News

May 24, 2022
We are pleased to announce the publication of a new article in the journal Wind Energy that identifies expectations about future wind turbine and plant designs in 2035 for onshore and offshore wind. The design of wind turbines and plants have changed considerably over the past three decades, adapting to changing electric power systems and markets, technological improvements, shifting policy... Read more
April 24, 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. At a briefing in April 2022, the White House gave a shout out to a new tool that Berkeley Lab has developed... Read more
April 21, 2022
Batteries Included Top 10 Findings from Berkeley Lab Research on the Growth of Hybrid Power Plants in the United States 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. Hybrid power plants typically... Read more
April 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... Read more
April 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 The amount of new power generation and energy storage in the transmission interconnection queues across the U.S. continues to rise dramatically, with over 1,400 gigawatts (GW) of total... Read more
April 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. Berkeley Lab’s Electricity Markets & Policy Department has been tracking the phenomenon, and analyzing ways that the... Read more
April 4, 2022
We are pleased to announce that the Electricity Market and Policy Department has just published a paper, Large balancing areas and dispersed renewable investment enhance grid flexibility in a renewable-dominant power system in China. We found that larger balancing areas and more locally based renewable investment could provide significant benefits in system flexibility and reducing renewable... Read more
March 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) study, recently 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... Read more
March 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... Read more
March 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. Who: Natalie Mims Frick, Margaret Pigman and Juan Pablo Carvallo, Berkeley LabDate: April 13, 2022Time: 9-10 a.m. PacificRegister:... Read more
March 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. The tool allows users to explore trends in wholesale electricity prices and their... Read more
March 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. Previous research finds that perceptions of the fairness of a wind project’s planning process strongly influences attitudes among host communities. Yet, few... Read more
March 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. However, even though solar prices have declined significantly,... Read more
March 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. Specifically, we assess the... Read more
March 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.... Read more
March 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,... Read more
March 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... Read more
February 23, 2022
Researchers at Berkeley Lab are working with five other Department of Energy national labs to develop a roadmap for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to meet its 100% renewable energy mandate. A new Memorandum of Understanding, signed earlier this month between the Commonwealth and the federal government, kickstarts this “PR100 Study,” a two-year project funded by FEMA to conduct a comprehensive... Read more
February 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... Read more
February 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... Read more
January 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... Read more
January 18, 2022
Berkeley Lab is pleased to announce the publication of a new article—“Land Requirements for Utility-Scale PV: An Empirical Update on Power and Energy Density”—that was recently published in the IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics. Concerns about the land requirements and land-use impacts of utility-scale PV have grown as deployment has accelerated and as decarbonization plans routinely call for... Read more
January 14, 2022
Poring over the line items on your monthly electricity bill may not sound like an enticing way to spend an afternoon, but the way electricity bills are structured has a significant impact on equitable energy access and distribution. For example, fixed fees can have a disproportionate impact on low-income households. And combined with other factors, low-income households and households of color are... Read more
December 22, 2021
Berkeley Lab’s “Opportunities and Challenges to Capturing Distributed Value via Retail Utility Rates and Programs” explores how regulators and utilities can use rate and program offerings to encourage distributed battery owners to dispatch their systems in ways that provide value beyond individual bill savings for the adopter. Distributed battery storage deployment has increased in recent... Read more
December 15, 2021
Berkeley Lab's new technical brief, Quantifying grid reliability and resilience impacts of energy efficiency: Examples and opportunities, explains in plain terms how utility planning processes today value energy efficiency's contributions to electricity system reliability and resilience and recommends ways to overcome current limitations in considering those impacts. The brief is available for... Read more