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News Release Archives 2008

News releases covering laboratory activities, scientific discoveries, projects and more are archived below, chronologically. For more information about NREL and its research in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, e-mail public_affairs@nrel.gov.

December 11, 2008

Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicle Data Center Creates New Tool to Calculate Ways to Cut Gas Use

A business owner with a fleet of 10 heavy-duty diesel trucks wants to cut diesel use by 10 percent. Would using a biodiesel blend or investing in onboard power sources that reduce engine idling achieve the biggest drop in petroleum use? An average driver, using 600 gallons of gas a year in a typical sedan, wants to reduce gas consumption by 20 percent. Would using fuel economy techniques such as buying new low rolling-resistance tires reduce gas use the most or would taking the bus to work once a week produce better results? Fleet operators, business owners, and every-day drivers wanting to reduce their petroleum consumption can pinpoint such calculations with the newest tool at the Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center, https://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/prep/index.php. The Petroleum Reduction Planning (PREP) tool computes the drop in petroleum consumption by employing eight different methods – or a combination of those methods. For every-day drivers, they can calculate their reductions by using fuel economy techniques, hybrid electric vehicles, biodiesel blends and other alternative fuels, or by reducing the number of miles driven through such measures as using mass transit or telecommuting. For fleet operators and business owners, additional methods of truck stop electrification, idling time reduction and onboard idle reduction technologies are provided for calculating reductions. PREP can help every kind of driver create a strategy for cutting conventional fuel use.

November 21, 2008

Glenwood Springs Teacher Recognized for Renewable Energy Efforts

Students taking science classes at Yampah Mountain High School in Glenwood Springs, Colo., are learning about energy efficiency and renewable energy in a hands-on way in addition to learning in the classroom. The students are learning about energy issues within their school and community through direct development and design of energy projects that benefit their school. Susy Ellison, a science teacher at Yampah Mountain High School, has championed implemented thisthese unique curriculum programs that introduces students to the world of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. Her outstanding efforts have earned Brown Ellison the annual Renewable Energy Teacher Award from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

November 20, 2008

NREL Ignites New Renewable Fuels Heating Plant

Engineers at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory lit its new, smoke-free Renewable Fuels Heating Plant today. The $3.3 million project is the Laboratory's latest step toward operating as a net-zero energy facility.

November 20, 2008

NREL, Brazilian Energy Company to Collaborate on Bioenergy

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) announced today that they have signed an agreement that could accelerate the development and international commercialization of biofuels. The announcement was made at the International Biofuels Conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

November 13, 2008

NREL and Private Industry Begin Nationwide Solar Measuring Network

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and IBERDROLA RENEWABLES have jointly deployed the first of several solar resource measuring stations as part of a planned instrumentation network throughout the United States.

October 30, 2008

NREL's Clean Energy Forum Attracts National Investment Community

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) convened its most successful clean energy investment forum to date at the 21st Clean Energy Industry Growth Forum in Denver, Colo. October 28-30. The forum attracted about 500 investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, and policymakers to the nation's leading clean energy technology investment forum.

October 24, 2008

NREL Solar Technologies Recognized with Special R&D 100 Honors

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) took home high honors from Editors of R&D Magazine recently for two separate solar cell technologies that were named “the most revolutionary technologies of the year.”

October 15, 2008

Collaboratory Funds 12 New Solar Research Projects

The Center for Revolutionary Solar Photoconversion (CRSP) is launching 12 novel solar research projects totaling more than $1.1 million in its inaugural round of research and development funding.

October 14, 2008

Nine Colorado Clean Energy Company CEOs to Present at NREL Industry Growth Forum

The U. S. Department Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Colorado CleanTech Initiative announce participation of Colorado CEOs in the 21st NREL Industry Growth Forum, Oct. 28-30, at the Renaissance Denver Hotel.

October 13, 2008

Director Arvizu Named Leading Hispanic in Science and Technology

Dan Arvizu, who has served as director of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) since 2005, was inducted into the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference (HENAAC) Hall of Fame on Oct. 11.

October 9, 2008

NREL's Industry Growth Forum Attracts Clean Energy Investors

Thirty-four clean energy companies will present their business cases to a panel of investors and industry experts in Denver Nov. 3-5 as the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) hosts the 22nd NREL Industry Growth Forum.

October 1, 2008

New Management Team Takes Charge at Renewable Energy Lab

U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) today. The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC was awarded a five-year contract to manage and operate the Laboratory on July 29. The new equally-owned management entity pairs two non-profit organizations—Midwest Research Institute (MRI) and Battelle—in a partnership that will enhance NREL's leadership and provide greater, more innovative impact on accelerating achievement of national energy goals.

August 21, 2008

Handbook Outlines Proper Handling, Storage and Distribution of E85

NREL recently updated the "Handbook for Handling, Storing, and Dispensing E85," a comprehensive booklet that details the proper and safe use of E85, a domestically produced alternative fuel composed of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.

August 13, 2008

NREL Solar Cell Sets World Efficiency Record at 40.8 Percent

Scientists at NREL have set a world record in solar cell efficiency with a photovoltaic device that converts 40.8 percent of the light that hits it into electricity. This is the highest confirmed efficiency of any photovoltaic device to date.

