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December 2008

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December 2008

TAP Web Seminar: Green Building Principles
The Technical Assistance Project (TAP) for state and local officials will sponsor a Web seminar on December 17 that explores green building principles. The presentation, which will be 3-4:15 p.m. (EDT), is titled "State Policies to Encourage and Require Green Building Principles in the Public Sector." The speakers will be Brian Lips of North Carolina Solar Center, Chuck Sathrum of the North Carolina State Energy Office, and Angie Fyfe of the Colorado Governor's Energy Office.

Information about the presenters, as well as links to background materials and reports, can be found on the TAP Section of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program website.

December 2008

SEPA Seminar: Using the SAM Model
The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) is sponsoring two phone seminars on "How to Use the SAM Model for Both PV and CSP," presented by NREL and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) representatives.

The SEPA sessions will discuss the Solar Advisor Model (SAM) and how it can model photovoltaics (PV) (Monday, Dec. 15) and concentrating solar power (CSP) (Tuesday, Dec. 16). SAM — which was developed by NREL, SNL, and the DOE Solar Energies Technology Program — is an online software program, downloadable free of charge, that can predict how physical, cost and financial variations can affect the performance of a solar system.

The seminar is geared toward utility planners, construction engineers, and incentive program managers, but others are welcome to attend. Registration information is included below.

Part 1: How to Use the Solar Advisor Model (SAM) - Photovoltaic Modeling
Date: Monday, December 15, 2 p.m. ET
Cost: Free to SEPA members; $25 nonmembers

Part 2: How to Use the Solar Advisor Model (SAM) - Concentrating Solar Power Modeling
Date: Tuesday, December 16, 2 p.m. ET
Cost: Free to SEPA members; $25 nonmembers

The model can be accessed from the SAM section of NREL's Energy Analysis website.

December 2008

Cover of Supply Curves for Rooftop Solar PV-Generated Electricity for the United States report

Solar PV Supply Curves
NREL analysts Paul Denholm and Robert Margolis recently published the report "Supply Curves for Rooftop Solar PV-Generated Electricity for the United States" (PDF 565 KB). Energy supply curves attempt to estimate the relationship between the cost of an energy resource and the amount of energy available at or below that cost. In general, an energy supply curve is a series of step functions with each step representing a particular group or category of energy resource. The length of the step indicates how much of that resource is deployable or accessible at a given cost. Energy supply curves have been generated for a number of renewable energy sources including biomass fuels and geothermal, as well as conservation technologies. Generating a supply curve for solar photovoltaics (PV) has particular challenges due to the nature of the resource. The United States has a massive solar resource base — many orders of magnitude greater than the total consumption of energy. In this report, the analysts examine several possible methods for generating PV supply curves based exclusively on rooftop deployment.

December 2008

Cover of Economic Development Benefits from Wind Energy in Nebraska: A Report for the Nebraska Energy Office report

Economic Development from Wind Energy
SEAC analyst Eric Lantz recently published the report "Economic Development Benefits from Wind Energy in Nebraska: A Report for the Nebraska Energy Office" (PDF 755 KB). This report focuses on the economic development impacts estimated from building and operating 7,800 MW of new wind power in Nebraska. This level of development is on the scale envisioned in the Department of Energy (DOE) report "20% Wind Energy by 2030." A practical first step to building 7,800 MW of wind is completing 1,000 MW — an estimate of the economic impacts to Nebraska from building 1,000 MW of wind power is included in the report. Nebraska's economy is estimated to see an average annual boost in economic activity ranging from $140 million to $260 million solely from construction- and development-related activities between 2011 and 2030. An additional boost of $250-$442 million annually is estimated from operating 7,800 MW of wind capacity.

December 2008

Analysts Meet With Stakeholders
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has invited Doug Arent, director of NREL's Strategic Energy Analysis Center, to participate on its panel "America's Climate Choices." As part of the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, the panel will examine and evaluate several actions and strategies related to climate change. These include limiting the magnitude of future climate change, adapting to climate change impacts, advancing climate change science, and informing effective decisions and actions. This suite of activities will provide policy-relevant advice, based on scientific evidence, to guide the nation's response to climate change. Five consensus reports will be released in 2009 and 2010. More information on the project is available on the NAS website.

Doug Arent also presented the keynote address on energy and the economy to the University of Colorado graduate school advisory committee on November 13 in Denver. The committee provides guidance on curriculum development and research directions for the university.

SEAC analyst Lori Bird spoke at the State-Federal RPS Collaborative, held in Chicago on November 6-7. The event helped establish a national dialogue and collaborative among state policy leaders, the U.S. Department of Energy, and other major renewable portfolio standard (RPS) stakeholders. The collaborative, funded by the Energy Foundation and the U.S. DOE through NREL, allowed groups to share information and examine opportunities for multistate and federal cooperation in successful deployment of RPS programs.

Lori Bird also participated in a symposium "The Greenhouse Gas Marketplace: Commercial Regulation of Climate Change Solutions" on November 15 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her presentation discussed voluntary renewable energy markets in the context of carbon regulation. The symposium was hosted by the North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation and the University of North Carolina Law School.

On November 19, SEAC analyst David Kline participated in meetings between Ford and city and provincial officials of the City of Chongqing in China to establish an eco-city partnership focused on electric vehicles with the City of Denver. Kline provided information on NREL's electric vehicles research programs and highlighted the strong commitment by DOE and the laboratory to this partnership. He also participated in the US-China Green Energy Conference (November 17-18) in Beijing. The conference included presentations from high-level government officials and representatives of the Chinese Academy of Science. Kline chaired the Renewable Energy Policy and Bio-Energy Sessions. The conference was sponsored by the U.S.-China Green Energy Council, which started as a bilateral outreach program to China from California.

NREL hosted Bernhard Milow, energy program director from the German Aerospace Center in Koln Germany (DLR), on November 24. During the visit, NREL Director Dan Arvizu signed an agreement for collaboration with DLR on concentrating solar power (CSP) testing and standards, CSP storage, and energy systems analysis; they also will explore collaboration on transportation issues. Milow participated in several discussions with NREL researchers, covering solar topics, energy analysis, grid integration, and distributed generation. The collaboration with DLR will provide mutual benefits and direct benefits to the U.S. DOE CSP program and enhance ongoing NREL International Energy Administration (IEA) activities.

November 2008

Cover of State of the States 2008: Renewable Energy Development and the Role of Policy report

Renewable Energy Development and the Role of Policy
NREL analysts Elizabeth Brown and Sarah Busche recently published the report "State of the States 2008: Renewable Energy Development and the Role of Policy" (PDF 1.5 MB). This report provides insights into the status of renewable energy development at the state level. Renewable resources are increasing in development overall, but state development varies by resource and rates of change. The factors contributing to renewable energy development at the state level are identified and discussed, including the challenges of understanding the role of different factors in development. The report also compiles and evaluates the status of "best-practice" state policy design and connects the existence of some policies with increased renewable energy development through correlation analysis. The report proposes a strategy for better understanding the role of policy in renewable energy development, based on market-transformation principles. Correlation analysis illustrates the potential for further application of these principles to renewable energy. The final section provides resources for state policy makers for better understanding and developing renewable energy resources.

