News

October 20, 2020
Seven researchers in the Energy Technologies Area have recently been honored with prestigious Director's Awards at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The awards program recognizes Lab employees' accomplishments and commitment to excellence in support of the Lab's mission and strategic goals. Lab-wide, three staff members received Lifetime Achievement Awards, and another 34... Read more
October 12, 2020
Hydrogen fuel cells are on the rise: Germany has rolled out hydrogen-powered trains, the San Francisco Bay Area will soon see the nation’s first hydrogen fuel cell ferry, and sales of fuel-cell vehicles are up globally. It’s a technology with the potential to provide a variety of clean energy options, especially in transportation.Now the Department of Energy has announced several major... Read more
October 2, 2020
The Energy Technologies Area (ETA) won three R&D 100 awards in the areas of higher energy efficiency in buildings, making lithium batteries safer and development of an innovative tool; all together the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) took home seven awards. For more than 50 years, the annual R&D 100 Awards have recognized 100 technologies of the... Read more
September 17, 2020
Air sealing and insulation, which are common elements of energy efficiency upgrade packages, come with a bonus: In addition to saving energy, they almost always cut dampness and mold. This latest research comes from a new publication from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab). However, the paper also found that levels of some indoor air pollutants increased... Read more
September 10, 2020
Two researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have been recognized by the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP). The awards for Nihar Shah and Won Young Park honor their work on improving the energy efficiency of cooling systems and evaluating the benefits of those improvements.Shah, Presidential Director of Berkeley Lab’s Global Cooling Efficiency Program, received... Read more
August 18, 2020
Despite the precarious future emissions outlook, China’s current climate targets are within reach, with multiple studies mapping out scenarios to achieve high penetrations of renewables in the coming decades.But as a new paper from Stony Brook University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers points out, even these optimistic analyses fail to capture just how dramatically... Read more
August 18, 2020
Over the last few years of frequent and intense wildfire seasons, many parts of the U.S. have experienced hazardous air quality for days on end. At the same time a number of low-cost air quality monitors have come on the market, allowing consumers to check the pollutant levels in their own homes and neighborhoods. So, air quality scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)... Read more
August 11, 2020
Heat waves are becoming a more regular occurrence across the country. Iain Walker, Leader of the Residential Building Systems Group at Berkeley Lab, has suggestions for how to weather them. Walker has more than 20 years’ experience as a building scientist and consultant on energy use and ventilation in residential buildings. Q. Is it more efficient or economical to keep my house cool all day or... Read more
August 6, 2020
Deep beneath the surface of the Salton Sea, a shallow lake in California’s Imperial County, sits an immense reserve of critical metals that, if unlocked, could power the state’s green economy for years to come. These naturally occurring metals are dissolved in geothermal brine, a byproduct of geothermal energy production. Now the race is on to develop technology to efficiently extract one of... Read more
August 5, 2020
Kristin Persson, a senior faculty scientist in the Energy Storage & Distributed Resources Division within the Energy Technologies Area at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and director of the Materials Project, has been named director of the Molecular Foundry. Her new appointment is effective August 15, 2020. She will continue to hold an appointment as a professor of... Read more
August 5, 2020
As the rate of electric vehicle (EV) adoption in the U.S. rises, the transportation sector will put additional pressure on the power grid. California expects more than 50% zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), which includes battery EV, plug-in hybrid EV and fuel cell EV, in new vehicle sales by 2030 to achieve statewide emission and pollution reduction goals. This added pressure on the grid could be... Read more
July 9, 2020
Release of "beta" Building Efficiency Targeting Tool for Energy Retrofits (BETTER) Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) announced the release of the beta Building Efficiency Targeting Tool for Energy Retrofits (BETTER) (better.lbl.gov/) to the public today. The easy-to-use, open-source BETTER tool allows building owners and managers to rapidly... Read more
May 27, 2020
Falling prices for renewable energy and storage could help China get more than half its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030 at lower costs, according to a new analysis from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab), the University of California, Berkeley and Stony Brook University. The cost of energy from solar panels, wind turbines and battery storage... Read more
