November 16, 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

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)

November 30th, 2016 (1:00 pm - 3:00 pm)
Presented by: United States Department of Energy

The Office of Indian Energy has co-funded a variety of energy-related projects on tribal lands that can sustain long-term economic growth. Through these projects, tribes have built the institutional capacity to manage their energy needs, assessed the feasibility of energy efficiency and renewable energy installations, and demonstrated the viability of clean energy on tribal lands. Attendees will hear about successful projects that contributed to over 320 buildings being audited or retrofitted, moved more than 580 MW of renewable energy projects towards development, assessed the potential for more than 4000 MW of renewable energy generation, and trained more than 170 tribal members on energy topics.

December 7th, 2016 (12:00 pm - 1:15 pm)
Presented by: Environmental Entrepreneurs

Join Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) and policy experts during this webinar to find out how you and your business or organization can help build the Clean Jobs PA Coalition to work toward growing the Commonwealth’s economy and to explore:
  • The Clean Jobs PA report and Pennsylvania’s 66,000 clean energy jobs
  • Our Energy Renewal Mapping Project – illustrating the location of PA clean energy business; Find out if your company is on the map?
  • The state of federal climate policy: what we know now
  • Two bills that may have “legs” in the upcoming 2017 state legislative session:
    • Property Assessed Clean Energy (P.A.C.E.) to provide a funding mechanism for energy efficiency and renewables
    • Solar legislation that would “close” the PA SREC border.

March 15th, 2017 - March 16th, 2017 (*times vary, see agenda*)
Westin-Convention Center
1000 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Presented by: Pennsylvania Environmental Council

Day one will be educational in nature, featuring prominent national-level speakers presenting on topics relevant to renewable energy, energy efficiency, nuclear power, and carbon capture and storage and the potential development of a technology portfolio to ensure the greatest chance of success. Day two will feature panel discussions with plenty of opportunity for participants to get involved in the conversation.

For the purposes of this event, the conversation will focus primarily on decarbonization of the electricity sector, specifically within the state of Pennsylvania, rather than worldwide; however, we welcome participants from other states to better inform and coordinate efforts.

March 27th, 2017 - March 31st, 2017 (*times vary, see agenda*)
Carnegie Mellon University Campus
5000 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Presented by: Carnegie Mellon University

On March 27-31, 2017, Carnegie Mellon’s Scott Institute for Energy Innovation will celebrate its second Energy Week, an event designed to educate, inform and debate energy policy; highlight research and innovation; and prepare for the future. Please save the date and join our email list to receive updates as programming and registration for the 2017 Carnegie Mellon University Energy Week is finalized.  

Duquesne Light Co. has selected an engineering firm to begin construction next year of an experimental microgrid on its Woods Run facility and Preble Service Center, a project that energy researchers say has the potential to dramatically alter the power grid in Pittsburgh.

Kansas City, Mo.-based Burns and McDonnell recently won the chance to help Duquesne Light build a power generation and distribution network to support its 21.5-acre campus on the North Side, one of the utility’s engineers told an industry conference at the University of Pittsburgh on Monday. A Duquesne Light spokeswoman confirmed the development.

As the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change draws near, it is clear that energy access will be a key policy area for the host government, Morocco. Energy access, particularly in less developed countries, is a very important challenge facing global policy leaders in the context of the Paris climate agreement. So much in our lives depends on reliable and affordable energy services, from cooking a meal to receiving a lifesaving vaccination. In developing countries, energy access is a key development goal to achieve higher standards of living and a stronger economy. And while most people have access to energy in developed countries, one in every five people still lack access to modern energy worldwide.

Nevertheless, increasing access to energy means increasing energy consumption, which has the potential to drive increased global greenhouse emissions, creating a challenge for countries that have made international commitments to reduce emissions. So as we work to expand access to ensure that energy is equitable available to all, it’s important that we also make sure we’re using resources wisely.

A new book - The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future - offers these and other insights about the challenges of modernizing America's electric grid - the set of wires and transformers that transmit and deliver power. According to the author, McGill University professor and cultural anthropologist Gretchen Bakke, our current system is "worn down, it's patched up, and every hoped-for improvement is expensive and bureaucratically bemired."

But change could be on the horizon. With a new president and Congress taking office in January, legislation to address America's deteriorating infrastructure, like bridges and lead-laden water pipes, will likely be debated. High on their list of priorities should be new policies encouraging private-sector investment and innovation in the electricity sector.

One-third of the world’s energy-related emissions come from buildings. So perhaps it’s no surprise that more than 80 national climate plans submitted ahead of COP21 in Paris included commitments to improve building efficiency.

A year later, the discussion continues with Human Settlements Day today at COP22 in Marrakech. The Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (Global ABC) released a report (PDF) taking stock of the opportunity to reduce emissions from buildings, and laid out a roadmap for national governments attending the climate talks.

One of the key recommendations is to support building efficiency action by cities. WRI leads the Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA), a public-private collaboration of 30 organizations working with 23 cities to help them advance building efficiency. In doing so, they also reduce pollution, boost resiliency to heat waves and other climate events, improve infrastructure and more. Here’s a look at four cities where BEA partners are working...

Improvements in public health science, detection technologies, and modeling over the last 25 years require parallel improvements in our decades-old regulatory approach for air quality. Likewise, the rapidly transforming electric sector presents equally formidable challenges for energy regulators. And energy efficiency and renewable energy should be considered alongside other measures to improve air quality in any evaluation, due to their breadth and cost-effectiveness.

Many jurisdictions are also considering vehicle electrification programs or policies and the electrification of space and water heating in buildings. Environmentally beneficial electrification offers significant opportunities to reduce emissions, improve renewable energy integration, and provide other services to the electric grid. These opportunities suggest that now is the time to convene E-Merge discussions involving all associated disciplines: air quality, energy, transportation, and buildings to ensure coordinated policy development, reveal potential synergies or constraints, and secure maximum cost savings and co-benefits.
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