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Overview:

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the main research and development center for collaborations with partners for the development and transfer of renewable energy technologies and their practical deployment and commercialization. The NREL main focus is to analyze and understand alternative energy technologies and U.S. electrical grid system support to reduce emissions and dependence on conventional fuels.

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History:

The NREL was established in 1974 and began operating in 1977 as the Solar Energy Research Institute. In 1991, it was designated as a national laboratory and put in the Department of Energy.

 

more
What it Does:

Research and Development at NREL involves thirteen areas of focus for innovation in efficient and renewable energies with the goal of putting these technologies into the marketplace for the use by households and businesses. It is the principle research facility for the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Science and the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. NREL also provides technical assistance, energy planning and economic development for many organizations and industries in the U.S.
 
Renewable Energy: Economic and Environmental Issues for the U.S.
Renewable Energy: Economic and Environmental Issues (by David Pimentel, G. Rodrigues, T. Wane, R. Abrams, K. Goldberg, H. Staecker, E. Ma, L. Brueckner, L. Trovato, C. Chow, U. Govindarajulu, and S. Boerke, Bioscience)
Renewable Energy Sources in the United States (National Atlas of the United States)
 
Advanced Vehicles & Fuels Research aims at making more fuel-efficient technologies by testing and analyzing current technologies in order to reduce oil dependency and reduce emissions. This research also looks at removing technical barriers to make hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles more available. NREL has worked closely with major car manufacturers such as General Motors and Ford to create economically competitive vehicles.
 
Uses in Public Transportation
 
Alternative Energy Vehicles
 
Basic Sciences Research looks at the fundamental science behind energy-related materials to create more efficient technologies. Biology, biomolecular, chemical science and other sciences are studied to understand phenomenon to help create better fuel alternatives or to turn solar energy into chemical energy.
 
Biomass Research studies biological material such as trees and agricultural crops to produce fuels to create electric power, heat or fuel. Biomass conversion technologies are developed in the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner.
 
Biomass Developments
 
Environmental Impact
 
Buildings Research looks at reducing the large amount of energy used by structures. This research helps develop technologies to manage building energy use and effectively implement renewable energy capabilities.
 
Innovative, sustainable architecture
 
Computational Science Research uses computer systems and applied mathematics to model and test renewable energy technologies. This research area also aids in understanding new energy alternatives in data and performance analysis.
 
Electric Infrastructure Systems Research develops ways to strengthen the electric power systems through better energy management, creating standards and codes, and grid support applications. A key activity is distributing energy electrical systems to remove the burden on the grid system and make it more reliable. This research area includes site testing, regulations and certifications.
 
Concentrating Solar Power Research looks at solar power plant and solar thermal technologies to create large scale and advanced solar energy cost effective in the market. Photovoltaic Research looks at limiting the nation’s use of fossil fuels by preparing alternative options and increase photovoltaic models and systems that are cost effective and efficient.
 
Solar Power to Improve Environment
Blending Wind and Solar Into the Diesel Generator Market (by Virinder Singh, REPP Research) (PDF)
America's Solar Energy Potential (American Energy Independence)
 
Solar Energy Internationally
Cloudy Germany a Powerhouse in Solar Energy (by Craig Whitlock, Washington Post)
Solar Energy Booming in China (by Zijun Li, Worldwatch Institute)
 
Energy Analysis looks at market, private and government relations, along with renewable energy developments, to create applicable policy recommendations. Research in this area takes a cost-benefit analysis of current and new technologies to understand environmental, economical and security impacts.
 
Geothermal Research aims at converting geothermal energy into heat and electricity. This area is also concerned with drilling technologies and exploration and management of power plants.
Policy Options
 
Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research is focused on hydrogen production, storage, validity and standardization. The goal is to help industry transport and use hydrogen and fuel cells in the safest and most cost effective way in order to compete with more traditional methods such as coal and oil.
 
Wind Research aims at using this natural power to fuel many systems and make wind energy technologies more competitive against conventional energy methods. Focus is now on making low-wind turbine technology more cost-effective. The research and development is conducted in the National Wind Technology Center, built in 1993.
 
