April 2013 Newsletter
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) aims to provide credible, objective data and insights that inform policy and investment decisions as energy efficient and renewable energy technologies advance from concept to commercial application. NREL analysis encompasses a broad range of scientific research and reporting activity in support of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), NREL programs and initiatives, and the analysis community.
- Transportation study highlights potential for deep cuts in petroleum use and emissions
- CREST now assesses anaerobic digestion
- NREL analysis and analysts in the news
- Recent publications.
Transportation Study Highlights Potential for Deep Cuts in Petroleum Use and Emissions
Transportation accounts for 71% of total U.S. petroleum consumption and 33% of total greenhouse gas emissions. The Transportation Energy Futures (TEF) project, led by NREL for EERE, identifies opportunities for deep reductions in transportation-related petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
TEF findings spotlight strategies involving light-duty vehicles, freight, fuels, and transportation demand. By targeting areas not covered in previous analyses, TEF presents a more comprehensive view of the issues and potential solutions. The findings are detailed in a series of nine reports.
The Environmental and Energy Studies Institute (EESI) and EERE held a briefing on the conclusions of the TEF study.
CREST Now Assesses Anaerobic Digestion
Anaerobic digester. Photo by Mike Linenberger, NREL 03679
NREL recently updated the Cost of Renewable Energy Spreadsheet Tool (CREST)—an economic cash flow model designed to help policymakers, regulators, and the renewable energy community assess project economics, design cost-based incentives, and evaluate the impact of various state and federal support structures—to assess anaerobic digestion projects. Anaerobic digestion represents a technological advancement in the use of organic waste materials to produce energy.
CREST is a suite of four analytic tools—solar [photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal], wind, geothermal, and anaerobic digestion technologies.
Michael Mendelsohn led a recent NREL-hosted webinar on the anaerobic digestion CREST model. See the CREST web page for the recording and presentation slides.
Biomass Magazine highlighted the tool in a recent article.
NREL Analysis and Analysts in the News
The Utility Variable Integration Group (UVIG) awarded Sam Baldwin (EERE), Maureen Hand, and Trieu Mai a 2013 Achievement Award for their work on the Renewable Electricity Futures Study. "For groundbreaking contributions in the examination of electric power system operation with very high shares of wind, solar and other renewable power options through the Renewable Electricity Futures (REF) study." This award reflects the work of the entire RE Futures team, including more than 110 people from 35 organizations.
RenewableEnergyWorld.com, Innovations Report, Environmental Research Web, North American Clean Energy, and Biomass Magazine highlighted NREL's new biomass analysis tool, High-Throughput Analytical Pyrolysis tool (HTAP), in their recent articles.
MSW Management and The Waste Business Journal published articles about Best Practices for Siting Solar Photovoltaics on Municipal Solid Waste Landfills, a recent report written for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the RE-Powering America's Land series. Gail Mosey leads NREL's support for this EPA initiative.
In November 2012, NREL convened the Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC) working group with the mission of enabling securitization of solar PV assets and associated cash flows in the marketplace—SAPC includes roughly 40 members representing organizations in the fields of solar deployment, finance, counsel, and analysis. Clean Energy Authority and Greentech Media posted articles about SAPC. Both articles discuss an NREL report.
Chapter 6 of 2013 Economic Report of the President references the JISEA report Natural Gas and the Transformation of the U.S. Energy Sector: Electricity.
The Renewable Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) model now includes representation of the grid-connected power system in Canada. Integrated Canada-U.S. Power Sector Modeling with the Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) presents example scenario and demonstrates capabilities of the Canada-U.S. version of ReEDS. ReEDS is unique among long-term capacity expansion models for its high spatial resolution and statistical treatment of the impact of variable renewable generation on capacity planning and dispatch.
RenewableEnergyWorld.com reposted an NREL blog by Paul Schwabe titled "Green Cards for Green Watts."
Sadie Cox and Caroline Uriarte led the design and delivery of the LEDS Global Partnership (LEDS GP) second annual workshop in Pattaya, Thailand. The 3-day workshop allowed 180 government officials, international organizations, and practitioners to exchange lessons learned and best practices on LEDS planning processes, analysis and tools, finance, and more. The meeting resulted in new funding commitments for LEDS, including Inter-American Development Bank support for LEDS work in the Latin America and Caribbean regional.
