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.
America’s power grid – while reliable today – needs a 21st century facelift, not only to accommodate the nation’s unfolding economic and security needs, but to achieve U.S. clean energy goals for a safe, affordable, domestic supply of electricity.
The Department of Energy has recently created the Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI), an ongoing effort that reflects the Obama Administration’s commitment to improve the resiliency, reliability, and security of the nation’s grid, while adding growing amounts of renewable energy.
Cooper Tire recently developed concept tires that can improve fuel efficiency by 5.5%, supported by a project from the EERE Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO). In addition to exceeding VTO’s goal of improving fuel efficiency by 3%, the new tires are more than 23% (5 to 6 pounds) lighter than current tires. They also reduce rolling resistance by more than 30% while still meeting performance and durability goals.
Commercial air conditioners, often referred to as rooftop units (RTUs), are commonly used across commercial building sectors such as schools, restaurants, big box retailers, and small office buildings. These heating, ventilation and air conditioning units condition almost half of all U.S. commercial floor space. But commonly they are old and inefficient, wasting anywhere from $900 to $3,700 per unit annually.
Here on the EERE Blog, we tell other stories related to the Energy Department’s efforts to develop and deliver market solutions for energy saving-homes, buildings, and manufacturing; sustainable transportation; and renewable electricity generation. Here are our top five blog posts for 2015.
A new report from the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) finds that state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies reduced greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, while also reducing water use, creating renewable energy jobs and suppressing wholesale electricity and natural gas prices.
Every year, it becomes even more affordable to “go solar.” However, one thing remains consistent: the non-hardware, or “soft” costs related to permitting, installation, and maintenance account for more than half of the cost of an installed rooftop solar array. The SunShot Initiative’s Rooftop Solar Challenge funding program is successfully reducing these costs and providing a framework for others to do the same.
EERE has developed a new Strategic Plan and Implementing Framework to advance its mission and to continue to play a global leadership role in developing and deploying clean, sustainable and affordable energy technologies.
Jasmine Ramero, a member of the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps (RMYC), functioning on behalf of the Energy Department’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), is a top performer in her field. In February (2015) she was honored by the National Corps Network as Corpsmember of the Year. Two years ago, Ramero did not know anything about weatherization, but now she is on the path towards making history: becoming the first female weatherization quality control inspector/auditor in the State of New Mexico.
David Friedman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, visited the L.A. Auto Show in November 2015. He shared his thoughts about transportation's future in this video.
The Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative (CEMI) recently kicked off its new Technologist in Residence (TIR) pilot at an event at Argonne National Laboratory convening the pilot’s seven competitively selected technologist pairs, Energy Department officials, and national lab representatives. This two-year, $2.6 million pilot program is designed to strengthen U.S. clean energy manufacturing competitiveness and enhance the commercial impact of the Energy Department’s national laboratories.
It may come as no surprise to our readers that California has installed more solar energy than any other state. Its solar-friendly market has allowed for rapid installation, adding as much solar to the grid in 2014 as the entire United States did between 1970 and 2011. While there are still 13 states with less than five megawatts (MW) of solar installed, the solar boom will soon reach the entire United States.
More than 10 million heavy-duty vehicles drive on U.S. roads each day, hauling goods, transporting people, and performing essential tasks like utility repair. However, these vehicles would be very different today if it wasn’t for the work of the Energy Department’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO).
Renewable energy from wind and water had a big year in 2015. As the year comes to a close, we celebrate the milestones of renewable electricity generation in wind and water power with a list of some of our largest accomplishments.
The ARIES Collaborative, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building America research team, recently developed and evaluated methods to reduce energy use in factory-built housing, as compared to best practice HUD-code construction. The results of this research prove that it is technically feasible to construct factory-built homes to be up to 50% more energy efficient for nominal increased cost.
The Energy Department released three new reports today showcasing strong growth across the U.S. fuel cell and hydrogen technologies market – continuing America’s leadership in clean energy innovation and providing U.S. businesses and consumers more affordable, cleaner transportation and power options. According to these reports, the United States continues to be one of the world’s largest and fastest growing markets for fuel cell and hydrogen technologies.
The state park system across the U.S. is critical to historic preservation, natural history, wildlife conservation, and education. The Energy Department plays an important role in supporting state parks thought clean energy investment.