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.
Increasing the number of plug-in electric vehicles on America’s roads can help reduce our dependence on petroleum, improving our economic, environmental, and energy security. But without research undertaken at Argonne National Laboratory, supported by EERE’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO), PEVs may have had a very different, slower introduction to the market. Today, batteries in both the Chevrolet Volt and the Ford Focus EV use technology that was originally developed at Argonne.
Solar inverters are one of the most important components of a solar energy system. These power electronic devices convert the direct current produced by photovoltaic panels into alternating current – the type of electricity used by all of the appliances in your home. New technologies enable inverters to have advanced (smart) functions that serve to ensure the stability and reliability of the grid.
Two forthcoming peer-reviewed, national studies from the Energy Department’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory will provide fresh evidence that the federal Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is a good investment. Their findings show that WAP’s energy efficiency upgrades are indeed cost-effective with energy savings exceeding the costs by a factor of 1.4.
The Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy and the local utility NV Energy recently announced the Nevada Electric Highway joint initiative, an effort to facilitate electric vehicle (EV) transportation on U.S. Route 95. The roadway connects Las Vegas and Reno. To help offset costs for installing the charging stations along the route, Nevada will leverage funds allocated by the Energy Department’s State Energy Program.
Improving battery manufacturing processes can help make plug-in electric vehicles more affordable and convenient. This will help meet the government’s EV Everywhere goal of producing by 2022 plug-in electric vehicles that are as affordable for the average American family then as a gasoline-powered vehicle is for families today. By reducing process time and eliminating a specific processing solvent, Johnson Controls recently made progress in this area, with support from EERE’s Vehicle Technologies Office.
It's August, which means students and teachers are getting ready to head back to school -- and some teachers are going back armed with a better understanding of renewable energy to pass on to the next generation of energy leaders!
These days, modeling software is as important to building a car as welding equipment. The Energy Department’s Vehicle Technologies Office is working to make these models as useful and accurate as possible so that manufacturers can build the next-generation of fuel efficient and advanced technology vehicles.
This article, with slight edits, originally appeared on the Oak Ridge National Laboratory website.
Drafty buildings are a thermostat’s worst enemy. Leaks around windows and a multitude of other breaches in the building envelope can cause heat and air-conditioning systems to run excessively, wasting energy as it continually warms — or cools and dehumidifies — the invading outside air.
The energy loss from air leakage in buildings is estimated to be about four quads (4 quadrillion BTUs) or about 4% of the total energy used in the United States annually.
Today, President Obama is hosting the first-ever White House Demo Day, showcasing entrepreneurs who have launched innovative businesses across the country. The event will highlight a diverse set of entrepreneurs: people whose stories show why America needs to continue growing our innovation economy and make sure there's plenty of opportunity for everyone to succeed.
Did you know energy is everywhere? Like turning off the lights when you leave home, our everyday decisions impact energy use. This school year, help create energy awareness for America's youth with these teaching tips from the Energy Department.
The Lab-Corps pilot program was launched last year to accelerate the transfer of new clean energy technologies from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Laboratories into the commercial marketplace. Just six months into the program, we are already seeing some exciting results.
With support from the Energy Department and the U.S. Navy, a prototype wave energy device has advanced successfully from initial concept to grid-connected, open-ocean pilot testing. The device, named Azura, was recently launched by Northwest Energy Innovations at a 30-meter test berth at the Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) in Oahu’s Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii.
The National Park Service is working with the U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Cities Program to provide sustainable travel options, including using more efficient vehicles themselves and encouraging visitors to “green their rides” in the parks to minimize their contribution to climate change and air pollution.
The effect on a property’s value is usually one of the first things to consider before a building is retrofitted with green features. However, appraisers are often not experienced in working with green buildings. When an appraiser is not versed in investigating the costs and benefits of green strategies, they might miss some of the benefits. To address this concern, the Energy Department and the Appraisal Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding to improve resources for appraisers who are involved with energy efficient buildings.
The Energy Department’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative (CEMI) recently held its Southeast Regional Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. The more than 200 clean energy manufacturing leaders attending the summit and our Assistant Secretary David Danielson’s visits to GE, Suniva, the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research, and the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council highlighted the region’s growing strength in building cutting-edge automobiles, high-efficiency natural gas turbines, advanced composites, and a number of other clean energy technologies.
The Green Button Initiative provides American businesses and families with simple and secure access to their energy consumption data in a standardized format. The effort has grown significantly in size and sophistication since it launched in 2012, and now more than 150 utilities and service providers have committed to providing more than 60 million U.S. households access to their own Green Button energy data in a consumer- and computer-friendly format.
Earlier this year, EERE’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) provided key data and analytical support to the White House Council on Environmental Quality to determine the government-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target. As the scorekeeper for federal agency energy performance data, FEMP is uniquely positioned to project the government’s future path in a clean energy economy. In its support to the White House, FEMP assessed the GHG mitigation impact of achieving the key goals for 2025 contained in the Executive Order (EO) including: