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Clean Energy Policies
SEAC analyst Sarah Busche recently published the report "Clean Energy Policy Analyses: Analysis of the Status and Impact of Clean Energy Policies at the Local Level." (PDF 3.3 MB)
This report takes a broad look at the status of local clean energy policies in the United States to develop a better understanding of local clean energy policy development and the interaction between state and local policies. To date, the majority of clean energy policy research focuses on the state and federal levels. While there has been a substantial amount of research on local level climate change initiatives, this is one of the first analyses of clean energy policies separate from climate change initiatives. This report is one in a suite of reports analyzing clean energy and climate policy development at the local, state, and regional levels.
RE-Powering America's Land
NREL has released the third in a series of reports, which highlight studies conducted with the Environmental Protection Agency for the RE-Powering America's Land Initiative. This project looks at opportunities for siting renewable energy on potentially contaminated land and mine sites — this report examines the possibilities for the Stringfellow Superfund site. The analysis project is being led by SEAC analyst Gail Mosey.
NREL's Otto VanGeet and Gail Mosey published the report "Feasibility Study of Economics and Performance of Solar Photovoltaics at the Stringfellow Superfund Site in Riverside, California." (PDF 1.7 MB)
This report presents the results of an assessment of the technical and economic feasibility of deploying a photovoltaics (PV) system on the Stringfellow Superfund Site in Riverside, California. The site was assessed for possible PV installations by estimating the cost, performance, and site impacts of different PV options. The economics of the potential systems were analyzed using an electric rate of $0.13/kWh and incentives offered by Southern California Edison under the California Solar Initiative. According to the assessment, a government-owned, ground-mounted PV system represents a technically and economically feasible option. The report recommends financing options that could assist in the implementation of such a system.
SEAC analysts have released an updated version of NREL's Geospatial Toolkit (GsT), which is a map-based tool for renewable energy resource assessment in developing countries. The GsT, which can be downloaded and used on any Windows desktop, combines the capabilities of geographic information systems (GIS) software with data on resource, land use, and infrastructure. The toolkit allows users to do a simple analysis of renewable potential without expertise in GIS. The revised version of the Geospatial Toolkit features three countries: Bangladesh, Nepal, and Turkey. A new version of the GsT will be released for all existing original-version countries in the coming weeks. The toolkits can be accessed through the Energy Assessments section of NREL's International Activities Web site. A "help" file is also provided.
NREL has developed an updated PVWatts Viewer application, which provides easy and efficient access to the PVWatts® Calculator. This calculator allows users to determine the energy production and cost savings of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems in the United States and select international sites. The updated application uses a Web mapping interface, which allows users to specify their location using address, zip code, or coordinate lookups. Alternatively, the user can establish a location through the use of the interactive map navigation tools. Once a location is identified, the user simultaneously queries both the point-based and grid-based PV production models to generate an estimate of potential PV output for their location. This updated application allows users to set transparency levels, has better zooming capabilities, and includes a tool to delineate a specific area by drawing a line or polygon around it.
Open Energy Information (OpenEI)
SEAC has released a fact sheet that highlights capabilities of the Open Energy Information (OpenEI) tool, developed by NREL as part of the Open Government Initiative (PDF 627 KB)
The Open Energy Information (OpenEI) site is a linked open-data platform that brings together energy information for improved analyses, unique visualizations, and real-time access to data. Although much of the world's energy-related information and data are available as resources on the Internet, they are dispersed among innumerable individuals and organizations, available in widely disparate formats, and highly variable in quality and usefulness. OpenEI strives to provide better access to this energy information, with the ultimate goal of spurring creativity and driving innovation in the energy sector. OpenEI was also recently featured on the White House Innovations Gallery. To learn more, access the OpenEI home page.
Analysis and Stakeholders
Innovative Research Analysis Award Program Awardees
The Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis has announced the 2011 awardees for its Innovative Research Analysis Award Program (IRAAP), which includes projects on improved models for assessing the economic impacts of U.S. climate policy, financial models for electric utility market transformation, and combining a high renewable energy grid with load-following nuclear plants. The Joint Institute has conducted the IRAAP as a way to fund projects for faculty members or researchers at one of its founding institutions. The selected projects are focused on gaining critical, timely, and deep understanding of market dynamics, technologies, and systems, as well as interfaces across industries, economies, and markets. Projects funded by the Joint Institute must involve foundational research that addresses critical issues related to the transformation of the global energy economy toward global sustainability. For a list of the new awardees and those from 2010, access the IRAAP page on the Joint Institute Web site.
For the latest updates on information regarding energy analysis, visit the Energy Analysis Web site.