Energy

DOE Comment Deadline: Energy Conservation Standards for Evaporatively-Cooled Commercial Package Air Conditioners and Water-Cooled Commercial Package Air Conditioners

The Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, is initiating an effort to determine whether to amend the current energy conservation standards for evaporatively-cooled commercial package air conditioners and water-cooled commercial package air conditioners (referred to as evaporatively-cooled commercial unitary air conditioners (ECUACs) and water-cooled commercial unitary air conditioners (WCUACs)). Under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, as amended, DOE must review these standards at least once every six years and publish either a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NOPR”) to propose new standards for ECUACs and WCUACs or a notice of determination that the existing standards do not need to be amended.

This request for information (“RFI”) solicits information from the public to help DOE determine whether amended standards for ECUACs and WCUACs would result in significant additional conservation of energy and whether such standards would be technologically feasible and economically justified. DOE welcomes written comments from the public on any subject within the scope of this document (including topics not raised in this RFI).

Members of the public may submit comments online at Regulations.gov, or by email or postal mail. More information is available at this Federal Register notice.

DOE Comment Deadline: Basic Research Initiative for Microelectronics

The Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science (DOE-SC), is seeking information and comments around its considered launch of a multi-program basic research initiative in support of microelectronics and semiconductor sectors. The participating program offices in DOE-SC invite interested parties to provide input on the topical areas, innovation mechanisms, impact, and potential collaborations, including public-private partnerships, that could be implemented under this initiative. DOE-SC is particularly interested in ways in which unique DOE facilities, expertise and capabilities can be leveraged to support US continued global innovation and leadership in this field.

For decades DOE-SC has been at the leading edge of microelectronics and semiconductor-based technology innovations, both as a consumer and as an engine of scientific understanding that has enabled many of the technological breakthroughs adopted by industry. Since the invention of the integrated circuit in 1960, advances in microelectronics have followed Moore's Law and other scaling laws, leading to circuit density and device performance improvements of 109 over this time period. In turn, strong commercial demand fueled the pace of scaling, and assured that the needs of DOE-SC facilities were met.

Today, the end of Moore's Law, along with the emergence of new computing workloads, new materials and devices, and new models of computation, have resulted in an unprecedented need and opportunity to “redesign” the innovation process. As highlighted in the SC-sponsored Basic Research Needs for Microelectronics workshop, to enable continued advances in computing and power technologies, a fundamental rethinking is needed of the science behind the materials and chemistry, physics, synthesis and fabrication technologies, architectures, algorithms, modeling, simulation, and design software tools. Could we replace the historical roadmaps with co-design collaborations among software developers, computer architects, circuit designers, device physicists, materials scientists, and chemists to guide a new R&D strategy? The outcome of such an “end-to-end co-design framework” could fundamentally reshape future high performance computing, sensing, data analytics, artificial intelligence, power conversion and control, and other electronics-intensive applications.

DOE-SC supports robust basic research portfolios and scientific user facilities for chemical, physical, mathematical, computational sciences, and modeling/simulation. DOE-SC is poised at the convergence of these scientific disciplines, in a unique position to play a critical role in the advancement of microelectronic technologies over the coming decades. In addition, the success and impact of DOE-SC facilities (e.g. high-performance computers, x-ray and neutron scattering centers, and high energy physics experiments) will be dependent upon the resultant capabilities in computing, sensing, power, and communications.

DOE-SC is considering the launch of a basic research Microelectronics R&D initiative with emphasis on the following broad areas:

  • Materials, chemistry, surface science, and plasma science/technology
  • Device physics and circuits
  • Component integration, architecture, and algorithms
  • Next-generation tools for synthesis, fabrication, and characterization

Investments in these areas will provide foundational support for U.S. leadership in key technology growth areas, including the following:

  • Memory and Reconfigurable Systems
  • Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
  • Edge Computing, Sensors, and the Internet of Things
  • Power Electronics, the Electricity Grid, and Cyber Physical Systems
  • Energy Efficiency of Computation and Packaging

Members of the public may submit comments online at Regulations.gov. More information is available at this Federal Register notice.

DOE Comment Deadline: Planning and Operation Models and Data Analytics for Solar Grid Integration

The Department of Energy (DOE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), is issuing this request for information (RFI) to solicit feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders. This RFI will inform SETO's strategic planning on research related to the integration of distributed solar energy resources. Specifically, this RFI will inform strategies relating to the modeling, monitoring, predicting, and controlling of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. As the penetration of solar PV on the grid grows, these strategies will become more important as grid operators consider how solar adoption impacts grid planning and operations technologies.

The main focus is enabling high penetration of distributed behind-the-meter and small-scale solar generation and decrease its curtailment through better data acquisition and its numerical analysis. 

Members of the public may submit comments via email. More information is available at this Federal Register notice.

FERC Comment Deadline: Reliability Technical Conference

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) convened a Commissioner-led technical conference on June 27, 2019, to discuss policy issues related to the reliability of the Bulk-Power System.

All interested persons are invited to file post-technical conference comments on the topics concerning the reliability of the Bulk-Power System discussed during the technical conference, including the questions listed in the Final Notice issued on July 3, 2019. Commenters need not respond to all questions asked. Commenters should organize responses consistent with the numbering of the questions and identify to what extent their responses are generally applicable. Commission staff reserves the right to post additional follow-up questions related to those panels if deemed necessary. In addition, commenters are encouraged, when possible, to provide specific examples and data in support of their answers.

Members of the public may submit comments online at the FERC website or via mail. More information is available at this Federal Register notice.

CEQ Comment Deadline: Draft National Environmental Policy Act Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) within the Executive Office of the President is seeking comments on its draft guidance on how National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis and documentation should address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This Draft National Environmental Policy Act Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, if finalized, would replace the final guidance CEQ issued on August 1, 2016, titled “Final Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in National Environmental Policy Act Reviews,” which was withdrawn effective April 5, 2017 for further consideration pursuant to Executive Order 13783 of March 28, 2017, “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.”

On July 24, 2019 (84 FR 35607), the CEQ extended the comment deadline from July 26, 2019, to August 26, 2019.

Members of the public may submit comments online at Regulations.gov or by postal mail. More information is available at this Federal Register notice.