versions (2009 and 2012). Now, once again, after two building energy code cycles with minimal gains, EECC is back to work to change the course of the IECC.

EECC recently launched an update of its website to help spread the good word of building energy codes and provide an online home for resources that code officials will need when they participate in hearings in Albuquerque (April) and Las Vegas (October). And on Monday, EECC submitted more than four dozen proposals to ICC that would boost the energy efficiency of residential and commercial buildings by 10 percent or more starting with the 2021 IECC. One proposal, the first of its kind for EECC, would even require added electrical panel capacity for future installations of electric vehicle (EV) chargers. Between now and 2025, EVs on U.S. roads could increase by 700 percent. The cost of adding chargers to new “EV-ready” homes will be much easier and many times less expensive than extensive retrofits of homes without that extra capacity “built in.”

We have come a long way with the IECC to improve the energy efficiency of our homes and office buildings. But why stop there when there are more cost-effective improvements that will lower utility bills for homeowners for decades to come? The Alliance and EECC are pressing forward to help make the 2021 IECC the best yet.

Construction Set to Begin on Largest Australian Solar Power Plant

Edify Energy and Octopus Investments selected Signal Energy Australia to build the 333-MWdc/275-MWac Darlington Point Solar Plant on 2,000 acres in western New South Wales (NSW), Australia.

World’s Largest Offshore Wind Turbine Prototype To Be Installed In Rotterdam

GE Renewable Energy and Future Wind said this week that they have signed an agreement to install the first Haliade-X 12-MW wind turbine prototype in Maasvlakte-Rotterdam this summer. The deal includes five years of testing and a 15-year full service Operation and Maintenance agreement.

ACEEE Honors Outstanding Utility Energy Efficiency Programs

ACEEE Press Releases - Ср., 2019-01-16 17:15

Washington, D.C.—ACEEE is proud to honor 53 of the United States’ leading energy efficiency programs with the Exemplary Program Award. In a national review, ACEEE selected these programs based on their innovation and effectiveness in helping customers increase energy efficiency in their homes and businesses. The awards accompany ACEEE’s publication, The New Leaders of the Pack: ACEEE’s Fourth National Review of Exemplary Energy Efficiency Programs, which profiles model programs.

“These programs deliver energy savings that not only help customers save money, they also benefit the environment by reducing carbon emissions and other pollutants,” said Martin Kushler, a senior fellow with ACEEE. “Moreover, since these programs save energy at lower costs than other forms of new supply, the whole economy benefits. This is truly a ‘win-win’ situation.”

Seth Nowak, lead author and project manager, said ACEEE conducted this national review to recognize outstanding energy efficiency programs and honor the people and organizations responsible for their success.

The 53 recipients include both electric and natural gas utilities, and span a wide range of program types and technologies. Programs range from low-income residential to strategic energy management for large businesses, and from high efficiency lighting to complete building retrofits.

“What is striking about the results of our review is the large number of high quality programs we found all across the nation,” observed Kushler. “We were able to recognize exemplary programs in 23 different states, which illustrates how widespread the efforts to promote energy efficiency have become.”

The full listing of programs can be found in the report.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors.

The New Leaders of the Pack: ACEEE’s Fourth National Review of Exemplary Energy Efficiency Programs

ACEEE Publications - Ср., 2019-01-16 16:57
Research Report

Seth Nowak, Marty Kushler, and Patti Witte

ACEEE has reviewed exemplary customer-funded electric and natural gas utility programs every five years since 2003. For this edition of the report, we solicited nominations nationally and analyzed them in collaboration with an independent expert advisory panel. We ultimately selected 53 models worthy of emulation in 14 categories. A two-page profile of each exemplary program includes a program-at-a-glance table, features and accomplishments, lessons learned, and a table of performance data.

GE's 12MW Haliade-X due for tests in Rotterdam

Latests news from Windpower Monthly - Ср., 2019-01-16 16:36
The first prototype of the 12MW Haliade-X turbine will be installed in Rotterdam in the Netherlands this summer, manufacturer GE has announced.

2 turbines will not spin again in Falmouth #MA

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Ср., 2019-01-16 14:09
FALMOUTH – The two town-owned wind turbines whose operation bitterly divided the community for years will never spin again in Falmouth. In a vote that put an end to the eight-year turbine debate, four of five selectmen supported a motion at their meeting Monday night not to allow the pair to run within town borders. Selectman Samuel Patterson abstained. Selectman Douglas Jones made the motion. “I have no interest in having these turbines run in Falmouth ever again,” Jones said. Wind . . .

New wind farm eyeing Butte County for potential siting #SD

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Ср., 2019-01-16 14:08
BUTTE COUNTY – A new wind farm company may locate to Butte County north of Newell. Brenda Moore, a general manager with Energiekontor U.S., Inc., spoke to the Butte County Commission Thursday and explained that Energiekontor is an international energy producer that is part of the Energiekontor group of companies present in many countries including Germany, the U.K., France, Portugal, and the Netherlands. According to the company’s website, the group has developed, financed, and constructed nearly 120 utility scale renewables projects . . .

Commission votes against DeWitt County wind farm #IL

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Ср., 2019-01-16 14:01
CLINTON – The developer of a $300 million wind farm in northwestern DeWitt County will present its case to the county Zoning Board of Appeals next month. It will do so, however, without a recommendation from the county Regional Planning Commission. The panel voted 3-1 with two abstentions Tuesday night against a positive recommendation after Lenexa, Kansas-based Tradewind Energy Inc. laid out its case for the first wind farm in DeWitt County. The commission is charged with deciding if a proposed . . .

