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.
Today the Energy Department and Environmental Protection Agency announced that the 2016 Fuel Economy Guide is now available. This annual publication is designed to help consumers choose the most fuel-efficient vehicles that will meet their needs. From fuel-sippers to gas-guzzlers, the Fuel Economy Guide provides consumers with essential information about model year 2016 light-duty vehicles, including their fuel economy, greenhouse gas emissions, and projected annual fuel cost.
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).
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.
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.
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?
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.