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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 2019

May 2, 2019

NREL Research Fellow Testifies on Plastic Recycling Before House Subcommittee

Plastics are essential to modern life--but it's hard to turn on the TV or browse the web without seeing poignant examples of the plastic life cycle extending far beyond usefulness. NREL Senior Research Fellow Gregg Beckham testified before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee about one possible solution to the plastic pollution problem: chemical recycling.

April 2019

April 29, 2019

NREL Partnership Successes Help Transform National Energy Landscape

NREL, which already has some 850 active partnership agreements with more than 500 partners in industry, government, and academia, is helping change the clean energy landscape along with its partners.

April 25, 2019

Q&A with Adarsh Nagarajan: Energy Storage as an Entity and Asset

Adarsh Nagarajan is the group manager for Power System Design and Planning at NREL. One of his specializations includes finding solutions and understanding grid integration challenges of various emerging technologies, such as solar, wind, and energy storage systems. We sat down with Nagarajan to learn more about the exciting new collaborations he's part of at NREL.

April 24, 2019

Early-Stage Companies and Investors Agree: IGF is the Place to Be in Cleantech Startup Ecosystem

NREL's Industry Growth Forum helps move technology to market through increased funding opportunities, mentorship, networking, and investor-entrepreneur interaction.

April 22, 2019

Your Renewable Energy Technology is Growing Old--What's Next?

While hundreds of millions of tons of trash continue to be dumped into American landfills annually, a growing percentage has been diverted to recycling centers since the first Earth Day in 1970. But these centers aren't set up for renewable energy technologies.

April 18, 2019

Perovskite Breakthrough Shows Importance of Added Chemical Compound in Boosting Efficiency

Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory report making a significant breakthrough by producing a tandem perovskite solar cell that pushes the technology closer to its maximum efficiency.

April 17, 2019

I-JEDI Website Helps Countries Transitioning to Clean Energy

With support from USAID, NREL's International Jobs and Economic Development Impacts (I-JEDI) Model is a free, online tool for analyzing the economic impacts of renewable energy development in a specific country.

April 17, 2019

NREL Celebrates Bat Appreciation Day

As a founding member of the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative, NREL has spent 15 years working to protect bats by developing innovative technological solutions to monitor and minimize wind energy's impacts to bats.

April 16, 2019

New NREL and Georgia Tech Collaborative Appointment Program

NREL and Georgia Institute of Technology announce a new joint appointment program as part of an effort to enhance research collaboration between the lab and universities.

April 9, 2019

Catalyst Cost Estimating Tool Significantly Improves Research Efficiency

More than 85% of chemical processes rely on catalysts, but limited information on their cost can lead to roadblocks during early-stage research and development and along the path to commercialization. To address this challenge, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory developed a catalyst cost estimation tool that incorporates industry-standard estimation methods into an intuitive, user-friendly suite of tools.

April 2, 2019

NREL Supports New Strategies to Accelerate PSH Development

NREL is supporting a new water prize to fund innovators who are working to address the non-regulatory challenges pumped-storage hydropower developers face when deploying new projects. The team aims to shorten commissioning times and reduce both risk and required up-front investments.

April 1, 2019

Beneath Solar Panels, the Seeds of Opportunity Sprout

Low-impact development of solar installations can shelter vegetation and boost energy production, creating a win-win-win for food, water, and renewable energy.

March 2019

March 27, 2019

Patent Protection Awarded to NREL's EcoSnap-AC Technology

The patented device eliminates leaking air that comes with a window-mounted unit, reduces noise, and operates with more efficiency.

March 25, 2019

NREL Analysts Help Student Teams Battle Real-Time Cyberattacks, Gain Skills

When a series of cyberattacks surged through the Denver Tech Center, NREL Cybersecurity Analysts Joshua Rivera, Adarsh Hasandka, and Anuj Sanghvi could just watch--and wait. That's because they were volunteers at the eighth Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

March 21, 2019

NREL Federal Energy Management Program Team Directly Supports $13.7B of Federal Facility Energy Efficiency Improvements

A special NREL Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) procurement team is responsible for directly supporting almost $14 billion worth of upgrades to federal energy infrastructure projects using unique contracting and financing mechanisms, ensuring federal facilities received the energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades they needed.

March 20, 2019

Building Community Through Competition: The 29th Annual Colorado High School Science Bowl

Since its inception, the Colorado High School Science Bowl has given students the opportunity to engage in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) enrichment beyond the classroom.

March 19, 2019

New Materials Could Lead to Recyclable Wind Blades

Advancements in wind energy have allowed the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere to drop considerably, and all without raising the levelized cost of energy. However, disposing of the materials used to create these energy-efficient machines can be complicated and have unintended consequences. Thanks to researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), this could soon be a thing of the past.

March 16, 2019

News Release: Fort Collins High School Reigns Supreme at the 29th Colorado High School Science Bowl

This marks the third consecutive year students from Fort Collins High School won the Colorado competition.

March 15, 2019

NREL Unveils Look at Most Efficient Solar Modules

The initial Champion Module Efficiencies chart contains 73 data points, dating to 1988, and broken out into 19 different technologies.

March 13, 2019

News Release: NREL's Economic Impact Tops $1 Billion

The new study estimates NREL's impact on Colorado's economy at nearly $748 million.

March 11, 2019

News Release: Tenth Edition of Data Book Reveals Trends in U.S. and Global Renewable Energy Growth

This year's edition is the first to include data and trends for electric vehicles and energy storage technologies, in addition to data-centric charts for wind, solar, hydropower, and alternative fuels.

March 6, 2019

News Release: NREL Announces New Projects to Advance Medium- and Heavy-Duty Natural Gas Vehicle Technologies

The selected projects will focus on reducing the total cost of ownership of NGVs, increasing vehicle efficiency, decreasing local air pollution, and advancing technology development to increase the use of more affordable medium- and heavy-duty natural gas engines and vehicles.

March 6, 2019

REopt Lite Adds Custom Electricity Rates and an Integrated Critical Load Builder

Building owners and energy managers looking to evaluate renewable energy and storage economics for their site can use REopt™ Lite's custom utility rate tariff capabilities and an integrated critical load profile builder—new features that allow a more detailed energy analysis without leaving the tool.

February 2019

Feb. 28, 2019

Competition Spurs Transformative Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Solutions

The U.S. Department of Energy recently launched the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize, with NREL as prize administrator. The $5.5-million phased prize competition is designed to incentivize American innovators and businesses to develop and demonstrate processes that, when scaled, have the potential to profitably capture 90% of all discarded or spent lithium-ion batteries in the United States.

Feb. 27, 2019

News Release: NREL Pioneers Cleaner Route to Upcycle Plastics into Superior Products

The NREL team chemically combined reclaimed polyethylene terephthalate plastic, in the form of single-use beverage bottles, with bio-based compounds to produce higher-value fiber-reinforced plastics that can be used in products from snowboards to vehicle parts to wind turbines.

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