Return to Today's Publications

 

Newsletter:
Date Range (YYYY-MM-DD) -
Company, Industry or Technology:
  Search Tips


New Nanomaterial Supports Hydrogen Production from Methanol (New Prod & Tech, Alternative Fuel)
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Date: 2021-01-04
In an open-access paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) Molecular Foundry report they have designed and synthesized ultrasmall nickel nanoclusters deposited on defect-rich BN nanosheet (Ni/BN) catalysts that can cleanly and efficiently accelerate the reaction that removes hydrogen atoms from a liquid chemical carrier such as methanol and could help make hydrogen a viable energy source for a wide range of applications, including alternative transportation fuels.

The research is part of the Hydrogen Materials Advanced Research Consortium (HyMARC), a consortium funded by the US DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE EERE) Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office.

For the chemical reaction that produces hydrogen from liquid carriers, the most effective catalysts are made from precious metals. However, those catalysts are associated with high costs and low abundance and are susceptible to contamination. Other less expensive catalysts, made from more common metals, tend to be less effective and less stable, which limits their activity and their practical deployment into hydrogen production industries. LBNL will hone the strategy of modifying 2D substrates in ways that support tiny metal clusters, to develop even more efficient catalysts. The technique could help optimize the process of extracting hydrogen from liquid chemical carriers.

The research was supported by the DOE Office of Science and EERE's Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office. (Source: LBNL, PR, Website, Green Car Congress, 3 Jan., 2021) Contact: LBNL, Molecular Foundry, Jeff Urban, Inorganic Nanostructures Facility Director, Laurel Kellner, Media, 510-590-8034, LKellner@lbl.gov, www.lbl.gov; Hydrogen Materials Advanced Research Consortium, www.energy.gov/eere/fuelcells/hymarc-hydrogen-materials-advanced-research-consortium

More Low-Carbon Energy News Alternative Fuel,  Hydrogen,  Methanol,  Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory ,  


Bldg. Energy Efficiency Campaign Drives $95Mn Savings (Ind. Report)
US DOE,
Date: 2020-10-23
One hundred and four U.S. companies, schools, governments, and institutions are taking their building energy savings to a new level with the 4-year US DOE Smart Energy Analytics Campaign funded through the Building Technologies Office (BETO) and facilitated by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) to expand the use of energy management and information systems (EMIS) in commercial buildings.

The Campaign helped drive approximately 4 trillion BTUs of annual energy savings -- enough to power more than 44,000 U.S. households for a year -- reducing the campaign participants' collective energy bills by $95 million a year. The research also enabled Berkeley Lab to create the world's largest collection of data on building energy analytics -- the first real-world, large-scale body of evidence of EMIS' value to commercial buildings. Nationwide, if buildings throughout the commercial sector adopted EMIS best practices, the resulting savings in annual energy costs could total $4 billion.

The campaign, a public-private partnership with businesses and public-sector organizations, has supported cutting-edge analytics technology use in over 6,500 buildings totaling 567 million sq-ft of floor space. It allowed Berkeley Lab experts to offer technical assistance and provide industry partners with frequent opportunities for peer-to-peer interaction, including exchanging best practices.

Researchers found that average installation and software costs ranged from two to eight cents per square foot, depending on the type of EMIS system. The median participant saved approximately $3 million in annual energy costs across their portfolio and re-couped associated costs over a two-year period.

Although the Smart Energy Analytics Campaign is concluding, its work will continue through DOE's Better Buildings program with ongoing support from the team of experts at Berkeley Lab. The Smart Energy Analytics Campaign is one of several successful Better Buildings Alliance technology drives, led by DOE's national laboratories, that aim to accelerate adoption of efficient building technologies by providing technical assistance, resources, and guidance on best practices. (Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, PR, Website, Oct., 2020) Contact: LBNL, Building Technology & Urban Systems Division, Jessica Granderson, Research Deputy, Better Buildings Campaign, HERE; BETO, www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/building-technologies-office

More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,  BETO,  Energy Efficiency,  


US Wind Power Capacity Continues to Rise (Ind. Report)
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Date: 2020-08-31
According to a report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), the U.S. wind industry added more than 1,800 MW of new capacity in the first quarter of 2020 due to the spring peaks and renewable generation and reduced electrical demand due to the country's COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.

