Posts Tagged ‘Energy conservation’

“To be thrown upon one’s own resources, is to be cast into the very lap of fortune; for our faculties then undergo a development and display an energy of which they were previously unsusceptible” ~ Benjamin Franklin


A study from the US Department of Energy answered many questions discussed in the article cited below and highlight future needs for more investigation to help power generation owners insight on deciding to retrofit or rebuild power plants. Even though system-wide impacts of cycling are modest, an individual unit could suffer higher than average cycling. Plant owners in this situation will want to know whether they should retrofit their unit or change their operations to better manage cycling at a lower overall cost. Ongoing work includes research on potential retrofits or operational strategies to increase the flexibility of fossil-fueled generators. This includes analysis of the costs and benefits of retrofitting existing plants for options such as lower minimum generation levels or faster ramp rates.

Additional analysis work that would illuminate the impacts of cycling and further compare wind and solar includes the following:

  • Market impacts on fossil-fueled plants: How do increased O&M (operations and maintenance) costs and reduced capacity factors affect cost recovery for fossil-fueled plants? What market structures might need revision in a high wind and solar paradigm? How do the economics look for those plants that were most affected?
  • Fuel-price sensitivities: How are operations and results affected by different fuel prices for coal and gas?
  • Different retirement scenarios: How are operations and results affected if significant coal capacity is retired or if the balance of plants is flexible versus inflexible?
  • Storage: Does storage mitigate cycling and is it cost effective?
  • Impacts of dispersed versus centralized PV (photovoltaic): How does rooftop versus utility-scale PV affect the grid?
  • Reserves requirement testing to fine tune flexibility reserves: What confidence levels of flexibility reserves are most cost effective and still retain reliable grid operation?
  • Scenarios with constrained transmission build-outs: If transmission is constrained, what is grid performance and how is cycling affected?
  • Reserve-sharing options: How do different reserve-sharing options affect grid operations?
  • Increased hydro flexibility and modeling assumptions: How does flexibility in the hydro fleet affect grid operations and what is the impact on cycling?
  • Hurdle rates to represent market friction: With higher hurdle rates to mimic less BA (balancing authority) cooperation, how are grid operations and cycling affected?
  • Comparison of the detailed 5-minute production simulation modeling with cycling costs to hourly production simulation modeling without cycling costs: How much more accurate is the detailed modeling?
  • Gas supply: Is additional gas storage needed? How does increased wind/solar affect gas scheduling and supply issues?

Dr. Greg Unruh tells me that in years past the financial benefits of energy management might have “looked minor compared to investing in new product development or a new marketing campaign.” But now, he says, with the price of energy going up, the economics of energy management become “much more interesting.” As a unit of energy goes up in price, “it cuts the payback period” for an energy-management project[1].

For more information, read this article for more information: How to save $7 billion by greening up the grid

[1] Al Bredenberg; Energy and Carbon Management Are Increasingly on Manufacturers’ Radar; ThomasNet http://news.thomasnet.com/green_clean/2012/08/27/energy-and-carbon-management-are-increasingly-on-manufacturers-radar/; August 27th, 2012

When Science and Business Create Cleaner Energy:  How to save $7 billion by greening up the grid

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The year 2050 is the usual target for global sustainable transformation. Here is an article that has a silver lining to those who plan ahead to anticipate actions to achieve a more efficient society.

