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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.

October 13, 2016
Advancing the Frontiers of Clean Energy Innovation

America must continue to push the boundaries of clean energy innovation by doubling down on Federally-funded research and accelerating new technologies.

October 13, 2016
Students from T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, participate in a fuel cell demonstration outside the Department of Energy headquarters in Washington, D.C. | <em>Photo by Jeremy Kahn</em>
New 'Energy Talks' Series Introduces Students to Clean Energy Technologies

The first in a series of "Energy Talks" kicked off at the Energy Department on Oct. 11 with 100 ninth-graders from T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, listening to talks on everything from fuel cell technologies to building efficiency to future careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

October 12, 2016
On the Verge of a Hydrogen Tipping Point?

Across the country this past week, scientists and engineers have been celebrating National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day. Aptly chosen to represent the atomic weight of hydrogen (1.008), National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day was celebrated for the first time on October 8, 2015 and this year we’ve keeping the momentum going.

October 11, 2016
This technology transfer public-private partnership project at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory demonstrates friction stir welding, a process that overcomes the challenges of traditional laser welding, enabling manufacturers to use more lightweight materials in more vehicle components, thus improving fuel efficiency. | <em>Photo courtesy of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory</em>
At SXSW Eco: Small Businesses Play Key Role in Developing Clean Energy

Hundreds of business leaders, policy makers, entrepreneurs and designers gathered at the South by Southwest Eco (SXSW Eco) in Texas. The conference has quickly become a launch pad for the latest cleantech innovations set to positively impact society and the environment, making it a great venue to celebrate sustainability solutions and emphasize the Energy Department’s new $12 million investment into its Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot program.

October 7, 2016
EERE Blog
Revolution...Now Rewind: Illustrating the Wind Energy Story

As detailed in the recently released 2016 Revolution…Now report, the U.S. wind energy industry has forged a trajectory of sustained growth thanks to rapidly decreasing costs and increasing market demand. Let’s take a deeper dive to better understand where we’ve been, where we are now, and where we’re headed in the near future.

October 7, 2016
Making Our Solar Future with American Manufacturing

Every second that ticks by, six solar cells come off U.S. manufacturing lines that contain crystalline silicon. In 10 years, the Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative expects nearly three-times that amount to be racing across the lines, helping to make America a leader in high-tech solar manufacturing.

October 7, 2016
With SunShot funding, 1366 Technologies developed these three-dimensional silicon wafers that require fewer raw materials, helping to reduce the cost of solar panels.
EERE Success Story – Silicon Solar Wafers Enter a New Dimension

The vast majority of solar modules are currently made with silicon, as the material is widely available, relatively low-cost, and able to reach high efficiencies. Today, nearly all silicon wafers for solar modules are manufactured by first transforming the raw material into silicon blocks, which are then sawed into thin wafers that are turned into solar cells and integrated into modules. But one SunShot Initiative awardee has developed a method that is changing the game.

October 6, 2016
These fuel cell units above are an example of the technology Byron McCormick helped develop during his 50-year career at the Energy Department. | Photo courtesy of Plug Power
3 Questions with a ‘Founding Father’ of Hydrogen and Fuel Cells: Byron McCormick

In honor of National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day on October 8, we sit down with Byron McCormick, one of the “founding fathers” of hydrogen and fuel cells, to talk about his experiences during his more than 50-year career. Byron began his career in 1974 at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he first explored the possibility of using fuel cells in vehicles.

October 6, 2016
EERE Blog
U.S. Manufacturing Leading the Way to a Global Clean Energy Economy

The Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative (CEMI) was established in 2013 to apply the Energy Department’s resources and capabilities to increase U.S. competitiveness in the production of clean energy technologies and increase U.S. manufacturing energy productivity across the board. CEMI helped achieve those goals and then some, as demonstrated in the recently published CEMI Accomplishments report.

October 5, 2016
Innovations are moving the bioenergy industry forward. Photos courtesy of Virgin Atlantic (left), Sapphire Energy, Inc. (center), and DC Water’s Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant (right). Watch the video <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9HONJ0g9Dc" target="_blank">Bioenergy Innovation</a> to hear bioenergy researchers explain what “bioenergy innovation” means to them.
3 Breakthroughs Show How Bioenergy Innovations are Energizing the Energy Landscape

Learn about three bioenergy innovations that are helping to provide Americans with sustainable, renewable energy and alternatives to fossil fuels and chemicals.

October 5, 2016
EERE Blog
Revolution…Now Rewind: Revving up the Electric Vehicle Market

The plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) market hit a major milestone in September when the 500,000th PEV was sold in America. As the recently released Revolution..Now report details, decreased costs of batteries for PEVs is one reason for the uptick in sales, but there are several other factors that have made these vehicles an attractive transportation option.

October 5, 2016
This artist rendering shows Peña Station Next in Denver, where Solar Decathlon 2017 will take place exactly one year from today. | Image courtesy of City and County of Denver.
Solar-Powered Houses Take Starring Role in Denver’s Community of Tomorrow

Solar Decathlon 2017 houses built by collegiate teams to join the landscape of a burgeoning “smart city” in Denver.

