- We wish to announce the availability of a new public data resource, containing data records for more than 800,000 distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed in the United States. In conjunction with the release of this public data file, we are also soliciting suggestions from the solar industry and policy community for research questions that might be explored with this dataset. The public data file is based on data collected and cleaned by Berkeley Lab for its annual Tracking the Sun...
The next EM&V Webinar, Evaluating and Quantifying the Non-Energy Impacts of Energy Efficiency, will be held on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at 1:30 PM (Eastern).
The Future of Wind Energy, Part 3: Reducing Wind Energy Costs through Increased Turbine Size: Is the Sky the Limit?
Berkeley Lab study shows significant potential for further turbine scaling
The growing size of wind turbines has helped lower the cost of wind energy to the point that it is economically competitive with fossil-fuel alternatives in some locations. But can turbines continue to scale in the future, or are they running into physical or logistical constraints? Recent research published in the journal Nature Energy suggests that land-based wind...
The next EM&V Webinar, Opportunities and EM&V for Improving Electricity Distribution Efficiency, will be held on Thursday, October 27, 2016.
The Future of Wind Energy, Part 2: Cost Reductions for Offshore Wind: Signs of Progress, Expectations for More
The barriers to offshore wind are formidable. Yet, after many years of delays and cost increases, there are signs of progress. Offshore wind bids coming out of Europe suggest that steep cost reductions are at hand; the most recent of those bids, for a 350 MW near-shore project off the coast of Denmark, came in at a record-low of just $67 per MWh. These and other developments hold promise for further cost reductions in the years and decades ahead. Research by Berkeley Lab offers insight into possible future...
The Future of Wind Energy, Part 1: Are We Understating the Potential for (and Uncertainty in) Wind Energy Cost Reductions?
Prices for wind energy have hit rock bottom, thanks to technological advances and learning. Are the opportunities for significant additional cost reductions tapped out, or are much-lower costs still possible? Recent research by Berkeley Lab suggests that some energy planners, analysts, and policymakers may be underestimating both the potential for and uncertainty in wind energy cost reductions. The consequence may be under-prediction of wind deployment, under-appreciation of the uncertainty in that...
Staff from the Electricity Markets & Policy group are presenting their research at the annual Solar Power International (SPI) conference in Las Vegas on September 13-14, 2016. Meeting participants are invited to attend their talks and poster presentations.
New Report Reveals Market and System Characteristics that Drive Low-Priced PV Systems to Even Lower Price Levels
We are pleased to announce the release of a new report: What Factors Affect the Prices of Low-Priced U.S. Solar PV Systems?
As part of our Future Electric Utility Regulation series, Steve Corneli and Steve Kihm revisited the concept of natural monopoly and asked whether electric distribution utilities will remain natural monopolies if the capabilities and affordability of distributed energy technologies improve sufficiently.
Their basic conclusion: Don’t count on it.
Berkeley Lab, with funding from the Department of Energy, is offering this new webinar series designed to support states considering and implementing EM&V activities to document energy savings and other impacts of energy efficiency programs. In this webinar our panel of experts will discuss how states are establishing infrastructures, plans and budgets for their evaluations of efficiency programs funded by utility customers (ratepayers).
The next EM&V Webinar, Planning and Budgeting for the Evaluation of Energy Efficiency Programs, will be held on Monday, May 26, 2016.
A recent report by EMP Group researchers is featured in a May 19, 2016 story in Vox on the environmental and health benefits of solar. The report, The Environmental and Health Benefits of Achieving High Penetrations of Solar Energy in the United States, examines the cumulative benefits of existing installed solar, and projects potential future benefits if targets for future solar penetration are met.
EnergyWire highlights a Department of Energy project focused on helping Alaska's remote rural communities reduce their steep energy costs. At the Alaska Rural Energy Conference here, DOE's Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs released a report outlining the challenges and opportunities facing the state's 200 isolated communities that pay some of the highest electricity and heating costs in the nation.
The growth of distributed energy resources is causing a transition as fundamental as the shift to competitive power markets in the 1990s. Distributed energy resources (DERs) are diverse—from energy-efficiency and peak-shaving initiatives to distributed generation, storage, and microgrids—but they all enable customers to reduce their use of traditional grid services, and even to provide valuable services to the grid.
Renewable Energy for State Renewable Portfolio Standards Yielded Sizable Benefits and Other Impacts in 2013
A new study estimates that $2.2 billion in benefits came from reduced greenhouse gas emissions and $5.2 billion from reductions in other air pollution for state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies operating in 2013. The report also shows national water withdrawals and consumption were reduced by 830 billion gallons and 27 billion gallons in 2013, respectively.
New Berkeley Lab report identifies abilities and limitations of current and future demand response opportunities to help manage the distribution system
The Electricity Markets and Policy Group is pleased to announce the release of a new report: Future Opportunities and Challenges with Using Demand Response as a Resource in Distribution System Operations and Planning.
National labs find RPS mandates yielding ‘sizable’ benefits Renewable portfolio standards have “sizable” impacts on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, water use, job creation and the economy, two national laboratories say in a report released today.
State renewable portfolio standards, the key policies driving renewable power growth across the United States, are under attack from opponents who say they increase electricity costs for consumers.
Berkeley, CA — The price of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed on homes and small businesses spans a wide range, and researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have published a new study that reveals the key market and system drivers for low-priced PV systems.