Commercial, Demand Management, Energy Efficiency, Energy Procurement, Power Prices, Regulation, Distributed Generation, Regulation, Solar  -  August 27, 2016

Weekend reads: Cannabis and LEDs; a gasoline-powered car ban; DOE program under fire & more

Every Saturday, we'll bring you five most interesting — or quirky; it is the weekend after all — energy stories from the prior week that you may have missed from around the web. This weekend's reads:

Using LED Lighting Tech in Commercial Grows (Cannabis Now): Indoor-grown marijuana is an energy-hungry leviathan. A national study released by the U.S. Department of Energy reports that a full one percent of the U.S. electric grid is now dedicated to growing cannabis. Equivalent to the energy output of 1.7 million American homes (and counting) the emerging industry is putting a significant strain on the national power grid and is the country’s most energy-intensive crop at a cost of nearly $6 billion annually.

Will Paul Ryan Reprise Newt Gingrich on Energy Efficiency? (RealClearEnergy): As we approach November 8, a bill to abolish the appliance efficiency programs at the U.S. Department of Energy illustrates that congressional candidates, including their party leaderships, need close scrutiny during this election season. It's not just presidents who make energy policy. The bill this year would eliminate efficiency standards for appliances ranging from refrigerators to light bulbs and goes even further to end similar efforts at the state-level.

Rejoice, Elon Musk: The Netherlands is considering a ban on selling gas-powered cars from 2025 (Quartz): Gasoline-powered cars may soon be a thing of the past. But the Netherlands wants to get there quicker. The Dutch government is debating the possibility of banning new gas and diesel cars from 2025. The initial proposal, which was brought forward by the Labor Party, called for an outright ban of all petrol and diesel cars, but was eventually modified so the ban only affected the sale of new petrol and diesel cars. Traditional cars already in use will still run on the streets.

How Producing Clean Power Turned Out to Be a Messy Business (The New York Times): On the edge of a bucolic field in Princeton, N.J., an eco-friendly office building recently opened its doors. Plants festoon the roof, a living wall is planned for the lobby, and rainwater storage tanks supply the building's needs. In the parking lot there are wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations. It is the picture of a sustainable future, one in which society's insatiable demand for electricity can be met without polluting the planet.

House Examines DOE Solar Funding for Anti-Lobbying Violations (Bloomberg BNA): Two renewable energy groups and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz are reviewing letters sent by a House committee asking whether they used Energy Department funding to lobby for state subsidies for rooftop solar projects, which could violate anti-lobbying law. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sent letters Aug. 16 to the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, a nonprofit organization focused on accelerating renewable energy, and Clean Energy States Alliance, a nonprofit coalition of organizations focused on advancing clean energy.

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