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News Release Archives 2013

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 12, 2013

NREL Seeks Leaders for National Executive Energy Academy

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is accepting applications for its 2014 Executive Energy Leadership Academy. NREL’s Executive Energy Leadership Academy, also known as Energy Execs, is a program for non-technical decision-makers throughout the country to learn about renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, analytical tools and financing. Leaders in government, communities, non-profits and the private sector are eligible.

December 2, 2013

NREL Reports Soft Costs Now Largest Piece of Solar Installation Total Cost

Two reports offer more in-depth look at non-hardware costs

November 21, 2013

NREL Releases Renewable Energy Data Book Detailing Growing Industry in 2012

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released the 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book on behalf of the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The annual report is an important assessment of U.S. energy statistics for 2012, including renewable electricity, worldwide renewable energy development, clean energy investments, and data on specific technologies.

November 20, 2013

NREL-Developed Software Tackles Building Efficiency and Offers Cost Savings

A unique software application created by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) could improve the efficiency of commercial buildings by allowing occupants to interact with buildings more directly.

November 19, 2013

New Wind Turbine Dynamometer Test Facility Dedicated at NREL

Today, the Energy Department (DOE) and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) dedicated a new 5-megawatt (MW) Dynamometer Test Facility at NREL’s National Wind Technology Center (NWTC). The $20 million facility enables NREL to work closely with industry engineers to enhance the drive trains and other electrical systems in the country’s largest land based wind turbines.

November 7, 2013

NREL Developed Mobile App for Alternative Fueling Station Locations Released

iPhone users now have access to a free application that locates fueling stations offering alternative fuels, including electricity, natural gas, biodiesel, e85 Ethanol, propane and hydrogen. The Energy Department’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed the new mobile application for DOE’s Clean Cities program. Clean Cities supports local stakeholders across the country in an effort to cut petroleum use in transportation.

November 6, 2013

NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility Garners LEED® Platinum

The Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) on the campus of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo., has earned a LEED® Platinum designation for new construction from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a non-profit organization dedicated to sustainable building design and construction.

November 5, 2013

Solar Working Group Releases Standard Contracts

A working group representing solar industry stakeholders has developed standard contracts that should help lower transaction costs and make it easier to access low-cost financing for residential and commercial solar power projects.

October 24, 2013

NREL Researcher Honored with Hispanic STEM Award

A national organization devoted to getting more Hispanics into the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), has honored a scientist at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) with its annual Outstanding Technical Achievement Award.

October 23, 2013

NREL to Research Revolutionary Battery Storage Approaches in Support of ARPA-E RANGE Program

The Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) has announced that a project at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is among 22 projects that will receive funding to develop transformational electric vehicle (EV) energy storage systems using innovative chemistries, architectures and designs.

October 21, 2013

NREL Forum Attracts Clean Energy Investors and Entrepreneurs

Thirty clean energy companies, including seven companies based in Colorado, will present their business cases to a panel of investors and industry experts in Denver, Dec. 3-4, as the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) hosts its annual Industry Growth Forum.

September 25, 2013

NREL Releases New Roadmap to Reducing Solar PV “Soft Costs” by 2020

The Energy Department’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently issued a new report, “Non-Hardware (‘Soft’) Cost-Reduction Roadmap for Residential and Small Commercial Solar Photovoltaics, 2013–2020,” funded by DOE’s SunShot Initiative and written by NREL and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). The report builds off NREL’s ongoing soft-cost benchmarking analysis and charts a path to achieve SunShot soft-cost targets of $0.65/W for residential systems and $0.44/W for commercial systems by 2020.

September 24, 2013

NREL Calculates Emissions and Costs of Power Plant Cycling Necessary for Increased Wind and Solar in the West

New research from the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) quantifies the potential impacts of increasing wind and solar power generation on the operators of fossil-fueled power plants in the West. To accommodate higher amounts of wind and solar power on the electric grid, utilities must ramp down and ramp up or stop and start conventional generators more frequently to provide reliable power for their customers – a practice called cycling.

