Energy Efficiency and Renewables

Electrical Grid Infrastructure and Management
Solving the technological, data, and software hurdles of solar generation integration, vehicle charging infrastructure design, and managing the distributed grid are the goals of the Grid Integration Systems and Mobility (GISMo) Lab at SLAC. Projects like VADER seek to improve real-time data integration and analysis from power generators and users, while SCRIPT seeks to forecast and compare future travel scenarios of electric vehicle drivers and grid conditions.

Battery Technology
Berkeley Lab, SLAC, and LLNL are members of CalCharge, a public-private consortium of companies, research institutions, government programs, and other stakeholders in battery and electrochemical energy storage technology. CalCharge is intended to invigorate the energy storage sector and speed up commercialization of technologies. Businesses can take advantage of federal lab resources in developing and commercializing energy storage technologies for markets at the grid, vehicle, and consumer electronics scales.

Hydrogen Highways
Developed by Sandia California and NREL, the Hydrogen Station Equipment Performance (HyStEP) device measures the performance of hydrogen dispensers at new fueling stations, drastically reducing the time to commission new hydrogen vehicle fueling stations. This streamlines
how California validates and certifies retail hydrogen stations to meet customer demands for fueling, helping to pave the hydrogen highway future.

Subsurface Energy Management
Underground or “subsurface” energy resources includes renewable sources like geothermal. California produces more geothermal power than any other state, and alone accounts for more than 20 percent of total geothermal energy production worldwide, with potential for more. The subsurface can also serve as a vast reservoir for energy storage and geologic carbon sequestration. Berkeley Lab and Sandia California are co-leads on DOE SubTER Crosscut, a program integrating expertise and resources across DOE labs, universities, and industry to quantify, predict, and safely use subsurface resources. Berkeley Lab also has additional geothermal resources research, with a focus of adding more flexible-load energy to California’s grid.

Oil and Gas Production
Federal scientists are developing technologies to assess and reduce the environmental impact of California’s oil and gas production. Examples include NASA JPL’s work on repurposing the excess heat or gas generated by mechanical systems as electrical power. In partnership with the Gas Technology Institute, Southwestern Energy, and Chevron, NASA JPL is developing high-efficiency thermoelectric generator (TEG) systems for oil and gas facilities, potentially giving industries and utilities new ways to capture energy waste while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Other examples include Berkeley Lab, LLNL, and Sandia California research on capturing greenhouse gas emissions from large stationary emitters, and safely disposing emissions deep underground.

Solar Energy for Space and Earth
Solar energy is the primary source of power for today’s NASA missions. Researchers at NASA Ames are creating new materials that push the limits of solar panel efficiency and weight to enhance solar energy system performance. These technologies for space-based applications also provide Earth-based benefits, helping to drive down the cost of solar energy with more efficient systems. New technologies are essential for California to reach the goal of deriving 50 percent of electricity from renewable energy by 2030.

From Bio-concept to Bioproduct
Harnessing biological systems can produce sustainable fuels, chemicals, therapeutics, food and feed. Berkeley Lab offers integrated bioengineering capabilities — including the Joint Genome Institute, the Agile BioFoundry, and the Advanced Biofuels/Bioproducts Process Development Unit (ABPDU) — to California researchers. For example, the ABPDU to date has worked with more than 20 California companies and startups to optimize production of next-generation biofuels, low-carbon, and carbon-negative bioproducts. This commercial processing of animal waste, woody biomass, municipal solid waste, and other materials for fuel and bioproducts has huge potential in diverting the more than 40 million tons of waste that is disposed in California landfills each year.


Research Benefits by Topic Area:

Public SafetyHuman HealthAgriculture, Water, and Natural Resources | Climate Change | Energy Efficiency and Renewables | Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship | Cybersecurity  | STEM Education | Inspiration for All

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Updated: 2018.02.13