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Energy Analysis News

Oct. 6, 2021

Industry Proves To Be a Promising Prospect for Future Grid Flexibility

New study by the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis finds industrial manufacturing could profitably help stabilize the grid with large-scale batteries.

Sept. 27, 2021

Charged With Curiosity, Geospatial Data Scientist Anthony Lopez Solves Real-World Questions with Computational Models

The NREL star thought he had no potential growing up. Today, he is leading research on how land use constraints factor into realizing wind energy's full potential.

Sept. 16, 2021

Profitable, Clean, and Efficient Farming Starts With Renewable Energy Sources, Sustainably Produced Biofuels

The Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis studied sustainable energy generation and consumption in Colorado farms and agricultural production facilities.

Sept. 15, 2021

To Toss, Repair, or Recycle? How Human Behavior Affects the Fate of Aging Solar Panels

By 2050, there could be 80 million metric tons globally of solar photovoltaics (PV) reaching the end of their lifetime, with 10 million metric tons in the United States alone—or the weight of 30 Empire State Buildings.

Aug. 30, 2021

NREL Study Shows a Bright Future for Energy Storage in South Asia

NREL performed a first-of-its-kind assessment of opportunities for grid-scale energy storage in South Asia over the next three decades.

Aug. 26, 2021

Annual Technology Baseline Provides Updated Foundational Solar Model Input Data for Electric Grid Studies

One of the challenges of aggregating solar energy data from different sources into studies is knowing whether the data uses consistent assumptions. The Annual Technology Baseline (ATB) resolves this challenge by creating consistent assumptions for all electric generation technologies cost and performance data, including solar.

Aug. 12, 2021

NREL's International Programs Overcome Travel Restrictions To Provide Global Trainings

While COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Prevent NREL Researchers From Hosting In-Person Trainings, Virtual Solutions Are Creating Opportunities To Build Partnerships at a Distance

Aug. 5, 2021

Closing the Gap in Inventories for Emissions From U.S. Oil and Natural Gas Production

NREL's partner institution, the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis, and research partners developed a new approach to more accurately estimate emissions from oil and natural gas production.

July 29, 2021

Liz Weber, Rising Star in Clean Energy Project Management, Leads High-Impact Projects

JISEA program manager Liz Weber knew in 2010 she was ready to become an environmental leader. She did not know she would become a leading project manager within the U.S. Department of Energy complex.

July 27, 2021

Lower Battery Costs, High Value of Backup Power Drive Distributed Storage Deployment

There is economic potential for 490 gigawatts per hour of behind-the-meter battery storage in the United States by 2050, or 300 times today's installed capacity. But only a small fraction could be adopted by customers, according to the latest phase of NREL's Storage Futures Study.

July 20, 2021

NREL Open-Source Modeling Approach Cracks the Code of Simulating Low-Inertia Power Systems

The United States has 37 gigawatts (GW) of utility-scale solar capacity--enough to power over 4,070,000,000 LED lights--with an impressive additional 112 GW of capacity currently under development.

July 15, 2021

News Release: Analysis Shows Enzyme-Based Plastics Recycling Is More Energy Efficient, Better for Environment

Researchers in the BOTTLE Consortium, including from NREL and the University of Portsmouth, have identified using enzymes as a more sustainable approach for recycling polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a common plastic in single-use beverage bottles, clothing, and food packaging.

July 12, 2021

2021 Annual Technology Baseline Adds Technologies, New Data Features To Support High-Impact Energy Analysis

The 2021 Annual Technology Baseline offers new and improved electricity-generation technology cost and performance data to inform high-impact U.S. electricity-sector analysis.

July 1, 2021

News Release: What To Do With Food Waste? Well, That Depends

The expected decline in the number of landfills across the United States coupled with bans on disposing large amounts of organic waste in landfills that have been enacted in multiple states has prompted researchers at NREL to examine other ways to grapple with the issue of food waste disposal.

June 29, 2021

NREL Follows Up Groundbreaking LA100 Study With New Equity Strategies Initiative

Partnership with Los Angeles Department of Water and Power continues with stakeholder-driven effort to ensure equitable transition to 100% renewable energy for Los Angeles.

