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December 16, 2014

NREL Demonstrates 45.7% Efficiency for Concentrator Solar Cell

The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has announced the demonstration of a 45.7 percent conversion efficiency for a four-junction solar cell at 234 suns concentration. This achievement represents one of the highest photovoltaic research cell efficiencies achieved across all types of solar cells.

December 11, 2014

NREL Compares State Solar Policies to Determine Equation for Solar Market Success

Analysts at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have used statistical analyses and detailed case studies to better understand why solar market policies in certain states are more successful. Their findings indicate that while no standard formula for solar implementation exists, a combination of foundational policies and localized strategies can increase solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in any state.

November 26, 2014

NREL Releases User Guide for PV Dynamic Model Simulation

Report explains how to use NREL's tool for modeling the dynamic behavior of photovoltaic inverters.

November 20, 2014

NREL Teams with SolarCity to Maximize Solar Power on Electrical Grids

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and SolarCity have entered into a cooperative research agreement to address the operational issues associated with large amounts of distributed solar energy on electrical grids. The work includes collaboration with the Hawaiian Electric Companies to analyze high penetration solar scenarios using advanced modeling and inverter testing at the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF). The project is funded in part through an Energy Department solar cost-share program.

October 20, 2014

Solar Energy Prices See Double-digit Declines in 2013; Trend Expected to Continue

Distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) system prices dropped by 12 – 19 percent nationwide in 2013, according to the third edition of a jointly written report on PV pricing trends from the Energy Department’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). In addition, 2014 prices are expected to drop another 3 – 12 percent, depending on system location and market segment. Industry analysts expect this trend to continue over the next couple of years, keeping the nation on track to meet the DOE SunShot Initiative’s 2020 targets.

September 29, 2014

NREL Announces New Center Directors to lead R&D, Analysis Efforts

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently named leaders in the renewable energy field as center directors. Paul Basore has been named Director of the Materials Applications and Performance Center; Dave Mooney as Director of the Strategic Energy Analysis Center; Nancy Haegel as Director of NREL’s Materials Science Center; Jao van de Lagemaat as Director of Chemistry and Nanoscience; and Pete Sheldon was named Director of Research Operations within NREL’s Materials and Chemical Science and Technology Directorate.

September 22, 2014

NREL to Test Inverters for the “Little Box Challenge” Presented by Google and IEEE

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will test power inverters submitted to the Little Box Challenge presented by Google and the IEEE Power Electronics Society. The Challenge is an open competition to build smaller power inverters for use in solar power systems. The winner of the $1 million prize will have designed and built a kilowatt-scale inverter with the highest power density – at least 50 Watts per cubic inch.

September 19, 2014

NREL Industry Growth Forum Attracts Clean Energy Entrepreneurs and Investors

Thirty clean energy companies will present their business cases to a panel of investors and industry experts Oct. 28 and 29 in Denver, as the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) hosts its annual Industry Growth Forum.

September 16, 2014

NREL Forges Foundation for Advanced Concentrating Solar Power Receivers

NREL's Thermal Systems Group is performing research and development on components for high-temperature concentrating solar power (CSP) receivers as part of DOE's SunShot effort. DOE supports R&D of CSP technologies in order to achieve SunShot Initiative cost targets with systems that can supply solar power on demand through the use of thermal energy storage. The thermal energy from the receiver can be stored and subsequently dispatched to produce electricity via a turbine driving a generator.

August 27, 2014

Crystal Solar and NREL Team Up to Cut Costs

"Gas to wafer" approach, 100 times faster than typical methods, wins R&D 100 award.

July 28, 2014

NREL Uses Industry Best Practices to Add Partners

NREL is accelerating the availability of next-generation technologies by making it easier for industry partners to work with the lab.

July 17, 2014

Industry, Investors Count on NREL's Modeling Tools

NREL's algorithms and models predict performance and financial risk of renewable energy systems.

July 11, 2014

NREL Research Earns Two Prestigious R&D 100 Awards

A growth system that can produce thin solar cells quickly and at low cost, and an ultra-efficient supercomputer platform – both developed or advanced by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and its partners – have been named among this year’s most significant innovations by R&D Magazine.

June 9, 2014

NREL Finds Up to 6-cent per Kilowatt-Hour Extra Value with Concentrated Solar Power

Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) projects would add additional value of 5 or 6 cents per kilowatt hour to utility-scale solar energy in California where 33 percent renewables will be mandated in six years, a new report by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has found.

June 3, 2014

NREL to Host Photovoltaics Presentation at 2014 Solar Day

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory will host several events at the 2014 Denver Solar Day on Sunday, June 8. The free expo is expected to attract more than 2,000 photovoltaics (PV) installers, PV buyers, students, utility officials and members of the public.

May 9, 2014

NREL Staff Recognized for Top Innovations

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently recognized the professionals behind the lab’s greatest innovations from the past year during its annual Innovation and Technology Transfer Awards ceremony. The event also celebrated NREL’s commercialization and partnering successes, recognizing the researchers and engineers—including three honorees in the new Rising Stars Award category—who made it happen.

May 7, 2014

NREL Assembles Industry Group to Explore Solar Lending Potential

Increasingly, banks, credit unions, and other lenders are beginning to offer loan products to homeowners and businesses for the installation of rooftop solar systems. However, barriers to accessing this growing market still remain. The Energy Department’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently convened the Banking on Solar working group to engage lenders and other stakeholders to address these barriers.

April 15, 2014

NREL Unlocking Secrets of New Solar Material

Perovskite, a semiconducting cube-like mineral, is jumping up efficiency charts faster than any other solar-cell material.

February 26, 2014

NREL Examines Solar Policy Pathways for States

The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has published a report that aligns solar policy and market success with state demographics. By organizing the 48 contiguous states into four peer groups based on shared non-policy characteristics, the NREL research team was able to contextualize the impact of various solar policies on photovoltaic (PV) installations.

February 19, 2014

NREL Report Quantifies Value of Two CSP Technologies with Thermal Energy Storage

NREL has found that parabolic troughs and dry-cooled towers deliver similar value for concentrating solar power (CSP) plants, despite different solar profiles. A new NREL report shows increasing importance for systems with thermal energy storage. The report also demonstrates that multiple CSP technologies and plant configurations can be analyzed using traditional planning tools such as production cost models.

February 14, 2014

NREL Scientist Named AAAS Fellow

David S. Ginley, a materials scientist at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, has been named a fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an honor accorded to at most 1 percent of the prestigious scientific society’s membership each year.

February 6, 2014

NREL Director Arvizu Elected to National Academy of Engineering

Dan Arvizu, director of the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering.

January 8, 2014

NREL Hydrogen Expert Sees Promise in New Discovery

Producing hydrogen directly from the sun -- and in a way that is commercially viable -- is more a reality, less a pipedream, thanks in part to a new discovery, renowned hydrogen water-splitting expert John Turner stated in a commentary in the journal Science.

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