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2016 News Releases

Access news stories about the laboratory and renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

May 20, 2016

NREL Announces Innovation Challenge for Crowdsourced Ideas for Energy-Efficiency in Residential Buildings

The Energy Department's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), along with industry partner CLEAResult, will launch a Call for Innovation as part of the DOE JUMP initiative during the Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo, Calif., on May 22.

May 18, 2016

NREL Helps DOE Assess Progress “On the Path to SunShot”

Analysts and researchers at the Energy Department's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) played a significant role in a suite of studies released today by DOE’s SunShot Initiative that identify the progress made by the U.S. solar energy industry toward SunShot’s goal of achieving cost parity with traditional energy sources by 2020.

May 14, 2016

Winners for NREL’s 26th Solar and Lithium-Ion Car Races

Fifty-seven teams from 15 Colorado middle schools gathered at Dakota Ridge High School in Littleton today for the 26th Annual Junior Solar Sprint and Lithium-Ion Battery car competitions. The day’s event drew nearly 200 students ready to compete and race the solar- and lithium-ion battery-powered vehicles they designed and built. Ken Caryl Middle School (Littleton) swept the top speed awards winning trophies for the fastest solar-powered model car and the fastest lithium-ion battery-powered model car.

May 13, 2016

NREL Distributes Wind Competitiveness Improvement Project Round Four Funding

The Energy Department’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is awarding four subcontracts under the fourth round of funding through DOE’s Distributed Wind Competitiveness Improvement Project (CIP).

May 5, 2016

Energy Department Selects NREL Scientist for Exclusive Award

Scientist Adele Tamboli of the Energy Department’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has been awarded additional funding as part of a select group of scientists in the early stage of their careers.

May 3, 2016

NREL Scientists and Engineers Recognized for Top Innovations as Lab Celebrates another Record-Breaking Year of Inventions

Today during its annual Innovation and Technology Transfer Awards ceremony, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recognized researchers and staff for 169 new innovations, a record-breaking number of scientific and engineering inventions in fiscal year 2015 (FY15). This is a 33 percent increase from last year.

April 29, 2016

NREL’s Romero Chosen Top Young Professional in U.S.

Rachel Romero, a building systems engineer at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), has been named a 2016 New Faces of Engineering recipient by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

April 25, 2016

NREL Finds Nanotube Semiconductors Well-suited for PV Systems

Researchers at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) discovered single-walled carbon nanotube semiconductors could be favorable for photovoltaic systems because they can potentially convert sunlight to electricity or fuels without losing much energy.

April 22, 2016

NREL Theory Establishes a Path to High-Performance 2D Semiconductor Devices

Researchers at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have uncovered a way to overcome a principal obstacle in using two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors in electronic and optoelectronic devices.

April 21, 2016

NREL Demonstrates Light-Driven Process for Enzymatic Ammonia Production

A new process using light to reduce dinitrogen into ammonia, the main ingredient in chemical fertilizers could inspire development of new, more sustainable processes that eliminate the energy-intensive, lengthier processes now commonly in use. According to researchers at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), photochemical (photon) energy can serve as a substitute for the adenosine 5’-triphosphate (ATP)-dependent electron transfer mechanism typically used in biology to drive nitrogenase to reduce dinitrogen (N2) to ammonia (NH3).

April 4, 2016

NREL Reveals Potential for Capturing Waste Heat via Nanotubes

A finely tuned carbon nanotube thin film has the potential to act as a thermoelectric power generator that captures and uses waste heat, according to researchers at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

April 1, 2016

NREL, SLAC Scientists Pinpoint Solar Cell Manufacturing Process

Scientists at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have been able to pinpoint for the first time what happens during a key manufacturing process of silicon solar cells.

March 30, 2016

Global Gathering Addresses PV Role in Energy Prosperity and Climate Change Mitigation

Scientists from the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), along with their counterparts from solar energy research institutes in Germany and Japan, gathered recently to discuss the future of photovoltaics (PV) and assess its contributions to increasing global prosperity, energy security and mitigation of climate change.

March 24, 2016

NREL Raises Rooftop Photovoltaic Technical Potential Estimate

Analysts at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have used detailed light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data for 128 cities nationwide, along with improved data analysis methods and simulation tools, to update its estimate of total U.S. technical potential for rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems. The analysis reveals a technical potential of 1,118 gigawatts (GW) of capacity and 1,432 terawatt-hours (TWh) of annual energy generation, equivalent to 39 percent of the nation’s electricity sales.

