News

May 19, 2022
Experts from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) will play leading managerial and technical roles in the recently established Net Zero World Action Center to bolster DOE’s Net Zero World Initiative (NZWI). The NZW Action Center brings together 10 DOE national laboratories, nine U.S. government agencies, and philanthropy organizations to promote net... Read more
May 12, 2022
With the rise in renewable energy, as well as increasing uncertainty associated with outages due to power surges and extreme weather events, energy storage plays a key role in ensuring reliable power supply to critical infrastructure such as healthcare facilities, data centers, and telecommunications. Hydrogen shows promise as an energy storage solution, and researchers are developing materials... Read more
May 5, 2022
A highly realistic, plant-based bacon that harnesses the power of sustainable seaweed protein made an appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank, setting a new record during the show for the highest valuation of a pre-revenue company in the show’s history. Co-developed by Cyclotron Road entrepreneur-scientist Amanda Stiles, UMARO™ Bacon marks the first step in establishing ocean-farmed seaweed as a... Read more
May 3, 2022
Research using software developed at Berkeley Lab recently pinpointed actions that could help the historic canal city of Venice, Italy slash energy use and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The study, which was recently published in the journal, Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments, looked at how upgrades to existing housing (also known as retrofits) could have an impact on emissions and... Read more
April 24, 2022
Public schools spend roughly $8 billion a year on energy bills — the second largest expense after teacher salaries. Promoting energy efficiency can be a good way to save money for school districts and increase the comfort and health of teachers and students, all while reducing pollution. At a briefing in April 2022, the White House gave a shout out to a new tool that Berkeley Lab has developed... Read more
April 21, 2022
One of the most important electric power system trends of the 2010s was the rapid deployment of wind turbines and photovoltaic arrays, but early data suggests a twist for the 2020s may be the rapid deployment of ‘hybrid’ generation resources. Hybrid power plants typically combine solar or wind (or other energy sources) with co-located storage. Just as cost declines drove last decade’s wind... Read more
April 21, 2022
The need for negative emissions technologies to address our climate crisis has become increasingly clear. At the rate that our planet is emitting carbon dioxide – adding about 50 gigatons every year – we will have to remove carbon dioxide at the gigaton scale by 2050 in order to achieve “net zero” emissions. The U.S. Department of Energy has recognized the urgency of carbon dioxide removal... Read more
April 20, 2022
On the first Earth Day in 1970, researcher Steve Greenberg was one of 20 million Americans, then 10% of the population, inspired to take time to observe the fragility of the planet and the need to protect it. Over 50 years later, an estimated one billion people around the world—one in eight—are actively participating. In the early '70s, visionaries like Art Rosenfeld applied science and... Read more
April 20, 2022
Power plants and other industrial facilities often spew carbon dioxide into the atmosphere like a leaky faucet. As governments around the world are striving to reduce and even eliminate their greenhouse gas emissions and reach “net zero” emissions by mid-century, they’re looking for technologies to help. What if we could somehow suck up all that carbon dioxide, like a giant vacuum cleaner? A... Read more
April 12, 2022
Record Amounts of Zero-carbon Electricity Generation and Storage now Seeking Grid Interconnection Berkeley Lab-led study shows over 1,300 gigawatts of solar, storage, and wind in interconnection queues – an indicator of a major energy transition underway, even if most proposed projects will not be built The amount of new power generation and energy storage projects in so-called... Read more
April 4, 2022
The third and final installment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) Sixth Assessment Report calls for aggressive and comprehensive actions if we are to achieve net zero emissions by mid-century. It finds we still need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions drastically, beyond what governments have pledged, and that this emissions gap is exacerbated by implementation gaps... Read more
April 4, 2022
Improving a school's energy performance can affect more than utility bills — it can also boost indoor air quality and learning outcomes, making the classrooms healthier for students and staff. A new campaign, Efficient and Healthy Schools, will provide practical guidance on ventilation upgrades that can increase energy efficiency, lower costs, and improve the air at K-12 schools nationwide.... Read more
March 16, 2022
