January 19, 2016 - Sustainable Pittsburgh
Energy Innovation (EI) is a biweekly newsletter of the
Energy for the Power of 32 initiative
EI Energy Innovation
news and events accelerating sustainable development for the power of 32
Upcoming Events

Available Now
Online Program
Presented by: Local Government Academy

This program looked at the various community development and zoning issues confronting municipalities, including issues of planning and regulation, community impact, property rights and interactions with other regulators, such as the state Department of Environmental Protection. Panels of planners and lawyers experienced in local government and shale gas issues presented analysis of the situation, considered possible community objectives and reviewed a range of responses available for communities based on actual experience.

Speakers include:
  • Jack Ubinger, Environmental Policy Advisor
  • Kurt Klapkowski, PA Department of Environmental Protection
  • Denny Puko, PA DCED Governor’s Center for Local Government Services
  • Allen Cohen, Cohen Municipal Planning Consultants
  • John Trant, Strategic Solutions LLC

January 20th, 2016 (10:00 am - 12:00 pm)
PADEP Southwest Regional Office
500 Waterfront Drive Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Presented by: Penn State University

The PA Department of Environmental Protection and Penn State are offering this free workshop for anyone from PA state government, PA local governments or public school districts. Learn about the Department of Energy's new Energy Asset Score Tool. This workshop is for you if you own, manage, or operate one or more public buildings and would like to understand the energy efficiency of the physical structure and systems of each building as compared to other similar buildings. Penn State will provide technical assistance to all attendees following the Workshop to score your building(s).


January 21th, 2016 (10:00 am - 12:00 pm)
Presented by: Local Government Academy

The purpose and goals of the Task Force are to define a series of best practices and recommendations to:
  • Plan, site and route pipelines in ways that avoid or reduce environmental and community impacts;
  • Amplify and engage in meaningful public participation;
  • Maximize opportunities for predictable and efficient permitting.
  • Employ construction methods that reduce environmental and community impact.
  • Ensure pipeline safety and integrity during operation of the pipeline.

The webinar is available at no charge, but you must register through LGA Online (first time users to LGAOnline will need to set up a user account then click “I Have an Enrollment Key” at the bottom. Returning users can just sign in).

January 27th, 2016 (1:00 pm)
Presented by: Advanced Energy Economy

This webinar will address organizing principles for the grid of the future as well as practical issues such as the role of competitive vs. regulated markets, rate design and customer engagement.

Webinar format: Virtual panel
Moderator: Lisa Frantzis, SVP, Strategy, AEE

  • Audrey Zibelman, Chair, New York Public Service Commission
  • James Tong, VP, Strategy and Government Affairs, Clean Power Finance
  • Michael Ferguson, Associate Director, Utilities & Infrastructure Group, Standard & Poor's

January 28th, 2016 (3:00 pm)
Rm 1211 (Prince George's Rm) in the Stamp Student Union
1021A Union Ln, College Park, MD 20742
Presented by: University of Maryland

Jigar Shah is the President and Co-Founder of Generate Capital. Jigar was the founder and CEO of SunEdison (NASDAQ: SUNE), where he pioneered “no money down solar” and unlocked a multi-billion-dollar solar market, creating the largest solar services company worldwide. He is the author of Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy. After SunEdison, Jigar served as the founding CEO of the Carbon War Room, a global non-profit founded by Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Unite to help entrepreneurs address climate change.


March 14th -18th, 2016 (3:00 pm)
Carnegie Mellon University Campus
5000 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Presented by: Carnegie Mellon University

The Scott Institute is hosting the University’s inaugural Energy Week March 14-18, 2016. Each day of Energy Week will have a theme: energy research, policy, innovation, education, and energy facilities in Southwest Pennsylvania.

The five-day celebration is designed to inform government, non-govermental organizations, business and industry leaders; faculty and students; and the general public about energy research, policy, innovation, education, and activities both at Carnegie Mellon and elsewhere in the region. To see the full agenda,
click here.


The West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund, in partnership with the statewide Sustainable Energy Fund, announced last week it is soliciting ideas this spring for renewable energy business models and technologies. In a competition dubbed Energy Sprout, all Pennsylvania-based companies, communities and individuals are eligible to put forth their grandest innovations by May 3.

It’s the first time this contest has been launched.

Up for grabs is a $100,000 first prize for the best submission from a business or individual, and a $25,000 first prize for the best ideas from communities. Second and third place prizes total $25,000 and $3,000 for businesses and individuals, and $5,000 and $3,000 for communities.


While much of the buzz around energy storage today centers on the development of innovative battery technologies, more than 98 percent of installed storage capacity globally is, in fact, pumped hydro, according to Vladimir Koritarov, an energy systems engineer at the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.

And today, fueled by the world's embrace of solar and wind power to help combat global warming, pumped storage hydro is in the midst of a surge, with power generators and utilities building new facilities from Italy to China as a way of balancing supply and demand across electric power grids.


Governments are pouring resources into energy access—both carbon-intensive and sustainable energy options. But the greatest potential for expanding sustainable energy may rely on the private sector, which has seen significant growth in sustainable energy business models that rely on decentralized solutions, rather than on traditional grid-electricity infrastructure. These flexible solutions, which require less investment capital, are well suited for low-income, rural populations. For example, the market for off-grid solar lighting products in Africa saw a 300 percent growth in sales between 2009 and 2012.

The COP21 agreement, signed one month ago today, is great news for building technology innovators and their customers. The consensus is that the global agreement will accelerate research, development and investment in green technology and sustainability gains for a range of sectors, including commercial property.

The landmark climate change conference in Paris included the launch of the first Buildings Day on Dec. 3 and the launch of a new Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, an initiative designed to spur widespread adoption of today’s best policies and most efficient building materials, designs and technologies around the world.


Companies like BP, which said Tuesday it is cutting 4,000 jobs, are slimming down to cope with the slump in oil, whose price has plummeted to its lowest level in 12 years and is not expected to recover significantly for months, possibly years. California-based Chevron said last fall that it would eliminate 7,000 jobs, while rival Shell announced 6,500 layoffs.

And it’s not even the big producers that will be affected most, but the numerous companies that do business with them, such as drilling contractors and equipment suppliers.


The study estimates decreases in usable capacity for 81-86% of traditional power stations and 61-74% of hydropower plants worldwide by the middle of the century, with average annual reductions in power of 7-12% and 1-4%, respectively. The results also suggest that maximum monthly reductions in capacity could reach over 30%. The ranges in these figures cover scenarios of low and high levels of greenhouse gases in future.

. . . There are adaptation options that could help limit these impacts, the study says, such as improving the efficiency of power plants, using seawater rather than freshwater for cooling, and adopting more efficient cooling systems that recirculate water. But given that power plants tend to be in operation for many decades, these options need to be considered now, says co-author Prof Keywan Riahi, Energy Program Director at IIASA.


The business model shift driving growth in digital music, solar panels, and other consumer technologies is poised to have the same impact on commercial energy efficiency in the United States.

This innovation could increase annual energy-efficient technology spending -- LED lights, high efficiency HVAC systems, and smart thermostats -- by 42 percent, unlocking $20 billion in new investment by 2020 and doubling annual industry revenue to $48 billion by 2025.

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