October 21, 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

October 25th, 2016 (7:00 am - 6:00 pm)
Crowne Plaza Harrisburg - Hershey
23 South 2nd St, Harrisburg, PA 17101
Presented by: Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance


Why attend? With Governor Wolf's continued commitment to the Clean Power Plan and the beginning of Phase 3 of Act 129—a $1.2 billion investment in energy efficiency programs over the next five years—Pennsylvania has the potential to be a national leader in energy efficiency and other advanced energy technologies.

Nationwide, this sector of the economy generated $200 billion in revenue and added new jobs at a rate of 8.5% in 2015. Pennsylvania is a national leader in energy production, manufacturing, and GDP, and has significant potential to be a leader in this innovative and growing sector of the economy.

What new financing options should Pennsylvania explore? Could improved rate design help foster energy efficiency investments? How can Pennsylvania leverage the Clean Power Plan and the Clean Energy Incentive Program to maximize investments in energy efficiency and other advanced energy technologies? What opportunities exist for low-income customers and multifamily housing units? What can Pennsylvania learn from other states? What are our cities doing to lead the way?

October 26th, 2016 (6:00 pm) - October 27th, 2016 (8:00 pm)
Tinkham Veale University Center
11038 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, OH 44106
Presented by: Association of University Technology Managers

The AUTM Smart Power and Energy Storage Solutions Partnering Forum is a unique opportunity to network with industry partners and take an in-depth look at the energy storage sector. Among the highlights will be presentations from our industry partners focusing on technological areas of interest and how to best work with their company; short panel sessions dealing with technology transfer topics relevant to energy storage solutions and related industries; and plenty of opportunities for one-on-one partnering.  

October 26th, 2016 - October 27th, 2016 (*times vary, see agenda*)
Waterfront Place Hotel
2 WaterFront Place, Morgantown, WV 26501
Presented by: TransTech Energy Research & Business Development Program

Who should attend:
  • Innovators and entrepreneurs: Pitch your company or project to investors, potential strategic partners, and project developers
  • Investors: Find emerging transitional energy and environmental technology companies with near term payback potential
  • Energy companies and manufacturers: Develop strategic partnerships with start-up companies and project developers
  • All: Join the discussion! Let’s build on the momentum of TransTech and generate some excitement about the possibilities for new companies, advanced manufacturing, and competitive industries!

November 2nd, 2016 (10:30 am - 12:30 pm)
WestPennPower State College Service Center
2800 East College Avenue, State College, PA 16801
Presented by: Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania

Resources are Available For Multi-Family Housing Energy Efficiency with First Energy Utilities and Duquesne Light Company.  Learn about these two companies' Act 129 Programs for multi-family housing that provide no cost or low cost energy efficiency measures and rebates for energy efficiency measures. These meetings will also include a dynamic discussion with comments from the audience about the merits and challenges of the Act 129 programs.

November 14th, 2016 - November 15th, 2016 (*times vary, see agenda*)
University Club, Pitt-Oakland Campus
123 University Pl, Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Presented by: Swanson School of Engineering & the Center for Energy

The Electric Power Industry Conference welcomes industry leaders, regional investors, researchers, academics and students to a two-day event to discuss and debate the opportunities and challenges of our industry. As the Pittsburgh region transforms into one of the nation's centers for energy production and delivery, the Power and Energy Initiative at the Swanson School of Engineering continues to lead the way in exploring the industry's potential.

The Conference is presented by the Electric Power & Energy Initiative, established in 2007 to provide innovative education and collaborative research that benefits both academia and industry. The Conference would like to especially thank the University of Pittsburgh, the Swanson School of Engineering and the Center for Energy for their continuous support.

November 16th, 2016 (8:30 am - 5:00 pm)
University of Pittsburgh University Club, Ballroom B
123 University Place, Pittsburgh, PA
Presented by: League of Women Voters

Among the highlights of the conference: Brian Schwartz MD, of Johns Hopkins University and the Geisinger Center for Health Research, will present the study on fracking and asthma recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine (Journal of the American Medical Association)

Ever since 18th-century entrepreneurs chiseled exposed chunks of coal from the cliffs of Mount Washington in Pittsburgh, PA, the business of providing safe, efficient, and affordable energy to power the City of Pittsburgh’s upward economic trajectory has been an engine for progress.

