One of the biggest initial barriers to the widespread adoption of energy-efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) has been the cost. While considerable progress has been made on that front, further cost reductions will result in even wider adoption and thus greater energy savings – which will be deepened by continued improvements in efficacy.
The SOLAR 2016 Conference is a four-day event with plenary sessions and forums on the advancement of renewable energy in the U.S., discussions on pre-publication research, and networking opportunities.
A computer code developed by a trio of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers has significantly advanced predictive computer science for designing next-generation car and truck engines.
Since 2011, the SunShot Initiative has bolstered the U.S. solar energy industry by funding innovative, cutting-edge technologies that have an immediate, measurable impact on reducing the cost of solar power in an effort to make solar electricity fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources, without incentives, by 2020.
As the solar energy industry expands, banks and investors increasingly require higher quality data and tools to quantify the risks associated with solar projects and integrating more solar assets into their portfolios. Without data standards, transactions for solar projects take longer than necessary and can require higher than normal interest rates. Solar projects can even be valued below their true worth due to the perceived risks around system performance and future profitability.
Energy and water are strongly interdependent in the U.S. economy. Electricity generation requires water, and water treatment and distribution require energy. The Energy Department has studied this water-energy nexus and it has funded state initiatives promoting both water and energy conservation.
As any athlete will tell you, going back to the basics when practicing a sport can provide a refreshed perspective on skills that will improve overall performance. One SunShot Initiative awardee found the same principle can be applied to the science behind the decades-old practice of attaching metal contacts to solar cells.
About 10% of the energy used in U.S. buildings—approximately 4 quads per year—compensates for energy lost through windows. To address this inefficiency, architects, engineers, and home-builders are advocating the use of high-performance windows, which are composed of insulated glass units (IGUs). IGUs lessen unwanted heat gain by combining insulating frames and multiple panes, thin film coatings, and special gas fills between the panes, while selecting for other properties, such as transmittance of visible light and solar heat gain.