February 21, 2024
We are looking for an experienced policy researcher to join our team at Berkeley Lab! Lead research, manage programs and teams, and collaborate with stakeholders on energy service company (ESCO) project performance and market trends and other decarbonization/distributed energy resources topics.Link to the job posting: Read more
February 21, 2024
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has recognized a multi-laboratory team’s work on the Puerto Rican electric grid with a 2023 Secretary’s Honor Award. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) staff Peter Cappers, Margaret Pigman, and Jeffrey Deason (pictured left to right) are among the team recipients.DOE and six National Laboratories have been providing Puerto Rico with tools,... Read more
February 15, 2024
The Energy Markets and Policy Department is seeking experienced Policy Researchers to join our team at Berkeley Lab In this exciting role, you will lead or contribute to advanced research projects involving policy and technical aspects of energy, economic, and market issues to inform the development of energy/environmental policies. You will conduct research, provide technical assistance to... Read more
January 24, 2024
New Berkeley Lab survey of large-scale wind and solar project developers highlights industry concerns with the social factors that contribute to project delays and cancellations. Large-scale wind and solar deployment is impacted by various technical, economic, and social factors. The social factors, such as community opposition and local ordinances and zoning, in particular remain under examined... Read more
January 22, 2024
Price-based demand response (DR), or time-varying rates, is an underutilized resource that could substantially contribute to load flexibility for electricity systems. But most utilities have not yet captured these benefits in electricity system planning. Berkeley Lab's new technical brief, “The use of price-based demand response as a resource in electricity system planning,” finds that... Read more
January 18, 2024
A new journal article draws insights from 54 interviews of residents, developers, and policy makers around seven large-scale solar projects across the U.S. Despite national polls showing broad support for large-scale solar (LSS, defined here as ground-mounted photovoltaic projects ≥1 MWDC) among rural Americans, opposition from local residents and elected officials around proposed LSS projects... Read more
January 16, 2024
Solar on businesses, schools, houses of worship, and other non-residential buildings affect residential adoption trends Previous research has shown that social influence can drive rooftop solar adoption. Research to date has primarily focused on influence between households, but certain forms of social influence may also exist between non-residential and residential installations. For example, an... Read more
December 14, 2023
In A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf, John Muir elegantly discussed the limits of scientific characterization of the wind, saying: "The substance of the winds is too thin for human eyes, their written language is too difficult for human minds, and their spoken language mostly too faint for the ears." Over 100 years later, scientists still face challenges describing, tracking, and predicting wind... Read more
December 13, 2023
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has released the latest edition of its annual report, Residential Solar-Adopter Income and Demographic Trends. The report is based on address-level data for 3.4 million residential households across the country that installed solar onsite through year-end 2022, representing 86% of all U.S. residential PV systems. It describes trends in solar-adopter household... Read more
December 7, 2023
New Berkeley Lab study of half a million transactions across the country finds evidence of temporary decreases in home sale prices in more populous counties within 1 mile of wind projects, starting after the project's announcement but returning to pre-announcement inflation-adjusted levels 3–5 years after operation begins. The construction of onshore wind energy projects can be linked to several... Read more
December 4, 2023
Low-income households are more likely to adopt rooftop solar if they live near other low-income rooftop solar adopters Over a decade of research has shown that rooftop solar is contagious (in a good way). Households that install solar can influence their neighbors to install solar too. The “solar bug” can spread in many ways: households can see panels on their neighbors’ rooftops, or... Read more
November 28, 2023
Residential behind-the-meter solar-plus-storage systems are growing rapidly, driven in large measure by customer demand for backup power. At the same time, residential energy consumption patterns are changing as homes become more energy efficient, as smart devices allow for more dynamic control of home appliances and equipment, and as customers switch to heat pumps and other electric end-uses. How... Read more
November 15, 2023
