Darlene Steward is a member of the Resources and Sustainability Group within the Strategic Energy Analysis Center at NREL. Darlene’s research focuses on environmental and energy systems techno-economic analysis, sustainability, and the circular economy all within the broad topic area of the food-energy-water nexus.

Research Interests

Food-energy-water nexus sustainability and circularity analysis

Indoor and controlled-environment agriculture

Design-for-the-environment analysis focusing on Li-ion batteries


M.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Colorado

B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Colorado

Professional Experience

Principal Engineer and President, Boulder Research Enterprises (2000–2007)

Featured Work

Anaerobic Digestion Implementation at Dairies in Colorado, NREL Brochure (2021)

Economics and Challenges of Li-Ion Battery Recycling from End-of-Life Vehicles, Procedia Manufacturing (2019).

Critical Elements of Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Economics, NREL Strategic Partnership Project Report (2017)

The Effectiveness of State-Level Policies on Solar Market Development in Different State Contexts, NREL Technical Report (2014)

Awards and Honors

2010 Department of Energy (DOE) Hydrogen Program R&D Award