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.
Some of the most remote areas in the United States were also some of the last places to get access to electricity, with as many as nine out of ten rural homes without electricity in the mid-1930s. After President Roosevelt created the Rural Electrification Administration, things began to change. Roosevelt’s New Deal era sparked the creation of today’s 900 electric cooperatives (co-ops) that power the homes of more than 42 million Americans across 47 states.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory published an article in Scientific Reports on its new method to directly convert biomass-derived ethanol to a hydrocarbon blendstock and is continuing work with Vertimass, LLC. to commercialize it.
The SunShot Initiative works with utilities to help generate, integrate, and distribute solar energy. EERE recently announced $18 million in funding for projects with utilities, potentially allowing hundreds of gigawatts of solar energy to be added to the grid.
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.
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.
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.