October 4, 2016
National Weatherization Network Celebrates 40 Years of Service

More than seven million Americans have been helped by the Energy Department’s Weatherization Assistance Program over the last four decades and many top accomplishments were recently recognized by congressional leaders at a Washington D.C. event showcasing how this program continues to reduce energy costs for low-income households.

October 4, 2016
Construction workers build the frame for a 1-megawatt solar microgrid project at Fort Hunter Liggett, California. | <em>Photo courtesy of U.S. Army/Carlos J. Lazo</em>
Revolution...Now Rewind: Modernizing the Grid to Accelerate a Solar-Powered Future

As the recently released Revolution..Now report details, the declining cost of solar power has enabled a massive increase in the amount of solar capacity installed in America. The next step is ensuring the nation's electric grid is ready for a solar-powered future.

October 3, 2016
National Lab Scientists Praise Entrepreneurial 'Boot Camp'

Some of the nation’s top researchers recently completed a "boot camp" as part of the Energy Department’s Lab-Corps program to better understand the commercialization process.

October 3, 2016
The cost of LED A-type light bulbs has decreased by 94% since 2008, according to the 2016 <em>Revolution...Now</em> report.
Revolution...Now Rewind: 6 Questions with a Lighting Expert

Lighting Program Manager for EERE’s Building Technology Office, Jim Brodrick, sat down to discuss the 2016 Revolution…Now report that was released last week.

September 30, 2016
The Department of Energy has tapped Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to develop Build4Scale, a training program for clean technology entrepreneurs focused on manufacturing fundamentals.
Build4Scale: Training Cleantech Entrepreneurs for Manufacturing Success

Build4Scale will help entrepreneurs cost effectively build their clean energy products by providing training on manufacturing fundamentals like material selection, design for assembly, and working with production partners. Ultimately, training cleantech entrepreneurs on the fundamentals of manufacturing will help bring promising energy solutions to market.

September 29, 2016
The Energy Resource Center installed a 2-kilowatt solar PV system at a WAP-eligible home in Colorado Springs.
Colorado Becomes First State to Install Solar as Part of Weatherization Assistance Program

Due to recent declines in the price of solar energy, the Energy Department's Weatherization Assistance Program is now incorporating solar into their services with a home in Colorado the first to participate.

September 29, 2016
EERE Blog
Top 3 Takeaways from the 2016 Revolution...Now Report

The new Revolution…Now report, which highlights the dramatic growth and decreasing costs of five clean energy technologies: wind turbines, photovoltaic (PV) solar modules for both utility-scale plants and distributed systems, electric vehicles (EVs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs), shows that the Energy Department’s investments in clean energy technologies are paying off – and then some.

September 28, 2016
The Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has power-hardware-in-the-loop capability that puts utility-scale hardware into simulated grids to assess the effects of grid integration. Lab-Bridge’s Microgrid Challenge project will use ESIF facilities to test microgrid controller solutions. | <em>Photo courtesy of NREL</em>
8 Ways the Energy Department is Removing Barriers to Make National Lab Inventions a Reality

Deputy Secretary of Energy Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall announced today a new pilot program called Lab-Bridge that will make it easier for Department of Energy National Laboratories to fast-track the great ideas and technologies they generate into the marketplace.

September 28, 2016
6 Charts that Will Make You Optimistic About America’s Clean Energy Future

How wind, solar, LEDs and electric vehicles are leading the way in America's clean energy revolution, visualized in six simple charts.

September 27, 2016
Janine Benner (far left), EERE's new Associate Assistant Secretary, stands atop a wind turbine during a recent visit to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. | <em>Photo courtesy of NREL</em>
Meet Janine Benner: EERE's New Associate Assistant Secretary Has Energy in Her Blood

For Janine Benner, energy conservation and sustainable transportation runs through her blood. The new Associate Assistant Secretary for the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) sat down recently to discuss her energy-saving parents, her own path to energy efficiency, and her new role with the Energy Department.

September 23, 2016
Engineer studies modification of algae for biofuel production. | Photo courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories
What’s in Your Algae Toolbox?

Across the nation, scientists are on a mission to produce affordable and sustainable biofuels and products from algae, including jet fuel and plastics. Algae scientists funded by the Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office have been busy expanding the tools available to support breakthroughs in biology that could lead to major improvements in algae growth and productivity.

September 22, 2016
Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Department Secretary Ernest Moniz discuss energy issues. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of State.
New Study Reveals Options to Replace Global Warming-Causing Chemicals Used in Air Conditioning

The Energy Department is supporting efforts to phase down the global use of climate-change causing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in cooling and refrigeration. These chemicals can be thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide and last for centuries when released into the atmosphere.

September 22, 2016
Video: Better Plants Shines at 2016 World Engineering Congress

The Better Buildings, Better Plants program took center stage at the 2016 World Energy Engineering Congress in Washington, D.C. as it continues to improve efficiency for U.S. manufacturers and public water utilities.