September 5, 2013

New Study Shows Solar Manufacturing Costs Not Driven Primarily by Labor

Production scale, not lower labor costs, drives China’s current advantage in manufacturing photovoltaic (PV) solar energy systems, according to a new report released today by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

August 23, 2013

NREL Study Suggests Cost Gap for Western Renewables Could Narrow by 2025

A new Energy Department study conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) indicates that by 2025 wind and solar power electricity generation could become cost-competitive without federal subsidies, if new renewable energy development occurs in the most productive locations.

August 20, 2013

Deadline for NREL Director's Fellowships Approaching

The September 30 application deadline for scientists and engineers interested in participating in the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Director's Fellowships program is quickly approaching.

August 12, 2013

Scientists Find Asymmetry in Topological Insulators

New research shows that a class of materials being eyed for the next generation of computers behaves asymmetrically at the sub-atomic level. This research is a key step toward understanding the topological insulators that may have the potential to be the building blocks of a super-fast quantum computer that could run on almost no electricity.

August 7, 2013

NREL and Colombian Oil Firm Unlocking Agricultural Waste Feedstocks for Biofuel

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is working with Ecopetrol, the largest oil company in Colombia, to process the residue from sugar cane and palm oil harvesting into fuel ethanol for blending with gasoline.

August 5, 2013

Two New Fellows to Help Guide NREL Research

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently named Dr. Maria Ghirardi and Dr. Angelo Mascarenhas to its Research Fellows Council, the laboratory's top advisory council comprised of internationally recognized NREL scientists and engineers.

July 30, 2013

NREL Report Firms Up Land-Use Requirements of Solar

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has published a report on the land use requirements of solar power plants based on actual land-use practices from existing solar facilities.

July 8, 2013

NREL Research Earns Three Prestigious R&D 100 Awards

A new energy-efficient approach to building occupancy detection, a better way to detect heat loss in electric-vehicle batteries and a high-efficiency silicon solar cell – all developed or advanced at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) – have been named among this year’s most significant innovations by R&D Magazine.

July 1, 2013

NREL Names Santiago Grijalva Director for Power Systems Engineering

Today, the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced a key hire to lead its Power Systems Engineering Center.

June 24, 2013

NREL Reports 31.1% Efficiency for III-V Solar Cell

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Lab has announced a world record of 31.1% conversion efficiency for a two-junction solar cell under one sun of illumination.

June 20, 2013

Energy Department, NREL Announce New Research Center to Boost Clean Energy Technologies on a Smarter Grid

The Energy Department and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) today announced the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) in Golden, Colorado, as the latest Energy Department user facility and the only one in the nation focused on utility-scale clean energy grid integration. The facility’s first industry partner – Colorado-based Advanced Energy Industries – has already signed on to start work at ESIF, developing lower cost, better performing solar power inverters.

June 19, 2013

NREL’s Keith Emery Awarded Prestigious Cherry Award

An engineer from the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) whose testing and characterization laboratory brings credibility to the measurement of efficiency of solar cells and modules has been awarded the prestigious William R. Cherry Award by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

June 18, 2013

NREL Offers an Open-Source Solution for Large-Scale Energy Data Collection and Analysis

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is launching an open-source system for storing, integrating, and aligning energy-related time-series data. NREL’s Energy DataBus is used for tracking and analyzing energy use on its own campus. The system is applicable to other facilities—including anything from a single building to a large military base or college campus—or for other energy data management needs.

June 17, 2013

NREL Fills Key Leadership Role for Energy Systems Integration

Bryan J. Hannegan will join the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory on June 24 as associate laboratory director for Energy Systems Integration, a critical area of research and development that addresses challenges of integrating clean energy sources into the national energy infrastructure.

June 11, 2013

Novel Enzyme from Tiny Gribble Could Prove a Boon for Biofuels Research

Researchers from the United Kingdom, the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and the University of Kentucky have recently published a paper describing a novel cellulose-degrading enzyme from a marine wood borer Limnoria quadripunctata, commonly known as the gribble.