May 13, 2020
Wind plant performance declines due to plant age in the United States can be partially managed and is influenced by policy, according to a recent study from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).The U.S. is currently the second-largest wind power market globally – supplying 7.3% of the nation’s electricity generation in 2019 – yet this is the first... Read more
May 13, 2020
FLEXLAB®, the world’s most advanced building simulator and testbed, will be used to simulate office and school heating, ventilation, and air conditioning configurations. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)As society prepares to reopen indoor spaces and ease back into some sense of normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic, a team of researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National... Read more
May 8, 2020
Successfully implementing strategic policies in combination with technological innovation is the catalyst needed to decarbonize global industry by 2070, according to a new publication that includes a “blueprint for action”, written by a consortium of researchers including the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).The manufacturing and industrial sectors... Read more
April 6, 2020
Biofuels are an important part of the broader strategy to replace petroleum-based gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels that we use today. However, biofuels have so far not reached cost parity with conventional petroleum fuels.One strategy to make biofuels more competitive is to make plants do some of the work themselves. Scientists can engineer plants to produce valuable chemical compounds, or... Read more
April 1, 2020
Extreme weather events – such as severe drought, storms, and heat waves – have been forecast to become more commonplace and are already starting to occur. What has been less studied is the impact on energy systems and how communities can avoid costly disruptions, such as partial or total blackouts. Now an international team of scientists has published a new study proposing an optimization... Read more
March 12, 2020
Can scientists understand human behavior enough to figure out what drives the choices you make? In fact, it’s called “decision science,” and it’s something that Anna Spurlock, a behavioral economist with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), specializes in.Spurlock (pictured) spearheads the WholeTraveler Transportation Behavior Study, a three-year project that has attempted... Read more
February 27, 2020
Data centers are the backbone supporting the world’s ever-increasing need for internet access, data storage, and networking. Demand for data center services has risen sharply over past decades, and data-intensive technologies promise to increase demand further. New research by a team including Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's (Berkeley Lab's) Arman Shehabi and Sarah Smith shows that... Read more
January 3, 2020
UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab researchers received notable selection from the American Chemical Society for their recent publication “Control Technology-Driven Changes to In-Use Heavy-Duty Diesel Truck Emissions of Nitrogenous Species and Related Environmental Impacts,” in Environmental Science and Technology. Together, Chelsea Preble, Robert Harley and Thomas Kirchstetter conducted several... Read more
December 12, 2019
Lithium ion is probably the most advanced technology available for the packs of rechargeable batteries you’ll buy this holiday season. The batteries also power the vast majority of consumer devices, electric vehicles, and grid storage systems.Despite their ubiquity, lithium-ion batteries have disadvantages. Metals used in the batteries are becoming expensive and one crucial metal, cobalt, is... Read more
November 25, 2019
Following an international search, Robert Kostecki has been appointed director of the Energy Storage and Distributed Resources (ESDR) Division in the Energy Technologies Area (ETA) at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).Kostecki has extensive leadership experience and is a renowned scientist known for his pioneering research in electrochemical systems... Read more
November 19, 2019
Outstanding work in the field of residential ventilation -- which ultimately resulted in making millions of homes healthier and more comfortable -- has resulted in ETA's Residential Ventilation Team being honored with a Societal Impact Award by Berkeley Lab Director Mike Witherell. Brett Singer, Iain Walker, Brennan Less and Woody Delp (pictured, left to right), were recognized for their... Read more
November 4, 2019
The California Efficiency and Demand Management Council recently awarded Charles Goldman the 2019 Art Rosenfeld Lifetime Achievement Award. Goldman, a staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab) since 1982, has researched and provided technical assistance on electricity markets and policy issues for more than three decades.The council's award cited Goldman's "tireless... Read more