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.


Stay connected with the latest news and research breakthroughs from NREL.

December 2017

Dec. 29, 2017

NREL Welcomes Robert Leland as Leader for New Scientific Computing and Energy Analysis Division

Robert Leland, former vice president at Sandia National Laboratories, joined NREL in early December, 2017, as associate lab director for Scientific Computing and Energy Analysis.

Dec. 29, 2017

ResStock Research Estimates $49 Billion Savings with Home Energy Efficiency Improvements

NREL researchers have estimated $49 billion in potential annual utility bill savings for residents in 48 states through cost-effective, energy-efficient improvements.

Dec. 28, 2017

Q&A with Y.C. Zhang - Bringing Talent and Passion to Power Systems

Dr. Yingchen Zhang, better known as Y.C., was recently appointed as Group Manager for Sensing and Predictive Analytics in NREL's Power Systems Engineering Center. This Q&A highlights his research--past, present, and moving forward.

Dec. 26, 2017

NREL Projects Awarded Over $3M to Advance Novel Solar Forecasting Technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) announced its selection of two projects led by researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), each to receive over $1.5M on projects that will advance predictive modeling of solar power and improve grid reliability.

Dec. 21, 2017

iiESI Wraps Up First International Conference

On December 5-6, 2017 the International Institute for Energy Systems Integration (iiESI) hosted its first International Conference on Energy Systems Integration on NREL's campus, convening over one hundred scholars and practitioners that crossed scientific and engineering disciplines.

Dec. 21, 2017

NREL Co-Leading New Consortium for R&D of Biomass Supply and Conversion Technologies, Announces Funding Opportunity

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), as co-leader of the new Feedstock-Conversion Interface Consortium (FCIC), is pleased to announce the release of a Directed Funding Opportunity (DFO) to accelerate innovation and adoption of new practices and technologies to determine the root cause of biomass handling failures and to design solutions.

Dec. 19, 2017

NREL Issues Request for Information on Hydrogen Compressor Manufacturing Capabilities

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking feedback from manufacturers on hydrogen compressor manufacturing capabilities that meet specifications that may satisfy the needs of future hydrogen stations.

Dec. 15, 2017

Maria Ghirardi: Medical Studies Planted the Seed for Her Bioenergy Research

Maria Ghirardi was initially drawn to medicine, but switched to bioenergy, a field where she’s been a pioneer for decades.

Dec. 11, 2017

News Release: NREL Research Finds a Sweet Spot for Engineering Better Cellulose-Degrading Enzymes

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have gained new insights into how glycosylation--the natural attachment of sugars to proteins--affects a key cellulase enzyme.

Dec. 7, 2017

News Release: NREL Develops Novel Method to Produce Renewable Acrylonitrile

A new study from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) establishes a novel catalytic method to produce renewable acrylonitrile using 3-hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP), which can be biologically produced from sugars. This hybrid biological-catalytic process offers an alternative to the conventional petrochemical production method and achieves unprecedented acrylonitrile yields.

Dec. 1, 2017

NREL Provides First-of-its-Kind Guidance Promoting Safety Standards for Natural Gas Vehicle Maintenance Facilities

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) offers guidance for compressed natural gas vehicle maintenance facilities with a new handbook and webinar that outline safety factors and standards.

November 2017

Nov. 29, 2017

Sensor Research Targets Smart Home Technology Using Radio-Frequency Identification

University of Colorado Professor and NREL Scientist Gregor Henze is leading one of 15 new projects as part of DOE's ARPA-E Saving Energy Nationwide in Structures with Occupancy Recognition (SENSOR) Program. SENSOR intents to develop a new class of sensor systems that can significantly increase energy savings by reducing demand for heating and cooling in residential and commercial buildings.

Nov. 28, 2017

Telematics Systems Can Help Fleets Promote Safety, Save Money

In a recently released report, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) identified best practices and lessons learned in deploying fleet telematics at a federal agency. The report provides an overview of telematics capabilities, lessons learned from telematics deployed in the Marine Corps fleet, and recommendations for fleet managers to maximize value from telematics.

Nov. 27, 2017

News Release: NREL Develops Switchable Solar Window

Thermochromic windows capable of converting sunlight into electricity at a high efficiency have been developed by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Nov. 22, 2017

News Release: Scientific Society AAAS Honors NREL's Tumas as Fellow

William Tumas, an associate laboratory director for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), has been elected a fellow by the Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Nov. 21, 2017

NREL Shares Insights for Alternative Fuel and Infrastructure Transportation Project Success

As cities and states continue to explore mobility options, new fuel and vehicle adoption will play a large part in fulfilling that vision. Two new guides from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) provide insights for informing clean transportation project management practices and implementing these types of projects successfully.

Nov. 21, 2017

First Full-Scale Evaluation of Gearbox Failure Generates Industry Interest

A new article by NREL researchers summarizes the first full-scale assessment of operating conditions that may generate white etching cracks in the bearings of wind turbine gearboxes--one of the most common causes of gearbox failure.

Nov. 16, 2017

News Release: NREL Researchers Named Fellows by Prestigious Industry Societies

The director of the Materials Science Center at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS).

Nov. 14, 2017

NREL's Energy Storage and REopt Teams Awarded $525k from TCF to Study Commercial Viability of Optimal, Reliable Building-Integrated Energy Storage

NREL's Energy Storage and REopt Teams are recipients of a $525k monetary award to commercialize building-integrated energy storage control strategies, working with private industry partner, Eaton Corporation. These funds from the Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) at the Office of Technology Transition (OTT) are part of 19.7 million in total funding provided to help businesses move promising energy technologies from the Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Laboratories to the marketplace, encompassing 54 projects across 12 National Laboratories and involving more than 30 private-sector partners.

Nov. 14, 2017

Real-Time Quality-Control Testing for Fuel Cells Becomes Reality

NREL's QCORD project poised to help auto industry ramp up production

Nov. 8, 2017

Innovation Incubator Gives Rise to Virtual Building Control Tests

A Colorado firm participating in the latest Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator Program is partnering with NREL to refine its building energy management control systems--but there's a twist.

Nov. 7, 2017

NREL Bridges Fuels and Engines R&D to Maximize Vehicle Efficiency and Performance

New State-of-the-Art Equipment Expands Research Capabilities

Nov. 3, 2017

Can Climate, Water Resource Changes Impact U.S. Power Supply?

Power plants that require water for cooling provide 85% of U.S. electricity generation and need large volumes of water at sufficiently cool temperatures. Researchers from NREL, City College of New York, and Sandia National Laboratories evaluated U.S. thermoelectric plants under possible future climates and performance within power grid sub-regions and published their findings in Nature Climate Change.

Nov. 2, 2017

Robotics Intern Retrofits Home Appliance to Operate in New, More-Efficient Ways

An undergraduate intern's contributions during a summer internship at NREL are helping researchers maintain homeowner comfort while using less energy and, ultimately, easing the burden on aging grid infrastructure.

Nov. 1, 2017

New Study Indicates Shorter-Term Storage Can Reduce Variable-Generation Curtailments

Increasing the penetration of variable energy sources such as solar and wind energy in the grid without introducing heavy curtailment does not require costly, very-long-duration storage.


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