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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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May 2021

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.

May 4, 2021

News Release: NREL Announces Plans To Collaborate With UL Toward Commercialization of SolarAPP+ Automated Permitting Tool

NREL today announced a new initial memorandum of understanding with the global company UL to work toward further developing and commercializing the Solar Automated Permit Processing Plus (SolarAPP+) software that will automate the permitting process for residential solar systems.

April 2021

April 30, 2021

Three Winners Claim Top Honors at 2021 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition

Three winners of the 2021 MECC were announced by DOE’s Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Office during a virtual ceremony this week.

April 30, 2021

NREL Study Explores the Security Benefits of 5G for Distributed Energy Operations

New research from NREL explores the security features of 5G, highlighting network-slicing characteristics that can provide enhanced control, protection, and monitoring of distributed energy systems.

April 30, 2021

NREL Chemist Wins Award for Electron Bifurcation Research Article

Cara Lubner, a chemist at NREL, coauthored a research article on electron bifurcation that was awarded the Class I: Physical and Mathematical Sciences 2020 Cozzarelli Prize on April 25.

April 29, 2021

NREL Joins Industry in Leading Cybersecurity Threat Evaluation for the U.S. Wind Fleet

NREL and six leading industry organizations have joined forces in developing a national Wind Cybersecurity Consortium. The consortium aims to improve the cybersecurity of the U.S. wind fleet through collaborative analysis, development, and information sharing.

April 29, 2021

LA Is Prioritizing Environmental Justice on Path to 100% Renewables: Q&A with LA100 Study Lead Jaquelin Cochran

Prioritizing environmental justice was a crucial component of the recently released Los Angeles 100% Renewable Energy Study (LA100).

April 28, 2021

News Release: Scientists at NREL Report New Synapse-Like Phototransistor

Researchers at NREL developed a breakthrough in energy-efficient phototransistors. Such devices could eventually help computers process visual information more like the human brain and be used as sensors in things like self-driving vehicles.

April 28, 2021

The Curtailment Paradox in a High Solar Future

A new NREL study uncovers counterintuitive relationship between flexibility options and curtailment in power systems with high solar penetration.

April 27, 2021

Pilot Program Sheds Light on E-Bike Use Patterns, Energy-Efficiency Benefits

NREL partnered with the Colorado Energy Office to assess the travel-behavior impacts of providing low-income essential workers with e-bikes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Analysis shows e-bikes are an effective, energy-saving alternative to other travel modes.

April 26, 2021

International Power System Leaders Signal Commitment to Decarbonization Solutions During Launch Event

System operator CEOs and energy leaders from around the world discussed paths to net-zero-emissions during the launch event for the Global Power System Transformation Consortium.

April 26, 2021

News Release: NREL Employees Pledge Record-Breaking Donations To Support Local Communities

In an annual giving campaign held virtually for the first time ever, employees of NREL along with its managing contractor, the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, pledged a record $616,000 to support local charities in Denver, Washington D.C., and Fairbanks, Alaska, all of which are home to NREL offices.

April 22, 2021

Rethinking Hydropower for Energy and Environmental Sustainability

NREL is working with Natel Energy to investigate the revenue and downstream flow trade-offs for a hypothetical series of small, cascading hydropower installations.

April 22, 2021

NREL Research Illuminates Optimistic Future for Vehicle Electrification

With decreasing purchase prices, charging improvements, cleaner electricity, and consumer and industry support, the future of EVs has never been brighter.

April 22, 2021

News Release: Proving Their Resilience, Five Cleantech Innovators Receive Awards at 2021 NREL Industry Growth Forum

Today, NREL recognized five top cleantech innovators as it wrapped up the 26th year of its NREL Industry Growth Forum (IGF). This year's IGF was the second all-virtual event and was a celebration of the enduring strength of cleantech innovators and the ecosystem that supports them.

April 22, 2021

Researchers Rev Up Innovative Machine Learning Strategies to Reclaim Energy, Time, and Money Lost in Traffic Jams

Inching forward in bumper-to-bumper traffic, drivers bemoan the years of their lives sacrificed in bad commutes.

April 22, 2021

Novel Modeling Tool Seeks Insight into Eagle Flight at Wind Plants

NREL scientists in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey and Western EcoSystems Inc. are developing a state-of-the-art computational framework for modeling golden eagle behavior near wind farms.

April 21, 2021

Eleven Communities to Chart Paths to a More Resilient and Equitable Energy Future

NREL will bring cross-cutting technical assistance to remote and island communities seeking resilient energy solutions as part of the DOE-funded, multi-lab, multi-partner Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP).

April 21, 2021

Department of Energy Funding Boosts US-MAP Research into Perovskites

New funding for perovskites is considered a significant step toward metal halide perovskite PV commercialization.

April 21, 2021

News Release: New Consortium of Power System Operators and Technical Institutes Commits to Decarbonization Efforts Ahead of President Biden's Leaders' Climate Summit

Global effort announced by the U.S. secretary of energy, U.K. BEIS Department secretary of state, and CEOs of power system operators and organizations from around the world focuses on research, innovation, knowledge exchange, and technical assistance to achieve net-zero-emissions power systems.

April 20, 2021

Earth Anticipates a Circular Economy for Energy Materials

One of the three key pillars of NREL's vision for the next decade is developing a circular economy for energy materials. This critical objective focuses on reducing waste and preserving resources through the design and manufacture of materials and products with reuse, recycling, and upcycling in mind from the start.

April 19, 2021

News Release: Devising Wave-Powered Warning Systems: NREL Announces Winners of Ocean Observing Prize DESIGN Contest, Launch of BUILD Contest

NREL is proud to announce the seven winners of the DESIGN Contest, the first of three contests in the Ocean Observing Prize’s DEVELOP Competition, which aims to help protect coastal communities from dangerous storms by conceiving the development of autonomous, wave-powered hurricane monitoring systems.

April 19, 2021

Thinking Inside the Blade: NREL Takes Novel Approach to 3D-Printed Water Power Prototypes

NREL's Advanced Manufacturing team is applying what they have learned from 3D-printing of wind blade molds to create additively manufactured tidal turbine prototypes.


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