Solar industry is thriving as costs fall

Solar Industry - Solar Panels in Field

Report shows that the cost of solar energy continues to decline The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has released a new report concerning the cost of solar energy. The report covers how much the cost of solar power has fallen over the past year, particularly in the first quarter of 2017. Notably, the report comes a mere ten days before the solar industry discovered whether or not it will have to navigate new trade regulations formed by the Trump Administration. These trade regulations could have a significant impact on new solar…

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New hydrogen production record set by NREL

New Hydrogen Production Record - Bullseye

National laboratory sets a new production record Researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the United States have set a new record with a novel hydrogen production process. This process was developed more than a decade ago and involves converting sunlight into hydrogen. This hydrogen can then be used by a fuel cell system to generate electricity. In 1998, NREL set a record in converting sunlight into hydrogen using this process. Now, scientists have revisited the process in order to improve it, setting a new efficiency record. Technological…

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Rooftop solar energy could satisfy 25% of the country’s electricity needs

Solar Energy - Solar Panels on Rooftop

Solar energy could have a major impact on electricity consumption in the US Rooftop solar energy is gaining more attention in the United States and the demand for photovoltaic systems is rising among homeowners and businesses. This demand is growing due to the falling cost of solar panels, which has improved prospects for return on investment for those interested in solar energy. Currently, approximately 1.5% of all homes in the United States are equipped with their own solar power systems. This has removed the need for nearly 14 terawatt-hours of…

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NREL develops method to improve renewable hydrogen fuel production

Hydrogen Fuel Production - Renewable Energy

Researchers have found a way to improve the longevity of photocathodes Researchers from the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a new method that is meant to enhance the longevity of photocathodes in photoelectrochemical (PEC) water-splitting devices. These devices are often used to generate hydrogen fuel through the use of solar power. A PEC device could be a promising way to produce renewable hydrogen fuel, as it is reliant on solar power rather than natural gas. The relatively short longevity of the photocathodes used by these devices has…

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DOE to fund the launch of HydroGEN initiative

HydroGEN could benefit from $10 million support from DOE The U.S. Department of Energy has announced a new initiative designed to launch the HydroGEN Advanced Water Splitting Materials Consortium (HydroGEN). The consortium is meant to utilize the expertise and capabilities of the country’s national laboratories, which haven focusing more heavily on hydrogen fuel cells in recent years. HydroGEN may be able to take advantage of some $10 million in financial support, based on whether or not the Department of Energy can gain approval for this level of funding. New initiative…

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US could turn to sewage for the sake of hydrogen fuel production

Fuel cell vehicles may soon be powered by hydrogen generated through the use of sewage The United States may soon turn to sewage to power a new generation of vehicles coming to the market. These vehicles are equipped with hydrogen fuel cells. The energy systems consume hydrogen to generate electricity, but do not produce harmful emissions. Fuel cells have become very popular among automakers looking to create environmentally friendly vehicles. Fuel cell vehicles are currently in short supply, which is partly due to lacking infrastructure. Producing hydrogen through the consumption…

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HyStEP devices aims to aid in the expansion of the US hydrogen fuel infrastructure

Building new hydrogen fuel stations could become easier with the HyStEP device With automakers bringing more fuel cell vehicles to the roads, efforts to expand the hydrogen fuel infrastructure in the United States are gaining momentum. The Department of Energy, Sandia National Laboratories, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have developed a new device that may aid in the growth of the country’s hydrogen infrastructure. The Hydrogen Station Equipment Performance (HyStEP) device was developed to reduce the time it takes to commission new hydrogen fuel stations. Device aims to reduce…

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US aims to speed the development of hydrogen fuel stations

Hydrogen fuel infrastructure is becoming a priority as fuel cell vehicles begin coming to the US Fuel cell vehicles are coming to the United States, with drivers seeing more and more of these vehicles becoming available. While fuel cell vehicles are becoming more common, the number of hydrogen fuel stations available to consumers is quite low. Lacking infrastructure, among other issues, is making fuel cell vehicles less attractive to consumers, who see the low number of fueling stations and note that actually owning a fuel cell vehicle would be somewhat…

