From the Lab to the Marketplace (1995)
Bringing New Technologies to Market
As part of the DOE national laboratory system, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has acted as a catalyst in the energy-efficiency marketplace for two decades, providing an extraordinary rate of return on the federal research investment. From the outset, our approach was not one of belt-tightening, but rather a coordinated technological and deployment-oriented strategy for doing more with less energy and, at the same time, saving money. Partnerships with industry, utilities, government agencies, universities, and others are an integral part of that strategy. LBNL's accomplishments in the building sector provide an example of how the national laboratories can serve the nation today and into the next century.
With a $500 billion per year national energy bill and more than half of our oil supplied by foreign sources, U.S. energy use has become a matter of strategic importance. There is little disagreement that wise management of our energy consumption is a national priority, and we are making substantial progress toward that goal. Thanks in part to new technologies and policies focusing on the efficient use of energy, leveraged by research and development (R&D) at the DOE national labs, the national energy bill is about $100 billion lower today than it would otherwise have been.
Programs addressing energy and the environment promise relief for some of the most pressing issues of our time: the rising national energy bill, industrial competitiveness, international security, urban and indoor air pollution, and the specter of global climate change. At the same time, it is recognized that energy-saving objectives must be coupled with goals of enhanced comfort, quality, productivity, and safety in the built environment.
LBNL's interdisciplinary research programs are positioned to guide new technologies from the lab to the marketplace. Research and development plays an important leveraging role in the marketplace by accelerating the commercialization and consumer acceptance of new technologies, while ensuring the quality of the indoor environment. This work is rooted in collaborations with equipment manufacturers, building professionals, utilities, and other national laboratories active in the energy sector. New technologies nurtured at LBNL with multimillion-dollar research programs are yielding multibillion-dollar savings nationally as they successfully capture market share.