The EERE Blog includes updates to current EERE projects, interviews with energy experts, and other stories about EERE’s technology offices and national laboratories. Subscribe to the blog email list or RSS feed.
The latest issue of EERE's Amped Up! magazine takes a closer look at the standards developed for home and work products – ranging from light bulbs, to kitchen appliances, to laundry equipment, to heating and cooling systems – that are saving Americans more energy and money every year.
National Lab-Industry Partnership Develops New Technology, Surpasses DOE Efficiency and Cost Goals
Home heating is the largest energy expense for most U.S. homeowners and accounts for nearly 30% of energy used in the nation’s residential buildings. Millions of homeowners in colder regions of the country do not have natural gas available, leaving furnaces to be fueled with heating oil, propane, or electricity. This can often result in higher heating bills for homeowners.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) recent Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines Initiative (Co-Optima) seeks to combine previously independent areas of biofuels and engine-combustion research and development to design new fuels and engines that are co-optimized—designed in tandem to maximize vehicle performance and carbon efficiency.
The solar industry recently passed a major milestone when the 1 millionth solar system was installed at a home or business in the United States. Find out what the SunShot Initiative has in store for the future of solar as it continues to spur job growth, economic activity, tax revenue and clean air to all Americans.
The Cleantech University Prize recently made two stops along the Interstate 95 corridor, with regional competitions in New Jersey and Boston. With just two regional competitions remaining, Cleantech UP teams are inching closer to the national competition in June, where they will vie for $100,000 in prizes.
The Department of Energy and Department of Transportation are natural partners when it comes to vehicle technologies. That's why the two departments have teamed up for the Smart City Challenge to spark further innovation and identify solutions to some of the world's most pressing transportation challenges.
Eight year old Simone came to the U.S. Department of Energy headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, April 28 to participate in Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. She wrote a blog post to describe her experiences and shared her pictures from the event.
The Solar Foundation is leading a team that developed the CivicPACE program through an award from the SunShot Initiative. CivicPACE addresses the underwriting and access challenges of solar financing for tax-exempt organizations, such as churches, nonprofit affordable housing, community clinics, and education institutions.
Through a project supported by the Energy Department’s Vehicle Technologies Office, researchers at Stanford University have been able to produce silicon structures for lithium-ion batteries from rice husks, a waste product of this ubiquitous agricultural crop.
Harnessing the power of water to generate electricity means finding new locations that can be upgraded with hydropower technology. The Energy Department is opening applications for a new round of funding to identify facilities that might be capable of producing electricity with the right technology. The sum of $3.5 million in funding will be awarded as incentive payments based on kilowatt hours of electricity generated.
Forty-two companies with promising energy and other cutting-edge technologies collected more than $1.69 million at the 2016 Rice Business Plan Competition in Houston, Texas, capping an annual event billed as the world’s richest and largest graduate-level student startup contest. For the second straight year, the top place in energy at the Rice competition went to a startup from Carnegie Mellon University.
Scroll through the photo gallery to see just a few of the ways the Energy Department is addressing climate change through technologies that cut carbon pollution, grow the economy and protect the planet.
Today, Earth Day celebrates its 46th birthday. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s mission is directly connected to the goals of Earth Day, supporting scientific research to find smarter ways to generate, conserve, and consume energy through renewable power sources, sustainable transportation, and energy-efficient homes, businesses and industries. Let's take a look at what our offices have done (and are doing now) to celebrate Earth Day every day.
A Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home is a high performance home so energy efficient that a renewable energy system can offset all or most of its annual energy consumption. Zero energy ready homeowners from across the U.S. discuss what they love about their homes.
Our latest summit, the American Energy & Manufacturing Competitiveness (AEMC) Northeast Regional Summit: Innovating for a Clean Energy Future, will be held on May 12 at the City College of New York. The AEMC partnership – established in 2012 – is a joint effort between the Department of Energy and the Council on Competitiveness. Registration is now open to take part in this fourth annual event.
As the solar energy industry expands, banks and investors increasingly require higher quality data and tools to quantify the risks associated with solar projects and integrating more solar assets into their portfolios. Without data standards, transactions for solar projects take longer than necessary and can require higher than normal interest rates. Solar projects can even be valued below their true worth due to the perceived risks around system performance and future profitability.
NovoMoto, a student-led startup from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, took home $50,000 after winning the Energy Department's Cleantech University Prize regional competition at the annual Clean Energy Trust Challenge in Chicago. NovoMoto's MicroPlant technology aims to provide renewable, sustainable electricity to communities in sub-Saharan Africa.
The immense challenges that New Orleans faced in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina were intensified by electric grid failures. More than 20 days after Hurricane Katrina struck, a quarter of the city's residents still didn't have power. In order to avoid massive disruptions like that in the future, the city reached out to the Energy Department to find a more resilient grid solution to power a more resilient New Orleans.
Benjamin Franklin once expressed that there are only two things you can count on in life: death and taxes. Transportation analysts might add a third item to that list – fluctuating gas prices. Our interactive timeline illustrates when and why oil prices have fluctuated over the last 40 years, and explains how the Energy Department has worked to minimize our country’s vulnerability to these price swings.
Energy and water are strongly interdependent in the U.S. economy. Electricity generation requires water, and water treatment and distribution require energy. The Energy Department has studied this water-energy nexus and it has funded state initiatives promoting both water and energy conservation.
Advances in synthetic biology—which involves engineering biological systems for new uses—can offer innovative solutions to improve advanced biofuel production. This, in turn, can speed up the development and commercialization of biofuels, making them attractive and affordable to industrial manufacturers.