News

August 15, 2023
A growing number of states are increasing their attention to and emphasis on equity in utility regulatory decision-making. In order to guide state decision-makers in applying and incorporating equity concepts in regulatory processes, Berkeley Lab is pleased to announce the release of a report titled Developing an Equity Framework for State Regulatory Decision-Making. The report contextualizes... Read more
July 31, 2023
Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing programs provide a mechanism for commercial property owners to finance energy improvements and can provide a variety of both private and public benefits. Thirty-eight states and Washington, D.C. have legislation that enables C-PACE but many programs grow slowly and may take years to originate their first project.1 Berkeley Lab’s new... Read more
July 6, 2023
New research from Berkeley Lab, Michigan State University, and the University of Michigan draws insights from 54 interviews of residents, developers, and policy makers around seven large-scale solar projects across the U.S. Large-scale solar (LSS, defined here as ground-mounted photovoltaic projects ≥1 MWDC) has grown rapidly in the U.S., accounting for nearly half of new electric generating... Read more
June 28, 2023
We are pleased to announce the release of Berkeley Lab’s 2023 edition of U.S. State Renewables Portfolio & Clean Electricity Standards. The report provides an overview and status update on U.S. state renewables portfolio standards (RPS) and has been expanded to also cover 100% clean electricity standards (CES) adopted by a growing number of states. The report, published in slide-deck form... Read more
June 13, 2023
Recent ISO New England and New York ISO studies complete a U.S.-wide picture on interconnection costs amid dramatic growth in interconnection queues With the recent publication of interconnection cost analyses for ISO New England (ISO-NE) and the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), Berkeley Lab is pleased to announce that our series of briefs analyzing interconnection costs and trends... Read more
June 2, 2023
In the United States development of new wind and solar plants has outpaced development of new transmission. Transmission allows load centers to access electricity generated from low-cost resources in other areas. Congestion occurs when transmission limits are reached and can prevent low-cost resources (like wind and solar) from being fully utilized, limiting their market value and maintaining... Read more
May 25, 2023
Decarbonizing the electricity sector will likely require a broad portfolio of clean energy technologies and development approaches. “Community renewables” has proven to be a popular development model that promises to broaden public support for renewable generation, but at present is largely limited to a single technology: solar. New research from Berkeley Lab seeks to leverage the success of... Read more
May 16, 2023
Two new papers by authors at Lawrence Berkeley Lab and US Department of Energy explore possibilities for integrating energy justice into policy and research Climate, environmental, and clean energy policy and research efforts in the United States are increasingly centering energy justice. Energy justice is “the goal of achieving equity in both the social and economic participation in the energy... Read more
April 27, 2023
Average interconnection costs for withdrawn projects are 5x higher than for projects with completed studies, whose costs have largely remained stable despite dramatic growth in SPP’s queue. We are pleased to announce the release of a brief analyzing interconnection costs in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) territory, which finds that network upgrade costs have risen, especially among projects that... Read more
April 25, 2023
We are pleased to announce the release of a new Berkeley Lab report titled “A Snapshot of EV-Specific Rate Designs Among U.S. Investor-Owned Electric Utilities", which will also be discussed in an upcoming webinar on Thursday, May 11 at 1 PM Pacific / 4 PM Eastern. Please register for the webinar here: https://lbnl.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_kudhYKMJQfqiiWS9CgDMiA. EV-specific electric utility... Read more
April 6, 2023
The amount of new power generation and energy storage in the transmission interconnection queues across the U.S. continues to rise dramatically, with over 2,000 gigawatts (GW) of total generation and storage capacity now seeking connection to the grid, according to new research by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The queues indicate particularly strong interest in solar,... Read more
March 30, 2023
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 2022. The tool allows users to explore trends in wholesale electricity prices and their relationship to wind and solar generation. The ReWEP tool allows users to compare nodal pricing trends across... Read more
March 23, 2023
New Berkeley Lab study finds a dramatic increase in estimated project output coupled with a decrease in surrounding sound levels for future turbines as compared to those installed in the past. Multiple technological, social, and market factors of wind power are evolving rapidly. Most notably, significant wind turbine scaling in height and size is occurring and is forecasted to continue. While the... Read more
