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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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July 2018

July 9, 2018

NREL Analysis Explores Demand-Side Impacts of a Highly Electrified Future

The second report in the Electrification Futures Study series presents scenarios reflecting a wide range of possible electricity demand growth through 2050 driven by the adoption of end-use electric technologies.

July 2, 2018

News Release: Leading the Charge to Build a New Energy Future, NREL's Sheila Hayter Named President of ASHRAE

Sheila Hayter, group manager with the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), was installed last week as president of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) during the industry group's annual conference in Houston, Texas.

July 2, 2018

Chunmei Ban is Getting Charge Out of Battery Research by Finding Right Chemistry

Growing up in remote northwest China, researcher Chunmei Ban seemed destined to be a doctor--but decided to be a scientist, although she didn't know what scientists do.

June 2018

June 29, 2018

NREL Transportation and Hydrogen Researchers Recognized by DOE for Outstanding Achievements at 2018 Annual Merit Reviews

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently honored 16 NREL researchers for their outstanding achievements at the Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meetings for the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program and Vehicle Technologies Office. The annual meetings provide researchers leading projects funded by the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program and the Vehicle Technologies Office with an opportunity to share accomplishments with representatives from DOE, industry, and other labs.

June 27, 2018

Advanced Thermal Management for Power-Dense Power Electronics and Electric Motors Improves EVs

As EVs are further developed, new materials and enhanced configurations to improve the thermal management systems of power electronics and electric motors is necessary for peak EV performance. Thermal management continues to be a growing field as components used in various applications are required to be smaller, more affordable, and more powerful.

June 27, 2018

News Release: Researchers Discover New Enzyme Paradigm for Critical Reaction in Converting Lignin to Useful Products

An international research team, including scientists from NREL, has discovered and characterized a new family of cytochrome P450 enzymes that is critical to improving the conversion of lignin--one of the main components of plants--into valuable products such as nylon, plastics, and chemicals.

June 27, 2018

NREL Steers America Toward Energy Independence

Innovation Delivers Transportation Freedom

June 25, 2018

NREL, DOE, and U.S. Automakers Join Together to Transform Mobility Future

Representatives from Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, and the U.S. Department of Energy met with NREL researchers who are developing and integrating vehicle and infrastructure technologies with big data and communication systems to connect and automate transportation. With the advent of connected and autonomous vehicle technologies and integration with renewable power sources, the grid, buildings, and other systems, NREL is not only looking for ways to help reduce transportation costs, but also plan ahead as the U.S. population shifts to urban mega-regions in collaboration with industry partners.

June 19, 2018

News Release: Novel Genetic Method Improves Efficiency of Enzyme

Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the University of Georgia developed a new genetic engineering technique to dramatically improve an enzyme's ability to break down biomass.

June 18, 2018

REopt Lite's Application Programming Interface Boosts Solar+Storage Analysis Flexibility

NREL released an API for REopt(TM) Lite, enabling streamlined integration with other tools inside and outside NREL and allowing building owners and researchers to evaluate the economics of grid-connected solar PV and battery storage at multiple commercial sites. The API opens opportunities for research collaboration and broader market impact, driving solar and storage deployment.

June 18, 2018

Research Spotlights Energy Efficiency of Ride-Hailing Services

NREL hosted a recent meeting with representatives from industry and academia to discuss research exploring the energy impact of ride-hailing services. The growing use of such services has the potential to disrupt traditional car ownership paradigms, buoyed by the surge in younger consumers who only know a world with technology at their fingertips. Research indicates that ride-hailing options should be networked, electrified, shared, and mobile-friendly to best realize improvements in road congestion, energy use, and air quality.

June 18, 2018

International Interest in NREL's Fuels and Engines Research

The European Union's goal is for 10% of all of Europe's transportation fuels to come from renewable sources by 2020. In April, CNBC World's international news program "Sustainable Energy" came to NREL to spotlight how the lab's breakthrough biofuels research is advancing progress toward that ambitious objective.

June 18, 2018

News Release: NREL Announces Participants for 2018 Executive Energy Leadership Program

The program provides non-technical business, governmental, and community leaders throughout the country an opportunity to learn about advanced energy technologies, analytical tools, and financing to guide their organizations and communities in energy-related decisions and planning.

June 15, 2018

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Bus Evaluation Project Reveals Success for Transit Partner

Results from a National Renewable Energy Laboratory evaluation of hydrogen fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs) at Alameda Contra-Costa Transit District (AC Transit) in California show that FCEBs have made significant progress toward commercialization, surpassing Department of Energy's ultimate technical targets for fuel cell operating hours and reliability.

June 12, 2018

Enhanced Resilience Features Help REopt Lite Users Size Solar+Storage Systems to Support Critical Building Loads

NREL's REopt Lite web tool now offers enhanced resilience analysis capabilities that allow building owners and energy managers to size PV and storage systems to meet a specified outage duration and compare the sizing and costs of a resilient system with a system sized to maximize savings.

June 12, 2018

Trends in Ground Transportation to and from Airport Reflect Nationwide Mobility Shift

Passenger transportation and aviation systems are on the frontline of innovation in moving more people faster, cheaper, and better—fueled in part by greater convenience and increased choices. An NREL study focuses on the growing use and impacts of ride-hailing services to and from airports, with implications for the future of ride-hailing, parking, and car rental services in cities.

May 2018

May 31, 2018

NREL Connects with the Community--Next Door and Across the Country

Although NREL's recent community open house is a highly visible outreach effort, it is only one of many connecting the laboratory with communities in Colorado and across the country.

May 31, 2018

Collaboration Initiates New Early-Stage Research

The U.S. Department of Energy’s interest in increasing national energy security and lowering the cost of transporting goods spurred a $3 million effort to support cost-shared research to improve high-efficiency natural gas engines. NREL is collaborating with Argonne National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories to further this early-stage research.

May 31, 2018

Planning a City, Virtually

NREL has developed an immersive visualization environment to help plan for Denver's new smart community, Peña Station NEXT.

May 30, 2018

When the Gears Stop Turning

NREL teams with PG&E to stabilize grid frequency with synthetic inertia.

May 29, 2018

New CSP Funding Is Getting Hotter

NREL has received $7 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop the next generation of liquid-phase concentrating solar power technology.

May 29, 2018

News Release: NREL Researchers Measure Impact of Eclipse on Electrical Grid

A recent analysis from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that, during last summer's total eclipse, solar energy output in the West dropped by about 5.9 gigawatts (GW).

May 22, 2018

Middle School Students Take the STEM Wheel

On May 19, NREL hosted its 19th annual Middle School Electric Car Competition, where students raced solar and lithium-ion powered cars that they designed and built.

May 22, 2018

Breakdown Breakthrough: NREL Finds Easier Ways to Deconstruct Biomass

Technical challenges have stymied efforts to produce bioethanol on a commercial scale, but research underway at NREL may hold the key to overcoming those barriers.

May 22, 2018

Enhanced Vehicle Simulation Tool Enables Wider Array of Analyses

New and enhanced versions of NREL's Future Automotive Systems Technology Simulator (FASTSim) are now available for free download in Python and Microsoft Excel formats at www.nrel.gov/fastsim. FASTSim provides a quick and simple way to compare powertrains and estimate the impact of technology improvements on light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicle efficiency, performance, cost, and battery life.

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