News & Events

Energy-saving Tool Cited by White House

4/25/2022

Public schools spend roughly $8 billion a year on energy bills — the second largest expense after teacher salaries. Promoting energy efficiency can be a good way to save money for school districts and increase the comfort and health of teachers and students, all while reducing pollution. 

Berkeley Lab releases Top 10 Research Findings on the Growth of Hybrid Power Plants in United States

4/21/2022

One of the most important electric power system trends of the 2010s was the rapid deployment of wind turbines and photovoltaic arrays, but early data suggests a twist for the 2020s may be the rapid deployment of ‘hybrid’ generation resources.

Electric Utility Innovation at the Speed of Regulation: May 12th Public Webinar Tees Up Challenges and Opportunities

4/15/2022

Innovation is essential for future power systems to be “safe and secure, clean and sustainable, affordable and equitable, and reliable and resilient," according to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. In order to attain these goals, state regulatory reforms are needed to encourage adoption of the technologies that can support the evolution of the nation’s power systems.1 

Record amounts of zero-carbon electricity generation and storage now seeking grid interconnection

4/13/2022

Berkeley Lab-led study shows over 1,300 gigawatts of solar, storage, and wind in interconnection queues - an indicator of a major energy transition underway, even if most proposed projects will not be built

Awards for electric grid analysis

4/5/2022

As the transition to clean energy accelerates, developers are rushing to get new generation projects connected to the grid. This has caused a traffic jam on the on-ramps, as projects clog up the “interconnection queues,” where developers apply to grid managers for access.

New Research Shows Energy Efficiency Loans Are Low Risk

3/31/2022

Performance of energy efficiency loans is comparable to prime auto loans, ripe for growth and investment

A State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network (SEE Action) studyrecently announced by Department of Energy Secretary Granholm and developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, shows that financial institutions can lend money to their customers for energy efficiency improvements at low risk in support of a more efficient building stock.

Two New National Lab Reports Introduce Innovative Concept to Support Near-term Distributed Solar Photovoltaic Deployment on Feeders with Limited Hosting Capacity

3/30/2022

Researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), with staff from the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, National Grid, and Rocky Mountain Institute, have authored two NREL technical reports on work culminating from a project of the Solar Energy Innovation Network (SEIN). SEIN supports teams composed of diverse stakeholders that are developing transformative approaches to adopting solar energy.

Counting Time: A New Tool Estimates the Value of Efficiency, Solar and Other Distributed Resources Based on When They Save Electricity

3/29/2022

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) presents a free webinar on April 13, 2022, to discuss and demonstrate a new tool for electricity decision-makers and stakeholders, the Time-Sensitive Value Calculator.

Updated “ReWEP tool” allows exploration of recent trends in wholesale power prices and renewable energy supply

3/24/2022

Exploring Wholesale Energy Price Trends: The Renewables and Wholesale Electricity Prices (ReWEP) tool, Version 2022.1

The Renewables and Wholesale Electricity Prices (ReWEP) visualization tool from Berkeley Lab has been updated with nodal electricity pricing and wind and solar generation data through the end of 2021

New Berkeley Lab study explores possibilities for more fair and transparent wind energy planning processes

3/22/2022

Information access, public participation, and fair decision-making are key to wind energy’s “procedural justice”

Expanding wind energy deployment to meet climate and policy goals requires willing communities to host wind projects.

Berkeley Lab study explores impacts of low-income solar programs

3/17/2022

Subsidies for low-income solar are reaching the right households and increasing adoption in disadvantaged communities.

Many states have offered subsidies to promote rooftop solar adoption. Most of these subsidies have phased out over time, partly under the assumption that subsidies become less necessary as solar prices decline.

Updated research assesses the performance of utility-scale PV in the United States, and how it has changed as plants age

3/15/2022

Berkeley Lab is pleased to announce the release of a new report, titled “Plant-level performance and degradation of 31 GWDC of utility-scale PV in the United States.” This report updates an earlier analysis first published two years ago, with the benefit of a 50% larger sample than in the original study, as well as two additional years of performance to evaluate.

Building Renewable-Dominant Power in China

3/4/2022

A modernized power grid fueled by renewable energy is at the heart of China’s pledge to reach carbon neutrality by 2060, and a new study by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) outlines how China can overcome the current logistical challenges of decarbonizing its power system by reforming some key select operational practices.

Although Wind Farm Neighbors Notice Turbine Shadow Flicker, Few Are Annoyed By It

3/3/2022

New Berkeley Lab study provides insights into wind turbine shadow flicker perception and annoyance

The moving shadows caused by wind turbines, referred to as “shadow flicker” (SF) (see figure 1), are known to generate annoyance in some people. However, the relationship between the amount of SF exposure and the annoyance it causes is poorly understood. A better understanding of the magnitude, drivers, and potential mitigation strategies of SF annoyance is needed to better understand this concern and be able to properly regulate it, if desired.

New Berkeley Lab report on solar-adopter income and demographic trends

3/2/2022

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has released the latest edition of its annual report, Residential Solar-Adopter Income and Demographic Trends. The report, based on address-level data for 2.3 million residential solar adopters across the country, describes trends in solar-adopter household income levels, race and ethnicity, language preference, rural vs. urban, education levels, occupation types, age, home value, and credit scores

What can surface wind speed trends tell us about wind generation?

2/16/2022

The capacity factor of wind plants in the United States has improved significantly in recent years, with newer plants exhibiting higher capacity factors than older plants. Some researchers have attributed this increase to technology improvements that boost energy capture per unit capacity, while others have instead argued that the role of technology may be overstated, and that a substantial portion of the gains in wind plant output are instead due to a global trend of increasing wind speeds.

Helping Puerto Rico Achieve 100% Renewable Energy by 2050

2/15/2022

Berkeley Lab joins in broad federal effort to develop pathways for island’s clean energy future

Researchers at the Lab are working with five other DOE national labs to develop a roadmap for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to meet its 100% renewable energy mandate.

Signposts for States Show Ways to Flex Power Use

2/7/2022

Meeting state energy and climate goals requires policies and programs to make electricity use more flexible and efficient.

A new Berkeley Lab report, State Indicators for Advancing Demand Flexibility and Energy Efficiency in Buildings, provides signposts in 10 categories: building energy codes, appliance and equipment standards, resource standards, utility planning, utility programs, advanced metering infrastructure and meter data, rate design, state programs, state energy planning, and related state policies and regulations.

What is the Cost of Errors in Solar Power Forecasts?

1/20/2022

An unexpectedly cloudy day can cause solar generation to dip below expectations, and in consequence, other generators will need to compensate with additional output. One possibility is that fast acting gas combustion turbines would fill this generation gap, and while this is suitable solution from a reliability standpoint, a more fuel efficient combined cycle generator might have been able to compensate for the reduced solar output given enough prior warning.

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