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

May 8, 2019

Two NREL scientists

NREL scientists Frederick Baddour and Calvin Mukarakate work with a molecular beam mass spectrometer at the Field Test Laboratory Building. Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL

A new $100 million agreement between ExxonMobil, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and other U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories will focus on developing transformative advanced energy technologies with a focus on reducing emissions.

The Texas oil and gas giant, which reported $21 billion in earnings during 2018, will fund the new partnership with NREL, the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), and other DOE laboratories over 10 years.

“What excites me,” said Martin Keller, director of NREL, “is that there are different mindsets coming together and, in my view, the breeding ground of tremendous breakthrough ideas.”

The agreement will foster research collaboration on projects with the potential to move beyond the laboratory, improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions on a global scale.

“The partnership with the national labs really goes back to the fundamental challenge that we're facing as a society, which is: How do you provide scalable energy to 9 billion people while addressing the risks of climate change?” said Vijay Swarup, vice president of research and development at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company.

The company has spent more than $9 billion since 2000 in developing and deploying lower-emission solutions.

The commitment from ExxonMobil stands out as the largest single external investment in research at NREL in the laboratory’s history. About 80% of NREL’s work is funded by DOE; the rest of the laboratory’s funding comes from universities, other government agencies, and industry partners.