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.
Being able to go on long trips running on electricity has always been the Holy Grail of plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) owners. In comparison to conventional vehicles, which can run for 300 miles or more on a tank of gas, most all-electric vehicles have ranges of less than 100 miles. In addition, while it seems like there is a gas station on every corner, public charging stations are rarer. While range is typically not an issue for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that have a back-up gasoline engine, public infrastructure can help increase the amount of time they can run on electricity.
The Energy Department is providing $4 million in funding to develop new technologies to locate and extract valuable rare earth elements from fluids produced by geothermal and other deep earth drilling.
The EV Everywhere Workplace Charging Challenge is celebrating a major milestone – it’s now halfway to its goal of 500 Challenge partners committed to installing workplace charging for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) by 2018. Since its launch nearly three years ago, more than 250 employers have joined as Challenge partners and the installation of workplace charging as a sustainable business practice is growing across the United States.
The DuPont cellulosic ethanol facility opened in Nevada, Iowa, last month and is the largest cellulosic ethanol plant in the world. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Director, Jonathan Male, alongside senior government officials, DuPont leaders and staff, and local farmers attended the grand opening ceremony and plant tour.
Support from the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) has helped the USDA develop shelters for agricultural equipment that are also generate solar power. The "Solar Shaded AgPort" is a model of interagency cooperation that yields a harvest of savings for American farmers.
With winter approaching, our office recently joined states and the District of Columbia in recognizing National Weatherization Day on October 30. It’s a day set aside to honor government, private, and nonprofit advocates responsible for upgrading energy efficiency in thousands of American homes. We’re proud to recognize weatherization professionals working to ensure that every American has a safe, efficient structure that’s comfortable in every season. Weatherization saves money for families, improves health and safety for home occupants, supports thousands of jobs, and reduces carbon pollution.
The 2015 Quadrennial Technology Review is the Energy Department's strategic document, evaluating progress in clean and sustainable energy and efficient technologies over the past four years. It provides a benchmark and blueprint both in guiding our efforts at improving America's energy future.
Before you hit the road to visit relatives or friends this holiday season, you’ll probably stop at the gas station to fuel up. The Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office invests in research and development to help commercialize biofuels—liquid fuels produced from plant sources—to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, build the economy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While you’re at the gas pump, pay attention to a few things. There are several biofuel options already available to you today, and the Energy Department is working to bring other second-generation biofuel options to a pump near you.
The Schneider family continues a family legacy of developing new hydropower technologies through their company, Natel Energy. Apple is now buying power from a hydropower installation of theirs in Oregon.
Last week, the EERE Lab-Corps Initiative graduated its first class of top scientists who’ve gone back to school to gain an entrepreneurial education. With technologies ranging from bioenergy to building efficiencies, this $2.3 million pilot program, managed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), trains top lab researchers across the nation on how to move high-impact national laboratory-invented technologies into the market.
Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall met recently with participants in the National Community Solar Partnership Workshop at the White House. Supported by DOE's SunShot Initiative, this group is seeking ways to expand solar power in communities in a variety of ways.
On a bright, crisp October morning in Iowa, I had the privilege to speak at the grand opening of DuPont’s cellulosic ethanol biorefinery—the fourth biorefinery of its kind in the United States and the largest in the world. This impressive plant is equipped to produce 30 million gallons of ethanol each year from the leftover stalks and leaves of the corn plant, called corn stover.
The promise and appeal of renewable energy has long been clear: clean, inexhaustible, domestically sourced electricity could lead to enormous environmental, economic and resiliency benefits. For many years, the narrative included the caveat “…but it’s too expensive.” That story is changing fast, however, thanks to falling renewable energy technology costs, which should help renewable energy continue to grow across the United States.
Energy storage and nanotechnology have the potential to transform the way we look at clean energy. Advances in energy storage research will revolutionize the way the world generates and stores energy, democratizing the delivery of electricity. Grid-level storage can help reduce carbon emissions through the increased adoption of renewable energy and use of electric vehicles while helping bring electricity to developing parts of the world.
And they’re off! After more than a year since the announcement of available funding, the project teams selected for our Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) each hosted our geothermal experts at their candidate sites this fall. We’re calling it our road trip through the geothermal frontier.
In September, the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) announced successful efforts of the the lab’s Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) demonstration. The nine-month project reached its goal of 3D-printing an alternative fuel vehicle and a paired building structure, both featuring the unique ability to power one another.
An innovative technique developed by a small business in Indiana could be used to improve two seemingly unrelated products: biofuels and barbecue potato chips. Spero Energy, started by researchers at Purdue University, has created a cost effective process that converts sustainable wood sources into renewable chemicals for the flavor and fragrance industry, including those used in barbecue potato chips and other smoky flavored foods.
STEM Mentoring Cafés - sponsored in part by the Energy Department - engage middle schoolers with science and technology professionals at local science centers and museums nationwide to inspire them to learn about a broad spectrum of energy-related career fields.
Military veterans returning to the workforce possess unique skills, knowledge, and experience to help advance the federal government’s clean energy initiatives. Over the summer, the Energy Department’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) hosted nine military veteran student interns through the DOE Scholars Program, where each participant worked closely with leaders in advancing clean energy technologies, supporting greater national energy security.
Some of our greatest successes at the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy are when the technologies developed with our funding are purchased and put to use by the private sector.
Through the Energy Department’s partnership with the federal Joining Forces campaign, companies from the energy, manufacturing, transportation, and information technology sectors have committed to hiring approximately 90,000 veterans and military spouses through 2020. EERE works with partners to connect skilled veterans with careers in the clean energy sector.