The report notes that 9 GW of new wind power capacity, representing an investment of $13 billion, was installed in the U.S. in 2019 and wind energy output rose to more than 7 pct of the entire nation's electricity supply, more than 10 pct in 14 states, and over 40 pct in Iowa and Kansas. The nine gigawatts power generation is slightly more than in each of the four previous years.

An added factor to the heightened wind power capacity is prices, which have fallen to $700 -- $850/kW. The average cost of wind projects installation in 2019 was $1,440/kW, down more than 40 percent since the peak in 2009 and 2010. That brings the average cost of electricity produced from wind to $36 per MWh down from the $85-90/MWh range seen a decade ago. Wind has maintained its cost lead over natural gas electricity, although solar electricity has caught up in the last few years. The report says that wind power will gradually get cheaper. (Source: LBNL, Industry Leaders, Aug., 2020) Contact: LBNL, Laurel Kellner, Media, 510-590-8034, LKellner@lbl.gov, www.lbl.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,  Wind ,  


LBNL Explores Cheaper Biofuels Production Costs (Ind. Report, R&D)
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Date: 2020-08-31
As previously reported, researchers at the US DOE Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) have designed simulations to determine how much biofuel is needed for the whole bioproduct extraction process to decrease the demand for petroleum-based gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels and to be labeled as "cost-efficient." Their study results found the target levels to be modest and that Biofuels can compete with petroleum-based fuels in terms of cost production, according to a release.

Conventional biofuel production often involves genetically engineered plants that can produce essential chemical compounds, or bioproducts. These bioproducts are extracted from the plant, and the remaining plant parts are converted into fuel. This led LBNL scientists to investigate exactly how much bioproduct does a plant need to determine if the whole extraction process to be determined efficient, and how much bioproduct should be produced to reach the target ethanol selling price of $2.50 per gallon.

To do this, the researchers studied existing data of well-studied plant-based bioproduct production. They used this data to make simulations that will determine the factors involved in extracting bioproducts using the context of bioethanol refinery, which means that bioproducts will be extracted from the plant and the remaining plant materials will be converted to ethanol. Their results determined that the bioproduct levels needed to accumulate in plants to offset the production cost recovery is quite feasible. Using limonene as an example, they calculated that an accumulated 0.6 pct of biomass dry weight would already produce net economic benefits to biorefineries. To illustrate, it means harvesting 10 dry metric tons of sorghum mass from one acre will only need 130 pounds of recovered limonene from that biomass to say that the whole production process is efficient, according to the release.

The LBNL researchers note this new finding can provide new insights into the role of bioproducts to improve biorefinery economics and offer the first quantitative basis for implementation of this cost-saving strategy for future studies on plant-based biofuel breeding and engineering. The scientists also recommended that crops need to be engineered to produce a broad range of bioproducts in order to provide options and diversify products in the market. (Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, April, 2020) Contact: LBNL, Laurel Kellner, Media, 510-590-8034, LKellner@lbl.gov, www.lbl.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory news,  Biofuel news,  


USAID, MNRE Announce New Clean Energy Partnership (Ind. Report)
US Agency for International Development
Date: 2020-07-27
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and India's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) have announced a collaborative partnership between the SAID-supported South Asia Group for Energy (SAGE) and MNRE's national technical institutions.

The SAGE partnership will provide a formal platform for collaboration on clean energy development and provide advanced technical knowledge on clean energy development from the US DOE National Laboratories to MNRE's National Institute of Wind Energy, National Institute of Biomass Energy, and others.

The SAGE consortium includes USAID, the US Department of Energy and three of the Department of Energy's National Laboratories -- Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. (Source: USAID, EconimicTimes India, July, 2020) Contact: USAID, www.usaid.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News US Agency for International Development ,  Clean Energy,  Renewable Energy,  Bioenergy,  


ExxonMobil Touts Carbon Capture Material (New Prod. & Tech.)
ExxonMobil
Date: 2020-07-27
Scientists from ExxonMobil, University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have discovered a new material that could capture more than 90 pct of CO2 emissions from natural gas-fired power plants, using low-temperature steam, requiring less energy for the overall carbon capture process.

Laboratory tests indicate the patent-pending materials -- tetraamine-functionalised metal organic frameworks -- capture CO2 emissions up to six times more effectively than conventional amine-based carbon capture technology.

