Demand Response, Behind-the-Meter Generation and Air Quality

The absence of up-to-date regulations on Behind the Meter (BTM) electric generators may offset the current efforts to reduce the emissions from peaking power plants. There is a need to quantify the environmental impacts of Demand Reduction programs in designing sound policies related to demand-side resources, and this paper is a great start.

Nice research from Xiyue Zhang (Hannah) and K. Max Zhang.

See the entire article at ACS Publications Environmental Science and Technology

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Energy Efficiency Comes into Focus Through the Upcoming IECC

The 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is like a freight train barreling down the track. Starting January 1, 2015 – compliance will require new buildings to be at least 15% more efficient. This will require a tighter building envelope, more insulation that is installed more carefully, sealed ductwork, higher-end windows, and more efficient lighting.

  • Blower-door testing is required, and tightness requirements have increased.
  • Duct tightness must be measured, and the requirements are more rigorous.
  • Homes within climate zones 3 to 8 (and some homes in zones 1 and 2) will be required to have whole-house mechanical ventilation.
  • In certain climate zones, window glazing U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) requirements will need to meet new higher standards.
  • Wall insulation requirements are higher in certain climate zones, and builders in colder climate zones will be required to install continuous exterior insulation to reduce heat loss from thermal bridging.
  • The 2009 IECC required that 50% of lighting fixtures in a new home be CFLs, the 2012 IECC has raised this percentage to 75%.

For more detail, check out this presentation from the US Department of Energy:

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As the Worldview Turns

solar vs dinos

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We embrace sustainability – or we embrace suffering

Imagine you are at a potluck buffet and you are the first in line. How do you know how much to take? Imagine that this potluck spread includes not just food and water, but also conrad plowingthe materials needed for shelter, clothing, healthcare and education. It all looks and smells so good – and you are hungry. What will you heap on your plate? How much is enough to leave enough for your neighbors behind you in the line?  Six billion people, shoulder to shoulder, form a line that circles around the globe to Cairo, on to Hawaii over ocean bridges, then back, and around the globe again, 180 times more. With plates in hand, they too wait in line, hearty appetites in place. And along with them are giraffes, manatees and spiders, untold millions of species, millions of billions of unique beings, all with the same lusty appetites. And behind them, the soon-to-be-born children, cubs, and larvae.  More from Jim Merkel by clicking on this link:

We are just damn lucky we can even have this conversation and think this globally!

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Energy Use In The US Still Growing Rapidly

Americans are using more and more energy every year, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.


Across the board, more energy of every type — everything from renewables, to fossil fuels, to nuclear — is being used. In 2013, Americans used over 2.3 quadrillion thermal units more than in 2012.

More information available at CleanTechnica by clicking here.

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I always knew the five-second rule was not a myth!

Some live by the belief that when you drop a bit of food on the floor, you get five-seconds before it’s rendered too disgusting to eat. Six-seconds? No way!  But for some reason five seconds has generally been accepted.

Biology students at Aston University in the UK monitored how quickly E.coli and common bacteria spread from surfaces to food such as toast (butter side down, no doubt), pasta and sticky sweets — with time being a significant factor in the transfer of germs.

Food picked up just a few seconds after being dropped is less likely to contain bacteria than if it is left for longer periods of time according to the findings.

More on this from the Herald Sun in Australia

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