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Program News

Access news stories from NREL's research programs.

June 18, 2019

New Analysis Adds Realism to Renewable Energy Research

Rebecca Hanes and team developed a new ground-breaking analysis, Quantifying Adoption Rates and Energy Savings over Time for Advanced Energy-Efficient Manufacturing Technologies, published in the Journal of Cleaner Production.

June 18, 2019

NREL Researcher Demonstrates 3D Chemical Imaging of Lithium-Ion Battery Electrodes

For the first time, researchers capture 3D images of the crystal structure inside of operating single electrode particles. The images revealed unexpected results, as detailed in a recent journal article.

June 13, 2019

Scalable Solutions: NREL Researchers to Help ExxonMobil Slash Biofuels Emissions

As part of its partnership with ExxonMobil, NREL researchers will take a closer look at air pollutant emissions from the entire biofuels supply chain, as well as the resulting impacts on air quality.

June 12, 2019

NREL Accelerates the Development of Wave Energy Water Desalination Technologies in New Prize Competition

The Waves to Water Prize invites competitors to help accelerate early-stage technologies through a series of contests. Participants will demonstrate small, modular, cost-competitive desalination systems that use the power of ocean waves to supplement existing technologies that can provide drinking water to remote and coastal communities.

June 7, 2019

NREL Hosting the12th Annual Beyond Lithium-Ion Symposium Focused on Transformational Advances in Energy Storage Technologies

Scientists and Engineers to Discuss Ways to Surpass Current State-of-the-Art for Transportation and Electrical Grid Applications

June 7, 2019

Shining Light on Best Practices for Global Renewable Portfolio Standard Policies

Renewable portfolio standards, or RPSs, can be designed in numerous ways. New research details best practices for ensuring RPS policies meet their desired objectives, highlighting examples from around the globe.

June 6, 2019

From Goldfish Blood Cells to SIMB President-Elect, Microbiology Is Steve Decker's Passion

The seeds of microbiology were planted in the inquisitive mind of a young Steve Decker when a microscope—gift-wrapped with his name on it—arrived on a cold Wisconsin morning.

June 6, 2019

Small-Scale Images May Hold the Key to Large-Scale Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling

By looking closely at battery cells, researchers hope to unlock the secret to scalable lithium-ion battery recycling.

June 5, 2019

'Nothing' technology creates less expensive thin-film solar cells

Solar cells made from elements in the third and fifth columns of the periodic table have been shown to be highly efficient at converting sunlight into energy, but their high costs pose a drawback and limited their use to niche applications.

June 3, 2019

The Man Behind the Goggles: Meet NREL's Visualization Guru, Kenny Gruchalla

Gruchalla's experience working on an icebreaker helps him design, build NREL's visualization lab, show researchers their projects in new ways.

May 28, 2019

NREL Delivers Industry-Shifting Software for Visualizing Wind Power Forecasts

We need the ability to plan our power, whichever way the wind blows. This means that system operators need real-time information--easily navigable and visually coherent--to truly build an intuition around wind power. They now have access to such a tool with WindView, a tool for visualizing wind power forecasts, created by NREL, Argonne National Laboratory, and University of Texas-Dallas.

May 24, 2019

NREL's Advanced Manufacturing Projects Front and Center at InnovationXLab

NREL's recent groundbreaking advanced manufacturing work was on display at the InnovationXLAB Advanced Manufacturing Summit at Oak Ridge National Laboratory on May 7-8.

May 21, 2019

Aquarius HPC Cooling System Yields Impressive Energy Efficiency Results After NREL/Sandia Test

NREL and Sandia completed a performance evaluation study, determining the Aquarius, high-performance computing cooling system provides a very high percentage of heat capture direct to water--as high as 98% when evaluation computer nodes only.

May 20, 2019

Researchers Help Build Wind's Momentum at AWEA Conference

NREL experts are helping continue the momentum of U.S. wind power at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) WINDPOWER 2019 by making presentations, building industry connections, and sharing their research in a top DOE publication developed for conference attendees.

May 17, 2019

NREL Releases Improved Controls-Oriented Wind Farm Modeling Tool

NREL’s wind plant performance optimization software framework, FLORIS, has been enhanced to provide greater usability and additional representation of flow physics.

