News & Events

Berkeley Lab study explores supply-side barriers to solar adoption equity

10/21/2021

Although there is growing interest in policies and programs to ensure that the benefits of solar power are equitably reaching households of all income levels, lower income households are still less likely to go solar.

Berkeley Lab uses empirical PV+battery data to evaluate how business models influence dispatch

10/18/2021
  • Berkeley Lab analysis of empirical PV+battery data from a sample of 11 plants operating in 2020 finds that dispatch and impacts to the grid depend on the owner’s business model.
  • In addition, Berkeley Lab updates the Solar-to-Grid report with new data for 2020, detailing trends in system impacts, reliability, and market value of stand-alone solar in the United States.

Variable Renewable Energy Participation in U.S. Ancillary Services Markets: Economic Evaluation and Key Issues

10/14/2021

As wind and solar energy become a larger share of electricity generation, there is growing interest in enabling these resources to provide reliability services to the grid through participation in ancillary services (AS) markets. Participation in AS markets could provide an additional source of revenue for resource owners to offset the declines in energy and capacity value that result from higher solar and wind penetration.

New LBNL Study Finds ESCO Industry Growing but Facing New Challenges

10/6/2021

The U.S. energy services company (ESCO) industry revenue grew more than 3% annually between 2014 and 2018, after a previous 3-year period of little growth, according to a new study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

Berkeley Lab’s latest “Utility-Scale Solar” report sees continued growth and falling costs for big solar

10/5/2021

We are pleased to release the 2021 edition of Berkeley Lab’s Utility-Scale Solar report, which presents analysis of empirical project-level data from the U.S. fleet of ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV), PV+battery, and concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) plants with capacities exceeding 5 MWAC.

How Do Buildings Use Energy? New Public End-Use Load Profiles for the U.S. Building Stock

9/29/2021

End-use load profiles that describe how and when buildings use energy are critically important to utility planners, regulators, state energy offices, researchers, and building owners to understand ways to best manage energy use. For example, load profiles can identify energy-consuming activities that can be shifted to different times of the day to reduce peak loads that drive utility costs and to reduce customer bills.

New Resource for State and Local Governments on Practices for Demonstrating Energy Savings from Commercial PACE Projects

9/27/2021

Nearly three-fourths of U.S. states have authorized local governments to use voluntary special assessments on commercial properties to finance energy improvements that boost economic development, create jobs, increase property values and advance energy goals. Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing allows building owners to repay the borrowed capital — from private or public sources — over time using their property as security.

Project developer options to enhance the value of solar electricity as solar and storage penetrations increase

9/24/2021

Increasing the penetration of photovoltaics (PV) reduces the marginal grid value of PV electricity, which potentially limits solar deployment and thus impedes the achievement of decarbonization goals. PV project developers can alter the design of plants in ways that preserve this value. Developers can make simple tilt and azimuth adjustments or incorporate more transformational changes such as vertical bifacial modules, provision of ancillary services, and addition of energy storage.

Innovations in Electricity Modeling

9/15/2021

Virtual Training Series for National Council on Electricity Policy

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are offering free virtual training on innovations in electricity system modeling, in partnership with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

 

Updated report and data illustrate distributed solar pricing and design trends

9/15/2021

We are pleased to announce the release of Berkeley Lab’s latest edition of its 

New Report Shows Technology Advancement and Value of Wind Energy

8/20/2021

Berkeley Lab research finds that societal value of wind is far in excess of costs

Call for Applications: Technical Assistance to State Public Utility Commissions

8/17/2021

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with five national labs, is announcing a new opportunity for state public utility commissions (PUCs) to receive high-impact, in-depth technical assistance from national labs over the course of 12-24 months to beginning in early 2022.

Interest in Hybrid and Co-Located Power Plants Continues to Grow

7/30/2021

Newly released data compilation from Berkeley Lab tracks existing and proposed projects

Falling battery prices and the growth of variable renewable generation are driving a surge of interest in “hybrid” power plants that combine, for example, wind or solar generating capacity with co-located batteries. While most of the current interest involves pairing photovoltaic (PV) plants with batteries, other types of hybrid or co-located plants with wide-ranging configurations have been part of the U.S. electricity mix for decades.

Distributed solar-plus-storage data and trends detailed in new Berkeley Lab report

7/23/2021

As the distributed solar market evolves toward more dynamic forms of deployment, interest in paired solar-plus-storage applications continues to gain steam, but details on the current state of the market are relatively sparse. To fill that void, Berkeley Lab has released an in-depth analysis of this budding market segment.

Still the One: New Study Finds Efficiency Remains a Cost-Effective Electricity Resource

7/22/2021

Energy efficiency continues to be a low-cost way to meet electricity needs, according to a new study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) with support from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The U.S. DOE and Berkeley Lab release streamlined tool to help state and local governments demonstrate the value of energy savings performance contracts

7/9/2021

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab) have released eProject eXpress (ePX), which provides a streamlined, tailored pathway for state and local governments to document, track, and demonstrate the ongoing value of their energy project retrofits.

The Declining Cost of Wind and Solar Power Is In a Race With Declining Market Value: Which Will Win?

6/21/2021

In regions where wind and solar make up a large share of power generation, sunny and windy days lead to a glut of electricity supply, driving down hourly power prices – especially for that same wind and solar generation.

While lower prices are good for consumers, this decline in market value is not as good for producers. It could potentially limit wind and solar deployment and thus endanger decarbonization goals.

New data products from Berkeley Lab summarize proposed projects in interconnection queues

5/24/2021

The amount of new power generation and energy storage in the transmission interconnection queues across America continues to rise, reaching a new record of over 750 GW of generation and an estimated 200 GW of storage capacity at the end of 2020. To put that in perspective, the United States had 1,117 GW of total utility-scale electricity generating capacity in operation last year.

New data tool explores trends in wholesale power prices and renewable energy supply

5/20/2021

Exploring Wholesale Energy Price Trends: Introducing the Renewables and Wholesale Electricity Prices (ReWEP) tool

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