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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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June 2021

June 23, 2021

Carbon-Neutral Future Unites NREL, Sempra Energy in Partnership

NREL and Sempra Energy's cooperative, multiyear projects exploring low-carbon fuels and microgrid technology have reaped success—including some groundbreaking achievements. Now, a memorandum of understanding signed in June 2021 formalizes a joint effort by NREL and Sempra Energy to continue advancing clean energy systems.

June 22, 2021

Study Kicks Off Multiyear Effort To Modernize U.S. Electricity Markets

To address challenges for future electric markets, a major research collaboration has published its first study for a national project targeting grid modernization and understanding current market design challenges and opportunities.

June 21, 2021

Researchers Identify Near-Term Opportunity for Heavy-Duty Electric Trucks

Researchers recently studied a promising opportunity for near-term electrification within this segment through depot charging.

June 21, 2021

News Release: NREL Names Meyer Seligman To Lead New Government Relations Office

NREL has named Meyer Seligman as director for Government Relations. In this new position for the laboratory, Seligman will be responsible for ensuring NREL stakeholders are informed on NREL's research to help advance the laboratory's mission.

June 17, 2021

How Wave Energy Could Go Big by Getting Smaller

With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's Water Power Technologies Office, NREL researchers are exploring ways to significantly advance wave energy converter design and development.

June 17, 2021

News Release: NREL Announces Plans To Collaborate With Georgia Institute of Technology

NREL and the Georgia Institute of Technology have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to bolster the interactions, collaborations, and joint scientific output of both institutions.

June 17, 2021

Are Hybrid Systems Truly the Future of the Grid? NREL's Magic 8-Ball Says: "Concentrate and Ask Again."

Recent analyses suggest a need for coordinated dialogue and consistent modeling to understand the value of hybrid renewable energy systems.

June 16, 2021

Kansas City Engages Community To Expand Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Researchers are working to expand access to electric vehicles by building more charging stations in neighborhoods that otherwise might be overlooked.

June 16, 2021

CCHRC Marks One Year as NREL's Subarctic Laboratory

In June 2020, NREL expanded from its sunny campus in the foothills of Golden, Colorado, to the frozen tundra of Fairbanks, Alaska, by adding the Cold Climate Housing Research Center to its team. The inaugural year saw several notable collaborations, including a project to create affordable prefabricated housing, advice on improvements to military housing, and construction of demonstration homes in marginalized communities.

June 16, 2021

The Challenge of the Last Few Percent: Quantifying the Costs and Emissions Benefits of a 100% Renewable U.S. Electricity System

Large-scale simulations by NREL researchers show that the U.S. can get close to 100% renewable generation cost-effectively—but the final few percent drive a nonlinear increase in total system cost.

June 9, 2021

Partnerships Amplify Velocity of Offshore Wind Innovation

With support from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, NREL’s 150 wind energy researchers are teaming up with over 45 organizations to make offshore wind energy a reality.

June 8, 2021

New Pathway Emerges To Improve Polycrystalline Thin-Film Solar Cell Performance

Puzzling out and testing new ways to improve the efficiency of cadmium telluride (CdTe) polycrystalline thin-film photovoltaic materials is a typical day in the life of NREL research scientists Matthew Reese and Craig Perkins. Like any good puzzlers, they bring curiosity and keen observation to the task.

June 3, 2021

NREL Inventiveness Sets New Record for Patent Activity

NREL was granted 40 U.S. patents during fiscal 2020, a bump from the 32 issued during the prior fiscal year.

June 1, 2021

Grid-Scale U.S. Storage Capacity Could Grow Five-Fold by 2050

The latest report in NREL's multiyear Storage Futures Study finds reaching full market potential of diurnal grid-scale energy storage hinges on system flexibility and solar photovoltaics penetration.

May 2021

May 27, 2021

Industry Growth Forum Creates Impact in Virtual Setting for Second Straight Year

Even in its 26th year, amidst a pandemic, the NREL Industry Growth Forum--the premiere cleantech commercialization-acceleration event that aligns promising, preselected startups with venture capitalists looking for their next great investment--set new records.

May 27, 2021

Gesick Embeds With Defense Innovation Unit To Expand NREL’s Support To Department of Defense

NREL researcher Josh Gesick joins the Department of Defense's Defense Innovation Unit Advanced Energy and Materials team to assist DOD with partner-related initiatives and adoption of commercial technologies.

May 26, 2021

Researchers Take a Practical Look Beyond Short-Term Energy Storage

An article in Nature Energy by NREL research engineer Omar J. Guerra describes research needs for longer-duration and seasonal energy storage solutions and opportunities to develop a stronger understanding of how long-term and seasonal storage technologies can become cost-effective and grid-supportive energy solutions.

May 25, 2021

Flexible Loads and Renewable Energy Work Together in a Highly Electrified Future

The multiyear Electrification Futures Study concludes with first-of-its-kind national-scale modeling of power systems with widespread electrification, demand-side flexibility, and high renewable energy.

May 20, 2021

Wave Hello to the 2022 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition Teams

Seventeen teams were selected to participate in the 2022 MECC to offer a new wave of innovation in the third year of the competition.

May 19, 2021

What We Know—and Do Not Know—About Achieving a National-Scale 100% Renewable Electric Grid

Published in the journal Joule, "The Challenges of Achieving a 100% Renewable Electricity System in the United States" offers important insights into the technical and economic challenges that would need to be overcome to achieve 100% renewable electric power across the United States.

May 18, 2021

New Combustion Strategies Plus Biofuels Add Up to Cleaner, More Efficient Cars and Trucks

A report released this month highlights the most significant breakthroughs of the last year in the U.S. Department of Energy's Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) initiative, with details on findings that could translate into significant greenhouse gas and tailpipe emissions reductions.

May 17, 2021

News Release: Environmental Concerns Propel Research Into Marine Biofuels

A global effort to reduce sulfur and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships has researchers from NREL and other Department of Energy facilities investigating the potential use of marine biofuels.

May 13, 2021

Expanded Data Sets and a Smooth-Sailing User Experience: Meet Marine Energy Atlas

Marine Energy Atlas features expanded data sets and offers a streamlined user experience.

May 13, 2021

NREL's Partner Institution, the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis, Launches Catalyzers Initiative

The JISEA Catalyzers initiative will incubate research capabilities for 1–2 years before being launched into a new NREL-led program.

May 5, 2021

News Release: NREL Announces Participants for 2021 Executive Energy Leadership Program

NREL selected 18 leaders to participate in its 2021 Executive Energy Leadership program, which provides nontechnical business, government, and community leaders an opportunity to learn about advanced energy technologies, analytical tools, and financing to guide their organizations and communities in energy-related planning.

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