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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.

December 7, 2015
Rise and Shine: Lighting the World with 10 Billion LED Bulbs

Launched at COP21 in Paris, the Global Lighting Challenge is a race to deploy 10 billion high-efficiency, high-quality and affordable lighting fixtures and bulbs (like LEDs) around the world.

December 4, 2015
COP 21: The Revolution Will Be Catalyzed

The Energy Department's report "Revolution...Now" is attracting attention at the COP 21 conference in Paris. Highlighting a clean energy future, it illustrates how government and industry investment has catalyzed research and development of five efficient and renewable energy technologies.

December 3, 2015
Keith Wipke of NREL discusses NREL’s new hydrogen station and the HyStEP device being used to test it with David Friedman, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the DOE. | Photo courtesy of NREL
Colorado Joins the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Race

When one thinks of clean energy, they often think of California, who is commmitting up to $100M over five years to build 100 hydrogen stations across the state, as the biggest mover and shaker. But Colorado is quickly gaining ground when it comes to hydrogen and fuel cells.

December 2, 2015
A Chevrolet Volt charges in Rhode Island thanks to a ChargePoint station installed using funding from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. | Photo courtesy of NREL
Plugged In: Understanding How and Where Plug-in Electric Vehicle Drivers Charge Up

Being able to go on long trips running on electricity has always been the Holy Grail of plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) owners. In comparison to conventional vehicles, which can run for 300 miles or more on a tank of gas, most all-electric vehicles have ranges of less than 100 miles. In addition, while it seems like there is a gas station on every corner, public charging stations are rarer. While range is typically not an issue for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that have a back-up gasoline engine, public infrastructure can help increase the amount of time they can run on electricity.

December 1, 2015
EERE Announces Up to $4 Million for Critical Materials Recovery from Geothermal Fluids

The Energy Department is providing $4 million in funding to develop new technologies to locate and extract valuable rare earth elements from fluids produced by geothermal and other deep earth drilling.

December 1, 2015
Workplace Charging Challenge Mid-Program Review: Promising Progress from U.S. Employers

The EV Everywhere Workplace Charging Challenge is celebrating a major milestone – it’s now halfway to its goal of 500 Challenge partners committed to installing workplace charging for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) by 2018. Since its launch nearly three years ago, more than 250 employers have joined as Challenge partners and the installation of workplace charging as a sustainable business practice is growing across the United States.

November 30, 2015
The DuPont cellulosic ethanol facility in Nevada, Iowa, will produce about 30 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year. Photo courtesy of DuPont.
EERE Success Story—Largest Cellulosic Ethanol Plant in the World Opened in October

The DuPont cellulosic ethanol facility opened in Nevada, Iowa, last month and is the largest cellulosic ethanol plant in the world. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Director, Jonathan Male, alongside senior government officials, DuPont leaders and staff, and local farmers attended the grand opening ceremony and plant tour.

November 30, 2015
Making a Difference: Federal Energy Management Down on the Farm

Support from the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) has helped the USDA develop shelters for agricultural equipment that are also generate solar power. The "Solar Shaded AgPort" is a model of interagency cooperation that yields a harvest of savings for American farmers.

November 25, 2015
West Plains, Missouri, Mayor Jack Pahlmann issued a proclamation recognizing National Weatherization Day on Oct. 30.  Here, the Mayor (in sport coat and red shirt) presents his proclamation at a West Plains home undergoing weatherization. Weatherization funding for the home comes, in part, from the U.S. Department of Energy.
States Celebrate National Weatherization Day

With winter approaching, our office recently joined states and the District of Columbia in recognizing National Weatherization Day on October 30. It’s a day set aside to honor government, private, and nonprofit advocates responsible for upgrading energy efficiency in thousands of American homes. We’re proud to recognize weatherization professionals working to ensure that every American has a safe, efficient structure that’s comfortable in every season. Weatherization saves money for families, improves health and safety for home occupants, supports thousands of jobs, and reduces carbon pollution.

November 25, 2015
Making a Difference: Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal heat pumps are a highly efficient technology for heating, cooling and water heating. GHP systems can save 33-65% on energy compared to HVAC systems and cut CO2 emissions by 25-65%.

November 24, 2015
Making a Difference: Quadrennial Technology Review 2015

The 2015 Quadrennial Technology Review is the Energy Department's strategic document, evaluating progress in clean and sustainable energy and efficient technologies over the past four years. It provides a benchmark and blueprint both in guiding our efforts at improving America's energy future.

November 24, 2015
Biofuel Facts for the Road: The Energy Department and Your Gasoline Pump

Before you hit the road to visit relatives or friends this holiday season, you’ll probably stop at the gas station to fuel up. The Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office invests in research and development to help commercialize biofuels—liquid fuels produced from plant sources—to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, build the economy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While you’re at the gas pump, pay attention to a few things. There are several biofuel options already available to you today, and the Energy Department is working to bring other second-generation biofuel options to a pump near you.

November 24, 2015
Innovative Hydropower Technology Now Powering an Apple Data Center

The Schneider family continues a family legacy of developing new hydropower technologies through their company, Natel Energy. Apple is now buying power from a hydropower installation of theirs in Oregon.