July 25, 2008

Fleet of Advanced Vehicles to be Tested, Demonstrated at NREL

NREL will be home to a demonstration fleet of advanced vehicles that will serve as a test bed for research and development. In addition, the demonstration fleet will help visitors to NREL learn about advanced vehicle technologies that are available or in development.

July 18, 2008

NREL report shows E85 gives gas stations a competitive edge

A study released by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) can help gas station owners and Clean Cities stakeholders determine whether adding E85 to their product mix can increase profitability.

July 17, 2008

NREL Solar Research Gains Two R&D 100 Awards

An ultra-light, highly efficient solar cell and use of ink-jet printing to manufacture thin-film photovoltaics – both developed at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory – have been named among this year's most significant innovations by Research and Development Magazine.

July 16, 2008

Dow and NREL Partner to Convert Biomass to Ethanol and Other Chemical Building Blocks

The Dow Chemical Company and the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory have agreed to jointly develop and evaluate a process that will convert biomass to ethanol and other chemical building blocks. The collaborative effort demonstrates both Dow and NREL's commitment to deliver sustainable solutions to the nation's current energy challenges by reducing dependence on foreign oil.

June 19, 2008

NREL Joins with A123Systems to Improve Advanced-Vehicle Batteries

NREL and A123Systems have teamed up to support the battery-maker's effort to develop safe, less expensive, more powerful, and longer lasting batteries for hybrid-electric vehicles.

June 3, 2008

New Wind Power Partnerships to Benefit Industry and Nation

NREL has announced several projects that will enhance the nation's ability to realize the full potential of wind power across the United States, including a new wind turbine blade test facility to be constructed in Texas; a partnership between NREL, DOE, and a state consortium led by University of Houston; a just-signed agreement with Siemens Power Generation to locate and test a commercial-scale wind turbine at NREL's National Wind Technology Center; and, a new Siemens research and development facility in Boulder, Colo., which will work closely with NREL on advanced wind power technologies.

May 15, 2008

NREL Industry Partners Move Cellulosic Ethanol Technology Forward

Collaborative scientific research between the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and DuPont will be put to use to develop and commercialize technology to produce cellulosic ethanol from non-food sources.

May 10, 2008

Students Recognized for Creativity and Skill in Energy Education Event

Eighty-eight teams from 29 Colorado schools participated in today's Junior Solar Sprint and Hydrogen Fuel Cell car competitions hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

May 1, 2008

NREL Releases Updated Typical Meteorological Year Data Set

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) today released an updated typical meteorological year (TMY) data set derived from the 1991-2005 National Solar Radiation Data Base update. The TMY3 data and user's manual are available at http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/old_data/nsrdb/1991-2005/tmy3.

April 22, 2008

NREL Highlights Leading Utility Green Power Programs

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released its annual ranking of leading utility green power programs.

April 21, 2008

Center to Research New Ways to Convert Sunshine to Power and Fuels

The newest research center of the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory aims to find ways to directly convert the sun's energy to low-cost electricity and fuels. The Center for Revolutionary Solar Photoconversion (CRSP), announced today by Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar and the Collaboratory at the Capitol, will be dedicated to basic and applied research at the Collaboratory's four member institutions.

April 16, 2008

NREL Picks 19 Community Leaders for Leadership Program

NREL has selected 19 Colorado community leaders to participate in its 2008 Executive Energy Leadership program, the state's only leadership program focused on educating business and government leaders about clean energy solutions that can boost the local economy.

April 14, 2008

DOE Research Facility Receives Lab of the Year Award

One of the nation's most energy efficient and environmentally friendly buildings recently was recognized as one of the best laboratory facilities built in the U.S. in 2007. In the 42nd Laboratory of the Year competition, the Science and Technology Facility at NREL was one of only two laboratories recognized as trendsetters in laboratory design.

April 10, 2008

Senior Research Fellow Wins Major International Science Award

Senior Research Fellow Arthur J. Nozik has won the 2008 Eni Award, a prestigious international honor that has several Nobel Prize winners among its recipients.

April 1, 2008

NREL Enters Wind Energy Research Partnership in Hawaii

NREL has signed a memorandum of understanding with UPC Wind to establish a Remote Research Affiliate Partner Site at UPC Wind's Kaheawa Wind Farm on Maui.

March 31, 2008

NREL, ConocoPhillips, Iowa State to Cooperate on Biofuels Research

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has reached a Memorandum of Understanding with ConocoPhillips and Iowa State University to identify promising cellulosic biomass conversion technologies over the near, mid- and long-term. The collaboration will bring three independently established programs together to help identify the most efficient and cost-effective methods for making liquid transportation fuels from plants.

March 24, 2008

Record Makes Thin-Film Solar Cell Competitive with Silicon Efficiency

Researchers have moved closer to creating a thin-film solar cell that can compete with the efficiency of the more common silicon-based solar cell. The copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film solar cell recently reached 19.9 percent efficiency, setting a new world record for this type of cell.

February 23, 2008

Pueblo Centennial High School Wins Colorado High School Science Bowl

Students from Pueblo Centennial High School won the Colorado High School Science Bowl today, taking the top spot for the second year in a row.

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