News

July 10, 2023
Adapted from a news release by the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. On June 28, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Efficient and Healthy Schools Campaign honored 17 K-12 schools and school districts for setting ambitious goals and applying the best practices available to save substantial amounts of energy from their facilities that also... Read more
June 15, 2023
Wildfires have become increasingly frequent due to climate change, with record occurrences in areas not historically prone to them. In California, wildfires and regional power shutoffs have cost billions and taken lives. For some 46 million Americans living next to forests — at what scientists call the “wildland-urban interface” (WUI) — the risks of wildfire can be especially acute.... Read more
June 7, 2023
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) recently hosted a summit to showcase the benefits of vacuum insulated glazing (VIG) — a type of highly insulated window glazing that utilizes a vacuum as an insulating layer between window panes — and the likely challenges preventing its widespread adoption on the market. A wide cross-section of stakeholders was present at the summit,... Read more
May 10, 2023
After the Justice40 (J40) Initiative was established in 2021 by President Biden with the objective that 40% of benefits from certain federal investments go to disadvantaged communities, five scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) played a key role in mapping out how to achieve this goal in federal programs that focus on... Read more
May 9, 2023
When it comes to energy efficiency in California buildings, windows are a weak link. About half of the state’s homes still have inadequate, single-pane windows. A significant portion of these homes are in communities throughout the state that may have more vulnerable populations. Windows pose a key opportunity both to reduce carbon emissions from California’s buildings and to boost energy... Read more
April 6, 2023
Levels of planet-warming carbon dioxide in the air continue to rise. Cutting emissions by moving away from fossil fuels is a priority – but so is removing carbon that’s already been emitted. Of the many emerging technologies on the table, which ones will be most effective, and where? What about costs? What kinds of investments will have the most impact? Scientists at the Department of... Read more
April 5, 2023
About 12% of the total global energy demand comes from heating and cooling homes and businesses. A new study suggests that using underground water to maintain comfortable temperatures could reduce consumption of natural gas and electricity in this sector by 40% in the United States. The approach, called aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES), could also help prevent blackouts caused by high power... Read more
March 30, 2023
Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels will require severely cutting greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 50% by 2030. Doing so calls for the immediate, large-scale adoption of energy efficiency, renewable energy, electrified transportation, high-performance batteries, low-carbon grids, and carbon capture and storage technologies across all sectors globally. This... Read more
January 23, 2023
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced an initiative designed to support communities in implementing clean energy projects. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is among five DOE national research labs participating in the Clean Energy to Communities (C2C) program, which is led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. C2C will provide utilities, local... Read more
January 17, 2023
Recordings for this year’s three-day workshop at the Building Efficiency for a Sustainable Tomorrow (BEST) Center are now available with registration. The 2023 National Institute was co-hosted virtually by BEST and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) from January 4th to January 6th. This year’s theme was “Advancing Building Decarbonization: Policies, Technologies, and... Read more
December 5, 2022
From single-family and multifamily housing to commercial buildings and university campuses, groups of buildings offer untapped potential to boost energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Through its Connected Communities program, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently launched nine demonstration projects across the country to explore this potential. DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley... Read more
November 28, 2022
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) research scientist Hanna Breunig was named co-director of the Hydrogen Materials Advanced Research Consortium (HyMARC). Breunig serves as Deputy-Head of the Sustainable Energy and Environmental Systems Department within the Energy Analysis and Environmental Impacts (EAEI) Division of Berkeley Lab. HyMARC was formed to address the scientific gaps... Read more
November 22, 2022
This article was adapted from a release developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and was initially published at the Berkeley Lab News Center. Stor4Build is a new consortium on energy storage for buildings that will accelerate the growth, optimization, and deployment of storage technologies. The consortium will be co-led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Lawrence Berkeley... Read more
November 8, 2022
Fred Buhl, a longtime member of the research staff in the Building Technology and Urban Systems Division’s Simulation Research Group, died on September 20, 2022, after a short illness. Fred was a senior scientific engineering associate at the time of his retirement in 2010. He received a Bachelor's degree in physics from Yale University in 1966 and began his career at the lab as a UC Berkeley... Read more
November 1, 2022
Smart fenestration systems such as automated shades or smart windows can autonomously manage glare and solar heat gains which not only reduces electricity bills by up to 30% while cutting peak demand in half, but also improves the health and well-being of occupants. Now, Berkeley Lab researchers have launched a key component for making these systems easier to install in buildings. That key... Read more
October 25, 2022
A recent segment on Al Jazeera English featured field research on arsenic removal initiated at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Led by Ashok Gadgil, a physicist and senior faculty scientist at Berkeley Lab’s Energy Technologies Area, scientists and engineers are testing a filtration system in rural California that can remove dangerous levels of arsenic from groundwater at... Read more
September 22, 2022
Berkeley Lab researchers reviewed evidence on using indoor engineering controls to reduce transmission risk Watch the related video on our youtube channel: youtu.be/fgNb6B9NZ2w Along with vaccines, masks, and testing, indoor air hygiene and building engineering controls will be key to slowing the spread of airborne, highly infectious variants of COVID-19. In a recent review in the journal Indoor... Read more
September 8, 2022
Only about 700 of the 5.9 million commercial buildings in the U.S. are net-zero. Why is that? Paul Mathew, head of the Whole Building Systems Department at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab), delves into this question on a recent episode of The Big Switch podcast. Mathew and host Melissa Lott discuss what he calls the “yawning adoption gap” for efficiency technologies in existing... Read more
August 24, 2022
By the middle of this century, temperatures in some California cities are expected to be in the triple digits for a third of the year. That’s dangerously hot. Heat already kills more people each year than any other weather-related disaster, including hurricanes, floods, or winter storms, and as the mercury rises the toll is expected to keep climbing. Researchers and scientists from across the... Read more
August 23, 2022
Multiple innovative technologies developed in the Energy Technologies Area of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have been honored with a 2022 R&D 100 Award. The award, presented by R&D Magazine and selected by an independent panel of judges, recognizes the year’s 100 most innovative and disruptive technology products from... Read more
August 4, 2022
Unprecedented heat waves, storms, and wildfires are pushing electrical grids in the United States to their limits. To work towards a safe and reliable power system in the coming years, utilities will need to factor the potential effects of climate change and extreme climate change-driven events into their plans for power distribution, generation capacity and back-up energy storage, and... Read more
June 13, 2022
Two researchers recently participated in a panel discussion on Algorithms and Data for Equity at the Women in Data Science Conference at Stanford University, showcasing the importance of diversity in this critical research area. Jessica Granderson, then serving as Director for Building Technology on the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and Ling Jin joined with University of California... Read more
June 7, 2022
A new cohort of 11 scientists and engineers will join the prestigious two-year fellowship program at Cyclotron Road based at the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Selected from a pool of more than 200 applicants, the 2022 Cohort fellows will work with Berkeley Lab scientists and facilities to translate innovative research into market-ready... Read more
May 24, 2022
Tom Webster, a researcher at Berkeley Lab for more than 20 years, recently passed away at the age of 80. With a broad knowledge of engineering and his passion for sustainable energy, Tom joined the solar energy group at Berkeley Lab in 1976, contributing to nearly two dozen reports published by the Energy Technologies Area. A beloved member of the UC Berkeley community, he joined the Center for... Read more
May 19, 2022
Experts from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) will play leading managerial and technical roles in the recently established Net Zero World Action Center to bolster DOE’s Net Zero World Initiative (NZWI). The NZW Action Center brings together 10 DOE national laboratories, nine U.S. government agencies, and philanthropy organizations to promote net... Read more