America’s Wind Power Potential
 
Offshore Wind Energy
Regulating Offshore Wind Power and Aquaculture: Messages from Land and Sea (by Jeremy Firestone, Willett Kempton, Andrew Krueger and Christen E. Loper, University of Delaware) (PDF)
The Offshore Wind Power Debate: Views from Cape Cod (by Willett Kempton, Jeremy Firestone, Jonathan Lilley, Tracy Rouleau, Phillip Whitaker, University of Delaware) (PDF)
 
European Union - Leader in Wind Energy
 
Technology Transfer

involves working directly with organizations and industries to transfer and commercialize energy saving and renewable energy technologies. Through technology partnership agreements, private and public organizations fund NREL’s technical support and research development. Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) allows NREL to collaborate on a development project. CRADAs use shared resources in order to retain intellectual property rights of both partners.

 

more
Where Does the Money Go:

NREL provides assistance and support for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies for private and public groups through partnerships aiding in resource management, energy analysis and integrated planning to be economically competitive with alternative energies.

 

Applying Technologies

 

more
Controversies:

NREL’s Lack of Funding
Layoffs in store at NREL (by Gargi Chakrabarty, Rocky Mountain News)
Pioneering U.S. renewable energy lab is neglected

(by Clifford Krauss, International Herald Tribune)

 

more
Debate:

Should the U.S. government subsidize/give tax credits for renewable energy sources?
House Passes Renewable Energy Credits (by David M. Herszenhorn, New York Times)
 
Democratic View
Democrats push 'green' energy tax breaks (by Noam N. Levey, Los Angeles Times)
 
Republican View
GOP blocks tax hikes for oil companies

(Associated Press)

 

more

Comments

Toto 1 year ago
Water, solar, and wind.Oddly enough the most conmlmoy found and under-utilized is probably methane. From human sewer systems to landfills, from animal production farms to compost production systems, there is a readily renewable source of methane. A number of folks consider methane to be less than environmentally friendly as its use does generate CO2. A number of folks consider it to be less than practical because one one source is likely to be a sole solution for an area/greater. A number of folks discount it because it is not necessarily a magic bullet that can be sold as the solution for use by all across the country, nor particularly by a private utility company. Still it exists and is not particularly being used for productive purposes.
Tom Reiber 2 years ago
i have been in the alternative energy industry for more than two decades, lived on it even longer. retired defense contractor in the field and have since retired my business as well. what i have to say will not make many happy, but it needs to be said. alternatives will never be the answer, ever! they cost far too much and are not consistent, they rely on too many variables when producing energy. these are perfect alternatives when power is not available, but that's as far as it g...

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Founded: 1977
Annual Budget: $378.4 million (2007)
Employees: 1,200
Official Website: http://www.nrel.gov/
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Arvizu, Dan
Director
Dr. Dan Arvizu was appointed the eighth director of NREL on January 15, 2005. Dr. Arvizu is also the current Senior Vice President at Midwest Research Institute (MRI); MRI manages NREL for the Department of Energy. He is a current member of the National Science Board, appointed in 2004 by President Bush. Dr. Arvizu received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from New Mexico (1973) and a Master’s Degree (1974) and Ph.D. (1981) in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. He first started working at AT&T Bell Telephone Labs Customer Switching Laboratory, then moved on to Sandia National Laboratories, where he spent 20 years directing Research Centers for Advanced Energy Technology, Technology Commercialization, and Material and Process Sciences. In 1998, Arvizu joined CH2M HILL Companies, Ltd. and became the Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President prior to his appointment at NREL. He has been a member of many advisory boards including: Secretary of Defense’s Army Science Board, Secretary of Energy’s National Coal Council, and from 2000-2002 he served on the Advisory Board for the G8 International Renewable Energy Task Force. Arvizu has been a campaign donor to members of Congress from both major parties.
 
