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News Release NR-1904

Renewable Energy Laboratory Receives Distinguished Service Award

March 18, 2004

Golden, Colo. — The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) was honored today with a Distinguished Service Award from The Wirth Chair in Environmental and Community Development Policy. The award was given for the Laboratory's 27 years of leadership in developing renewable energy and energy efficiency science and technologies.

Operated for DOE by Midwest Research Institute and Battelle, NREL staff are engaged in numerous and wide-ranging areas of world-class scientific investigation, including fuels and chemicals derived from plants; solar energy and manufacturing; wind energy; energy-efficient buildings; advanced vehicles; hydrogen fuel cells, storage and systems; superconductivity; geothermal energy; distributed energy generation; and waste-to-energy technologies. This research has yielded remarkable progress in renewable energy technologies and led to dramatic cost cuts, making renewable energy technologies more affordable. Developing new sources of clean, sustainable energy is important because the use of energy from traditional sources damages the environment more than any other human activity.

Director Richard Truly accepted the award for NREL at the Wirth Chair's seventh annual awards luncheon. "I am proud to accept this honor on behalf of the scientists, engineers and support staff at the Laboratory," Truly said. "Our mission and that of the Wirth Chair go hand in hand—to improve the world's environmental health."

The Wirth Chair at the University of Colorado at Denver was established in 1993 honoring the environmental and sustainable development achievements of former U.S. Senator and Undersecretary of State Tim Wirth, who now serves as president of the United Nations Foundation. The mission of the Wirth Chair is to foster effective sustainable development strategies that will strive to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

The awards luncheon also honored Denver Post columnist Joanne Ditmer with a Lifetime Achievement award and recognized other Colorado media, community and business leaders in sustainable development.

For further information contact NREL Public Relations at 303-275-4090.
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