Monthly Archives: January 2011

Carla Peterman Appointed to California Energy Commission by Governor Jerry Brown

Governor Jerry Brown has appointed Carla Peterman to the California Energy Commission.

Peterman is a doctoral candidate in the Energy and Resources Group, University of California Berkeley and graduate student researcher with the Environmental Energy Technologies Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Her primary research interests are renewable energy, technology innovation, and climate change mitigation policy. Her dissertation  examines the effect of market transformation activities, such as subsidies, on the U.S. solar photovoltaic market. At Berkeley Lab, Peterman researches solar photovoltaic markets and the impact of renewable subsidy programs on PV deployment and cost.

Her Berkeley Lab research publications are available by searching the publications page of the website of the Electricity Markets and Policy Group of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division.

Peterman holds an Msc. in Environmental Change and Management and a Masters’ of Business Administration from Oxford University where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. She also has a B.A. in History from Howard University.

Environmental Energy Technologies Division staff page:

Energy and Resources Group:

UC Energy Institute

Energy and Resources Group profile of Peterman:

FERC releases report on frequency response metrics for variable renewable generation

From the FERC news release:

“The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today issued for public comment a study that seeks to ensure reliability for consumers by identifying tools that will help manage the planning and operations of new generation resources into the nation’s electricity system.

“The study, conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory with a team of power system experts, and initiated and funded by FERC’s Office of Electric Reliability, examines what is known as the frequency response of the bulk power system. Frequency response measures how the system performs in responding to a sudden loss of generation that could cause reliability problems such as blackouts.

The purpose of the study is not to determine how much of any particular resource can be reliably integrated into an interconnection, but to develop an objective methodology to evaluate the reliability impacts of varying resource mixes including increased amounts of renewable resources. The study accomplishes this objective by developing and testing tools that can be used to assess and plan for the operational requirements of the grid.”

FERC news release, “Study identifies tools to help ensure grid reliability”:

Download the report, titled “Use of Frequency Response Metrics to Assess the Planning and Operating Requirements for Reliable Integration of Variable Renewable Generation,” and related documents from this page:

U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center website

The U.S. China Clean Energy Center’s new website may be viewed here:

As noted on the site’s building energy efficiency page, “The CERC-Building Energy Efficiency consortium seeks to address research on building energy efficiency technologies and practices. The U.S. and Chinese will conduct research jointly in the following areas: monitoring and simulation, building envelope, building equipment, building integration, and commercialization research. Dr. Mark Levine from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will lead the U.S. consortium, and Dr. Liang Junqiang from the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development will lead the Chinese consortium.”

Levine is the head of EETD’s China Energy Group.

Here is a White House fact sheet on U.S.-China cooperation in clean energy:

Have you seen these reports?

Posting, from time to time, word of research reports from the Environmental Energy Technologies Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that you may have overlooked:

Industrial Energy Audit Guidebook: Guidelines for Conducting an Energy Audit in Industrial Facilities

Abstract: Various studies in different countries have shown that significant energy-efficiency improvement opportunities exist in the industrial sector, many of which are cost-effective. These energy-efficiency options include both cross-cutting as well as sector-specific measures. However, industrial plants are not always aware of energy-efficiency improvement potentials. Conducting an energy audit is one of the first steps in identifying these potentials. Even so, many plants do not have the capacity to conduct an effective energy audit. In some countries, government policies and programs aim to assist industry to improve competitiveness through increased energy efficiency. However, usually only limited technical and financial resources for improving energy efficiency are available, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. Information on energy auditing and practices should, therefore, be prepared and disseminated to industrial plants. This guidebook provides guidelines for energy auditors regarding the key elements for preparing for an energy audit, conducting an inventory and measuring energy use, analyzing energy bills, benchmarking, analyzing energy use patterns, identifying energy-efficiency opportunities, conducting cost-benefit analysis, preparing energy audit reports, and undertaking post-audit activities. The purpose of this guidebook is to assist energy auditors and engineers in the plant to conduct a well-structured and effective energy audit.