June 28, 2021

NREL Finds Keeping Renewables at Today's Levels—or Limiting Their Growth—Results in Higher U.S. Power System Costs

Simulations show nonlinear relationship between renewable contribution and costs—and that the U.S. can get to 80+% renewables at the same cost as keeping the system at today’s 20%.

June 24, 2021

North American Renewable Integration Study Highlights Opportunities for a Coordinated, Continental Low-Carbon Grid

Multiyear analysis shows that increasing electricity trade between countries and expanding interregional transmission can support a reliable future power system.

June 17, 2021

Are Hybrid Systems Truly the Future of the Grid? NREL's Magic 8-Ball Says: "Concentrate and Ask Again."

Recent analyses suggest a need for coordinated dialogue and consistent modeling to understand the value of hybrid renewable energy systems.

June 16, 2021

The Challenge of the Last Few Percent: Quantifying the Costs and Emissions Benefits of a 100% Renewable U.S. Electricity System

Large-scale simulations by NREL researchers show that the U.S. can get close to 100% renewable generation cost-effectively—but the final few percent drive a nonlinear increase in total system cost.

June 1, 2021

Grid-Scale U.S. Storage Capacity Could Grow Five-Fold by 2050

The latest report in NREL's multiyear Storage Futures Study finds reaching full market potential of diurnal grid-scale energy storage hinges on system flexibility and solar photovoltaics penetration.

May 25, 2021

Flexible Loads and Renewable Energy Work Together in a Highly Electrified Future

The multiyear Electrification Futures Study concludes with first-of-its-kind national-scale modeling of power systems with widespread electrification, demand-side flexibility, and high renewable energy.

May 19, 2021

What We Know—and Do Not Know—About Achieving a National-Scale 100% Renewable Electric Grid

Published in the journal Joule, "The Challenges of Achieving a 100% Renewable Electricity System in the United States" offers important insights into the technical and economic challenges that would need to be overcome to achieve 100% renewable electric power across the United States.

May 13, 2021

NREL's Partner Institution, the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis, Launches Catalyzers Initiative

The JISEA Catalyzers initiative will incubate research capabilities for 1–2 years before being launched into a new NREL-led program.

May 4, 2021

News Release: NREL Announces Plans To Collaborate With UL Toward Commercialization of SolarAPP+ Automated Permitting Tool

NREL today announced a new initial memorandum of understanding with the global company UL to work toward further developing and commercializing the Solar Automated Permit Processing Plus (SolarAPP+) software that will automate the permitting process for residential solar systems.

April 29, 2021

LA Is Prioritizing Environmental Justice on Path to 100% Renewables: Q&A with LA100 Study Lead Jaquelin Cochran

Prioritizing environmental justice was a crucial component of the recently released Los Angeles 100% Renewable Energy Study (LA100).

April 28, 2021

The Curtailment Paradox in a High Solar Future

A new NREL study uncovers counterintuitive relationship between flexibility options and curtailment in power systems with high solar penetration.

April 21, 2021

Eleven Communities to Chart Paths to a More Resilient and Equitable Energy Future

NREL will bring cross-cutting technical assistance to remote and island communities seeking resilient energy solutions as part of the DOE-funded, multi-lab, multi-partner Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP).

April 21, 2021

News Release: New Consortium of Power System Operators and Technical Institutes Commits to Decarbonization Efforts Ahead of President Biden's Leaders' Climate Summit

Global effort announced by the U.S. secretary of energy, U.K. BEIS Department secretary of state, and CEOs of power system operators and organizations from around the world focuses on research, innovation, knowledge exchange, and technical assistance to achieve net-zero-emissions power systems.

April 2, 2021

What It Takes To Realize a Circular Economy for Solar Photovoltaic System Materials

In a series of three reports, NREL analysts examine options and opportunities to repair, reuse, or recycle solar photovoltaic system materials, moving toward a circular economy.

March 26, 2021

Giving Kids the Building Blocks To Envision a Solar Future

As part of NREL's InSPIRE Project, NREL senior analyst Jordan Macknick helped dream up a LEGO solar farm design to educate about energy, water, and food.

March 24, 2021

Pioneering NREL Analysis Empowers Los Angeles in Its Pursuit of 100% Renewables

Results from the Los Angeles 100% Renewable Energy Study (LA100) show meeting LA's goal of reliable, 100% renewable electricity by 2045—or even 2035—is achievable and will entail rapid deployment of wind, solar, and storage technologies. The study paves the way for other jurisdictions to reach their own clean energy goals, equitably and economically.