By manipulating the structure of the metal organic framework material, the team of scientists and students demonstrated the ability to condense a surface area the size of a football field, into just one gram of mass -- about the same as a paperclip -- that acts as a sponge for carbon emissions, according to the release.

"Through collaborations with strong academic institutions and national labs like UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, we are developing a portfolio of lower-emissions energy solutions. This provides yet another example of one of the many new materials ExxonMobil is researching to reduce CO2 in the production of energy," according to the release. (Source: ExxonMobil, Smart Energy, 26 July, 2020)Contact: ExxonMobil www.exxonmobil.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News ExxonMobil,  Carbon Capture,  CCS,  


LBNL Explores Cheaper Biofuels Production Costs (Ind. Report, R&D)
Berkeley National Laboratory
Date: 2020-04-10
Scientists at the US DOE Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) report they have designed simulations to determine how much biofuel is needed for the whole bioproduct extraction process to be labeled as cost-efficient. Their results showed that the target levels are actually modest and within reach, according to a press release.

The development of biofuels over the past years is part of the strategy to decrease the demand for petroleum-based gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels. However, biofuels are yet to reach the level where they can compete with petroleum-based fuels in terms of cost production. Conventional biofuel production often involves genetically engineered plants that can produce essential chemical compounds, or bioproducts. These bioproducts are extracted from the plant, and the remaining plant parts are converted into fuel. This led scientists from the Berkeley Laboratory to investigate exactly how much bioproduct does a plant need to determine if the whole extraction process to be determined efficient, and how much bioproduct should be produced to reach the target ethanol selling price of $2.50 per gallon.

To do this, the researchers studied existing data of well-studied plant-based bioproduct production. They used this data to make simulations that will determine the factors involved in extracting bioproducts using the context of bioethanol refinery, which means that bioproducts will be extracted from the plant and the remaining plant materials will be converted to ethanol. Their results determined that the bioproduct levels needed to accumulate in plants to offset the production cost recovery is quite feasible. Using limonene as an example, they calculated that an accumulated 0.6 pct of biomass dry weight would already produce net economic benefits to biorefineries. To illustrate, it means harvesting 10 dry metric tons of sorghum mass from one acre will only need 130 pounds of recovered limonene from that biomass to say that the whole production process is efficient, according to the release.

The BNL researchers note this new finding can provide new insights into the role of bioproducts to improve biorefinery economics and offer the first quantitative basis for implementation of this cost-saving strategy for future studies on plant-based biofuel breeding and engineering. The scientists also recommended that crops need to be engineered to produce a broad range of bioproducts in order to provide options and diversify products in the market. (Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, April, 2020) Contact: LBNL, Laurel Kellner, Media, 510-590-8034, LKellner@lbl.gov, www.lbl.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Berkeley National Laboratory,  Biofuel,  


Public, Private Utility Energy Efficiency Costs Compared (Ind. Report)
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,
Date: 2020-02-07
In the Golden State, a study conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (BNL) has found the cost of saving electricity in publicly owned utilities (POU), which account for 60 pct of all U.S. electric utilities, is lower than in privately owned electric utilities.

According to the study, energy efficiency at POUs cost an additional $0.024/kWh, meaning it would cost an additional 2.4 cents to save the energy it would take to power a 1,000-watt appliance. In comparison, it costs $0.025/kWh to save energy at investor-owned utilities like PG&E - 0.1 cents more than POUs per kilowatt.

The study, which used American Public Power Association (APPA) data, also found there was variability in costs depending on the sector being examined. Commercial and industrial sectors cost the least for consumers at about $0.02/kWh, while low-income sectors cost the most at about $0.133/kWh. Overall, the study projects spending on energy efficiency to increase by 3 pct per year until 2025. (Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Daily Californian, 6 Feb., 2020) Contact: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, www.lbl.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,  ,  


Caribou, SUNY Developing Organic Waste-to-Fuels Gasifier (Ind Report)
Caribou Biofuels
Date: 2019-12-16
Biomass process systems provider Caribou Biofuels has teamed up with the Research Foundation for the State University of New York (SUNY) to further develop and commercialize a rotary gasifier that converts combustible organic waste into both gaseous and liquid fuels. The technology was invented at SUNY Cobleskill Prof.David Waage with US EPA and DOD funding.

This year, SUNY Cobleskill received $1.6 million in grant funding from the two government agencies to build and demonstrate a fully automated, portable rotary gasifier system that will produce 60 kilowatts of ppd from roughly 2 tpd of feedstock at a military base in the US.

