Tackling the Climate Crisis

The Challenge

The need for science solutions to the climate crisis is more urgent than ever. Increasing natural disasters, in both volume and intensity, a global pandemic, and the escalating uncertainty of a changing climate convince us that we will need a collaborative, multi-pronged and evolving approach.

How are we making a difference?

The rate at which climate change is occurring must be met with bold scientific solutions that can scale. The Energy Technologies Area (ETA) has a strong foundation in energy-efficiency research, and we are building on this expertise to deliver strategies and technologies in buildings, manufacturing, transportation and air quality that mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis.

Futuristic city with bright connecting lines indicating technological connectivity.Adaptation

In the face of more frequent extreme weather events, rising sea levels, wildfires and global pandemics, we need to develop technologies and policies for adaptation that allow communities to continue to thrive, attaining dramatic increases in quality of life. 

ETA is focused on developing new technology and processes that enable our building infrastructure and its interfaces with grid and transportation systems to dynamically adapt to external stressors. Our goal is to double down on the portfolio of adaptation research we believe can scale at the pace needed.

Close up of an electrical plus going into the socket.Mitigation

ETA has a long history of pursuing research that helps mitigate climate change. Our extensive experience developing energy-efficient technologies and analyzing energy efficiency standards and their impacts supports DOE's appliance standards program, which is projected to save 129 quads of energy by 2030.

We build on this strong foundation of energy efficiency to perform research and analysis in integrated energy systems, energy storage, climate mitigation strategies and policies, the electricity grid, transportation, and environmental impacts. 
 

View of a power plan and electricity grid power lines.Carbon Negative Future

Berkeley Lab scientists are pioneering research to accelerate the development of negative emissions technologies (NETs), which capture and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or other sources or enhance natural carbon sinks, such as soils. These technologies will play a large role in limiting average global temperature rise. ETA focuses on technologies that remove and sequester carbon dioxide, pathways that accelerate market uptake of NETs, and policies and techno-economic analysis that measure and validate their performance. 

Research Spotlights

Uncertain Climate Future Could Disrupt Energy Systems

An international research team proposes a method to make energy systems more resilient
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Assessing the Costs of Major Power Outages

Pair of new Berkeley Lab reports explores direct and indirect costs of power interruptions to enable better decisionmaking
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How Technoeconomic Analysis Can Improve Energy Technologies

A Q&A with Berkeley Lab researcher Hanna Breunig on techno-economic analysis, and how she uses it to make negative emissions technologies more competitive
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