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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.

August 31, 2016
A pair of new reports released by the Energy Department in August show strong growth for wind power in the United States.
Top 7 Clean Energy News Stories from August 2016

August was a busy month for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Catch up on the biggest clean energy news stories of the past month.

August 30, 2016
The Algae Technology Education Consortium (ATEC) is developing opportunities for education and training for next-generation jobs in the algal industry. | <em>Photo courtesy of ATEC</em>
Algae Education Helping Grow Jobs of the Future

Algae are coming out of the pond and into the classroom, thanks to the significant efforts of the Algae Technology Education Consortium (ATEC) this past year. The Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office is funding ATEC’s project to strengthen workforce capabilities in the algal biofuels industry.

August 29, 2016
The World’s Largest 3D Printed Object

Oak Ridge National Laboratory 3D-printed a tool Boeing will use to build its airplane wings.

August 29, 2016
National Lab Research: Leading the Way to a Future Powered by Solar

Over the past 50 years, the Energy Department's national laboratories have played a major role in the advancement of solar energy technology. That’s why SunShot created the SunShot National Laboratory Multiyear Partnership funding program, which awards funding to national labs to continue addressing the most critical barriers that remain to achieving our SunShot goals.

August 26, 2016
5 Back-to-School Resources to Help You Learn About Energy

Just in time for back-to-school, we're sharing some of our great brain-boosting educational resources to help teach the science behind the energy that powers our modern world.

August 25, 2016
Video: Lab-Corps Third Cohort Graduates in Washington, D.C.

Some of the nation’s top researchers recently graduated from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Lab-Corps program designed to help scientists better understand the commercialization process.

August 25, 2016
Timeline: A Path to Lightweight Materials in Cars and Trucks

Although cars have been around for more than a century, the material making them up has mostly stayed the same — steel. It’s only been in the last 25 years or so that advanced materials, ranging from aluminum and magnesium alloys to carbon fiber composites, have made their way into mass-produced passenger cars. These lightweight materials can cut a vehicle’s body and chassis weight in half, helping to increase fuel economy as well as the overall range of hybrids, plug-ins and all-electric cars.

August 24, 2016
Clockwise from top left: A commercial airplane, a Navy aircraft carrier, and a researcher (photos courtesy of LanzaTech, the U.S. Navy, and the Energy Department, respectively). Commercial aviation, the U.S. military, and organic waste streams are all compelling opportunities for biofuel.
Who Needs Biofuels? Cost-Competitive Renewable Fuels are in Demand

A large part of the solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector could be uniquely filled by biofuels and bioproducts. The Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), in partnership with the national laboratories, academia, and private companies, is pursuing biofuel research and development to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and secure our energy independence.

August 23, 2016
Pumped-storage hydropower is complementary to variable generation, such as wind and solar, because it can reduce curtailment of excess generation by providing load and energy storage, thus enabling greater integration of these resources into the electric power system. | <em>Map image courtesy of the Hydropower Vision report</em>
Pumped-Storage Hydropower Shows Promise for Boosting Energy Storage

As a major clean energy contributor, U.S. hydropower plays an important role today for both electricity generation and energy storage. For more than 100 years, U.S. hydropower has been an important source of low-cost, low-emissions renewable energy.

August 19, 2016
Energy By the Numbers – Weatherization Assistance Program
The History and Evolution of America’s Weatherization Network

This month marks the 40th anniversary of the Energy Department’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), which provides funding to states, territories, and tribal governments to improve the energy efficiency of the homes of low-income families, persons with disabilities, and senior citizens.

August 18, 2016
The second round of the Small Business Vouchers program introduces three new national labs with whom small businesses will partner.
Empowering Small Businesses to Expand the Clean Energy Revolution

The second round of the Small Business Vouchers program has wrapped up with 43 clean energy small businesses from across the United States being selected to connect with the top-notch scientists, engineers, and world-class facilities at the Energy Department national laboratories.

August 18, 2016
Wind turbines are soaring to record sizes. The average rotor diameter of turbines installed in 2015 grew to 102 meters, up 113 percent since 1998–1999. | National Renewable Energy Laboratory photo.
Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Wind Power

Get the details on a few of the lesser known wind energy facts.

August 18, 2016
Small-Scale Distributed Wind: Northern Power Systems 100 kW turbine at the top of Burke Mountain in East Burke, Vermont. | Photo courtesy of Northern Power Systems.
Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Distributed Wind Power

Learn about key facts related to wind turbines used in distributed applications.

August 18, 2016
A rainbow trout, one of several species of fish being tracked using PNNL's new injectable, self-charging acoustic fish tags. These devices allow scientists to research how fish migrate through waterways when encountering hydrokinetic dams. | Photo courtesy of PNNL
Self-charging Tracking Device Monitors Fish Migration through Hydroelectric Dams

In order to understand how fish swim through rivers, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has developed an injectable tracking device, known as an acoustic fish tag, with a self-charging battery. Funded by the Energy Department, this project is part of a long-term mission to contribute valuable research on fish migration through waterways when encountering hydroelectric dams. The key purpose of the study is to see whether or not fish become injured or hindered by the presence of hydroelectric devices.

