September 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.
NREL Proposes Framework to Support Exchange of Knowledge on Low Emission Development Strategies
NREL Report: International Experiences and Frameworks to Support Country-Driven Low-Emissions Development
Authors: Ron Benioff, Jaquelin Cochran, and Sadie Cox, NREL
NREL supports several multilateral initiatives designed to increase use of renewable energy and energy efficiency to support economic development while addressing such global challenges as climate change and energy security. Our portfolio includes several projects in the field of low emission development strategies (LEDS). LEDS allow countries to advance sustainable development, promote private-sector growth, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In a recent report, NREL proposes a framework—or support infrastructure—to enable the efficient exchange of LEDS-related knowledge and technical assistance via coordinating forums, "knowledge platforms," and networks of experts and investors. According to the report, integrated investment in all elements of the framework increases the efficacy of support for country-driven LEDS.
Estimating Renewable Energy Costs Using CREST
The Cost of Renewable Energy Spreadsheet Tool (CREST), an economic cash-flow model, enables state policymakers, regulators, utilities, beginning developers or investors, and other stakeholders to assess the economics of renewable energy projects and evaluate the impact of tax incentives or other support structures. Developed by a partnership between NREL, DOE's Solar Energy Technologies Program, DOE's Geothermal Technologies Program, and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissions, CREST covers solar (PV and solar thermal), wind, and geothermal technologies.
The Excel-based CREST models allow users to:
- Estimate the year-one cost of energy (COE) and levelized cost of energy (LCOE) from a range of solar, wind, and geothermal electricity generation projects
- Inform the process of setting cost-based incentive rates
- Gain understanding of the economic drivers of renewable energy projects
- Understand the relative economics of generation projects with differing characteristics, such as project size, resource quality, location, or ownership.
Download CREST or learn more at https://financere.nrel.gov/finance/content/crest-cost-energy-models.
CREST was used in recent NREL report Geothermal FIT Design: International Experience and U.S. Considerations.
NREL to Present Webinar on Geothermal FIT Design
NREL will hold a webinar to discuss research, analysis, and results from a new report: Geothermal FIT Design: International Experience and U.S. Considerations. The presentation will explore specifics on how feed-in tariff (FIT) policies can be designed to address certain risks of geothermal power plant development.
Date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Time: 1–2 p.m. ET (10–11 a.m. PT)
Registration link: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/940679710
NREL Analysis and Analysts in the News
SEAC's Rachel Gelman and Jeffrey Logan provided DOE with documentation showing that renewable electricity generation had doubled between 2008 and early 2012, meeting a stated administration goal. This statistic was referenced by former President Clinton in his speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Sarah Busche led a webinar that was featured in SNL article "Small-Scale Community Renewables Projects Face Financing Hurdles." This webinar was the second in the Community Renewable Energy Deployment webinar series. The 368 attendees represented 48 U.S. states, the territory of Puerto Rico, and 5 additional countries.
Windpower Engineering & Development posted an article titled "Lab Releases Report on Past and Future Costs of Wind Energy" about NREL report The Past and Future Cost of Wind Energy.
Several publications highlighted NREL's U.S. Renewable Energy Technical Potentials: A GIS-Based Analysis: R&D Magazine; Electric Light & Power; Clean Edge; boston.com; North American Windpower; ScienceDaily; SustainableBusiness.com; and Climate Progress. CleanEnergyAuthority.com quoted Anthony Lopez, the report's lead author.
The Union of Concerned Scientists; Earth Techling; SNL; and Windpower Engineering & Development featured the Renewable Electricity Futures Study. In addition, Maureen Hand and Trieu Mai have presented the study findings at a Union of Concerned Scientists webinar, the RE-AMP 2012 Annual Meeting, a Power Systems Engineering Research Center webinar, a Wind Powering America webinar, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group meeting, and the Energy Foundation meeting.
RenewableEnergyWorld.com reposted the following NREL blogs: "Document Standardization: It's Not Just for Pencil Pushers Anymore" and "Should Renewable Energy Be Afraid of Basel III Banking Standards?" by Travis Lowder and "Community Development Finance Institutes: Providing Clean Energy Capital" by Bethany Speer.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review quoted Douglas Arent in "5 Myths about the Marcellus and Natural Gas Industry."
The Clean Energy Solutions Center features a blog by Morgan Bazilian on the potential of open source software and crowdsourcing for the energy analysis field.
NREL Report: A Tool to Prioritize Energy Efficiency Investments
Authors: Philip Farese, Rachel Gelman, and Robert Hendron, NREL
To provide analytic support of DOE's Office of the Building Technology Program (BTP), NREL developed a Microsoft Excel-based tool to provide an open and objective comparison of the hundreds of investment opportunities available to BTP—this tool uses established methodologies to evaluate the energy savings and cost of those savings.
Journal Article: Technology: How to Build a Low-Energy Future
Author: Philip Farese, NREL
This commentary in the journal Nature, based on the NREL report A Tool to Prioritize Energy Efficiency Investments, argues that cost-effective technologies available now could reduce energy use in buildings by up to 30% by 2030, which is in line with other findings.
Presentation: U.S. Electric Power Futures: Preliminary Results
Authors: Anthony Lopez, Jeffrey Logan, and Trieu Mai, NREL
This presentation shows key findings of an effort to simulate the evolution of the U.S. power sector under a number of policy and technology scenarios using the Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) Model.
NREL Report: Geothermal FIT Design: International Experience and U.S. Considerations
Authors: Wilson Rickerson, Meister Consultants Group; Jason Gifford and Robert Grace, Sustainable Energy Advantage, LLC; and Karlynn Cory, NREL
Drawing on international experience, this paper explores the potential efficacy of feed-in tariffs as a tool for reducing risks associated with geothermal plant development in the United States.
For the latest updates on information regarding energy analysis, visit the Energy Analysis website.