March 14, 2023
We are pleased to announce the recent publication of a new Berkeley Lab analysis—“Mind the Gap: Comparing the Net Value of Geothermal, Wind, Solar, and Solar+Storage in the Western United States”—in the journal Renewable Energy. Studies show that a diverse portfolio of zero-carbon resources will be needed to decarbonize the U.S. electricity sector, and that high-capacity-factor renewable... Read more
March 2, 2023
New Berkeley Lab study finds evidence of relative decreases in home sale prices within 0.5 miles of large-scale photovoltaic projects in three of six states studied. The construction of large-scale photovoltaic projects (LSPVPs), defined here as ground-mounted photovoltaic generation facilities with at least 1 megawatt (MW) of direct current generation capacity, can be linked to a number of... Read more
February 28, 2023
Japan faces a significant energy security risk as it imports nearly all the fuel used in its power sector, with clean electricity accounting for only 24% of the total in 2019. A new Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study shows that, due to the decreasing costs of solar, wind (especially offshore), and battery technology, Japan can achieve a 90% clean electricity system by 2035. This would... Read more
February 21, 2023
In a policy screening over the last two years, there were 95 actions on energy equity – most were associated with resource planning, decarbonization, and energy efficiency regulation; equity metrics are in nascent stages of development across the U.S. Many states are considering ways to more directly and comprehensively incorporate energy equity and justice into energy regulation. Some states... Read more
February 14, 2023
New Berkeley Lab study quantifies the rate and utility earnings impacts of electric vehicles under a range of deployment scenarios Widespread electric vehicle (EV) adoption is critical for meeting economy-wide decarbonization goals. As a result, states are considering enabling policies and retail electricity rate designs that accelerate EV deployment. EVs may provide possible financial upside to... Read more
February 9, 2023
New Berkeley Lab study provides insights into this emerging market across the US New homes provide a ready option for states hoping to reduce energy use, as evidenced by the steady increase in energy efficiency requirements in new home building codes. A less common approach is to specifically encourage or require new homes to produce their own carbon-free energy, though California has been doing... Read more
February 7, 2023
In 2022, additional transmission could have reduced electric system costs by more than in any year from 2012 through 2021. Generally high electricity prices coupled with extreme weather events and other factors helped drive the high value for transmission. Transmission congestion-relief values were high in many regions in 2022, with a number of interregional links reaching $200 to $300 million per... Read more
January 31, 2023
The locations of solar businesses may contribute to adoption inequity, but that is only one piece of a larger puzzle Previous research has shown that the locations of businesses such as grocery stores can result in inequitable access to goods and services. Could the locations of rooftop solar businesses similarly help explain, among other factors, why rooftop solar adopters earn higher incomes, on... Read more
January 23, 2023
Most wind power capacity in the United States is in the wind-rich central region. Here, transmission congestion causes a divergence between wholesale power prices where it is generated and the trading hubs where it is delivered and sold. This price difference is called “locational basis” (or just “basis”). Because the basis varies over time, it can unpredictably affect a wind plant’s... Read more
January 19, 2023
For projects with completed studies and plants now in service, costs have doubled. For active projects still in the queue, estimated costs have grown eightfold since 2019. We are pleased to announce the release of a brief analyzing interconnection costs in the PJM territory, which finds that substantial interconnection cost increases have occurred in parallel with the tremendous growth of PJM’s... Read more
January 18, 2023
Community solar is emerging as a popular way to deliver a range of economic and social benefits that go beyond clean energy. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has set a goal for America to deploy enough community solar projects to power the equivalent of five million households by 2025 and create $1 billion in energy bill savings. To reach the goal, DOE has created the Community Power Accelerator,... Read more
December 1, 2022
Until recently, publicly available information was limited for two key factors that determine the value of energy efficiency and other distributed energy resources (DERs): (1) end-use load profiles (EULPs), which quantify how and when electricity is used, and (2) savings shapes, which measure the difference between the hourly use of electricity in the baseline condition and the hourly use... Read more