By Bill Farris, NREL Associate Laboratory Director for Innovation, Partnering, & Outreach

Bill Farris, NREL associate laboratory director for Innovation, Partnering, and Outreach, speaks at the 2018 NREL Partner Forum in Golden, Colorado. NREL’s collaboration with partners from industry, government, and academia allows NREL to further the science behind some of the world’s greatest energy innovations. (Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

As one of 17 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) provides direct support to numerous DOE initiatives, while also leading the national laboratory system in market-facing activities to commercialize technologies and partner with government, academia, and industry. These partnerships will help move the energy needle in a way that our planet is demanding, and the foundation for increased partnership activity has been carefully built over the past several years.

More than 12 years ago, NREL’s partnership outreach efforts accelerated with the…


By National Renewable Energy Laboratory Director Martin Keller

Five years ago, on Nov. 30, I walked into the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, as employee number 17990. Although I was familiar with the laboratory from my time at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and had met many members of the NREL Leadership Team during my interviews, stepping on campus for my first official day was different.

When I started, I had many aspirations for the laboratory. …


By Peter Green, NREL Deputy Laboratory Director

NREL’s Greg Glatzmaier determines the high-temperature thermal and mechanical stability of sealants used in a lab prototype of the integrated hydrogen sensor/separator module, an R&D 100 Award-winning project. Photo by Dennis Schroeder/NREL

People call the annual R&D 100 Awards from R&D World magazine the Academy Awards of innovation. And while that analogy may be true up to a point, I like to think the technologies spotlighted have more long-term impact than the Oscars. Breakthroughs that reduce the cost of solar energy or make wind power more available will pay dividends longer than, say, memory of the Best Actor Award winner a decade ago — no offense to Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart.

Quite simply, R&D 100 Awards are among the most prestigious science and technology…


By NREL Deputy Laboratory Director and Chief Operating Officer Julie Baker

NREL researchers were able to return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking safety precautions and remaining diligent. That lab has emerged stronger from the challenge. Photo by Dennis Schroeder/NREL

Because I started my career at the Idaho National Laboratory’s (INL) nuclear operations, I learned that labs run 24/7. I was a non-degreed operator in its Chemical Processing Plant, and things never shut down.

That key lesson has proven invaluable during the COVID-19 pandemic, as I and the Leadership Team of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have kept our lab functioning and contributing to the clean energy mission while also ensuring safety for our staff.

Maybe it’s also because I’m the mom of two…


By Adam Bratis, Associate Laboratory Director, National Renewable Energy Laboratory Associate Director

We’re becoming a society in which electricity is going to be cheaper and more abundant. Prices continue to drop as technologies keep getting better. A lot of that is driven by plentiful wind energy, solar power, and natural gas.

In this rapidly changing energy world, we should wonder: How can abundant, clean electricity affect the industrial sector and the way we manufacture things?

At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, that is one question we’re asking to guide our research during the next 10 years. And our answer is…


By Bill Tumas, Associate Laboratory Director at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory

We all know that it’s much easier to not create problems in the first place than to have to fix them later.

Throughout my career, I’ve put that principle into practice tackling waste, waste treatment, pollution prevention, and chemistry as a whole. At DuPont, I spent a lot of time on advanced oxidation technologies, which is about getting pollutants out of water to clean it up. I also helped the Army dispose of its chemical weapons stockpile. At Los Alamos, I got much more interested in not making…


By Johney Green and Juan Torres, Associate Laboratory Directors at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory

If you take a peek into the not-too-distant future of a city such as San Francisco, you may be startled to see millions and millions of smart devices using, storing, and generating electricity simultaneously.

How is that different from the system we have used?

Under the old way the electric power grid was set up, huge centralized generators sent electricity in one direction to consumers. At home, you would flip a light switch, turn on a stereo, or use a mixer. Those days are gone.


By National Renewable Energy Laboratory Director Martin Keller

During the 1980s, when military service was mandatory in Germany, I trained as part of an elite mountain brigade in the Alps. I learned some very valuable lessons.

Once, I and another alpine veteran got stuck on a ridge after misreading a map and had to navigate to safety as an avalanche roared by. Another time, I stopped and took my helmet off while descending a mountain with a visiting officer. Suddenly a large boulder came bouncing down. I saw it and pressed against the cliff as the rock narrowly missed me…


By National Renewable Energy Laboratory Director Martin Keller

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people have suffered economically. Many workers lost their jobs or got furloughed. Business owners faced unprecedented headwinds, and some enterprises had to shut permanently.

Especially at times such as this, it is vital to have organizations that help provide economic stability both locally and nationally. At this point in time, I feel very proud that at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), we have been able to continue our important mission and in doing so, create a ripple effect of benefit to other individuals and organizations.

With support…


By Martin Keller, Director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is heading “north to the future.”

On June 8, 18 researchers and staff from the Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC) in Fairbanks, Alaska, became part of NREL. CCHRC is now a center in our Mechanical and Thermal Engineering Sciences Directorate. Under terms approved by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the new NRELians will remain at CCHRC facilities in Fairbanks as a new regional office of the laboratory.

I believe our two cultures are a perfect fit because we share core values.

NREL’s…

National Renewable Energy Laboratory - NREL

From breakthroughs in fundamental science to new clean technologies to integrated energy systems that power our lives, NREL researchers are #TransformingEnergy

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