Energy costs K-12 schools in the U.S. $6 billion dollars annually. Spending less money on energy costs would leave more for funding-constrained school districts to spend on educating their students, according to researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Merrian Borgeson and Mark Zimring, in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD), have released a guide on planning and financing comprehensive energy upgrades that involve multiple measures and are targeted toward achieving significant and persistent energy savings in schools.
LBNL is pleased to release a pre-print of a new journal article submission, titled “Revisiting the Long-Term Hedge Value of Wind Power in An Era of Low Natural Gas Prices.” This article investigates the degree to which wind power can still serve as a cost-effective hedge against rising natural gas prices, given the significant reduction in gas prices in recent years, coupled with expectations that gas prices will remain low for many years to come. Expanding production of the United States’ shale gas...
Webinar: Electricity Bill Savings from Residential Photovoltaic Systems: Sensitivities to Changes in Future Electricity Market Conditions
A webinar was held on March 12, 2013, discussing the findings of the 2013 published LBNL report, “Electricity Bill Savings from Residential Photovoltaic Systems: Sensitivities to Changes in Future Electricity Market Conditions.” The study, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, explores long-term uncertainties in the utility bill savings that customers receive from solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
On February 26, 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative, in conjunction with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), held a webinar entitled: Why Are Residential PV Prices in Germany So Much Lower Than in the United States?
Dr. Ryan H. Wiser spoke with Beyond Zero Emissions, an Austrailian not-for-profit research and education organisation developing blueprints for the implementation of climate change solutions, about the US wind energy market.
Superficially, wind turbines haven’t changed much for decades. But they’ve gotten much smarter, and considerably bigger, and that’s helped increase the amount of electricity they can generate and lower the cost of wind power.
Current energy efficiency policies could offset projected growth in electricity demand over the next decade and a half. From 2006 to 2010, spending on utility-funded energy efficiency programs doubled from $2 billion to $4.8 billion.
If your utility company were to send you a letter challenging you to use less energy than your neighbors, would you respond? How would you decide whether to buy a refrigerator that is slightly more expensive but consumes significantly less energy? At Berkeley Lab scientists and engineers are pursuing a broad spectrum of technological solutions for using less energy.
Webinar: The Future of Utility Customer-Funded Energy Efficiency Programs in the United States: Projected Spending and Savings to 2025
Please join us for a webinar discussing the key findings of a new LBNL report entitled “The Future of Utility Customer-Funded Energy Efficiency Programs in the United States: Projected Spending and Savings to 2025”.
This January 2013 webinar featured Cai Steger of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Ryan Wiser of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).
This webinar was presented by the Clean Energy States Alliance and featured Andrew Mills of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) discussing new research on solar valuation that he and his colleague, Ryan Wiser, have recently published.
The installed price of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the United States fell substantially in 2011 and through the first half of 2012, according to the latest edition of “Tracking the Sun,” an annual PV cost-tracking report produced by Berkeley Lab.
[New York Times] When the city of Brea, CA set out to make city buildings more energy efficient, they turned to an energy-savings performance contract that requires no upfront costs and allows the city to pay for the project over time using the savings on utility bills. Unlike some aspects of energy policy, the legislation has generally received bipartisan support, said Berkeley Lab’s Charles Goldman.
Analysis by EMP researchers points to higher “soft costs” as the primary explanation for a wide disparity in the installed costs for residential photovoltaic systems here and in Germany.
[New York Times] At its peak in 2008 and 2009, the wind industry employed about 85,000 people. About 10,000 of those jobs have disappeared since, as wind companies have been buffeted by weak demand for electricity, stiff competition from cheap natural gas and cheaper options from Asian competitors.
EMP researchers sounding a cautionary note on banking on financing alone to accelerate energy efficiency. Their report shows that financing can, in some cases, increase the leverage of public dollars. In most cases, however, it is not able to drive demand to the same degree as direct incentives like rebates and so cannot be expected to replace other incentives in the current marketplace.
In wind-rich counties from Texas to North Dakota, installations of wind turbines increase total personal incomes and create jobs, according to research conducted by EMP economists and colleagues at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Despite the onset of an economic recession, the U.S. energy services company industry managed to grow at about 7% per year between 2006 and 2008, according to EMP researcher’s definitive report on the industry. ESCOs anticipated accelerated growth through 2011 (25% per year).
Residential behavior-based energy-efficiency programs have been identified as a potential major source of new energy savings. A new report and presentation by EMP researchers provides guidance on methodologies for rigorously estimating those savings.