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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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November 2018

November 20, 2018

Using CSP to Improve Frequency Stability of Power Grid

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and General Electric (GE) have joined forces to tackle an issue that is relatively new ground for the power industry. Five years ago, most people couldn't envision high penetration on the grid of variable-generation renewables such as photovoltaics (PV) and wind.

November 19, 2018

News Release: R&D Magazine Honors Duo of NREL Innovations

Given annually by R&D Magazine, the awards honor the 100 most innovative technologies of the past year and were chosen by an independent panel of judges.

November 19, 2018

Researcher Rockets to Global Recognition for Breakthroughs in Battery Safety and Performance

NREL's Donal Finegan recently received a Global Young Researcher Award from the Institution of Chemical Engineers for his contributions to NASA's battery safety program and NREL's advanced diagnostics. Not yet 30 years old, Finegan is widely viewed as a leader in the international battery community, responsible for significant advancements in safety, diagnostic techniques, and design approaches.

November 14, 2018

NREL Shifts Carbon Fiber Research into Second Gear

Ongoing research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory could lead to a cleaner method of transforming acrylonitrile into carbon fiber, replacing petrochemicals with biomass as the starting point.

November 14, 2018

News Release: NREL Identifies Where New Solar Technologies Can Be Flexible

Opportunity exists for thin-film photovoltaic and emerging technologies notable for being lightweight and flexible, according to scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

November 13, 2018

Philippines Government Aims to Transform its Power System through the REZ Transmission Planning Process

NREL's Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) Transmission Planning Process served as a valuable guide for the planned approach to integrate transmission expansion and renewable energy generation planning in the Philippines.

November 7, 2018

How Will Wind Industry Find the Answer? With WISDEM

WISDEM--an acronym for Wind Plant Integrated Systems Design and Engineering Model--is open-source software that answers the "what if" questions.

November 5, 2018

REopt Lite Adds New Energy Optimization Capabilities with Wind, Custom Rate Tariff, Critical Load Builder, and User Dashboard Features

The REopt Lite web tool's new wind optimization module lets building owners and energy managers evaluate the economic viability of grid-connected wind at a site, in addition to solar photovoltaics and battery storage.

November 1, 2018

Molecular Scientists Unlock Sustainable Route Toward Hydrocarbons

A computational modeling team in NREL's Biosciences Center made a significant discovery regarding the key aspects of a cytochrome P450 enzyme that enable it to transform fatty acids directly to olefinic hydrocarbons, an important constituent of gasoline.

October 2018

October 31, 2018

Q&A with Bryan Palmintier: Pulling Together the Pieces with Systems Thinking

Bryan Palmintier's broad scientific career prior and his leadership in the outdoors have made him a cornerstone of many grid projects at NREL. Our Q&A with Palmintier reviews his current work, and how he became such a versatile scientist in energy systems integration.

October 31, 2018

NREL Veteran Supports Air Force Resilience Efforts

Tony Jimenez, a recently-retired Army Reservist of 25 years who spent nine months working as an NREL employee, has played a key role in supporting the military's goal of enhancing installation resilience.

October 30, 2018

Assessing the Wind Power Potential in Bangladesh

New USAID-NREL study uses improved wind resource data sets to determine the feasibility and risks involved in using wind power as a renewable energy resource in Bangladesh.

October 30, 2018

New Mobility Paradigms Influence Electric Vehicle Charging Requirements

Ride-hailing companies' growing interest in operating electric vehicles (EVs) could trigger a significant increase in the demand for public fast chargers. Despite their ability to charge EVs quickly, fast-charging stations are not yet commonplace due to high installation and operating costs. Boosting their utilization could go a long way toward driving down costs. But what is the right number of fast-charging stations in a given area and where should they be located?

October 30, 2018

News Release: NREL, Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) Announce New Participants

As part of an ongoing partnership designed to accelerate transfer of energy efficient technologies' to market, the Wells Fargo Foundation and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory added five new clean-tech startups to the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) program.

October 29, 2018

Natural Gas Emissions: Measure Top-down or Bottom-up?

Study reconciles persistent gap in natural gas methane emissions measurements.

October 25, 2018

Arizona Utility and NREL Launch One of the Largest-to-Date Home Energy Storage Studies

NREL and Arizona uitlity Salt River Project are studying the benefits and impacts of battery energy systems to both customers and utilities.

October 24, 2018

For Work on High Efficiency Photovoltaics, Dan Friedman Named APS Fellow

Dan Friedman, manager of NREL's High Efficiency Crystalline Photovoltaics Group, has been elected as a fellow of the American Physical Society for this work on III-V semiconductor physics and multijunction photovoltaic science, including numerous device efficiency records.

October 23, 2018

News Release: NREL to Lead $5 Million Initiative to Reduce Energy Use and Increase Energy Efficiency of Major Transportation Hub

Working with DFW and the surrounding region, NREL and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will identify technology approaches that maximize mobility energy productivity of passenger and freight options in this major transportation hub.

October 22, 2018

NREL, SDG&E Collaboration Expands Resiliency in Borrego Springs, Yields Nationally Scalable Results

NREL is working with SDG&E to better understand is how a microgrid controller with advanced technology would perform, specifically with the Borrego Springs microgrid.

October 8, 2018

New III-V Device Concept Combines Two Structures for Lower-Cost Impact, More Applications

NREL has recently combined two structures of III-V materials into one, providing a "two-for-the-price-of-one" benefit. The combination enables novel, potentially record-setting, multijunction solar cells.

October 4, 2018

NREL Inks a Future for Perovskites

Painting Solar Cells Provides New Path to Market

October 4, 2018

How to Celebrate National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day

Next week the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will join the U.S. Department of Energy and others across the United States to celebrate the fourth National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day on October 8--10.08--a date chosen to represent the atomic weight of hydrogen (1.008).

October 3, 2018

NREL's Biomass Analysis Tools Celebrate a Decade as the Industry Standard

After nearly 10 years, the NREL-developed High Throughput Pipeline Tools have been delivering solid biomass composition analysis for researchers around the world.

September 2018

September 28, 2018

Views of the ESIF: Five Years Back, Five Years Forward

In celebration of five years since the ESIF's dedication, the facility's leadership reflect on its use now, and looking ahead.

September 28, 2018

Q&A with Barry Mather: Bridging the Gap from Power Electronic Devices to Systems

As the group manager for Integrated Devices and Systems (IDS) within NREL's Power Systems Engineering Center and chair of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Power Electronics Society Denver chapter, Barry Mather considers himself an honest broker--balancing the needs for a reliable grid while also increasing the amount of distributed energy resources (DER) integrated into the grid. Mather sat down with us to answer some questions about his career at the lab and research in his group. The following has been edited for length.

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