News Center

Interactive Map Reveals Rooftop Reflectance for Five California Cities

Berkeley Lab scientists use aerial imagery to create an interactive map that displays the solar reflectance (also known as albedo) of individual roofs in Bakersfield, Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose.

New Studies Find Significant Declines in Price of Rooftop and Utility-Scale Solar

The price of solar energy in the U.S. continues to fall substantially, according to the latest editions of two annual reports produced by Berkeley Lab. A third Berkeley Lab report, written in collaboration with researchers at Yale University, the University of Texas at Austin and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), shows that local permitting and other regulatory procedures can significantly impact residential photovoltaic (PV) prices.

Cool Roofs in China Can Save Energy and Reduce Emissions

Working with Chinese researchers, Berkeley Lab has conducted the first comprehensive study of cool roofs in China and concluded that they would be effective in substantially reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in climate zones with hot summers.

Department of Energy’s FLEXLAB Opens Testbeds to Drive Dramatic Increase in Building Efficiency

The world’s most advanced energy efficiency test bed for buildings is open for business, launched today by U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman. FLEXLAB is already signing up companies determined to reduce their energy use by testing and deploying the most energy efficient technologies as integrated systems under real-world conditions. The facility includes a rotating test bed to track and test sun exposure impacts, and other high-tech features.

Berkeley Lab Study Highlights Growing Energy Impact of Internet Video Streaming

How much CO2 was emitted when you streamed that movie from Netflix last night? It’s a question few people think about, but now researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have analyzed the energy usage of home movie viewing. They found that transmitting the bytes across the Internet accounts for the bulk of energy

Berkeley Lab-led Collaboration with China Speeds Development of Green Buildings

The U.S.–China Clean Energy Research Center Building Energy Efficiency Consortium (CERC-BEE), which launched three years ago has made steady progress toward the research and development of low-energy technologies for buildings, including patent applications and new product launches this year, about 100 articles published, and five demonstration projects in China that validate, fine-tune, and showcase everything from smart windows to advanced lighting controls to microgrids.

Berkeley Lab Launches Building Energy Performance Research Project at New FLEXLAB Testing Facility

The DOE’s David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, was on hand in Berkeley April 14 to tour FLEXLAB™, the Facility for Low Energy experiments in Buildings, run by Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division. Danielson and Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos also met with executives from construction firm Webcor. Webcor’s testing in FLEXLAB will allow its engineers to predict and improve the energy performance for a new building constructed for biotech company, Genentech. A building mockup for Genentech will be studied at different building orientations, specific to the actual construction site. As part of his visit to the Lab, Danielson also toured the Molecular Foundry.

Berkeley teams take energy innovation to ARPA-E Summit and Capitol Hill

Research from Berkeley Lab appeared on Capitol Hill recently to show off innovation in energy efficiency, including a backpack-mounted system for quickly mapping energy use throughout a building. That was but one project showcased at this year’s ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit, which also included speakers from Berkeley Lab.

Berkeley Lab Researcher Proposes Phones and Other Devices as Energy-Saving Tools

When is a phone not a phone? When it’s serving as an occupancy sensor for energy-saving purposes. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researcher Bruce Nordman had an idea several years ago to take advantage of existing devices in office buildings by using them for energy efficiency purposes. In the United States buildings are responsible

White, Green or Black Roofs? Berkeley Lab Report Compares Economic Payoffs

Looking strictly at the economic costs and benefits of three different roof types—black, white and “green” (or vegetated)—Berkeley Lab researchers have found in a new study that white roofs are the most cost-effective over a 50-year time span. While the high installation cost of green roofs sets them back in economic terms, their environmental and amenity benefits may at least partially mitigate their financial burden.