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On the way to Multiband Solar Cells

Schematic of electron/hole transfer within intermediate band solar cell with GaNAs alloy as the light absorber.

Berkeley Lab researchers have developed an intermediate band solar cell that opens the door to high-efficiency solar cells and multicolor light emitters.

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

Solar report cover

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

Bathing the Earth with enough energy in one hour to meet human needs for an entire year, the sun represents the ultimate source of clean, green sustainable energy.

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

Structural model showing a covalent organic framework (COF)  embedded with a cobalt porphyrin.

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

Peidong Yang CJC Bioinorganic Solar to Chemical Text

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

LSC image

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.

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.

Orange is the New Red

Corie Ralston and Cheryl Kerfield feature image

Berkeley Lab researchers discovered that a photoprotective mechanism in cyanobacteria is triggered by an unprecedented, large-scale movement from one location to another of the carotenoid pigment within the Orange Carotenoid Protein.

The Future of Energy Looks Bright at Berkeley Lab

Chu Hall, Berkeley Lab

The Solar Energy Research Center (SERC), renamed to Chu Hall, opened today at Berkeley Lab. It will house laboratories and offices devoted to photovoltaic and electro-chemical solar energy systems designed to improve on what plants do and make transportation fuels. The building houses the lab’s programs in the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) and the Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute . The three-story, nearly 40,000 square-foot, building cost $59 million will house approximately 100 researchers and was named after former Berkeley Lab Director Steven Chu, who went on to become U.S. Energy Secretary.