Download it from DOE’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information here:

Simulation of the GHG Abatement Potentials in the U.S. Building Sector by 2050

Abstract: Given the substantial contribution of the U.S. building sector to national carbon emissions, it is clear that to address properly the issue of climate change, one must first consider innovative approaches to understanding and encouraging the introduction of new, low-carbon technologies to both the commercial and residential building markets. This is the motivation behind the development of the Stochastic Lite Building Module (SLBM), a long range, open source model to forecast the impact of policy decisions and consumer behavior on the market penetration of both existing and emerging building technologies and the resulting carbon savings. The SLBM, developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), is part of the Stochastic Energy Deployment System (SEDS) project, a multi-laboratory effort undertaken in conjunction with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and private companies. The primary purpose of SEDS is to track the performance of different U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) Research and Development (R&D) activities on technology adoption, overall energy efficiency, and CO{sub 2} reductions throughout the whole of the U.S. economy. The tool is fundamentally an engineering-economic model with a number of characteristics to distinguish it from existing energy forecasting models. SEDS has been written explicitly to incorporate uncertainty in its inputs leading to uncertainty bounds on the subsequent forecasts. It considers also passive building systems and their interactions with other building service enduses, including the cost savings for heating, cooling, and lighting due to different building shell/window options. Such savings can be compared with investments costs in order to model real-world consumer behavior and forecast adoption rates. The core objective of this paper is to report on the new window and shell features of SLBM and to show the implications of various USDOE research funding scenarios on the adoption of these and other building energy technologies. The results demonstrate that passive technologies contain significant potential for carbon reductions – exceeding 1165 Mt cumulative savings between 2005 and 2050 (with 50% likelihood) and outperforming similar R&D funding programs for distributed photovoltaics and high efficiency solid-state lighting.

Download it from DOE’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information here:

Ashok Gadgil’s UC Berkeley design class helps create a zero-net energy accessory dwelling unit

Ashok Gadgil, Director of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is also a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley. Students from his “Design for Sustainable Communities” class, along with other students from City and Regional Planning, Civil Engineering and the Haas School of Business, helped design a net-zero energy “accessory dwelling unit” for the backyard of a home in Berkeley. Read more about it here:

EETD Distinguished Lecturer Linda Nazar will speak January 28

Energy Materials and Climate Change

Linda Nazar, University of Waterloo

Friday January 28, 2011, 2 PM

Building 66 Auditorium

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The widespread integration of renewable, intermittent energy sources such as wind or solar is dependent upon the development of efficient large-scale energy storage systems for load-leveling the electric grid. Similarly, the acceptance of plug-in hybrid electric — and especially pure electric vehicles — hinges on the availability of intermediate scale, safe, low-cost energy storage batteries to provide driving ranges that exceed the psychological barrier of 100 miles. The first part of the talk will present a perspective of energy storage systems based on Li-ion batteries, and a synopsis of their fundamental chemical and materials science basis. The challenges, opportunities and perceived limits for future improvements will be presented, including storage devices that go beyond Li-ion. In particular, significant advances are possible through the exploitation of nanoporous materials and these will be highlighted in the second part.

Linda Nazar

Department of Chemistry, University of Waterloo

Linda Nazar is a Professor of Chemistry and Electrical Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada and holds a Senior Canada Research Chair in Solid State Materials. Prior to that, she received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Toronto, and joined Exxon Corporate Research (Annandale, N.J.) as a post-doctoral fellow. She was awarded the Electrochemistry Society Battery Research award in 2009, and was the 2010 Moore Distinguished Scholar at the California Institute of Technology. She is also the winner of the Rio Tinto Alcan Award (CSC) in 2011 for her work in inorganic electrochemistry. Her research is focused on materials for energy storage and conversion, with research spanning Li-ion and Na-ion batteries, Li-sulfur and Li-air batteries, and fuel cell catalysts.

If you are a visitor to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, contact JoAnne Lambert,, for visitor pass information.

ABC7 News interviews EET Division Director Ashok Gadgil

ABC7 News in San Francisco ran a segment about EETD Director Ashok Gadgil late in December. The first of its “Be The Change: Save A Life” series of reports, news anchor Dan Ashley interviewed Gadgil about his team’s work to develop energy-efficient cookstoves for families in the Darfur camps in Sudan, and their continuing work to develop cookstoves adapted to other areas of the developing world, as well as clean water sources and other low-cost energy-efficient technologies.

Scientific American covers EETD effort to study behavior and climate change mitigation

EETD researchers Jeff Greenblatt and Max Wei are quoted extensively in a Scientific American piece titled “Behavioral Frontiers: Can Social Science Combat Climate Change?” The article, in the news section of the magazine, discusses a study they are embarking on to quantify the degree to which behavioral changes can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce climate change.

Read Scientific American’s story here: