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The EERE Blog includes updates to current Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) projects, interviews with energy experts, and success stories about EERE’s technology offices and national laboratories. Subscribe to the blog email list.

August 23, 2016
Pumped-storage hydropower is complementary to variable generation, such as wind and solar, because it can reduce curtailment of excess generation by providing load and energy storage, thus enabling greater integration of these resources into the electric power system. | <em>Map image courtesy of the Hydropower Vision report</em>
Pumped-Storage Hydropower Shows Promise for Boosting Energy Storage

As a major clean energy contributor, U.S. hydropower plays an important role today for both electricity generation and energy storage. For more than 100 years, U.S. hydropower has been an important source of low-cost, low-emissions renewable energy.

August 19, 2016
Energy By the Numbers – Weatherization Assistance Program
The History and Evolution of America’s Weatherization Network

This month marks the 40th anniversary of the Energy Department’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), which provides funding to states, territories, and tribal governments to improve the energy efficiency of the homes of low-income families, persons with disabilities, and senior citizens.

August 18, 2016
The second round of the Small Business Vouchers program introduces three new national labs with whom small businesses will partner.
Empowering Small Businesses to Expand the Clean Energy Revolution

The second round of the Small Business Vouchers program has wrapped up with 43 clean energy small businesses from across the United States being selected to connect with the top-notch scientists, engineers, and world-class facilities at the Energy Department national laboratories.

August 18, 2016
Wind turbines are soaring to record sizes. The average rotor diameter of turbines installed in 2015 grew to 102 meters, up 113 percent since 1998–1999. | National Renewable Energy Laboratory photo.
Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Wind Power

Get the details on a few of the lesser known wind energy facts.

August 18, 2016
Small-Scale Distributed Wind: Northern Power Systems 100 kW turbine at the top of Burke Mountain in East Burke, Vermont. | Photo courtesy of Northern Power Systems.
Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Distributed Wind Power

Learn about key facts related to wind turbines used in distributed applications.

August 18, 2016
A rainbow trout, one of several species of fish being tracked using PNNL's new injectable, self-charging acoustic fish tags. These devices allow scientists to research how fish migrate through waterways when encountering hydrokinetic dams. | Photo courtesy of PNNL
Self-charging Tracking Device Monitors Fish Migration through Hydroelectric Dams

In order to understand how fish swim through rivers, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has developed an injectable tracking device, known as an acoustic fish tag, with a self-charging battery. Funded by the Energy Department, this project is part of a long-term mission to contribute valuable research on fish migration through waterways when encountering hydroelectric dams. The key purpose of the study is to see whether or not fish become injured or hindered by the presence of hydroelectric devices.

August 17, 2016
The U.S. wind power market remains strong thanks to sustained low prices, rapidly increasing wind energy generation, and growing corporate demand.
Generating a Sustainable Wind Energy Future Thanks to Low Prices

We’ve come a long way since the late 1880s, when wind power was first captured to produce electricity.

August 17, 2016
A new White House report outlines the federal government’s plans to lower the cost of alternative jet fuel. | Photo courtesy of Flickr user <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/44082489@N00/7762037662/">H. Michael Miley </a> via <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode">Creative Commons</a>.
Charting A Path for Sustainable Jet Fuels

A new White House report outlines the federal government’s plans to lower the cost of alternative jet fuel.

August 16, 2016
Providing educational opportunities at the primary and secondary level is crucial to the Wind for Schools program's aim of developing a workforce for the future.
5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Wind for Schools Program

Here are five things you likely didn't know about the Department of Energy’s Wind for Schools program, which helps to develop a wind energy workforce by educating students across the country on the value of wind energy and the bright future accessible through careers in wind.

August 15, 2016
The Energy Department's Weatherization Assistance Program services every political subdivision in the country through a network of 59 grantees: 50 states, the District of Columbia, five U.S. territories, and three select Native American tribes.
Celebrating 40 Years of America’s Weatherization Assistance Program

The Energy Department is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Weatherization Assistance Program, which has retrofitted more than 7 million homes across the U.S. and has led the nation in advancing technology, research, and applied scientific practices to make homes energy efficient.

August 11, 2016
In June 2015, United Airlines announced a partnership with biofuel company Fulcrum BioEnergy to invest in future commercial-scale aviation biofuel plants. The company’s innovative technology converts household trash into low-cost, sustainable aviation biofuel. This investment adds to their agreement to purchase up to 15 million gallons of sustainable aviation biofuel from AltAir, over a three-year period. | <em>Photo courtesy of United Airlines</em>
Changing the Way We Fly: Biofuels Made from Waste Gases Reaching New Heights with Airline Industry

Booking a flight soon? You may be leaving on a plane powered by renewable bio-based jet fuel that was made from industrial waste gases.

August 10, 2016
These infographics, created by teams of high school and university students from across the country for the Geothermal Design Challenge, highlight the importance of geothermal energy for achieving a cleaner, greener energy future.
Winning Infographics Depict Future of Geothermal Energy

This year's Geothermal Design Challenge tasked teams of high school and university students to research, design, and promote their infographics that answer the questions: What is the future of geothermal and how will it impact you?

