Weekend reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

Demand Management, Energy Efficiency, Solar, Wind  -  July 14, 2018

Weekend reads: Energy efficiency of the future; Leading the EV charge

It's the weekend! Kick back and relax with these must-read energy stories from around the web:


How Prefabrication, Connectivity, Software Will Improve The Future Energy Efficiency Of Buildings (Biz Now) Buildings have huge impacts on our environment. A U.S. Energy Information Administration report reveals 47.6% of all energy produced in the U.S. — and 75% of all the electricity produced — is consumed by buildings. As a result of that energy consumption, buildings account for nearly half — 44.6% — of all CO2 emissions in the U.S. If the country is interested in reducing its impact on the environment, buildings will have to be a heavy focus, but there is a disconnect in the real estate industry.

DER and the Role of Aggregated Demand Management (Forbes)  The California investor-owned utilities—Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric—recently concluded the latest Demand Response Auction Mechanism (DRAM) for 2019. DRAM bidders include traditional demand response (DR) aggregators, energy storage vendors, and EV charging providers. DR aggregators have been enrolling commercial and industrial (C&I) customers in DR programs for 2 decades. The business model is mature and customers are comfortable with their benefits and responsibilities. 

Electric Vehicles: Automakers Are Ahead of the Customer (Real Clear Energy)  In coming years, automakers will unveil dozens of new electric vehicle (EV) models. Ford alone recently announced that it is investing $11 billion in EV development. A glance at automakers’ EV investments worldwide is revealing: $19 billion in the United States, $21 billion in China, and $52 billion in Germany. Clearly, these seasoned companies do not doubt the future EV market as many cities and countries around the world begin phasing-out the conventional internal combustion engine. It has been challenging, however, to educate and increase awareness of EV benefits to drivers. And as a result, automakers are currently ahead of the customer.

Wind and solar are called clean for a reason (The Hill)  Fossil fuel proponents may claim that even renewables or “clean energy” have harmful impacts on the environment to justify continued drilling and mining — but that’s not the whole truth. Here’s the reality — all forms of energy production, and really any form of human development, can have impacts. But renewables like wind and solar are called clean for a reason. Their impacts are many times smaller than those of other energy sources.  Scott Tinker’s recent commentary in The Hill arguing the environment damage renewable cause contains outdated and incorrect information about renewable energy.

Why bitcoin uses so much energy (The Economist)  BITCOIN has been alarming people for years because of the amount of electricity needed to mint new virtual coinage. Alex de Vries, a bitcoin specialist at PwC, estimates that the current global power consumption for the servers that run bitcoin’s software is a minimum of 2.55 gigawatts (GW), which amounts to energy consumption of 22 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year—almost the same as Ireland. Google, by comparison, used 5.7 TWh worldwide in 2015. What’s more, bitcoin “miners” consume about five times more power than they did last year, and orders of magnitude more than just a few years ago—and there are no signs of a slowdown. 


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