November 2008

Growth in Green Power
NREL recently staff participated in the National Renewable Energy Marketing Conference held in Denver, Colorado. Two new reports, which were discussed during staff presentations at the conference (see the Analysts Meet with Stakeholders section), are featured below.

Cover of Considerations for Emerging Markets for Energy Savings Certificates report

SEAC analysts Barry Friedman and Lori Bird, along with Galen Barbose of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, recently published the report, "Considerations for Emerging Markets for Energy Savings Certificates" (PDF 825 KB). Early experiences with energy savings certificates (ESCs) have revealed both their merit and the challenges associated with them. In the United States, there has been little activity to date, so any lessons must be drawn from experiences in Italy, the United Kingdom (UK), France, and elsewhere. The staying power of European examples, particularly in Italy, demonstrates that ESCs can help initiate more efficiency projects. Although a robust market for renewable energy certificates (RECs) has emerged in both the voluntary and policy compliance contexts in the United States, ESCs have yet to gain significant traction. This report looks at the opportunity presented by ESCs, the unique challenges they bring, a comparison with RECs that can inform expectations about ESC market development, and the solutions and best practices early ESC market experience have demonstrated. It also examines whether there are real market barriers that have kept ESCs from being adopted and what structural features are necessary to develop effective trading programs.

Cover of Green Power Marketing in the United States: A Status Report (11th Edition) report

NREL analysts Lori Bird, Claire Kreycik, and Barry Friedman also published "Green Power Marketing in the United States: A Status Report (11th Edition)" (PDF 762 KB). This report documents green power marketing activities and trends in the United States by presenting aggregate green power sales data for voluntary purchase markets nationwide. The analysis showed that, in 2007, total retail sales of renewable energy in voluntary purchase markets exceeded 18 billion kWh, representing a capacity equivalent of 5,100 MW of renewable energy, including 4,300 MW from "new" renewable energy sources. Wind energy provided 55% of total green power sales, followed by biomass energy sources including landfill gas (28%), hydropower (11%), geothermal (3%), solar (<1%), with the remainder unknown (3%). Total market sales increased by more than 50% in 2007, dominated by renewable energy certificate (REC) sales to nonresidential consumers. In 2007, sales to nonresidential customers continued to outpace those to residential consumers, bringing the fraction of nonresidential sales to nearly three-quarters of all green power sales on a kWh-basis. Overall, the total number of customers purchasing green power increased by roughly 20%, with gains primarily in competitive markets and utility green pricing programs.

November 2008

Analysts Meet With Stakeholders
NREL analyst William Wallace and Keith Kline from Oak Ridge National Laboratory met with representatives in China over a two-week period in October to discuss the USDA/DOE project for Cooperation for Biofuels Development in China. The visit included discussions with the Energy Research Institute for biomass resource assessment; Tsinghua University for cellulosic feedstock conversion research, and other experts and organizations knowledgeable regarding biomass resource assessment in China. The two also presented at the CAS/University of Tennessee "Bioenergy Consequences for Global Environmental Change" conference in Beijing and attended the Clean Energy Forum in Beijing at the invitation of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

SEAC analysts Suzanne Tegen and Sandra Reategui attended the New Energy Economy Conference in Denver, Colorado, on Oct 14. The analysts discussed the economic impact of wind energy in Colorado and provided several reports on the topic.

SEAC Center Director Doug Arent attended the European Union (EU)-U.S. Science and Technology Cooperation in Non-Nuclear Energy Technical visit to the EU on October 15-18. Arent was invited to the event — held in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Brussels, Belgium — by members of the European Commission.

Several SEAC analysts presented during the National Renewable Energy Marketing Conference on Oct. 26-29 in Denver. The event, which is sponsored by DOE, attracted several leading renewable energy and green power industry stakeholders. NREL staff discussed their latest green power market work: Lori Bird presented "The State of the Green Power Market," Barry Friedman presented "Energy Saving Certificates: Opportunities and Implementation Barriers," and Karlynn Cory presented "RE Price Stability Benefits in Utility Green Power Programs" (see the Publications section for the newest reports).

On October 28, SEAC Director Doug Arent chaired two sessions and spoke about "Beyond Borders: Investing and Partnering for a Sustainable World" at the 19th Annual Socially Responsible Investing in the Rockies Conference in British Columbia, Canada. The audience, which heard presentations on "cleantech" and climate change, included investment advisers and asset managers that oversee approximately $3 trillion in assets. Climate change was discussed as one of the top priorities for focusing investment that would bring multiple benefits to U.S. and global economies.

Margaret Mann, a SEAC group manager, presented results of a life-cycle assessment of distributed generation (DG) at the California Energy and Air Quality Conference on October 29-30 in Los Angeles. The presentation focused on the environmental trade-offs between DG and central power generation, highlighting sections of the life-cycle systems that are responsible for the greatest greenhouse gas and criteria air pollutant emissions. Conference participants discussed current issues and activities related to improving air quality and its relation to energy production.

NREL staff member Daniel Inman, part of NREL's team investigating the life-cycle environmental impacts of the ethanol goals of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), met with the government-industry Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM) in October. Inman discussed an upcoming study on life-cycle impacts of biofuels produced from forestry biomass, which is sponsored by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The analysis aims to produce results complementary to NREL's life-cycle assessment of ethanol, including that derived from forestry feedstocks. NREL and CORRIM will work in close collaboration on this analysis project.

SEAC analyst David Kline recently traveled to Yerevan, Armenia, where NREL has several projects under the Global Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention program, sponsored by DOE. Recently concluded projects covered advanced fuel-cell components and systems, biochemical ethanol R&D, and diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings for poly-acrylic lenses and mirrors. The product of a key ongoing project will be a prototype semiconductor scanning device representing a two-order-of-magnitude improvement in the resolution of NREL's current PVScan device. Kline also will discuss prospective projects in the biofuels area, possibly including the characterization of novel feedstocks or enzymes.

October 2008

TAP Web Seminar: Energy Efficiency in Data Centers
The Technical Assistance Project (TAP) for state and local officials will sponsor a Web seminar on October 22 that explores how to increase energy efficiency in data centers. The presentation, which will be 3-4:15 p.m. (EDT), is titled "Opportunities for Energy Efficiency in Data Centers." The speaker will be Bill Tschudi of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

October 2008

Screencapture of Solar Analysis Model (SAM) website

Solar Advisor Model
NREL analysts Nate Blair, Mark Mehos, Craig Christensen, and Steve Janzou, along with Chris Cameron of Sandia National Laboratories and consultant Paul Gilman have published the "Solar Advisor Model User Guide for Version 2.0." (PDF 3.1 MB) The guide describes the newest version of the Solar Advisor Model (SAM), which provides a consistent framework for analyzing and comparing power system costs and performance across the range of solar technologies and markets. Capabilities include photovoltaic systems for residential and commercial markets as well as concentrating solar power and large photovoltaic systems for utility markets. Version 2.0 of the software also can model photovoltaic and concentrating solar power technologies for electric applications for several markets. More information on the model can be found in the SAM section of the Energy Analysis website.

