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Publications, Reports & Research

Our publications, reports and research library hosts over 500 specialist reports and research papers on all topics associated with CCS.

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The western wind and solar integration study phase 2
The western wind and solar integration study phase 2

1st September 2013

Organisation(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Topic(s): Economics, Engineering and project delivery, Renewables

This report describes the findings of a National Renewable Energy Laboratory study into the costs and emissions impacts of the addition of solar and wind power to a predominately fossil-fuelled electricity grid.  The study found that the impact of 33% wind and solar penetration on system operations is to increase cycling costs but also to displace annual fuel costs by approximately $7 billion. The study also found that up to 33% wind and solar energy penetration in the United States’ portion of the Western grid avoids 29%–34% carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions throughout the western grid.

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Algal lipid extraction and upgrading to hydrocarbons technology pathway
Algal lipid extraction and upgrading to hydrocarbons technology pathway

1st March 2013

Organisation(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Topic(s): Biofuels / Bioenergy, Renewables

The United State’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are undertaking studies of biomass conversion technologies to identify barriers and target research toward reducing conversion costs.

This technology pathway case investigates the cultivation of algal biomass followed by further lipid extraction and upgrading to hydrocarbon biofuels. Technical barriers and key research needs have been assessed in order for the algal lipid extraction and upgrading pathway to be competitive with petroleum-derived gasoline-, diesel-, and jet-range hydrocarbon blendstocks.

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This handbook provides statistics and information - presented in tables and graphs - to describe the state of renewable energy technologies, capacity and growth, in the United States.

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Simulating the value of concentrating solar power with thermal energy storage in a production cost model
Simulating the value of concentrating solar power with thermal energy storage in a production cost model

1st November 2012

Organisation(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Topic(s): Economics, Renewables, Solar energy

Concentrating solar power (CSP) deployed with thermal energy storage (TES) provides a dispatchable source of renewable energy. The value of CSP with TES, as with other potential generation resources, needs to be established using traditional utility planning tools. Production cost models, which simulate the operation of grid, are often used to estimate the operational value of different generation mixes. CSP with TES has historically had limited analysis in commercial production simulations. This document describes the implementation of CSP with TES in a commercial production cost model. It also describes the simulation of grid operations with CSP in a test system consisting of two balancing areas located primarily in Colorado.

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The potential role of concentrating solar power in enabling high renewables scenarios in the United States
The potential role of concentrating solar power in enabling high renewables scenarios in the United States

1st October 2012

Organisation(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Topic(s): Solar energy

This work describes the analysis of concentrating solar power (CSP) in earlier studies and the potential role of CSP in a future energy mix. Section 2 provides an overview previous studies, including overall goals and modeled scenarios. Section 3 details the modeling tools used for the studies and the implementation of CSP in the analysis. Section 4 provides the range of CSP deployments in the various scenarios studied, as well as key drivers behind CSP deployment. Overall the studies found a range of opportunities for CSP deployment, largely dependent on reduced technology costs, the ability to construct new transmission, and appropriate valuation of CSP capacity and flexibility, especially in scenarios where the system becomes highly dependent on variable renewable sources such as solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind.

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U.S. renewable energy technical potentials: a GIS-based analysis
U.S. renewable energy technical potentials: a GIS-based analysis

1st July 2012

Organisation(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Topic(s): Engineering and project delivery, Geothermal energy, Hydroelectricity, Renewables, Solar energy, Wind energy

This report describes National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s methodology and assumptions for estimating the technical potential of six different renewable energy technologies, and then briefly describes the resulting estimates. The results discussion includes state-level maps and tables containing available land area (square kilometers), installed capacity (gigawatts), and electric generation (gigawatt-hours) for each technology. Methods and results for several other renewable technologies from previously published reports are also presented.

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Renewable electricity futures study. Volume 1: exploration of high-penetration renewable electricity futures
Renewable electricity futures study. Volume 1: exploration of high-penetration renewable electricity futures

1st June 2012

Organisation(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Topic(s): Renewables

The Renewable Electricity Futures Study (RE Futures) is an initial investigation of the extent to which renewable energy supply can meet the electricity demands of the contiguous United States over the next several decades. This first volume - Volume 1 - describes the analysis approach and models, along with the key results and insights. Volume 1 also includes the Executive Summary for the series. 

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Renewable electricity futures study. Volume 2: renewable electricity generation and storage technologies
Renewable electricity futures study. Volume 2: renewable electricity generation and storage technologies

1st June 2012

Organisation(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Topic(s): Biofuels / Bioenergy, Geothermal energy, Hydroelectricity, Marine energy, Renewables, Solar energy, Wind energy

The Renewable Electricity Futures Study (RE Futures) is an initial investigation of the extent to which renewable energy supply can meet the electricity demands of the contiguous United States over the next several decades. This volume - Volume 2 - describes the renewable generation and storage technologies included in the study. Each technology is introduced, followed by estimates of resource availability, a characterisation of the technology, a list of output characteristics and grid service possibilities, a description of deployment, and a discussion of barriers and issues.

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Renewable electricity futures study. Volume 3: end-use electricity demand
Renewable electricity futures study. Volume 3: end-use electricity demand

1st June 2012

Organisation(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Topic(s): Renewables

The Renewable Electricity Futures Study (RE Futures) is an initial investigation of the extent to which renewable energy supply can meet the electricity demands of the contiguous United States over the next several decades. This volume - Volume 3 - details the end-use electricity demand and efficiency assumptions. The authors discuss the potential impact of carbon mitigation measures and climate change on electricity demand. Scenarios describe the electricity demands of transportation, industrial and building sectors. 

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Renewable electricity futures study. Volume 4: bulk electric power systems: operations and transmission planning
Renewable electricity futures study. Volume 4: bulk electric power systems: operations and transmission planning

1st June 2012

Organisation(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Topic(s): Renewables

The Renewable Electricity Futures Study (RE Futures) is an initial investigation of the extent to which renewable energy supply can meet the electricity demands of the contiguous United States over the next several decades. This volume - Volume 4 - discusses operational and institutional challenges of integrating high levels of renewable energy into the electric grid. 

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IEA wind task 26: the past and future cost of wind energy. Work package 2
IEA wind task 26: the past and future cost of wind energy. Work package 2

1st May 2012

Organisation(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Topic(s): Economics, Onshore wind, Wind energy

This summary report provides a review of historical costs, evaluates near-term market trends, reviews the methods used to estimate long-term cost trajectories, and summarizes the range of costs projected for onshore wind energy across an array of forward-looking studies and scenarios. It also highlights high-level market variables that have influenced wind energy costs in the past and are expected to do so into the future.

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A guide to community shared solar: utility, private, and nonprofit project development
A guide to community shared solar: utility, private, and nonprofit project development

1st May 2012

Organisation(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), US Department of Energy (DOE)

Topic(s): Capacity development, Public engagement, Solar energy

This United States Department of Energy SunShot Initiative guide is a resource for those who want to develop community shared solar projects, from community organizers or solar energy advocates to government officials or utility managers. By exploring the range of incentives and policies while providing examples of operational community shared solar projects, this guide will help communities plan and implement successful energy projects. In addition, by highlighting some policy best practices, this guide suggests changes in the regulatory landscape that could significantly boost community shared solar installations across the nation.

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