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New Report
No Evidence That Changing Power Mix Endangers Electric System Reliability
June 21, 2017

Analysis Group finds it is market forces - primarily low-cost natural gas and flat demand for electricity - that are causing some coal and nuclear power plants to retire, and not state and federal policies supporting renewable energy development. The report finds that the changing electricity resource mix poses no threat to reliability of the nation's power system.

Energy Efficiency Update
United Nations Environment Program: Big Wins for Human Health, Natural Resources in Switch to Energy Efficiency
May 22, 2017

The International Resource Panel, a group of eminent experts in natural resource management hosted by the United Nations Environment Program, recently provided a global assessment of the benefits, risks and trade-offs encountered when energy efficiency technologies are deployed alongside low-carbon electricity supply technologies.

Rural Leadership
Rural Co-Ops Role in Leading the Smart Grid Transition
May 5, 2017 by David J. Unger in Midwest Energy News

In some cases, rural America is seeing the smart grid arrive at their doorstep well before their urban and suburban counterparts. This is due to the not-for-profit structure of rural co-ops, which makes them uniquely responsive to consumer demands for technological solutions to traditional grid problems, according to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association's new president, Phil Carson.

Renewable Gains
U.S. Energy Consumption Rose Slightly in 2016 Despite a Significant Decline in Coal Use
April 10, 2017

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently reported that primary energy consumption in the United States in 2016 totaled 97.4 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu), a slight increase from the 2015 level. Consumption of coal decreased by 9%, nearly offsetting increases in the consumption of renewables, petroleum, natural gas, and nuclear fuel.

Smart Cleanup
U.S. Department of Energy: Soaking Up an Oil Spill
March 8, 2017

"The Oleo Sponge offers a set of possibilities that, as far as we know, are unprecedented," said co-inventor Seth Darling, a scientist with Argonne's Center for Nanoscale Materials and a fellow of the University of Chicago's Institute for Molecular Engineering.

Security Report
Smart Grid Security Market Trends to 2021
February 10, 2017

The smart grid security market size is estimated to grow from USD 4.29 Billion in 2016 to USD 7.00 Billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.3% during the forecast period, according to a new report from MarketsandMarkets.

Microgrids White Paper
How a Multi-Use Battery Energy Storage System Provides Grid And Customer Services Through a Public-Private Partnership
February 2, 2017

The white paper, co-authored by Panasonic, Xcel Energy, and Younicos, details a unique solar-plus-storage microgrid project under way at Denver's transit-oriented development, Peña Station NEXT. The battery energy storage system will deploy five use cases: 1) solar energy grid integration via solar smoothing ramp control and solar time shifting, 2) grid peak demand reduction, 3) energy arbitrage, 4) frequency regulation, and 5) backup power for Panasonic's network operations center.

Opening the Smart Grid
A New Way Forward For Power Utilities: The Open Smart Grid Platform
December 14, 2016
by Sander Jansen, Alliander

According to the author, who is a data architect at the Dutch Distribution System Operator (DSO) Alliander, his company developed the Open Smart Grid Platform to be "an open, generic, scalable, and independent Internet of Things platform that enables municipalities and power distribution companies to easily control and monitor various public service objects with any application and with any communication infrastructure."

Biofuel Update
PNNL: New Technology That Can Convert Human Waste Into Sustainable Biofuel
December 2, 2016
by Susan Bauer, PNNL

The technology -- called hydrothermal liquefaction -- mimics the geological conditions the Earth uses to create crude oil by using high pressure and temperature to achieve in minutes something that takes Mother Nature millions of years.

Battery Trends
Report: Lithium Ion Batteries Account for 83 Percent of Newly Announced Energy Storage System Capacity
November 9, 2016
by Navigant Research

"While Li-ion leads in terms of technology, distributed energy storage systems (DESSs) are becoming increasingly popular in several regions, accounting for around 14 percent of new system capacity announced in 2016 -- the highest percentage of any year on record," says Ian McClenny, research associate with Navigant Research. "DESSs are generally much smaller than utility-scale systems and are expected to thrive as they become more cost-effective and productized, leading to more streamlined installation and opening new markets."