Caribou Biofuels will work with SUNY Cobleskill, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Scaled Power and the Joint Bioenergy Institute to to develop the mobile biomass processing system. (Source: SUNY, Caribou Biofuels, Biofuels, 13 Dec., 2019) Contact: SUNY Cobleskill, Prof.David Waage, 518-255-5312, waagedj@cobleskill.edu, www.cobleskill.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Caribou Biofuels ,  


Amazon Rainforest CO2 Capacity Investigated (Ind. Report)
LBNL, US DOE
Date: 2019-08-21
The US DOE Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and an international team of researchers addressing the "Amazon Forest Response to CO2 Fertilization Dependent on Plant Phosphorus Acquisition," has raised the issue and asked the question, "How long will the Amazon rainforest continue to act as an effective carbon sink?"

The study, published August 5 in the journal Nature Geoscience, found that accounting for phosphorus-deficient soils reduced projected CO2 uptake by an average of 50 pct in the Amazon, compared to current estimates based on previous climate models that did not take into account phosphorus deficiency. The Amazon Basin is critical to help mitigate climate change due to its trees absorbing around a quarter of the CO2 released each year from the burning of fossil fuels.

According to Berkeley Lab research scientist and study co-author Jennifer Holm, "Most predictions of the Amazon rainforest's ability to resist climate change are based on models that have outdated assumptions; one of those is that a sufficient supply of nutrients such as phosphorus exist in soils to enable trees to take in additional CO2 as global emissions increase," said . "But in reality the ecosystem is millions of years old, highly weathered, and therefore depleted of phosphorus in many parts of the Amazon."

Agriculture, forestry, and other types of land use account for 23 pct of human-caused GHG emissions, yet at the same time natural land processes absorb the equivalent of almost a third of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry, according to the recently released International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on land and climate interactions. (Source: DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, PR, Eureka Alert, 20 Aug., 2019) Contact: US DOE Office of Science, energy.gov/science; LBNL, Jennifer Holm, Research Scientist and Study Co-author, www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-holm-265600b, www.lbl.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News LBNL,  Rainforest,  CO2,  Carbon Sink,  Climate Change,  


Wind Tech Advancements Depress Wind Energy Costs (DOE Report)
WindLBNL
Date: 2019-08-14
Wind Technologies Market Report, a just released U.S. DOE report prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) notes that with prices averaging below 2 cents per kWh for newly built projects, wind energy is competitive with other generation sources.

"Wind energy prices -- particularly in the central United States, and supported by federal tax incentives -- are at all-time lows, with utilities and corporate buyers selecting wind as a low-cost option," according to LBNL Senior Scientist Ryan Wiser.

Report highlights include: wind power capacity additions continued at a robust pace in 2018; larger turbines are enhancing wind project performance; low turbine pricing continues to push down installed project costs; wind energy prices are at historical lows; the grid-system value of wind has declined over the last decade but rebounded over the last two years; and the domestic supply chain for wind equipment is diverse.

BNL's contributions to this report were funded by the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. BNL is a multiprogram national laboratory, managed by the University of California for the U.S. DOE Office of Science.

Download the Wind Technologies Market Report HERE (Source: US DOE LBNL, Aug., 2019) Contact: DOE Office of Science, www.energy.gov/science/office-science; LBNL, emp.LBNL.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Wind Energy,  


Cybersecurity Institute Scores $70Mn for Energy Efficient Manufacturing (Funding)
Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute
Date: 2019-03-27
The U.S. DOE reports the availability of as much as $70 million for the Los Angeles-based Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute to develop technologies that will advance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, innovation and energy efficiency. The Institute will focus on early-stage research for advancing cybersecurity in energy efficient manufacturing.

