August 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.
- NREL's international activities support energy security and other key objectives
- JEDI estimates economic impacts of RE projects in feasibility studies
- NREL analysis and analysts in the news
- Recent publications.
NREL's International Activities Support Energy Security and Other Key Objectives
NREL's analysts engage in clean energy initiatives around the world to support three key international strategic objectives: economic development, energy security, and environmental protection at home and abroad.
NREL collaborates with technical institutions and governments to strengthen clean energy markets by conducting resource and technology assessments, sharing policy best practices, fostering business and investment partnerships, and building capacity through training and technical support. Recent activities include two major papers published by the International Energy Association-Renewable Energy Technology Deployment (IEA-RETD).
RE-ASSUME: A Decision Maker's Guide to Evaluating Energy Scenarios, Modeling, and Assumptions, by Trieu Mai, Jeffrey Logan, Nate Blair, and Patrick Sullivan of NREL and Morgan Bazilian of JISEA, attempts to better equip those who commission energy scenarios and those who directly use such scenarios to make decisions. The paper highlights assumptions and methodological issues of energy scenarios that need to be critically considered when deriving policy conclusions.
RES-E-NEXT: Next Generation of RES-E Policy Instruments, by Mackay Miller, Lori Bird, Jaquelin Cochran, Michael Milligan, and Morgan Bazilian of NREL and authors from Ecar Limited and DIW Berlin, assesses key considerations for the next generation of policy to support renewable sources of electricity (RES-E). The paper analyzes renewable generation, grid infrastructure, and short-term and long-term security of supply.
In another international activity, NREL updated its solar resource maps for India. The new maps incorporate updated 10-km hourly solar resource data developed using weather satellite measurements combined with site-time specific solar modeling. Additionally, the new maps cover 2002-2011 and include enhanced aerosols information to improve estimates of direct normal irradiance.
NREL updated solar resource maps for India with solar resource data developed using weather satellite measurements.
JEDI Estimates Economic Impacts of RE Projects in Feasibility Studies
NREL's Jobs and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) models estimate the economic impacts of constructing and operating power generation and biofuel plants at the local and state levels. First developed by NREL's Wind Powering America program to model wind energy impacts, JEDI has been expanded to analyze biofuels, coal, concentrating solar power, geothermal, marine and hydrokinetic power, natural gas, and photovoltaic (PV) power plants. The Excel-based JEDI models are freely available on NREL.gov. JEDI PV is available in a Web-based model.
JEDI analysis is utilized in the RE-Powering America's Land reports, including Feasibility Study of Economics and Performance of Solar Photovoltaics at the Santo Domingo Pueblo in Sandoval County, New Mexico by Jesse Geiger, Lars Lisell, and Gail Mosey. 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. Gail Mosey is project lead for this series of studies.
NREL recently published a JEDI reference guide titled Jobs and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) Model: Offshore Wind User Reference Guide by Eric Lantz and David Keyser of NREL and Marshall Goldberg of MRG and Associates.
JEDI PV is available as a Web-based model and is accessed at jedi.nrel.gov.
NREL Analysis and Analysts in the News
Science Direct listed "Interactions, Complementarities and Tensions at the Nexus of Natural Gas and Renewable Energy" by April Lee, Owen Zinaman, Jeffrey Logan, Morgan Bazilian, Douglas Arent, and Robin L. Newmark as #1 in the "Top 25 Hottest Articles" in The Electricity Journal during early 2013. Morgan Bazilian was also an author on the #4 article, "Improving Access to Modern Energy Services: Insights from Case Studies."
"We installed more (wind power) than the Chinese did last year, and a very large supply-chain infrastructure has now emerged in the U.S. to support that kind of manufacturing and deployment."
— Jeffrey Logan, NREL Senior Analyst, as quoted in MSN Money, "Alternative Energy Keeps Flowing in a Cheap-Fuel World."
SolarServer discusses how NREL's System Advisor Model (SAM) was adapted to meet Australia's needs in its article "Calculating the Prospects of Solar Thermal: Australian Government Launches New Tools to Assess CSP Potential."
CleanTechnica mentions NREL solar estimates in their recent article, which cites the Cost of Renewable Energy Spreadsheet Tool (CREST) and Analysis of Concentrating Solar Power with Thermal Energy Storage in a California 33% Renewable Scenario by Paul Denholm, Yih-Huei Wan, Marissa Hummon, and Mark Mehos.
The Global Green Growth Institute invited Douglas Arent, JISEA executive director, to speak at the Global Green Growth Summit 2013, which was held on June 10–11, 2013, in the Republic of Korea. More than 600 people from 55 countries attended the summit, which focused on the nexus between finance, innovation, and policy.
Journal Article: The Energy-Water-Food Nexus Through the Lens of Algal Systems
Authors: Morgan Bazilian and Douglas Arent, JISEA; Ryan Davis and Philip T. Pienkos, NREL
This article, to be published in the August issue of Industrial Biotechnology and available now online, uses algal bioresources as a lens through which to consider aspects of the policy nexus between energy, water, and food.
NREL Report: CREST: Cost of Renewable Energy Spreadsheet Tool: A Model for Developing Cost-Based Incentives in the United States; User Manual Version 4
Authors: Jason S. Gifford and Robert C. Grace, Sustainable Energy Advantage, LLC
Technical Monitor: Karlynn Cory, NREL
This updated user manual will walk the reader through the spreadsheet tool, including its layout and conventions, offering context on how and why it was created. The manual now reflects all represented technologies: solar, wind, geothermal, anaerobic digester (AD), and fuel cells.
NREL Report: Energy Savings and Breakeven Cost for Residential Heat Pump Water Heaters in the United States
Authors: Jeff Maguire, Jay Burch, Tim Merrigan, and Sean Ong, NREL
Heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) have recently reemerged in the U.S. residential water heating market and have the potential to provide homeowners with significant energy savings. To help answer questions as to the actual performance and energy savings potential of these units, simulations were performed of a HPWH at over 900 locations across the continental United States and Hawaii.
Fact Sheet: The Energy DataBus
Author: Kevin Eber, NREL
This fact sheet describes NREL's Energy DataBus, an open-source software program that collects energy data at second-to-second intervals from meters and sensors across NREL's campus and allows in-depth analysis of this data through innovative visualization tools.
For the latest updates on information regarding energy analysis, visit the Energy Analysis website.