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Efficiency Remains Cost-Effective Electricity Resource (Ind. Report)
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Date: 2021-10-18
According to a recent DOE-supported study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), energy efficiency continues to be a low-cost way to meet electricity needs. The lab's research over the past decade has confirmed that the average cost of saving electricity is less than the cost of producing it.

LBNL's analysis focuses on eight consecutive years of efficiency program data. Researchers found that the cost of saving electricity has remained relatively constant since 2010, at less than 3 cents per kWh. Importantly, they found that about half of the savings that occur during times of peak demand cost utilities less than $100 per kW saved. Three-quarters of the peak demand reductions cost less than $200 per kW saved.

For comparison, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates the levelized cost of electricity of new resources at 3-12 cents a kWh and the cost to develop and install power-generating technologies ranges from $700-6,800/kW. This indicates that electricity efficiency programs appear to be a low-cost way for utilities to meet energy and peak demand needs.

LBNL collected data on costs and annual energy savings for efficiency programs for 62 utilities and other program administrators in 21 states between 2010 and 2018. The lab also collected peak demand savings data from efficiency programs for the same states for the period 2014-2018. Data analysis found :

  • The levelized cost of saving electricity and cost of saving peak demand generally have a linear relationship, meaning that programs that have a low cost of saving electricity typically also have a low cost of reducing peak demand.

  • Among residential programs studied, residential consumer products had the lowest cost of saving electricity and saving peak demand. These savings are predominately from lighting programs.

  • For the C&I sector, prescriptive programs have the lowest cost of saving electricity, and custom programs have the lowest cost of saving peak demand. (Prescriptive programs cover a set of pre-approved measures. Custom programs typically include an onsite energy assessment and identification and installation of site-specific measures.)

  • Low-income programs cost more than programs for other market sectors, for both energy and demand savings. These programs tend to cost the program administrator more, in part because they typically pay a higher share, or all, of the cost of the energy efficiency measures. In addition, the programs often incur costs to address issues related to the poor condition of low-income homes and health and safety issues (such as asbestos removal and old wiring) before efficiency measures can be installed. (Source: LBNL, Electric Markets & Policy, Website, Oct., 2021) Contact: LBNL, Electric Markets & Policy, www.emp.lbl.gov

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


  • DOE Releases Spawn of EnergyPlus Building Energy, Controls Modeling Software (Ind. Report)
    US DOE EERE
    Date: 2021-07-28
    The U.S. Department of Energy's Building Technologies Office, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in collaboration with Modelon and Objexx Engineering, have released the initial version of the Spawn of EnergyPlus (Spawn)

    Spawn is not a replacement for EnergyPlus, at least not in the foreseeable future. Although it does perform whole-building energy simulation, it targets new use cases in advanced controls, district systems, and grid integration.

    Spawn supports these new use cases by making fundamental use of coupled simulation via the Functional Mockup Interface standard. Spawn reuses the weather, envelope, lighting, and loads models from EnergyPlus and packages them as a single model. However, it replaces EnergyPlus' traditional, imperative, implicit, load-based HVAC and controls models with explicit declarative state-based models from the Modelica Buildings Library which are translated and automatically linked with the EnergyPlus model. By combining models in different configurations, Spawn is able to simulate either a single building or a collection of buildings linked by shared thermal, electrical, and control systems.

    Spawn also fundamentally leverages the Modelica, a standard for equation-based modeling. The use of Modelica to model HVAC and control introduces capabilities that are not found in traditional energy simulation engines such as EnergyPlus. The most significant of these is the ability to simulate physically realistic control sequences using the same specification that is used in controller implementations. The ability to use a single control specification for both energy simulation and implementation aims to bridge these traditionally separate domains and promote the use of high-performance control sequences. Modelica also enables modeling of novel HVAC and district system components and configurations. Spawn HVAC and control models have been developed as part of a multi-year international effort led by IEA EBC Annex 60 and IBPSA-World Project 1 to develop Modelica models for building and community systems.

