Vermont Energy Investment Corporation or VEIC is a non-profit organization in Chittenden County, Vermont that seeks to reduce the economic and environmental costs of energy consumption through energy efficiency and renewable energy adoption. Since its founding in 1986, the organization has been involved in designing energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in North America and worldwide.VEIC also operates three large-scale energy efficiency programs in the United States, including Efficiency Vermont, the nation’s first statewide energy efficiency utility. Wikipedia.
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 317.80K | Year: 2015
Time series classification is the problem of trying to predict an outcome based on a series of ordered data. So, for example, if we take a series of electronic readings from a sample of meat, the classification problem could be to determine whether that sample is pure beef or whether it has been adulterated with some other meat. Alternatively, if we have a series of electricity usage, the classification problem could be to determine which type of device generated those readings. Time series classification problems arise in all areas of science, and we have worked on problems involving ECG and EEG data, chemical concentration readings, astronomical measurements, otolith outlines, electricity usage, food spectrographs, hand and bone radiograph data and mutant worm motion. The algorithm we have developed to do this, The Collective of Transform Ensembles (COTE), is significantly better than any other technique proposed in the literature (when assessed on 80 data sets used in the literature). This project looks to improve COTE further and to apply it to three problem domains of genuine importance to society. In collaboration with Imperial, we will look at classifying Caenorhabditis elegans via motion traces. C. elegans is a nematode worm commonly used as a model organism in the study of genetics. We will help develop an automated classifier for C. elegans mutant types based on their motion, with the objective of identifying genes that regulate appetite. This classifier will automate a task previously done manually at great cost and will uncover conserved regulators of appetite in a model organism in which functional dissection is possible at the level of behaviour, neural circuitry, and fat storage. In the long term, this may give insights into the genetic component of human obesity. Working closely with the Institute of Food Research (IFR), we will attempt to solve two problems involving classifying food types by their molecular spectra (infrared, IR, and nuclear magnetic resonance, NMR). The first problem involves classifying meat type. The horse meat scandal of 2012/3 has shown that there is an urgent need to increase current authenticity testing regimes for meat. IFR have been working closely with a company called Oxford Instruments to develop a new low-cost, bench-top spectrometer called the Pulsar for rapid screening of meat. We will collaborate with IFR to find the best algorithms for performing this classification. The second problem aims to find non-destructive ways for testing whether the content of intact spirits bottles is genuine or fake. Forged alcohol is commonplace, and in recent years there has been an increasing number of serious injuries and even deaths from the consumption of illegally produced spirits. The development of sensor technology to detect this type of fraud would thus have great societal value, and the collaboration with Oxford Instruments offers the potential for the development of portable scanners for product verification. Our third case study involves classifying electric devices from smart meter data. Currently 25% of the United Kingdoms greenhouse gasses are accounted for by domestic energy consumption, such as heating, lighting and appliance use. The government has committed to an 80% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2050, and to meet this is requiring the installation of smart energy meters in every household to promote energy saving. The primary output of this investment of billions of pounds in technology will be enormous quantities of data relating to electricity usage. Understanding and intelligently using this data will be crucial if we are to meet the emissions target. We will focus on one part of the analysis, which is the problem of determining whether we can automatically classify the nature of the device(s) currently consuming electricity at any point in time. This is a necessary first step in better understanding household practices, which is essential for reducing usage.