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Colorado to open its first public hydrogen fuel station

State’s first hydrogen station open to the public will soon be open in Golden, Colorado Colorado will soon open its first public hydrogen fuel station, which will be located in the City of Golden. The new fueling station is part of a large project being managed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The project, called Hydrogen Infrastructure Testing and Research Facility, involves the development of new fueling stations in support of the imminent launch of fuel cell vehicles. These vehicles require a comprehensive infrastructure in order to be successful, and…

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Wind energy could displace coal and natural gas in the US

NREL report highlights the potential for wind power to become the primary energy source of the US The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released data suggesting that wind energy may become the most prominent power source for the United States. According to the data, wind power may reach 65% capacity in the coming years, which would put it on par with conventional fossil-fuel capacity. Not only is wind capacity growing at a rapid pace, transmission lines are being improved, which is allowing wind turbines to funnel electrical power into…

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Research team finds new way to affordably produce hydrogen fuel

Micromotors have been used to generate hydrogen in an efficient manner Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, have successfully used micromotors to catalyze a reaction that has produced pure hydrogen from a salt solution. This work could eventually lead to the development of affordable and safer hydrogen fuel storage systems. These systems could be used by fuel cell vehicles, which may become a more common sight on the roadways of the United States and other countries in the coming years. Process uses sodium borohydride to produce hydrogen fuel…

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New tools aim to assist the deployment of a hydrogen fuel infrastructure

H2USA and DOE launch new tools for the hydrogen fuel space H2USA, a public-private organization, and the U.S. Department of Energy have launched new tools that are meant to aid in the development of a hydrogen fuel infrastructure. The tools, called the Hydrogen Refueling Stations Analysis Model and the Hydrogen Financial Analysis Tool, where developed by Argonne National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory respectively. They are meant to address technical and financial barriers that face the establishment of a hydrogen fuel infrastructure. One tool aims to provide information…

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Renewable energy partnership formed between US Army and NREL

The US Army is seeking to improve its energy efficiency. By partnering with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the United States Army intends to discover if net zero Army installations are possible as it seeks to bolster its energy efficiency strategies, as well as optimize its strategies for clean energy at nine of its installations. The goal is to replace 8% of the Army’s present installation energy use with renewables. If all nine military installations within the pilot project, which is better known as Net Zero Energy Installations (NZEI),…

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Wind energy may help with grid stabilization

New study highlights grid stabilization and how wind turbines might help A new study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory suggests that wind energy could stabilize the energy grid of the eastern U.S. Grid stabilization is often an issue where renewable energy is concerned. At times, clean energy systems can generate more electrical power than an energy grid can handle. Frequency regulation plays a major role in grid stabilization in the U.S., and wind turbines may be a new solution to the stabilization problem. Regulating the energy grid is no…

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NREL and GM team to make hydrogen fuel cells less expensive

High cost of fuel cells will be the focus of partnership between NREL and GM The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has partnered with General Motors in order to address the issue of the high cost of fuel cell vehicles. Hydrogen fuel cells have become quite popular in the auto industry, being used as an energy system for a new generation of zero emission vehicles. The problem, however, is that fuel cells are quite expensive. These energy systems make use of platinum, which comprises their catalysts and allows them…

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DOE awards funding to innovative hydrogen fuel projects

Agency provides $20 million in funding to ambitious research and development projects The U.S. Department of Energy is showing more support for hydrogen fuel by awarding $20 million in funding to ten research and development projects focused on hydrogen production and deployment. The federal agency has been growing more fond of hydrogen and fuel cell technology in recent years, investing money in the development of a hydrogen infrastructure and seeking ways to reduce the costs of fuel cell energy systems. The agency had once considered fuel cells to be an…

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