 
 
 
more
Bookmark and Share
Overview:

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the main research and development center for collaborations with partners for the development and transfer of renewable energy technologies and their practical deployment and commercialization. The NREL main focus is to analyze and understand alternative energy technologies and U.S. electrical grid system support to reduce emissions and dependence on conventional fuels.

more
History:

The NREL was established in 1974 and began operating in 1977 as the Solar Energy Research Institute. In 1991, it was designated as a national laboratory and put in the Department of Energy.

 

more
What it Does:

Research and Development at NREL involves thirteen areas of focus for innovation in efficient and renewable energies with the goal of putting these technologies into the marketplace for the use by households and businesses. It is the principle research facility for the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Science and the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. NREL also provides technical assistance, energy planning and economic development for many organizations and industries in the U.S.
 
Renewable Energy: Economic and Environmental Issues for the U.S.
Renewable Energy: Economic and Environmental Issues (by David Pimentel, G. Rodrigues, T. Wane, R. Abrams, K. Goldberg, H. Staecker, E. Ma, L. Brueckner, L. Trovato, C. Chow, U. Govindarajulu, and S. Boerke, Bioscience)
Renewable Energy Sources in the United States (National Atlas of the United States)
 
Advanced Vehicles & Fuels Research aims at making more fuel-efficient technologies by testing and analyzing current technologies in order to reduce oil dependency and reduce emissions. This research also looks at removing technical barriers to make hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles more available. NREL has worked closely with major car manufacturers such as General Motors and Ford to create economically competitive vehicles.
 
Uses in Public Transportation
 
Alternative Energy Vehicles
 
Basic Sciences Research looks at the fundamental science behind energy-related materials to create more efficient technologies. Biology, biomolecular, chemical science and other sciences are studied to understand phenomenon to help create better fuel alternatives or to turn solar energy into chemical energy.
 
Biomass Research studies biological material such as trees and agricultural crops to produce fuels to create electric power, heat or fuel. Biomass conversion technologies are developed in the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner.
 
Biomass Developments
 
Environmental Impact
 
Buildings Research looks at reducing the large amount of energy used by structures. This research helps develop technologies to manage building energy use and effectively implement renewable energy capabilities.
 
Innovative, sustainable architecture
 
Computational Science Research uses computer systems and applied mathematics to model and test renewable energy technologies. This research area also aids in understanding new energy alternatives in data and performance analysis.
 
Electric Infrastructure Systems Research develops ways to strengthen the electric power systems through better energy management, creating standards and codes, and grid support applications. A key activity is distributing energy electrical systems to remove the burden on the grid system and make it more reliable. This research area includes site testing, regulations and certifications.
 
Concentrating Solar Power Research looks at solar power plant and solar thermal technologies to create large scale and advanced solar energy cost effective in the market. Photovoltaic Research looks at limiting the nation’s use of fossil fuels by preparing alternative options and increase photovoltaic models and systems that are cost effective and efficient.
 
Solar Power to Improve Environment
Blending Wind and Solar Into the Diesel Generator Market (by Virinder Singh, REPP Research) (PDF)
America's Solar Energy Potential (American Energy Independence)
 
Solar Energy Internationally
Cloudy Germany a Powerhouse in Solar Energy (by Craig Whitlock, Washington Post)
Solar Energy Booming in China (by Zijun Li, Worldwatch Institute)
 
Energy Analysis looks at market, private and government relations, along with renewable energy developments, to create applicable policy recommendations. Research in this area takes a cost-benefit analysis of current and new technologies to understand environmental, economical and security impacts.
 
Geothermal Research aims at converting geothermal energy into heat and electricity. This area is also concerned with drilling technologies and exploration and management of power plants.
Policy Options
 
Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research is focused on hydrogen production, storage, validity and standardization. The goal is to help industry transport and use hydrogen and fuel cells in the safest and most cost effective way in order to compete with more traditional methods such as coal and oil.
 
Wind Research aims at using this natural power to fuel many systems and make wind energy technologies more competitive against conventional energy methods. Focus is now on making low-wind turbine technology more cost-effective. The research and development is conducted in the National Wind Technology Center, built in 1993.
 
