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2011 News

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December 20, 2011

NREL Licenses Technology to Increase Solar Cell Efficiency

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced today that Natcore Technology Inc. has been granted a patent license agreement to develop a line of black silicon products.

December 15, 2011

NREL Scientists Report First Solar Cell Producing More Electrons In Photocurrent Than Solar Photons Entering Cell

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have reported the first solar cell that produces a photocurrent that has an external quantum efficiency greater than 100 percent when photoexcited with photons from the high energy region of the solar spectrum.

December 14, 2011

Tiny Solar Cell Could Make a Big Difference

Semprius is building a factory in North Carolina to make solar power modules after a fruitful partnership with NREL.

December 6, 2011

Thermal Energy Storage in CSP Plants Could Boost Penetration of Solar, Wind Power

The ability of concentrating solar power plants with thermal energy storage to provide power on a continual and flexible basis may be key to helping all types of solar and wind power to penetrate the grid. That's one conclusion of a new report published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

November 21, 2011

Secretary Chu: We Can Win Clean Energy Battle

Secretary of Energy touts American innovation and invention in visit to NREL.

November 11, 2011

Greg Wilson to Lead National Center for Photovoltaics

Dr. Gregory M. Wilson has been named director of the National Center for Photovoltaics (NCPV) at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), effective Nov. 28.

November 7, 2011

Interior Releases Updated Solar Energy Development Roadmap

The U.S. Department of the Interior has released an updated plan for solar energy development in six western states. DOE helped develop the original plan.

November 7, 2011

U.S. Solar Jobs Census: 6.8% Annual Growth, More to Come

A report from the Solar Foundation says job numbers in the solar energy field continue to rise, and indicates further growth in the workforce in 2012.

October 31, 2011

Department of Energy To Invest $60 Million To Develop Innovative CSP Technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy, through its SunShot initiative, will be investing $6 million in research to enable performance breakthroughs in concentrating solar power. Industry, universities, and national laboratories are encouraged to apply for the funding, and must submit a pre-application by November 22, 2011. The effort aims to encourage rapid, widespread adoption of solar energy systems across the country, help the solar power industry overcome technical barriers, reduce costs, boost U.S. competitiveness in the worldwide market for solar technologies, and provide support for clean energy jobs for years to come.

October 31, 2011

Sun Trackers Gather to Calibrate Instruments

Annual pyrheliometer comparisons ensure that measurements of solar "fuel" are the same all over the globe.

October 25, 2011

NREL Opens New Doors to Renewable Energy Data

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory is home to a cornucopia of data on renewable energy, energy efficiency and alternative transportation. This week, NREL launched a new website that will make the data more accessible than ever.

October 21, 2011

Breakthrough Furnace Can Cut Solar Costs

Award-winning Optical Cavity Furnace takes advantage of photonic effects, using less energy to make more efficient solar cells.

October 11, 2011

DOE Finalizes $737 Million Loan Guarantee to Tonopah Solar Energy For Nevada Project

The U.S. Department of Energy has finalized a $737 million loan guarantee for an innovative concentrating solar power project that will feature the tallest molten salt tower in the world. Tonopah Solar Energy, LLC, is developing the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, a 110-megawatt facility that will use molten salt as the primary heat transfer and storage medium. Located in Nevada on land leased from the Bureau of Land Management, the company anticipates the facility will fund 600 construction jobs and 45 permanent jobs.

September 28, 2011

Silicon Ink Is Spot On, NREL Experiments Show

Innovalight's "liquid gold" passes precision tests, wins R&D award and could boost solar cell efficiency 5-7 percent.

September 16, 2011

Federal Laboratory Consortium Highlights Three NREL Research Projects

The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer's (FLC) Mid-Continent Region recently recognized the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and its partners with three awards for excellence in technology transfer. It also named NREL Commercialization and Technology Transfer Agreement's Specialist Carrieann McDonough as an Outstanding Laboratory Representative.

September 1, 2011

NREL to Help Four Start-ups Ramp up Solar Energy Innovations

Companies with innovative, game-changing ways to lower the cost of solar energy have been awarded $5.8 million to work with the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

August 31, 2011

NREL Releases Important Review of Variable Generation and Reserves Needs

This report presents a comprehensive review of current strategies, studies, and fundamental research on the impact that increased penetration of variable renewable generation has on power system operating reserves.

August 31, 2011

NREL data set shows clouds' effects on solar power

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)has produced and made available a rich data set showing what happens, second-by-second, when clouds pass over a solar power installation.

July 19, 2011

New Release of SolTrace Software a Powerful Optical Modeling Tool

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has released a new and improved version of SolTrace, a software tool that models concentrating solar power systems and analyzes their optical performance.

July 11, 2011

Solar Lab Collaborative Showcase on August 4

One-of-a-kind platforms that have the ability to bridge the gap between photovoltaic (PV) module and cell efficiencies are opening their stainless steel arms to industry, academia, stakeholders , and other entities on Aug. 4 at a Collaborative Showcase at the Process Development Integration Laboratory (PDIL) at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

June 23, 2011

NREL, German Solar Energy Researchers to Work Together

German and American researchers will work together more closely on solar energy topics as a result of today's signing of a Memo of Understanding (MOU) between the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the German Helmholtz Association. The MOU identifies several key solar energy topics to explore for joint research cooperation.

June 22, 2011

Solar Research Earns Three Prestigious R&D 100 Awards

A technique to turn silicon into ink, a faster way to assess solar cells, and a better furnace for heating solar cells – all 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 R&D Magazine.

June 20, 2011

NREL's Jerry Olson Wins Prestigious Cherry Award from IEEE

A physicist from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) who was a pioneer in multi-junction solar cells for use in outer space and on Earth has been awarded the prestigious Cherry Award by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

June 6, 2011

NREL CSP Group Seeks Postdoctoral Fellowship Participants

The Concentrating Solar Power group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is looking for participants in an upcoming postdoctoral fellowship opportunity to support concentrating solar power research at the lab. The fellowship is being offered by the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program within the U.S. Department of Energy. Applications are due June 30, 2011.

June 3, 2011

Fourth CSP Plant Receives DOE Loan Support

In an ongoing push to support innovative renewable energy, the U.S. Department of Energy has offered a conditional loan guarantee to the development of a fourth concentrating solar plant. The 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project received an offer for the $737 million loan guarantee on May 19. In the past 12 months, three other concentrating solar power plants with a combined generating capacity of 1,471 megawatts have received similar guarantees totaling more than $5.8 billion.

May 17, 2011

NREL's New Microscopy Technology Reveals Path to Cheaper Solar Cells

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has developed a new imaging tool to analyze weak regions in low-cost silicon. The tool and the research it enables are vital to lowering costs in production and manufacturing of solar cells.

May 12, 2011

NREL's Multi-Junction Solar Cells Teach Scientists How to Turn Plants into Powerhouses

Plants can overcome their evolutionary legacies to become much better at using biological photosynthesis to produce energy, the kind of energy that can power vehicles in the near future, an all-star collection of biologists, physicists, photochemists, and solar scientists has found.

May 2, 2011

NREL Earns Federal Technology Transfer Accolades

A technology from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for depositing crystalline silicon onto inexpensive substrate materials has been recognized with a 2011 Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer from the Federal Laboratory Consortium

April 4, 2011

NREL and Partners to Compare High-Efficiency Solar Cells from Three Nations at Sites in Colorado and Yokohama, Japan

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is partnering with major international industrial technology and solar research organizations to test how solar cells from three manufacturers perform in two geographic locations with different lighting conditions.

April 4, 2011

NREL and Contractor Aim to Reduce Water Use in CSP Plants

The ideal site for a concentrating solar power plant has plenty of sunshine. Trouble is, these sites often have limited water resources, and such power plants require some type of coolant, with water being the traditional coolant of choice. NREL and WorleyParsons Group, Inc. have been studying various methods for reducing water use in concentrating solar power plants, and have published a report summarizing results—which point to "dry" or waterless cooling as a solution.

March 29, 2011

NREL Fellow Honored for 'Chemistry in the Public Interest'

Dr. Arthur J. Nozik, senior research fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), will be awarded the Gustavus John Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest, from the American Chemical Society's Northeastern Section at Harvard University on April 14.

February 11, 2011

Lab's Impact on Colorado's Economy Triples

The presence of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado is a $714 million annual boost to the state's economy, according to data compiled in a soon to be released analysis by the University of Colorado.

February 4, 2011

Energy Department to Invest up to $7 million to Support Early-Stage Solar Technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced an investment of up to $7 million in total funding through DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to support the development and commercialization of emerging solar energy technologies.

February 4, 2011

DOI Approves Ninth Commercial-Scale Solar Project on Public Lands

The U.S. Department of Interior, in an ongoing effort to help develop renewable energy on U.S. public lands, approved the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project last month. The concentrated solar power plant is the ninth large-scale solar facility to be approved for development on public lands since last October. The 110-megawatt plant will be sited on 2,250 acres in Nevada, which are owned by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The project is expected to create hundreds of construction jobs and help meet requirements of Nevada's Renewable Portfolio Standard.


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