June 16, 2015 - Sustainable Pittsburgh

Introducing Energy Innovation (EI), a biweekly newsletter for the Energy for the Power of 32 initiative.  Knowing you subscribe to Sustainable Pittsburgh's 3E Links newsletter, we think you will appreciate the topics covered in this newsletter as energy is core to sustainable development.  If you like the information you are receiving, no need to do anything. If at any point in time you no longer wish to receive EI, simply email us or click unsubscribe.


Energy Innovation
news and events accelerating sustainable development for the power of 32
Upcoming Events
Details: Events
Global Solutions Pittsburgh presents: A Sustainable Energy Community Discussion
June 18th, 2015
801 N. Negley Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Union Project

With inevitably dwindling fossil fuel supplies and ever increasing concern about the environmental impact these fuels, the need to transition to sustainable energy sources seems to be clear. The benefits appear obvious, but the challenges are equally great. Sustainable sources must not just be renewable, but also have minimal long-term environmental impacts. So why do sustainables represent only 11% of our consumption? Despite their dwindling supply and variable pricing, nonrenewable resources, including oil, natural gas, and coal, are much cheaper to supply. As we continue to face energy crises as our fossil fuel reserves steadily decline, countries and large corporations are seriously considering an alternative, economically sound solution. Without damaging the energy-reliant world economy, is it possible to groom sustainable energy alternatives?

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2015 CO2 Capture Technology Meeting
June 23rd - June 26th, 2015
300 West Station Square Drive Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1122
Sheraton Hotel

The 2015 CO2 Capture Technology meeting features over 50 DOE sponsored CO2 capture technology projects. Project presentations will span three primary technology areas (post-combustion, pre-combustion, and advanced combustion systems) and various stages of development (lab-scale, bench-scale, and pilot-scale). Presentations of solvent, sorbent, membrane, transformational, hybrid, oxy-combustion, and chemical looping combustion technologies, as well as systems studies and modeling, will be included.

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16th Annual Solid Fuel Cell (SOFC) Workshop
July 14th - July 16th, 2015
777 Aten Road Coraopolis, PA 15108
Pittsburgh Airport Marriott Hotel

The SOFC Program maintains a diversified portfolio of R&D projects to address the technical challenges and ensure a high-probability of achieving the desired cost and performance targets. The strategy includes a mix of near-, mid-, and long-term R&D projects as well as laboratory, proof-of-concept, and pilot-scale projects to foster the advancement of SOFC technologies for deployment in diverse applications, including those fueled by coal-derived syngas or natural gas, which meet or exceed the targets for efficiency, cost, and carbon capture.  The 16th annual SOFC workshop further facilitates these ongoing advancements.

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July 16th, 2015

Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Eden Hall Campus

Tour one of the largest solar installations in Pennsylvania at Eden Hall Campus, and learn about the potential of harnessing the energy of the sun to power your home.

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July 20th - July 24th, 2015
800 Linden St, Scranton, PA 18510
The University of Scranton

Energypath is the region's largest sustainable energy event attracting industry professionals, policymakers and academia throughout the region and across the United States. The goal of Energypath is to increase the knowledge of and passion for sustainable energy in the leaders of today and tomorrow.

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November 16th - November 17th, 2015
400 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill

Maryland - Washington DC - Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association's (MDV-SEIA) Solar Focus Conference is the East Coast’s premier solar energy conference.

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Deep Direct Use Geothermal Workshop
August 17th, 2015
1000 Corporate Dr. Canonsburg, PA 15317
Hilton Garden Inn

Agenda TBD: Save the Date!

Save the date for this workshop on Deep Direct Use Geothermal, hosted by the Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies Office, NETL, West Virginia University, and Cornell.

Topics will include:
Geothermal Resource
Direct-Usetechnologies including large-scale ground source heat pumps, hybrid geothermal-biomass, and district heating and cooling
Geothermal marketplace

more details soon!
Details: Resources

Wolf's Pick to Head PUC Will Promote Energy-Saving Policies, Green Groups Say

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s pick as the new head of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is a sign that the new administration is serious about choosing key officials who can make a difference on energy efficiency and climate change, environmental campaigners said on Thursday.

The Democratic governor named Gladys Brown, a current member of the utilities regulator, as its new chair, replacing Robert Powelson, who remains on the panel as a commissioner.

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True Grid

This little piece of news relates to one of the key issues faced in the energy sector today: what will be the future role(s) of the electricity grid. Or rather, the grids, because there are different types of course: distribution, transmission, interconnection, micro, smart.

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Can Shell Help?

Could Shell ever become an infrastructure company?

It’s a strange question perhaps, but think about it for a moment. Where is the energy system headed? It is moving slowly but surely to an ever-increasing share of renewables.

Not possible, you say? Well, here is the latest on that one: a study by French government agency Ademe shows that a 95% renewable energy system in France in 2050 is cheaper than a combination of nuclear and gas with 40% renewables. Terje Osmundsen from the Norwegian website Energiogklima has the story.

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NRG, IDEO on 3 Mega-Forces that will Shape the Future of Energy

David Crane is banking on a fragile balancing act to see his company, power giant NRG Energy, through what he predicts will be an upheaval in the way electricity is generated, stored, and purchased.

