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The Energy Analysis at NREL newsletter highlights the lab's analysts and analysis activities in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies are having an impact on U.S. energy goals. The newsletter features recent publications and websites, updates to our models and tools, and staff activities. You can subscribe to receive the newsletter monthly by email.

April 2014

A photo of an iPhone with a map on the screen showing red dots that indicate where alternative fueling is available in Santa Monica.

Alternative fueling station locator map is one of many apps and information resources spotlighted in Ford Motor Company's 2013 Alternative Fuel Buyers Guide.


Data and Apps from EERE's Alternative Fuels Data Center Featured in Ford Buyers Guide


The Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC), an initiative of the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), provides information, data, and tools to help fleets and other transportation decision makers find ways to reduce petroleum consumption through the use of alternative and renewable fuels, advanced vehicles, and other fuel-saving measures.

Ford Motor Company utilized several AFDC resources in its 2013 Alternative Fuel Buyers Guide to help its commercial customers understand their options for reducing the carbon footprint of their vehicle fleets. Ford's magazine specifically sites AFDC's iPhone app for alternative fuel stations and database on state and federal incentives, among other features. NREL supports EERE in development and maintenance of the AFDC site and applications.


JISEA Annual Meeting Provides Unique Perspectives on the Transforming Energy Economy


The cover of the JISEA 2014 Annual Report. It is titled Unique Perspective.

Energy field thought leaders from industry, government, academia, and the policy realms shared and discussed unique perspectives on the transforming energy economy at the annual meeting of the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis (JISEA), held March 12–13 at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) campus in Golden, Colorado.

The agenda of panel discussions addressed natural gas exploration, renewables integration, the energy/food/land nexus, and other trends and topics in the global energy economy. In addition, the meeting celebrated JISEA accomplishments, which were also highlighted in JISEA's 2014 Annual Report.


Webinars Will Address Micro-Grids in Promoting Access to Energy and the Need for Skilled Renewable Energy Professionals


The Clean Energy Solutions Center is hosting two upcoming no-cost, webinar-based trainings.

For "The Role of Micro-Grids in Promoting Access to Energy," panelists will present the role of micro-grids in promoting access to energy. They will examine best practices and the potential for long-term sustainability of micro-grids in a number of geographic contexts, including micro-grid initiatives and projects currently underway in Asia and Africa, as well as examine barriers to the projects' sustainability and scalability and offer perspectives on how to address these challenges.

The Role of Micro-Grids in Promoting Access to Energy
22 April 2014
3:30 p.m. CET | 9:30 a.m. EDT
Register here.

"Education and Skills Needs in the Renewable Energy Sector" will address one of the greatest barriers to the adoption of renewable energy technologies: the critical shortage of skilled personnel to develop, design, finance, build, operate, and maintain renewable energy projects. This webinar will bring together expert panelists from IRENA, Alingho, and the Clean Energy Solutions Center.

Education and Skills Needs in the Renewable Energy Sector
30 April 2014
9 a.m. GST | 1 a.m. EDT
Register here.


NREL Analysis and Analysts in the News


JISEA's Doug Arent was a coordinating lead author on a major new report on climate change impacts and adaptation issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, details the impacts of climate change to date, the future risks from a changing climate, and the opportunities for effective action to reduce risks. The Weather Channel interviewed Arent about the findings. USA Today, Businessweek, and The Washington Post, among others, posted articles about the paper.

EcoWatch used the Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) in the article "How One State Can Triple Its Renewable Energy Use at No Additional Cost."

The Energy Collective cited data from the OpenPV project in an article "With Dark Clouds on the Horizon, Can Financial Innovation Keep Distributed Solar Shining?"

The Energy Collective cited the NREL report Non-Hardware ("Soft") Cost-Reduction Roadmap for Residential and Small Commercial Solar Photovoltaics, 2013-2020 in an article "The Burden of Permitting, Inspection, and Interconnection on Residential Solar PV Deployment."

"World Energy Outlook Hides the Real Potential of Renewables," an article published by Energy Post, discusses a journal article titled "RE-ASSUME: A Decision Maker's Guide to Evaluating Energy Scenarios, Modeling, and Assumptions" by NREL authors Trieu Mai, Jeffrey Logan, Nate Blair, Patrick Sullivan, and Morgan Bazilian.