May 14, 2019

NREL Supports Agtech Innovation Through IN2

New cohort of five agtech companies will validate their innovations with Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.

May 10, 2019

Top Cleantech Innovators Announced at the Industry Growth Forum

Five startups shine among some of the world's best cleantech entrepreneurs.

May 9, 2019

New Study Compares and Contrasts Cleantech Incubators and Accelerators

In an effort to help stakeholders keep up, NREL has recently published a first-of-its kind comparison of some of the nation's most notable cleantech incubators and accelerators.

May 8, 2019

Ready, Set, STEM! Racing Through the 29th Annual Middle School Car Competitions

Middle school students from 19 schools across Colorado race their solar and lithium-ion powered vehicles at NREL's 29th Annual Middle School Car Competitions.

May 8, 2019

ExxonMobil Partnership Will Support National Lab Research for Future Energy Solutions at Scale

A new $100 million agreement between ExxonMobil, NREL, and other DOE national laboratories will focus on developing transformative advanced energy technologies with a focus on reducing emissions.

May 7, 2019

NREL's Matthew Beard Honored by Royal Society of Chemistry

The society singled Beard out specifically for his "outstanding contributions to controlling ultra-fast carrier dynamics in nanostructures and perovskite semiconductors."

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 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 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.

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 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 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.

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. 26, 2019

NREL Urban Planners Translate Energy Technology into Market Success through Local, State, Federal, and Tribal Governments

Urban planners have not historically dealt in energy issues, yet clean energy is a growing focus around the world and urban planners' role in energy transitions is evolving as demand increases.

Feb. 25, 2019

NREL to Host 12th Annual Beyond Lithium-Ion Symposium

The 12th Beyond Lithium Ion Symposium will focus on scalable energy storage beyond the current state-of-the-art for transportation and grid applications.

Feb. 25, 2019

Q&A with Annabelle Pratt: Managing Energy at All Scales

Annabelle Pratt is a principal engineer for the Power Systems Engineering Center at NREL. Pratt specializes in microgrid and home energy management systems (HEMS), and her work has included the evaluation of microgrid controllers and advanced distribution management systems (ADMS). We sat down with Pratt to learn more about her work and the newest research in these areas.

Feb. 20, 2019

Bundling Strategies Offer Solutions to Microgrid Challenges

A new report examines novel approaches to microgrid financing and deployment in sub-Saharan Africa, where about 600 million people live without electricity.

Feb. 19, 2019

Gallium Oxide Could Have Low Cost in Future, NREL Analysis Reveals

The findings reveal gallium oxide wafers could be three to five times cheaper to manufacture than another related technology, silicon carbide.

Feb. 19, 2019

DISCOVR Algae Consortium Launches Call for Collaboration to Lower Cost of Algae Biofuels and Bioproducts

Driving down costs for algae-based biofuels and bioproducts involves enhancing algae productivity through selection of the most promising algae strains and implementation of effective cultivation strategies. To support this effort, NREL and its national laboratory partners formed a consortium project called Development of Integrated Screening, Cultivar Optimization, and Verification (DISCOVR).

Feb. 14, 2019

Scientific Collaboration Investigates Creative and Sustainable Bioenergy Solutions for Mining Industry

When industry, government laboratories, and universities work together, creative solutions can arise to environmental challenges. The latest example of this originated when NREL partnered with BHP--a global mining, metals, and petroleum company--to research sustainable ways to clean up legacy mining impacts and develop feedstocks for biofuels.

Feb. 14, 2019

Data-Driven Simulations Mirror a City's Traffic Patterns to Reduce Mobility-Related Energy Use

NREL is participating in a project led by Oak Ridge National Lab to create a large-scale, real-time “digital twin” of traffic conditions in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Feb. 13, 2019

Mini-Hackathon Lets Students Tackle Real Buildings Challenges

On January 9, a group of 20 undergraduate students from around the country participated in a mini-hackathon that melded their ingenuity and the lessons learned in the classroom.

