Increased Regulation of Energy

written by BVM June 16, 2016
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Increased Regulation of Energy Efficiency Policies, Codes, and Benchmarking is Necessary for Successful Policy Reform, According to Navigant Research

 

The European Union’s stringent energy efficiency regulations are influencing policies in other regions, report finds

A new report from Navigant Research examines global energy efficiency policies by region, with samples and assessments of current policies, for a select number of states and countries.
During the past five years, the number of energy efficiency polices around the world has continued to increase. While policies vary by region and country, and with more developed nations taking more stringent approaches, a lack of enforcement remains a significant barrier to implementation in many places.

“Globally, governments and regulatory agencies have increased their focus on commercial buildings, which are large consumers of the world’s energy,” says Krystal Maxwell, research associate with Navigant Research. “Europe is a leader among world regions in energy efficiency policy, with the most rigorous building codes, performance standards, labeling, and benchmarking, as well as some of the most aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.”

In particular, the European Union’s energy efficiency regulations require member states to create and enforce their own internal policies, which have forced member states to proactively address energy efficiency in buildings and create their own policies. Globally, according to the report, other drivers for increased policy creation include events like the Paris Climate Summit and independent organizations working to create labeling and benchmark requirements.

The report, Global Energy Efficiency Policy Analysis, analyzes global energy efficiency policies by region. Samples of current policies are provided and assessed for a select number of states and countries. The study encompasses various aspects of policies, including policy level, with a focus on labeling and benchmarking, energy building codes, performance standards, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets. This report also provides state and country classifications based on those focus areas for certain states and countries.

Worldwide Big Data and Business Analytics Revenues Forecast to Reach $187 Billion in 2019, According to IDC
According to the new Worldwide Semiannual Big Data and Analytics Spending Guide from International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics will grow from nearly $122 billion in 2015 to more than $187 billion in 2019, an increase of more than 50 percent over the five-year forecast period. The new Spending Guide expands on IDC’s previous forecasts by offering greater revenue detail by technology, industry, and geography.

The services-related opportunity will account for more than half of all big data and business analytics revenue for most of the forecast period, with IT Services generating more than three times the annual revenues of Business Services. Software will be the second largest category, generating more than $55 billion in revenues in 2019. Nearly half of these revenues will come from purchases of End-User Query, Reporting, and Analysis Tools and Data Warehouse Management Tools. Hardware spending will grow to nearly $28 billion in 2019.
The industries that present the largest revenue opportunities are Discrete Manufacturing ($22.8 billion in 2019), Banking ($22.1 billion), and Process Manufacturing ($16.4 billion). Four other industries – Federal/Central Government, Professional Services, Telecommunications, and Retail – will generate revenues of more than $10 billion in 2019. The industries experiencing the fastest revenue growth will be Utilities, Resource Industries, Healthcare, and Banking, although nearly all of the industries profiled in the new Spending Guide will see gains of more than 50 percent over the five year forecast period.

Large and very large companies (those with more than 500 employees) will be the primary driver of the big data and business analytics opportunity, generating revenues of more than $140 billion in 2019. However, small and medium businesses (SMBs) will remain a significant contributor with nearly a quarter of the worldwide revenues coming from companies with fewer than 500 employees.
“Organizations able to take advantage of the new generation of business analytics solutions can leverage digital transformation to adapt to disruptive changes and to create competitive differentiation in their markets,” said Dan Vesset, Group Vice President, Analytics and Information Management. “These organizations don’t just automate existing processes – they treat data and information as they would any valued asset by using a focused approach to extracting and developing the value and utility of information.”

“There is little question that big data and analytics can have a considerable impact on just about every industry,” added Jessica Goepfert, Program Director, Customer Insights and Analysis. “Its promise speaks to the pressure to improve margins and performance while simultaneously enhancing responsiveness and delighting customers and prospects. Forward-thinking organizations turn to this technology for better and faster data-driven decisions.”

From a geographic perspective, more than half of all big data and business analytics revenues will come from the United States. By 2019, IDC forecasts that the U.S. market for big data and business analytics solutions will reach more than $98 billion. The second largest geographic region will be Western Europe, followed by Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) and Latin America. The two regions with the fastest growth over the five year forecast period will be Latin America and the Middle East & Africa.