News Article | February 16, 2017
Almost immediately after the funds of the American Recovery and Reconstruction Act, ARRA, became available, many states, including Vermont, distributed some of the funds to a number of government and private renewable energy entities. Government programs with federal and state subsidies were created to attract in-state and out-of-state investments in renewable energy projects to create jobs and boost the economy. In Vermont, the media were enlisted to build up an image of Vermont as a “renewable energy leader”. Well-known foreign renewable energy leaders were invited to Vermont to give lectures about their renewable energy achievements. A 520-page report of the Vermont’s Comprehensive Energy Plan, CEP, was created, which states an aspirational goal of “90% Renewable Energy of All Primary Energy by 2050”; electrical energy is only about 35% of all primary energy. NOTE: No nation in the world, except Denmark, has such an extreme goal, however, Denmark is a special case, because of its proximity to Norway’s hydro plants to balance its wind energy. In the real world, almost all political entities have much lower RE goals for primary energy than Vermont. Relatively few political entities have high RE goals for electrical energy. NOTE: The German Energiewende goal is at least 80% of electricity production and 60% of primary energy from RE by 2050, which is much less extreme than Vermont’s 90%. Denmark and German Household Electric Rates: Denmark and Germany implementing higher renewable energy percentages has led to higher household electric rates. The same would happen in Vermont. The below graph shows German household electric rates are the second highest in Europe, about 28.69 eurocent/kWh in 2015; Denmark is the leader with about 30 eurocent/kWh, Ireland is at 25 c/kWh, Spain 24 c/kWh, France, about 80% nuclear generation, 17 c/kWh. From Aspirational Goal to Mandate: Senator Bray introduced Bill S.51, titled “Consolidated Clean Energy Planning and Economic Opportunity Act” The bill proposes: to establish a statutory goal (a mandate), that, by 2050, 90 percent of Vermont’s total energy consumption be from renewable energy. It also proposes to establish additional supporting goals and to require State plans that affect energy to recommend measures to achieve these goals. State and local bureaucrats would exhort Vermonters to spend $33.3 billion on various government-directed measures and programs that would cause their energy consumption to decrease, but the cost of their remaining energy consumption likely would be about 2 – 3 times present costs. An Easy Task for Utilities: It would be an easy task for Vermont utilities to achieve a Renewable Portfolio Standard, RPS, of “90% RE of their electricity supply”. They merely would have additional contracts to buy RE from in-state and out-of-state producers, and pass any costs onto ratepayers, per VT-Public Service Board, PSB, approval. An Expensive Task for Vermonters: It would be extremely expensive for Vermonters to achieve “90% RE of All Primary Energy by 2050”, as that would require a significant transformation of the Vermont economy. Vermonters would have to make investments of about $33.3 billion* during the 2017 – 2050 period, as estimated by the Vermont Energy Action Network. Vermont’s stakeholders prefer the renewable energy to be from mostly in-state sources, as that would maximize their revenues and profits. Federal subsidies for wind, solar, and other renewable sources likely would be decreasing in future years. * If the US were to adopt Vermont’s 90% RE goal, the capital cost would be: US 325 million people/Vermont 0.625 million x 33.3 = $17,316 billion, which is in the same ballpark as the US national debt. Reducing the 90% Goal to 40% is an Economic Necessity: Reducing the 90% goal to 40% would be more affordable, and it could be implemented by means of: – Significantly increased efficiency of buildings (such as net zero energy buildings) and of transportation (such as by adherence to federal CAFE standards), which would be much better for Vermont, as it would decrease the energy bills for already-struggling households and businesses, and would decrease CO2. Both measures would be the lowest-cost and quickest way to reduce CO2, and would have minimal impact on the Vermont environment. They would be much better for Vermont, instead of additional, subsidized wind turbine systems on more than 200 miles of pristine ridgelines and solar systems in thousands of acres of fertile meadows, which produce energy, that is variable, intermittent, grid disturbing, health damaging, property value-lowering, environment-damaging, social-discord-creating, and expensive at 3 – 5 times NE wholesale prices of 5 c/kWh. The 40% goal would be more in line with other New England states and much less costly. See Table 2. There would be no need for a regressive carbon tax. With the 40% goal, source energy would be reduced, similar to the 90% goal, by getting more, low-cost, near CO2-free, hydro energy from Hydro-Quebec*. *About 200 MW of a 1000 MW HVDC line, under construction, is reserved for Vermont, which could provide about 1.3 million MWh/y from H-Q in addition to the present H-Q supply, equivalent to 7 Lowell wind turbine plants. Future HVDC lines, in various planning and approval stages, could provide more hydro electricity. Source Energy Factors: The ratio of the energy from well, mine, forest, etc., to user is defined as the source energy factor. The source factors of hydro is 1.0, NE grid energy 