States are increasingly interested in gas distribution system planning and the role that demand-side resources can play in maintaining an affordable, reliable, equitable, and low-carbon energy system. In particular, public utility commissions and utilities are exploring the role of non-pipeline alternatives (NPA) – an investment or activity that defers, reduces, or avoids the need to construct... Read more
November 8, 2023
Collaboration between Berkeley Lab and USGS produces the most detailed and comprehensive publicly available large-scale solar facility database to date. Berkeley Lab, in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), released the United States Large-Scale Solar Photovoltaic Database (USPVDB) today. The USPVDB is a detailed and comprehensive dataset of ground-mounted large-scale solar (LSS)... Read more
October 24, 2023
Accompanying technical brief demonstrates its use for evaluating the backup power performance of distributed solar+storage systems Most power interruptions are relatively short, typically lasting minutes to hours, but they are also unpredictable. Assessing the potential of solar photovoltaic (PV) and energy storage systems (PVESS) to mitigate these interruptions requires the ability to account for... Read more
October 17, 2023
Resource adequacy (RA) – the ability of the power system to meet load whenever and wherever is needed – has come under scrutiny with recent widespread interruptions due to weather events and the challenges brought on by decarbonization. Our report titled “A Guide for Improved Resource Adequacy Assessments in Evolving Power Systems” proposes a technical-institutional roadmap to assist... Read more
October 9, 2023
Several states in MISO and SPP previously opted out of allowing third-party aggregators of retail customers to directly participate in the demand response programs of organized wholesale markets following FERC Order 719. Some have begun to explore the possibility of allowing direct third-party participation in organized wholesale markets in light of FERC Order 2222 which requires states to allow... Read more
October 4, 2023
We are pleased to release the 2023 edition of Berkeley Lab’s Utility-Scale Solar report, which presents analysis of empirical plant-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. While focused on key developments in 2022, this report explores trends in deployment, technology,... Read more
September 27, 2023
China has implemented reforms in its electricity markets as part of its goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2060, but the country has not fully realized the potential cuts in emissions. Recent work led by Jiang Lin of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) helped explain why. The “results begin to fill a notable gap in our understanding of what mediates the effectiveness of... Read more
September 13, 2023
For roughly the past year, 21 public utility commissions have been receiving technical assistance from a consortium of National Laboratories, led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and funded by the Department of Energy’s Grid Modernization Initiative, a collaborative partnership of five DOE Offices: Fossil Energy and Carbon Management; Nuclear Energy; Electricity; Energy Efficiency and... Read more
August 31, 2023
Berkeley Lab-EPRI study quantifies the pros and cons of multiple participation models for hybrid power plants Utility-scale hybrid storage projects are on the rise in the U.S. The growth of these unique resources – which comprise battery energy storage and a separate technology, often solar or wind, behind the same point of interconnection – creates uncertainties for system operators, who... Read more
August 24, 2023
Inflation Reduction Act promises new market dynamics for wind deployment and supply chains We are pleased to announce the release of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s annual “Land-Based Wind Market Report: 2023 Edition.” The release provides an updated overview of data and trends in land-based wind energy in the U.S., in the form of a report, a briefing slide deck, a data file, and a... Read more
August 24, 2023
Wind energy continues to see growth, solid performance, and attractive prices in the U.S., according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). With levelized costs averaging under $40 per megawatt-hour (MWh) for newly built projects, the cost of wind is well below its grid-system, health, and climate value.... Read more
August 23, 2023
Building efficiency and electrification deliver half of buildings sector emissions reductions, with the other half attributable to power sector decarbonization Achieving ambitious U.S. federal and state carbon reduction goals hinges on rapidly accelerating the adoption of climate change solutions across all sectors of the economy. To date, research and policy efforts have largely focused on... Read more
August 16, 2023
Updated data compilation from Berkeley Lab tracks operating and proposed plants Improving battery technology and the growth of variable renewable generation are driving a surge of interest in “hybrid” power plants that combine, for example, utility-scale wind and/or solar generating capacity with co-located batteries. While most of the current interest involves pairing photovoltaic (PV) plants... Read more