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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 2021

Oct. 21, 2021

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

R&D World magazine today presented NREL with two of its annual R&D 100 Awards for research innovations.

Oct. 20, 2021

Energy Storage Ecosystem Offers Lowest-Cost Path to 100% Renewable Power

As states reach higher toward 100% renewable operation, energy storage will be key to enabling a more variable power supply. But no single technology will be a silver bullet for all our energy storage needs.

Oct. 20, 2021

With NREL's Feedstock Research, Algae and Garbage Could Be Ingredients for Zero-Emissions Fuels of the Future

In theory, over 1 billion tons of biomass could be sustainably collected and processed into biofuels by 2030 in the United States, according to U.S. Department of Energy analysis.

Oct. 20, 2021

Solar Desalination Prize Round 2 Quarterfinalists Get To Work Building Teams

Oct. 28 teaming webinar offers potential partners the opportunity to learn about winning concepts and network with quarterfinalists.

Oct. 20, 2021

Three Bio-Based Innovations Edge Closer to Market With Private-Public Funding

A more sustainable farming sector, lower industrial emissions, more efficient biochemical production—NREL scientists and industry partners expect sizable benefits from three new projects to commercialize bioinsecticides, enzymatic carbon dioxide (CO2) utilization, and cell-free biocatalysis.

Oct. 20, 2021

NREL Caps Off a Year of Accomplishments With National Bioenergy Day

On October 20, NREL will join organizations and individuals nationwide in celebrating the ninth annual Bioenergy Day. The day commemorates advancements in the use of biomass to produce energy from sustainable resources such as farm, forestry, and other plant waste.

Oct. 19, 2021

Modeling a Future for Sustainable Energy Storage

As manager of the Mobility Infrastructure and Impacts Analysis (MIIA) group, NREL's Maggie Mann will be the first to tell you that electric vehicles (EVs) alone are not a perfect solution to achieve sustainability within the transportation industry.

Oct. 19, 2021

NREL Enables Affordable Housing by Expanding Beyond Energy Efficiency

NREL has historically worked on buildings' energy efficiency, which lowers operational energy costs—electricity and natural gas usage, for example. Now, it is expanding on some of its net-zero buildings experience to look more closely at construction processes, advanced materials, and novel business practices related to energy equity.

Oct. 19, 2021

New NREL Partnership Is Nothing To Bawk At

NREL is partnering with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) to design, build, and evaluate energy use models to increase energy efficiency in broiler houses.

Oct. 19, 2021

Sharing the Sun Market Report Details Expansive Growth, Recent Trends in Community Solar

New market report shows which states are leading growth in community solar.

Oct. 18, 2021

Where the East Meets the West: Interconnections Seam Study Shows Value in Joining U.S. Transmission Grids

A novel multi-model analysis led by NREL explores the benefits and costs of uniting two of the world’s largest power systems.

Oct. 15, 2021

JUMP Into STEM Continues To Open Doors to the Building Science Industry

Buildings are used every day by almost all members of U.S. society, which is why diversity in building science professionals is critical to better understanding the needs of all building occupants.

Oct. 15, 2021

Looking at Geothermal Energy Through an International Lens

From Iceland to Alaska to France, NREL geoscientist Amanda Kolker has studied geothermal energy all around the world. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in geology, Kolker went to study volcano and glacier interactions in Iceland but was quickly distracted by Iceland's vast geothermal energy systems.

Oct. 14, 2021

News Release: NREL, Mines Insight Could Lead to Better Silicon Solar Panels

Researchers at NREL and Colorado School of Mines are applying a new technique to identify defects in silicon solar cells that cause a drop in efficiency. The lessons learned at the atomic level could lead to improvements in the way manufacturers strengthen their products against what is known as light-induced degradation.

Oct. 13, 2021

Researchers Engineer Microorganisms To Tackle PET Plastic Pollution

To help combat the plastic waste problem, NREL and its collaborators have developed a method to upcycle polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into performance-advantaged nylon, a precursor to other valuable products such as waterproof clothing, stick-free cookware coatings, and heat-resistant machine parts.

Oct. 13, 2021

New Software Puts Rail Freight on Express Track to Net-Zero Emissions

Researchers at NREL are collaborating with leading industry and research partners on a new modeling framework that can be used to analyze and plan net-zero-emission and hybrid freight train systems: Advanced Locomotive Technology and Rail Infrastructure Optimization System (ALTRIOS) software.

Oct. 13, 2021

Country Roads, Take Me Home—in an Electric Car

Rural areas are working to connect in new ways, through improved digital and cell phone networks, as well as alternative forms of transportation. Researchers from NREL are joining small towns across America to expand affordable, convenient, and energy-efficient transportation choices.

Oct. 11, 2021

NREL Process for Renewable Butyric Acid Good for Environment, Cheaper Biofuels

Scientists at NREL developed a fully integrated process to produce a promising precursor for diesel and jet fuel from lignocellulosic biomass, and for less expense than the selling price of the same material from petroleum.

Oct. 8, 2021

Electric Hydrogen Partnership Hopes To Repeat Success With Renewable Hydrogen Technology

An upcoming partnership with company Electric Hydrogen will draw on deep experience in developing breakthrough renewable technologies; this time, they are targeting robust and cost-effective electrolyzers for clean hydrogen.

Oct. 8, 2021

Nano-Sized Materials Point to Big Breakthroughs

A poppy seed from your morning bagel is about 1,000 times larger than a bacterial cell. That small cell is about 1,000 times larger than the chemical structures NREL researchers are creating and studying to transform how we use energy.

Oct. 8, 2021

CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize Announces Stage 1 Winners

Ten teams competing in the CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize were selected as Stage 1 winners. Competitors are helping re-wire the future of electricity—developing concepts for affordable and manufacturable conductivity-enhanced, next-generation materials.

Oct. 8, 2021

Celebrating Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day 2021: Highlights From NREL's Research

October 8—10/08—is Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day! This year NREL is celebrating this symbolic date, chosen to represent the atomic weight of hydrogen (1.008), by highlighting innovative hydrogen and fuel cell research across the laboratory.

Oct. 6, 2021

Podcast Brings Clean Transportation Conversations to Life

A new podcast produced by NREL in partnership with the Clean Cities Coalition Network presents a fresh way to highlight how we can bring more affordable, accessible, and sustainable transportation to the streets today, while exploring strategies to improve the mobility options of tomorrow.

Oct. 6, 2021

Industry Proves To Be a Promising Prospect for Future Grid Flexibility

New study by the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis finds industrial manufacturing could profitably help stabilize the grid with large-scale batteries.

Oct. 6, 2021

Introducing the Clean Energy Cybersecurity Accelerator

An exciting new initiative has been created by DOE and NREL to catalyze the development of cybersecurity solutions for the nation's clean energy grid of the future. The Clean Energy Cybersecurity Accelerator brings together federal infrastructure and expertise, asset owners in the energy sector, and technology innovators in a way that has not yet been done before.


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