2.63, nuclear 3.08, and biomass 3.33*. Whereas the source factors of variable wind and solar are 1.0, they require grid-connected generators for balancing, as in Germany and Denmark. The source energy would also be reduced by significantly increased efficiency of buildings and transportation. * McNeil and Ryegate wood-fired power plants have source factors of 4.2, because of their poor efficiency. Closing them would significantly reduce Vermont’s source energy (3.2 out of 4.2 trees are wasted), and toxic pollution, and CO2 emissions (which are not counted, because burning trees is “declared” CO2-neutral within about 50 to 100 years). NOTE: Vermont Public Issues Research Group, VPIRG, mostly financed by RE stakeholders, commissioned a study by REMI, a consultant, which provided VPIRG, legislators, et al, with a report with pretty photographs, a rosy pro-carbon tax rationale, and various talking points, to bamboozle voters regarding the merits of the proposed carbon tax. NOTE: In 2011, the electricity supplied to Vermont utilities was 6119.1 GWh, or 20.88 TBtu. That electricity required about 50.8 TBtu of primary energy, for an average conversion factor of 20.88/50.8 = 0.41, per the VT-Department of Public Service 2013 Utility Facts Report. Vermont’s 2010 total primary energy was 147.6 TBtu, thus electricity was 50.8/147.6 = 34.4% of total primary energy. NOTE: “The Department of Public Service, DPS, in conjunction with other State agencies designated by the Governor, shall prepare a State Comprehensive Energy Plan covering at least a 20-year period”, per Vermont statute $202b. DPS, et al, arbitrarily selected the goal of “90% RE of All Primary Energy by 2050”, without any feasibility and cost analysis. DPS correctly stated during a public information hearing: “It does not matter what Vermont does, because it would not make any difference regarding climate change and global warming”. Thus far, after waiting for years, Vermonters have not received any rational explanation of why that goal was selected. That goal is greatly in excess of what other New England states have as their goals. Huge Capital Requirements: Vermont’s goal of attaining 90% of its energy from renewables by 2050 would require capital investments of at least $33.3 billion during the 2017-2050 period, about $1 billion per year, according to Vermont Energy Action Network’s 2015 annual report. That’s not counting interest and finance charges and replacements and refurbishments due to wear and tear. See Page 6 of annual report. That burden is far in excess of what the near zero, real-growth Vermont economy could afford. It took at least $900 million to go from 11.53% total renewable energy (EAN number) in 2010 to about 15% in 2016. That includes electricity, transportation energy and heating and cooling. This was made easier because it was highly subsidized. That level of subsidies will be less going forward, because wind, solar and other subsidies are being reduced. Most of that spending affected the electrical part. As a result, Vermont utilities likely will meet 55% RE of their electricity supply by 2017, and 75% by 2032. It would require a minimum of about $950 million per year between 2017 and 2050 to meet the 90% renewable goal. See Table 1, which is based on estimates by EAN, a consultant for Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, VEIC, and DPS. See URL. *EAN uses source energy (from mine or well to as delivered to user) and DPS uses primary energy (as delivered to user), which is slightly less than source energy. Year 2016 obtained by interpolation. Where would the many billions of additional money come from for the remaining electrical part, plus the much more expensive thermal and transportation parts? Vermont is a relatively poor state with a stagnant population; a growing population of elderly and dependent people; state budget deficits year after year; a near zero, real-growth economy; and a very poor business climate. The last thing Vermont households and businesses need is a doubling or tripling of energy prices to make the Vermont economy even less competitive. If we were to reduce the goal to 40% renewable by 2050, it would still be a formidable task. That goal would require a minimum of about $420 million per year between 2017 and 2050. See Table 2. Renewable Portfolio Standards: Renewable portfolio standards require utilities to have a percentage of their electricity supply from renewable sources. Two states, Hawaii and Vermont, require much higher percentages of renewable energy than any other state in the nation. Hawaii requires 30% by 2020, 40% by 2030, 70% by 2040, and 100% by 2045. Unlike Vermont, Hawaii is much closer to the equator, has steady trade winds and much sunshine, and has the highest electric rates in the United States. The Hawaii goal is reasonable, but the Vermont goal is economically unwise. See URLs and Table 3. *MA percent to increase by 1%/y after 2020; the ME and VT goals are higher because of hydro being counted as renewable. Vermont utilities could satisfy the 75% requirement within a few years (well before 2032) by buying more hydro energy from Hydro-Quebec. That would require no subsidies and near-zero capital costs, because private corporations would design, build, own and operate the high voltage transmission lines from Quebec to Vermont. However, Green Mountain Power, which controls 77% of Vermont’s electricity market, refuses to buy more hydro energy for business reasons, i.e., it would not increase its asset base on which it earns about 9% per year.