August 17, 2016
The U.S. wind power market remains strong thanks to sustained low prices, rapidly increasing wind energy generation, and growing corporate demand.
Generating a Sustainable Wind Energy Future Thanks to Low Prices

We’ve come a long way since the late 1880s, when wind power was first captured to produce electricity.

August 17, 2016
A new White House report outlines the federal government’s plans to lower the cost of alternative jet fuel. | Photo courtesy of Flickr user <a href="">H. Michael Miley </a> via <a href="">Creative Commons</a>.
Charting A Path for Sustainable Jet Fuels

A new White House report outlines the federal government’s plans to lower the cost of alternative jet fuel.

August 16, 2016
Providing educational opportunities at the primary and secondary level is crucial to the Wind for Schools program's aim of developing a workforce for the future.
5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Wind for Schools Program

Here are five things you likely didn't know about the Department of Energy’s Wind for Schools program, which helps to develop a wind energy workforce by educating students across the country on the value of wind energy and the bright future accessible through careers in wind.

August 15, 2016
The Energy Department's Weatherization Assistance Program services every political subdivision in the country through a network of 59 grantees: 50 states, the District of Columbia, five U.S. territories, and three select Native American tribes.
Celebrating 40 Years of America’s Weatherization Assistance Program

The Energy Department is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Weatherization Assistance Program, which has retrofitted more than 7 million homes across the U.S. and has led the nation in advancing technology, research, and applied scientific practices to make homes energy efficient.

August 11, 2016
In June 2015, United Airlines announced a partnership with biofuel company Fulcrum BioEnergy to invest in future commercial-scale aviation biofuel plants. The company’s innovative technology converts household trash into low-cost, sustainable aviation biofuel. This investment adds to their agreement to purchase up to 15 million gallons of sustainable aviation biofuel from AltAir, over a three-year period. | <em>Photo courtesy of United Airlines</em>
Changing the Way We Fly: Renewable Jet Fuels Made from Waste Gases Reaching New Heights with Airline Industry

Booking a flight soon? You may be leaving on a plane powered by renewable jet fuel that was made from industrial waste gases.

August 10, 2016
These infographics, created by teams of high school and university students from across the country for the Geothermal Design Challenge, highlight the importance of geothermal energy for achieving a cleaner, greener energy future.
Winning Infographics Depict Future of Geothermal Energy

This year's Geothermal Design Challenge tasked teams of high school and university students to research, design, and promote their infographics that answer the questions: What is the future of geothermal and how will it impact you?

August 5, 2016
2016 BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge Winning Team: (From left to right) Maria Zeitlin (advisor), Lexington Zografakis, Sydney Bracht, and Sidney Davis were recognized by Jonathan Male, Director of the Bioenergy Technologies Office. The team and their advisor from Smithtown High School East in St. James, New York, were recognized at the Bioenergy 2016 conference for their winning infographic “Cellulosic Ethanol: Fuel of the Future.”
Winning BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge Students Recognized in Washington, D.C.

A team of students from New York were recognized in Washington, D.C., as the winners of the first national run of the BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge, which provides high school students an opportunity to combine research, graphic design, and social media to learn about bioenergy and share their knowledge.

August 4, 2016
Giant Leap Technologies uses microfluidics to bend light toward a solar at the top of the plant. Each solar thermal power plant shown is a football field in size.  |  <em>Photo courtesy of Giant Leap Technologies</em>
Cutting-Edge Science Drives SunShot Projects

The Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative funds cutting-edge science that helps dramatically reduce the cost of solar energy. Drawn from diverse inspiration in the optical and medical fields, and featuring one with new uses for sound waves, these newly announced SunShot research and development projects may hold the key to low-cost solar energy.

August 3, 2016
Video: Appliance Standards Testing Ensures Level Playing Field

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Kathleen Hogan recently toured the Intertek testing laboratory in Cortland, NY – one of the sites where the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) tests products to ensure that consumers are getting the savings promised by its federal Appliance and Equipment Standards Program. Total savings for Americans are currently estimated at more than $65 billion annually.

August 2, 2016
This solar energy system was installed at Hunt Electric, the first company in Utah to take advantage of C-PACE financing.
Utah Property Owners Benefit with PACE

An Energy Department supported financing mechanism for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements on private property is enabling state and local governments to fund the upfront cost of energy improvements, with those costs being paid back over a fixed period such as 20 years while energy expenses are reduced immediately.

August 2, 2016
As part of the Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines initiative, researchers are exploring synergies among new bio-based fuels, engines, powertrains, and fueling infrastructure. | Image by Loren Stacks, Sandia National Laboratories.
Co-Optima Initiative Fuels Combustion Engine Efficiency

The Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) initiative aims to simultaneously transform both transportation fuels and vehicles in order to maximize performance and energy efficiency, minimize environmental impact, and accelerate widespread adoption of innovative combustion strategies.