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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March 2022

March 4, 2022

JISEA Sustainable Communities Catalyzer Advances Equitable Renewables Deployment

New modeling approach intersects equity metrics and renewable energy technical potential to prioritize communities that need these benefits the most.

March 3, 2022

Research Team Advances Biological Alternative to Producing Common Petrochemical

Engineers have dreamed of programming organisms to sustainably produce ethylene, a chemical nicknamed "king of petrochemicals" for its importance in plastics. Now, one pathway to this petrochemical is nearing reality, via a photosynthetic bacterium that is genetically specialized to turn sunlight and carbon dioxide into ethylene.

March 1, 2022

Q&A With Meredith Doyle: Impatient To Save the World

As part of the Q&A profile series "Manufacturing Masterminds," Meredith Doyle discusses her perspectives on the future potential for plant-based plastics, equity issues surrounding plastics pollution, and more.

March 1, 2022

NREL Issues Competitiveness Improvement Project Request for Proposals

NREL has issued a request for proposals for the Competitiveness Improvement Project, which supports distributed wind energy.

February 2022

Feb. 28, 2022

Small City Sets Example for Floating Solar, Empowered by NREL Data Set

No U.S. cities have done anything like what Cohoes, New York, was proposing: a municipally-owned and operated floating solar installation—but there was no reason it would not work. The technology of floating solar is sound, and their reservoir could hold enough panels to power all Cohoes city-owned buildings and streetlights—erasing around $500,000 in annual electricity costs.

Feb. 28, 2022

News Release: NREL Selects Amanda Kolker To Lead Geothermal Energy Program

NREL has named Amanda Kolker as the laboratory program manager for geothermal energy.

Feb. 24, 2022

NREL Bioengineering Process Prepares To Make a Splash

When Americans turn on a faucet, they rely on public treatment systems to ensure the water is safe to drink. Recently, Mars Materials was granted an option for an exclusive license to use NREL's renewable acrylonitrile technology in producing polyacrylamide flocculants for commercial use in water treatment systems.

Feb. 24, 2022

National Community Solar Partnership Aims To Reach 5 Million and Beyond

The National Community Solar Partnership hosted its annual summit, featuring esteemed DOE leadership, state governors, and industry experts.

Feb. 24, 2022

Looking Back on a Sunny Legacy

When it comes to concentrating solar power (CSP) research, Mark Mehos has seen the industry growth and solar boom firsthand. CSP technologies—capturing sunlight to produce heat that drives thermoelectric generation systems—had their beginnings in the mid-1980s, at the dawn of his 35-year career at NREL.

Feb. 23, 2022

Beyond Fossil Carbon? Green Electricity Is Opening Doors to Low-Emission Alternatives for Making Fuels and Chemicals

Petroleum, coal, and natural gas are not the only starting points for making fuels and chemicals. In fact, growing supplies of renewable electricity open exciting new doors for making identical products at potentially a fraction of the climate cost.

Feb. 22, 2022

NREL To Collaborate With Eight Teams on Innovations To Unlock Equitable Solar in Underserved Communities

Eight teams will receive direct funding and more than a year of technical support as they explore new forms of equitable solar adoption in residential and commercial-scale settings.

Feb. 18, 2022

Can We Fix Recycling?

Three NREL teams win prestigious REMADE awards to remake recycling, improve manufacturing, and build a circular economy.

Feb. 17, 2022

Transportation Modeling Tool Informs Intelligent Planning and Control for Mobility-Service-Provider Fleets

The transportation industry is on the cusp of rapid evolution, with vehicle electrification, automation, and ride sharing transforming the age-old paradigm of privately owned and operated gasoline vehicles.

Feb. 16, 2022

Addressing Energy Challenges of Housing Health Care Professionals on Remote IHS and U.S. Tribal Lands

The Indian Health Service (IHS) serves 2.6 million American Indians and Alaska Natives annually on a mission to raise physical, mental, and spiritual health. One of the biggest hurdles is staffing.

Feb. 16, 2022

A Metabolic "Traffic Map": Machine Learning Lets Scientists Plot Complex Flow of Compounds Through Microbes

Like traffic signals controlling cars through the center of town, microorganisms use metabolic signals to control the flow of energy and nutrients.

Feb. 16, 2022

Blok-by-Blok: Lower Emissions and Costs With Net-Zero Energy Modules

A new report from Blokable, the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) details actionable pathways to developing and building net zero energy (NZE) housing without increasing costs yet still reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. IN2 is managed by NREL's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center.

Feb. 15, 2022

A Window Into the Future of Wave Energy

Why aren't waves powering your home right now? The ocean is an inhospitable place for technology. Now, a new cost-effective, resilient wave energy design adapts to changing seas and could help power up the wave energy industry.

Feb. 14, 2022

Contaminant Identification Refines Recycling for Lithium-Ion Batteries

As the predominant choice for high-powered personal electronics, electric vehicles, and grid-scale storage solutions, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries continue to dominate the marketplace. To meet clean energy goals of the future, researchers must develop safe and sustainable recycling processes for these batteries.

Feb. 11, 2022

NREL Joins Effort to Launch Interagency Collaboration Supporting Build-Out of National Electric Vehicle Charging Network

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) researchers will contribute their expertise in electrified transportation systems to help create a new federal office focused on strategically and equitably expanding electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure throughout the United States.

Feb. 10, 2022

NREL and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Demonstrate Multi-Lab Capabilities in Live Demonstration

We can currently link models and simulations across the national laboratory complex, but imagine connecting these models with equipment, devices, and scientists so they can work together as if side by side instead of thousands of miles apart.

Feb. 9, 2022

Next-Gen Concentrating Solar Power Research Heats Up at NREL

Concentrating solar power (CSP) has long held promise as a renewable energy technology. CSP uses mirrors, or heliostats, to harness the power of the sun by heating and storing an inexpensive medium such as sand, rocks, or molten salt for on-demand energy dispatch.

Feb. 8, 2022

Empowering Female Leaders in Energy

According to national studies, women only account for 22% of the traditional energy sector. That compares to an overall average of 47% nationally in the workforce. One NREL geothermal researcher is determined to elevate the number of women in energy-related professions.

Feb. 8, 2022

JUMP Into STEM Final Event Exemplifies Commitment to Equity From the Next Generation of Building Science Professionals

The JUMP into STEM Final Event—held virtually Jan. 27 and 28, 2022—showcased holistic solutions from student teams covering three challenge areas: equal access to indoor air quality, resilience for all, and accelerated market adoption.

Feb. 8, 2022

NREL Hydropower Research Informs Discussions on Capitol Hill

On Jan. 11, 2022, U.S. senators and hydropower experts referenced NREL's hydropower research to argue for an expansion of the U.S. hydropower industry.

Feb. 7, 2022

Building a Solar-Powered Future

The Solar Futures Study draws insights from across NREL's expertise and tools to deliver detailed analysis of solar energy's future in the United States.


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