March 24, 2021

News Release: Groundbreaking NREL Analysis Points to No-Regrets Pathways to Meet LA's Ambitious Clean Energy Goals

Unprecedented in scale and the first of its kind—the Los Angeles 100% Renewable Energy Study (LA100) provides insights into how the city can meet its clean energy targets. LADWP, the largest municipal utility in the country, currently generates more than half of its electricity from renewable and zero-carbon resources.

March 16, 2021

Samantha Reese: Connecting Science to Industry with Supply Chain Analysis

As a JISEA/NREL clean energy manufacturing analyst, Samantha Reese puts early-stage research problems in context of techno-economic tradeoffs and technology potential because "no matter how awesome a technology is, it won't be adopted if it's not cost competitive."

March 10, 2021

Beyond Technical Potential: NREL Explores the Challenges of Siting Wind in a Low-Carbon Future

Achieving decarbonization goals—including the Biden administration's climate and energy plan—will require rapid and sustained deployment of wind and solar power.

Feb. 25, 2021

Pathways To Achieve New Circular Vision for Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are increasingly in demand for energy storage and use in electric vehicles—needs that are projected to grow further with expected technological innovations and declining costs.

Feb. 12, 2021

CEMAC/JISEA Releases Global Clean Energy Manufacturing Data and Insights

The latest Benchmarks of Global Clean Energy Manufacturing report assesses market characteristics, global trade flows, and manufacturing value added for four clean energy technologies to support deeper insights into balance of trade effects on upstream materials.

Feb. 11, 2021

NREL's dGen Analysts Team Up With Orlando Utilities Commission To Forecast Household Solar Adoption

NREL analysts tailor the Distributed Generation Market Demand model for Orlando energy planners, simulating individual household rooftop solar photovoltaic adoption potential through 2050—the highest-resolution projections for Orlando to date.

Feb. 10, 2021

Documenting a Decade of Cost Declines for PV Systems

NREL marks ongoing cost reductions for installed photovoltaic (PV) systems, while also establishing benchmark of PV-plus-storage systems.

Feb. 8, 2021

REopt Lite Adds a Fresh Dimension: Combined Heat and Power

In its latest release, the REopt Lite team, which includes NREL and partners at Colorado School of Mines and Clean Energy Group, has added combined heat and power, expanding the model's scope beyond electric-only strategies to include a new universe of thermal energy opportunities.

Feb. 3, 2021

NREL's Bryan Pivovar and Mark Ruth Recognized by DOE for Excellence in Integrated Energy Systems Research

Researchers analyzed commercial electricity generator with high-temperature steam electrolysis technology, advancing H2@Scale initiative.

Jan. 29, 2021

Reliability Analysis of the U.S. West Reviews Barriers to a Renewable Future

As part of a multistate collaboration, NREL has modeled and assessed long-term reliability and integration impacts of solar PV growth in the western United States, with broader lessons for power grids and renewable policies.

Jan. 26, 2021

NREL Launches Storage Futures Study with Visionary Framework for Dramatic Increase in Deployment

The first report in the study outlines four phases of utility-scale energy storage deployment, providing a potential roadmap to 100+ gigawatts of installed capacity in the United States.

Jan. 22, 2021

Zeroing in on the Potential of Solar Energy To Meet Industrial Process Heat Demand

Today, natural gas and coal combustion supply most demand for industrial process heat (IPH), or the transfer of heat to a material within a production process. With the emergence of low-cost solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies, interest has grown in solar as an IPH option and decarbonization pathway for the industrial sector.

Jan. 21, 2021

News Release: NREL Reports Sustainability Benchmarks for Plastics Recycling and Redesign

Researchers developing renewable plastics and exploring new processes for plastics upcycling and recycling technologies will now be able to easily baseline their efforts to current manufacturing practices to understand if their efforts will save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Jan. 12, 2021

Latest Electrification Futures Study Report Explores How U.S. Power System Could Evolve With Widespread Electrification

The fifth report in the multiyear analysis reveals how widespread electrification could impact energy sector infrastructure investments, fuel use, system costs, and emissions.


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