Opponents of the proposed Golden Plains wind farm raise noise, amenity fears #AUS

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Ср., 2019-01-16 14:01
Plans for the proposed $1.5billion Golden Plains wind farm, Rokewood, will result in winners and losers among local farmers, say primary producers living in the area. The State Government last week approved the WestWind Energy 228 turbine wind farm, although Planning Minister Richard Wynne, reduced the size of the site, to protect threatened native brolgas. While it will take four to six years to build, once signed off by the Federal Government, the wind farm is expected to provide millions . . .

100 percent “green” energy far from feasible #OK

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Ср., 2019-01-16 14:01
Wishing something is so doesn’t make it possible, and nowhere in politics is the gap between aspiration and reality larger than in the push to quickly eliminate fossil fuel use. Some politicians and environmental activists want to require that all U.S. electricity be generated from renewable sources by the 2030s. That would mean replacing an overwhelming majority of current production, which is generated by coal- or natural gas-fired power plants. What would such a transition look like? Robert Bryce, a . . .

Proposed Farmersville law to defend town officials has ‘bad optics’ #NY

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Ср., 2019-01-16 14:01
FARMERSVILLE – Everyone agreed: The optics were not good for a local law to provide a defense for Farmersville town officials and employees, at a time when the town board is considering changes to the town wind law. The public hearing Monday was attended by about 50 residents, most of whom wore green T-shirts with wording that made it clear they were not Alle-Catt Wind Farm supporters. Town Attorney David DiMatteo, who prepared the proposed law, said he recommended the legislation . . .

The risks of ripping out the roots #OH #VA

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Ср., 2019-01-16 14:01
I reside in central Virginia, where I’m raising three sons with firm Ohio roots. I’ve had my eye and ear on the wind turbine projects for some time and was actually, initially, for the idea! In fact, the company trying to move their skyscrapers into Seneca County is based out of the town we currently call home. What a kick in the gut. If I live so far away, why do I care? Why is this important to me? Why . . .

Brown County commissioners hear wind farm concerns from citizens #KS

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Ср., 2019-01-16 14:01
The Brown County commission meeting was held at the Brown County courthouse on Monday, Jan. 14, and was attended by 20 to 25 citizens who voiced their concerns regarding the construction of the Invenergy wind farm project in northwest Brown County. One of those concerned citizens, Ben Swinger of Morrill, was on the meeting’s agenda. Commissioner Keith Olsen informed the crowd that Commissioner Dwight Kruse would not be in attendance at the meeting, and as a result of that there . . .

Don’t blow it: Unregulated wind farms encroach on pristine Texas wilderness #TX

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Ср., 2019-01-16 14:01
The Devils River Conservancy, is spearheading the “Don’t Blow It” campaign to advocate for thoughtful regulation of wind energy development – an industry quickly expanding in rural Texas, largely without rules and with serious negative implications for Texans. While the campaign is in full support of renewable energy solutions, “Don’t Blow It” by placing renewable energy in locations that negatively impact ecologically and culturally sensitive and pristine areas, military operations and border security, as well as the communities that depend on . . .

Discussions on wind energy at county commission meeting #KS

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Ср., 2019-01-16 14:01
Discussion on wind energy dominated Monday morning’s Brown County Commission meeting as several residents spoke about their concerns. Newly elected commissioner, Richard Lehmkuhl, was present, along with Commissioner Keith Olsen. Commissioner Dwight Kruse was not present. Issues with wind energy farms taking up residence has been a concern for both Nemaha and Brown County residents. There was a recent informative meeting at Fairview, where local residents could learn more about the corporations behind bringing wind energy to town, along with . . .

Nemaha County commissioners update public on wind farm proposals #KS

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Ср., 2019-01-16 14:01
After a short executive session by phone with their attorney James Neeld, the Nemaha County Commissioners welcomed public comment during their meeting on Monday, Jan. 14, regarding the wind farm proposals in the Nemaha County. Those present for the meeting were Commissioners Dennis Henry, Tim Burdiek and Gary Scoby, as well as County Clerk Mary Kay Schultejans, two NextEra Energy representatives and multiple members of the public. Scoby said that Nemaha County is still waiting on the footprint and density . . .

Fishermen oppose S. Korea’s first floating wind turbine project

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Ср., 2019-01-16 14:01
SEOUL – South Korea’s first energy project to build a cluster of floating wind power turbines around an offshore gas platform that reached the end of its life boggled at a minority report from fishermen who have opposed the construction of large industrial facilities at their operating zone without a full evaluation of environmental effects. Initially, Ulsan City Mayor Song Chul-ho had proposed a pilot project to build a floating structure with a capacity of 750 kilowatts. If the first turbine . . .

Ford County Board to meet twice in one-week span to discuss wind farms #IL

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Ср., 2019-01-16 14:01
PAXTON – Ford County Board members will meet on the next two Thursdays to continue their work on revising the county’s ordinance regulating wind farms. On Monday night, the board set a zoning committee meeting for 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, in the first-floor courtroom at the courthouse in Paxton. The board also set a special meeting of the entire county board for 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, in the larger, second-floor courtroom. Board members began reviewing the 10-year-old wind-farm ordinance . . .

NextEra says it will file Reno County wind farm application by mid-February #KS

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Ср., 2019-01-16 14:01
An official with NextEra Energy advised the Reno County Commission on Tuesday the company expects to file its application for a conditional use permit for the Pretty Prairie Windfarm by Feb. 15. The company previously indicated it hoped to file the necessary application for the 80-plus turbine farm in the southeast part of the county before the end of last year. Then a week ago, when directly asked by a commissioner, the company wasn’t ready to say when it would . . .
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