August 5, 2016
2016 BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge Winning Team: (From left to right) Maria Zeitlin (advisor), Lexington Zografakis, Sydney Bracht, and Sidney Davis were recognized by Jonathan Male, Director of the Bioenergy Technologies Office. The team and their advisor from Smithtown High School East in St. James, New York, were recognized at the Bioenergy 2016 conference for their winning infographic “Cellulosic Ethanol: Fuel of the Future.”
Winning BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge Students Recognized in Washington, D.C.

A team of students from New York were recognized in Washington, D.C., as the winners of the first national run of the BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge, which provides high school students an opportunity to combine research, graphic design, and social media to learn about bioenergy and share their knowledge.

August 4, 2016
Giant Leap Technologies uses microfluidics to bend light toward a solar at the top of the plant. Each solar thermal power plant shown is a football field in size.  |  <em>Photo courtesy of Giant Leap Technologies</em>
Cutting-Edge Science Drives SunShot Projects

The Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative funds cutting-edge science that helps dramatically reduce the cost of solar energy. Drawn from diverse inspiration in the optical and medical fields, and featuring one with new uses for sound waves, these newly announced SunShot research and development projects may hold the key to low-cost solar energy.

August 3, 2016
Video: Appliance Standards Testing Ensures Level Playing Field

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Kathleen Hogan recently toured the Intertek testing laboratory in Cortland, NY – one of the sites where the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) tests products to ensure that consumers are getting the savings promised by its federal Appliance and Equipment Standards Program. Total savings for Americans are currently estimated at more than $65 billion annually.

August 2, 2016
This solar energy system was installed at Hunt Electric, the first company in Utah to take advantage of C-PACE financing.
Utah Property Owners Benefit with PACE

An Energy Department supported financing mechanism for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements on private property is enabling state and local governments to fund the upfront cost of energy improvements, with those costs being paid back over a fixed period such as 20 years while energy expenses are reduced immediately.

August 2, 2016
As part of the Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines initiative, researchers are exploring synergies among new bio-based fuels, engines, powertrains, and fueling infrastructure. | Image by Loren Stacks, Sandia National Laboratories.
Co-Optima Initiative Fuels Combustion Engine Efficiency

The Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) initiative aims to simultaneously transform both transportation fuels and vehicles in order to maximize performance and energy efficiency, minimize environmental impact, and accelerate widespread adoption of innovative combustion strategies.

July 29, 2016
Sistine Solar’s completed SolarSkin installation on a Katahdin log cabin. The company’s SolarSkin panels seamlessly blend in with the cabin’s green roof. | Photo Courtesy of Sistine Solar
Visualizing Value: Game-Changing Solar Technologies for Homeowners

The SunShot Initiative fosters innovation, challenging the recipients of our funding to bring next-generation technologies to the market in just a few years. These new technologies can give homeowners more choices for how they want to go solar while also having a major impact on cost and ease of installation.

July 28, 2016
Paying For Solar – Tips For Financing a Residential System

After you’ve made the decision to go solar, the next step is figuring out how to pay for it. Assuming you don’t have the cash to buy your solar energy system upfront, like the vast majority of Americans, there are a variety of financing options to help you hitch onto the solar bandwagon and start increasing the value of your home.

July 27, 2016
Solar homes are being sold across the country, but they can be hard to find and compare. Teams from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Elevate Energy are working to ensure that solar is properly represented in multiple listing services. | Photos courtesy of Solar Design Associates, Namaste Solar Electric, and Decker Homes
Shopping for a Solar Home Made Easy — SunShot and the Future of Solar Home-Buying

Solar homes are being sold across the country, but they can be hard to find and compare. Teams from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Elevate Energy are working to ensure that solar is properly represented in multiple listing services, the searchable databases used by real estate professionals and house hunters.

July 26, 2016
EERE Blog
Hydropower Vision: New Report Highlights Future Pathways for U.S. Hydropower

Hydropower has been around for more than a century and is currently the nation's largest source of clean, domestic renewable electricity. Our new Hydropower Vision report explores how it could grow by 2050.

July 26, 2016
There are a lot of misconceptions about residential solar. | Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
5 Common Myths About Residential Solar

The amount of solar connected to the grid has grown exponentially in the past several years, and with all of this interest and so much information available, let’s take a moment to separate fact from fiction. The SunShot Initiative has debunked the top 5 myths about residential solar.

July 25, 2016
EERE Blog
SunShot Programs Bring Solar Energy Basics to Real Estate Pros

Recent research shows that adding solar to your home — much like renovating the kitchen or finishing the basement — can boost your home's value and resulting home sale price.

July 22, 2016
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has a new acting assistant secretary in David Friedman who plans to continue to support EERE’s clean energy revolution and help strengthen its innovation ecosystem.
Friedman Sets Sights on Accelerating America's Transition to a Clean Energy Economy

The latest issue of Amped Up! Magazine introduces the EERE's new Acting Assistant Secretary David Friedman, who plans to continue to support EERE’s clean energy revolution and help strengthen its innovation ecosystem.

July 21, 2016
This solar system, installed at a home in Santa Fe, benefitted from the New Mexico Solar Market Development Tax Credit.
Energy Department Catalyzes New Mexico Solar Boom

The Energy Department’s State Energy Program (SEP) has been critical to the expansion of solar energy in New Mexico by investing more than $2 million in in New Mexico’s State Energy Office – the Energy Conservation and Management Division. As a result, the state now ranks 13th nationally in installed solar capacity with about 2,000 residents are employed in solar as of Nov. 2015.