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 2024

Jan. 22, 2024

Local Clean Energy Projects Get a Boost Through New SOLVE IT Prize

The new $5 million SOLVE IT Prize will support development of innovative local clean energy solutions with heavy community involvement.

Jan. 22, 2024

Behind the Blades: Why Genevieve Starke Gave Up on Her Childhood Dream Job

As a kid, Genevieve Starke dreamt of becoming a con artist. Naturally, the little girl from Pennsylvania decided to pivot her dream to a field where rule-following was a little more appreciated. She picked engineering.

Jan. 19, 2024

John Kisacikoglu Tapped To Lead IEEE's Transportation Systems Committee

Mithat John Kisacikoglu has been tapped to lead the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Transportation Systems Committee (TSC), which focuses on electrification of the entire transportation sector.

Jan. 18, 2024

20 Teams Win First Phase of Wind Turbine Materials Recycling Prize

DOE announced the Phase 1 winners of the Wind Turbine Materials Recycling Prize. This $5.1 million, two-phase competition aims to boost a sustainable U.S. recycling industry for two high-impact categories of wind turbine materials: fiber-reinforced composites and rare earth elements.

Jan. 18, 2024

Saying Goodbye to a Cold-Weather Workhorse

NREL recently bid farewell to a 100-kilowatt distributed wind turbine prototype on NREL's Flatirons Campus. The turbine's removal signals the beginning of new, expanded distributed wind research capabilities for the laboratory.

Jan. 18, 2024

How NREL Helps Startups From the Beginning

Antora Energy, a startup focusing on improving heating, ventilating, and air conditioning technology, would not be where it is today without the help of NREL.

Jan. 18, 2024

Computational Mobility Scientist Honored With Colorado Governor's Award for High-Impact Research

In just three years as a researcher at NREL, K. Shankari successfully enabled communities to collect impactful multimodal data and went on detail to the U.S. Joint Office of Energy and Transportation to ensure the reliable buildout of a national electric vehicle charging network.

Jan. 16, 2024

Beneath the Surface: Nicole Mendoza Is a Supersonic Environmentalist

Nicole Mendoza is building extra-sustainable clean energy technologies, including kelp-like wave energy devices that mimic her beloved nature.

Jan. 16, 2024

The Yoga of Energy (Specifically, Ocean Energy)

A newly patented kind of energy generator could be woven into fabrics, building walls, or roads to form what their inventors call "metamaterials."

Jan. 16, 2024

News Release: NREL Selects JE Dunn Construction and SmithGroup as Design-Build Contractor for Newest Laboratory

NREL has chosen JE Dunn Construction with its design partner SmithGroup to design and build a new research facility on the east side of its South Table Mountain Campus in Golden, Colorado.

Jan. 12, 2024

MAKE IT Prize Helps Fuel US Clean Energy Boom

The United States is poised for a clean energy boom, with the new investments flowing from 2021's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act expected to unlock around $3 trillion in clean energy and energy efficiency investments.

Jan. 11, 2024

NREL Awards $1.8 Million in Second Round of Contracts To Support Development of Cheaper, More Efficient Cadmium Telluride Solar Cells

NREL has awarded $1.8 million to fund seven projects to support the Cadmium Telluride Accelerator Consortium.

Jan. 11, 2024

Materials Science Software Enables High-Fidelity Answers to Basic Principles Questions

To understand how things work, we must think small. Really small. Processes that affect how materials appear or behave happen at the atomic level. That is a key place for researchers to start, but such atomic-scale challenges are difficult because they require that researchers solve the underlying equations of quantum physics, which are computationally intensive and expensive.

Jan. 11, 2024

Solar Prize Round 7 Semifinalists Bring Bold, Bright Ideas to Competition

A new crop of semifinalists has been selected to move on to the Set! Contest in the American-Made Solar Prize Round 7.

Jan. 10, 2024

American-Made Prize Accelerates Community Solar Initiatives Across the US

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office announced 25 Phase 1 winning teams, each receiving a $50,000 cash prize and advancing to Phase 2 of the competition.

Jan. 9, 2024

NREL Releases the 2023 Standard Scenarios

The annual suite of electricity system scenarios shows there could be fewer emissions, more renewables, and clean energy tax credits continued through 2050.

Jan. 9, 2024

News Release: Green Wheels, Bright Skies: NREL Analysis Unveils the Connection Between Electric Vehicles and Photovoltaics

People who own electric vehicles are more likely to go a step further and add solar panels to their home, according to an analysis of a behavioral study by researchers at NREL.

Jan. 9, 2024

Hydropower Is Global. Should Hydropower Research Be, Too?

Dany Tome, a graduate student at the University of South-Eastern Norway, spent five weeks at NREL as part of a larger partnership between Norway and the United States. As part of his internship, Tome researched hydropower, one of the world's biggest sources of renewable energy.

Jan. 5, 2024

NREL Researchers Produce First Macromolecular Model of Plant Secondary Cell Wall

A multidisciplinary approach has enabled researchers with NREL to quantitatively define the relative positioning and arrangement of the polymers in Populus wood and to create a computer model that details the findings.

Jan. 4, 2024

NREL To Showcase Research at Transportation Research Board Meeting

Transportation and mobility researchers will showcase their latest research at the 103rd Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Jan. 7–11, 2024 in Washington, D.C.

Jan. 3, 2024

NREL's Expert Contributions to Renowned Climate Change Assessment Strengthen Leaders' Ability To Make Informed Decisions

Three NREL researchers recently had the opportunity to contribute to the landmark Fifth National Climate Assessment, sharing NREL’s expertise and learning from other leaders at the table.

Jan. 2, 2024

News Release: Heliostat Consortium Publishes Annual Report Highlighting Impactful Technical Projects, Partnerships With Industry

The HelioCon Annual Report: 2023 provides detailed information on progress the Heliostat Consortium team has made since its founding.

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