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.
Autonomie, an advanced vehicle modeling and design software package created by Argonne National laboratory with EERE support, is helping U.S. auto manufacturers develop the next generation of hybrid and electric vehicles.
Methane is both a powerful energy source and a potent greenhouse gas. When it’s extracted from the earth as natural gas and burned for heating and electricity, it emits carbon dioxide (CO2) but burns more cleanly than some other energy sources such as coal. However, when methane escapes into the atmosphere, it traps 25 times more heat radiation than CO2. That’s why some people are concerned with the environmental consequences of methane leaks during the process of fracking.
Efficiency standards established by the Energy Department help ensure appliances used almost every day such as washer and dryers, dishwashers and refrigerator meet a minimum level of efficiency, which translates to big savings on utility bills. As manufacturers develop more advanced technologies, the Energy Department updates these standards to help consumers keep saving money.
With winter in full swing in many parts of the U.S., your thermostat may be getting more attention than usual. Whether you have a furnace, boiler, or heat pump system, you want to make sure your home stays warm—especially as holiday guests arrive. Fortunately, the Energy Department’s efforts to improve efficiency standards is paying dividends with energy bills associated with heating and appliances lower compared to past holiday seasons.
Lighting accounts for about 11% of home electricity use in the U.S. Home events with family during the holidays can lead to higher utility bills due to increased lighting use. The good news is—even with that extra light—your energy bill can still be reasonable, thanks to efficiency standards the Energy Department has implemented for light bulbs. Lighting standards in place today are projected to save U.S. households almost $7 billion in 2015 alone.
This month the EV Everywhere Utility Partnership (EV Everywhere UP) observed six months of progress with an Electric Transportation Stakeholder Summit, where partners shared successes, gained feedback and continued the collaboration. Nearly 100 stakeholders met at Ameren Corporation in St. Louis, MO to discuss ways to overcome critical barriers to mass market adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV).
EERE International works with partners in many nations to advance clean energy technology development and implementation. At conferences like COP 21, the team collaborates with foreign colleagues to provide both leadership and expertise in the areas of energy efficiency and renewable energy technology.
The Energy Department’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) is taking steps to prevent technologies developed in a laboratory from failing to successfully transition into mainstream commercial market. Five of the Energy Department’s national laboratories recently collaborated on BTO’s first National Lab Tech-to-Market Challenge and documented their progress in a video that demonstrates how government and lab teams work together to bring cutting-edge technology to the market.
Rhode Island is at the frontier of energy education, offering a state-of-the-art curriculum in many of its schools. With the help of funds from the Energy Department’s State Energy Program, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources continues its partnership with the nonprofit National Energy Education Development Project (NEED) to provide energy education materials to schools and organize workshops to train teachers on energy curricula.
EERE and the National Laboratories supported nine winners at the recent 53rd annual R&D 100 Awards. Presented to research and development teams and partnerships, these prestigious awards have identified and honored significant major technological breakthroughs every year.
Doosan Fuel Cell, a Connecticut company which designs, engineers and manufactures clean energy fuel cell systems that produce combined heat and power systems, began operations in July 2014 at its corporate headquarters outside Hartford.
West Palm Beach, FL, is an American city leading the way in energy efficiency as a partner in the Energy Department's Better Buildings Challenge. Mayor Jeri Muoio is at the COP 21 conference in Paris to discuss her city's success in planning and achieving significant reductions in energy use.
The Energy Department's report "Revolution...Now" is attracting attention at the COP 21 conference in Paris. Highlighting a clean energy future, it illustrates how government and industry investment has catalyzed research and development of five efficient and renewable energy technologies.
When one thinks of clean energy, they often think of California, who is commmitting up to $100M over five years to build 100 hydrogen stations across the state, as the biggest mover and shaker. But Colorado is quickly gaining ground when it comes to hydrogen and fuel cells.
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.