Circular Economy News

Read news stories covering a circular economy for energy materials, one of NREL’s critical research objectives.

Nov. 3, 2022

Stronger Supply Chain Links to a Clean Energy Future

The clean energy revolution can only succeed if U.S. manufacturers have the materials, components, infrastructure, and other resources needed to meet ambitious emissions-reduction targets. New supply chain strategies are helping make the production of renewable energy technologies as sustainable as their operation.

Nov. 3, 2022

NREL-Authored Clean Energy Supply Chain Analysis Reports

NREL-authored reports provided insights on supply chain issues related to solar photovoltaic, wind power, energy storage, semiconductor, and hydrogen fuel cell and electrolyzer technologies.

Oct. 28, 2022

Long-Lived? Highly Recyclable? Priorities for Solar Panels in a Circular Economy

To meet its 2050 decarbonization goals, the United States will need to install up to 20 times more solar photovoltaic (PV) modules than are installed today.

Oct. 27, 2022

IN² Demonstration: The Possibilities of a Plug-and-Play Kitchen

For its latest NREL-based cohort, the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN²) formed an all-demonstration group, where each participant would create a demonstration of their technologies as part of the program. Among the first to have its demonstration project underway is San Francisco-based Kit Switch.

Oct. 25, 2022

Why the World Needs Manufacturing Masterminds

Read a summary of the six manufacturing experts profiled throughout the year as part of NREL's Manufacturing Masterminds Q&A profile series.

Sept. 29, 2022

First Cohort of Innovators Enter West Gate

West Gate is a program that embeds innovators at NREL and pairs them with national laboratory scientists and capabilities over a period of two years, during which they have prime access to world-class national laboratory capabilities and expertise to significantly advance the development of their clean-energy technologies.

Aug. 30, 2022

NREL Researchers Point to Path for Improved Wind Blade Recycling Rates

Researchers at NREL are considering circular economy strategies to mitigate the impact of wind turbine blades at the end of their useful lifespan.

July 28, 2022

NREL Selected for Space-Bound Research To Solve the Plastic Waste Dilemma

Researchers at NREL will send an engineered bacteria into space as early as next year as part of ongoing research into solving the problem of plastic waste mitigation on Earth.

June 27, 2022

News Release: NREL Analysis Highlights Strategies Beyond Recycling To Bolster Circular Economy for Solar and Battery Technologies

In a new comprehensive literature review, researchers at NREL discovered that alternatives to recycling may have untapped potential to build an effective circular economy for solar photovoltaic and battery technologies, such as reducing the use of virgin materials in manufacturing, reusing for new applications, and extending product life spans.

April 28, 2022

News Release: NREL Calculates Lost Value of Landfilled Plastic in U.S.

Scientists at NREL calculated the energy value of landfilled plastic waste in 2019 was enough to supply 5% of the power used by the country's transportation sector, or 5.5% by the industrial sector.

April 22, 2022

Working Out the Details of a Circular Solar Economy

As solar grows rapidly as an energy source, the number of photovoltaic (PV) modules that are manufactured and installed each year will continue to expand.

March 30, 2022

Amazon Joins NREL-Led BOTTLE Consortium To Help Change the Way We Recycle

A new collaboration between Amazon and NREL-led BOTTLE Consortium could be a major step toward developing solutions to global plastic pollution.

March 1, 2022

Q&A With Meredith Doyle: Impatient To Save the World

As part of the Q&A profile series "Manufacturing Masterminds," Meredith Doyle discusses her perspectives on the future potential for plant-based plastics, equity issues surrounding plastics pollution, and more.

Feb. 24, 2022

NREL Bioengineering Process Prepares To Make a Splash

When Americans turn on a faucet, they rely on public treatment systems to ensure the water is safe to drink. Recently, Mars Materials was granted an option for an exclusive license to use NREL's renewable acrylonitrile technology in producing polyacrylamide flocculants for commercial use in water treatment systems.

Jan. 27, 2022

Plant-Based Epoxy Enables Recyclable Carbon Fiber, Improves Economics for Mass Market Electric Vehicles

Ten times stronger than steel, nearly half the weight of aluminum, far stiffer than fiberglass—carbon fiber carries a package of advantages, making it a preferred material for use in luxury sedans and Formula One racecars alike.

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