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News Archives - 2013

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 8, 2013

New Solar Cell Is More Efficient, Less Costly

Innovation by NREL and First Solar acquisition TetraSun wins a 2013 R&D 100 Award.

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.

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 18, 2013

Energy Secretary Dedicates ESIF at NREL

A more resilient, cleaner, integrated system crucial for America's future, says Secretary Moniz.

September 10, 2013

NREL Teams with LBNL to Analyze PV Pricing Trends

The lead authors of the briefing, Photovoltaic (PV) Pricing Trends: Historical, Recent, and Near-Term Projections (2013 Edition), David Feldman (NREL) and Galen Barbose (LBNL), will be discussing at a webinar hosted by Vote Solar on September 11, 2013, from 10 AM - 11 AM PDT

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 19, 2013

Third Consecutive IEEE Cherry Award for NREL

Prestigious recognition goes to Keith Emery, whose testing and measurement lab sets the standard for credibility of solar efficiency claims.

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 15, 2013

Updated Solar Resource Maps Available for India

Through funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of State, and in collaboration with India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, NREL has updated its 10-kilometer solar resource maps for India.

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.

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).

May 13, 2013

Saudi Arabia Looks to NREL for Solar Monitoring Expertise

Middle East kingdom poised to devote billions of dollars to embracing renewable energy.

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 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 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.

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.

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.

February 5, 2013

Solar Policy and Program Technical Assistance in 2013

This year, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Program will offer four rounds of technical assistance opportunities through NREL for cities and states targeting policy and programmatic improvements that will help open and develop markets for distributed generation photovoltaics, specifically rooftop solar.

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 11, 2013

Solar Decathlon Heads to California for 2013 Event

For the first time, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon will be held outside of Washington, D.C. This fall, 20 collegiate teams will head to the Orange Country Great Park in Irvine, Calif., to compete in this award-winning showcase of energy-efficient and solar-powered houses.

January 11, 2013

Device Tosses Out Unusable PV Wafers

System uses focused light to find weak silicon wafers before money is spent making them into solar cells.

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.

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