Water Research News

Stay up to date on the latest water energy research and development news at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Oct. 21, 2021

News Release: R&D 100 Awards Honor Two NREL Innovations

R&D World magazine today presented NREL with two of its annual R&D 100 Awards for research innovations.

Oct. 1, 2021

Nine Reasons To Partner With NREL’s CoMET Facility

The Composites Manufacturing Education and Technology Facility can help partners build better materials for wind and marine energy, transportation, and energy-efficient buildings.

Sept. 30, 2021

New Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize Launches

To help achieve ambitious goals to address climate change, the DOE has launched a new $2.5 million Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize to fund organizations working with disadvantaged communities in clean energy as well as foster connections between DOE and innovators the agency has yet to reach to pave the way to an inclusive, equitable, and just energy future.

Sept. 17, 2021

With Their Waverider Buoys, Researchers Collect Data on the Powerful Clean Energy Available in Our Oceans

NREL is partnering with ocean experts in North Carolina and Puerto Rico to collect detailed data on surface waves in the Atlantic Ocean.

Sept. 9, 2021

News Release: DRINKing It in: Five Teams and Their Desalination Designs Earn a Spot in Final Stage of Waves to Water Prize Competition

This month, DOE and NREL officially announced the five teams that earned a spot in the fifth and final Waves to Water Prize competition stage, DRINK. Now, these five have 180 days to prepare their devices for an open-ocean trial at the Coastal Studies Institute in North Carolina in April 2022.

Sept. 1, 2021

NREL Researchers Study Synergistic Value Streams in Hybrid Power Plants

NREL is collaborating with Idaho National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories to develop FlexPower, a colocated, variable generation hybrid power plant enhanced with energy storage, stationed at the Flatirons Campus.

Aug. 24, 2021

NREL Develops FLASH Hydropower Framework for a Greener Grid

With support from the U.S. DOE Water Power Technologies Office, NREL researchers are developing the Framework for Linked Analysis of Streamflow and Hydropower (FLASH), a systems-engineering-based approach that will improve hydropower's representation in grid operations modeling.

Aug. 20, 2021

Wave-Powered SeaRAY Preps for Hawaii Trial

C-Power is collaborating with NREL and the U.S. Department of Energy Water Power Technologies Office to prep their autonomous, wave-powered, renewable energy device—called the SeaRAY autonomous offshore power system—for its first open ocean trial.

Aug. 18, 2021

Pool of Entrepreneurs Compete in Water Desalination Challenge

From academics to entrepreneurs, diverse participants are competing in the five-stage Waves to Water Prize, designing marine energy technology that turns salty ocean water into fresh drinking water.

Aug. 13, 2021

Teams Ride Wave of Winnings To Succeed in Water Desalination Challenge

Seasoned Waves to Water Prize competitors are developing novel, wave-powered desalination devices that can provide clean drinking water to coastal and island communities as well as in disaster recovery scenarios.

Aug. 12, 2021

NREL's Thermoplastic Blade Research Dives Deep With Verdant Power's Tidal Energy Turbines

NREL is measuring the performance of its potentially industry-changing thermoplastic blades on Verdant Power's tidal power turbine in New York City's East River.

Aug. 4, 2021

RAPID Changes Are Coming for Hydropower

Launched in 2015, the Hydropower RAPID Toolkit collects and organizes the latest regulations that protect air and water quality, preserve wildlife habitats, prevent soil erosion, and shield valuable cultural and recreational resources.

July 29, 2021

Competitors From Industry Tapped for Drinking Water Challenge

Waves to Water Prize competitors are using their industry expertise to help advance marine energy technologies that could harness the power of ocean waves to produce clean drinking water.

July 29, 2021

Celebrating NREL Women Advancing Energy Storage

This year, NREL joined the Department of Energy's Energy Storage Grand Challenge (ESGC) in celebrating just a few of the women making significant contributions within energy storage programs.

July 15, 2021

University Researchers Dive Into Water Desalination Challenge

In the Waves to Water Prize, competitors from academia are part of the diverse set of pioneers dipping their feet in the water by introducing, expanding, and evolving what is possible for marine energy.

June 24, 2021

North American Renewable Integration Study Highlights Opportunities for a Coordinated, Continental Low-Carbon Grid

Multiyear analysis shows that increasing electricity trade between countries and expanding interregional transmission can support a reliable future power system.

June 17, 2021

How Wave Energy Could Go Big by Getting Smaller

With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's Water Power Technologies Office, NREL researchers are exploring ways to significantly advance wave energy converter design and development.

