Feature Stories

The following feature stories take an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at how NREL is advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

December 2022

Dec. 28, 2022

Top 20 NREL Stories of 2022

NREL researchers and staff reached countless goals and achieved numerous successes in science, partnerships, and commercialization in 2022. Here are just a few of the highlights.

Dec. 21, 2022

Scientists Discover Enzymes That Could Make It Cheaper To Recycle Waste Polyester Textiles and Bottles Than Making Them From Petroleum

Using Machine Learning, the NREL-Led Team Discovered Variants of "Plastic-Eating" Enzymes Adapted To Deconstructing all Varieties of PET--Even Durable Crystalline Varieties

November 2022

Nov. 17, 2022

NREL Delivers Impact Through Commercialization in Record Volume at Critical Time

Central to NREL's mission is the research and development of novel and desperately needed technologies germane to the imminent energy transition. Pursuing this mission, NREL generates tremendous impact alongside motivated partners, together maximizing decades of taxpayer investment in the laboratory.

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.

October 2022

Oct. 26, 2022

Marquee NREL Partnership With Hewlett Packard Enterprise Continues To Build on Years of Groundbreaking Innovation

Eleven years ago, the buds of what would become one of NREL's most impactful and successful partnerships began to bloom. NREL commissioned a new data center in the new Energy Systems Integration Facility, designed to house a new supercomputer--and push NREL into the leading edge of high-performance computing.

Oct. 18, 2022

More Than One Pathway to Energy Resilience

NREL has supported communities with rebuilding and recovery of energy systems for over a decade, assisting before and after disasters and discovering firsthand how communities can invest in effective, affordable, and equitable resilience.

September 2022

Sept. 21, 2022

Innovative Analysis Tool Opens Path Toward Better Mobility for All

Researchers at NREL have devised an innovative way to quantify and understand mobility quality and equity issues: the Mobility Energy Productivity (MEP) tool. MEP distills three major components of mobility--time, cost, and energy--into a simple, easy-to-read score.

August 2022

Aug. 25, 2022

NREL's 6th Partner Forum Digs Deep on Sustainable Aviation Opportunities

On Aug. 9-10, 2022, NREL convened its sixth Partner Forum at its Golden, Colorado, campus, pulling together public and private sector leaders to collaboratively explore solutions for sustainable aviation.

Aug. 22, 2022

Decarbonizing the Building Sector: The Devil's in the Data

In 2019, Washington, D.C., started using the Standard Energy Efficiency Data (SEED) Platform, a web-based software created by NREL and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to manage data from large groups of buildings and help cities reduce the energy consumption and carbon emissions of their building stock.

Aug. 8, 2022

Partner Forum Helps Cement Partnership Between NREL, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport

NREL and DFW Airport have committed to working from the ground up at the system level on sustainability, decarbonization, and energy-efficiency overhauls, designing upgrades and implementations that can integrate intelligently across the board.

Aug. 1, 2022

Transforming Energy Through Internships

For 45 years, NREL has been innovating energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies with the help of highly qualified interns. Thousands of interns have walked the halls--virtually and physically--and assisted researchers over the four decades.

July 2022

July 6, 2022

NREL Innovations Open Door to Industry Collaboration, Commercialization

NREL researchers made for an inventive bunch in fiscal year 2021, even exceeding record-breaking activity in FY '20. A patent issued in November 2021 for compressed gas energy storage, for example, which covers the idea of injecting compressed natural gas into defunct oil and gas fracking sites, accounted for just one of 36 issued patents in FY '21.

June 2022

June 6, 2022

A Decade of Transformation: What We Have Learned Since RE Futures Study Showed What Was Possible

Ten years after visionary renewable electricity futures study showed an 80% renewable U.S. Grid was possible, NREL experts recount how they've built on those findings in the decade since—and what is next.

May 2022

May 25, 2022

NREL Pledge Curbs Emissions as Part of Larger DOE Initiative

Martin Keller, director of NREL, said he expects the Flatirons Campus near Boulder, Colorado, will reach net zero emissions annually by the end of fiscal year 2023 and the South Table Mountain Campus outside Golden, Colorado, to hit that achievement three years later.

May 12, 2022

The Future of Distributed Wind in the United States: Considerations for Unlocking Terawatt-Level Potential

The U.S. federal government has set a goal of 100% clean electricity in 2035 and a net-zero carbon economy in 2050. To achieve these ambitious targets, all forms of renewable power will be important—including distributed wind.

April 2022

April 21, 2022

Industry Growth Forum Journeys

NREL's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (IEC) hosted its Industry Growth Forum (IGF) April 13-14, 2022, in Aurora, Colorado. The IGF is the premier event for cleantech entrepreneurs, investors, and experts from industry and the public sector to build relationships, showcase innovative technologies, and identify disruptive business solutions. Follow three of the 40 presenters through this story.

April 8, 2022

NREL Researchers Plot Energy Storage Under Our Feet

Computer modeling done by scientists at NREL and Colorado School of Mines confirmed the feasibility of using depleted oil and gas wells as a space for energy storage.

March 2022

March 24, 2022

Transportation Innovation Bridges Divides

Mobility limitations present major impediments to securing a better job, home, education, healthcare, and overall quality of life. Learn how NREL researchers are working with partners in underserved communities to identify energy-efficient transportation solutions that can increase mobility equity.

March 15, 2022

Aging Gracefully: How NREL Is Extending the Lifetime of Solar Modules

DuraMAT, a multi-laboratory consortium led by NREL, is exploring ideas that could extend solar module lifetime up to 50 years.

February 2022

Feb. 3, 2022

Leader in Buildings Research Receives Prestigious Black Engineer of the Year STEM Award

After more than a decade of leading innovative building research and mentoring dozens of young scientists, Roderick Jackson is being honored with a Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) at the 36th annual BEYA STEM Conference, Feb. 17-19, 2022, in Washington, D.C. He is the first BEYA recipient from NREL.

January 2022

Jan. 5, 2022

Python Opens Up New Applications for EnergyPlus Building Energy Simulation

Buildings account for more than 40% of U.S. energy use and 70% of U.S. electricity use. Reducing that consumption and "shaping" it to match renewable generation requires us to design and operate buildings to be more efficient, flexible, and responsive. To do that, we must be able to better predict and model building energy use.


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