November 20, 2015
Energy Department investments in the Lab-Corps initiative are teaming innovative scientists with entrepreneurs to bring latebreaking technologies to market.
Lab-Corps Pilot Accelerates Private-Sector Adoption of Game-Changing Technologies

Last week, the EERE Lab-Corps Initiative graduated its first class of top scientists who’ve gone back to school to gain an entrepreneurial education. With technologies ranging from bioenergy to building efficiencies, this $2.3 million pilot program, managed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), trains top lab researchers across the nation on how to move high-impact national laboratory-invented technologies into the market.

November 20, 2015
Making a Difference: Community Solar and Opportunity

Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall met recently with participants in the National Community Solar Partnership Workshop at the White House. Supported by DOE's SunShot Initiative, this group is seeking ways to expand solar power in communities in a variety of ways.

November 20, 2015
DuPont’s cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in Nevada, Iowa, opened on October 30, 2015. | Photo courtesy of DuPont
DuPont’s Cellulosic Ethanol Grand Opening Marks a Milestone for the Advanced Biofuels Industry

On a bright, crisp October morning in Iowa, I had the privilege to speak at the grand opening of DuPont’s cellulosic ethanol biorefinery—the fourth biorefinery of its kind in the United States and the largest in the world. This impressive plant is equipped to produce 30 million gallons of ethanol each year from the leftover stalks and leaves of the corn plant, called corn stover.

November 19, 2015
The economic potential for renewable power technologies, particularly wind and solar, has more than tripled as a result of cost reductions since 2010, according to a new NREL report.
New Report: Renewable Power Economic Potential Has More Than Tripled

The promise and appeal of renewable energy has long been clear: clean, inexhaustible, domestically sourced electricity could lead to enormous environmental, economic and resiliency benefits. For many years, the narrative included the caveat “…but it’s too expensive.” That story is changing fast, however, thanks to falling renewable energy technology costs, which should help renewable energy continue to grow across the United States.

November 19, 2015
Argonne’s Tijana Rajh explains recently synthesized metal oxide nanoparticle samples with controlled amounts of structural defects to NDW Director Andreas Roelofs and fellow researcher Xiao-Min Lin. Also pictured are Argonne researchers Elena Rozhkova (left) and Elena Shevchenko.
EERE Success Story—Argonne Creates Collaborative Centers to Connect Business with Energy Storage, Nanotechnology Research

Energy storage and nanotechnology have the potential to transform the way we look at clean energy.  Advances in energy storage research will revolutionize the way the world generates and stores energy, democratizing the delivery of electricity. Grid-level storage can help reduce carbon emissions through the increased adoption of renewable energy and use of electric vehicles while helping bring electricity to developing parts of the world.

November 18, 2015
Road Tripping through the Geothermal Frontier

And they’re off! After more than a year since the announcement of available funding, the project teams selected for our Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) each hosted our geothermal experts at their candidate sites this fall. We’re calling it our road trip through the geothermal frontier.

November 17, 2015
EERE Success Story—ORNL Unveils 3D-Printed Home and Vehicle with the Unique Ability to Power One Another

In September, the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) announced successful efforts of the the lab’s Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) demonstration. The nine-month project reached its goal of 3D-printing an alternative fuel vehicle and a paired building structure, both featuring the unique ability to power one another.

November 13, 2015
Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Amped Up! Newsletter Focuses on EERE Innovation on the COP 21 Road Through Paris

Amped Up! newsletter covers the latest innovations in clean energy and carbon reduction, a product of the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

November 12, 2015
Wood waste such as this is frequently used to produce sustainable energy. Spero Energy, started by researchers at Purdue University, has created a cost effective process that converts sustainable wood sources into chemicals that improve the production of biofuels. | Photo by National Renewable Energy Laboratory
EERE Success Story—Biofuels and Barbecue Chips: Small Business Develops Process to Create Versatile Chemicals

An innovative technique developed by a small business in Indiana could be used to improve two seemingly unrelated products: biofuels and barbecue potato chips.  Spero Energy, started by researchers at Purdue University, has created a cost effective process that converts sustainable wood sources into renewable chemicals for the flavor and fragrance industry, including those used in barbecue potato chips and other smoky flavored foods.

November 12, 2015
STEM Mentoring Cafes - sponsored in part by the Energy Department - engage middle schoolers with science and technology professionals at local science centers and museums nationwide to inspire them to learn about a broad spectrum of energy-related career fields. source: Matty Greene/US DOE
STEM Middle School Mentoring Cafés Take it on the Road

STEM Mentoring Cafés - sponsored in part by the Energy Department - engage middle schoolers with science and technology professionals at local science centers and museums nationwide to inspire them to learn about a broad spectrum of energy-related career fields.

November 10, 2015
As part of the Dept. of Energy Scholars Program, veterans visited a solar array at the U.S. Army base in Fort Carson, Colorado.
Energy Department Training Veterans to Join America’s Clean Energy Workforce

Military veterans returning to the workforce possess unique skills, knowledge, and experience to help advance the federal government’s clean energy initiatives. Over the summer, the Energy Department’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) hosted nine military veteran student interns through the DOE Scholars Program, where each participant worked closely with leaders in advancing clean energy technologies, supporting greater national energy security.

November 10, 2015
Kelderman Shelf-Loading Trailer | Photo Courtesy: Kelderman Manufacturing
EERE Success Story—Energy Department Harvesting Technology Goes Commercial

Some of our greatest successes at the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy are when the technologies developed with our funding are purchased and put to use by the private sector.