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Thought Leadership from Sieben Energy Associates

Explore the Future of Energy at Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

A groundbreaking interactive exhibit called Future Energy Chicago opened at the world-renowned museum in the fall of 2013. Sieben Energy Associates played an important role in the development of the Museum of Science and Industry exhibit, uncovering and validating the simulation data for the real-world scenarios encountered by museum guests.

MSI describes the grounding of the simulation in real-world data that Sieben Energy Associates contributed to the exhibit: "The Future Energy Chicago Simulation is based upon real-world information and data. MSI partnered with Sieben Energy Associates to seek out, organize, and interpret the data, which provided the basis for the simulation game's scoring system."

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Efficiency By The Numbers

​Energy data is collected and analyzed as never before. Nearly every industry has been revolutionized by the continuous processing of numbers at unprecedented speed and scale. Purposeful data analysis elicits new perspectives on how value is assigned to products and services. Data collection and handling is important, yet we find that the value is in the interpretation as well as the response. 

While there are costs associated with data management, if leveraged appropriately the advantages will produce significant ROI. The more accurate and in-depth the data analysis, the more value is derived from it. The same is true of data use: the more an organization uses data to inform day-to-day operations and to develop long-term goals, the greater the return.

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...And Energy Planning For All

Energy planning has become essential business practice at many major corporations. Understandably, smaller organizations have been slower to join the trend. Now may be the time to act. After falling sharply during the recession, energy prices are expected to escalate substantially in the near future. In addition, sustainability and energy benchmarks have become increasingly important to potential customers and investors looking to differentiate organizations. For these reasons, an actionable, effective energy plan is a valuable tool in the hands of leadership of any organization, large or small. 

This overview of energy planning first examines how select corporations have integrated energy into their strategic planning. Regardless of size, industry, budget, or location, thinking about energy and implementing steps to improve energy consumption and procurement have the potential to reduce cost, improve efficiency, and excite existing and potential clients and customers. Whether you employ four, four hundred, or forty thousand people, a realistic energy plan can help sustain and grow your business.Copy this template before you save.

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The Next Wave of Solar

In a feature article by Jennie Morton in this month's issue of Buildings Magazine, Dan Bailey of Sieben Energy Associates is quoted several times discussing the future of solar photovoltaics. The article, "The Next Wave of Solar", introduces thin-film solar cell technology, which makes it possible for solar cells to be incorporated into functional parts of a building. They no longer need to be accessories placed on top of or next to the structure.

Building integrated photovoltaics (BIPVs) are a growing trend. BIPVs seamlessly combine the solar cells with standard materials used in the building envelope—such as roofs, glass, or façade. Solar cells are no longer confined to the domain of building engineering; they increasingly appear in the context of building design and building architecture.

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A Strong, Silent, 350-Mile-Wide Voice in Washington

The United States has not adopted into federal law an advanced energy policy that targets energy production and consumption with respect to climate impact. Despite a lot of talk and a handful of bills proposed in Congress since President Obama's inauguration a year and a half ago, no comprehensive legislation has been able to pass both the House and Senate. A handful of bills have been proposed. None of the efforts to date was able to garner significant political momentum or public support. Healthcare and finance reform have stolen the show, and the headlines.

But all this changed when tragedies at a coal mine in West Virginia and an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in dozens of human casualties and cast America's attention on fossil fuels. How Congress will respond depends on many variables, and nobody knows for certain whether any climate (or even energy) legislation will become law by January 2011. But trends indicate that if no comprehensive package emerges from Capitol Hill, states and regions will continue to strengthen their own environmental standards, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may assert its authority to control pollution widely viewed as an anthropogenic cause of climate change.

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