News Center

Innovative Report Series to Help Inform Decisions by Utility Regulators, Policymakers and Electric Industry

The electric industry in the U.S. is undergoing significant changes for a number of reasons, including new and improved technologies, changing customer desires, low load growth in many regions, and changes in federal and state policies and regulations. A new series of reports using a unique point-counterpoint approach will advance the discussion by examining issues related to electric industry regulation and utility business models.

Team of Appraisers Across Six States Find Home Buyers Will Pay Premium for Solar Homes

Photovoltaics added value to homes in six markets, according to a new report led by a Berkeley Lab researcher and a home appraisal expert. Seven appraisers from across six states determined the value that PV systems added to single-family homes.

Battery Mystery Solved: Atomic-Resolution Microscopy Answers Longstanding Questions About Lithium-Rich Cathode Material

Using complementary microscopy and spectroscopy techniques, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory say they have solved the structure of lithium- and manganese-rich transition metal oxides, a potentially game-changing battery material and the subject of intense debate in the decade since it was discovered.

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.

Berkeley Lab Releases Most Comprehensive Analysis of Electricity Reliability Trends

In the most comprehensive analysis of electricity reliability trends in the United States, researchers at Berkeley Lab and Stanford University have found that, while, on average, the frequency of power outages has not changed in recent years, the total number of minutes customers are without power each year has been increasing over time.

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.

Berkeley Lab Study Finds that Future Deployment of Distributed Solar Hinges on Electricity Rate Design

Future distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) deployment levels are highly sensitive to retail electricity rate design, according to a newly released report by researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The study also explores the feedback effects between retail electricity rates and PV deployment, and suggests that increased solar deployment can lead to changes in PV compensation levels that either accelerate or dampen further deployment.

Leaving on a Biofueled Jet Plane

Researchers at the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) have developed a catalytic process for converting sugarcane biomass into a new class of aviation fuel and lubricant base oils that could help biorefineries achieve net life-cycle greenhouse gas savings of up to 80-percent.

Using Microbial Communities to Assess Environmental Contamination

A study sponsored by ENIGMA, a DOE “Scientific Focus Area Program” based at Berkeley Lab has found that statistical analysis of DNA from natural microbial communities can be used to accurately identify environmental contaminants and serve as quantitative geochemical biosensors.

Berkeley Lab Researchers Receive DOE Early Career Research Awards

Two researchers at Berkeley Lab were on the list of 44 recipients announced today as recipients of the Early Career Research Program award managed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.