Recent Publications


Journal Article: Renewable Electricity Futures for the United States
Journal: IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy
Authors: Trieu Mai, Maureen Hand, Gregory Brinkman, Paul Denholm, Douglas Arent, Gian Porro, Debra Sandor, Michael Milligan, and Morgan Bazilian, NREL; Sam Baldwin, DOE; Ryan Wiser, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Donna Hostick, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Ed DeMeo, Renewable Energy Consulting Services, Inc.

This paper highlights the key results from the Renewable Electricity Futures Study. The central conclusion of the analysis is that renewable electricity generation from technologies that are commercially available today, in combination with a more flexible electric system, is more than adequate to supply 80% of the total U.S. electricity generation in 2050 while meeting electricity demand on an hourly basis in every region of the United States.


NREL Report: Wind and Solar Energy Curtailment: Experience and Practices in the United States
Authors: Lori Bird, Jaquelin Cochran, and Xi Wang, NREL

This report examines U.S. curtailment practices, with a particular emphasis on utilities in the Western states. The report provides case studies of curtailment experience and examines the reasons for curtailment, curtailment procedures, compensation, and practices that can minimize curtailment.


NREL Report: A Review of Variable Generation Forecasting in the West: July 2013 - March 2014
Technical Monitors: Debra Lew and David Hurlbut, NREL

This report interviews 13 operating entities in the Western Interconnection about their implementation of wind and solar forecasting. The report updates and expands upon one issued by NREL in 2012.


JISEA Report: Geospatial Optimization of Siting Large-Scale Solar Projects
Authors: Jordan Macknick and Ted Quinby, NREL; Emmet Caulfield and Margot Gerritsen, Stanford University; James Diffendorfer and Seth Haines, U.S. Geological Survey

This report describes a proof-of-concept, Web-based Geographical Information Systems (GIS) tool that evaluates multiple user-defined criteria in an optimization algorithm to inform discussions and decisions regarding the locations of utility-scale solar projects. This work provides the foundation for a dynamic siting assistance tool that can greatly facilitate siting decisions among multiple stakeholders.


NREL Report: Representation of Solar Capacity Value in the ReEDS Capacity Expansion Model
Authors: Ben Sigrin, Patrick Sullivan, Eduardo Ibanez, and Robert Margolis, NREL

This report compares estimates of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity value by the Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) capacity expansion model against two sources. The first comparison is against values published by utilities or other entities for known electrical systems at existing solar penetration levels. The second comparison is against a time-series Effective Load-Carrying Capacity simulation tool for high renewable penetration scenarios in the Western Interconnection.


Technical Report: Grid Integration of Aggregated Demand Response, Part 1: Load Availability Profiles and Constraints for the Western Interconnection
Authors: Daniel Olsen, Nance E. Matson, Michael D. Sohn, Cody Rose, Junqiao Han Dudley, Sasank Goli, and Sila Kiliccote, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Marissa Hummon, David Palchak, Paul Denholm, and Jennie Jorgenson, NREL; Ookie Ma, U.S. Department of Energy

Published by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, this report presents an approach for predicting demand response availability profiles for 13 end-use loads within the Western Interconnect for the year 2020.


Presentation: Funding Mechanisms for Federal Geothermal Permitting
Authors: Kermit Witherbee, Katherine Young, and Aaron Levine, NREL

This presentation discusses federal agency revenues received for geothermal projects and potential federal agency budget sources for processing geothermal applications.


Fact Sheet: LEDS GP Success Story: Fostering Coordinated LEDS Support in Kenya
Author: Sadie Cox, NREL

The LEDS Global Partnership (LEDS GP) strives to advance climate-resilient, low-emission development through catalyzing collaboration, information exchange, and action on the ground. Kenya's Ministry of State for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 (MPND) began to collaborate closely with the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources to create strong links between climate change action and development in the country, culminating in the integration of Kenya's National Climate Change Action Plan and the country's Medium Term Development Plan.


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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) aims to provide credible, objective data and insights that inform policy and investment decisions as energy efficient and renewable energy technologies advance from concept to commercial application. NREL analysis encompasses a broad range of scientific research and reporting activity in support of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), NREL programs and initiatives, and the analysis community.