Hydrogen is a colorless gas, but when it comes to talking about it – there’s a rainbow of possibilities. Energy professionals often use a color code system to categorize hydrogen by the carbon-emission impact of its production method. This simplified naming system can help ease conversations about research and policy towards a clean hydrogen vision and decarbonized future. However, as more... Read more
March 4, 2022
A modernized power grid fueled by renewable energy is at the heart of China’s pledge to reach carbon neutrality by 2060, and a new study by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) outlines how China can overcome the current logistical challenges of decarbonizing its power system by reforming some key select operational practices.... Read more
February 23, 2022
Researchers at Berkeley Lab are working with five other Department of Energy national labs to develop a roadmap for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to meet its 100% renewable energy mandate. A new Memorandum of Understanding, signed earlier this month between the Commonwealth and the federal government, kickstarts this “PR100 Study,” a two-year project funded by FEMA to conduct a comprehensive... Read more
February 20, 2022
A recent episode of A Day in the Half Life, a podcast produced by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), focuses on energy storage: What is it, why do we need it, and what are the latest advances? Host Aliyah Kovner talks with Noël Bakhtian, director of Berkeley Lab's Energy Storage Center, and Mike Gerhardt, research scientist at SINTEF, a research organization based in Norway.... Read more
February 7, 2022
The Home Energy Score™ software suite, co-developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), was awarded the prestigious Federal Laboratory Consortium Impact Award (FLC) for excellence in technology transfer achievement. The FLC award is one of the field’s top honors for federal laboratories and their industry partners. Since 2012, the Home... Read more
January 18, 2022
Recordings are now available from an extensive three-day workshop that brought together faculty, students, industry partners, and technical professionals to improve the knowledge and practice of high-performance building operations. The annual Building Efficiency for Sustainable Tomorrow (BEST) Center National Institute, co-hosted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), wrapped up... Read more
January 14, 2022
Poring over the line items on your monthly electricity bill may not sound like an enticing way to spend an afternoon, but the way electricity bills are structured has a significant impact on equitable energy access and distribution. For example, fixed fees can have a disproportionate impact on low-income households. And combined with other factors, low-income households and households of color are... Read more
January 12, 2022
Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) will join fellow industry leaders in a coalition to bring to market new technologies and products to address the converging crises of housing, economic inequity, supply chain volatility, and climate change in California and the U.S. In particular, the team will be working with the construction... Read more
December 21, 2021
Every year, 50% of the energy produced worldwide from coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, and renewable energy sources is lost as heat. This untapped resource could be a promising additional source of useful energy, and for decades, scientists have worked to develop efficient systems to convert waste heat to electric power. In a recent study published in Joule, Berkeley Lab researchers developed a... Read more
December 13, 2021
Dramatic cost reductions over the last decade in battery storage and wind and solar energy position India to leapfrog to a more sustainable system for delivering affordable and reliable power to serve near a doubling in electricity demand by 2030, according to a new study by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). India, with a... Read more
November 23, 2021
Trains have been on the sidelines of electrification efforts for a long time in the U.S. because they account for only 2% of transportation sector emissions, but diesel freight trains emit 35 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually and produce air pollution that leads to $6.5 billion in health costs, resulting in an estimated 1,000 premature deaths each year. What’s more, these deaths and... Read more
November 18, 2021
Could a tank of ice or hot water be a battery? Yes! If a battery is a device for storing energy, then storing hot or cold water to power a building’s heating or air-conditioning system is a different type of energy storage. Known as thermal energy storage, the technology has been around for a long time but has often been overlooked. Now scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory... Read more
November 17, 2021
Carbon dioxide (CO2), a product of burning fossil fuels and the most prevalent greenhouse gas, has the potential to be sustainably converted back into useful fuels. A promising route for turning CO2 emissions into a fuel feedstock is a process known as electrochemical reduction. But to be commercially viable, the process needs to be improved, to select for, or to yield, a higher amount of... Read more