Since 1910, NETL has been a sparkplug of innovation supporting the city in its industrial and economic evolution with new ideas for safety, efficiency, and productivity. Now, as Pittsburgh celebrates its bicentennial and prepares for a third century as a great American city, NETL is playing a key role in helping develop new ideas and approaches to keeping the city on the national and international forefront of energy innovation by providing input on a range of aggressive new projects.

This paper provides an update on progress being made under a Memorandum of Understanding between the National Energy Technology Laboratory and the City of Pittsburgh towards the development of a modern energy generation and delivery system.

Between 2008 and 2015, coal consumption steadily declined by 23 percent annually. At the same time, natural gas production rose steadily, spurred by low prices that have increased demand.

And the future doesn’t look any more promising for the coal industry, the report said. Its decline in production, as natural gas production reaches an all-time high, is expected to continue for at least another decade.

Reports from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed record natural gas production for the fifth straight year, and Pennsylvania saw the biggest gain across the U.S.

A recent partnership between GE and the Strip District-based startup kWantera will make clean energy more affordable and more widely available.

kWantera, a software company formerly known as Mobile Fusion, agreed to offer their cloud-based energy-trading platform for use in Digital Wind Farm, a new project by GE Renewable Energy focused on optimizing wind turbines. The kWantera platform uses predictive analytics to forecast energy prices for up to five days. Wind energy producers, primarily owners of turbine farms, can then use that information to sell their output to power companies at a lower price than non-renewable energy sources such as coal or nuclear.

. . .Back in Pittsburgh, he (John Camillus) has set his plan in motion. In line with his talent for strategic management, he will orchestrate it in phases with developers on the ground who share his vision.

Safe World, a Chennai-based company specializing in rehabilitating agricultural production in impoverished areas, will be the project manager, building the solar installation and distribution network and providing each household with four LED lights. It will also install the pumps, tank and filters necessary to provide clean drinking water and build community toilets.

With the power comes the potential for an irrigation system that covers 50 acres of unused land so that farmers can increase their crop and earn higher incomes, said Subi Rajagopalan, the director of Safe World. Residents would be trained and employed to maintain the power infrastructure and oversee the larger agriculture business.

On September 8, House and Senate conferees met for the first time to consider the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2016, the comprehensive energy reform bill that has slowly been making its way through Congress. The meeting marked the first time since 2005 that the House and Senate have held a conference on a comprehensive energy bill.

If there were some way to harness the energy being spent in this year’s Pennsylvania Senate campaign, everyone’s utility bills might be a lot cheaper. And few issues generate more heat than the energy policies of first-term Republican Pat Toomey and his Democratic rival, Katie McGinty.

“I’ve never seen an election where the presidential race and choices in states like Pennsylvania mattered so much from an environmental perspective,” said Kevin Curtis, who heads a political committee tied to the National Resource Defense Council.

The fossil-fuel industry is taking the race seriously, too.

“It is important that Pennsylvania voters elect candidates that will hold the federal government accountable for their attempts to bypass Congress with overreaching regulations,” said Rachel Gleason, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance, in a statement. While the council doesn’t endorse candidates, Ms. Gleason warned, “The past eight years have been an attack on the coal industry with the administration’s efforts to making mining of coal ... uneconomical.”


Should the RECs be bundled or unbundled? Will the PPA be physical or virtual? What thoughts are there about the annual financial implications of the ITC?

For the uninitiated, the variety of ways companies can throw their weight into the market for renewable energy quickly starts to devolve into alphabet soup.

Still, with more companies setting sustainability targets or eyeing falling wind and solar costs with heightened interest, replicable models for businesses to invest in renewable energy projects are increasingly in demand.


. . .On the first day of the Congress, the World Energy Council gave out an official statement with a wake-up call to the fossil fuel sector, under the heading of “the New Realities for Energy”. It said, among other things:

We haven’t done enough to decarbonise our economies: the world will have to accelerate the decarbonisation of the global GDP to a rate of 6%/yr in order to remain within the carbon budget associated with 2C global warming. This will take considerable effort since with current trends we could reach and surpass the carbon budget between 2045 and 2055, even with optimistic assumptions on energy intensity reductions. The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) agreed at COP21 provide about 1/3rd of the required ambition level.

World Energy Council pointedly added that the “biggest obstacle” in achieving the climate goal is “the rapid and successful transitioning of global transport to low carbon solutions.

Our mailing address is:
Sustainable Pittsburgh • 307 Fourth Avenue • Suite 1500 • Pittsburgh, PA, 15222 • USA