Public Release: 30-Sep-2015 Price of solar energy in the United States has fallen to 5¢/kWh on average
Solar energy pricing is at an all-time low, according to a new report released by Berkeley Lab. Driven by lower installed costs, improved project performance, and a race to build projects ahead of a reduction in a key federal incentive, utility-scale solar project developers have been negotiating power sales agreements with utilities at prices averaging just 5¢/kWh.
US Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Public Release: 25-Sep-2015
ChemSusChem ORNL demonstrates road to supercapacitors for scrap tires
Some of the 300 million tires discarded each year in the United States alone could be used in supercapacitors for vehicles and the electric grid using a technology developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Drexel University.
Public Release: 24-Sep-2015
Science The rise of X-ray beam chemistry
By using powerful photon beams generated by the Advanced Photon Source, a DOE User Facility, researchers have shown that they can now control the chemical environment and provide nanoscale structural detail while simultaneously imaging the mineral calcite as it is pushed to its extremes.
Geosciences Research Program of the Office of Basic Energy Sciences
Public Release: 24-Sep-2015
Journal of the American Chemical Society Los Alamos explores hybrid ultrasmall gold nanocluster for enzymatic fuel cells
With fossil-fuel sources dwindling, better biofuel cell design is a strong candidate in the energy field. In research published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Los Alamos researchers and external collaborators synthesized and characterized a new DNA-templated gold nanocluster (AuNC) that could resolve a critical methodological barrier for efficient biofuel cell design.
Public Release: 23-Sep-2015 ORNL integrated energy demo connects 3-D printed building, vehicle
A research demonstration unveiled today at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory combines clean energy technologies into a 3-D printed building and vehicle to showcase a new approach to energy use, storage and consumption.
Public Release: 22-Sep-2015 NREL collaborates with trucking industry to prioritize R&D opportunities
Six to seven seconds -- that's the typical time between a pair of tractor-trailers traveling together at 65 mph. But, through the work of the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and its partners in the medium- and heavy-duty truck market, that gap may be shrinking.
Public Release: 22-Sep-2015 Vision for NREL technology has entrepreneur seeing clearly
A serial entrepreneur with four companies to his credit, Loren Burnett found the makings of his fifth at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
The founder, chairman, and CEO of what is now called e-Chromic Technologies Inc., Burnett was looking for a technology with a potentially huge market, something unique and easily understood that wouldn't take a decade and tens of millions of dollars to turn into a product
Public Release: 22-Sep-2015 NREL signs agreement with China's national utility
Representatives of the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and China's State Grid Energy Research Institute today signed a first-ever memorandum of understanding between the two organizations.
Public Release: 22-Sep-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences A new view of the content of Earth's core
There is more oxygen in the core of Earth than originally thought. Lawrence Livermore geologist Rick Ryerson and international colleagues discovered some new findings about Earth's core and mantle by considering their geophysical and geochemical signatures together.
Public Release: 22-Sep-2015
Nature Communications Dirty, crusty meals fit for (long-dormant) microbes
Deploying a set of tools he calls 'exometabolomics,' Trent Northen, a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, and his team harnessed the analytical capabilities of the latest mass spectrometry techniques to quantitatively measure how individual microbes and the biocrust community transform complex mixtures of metabolites, in this case, from soil. The study published Sept. 22, 2015 in Nature Communications.
Public Release: 16-Sep-2015 Lawrence Livermore National Lab to explore spectral imaging to detect moisture in solar cells
Over the next two years, Mihail Bora, a Materials Engineering Division research team member at the Lab, will try to prove that spectral imaging can be used to evaluate the moisture content of PV modules and to create two-dimensional maps and models of water concentration. Bora will then use these results as a screening tool to help protect the modules from water damage. Water ingress can cause corrosion of metal parts, delamination and decrease the efficiency of solar cells.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 11-Sep-2015
Nature Extreme pressure causes osmium to change state of matter
Using metallic osmium in experimentation, an international group of researchers have demonstrated that ultra-high pressures cause core electrons to interplay, which results in experimentally observed anomalies in the compression behavior of the material.
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, Swedish Research Council, Swedish Government, Swedish e-Science Research Center
Public Release: 8-Sep-2015 Wirth Chair honors NREL's Dan Arvizu
Dr. Dan E. Arvizu was honored at the 16th annual Wirth Chair Sustainability Awards Luncheon in Denver today for his longtime leadership at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The longest-serving director and chief executive in the research organization's history, Arvizu is retiring after 10 years at its helm.
Public Release: 2-Sep-2015
Chemical Communications Making fuel from light
Photosynthesis has given life to the planet. While scientists have been studying and mimicking the natural phenomenon in the laboratory for years, understanding how to replicate the chemical process behind it has largely remained a mystery -- until now.
DOE/Basic Energy Sciences
Public Release: 1-Sep-2015
ACS Photonics Made from solar concentrate
A team of scientists with Berkeley Lab and the University of Illinois created solar cells that collect higher energy photons at 30 times the concentration of conventional solar cells, the highest luminescent concentration factor ever recorded.
DOE/Office of Science
Public Release: 31-Aug-2015
Energy Efficiency Gaming computers offer huge, untapped energy savings potential
In the world of computer gaming, bragging rights are accorded to those who can boast of blazing-fast graphics cards, the most powerful processors, the highest-resolution monitors, and the coolest decorative lighting. They are not bestowed upon those crowing about the energy efficiency of their system. If they were, gaming computers worldwide might well be consuming billions of dollars less in electricity use annually, with no loss in performance, according to new research from Berkeley Lab.
Public Release: 27-Aug-2015
Science Express Soaking up carbon dioxide and turning it into valuable products
Berkeley Lab researchers have incorporated molecules of porphyrin CO2 catalysts into the sponge-like crystals of covalent organic frameworks (COFs) to create a molecular system that not only absorbs carbon dioxide, but also selectively reduces it to CO, a primary building block for a wide range of chemical products.
Public Release: 25-Aug-2015 NREL helps federal agencies reach new efficiency targets
When it comes to energy use, what the federal government wants is more of less. That means fewer greenhouse gases, fewer buildings powered solely by electricity generated from fossil fuels, and fewer gas-guzzling fleets on the road.
Public Release: 25-Aug-2015 NREL leads effort to get traffic moving in right direction
The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory will serve as the lead organization in developing a tool travelers and transportation officials can use in helping guide people through a city in the most energy-efficient way possible.
Public Release: 25-Aug-2015 IT industry's renewable energy procurement is significant, set to climb
The percentage of renewable electricity purchased by US companies in the information and communication technology sector is growing and will likely increase significantly by the start of the next decade, according to a first-ever analysis by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Public Release: 24-Aug-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Another milestone in hybrid artificial photosynthesis
Berkeley Lab researchers using a bioinorganic hybrid approach to artificial photosynthesis have combined semiconducting nanowires with select microbes to create a system that produces renewable molecular hydrogen and uses it to synthesize carbon dioxide into methane, the primary constituent of natural gas.
The Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.