October 2008

Cover of Transportation Sector Market Transition report

Hydrogen Infrastructure
NREL analyst Elizabeth Brown recently published the report "Transportation Sector Market Transition: Using History and Geography to Envision Possible Hydrogen Infrastructure Development and Inform Public Policy." (PDF 1.0 MB) Based on historical transitions in the transportation sector and the drivers for hydrogen transition, targeted market development scenarios are suggested as options for hydrogen infrastructure development. In this paper, three primary scenarios for targeted development are created and tested using the HyDS Modeling Environment (HyDS-ME) to visualize the options: Energy Policy Act (EPAct) qualifying fleets, lighthouse cities, and the state of California. Each of these targeted markets has potential benefits and drawbacks for extensive market development over time. Each targeted market also possesses the important factors that inform public policy making for hydrogen market development.

October 2008

Screencapture of the Resources for State and Local Policy Makers and Analysts website

Analysis Resources for States
NREL worked with EERE's Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program (WIP) to develop a new resources section for its State Technical Assistance Project (TAP) website. The Information Resources section provides information specifically for state- and local-level energy analysts, officials, and decision makers. These pages provide links to renewable energy and energy efficiency analysis tools, such as models, databases, websites, and documents. This resources section can help users learn about analysis tools available for immediate use, as well as renewable energy and energy efficiency areas where opportunities for tailored TAP assistance exist. Resources are organized by the following topics:

  • Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Distributed Generation Options
  • Economic Development
  • Environmental Impacts
  • Financing
  • Policy Options and Analysis
  • Renewable Energy Resource and Supply Assessment
  • Renewable Energy Technology Performance and Costs
  • Sustainable Facility and Community Planning/Design
  • Transportation Planning and Alternative-Fuels Options
  • Utility Transmission Analysis
  • Crosscutting Resources

Information on the Technical Assistance section also is available on the site.

October 2008

Analysts Meet With Stakeholders
SEAC analyst Barry Friedman and NREL lab researchers recently discussed opportunities for collaboration with representatives from IDE Technologies in Kadima, Israel. IDE technologies include desalination, low-temperature turbines that use waste heat for power generation, and heat pumps and energy-efficient vacuum ice makers for thermal energy storage (TES). IDE has subsidiaries in the United States, Spain, and South America.

On September 9, SEAC analyst Lori Bird presented to a Fort Collins City Council working session on energy efficiency and renewable energy certificates (RECs). The presentation included a brief history of the development and use of RECs, the benefits and issues associated with using them, and the intersection of carbon markets and RECs and associated issues.

SEAC center director Doug Arent attended a Danish Parliament briefing on September 22 that included representatives from the Danish delegation and a select group of industry/issue experts from the United States. This briefing was hosted by Meridian's Center for Global Leadership, which discussed future plans to visit NREL and learn more about U.S. renewable energy activities.

Doug Arent also spoke at the 2008 Northern California Power Agency's (NCPA's) Annual Meeting on September 26. His speech focused on perspectives on energy markets and environmental innovation in the utility industry, as well as the current and future viability of renewable energy-related technologies. More than 300 locally elected officials as well as utility managers and employees attended the meeting. NCPA is a joint powers agency that provides support for the electric utility operations of 17 member communities and districts in northern and central California.

A delegation of Indian scientists from the Solar Energy Centre (under India's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy) and Indian Meteorological Department attended a workshop at NREL in late September. The workshop focused on solar resource assessment from satellite data and the application of this methodology to a northwestern portion of India. The Indian scientists received instruction on the methodology from resource assessment experts from NREL and SUNY/Albany, with which they will then complete solar resource assessment activities for the remaining areas of India that were not covered under this initial assessment. Additional sessions will be held on analytical tools and methods that use solar resource data and market and technology topics.

September 2008

Screenshot of State Clean Energy Policies Analysis project website

State Clean Energy Policies Analysis
The State Clean Energy Policies Analysis (SCEPA) project is a collaborative effort to better understand the environmental, economic, and energy security impacts of state policies using a uniform methodology. The intent of the project, funded by the Department of Energy/Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE-EERE), is to assist state policy-makers and implementers in determining which policies will have the most beneficial impact on the priorities of the state. It is implemented by NREL and the Alliance to Save Energy, in partnership with DOE, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and state stakeholders.

The following reports represent analyses done for the SCEPA project in its initial stages:

Analytic Framework for Evaluation of State Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Policies with Reference to Stakeholder Drivers (PDF 388 KB)
Quantification of benefits from the implementation of state-level energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE) policies is a complex process, because stakeholders have a variety of different drivers, specific geographic resources, and needs resulting in a large number of "in-policy" variables, such as solar set-asides in renewable portfolio standards (RPS). A state stakeholder process was completed in the spring/summer of 2007 to identify the primary drivers for EE and RE policy development at the state level, and the most likely policy choices to meet those drivers. The general drivers identified as most critical are: economic development, environmental, and energy security. The likely policy choices for use in meeting EE and RE drivers primarily fall into categories of mandated demand reductions or supply developments. This report presents the framework that was developed to analyze policies based on how well they meet the stakeholder drivers.

State Clean Energy Practices: Renewable Portfolio Standards (PDF 507 KB)
A renewable portfolio standard (RPS) mandates an increase in the use of wind, solar, biomass, and other alternatives to fossil and nuclear electric generation. This paper provides a summary of the policy objectives that commonly drive the establishment of an RPS, the key issues that states have encountered in implementing an RPS, and the strategies that some of the leading states have followed to address implementation challenges. The factors that help an RPS function best generally have been explored in other analyses. This study complements others by comparing empirical outcomes, and identifying the policies that appear to have the greatest impact on results.

State Clean Energy Practices: Renewable Fuel Standards (PDF 1.3 MB)
Renewable fuel standards (RFS) policies are a mechanism for developing a market for renewable fuels in the transportation sector. This flexible market-based policy, when properly executed, can correct for market failures and promote growth of the renewable fuels industry better than a more command-oriented approach. The policy attempts to correct market failures such as embedded fossil fuel infrastructure and culture, risk associated with developing renewable fuels, consumer information gaps, and lack of quantification of the non-economic costs and benefits of both renewable and fossil-based fuels. This report focuses on renewable fuel standards policies, which are being analyzed as part of this project.

September 2008

Cover of Renewable Energy Price-Stability Benefits in Utility Green Power Programs report

Renewable Energy Price Stability
NREL staff members Lori Bird and Karlynn Cory, along with Blair Swezey of Applied Materials, have published the report "Renewable Energy Price-Stability Benefits in Utility Green Power Programs" (PDF 591 KB) The overall success of the voluntary green power market rests on the willingness of large numbers of individual consumers to pay a premium for these electricity products. Accordingly, electric utilities must present a compelling value proposition for their green power products. The stable-price characteristic of renewable energy generation offers an important and appealing benefit for many consumers, particularly as a hedge against increasing fossil fuel prices. Several approaches exist to provide price stability to green power customers, including (1) establishing a separate green power rate to substitute for a utility's energy or fuel rate, (2) exempting green power customers from fossil fuel-cost adjustments, or (3) revisiting green power price premiums frequently, particularly when base rates are adjusted. This report examines utility experiences when offering the fixed- price benefits of renewable energy in green pricing programs, including the methods utilized and the impact on program participation.

September 2008

Analysts Meet With Stakeholders
At the request of the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, NREL hosted six visitors from Uzbekistan in August. The visit included discussions on solar, biomass, and wind technologies, as well as potential projects in the design of remote school power systems and cooperation under the Global Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention.