NREL Report: Analysis of Concentrating Solar Power with Thermal Energy Storage in a California 33% Renewable Scenario
Authors: Paul Denholm, Yih-Huei Wan, Marissa Hummon, and Mark Mehos, NREL
This analysis evaluates concentrating solar power (CSP) with thermal energy storage against other renewable options as an alternative to fossil fuel generation in a scenario where California derives 33% of its electricity from renewable energy sources.
JISEA Report: Waste Not, Want Not: Analyzing the Economic and Environmental Viability of Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Technology for Site-Specific Optimization of Renewable Energy Options
Authors: Kip Funk, NREL; Jana Milford, University of Colorado at Boulder; and Travis Simpkins, NREL
This report, funded by the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis (JISEA), examines the viability of waste-to-energy technology as an energy source for Boulder, Colorado.
NREL Report: Economic Development from New Generation and Transmission in Wyoming and Colorado
Authors: David Keyser and Eric Lantz, NREL
This report analyzes the potential economic impacts in Colorado and Wyoming of a 225-MW natural-gas-fired electricity generation facility and a 900-MW wind farm constructed in Wyoming as well as a 180-mile, 345-kV transmission line between Wyoming and Colorado. A separate fact sheet summarizes the findings.
NREL Report: Breakeven Prices for Photovoltaics on Supermarkets in the United States
Authors: Sean Ong, Nathan Clark, Paul Denholm, and Robert Margolis, NREL
This study estimates current and future breakeven prices for PV systems installed on supermarkets in the United States. Key drivers of current and future commercial PV breakeven prices by region are also evaluated.
NREL Report: 2011 Cost of Wind Energy Review
Authors: Suzanne Tegen, Eric Lantz, Maureen Hand, Ben Maples, Aaron Smith, and Paul Schwabe, NREL
This report describes the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for a typical land-based wind project installed in the United States in 2011, as well as the modeled LCOE for a fixed-bottom offshore wind project proposed for installation in the United States in 2011.
RE-Powering America's Land Reports
EPA developed the RE-Powering America's Land initiative to encourage renewable energy development on current and formerly contaminated land and mine sites when such development is aligned with the community's vision for the site. With funding from EPA, NREL completed renewable energy feasibility studies for the selected sites. Gail Mosey is project lead for this series of studies.
- NREL Report: Feasibility Study of Economics and Performance of Solar Photovoltaics at the Tronox Facility in Savannah, Georgia
Authors: Kosol Kiatreungwattana, Jesse Geiger, Victoria Healey, and Gail Mosey, NREL
- NREL Report: Feasibility Study of Economics and Performance of a Hydroelectric Installation at the Jeddo Mine Drainage Tunnel
Authors: Joseph Owen Roberts and Gail Mosey, NREL
- NREL Report: Feasibility Study of Economics and Performance of Solar Photovoltaics at the Former Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Rail Yard Company Site in Perry, Iowa
Authors: James Salasovich, Jesse Geiger, Victoria Healey, and Gail Mosey, NREL
- NREL Report: Feasibility Study of Economics and Performance of Biomass Power Generation at the Former Farmland Industries Site in Lawrence, Kansas
Authors: Gregg Tomberlin and Gail Mosey, NREL
- NREL Report: Feasibility Study of Economics and Performance of Solar Photovoltaics at the Tower Road Site in Aurora, Colorado
Authors: Otto VanGeet and Gail Mosey, NREL
Brochure: JISEA 2013 Annual Report: The Transforming Energy Economy
Author: Scott Gossett, NREL
Potentially game-changing transformation is underway in the global energy economy. The changes inspire questions about the best use of our energy resources and the impact of today's decisions on the U.S. economy and the global geopolitical landscape. These are the types of questions JISEA was created to address. This annual report looks at JISEA's accomplishments and future work.
For the latest updates on information regarding energy analysis, visit the Energy Analysis website.