Located in Golden, Colorado, NREL is the United States primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. Currently NREL is funded through the Department of Energy and receives the majority of funding from the DOEs Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
NREL’s mission and strategy are focused on advancing the U.S. Department of Energy’s and our nation’s energy goals. The laboratory’s scientists and researchers support critical market objectives to accelerate research from scientific innovations, such as advancements to the photovoltaic cell solar panels, to market-viable alternative energy solutions.
Established in 1974, NREL began operating in 1977 as the Solar Energy Research Institute. NREL found early success under the Jimmy Carter Administration, receiving large amounts of funding, using the research to expand the populations knowledge concerning solar power. However, during the Ronald Reagan Administration, funding was cut by 90%. Since then funding has fluctuated.
In 1991, the name was changed to NREL and was designated a national laboratory of the Department of Energy. Currently, NREL is managed for the Department of Energy under the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.
NREL’s R&D areas of expertise are:
- Renewable electricity
- Renewable fuels
- Integrated energy system engineering and testing
- Strategic energy analysis
Learn more about NREL:
Post written by: David Zamostny, Solar Energy World Intern
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