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Latest News

April 2017

Small Businesses to Collaborate with Berkeley Lab

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that 38 small businesses will collaborate with national lab researchers through the Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot, including four that will work with Berkeley Lab in the areas of bioenergy and advanced manufacturing.

The innovative SBV pilot facilitates access to the DOE national labs for U.S. small businesses, enabling them to tap into the intellectual and technical resources they need to overcome critical technology challenges for their advanced energy products and gain a global competitive advantage.

New Berkeley Lab Project Turns Waste Heat to Electricity

Vast amounts of energy are wasted every year in the form of heat. A new project led by the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab) seeks to efficiently capture that heat and convert it to electricity, potentially saving California up to $385 million per year.

With a $2-million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC), Berkeley Lab is partnering with Alphabet Energy to create a cost-effective thermoelectric waste heat recovery system to reduce both energy use in the industrial sector and electricity-related carbon emissions. ICF International estimates that such a system could save California 3.2 million megawatt-hours per year in energy while also increasing electrical reliability. The funding comes from CEC's Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program, which funds clean energy innovation to reduce pollution, foster economic development, and meet the state's climate goals.

March 2017

The Economic Case for Wind and Solar Energy in Africa

To meet skyrocketing demand for electricity, African countries may have to triple their energy output by 2030. While hydropower and fossil fuel power plants are favored approaches in some quarters, a new assessment by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found that wind and solar can be economically and environmentally competitive options and can contribute significantly to the rising demand.

“Wind and solar have historically been dismissed as too expensive and temporally variable, but one of our key findings is that there are plentiful wind and solar resources in Africa that are both low-impact and cost-effective,” said Ranjit Deshmukh, one of the lead researchers of the study. “Another important finding is that with strategic siting of the renewable energy resource and with more energy trade and grid interconnections between countries, the total system cost can be lower than it would be if countries were to develop their resource in isolation without strategic siting.”

March 2017

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