On August 5, eight students and three young-adult leaders from the Greensburg, Kansas, High School Green Club toured NREL to learn about energy efficiency and renewable energy and how it is being used in their community. The group toured the National Wind Technology Center, NREL's solar and biomass research facilities, and NREL's high-performance building research facility. Greensburg was destroyed by a tornado in May 2007, and DOE and NREL have been providing extensive technical assistance in all aspects of energy in the community's rebuilding efforts. The Green Club was formed after the tornado, as the students learned more about green technologies.

Doug Arent, SEAC center director, presented a paper on renewable energy technologies at the Economics of Technologies to Combat Global Warming Workshop, held in conjunction with the Energy Modeling Forum and Workshop on Climate Change Impacts and Integrated Assessment (CCI/IA) on August 4-5. The workshops bring together leading researchers on energy and climate modeling in support of global energy and climate scenario development and modeling.

On August 10-16, Doug Arent participated in a State Department-sponsored briefing for government, university, and industry officials from Chile and Argentina. The event provided information on the status of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and markets in the United States.

On August 14, NREL staff members Scott Haase and Tony Jimenez conducted a one-day training course for the Blackfeet Tribe (Browning, Montana) on wind energy development. There were 15 attendees, including Tribal Council members and senior tribal program staff.

SEAC analyst Garvin Heath and members of NREL's National Bioenergy Center met in August with representatives of ConocoPhilips to review preliminary results of a life-cycle assessment (LCA) for a renewable diesel product. NREL researchers provided valuable feedback and suggestions for improvements to the ConocoPhilips LCA. Information was also presented regarding NREL's ongoing life-cycle assessment of the ethanol goals for the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA). The group will continue sharing developments in each of their projects as they progress.

SEAC staff members David Renne and Shannon Cowlin met with V. Vijay Shankar and Anil Kapoor of Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals Limited (New Delhi), and Barbara and John Treat of Infrastructure World, on August 19 to discuss their interests in developing solar energy technology manufacturing and deployment capabilities, specifically for Rajasthan and Gujarat. Discussions focused on the resource assessment and analytical work that NREL is doing in Rajasthan as part of the U.S.-India Energy Dialogue. The visitors also met with Harin Ulall of the National Center for Photovoltaics, who provided a presentation on solar photovoltaic technologies.

SEAC analyst Gail Mosey attended the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) Summer Study in Pacific Grove, on August 21-22. She presented an analysis conducted in collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) estimating energy-consumption reduction benefits from Austin Energy's Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) program.

In August, NREL staff members Andy Walker, Kari Bureman, Doug Dahle, and Nancy Carlisle gave presentations to a delegation of state, local, and utility officials from the State of Hawaii, including Governor Linda Lingle of Hawaii. The State of Hawaii is working with NREL on a plan to provide 70% of their energy from renewable sources by 2030.

August 2008

TAP Webcast: Solar Photovoltaic Financing
The Technical Assistance Project (TAP) for state and local officials will sponsor a Webcast on August 13 that outlines financing options for state and local governments to install PV systems. The presentation, which will be 3-4:15 p.m. (EDT), is titled "Solar Photovoltaic Financing: Deployment on Public Property by State and Local Governments." The speakers will be Karlynn Cory and Jason Coughlin of NREL.

Information about the presenters, as well as links to background materials and reports, can be found on the TAP Section of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program website.

Contact Misty Conrad via e-mail or by phone at 303-384-7467 by August 8 to register or for additional information.

Cover of 20% Wind Energy by 2030: Increasing Wind Energy's Contribution to U.S. Electricity Supply report

August 2008

AWEA Conference Papers
NREL staff recently participated in WINDPOWER 2008, sponsored by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

Analysts Maureen Hand, Nate Blair, Walter Short, and Patrick Sullivan contributed papers related to the DOE report "20% Wind Energy by 2030: Increasing Wind Energy's Contribution to U.S. Electricity Supply" (PDF 4.0 MB). All four analysts also were contributors to the main report, which examines the technical feasibility of harnessing wind power to provide up to 20% of the nation's total electricity needs by 2030.

Two AWEA conference papers — which describe the use of NREL's Wind Deployment System (WinDS) and Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) models in the analysis for the report — are featured below.

Cover of Modeling Sensitivities to the 20% Wind Scenario Report with the WinDS Model report
Cover of Modeling the Benefits of Storage Technologies to Wind Power report
Screenshot of JEDI website

Modeling Sensitivities to the 20% Wind Scenario Report with the WinDS Model
(PDF 1.2 MB)
The "20% Wind Energy by 2030" report (cited above) describes the costs and benefits of producing 20% of the nation's projected electricity demand in 2030 from wind technology. The total electricity system cost resulting from this scenario was modestly higher than a scenario in which no additional wind was installed after 2006. NREL's Wind Deployment System (WinDS) model was used to support this analysis. For this paper, the analysis examined the sensitivity of the results to variations in those input values and model structure choices. These included wind cost and performance improvements over time, seasonal/diurnal wind resource variations, transmission access and costs, siting costs, conventional fuel cost trajectories, and conventional capital costs.

Modeling the Benefits of Storage Technologies to Wind Power
(PDF 1.6 MB)
Rapid expansion of wind power in the electricity sector is raising questions about how wind resource variability might affect the capacity value of wind farms at high levels of penetration. Electricity storage, with the capability to shift wind energy from periods of low demand to peak times and to smooth fluctuations in output, may have a role in bolstering the value of wind power at levels of penetration envisioned by the "20% Wind Energy by 2030" report (cited above). This paper, which quantifies the value storage can add to wind, talks about the analysis done using the Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) model (formerly known as the Wind Deployment System, or WinDS, model).

August 2008

Job and Economic Development Impact Model
NREL has added two new technologies to its Job and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) models — coal and natural gas. Available for download from the Energy Analysis website, the JEDI models are easy-to-use, spreadsheet-based tools that estimate the economic impacts of constructing and operating power generation plants at the state level. First developed to model wind energy development impacts, JEDI recently expanded to offer more technologies, including dry mill corn ethanol and concentrating solar power plants — and now coal and natural gas. The site provides more information about JEDI, as well as free downloads.

August 2008

Analysts Meet With Stakeholders
SEAC analyst William Wallace represented DOE for a U.S. Department of Agriculture mission to China on July 6-12, led by Undersecretary Gale Buchanan. He and other U.S. representatives met with several Chinese counterparts working with the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission for joint cooperation for biofuels development in China.

NREL's Dave Renné participated in a recent meeting in Wels, Austria, of technical experts working on the International Energy Agency (IEA)/Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC) Program's Task 36 Solar Resource Knowledge Management project. He facilitated the meeting and took part in the technical discussions. Following the experts meeting, he also presented to the Executive Committee of the IEA/SHC.

SEAC staff members Roger Taylor and Scott Haase conducted a two-day renewable energy strategic planning presentation and discussion with 40 members of the Yakama Nation in the State of Washington in July. The group recently created a tribal utility, and is exploring a range of energy efficiency and renewable energy options. The Tribal Energy Program also conducted its final workshop in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on July 21-24 for more than 100 registered participants from throughout the Southwest. The complete EERE portfolio was covered, as well as business development, project deal structures, and financing options.