Feb. 11, 2019

NREL Names Achilles Karagiozis as Buildings and Thermal Sciences Center Director

Dr. Achilles Karagiozis joins the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as the new director of the Buildings and Thermal Sciences Center on Feb. 19.

Feb. 11, 2019

Wind Turbines Get Social To Improve Wind Power Plant Output

A partnership between the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the wind solutions company WindESCo, funded through the U.S. Department of Energy's Small Business Voucher Project, aims to improve wind plant performance by applying solutions that facilitate communication among turbines.

Feb. 4, 2019

Webinar February 7: Addressing Challenges to Water Splitting Materials for Hydrogen Production through HydroGEN AWSM, a Multi-Lab Collaboration

In this DOE Fuel Cell Technologies Office webinar, researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will discuss the HydroGEN Advanced Water Splitting Materials (AWSM) consortium's extensive materials research capabilities to address R&D challenges in efficiency, durability, and cost.

Jan. 31, 2019

ESIF’s Year in Review: Download the 2018 Annual Report

Download the 2018 ESIF Annual Report to get highlights on the ESIF's greatest achievements from the year. In 2018, research at the ESIF adapted and aligned to address the challenges that are shaping the electric grid today and into the future—from new types of partnerships, to developments in autonomous energy systems research, to a greater focus on energy security and resilience.

Jan. 31, 2019

Q&A with Murali Baggu: Shaping the Future of Grid Modernization

Murali Baggu is the laboratory program manager (LPM) for grid integration at NREL. Through his work with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Electricity and Grid Modernization Initiative program, Baggu has been shaping the direction of power systems research at NREL. Baggu sat down with us to discuss his role at NREL and his work on various projects.

Jan. 29, 2019

Data to Decisions: NREL's Latest Cities-LEAP Work Provides Unique Solutions to Local Governments

The Department of Energy's Cities Leading through Energy Analysis and Planning (Cities-LEAP) project published three new pathways to use data to inform more strategic energy decisions at the local government level.

Jan. 21, 2019

Concentrating Solar Power's Role Could Grow if 2030 Cost Targets Realized

Concentrating solar power (CSP) could play an increasingly significant role in generating electricity in the contiguous United States by 2050 if the technology's levelized cost of electricity can be lowered to goals set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in 2016.

Jan. 10, 2019

Collaboration Works To Improve Variable Renewable Energy Modeling

A group of NREL researchers recently collaborated with expert modelers from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Electric Power Research Institute to improve the treatment of variable renewable energy, such as wind and solar, in the flagship planning models used by these research organizations.

Jan. 9, 2019

Five NREL Scientists Recognized as Highly Cited Researchers

NREL researchers Matthew Beard, Keith Emery, Giles Eperon, Joseph Luther, and Arthur Nozik were named among the most internationally influential scientists according to the 2018 list of Highly Cited Researchers.

Jan. 8, 2019

Advancements in Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis Give Biofuels a Boost

Researchers from NREL and two other national labs have discovered an alternative catalytic fast pyrolysis approach--using fixed-bed reactors and bifunctional catalysts--that significantly improves bio-oil yields and the overall economics of the process to turn biomass into biofuels and bioproducts.

Jan. 8, 2019

NREL's New Supercomputer, Eagle, Takes Flight

Now in production use, the ultra-efficient Eagle high-performance computer will power scientific insights to accelerate our energy system transformation.

Jan. 8, 2019

Webinar January 9: Learn About HyMARC, a Multi-Lab Collaboration Addressing Key Challenges to Hydrogen Storage in Advanced Materials

In this DOE Fuel Cell Technologies Office webinar, researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories will expand on the Hydrogen Materials-Advanced Research Consortium's (HyMARC's) mission to accelerate the development of innovative hydrogen storage materials.

Jan. 8, 2019

New Substation Will Double Generating Capacity at National Wind Technology Center

This upgrade will enable megawatt-scale research that generates nearly twice that amount of power to occur at the same time--increasing opportunities for more grid-connected technologies, including solar panels, batteries, and additional wind turbines.

Jan. 4, 2019

From Intern to Engineer, Nick Johnson Follows the Wind to NREL

Former tribal energy intern follows the wind to a career at NREL.

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