According to a report from the DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), the manufacturing and industrial sector consumes about 25 pct of the Nation's energy. DOE estimates that the adoption of automated controls and sensors provide the potential for up to 15 pct improved energy efficiency in manufacturing,

Cybersecurity threats in the energy sector negatively impact the manufacturing and deployment of energy technologies such as electric vehicles, solar panels and wind turbines. Integration across the supply chain network and an increased use of automation applied in energy efficient manufacturing processes can make industrial infrastructures vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

While the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office will fund the Institute, it will be co-managed by DOE's Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response. (Source: US DOE, 26 Mar., 2019) Contact: DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, www.energy.gov/eere/amo/advanced-manufacturing-office; Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute, John Dyck, CEO, (888) 720-8096, info@cesmii.org, www.cesmii.org


GroundMetrics Applies Deep Learning to CCS Monitoring (Ind Report)
GroundMetrics
Date: 2019-02-22
San Diego-based electromagnetic sensor system company and oil and gas technology pioneer GroundMetrics Inc reports it will use proprietary sensor systems and machine learning to monitor CO2 in the subsurface through a new project awarded by the US DOE.

In partnership with the DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory LBNL) and Expero Inc., GroundMetrics will develop a continuous sequestered carbon monitoring system to measure resistivity changes in the subsurface. The system will help carbon sequestration managers monitor CO2 saturation and thus provide time and cost-effective insight into how the CO2 is being distributed underground and whether it is leaking.

GroundMetrics offers full-field survey and monitoring services as well as partnership opportunities to oil and gas, geophysical service, and mineral exploration companies. (Source: GroundMetrics, Inc., PR, 21 Feb., 2019) Contact: GroundMetrics, George Eiskamp, CEO, Jessie Kaffai, (858) 381-4155, jkaffai@)groundmetrics.com, www.groundmetrics.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  CO2,  Carbon Dioxide,  Carbon Sequestration,  


Johnson Controls Touts LEAN Energy Analysis Tool (Ind. Report)
Johnson Controls, Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis
Date: 2019-01-21
In Milwaukee, Johnson Controls is reporting a partnership with Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis (CBRE), World Resources Institute (WRI) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) to test and deploy LEAN, an open-source, web-based analysis tool that identifies energy efficient building retrofit opportunities.

The new LEAN initiative is part of the Johnson Controls and CBRE Innovation Lab, established three years ago to evaluate, connect and leverage products, services and energy data to create value for occupiers and investors of real estate, according to the company.

Berkeley Lab will automate and improve the LEAN tool and create an open-source version for public use. CBRE will be an initial deployment partner and will use the tool to help their customers target cost-effective energy efficiency retrofit opportunities. WRI will use the open-source version of the tool to help local governments target these retrofit opportunities in both public and private buildings.

Download Johnson Controls LEAN energy analysis technology details HERE. (Source: Johnson Controls, PR, Campus Safety, 20 Jan., 2019) Contact: Johnson Controls, Clay Nesler, JVP Global Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs, (855) 324-3650, www.johnsoncontrols.com; CBRE Group Inc., David Pogue, Snr. VP, (212) 984-6515, www.cbre.com; World Resources Institute, www.wri.org; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, www.lbl.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Johnson Controls,  CBRE,  World Resources Institute,  


DOE Releases 2017 Wind Market Reports (Ind. Reports Attached)
US DOE
Date: 2018-08-27
The U.S. DOE's recently released three wind energy market reports for 2017 note that as wind installations continue across the country and offshore wind projects move beyond the planning process, technology costs and wind energy prices continue to fall. The reports cover land-based utility scale, distributed, and offshore wind. Highlights from 2017 reports prepared by DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory include:
  • The U.S. wind industry installed 7,017 MW of capacity last year, bringing total utility-scale wind capacity to nearly 89 GW:
  • In total, 41 states operated utility-scale wind projects. Texas leads the nation with over 22 GW of wind capacity, while Oklahoma, Iowa, California, and Kansas have more than 5,000 MW;
  • Another 13 states have more than 1,000 MW;
  • In 2017, wind energy contributed 6.3 pct of the nation's electricity supply, more than 10 pct of total generation in 14 states, and more than 30 pct in Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota;
  • Larger turbines with longer blades are enhancing wind plant performance. Wind projects built in the past few years have seen capacity factors increase by 79 pct compared to projects installed from 1998 to 2001;
  • The average installed cost of wind projects in 2017 was $1,611 per KW, down 33 pct from the peak in 2009 -- 2010:
  • The U.S. wind industry supported more than 105,000 jobs and saw $11 billion invested in new wind plants in 2017.