New Ford Fusion Energi, With EPA-Estimated 610-Mile Range, Can Go Further Than Any Plug-In Hybrid
Forty percent of Americans are concerned about how far their vehicle can go on a full tank of gas or battery charge, according to a new survey, and Ford has a new car that can help alleviate that worry.

Ford, America’s best-selling plug-in hybrid brand, now offers a plug-in hybrid that can go further than any other. The new 2017 Fusion Energi can travel 610 miles on a full tank of gas and battery charge – according to EPA estimates posted to fueleconomy.gov – the highest combined range of any plug-in hybrid sold in America.

The March 2016 Harris Poll of more than 1,000 U.S. adults also finds Americans believe the longest-range plug-in hybrid can go 261 miles – less than half the Fusion Energi’s range. This significant underestimation shows the disconnect between reality and what consumers believe.

“Plug-in hybrids are electric vehicles until you run down the battery,” said Wade Jackson, Marketing Manager for Ford Fusion, “then they work exactly like a conventional hybrid. Fusion Energi – with a full battery and a full tank of gas – can go from San Diego, through Los Angeles and all the way up to San Francisco, and still have up to 110 miles of range remaining.”
Changes to the car’s hybrid power train software and regenerative braking, which recycles energy to the battery otherwise lost when drivers hit the brakes, means the 2017 Fusion Energi can travel up to 610 miles on a full tank of gas and battery charge – up from 550 miles for the 2016 model.

Plug-in hybrids use both electric batteries and gas-powered engines. Normally, a vehicle owner will run on all-electric mode until the electricity is depleted, at which point the engine turns on automatically. The Fusion Energi’s all-electric range is an estimated 21 miles. If there is gas in the tank, the car will then operate for about a mile using both battery and gas. After that, the gas engine kicks in for another 588 miles of range – according to EPA estimates.

Ford – the No. 1 seller of plug-in hybrids for 2015 and year-to-date 2016 – is leading the way in raising awareness of the advantages these vehicles offer. Through April, Fusion Energi sales are up 58 percent.

Kevin Layden, Ford Director of Electrified Power Train Engineering, says Fusion Energi is a great option for people who might not live, work, or play near electric-vehicle charging stations, or who take trips to places where the electric-vehicle infrastructure is not yet established.

“Fusion Energi gives them both the freedom to go gas-free for shorter trips and the fuel efficiency of a gas engine for longer trips,” he says. “And it’s very affordable.”
Fusion Energi is on sale now. Its 610 mile range is nearly triple that of the upcoming Tesla Model 3, which Tesla says has a projected total range of 215 miles. The Model 3 doesn’t run on gas, so it also must be recharged immediately when its battery is depleted.

Since introducing the plug-in hybrid vehicle in 2013, Ford has sold nearly 30,000 Fusion Energi cars in the United States. Fusion Energi is one of six Ford Motor Company electrified vehicles, including Ford Fusion Hybrid, C-MAX Hybrid, C-MAX Energi, Focus Electric and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. By 2020, Ford will invest $4.5 billion in electrified vehicles, adding 13 new ones to its product portfolio. More than 40 percent of the company’s nameplates globally will be electrified by the end of this decade.
Data Ford collected from more than 610 million miles logged by its electrified vehicle owners show these drivers put an average of 13,500 miles annually on their vehicles – similar to what owners of gasoline-only cars log – with about half those miles in electric mode. That breaks down to an average daily commute of 42 miles for Ford plug-in hybrid drivers.
So with the enhanced electric range, this means the average Fusion Energi commuter could go the entire day using no gasoline – if the car is fully charged before leaving for work and fully charged before leaving for home.
Ford concludes from the data that most customers are likely charging their vehicles only at home – leaving a wealth of opportunity for growth in workplace charging stations.
The 2017 Ford Fusion Energi has an EPA-estimated rating of 43 city/41 hwy/42 combined MPG, a 14 gallon tank and 21 miles all-electric range. Range calculation based on www.fueleconomy.gov. Actual mileage and range will vary.

