Electricity systems are designed to meet peak demand — the maximum load during a specified period, typically in summer — even if that demand occurs only a few hours in a year. Yet most evaluations of electricity efficiency programs focus on reductions in annual energy use. However, these efficiency programs are also delivering peak demand savings at an affordable cost.
New data illustrates trends in distributed solar pricing and design trends
We are pleased to announce the release of Berkeley Lab’s Distributed Solar 2020 Data Update. These data are available in the form of a public data file, interactive data visualizations, a graphical slide deck summary, and summary data tables.
Berkeley Lab report investigates the implications of a regional resource adequacy program on utility integrated resource planning
Berkeley Lab collaborated with the Western Interstate Energy Board (WIEB) and the University of Texas-Austin to investigate the implications of a regional resource adequacy (RA) program on utility integrated resource planning (IRP).
Berkeley Lab webinar: Comparative trends in utility-scale wind and solar markets in the United States
We are pleased to announce the release of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s 2020 Utility-Scale Solar Data Update. The release provides an updated overview of data and trends in ground-mounted solar projects in the United States that are larger than 5 MWAC, in the form of a comprehensive data file, a briefing slide deck summarizing select insights, and a series of data visualizations.
Low- and moderate (LMI) income households are less likely than high-income households to adopt rooftop solar photovoltaics in the United States, though policy-makers and others in the industry have increasingly sought out strategies for addressing this inequity.
Since at least the late 1970s, electric utilities and their regulators have recognized the value of experimentation to motivate innovation. The industry has a long history of using pilots to help inform future decision making about electric utility rates, customer technology adoption and integration, and even changes to the utility’s regulatory or business model.
We are pleased to announce the release of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Wind Energy Technology Data Update: 2020 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 briefing slide deck, a data file, and a series of data visualizations.
The rapid growth of rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems can pose a number of financial challenges for both electric utility shareholders and their customers. One potential pathway to resolving those concerns involves allowing utilities to own and operate rooftop solar systems. However, the financial impacts of this business model are not well understood.
When utilities and regional grid operators plan electricity systems, they estimate the system value of various types of resources. Performance assessments verify whether the expected grid services are actually provided.
A new data visualization from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory synthesizes data from generation interconnection queues to illustrate trends in proposed power plants across time and regions. The data compilation demonstrates considerable developer interest in solar, wind, natural gas, and standalone storage plants, as well as growing interest in so-called “hybrid” plants that combine multiple generation types and/or storage at the point of interconnection.
Shows that historical drivers of levelized costs are multifaceted, go well beyond capital costs
We are pleased to announce the publication of a new article in the journal Applied Energy focused on historical trends in the cost and value of land-based wind energy.
We are pleased to announce the release of a new report from Berkeley Lab identifying energy efficiency (EE) and demand response (DR) attributes, utility system conditions, and technological factors that are likely to drive interactions between EE and DR.
New data compilation from Berkeley Lab tracks existing and proposed projects
As battery prices fall and wind and solar generation rises, power plant developers are increasingly combining wind and solar projects with on-site batteries, creating “hybrid” power plants. But hybrid or co-located plants have been part of the U.S. electricity mix for decades, with widely ranging configurations that extend beyond pairing a generator with a battery.
New research assesses fleet-wide performance of utility-scale PV in the United States, and how it has changed with age
Berkeley Lab is pleased to announce a new article recently published in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, titled “System-Level Performance and Degradation of 21 GWDC of Utility-Scale PV Plants in the United States.” This study finds that first-year performance generally lives up to ex ante expectations, while the rate of performance decline over time depends on factors such as plant vinta
Supersized wind turbines could deliver $4-5/MWh more in grid benefits than today’s turbine technology, in addition to any direct-cost advantages
Study supports need to expand the design space to focus not only on direct-cost minimization, but also on the underlying value of wind to the electricity system
New study finds solar PV permitting timelines are getting shorter, but customers still face significant uncertainty
Local permitting timelines for rooftop solar systems are getting shorter but remain highly variable, according to a new Berkeley Lab study published in the journal Energy Policy. Most PV permitting processes take fewer than 2 months from permit application to a passed inspection, but some customers face substantially longer timelines. The differences in permitting authority experience and policies explain some of this variation.
New study finds increase in expected useful life and decrease in operating expenses over time for utility-scale PV
Solar professionals report that the assumed useful life of PV projects now exceeds 30 years in most cases, with OpEx dropping by 50% over the last decade.
Avoided energy and capacity costs are the primary yardstick utilities use to determine which energy efficiency programs are cost-effective for their customers. But sometimes "non-energy impacts" — not commonly recognized as directly associated with energy generation, transmission and distribution — represent substantial benefits, such as improving comfort, air quality and public health.
Although AWEA CLEANPOWER has been cancelled this year, much of the education content will be presented via webinars. Four Berkeley Lab Electricity Markets & Policy experts will be presenting sessions on topics spanning the wind industry in the coming weeks.