Weekend Reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

August 21, 2021

Weekend Reads: The Growing Influence of EVs; Using Energy Storage to Make Scottish Whisky

It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web.

Banding Together: How Aggregation Helps Cities Buy Renewables At Scale (CleanTechnica) In March 2021, 24 local governments in Maryland joined together on a plan to purchase enough renewable energy to power more than 246,000 homes a year. They did this by issuing a joint request for proposal (RFP) through the Baltimore Regional Cooperative Purchasing Committee (BRCPC) to seek a supply of up to 240,000 MWh of renewable energy starting in 2022. This large-scale transaction was made possible by an energy procurement approach known as energy aggregation, which is a way for two or more buyers to purchase electricity from a utility-scale generation facility.

One in 10 London offices are at risk of becoming ‘obsolete’ under new energy rules (CNBC) About 10% of London offices could soon become unusable when new rules on energy efficiency are implemented, according to an analysis from a leading real estate company. Under the new standards, set to be introduced in 2023, buildings in England and Wales with an energy efficiency rating lower than ‘E’ will not be able to close new leasings. The upcoming measures come as part of broader government efforts toward carbon neutrality. The lowest energy efficiency rating is set at ‘G,’ the least efficient, to ‘A,’ the most efficient.

Webinar: Making the Juice Worth the Squeeze: Expanding the Reach and Cash Value of your DERs. (Voltus) Wednesday, August 25, 2021. 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time. It’s a great time to own distributed energy resources (DERs). Flexible load, distributed generation, energy storage, and even energy efficiency can be offered into electricity markets in exchange for cash payments and savings. How, though, do you know if you’re actually squeezing every penny out of your DERs? Join Todd Krause, Voltus SVP of Sales, to see how you stack up. Todd will unveil the maximum value of a DER megawatt in each of the nine North American electricity markets and show participants how to unlock that value. Special guest Jon Wellinghoff, former FERC Chairman and Voltus Chief Regulatory Officer, will also give attendees an update on how regulatory changes may open up new markets and program opportunities to energy consumers in the years ahead. REGISTER HERE

The EV bandwagon is growing (Grist) Last week, an unusual assortment of environmental groups and organizations representing organized labor, utilities, and automakers unveiled the National EV Charging Initiative, a partnership whose goal is to rapidly build electric vehicle charging stations across the country. The initiative’s 24 members include the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, a labor union, as well as environmental organizations like the Sierra Club and GreenLatinos. Car companies are involved via the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents companies like BMW, Ford, and Toyota. Utilities have a seat at the table, too, with the Edison Electric Institute representing all of the country’s investor-owned electric utilities.

The US power sector is halfway to net zero emissions, but it gets harder now, analysts say (Utility Dive) The U.S. power sector's significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation over the past 15 years is an indication of what bolder efforts can be achieved by other economic sectors. But reaching economy-wide net zero carbon emissions comes with costs, challenges and uncertainties, researchers, power system analysts, utilities and the business sector agree. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from electricity generation in 2020 were about half the projections made in 2005 and 40% below actual 2005 levels, according to a Department of Energy (DOE) April 2021 study. But economy-wide net zero emissions (NZE) by 2050 will require a transition to electrification and clean energy for transportation, building, and various industrial sectors at unprecedented scale and speed, along with support from still-unproven or even undiscovered technologies to eliminate or offset all CO2, other studies and private sector observers said.

Whisky distilleries urged to use energy storage, Scots study finds (The National) Distilleries of all sizes should combine renewable energy with some form of heat or electrical energy storage, according to a new Scottish study. Whisky is one of the most energy-intensive products in the food and drink production sector – it uses seven times more energy than gin to make. The industry has made progress towards cutting its carbon footprint. By 2018, over 20% of the industry’s energy use came from non-fossil fuels, compared to under 3% in 2008. But a new report from Heriot-Watt University shows that distilleries must combine renewable energy generation with heat or electrical storage or electrical storage to get closer to net zero targets. The research was funded through the UK Government’s Greener Distilleries funding scheme.

Keywords: Weekend reads

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