May 20, 2021

Wave Hello to the 2022 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition Teams

Seventeen teams were selected to participate in the 2022 MECC to offer a new wave of innovation in the third year of the competition.

May 13, 2021

Expanded Data Sets and a Smooth-Sailing User Experience: Meet Marine Energy Atlas

Marine Energy Atlas features expanded data sets and offers a streamlined user experience.

April 30, 2021

Three Winners Claim Top Honors at 2021 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition

Three winners of the 2021 MECC were announced by DOE’s Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Office during a virtual ceremony this week.

April 22, 2021

Rethinking Hydropower for Energy and Environmental Sustainability

NREL is working with Natel Energy to investigate the revenue and downstream flow trade-offs for a hypothetical series of small, cascading hydropower installations.

April 21, 2021

Eleven Communities to Chart Paths to a More Resilient and Equitable Energy Future

NREL will bring cross-cutting technical assistance to remote and island communities seeking resilient energy solutions as part of the DOE-funded, multi-lab, multi-partner Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP).

April 19, 2021

News Release: Devising Wave-Powered Warning Systems: NREL Announces Winners of Ocean Observing Prize DESIGN Contest, Launch of BUILD Contest

NREL is proud to announce the seven winners of the DESIGN Contest, the first of three contests in the Ocean Observing Prize’s DEVELOP Competition, which aims to help protect coastal communities from dangerous storms by conceiving the development of autonomous, wave-powered hurricane monitoring systems.

April 19, 2021

Thinking Inside the Blade: NREL Takes Novel Approach to 3D-Printed Water Power Prototypes

NREL's Advanced Manufacturing team is applying what they have learned from 3D-printing of wind blade molds to create additively manufactured tidal turbine prototypes.

April 8, 2021

NREL Announces Winners of the Groundbreaking Hydro Prize

Two winning teams claimed top honors in the Groundbreaking Hydro Prize with their creative concepts to help support hydropower's continued trajectory of growth.

April 5, 2021

Calling All Marine Tech Titans: The Third Marine Energy Collegiate Competition Is Now Open for Applications!

Ready to dive in? The 2022 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition is now open for applications!

March 22, 2021

Charting the Course: NREL Team To De-risk Desal Device Deployment

NREL researchers work to transform seawater into drinking water as we commemorate World Water Day 2021.

March 17, 2021

MECC Competitors to Set Sail This Spring: 2022 Competition Opens for Applications April 5

Don’t be blue: the launch of the 2022 MECC is just around the corner. Learn more.

March 16, 2021

NREL Researchers Pinpoint Potential That Lies Within the Waves

A new NREL report provides a snapshot of U.S. marine energy potential at the national, state, and regional levels.

Feb. 9, 2021

News Release: From Saltwater to Drinking Water: NREL Announces 10 Winners of the Waves to Water Prize ADAPT Stage; Launch of CREATE Stage

NREL revealed 10 winners of the third stage of the Waves to Water Prize. These teams will walk away with a cash prize and an invitation to advance to the next stage of the prize, CREATE, where they will bring these ideas to life with proofs of concepts and prototyping of their novel wave-energy-powered desalination systems.

Feb. 1, 2021

Better Cost Estimates Build Better Systems: NREL Updates SAM Wave and Tidal Tools

Techno-economic analysis just got a bit easier for the marine renewable energy industry. Learn more about the updates to the wave and tidal SAM tool.

Jan. 25, 2021

Multi-Lab Collaboration Releases Groundbreaking High-Resolution, Long-Term Wave Resource Dataset

In collaboration with PNNL and Sandia, NREL has released a high spatial resolution, publicly-accessible ocean surface wave hindcast dataset.

Jan. 25, 2021

Water Security Warriors Gear Up for Waves to Water CREATE Stage

In the upcoming Waves to Water Prize CREATE Stage, competitors will transform their wave-powered desalination system ideas from concept to reality, vying for a shared prize pool of $500,000 and the chance to move on to the final stage of the prize: DRINK.

Jan. 14, 2021

Saying Yes to Water Power Success: NREL Project Standouts in WPTO Accomplishments Report

Take a bird's-eye view of WPTO's 2019–2020 hydropower and marine energy accomplishments, and learn about the NREL projects highlighted within this comprehensive publication.

Jan. 13, 2021

Shoring Up Wave Energy's Bottom Line Through Variable-Generation WEC Designs

Could the secret to unlocking wave energy's potential be found in shape-shifting control? NREL researcher Nathan Tom and his team think so.

Jan. 12, 2021

Strength in Numbers: I AM Hydro Prize Partnerships

Learn about the I AM Hydro Prize and the advanced-manufacturing partners supporting it.


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