News and Feature Stories

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

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December 2022

Dec. 5, 2022

The Caribbean Is Swimming in Seaweed. Scientists Aim To Turn It Into Jet Fuel and Batteries

It was not even close. In 2022, seaweed levels floating in the Caribbean smashed the record set in 2018 by 20%. You could see the consequences drifting up on shorelines from Puerto Rico to the Florida coast.

Dec. 2, 2022

Two NREL Scientists Recognized for Their Contributions to Coating Science and Technology

Scott Mauger and Michael Ulsh received awards at this year's International Society of Coating Science and Technology (ISCST) Symposium.

Dec. 1, 2022

Air Force Accelerator Adds NREL for Sustainable Aviation Expertise

NREL is enthusiastically supporting development of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) technologies, and a new collaboration with the U.S. Air Force is taking that research to new heights.

November 2022

Nov. 30, 2022

NREL Tracks PV and Energy Storage Prices in Volatile Market

NREL has released its annual cost breakdown of installed solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery storage systems.

Nov. 30, 2022

Reasons Behind Wind Energy Workforce Gap Identified

Two NREL studies analyze the causes of the wind energy workforce gap and offer solutions to connect industry employers and potential workers.

Nov. 30, 2022

SolarAPP+ Prize Helps Communities Adopt Automated Solar Permit Processing

NREL announced 12 communities as winners of Step 1 of the American-Made Solar Automated Permit Processing Plus (SolarAPP+) Prize—a two-step competition to help communities adopt automated processing of residential solar permits, lowering costs and making solar more accessible for homeowners.

Nov. 28, 2022

Enzymes and Bacteria Sent on Mission To Upcycle Plastics

A plastic-degrading enzyme and an engineered bacterial strain have just been launched into space with an important mission: to convert waste plastics to upcycled materials during spaceflight.

Nov. 23, 2022

Q&A With Stephanie Bostwick: Capacity Building and Energy Sovereignty for Tribal Nations

For Stephanie Bostwick's American Indian partners, the primary concern is energy sovereignty. Bostwick is an NREL project manager in the Energy Security and Resilience Center's Resilient Systems Design and Engineering group who supports technical assistance for tribal nations as well as resilience assessments for federal partners.

Nov. 23, 2022

Science Is a Team Sport: 7 Energy Frontier Research Centers Boost NREL Research

As human knowledge grows deeper and broader, new and more complex scientific problems require multidisciplinary teams with more diverse ideas and skills.

Nov. 22, 2022

How Wind Turbines Could Power Defense and Disaster Relief

Over the last four years, NREL has been part of a multilaboratory team that explored deployable wind turbine systems—including a few solar panels and batteries—using standard shipping containers to power military and disaster relief purposes.

Nov. 18, 2022

NREL Researchers Developing Enhanced Methods for Evaluating Window Energy Performance Lifespan

A new technical report published by researchers with NREL, the University of Colorado Boulder, and WinBuild Inc. proposes new methods to evaluate how long windows sustain their energy performance.

Nov. 18, 2022

Popular NREL Cell Efficiency Chart Shines in New Interactive Version

There is a new way to explore NREL's famous chart spotlighting the efficiency of solar cells. The Best Research-Cell Efficiency Chart is now interactive, with the ability to pull up decades of research data and create custom charts that focus on specific technologies or time periods. You can also dive deeper into the data behind many points on the chart, going beyond just efficiency.

Nov. 18, 2022

PV Windows Unlock Goal of Increased Energy Efficiency of Skyscrapers

Skyscrapers dominate city skylines, but these massive glass-walled structures can be made more energy efficient through the addition of thermally efficient photovoltaic (PV) windows, according to an analysis by researchers at NREL.

Nov. 18, 2022

A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

An accessible, centralized data library for all things marine energy is making it easier for everyone in marine energy—from small startups to big universities—to get the data they need to accelerate technology development.

Nov. 17, 2022

Collaborative Database Maps Lithium-Ion Supply Chain Landscape

Developing a secure supply chain—from material extraction to manufacturing battery cells and packs—is essential for a competitive edge in lithium-ion domestic and global markets.

Nov. 17, 2022

IN² Demonstration: Getting Control Outside of the Lab

For its 10th cohort, the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN²) formed an all-demonstration group, where each participant would scope and perform a demonstration of their technologies as part of the program.

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. 16, 2022

Strategic Planning Could Maximize the Benefits of Integrating Electric Vehicles Into Electricity Distribution Systems

Electric vehicle adoption is increasing—and fast. At this point, you may own one or probably know someone who does.

Nov. 15, 2022

Eight From NREL Named to 2022 Highly Cited Researchers List

Eight scientists from NREL were named today to the Highly Cited Researchers list, including two who are making their first appearance.

Nov. 15, 2022

News Release: National Laboratories Launch Buildings Consortium Leveraging Benefits of Thermal and Electrochemical Energy Storage for All Americans

Stor4Build is a new consortium on energy storage for buildings that will accelerate the growth, optimization, and deployment of storage technologies. The consortium will be co-led by NREL, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Nov. 14, 2022

Ready, Set, Go! 120-Plus Teams To Compete in Solar Decathlon 2023 Design Challenge

124 teams from 97 collegiate institutions are working to solve the climate crisis, one building at a time, by participating in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2023 Design Challenge.

Nov. 11, 2022

Livewire Data Platform Expands Access to Transportation Project Data Sets

Finding readily available and easily accessible data sets is a common challenge in the research community. DOE's Livewire Data Platform's growing catalog of transportation and mobility-related projects helps address this need by providing researchers with a unified platform to connect with each other and easily find data sets.

Nov. 10, 2022

Not Just a Summer Lab Internship

As a child growing up in Massachusetts, Gabriel Prepetit went to football stadiums to watch the games and excitement unfold, but the massive structures around him ultimately made the real lasting impression.

Nov. 10, 2022

National Lab Collaboration Shows Biofuels Are Competitive Alternatives to Petroleum Across the Board

Renewable fuels still carry a high burden of proof: They need to be high performing, efficient, and cost-effective. Analysis performed by national laboratory researchers has uncovered a slate of biofuels produced from organic materials, including plants and agricultural waste, that have the potential to replace petroleum-derived fuel.

Nov. 10, 2022

GEM Intern Keeps Passion for Social Justice and Engineering Close to Heart

Throughout her academic journey, Katrina Ramirez-Meyers has always pursued equal paths of heart and science. Whether helping West African communities in the Peace Corps or building her skills as an engineer and scholar, her end goal is always about empowering people.

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