    A separate 2017 Distributed Wind Market Report, prepared by DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, highlights the following:

  • In total, U.S. wind turbines in distributed applications reached a cumulative installed capacity of 1,076 MW. This capacity comes from roughly 81,000 turbines installed across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam;
  • In 2017, Iowa, Ohio, and California led the nation in new distributed wind capacity installed as a result of large-scale turbines installed by commercial and industrial facilities and electricity distribution utilities;
  • 35 pct of distributed wind projects installed in 2017 were residential , and 25 pct were agricultural installations;
  • U.S. manufacturers of small wind turbines and their supply chain vendors are located in 27 states;
  • Between 2015 and 2017, U.S.-based small wind turbine manufacturers accounted for $226 million or more in export sales.

    A third report, the 2017 Offshore Wind Technologies Market Update, prepared by the DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory, found the following:

  • The U.S. offshore wind industry recently took a leap forward as commercial-scale projects were competitively selected in Massachusetts (800 MW), Rhode Island (400 MW), and Connecticut (200 MW);
  • New York, New Jersey, and Maryland also have offshore wind projects in the development pipeline;
  • The U.S. offshore wind project pipeline has reached a total of 25,464 MW of capacity across 13 states, including the 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm commissioned in 2016;
  • In Europe -- where most offshore wind development has occurred to date -- recent offshore wind project auctions have continued the trend of developers committing to lower electricity prices for projects that will be operating in the 2020s;
  • New offshore wind turbines are being developed with 10 -- 12 mw of capacity (compared to an average capacity of 2.3 MW for land-based turbines and 5.3 MW for offshore wind turbines installed in 2017). As a result, demand is increasing for specialized ships that will be able to install these very large turbines in U.S. waters;
  • About 60 pct of the U.S. offshore wind resource lies in deep waters. Developing a project in deep waters requires wind turbines on floating foundations;
  • In the U.S., floating offshore wind projects have been proposed off the coasts of Maine, California, and Hawaii.

    Report details are HERE. (Source: DOE Wind Energy Technologies Office, Aug., 2018) Contact: DOE Wind Energy Technologies Office. www.energy.gov/eere/wind/wind-energy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  DOE Wind Energy Technologies Office,  


  • LBNL says PACE Financing Driving Solar Growth (Ind. Report)
    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
    Date: 2018-04-09
    A recently released Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) study covering the years 2010-2015, when residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing programs such as Renovate America's HERO financing were expanding rapidly across California, has found that early, regional PACE programs significantly increased the deployment of residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.

    Since it's 2011 launch, HERO has financed the deployment of over 183 MW of residential solar capacity across over 30,000 homes.

    The full LBNL study is available HERE. (Source: Renovate America, PR, NBNL, 5 April, 2018) Contact: Renovate America, Roy Guthrie, CEO, Greg Frost, (619) 568-6747, gfrost@renovateamerica.com, www.renovateamerica.com/financing/hero; NBNL, Jeffrey Deason, Sean Murphy, www.lbl.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Property Assessed Clean Energy,  Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory ,  Solar,  


    NETL Offers Carbon Capture Simulation Software (New Prod & Tech)
    NETL,Carbon Capture Simulation Initiative
    Date: 2018-04-04
    The Carbon Capture Simulation Initiative (CCSI), led by the Office of Fossil Energy's (FE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), is reporting release of the CCSI Toolset as open source software.

    The CCSI Toolset is the nation's only suite of computational tools and models designed to help maximize learning and reduce cost and risk during the scale-up process for carbon capture technologies. The toolset is critically important to perform much of the design and calculations, thus reducing the cost of both pilot projects and commercial facilities.

    The release makes the toolset code available for researchers in industry, government, and academia to freely use, modify, and customize in support of the development of carbon capture technologies and other related technologies. The toolset is hosted on GitHub.

    The CCSI Toolset capabilities include: rapid computational screening; accelerated design & evaluation and; risk management support

    Led by NETL, CCSI leverages the the US DOE's National Laboratories' core strengths in modeling and simulation -- bringing together the best capabilities at NETL, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. CCSI has more than 50 industrial partners representing the power generation industry, equipment manufacturers, technology providers, engineering and construction firms, and software vendors. Academic participants include Carnegie Mellon University, Princeton University, West Virginia University, Boston University, and the University of Texas.

