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Alex Bayen, the director of UC Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation Studies and a researcher in the Lab’s Energy Technologies Area, was recently featured in a news segment titled “Driving apps like Waze are creating new traffic problems” for Crosscurrents, an award-winning daily news magazine from KALW Public Radio.... Read More
To meet skyrocketing demand for electricity, African countries may have to triple their energy output by 2030. While hydropower and fossil fuel power plants are favored approaches in some quarters, a new assessment by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has found that wind and solar can be economically and environmentally competitive options and can contribute significantly to the rising demand.
“Wind... Read More
It's late February, which means farmers in Central and Southern California are busy harvesting thousands of acres of citrus and winter vegetables crops. Or at least they're trying to. Monster storms have delayed harvests and damaged crops, resulting in losses of California crops that typically bring in 4 billion dollars annually. Recent policies on food waste reduction tend to focus on the waste that occurs in the home or restaurant, but... Read More
In 2015, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and UC Berkeley announced a partnership with Tsinghua University in Beijing. They formed the Berkeley Tsinghua Joint Research Center on Energy and Climate Change, a center helping to develop scientifically based clean energy solutions and the next generation of leaders to champion those solutions.
Today, that effort received welcome support from Jim... Read More
Emissions of methane—a potent climate-warming gas⎯may be roughly twice as high as officially estimated for the San Francisco Bay Area. Most of the emissions come from biological sources, such as landfills, but natural gas leakage is also an important source, according to a new study from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).
The report by EAEI researchers Seongeun Jeong and Marc Fischer is the first to... Read More
India has announced a target of increasing the total renewable energy (RE) installed capacity from about 34GW in 2015 to 175GW by 2022 (including 100GW solar and 60GW wind capacity). This study assesses the technical feasibility of integrating 175 GW of renewables capacity in the Indian electricity grid, ascertains its impact on power sector investments and operations, and quantifies the incremental cost of such large-scale RE grid integration.... Read More
Many residential and commercial buildings leak air like sieves, wasting up to 40% of their heating and cooling energy. The primary reason for this energy loss is gaps and holes that exist in buildings’ air ducts. Getting an airtight seal on every connection can be difficult; even with skillful installation and generous applications of mastic (the putty... Read More
The episode featuring Jeffery Greenblatt airs on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at 10 p.m. (Pacific Time). Host Ty Burrell takes to the road to see the environmental revolutions being made in electric(EV) and self-driving vehicles. Greenblatt joins other experts to talk about advancements in EVs, EV incentives and driverless technology.
EAEI's Ryan Wiser is featured on the Energy Transition Show podcast to discuss a recent Berkeley Lab/NREL report on the cost of wind power.
Can wind prices keep falling, or have they bottomed out? The report, based on a survey of 163 of the world's foremost wind energy experts, examines what factors have led to a reduction in the cost of wind power.
Click here to listen to the... Read More
EAEI researchers Hugo Destaillats and Tom Kirchstetter are part of a team that won a 2016 R&D100 Award for their work on the Cool Roof Time Machine project.
This research establishes a method to simulate soiling and weathering of roofing material, reproducing in the lab in only a few days what would naturally take three years. This “cool roof... Read More
Research by EAEI’s Ranjit Deshmukh and Grace Wu on planning renewable energy zones in Africa was recently highlighted in Nature.
Across Africa, several nations are moving aggressively to develop their solar and wind capacity. The momentum has some experts wondering whether large parts of the continent can vault into a clean future.
See the full story... Read More
In the Nature article, "Can Wind and Solar Fuel Africa's Future?" IES' Grace Wu and Ranjit Deshmukh are quoted and their research highlighted on planning renewable-energy zones in Africa. "'The study is the most comprehensive mapping effort so far for most of those countries', says Wu."
The article states, "Across Africa,... Read More
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... Read More
EAEI researchers Jeff Greenblatt and Max Wei are quoted in an October 6, 2016 article in Christan Science Monitor on methane emissions from fossil fuels.