NREL staff hosted Shlomo Wald, chief scientist for the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructures, on July 21. His visit was part of the formal follow-up to the Israel visit by Assistant Secretary Andy Karsner in May 2008, during which an implementation agreement to advance the new U.S.-Israeli joint Energy Research Cooperation program was signed. Wald's visit helped identify potential opportunities for NREL collaboration with Israeli researchers and industry. Areas of focus during the discussions and tours included solar power, biofuels, and energy storage technologies.

July 2008

Cover of the A GIS Method for Developing Wind Supply Curves report

Developing Wind Supply Curves
NREL staff members David Kline, Donna Heimiller, and Shannon Cowlin have published the report, "A GIS Method for Developing Wind Supply Curves" (PDF 632 KB). This report describes work conducted by NREL as part of the Wind Technology Partnership sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This project has developed methods that the National Development and Reform Commission intends to use in the planning and development of China's 30 GW of planned wind capacity. Because of China's influence within the community of developing countries, the methods and the approaches here may help foster wind development in other countries. (See the related seminar above.)

July 2008

APEC Biofuels
SEAC staff member Anelia Milbrandt worked with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to develop a website on the development and deployment of biofuels in APEC economies. The APEC Biofuels site serves as a common platform for sharing biofuels information among members as well as the general public. The biofuels industry in the APEC region consists of two distinct sectors, ethanol and biodiesel. Fuel ethanol production within the region in 2007 was estimated at approximately 27,600 million liters, mainly produced in the United States, China, Canada, Australia, and Thailand. Biodiesel production in 2007 was approximately 4,400 million liters with the majority of the production coming from the United States, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Australia, and Canada. The site provides an overview on biofuels, a summary of APEC biofuels activities, information on current biofuels status in each member economy, and information on the APEC Biofuels Task Force.

July 2008

Cover of the Laying the Groundwork: Lessons Learned from the Telecommunications Industry for Distributed Generation report

Telecommunications Industry and Distributed Generation
SEAC analyst Alison Wise presented "Laying the Groundwork: Lessons Learned from the Telecommunications Industry for Distributed Generation" (PDF 341 KB) at the 2008 CTSI Clean Technology and Sustainable Industries Conference and Trade Show on June 1-5. The presentation talked about the telecommunications industry, its growing pains in the past, and the lessons that can be applied to the growing distributed generation (DG) "industry." The technology shifts and stakeholders involved with the historic market transformation of the telecommunications sector mirror similar factors involved in distributed generation today. An examination of these factors may inform best practices when approaching the conduits necessary to accelerate the shifting of our nation's energy system to cleaner forms of generation and use. The paper explores potential correlation and outlines the lessons that can be learned from this comparison.

July 2008

Analysts Meet With Stakeholders
Bob Westby provided an invited presentation on "NREL Greenhouse Gas Management Strategies" at the White House Office of the Federal Environmental Executive (OFEE) Federal Environmental East Symposium on June 2-4. Symposium participants shared experiences with federal agencies in the Implementation Progress of Executive Order 13423 — Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management.

SEAC Center Director Doug Arent participated in the Council on Competitiveness meeting on "Energy Security, Innovation, and Sustainability" in Virginia on June 3-4. The meeting was the third Progressive Dialogue hosted by Council President Debra Wince-Smith, and focused on key issues related to energy, sustainability, and effects on U.S. competitiveness.

Ron Benioff accompanied DOE Assistant Secretary Andy Karsner and other key DOE officials on a visit to Israel, which resulted in signing of a bilateral implementation agreement to advance cooperation on joint public-private R&D projects. The initial emphasis will be on biofuels, solar, electric vehicle battery, and energy-water technologies and systems. NREL initiated an analysis of policies that Israel can use to accelerate renewable energy development, as well as enhanced collaboration with key companies and research institutions in Israel. The lab also is planning a U.S. visit for Israeli researchers, and developing draft guidelines for the U.S.-Israel working group.

SEAC staff member Alicen Kandt presented at the National Defense Center for Energy and Environment Information Exchange for Sustainable Facilities in Washington, D.C., on June 9. She discussed identifying potential renewable energy and energy efficiency applications and the integrated design process.

Doug Arent was requested to give remarks related to biofuels and the global food crisis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Task Force meeting co-chaired by Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) on June 17 in Washington, D.C. His briefing focused on technical and government actions that might be considered in addressing perceptions of the impacts of biofuels on food pricing and availability.

Cover of the Solar Photovoltaic Financing: Deployment on Public Property by State and Local Governments report

June 2008

Logo of American Solar Energy Society

ASES Conference Papers
A group of NREL analysts recently participated in SOLAR 2008, sponsored by the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), on May 3-8. Some key analysis papers are featured below.

Modeling Photovoltaic and Concentrating Solar Power Trough Performance, Cost, and Financing with the Solar Advisor Model (PDF 373 KB)
This paper on the Solar Advisor Model presents an overview of each PV and inverter model, introduces a new generic model, and briefly discusses the concentrating solar power (CSP) parabolic trough model.

Impacts of Array Configuration on Land-Use Requirements for Large-Scale Photovoltaic Deployment in the United States (PDF 304 KB)
This paper examines the relationship between land-use requirements for large-scale photovoltaic (PV) deployment in the United States and PV-array configuration.

Solar San Diego: The Impact of Binomial Rate Structures on Real PV
(PDF 450 KB)
This paper uses PV-system data from two San Diego facilities to illustrate the impacts of binomial rate designs on electricity bills.

Renewable Energy Planning: Multiparametric Cost Optimization (PDF 385 KB)
This paper describes a method for determining the combination of renewable energy technologies that minimize life-cycle cost at a facility, often with a specified goal regarding percent of energy use from renewable sources.

Future of Grid-Tied PV Business Models: What Will Happen When PV Penetration on the Distribution Grid is Significant? (PDF 535 KB)
This paper describes potential future PV business models in terms of combinations of utility ownership and control of the PV assets, and the various relationships between end users and third-party owners.

June 2008

Analysts Meet With Stakeholders
On May 1, NREL staff members Garvin Heath, Tom Foust, and Bob Wallace attended the Lab Summit on Sustainability, hosted by DOE's Office of Biomass Programs (OBP). All DOE national laboratories with sustainability-related biomass research programs attended, including NREL, Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Idaho National Laboratory. The meeting helped inform the OBP and other national labs of each other's ongoing biomass sustainability-related research and helped identify gaps in research agendas. Heath presented on NREL's life-cycle assessment of the ethanol goals of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

SEAC staff members Nancy Carlisle and Jason Coughlin recently presented at the Salt Lake Sustainable Buildings Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, which is a designated Solar America City. Coughlin discussed "Solar Financing Strategies," and Carlisle talked about "Solar Design and Integration in Commercial Buildings." Approximately 150 people attended each presentation.

Analysts Margaret Mann and Elizabeth Brown recently presented preliminary results of a study examining the economic development impacts of a low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) to the Governors' Ethanol Coalition (GEC) spring meeting held in Chicago, Illinois. The study, sponsored by the GEC, assumes a 10% reduction in carbon intensity in light-duty transportation through the adoption of corn-based and cellulosic ethanol. Analyst Gail Mosey estimated the jobs creation benefits of such a policy using NREL's Job and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) model. Oil and gasoline-use reductions were also evaluated for the study.

