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Research Areas

NREL is transforming energy through science by leading research and development in these areas.

Advanced Manufacturing

Our research and analysis helps manufacturers find energy-efficient, sustainable solutions for their products and processes.


Our bioenergy research explores biomass at the molecular level to bring biofuels and bioproducts to market.


We advance the science and engineering of energy efficiency in buildings, schools, communities, and districts by optimizing energy systems and renewable technologies.

Chemistry and Nanoscience

Our scientists investigate materials and processes for converting renewable resources into chemical and electrical energy.

Computational Science

We solve energy challenges using high-performance computing, applied mathematics, scientific data management, visualization, and informatics.

Energy Analysis

Our energy analysis informs policy and investment decisions that lead to more resilient, reliable, and efficient energy systems.

Energy Security and Resilience

Our research aims to minimize the impact of disruptive events and address the most challenging energy security and resilience questions of our time.

Energy Storage

NREL researches transformative energy storage at multiple scales to create storage options with high energy density, long storage life, and market adaptability.


We research, develop, and demonstrate technologies to advance geothermal energy as a clean, renewable, domestic power source.

Grid Modernization

Our researchers make our nation's electrical grid more flexible, reliable, resilient, secure, and sustainable.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cells

We develop and demonstrate hydrogen production, delivery, and storage and fuel cell technologies for transportation, stationary, and portable applications.

Integrated Energy Solutions

We accelerate energy transitions through a system-of-systems approach that considers technology, policy, social, and market systems.

International Activities

Our expertise supports the development of advanced energy technologies worldwide.

Materials Science

We provide materials science discovery and problem-solving for next-generation renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies.


Our solar research covers photovoltaics, concentrating solar power, solar grid and systems integration, and market research and analysis.

State, Local, and Tribal Governments

NREL transfers knowledge, innovation, and analysis to state, local, and tribal governments to solve local and national energy challenges.

Transportation and Mobility

Our transportation and mobility research accelerates the adoption of affordable, high-performance, low-emission, energy-efficient passenger and freight transportation.


Our water research validates, evaluates, develops, and demonstrates hydropower, marine, and hydrokinetic renewable energy systems, as well as integrated water systems.


Through expertise and one-of-a-kind assets, our research advances wind technologies from initial concepts to deployment.