Women in IT Networking Call for Participation
The Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS) program, introduced in November 2015 at the SC15 conference in Austin, Texas, developed as a means for addressing the prevalent gender gap that exists in Information Technology (IT) – particularly in the fields of network engineering and high performance computing (HPC).

The 2015 program enabled five talented, early to mid-career women from diverse regions of the U.S. research and education community IT field to participate in the ground-up construction of SCinet, one of the fastest and most advanced computer networks in the world. WINS is a joint effort between the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER), and University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).

SCinet, SC’s dedicated high-performance research network and backbone of information and communication, is seeking qualified female U.S. candidates in their early to mid-career to join the SCinet volunteer workforce for SC16. Selected candidates will receive full travel support and mentoring by well-known engineering experts in the research and education community.
SCinet provides an ideal “apprenticeship” opportunity for engineers and technologists looking for direct access to the most cutting-edge network hardware and software, while working side by side with the world’s leading network and software engineers, and the top network technology vendors.

There are more than 15 teams that comprise SCinet, all focused on specific areas of expertise involved in setting up and operating a research network. Selected candidates will be matched with a mentor in one of these areas based on interest and background.

Learning and training opportunities include (but are not limited to):
• Operating and maintaining traditional “IT” services for SCinet;
• Installing fiber optic network connections;
• Installing and configuring wireless access points;
• Installing and configuring wired network devices for conference meeting rooms;
• Managing internet routing protocols;
• Configuring wide-area network connections to national telecom providers;
• Supporting conference attendees, high-performance computing (HPC) and high-performing network demonstrations;
• Participating in cybersecurity activities focused on prevention, detection, and countermeasures to protect the resources of the conference.
SC is an annual conference co-sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society. The conference focuses on the science and application of HPC and communication technologies. Since 1988, volunteers funded from academic, government and corporate organizations in the HPC industry have worked together to produce the SC Conference series.

The conference attracts more than 10,000 technical program attendees, exhibitors and exhibit visitors. SC has been the breeding ground for the technologies that now underpin services ranging from cloud computing, high-speed Internet services, and current ubiquitous computing architectures.

Attendees are primarily computer engineers, computer scientists, computational scientists and managers/executives of computing facilities who use high-speed and high-performance computers for research and other technical applications. Executives, sales and engineering managers from companies involved in producing and selling HPC products and services also attend and participate.
SCinet provides the essential advanced and commodity networking capabilities the conference needs to support large-scale HPC demos. In recent years, SCinet has delivered bandwidths exceeding 1 terabit per second and has had the opportunity to utilize new services and technology, such as pre-production software-defined networking and intrusion detection systems.
This grant funds selected participants to travel for the staging (if applicable), setup, and attendance of the SC conference and SCinet. Travel could include up to three weeks (or some portion of these three weeks) depending on the SCinet team needs.

After completion of the conference, participants will be asked to report on their experiences and touch on topics such as: what part of the training was new or useful, which learning experiences were not effective or valuable, and other targeted questions that will help drive the future of gender diversity outreach efforts. This reflection will be shared with their home institution, SCinet leadership, project PIs, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

Candidates will be reviewed by a panel of experts from the research and education community for current job relevance, stated support from applicant’s employer, ability to attend the conference, areas of interest, and desire to participate in SCinet!

The review committee will select up to seven candidates to receive funding to set up SCinet at the SC conference in Salt Lake City from October 20-28 and November 7-19, 2016. Final candidates will be notified by mid to late August 2016.

FDA Approves First Buprenorphine Implant for Treatment of Opioid Dependence
Expanded use and availability of medication-assisted treatment is a top priority of federal effort to combat opioid epidemic
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Probuphine, the first buprenorphine implant for the maintenance treatment of opioid dependence. Probuphine is designed to provide a constant, low-level dose of buprenorphine for six months in patients who are already stable on low-to-moderate doses of other forms of buprenorphine, as part of a complete treatment program.
Until today, buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid dependence was only approved as a pill or a film placed under the tongue or on the inside of a person’s cheek until it dissolved. While effective, a pill or film may be lost, forgotten or stolen. However, as an implant, Probuphine provides a new treatment option for people in recovery who may value the unique benefits of a six-month implant compared to other forms of buprenorphine, such as the possibility of improved patient convenience from not needing to take medication on a daily basis. An independent FDA advisory committee supported the approval of Probuphine in a meeting held earlier this year.

