Why do we need new technologies for energy storage, energy conversion and the electricity grid?
The transportation, energy, water and manufacturing sectors are going through vast and rapid changes, and we have enormous challenges to overcome if we are going to adapt to our evolving electricity grid, water shortages and manufacturing needs. We work closely with academic, government and industry partners to conduct foundational and applied research that provides the groundwork for the development of transformative new energy technologies in the areas of energy storage and conversion, electrical grid, advanced materials for the energy infrastructure, science of manufacturing and water-energy nexus.
- We are focused on resolving critical roadblocks that prevent the electrification of the transportation sector.
- With more utility scale solar and battery storage, solar on rooftops, and an increasing number of electric vehicles plugged into homes and workplaces, the electric grid is evolving in a distributed fashion. Understanding the impact of these distributed energy resources, designing strategies to deal with the evolving grid, and developing technologies to ease the transition are all part of our strategy.
- Both the energy and water sectors face significant strain from increasing variability and more extreme weather. Given the interdependence of both sectors, we must explore solutions that help build water and energy resilience for a stable and secure future. In partnership with the National Alliance for Water Innovation, our researchers are working towards finding solutions that will lower the cost and energy required for desalination and associated water treatment.
- Our research supports the US manufacturing industry by providing knowledge around the science of synthesis, new ways to use renewable resources as green manufacturing feedstocks, and understanding of the science of scale up to move from the lab to industry with minimal waste.
What We Do
Our groups conduct their research at numerous Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory user facilities including Advanced Light Source (ALS), National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) and FLEXLAB®, a set of testbeds and simulation platforms for research, development, and demonstration of low energy building technologies, control systems, and building systems integration.
- Energy Storage—conducts innovative research to understand the basic science of next-generation batteries and overcome technological barriers to their adoption.
- Applied Energy Materials—focuses on synthesis and processing of energy materials including energy storage materials, solar energy materials, high performance materials and prototype development based on modern atomistic computational, synthesis and processing methods.
- Energy Conversion—works to develop, advance, and understand the various technologies needed to minimize use of energy and maximize use of next-generation green energy feedstocks.
- Grid integration—works to make the evolving smart electric grid compatible with the requirements of electric system grid operators and electric utility companies while serving the needs of electricity customers.
- Laser technologies—develops the next generation of innovative tools for analyzing the chemical makeup of advanced materials in real-time at extreme spatial and temporal scales.
- Thermal Science—uses a nano-to-macro understanding of heat to improve energy technologies.
The Energy Storage and Distributed Resources (ESDR) Division is one of three divisions in the Energy Technologies Area (ETA), located at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Founded in 1931 on the belief that the biggest scientific challenges are best addressed by teams, Berkeley Lab and its scientists have been recognized with 13 Nobel Prizes. Today, Berkeley Lab researchers develop sustainable energy and environmental solutions, create useful new materials, advance the frontiers of computing, and probe the mysteries of life, matter, and the universe. Scientists from around the world rely on the Lab’s facilities for their own discovery science. Berkeley Lab is a multiprogram national laboratory, managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit energy.gov/science.