June 6, 2013

NREL Teams with Navy, Private Industry to Make Jet Fuel from Switchgrass

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is partnering with Cobalt Technologies, U.S. Navy, and Show Me Energy Cooperative to demonstrate that jet fuel can be made economically and in large quantities from a renewable biomass feedstock such as switch grass.

June 5, 2013

NREL Highlights 2012 Utility Green Power Leaders

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) today released its assessment of leading utility green power programs. Under these voluntary programs, residential and commercial consumers can choose to help support additional electricity production from renewable resources – such as wind and solar – that diversify our nation’s energy portfolio and protect our air and water.

May 23, 2013

NREL Announces Participants in National Executive Education Program

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has selected 20 leaders to participate in its 2013 Executive Energy Leadership program (Energy Execs), which is focused on delivering clean energy solutions.

May 18, 2013

Solar and Lithium Ion Car Race Winners Announced

Ninety-seven teams from 28 Colorado schools participated in today’s car competitions hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

May 13, 2013

Helping Cleantech Start-ups Understand Social Media

The Colorado Center for Renewable Energy Economic Development (CREED) at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in collaboration with the Colorado Cleantech Industry Association (CCIA) invites cleantech entrepreneurs to attend the next event in its Entrepreneur Series.

May 3, 2013

NREL Staff Recognized for Breakthrough Technologies

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently recognized the professionals behind the lab’s greatest innovations from the past year during its Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Awards.

April 26, 2013

Combining Strategies Speeds the Work of Enzymes

Enzymes could break down cell walls faster – leading to less expensive biofuels for transportation – if two enzyme systems are brought together in an industrial setting, new research by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory suggests.

April 24, 2013

NREL Quantifies Significant Value in Concentrating Solar Power

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have calibrated the significant value that concentrating solar power (CSP) plants can add to an electric grid.

April 17, 2013

Denver Post Names NREL as a Top Work Place

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has been recognized by the Denver Post as a “2013 Top Work Place.” NREL is one of only 15 large Denver-area employers selected this year.

April 15, 2013

NREL Survey Shows Dramatic Improvement in B100 Biodiesel Quality

The latest national survey of 100% biodiesel (B100) "blend stock" samples by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that 95% of the samples from 2011-12 met ASTM International fuel quality specifications. The ASTM standards serve as guidelines for industry and are designed to ensure quality at the pump for consumers – along with reliable operation of the nation’s vehicles powered by biodiesel blends.

April 12, 2013

NREL Names New Executives to Lead Bioenergy, Bioscience and Energy Systems Integration Facility

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently made three key hires to lead research centers. NREL has named Tom Foust, a nine-year NREL veteran, as its National Bioenergy Center Director; David Post as the Center Director for the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF); and Rich Greene as Biosciences Center Director.

April 11, 2013

DOE and NREL Announce Inaugural Collegiate Wind Competition Teams

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are pleased to announce the teams selected to take part in the inaugural DOE Collegiate Wind Competition.

April 9, 2013

NREL Launches Initiative to Build Solar Performance Database

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has launched an initiative to build an open-source database of real-world performance from solar facilities across the country. As part of DOE’s SunShot Initiative, the Open Solar Performance and Reliability Clearinghouse (O-SPaRC) will give the private market tools to develop investment vehicles to tap low-cost public capital.

April 8, 2013

NREL Employees Lauded by Industry Peers

Employees of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE)’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) were recently recognized by industry peers for their work in grid integration, industry advancement and electrochemistry. NREL was also named an Outstanding Large Company by IEEE.

March 19, 2013

NREL Assembles Industry Working Group to Advance Solar Securitization

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE)’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently convened the Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC) working group with a mission to enable securitization of solar PV assets and associated cash flows in the marketplace.

