The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) offers opportunities for a wide range of AAAS Fellows. Learn more about the AAAS experience in EERE through firsthand fellow accounts or browse opportunities offered by EERE's programs by area of interest:
Advanced Manufacturing Office
The Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) supports early-stage research to advance innovation in U.S. manufacturing and promotes American economic growth and energy security. It is the only federal technology development office dedicated to improving the energy and material efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness of manufacturers across the industrial sector.
AMO supports EERE’s strategic goal to promote American energy through affordable and reliable energy production and use to advance economic growth and energy security. AMO brings together manufacturers, not-for-profit entities, research organizations, and academic institutions to identify challenges, catalyze innovations, and develop cutting-edge technologies for an efficient and competitive domestic manufacturing sector.
By targeting efficient manufacturing technologies, AMO drives energy productivity improvements in the U.S. manufacturing sector, efficiently uses abundant and available domestic energy resources, and supports the manufacture of clean energy products with benefits extending across the economy.
AMO pursues its goals through three subprogram approaches: individual Advanced Manufacturing Applied Research and Development (R&D) Projects, pre-commercial Advanced Manufacturing R&D Consortia, and Technology Partnerships. Given the diversity of the manufacturing sector, the Office uses a cross-cutting approach. AMO activities are designed to help bridge the gap from discovery to manufacturing so innovations important to sustained competitiveness make it into the market.
Bioenergy Technologies Office
Bioenergy Technologies Office focuses on early-stage applied research and development (R&D) of transformative, sustainable bioenergy technologies that can support a growing bioeconomy and contribute to U.S. energy security, economic productivity, and overall competitiveness. The U.S. Department of Energy is investing in cutting-edge technologies to produce biofuels and co-products from non-food sources of biomass―such as wastes and agricultural residues―and from energy crops, like switchgrass and algae.
The program’s primary focus is on R&D to produce “drop-in” biofuels that are compatible with existing fueling infrastructure and vehicles across a range of transportation modes, including renewable gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels. The program also supports early-stage R&D focused on converting biomass into high-value chemicals and products, which can enhance the economics of biofuel production and enable market competitiveness for the U.S. biofuel industry.
Buildings Technologies Office
The Building Technologies Office (BTO) supports research opportunities to transform the energy efficiency technologies that impact the largest energy system users within buildings: lighting, space conditioning and refrigeration, water heating, appliances, and miscellaneous electric loads (as well as the building envelopes themselves). BTO’s early stage R&D on advanced and trans-active controls enables industry to develop and deploy truly “smart” buildings that connect with the power grid in new and increasingly adaptive manners to help with overall electric system efficiency, resiliency and efficient energy prices across the grid.
BTO conducts building systems research that results in new knowledge and understanding of physical phenomena that occur not only at a component level but at the system and whole building levels. Through collaboration with industry, academia, and other leaders across the building sector, BTO conducts field validation and verification of solutions that help building owners and homeowners reduce energy waste.
Fuel Cell Technologies Office
The Fuel Cell Technologies Office is part of a broad portfolio of EERE activities. Recent industry estimates say the global market potential of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies can generate $2.5 trillion and 30 million jobs worldwide by 2050.
The Office focuses on early-stage innovative research and development for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies to enable stationary power, residential combined-heat-and-power systems, auxiliary power units, portable power, and mainstream transportation applications. Early-stage research includes cutting edge materials for research and discovery, including materials for advanced water splitting technologies, material-based hydrogen storage, and platinum group metal free catalysts for fuel cell stacks. The program is also researching and developing innovative hydrogen infrastructure technologies through its H2@scale initiative. During fiscal year 2018, fellows will focus on one area:
- Hydrogen Infrastructure to move hydrogen from production to use in automotive fuel cell applications
- Hydrogen Fuel R&D to identify innovative materials and pathways for hydrogen production and develop materials based hydrogen storage systems
- Fuel Cell R&D to reduce cost and improve durability through platinum group metal free catalysts and innovative electrode and membranes
Geothermal Technologies Office
The Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) focuses on harnessing geothermal energy to generate electricity and direct-use heating and cooling. GTO accelerates hydrothermal and low-temperature adoption and boldly pursues EGS as a transformative player by creating a commercial pathway to large-scale, reproducible systems. By developing and demonstrating innovative technologies, GTO’s efforts help stimulate the growth of the geothermal industry within the renewable energy sector and encourage quick adoption of technologies by the public and private sectors.
GTO works in partnership with industry, academia, and DOE's national laboratories on research and development activities focused on these areas:
Enhanced geothermal systems
Low temperature and co-produced technologies
Solar Energy Technologies Office
The Solar Energy Technologies Office supports early-stage research and development to improve the reliability and performance of solar technologies. The office invests in innovative research efforts to securely integrate more solar energy into the grid, enhance the use and storage of solar energy, and lower solar electricity costs.
Vehicle Technologies Office
The Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) funds early-stage, high-risk research on innovative vehicle and transportation technologies to strengthen national security, enable future economic growth, and increase transportation energy efficiency. VTO leverages the unique capabilities and world-class expertise of the national laboratory system to develop innovations in electrification, advanced combustion engines and fuels, advanced materials, and energy efficient mobility systems.
VTO is uniquely positioned to address early-stage challenges due to strategic public-private research partnerships with industry (e.g. U.S. DRIVE, 21st Century Truck Partnership). These partnerships leverage relevant expertise to prevent duplication of effort, focus DOE research on critical R&D barriers, and accelerate progress. VTO focuses on research that industry does not have the technical capability to undertake on its own, usually due to a high degree of scientific or technical uncertainty, or it is too far from market realization to merit industry resources. VTO’s research generates knowledge that industry can advance to deploy innovative energy technologies to support affordable, secure, and efficient transportation systems across America.
Water Power Technologies Office
Water power technologies provide dependable, renewable electricity to support domestic economic growth and energy security while ensuring the power grid reliability. The Energy Department’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) works with national laboratories, industry, academia, and other federal agencies to conduct research and development into novel technologies for both hydropower and marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) energy.
Hydropower, while the oldest and largest renewable energy resource in the U.S., can also be dispatched quickly and flexibly while supplying a full range of ancillary services that are increasingly important for reliability as the power grid continues to change and evolve. WPTO’s hydropower portfolio primarily focuses on investing in research to reduce technology costs and unlock new resources, improving the flexibility of existing and new systems, developing efficiency-boosting design and operations tools, and supplying analysis to inform permitting processes.
WPTO also investigates relatively new and cutting-edge MHK technologies, which convert the energy of waves, tides, and river and ocean currents into electricity. As an emerging technology, MHK represents a vast resource that is predictable, forecastable, and complimentary to other renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. The Office also supports the development of important testing infrastructure for these new technologies within the U.S., and works with stakeholders and other federal and state agencies to provide new science and data to improve permitting process efficiencies.