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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.

January 22, 2016
Toyota's Mirai, Hyundai's Tucson, and Honda's Clarity, the first commercially available fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) in the United States. They are currently on display at the 2016 Washington Auto Show | Photos by Simon Edelman, Energy Department
The Year of the Fuel Cell: Looking Back to Get Ahead

As EERE hits the ground running in 2016, let’s take a minute to celebrate our hard work in 2015 that advanced hydrogen and fuel cells to where they are today. From research and development, to real-world deployment, 2015 was a landmark year for the hydrogen and fuel cell industry.

January 22, 2016
EERE Success Story—Pilot Plant Completes Two 1,000-Hour Ethanol Performance Runs

ICM Inc. announced successful completion of two 1,000-hour performance runs of its patent-pending Generation 2.0 Co-Located Cellulosic Ethanol process at its cellulosic ethanol pilot plant in St. Joseph, Missouri. This is an important step toward the commercialization of cellulosic ethanol from switchgrass and energy sorghum.

January 22, 2016
The Energy Department is taking steps to begin modernizing the U.S. power grid to adapt to the changing energy needs of consumers.
Reinventing the National Power Grid

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.

January 19, 2016
EERE SunShot’s SHINES Program: Enabling a Rapidly Solarizing Electricity Grid Through Energy Storage

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.

January 15, 2016
EERE Success Story—New Tire Technologies Can Improve Fuel Efficiency by More Than 5%

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.

January 14, 2016
Understanding the Grid
An Explainer: How “Grid Modernization” Could Improve Your Life

This month the Department of Energy is making a series of announcements to support its Grid Modernization Initiative. But what does grid modernization mean for you? We've broken it down.

January 14, 2016
Image courtesy of Daikin.
EERE Success Story—DOE Industry Partnerships Lead to Widespread Adoption of Efficient Commercial Air Conditioners

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.

January 12, 2016
American solar power continued its rapid growth in 2015, adding new jobs 12 times faster than the rest of the economy, while saving customers tens of millions of dollars per year on energy bills. | Photo courtesy of O2emc.
Solar Energy Jobs Outpace U.S. Economy

American solar power continued its rapid growth in 2015, adding new jobs 12 times faster than the rest of the economy, while saving customers tens of millions of dollars per year on energy bills.

January 12, 2016
2015's Top Five Blog Posts

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.

January 8, 2016
EERE Success: Highlighting the Positive Impacts of EERE in 2015

EERE Success Stories celebrate the milestones and accomplishments in which EERE has played a role. Here are the five most popular EERE Success Stories of 2015.

January 7, 2016
A new study estimates that $2.2 billion in benefits come from reduced greenhouse gas emissions and $5.2 billion from reductions in other air pollution for state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies operating in 2013.
New Study: Renewable Energy for State Renewable Portfolio Standards Yield Sizable Benefits

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.

January 7, 2016
Solar installers dressed up as superheroes to complete the installation on the KidsQuest Children’s Museum in Washington as part of the Solarize Bellevue campaign. Photo by Allison DeAngelis.
EERE Success Story—Challenge Accepted: Reducing the Soft Costs of Going Solar

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.

January 7, 2016
In Case You Missed Them: Our Top Blog Posts from December

As we start the new year, we're taking a look back at December 2015--our top blog posts and some favorites we want to share with you. Happy New Year!

January 6, 2016
EERE Unveils New Strategic Plan

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.

January 6, 2016
Taking Solar Training for Veterans to a New Level in 2016

Solar Ready Vets helped American veterans get jobs in the solar industry in 2015. 2016 is going to be even bigger.

January 6, 2016
The Rocky Mountain Youth Corps' Jasmine Ramero found a new career in weatherization with help from the Energy Department.| Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain Youth Corps.
EERE Success Story—How the Weatherization Assistance Program Changed Jasmine’s Life

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.

January 6, 2016
David Friedman: On the Future of Transportation and the L.A. Auto Show

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.

December 30, 2015
6 Smart Energy Resolutions for 2016

Make 2016 the year you to take a few simple steps to save energy, starting with our list of energy resolutions.

December 30, 2015
Argonne National Laboratory and Capstone Turbine Corporation are exploring using microturbines in combined heat and power (CHP) systems. In the power sector, distributed energy technologies can more than double electric system efficiency through the use of CHP systems that capture and use waste heat productively instead of venting into the atmosphere. Photo credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Pilot Program Builds Sustainable Lab-Industry Partnerships for Breakthrough Manufacturing R&D

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.

December 29, 2015
Making a Difference: Solarize Programs Accelerating Solar Adoption

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.

December 29, 2015
Sandia researcher John Dec holds a specialized optical piston used in engine research at the Combustion Research Facility. | Photo courtesy of Randy Wong, Sandia National Laboratories.
Making a Difference: Heavy-Duty Combustion Engine Research Saved Billions

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).

December 22, 2015
Year in Review: Celebrating Wind Energy and Water Power

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.

December 22, 2015
Highly efficient Building America test house in Russellville, AL. Photo Courtesy: Levy Partnership
EERE Success Story—Performance Improvements for Factory-Built Homes

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. 

December 22, 2015
The three reports released by the Energy Department highlight continued strength, progress and innovation in the U.S. fuel cell hydrogen technologies market.
Energy Department Reports: U.S. Fuel Cell Market Production and Deployment Continues Strong Growth

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.

December 21, 2015
State Energy Program funds from the U.S. Department of Energy supported the installation of batteries to store energy from this solar system at Nevada's Beaver Dam State Park near the Utah border.
Nevada’s State Park System Strengthens Attractions with Solar

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.