    Spawn-of-EnergyPlus details HERE. (Source: US DOE, PR, 27 July, 2021) Contact: DOE, www.energy.gov/eere/buildings

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US DOE EERE,  Building Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency Software,  DOE Building Technologies ,  DOE EnergyPlus ,  


    LBNL Compares Standalone Battery, Renewables+Storage (Ind. Report)
    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
    Date: 2021-05-26
    A new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) finds standalone battery energy storage can potentially offer better value to the US electricity system than pairing batteries directly with solar or wind generation, but the pros and cons of each approach vary greatly from location to location and project to project. This is largely because siting the resources separately means the optimum location where batteries in particular offer most value to the electricity network can be chosen.

    The report notes adding four hours of battery storage sized at half the nameplate capacity of a renewable power plant adds, on average, $10 per MWh of electricity market value across the service territories of the country's seven main independent ISOs. On the other hand, independently siting renewable power and battery storage can enable each to be located at the grid node where it offers most locational value, adding an estimated $12.5 per MWh of value.

    In California, where 89 pct of large-scale solar waiting in network operator CAISO's interconnection queues is hybridised with storage. One of the factors is that interconnection to the grid is an expensive process which can take a lot of time, while available interconnection capacity is limited. Connecting generation and storage to the grid at the same point can therefore significantly lower the cost of a battery project. Another factor is that there is currently an investment tax credit (ITC) in the US which offers a reduction on the tax burden for building renewable energy projects and for batteries if paired with renewable energy. That can be worth as much as $10 per MWh.

    The study notes that while the value of storage and renewables can go up if separate locations are chosen, the increase in value could be outweighed by the increase in costs. Different states also have different policies which could favor one or the other choice. The report also notes both separate and hybrid projects can be of benefit to the electricity system, the relative benefits vary from market to market and through a variety of other factors.

    T here is a growing appetite for hybrid resources from renewable developers, the study notes. In the West of the US, around 70 pct to 90 pct of proposed new solar plants at the end of 2020 would be paired with energy storage, with a national average of about 34 pct of solar and 6 pct of wind project proposals including co-located batteries. (Source: LBNL. Website PR, May, 2021) Contact: LBNL, Laurel Kellner, Media, 510-590-8034, LKellner@lbl.gov, www.lbl.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,  Battery,  Energy Stroeage,  Renewables+Storage ,  


    DOE Roadmap for Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings (Ind. Report)
    US DOE
    Date: 2021-05-26
    The U.S.DOE Building Technologies Office (BTO)in collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the Brattle Group has developed A National Roadmap for Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings.

    The Roadmap outlines DOE's national goal of tripling the energy efficiency and demand flexibility of the buildings sector by 2030 and defines technology attributes, integration considerations, and barriers to achieving the full potential, adoption and deployment of grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs). The report makes 14 recommendations to overcome those barriers in "action steps" that all key industry stakeholders can take to expand the prevalence of grid-interactivity in buildings.

    GEBs can remake buildings into a clean and flexible energy resource. By combining smart technologies and distributed energy resources with energy efficient buildings, GEBs can provide comfort and convenience for building occupants, sell services to the power grid, and cut costs and pollution. All buildings, including federal buildings, can benefit from implementing GEB technologies. In fact, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) recently published a complementary blueprint for practical guidance and tools to integrate GEB technologies into federal energy savings performance contracts and has committed to 100 pct renewable energy for all federal buildings by 2025.

    A grid-interactive efficient building can offer services that cut costs, eliminate waste, and improve grid operations. For example:

  • Efficient lighting and appliances plus a tight building envelope can cut electricity demand across the board.

  • Load shedding allows the building to cut demand during peak hours, or as requested by the grid manager.

  • Load shifting takes advantage of cheaper or cleaner power by shifting demand from one time of day to another when renewable energy is abundant on the grid.

  • Modulating load with batteries and other electronic devices allows the building to maintain grid frequency or control system voltage.

