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The EERE Blog includes updates to current Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) projects, interviews with energy experts, and success stories about EERE’s technology offices and national laboratories. Subscribe to the blog email list.

November 2, 2015
EERE Blog
Making a Difference

EERE's work makes a difference in the lives of America's people. By lowering energy costs and supporting new ways to generate electricity, EERE is bringing a better energy future closer every day.

October 30, 2015
EERE International Director Rob Sandoli opens the sixth annual U.S.-China Energy Efficiency Forum. | Photo by Josh Harmon
Win-Win Opportunities at the Sixth Annual U.S.-China Energy Efficiency Forum

The Atrium Hall of the Ronald Reagan Building was abuzz with excitement as more than 200 government, industry, and NGO leaders from the U.S. and China met together on October 23rd the annual U.S.-China Energy Efficiency Forum (EEF).

October 30, 2015
A Home Energy Professionals Certifications Energy Auditor performs a Blower Door Test in Colorado.
Energy Department Celebrates National Weatherization Day

The Energy Department joins states across the nation today in celebrating National Weatherization Day, a salute to the mission undertaken by the Energy Department’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and the network of weatherization providers, dedicated home energy professionals and the millions of families the program serves. Today, WAP celebrates its past successes and rededicates itself to finding the best weatherization solutions for low-income households who need these services most.

October 30, 2015
EERE Blog
Night of the Living Trash: Bringing Your Waste Back to Life

This Halloween season, the U.S. Department of Energy’s  Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is highlighting how waste can be “brought back to life” and turned into something useful. On average, Americans generate over 200 million tons of waste per year, or nearly 4.38 pounds per person per day. Significant opportunity exists to convert this and other waste sources into liquid transportation fuels.

October 29, 2015
This solar photovoltaic (PV) array is being tested in hot, humid weather at the Cocoa, Florida Regional Test Center.
EERE Success Story—Putting Solar Panels to the Test

Mother Nature can be unpredictable. Sometimes she sends hail; other times, damaging winds; and if you live in a cold climate, she loves to send snow in the winter. When you choose to install solar panels on your rooftop, how do you know if they will hold up in severe weather?

October 28, 2015
The Landscape Environmental Assessment Framework (LEAF), the Water Assessment for Transportation Energy Resources (WATER), and the Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation (GREET) model are three tools that are enabling an environmentally beneficial biofuels industry.
Three Sustainability Tools are Enhancing Environmental Benefits of Biofuels

At the Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office, we’re actively working to develop the advanced biofuels industry in a way that leads to positive impacts and that demonstrates responsible stewardship of the environment. Biofuel production is closely tied to the environment—for example, energy crops can affect soil and water resources as well as wildlife populations, and water and energy are required to convert energy crops to fuel at a biorefinery.

October 27, 2015
EERE Success Story—Solar Forecasting Gets a Boost from Watson, Accuracy Improved by 30%

Remember when IBM’s super computer Watson defeated Jeopardy! champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter? With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, IBM researchers are using Watson-like technology to improve solar forecasting accuracy by as much as 30%.

October 27, 2015
Graphic by <a href="/node/379579">Sarah Gerrity</a>, Energy Department.
Turn Your Halloween Pumpkins Into Power

It might not be long before the 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins produced annually in the U.S. are as important for our energy security as they are for Halloween.

October 27, 2015
EERE Blog
Innovative Study Helps Offshore Wind Developers Protect Wildlife

The Biodiversity Research Institute's (BRI) new report on a three year research project gives offshore wind developers new information on environmental impacts, including migration patterns of birds and whales. This will help accelerate progress on responsible, sustainable implementation of offshore wind technologies.

October 26, 2015
This Halloween, keep ghosts and goblins at bay -- while saving energy and money -- with these home energy efficiency tricks. | Infographic by <a href="/node/379579">Sarah Gerrity</a>, Energy Department.
Energy Efficiency Tricks to Stop Your Energy Bill from Haunting You

This Halloween don't let your energy bill give you a scare. Check out tips on ways to save energy and money at home.

October 23, 2015
Take a Test Drive in the World’s First Commercial Fuel Cell SUV

The Department of Energy hosted an exciting and unique visitor last week: the world’s first commercially available, zero emissions fuel cell electric SUV. The first-of-its-kind vehicle was brought to Washington, D.C. by Hyundai executives from South Korea who were in the United States as part of South Korean President Park Guen-hye’s delegation visiting President Obama.

October 23, 2015
Clean energy technologies like the solar energy innovations underway at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab are transitioning into the marketplace more rapidly because of a new initiative called Lab-Corps.
Lab-Corps Initiative Moves High-Impact Innovations into the Marketplace

A new innovation pathway is gaining ground –- one that corrals the brightest minds in the nation to bring select breakthrough clean energy technologies to market. The Energy Department’s $2.3 million Lab-Corps Initiative officially commenced in October and is another tool in the EERE arsenal to accelerate the commercialization of clean energy innovation.