News Article | November 30, 2016
The EU and US have declared, “Burning wood is CO2-neutral”. East Europe and the US Southeast still have significant areas with forests. Starting about 2005, major parts of these forests have been harvested by means of clear-cutting. In 2016, about 6.5 million metric ton of wood pellets will be shipped from the US Southeast to Europe for co-firing in coal-fired power plants. The EU authorities in Brussels have declared these coal plants in compliance with EU CO2/kWh standards, because biomass is renewable and the CO2 of wood burning is not counted. Manufacturing pellets requires input energy of about 115 units, and shipping pellets to European coal plants requires about 10 units, for a total of 125 units to obtain 100 units of pellet energy; the CO2 emissions of pellet burning is declared CO2-neutral, and the other 25% of CO2 emissions is not mentioned. Clear-cutting of Forests: Clear-cutting is extremely damaging to soils, because of leaching out of nutrients released by dead underground biomass. When most of the US northeast was clear-cut in the 1800s (Vermont lost 75% of its forests in a few decades), soils eroded, and nutrients leached out. That environmental destruction was followed by about 4 decades of acid rain, 50s – 80s, which had the same effect as clear-cutting regarding nutrients leaching out, such as calcium, a vital nutrient for biomass growth. The regrown forest is only, and can only be, a pale copy of what was before, and likely will never be as robust, unless forest soils are annually fertilized, as with most planted forest areas in the US southeast. In Vermont, about 45% to 50% of regrown forest is low-grade wood, i.e., suitable for burning. Vermont state government allows clear-cutting events of up to 40 acres “without a permit”; there is no statewide annual limit of such events. Considering the various known historical damages of clear-cutting, one would think the state would not allow it at all. NOTE: In the 1600s – 1700s, Vermont’s lakes and rivers were teeming with fish, according to settlers’ accounts. Eroded soils damaged/buried most of fish hatching grounds, due to the clear-cutting in the 1800s. A mere semblance of former fish populations is maintained by state fish hatcheries. NOTE: Traditional biomass includes wood, agricultural by-products and dung. They usually are inefficiently burned for cooking and heating purposes. In developing countries, such as India, traditional biomass is harvested in an unsustainable manner and burned in a highly polluting way. It is mostly traded informally and non-commercially. It was about 8.9% of the world’s total energy consumption in 2014. Most US states have significant areas covered with forests. As part of renewable energy programs, these forests are seen as useful for producing thermal and electrical energy. By using the mantra “Burning wood is CO2-neutral”, the CO2 from wood burning, and associated activities, is ignored, and thus not included in a state’s overall CO2 emissions. One of such states is Vermont, the subject of this article. Burning Wood Declared CO2-Neutral in Vermont: Proponents of more wood burning, to achieve the Comprehensive Energy Plan, CEP, goal of “90% RE of All Energy by 2050”, are engaging in a fantasy by simply declaring, “Burning wood is CO2-neutral”. The difference of opinion regarding CO2 emissions from wood burning is not among scientists, but between scientists and wood burning proponents. “Burning wood is CO2-neutral” is used by wood burning proponents to bamboozle Vermonters. It conjures up the APPEARANCE of meeting CO2 targets. Proponents purposely forget to add: “Over a period of up to 60 years in New England, up to 40 years in the US southeast, if: 1) There is spare Vermont forest area for sequestering (there is not); 2) Logged forests have the same acreage (they do not); 3) Forests are not further fragmented or developed (they are); 4) Forest CO2 sequestering capability, Mt/acre, remains the same (it does not). See note. Forests have aboveground and belowground new growth, which absorbs CO2 from the air and carbon, C, from the soil. Removing live biomass, low-grade and high-grade, reduces that absorption. In Vermont, about 50% of biomass removals are for high-grade purposes (the C stays sequestered, until some of it is burned); the other 50% is mostly for burning (the C becomes CO2 and is released to the atmosphere), and a small quantity is for pulp/paper mills (the C stays sequestered, unless some of it is burned). Burning Wood Yields High CO2/Energy Unit Compared to Other Fuels: Forests, other biomass and oceans, acting as sinks, absorb atmospheric CO2 from any source. Those sinks are working at full capacity. The CO2 