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Career Spotlight: Research Scientist and Mechanical Engineer
Vi Rapp is a research scientist with Berkeley Lab’s Energy Technologies Area. She has a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and focuses her research on improving combustion systems. One aspect of her work is designing cleaner, more efficient cookstoves.
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Largest-ever study quantifies the value of rooftop photovoltaics on homes that sold across eight states and 12 years
A multi-institutional research team of scientists led by the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkley Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories,... Read More
Differences in local market conditions and policies, and other factors, particularly the size of the system, can lead to wide disparities in what consumers across the United States pay to install solar energy systems on their homes or small businesses, according to... Read More
An excerpt from a U.S. Department of Energy blog:
"...dramatic changes are occurring in our nation’s energy mix, many of which demand a more technologically advanced electric grid. Increasing use of renewable energy sources, risks of cyber and physical attacks, and aging infrastructure create uncertainty of the current grid’s long-term ability to provide the services demanded of it. These include distributing and storing clean energy, enabling... Read More
Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which result from the burning of fossil fuels, also reduces the incidence of health problems from particulate matter (PM) in these emissions.
A team of scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), RAND Corp., and the University of Washington, has calculated that the economic benefit of reduced health impacts from... Read More
China Energy Group Affiliate and retired Berkeley Lab Staff Scientist Chris Marnay organized and led the Tianjin 2014 Symposium on Microgrids in Tianjin, China on November 13-14. This was Dr. Marny's tenth Microgrid Symposium as chairman. This symposium is a series that dates back to the first on the U.C. Berkeley Campus in 2005, with others in Montreal, Nagoya, Kythnos Is., Greece, San Diego, Jeji Is., South Korea, Évora, Portugal, and... Read More
From the Department of Energy:
The Energy Department has released a new resource, the... Read More
Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have jointly released the briefing Photovoltaic System Pricing Trends: Historical, Recent, and Near-Term Projections (2014 Edition). This is the third edition of an annual briefing, which draws on several ongoing research activities at the two labs, including:
Berkeley Lab's annual Tracking the Sun report series... Read More
Impacts to Utility Shareholder Earnings and Return on Equity Can Vary Greatly, and Can Be Mitigated through a Range of Measures
Berkeley, CA — A new report prepared by analysts from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) examines the potential impacts of customer-sited solar photovoltaics (PV) on electric utility profitability and rates. The report, entitled Financial Impacts of Net-Metered PV on... Read More
Berkeley, CA — The price of solar energy in the United States continues to fall substantially, according to the latest editions of two annual reports produced by the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).
A third Berkeley Lab report, written in collaboration with researchers at Yale University, the University of Texas at Austin and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), shows that local permitting and other... Read More
Dr. Mark Levine, founder of China Energy Group of Lawrence Berkeley National Laobratory, has been named Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award for Societal Impact. For more detail, please visit LBNL's website.
Wind energy pricing is at an all-time low, according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Energy and prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The prices offered by wind projects to utility purchasers averaged just $25/MWh for projects negotiating contracts in 2013, spurring demand for wind energy.
"Wind energy prices—particularly in the central United States— are at an all-time low, with utilities selecting... Read More
As part of the U.S.-China EcoPartnerships Program and one of the activities of the Sixth U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) signed a statement of intent for cooperation with its Chinese EcoPartner, the Shandong Academy of Science (SDAS), in the 2014 U.S.-China EcoPartnerships Signing Ceremony on July 10 in Beijing, China.
Nan Zhou, the Deputy Group Leader of China Energy Group and... Read More
Can financing deliver significant private capital and rapid growth in home energy efficiency improvements? A key element may be attracting secondary-market investors to buy the efficiency loans and thereby replenish funds for a new round of lending. A new policy brief from Lawrence Berkeley National... Read More
Berkeley Lab's Electrcity Markets and Policy Group has released a new, comprehensive report on on-bill efficiency financing programs—which offer loans for energy improvements that can be paid back on the borrower's utility bill. The report, produced through the State and Local Energy Efficiency Action (SEE Action) Network, surveys the landscape of on-bill financing programs and carefully examines program design elements and key performance... Read More
Berkeley Lab's Electricity and Markets Policy Group has released a new report, authored jointly by Berkeley Lab and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, titled, “A Survey of State-Level Cost and Benefit Estimates of Renewable Portfolio Standards.”
Renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies are in place in more than half of all U.S. states and have played a critical role in driving renewable energy deployment over the past decade. In many... Read More
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Working Group III, addressing the mitigation of climate change, has issued an executive summary of its Fifth Assessment report. The report updates policymakers on the technical and socio-economic aspects of climate change, including technologies and policies that can reduce impacts.
According to its website, "The IPCC Working Group III assesses all relevant options for mitigating climate change... Read More
As more states and utilities increasingly turn to energy efficiency programs to manage demand for electricity and natural gas, it is important to understand how much saving energy costs. By examining regulatory reports on efficiency programs in 31 states, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researchers have determined the cost of saving energy through efficiency programs funded by utility customers in the period 2009-2011. A... Read More
EETD's Hanna Breunig has been named one of 16 Schmidt-MacArthur Fellows in the program's class of 2014.
Breunig is a graduate student researcher in the Sustainable Energy Systems Group's emerging technology analysis group, Environmental Energy Technologies Division, and a PhD candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. She is one of 16 Schmidt-MacArthur fellows in the class of... Read More
The China Energy Group of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has released the MAnufacturing STructure and Energy Research (MASTER) tool. The MASTER tool is designed to help users understand how different factors (production growth of industry subsectors, industry structural change, and energy intensity change of industry subsectors) influence overall industrial energy use trends over time. Policy makers often seek such values in order to make... Read More
Smarter power plugs and appliances that can turn electronics on and off according to a homeowner's behavior rather than a fixed schedule. A water heater that delivers water to the different fixtures in the house at temperatures customized for the particular water use. A smarter-than-ever thermostat that knows how to set different temperatures for different rooms in a house. High-pressure water jets that can cut magnetic metal to construct high-... Read More
Massachusetts focused-study finds other factors, such as proximity to highways, beaches have price impact
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) along with University of Connecticut analyzed more than 122,000 home sales near 26 wind facilities (with over 1,500 within a mile of operating turbines) in densely populated Massachusetts, yet was unable to uncover any impacts to nearby home property values.
"This is the third of three... Read More
Tools and models to find the best way to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in cities and industries, to follow the transport of pollutants through the environment, and to calculate the cost of power interruptions are among those available on a new Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) web site.
The... Read More
Quantifying the Economic Implications of Indoor Air on Energy Efficiency, Performance, and Health
William Fisk is a senior scientist, mechanical engineer, and leader of the Indoor Environment Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). During his 33 years at the lab, he has researched the interrelated issues of building energy performance, ventilation, indoor environmental quality (IEQ), and occupant health and performance. His... Read More
Researchers in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have released a new report titled “Exploring California PV Home Premiums.”
Although photovoltaic (PV) penetration in the United States is increasing rapidly, properly valuing homes with PV systems remains a barrier to PV deployment. Previous studies show that PV homes command sales price premiums. Still, some appraisers and other home valuers... Read More
Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and their colleagues studied the chemical mechanisms that allow photocatalysis to remove pollution from indoor air and urban atmospheres, as well as allow self-cleaning surfaces to work. The basis of the process is a catalyst such as titanium dioxide (TiO2) energized by light. Building materials and coatings with nano-sized TiO2 particles are gaining... Read More
Assessing Probability and Uncertainty for Smarter Decisions and Policies
In this first of a series of Q&As with researchers in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, Michael Sohn talks about probability and uncertainty in modeling.
Michael Sohn is an environmental engineer working to understand how chemicals and energy are used in the world at various scales—global, state, and building. His research interests are in mathematical... Read More
For decades, California has used groundbreaking tools to collect and analyze emissions data from a variety of sources to establish a scientific basis for policy making. As its scope has expanded to include greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, it has sought out similar tools to use to achieve the goals of legislation such as the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32).
To support this effort, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory developed a... Read More
The 40th anniversary of the founding of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at Berkeley Lab is November 1, 2013.
Every Thursday during October, we'll look back at a significant energy-efficient technology developed by EETD and its research partners.
EETD has developed energy-efficient technologies that save energy in your home and workplace. One of these is aerosol duct sealing. Leaky ducts in homes and offices can waste 20... Read More