National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located in Golden, Colorado, is the United States' primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a government-owned, contractor-operated facility; it is funded through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). This arrangement allows a private entity to operate the lab on behalf of the federal government under a prime contract. NREL receives funding from Congress to be applied toward research and development projects. NREL also performs research on photovoltaics (PV) under the National Center for Photovoltaics. NREL has a number of PV research capabilities including research and development, testing, and deployment. NREL's campus houses several facilities dedicated to PV research. Established in 1974, NREL began operating in 1977 as the Solar Energy Research Institute. Under the Jimmy Carter administration, it was the recipient of a large budget and its activities went beyond research and development in solar energy as it tried to popularize knowledge about already existing technologies, like passive solar, amongst the population.

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Energy & Green Tech

Achieving a national-scale, 100% renewable electric grid

With recently announced federal emissions-reduction targets, a push for national power-sector decarbonization, and plummeting wind and solar costs, the United States is poised to deploy major amounts of renewables, and fast.

Energy & Green Tech

Scientists report new synapse-like phototransistor

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed a breakthrough in energy-efficient phototransistors. Such devices could eventually help computers process visual information ...

Energy & Green Tech

The curtailment paradox in a high solar future

Rising penetrations of variable renewable energy (VRE) in power systems are expected to increase curtailment—the reduction of renewable energy delivered due to oversupply or lack of system flexibility. But while curtailment ...

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