they cannot deal with has been building up in the atmosphere for at least the past 100 years. It is irrational to make the claim “wood burning is CO2-neutral, because biomass growth is absorbing the wood-burning CO2”. Such a claim ignores the sinks are working at full capacity. There is no spare forest area reserved for absorbing the wood-burning CO2. In addition, a wood chip power plant or heating plant adds CO2 to the atmosphere through: – Logging, which adds CO2 due to soil disturbance; vehicle transport, equipment use, refurbishments and replacements; and diesel burning – Plant O & M and refurbishments and replacements, which adds CO2 – Burning wood, which adds CO2 at much higher rates/energy unit than other fuels. See table. The total CO2 of above 5 items would require about 15% more forest area than the harvested area to reabsorb that CO2 over at least 50 years. If wood pellets were used, about 30% more forest area is needed, as about 115 units of energy are required to produce pellets with 100 units of energy. Burning wood to produce electricity or heat yields more CO2/energy unit and more pollution/energy unit than any other fuel. The below table indicates only the combustion CO2. *Plus about 15%, if wood chips, plus about 30%, if wood pellets VEIC and BERC: Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, VEIC, a non-profit, assumed control of Efficiency Vermont in 2008 (financed by a state-mandated surcharge on electric bills, about $60 million in 2016, which will be annually increasing), and of Biomass Energy Research Center, BERC, a non-profit, in 2012. BERC performs biomass studies for VEIC, Vermont Energy Action Network, EAN, and others. EAN provides major inputs to updates of the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan, CEP, which has a goal (not legally required) of “90% RE of All Energy by 2050”, not just electrical energy, which is about 35% of all energy at present). BERC estimates, based on its criteria, about 46.8% of Vermont’s forests inventory of live trees is low-grade, i.e., suitable for wood burning. Wood Burning Plants and CO2 Emissions: A wood chip power plant or heating plant adds CO2 through: 1) Logging soil disturbance, vehicle transport, equipment use, refurbishments and replacements, diesel fuel burning; 2) Plant construction; 3) Plant O & M, refurbishments and replacements; 4) Plant decommissioning. Those CO2 emissions would require a forest area up to 15% greater than the wood burning CO2 to reabsorb it over up to 60 years. CO2 Emissions and Sequestering: Vermont CO2 emissions are about 8,370,000 Mt/y, of which Vermont forests sequester about 8,230,000 Mt/y, 1.82 Mt/acre/y*. The remaining 140,000 Mt/y becomes an annual addition to the atmosphere. Vermont forests cannot sequester all of Vermont CO2, i.e., there is NO spare forest area in Vermont, or elsewhere, to sequester ANY CO2 from wood burning. *The 1,618,565 Mt of CO2 from wood burning in Vermont is improperly excluded, due to the historical myth, “Burning wood is CO2-neutral”. See Note. NOTE: Conversion factor for carbon sequestered by 1 acre of average U.S. Forest = – 0.29 Mt C/acre/year x (44 CO2/12 C) = –1.06 Mt CO2/acre/y. Vermont claims 8.23 million Mt/y/4,511,000 forest acres = 1.82 Mt/acre/y; Maine claims 0.3 x 44/12 = 1.1 Mt/acre/y. It is not clear why Vermont has such a high value. Vermont Excessive Harvesting: According to USFS standards regarding nutrition, habitat, etc., Vermont harvest removals should be limited to 980,410 dry ton/y. However, Vermont’s 2014 harvest was 1,330,674 dry ton, an excess removal of 350,265 dry ton, per USFS. The CEP projects Vermont wood burning biomass, including pellets, to increase from 10.730 TBtu in 2010 to 14.533 TBtu by 2050, about a 35% increase; these end units, i.e., after burning. See pages 126 and 127 of CEP. If the end units are green ton, and if burning is at the same average efficiency, the increase would be about 0.35 x 1,233,497, green ton (2014 Vermont wood burning harvest) = 431,724 green ton/y. This increase would feasible: – If all of the increase were from NH, MA and NY. Vermont already imported about 371,691green ton for wood burning in 2015. – If McNeil and Ryegate were shutdown to make available about 347,342 (in-state) + 371,691 (out-of-state) = 719,033 green ton/y for distributed wood burning. NOTE: If NH, MA, and NY also increase wood burning, the wood available to Vermont likely would become less. The below tables are based on data from: The 2016 USFS report (based on 2015 surveys); the 2010 BERC update report (mostly based on pre-2010 data); the 2015 VT-FPR report of the 2014 VT harvest; the 2015 wood burning by McNeil and Ryegate. *Removals” are estimated by measuring stumps in