The NREL Tribal Energy Program recently held its regional "Renewable Energy Project Development and Financing" training for Alaska natives in Anchorage, Alaska. Attendees included 93 representatives from 30 different communities, making it the largest audience for any regional training through late April. The price of diesel-based power and heating oil is causing serious hardship in many of the 200-plus Alaskan villages, which has led to increased interest in renewable and energy efficiency technologies.

NREL staff supporting the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 9006 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency program provided a three-day training course (ending May 1) in Denver for 32 USDA state engineers, architects, and renewable energy coordinators. Lectures focused on primary renewable energy technology options including both electricity and fuels. Attendees also toured the NREL main campus and the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC).

SEAC analyst Gail Mosey attended the brownfields conference on May 5-6 in Detroit, Michigan, as part of a panel invited by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Mosey joined the group discussing "Siting Renewable Energy on Contaminated Lands and Mining Sites." Brownfields are sites with suspected or known environmental contamination, including abandoned mine lands. The conference is an annual event designed to bring together federal, state, and local agencies; land developers; land owners; and others who are interested in remediation, monitoring, and revitalization of brownfields. Through the panel discussion, Mosey described some of the resources (including databases, tools, and analyses) that NREL uses to evaluate siting of renewables for power generation and implementing energy efficiency technologies at brownfield sites.

SEAC center director Doug Arent participated in a colloquium on "Managing R&D to Address Climate Change" in Chicago on May 6-7. Convened by the University of Chicago and the National Commission on Energy Policy, the colloquium explored various options on the organizational approaches for U.S. government research and development. Other participants included representatives from Argonne National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, Harvard University, DOE Office of Policy, and DOE Office of Nuclear Energy.

NREL staff assisted with organization of an event on May 6 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) regarding clean energy investment in the Masdar Initiative. Spearheaded by Paul Dickerson at DOE, the event informed U.S. clean energy finance representatives of opportunities for clean energy investment through Masdar (a $15 billion United Arab Emirates clean energy program). Participants discussed how DOE and the national laboratories can support Masdar emerging technology investments and the Masdar zero-carbon city and regional project development activities.

NREL staff recently attended the Utility Energy Service Contract workshop in Dallas, Texas. The workshop promoted government support (such as work done by the Federal Energy Management Program) to federal agency customers including contracting officers, energy managers, and other personnel with utility company representatives in attendance. The work supports the DOE in providing alternative finance training to federal agencies and promoting projects implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy measures.

On May 15, SEAC analyst Lori Bird provided an overview presentation of federal and state policies that support the deployment of solar photovoltaics in the United States. Her talk was part of the Technology Velocity Forum at the IEEE PV Specialists Conference in San Diego.

On May 20, SEAC analyst Karlynn Cory gave a presentation on "Best Implementation Practices for RPS Success." It was part of the State/Federal RPS Collaborative organized by the Clean Energy States Alliance.

Analyst Karlynn Cory also presented "Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and Financing Renewables" on May 22 to a group hosted by the National Association of Counties (NACo). The Webinar also included a speaker from Johnson Controls talking about energy service performance contracting, and a county representative discussing a project in operation.

May 2008

Photo of Robert Margolis

 Robert Margolis

May Seminar: Evolution of Solar Energy
On May 8, NREL's Strategic Energy Analysis Center (SEAC) and DOE/EERE's Office of Planning, Budget, and Analysis (PBA) will present a seminar discussing solar energy technology. The Department of Energy's Solar Energy Technology Program (SETP) has seen significant changes during the past couple of years. During this seminar, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) analyst Robert Margolis will discuss the origins of the Solar America Initiative (SAI), provide an overview of the SAI's R&D pipeline, and examine the changing investment patterns in solar technology (in the United States and globally). Margolis will examine the changing technology development dynamics for solar technology in the context of rapidly expanding markets, increasing private investment, manufacturing scale-up/product R&D and associated cost reductions, and innovation in business models and government policy. He also will raise the question of what these changes mean for the SAI going forward, both in the short and long term.

May 2008

Cover of Renewables Portfolio Standards in the United States: A Status Report with Data through 2007 report

Renewables Portfolio Standards
NREL staff members Lori Bird and Karlynn Cory were contributors to a new Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) report released in April, "Renewables Portfolio Standards in the United States: A Status Report with Data through 2007" (PDF 1.5 MB) Download Adobe Reader. This report provides a comprehensive overview of early experience with renewables portfolio standards (RPS) in the United States. State-level RPS programs are among the most important drivers for renewable energy deployment in the United States. As their popularity and importance have grown, so too has the need to keep up with the design, early experience, and projected impacts of these RPS programs. This report seeks to fulfill this need by providing basic, factual information on RPS policies. Drawing from a variety of sources, this report — the first in what is envisioned to be an ongoing series — provides comprehensive information on a broad range of RPS-related topics. The report concentrates on key recent developments, while also providing information on historical RPS experience and design.

May 2008

Screenshot of Job and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) models

Job and Economic Development Impact Model
NREL has made several Job and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) models, available for download from the Energy Analysis website. The JEDI models are easy-to-use, spreadsheet-based tools that estimate the economic impacts of constructing and operating power generation plants at the state level. First developed to model wind energy development impacts, JEDI recently expanded to offer more technologies. Models have been developed and are now available for download to estimate job and economic impacts from dry mill corn ethanol and concentrating solar power (CSP) plants. Additional models estimating the jobs and economic impact from other technologies will be available in the coming months. The site provides more information about JEDI, as well as free downloads.

May 2008

Analysts Meet With Stakeholders
SEAC staff member Kathleen Nawaz participated in a meeting on April 1 discussing lessons learned from the alternative fuel experience for application to hydrogen transportation systems. Participants included DOE, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the California Energy Commission (CEC), petroleum and alternative fuel industry, academia, and other domestic and international organizations.

On April 7-8, SEAC analyst Karlynn Cory represented the United States at an International Energy Agency (IEA) meeting for Task 26 — The Cost of Wind Energy. The meeting provided a venue to share international data and expertise regarding the cost of manufacturing, installing, and operating wind turbines globally. Cory was the expert on U.S.-specific wind project economic and financing modeling and helped contribute to consensus recommendations to IEA on developing a standard methodology for cost of wind energy calculations.

In April, Karlynn Cory also met with Richard Eason, the U.S. economic counselor at the U.S. Embassy to Belgium. They discussed the status of renewable policies in the United States and Europe, how U.S. projects are structuring their financing, and the economics of implementing U.S. renewable power projects.

SEAC staff member Barry Friedman made an invited presentation to the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Conference in Raleigh on April 8. The presentation covered renewable energy certificate (REC) market status and current challenges for REC markets. The discussion also focused on lessons learned from states with both voluntary green pricing programs and renewable portfolio standards.

Also in April, SEAC analysts Lori Bird, Karlynn Cory, and Barry Friedman participated in the first stakeholder meeting of the Environmental Tracking Network of North America (ETNNA). The group is a voluntary association of certificate tracking systems and interested market participants created to help increase cooperation and coordination among existing and emerging systems that issue, track, or register environmental attributes and certificates. During the meeting, Cory was elected to be the (non-voting) representative from the Governmental Advisory Committee on the ETNNA Board of Directors.

