Latest News

Power plant in Moss Landing, California
September 29, 2016

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.

September 20, 2016

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).

The findings are described in... Read More

September 20, 2016

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 these changing needs, utilities are... Read More

August 25, 2016
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 residential... Read More

August 17, 2016

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 at rock-bottom levels, with utilities... Read More

(From left) Lara Gundel, Marion Russell, Hugo Destaillats
July 28, 2016
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 both manufacturers and regulators seeking to... Read More

Some sources of indoor particulate matter.
July 12, 2016

The Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine have just released a report on the health effects of indoor particulate matter, citing... Read More

June 24, 2016

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. He found none that had examined the... Read More

Hierarchy of Metrics
June 01, 2016

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, their own experience and consultation with... Read More

Water banking, desalination, and high-resolution climate models.
May 23, 2016
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 major new research effort at the Department... Read More

Rural Alaskan village
May 05, 2016

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.

Ashok Gadgil and postdoctoral researcher Chinmayee Subban
May 03, 2016

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.

Light-weight water-resistant fixed-magnet array plate.
April 25, 2016

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 configurations to power small... Read More

March 16, 2016

Automated vehicles can both drive more efficiently and be designed to be lighter, saving energy. However, the convenience of not having to pay attention on the road may lead people to use them more, increasing energy consumption. Which effect will tend to prevail? ETA’s Jeff Greenblatt seeks to answer that question in a blog posted on... Read More

March 04, 2016

A new report issued by researchers in the Energy Technologies Area, “Maximizing MWh: A Statistical Analysis of the Performance of Utility-Scale Photovoltaic Projects in the United States,” presents the first known use of multivariate regression techniques to statistically explore empirical variation in utility-scale PV project performance across the United States.

Jeff Greenblatt
January 28, 2016

The January/February issue of Mother Jones magazine quotes Jeff Greenblatt on autonomous vehicles. A Scientific American article also quoted Greenblatt on how driverless cars may slow... Read More

Characteristics of Low-Priced Solar Photovoltaic Systems in the United States
January 20, 2016

Berkeley, CA — The price of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed on homes and small businesses spans a wide range, and researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have published a new study that reveals the key market and system drivers for low-priced... Read More

January 06, 2016

Berkeley, CA — A new study estimates that $2.2 billion in benefits came from reduced greenhouse gas emissions and $5.2 billion from reductions in other air pollution for state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies operating in 2013. The report also shows national water withdrawals and consumption were reduced by 830 billion gallons and 27 billion gallons in 2013, respectively. The report, entitled... Read More

Largest Energy Efficiency Standard in History
January 04, 2016

The Department of Energy announced historic new efficiency standards for commercial air conditioners and furnaces. The Lab’s Energy Technologies Area provided technical assistance to DOE and the stakeholder working group that negotiated the standards, as well as conducted the supporting energy savings and economic analyses which were key inputs to forge this consensus.

Lynn Price and He Jiankun
December 01, 2015

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and UC Berkeley announced they are partnering with Tsinghua University in Beijing to form the Berkeley Tsinghua Joint Research Center on Energy and Climate Change, a center that will aim to develop scientifically based clean energy solutions and the next generation of leaders to champion those solutions.

The three parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Paris today. “Berkeley Lab’s China Energy Group has been working... Read More

November 12, 2015
Results Confirm Earlier Berkeley Lab Large-Scale Study

Photovoltaics added value to homes in six markets, according to a new report titled “Appraising into the Sun: Six-State Solar Home Paired-Sales Analysis,” led by a researcher from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and a home appraisal expert. Researchers engaged a team of seven appraisers from across the six states to determine the value that solar photovoltaic (PV) systems added to... Read More

Portrait of Andrew Mills
November 02, 2015

Joachim Seel

As grid-connected solar and wind resources become more prevalent, fifteen-minute resources—energy technologies that can be brought online quickly to cover dips in generation—become more important for grid stability. A recent study by Andrew Mills and Joachim Seel of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory... Read More

TechWomen at Berkeley Lab, Oct 2015
October 21, 2015

"You are literally changing the world, and I am honored to be part of it, even if for few hours" said Arwa Guesmi, from Tunisia after her visit to Berkeley Lab. Guesmi is an Emerging Leader (EL) at the U.S. Department of State's TechWomen program. Nine TechWomen ELs from seven countries visited Berkeley Lab on October 14th to learn more about energy research and green technology. The visiting group was hosted by the Energy Technologies Area (ETA). The women had insightful exchanges on... Read More

Portrait of Nihar Shah
October 19, 2015

A Berkeley Lab report led by Nihar Shah will provide the foundation for extending the progress announced at a White House roundtable on... Read More

Caldecott Tunnel
October 06, 2015

Berkeley Lab researchers are measuring truck emissions from above the Caldecott Tunnel. The effort, led by Berkeley lab Staff Scientist Thomas Kirchstetter, aims to track pollutants emitted not just from trucks generally, but from individual trucks. The study has already determined that California’s new emissions controls seem to be working, with “a factor of 10 decrease in the amount of diesel particulate matter".

Click the link below to read the full story on ABC7 News.

September 30, 2015
Berkeley Lab study reveals 70% decline in PPA prices since 2009

Solar energy pricing is at an all-time low, according to a new report released by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Driven by lower installed costs, improved project performance, and a race to build projects ahead of a reduction in a key federal incentive, utility-scale solar project developers have been negotiating power sales agreements with utilities at prices averaging just 5¢/kWh. These prices reflect... Read More

Zhejiang Governor of China  in front of the FLEXLAB®
September 28, 2015

On Thursday, September 24, 2015, the honorable LI Qiang, Governor of Zhejiang Province, led a delegation team from Zhejiang Province to visit Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Honorary Zhejiang delegates accompanying the Governor included Yonghui Jin, Director General of Zhejiang Provincial Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Department, Jianming Shen, Deputy Secretary General of Zhejiang Provincial People's Government, and other Zhejiang officials. The Bay Area Council... Read More

Lara Gundel, Bo Hang, and Hugo Destaillats
September 28, 2015
Berkeley Lab scientists have been awarded $1.3 million to study health impacts of thirdhand smoke.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researchers have been awarded $1.3 million for two sets of studies to better understand the health impacts of thirdhand smoke, the noxious residue that clings to virtually all indoor surfaces long after the secondhand smoke from a cigarette has cleared out.

The two three-year grants are from the... Read More

California Gov. Jerry Brown, China Energy Group leader Lynn Price, and members o
September 18, 2015

The China Energy Group of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) participated in the two-day U.S.-China Climate Leaders Summit in Los Angeles this week. The Summit fulfills a key element of the U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change by Presidents Obama and Xi last November, helping to ensure that the ambitious actions to address climate change that... Read More

Report cover
August 24, 2015
New report finds that increasingly severe weather is linked to longer lasting power outages

In the most comprehensive analysis of electricity reliability trends in the United States, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Stanford University have found that, while, on average, the frequency of power outages has not changed in recent years, the total number of minutes customers are without power each year has been increasing over time.

The researchers... Read More