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News Release: NREL Analyst Honored with WREC Pioneer Award

September 6, 2006

Barbara Farhar, senior policy analyst with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), received a 2006 Pioneer Award at the World Renewable Energy Congress (WREC) on Aug. 23 in Florence, Italy.

The Pioneer Awards honor individuals for their contribution to advancing renewable energy through research, teaching and promotion. Farhar was recognized for her contributions to understanding the role of gender in energy development worldwide and her work in the assessment of public attitudes about energy.

"Receiving the Pioneer Award from the World Renewable Energy Congress is a fitting tribute to Barbara's distinguished career in which she has significantly helped to advance the development of renewable energy around the world," said Stan Bull, NREL’s associate director of Renewable Electricity Science and Technology.

Farhar has worked on energy issues since 1977 when she initially joined NREL (then the Solar Energy Research Institute) as a consultant, joining the staff full time in 1978.  Since 1989, she has studied public opinion about energy. Currently she is working in NREL’s Buildings and Thermal Systems Center on builder experiences and homebuyer responses to zero-energy homes in San Diego.

She has produced more than 240 publications and papers on the relevance of behavioral analysis to energy policy, strategic planning for federal research, public opinion about energy and environmental policy, societal response to weather modification technologies, energy efficiency research and development planning, and technology transfer. She has published in Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, Public Opinion Quarterly and Science.

Farhar earned her doctorate at the University of Colorado, where she serves as an adjunct assistant professor of sociology. 

The World Renewable Energy Congress makes it possible for policy makers, researchers, manufacturers, financiers, government officials and others to present their views in plenary and technical sessions and to participate in discussions, both formal and informal, that enable the transfer of knowledge among nations.

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by Midwest Research Institute and Battelle.

—Sarah Barba