  • Generating power, like from rooftop solar, cuts bills, reduces losses on the grid, and reduces the need for more power plants. (Source: US DOE EERE, PR, May, June, 2021) Contact: US DOE, National Roadmap for Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings, www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/building-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  LBNL,  Brattle Group,  


  • Energy Management Cost Effective in Industrial, Commercial Facilities (Report Attached)
    ACEEE
    Date: 2021-05-24
    The North American Strategic Energy Management Collaborative (NASEMC) is working to accelerate the adoption and enhance the effectiveness of Strategic Energy Management (SEM) offerings with the goal of producing economy-wide energy and cost savings as well as emission reductions.

    On behalf of the NASEMC, the US DOE Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and ACEEE jointly analyzed the cost effectiveness and prospective savings persistence of SEM programs across North America, surveying 24 active programs. All programs reported that SEM was cost effective. The total resource cost (TRC) test is by far the most common approach to analyzing program cost effectiveness. However, values are generally non-comparable due to varying inputs and assumptions.

    This report finds that effective useful life (EUL) values vary widely; most are not based on primary research, and some include capital measures. Further, SEM programs vary widely in their implementation approaches, and the report's findings provide a rich resource for future program design. The report underscores that SEM's foundational concept of continual improvement challenges traditional cost-effectiveness metrics.

    Download the report HERE, (Source: ACEEE, Website PR, May, 2021) Contact: ACEEE, www2.aceee.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ACEEE news,  Energy Efficiency news,  Energy Management news,  


    DOE Co-Optima Biofuel, Combustion Engines Initiative Winners Picked (Ind. Report)
    US DOE EERE
    Date: 2021-05-14
    In Washington, The U.S. DOE is reporting the selection of four projects totaling $1 million to conduct cutting-edge applied R&D concerning the interaction between promising biofuels and combustion engines. The projects will leverage a range of National Laboratory capabilities as part of the Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) initiative, and aim to help bring these fuel-engine combinations closer to commercial adoption. The Co-Optima initiative provides American industry with the scientific knowledge needed to maximize vehicle performance and efficiency, leverage domestic fuel resources, and reduce life cycle emissions. DOE awarded funding to the following projects:
  • Aramco Services Company (Houston, Texas), Marathon Petroleum Company (Findlay, Ohio), and Caterpillar (Peoria, Illinois) will work with Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) to identify bio-blendstock characteristics that will provide the best 87 anti-knock index gasoline for heavy-duty gasoline compression ignition engines.

  • The Coordinating Research Council (Alpharetta, Georgia) will work with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to develop an isotope ratio mass spectrometry method as a cost-effective means to identify renewable content in co-processed biomass- and fossil-derived fuels.

  • Cummins (Columbus, Indiana) will work with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to develop a deeper fundamental understanding of how physical and chemical fuel properties affect mixing-controlled compression ignition combustion in medium-duty engines through computational fluid dynamics simulations.

  • Shell (Houston, Texas) will work with ORNL and ANL to quantify how fuel volatility can be used to increase anti-knock performance, in order to increase engine efficiency and the use of biomass-derived fuels.

    Each awardee will receive up to $250,000 in National Laboratory assistance for experimental or computational projects that leverage innovative capabilities in the areas of bioblendstock fuel property, production, and combustion performance research. The projects will also focus on the impacts of adoption of co-optimized fuel-engine combinations. Each of the awardees has committed to a 20 pct cost share contribution.

    Sponsored by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy's (EERE) Vehicle Technologies and Bioenergy Technologies Offices, Co-Optima partners include ANL, LANL, PNNL, ORNL, Idaho National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories, as well as more than 20 university and industry partners.

    EERE is focused on decarbonizing the transportation sector, the single largest source of domestic greenhouse gas emissions.

    Download Co-Optima Initiative details HERE. (Source: US DOE, PR, 10 May, 2021)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE EERE,  Biofuel,  


  • 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,  

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