Advanced Energy Perspectives

Advanced Energy Technology of the Week: Residential Energy Efficiency Improvements

Posted by Maria Robinson

Oct 21, 2014 5:39:27 PM

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) plan to regulate carbon emissions is just the latest challenge facing the U.S. electric power system. Technological innovation is disrupting old ways of doing business and accelerating grid modernization. Earlier this year, AEE released Advanced Energy Technologies for Greenhouse Gas Reduction, a report detailing the use, application, and benefits of 40 specific advanced energy technologies and services. This post is one in a series drawn from the technology profiles within that report.

Resdiential_Efficiency_Improvements

Residential energy efficiency improvements include a number of technologies and building systems that reduce energy use in homes, while still delivering the same or superior service. This includes efficient consumption of energy in appliances and other devices (e.g., lighting, Energy Star TVs, computers and refrigerators), and efficient heating and cooling equipment (e.g., natural gas condensing boilers, heat pump water heaters, and high-efficiency air conditioners). It also includes application of various building materials and systems that reduce energy demand, including efficient windows, wall and attic insulation, air sealing, building controls (e.g., programmable thermostats, use of heating and cooling zones, smart appliances that respond to price and demand signals), wrapping of hot water/steam pipes with insulation, smart power strips that shut off devices to avoid standby losses, and alternatives to air conditioning such as whole-house fans. Some water-saving technologies (e.g., faucet aerators, low-flow showerheads, efficient dishwashers) also reduce energy used for water heating.

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Topics: Advanced Energy Technology of the Week

NEWS: Get Ready, Get Set, Go – Offshore Wind in the USA!

Posted by Lexie Briggs

Oct 17, 2014 2:33:53 PM

Alpha_Ventus_Offshore-windEverybody, hold onto your hats. The moment we have been waiting for may have finally arrived – or, well, it’s not very far off. American offshore wind is on the horizon, figuratively and literally, and approaching fast.

 

American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) hosted its Offshore Windpower Conference and Exhibition in Atlantic City, NJ, last week, which brought together industry leaders, including Deepwater Wind, Cape Wind, and Dominion Virginia Power. Currently, there are 14 offshore wind projects under development, but none has yet to put a turbine foundation in the water. That’s all about to change.

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Topics: News Update

FEDERAL: Abandoned Solar Project Highlights Pitfalls of Tax Uncertainty

Posted by Tom Carlson

Oct 16, 2014 1:01:00 PM

us-capitolIn the latest evidence of the need for stable federal tax policy, a major solar project in California was abandoned in part due to uncertainty around whether the project would be placed in service in time to qualify for the investment tax credit (ITC), which expires at the end of 2016. Numerous tax credits for advanced energy development expired at the end of last year, and a bill to extend them has passed the Senate Finance Committee but not yet come to the floor. This abandoned solar plant shows that even a credit facing an expiration date that has not yet arrived can stymie projects with long development timelines – a problem that could be alleviated by a simple change in qualification for the tax credit from “placed in service” to “commenced construction,” as was done for the production tax credit in its most recent extension.

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Topics: Federal Policy Update

Advanced Energy Technology of the Week: Efficient Lighting and Intelligent Lighting Controls

Posted by Maria Robinson

Oct 14, 2014 1:53:00 PM

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) plan to regulate carbon emissions is just the latest challenge facing the U.S. electric power system. Technological innovation is disrupting old ways of doing business and accelerating grid modernization. Earlier this year, AEE released Advanced Energy Technologies for Greenhouse Gas Reduction, a report detailing the use, application, and benefits of 40 specific advanced energy technologies and services. This post is one in a series drawn from the technology profiles within that report.

efficient-lighting Advanced lighting technology has quickly expanded to include light-emitting diodes (LEDs), energy-saving incandescent bulbs, and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Solid-state lighting, including LEDs, is in the process of transforming the lighting and electronic display markets, offering mercury-free, long-lasting, extremely efficient, digitally controllable lighting that can be used in residential and commercial settings.[1] Solid-state lighting is five to six times more efficient than incandescent bulbs and up to 1.5 times as efficient as CFLs. Intelligent lighting controls can be used in conjunction with some forms of efficient lighting, particularly LEDs, which can be dimmed or turned on/off without loss of equipment lifespan or performance. Intelligent lighting controls use environmental information (e.g., occupancy, ambient light levels) to automatically adjust light levels and save energy. At each lighting fixture, sensors detect light levels and feed the information to controllers that adjust the lighting based on previously set goals.

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Topics: Advanced Energy Technology of the Week

Advanced Energy Technology of the Week: Efficient Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

Posted by Maria Robinson

Oct 7, 2014 3:17:00 PM

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) plan to regulate carbon emissions is just the latest challenge facing the U.S. electric power system. Technological innovation is disrupting old ways of doing business and accelerating grid modernization. Earlier this year, AEE released Advanced Energy Technologies for Greenhouse Gas Reduction, a report detailing the use, application, and benefits of 40 specific advanced energy technologies and services. This post is one in a series drawn from the technology profiles within that report. 

HVAC

HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems consist of air conditioners, heat pumps, boilers, furnaces, rooftop units, and chillers, as well as associated air handlers, ductwork, and water and steam piping. HVAC systems represent a significant portion of a building’s overall energy use. Improvements in efficiency derive from various subsystem technological innovations, such as variable speed drives (which reduce electricity use by electric motors) and increased heat exchanger surface area (which increase overall energy transfer from the fuel to the conditioned space). More advanced HVAC systems also have sensors and controls that communicate with energy management systems and other intelligent controls to further reduce energy usage.

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Topics: Advanced Energy Technology of the Week

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Advanced Energy Perspectives is AEE's blog presenting news, analysis, and commentary on creating an advanced energy economy. Join the conversation!

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