August Seminar: Greenhouse Gas Implications of Deconstruction
On August 12, NREL's Strategic Energy Analysis Center (SEAC) and DOE/EERE's Office of Planning, Budget, and Analysis (PBA) will present a seminar (in Washington, D.C.) highlighting deconstruction trends. Deconstruction and building material-use practices have several greenhouse gas reduction benefits. These benefits are complemented by significant waste reduction opportunities, as well as opportunities for historic preservation, workforce training, and economic development. Ryan Anderson, of the Delta Institute, will discuss how deconstruction has become a growing trend in the United States. He'll demonstrate how deconstruction strategies are being implemented across various building types and sectors, industry practices for tracking and measuring impacts, and the larger climate change mitigation implications of a widely adopted deconstruction market.
Upcoming Energy Analysis Seminars
- September 9, 2010 (Golden, Colo.)
"Energy Choice Simulator Tool" — Dane McFarlane, Great Plains Institute for Sustainable Development
- November 11, 2010 (Golden, Colo.)
"Analysis and Evaluation of DSM Programs" — Josh Schellenberg, Freeman, Sullivan & Co./EnergyDSM (Golden, Colo.)
- January 13, 2011 (Washington, D.C.)
"Integrating Renewable Energy in an Urban Environment" — Wyllys Mann, Delta Institute (Washington, D.C.)
For more information on the seminar series — including log-in and call-in information for remote access — visit the Web site.
Publications and Web Sites
Some of the documents in this section are available as Adobe Acrobat PDFs.
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Feed-in Tariff Policy Design
SEAC analysts Karlynn Cory and Claire Kreycik, along with Toby Couture of E3 Analytics and Emily Williams of the U.S. Department of State, recently published the report "A Policymaker's Guide to Feed-in Tariff Policy Design" (PDF 2.1 MB).
Feed-in tariffs (FITs) are the most widely used renewable energy policy in the world for driving accelerating renewable energy (RE) deployment, accounting for a greater share of RE development than either tax incentives or renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies. FITs have generated significant RE deployment, helping bring the countries that have implemented them successfully to the forefront of the global RE industry. In the European Union (EU), FIT policies have led to the deployment of more than 15,000 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) power and more than 55,000 MW of wind power between 2000 and the end of 2009. In total, FITs are responsible for approximately 75% of global PV and 45% of global wind deployment. Countries such as Germany, in particular, have demonstrated that FITs can be used as a powerful policy tool to drive RE deployment and help meet combined energy security and emissions reductions objectives. This policymaker's guide provides a detailed analysis of FIT policy design and implementation and identifies a set of best practices that have been effective at quickly stimulating the deployment of large amounts of RE generation. Although the discussion is aimed primarily at decision makers who have decided that a FIT policy best suits their needs, exploration of FIT policies can also help inform a choice among alternative renewable energy policies.
EE and RE in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
NREL analyst Laura Vimmerstedt, along with Sharon Showalter and Frances Wood of OnLocation, Inc./Energy Systems Consulting, recently published the report "Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Research, Development, and Deployment in Meeting Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Goals: The Case of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2007 (S. 2191)" (PDF 635 KB).
The U.S. federal government is considering actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, so the cost of these technologies could significantly influence the overall cost of meeting greenhouse gas limits. This paper examines the potential benefit of reduced technology cost by analyzing the case of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2007 (S.2191). This act had a goal of reducing national carbon emissions in 2050 to levels 72 percent below 2006 emission levels. In April 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration (EIA) published an analysis of the effects of S.2191 on the U.S. energy sector. This report presents a similar analysis: Both analyses examined the impacts of S.2191, and both used versions of the National Energy Modeling System. The analysis reported here used modified technology assumptions to reflect U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) program goals. The results show that achieving EERE program goals could reduce the cost of meeting greenhouse gas limits, reduce the cost of renewable electricity generation and biofuels, and reduce energy intensity.
2009 Wind Market Data
EERE has published its "2009 Wind Technologies Market Report" (PDF 3.0 MB), which was updated by Ryan Wiser and Mark Bolinger of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The U.S. wind power industry experienced yet another record year in 2009, once again surpassing even optimistic growth projections from years past. At the same time, 2009 was a year of upheaval, with the global financial crisis impacting the wind power industry and with federal policy changes enacted to push the industry toward continued aggressive expansion. The year 2010, meanwhile, is anticipated to be one of some retrenchment, with expectations for fewer wind power capacity additions than seen in 2009. The rapid pace of development and change within the industry has made it difficult to keep up with trends in the marketplace, yet the need for timely, objective information on the industry and its progress has never been greater. This report — the fourth in an ongoing annual series — attempts to meet this need by providing a detailed overview of developments and trends in the United States wind power market, with a particular focus on 2009.
Commercial Rate Structures and PV
NREL analysts Sean Ong, Paul Denholm, and Elizabeth Doris recently published the report "The Impacts of Commercial Electric Utility Rate Structure Elements on the Economics of Photovoltaic Systems" (PDF 541 KB).
This analysis uses simulated building data, simulated solar photovoltaic (PV) data, and actual electric utility tariff data from 25 cities to understand better the impacts of different commercial rate structures on the value of solar PV systems. By analyzing and comparing 55 unique rate structures across the United States, this study seeks to identify the rate components that have the greatest effect on the value of PV systems. Understanding the beneficial components of utility tariffs can both assist decision makers in choosing appropriate rate structures and influence the development of rates that favor the deployment of PV systems. Results from this analysis show that a PV system's value decreases with increasing demand charges. Findings also indicate that time-of-use rate structures with peaks coincident with PV production and wide ranges between on- and off-peak prices most benefit the types of buildings and PV systems simulated. By analyzing a broad set of rate structures from across the United States, this analysis provides an insight into the range of impacts that current U.S. rate structures have on PV systems.
Financing Renewable Energy Projects
NREL recently released another fact sheet in its series on financing renewable energy projects — this edition provides information on property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing. The analysis project is being led by SEAC analyst Karlynn Cory.
Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing
SEAC analyst Bethany Speer recently published the fact sheet "Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing of Renewables and Efficiency" (PDF 385 KB).
Under property assessed clean energy (PACE), localities create special tax assessment districts to provide financing for property owners for renewables and energy efficiency retrofits. Property owners who invest in energy efficiency (EE) measures and small renewable energy (RE) systems then repay these loans over 15 to 20 years through annual assessments on their property tax bills. This fact sheet outlines the benefits of PACE programs and describes how they can be designed, implemented, and funded. The fact sheet also summarizes the benefits and challenges of various PACE program funding mechanisms, including micro-bonds, regular bonds, bank loans, general funds, and municipal waste funds.
For the latest updates on information regarding energy analysis, visit the Energy Analysis Web site.