Latest News

December 12, 2013

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 market share. Photocatalytic products include... Read More

Michael Sohn
November 26, 2013
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 modeling of environmental systems and... Read More

Cars idlingly on a freeway.
November 04, 2013

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 California Greenhouse Gas Inventory... Read More

October 24, 2013

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.

This Week

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 to 30 percent of heating and... Read More

September 27, 2013

The price at which electricity from large-scale solar power projects in the western United States is being sold has fallen by more than two-thirds in the last five years, according to a new report released today by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The report—"Utility-Scale Solar 2012: An Empirical Analysis of Project Cost, Performance, and Pricing Trends in the United States"—focuses exclusively on ground-mounted solar projects with capacity ratings greater than 2 MWAC. Such... Read More

Berkeley Lab estimates of reported and projected ESCO industry revenues: 1990-20
September 25, 2013

Industry could more than double in size from ~$6 billion in 2013 to $11-$15 billion by 2020

Aggregate revenue growth rates for U.S. energy service companies (ESCOs) significantly outpaced U.S. GDP growth during the three-year period 2009 to 2011, according to a new report by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

ESCOs primarily use performance-based contracts to provide energy efficiency, renewable and other energy-related... Read More

September 23, 2013

On Berkeley Lab's News Center website, there's a new story about the China Energy Group's China Energy Databook.

"In the five years since the China Energy Group of the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) released its last edition of the China Energy Databook, China has achieved two dubious distinctions: it surpassed the United States in energy consumption and it surpassed the United States in energy-related emissions of carbon... Read More

August 29, 2013

As part of an effort to analyze the cost per unit of savings for utility customer-funded energy efficiency programs, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) has reviewed regulatory filings nationwide to produce a program typology and standardized data metrics for assessing energy efficiency program characteristics, costs and impacts. These types, definitions, and naming conventions facilitate meta-analysis of efficiency program results and use of such information by a wide range of... Read More

August 27, 2013

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) analyzed more than 50,000 home sales near 67 wind facilities in 27 counties across nine U.S. states, yet was unable to uncover any impacts to nearby home property values.

"This is the second of two major studies we have conducted on this topic [the first was published in 2009 - see below], and in both studies [using two different datasets] we find no statistical evidence that operating wind turbines have had any measureable impact... Read More

February 04, 2013

A team of researchers in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division led by Hanna Breunig has published a paper analyzing regional options for managing brine from carbon capture and sequestration projects. The research, described in a feature article here, looks at how brine... Read More

August 23, 2012

The Department of Energy has released the winning student team from the Max Tech Appliance Design Contest. The Max Tech competition, held in May of this year, was coordinated by a team in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Here is DOE's announcement:

As part of the Obama Administration's commitment to supporting the next generation of scientists and engineers, the Energy Department today announced that a University... Read More

June 06, 2012

A new report released by the State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network (SEE Action) prepared by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory provides guidance and recommendations on methodologies that can be used for rigorously estimating energy savings from residential behavior-based efficiency programs. The report was designed for regulators, evaluation professionals, program administrators, and other energy efficiency program stakeholders.

Residential behavior-based... Read More

Portrait of Ed Vine, a scientist at EETD.
January 06, 2012

Ed Vine, a scientist in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division is the editor of a special issue of the journal Energy Efficiency focusing solely on the evaluation of energy efficiency (2012: Volume 5 Number 1). The papers published in the issue are a subset of those delivered at the International Energy Program Evaluation Conference held in Europe in 2010.

The issue's introduction, by Vine and S. Thomas of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy... Read More

Wide landscape picture from afar of a middle-class neighborhood
December 05, 2011

A study released today by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) identifies steps that energy efficiency program managers can take to deliver significant savings on home energy bills to middle-income households.

"Middle-income households have been hit hard by the recent recession, and sagging home prices have undermined the traditional reliance of middle-income households on home equity for financing home improvements," says Berkeley Lab's Mark Zimring, a... Read More

December 01, 2011

Using measuring techniques that combine video with devices measuring particulate matter, black carbon and nitrogen oxides in real time, scientists at the Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD) of Berkeley Lab have verified that policies designed to reduce the emissions of particulates from trucks driving onto the Port of Oakland have been effective.

The paper describing their results, by Timothy Dallman and Robert Harley of the UC Berkeley Civil and Environmental... Read More

SEM images of synthesized catalyst LBNL-100 and of commercial MnO2
November 29, 2011

Researchers estimate that those of us in developed countries spend 90 percent of our time indoors, which means that most of the time we are breathing air polluted by emissions from indoor sources. Providing more outdoor air ventilation can improve indoor air quality; however, energy is needed to heat, cool, humidify or dehumidify, and sometimes filter the ventilation air brought indoors from outdoors. Studies have shown that about 10 percent of the energy consumed in the U.S. commercial... Read More

Screen shot of the Healthy Homes Study web site
November 10, 2011

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is seeking participants for a study of air quality in California homes. The study is being conducted by scientists in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division of Berkeley Lab. This project is funded by the California Energy Commission and is focused on homes with natural gas appliances. Individuals who are selected to participate and complete the requirements of the study will receive $75 and free information about the air quality in their home.... Read More

An outside photo of  Berkeley Lab's molecular foundry
October 26, 2011

It's a grand challenge: develop clean, sustainable technologies that deliver a low-carbon energy future, and through innovation, create jobs, new markets, and exports, and increase America's energy security.

Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have made it their mission to develop low-carbon and energy-efficient technologies such as advanced materials and information technology for buildings; next-generation biofuels; new battery, fuel cell, and... Read More

October 24, 2011

Scientists in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD), in cooperation with colleagues throughout the Lab, have formed a team to evaluate the impacts of low-carbon and energy-efficient technologies that are still in the laboratory. Development of these technologies is part of a Lab-wide effort called Carbon Cycle 2.0, focused on sustainable energy solutions such as advanced materials and information technology for buildings; next-generation... Read More

Photo of skyscrapers, persepctive from the ground looking up
October 19, 2011

Current standards for U.S. offices require approximately 8 liters per second (L/s) of outdoor air ventilation per person. Providing twice as much ventilation would reduce sick building syndrome symptoms (SBS) and absences, improve work performance, and provide billions of dollars in annual economic benefits in the U.S., according to a recent study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

A second study found that four remedial measures in U.S. offices—increasing... Read More

Portrait of Elizabeth Stuart
September 26, 2011

A new policy brief on the value of energy performance and green attributes in buildings, authored by Elizabeth Stuart, is available. Labels, certifications, and rating systems for energy efficiency performance and "green" attributes of buildings have been available in the U.S. for over 10 years, and used extensively in the European Union and Australia for longer. Such certifications and ratings can make energy efficiency more visible, and could help spur demand for energy efficiency if these... Read More

Photo of a solar house
September 20, 2011

The installed cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the United States fell substantially in 2010 and into the first half of 2011, according to the latest edition of an annual PV cost tracking report released by the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The average installed cost of residential and commercial PV systems completed in 2010 fell by roughly 17 percent from the year before, and by an additional 11 percent within the first six... Read More

Photo of commercial refrigerators on display for sale.
August 26, 2011

Scientists in EETD provided technical analysis to the Department of Energy for the energy efficiency standards announced today.

From the U.S. Department of Energy:

Today, the Department of Energy issued final energy efficiency standards for home refrigerators and freezers that will improve their efficiency by about 25% by 2014. These new standards, developed through a consensus process with manufacturers, consumer groups, and environmentalists, are expected to deliver more than... Read More

Portrait of Elizabeth Stuart
August 25, 2011

A new policy brief for energy efficiency contractors and program managers describes how adding sales and business skills to contractor technical skills and certifications can increase the rate of customer conversions from home energy assessment to comprehensive home energy upgrade. It was prepared by Megan Billingsley and Elizabeth Stuart of the Electricity Markets and Policy Group of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division.

Discussed in the brief is the case of Efficiency... Read More

Photo of Lee Schipper
August 17, 2011

Leon (Lee) Schipper, a scientist who worked in Berkeley Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division for more than two decades, passed away on August 16 at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley. He was 64 and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May. Schipper was an energy efficiency expert who first worked at the Lab as a graduate student in 1972 and then joined as a scientist in 1978. He went on leave in 1995 to work as a visiting scientist for the International Energy Agency in Paris and... Read More

August 15, 2011

Recently, EETD's Thomas Kirchstetter, and Tim Dallman and Robert Harley of the University of California, Berkeley, presented the results of a study on the emissions of PM (particulate matter) and NOx (nitrogen oxides) from trucks at the Port of Oakland. The occasion was an August 4th hearing in Oakland, California, convened by Alameda County supervisors to discuss requirements that trucks accessing the Port reduce... Read More

PEFC Schematic
August 12, 2011

The Department of Energy has awarded up to $1.9 million to a research team led by EETD's Eric Masanet to develop "total cost of ownership" models for low- and high-temperature stationary fuel cell systems up to 250 kilowatts. The work will support research and development efforts for fuel cells by assessing the impact of state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies, system designs, and deployment strategies on the life-cycle cost of fuel cells in emerging markets. Other participating Lawrence... Read More

July 28, 2011

EETD scientists conduct research to analyze energy use in India, evaluate energy efficiency opportunities in its economy, and develop road maps to promote lower-carbon-emitting, sustainable economic development. They also work with their Indian colleagues on joint research, and provide technical consulting in a variety of areas such as energy-efficient building design and operation.

Here are a few resources for further information.

Berkeley-India Joint Leadership on Energy and the... Read More
Screen shot of 1 of 6  fact sheets released by the Department of Energy
July 27, 2011

The U.S. Department of Energy has released six fact sheets to assist American Reinvestment and Recovery Act grantees and end-users in benchmarking energy efficiency upgrade costs and expected annual savings. The fact sheets are directed at municipal, state, and federal government buildings, healthcare facilities, universities, colleges, and K-12 schools. The fact sheets provide information on the typical range of project installation costs, savings, and payback times from energy retrofits... Read More

Cover of the 2010 Wind Technologies Market Report
July 14, 2011

Despite a trying year in which wind power capacity additions declined significantly compared to both 2008 and 2009, the U.S. remained one of the fastest-growing wind power markets in the world in 2010—second only to China—according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Energy and prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

Pages