    This critical work is being extended by the Carbon Capture Simulation for Industry Impact project, which is using the CCSI Toolset to support the scale up of second-generation capture technologies and the development of new transformational carbon capture systems through partnerships with technology developers. (Source: NETL, April, 2018) Contact: NETL, www.netl.doe.gov; Carbon Capture Simulation Initiative, www.acceleratecarboncapture.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NETL,  Carbon Capture,  Carbon Capture Simulation Initiative,  


    Enzyme Enables First-time Microbial Production of Aromatic Biofuel (R&D, New Prod & Tech)
    Department of Energy Joint BioEnergy Institute
    Date: 2018-03-26
    Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have discovered a new enzyme that will enable microbial production of a renewable alternative to petroleum-based toluene, a widely used octane booster in gasoline that has a global market of 29 million tpy..

    A major focus of research at JBEI, and in the broader community of biofuel researchers, is the production of industrially and commercially relevant fuels and chemicals from renewable resources, such as lignocellulosic biomass, rather than from petroleum. The enzyme discovered in this study will enable the first-time microbial production of bio-based toluene, and in fact, the first microbial production of any aromatic hydrocarbon biofuel.

    The enzyme discovery resulted from the intensive study of two very different microbial communities that produced toluene. One community contained microbes from lake sediment, and the other from sewage sludge. Since microbes in the environment are a reservoir of enzymes that catalyze an extraordinarily diverse set of chemical reactions, it's not unusual for scientists working in biotechnology to source enzymes from nature.

    The toluene-synthesizing enzyme discovered in this study, phenylacetate decarboxylase, belongs to a family of enzymes known as glycyl radical enzymes (GREs). The radical nature of GREs allows them to catalyze chemically challenging reactions, such as anaerobic decarboxylation of phenylacetate to generate toluene.

    In fact, metagenome analyses revealed that these microbial communities each contained more than 300,000 genes - the equivalent of more than 50 bacterial genomes. Another challenge was that the anaerobic microbial communities and many of their enzymes were sensitive to oxygen, forcing the scientists to manipulate cultures and enzymes under strictly anaerobic conditions.

    The discovery process combined protein purification techniques used by biochemists for decades, such as fast protein liquid chromatography, with modern metagenomic, metaproteomic, and associated bioinformatic analyses, some of which were carried out in collaboration with the Joint Genome Institute, a DOE Office of Science User Facility. An important component of the discovery process was to validate the researchers' predictions of the toluene biosynthesis enzyme with experiments using highly controlled assays involving purified proteins.

    The researchers believe that their study results have implications for fundamental and applied science. From a biochemical perspective, the study expands the known catalytic range of GREs, and from a biotechnological perspective, it will enable first-time biochemical synthesis of an aromatic fuel hydrocarbon from renewable resources. (Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 26 Mar., 2018) Contact: DOE Joint BioEnergy Institute, www.jbei.org; LBNL, Harry Beller, Snr. Scientist, JBEI scientific lead, (510) 486-7321, HRBeller@lbl.gov, www.lbl.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News JBEI,  LBNL,  Enzyme,  Biofuel ,  


    DOE Funds Real-Time Carbon Sequestration Monitoring (R&D, Funding)
    Penn State,Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
    Date: 2018-03-16
    Researchers from Penn State, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL), and the University of Texas at Austin are partnering on a new 4-year, $2.5-million, US DOE-funded project to better understand what happens to CO2 during underground sequestration.

    At high underground pressures, CO2 will fill up pore space in rocks or dissolve into saltwater, but researchers still do not have a clear picture of where the CO2 migrates in a reservoir and whether it has a chance to leak out of the reservoir or injection well.

    To address this, LBL scientist Tom Daley, and project collaborators, developed real-time monitoring equipment that is installed during the construction of an injection well. The equipment emits an energy pulse that vibrates the material it passes through. By analyzing the vibration that echoes back to the monitoring device, researchers can create a relatively clear picture of the CO2 held in the reservoir.

    Using the seismic data collected during injection, the researchers will continually refine the picture of what's happening underground as the carbon dioxide spreads and then increases in concentration in different rock features.

    In addition to analyzing data from the new monitoring equipment, the team will conduct a small-scale laboratory experiment to validate their tools at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The majority of this work will be processed on supercomputers managed by the Penn State Institute for CyberScience. (Source: Penn State University, PR, AAAS, 14 Mar., 2018) Contact: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Tom Daley, (510)486-7316, tmdaley@lbl.gov, www.lbl.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,  Carbon Sequestration,  CO2,  CCS,  

    Showing 1 to 19 of 19.