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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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September 2021

Sept. 21, 2021

Breakthrough Analysis Finds Electrified Heavy-Duty Vehicle Powertrains Could Provide Lower Total Cost of Ownership

A new report from NREL seeks to pinpoint the conditions for when battery electric or fuel cell electric commercial trucks offer economic advantages over traditional diesel-fueled trucks by examining a key metric—the total cost of ownership (TCO).

Sept. 17, 2021

With Their Waverider Buoys, Researchers Collect Data on the Powerful Clean Energy Available in Our Oceans

NREL is partnering with ocean experts in North Carolina and Puerto Rico to collect detailed data on surface waves in the Atlantic Ocean.

Sept. 16, 2021

Profitable, Clean, and Efficient Farming Starts With Renewable Energy Sources, Sustainably Produced Biofuels

The Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis studied sustainable energy generation and consumption in Colorado farms and agricultural production facilities.

Sept. 15, 2021

Researchers Bolster Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Infrastructure To Improve Florida's Hurricane Resilience

When events like tropical storms or other unforeseen crises disrupt a state's primary supply of gasoline and diesel, emergency fleet efforts can become hampered as access to fuel is restricted or completely unavailable.

Sept. 15, 2021

To Toss, Repair, or Recycle? How Human Behavior Affects the Fate of Aging Solar Panels

By 2050, there could be 80 million metric tons globally of solar photovoltaics (PV) reaching the end of their lifetime, with 10 million metric tons in the United States alone—or the weight of 30 Empire State Buildings.

Sept. 15, 2021

President Biden Makes Historic Visit to NREL's Flatirons Campus

President Joe Biden visited NREL's Flatirons Campus to speak with NREL leadership and to learn about the laboratory's research facilities, capabilities, and critical initiatives housed on the Flatirons Campus. During the visit, the president spoke to a livestream audience about his plans on infrastructure, environmental justice, and how to tackle the climate crisis.

Sept. 14, 2021

The Wind Rises: Market Report Shows Electrifying Future for U.S. Offshore Wind Industry

According to the Offshore Wind Market Report: 2021 Edition, written by a team of researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy and NREL, the U.S. offshore wind pipeline made gale-force gains between 2019 and 2020.

Sept. 10, 2021

The Future of Agriculture Combined With Renewable Energy Finds Success at Jack's Solar Garden

A 24-acre family farm purchased by Jack Stingerie in 1972 has now evolved into a model for how to produce energy and food in tandem. Multiple agrivoltaics activities including crop production, pollinator habitat, ecosystem services, and pasture grass for grazing are being researched across Jack's Solar Garden in Longmont, Colorado.

Sept. 9, 2021

New Master Roadmap Guides Industries To Invest in Low-Cost, Low-Energy Ways To Treat Salt Water and Recycle Wastewater

National Alliance for Water Innovation's new master roadmap guides industries to invest in low-cost, low-energy ways to treat salt water and recycle wastewater.

Sept. 9, 2021

News Release: DRINKing It in: Five Teams and Their Desalination Designs Earn a Spot in Final Stage of Waves to Water Prize Competition

This month, DOE and NREL officially announced the five teams that earned a spot in the fifth and final Waves to Water Prize competition stage, DRINK. Now, these five have 180 days to prepare their devices for an open-ocean trial at the Coastal Studies Institute in North Carolina in April 2022.

Sept. 8, 2021

Billion Dollar Breakthrough: The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator Reaches New Milestone

The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), managed by NREL, has reached a milestone: Its portfolio of startup companies has raised more than $1.1 billion in external funding since joining IN2. This translates to the companies raising $95 for every dollar invested in them by the Wells Fargo Foundation.

Sept. 7, 2021

New Data Sound Good for Wind Energy

NREL researchers listened to the wind for hours to determine how rotating wind turbines affected their sound output. To their surprise, the next generation of wind plants could both create more energy and less noise pollution.

Sept. 7, 2021

News Release: NREL Launches Nonprofit Foundation To Fund Research, Scholarships

The NREL Foundation will bring in funding that otherwise would be unavailable to the laboratory and enable access to new sources of nonfederal funding. As donors contribute to the foundation, money will be aggregated and earmarked to fund specific research projects at NREL.

Sept. 2, 2021

Webinar Series Presents the Building Blocks of Cybersecurity

A new webinar series from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in collaboration with the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC) aims to raise awareness about all aspects of security and help utilities develop a well-rounded cybersecurity program.

Sept. 1, 2021

NREL Researchers Study Synergistic Value Streams in Hybrid Power Plants

NREL is collaborating with Idaho National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories to develop FlexPower, a colocated, variable generation hybrid power plant enhanced with energy storage, stationed at the Flatirons Campus.

August 2021

Aug. 31, 2021

NREL To Lead Grid-Forming Inverter Consortium, Streamlining Renewable Integration at All Scales

NREL will lead the Department of Energy's new Universal Interoperability for Grid-Forming Inverters Consortium to develop a universal set of guidelines enabling seamless integration of inverter-based resources like solar, wind, batteries, and electric vehicles.

Aug. 31, 2021

Breakthrough Methods Help Integrate Renewable Hydrogen With Waste Carbon Dioxide To Produce Clean Fuels, Chemicals, and More

Wind, solar, and battery storage appear to be a winning combination for clean electricity systems, but to make the leap to a sustainable energy system, another ingredient is necessary—low-carbon fuels.

Aug. 30, 2021

In Geothermal Collegiate Competition, Students Compete Using Heat Beneath Our Feet

The winners of the Spring 2021 Geothermal Collegiate Competition were announced.

Aug. 30, 2021

NREL Study Shows a Bright Future for Energy Storage in South Asia

NREL performed a first-of-its-kind assessment of opportunities for grid-scale energy storage in South Asia over the next three decades.

Aug. 30, 2021

NREL Options a Modular, Cost-Effective, Build-Anywhere Particle Thermal Energy Storage Technology

Researchers at NREL are in the late stages of prototype testing a game-changing new thermal energy storage technology that uses inexpensive silica sand as a storage medium—known as ENDURING—a reliable, cost-effective, and scalable solution that can be sited anywhere.

Aug. 30, 2021

Industry Experts, Researchers Put Charging Systems for Electric Trucks to the Test

Electric vehicle industry experts and scientists at NREL are at work on a new high-power charging standard for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles called the Megawatt Charging System (MCS).

Aug. 27, 2021

Space Mission Tests NREL Perovskite Solar Cells

The latest collaboration between NREL and NASA will evaluate the potential use of perovskite solar cells in space and assess the durability of materials used in those cells.

Aug. 27, 2021

Ushering in the Future of Building Retrofits

The American-Made E-ROBOT Prize Phase 1 winners are transforming existing U.S. homes and buildings with a sweeping portfolio of advanced robotics innovations.

Aug. 26, 2021

Annual Technology Baseline Provides Updated Foundational Solar Model Input Data for Electric Grid Studies

One of the challenges of aggregating solar energy data from different sources into studies is knowing whether the data uses consistent assumptions. The Annual Technology Baseline (ATB) resolves this challenge by creating consistent assumptions for all electric generation technologies cost and performance data, including solar.

Aug. 24, 2021

Modeling and Analysis Inform COVID-19 Mobility Impacts and Vaccination Planning

A data-informed mobility modeling and analysis effort led by a crosscutting team at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has identified pandemic-related travel changes--on the road and in the air--and informed regional vaccine administration site planning.

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