U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Commercialization

Success Stories

As new energy efficient and renewable energy technologies emerge, so do potential business opportunities. These commercialization success stories summarize some of DOE's work in commercializing products and using technologies to enhance or expand a business, enter new markets, and improve existing systems.

On this page, a "success story" is defined as a new energy efficient or renewable energy technology that:

  • Can solve or help solve an energy problem
  • Has been successfully prototyped
  • Is in the hands of technology investors

NREL and SkyFuel Partnership Reflects Bright Future for Solar Energy

For the next generation of parabolic troughs, NREL Principal Scientist Gary Jorgensen and SkyFuel Chief Technology Officer Randy Gee have developed a lower-cost, more durable solution to glass mirrors. Watch the video.

The Quest for Inexpensive Silicon Solar Cells

NREL scientists Howard Branz and Chaz Teplin have joined forces with the Ampulse Corporation and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to create a less expensive alternative to wafer crystalline silicon solar cells. They're combining a metal foil technology from ORNL with NREL's hot-wire chemical vapor deposition technology. Together, these two technologies may revolutionize photovoltaics. See the full story and video.

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Makes Cookstoves for Ethiopia

Berkeley Lab researchers, led by senior scientist Ashok Gadgil, have previously designed an efficient cookstove specifically for women living in makeshift camps for displaced persons in Darfur. In light of these achievements, the nonprofit World Vision approached Berkeley Lab to modify its Darfur stove for Ethiopia. World Vision intends for the pilot project to have a self-sustaining scale-up by taking advantage of the world carbon market. Given that each stove has a lifetime of about five years, and that one ton of carbon sells for about $14 on the carbon exchange in Europe, a stove that costs less than $25 to produce can generate $140 in income.

A factory in India has built 20 stoves per the Berkeley Lab's design, complete with ash pans, which will be shipped to Ethiopia for more extended testing by World Vision. The goal is to distribute another 1,000 for a second round of testing in fall 2010 if the tests results from the first 20 are acceptable. Read more.

Also see these stories from the Energy Blog:

JEDI helping fight for clean energy

Innovative company brings wind jobs to South Dakota

R&D 100 Awards

R&D 100 Awards have been presented to numerous national laboratories for an array of different projects. These awards highlight technologies that need an additional push from private industry toward the marketplace. According to the R&D 100 website, "winning an R&D 100 Award provides a mark of excellence known to industry, government, and academia as proof that the product is one of the most innovative ideas of the year."

Year Organization Links
2011 Argonne National Laboratory Press Release
2011 Brookhaven National Laboratory Press Release
2011 Idaho National Laboratory Press Release
2011 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Press Release
2011 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Press Release
2011 Los Alamos National Laboratory Press Release
2011 National Energy Technology Laboratory Press Release
2011 National Renewable Energy Laboratory Press Release
2011 Oak Ridge National Laboratory Press Release
2011 Pacific Northwest National Laboratories Press Release to come
2011 Sandia National Laboratories Press Release
2010 Ames National Laboratory Press Release
2010 Argonne National Laboratory Press Release
2010 Idaho National Laboratory Press Release
2010 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Press Release
2010 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Press Release
2010 Los Alamos National Laboratory Press Release
2010 National Energy Technology Laboratory Press Release
2010 National Renewable Energy Laboratory Press Release
2010 Oak Ridge National Laboratory Press Release
2010 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Press Release
2010 Sandia National Laboratory Press Release
2009 Ames National Laboratory Press Release
2009 Argonne National Laboratory Press Release
2009 Brookhaven National Laboratory Press Release
2009 Idaho National Laboratory Press Release
2009 Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory Press Release
2009 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Press Release
2009 Los Alamos National Laboratory Press Release
2009 National Energy Technology Laboratory Press Release
2009 Oak Ridge National Laboratory Press Release
2009 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Press Release
2009 Sandia National Laboratory Press Release