NREL Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) Manager Bob Westby made an invited presentation to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)/ National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Measuring Up conference in Boulder, Colorado, on April 9. The presentation covered compliance requirements for the Energy Independence and Security Act and the use of private-sector funding such as power purchase agreements (PPAs) to help achieve compliance.

In April, SEAC staff member Otto Van Geet represented NREL and Solar America Cities during a "Solar Boston" event at Fenway Park, which was also attended by Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman and the mayor of Boston. As part of the Solar American Cities activities, Van Geet also conducted a solar feasibility assessment of the Boston Police Headquarters building.

SEAC staff member Karen Thomas participated in the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Spring National Accounts Workshop held in Orlando, Florida, in April. EEI, which represents approximately 70% of the United States power industry, sponsored the event to help utility account representatives engage with their customers and assist them in meeting their energy objectives.

On April 18, NREL hosted a delegation from Sinopec, a large state-affiliated oil and petrochemical company. The 12-member delegation includes Sinopec's chief engineer (who is also an academician in the Chinese Academy of Sciences), as well as the presidents of several Sinopec research institutes. The delegation requested a visit with NREL to explore potential collaboration in biofuels areas.

On April 21-22, SEAC staff member William Wallace participated in the U.S. DOE/U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mission to Beijing, China. The meeting discussed the details for joint U.S.-China cooperation under the memorandum of understanding (MOU) supporting biofuels development in China.

April 2008

Photo of David Hurlbut

 David Hurlbut

TAP Webcast: Texas Renewable Portfolio Standard
The Technical Assistance Project (TAP) for State and Local Officials will sponsor a Webcast on April 16 discussing Texas' experience in establishing its renewable portfolio standard and the "lessons learned." The presentation, which will be 3-4:15 p.m. (ET), is titled "A Look behind the Texas Renewable Portfolio Standard." The presenter is David Hurlbut, a senior analyst at NREL.

Information about the presenter, links to background materials and reports, and access to the speaker presentation (available April 14) can be found on the TAP Section of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program website.

Contact Misty Conrad via e-mail or by phone at 303-384-7467 to register (by April 11) or for additional information.

April 2008

Cover of IA Renewable Energy Community: Key Elements report

Renewable Energy Communities
NREL staff members Nancy Carlisle, Jennifer Elling, and Terry Penney have published the report "A Renewable Energy Community: Key Elements" (PDF 731 KB), which assesses the feasibility of developing renewable energy communities. NREL is analyzing how these communities can help Americans overcome a high level of fossil fuel use and ever-increasing dependence on foreign oil. This project focuses on changing the way we design new communities using a renewable energy systems approach—with sustainable planning, net zero-energy homes, advanced vehicles, and innovative utility interconnections.

April 2008

Solar Analysis Reports
NREL recently published several analysis reports relating to solar technologies and their application:

"Photovoltaics Business Models" (PDF 1.0 MB)
This report summarizes work to better understand the structure of future photovoltaics business models and the research, development, and demonstration required to support their deployment.

"Photovoltaics Value Analysis" (PDF 1.3 MB)
This report identifies best practices in methodologies for estimating the value of distributed PV technologies, identifying gaps in existing knowledge, and outlining R&D opportunities.

"Production Cost Modeling for High Levels of Photovoltaics Penetration" (PDF 756 KB)
This report evaluates the likely avoided generation, fuels, and emissions resulting from photovoltaics (PV) deployment in several U.S. locations and identifies new tools, methods, and analysis to improve understanding of PV impacts at the grid level.

"Rooftop Photovoltaics Market Penetration Scenarios" (PDF 3.5 MB)
This study models the market penetration of rooftop photovoltaics (PV) in the United States under a variety of scenarios, on a state-by-state basis, from 2007 to 2015.

"Solar Resource Assessment" (PDF 1.1 MB)
This report covers the solar resource assessment aspects of the Renewable Systems Interconnection study. The status of solar resource assessment in the United States is described, and summaries of the availability of modeled data sets are provided.

April 2008

Analysts Meet With Stakeholders
NREL staff members Deb Beattie, Andy Walker, Sara Farrar-Nagy, Bob Westby, and Mary Werner participated in the Department of Defense (DOD) Energy Management Forum on March 17-19 at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. The forum discussed renewable technologies and implementation strategies, sustainable design, financing, and other topics. It included representatives from the DOD, DOE, General Services Administration, and State of Hawaii.

SEAC analyst Andy Walker presented the results of a "renewable energy screening" report to Anheuser-Busch in March. This screening helped identify the combination of renewable energy technologies at each company site that minimizes life-cycle cost. Technologies considered include photovoltaics, wind, solar ventilation air preheating, solar water heating, daylighting, biomass gasification, and anaerobic digestion. Results identify measures totaling $63 million in implementation cost that could save more than $7 million per year in utility costs.

March 2008

Innovations in Renewable Energy Financing
NREL analysts Karlynn Cory, Jason Coughlin, and Thomas Jenkin recently published the report "Innovations in Wind and Solar PV Financing" (PDF 731 KB). There is growing national interest in renewable energy development based on the economic, environmental, and security benefits that these resources provide. This study surveys some of the current issues related to wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) energy project financing in the electric power industry, and identifies both barriers to and opportunities for increased investment. Historically, greater development of our domestic renewable energy resources has faced a number of hurdles, primarily related to cost, regulation, and financing. With the recent sustained increase in the costs and associated volatility of fossil fuels, the economics of renewable energy technologies have become increasingly attractive to investors, both large and small. As a result, new entrants are investing in renewable energy and new business models are emerging.

March 2008

Cover of Assessing the Potential for Renewable Energy Development on DOE Legacy Management Lands report

RE Development on DOE Legacy Management Lands
NREL staff members Doug Dahle, Dennis Elliott, Donna Heimiller, Mark Mehos, Robi Robichaud, Marc Schwartz, and Andy Walker recently published the report "Assessing the Potential for Renewable Energy Development on DOE Legacy Management Lands" (PDF 5.6 MB) This report represents an initial activity for the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Legacy Management (LM) to identify and evaluate renewable energy resources on LM-managed federal lands. The final assessment provides DOE LM with information to consider when assessing alternatives of land-reuse options for current and future LM lands. DOE LM and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) established a partnership to conduct an assessment of renewable energy resources on LM lands in the United States. The LM/NREL team used geographic information system (GIS) data to analyze and assess the potential for concentrating solar power (CSP), photovoltaics (PV), and wind power generation on LM lands. The analysis helped gauge the renewable industry's interest in pursuing renewable power development on LM Lands.

March 2008

Analysts Meet With Stakeholders
SEAC group manager Maggie Mann recently participated in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Scoping Meeting on Renewable Energy Sources. Participants determined whether an IPCC special report on renewables is needed, and also started drafting the outline of such a report. The case for the report will be made by the conference chair (Olav Hohmeyer, Germany) at the 28th Session of the IPCC in Budapest in April. The meeting consisted of two days of presentations followed by two days of break-out discussions. The presentations were meant to introduce the concepts, state-of-the-art research, and issues associated with each topic chapter of the proposed report. If approved, the report and its subsequent reviews are expected to take about two years.