surveyed plots every 5 – 7 years; the stumps could be of live and dead trees. * The “350, 265 dry ton difference” is due to USFS sampling being based on 1 plot per 6,000 acres, whereas VT-FPR harvest reports are based on mill surveys, and other, more detailed, information gathering. Local loggers report taking a lot of dead, dying and other low-value trees, which appears to be true, based on my observations of watching chipping operations in my neighborhood. Nutrition and habitat benefits to a forest are reduced, if dead wood (mostly cull tops and limbs, and cull boles) is removed. – Harvest for wood burning = mostly low-grade biomass + some dead biomass. – Dead trees typically are left in the forest for habitat and nutrition. In case of clear-cutting (up to 40 acres is allowed without a permit), near zero is left for habitat and nutrition. – NALG for burning and pulp is 894,893 green ton/y, per BERC report, mostly based on pre-2010 data. – NALG wood inventory is 51.03/109 = 46.8% of aboveground low-grade inventory, per BERC criteria. – Low-grade wood consists of cull tops and limbs; cull boles; growing stock tops and limbs; growing stock boles. – Pulp log uses are for firewood; pulp/paper mills; wood chip power plants; commercial & institutional heating plants. – VT pulp tonnage to pulp/paper mills has been decreasing in recent years. Vermont’s wood burning harvest was 354,462 cords, or 886,155 green ton for firewood + 347,342 green ton for electrical generation = 1,233,497 green ton in 2014. See URL. About 347,342/719,033 = 48% of total electrical tonnage was harvested in Vermont. See below table and URLs. NOTE: A standard ton of green wood is 45% H2O, and dry wood is 50% carbon. Burning one ton of green wood creates 2000 x (1- 0.45) x 0.5 x (44/12)/2000 = 1.00833 ton of CO2 emissions. NOTE: Below are listed the wood tonnage and combustion CO2 tonnage of Vermont’s wood chip power plants in 2015.
News Article | April 22, 2016
Earth Day 2016 will be a truly historic event. At the United Nations in New York City, more than 150 countries will sign the Paris Agreement that was forged at COP21. The signing by so many, this quickly, is unprecedented. By signing the agreement, countries large and small, rich and poor, will give their consent to be bound and the agreement will “enter into force.” A strong global climate agreement and the transition to a low-carbon economy are in the best interests of the global economy and future generations. We are proud to stand alongside over 100 other companies in formally welcoming the Paris Agreement, congratulating world leaders on reaching this ambitious climate change accord and encouraging timely implementation of the climate commitments laid out in the sgreement. We are pleased to be joined in the congratulatory statement and call for a “Low Carbon USA” by USGBC members including Autodesk, Colgate Palmolive, Dupont, Enernoc, General Mills, HP, Hilton, JLL, Johnson & Johnson, Kingspan, Mortenson Construction, National Grid, Nike, Pacific Gas & Electric, Perkins + Will, Philips, Schneider Electric, Sealed Air, Starbucks, Thornton Tomasetti and Vermont Energy Investment Corporation. Across the globe a majority of people—and government officials—now recognize the threat of climate change. Science, education, media and increasingly severe natural disasters have made this real. But that awareness alone is unlikely to have enabled the agreement. The upsurge in implemented clean energy and energy efficiency has been critically important in showing that decarbonization is a real option and can be achieved hand in hand with a strong economy and necessary development. To get there, governments have led by example and flexed policy levers to support research and development (R&D) and drive new markets; the finance world has responded with record-breaking investment; corporations have responded with innovative technologies and bringing ideas to scale. Historic as it is, the Paris Agreement is a starting point for the accelerated transformation we need. We recognize that the hard work has now only just begun. We must now focus our efforts and attention on the agreement’s proper implementation. Governments will need to boost R&D and adopt more reaching policies, such as the Clean Power Plan; more investors will need to prioritize clean energy and sustainable attributes in their portfolios; and businesses will need to keep innovating and putting solutions into the marketplace. And closer to home, each of us has a role, as a citizen and voter, and in our own lives. Wherever you fit in, all of us have a role to fulfill. For tomorrow, let’s pause to appreciate the historic moment, and get back to work. We can’t afford to waste any more time.
