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Solar-to-Fuel System Recycles CO2 to Make Ethanol and Ethylene

In a big step toward sun-powered fuel production, scientists at Berkeley Lab have used artificial photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into hydrocarbons at efficiencies greater than plants. The achievement marks a significant advance in the effort to move toward sustainable sources of fuel.

Berkeley Lab to Lead Multimillion-Dollar Geothermal Energy Project

Berkeley Lab will lead a new $9 million project aimed at removing technical barriers to commercialization of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), a clean energy technology with the potential to power 100 million American homes.

Shading and Lighting Retrofits Slash Energy Use in New York “Living Lab” Office Demonstration

By using advanced lighting and automated shades, Berkeley Lab scientists found that occupants on one floor of a high-rise office building in New York City were able to reduce lighting energy usage by nearly 80 percent in some areas. The dramatic results emerged at a “living laboratory” set up to test four sets of technologies on one 40,000 square-foot floor of a building.

A Seaweed Derivative Could Be Just What Lithium-Sulfur Batteries Need

Lithium-sulfur batteries have great potential as a low-cost, high-energy, energy source for both vehicle and grid applications. However, they suffer from significant capacity fading. Now scientists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have made a surprising discovery that could fix this problem.

‘Expert in a suitcase’ Cuts Power Bills 10% in Small Commercial Buildings

The knowledge and expertise of a seasoned energy efficiency professional has been packed into a high-tech suitcase. The Sensor Suitcase is a portable case that contains easy-to-use sensors and other equipment that make it possible for anyone to identify energy-saving opportunities in small commercial buildings.

Berkeley Lab Names Peter Fiske Director of Water-Energy Resilience Institute

Berkeley Lab has tapped Peter Fiske to be the director of its Water-Energy Resilience Institute, a new position that underscores the Lab’s commitment to developing solutions for the challenges associated with the interdependence of water and energy systems. Fiske will join Berkeley Lab on May 15.

New Berkeley Lab Project Turns Waste Heat to Electricity

A new Berkeley Lab project seeks to efficiently capture waste heat and convert it to electricity, potentially saving California up to $385 million per year. With a $2-million grant from the California Energy Commission, Berkeley Lab scientists will work with Alphabet Energy to create a cost-effective thermoelectric waste heat recovery system.

The Economic Case for Wind and Solar Energy in Africa

To meet skyrocketing demand for electricity, African countries may have to triple their energy output by 2030. While hydropower and fossil fuel power plants are favored approaches in some quarters, a new assessment by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found that wind and solar can be economically and environmentally competitive options.

New Materials Could Turn Water into the Fuel of the Future

Scientists at Berkeley Lab and Caltech have—in just two years—nearly doubled the number of materials known to have potential for use in solar fuels. They did so by developing a process that promises to speed the discovery of commercially viable generation of solar fuels that could replace coal, oil, and other fossil fuels.

New Projects to Make Geothermal Energy More Economically Attractive

The California Energy Commission has awarded $2.7 million to Berkeley Lab for two geothermal projects. The projects, which will take place at The Geysers, could make geothermal energy more cost-effective to deploy and operate.