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GOLDEN, CO - Prime Minister of Sweden Fredrik Reinfeldt today toured the Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the nation's primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development.  Prime Minister Reinfeldt toured research facilities and viewed demonstrations on solar energy, biofuels, wind power, and hybrid vehicles.  Today's visit concludes the Prime Minister's tour of the United States, which began earlier this week with a meeting with President Bush to discuss bilateral cooperation, as well as climate change and trade.

"I thank the Prime Minister for visiting the nation's premier lab for energy efficiency and renewable energy research and development," Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman said.  "Like the United States, Sweden, has set a bold vision for its energy policy.  We look forward to working with and learning from Sweden to help achieve a cleaner and more secure energy future."

"It is a great opportunity for me to visit NREL and learn more about the cutting edge technologies in energy efficiency and renewable energy.  I hope to see more cooperation between Sweden and the U.S. on research and innovation in these fields," Prime Minister Reinfeldt said.

The Prime Minister visited NREL's Alternative Fuels User Facility (AFUF), which houses the bioethanol pilot plant and other ethanol processing facilities.  The AFUF allows users to test refining and processing techniques on a small scale as a first step toward commercialization.  The tour also included reviews of NREL's work on renewable power generation facilities including wind power generation and the President's Solar America Initiative (SAI).  SAI seeks to reduce the cost of photovoltaic solar power generation, making it cost competitive with conventional forms of electricity by 2015.

The Prime Minister received a briefing on NREL's research on Zero-Energy Homes.  Through a combination of energy efficient technologies and materials, as well as on-site power generation through solar energy, Zero-Energy Homes will produce as much energy as they consume.  Research projects at NREL are helping develop the technologies and designs that will make these homes a reality.

Prime Minister Reinfeldt also toured NREL's Science and Technology Facility, recently designated as one of the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly places to work, according to the U.S. Green Buildings Council.  DOE Assistant Secretary of Energy for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander Karsner accompanied Prime Minister Reinfeldt at NREL today.  Additional information on NREL.

Media contact(s):

Julie Ruggiero, (202) 586-4940