March 17, 2016

NREL's Capabilities Boost a Wide Range of Innovative ARPA-E Research

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will play key roles in a variety of projects recently funded by the Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). NREL's innovative approaches have received five awards across three different ARPA-E programs for advancing transformational technologies to generate, store, and use energy more efficiently, at lower costs and with reduced emissions.

March 10, 2016

NREL to Collaborate with Small Clean Energy Businesses as Part of DOE Pilot Program

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will help the first group of small clean energy businesses advance their products under the Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot launched last July by DOE.

February 29, 2016

NREL Collaboration Boosts Potential for CdTe Solar Cells

A critical milestone has been reached in cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cell technology, helping pave the way for solar energy to directly compete with electricity generated by conventional energy sources.

February 29, 2016

Belgium's Red Electrical Devils Win $1 Million for Innovative Inverter Design

Google and IEEE announced today that Belgium's Red Electrical Devils, a team from CE+T Power, has won the Little Box Challenge, a competition to invent a much smaller inverter for interconnecting solar power systems to the power grid. The success earned the team a $1 million prize while proving that inverters can be the size of a tablet or smaller rather than the size of a picnic cooler, more than a factor of 10 reduction in size. The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) provided critical analysis of the 18 finalists teams’ inverters to help determine the winner.

February 23, 2016

NREL Seeks Participants for 2016 National Executive Energy Leadership Program

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is now accepting applications for its 2016 Executive Energy Leadership Program.

February 22, 2016

Ridgeview Classical Charter Schools Wins 26th Colorado Science Bowl

Students from Ridgeview Classical Charter Schools won the Colorado High School Science Bowl. They will represent the state of Colorado at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Science Bowl in Washington D.C., April 28– May 2, where they will compete against more than 400 students from 70 high schools for the national title.

February 22, 2016

NREL analysis finds tax credit extensions can impact renewable energy deployment and electric sector CO2 emissions

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) today released new analysis exploring the potential impact of recently extended federal tax credits on the deployment of renewable generation technologies and related U.S. electric sector carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

February 9, 2016

Renewable Fuels from Algae Boosted by NREL Refinery Process

A new biorefinery process developed by scientists at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has proven to be significantly more effective at producing ethanol from algae than previous research.

February 8, 2016

NREL Helps Establish New PV Quality Standards for Manufacturers

Working with partners around the world, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have completed five years of work toward helping establish an international quality standard for manufacturing photovoltaic (PV) modules.

February 5, 2016

NREL Explains the Higher Cellulolytic Activity of a Vital Microorganism

Researchers at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) say better understanding of a bacterium could lead to cheaper production of cellulosic ethanol and other advanced biofuels.

February 4, 2016

NREL Patents Method for Continuous Monitoring of Materials During Manufacturing

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) was recently issued a patent for a novel method that rapidly characterizes specialized materials during the manufacturing process. This approach significantly improves on standard quality control techniques by allowing for complete monitoring of materials without interrupting workflow.

January 14, 2016

DOE Announces New Projects to Modernize America’s Electric Grid

Today, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced up to $220 million in new funding for a consortium of DOE national laboratories and partners to support critical research and development over the next three years to help modernize our nation’s electrical power grid. The secretary also announced the release of DOE’s comprehensive new Grid Modernization Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP), a blueprint for the Department’s research, development, and demonstration agenda to enable a modernized grid. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will be strongly supporting this effort, bringing its unique array of experts and resources together to participate in 48 of the 88 awarded projects announced today.

January 12, 2016

NREL Theorizes Defects Could Improve Solar Cells

Scientists at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are studying what may seem paradoxical - certain defects in silicon solar cells may actually improve their performance.

January 6, 2016

Renewable Energy used in State Renewable Portfolio Standards Yielded Sizable Benefits and Other Impacts in 2013

A new study by researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) estimates that $2.2 billion in benefits came from reduced greenhouse gas emissions and $5.2 billion from reductions in other air pollution, in mid-range estimates, for state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies operating in 2013. RPS policies require utilities or other electricity providers to meet a minimum portion of their load with eligible forms of renewable electricity.

January 5, 2016

NREL and CSEM Jointly Set New Efficiency Record with Dual-Junction Solar Cell

Scientists at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and at the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) have jointly set a new world record for converting non-concentrated (1-sun) sunlight into electricity using a dual-junction III-V/Si solar cell.

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