$70 Trillion (via Environment News Service)

PARIS, France, July 15, 2013 (ENS) – Energy demand for urban transport is expected to double by 2050, but the latest report from the International Energy Agency sees potential savings of up to US$70 trillion through energy efficiency. “Energy efficiency…


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College of Charleston Gym 011

College of Charleston Gym 011 (Photo credit: hdes.copeland)

Sustainable Practices are no longer unknown. So, too, many business owners are asking the same questions and often envisage utility expense reduction when institutionalized in their organizations. What can be done, with no or minimal costs, to reduce your impact on the environment? Well, this succinct list of suggestions from the College of Charleston Community is a very good start and can be easily applied to home and business use. Please pass along to your friends.
We all share an obligation to operate as sensibly as possible. That’s the essence of sustainability. So, please conserve energy where possible, reduce consumption when you can – and encourage your fellow students and employees to do likewise. Adopt the following practices and you’ll be helping all of us to move in the right direction:

Sustainable Tips for Students
•    Turn off lights, computers, printers, copiers, and other appliances that are not in use.
•    Keep the lights off when natural lighting is sufficient.
•    Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
•    Activate the hibernation settings on your computer.
•    Cycle, walk or carpool to class and work. Better yet, ride CARTA buses, they’re free!
•    Avoid packaged products. This starts with bringing your own coffee mug.
•    Lower the temperature of your dorm room and close the windows when the heat is on.
•    Reduce water usage: take fewer/shorter showers; turn off faucet when brushing teeth, washing your face, or shaving.
•    Reduce drying time when doing laundry (it saves energy and your clothes last longer).
•    Choose Energy Star appliances.
•    Re-use plastic bags, boxes, and jars.
•    Recycle paper, plastic bottles, aluminum cans and glass bottles, and don’t commingle.
•    When printing, use both sides of the page, and always purchase recycled paper.
•    Recycle your copy of The George St. Observer or read one that has been recycled.
•    Favor local products when you shop, especially food like that sold on Saturdays at the Charleston Farmers’ Market on Marion Square.
•    Share these tips with your roommates, classmates and friends.
•    Donate used items like clothing, furniture and appliances to charities instead of trashing them when the academic year ends.

Sustainable Tips for Employees
•    Turn off lights, computers, printers, copiers, and other appliances that are not in use.
•    Keep the lights off when natural lighting is sufficient during the day.
•    Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
•    Activate the hibernation settings on your computer.
•    Cycle or walk to work, or carpool. Better yet, ride CARTA – it’s free!
•    Avoid packaged products. This starts with carrying your own coffee mug.
•    Carry and use reusable shopping bags.
•    If the temperature in your work area isn’t comfortable, have the Physical Plant adjust it
•    before ordering and using a personal heater or fan.
•    If you purchase office appliances, choose Energy Star products.
•    If you purchase office paper, opt for recycled paper or high recycled content.
•    While on campus recycle paper, plastic bottles, aluminum cans and glass bottles, but don’t commingle.
•    Save paper by printing on both sides of a page.
•    If you purchase office furnishings, opt for sustainable products and companies by checking with Good Guide or the EPA website.

College of Charleston: http://sustainability.cofc.edu/sustainable-practices%20/index.php

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Recycling Bin

Sustainability is based on the pulse of Environmental, Social and Economic areas or put in another context: Sustainability is focused on Planet, People and Profit. Each of us needs to change behavior, learn, and become more aware of how we impact the environment. Most people become involved by three progressive steps:

  • Natural curiosity is a catalyst, curiosity propels us to seek knowledge.
  • Being informed, individuals are then willing to experiment.
  • Engagement within the community and align individual values with other people and organizations that have a like mindset.

How do we become sustainable? Leaders of the 21st century will be responsible of planetary stewardship for our Earth. This means laying the foundation, which the entire Earth community is secure, managed, and prosperous.  Stewardship is based on these five key principles:

So, where can that behavior be focused? On a personal level, each of us can be responsible for Stewardship in our own lives. Here are examples:

  • conserve energy, food, and water,
  • reduce waste; decrease usage of plastic and paper by increasing usage of existing containers (i.e. mugs and glasses); use rechargeable batteries; drinking water and promote gray water
  • recycle daily waste, recycle old clothing, furniture, books,

We must have the will to Lead Smart, with a vision, and create endless opportunities through Sustainability. It’s never too late! Engage in your community. We can meet our needs today, and also create a future for generations can have their needs met, too. BUT we need to act now!”

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