Doug Arent, SEAC director, participated in a meeting of the Global Energy Assessment (GEA) on February 3-5 in Vienna, Austria. The GEA is a major initiative established by The International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in late 2005. It helps decision makers address the challenges of providing energy services for sustainable development, while alleviating existing and emerging threats associated with: security of supply; access to modern forms of energy for development and poverty alleviation; local, regional and global environmental impacts; and securing sufficient investment.

February 2008

TAP Webcast: Hawaii's Green Energy Zone
The Technical Assistance Project (TAP) for State and Local Officials will sponsor a Webcast on February 13 about the Natural Energy Laboratory Hawaii Authority (NELHA) experiments in ocean thermal energy, aquaculture, and renewable energy development on the Island of Hawaii. The presentation, which will be 3-4:15 p.m. (EST), is titled "NELHA Creates the 'Green Energy Zone.'"

Information about the presenters, links to background materials and reports, and access to the speaker presentations (available February 11) can be found on the TAP Section of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program website.

Contact Misty Conrad via e-mail or by phone at 303-384-7467 to register or for additional information.

February 2008

Cover of Clean Energy and Air Quality Integration Initiative factsheet

Air Quality Initiative
SEAC analysts Laura Vimmerstedt and Gail Mosey worked with the Department of Energy to publish a series of fact sheets for the Clean Energy and Air Quality Integration Initiative. This fact sheet series outlines how renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) technologies can and are being used to reduce air emissions and meet environmental goals, showcasing pilot studies and technology-specific topics. The primary fact sheet highlights examples of DOE-EERE pilot projects that partnered with states to use RE and EE technologies to improve air quality in their regions. Featured states include Illinois, New Jersey, and Texas.

February 2008

Cover of Renewable Portfolio Standards in the States: Balancing Goals and Implementation Strategies report

Renewable Portfolio Standards
Analysts Karlynn Cory and Blair Swezey recently published the report "Renewable Portfolio Standards in the States: Balancing Goals and Implementation Strategies" (PDF 664 KB) Download Adobe Reader. This report examines renewable portfolio standards (RPS) and how the RPS rules vary from state to state. This variation presents important challenges to successful implementation. Key issues are discussed in terms of resource availability, solar-specific provisions, and political and regulatory consistency — and their impacts on the ability to finance new renewable energy projects. This report emphasizes the fact that a successful RPS policy must balance a state's goals for fuel diversity, economic development, price effects, and environmental benefits.

February 2008

Screenshot of State Clean Energy Policies Analysis (SCEPA) website

State Clean Energy Policies Analysis Project
NREL analyst Elizabeth Brown is leading the State Clean Energy Policies Analysis (SCEPA) project, which is a collaborative effort to better understand the environmental, economic, and energy security impacts of state policies using a uniform methodology. The intent of the project, funded by the Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program (WIP) at DOE-EERE, is to assist state policy-makers and implementers in determining which policies will have the most beneficial impact on the priorities of their states. NREL's Technology Deployment website includes a SCEPA section, which includes extensive information on the project's goals and deliverables, a project timeline, a Webcast schedule, and other resources.

February 2008

Photo of NREL analysts Walter Short and Nate Blair standing in front of charts, graphs, and maps that show results from the Wind Deployment System (WinDS) model.

NREL analysts Nate Blair (right) and Walter Short are the originators of the Wind Deployment System (WinDS), a software tool for modeling the deployment of wind power technologies.

Wind Deployment System (WinDS) Model
The Wind Deployment System (WinDS) model, developed by SEAC analysts Walter Short and Nate Blair, is featured on the home page of NREL's website. The WinDS model, which started out as a simple spreadsheet, analyzes the feasibility of low-speed wind turbines in the United States by evaluating capacity and transmission requirements. The story highlights how the model was developed, some of the research being done with WinDS, and plans for expanding the model to analyze different technologies.

February 2008

Analysts Meet With Stakeholders
NREL staff members Dave Renné and Larry Kazmerski met with Salem M. Ghurbal (director of the Renewable Energies Research Branch) and his senior staff during a visit to the Renewable Energies and Water Desalination Research Center in Tripoli, Libya, on January 13-14. Discussions focused on possible areas of mutual collaboration in wind and solar resource assessment; exchanges and visits by technical staff; and testing of photovoltaics, concentrating solar power, and solar water heating components.

On January 15, SEAC director Doug Arent briefed a team of executives from Toyota (including president Katsuaki Watanabe), on U.S. energy technology and policy. The meeting was held at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

The DOE Tribal Energy Program held the first of five regional Tribal Renewable Energy Development Training Sessions in Sacramento, California, on January 21-24. Focused on California tribes, the training course covered strategic energy planning, the EERE portfolio of technologies, project economics, business development, and financing options. Presenters included DOE, NREL, Sandia, Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the California Energy Commission, tribal groups, and private-sector personnel.

January 2008

Cover of Green Power Marketing in the United States: A Status Report (Tenth Edition) report

Green Power Marketing
Analysts Lori Bird, Leila Dagher, and Blair Swezey recently published the report "Green Power Marketing in the United States: A Status Report (Tenth Edition)" (PDF 2.1 MB). This report documents green power marketing activities and trends in the United States, focusing on consumer decisions to purchase electricity supplied from renewable energy sources and how this choice represents a powerful market support mechanism for renewable energy development. The report presents aggregate green power sales data for all voluntary purchase markets across the United States. It also provides summary data on utility green pricing programs offered in regulated electricity markets, on green power marketing activity in competitive electricity markets, and green power sold to voluntary purchasers in the form of renewable energy certificates. It also includes a discussion of key market trends and issues.

January 2008

Cover of The Regional Per-Capita Solar Electric Footprint for the United States report

Solar Electric Footprint
SEAC analysts Paul Denholm and Robert Margolis have published the report "The Regional Per-Capita Solar Electric Footprint for the United States" (PDF 1.7 MB). Solar photovoltaics (PV) offer a renewable alternative to traditional sources of electricity generation. The potential resource base for PV in the United States is enormous; however, there are a number of challenges related to realizing this potential including relatively high cost, intermittent output, and potentially significant land use. This report quantifies the state-by-state per-capita "solar electric footprint" for the United States. The analysts use state-level data on population, electricity consumption, economic activity and solar insolation, along with solar photovoltaic (PV) array packing density data to develop a range of estimates of the solar electric footprint. They found that the solar electric footprint, defined as the land area required to supply all end-use electricity from solar photovoltaics, is about 181 m2 per person in the United States. The solar electric footprint is about 0.6% of the total land area of the United States with state-level estimates ranging from less than 0.1% for Wyoming to about 9% for New Jersey.

January 2008

Analysts Meet With Stakeholders
In early December, SEAC staff members Deb Beattie and Karen Thomas represented the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) Utility Program as instructors at a utility-focused workshop. The event, which attracted nearly 80 participants, was held in conjunction with the Federal Utility Partnership Working Group meeting, hosted by San Diego Gas & Electric. Several of the utilities are considering offering utility energy services contracts (UESCs) to their customers as a new service and asked the NREL-FEMP team for training.

Doug Arent, director of SEAC, attended the Energy Security, Innovation, and Sustainability (ESIS) Initiative Advisors Session in Chicago, Illinois, on December 13. The Council on Competitiveness is a unique group of corporate CEOs, university presidents, and labor leaders committed to the future prosperity of all Americans through enhanced U.S. competitiveness in the global economy and the creation of high-value economic activity in the United States.