Maximizing Energy Efficiency and the Use of Renewable Energy
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is strengthening America's energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality by applying its capabilities to increase the use of renewable energy and maximize energy efficiency.
With a long history of funding from DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and strong linkages to private industry, PNNL is enhancing energy efficiency and productivity, bringing clean, reliable and affordable energy technologies to the marketplace, and reducing America's dependence on imported oil. PNNL's scientific and technological contributions in this area are aligned with DOE's vision for the energy future that includes:
- Increasing efficiency in cars and trucks and powering them with clean domestic fuels
- Reducing energy costs and increasing efficiency for homes and industry
- Revitalizing the electricity infrastructure, making it more robust, and reliable
- Increasing the use of renewable resources and the quantity of power generated by homes, businesses and communities and sold back to the local generators
- Creating industrial energy parks that use and produce energy
- Improving the economy for rural America through biomass feedstocks for biorefineries that produce power, fuels, chemicals, and other valuable products
- Developing leadership in conserving energy and using renewable energy resources within the Federal Government.
PNNL's expertise in surface characterization and catalysis, systems integration and analysis, modeling and simulation, and diagnostics and prognostics provides a strong foundation that directly supports DOE mission needs related to renewable energy and energy efficiency. PNNL also is building its scientific capabilities in electrical engineering and economics to help bolster the transformation of the electrical infrastructure. To face the challenge, we are pursuing an opportunity to bring together several disparate pieces and legacy programs, including several funded by EERE and some now in the Office of Electric Transmission and Distribution, under a single strategy for the future energy system. This strategy integrates demand-side management; electricity and hydrogen generation, transmission, distribution and storage; transportation and vehicle technologies; building technologies and energy codes; and fuel and chemical production.
Partnerships, Collaborations and Leveraging Resources
Regional partnerships play an important role in PNNL's support to the EERE mission. For example, PNNL was a founding member of the Northwest Energy Technology Collaborative formed in 2002 to accelerate the growth of the energy technology industry in the Pacific Northwest. This partnership includes the Washington Technology Center, Avista Corporation, the Bonneville Power Administration, Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute, the Washington State Office of Trade and Economic Development, and the Inland Northwest Technology Education Center.
PNNL continues to invest internal resources to improve our ability to respond to DOE's needs and will continue to rely on our strong linkages with industry to leverage DOE funding from EERE, as well as funding from the Office of Fossil Energy, the Office of Science and the Office of Basic Energy Sciences, to further advance energy technologies in solid oxide fuel cell research, vehicle technologies and microtechnologies. For example, PNNL is leveraging the Office of Fossil Energy's Solid Energy Conversion Alliance, and PNNL's leadership in this alliance, to pursue the development of solid oxide fuel cells for transportation and auxiliary power.