October 22, 2015
A tanker picks up gasoline from the biorefinery. | Photo courtesy The Gas Technology Institute
Woody Biomass Converted to Gasoline by Five-Company Team

An international consortium of five companies and organizations came together in a joint effort to transform woody biomass, including trees and wood waste, into a gasoline product suitable for use in today’s automobiles. The collaborative project was cost shared between the project participants and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) using funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

October 22, 2015
West Virginia University and University of Roma Tor Vergata's STILE House took first place in our Fan Favorite poll. | Graphic by <a href="/node/1332956">Carly Wilkins</a>, U.S. Department of Energy.
Solar Decathlon 2015: Energy.gov Fan Favorite Poll Results

Find out who took the top five spots in our Solar Decathlon Fan Favorite poll!

October 21, 2015
Algenol: Using Algae to Make Fuels
EERE Success Story—Algenol Announces Commercial Algal Ethanol Fuel Partnership

U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) partner Algenol signed an agreement with Protec Fuel to market and distribute commercial ethanol produced from algae for fleets and retail consumption from Algenol’s commercial demonstration module in Fort Myers, Florida. Algenol expects that the first two gas stations offering the fuel will open next year in Tampa and Orlando.

October 21, 2015
Check out our <a href="/node/780416">Energy Saver 101 infographic</a> for everything you need to know about home heating.
#HeatChat @Energy: Ask Us Your Home Heating Questions

Have questions about how to prepare your home for the winter months ahead? Join us Thursday, October 22 at 1 p.m. ET for a Twitter chat.

October 20, 2015
EERE Success Story—BETO Project Improves Production of Renewable Chemical from Cellulosic Feedstocks

Renewable chemical company Genomatica made significant progress toward increasing the range of feedstocks that can be used to commercially produce high-quality bio-based chemicals, in a project funded by the Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO). Genomatica improved the biochemical conversion of cellulosic sugars to 1,4-butanediol (BDO), a chemical used in products such as hard plastics used in computer keyboards, Invista’s Lycra® spandex, and high-performance fabrics.

October 15, 2015
NREL will test microgrid controllers developed by EPRI and GE using its megawatt-scale power hardware-in-the-loop capability, which is part of the Energy System Integration Facility.
EERE Success Story—NREL to Advance Technologies for Microgrid Projects

The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is providing critical support to two new microgrid projects coordinated by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and General Electric Company (GE).

October 15, 2015
<i>A Porsche 911 GT being chased by a Chevrolet Corvette GT under the rain during the last hour of Petit Le Mans 2015 at Road Atlanta. | Photo courtesy of New West Technologies</i>
Last Flag of the 2015 Green Racing Season

The Petit Le Mans, a 10-hour endurance racecar competition held annually at the beginning of October, is known for being difficult, long, and (since 2006) “green.” Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and SAE International, Green Racing recognizes racecar teams that go the farthest and fastest with the smallest environmental footprint.

October 14, 2015
1366 Technician Becky Allen works in a lab at the company’s Bedford, MA demonstration facility. | Photo courtesy of Bob Frechette
SunShot Awardee 1366 Technologies Turns Cutting-Edge Research into Manufacturing Success

After developing a revolutionary silicon wafer production technology (with support from DOE's SunShot initiative) that is now an industry standard, 1366 Technologies will add 1,000 new jobs.

October 13, 2015
National Labs are working with industry to make fluorescent lighting more environmentally friendly by reducing the need for rare earth elements. | iStock photo.
Better Fluorescent Lighting Through Physics

National labs are working with industry to make fluorescent lights more environmentally friendly.

October 13, 2015
<i>Plastic water bottles are among the products that some companies are now producing with bio-based chemicals instead of fossil fuels. The Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office is researching ways that bioproducts can improve the economics of new types of biofuels. | Photo courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski, Flickr creative commons license.</i>
Plant Products a Growing Research Area

For every barrel of crude oil used in the United States, 16% goes toward making products ranging from everyday plastics to specialty chemicals in addition to making liquid fuels. From deli containers to industrial lubricants, these chemicals and products are a crucial, yet almost invisible part of our daily lives.

October 9, 2015
The City of Greensburg, Kentucky, established an energy savings performance contract to make HVAC and lighting improvements in several city buildings, saving money and improving comfort for building occupants. | Courtesy of Greensburg, KY
EERE Success Story—Energy-Saving Solutions in the Bluegrass State

The Energy Department is continuing partnerships with state and local governments to advance efficiency in both energy and water use. One way of doing this is by implementing Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC), an approach to making improvements that reduce energy and water use and increase operational efficiency without upfront costs. Under the ESPC model, energy efficiency upgrades are paid for by future cost savings made by the upgrades themselves, over a set term.

October 9, 2015
EERE Blog
A National First in Community Waste to Energy in our Nation's Capital

DC Water opened a $470 million waste-to-power plant at its Blue Plains facility. EERE's Kathleen Hogan tells about her experience at the opening ceremony of this new and groundbreaking facility.

October 9, 2015
The City of Greensburg, Kentucky, established an energy savings performance contract to make HVAC and lighting improvements in several city buildings, saving money and improving comfort for building occupants. | Courtesy of Greensburg, Kentucky
Energy-Saving Solutions in the Bluegrass State

The Energy Department is continuing partnerships with state and local governments to advance efficiency in both energy and water use. One way of doing this is by implementing Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC), an approach to making improvements that reduce energy and water use and increase operational efficiency without upfront costs.