“Opioid abuse and addiction have taken a devastating toll on American families. We must do everything we can to make new, innovative treatment options available that can help patients regain control over their lives,” said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D. “The FDA’s approval provides the first-ever implantable option to support patients’ efforts to maintain treatment as part of their overall recovery program.”

Expanding the use and availability of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) options like buprenorphine is an important component of the FDA’s opioid action plan and one of three top priorities for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Opioid Initiative aimed at reducing prescription opioid and heroin related overdose, death and dependence.
Opioid dependence is the diagnostic term used for the more common concept, “addiction,” in the Probuphine clinical trials. Addiction is defined as a cluster of behavioral, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that may include a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling drug use, persisting in drug use despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, as well as the possibility of the development of tolerance or development of physical dependence. Physical dependence is not the same as addiction. Newer diagnostic terminology uses the term “opioid use disorder,” which includes both milder forms of problematic opioid use as well as addiction.

MAT is a comprehensive approach that combines approved medications (currently, methadone, buprenorphine or naltrexone) with counseling and other behavioral therapies to treat patients with opioid use disorder. Regular adherence to MAT with buprenorphine reduces opioid withdrawal symptoms and the desire to use, without causing the cycle of highs and lows associated with opioid misuse or abuse. At sufficient doses, it also decreases the pleasurable effects of other opioids, making continued opioid abuse less attractive. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, patients receiving MAT for their opioid use disorder cut their risk of death from all causes in half.

“Scientific evidence suggests that maintenance treatment with these medications in the context of behavioral treatment and recovery support are more effective in the treatment of opioid use disorder than short-term detoxification programs aimed at abstinence,” said Nora Volkow, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health. “This product will expand the treatment alternatives available to people suffering from an opioid use disorder.”

Probuphine should be used as part of a complete treatment program that includes counseling and psychosocial support. Probuphine consists of four, one-inch-long rods that are implanted under the skin on the inside of the upper arm and provide treatment for six months. Administering Probuphine requires specific training because it must be surgically inserted and removed. Only a health care provider who has completed the training and become certified through a restricted program called the Probuphine Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program should insert and remove the implants. If further treatment is needed, new implants may be inserted in the opposite arm for one additional course of treatment. The FDA is requiring postmarketing studies to establish the safety and feasibility of placing the Probuphine implants for additional courses of treatment.

The safety and efficacy of Probuphine were demonstrated in a randomized clinical trial of adults who met the clinical criteria for opioid dependence and were considered stable after prior buprenorphine treatment. A response to MAT was measured by urine screening and self-reporting of illicit opioid use during the six month treatment period. Sixty-three percent of Probuphine-treated patients had no evidence of illicit opioid use throughout the six months of treatment – similar to the 64 percent of those who responded to sublingual (under the tongue) buprenorphine alone.
The most common side effects from treatment with Probuphine include implant-site pain, itching, and redness, as well as headache, depression, constipation, nausea, vomiting, back pain, toothache and oropharyngeal pain. The safety and efficacy of Probuphine have not been established in children or adolescents less than 16 years of age. Clinical studies of Probuphine did not include participants over the age of 65.

Probuphine has a boxed warning that provides important safety information for health care professionals, including a warning that insertion and removal of Probuphine are associated with the risk of implant migration, protrusion, expulsion, and nerve damage resulting from the procedure. Probuphine must be prescribed and dispensed according to the Probuphine REMS program because of the risks of surgical complications and because of the risks of accidental overdose, misuse and abuse if an implant comes out or protrudes from the skin. As part of this program, Probuphine can only be prescribed and dispensed by health care providers who are certified with the REMS program and have completed live training, among other requirements.
Probuphine implants contain a significant amount of drug that can potentially be expelled or removed, resulting in the potential for accidental exposure or intentional misuse and abuse if the implant comes out of the skin. Patients should be seen during the first week after insertion and a visit schedule of no less than once-monthly is recommended for continued counseling and psychosocial support.

Probuphine is marketed by San Francisco-based Titan Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Braeburn Pharmaceuticals based in Princeton, New Jersey.

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