America’s Wind Power Potential
 
Offshore Wind Energy
Regulating Offshore Wind Power and Aquaculture: Messages from Land and Sea (by Jeremy Firestone, Willett Kempton, Andrew Krueger and Christen E. Loper, University of Delaware) (PDF)
The Offshore Wind Power Debate: Views from Cape Cod (by Willett Kempton, Jeremy Firestone, Jonathan Lilley, Tracy Rouleau, Phillip Whitaker, University of Delaware) (PDF)
 
European Union - Leader in Wind Energy
 
Technology Transfer

involves working directly with organizations and industries to transfer and commercialize energy saving and renewable energy technologies. Through technology partnership agreements, private and public organizations fund NREL’s technical support and research development. Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) allows NREL to collaborate on a development project. CRADAs use shared resources in order to retain intellectual property rights of both partners.

 

more
Where Does the Money Go:

NREL provides assistance and support for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies for private and public groups through partnerships aiding in resource management, energy analysis and integrated planning to be economically competitive with alternative energies.

 

Applying Technologies

 

more
Controversies:

NREL’s Lack of Funding
Layoffs in store at NREL (by Gargi Chakrabarty, Rocky Mountain News)
Pioneering U.S. renewable energy lab is neglected

(by Clifford Krauss, International Herald Tribune)

 

more
Debate:

Should the U.S. government subsidize/give tax credits for renewable energy sources?
House Passes Renewable Energy Credits (by David M. Herszenhorn, New York Times)
 
Democratic View
Democrats push 'green' energy tax breaks (by Noam N. Levey, Los Angeles Times)
 
Republican View
GOP blocks tax hikes for oil companies

(Associated Press)

 

more

Comments

Toto 1 year ago
Water, solar, and wind.Oddly enough the most conmlmoy found and under-utilized is probably methane. From human sewer systems to landfills, from animal production farms to compost production systems, there is a readily renewable source of methane. A number of folks consider methane to be less than environmentally friendly as its use does generate CO2. A number of folks consider it to be less than practical because one one source is likely to be a sole solution for an area/greater. A number of folks discount it because it is not necessarily a magic bullet that can be sold as the solution for use by all across the country, nor particularly by a private utility company. Still it exists and is not particularly being used for productive purposes.
Tom Reiber 2 years ago
i have been in the alternative energy industry for more than two decades, lived on it even longer. retired defense contractor in the field and have since retired my business as well. what i have to say will not make many happy, but it needs to be said. alternatives will never be the answer, ever! they cost far too much and are not consistent, they rely on too many variables when producing energy. these are perfect alternatives when power is not available, but that's as far as it g...

Leave a comment

captcha

Founded: 1977
Annual Budget: $378.4 million (2007)
Employees: 1,200
Official Website: http://www.nrel.gov/
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Arvizu, Dan
Director
Dr. Dan Arvizu was appointed the eighth director of NREL on January 15, 2005. Dr. Arvizu is also the current Senior Vice President at Midwest Research Institute (MRI); MRI manages NREL for the Department of Energy. He is a current member of the National Science Board, appointed in 2004 by President Bush. Dr. Arvizu received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from New Mexico (1973) and a Master’s Degree (1974) and Ph.D. (1981) in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. He first started working at AT&T Bell Telephone Labs Customer Switching Laboratory, then moved on to Sandia National Laboratories, where he spent 20 years directing Research Centers for Advanced Energy Technology, Technology Commercialization, and Material and Process Sciences. In 1998, Arvizu joined CH2M HILL Companies, Ltd. and became the Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President prior to his appointment at NREL. He has been a member of many advisory boards including: Secretary of Defense’s Army Science Board, Secretary of Energy’s National Coal Council, and from 2000-2002 he served on the Advisory Board for the G8 International Renewable Energy Task Force. Arvizu has been a campaign donor to members of Congress from both major parties.
 
 
 
 
more