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December 6, 2011
Strains of E. coli bacteria were engineered to digest switchgrass biomass and synthesize its sugars into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. | Image courtesy of Berkeley Lab.
Advanced Biofuels: How Scientists are Engineering Bacteria to Help Drive America

Researchers at the Energy Department's Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have engineered the first strains of the bacteria to digest switchgrass biomass and synthesize its sugars into all three types of transportation fuels -- gasoline, diesel and jet fuels.

December 1, 2011
Rooftop Solar Challenge to Cut Solar's Red Tape

Today Secretary Chu announced $12 million in funding for 22 regional teams competing in the Energy Department’s Rooftop Solar Challenge. The teams will implement step-by-step actions throughout the next year to standardize permit processes, update planning and zoning codes, improve standards for connecting solar power to the electric grid, and increase access to financing. "Through this competition, the Energy Department is helping to unleash America’s solar potential by investing in projects that will make it faster, easier, and cheaper to finance and deploy solar power in communities across the country."

November 28, 2011
Thanks to Camille Beben of the Office of Management, approvals for Department directives that used to take 14 months now take less than 6 months. | DOE photo, credit Hantz Leger.
Energy Department Employees Strive to Cut Costs, Improve Efficiency

Here at the Energy Department, we are working every day to help develop a clean energy economy, create good jobs, and make sure America is competitive on the global stage.

November 28, 2011
Nuclear Systems Powering a Mission to Mars

This past weekend, the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity launched from Cape Canaveral with the most advanced payload of scientific gear ever used on the red planet -- made possible by nuclear space power systems developed by the Energy Department.

November 22, 2011
Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s main entrance is marked by a limestone sign. Several new buildings visible in the background house more than 1,000 of the lab’s 4,300 employees. | Photo courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Wising Up Uncle Sam to Cybertricks

Under Secretary for Energy Daniel Poneman discusses information technology upgrades necessary to protect nation’s vital infrastructure.

November 22, 2011
Secretary Steven Chu visited Kapolei, Hawaii, to check on the process of an integrated biorefinery project awarded $25 million through the Recovery Act to construct the facility. | Image courtesy of the Energy Department.
Secretary Chu Checks In on Biomass Pilot-Scale Facility

Secretary Steven Chu visits Kapolei, Hawaii, to check in on the progress of an integrated biorefinery project that promises to help increase the domestic production of advanced biofuels.

November 21, 2011
An aerial view of the 32-megawatt photovoltaic array of the Long Island Solar Farm, which will produce enough energy to power up to 4,500 local homes. The central Brookhaven National Laboratory campus is seen at left.
National Lab 'Flips Switch' on East Coast's Largest Solar Array

The 32-megawatt Long Island Solar Farm Project will produce enough energy to power up to 4,500 homes. The 164,312 solar panels hosted at the Lab in New York State constitute one of the largest solar farms built on federal property in the nation.

November 18, 2011
As much as half of the price of solar energy, represented in red above graph, is made up of non-hardware costs. | Data source: Goodrich et al 2011. | Image courtesy of the Energy Department's SunShot Initiative.
SunShot Incubator Spurs Solar Industry Innovation

Did you know that as much as half of the price of solar energy is made up of non-hardware costs – or “soft costs”? To jump start a decline in these non-hardware costs, the Energy Department's SunShot Initiative is investing approximately $7 million over 18 months in a new SunShot Incubator Program for Soft Cost Reduction.

November 15, 2011
An electrician foreman for the Western Area Power Administration checks a circuit breaker at the Ault Substation in eastern Colorado.  The circuit breaker, containing 85 lbs of SF6, protects equipment in the substation against damage from excessive electrical currents | Courtesy of Western Area Power Administration.
Capturing Fugitives to Reduce DOE’s GHG Emissions

Experts are hunting down fugitive carbon emissions from across 20 Energy Department laboratories, sites and program offices — and they’ve already prevented the release of more than 600,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent since 2009 -- equal to taking 140,000 cars off the road for a year.

November 14, 2011
Ultra Energy Efficient Data Center Saves NREL $200,000

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) Data Center marks a significant accomplishment in its ultra-efficiency.