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NREL - Golden, Colorado
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located in Golden, Coloradomarker, as part of the U.S. Department of Energy, is the United Statesmarker' primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development.


Established in 1974 , NREL began operating in 1977 as the Solar Energy Research Institute. Under the Carter administration, it was the recipient of a rather large budget and its activities went beyond research and development in solar energy as it tried to popularize knowledge about already existing technologies, like passive solar amongst the population. In the Reagan years that followed the budget was cut by some 90%, many people 'reduced in force' and the activities reduced to R&D. In later years renewed interest in the energy problem improved the institute's position. But funding has fluctuated. In 2006 its funding had dropped to the point it was forced to lay off 32 workers . It was designated a national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in September 1991 and its name changed to NREL. Since its inception it has been operated under contract by the Midwest Research Institutemarker of Kansas City, Missourimarker.

NREL is the principal research laboratory for the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) which provides the majority of its funding. Other funding comes from DOE's Office of Science and Office of Electricity Transmission and Distribution.

NREL's areas of research and development expertise are:
  • Renewable electricity
  • Renewable fuels
  • Integrated energy systems
  • Strategic energy analysis

NREL's workforce consists of 1700 employees [125626]

Funding in 2009

For 2009 funding is broken down between its major groups.
  • Wind $33.9 million
  • Biofuels $35.4 million
  • Solar $72.4 million

NREL's Technology Transfer Office supports the practical deployment of technologies developed, and this often involves collaborative research projects and licensed technologies with public and private partners. NREL's innovative technologies have been recognized with 39 "R&D 100" awards. The engineering and science behind these technology transfer successes and awards demonstrates NREL's commitment to a sustainable energy future.

Dr. Dan E. Arvizu became NREL's eighth Laboratory Director in January 2005, and was previously an executive with CH2M HILL companies.

Solar cells

NREL PV R&D is performed under the National Center for Photovoltaics .

NREL tests and validates solar technologies.

See also


External links

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Arthur Nozik

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