Hill D.G.,Vermont Energy
39th ASES National Solar Conference 2010, SOLAR 2010 | Year: 2010
There is a continuing and passionate debate on the pros and cons of feed in tariffs (FITs) as a policy mechanism for promoting the sustained orderly development of distributed renewable energy resources. Through an expansion enacted in May of 2009, the Vermont Sustainably Priced Energy Development (SPEED) Program provides the first statewide implementation of a Standard Offer Contract Feed In Tariff in the United States. This paper presents a case study of the Vermont SPEED experience, comments on the successes and challenges faced by the program, and uses the case study as a platform for a broader discussion of design issues and questions helpful to others who are advocating, implementing, or participating in a FIT program. Copyright 2010, American Solar Energy Society.
Berges M.,Carnegie Mellon University |
Goldman E.,Vermont Energy |
Matthews H.S.,Carnegie Mellon University |
Soibelman L.,Carnegie Mellon University |
Anderson K.,Carnegie Mellon University
Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering | Year: 2011
This paper presents a nonintrusive electricity load-monitoring approach that provides feedback on the energy consumption and operational schedule of electrical appliances in a residential building. This approach utilizes simple algorithms for detecting and classifying electrical events on the basis of voltage and current measurements obtained at the main circuit panel of the home. To address the necessary training and calibration, this approach is designed around the end-user and relies on user input to continuously improve its performance. The algorithms and the user interaction processes are described in detail. Three data sets were collected with a prototype system (from a power strip in a laboratory, a house, and an apartment unit) to test the performance of the algorithms. The event detector achieved true positive and false positive rates of 94 and 0.26%, respectively. When combined with the classification task, the overall accuracy (correctly detected and classified events) was 82%. The advantages and limitations of this work are discussed, and possible future research is presented. © 2011 American Society of Civil Engineers.
Jenkins C.,Vermont Energy |
Neme C.,Vermont Energy |
Enterline S.,Vermont Energy
Energy Efficiency | Year: 2011
ISO New England, which oversees New England's bulk electric power system and wholesale electricity markets, recently established a Forward Capacity Market (FCM) that will pay suppliers to ensure sufficient capacity is available to meet future peak loads. Under the FCM, ISO New England projects the needs of the power system 3 years in advance and then holds an annual auction to purchase the resources necessary to satisfy the future regional requirements. This market is groundbreaking in that it was the first to allow energy efficiency and other demand resources to compete directly with generators. In the first auction, held in February 2008, demand resources contributed substantially to eliminating the need for new generating capacity in the near term and to providing low-cost resources to the region's ratepayers. Two additional successful auctions have now been held. Participating in the FCM requires a considerable and complex bid, financial assurance, and claim activities. Meeting new intensive measurement, tracking, and verification requirements adds new costs. For efficiency portfolio administrators, participation raises policy questions regarding ownership of capacity credits, appropriate disposition of revenues, increasing emphasis on peak savings, and whether traditionally short-term budget cycles should change to enable the longer-term planning necessary to bid resources several years into the future. On the other hand, revenues from the FCM can provide needed funding for additional efficiency investments. This paper describes the FCM, examines the experience and trade-offs involved in participating for efficiency programs, and reviews the benefits of such participation for the program and the region, including the positive value from increased exposure of the part that efficiency can play in our energy mix. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Vermont Energy | Date: 2014-03-14
An assessment system and method are described that capture indoor temperature measurements and corresponding outdoor temperature measurements in order to determine a thermal efficiency of a structure. The assessment system identifies quiescent periods and trims these periods to eliminate undesirable influences such as auxiliary heating or solar gain. The quiescent periods are then compared to outdoor temperature differences to determine the thermal efficiency of the structure. The system can model the structures performance metrics, through inferred qualitative and quantitative characterizations including, but not limited to, the buildings rate of temperature change as a function of internal and external temperatures, the buildings heating, cooling, and other energy needs as they relate to the building envelope, appliances, and other products used at the site and occupant behavior.
Vermont Energy | Date: 2016-07-28
Computer software used for analysis and reporting of energy consumption and the carbon impact of energy use, namely, the use of fossil fuels, electricity, electrified transportation, wood heating, renewable energy resources, and energy storage systems. Providing temporary use of non-downloadable computer software used for analysis and reporting of energy consumption and the carbon impact of energy use, namely, the use of fossil fuels, electricity, electrified transportation, wood heating, renewable energy resources, and energy storage systems; Data analysis services in the field of energy consumption and carbon impact of energy usage.