Prices for wind energy have hit rock bottom, thanks to technological advances and learning. Are the opportunities for significant additional cost reductions tapped out, or are much-lower costs still possible?  Recent research by Berkeley Lab suggests that some energy planners, analysts, and policymakers may be underestimating both the potential for and uncertainty in wind energy cost reductions. The consequence may be under-prediction of wind deployment, under-appreciation of the uncertainty in that... Read More


Staff from the Electricity Markets & Policy group are presenting their research at the annual Solar Power International (SPI) conference in Las Vegas on September 13-14, 2016. If you are attending, please attend their talks and poster presentations.    Utility Planning for a SunShot Future: Best Practices for Incorporating Distributed Solar into Utility Planning Andrew D. MillsResearch Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Wednesday, September 142:30 PM - 3:00 PMRoom: N255 LBNL and... Read More


We are pleased to announce the release of a new report: What Factors Affect the Prices of Low-Priced U.S. Solar PV Systems? A key goal for the solar industry, policymakers, and other decision makers-as exemplified by the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative-is to foster continued declines in solar costs. And yet, despite impressive recent cost reductions, there remains a considerable range of installed prices for small-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the United States. Past research... Read More


As part of our Future Electric Utility Regulation series, Steve Corneli and Steve Kihm revisited the concept of natural monopoly and asked whether electric distribution utilities will remain natural monopolies if the capabilities and affordability of distributed energy technologies improve sufficiently.    Their basic conclusion: Don’t count on it.   Their work was recently featured in, an online think tank for the electric... Read More


Upcoming Webinar Setting Baselines for Planning and Evaluation of Efficiency Programs Tuesday, August 2, 2016 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM Eastern Reserve your webinar seat now at: LBNL, with funding from the Department of Energy, is offering this new webinar series designed to support states considering and implementing EM&V activities to document energy savings and other impacts of energy efficiency programs. In this webinar our panel of experts will... Read More


Solar power is already saving lives in the US. Here's how. By: David Roberts on May 19, 2016, 3:10 p.m. ET @drvox Solar power is still a fairly tiny portion of US electricity, but it is growing incredibly fast. This is exciting to people for all sorts of reasons — economic development, jobs, local/democratic/decentralized power, and just general tech-of-the-future gee-whizzery. But it's worth stepping back occasionally and reminding ourselves of the original and still... Read More


An April 27, 2016 story in EnergyWire highlights a Department of Energy project focused on helping Alaska's remote rural communities reduce their steep energy costs. At the Alaska Rural Energy Conference here, DOE's Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs released a report outlining the challenges and opportunities facing the state's 200 isolated communities that pay some of the highest electricity and heating costs in the nation. Authored by researchers from DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory... Read More


The Electricity Markets & Policy Group has a new Twitter account at @BerkeleyLabEMP.  Follow us today to keep track of the latest developments. Read More


The growth of distributed energy resources is causing a transition as fundamental as the shift to competitive power markets in the 1990s. Distributed energy resources (DERs) are diverse—from energy-efficiency and peak-shaving initiatives to distributed generation, storage, and microgrids—but they all enable customers to reduce their use of traditional grid services, and even to provide valuable services to the grid. These resources fit like a square peg in the round hole of the traditional regulatory... Read More


Berkeley, CA — The price of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed on homes and small businesses spans a wide range, and researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have published a new study that reveals the key market and system drivers for low-priced PV systems. Berkeley Lab’s Ryan Wiser, a co-author of the study, explains, “Despite impressive recent cost reductions, installed prices for small-scale PV systems in the United States continue to... Read More