Every year, it becomes even more affordable to “go solar.” However, one thing remains consistent: the non-hardware, or “soft” costs related to permitting, installation, and maintenance account for more than half of the cost of an installed rooftop solar array. The SunShot Initiative’s Rooftop Solar Challenge funding program is successfully reducing these costs and providing a framework for others to do the same.
The ARIES Collaborative, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building America research team, recently developed and evaluated methods to reduce energy use in factory-built housing, as compared to best practice HUD-code construction. The results of this research prove that it is technically feasible to construct factory-built homes to be up to 50% more energy efficient for nominal increased cost.
The DOE Office of Indian Energy, with support from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is offering an interactive workshop at the Agua Caliente Resort and Casino in Rancho Mirage, California, that that will walk participants through the process for developing community-scale renewable energy projects on tribal lands.
The Electric Utility Consultants, Inc. (EUCI) is hosting a two-day conference on key considerations when designing tribal projects to improve feasibility, assess risks and opportunities of active versus passive tribal participation in energy transactions, identify unique legal issues, and more.
Renewable chemical company Genomatica made significant progress toward increasing the range of feedstocks that can be used to commercially produce high-quality bio-based chemicals, in a project funded by the Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO). Genomatica improved the biochemical conversion of cellulosic sugars to 1,4-butanediol (BDO), a chemical used in products such as hard plastics used in computer keyboards, Invista’s Lycra® spandex, and high-performance fabrics.
Algae are a promising source of renewable biofuels and bioproducts, and researchers at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California, are taking a step toward realizing the promise of sustainable, cost-effective algal biofuels for the American public.