Two factors that contributed to the poisoning of tens of thousands of Washington, D.C., residents through their drinking water in the early 2000s—lead pipes and a disinfectant called chloramine—continue to coexist in countless water systems nationwide, including in the Bay Area. But not to worry, says UC Berkeley water expert and engineering professor David Sedlak; they’re safe when properly managed, which happens in the vast majority of public... Read More
Few would argue that the state hasn't done its fair share in the fight against climate change. But the question of how much the Global Warming Solutions Act has actually cut California's greenhouse gas emissions is tougher to get at. "I think that it worked," says the Lab's Jeffrey Greenblatt.
Technology advancements are expected to continue to drive down the cost of wind energy, according to a survey of the world's foremost wind power experts led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Experts anticipate cost reductions of 24%-30% by 2030 and 35%-41% by 2050, under a median or 'best guess' scenario, driven by bigger and more efficient turbines, lower capital and operating costs, and other advancements (see Figure 1... Read More
When an individual utility customer decides to add rooftop solar to their home or business, the utility needs to deliver less power to that customer from other sources. A small number of solar adopters may not have much of an impact, but rapid growth in rooftop solar in some parts of the country has the potential to significantly impact the need for generating resources and transmission and distribution (T&D) infrastructure.
To account for... Read More
Two new Berkeley Lab studies find record low prices across all sectors
Solar energy system pricing is at an all-time low, according to the latest editions of two recurring “state of the market” reports released today by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).
Within the market for distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, installed prices in 2015 declined by $0.20-per-watt (W) or 5% year-over-year for... Read More
Wind energy pricing remains attractive to utility and commercial purchasers, according to an annual report released by the U.S. Department of Energy and prepared by the Electricity Markets & Policy Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Prices offered by newly built wind projects are averaging around 2¢/kWh, driven lower by technology advancements and cost reductions.
"Wind energy prices—particularly in the central United States—are... Read More
Berkeley Lab study identifies two additional carcinogens not previously reported in e-cigarette vapor.
While previous studies have found that electronic cigarettes emit toxic compounds, a new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has pinpointed the source of these emissions and shown how factors such as the temperature, type, and age of the device play a role in emission levels, information that could be valuable to... Read More
The Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine have just released a report on the health... Read More
In the mid-2000s, William Fisk, a senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, stumbled upon two obscure Hungarian studies that challenged common assumptions about the air indoors. The studies suggested that, even at relatively low levels, carbon dioxide could impair how well people thought and worked.
Fisk, an indoor–air quality expert who led the UC Berkeley Lab’s Indoor Environment Group, searched for other studies on the topic... Read More
LBNL is collaborating with ClimateWorks on defining metrics for tracking changes in energy efficiency progress, measuring impacts and assessing strategic opportunities. This report provides a detailed description of the indicators selected. The authors considered a wide range of indicators drawing upon the literature,... Read More
A major new initiative tackles water-energy issues in California and beyond.
Billions of gallons of water are used each day in the United States for energy production—for hydroelectric power generation, thermoelectric plant cooling, and countless other industrial processes, including oil and gas mining. And huge amounts of energy are required to pump, treat, heat, and deliver water.
This interdependence of water and energy is the focus of a... Read More
A new report outlines the challenges and opportunities for the state’s 200 isolated communities that pay some of the highest electricity and heating costs in the nation. Peter Larsen of the Energy Technologies Area, was among the study’s authors.
As climate change disrupts weather patterns, many countries face swamping along the coasts, but also shrinking freshwater supplies in many regions. The Lab’s Ashok Gadgil is the principal investigator on the U.S. side of a new $64 million collaboration between China and the United States to develop strategies and technologies to conserve water in energy production and use.
A start-up team, including Dr. Hanna Breunig of the Sustainable Energy Systems group at LBNL, was recently accepted into the Bay Area regional NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps™), a program designed to help start-ups conduct customer discovery. Torq3, the start-up team, is developing new configurations of the Halbach Array Electric Motor (HAEM) to make them more powerful and energy efficient. Improving these characteristics will allow the new... Read More