2007 Feature Stories
The following feature stories take an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at how NREL is advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.
NREL is in the process of designing and building key facilities to meet the nation's crucial research objectives for clean and sustainable energy technologies. A $101 million increase to NREL's budget makes it possible for NREL to move forward with the construction of new facilities.
The National Mall in Washington, D.C., buzzing with hundreds of thousands of people who visited the Solar Village during the Solar Decathlon 2007 two weeks ago, has now settled and quieted.
"When people look back at the 21st Century's greatest inventions, renewable energy technologies will be on that list," said John Denniston, a partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, at NREL's 20th Industry Growth Forum. The Forum brought together start-up companies and investors to transfer clean energy technologies into the marketplace.
The time has come for college and university students from around the world to gather once again at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to show off their innovative, creative, and environmentally friendly solar homes at the Solar Decathlon. This is the third Solar Decathlon, with the first and second such events held in 2002 and 2005.
R&D Magazine recognizes the world's top 100 scientific advances with its annual R&D 100 Award for innovations with the most significant commercial potential. This year, NREL and Boeing Spectrolab were jointly awarded an R&D 100 Award for developing the first solar cell to break the 40% efficiency barrier, the solar equivalent of breaking the four-minute mile.
Xcel Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently unveiled a unique facility that uses electricity from wind turbines to produce and store pure hydrogen, offering what may become an important new template for future energy production.
In his 2007 State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush championed energy alternatives. Among his emphases was the potential of biomass — plant materials — to fulfill a greater share of our nation's transportation fuel needs. The research and analysis provided by NREL and the National Bioenergy Center not only support the President's vision, but have helped to inform it.