November 2012 Newsletter
The Energy Analysis at NREL newsletter highlights all the analysis activities in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies going on at the laboratory. Features include news and events, new website areas, updates to our models and tools, and our latest publications. You can subscribe to this newsletter using our simple online form, and you can also unsubscribe online.
Data Book Shows Renewable Energy on the Rise
Book: 2011 Renewable Energy Data Book
Author: Rachel Gelman, NREL
The highly anticipated 2011 Renewable Energy Data Book—now available for download on NREL.gov—provides facts and figures on energy in general, renewable electricity in the United States, and global renewable energy development and investments. Rich graphics and depth and breadth of data have made past versions of the Data Book among the most popular items on NREL.gov. For example, the 2010 Data Book was the fifth most downloaded item during the third quarter of 2012, with 1,811 downloads.
Some key findings include:
- Renewable electricity represented nearly 13% of total installed capacity and more than 12% of total electric generation in the United States in 2011.
- In 2011 in the United States, wind and solar photovoltaics (PV) were two of the fastest growing electric generation technologies. In 2011, cumulative installed wind capacity increased by nearly 17% and cumulative installed PV capacity grew more than 86% from the previous year.
- Worldwide, wind electricity generation worldwide increased by a factor of 13 between 2000 and 2011. The United States experienced even more dramatic growth; installed wind electricity capacity increased by a factor of 18 in the same period.
- Since 2006, the United States has been the world's leading ethanol producer. Between 2000 and 2011, U.S. production of corn ethanol increased by a factor of 8.
The Renewable Energy Data Book uses rich graphics to describe world energy markets and trends. This sample shows the top countries with installed renewable electricity by technology (2011).
Tax Incentives Support Geothermal Market Build-Out
NREL Report: Geothermal Brief: Market and Policy Impacts Update
Author: Bethany Speer, NREL
Timeline of federal geothermal financial incentives
NREL Analysis and Analysts in the News
Lori Bird presented the Western Governors' Association report Meeting Renewable Energy Targets in the West at Least Cost: The Integration Challenge at the UVIG Fall Technical Workshop.
Alt Energy Stocks reposted NREL blog "Geothermal Transmission 101" by Paul Schwabe, and RenewableEnergyWorld.com reposted "How Much Do U.S. Tax Benefits Cost per kWh of Solar Production?" by Michael Mendelsohn.
RenewableEnergyWorld.com highlighted NREL report The Technical Qualifications for Treating Photovoltaic Assets as Real Property by Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) in their recent article "Solar REITs: A Better Way to Invest in Solar."
NREL presented The Renewable Electricity Futures Study (REF) during the California Energy Commission Webinar, the 5th International Environmentally Friendly Vehicle Conference, and the Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group Fall Technical Workshop. Since NREL released the report in June, REF has been mentioned nearly 400 times in the news and continues to be one of the most sought after items on NREL.gov, and the REF Web page has received more than 73,000 hits.
Fierce Energy quoted Douglas Arent in their article "Building a Smarter Renewable Energy Future."
Michael Mendelsohn presented on "Expanding Renewable Energy Thru Securitization" at switch~.
Through August 2012, there were 23,118 hits on the Journal of Industrial Ecology (JIE) website for the special issue titled "Meta-Analysis of Life Cycle Assessments," which included eight NREL papers. Full-text versions of the articles in the issue were accessed 17,154 times. The LCA harmonization OpenEI application received 2,481 unique visits from May through October 2012, making it the fifth most popular on OpenEI.
NREL Report: Improved Offshore Wind Resource Assessment in Global Climate Stabilization Scenarios
Authors: Douglas Arent, NREL, Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis; Patrick Sullivan, Donna Heimiller, Anthony Lopez, and Kelly Eurek, NREL; Jake Badger, Hans Ejsing Jørgensen, and Mark Kelly, DTU Wind Energy; and Leon Clarke and Patrick Luckow, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
This paper introduces a technique for digesting geospatial wind-speed data into areally defined—country-level, in this case—wind resource supply curves.
NREL Report: Potential Role of Concentrating Solar Power in Enabling High Renewables Scenarios in the United States
Authors: Paul Denholm, Maureen Hand, Trieu Mai, Robert Margolis, Greg Brinkman, Easan Drury, Matthew Mowers, and Craig Turchi, NREL
This work describes the analysis of concentrating solar power (CSP) in two studies—The SunShot Vision Study and the Renewable Electricity Futures Study—and the potential role of CSP in a future energy mix.
Conference Paper: Life Cycle Environmental Impacts Resulting from the Manufacture of the Heliostat Field for a Reference Power Tower Design in the United States: Preprint
Authors: Garvin Heath, John Burkhardt, and Craig Turchi, NREL
This paper contributes to a thorough LCA of a 100 MWnet molten salt power tower CSP plant by estimating the environmental impacts resulting from the manufacture of heliostats. Three life cycle metrics are evaluated: greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, and cumulative energy demand.
NREL Report: Strategic Sequencing for State Distributed PV Policies: A Quantitative Analysis of Policy Impacts and Interactions
Authors: Vitaliy Krasko and Elizabeth Doris, NREL
This report analyzes the use of state policy as a tool to support the development of a robust private investment market for distributed generation solar PV. The goal of the analysis is to identify strategies for policy implementation order that will attract the investment capital of private industry for developing markets.
NREL Report: Wind Power Opportunities in St. Thomas, USVI: A Site-Specific Evaluation and Analysis
Authors: Eric Lantz, Adam Warren, Joseph Owen Roberts, and Vahan Gevorgian, NREL
This report utilizes a development framework originated by NREL and known by the acronym SROPTTC to assist the U.S. Virgin Islands in identifying and understanding concrete opportunities for wind power development in the territory.
Fact Sheet: The Western Wind and Solar Integration Study
Authors: Debra Lew, NREL
This study examines the operational impact of up to 35% penetration of wind, PV, and CSP energy on the electric power system. The goal is to understand the effects of and investigate mitigation options for the variability and uncertainty of wind and solar.
NREL Report: Residential Solar Photovoltaics: Comparison of Financing Benefits, Innovations, and Options
Author: Bethany Speer, NREL
This report examines relatively new, innovative financing methods for residential PV and compares them to traditional self-financing. It provides policymakers with an overview of the residential PV financing mechanisms, describes relative advantages and challenges, and analyzes differences between them where data is available.
Presentation: Supply Chain Dynamics of Tellurium (Te), Indium (In), and Gallium (Ga) Within the Context of PV Module Manufacturing Costs
Authors: Michael Woodhouse, Alan Goodrich, Ted James, and Robert Margolis, NREL; Rod Eggert and Martin Lokanc, Colorado School of Mines
This presentation shows analysis that discusses the cost models and supply chains of various PV technologies.
For the latest updates on information regarding energy analysis, visit the Energy Analysis website.