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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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October 2020

Oct. 20, 2020

BOTTLE Consortium Launches To Change the Way We Recycle

The consortium will focus on two critical problems that are both essential to tackle the plastics pollution problem. The first challenge is how to upcycle today's waste plastics in a way that incentivizes their reclamation. The second undertakes the challenge of wholly redesigning tomorrow's plastics to be recyclable-by-design.

Oct. 20, 2020

Into the Unknown: Ben Sigrin Models How Consumers Adopt Renewables

As a University of Texas graduate student in 2011, Ben Sigrin tried to understand how people make decisions about purchasing or leasing rooftop solar panels. He quickly found that it is not black or white--and that there is no average consumer.

Oct. 19, 2020

NREL Unveils Open-Source Distributed Generation Market Demand Model

NREL's Distributed Generation Market Demand (dGen) model is publicly available for the first time. Public users can access model methodology and instructions, run the code, and receive technical support from the dGen team.

Oct. 19, 2020

Removing the Element of Surprise: Ocean Observing Prize Solicits Designs for Tomorrow's Storm Tracking Technology

NREL announces concurrent launch of DEVELOP Competition and 90-day DESIGN Contest.

Oct. 19, 2020

Wind Energy and Wildlife Share Future in the Skies and Seas

NREL researchers are collaborating with academic, conservation, regulatory, and industry partners to understand the potential effects of offshore wind installations on the environment while maintaining optimal energy production.

Oct. 19, 2020

News Release: National Laboratories Point to Sugars as a Key Factor in Ideal Feedstock for Biofuels

Popular wisdom holds that tall, fast-growing trees are best for biomass, but new research by two DOE national laboratories reveals the size of trees is only part of the equation. Of equal economic importance is the amount of sugars that can be produced from the ligno-cellulosic biomass and converted into fuels.

Oct. 16, 2020

News Release: Colorful Perovskites: NREL Advances Thermochromic Window Technologies

Scientists at NREL report a breakthrough in developing a next-generation thermochromic window that not only reduces the need for air conditioning but simultaneously generates electricity.

Oct. 15, 2020

NREL Research Highlighted at Largest Geothermal Meeting

NREL researches, develops, and demonstrates technologies to advance the use of geothermal energy as a clean, renewable, domestic power source for the United States. This research will be showcased during the Geothermal Resources Council 2020 Annual Meeting and Expo, October 18–23, 2020.

Oct. 15, 2020

Meet the 2021 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition Contenders

Get to know tomorrow’s blue economy trailblazers: the recently announced 2021 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition teams.

Oct. 15, 2020

NREL Will Join Effort To Bridge Gaps in Island Energy Resilience

As a partner in a new U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored initiative, NREL aims to bridge energy resiliency gaps by providing resources and access to on-the-ground support for remote and islanded communities seeking to transform their energy systems and lower their vulnerability.

Oct. 13, 2020

Integrated Hydrogen Sensor/Separation Module Boosts Long-Term Efficiency and Revenue in Solar Power Plants

Concentrating solar power (CSP) plants generate clean energy to power our communities. Yet, one consistent challenge of CSP plants is hydrogen buildup, which can be costly to mitigate and reduces plant efficiency. NREL researcher Greg Glatzmaier has spent much of his career finding a solution.

Oct. 12, 2020

NREL Computational Science Center Welcomes Leading Princeton Researcher Dr. Michael Mueller

NREL and Princeton University recently formalized the first joint appointment under a new master agreement between the two institutions, under which NREL's experts in computational science and combustion simulation will work closely with Dr. Michael Mueller from Princeton.

Oct. 12, 2020

NREL-Hosted Event Supports Industry Development of Megawatt Charging System Connectors

On Sept. 23-24, 2020, NREL joined forces with the Charging Interface Initiative (CharIN) to host a high-power electric vehicle charging connector test event.

Oct. 8, 2020

NREL To Lead New Lab Consortium To Enable Low-Cost Electrolyzers for Hydrogen Production

The H2NEW consortium will conduct R&D to enable large-scale manufacturing of affordable electrolyzers that use electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Oct. 8, 2020

Data Show Big Gains for Offshore Wind

Global installed offshore wind capacity reached 27,064 MW in 2019—a 19% increase from the previous year. This and other trends can be found in the "2019 Offshore Wind Technology Data Update," released by NREL on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Energy Technologies Office.

Oct. 8, 2020

NREL Celebrates a Year of Innovation on National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day

October 8—10/08—is National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day, a date chosen to represent the atomic weight of hydrogen (1.008). The U.S. Senate officially designated Oct. 8, 2020, as National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day with the passage of Senate Resolution 720, and Colorado's governor issued a proclamation to proclaim the date as Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day in Colorado.

Oct. 8, 2020

Study Shows Abundant Opportunities for Hydrogen in a Future Integrated Energy System

H2@Scale Initiative finds achievable 2X to 4X U.S. hydrogen market growth.

Oct. 6, 2020

JUMP into STEM: Students Building a Better Future Starts NOW

Do not delay! The deadline for submissions to the JUMP into STEM competition is quickly approaching. Make sure your submission is in before Nov. 13, 2020.

Oct. 6, 2020

Collegiate Competition Unveils Class of 2021 Competitors

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar District Cup Collegiate Design Competition announces the list of schools participating in the Class of 2021 competition.

Oct. 5, 2020

Two New Solar Technologies Emerge through Solar Prize Round 2

DOE announces winners of the Solar Prize Round 2, awarding another $1 million in prizes to solar innovators.

Oct. 2, 2020

Updated OpenOA Software Improves Energy Production Predictions To Reduce Investment Risk

A new version of OpenOA has been released, which includes features designed to help wind plant operators identify and analyze the different factors that drive wind plant performance.

Oct. 2, 2020

Wind Workforce Webinar Series Offers Insights, Information, and Solutions

To help the wind industry recruit the best and brightest and to provide students with the essential resources to set them on a path toward a rewarding career in the wind energy workforce, NREL, in partnership with the American Wind Energy Association, hosted a three-part Wind Workforce Webinar Series as part of American Wind Week.

Oct. 2, 2020

News Release: R&D 100 Awards Honor Six NREL Innovations

R&D World magazine today presented NREL with four of its annual R&D 100 Awards for research innovations. In addition to the R&D 100 winners, two additional NREL technologies were given Special Recognition Awards.

Oct. 1, 2020

News Release: NREL, UK University Partner To Dive Deeper Into How Enzymes Digest Plastic

A collaboration between NREL, the University of Portsmouth, and other partners has determined two synergistic enzymes—PETase and MHETase—work effectively in tandem to break down polyethylene terephthalate, a type of plastic used to make single-use beverage bottles, clothing, and carpeting.

Oct. 1, 2020

Apex Flex: An All-Perovskite Tandem Technology Suitable for Solar-Powered Vehicles

NREL's new perovskite material, marketed as Apex Flex, broke through two design barriers to arrive at a solar cell that is flexible and stable enough for car-top application at a cost 200 times less than flexible PV technologies of similar specific power.

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