News

December 15, 2023
Every year, airplanes crisscrossing U.S. skies burn 23 billion gallons of fuel, leaving contrails and 8% of the nation’s transportation-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in their wake. A recent study by researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Sandia National Laboratories reveals which crop-based feedstocks offer the... Read more
December 13, 2023
Ashok Gadgil – a retired faculty senior scientist in the Energy Technologies Area of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) – is among 162 new fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) for 2023. His many inventions include low-cost, life-sustaining solutions such as safe drinking water and fuel-efficient cookstoves for the most vulnerable communities in the developing... Read more
November 13, 2023
As the world copes with more extreme heat because of climate change, the need for efficient cooling devices is more pressing than ever. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is co-leading an effort to create global equipment guidelines that serve the places where this equipment is needed most. In October, the Lab and the United Nations Environment Program’s United for Efficiency... Read more
November 13, 2023
Several employees in the Energy Technologies Area were honored in this year’s Director’s Awards at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab). The Lab’s Director’s Awards program recognizes employees’ accomplishments, leadership, collaboration, multi-disciplinary science, cross-divisional projects, and commitment to excellence in support of the Lab’s... Read more
October 24, 2023
During a ceremony at the White House today, President Biden awarded Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) retired Faculty Senior Scientist Ashok Gadgil the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the nation’s highest honor for technological achievement. His award is “for providing life-sustaining resources to communities around the world. His innovative, inexpensive... Read more
October 24, 2023
Growing up in Mumbai, India in the 1950s, Ashok Gadgil remembers his small apartment overflowing with books. “My dad was a member of a number of libraries and he would bring in a dozen books at a time,” he fondly recalls. These early experiences contributed to his growing curiosity and awareness of the world, and subsequently, his interest in science. Gadgil earned degrees in physics from the... Read more
October 9, 2023
Hydrogen, the smallest element in the universe, has huge potential as a clean energy source. Using hydrogen (H2) as a fuel and as a means of storing energy could reduce our dependence on petroleum and help us reduce air pollution and greenhouse emissions to meet our goals for a cleaner and better climate. However, adopting hydrogen power on a large scale requires advances in technology and the... Read more
September 29, 2023
The Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) will host two new centers dedicated to advancing clean energy technology and combating climate change. The awards are part of DOE’s Energy Earthshots Initiative that launched in 2021 with the goal of speeding up technological breakthroughs and lowering costs. DOE has so far launched seven Earthshots spanning clean... Read more
September 27, 2023
Energy efficiency improvements in buildings could save the United States more than $100 billion in the effort to cut carbon emissions, according to a recent analysis from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab). That striking figure and other highlights from the "U.S. Building Sector Decarbonization Scenarios to 2050" report are the subject of a new blog post from the Natural Resources... Read more
September 20, 2023
What would an efficient and decarbonized buildings sector look like in 2050? A new study from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) quantified up to a 91% reduction in carbon emissions from buildings with a combination of energy efficiency, demand flexibility, electrification measures, and a decarbonized grid. Berkeley Lab researchers, in... Read more
September 6, 2023
Innovative water treatment and desalination technologies hold promise for building climate resilience, realizing a circular water economy, and bolstering water security. However, more research and development is critical not only to radically lower the cost and energy of such technologies, but to effectively treat unconventional water sources. Conventional water supplies, such as fresh water and... Read more
August 29, 2023
Researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment (CLEE) at the UC Berkeley School of Law are leading a project to explore the creation of a Direct Air Capture (DAC) facility that uses cutting-edge technologies to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in California’s Southern San Joaquin Valley (SSJV). This foundational... Read more
August 24, 2023
Two innovative technologies from the Energy Technologies Area (ETA) are among four at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) that have been honored with a 2023 R&D 100 Award. The award, presented by R&D Magazine and selected by an independent panel of judges, recognizes the year’s 100 most innovative and disruptive technology products from... Read more
August 23, 2023
Since early July, the Earth has sweltered under record-breaking heat. In the United States, from California and the Desert Southwest to Texas and Florida, a long-lasting heat wave in the triple digits has broken dozens of heat records – and counting. To mitigate the risks of living in extreme heat, scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)... Read more
August 22, 2023
Across the United States, hundreds of microgrids provide power independently of regional electric grids. These facilities, which often include solar panels backed by battery energy storage, can help keep the power on locally while easing stress on the larger grid when demand is high or outages strike. A recent feature in The New York Times spotlighted microgrids in real estate development,... Read more
August 9, 2023
In rooms where smoking has taken place regularly, tobacco’s imprint lingers on indoor surfaces, even long after regular smoking has stopped. The leftover residues, known as thirdhand smoke, can be a long-term source of indoor pollutants. New research from a team led by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) zeroes in on carpets as an especially potent... Read more
August 4, 2023
Mary Ann Piette, whose research has been foundational to improving energy efficiency of existing buildings and integrating flexible building technologies with the electric grid, has been appointed Associate Laboratory Director (ALD) of the Energy Technologies Area (ETA). The appointment, which took effect August 2, follows a national search. Piette has served as the interim ALD of ETA since... Read more
July 27, 2023
Plastic waste is a problem. Most plastics can’t be recycled, and many use finite, polluting petrochemicals as the basic ingredients. But that’s changing. In a study published today in Nature Sustainability, researchers successfully engineered microbes to make biological alternatives for the starting ingredients in an infinitely recyclable plastic known as poly(diketoenamine), or PDK. The... Read more
July 10, 2023
Adapted from a news release by the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. On June 28, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Efficient and Healthy Schools Campaign honored 17 K-12 schools and school districts for setting ambitious goals and applying the best practices available to save substantial amounts of energy from their facilities that also... Read more
June 29, 2023
Naïm Darghouth, a research scientist at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), recently returned from a yearlong international assignment helping to launch “Power Tunisia,” a $58 million initiative supporting Tunisia’s transition to advanced energy systems. The work is part of an interagency agreement between the U.S. Agency for International... Read more
June 12, 2023
The U.S. electric grid faces simultaneous, evolving pressures. Demand for power from the grid is increasing as people adopt electric cars and building energy is transitioned from gas to electricity. At the same time, climate change is driving more extreme weather. Events like the 2020 heat wave that led to rolling blackouts in California are relatively infrequent, but they are happening more often... Read more
May 10, 2023
After the Justice40 (J40) Initiative was established in 2021 by President Biden with the objective that 40% of benefits from certain federal investments go to disadvantaged communities, five scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) played a key role in mapping out how to achieve this goal in federal programs that focus on... Read more
April 26, 2023
Women who run small businesses in Uganda can build energy efficiency into their business plans thanks to a new project led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with Clean Energy Enthusiasts (CEE), an energy advisory company based in Uganda. According to the World Bank, one in three of all businesses in... Read more
April 6, 2023
Levels of planet-warming carbon dioxide in the air continue to rise. Cutting emissions by moving away from fossil fuels is a priority – but so is removing carbon that’s already been emitted. Of the many emerging technologies on the table, which ones will be most effective, and where? What about costs? What kinds of investments will have the most impact? Scientists at the Department of... Read more
March 30, 2023
Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels will require severely cutting greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 50% by 2030. Doing so calls for the immediate, large-scale adoption of energy efficiency, renewable energy, electrified transportation, high-performance batteries, low-carbon grids, and carbon capture and storage technologies across all sectors globally. This... Read more