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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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March 2019

March 21, 2019

NREL Federal Energy Management Program Team Directly Supports $13.7B of Federal Facility Energy Efficiency Improvements

A special NREL Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) procurement team is responsible for directly supporting almost $14 billion worth of upgrades to federal energy infrastructure projects using unique contracting and financing mechanisms, ensuring federal facilities received the energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades they needed.

March 20, 2019

Building Community Through Competition: The 29th Annual Colorado High School Science Bowl

Since its inception, the Colorado High School Science Bowl has given students the opportunity to engage in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) enrichment beyond the classroom.

March 19, 2019

New Materials Could Lead to Recyclable Wind Blades

Advancements in wind energy have allowed the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere to drop considerably, and all without raising the levelized cost of energy. However, disposing of the materials used to create these energy-efficient machines can be complicated and have unintended consequences. Thanks to researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), this could soon be a thing of the past.

March 16, 2019

News Release: Fort Collins High School Reigns Supreme at the 29th Colorado High School Science Bowl

This marks the third consecutive year students from Fort Collins High School won the Colorado competition.

March 15, 2019

NREL Unveils Look at Most Efficient Solar Modules

The initial Champion Module Efficiencies chart contains 73 data points, dating to 1988, and broken out into 19 different technologies.

March 13, 2019

News Release: NREL's Economic Impact Tops $1 Billion

The new study estimates NREL's impact on Colorado's economy at nearly $748 million.

March 11, 2019

News Release: Tenth Edition of Data Book Reveals Trends in U.S. and Global Renewable Energy Growth

This year's edition is the first to include data and trends for electric vehicles and energy storage technologies, in addition to data-centric charts for wind, solar, hydropower, and alternative fuels.

March 6, 2019

News Release: NREL Announces New Projects to Advance Medium- and Heavy-Duty Natural Gas Vehicle Technologies

The selected projects will focus on reducing the total cost of ownership of NGVs, increasing vehicle efficiency, decreasing local air pollution, and advancing technology development to increase the use of more affordable medium- and heavy-duty natural gas engines and vehicles.

March 6, 2019

REopt Lite Adds Custom Electricity Rates and an Integrated Critical Load Builder

Building owners and energy managers looking to evaluate renewable energy and storage economics for their site can use REopt™ Lite's custom utility rate tariff capabilities and an integrated critical load profile builder—new features that allow a more detailed energy analysis without leaving the tool.

February 2019

February 28, 2019

Competition Spurs Transformative Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Solutions

The U.S. Department of Energy recently launched the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize, with NREL as prize administrator. The $5.5-million phased prize competition is designed to incentivize American innovators and businesses to develop and demonstrate processes that, when scaled, have the potential to profitably capture 90% of all discarded or spent lithium-ion batteries in the United States.

February 27, 2019

News Release: NREL Pioneers Cleaner Route to Upcycle Plastics into Superior Products

The NREL team chemically combined reclaimed polyethylene terephthalate plastic, in the form of single-use beverage bottles, with bio-based compounds to produce higher-value fiber-reinforced plastics that can be used in products from snowboards to vehicle parts to wind turbines.

February 26, 2019

NREL Urban Planners Translate Energy Technology into Market Success through Local, State, Federal, and Tribal Governments

Urban planners have not historically dealt in energy issues, yet clean energy is a growing focus around the world and urban planners' role in energy transitions is evolving as demand increases.

February 25, 2019

News Release: NREL Emerging Markets Day Announces 2019 Presenting Start-up Companies

On May 8, investors, start-up companies, and industry leaders from around the world will convene in Denver, Colo., for the third Emerging Markets Day, a forum to discuss the most promising cleantech solutions to the pressing energy challenges faced by emerging economies.

February 25, 2019

NREL to Host 12th Annual Beyond Lithium-Ion Symposium

The 12th Beyond Lithium Ion Symposium will focus on scalable energy storage beyond the current state-of-the-art for transportation and grid applications.

February 25, 2019

Q&A with Annabelle Pratt: Managing Energy at All Scales

Annabelle Pratt is a principal engineer for the Power Systems Engineering Center at NREL. Pratt specializes in microgrid and home energy management systems (HEMS), and her work has included the evaluation of microgrid controllers and advanced distribution management systems (ADMS). We sat down with Pratt to learn more about her work and the newest research in these areas.

February 25, 2019

News Release: NREL Industry Growth Forum Announces 2019 Presenting Start-Ups

The 30 companies were selected after a competitive application and review process from more than 150 applicants.

February 25, 2019

Little Uncertainty Remains at NREL, Thanks to Improvements in PV Performance Measurement

NREL achieves the world's most accurate method to measure PV performance, with an uncertainty rate of only 1.1%.

February 20, 2019

Bundling Strategies Offer Solutions to Microgrid Challenges

A new report examines novel approaches to microgrid financing and deployment in sub-Saharan Africa, where about 600 million people live without electricity.

February 19, 2019

Gallium Oxide Could Have Low Cost in Future, NREL Analysis Reveals

The findings reveal gallium oxide wafers could be three to five times cheaper to manufacture than another related technology, silicon carbide.

February 19, 2019

DISCOVR Algae Consortium Launches Call for Collaboration to Lower Cost of Algae Biofuels and Bioproducts

Driving down costs for algae-based biofuels and bioproducts involves enhancing algae productivity through selection of the most promising algae strains and implementation of effective cultivation strategies. To support this effort, NREL and its national laboratory partners formed a consortium project called Development of Integrated Screening, Cultivar Optimization, and Verification (DISCOVR).

February 14, 2019

Scientific Collaboration Investigates Creative and Sustainable Bioenergy Solutions for Mining Industry

When industry, government laboratories, and universities work together, creative solutions can arise to environmental challenges. The latest example of this originated when NREL partnered with BHP--a global mining, metals, and petroleum company--to research sustainable ways to clean up legacy mining impacts and develop feedstocks for biofuels.

February 14, 2019

Data-Driven Simulations Mirror a City's Traffic Patterns to Reduce Mobility-Related Energy Use

NREL is participating in a project led by Oak Ridge National Lab to create a large-scale, real-time “digital twin” of traffic conditions in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

February 13, 2019

Mini-Hackathon Lets Students Tackle Real Buildings Challenges

On January 9, a group of 20 undergraduate students from around the country participated in a mini-hackathon that melded their ingenuity and the lessons learned in the classroom.

February 11, 2019

NREL Names Achilles Karagiozis as Buildings and Thermal Sciences Center Director

Dr. Achilles Karagiozis joins the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as the new director of the Buildings and Thermal Sciences Center on Feb. 19.

February 11, 2019

Wind Turbines Get Social To Improve Wind Power Plant Output

A partnership between the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the wind solutions company WindESCo, funded through the U.S. Department of Energy's Small Business Voucher Project, aims to improve wind plant performance by applying solutions that facilitate communication among turbines.

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