News

July 29, 2022
Scientists have designed a new material system to overcome one of the biggest challenges in recycling consumer products: mixed-plastic recycling. Their achievement will help enable a much broader range of fully recyclable plastic products and brings into reach an efficient circular economy for durable goods like automobiles. We generate staggering quantities of plastic and plastic-containing... Read more
July 27, 2022
Berkeley Lab has initiated a national public-private partnership to update and upgrade the Interruption Cost Estimate (ICE) Calculator—a publicly-available, online tool—which estimates the economic consequences of power interruptions. Information on the costs that customers experience when the lights go out is an important consideration for the planning and prioritization of improvements to... Read more
July 20, 2022
Converting petroleum into fuels involves crude chemistry first invented by humans in the 1800s. Meanwhile, bacteria have been producing carbon-based energy molecules for billions of years. Which do you think is better at the job? Well aware of the advantages biology has to offer, a group of biofuel experts led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) took inspiration from an... Read more
June 13, 2022
Two researchers recently participated in a panel discussion on Algorithms and Data for Equity at the Women in Data Science Conference at Stanford University, showcasing the importance of diversity in this critical research area. Jessica Granderson, then serving as Director for Building Technology on the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and Ling Jin joined with University of California... Read more
June 7, 2022
A new cohort of 11 scientists and engineers will join the prestigious two-year fellowship program at Cyclotron Road based at the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Selected from a pool of more than 200 applicants, the 2022 Cohort fellows will work with Berkeley Lab scientists and facilities to translate innovative research into market-ready... Read more
June 7, 2022
The United States has set an ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 50% by 2030. Are we on track to succeed? A new study by a team of scientists and policy analysts from across the nation suggests that there are multiple pathways to achieve this goal – but big commitments will need to be made, immediately. “This study should give policy makers and other energy... Read more
May 19, 2022
Experts from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) will play leading managerial and technical roles in the recently established Net Zero World Action Center to bolster DOE’s Net Zero World Initiative (NZWI). The NZW Action Center brings together 10 DOE national laboratories, nine U.S. government agencies, and philanthropy organizations to promote net... Read more
May 12, 2022
With the rise in renewable energy, as well as increasing uncertainty associated with outages due to power surges and extreme weather events, energy storage plays a key role in ensuring reliable power supply to critical infrastructure such as healthcare facilities, data centers, and telecommunications. Hydrogen shows promise as an energy storage solution, and researchers are developing materials... 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
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 combine solar or wind (or other energy sources) with co-located storage. Just as cost declines drove last decade’s wind... Read more
April 21, 2022
The need for negative emissions technologies to address our climate crisis has become increasingly clear. At the rate that our planet is emitting carbon dioxide – adding about 50 gigatons every year – we will have to remove carbon dioxide at the gigaton scale by 2050 in order to achieve “net zero” emissions. The U.S. Department of Energy has recognized the urgency of carbon dioxide removal... Read more
April 20, 2022
On the first Earth Day in 1970, researcher Steve Greenberg was one of 20 million Americans, then 10% of the population, inspired to take time to observe the fragility of the planet and the need to protect it. Over 50 years later, an estimated one billion people around the world—one in eight—are actively participating. In the early '70s, visionaries like Art Rosenfeld applied science and... Read more
April 20, 2022
Power plants and other industrial facilities often spew carbon dioxide into the atmosphere like a leaky faucet. As governments around the world are striving to reduce and even eliminate their greenhouse gas emissions and reach “net zero” emissions by mid-century, they’re looking for technologies to help. What if we could somehow suck up all that carbon dioxide, like a giant vacuum cleaner? A... Read more
April 12, 2022
Record Amounts of Zero-carbon Electricity Generation and Storage now Seeking Grid Interconnection 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 projects in so-called... 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
The third and final installment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) Sixth Assessment Report calls for aggressive and comprehensive actions if we are to achieve net zero emissions by mid-century. It finds we still need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions drastically, beyond what governments have pledged, and that this emissions gap is exacerbated by implementation gaps... Read more
April 4, 2022
Improving a school's energy performance can affect more than utility bills — it can also boost indoor air quality and learning outcomes, making the classrooms healthier for students and staff. A new campaign, Efficient and Healthy Schools, will provide practical guidance on ventilation upgrades that can increase energy efficiency, lower costs, and improve the air at K-12 schools nationwide.... 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
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 20, 2022
A recent episode of A Day in the Half Life, a podcast produced by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), focuses on energy storage: What is it, why do we need it, and what are the latest advances? Host Aliyah Kovner talks with Noël Bakhtian, director of Berkeley Lab's Energy Storage Center, and Mike Gerhardt, research scientist at SINTEF, a research organization based in Norway.... 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
January 12, 2022
Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) will join fellow industry leaders in a coalition to bring to market new technologies and products to address the converging crises of housing, economic inequity, supply chain volatility, and climate change in California and the U.S. In particular, the team will be working with the construction... Read more
December 21, 2021
Every year, 50% of the energy produced worldwide from coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, and renewable energy sources is lost as heat. This untapped resource could be a promising additional source of useful energy, and for decades, scientists have worked to develop efficient systems to convert waste heat to electric power. In a recent study published in Joule, Berkeley Lab researchers developed a... Read more
December 13, 2021
Dramatic cost reductions over the last decade in battery storage and wind and solar energy position India to leapfrog to a more sustainable system for delivering affordable and reliable power to serve near a doubling in electricity demand by 2030, according to a new study by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). India, with a... Read more
November 23, 2021
Trains have been on the sidelines of electrification efforts for a long time in the U.S. because they account for only 2% of transportation sector emissions, but diesel freight trains emit 35 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually and produce air pollution that leads to $6.5 billion in health costs, resulting in an estimated 1,000 premature deaths each year. What’s more, these deaths and... Read more