Team Gemini Tools & Resources for Sustainability
Team Gemini actively seeks out tools and resources to foster understanding of topics and address issues related to sustainability.
From the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century, and others, organizations throughout the country and world develop and provide innovative tools and resources that aid in a better understanding of issues related to sustainability and renewable energy.
Together with these organizations, Team Gemini is interested in fostering a network of learning, innovation, and opportunities for projects that will provide the foundation for a strong Triple Bottom Line in communities around the world.
To learn more, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information or an opportunity to collaborate.
NREL provides a variety of educational resources to help students, teachers, and parents educate their kids about renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, including hands-on projects and curriculum suggestions for elementary school, middle school, and high school students as well as teachers.
Technology and Performance Analysis
Estimates the electricity production of a grid-connected roof- or ground-mounted photovoltaic system based on a few simple inputs.
The Energy DataBus
Open-source software that collects massive amounts of energy-related data at second-to-second intervals.
Building Life-Cycle Cost (BLCC)
Analyze capital investments in buildings. Includes the Energy Escalation Rate Calculator 2.0-13.
Bioenergy Sustainability Analysis
NREL’s bioenergy sustainability analysis group works with researchers around the world through global multilateral collaborations to assess bioenergy and bioeconomy developments in multiple scientific and social fields.
The world of biomass is complex and biomass resources vary around the world. We study the relationship of land types and their use in agricultural and forestry systems and in manufacturing. Products from these interconnected systems are consumed and generate waste and residues that are landfilled, with or without energy recovery, re-used in a cascade of uses, recycled into the same or different products, or used to produce energy.
We use statistical data that multiple government agencies from each country provide to the United Nations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (collects data on food, feed, forestry, inputs, and emissions), the Framework Convention on Climate Change (inventories greenhouse gases per the Kyoto Protocol), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development International Energy Agency (collects data on energy production and use in various sectors of the economy).
Biomass and bioenergy systems produce benefits and also impacts to air, water, and land locally, regionally, and globally, and many of them are diffuse. It is difficult to assign these impacts to bioenergy alone since these applications are part of agriculture, forestry, and management of rural and urban residues and wastes. Bioenergy applications include biomass for heating and cooking, electricity generation, and for combined heat/electricity in the power and pulp and paper industries, or in the production of liquid or gaseous fuels for transport or other large numbers of chemicals, materials, and special products currently made from fossil energy. The evolving bioeconomy aims to close these cycles of interconnected systems to optimize multiple economic, environmental, ecological, and social (e.g., jobs) of multiple resource use.
The system of agriculture, forestry, and other land use (AFOLU) was the only International Project of Climate Change (IPCC) sector whose greenhouse gas emissions decreased in the last decade according to the 5th Assessment Report of the IPCC. AFOLU emissions are the most difficult to quantify and have the highest uncertainties. The conservation of agricultural soils and afforestation have the potential to increase soil carbon sequestration and therefore further mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We are looking at what role bioenergy, including biochar, can play in climate change mitigation at a large scale since bioenergy coupled with carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) could provide negative emissions needed to reach levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere compatible with 2oC or less from pre-industrial levels. The role of biomass in electricity generation or fuels production using gasification technologies followed by CCS is illustrated below. Coal and natural gas can reduce emissions with CCS but sustainably produced biomass is necessary to sequester carbon dioxide quickly to offset fossil emissions. Research questions involve the sustainability of the overall systems.
Annual Technology Baseline and Standard Scenarios
NREL annually documents a realistic and timely set of input assumptions (e.g., technology cost, fuel costs), and a diverse set of potential futures (Standard Scenarios) to support and inform electric sector analysis in the United States. The products of this work, including assessments of current and projected technology cost and performance for both renewable and conventional electricity generation technologies, as well as market projections of more than a dozen scenarios produced with NREL’s Regional Energy Deployment Systems (ReEDS) model, are applied consistently in NREL’s analyses throughout the following year. This annual process is supported by the Office of Strategic Programs of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The products described below leverage and synthesize the results of significant background work on individual technologies/market segments funded by specific EERE technology offices.
The Standard Scenario results are presented at the state level in the interactive Standard Scenario Results Viewer
- Explore alternative fuel stations and production facilities.
- The Geothermal Prospector (beta)
- Find sites for developing large-scale geothermal plants.
- Analyze hydrogen demand, resources, infastructure, and cost.
- Wind Prospector
- A tool to measure wind energy.
How Much Do You Spend?
How Much Energy Do You Consume?
How Does Your State Rank?
The Department of Energy maintains an assortment of maps and tools at http://energy.gov/maps.
More data and tool applications can be found at the Open Energy Data section of the Department of Energy, found at http://energy.gov/data/open-energy-data.
For a library of applications for web, desktop, and mobile platforms, visit http://en.openei.org/apps/.