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.
The Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative (CEMI) recently kicked off its new Technologist in Residence (TIR) pilot at an event at Argonne National Laboratory convening the pilot’s seven competitively selected technologist pairs, Energy Department officials, and national lab representatives. This two-year, $2.6 million pilot program is designed to strengthen U.S. clean energy manufacturing competitiveness and enhance the commercial impact of the Energy Department’s national laboratories.
It may come as no surprise to our readers that California has installed more solar energy than any other state. Its solar-friendly market has allowed for rapid installation, adding as much solar to the grid in 2014 as the entire United States did between 1970 and 2011. While there are still 13 states with less than five megawatts (MW) of solar installed, the solar boom will soon reach the entire United States.
More than 10 million heavy-duty vehicles drive on U.S. roads each day, hauling goods, transporting people, and performing essential tasks like utility repair. However, these vehicles would be very different today if it wasn’t for the work of the Energy Department’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO).
Renewable energy from wind and water had a big year in 2015. As the year comes to a close, we celebrate the milestones of renewable electricity generation in wind and water power with a list of some of our largest accomplishments.
The ARIES Collaborative, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building America research team, recently developed and evaluated methods to reduce energy use in factory-built housing, as compared to best practice HUD-code construction. The results of this research prove that it is technically feasible to construct factory-built homes to be up to 50% more energy efficient for nominal increased cost.
The Energy Department released three new reports today showcasing strong growth across the U.S. fuel cell and hydrogen technologies market – continuing America’s leadership in clean energy innovation and providing U.S. businesses and consumers more affordable, cleaner transportation and power options. According to these reports, the United States continues to be one of the world’s largest and fastest growing markets for fuel cell and hydrogen technologies.
The state park system across the U.S. is critical to historic preservation, natural history, wildlife conservation, and education. The Energy Department plays an important role in supporting state parks thought clean energy investment.
Autonomie, an advanced vehicle modeling and design software package created by Argonne National laboratory with EERE support, is helping U.S. auto manufacturers develop the next generation of hybrid and electric vehicles.
Methane is both a powerful energy source and a potent greenhouse gas. When it’s extracted from the earth as natural gas and burned for heating and electricity, it emits carbon dioxide (CO2) but burns more cleanly than some other energy sources such as coal. However, when methane escapes into the atmosphere, it traps 25 times more heat radiation than CO2. That’s why some people are concerned with the environmental consequences of methane leaks during the process of fracking.
Efficiency standards established by the Energy Department help ensure appliances used almost every day such as washer and dryers, dishwashers and refrigerator meet a minimum level of efficiency, which translates to big savings on utility bills. As manufacturers develop more advanced technologies, the Energy Department updates these standards to help consumers keep saving money.
With winter in full swing in many parts of the U.S., your thermostat may be getting more attention than usual. Whether you have a furnace, boiler, or heat pump system, you want to make sure your home stays warm—especially as holiday guests arrive. Fortunately, the Energy Department’s efforts to improve efficiency standards is paying dividends with energy bills associated with heating and appliances lower compared to past holiday seasons.
Lighting accounts for about 11% of home electricity use in the U.S. Home events with family during the holidays can lead to higher utility bills due to increased lighting use. The good news is—even with that extra light—your energy bill can still be reasonable, thanks to efficiency standards the Energy Department has implemented for light bulbs. Lighting standards in place today are projected to save U.S. households almost $7 billion in 2015 alone.
This month the EV Everywhere Utility Partnership (EV Everywhere UP) observed six months of progress with an Electric Transportation Stakeholder Summit, where partners shared successes, gained feedback and continued the collaboration. Nearly 100 stakeholders met at Ameren Corporation in St. Louis, MO to discuss ways to overcome critical barriers to mass market adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV).
EERE International works with partners in many nations to advance clean energy technology development and implementation. At conferences like COP 21, the team collaborates with foreign colleagues to provide both leadership and expertise in the areas of energy efficiency and renewable energy technology.
The Energy Department’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) is taking steps to prevent technologies developed in a laboratory from failing to successfully transition into mainstream commercial market. Five of the Energy Department’s national laboratories recently collaborated on BTO’s first National Lab Tech-to-Market Challenge and documented their progress in a video that demonstrates how government and lab teams work together to bring cutting-edge technology to the market.
Rhode Island is at the frontier of energy education, offering a state-of-the-art curriculum in many of its schools. With the help of funds from the Energy Department’s State Energy Program, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources continues its partnership with the nonprofit National Energy Education Development Project (NEED) to provide energy education materials to schools and organize workshops to train teachers on energy curricula.
EERE and the National Laboratories supported nine winners at the recent 53rd annual R&D 100 Awards. Presented to research and development teams and partnerships, these prestigious awards have identified and honored significant major technological breakthroughs every year.
Doosan Fuel Cell, a Connecticut company which designs, engineers and manufactures clean energy fuel cell systems that produce combined heat and power systems, began operations in July 2014 at its corporate headquarters outside Hartford.