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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May 2022

May 18, 2022

Capturing Light From Heat at 40% Efficiency, NREL Makes Big Strides in Thermophotovoltaics

NREL has a long history of building solar cells that capture light from the sun at record-setting efficiencies. But the sun is not the only light source from which photovoltaics can capture energy.

May 18, 2022

Autonomous Energy Systems Expand Into Real-World Applications

NREL's Autonomous Energy Systems work has been used commercially, applied in cross-cutting demonstrations, and is continually pushing the scientific edge of controls and optimization.

May 18, 2022

News Release: NREL Creates Highest Efficiency 1-Sun Solar Cell

Researchers at NREL created a solar cell with a record 39.5% efficiency under 1-sun global illumination. This is the highest efficiency solar cell of any type, measured using standard 1-sun conditions.

May 18, 2022

Beneath the Surface: The Advocate for Renewable Energy

Meet NREL senior legal and regulatory analyst Aaron Levine, who examines how environmental regulations and hydropower could help protect the planet.

May 16, 2022

Expanded Nanoscale Imaging Lends a Clearer Vision for the Future of Batteries

At NREL, there is a common consensus that X-ray imaging techniques hold the key to unlocking critical information about the performance of energy storage systems.

May 12, 2022

From Full Fare to Fast Charging

Researchers from NREL are working to make sure that New York City's electric vehicle charging network and local utility can meet the eventual demands of more than 100,000 electric cars for hire.

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.

May 11, 2022

Laboratory Partnerships Bolster Battery Recycling Prize Solutions

The Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize allows entrepreneurs to access state-of-the-art research facilities as technical partners in collaboration within the American-Made Network.

May 9, 2022

Q&A With Nicholas Rorrer: Plant-Based Plastics and Plastic Plants

As part of the Manufacturing Masterminds Q&A profile series, Nic Rorrer shares why he loves polymers as well as Legos, yoga, RuPaul's drag races, and saving the world.

May 6, 2022

No Time, No Chips: No Problem for NREL

Amid global supply chain delays and semiconductor shortages, NREL researchers use creative problem-solving to deploy two high-performance computing solutions within one year.

May 5, 2022

15 NREL Researchers Receive Distinguished Member of Research Staff Designation

Fifteen researchers across NREL have been awarded the Distinguished Member of Research Staff designation for their exemplary contributions to NREL's mission, the respect they have earned from peers around the world, and their leadership at the laboratory and beyond.

May 5, 2022

A TEAMER Approach to Fighting Climate Change

Through the U.S. Department of Energy's Testing Expertise and Access for Marine Energy Research (TEAMER) program, developers, researchers, companies, and national laboratories are teaming up to share resources.

May 5, 2022

News Release: NREL Scientists Advance Renewable Hydrogen Production Method

Perovskite materials may hold the potential to play an important role in a process to produce hydrogen in a renewable manner, according to an analysis from scientists at NREL.

May 4, 2022

Georgia Institute of Technology and The University of Arizona Named DOE Solar Decathlon 2022 Design Challenge Grand Winners

DOE announced the winners of the 20th annual Solar Decathlon, DOE's longest-tenured student competition that has challenged 40,000 students across the world to use the latest technologies to design and build the most sustainable buildings possible.

May 4, 2022

Department of Energy Announces Solar District Cup Class of 2021–2022 Winners

On Monday, April 25, DOE announced the top division winners and Project Pitch Champion in the Solar District Cup Collegiate Design Competition Class of 2021–2022. A total of nine student-led teams won first, second, or third place across the three divisions, plus four honorable mentions.

May 2, 2022

The Building Blocks of Power Sector Security for Utilities Across the Globe

To help electric utilities better understand what a full cybersecurity program looks like, NREL partnered with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in support of the Resilient Energy Platform, providing assistance to a variety of stakeholders to improve security for the electrical grid.

April 2022

April 29, 2022

Solar Desalination Prize Round 2 Semifinalists Announced

The U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Desalination Prize Round 2 has named six semifinalist teams with innovative solar-thermal desalination system concepts.

April 29, 2022

Electric Vehicle Manufacturers Mobilize Behind Charging Cybersecurity at NREL

In early April, members of the electric vehicle industry gathered at NREL to evaluate enhanced cybersecurity for the connections between electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.

April 29, 2022

NREL's Cyber Range Offers Eagle-Eye View of Federal Energy Asset Security

To help federal energy managers assess, monitor, and manage cybersecurity, NREL's Distributed Energy Resource Cybersecurity Framework (DER-CF) offers a comprehensive, web-based assessment tool focusing on cyber governance or policies, technical management, and physical security.

April 29, 2022

Building Trust in AI To Ensure Equitable Solutions

Researchers at NREL are leading research to address bias in artificial intelligence and machine learning for clean energy innovation.

April 28, 2022

NREL Builds Out National Capability To Derisk Big Changes in Grid Infrastructure

As the electrical grid makes a historic transition to renewable and distributed energy, even its organizing principles are in flux.

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 26, 2022

American-Made Solar Prize Round 5 Finalists Have Been Announced

On April 22, DOE announced the 20 finalist teams moving forward in the American-Made Solar Prize Round 5. After pitching their concepts for solar innovation during Set! Demo Day events, 10 hardware-focused and 10 software-focused teams were named finalists and awarded cash prizes.

April 26, 2022

NREL Water Power Successes Featured in WPTO Accomplishments Report

Twenty-one of NREL's water power successes earn the spotlight in the U.S. Department of Energy Water Power Technologies Office 2020-2021 Accomplishments Report.

April 25, 2022

New FLORIS Release Significantly Increases Computation Speeds

The release of Version 3.0 of the FLOw Redirection and Induction in Steady State (FLORIS) wind farm controls software offers significant improvements to maximize wind energy facility productivity and profits.

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