Meeting the U.S.’s wind and solar ambitions in full would take up less than 1% of its land, less than the fossil fuel industry’s current footprint. Steve Clemmer at UCS goes into the details of NREL’s comprehensive study of land use for wind and solar. Of particular interest is the observation that setting a high bar for “responsible siting” of wind and solar projects - avoiding the use of sensitive, protected, urban areas, difficult terrain or … [Read more...]
From lab to commercialisation: what is the optimal pathway for Clean Energy Technologies?
It’s a considerable challenge to predict, decades in advance, what the world will need and get it from lab to market. Madeline Geocaris and Andrea Wuorenmaa at NREL summarise four case studies that reveal the key elements required: a good balance of technology, R&D, and public-private partnership; regulatory and market force alignment; good timing for market opportunities. The goal is the optimal pathway to the successful first … [Read more...]
Waste-to-Energy is underperforming. Whole-energy-system simulator can uncover the bottlenecks
The potential for Waste-to-Energy (WTE) in the U.S. is 674 TWh/year, roughly 8% of the energy used by the transportation sector. However, for reasons not easily understood, many WTE technologies struggle to make it to commercial scale. Researchers at NREL have built a first-of-a-kind simulation model, WESyS, to create scenarios and understand where the bottlenecks are. The whole-energy system is always complex. The WESyS simulation modules … [Read more...]