The key is balancing the "slow death" of utilities' core business — the centralized electrical grid, which may be poised to become "the backup system it should be" — with agressive expansion into renewable energy, distributed generation and related technologies, Crane explained at a recent event in San Francisco hosted by The Atlantic.

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Shimokawa Town, Hokkaido: Establishing an Energy-Sustainable Small Town Management Model with Local Forest Resources

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) worked on its Local Well-Being Project since April 2013, because we believe that local activities for well-being are the key to our happiness and planetary sustainability. Likewise, the state of the local economy is an indispensable item to consider when we are looking closely at happiness and its relationship to local activities.

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What Shell, RWE, Scotland and Russia have in Common

Van Beurden makes it clear that he sees change in his industry coming, but only far away on the horizon.  He does not believe in a low-carbon future, but in a lower-carbon future.

John Ashton, former UK Special Representative for Climate Change, compares this attitude to that of the aristocracy in Sicily during the Italian Risorgimento in the 19th Century, who tried to cling “to a collapsing system of feudal power”.

He characterizes it as: “Wear a mask for change while setting your face against it”.

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Easton Utilities Plans Sustainability Complex

EASTON — A greener Easton is planned for the future. Easton Utilities is in the planning and permitting stage to build a facility that aims to reduce the town’s dependency on purchasing electricity from the power grid.

The rough plans were presented to the Easton Town Council on Monday, May 4, in what Easton Utilities’ Vice President of Operations Geoff Oxnam said is a “very early introduction.”

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What Germany’s Energy Transition Means for the United States

Germany’s energy transition – or Energiewende – has created a global market for renewable energies, such as wind and solar, by promoting the rapid build-up of these technologies through a stable policy framework. As a result, the cost of both wind and solar has dramatically decreased over the past few years. This is now enabling other countries to follow suit, in particular the United States. Germany can be proud of this development, as it will in turn benefit from further technological and innovative breakthroughs from others in this field.

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Boston, NYC, Washington, DC, San Francisco, and Seattle Rank as America’s Most Energy-Efficient US Cities

This is the second biennial edition of the City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, which scores and ranks the country’s most populous cities on their energy efficiency policies and actions. The competition is even fiercer this time around with more cities vying to be the best. Thirty-four cities fought it out in 2013, but 51 are going at it this year. What does that mean for our returning veterans? Will Boston hold onto the Art Rosenfeld Cup? Will newcomers like Milwaukee and New Orleans change the face of the game?

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Monster Wells and Soaring Revenues

There’s wonderful news coming out of Pennsylvania’s gas fields, if you’re an investor. Range Resources is boasting about its “monster wells” that are breaking all records for production. "We believe we've captured a large position with stacked pay potential in the best rock in the basin," gushed Range COO Ray Walker. (Stacked pay potential refers to the potential to extract gas from a single well at multiple depths, in this case from the Marcellus Shale and the much deeper Utica Shale).

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What is Behind Shell’s Arctic Campaign

Shell has a point here. Which raises a question: there is a lot of talk about climate change, but how much are countries (especially those who have a lot of oil, gas and coal) really prepared to do in the end? In this sense, the climate conference in Paris in December, with its emphasis on broad top-down internationally agreed targets, may well turn out to be a big disappointment. Is it time for a different approach?

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Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act

ACEEE has developed a number of resources to help states and stakeholders understand and assess the energy, environmental, and economic benefits of energy efficiency as a means to reducing pollution:

The State and Utility Pollution Reduction (SUPR) Calculator allows users to create a simplified 111(d) compliance scenario by selecting from a variety of clean energy options so that they may develop a better understanding of the associated cost and emissions benefits that come with different compliance options.

Our “template” series provides guidance to help states take credit for emissions reductions from multiple energy efficiency policies and programs

1)     Template for Including Building Energy Codes in State Compliance Plans
2)     Template for Including Financing Programs in State Compliance Plans
3)     Template for Including Combined Heat and Power in Compliance Plans

Rapidly deployable energy efficiency policies can achieve nearly 70% of EPA’s required greenhouse gas reductions by 2030. See how here. (coming soon!)

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Energy Efficiency at Stake in the Keystone State

There’s a flurry of activity surrounding energy savings goals in Pennsylvania, and what it will mean for energy efficiency will depend on decisions by both regulators and legislators. Pennsylvania first set energy savings goals in 2008, with its Act 129 legislation. The state is now at a key juncture, with the public utility commission (PUC) making a decision soon on the next round of targets. Separately, the state legislature introduced legislation last week that would allow industrial customers to opt-out of Act 129’s successful programs.

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Can We Solve the Global Energy 'Trilemma'?

Forget the noisy public battles over energy and climate change — deniers versus alarmists, free marketeers versus regulators, renewables versus fossil fuels. Those are sound bite sideshows that skirt a balancing act of unfathomable complexity: How to align seemingly conflicting interests, transitioning markets quickly but not overly disruptively, accommodating the needs of both winners and losers.

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Study Connects Emission Cuts to Reduction of Early Deaths

A new study finds that the Obama administration’s controversial plan to cut climate-changing carbon dioxide emissions from coal-burning power plants could also reduce the number of premature deaths in the U.S. by about 3,500 a year, including 330 in Pennsylvania.

The study findings, published Monday in Nature Climate Change (a peer-reviewed scientific journal) show Pennsylvania would experience the highest number of avoidable premature deaths annually, with Ohio (280) second and Texas (230) third.

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