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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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May 2020

May 28, 2020

Inertia and the Power Grid: A Guide Without the Spin

A new video and report explain the historical role of inertia in maintaining a reliable power system—and how this role is changing as the grid evolves.

May 28, 2020

ARPA-E Awards NREL To Study Risk and Reward of Energy Resource Flexibility

The Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has announced $3.4 million in project funding for an NREL-led team in a new program designed to assess the delivery risk of grid assets' ability to provide expected power.

May 28, 2020

Scientists Pinpoint Pathways for Carbon Dioxide Uptake of Cyanobacteria

Research performed by the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI)—a joint effort between NREL and the University of Colorado, Boulder—shows how RASEI researchers traced the growth of individual cyanobacteria, providing new insights into the biological pathways that enable efficient photosynthetic growth, and ultimately high-value renewable fuels and chemicals.

May 22, 2020

HydroWIRES Pinpoints Key Design Elements of Tomorrow's Power System

Hydropower may be the missing puzzle piece that offers the flexibility and storage necessary to effectively bridge the gap between traditional and renewable resources on the grid.

May 21, 2020

American-Made Challenges Program Selects New Cohort of Power Connectors

This spring, a new cohort of Power Connectors joined the American-Made Challenges team following a competitive application process. The group was chosen for their expertise in areas that would ensure the success of competing teams and the overall program.

May 20, 2020

Virtual Science Bowl Offers Practical Lessons in Learning and Creativity

The NREL Education Programs team put their creativity to the test by hosting the 30th Colorado High School Science Bowl online for the first time in the event’s history. Cherry Creek High School's team won first place this year, unseating three-time champion Fort Collins High School.

May 20, 2020

Wind for Schools: Supporting Teachers and Students in Distance Learning

NREL is supporting distance learning for K-12 students through exciting, hands-on Wind for Schools programs such as KidWind and NEED (National Energy Education Development).

May 18, 2020

NREL's John Farrell Honored for Leadership in Sustainable Fuels and Engines

Since taking the helm of NREL's vehicle technologies research in 2013, John Farrell has been instrumental in directing R&D initiatives for the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Vehicle Technologies Office, ranging from high-density energy storage to vehicle automation, as well as co-optimization of fuel and engine technologies to vehicle-to-grid interactions.

May 14, 2020

Energy Department Launches $4.65M Geothermal Prize Through American-Made Challenges

The American-Made Challenges program is giving a boost to geothermal energy by bringing the additive manufacturing and geothermal industries together in its newest competition—the American-Made Geothermal Manufacturing Prize.

May 14, 2020

Blockchain: Not Just for Bitcoin

A common vision for the future of the nation's energy grid involves homeowners selling unused power generated from rooftop solar panels to others in their communities, and working together to help ensure the reliability, resiliency, and security of the power grid everyone uses. But how can the grid manage such complex energy transactions at scale? Several emerging solutions rely on blockchain technology.

May 13, 2020

Webinar Series Inspires Tomorrow's Wind Energy Innovators

Learn about the Wind Workforce Webinar Series and how we are bringing the wind energy experts to you.

May 12, 2020

NREL Tool Quickly Provides Answers for Chemical Reactions

A new machine-learning tool developed at NREL has significantly speeded up calculating the thermodynamics of chemical reactions. Developed as part of the DOE Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines initiative, the new tool—called ALFABET—makes it possible for researchers to identify the most promising fuels for lower emissions and greater engine efficiency in seconds rather than days.

May 6, 2020

Two NREL Studies Find Gulf of Mexico Well Positioned for Offshore Wind Development

The Gulf of Mexico presents many advantages and unique challenges for offshore wind. Now, two recent studies conducted by NREL and funded by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management have yielded promising results for the future of offshore wind energy in this region.

May 5, 2020

Discovering New Waters: A Deeper Dive on Ocean Observing Prize Winners

In the first stage of the Powering the Blue Economy: Ocean Observing Prize, participants launched on a 90-day mission to DISCOVER new ways to help overcome energy constraints that stand in the way of effective and comprehensive ocean observation.

May 4, 2020

NREL, U.S. Air Force Collaborate on Growing Portfolio of Resiliency Work

NREL's partnership with the U.S. Air Force has led to smarter, stronger, and more flexible base infrastructure, strengthening their ability to execute its missions worldwide.

May 1, 2020

Only at ESIF: Video Shows NREL-Anterix Collaboration for Critical Communications

NREL and industry partner Anterix have validated essential communications functions over a 900 MHz private LTE network. Within the ESIF, the ability to transmit system protection signals at low latency to a network of devices was demonstrated on a realistic power system.

May 1, 2020

NREL Research into Fueling Big Rigs Could Help More Hydrogen Vehicles Hit the Road

Hydrogen-fueled cars are increasingly popular in California, but moving beyond the state's borders may require 18-wheelers crisscrossing America's highways leading the way. Research at NREL suggests a shift in long-haul trucking toward hydrogen that could drive a coast-to-coast network of fueling stations.

April 2020

April 30, 2020

News Release: Cleantech Innovators Announced at 2020 Virtual Industry Growth Forum

Today, the NREL recognized three top cleantech innovators as it wrapped up the 25th anniversary edition of the NREL Industry Growth Forum (IGF). This year's IGF was an all-virtual event held at a time when innovation in all forms is a national priority.

April 30, 2020

NREL Implements User-Guided Upgrades to "Mine-to-Materials" Modeling Tool

Based on user feedback, NREL recently upgraded the Materials Flows through Industry modeling tool for improved ease of use and enhanced accuracy in modeling the U.S. industrial sector supply chain.

April 29, 2020

News Release: NREL Helps Found Consortium to Boost Solar Perovskite Commercialization

Working with leading domestic solar companies, NREL and three universities have formed the U.S. Manufacturing of Advanced Perovskites Consortium (US-MAP), which will work to accelerate commercialization of perovskite technologies.

April 28, 2020

Automated Test Bed Helps Battery Stakeholders with Residential Systems

NREL's residential battery test bed provides a research environment that allows any stakeholder to understand the inner workings of batteries—for any use (backup, self-consumption, arbitrage), from any vendor, and in any climate.

April 28, 2020

Jerry Davis Q&A: Cutting-Edge Research, Microgrids for U.S. Military, and Ultramarathons

Jerry Davis works with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to develop renewable energy technologies for military operations and installations. Davis sat down with us to talk about his work on bringing advanced microgrid technologies and cybersecurity measures to support DoD and mission readiness.

April 28, 2020

NREL Launches $9 Million Solar Desalination Prize Competition

On April 27, with support from NREL, the U.S. Department of Energy kicked off the Solar Desalination Prize, a $9 million competition that's part of the American-Made Challenges series. The competition is designed to accelerate the development of systems that use solar-thermal energy to produce clean drinking water from salt water.

April 22, 2020

50th Anniversary of Earth Day Puts NREL Research in Focus

Five decades ago, an idea sprouted into an event that grew into a movement, which today, on its 50th anniversary, we recognize as Earth Day—a global day of awareness and a celebration of principle, responsibility, and sustainability. NREL has always enjoyed strong ties to Earth Day. The laboratory's second director, Denis Hayes, played a key role in its creation, coordinating the first Earth Day in 1970.

April 21, 2020

Greening Industry: Building Recyclable, Next-Generation Turbine Blades

NREL's pioneering thermoplastics work is helping close the circle, ensuring today's blades become tomorrow's blades, too.


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