News Center

Berkeley Lab Awarded $8 Million for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research

With commitments from leading car manufacturers to hydrogen technologies and the first ever fuel cell electric vehicle to go on sale later this year, interest is once again swelling in this carbon-free technology. Now, Berkeley Lab has been awarded $8 million for two new multi-lab research projects, one to find new materials for hydrogen storage, led by Jeff Urban, and another for optimizing fuel-cell performance and durability, led by Adam Weber.

Cyclotron Road Leads Energy Entrepreneurs Across the Innovation Gap

With support from the U.S. Department of Energy, Cyclotron Road, a new technology-to-market program launched by Berkeley Lab last year, is now entering its second year and seeking applications for a second cohort of scientist-entrepreneurs. The six Cyclotron Road teams in the first cohort have so far brought in more than $2 million in new funding from government grants and private investors.

Price of Solar Energy in the United States Has Fallen to 5¢/kWh on Average

Solar energy pricing is at an all-time low, according to a new report released by Berkeley Lab. Driven by lower installed costs, improved project performance, and a race to build projects ahead of a reduction in a key federal incentive, utility-scale solar project developers have been negotiating power sales agreements with utilities at prices averaging just 5¢/kWh.

Made from Solar Concentrate

A team of scientists with Berkeley Lab and the University of Illinois created solar cells that collect higher energy photons at 30 times the concentration of conventional solar cells, the highest luminescent concentration factor ever recorded.

Soaking Up Carbon Dioxide and Turning it into Valuable Products

Berkeley Lab researchers have incorporated molecules of porphyrin CO2 catalysts into the sponge-like crystals of covalent organic frameworks (COFs) to create a molecular system that not only absorbs CO2, but also selectively reduces it to CO, a primary building block for a wide range of chemical products.

Another Milestone in Hybrid Artificial Photosynthesis

Berkeley Lab researchers using a bioinorganic hybrid approach to artificial photosynthesis have combined semiconducting nanowires with select microbes to create a system that produces renewable molecular hydrogen and uses it to synthesize carbon dioxide into methane, the primary constituent of natural gas.

At the American Chemical Society Meeting in Boston: Berkeley Lab’s Paul Alivisatos and Noah Bronstein Discuss Nanoparticles and Solar Energy Applications

At the ACS Meeting in Boston, Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos discussed quantum dots and next generation luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs).

U.S. Distributed Solar Prices Fell 10 to 20 Percent in 2014, with Trends Continuing into 2015

The installed price of distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the United States continues to fall precipitously. This is according to the latest edition of Tracking the Sun, an annual PV cost tracking report produced by Berkeley Lab.

Study Finds that the Price of Wind Energy in the United States is at an All-time Low, Averaging under 2.5¢/kWh

Wind energy pricing is at an all-time low, according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Energy and prepared by Berkeley Lab. The prices offered by wind projects to utility purchasers averaged under 2.5¢/kWh for projects negotiating contracts in 2014, spurring demand for wind energy.

Unlocking the Rice Immune System

JBEI, UC Davis and Berkeley Lab researchers have identified a bacterial signaling molecule that triggers an immunity response in rice plants, enabling the plants to resist a devastating blight disease. Rice is not only a staple food, it is the model for grass-type advanced biofuels.