NREL Funding Reductions to Further Impact Lab's Work Force

For more information contact:
Robert Noun 303-275-3062

Golden, Colo., December 22, 1995 -- The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced today that it will further reduce its work force as a result of continuing reductions of its fiscal year 1996 federal funding for renewable energy research and development.

On November 2, the laboratory announced plans to reduce its 900 person regular work force by 10 percent because of anticipated funding reductions of more than $30 million. In fiscal year 1995, NREL's operating funding was approximately $237 million. Initial projections for 1996 were a reduction to $200 million. Recent indications, however, are that NREL's funding will be lowered by an additional $27 million, to $173 million, which is estimated to result in an overall loss of approximately 150 to 160 employees. NREL Director Charles F. Gay said the additional funding cuts are a result of lower than expected appropriations for renewable energy programs and deeper cuts in some specific programs, including photovoltaics (solar cells) and fuel-efficient vehicle research.

"We are now in the process of reassessing our cost reduction strategies, including identifying additional operating cost savings and necessary staff reductions," Gay said. "These additional cuts will make it more difficult for the laboratory to effectively carry out its mission of advancing renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies into the marketplace at a time when the technologies are proving their value and job creation power."

NREL has offered all regular employees a voluntary separation package. NREL is committed to make every effort to assist those employees leaving the laboratory in finding new jobs.

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