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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February 2022

Feb. 18, 2022

Can We Fix Recycling?

Three NREL teams win prestigious REMADE awards to remake recycling, improve manufacturing, and build a circular economy.

Feb. 17, 2022

Transportation Modeling Tool Informs Intelligent Planning and Control for Mobility-Service-Provider Fleets

The transportation industry is on the cusp of rapid evolution, with vehicle electrification, automation, and ride sharing transforming the age-old paradigm of privately owned and operated gasoline vehicles.

Feb. 16, 2022

Addressing Energy Challenges of Housing Health Care Professionals on Remote IHS and U.S. Tribal Lands

The Indian Health Service (IHS) serves 2.6 million American Indians and Alaska Natives annually on a mission to raise physical, mental, and spiritual health. One of the biggest hurdles is staffing.

Feb. 16, 2022

A Metabolic "Traffic Map": Machine Learning Lets Scientists Plot Complex Flow of Compounds Through Microbes

Like traffic signals controlling cars through the center of town, microorganisms use metabolic signals to control the flow of energy and nutrients.

Feb. 16, 2022

Blok-by-Blok: Lower Emissions and Costs With Net-Zero Energy Modules

A new report from Blokable, the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) details actionable pathways to developing and building net zero energy (NZE) housing without increasing costs yet still reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. IN2 is managed by NREL's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center.

Feb. 15, 2022

A Window Into the Future of Wave Energy

Why aren't waves powering your home right now? The ocean is an inhospitable place for technology. Now, a new cost-effective, resilient wave energy design adapts to changing seas and could help power up the wave energy industry.

Feb. 14, 2022

Contaminant Identification Refines Recycling for Lithium-Ion Batteries

As the predominant choice for high-powered personal electronics, electric vehicles, and grid-scale storage solutions, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries continue to dominate the marketplace. To meet clean energy goals of the future, researchers must develop safe and sustainable recycling processes for these batteries.

Feb. 11, 2022

NREL Joins Effort to Launch Interagency Collaboration Supporting Build-Out of National Electric Vehicle Charging Network

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) researchers will contribute their expertise in electrified transportation systems to help create a new federal office focused on strategically and equitably expanding electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure throughout the United States.

Feb. 10, 2022

NREL and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Demonstrate Multi-Lab Capabilities in Live Demonstration

We can currently link models and simulations across the national laboratory complex, but imagine connecting these models with equipment, devices, and scientists so they can work together as if side by side instead of thousands of miles apart.

Feb. 9, 2022

Next-Gen Concentrating Solar Power Research Heats Up at NREL

Concentrating solar power (CSP) has long held promise as a renewable energy technology. CSP uses mirrors, or heliostats, to harness the power of the sun by heating and storing an inexpensive medium such as sand, rocks, or molten salt for on-demand energy dispatch.

Feb. 8, 2022

Empowering Female Leaders in Energy

According to national studies, women only account for 22% of the traditional energy sector. That compares to an overall average of 47% nationally in the workforce. One NREL geothermal researcher is determined to elevate the number of women in energy-related professions.

Feb. 8, 2022

JUMP Into STEM Final Event Exemplifies Commitment to Equity From the Next Generation of Building Science Professionals

The JUMP into STEM Final Event—held virtually Jan. 27 and 28, 2022—showcased holistic solutions from student teams covering three challenge areas: equal access to indoor air quality, resilience for all, and accelerated market adoption.

Feb. 8, 2022

NREL Hydropower Research Informs Discussions on Capitol Hill

On Jan. 11, 2022, U.S. senators and hydropower experts referenced NREL's hydropower research to argue for an expansion of the U.S. hydropower industry.

Feb. 7, 2022

Building a Solar-Powered Future

The Solar Futures Study draws insights from across NREL's expertise and tools to deliver detailed analysis of solar energy's future in the United States.

Feb. 3, 2022

Leader in Buildings Research Receives Prestigious Black Engineer of the Year STEM Award

After more than a decade of leading innovative building research and mentoring dozens of young scientists, Roderick Jackson is being honored with a Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) at the 36th annual BEYA STEM Conference, Feb. 17-19, 2022, in Washington, D.C. He is the first BEYA recipient from NREL.

Feb. 3, 2022

Wood Next Fund Partners With American-Made Challenges Prize Competitors To Support Water Desalination Technology Innovations

Winning thousands in cash prizes is just one of the many benefits that comes with being a finalist in an American-Made Challenges (AMC) Prize competition.

Feb. 2, 2022

Q&A With Jordan Cox: Expect the Unexpected With Resilient Systems

Planning for an unexpected event is a significant challenge, but it is one that NREL's researchers in the Resilient Systems Design and Engineering Group within the Energy Security and Resilience Center are working to address. NREL researcher Jordan Cox describes NREL's innovative approach to analyzing system vulnerabilities, measuring risk, and keeping communities safe.

Feb. 2, 2022

REopt Is Not Lite Anymore

REopt, a free, techno-economic decision support model, helps users optimize energy systems for buildings, campuses, communities, and microgrids. Once called REopt Lite, the REopt tool is dropping the "Lite" in 2022 to better reflect its true status as a heavy-hitting and comprehensive optimization tool.

Feb. 1, 2022

NREL-Led Solar Permitting Software Reduces Review Times by 12 Business Days

A pilot study demonstrates SolarAPP+ ability to expedite solar installs.

January 2022

Jan. 31, 2022

Solar Veteran Selected To Lead NREL CSP Program

Math, mentors, and Mother Nature all had a hand in leading Craig Turchi toward his new role as the manager of NREL's Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Program.

Jan. 27, 2022

Plant-Based Epoxy Enables Recyclable Carbon Fiber, Improves Economics for Mass Market Electric Vehicles

Ten times stronger than steel, nearly half the weight of aluminum, far stiffer than fiberglass—carbon fiber carries a package of advantages, making it a preferred material for use in luxury sedans and Formula One racecars alike.

Jan. 25, 2022

Advanced Air Mobility Takes Flight With New Partnership

The next frontier of mobility aims to ascend to new heights with on-demand air travel integrated with existing transit. This vision is backed by new research, which shows aerial mobility options are nearly ready for takeoff and poised to transform public transit in cities worldwide.

Jan. 25, 2022

Code Fit for the Stars

Wave energy developers can bring the ocean to the laptop thanks to the Wave Energy Converter SIMulator (WEC-Sim), a tool built by researchers at NREL and Sandia National Laboratories.

Jan. 25, 2022

Joint Workforce Development Initiative To Advance Leadership Opportunities for Women in Power System Operations

Women in Power System Transformation initiative seeks to increase women’s representation and leadership in global transition to clean energy through targeted academic and workforce training.

Jan. 24, 2022

Reducing Wind Turbine Wakes Could Save Wind Farms Millions

Researchers are collecting the most comprehensive data on how winds move through wind plants to help design more efficient plants and reduce wind energy costs.

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