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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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August 2020

Aug. 14, 2020

NREL Brings Expertise in Energy Resilience to New Organizational Planning Resource

The Technical Resilience Navigator, a resilience planning tool co-developed by NREL and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, helps organizations identify their resilience gaps and prioritize solutions that reduce risk from energy and water service disruptions.

Aug. 13, 2020

ARIES and RAIL Promise To Advance Renewable Energy Innovation and Integration

Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette introduced two new acronyms to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) lexicon on Aug. 12: RAIL and ARIES. RAIL stands for Research and Innovation Laboratory, while ARIES is short for Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems.

Aug. 13, 2020

Voyage into the Blue with the Ocean Observing Prize Winners

Ocean Observing Prize competitors are integrating marine renewable energy systems with ocean-observing platforms to collect ocean and weather data that can be used to better forecast natural disasters.

Aug. 11, 2020

New High-Rate Drilling System Could Revolutionize High-Temperature Power Electronics

NREL has joined forces with Tetra Innovation Institute to advance a high-rate drilling system that could transform the geothermal industry. This game-changing technology has the potential to increase geothermal drilling rates tenfold and reduce well drilling costs by 75%.

Aug. 11, 2020

Academic Teams Exhibit Strong Showing in Waves to Water Prize DESIGN Stage

Four academic teams emerge victorious in the DESIGN Stage of the U.S. Department of Energy's Waves to Water Prize. Next up, they'll validate their designs in the ADAPT Stage.

Aug. 7, 2020

NREL Floats New Offshore Wind Cost Optimization Vision

A study unveils a new strategic vision for floating offshore wind. NREL researchers identify barriers that must be overcome to bring down the overall cost of energy produced, then outline a vision for an integrated systems approach with the potential to significantly improve the market feasibility of floating wind plants.

Aug. 7, 2020

Two-for-One Energy from Photons, Now Better than Ever

NREL researchers have found a promising group of materials for tomorrow's super-efficient solar cells, demonstrating how a carefully designed molecule can efficiently split the energy imparted by one photon into two excited states and keep them separated for several microseconds.

Aug. 6, 2020

USAID and NREL Curate Resilience Solutions for International Power System Planners

Resilient Energy Platform develops resources, trainings, and tools to help developing nations identify power system vulnerabilities and plan for sustainable, secure power systems.

Aug. 3, 2020

Leading by Example: ITEAM Prize Recognizes Energy Saving at U.S. Manufacturing Plants

The U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office and NREL announced the winners of the American-Made Challenges® Individuals Taking Energy Action in Manufacturing (ITEAM) Prize.

Aug. 3, 2020

DOE and NREL Launch STEM Hydropower and Marine Renewable Energy Portals

As part of an effort to recruit the best and brightest to the water power workforce, the U.S. Department of Energy's Water Power Technologies Office and NREL launched STEM education portals for water power technologies.

Aug. 3, 2020

Grid Coordination Opens Road for Electric Vehicle Flexibility

As electric vehicle sales continue to rev up in the United States, the power grid is in parallel contending with the greatest transformation in its 100-year history: the large-scale integration of renewable energy and power electronic devices. The changes will test the limits of grid integration, but NREL sees opportunity at the intersection of energy systems and transportation.

July 2020

July 30, 2020

Jeff Logan, Long-Standing JISEA Analyst, Has a World of Curiosity

For Jeff Logan, a curiosity came alive when he went to college. This curiosity has brought him around the world to study the clean energy transition.

July 29, 2020

Fei Ding: Helping Power System Industries Do the Real Work of Grid Resilience and Reliability

Fei Ding is an electrical engineering researcher at NREL who publishes a substantial number of reports and articles about her work on grid resilience and reliability.

July 29, 2020

Arrival of OptGrid: Advanced Technology of Grid Management Now Available to Industry

A new product developed at NREL has industry-shifting potential to help manage today's increasingly distributed energy infrastructure, and it has emerged as a commercial solution for real-time coordination of distributed energy resources.

July 29, 2020

Novel Research Highlights Critical Barriers to Extreme Fast Charging of Lithium-Ion Batteries

In a phenomenon called lithium plating, lithium attaches to graphite particles within the cell instead of inserting itself into the graphite for stable storage. Researchers used high-speed synchrotron X-ray diffraction to gain insight into the conditions that lead to lithium plating.

July 24, 2020

Tomorrow's Forecast: Sunny with a Strong Chance of Wind

Meteorologists, engineers, and geographic information system experts at the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory are leading wind resource characterization efforts essential to the development of offshore wind.

July 23, 2020

NREL's Hydropower RAPID Toolkit Webinar Shows Stakeholders the Permitting Path Forward

During an NREL-led Hydropower Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop (RAPID) Toolkit Webinar, NREL legal and regulatory analysts presented updated features and showcased highlights from NREL's latest Hydropower RAPID Toolkit publication.

July 22, 2020

Haiku Sky's Childhood off the Grid Inspired a Career on the Grid

Most of us do not remember the first time we experienced electricity. It has always been a given. But for Haiku Sky, it is a distinct memory. He was four years old—and was fascinated by the idea that you could flip a switch and there would be light.

July 22, 2020

NREL Researchers Set Sights on Commercializing Biotechnologies with Industry Partners

Researchers at NREL are set to launch four bioenergy projects with industry partners that have the potential to accelerate the commercialization of novel bio-based products and technologies.

July 21, 2020

Hats Off and Happy Trails to NREL Wind and Water Pioneer Bob Thresher

From his trademark black hat to his legendary one-liners and singing contributions to the Wind Weenie Wailers, Research Fellow Bob Thresher undoubtedly cuts a memorable, larger-than-life figure. When asked to describe him, Thresher's colleagues label him as everything from "pioneer" and "mentor" to "friend," "hero," and even "rock star." They are not all misty-eyed tributes, however.

July 21, 2020

Increasing Power Expands Research Capabilities at NREL's Flatirons Campus

Wind energy, water power, and grid integration research conducted at NREL's Flatirons Campus gained a boost with a recent upgrade to the power capacity at the facility.

July 17, 2020

Solar Energy Technologies Could Meet Industrial Process Heating Demands

Solar energy technologies could meet process heating demands, reduce carbon emissions, and improve heating efficiency in the U.S. industrial sector—for up to 15-50% energy savings.

July 17, 2020

Open-Source Renewable Energy Potential (reV) Model Offers Endless Potential

What can the Renewable Energy Potential (reV) model calculate when it comes to renewable energy potential? Just about everything.

July 16, 2020

New Process Turns Carbon into Cleaner, High-Performance Diesel Biofuel Blendstock

A new single-phase catalyst that enables the conversion of renewable and waste carbon into sustainable diesel fuels has been developed through a unique collaboration between NREL and two DOE consortia, Chemical Catalysis for Bioenergy and the Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines initiative.

July 16, 2020

New Metric Quantifies Productivity of Freight Mobility Systems

Trends such as the rise in e-commerce, increased vehicle electrification, connected mobility, automation, and new forms of delivery are poised to bring a paradigm shift in freight movement. In addition to modeling and forecasting emerging freight trends, it is critical to have a metric to quantify their impacts on freight mobility. The new Freight Mobility Energy Productivity (F-MEP) metric does just that.

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