Research Projects

Project at a Glance

Project Status: complete

Title: A review of advanced power technology programs in the United States and abroad including linked transportation and stationary sector developments.

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Lipman, Timothy E.

Contractor: UC Berkeley

Contract Number: 02-323

Research Program Area: Emissions Monitoring & Control, Climate Change

Topic Areas: ICAT Grants / Technology, Mobile Sources & Fuels, Stationary Sources


A new generation of advanced power technologies is rapidly emerging based on the concept of distributed generation (DG) and, more broadly, distributed energy resources (DER). DER systems have the potential to dramatically increase the efficiency of end-user energy use, particularly when coupled with the utilization of waste heat for local heating and/or cooling needs. At the same time, DER systems can help to reduce the need for siting large power plants and transmission lines. Furthermore, DER systems can also offer environmental benefits through installation of clean technologies such as solar photovoltaic (PV), wind, and fuel cell systems, and by replacing or displacing the construction of relatively dirty ‘peaker’ power plants. Global competition for renewable energy and other DG markets, particularly with regard to wind power and solar PV, has been intense in recent years. While as of about 1990 the U.S. played a dominant role in clean energy technology, it has lost ground since then with Japan and Europe now setting the pace with regard to total installed clean energy generating capacity, share of global markets, and ownership of manufacturing companies and facilities. In the opinion of many industry analysts including ourselves, this has been due to a lack of consistent and appropriate government support for these promising new technologies, particularly in relation to support and subsidies for traditional fossil fuel and nuclear-based power generation. Examination of the current global status and historical success of clean energy technology market development efforts can provide insight into the potential opportunities for the U.S. and individual states to gain ground in this important race for “environmental technology.” These efforts include both “supply-side” measures to stimulate technology development and manufacturing, and “demand-side” measures to spur system purchase, installation, and operation. This report examines various DG promotion and incentive programs within the U.S. (Section 2) and in other industrialized countries (Section 3), primarily including state and national government-sponsored DG programs, but also including some other noteworthy efforts (major academic/industry consortia, etc.). The report also examines potential linkages between DG systems and advanced transportation systems (Section 4), and reports on various demonstration projects that are exploring linked stationary power and transportation system concepts (Section 5). Finally, conclusions are drawn from the review, and specific recommendations for potential program activities are made for the CaSFCC (Section 6).


For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Heather Choi at (916) 322-3893

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