You are here

EERE Blog

RSS

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.

September 13, 2016
Solar homes on the Helemano Military Reservation in Hawaii generate electricity that the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) integrates onto the island’s electric grid. | <em> Photo courtesy of HECO </em>
Collaboration Station: Utility and Solar Company Partnerships Further Solar’s Reach

Earlier this year, the solar industry passed a key milestone: 1 million solar installations are connected to the nation’s electricity grid. Now, we’re looking forward to 2 million solar installations—a record that is expected to be reached in 2018. This large influx of solar, which is by nature an intermittent energy source, creates unique challenges for our country’s more than 3,000 electric utility companies.

September 12, 2016
Charlie Gay Joins the SunShot Initiative to Leave a Lasting Impact

The SunShot Initiative welcomes Dr. Charlie Gay, the program’s new director, a solar industry pioneer who has witnessed its rise from a niche technology that powered microwave repeaters on isolated mountaintops to the robust business it is today.

September 9, 2016
One piece of the <em>National Offshore Wind Strategy</em> evaluates the vast potential for offshore wind energy development across U.S. coasts.
Computing America’s Offshore Wind Energy Potential

A new report evaluating the potential for offshore wind energy development across U.S. coasts found that even if only 1% of the technical resource potential is recovered, nearly 6.5 million homes could be powered by offshore wind energy.

September 9, 2016
Offshore Wind Arrives in America

The United States got its first-ever offshore wind farm -- and that’s just the beginning. Announcing a new national strategy to tap into offshore wind's huge potential to power America with clean energy.

September 9, 2016
The Energy Department's marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) portfolio—commonly known as wave and tidal energy—is one of the more up-and-coming renewable energy sources being explored on an international scale.
Energy Department Leads International Efforts to Unlock Ocean Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy’s marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) portfolio—commonly known as wave and tidal energy—is one of the more up-and-coming renewable energy sources being explored on an international scale. The United States is now seen by many as a global leader in developing MHK technology,

September 8, 2016
Illustration by Sarah Harman, Energy Department
How to be a Clean Energy Baller: Drive an Electric Car

There’s a new revolution going on that’s redefining what coolness is. No longer is clean energy just for those who wear socks and sandals (which is very comfortable, by the way). It’s a growing lifestyle that even hipsters can’t hate on. From electric cars to algae surfboards, there’s a ton of low-carbon swag out there to elevate your status in becoming a clean energy baller.

September 8, 2016
Video: Energy Department's Wave Energy Prize Testing Underway

The Energy Department's Wave Energy Prize teams are putting their devices in the water at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division in Bethesda, Maryland. Nine teams are assembling their devices onsite before testing them in the tank.

September 7, 2016
UNC Pembroke students look on as Ashley Fiala demonstrates how to charge a PEV. | Photo courtesy of Willis Glassgow, Campus Photographer, UNC Pembroke
National Drive Electric Week: Celebrating the Growth of Electric Vehicles

As we bid farewell to summer and transition to fall, there are many things to look forward to, such as kids in school, cooler temperatures, colorful leaves, and National Drive Electric Week. This year’s celebration spans eight days from Sept. 10-18, with nearly 200 events across the country to familiarize people with the power, convenience, and widespread availability of electric vehicles.

September 1, 2016
Video: 2017 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Dates Announced

Dates for the 2017 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon are now set. From October 5 -15, 14 college teams will design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy efficient, and boast maximum curb appeal. For the first time, the competition will take place in Denver, Colorado.

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="https://www.flickr.com/photos/44082489@N00/7762037662/">H. Michael Miley </a> via <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode">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.