March 15, 2013

Transportation Energy Futures Study Reveals Potential for Deep Cuts to Petroleum Use and Carbon Emissions

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) today announced the release of the Transportation Energy Futures (TEF) study, an assessment of avenues to reach deep cuts in petroleum use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the transportation sector.

March 6, 2013

Deadline for Energy Execs Applications Extended to March 20

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE)’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has extended the application window for the 2013 Executive Energy Leadership Academy to March 20. “Energy Execs” is a leadership program focused on educating business, community, and government leaders about achieving clean energy solutions using energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

February 22, 2013

NREL's Economic Benefit to Colorado totals $814.8 Million in FY 2012

The net economic benefit of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to Colorado’s economy was $814.8 million in fiscal year 2012, according to a study by the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business.

February 21, 2013

NREL Employees Honored by Industry Associations

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE)'s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and its employees have garnered new awards and recognition from industry groups for advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy research.

February 14, 2013

NREL Helps Communities Assess Their Readiness for Electric Vehicles

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has launched a new tool to help local and regional leaders assess the readiness of their communities for the arrival of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs).

February 8, 2013

NREL and Partners Demonstrate Quantum Dots that Assemble Themselves

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and other labs have demonstrated a process whereby quantum dots can self-assemble at optimal locations in nanowires, a breakthrough that could improve solar cells, quantum computing, and lighting devices.

January 30, 2013

NREL Seeks Leaders for National Executive Energy Academy 2013

Applications are currently being accepted for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) 2013 Executive Energy Leadership Academy. NREL's Executive Energy Leadership Academy, also known as Energy Execs, is a leadership program for non-technical decision-makers throughout the country to learn about renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, analytical tools and financing. Leaders in government, communities, non-profits and the private sector are eligible.

January 28, 2013

NREL Acquires Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicles from Toyota to Support Hydrogen Infrastructure, Production, and Vehicle Performance Studies

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently received four fuel cell hybrid vehicles - advanced (FCHV-adv) on loan from Toyota through a two-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreement. These vehicles will help NREL enhance its research related to hydrogen fueling infrastructure, renewable hydrogen production, and vehicle performance.

January 26, 2013

Lakewood High School Wins Colorado Science Bowl

Students from Lakewood High School Team 1 won the Colorado High School Science Bowl today. They will go on to the 23rd National Science Bowl in Washington D.C., Apr. 25-29, where they will compete for the national title against more than 400 students from 70 high schools.

January 16, 2013

NREL Teams Up on Three ARPA-E Projects to Optimize Electric Vehicle Battery Management and Controls

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has joined DOE and research partners in launching the Advanced Management and Protection of Energy Storage Devices (AMPED) program with a kick-off meeting in San Francisco. Over the next three years, NREL engineers will work with teams led by Utah State University, Washington University, and Eaton Corporation to optimize utilization, life, and cost of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries for electric-drive vehicles (EDVs) through improved battery management and controls. The three projects are funded under the AMPED program with more than $7.4 million from DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

January 14, 2013

NREL Research Fellow Howard Branz Named Fellow of American Physical Society

A solar energy scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory who has done pioneering and breakthrough work on thin films and nanostructures, has been elected a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS).

January 10, 2013

NREL and Stanford Team up on Peel-and-Stick Solar Cells

It may be possible soon to charge cell phones, change the tint on windows, or power small toys with peel-and-stick versions of solar cells, thanks to a partnership between Stanford University and the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

January 9, 2013

NREL Launches Interactive Tool for Developing a Cleaner Energy Future

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has created an energy analysis tool to help individuals and educators experiment with future energy use scenarios. The interactive Buildings, Industry, Transportation, Electricity, and Transportation Scenarios (BITES) allows users to explore how changes in energy demand and supply can impact carbon dioxide emissions and the current U.S. energy trajectory.

January 3, 2013

NREL to Help Convert Methane to Liquid Diesel

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will help develop microbes that convert methane found in natural gas into liquid diesel fuel, a novel approach that if successful could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower dependence on foreign oil.

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