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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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January 2020

Jan. 30, 2020

NREL Partnership Strengthens Integration of Analytics and Building Design

Through a partnership with NREL, Autodesk has added an integrated building-design-to-energy-analysis workflow to Revit, referred to as "BIM-to-BEM." By closely coupling building information modeling (BIM) with building energy modeling (BEM), Revit makes it easy for buildings professionals to evaluate the impacts of their design choices on energy use.

Jan. 29, 2020

Water Resource Recovery Prize Launches to Inspire Innovators to Help Meet the Water Security Grand Challenge

DOE's Advanced Manufacturing Office launched the Water Resource Recovery Prize, a $1 million two-phased competition designed to increase resource recovery from municipal wastewater treatment plants across the U.S.

Jan. 29, 2020

News Release: NREL Helps Launch Geothermal Manufacturing Prize — Newest of American-Made Challenges

Today, with support from NREL, the U.S. Department of Energy launched the American-Made Geothermal Manufacturing Prize. The ninth prize in the NREL-administered American-Made Challenges series, the Geothermal Prize is a first-of-its-kind competition designed to spur innovation and address the manufacturing challenges of operating in geothermal environments.

Jan. 28, 2020

How NREL Is Fanning the Sparks of Innovation

During fiscal year 2019, NREL filed a record 124 patent applications and counted a record 233 disclosures — a category that includes 161 records of invention and 72 software records. NREL-developed software is protectable by copyright, while records of invention can be protected with patent applications.

Jan. 27, 2020

News Release: NREL Opens Prize Designed to Generate Solutions for Protecting Fish from Water Power Structures

Today, NREL announced the opening of a new prize competition — the Fish Protection Prize — designed to generate innovative methods for keeping fish out of water diversions and dam intakes. The movement of fish into water infrastructure separates fish from their natural habitat and can impact native populations, threaten biodiversity, and impede recovery efforts for threatened and endangered species.

Jan. 27, 2020

NREL Hosts Technical Exchange to Boost Brazil's Power Sector Transformation

NREL's 21st Century Power Partnership shares energy planning insights and computational tools with analysts from the Brazilian Energy Research Office to support Brazil's plans for energy expansion.

Jan. 24, 2020

Q&A with Andrea Watson: Building Teams to Solve Energy Challenges Globally

As leader of the Integrated Decision Support Group at NREL, Andrea Watson advances complex energy projects and programs that require strategy development.

Jan. 23, 2020

International Effort Aims to Establish Protocols for Assessing, Reporting Perovskite Stability

Perovskite solar cells have rapidly emerged in the past decade as an extremely efficient method to transform sunlight into electricity, but the issue of stability has so far kept them from commercialization. Four NREL researchers are part of a global consensus on the ways in which stability of perovskite solar cells should be assessed and reported.

Jan. 14, 2020

NREL Secures 21 Awards to Further CSP and PV Research

On November 6, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office awarded $128 million to 75 new projects that will advance solar technologies in five major areas. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) earned a major portion of this funding—nearly $20 million.

Jan. 13, 2020

Artificial Intelligence, Analysis, and Achievements: Buildings Researchers in the Spotlight

The U.S. Department of Energy has also taken notice of researcher achievements, providing interviews, career highlights, and advice from several NREL buildings experts on their website.

Jan. 13, 2020

When Wind Sweeps into Communities

Wind farm development in the United States often takes place in rural areas with land that is largely the property of farmers and ranchers who lease their land to developers. With wind power capacity additions projected to continue growing, rural residents often wonder if wind energy will be a good neighbor.

Jan. 10, 2020

Students Focus on Sunny Futures During Mini-Semester

In three days at NREL, undergraduates from across the country learn about energy research opportunities through lab tours and hands-on activities led by scientists.

Jan. 9, 2020

New Open-Source Model Works to Improve Wind Power Plant Cost Estimation and Design

The contiguous United States has the technical resource potential to generate up to 32,700 terawatt-hours of electricity per year--more than eight times the amount of electricity consumed in the United States in 2018. However, significant cost and performance improvements in wind power technology are needed for the wind industry to reach this potential.

Jan. 7, 2020

News Release: Three Key Positions Filled on NREL Leadership Team

New deputy director and chief operating officer, chief human resources officer, and chief counsel to join team guiding the strategic direction of the laboratory.

Jan. 7, 2020

Reports Identify Regulatory Coordination Key to Optimizing Cross-Border Electricity Trade in South Asia

A series of reports identify how Bangladesh, India, and Nepal might develop a coordinated regulatory framework to effectively implement cross-border electricity trade.

Jan. 2, 2020

Declining Renewable Costs Drive Focus on Energy Storage

An oft-repeated refrain—the sun doesn't always shine, is sometimes seen as an impediment to renewable energy. But it's also an impetus toward discovering the best ways to store that energy until it's needed.


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