Skip to Main Content U.S. Department of Energy
Energy and Environment,

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Mike Rinker

(509) 375-6623

At PNNL, we believe that greater energy efficiency throughout buildings, improved technologies for enabling renewables – such as wind, water, solar, and biomass – and new vehicle technology, including storage systems for electric vehicles, can lead to timely solutions to our nation's energy challenges. We are a team of chemical, environmental, and materials scientists, economists, and engineers who are finding more efficient ways to use energy resources in transportation, buildings, and industry, and advancing clean, renewable energy.

Buildings account for 40 percent of energy consumption in the United States – more than any other sector in our economy. Residential and commercial buildings use energy daily for heating and cooling, lighting and water, and to run appliances and electronics. Much of this energy comes from burning coal or natural gas, which releases carbon dioxide – the most abundant of greenhouse gases – into the atmosphere. Automobiles present similar issues, but with a variety of alternative fuels and advancing vehicle technologies, they are creating less greenhouse gas emissions and reducing our dependence on foreign oils. PNNL's expertise in bioenergy, including catalysis for bio-diesel and jet fuels, has led to cleaner exhaust, petroleum alternatives, and the advancement of the transportation industry.

Our science base is also the foundation of a long history addressing national challenges in renewable energy. For example, PNNL leadership in science and engineering for sustainable hydropower in the Pacific Northwest is leading to increased fish passage safety and optimized hydroelectric power plants that can be applied at the national scale. Efficient and environmentally friendly energy generation is essential for meeting the demands of a growing consumer base.

  • Daniel Deng Recognized for Exceptional Engineering

    Daniel Deng Recognized for Exceptional Engineering

    Congratulations to scientist Daniel Dang, recipient of PNNL's Exceptional Engineering Achievement Award. Deng was recognized for his exceptional engineering contributions in aquatic acoustic technologies, establishing PNNL as the world's leading institution in understanding and mitigating environmental impacts of waterpower systems.

  • New Commercial Lighting in Store to Slash Energy Bills

    New Commercial Lighting in Store to Slash Energy Bills

    If every troffer in the U.S. was replaced with troffers that comply with this specification, the nation could save approximately 4 billion dollars.

  • PNNL Tests Fish Immobilization Gloves

    The Gloves are... on: PNNL Tests Fish Immobilization Gloves

    PNNL tested Smith-Root's fish immobilization gloves and found them to be effective in handling and immobilizing fish. The gloves can be used as an alternative to sedatives, which requires that fish be held for 21 days before being rereleased in the wild.

  • Turn Baby, Turn: Small Wind Exports Generate more than Power

    Turn Baby, Turn: Small Wind Exports Generate more than Power

    According to the 2014 Distributed Wind Market Report—prepared by PNNL researchers in conjunction with the DOE’s Wind and Water Power Technologies Office—nearly 74,000 distributed wind turbines are now in operation within the U.S., totaling 906 megawatts of power.

  • Everything Home Buyers Need to Know About Green Homes

    Everything Home Buyers Need to Know About Green Homes

    Tour of Zero is a one-stop web tool for home buyers to browse reputable builders, photos, floorplans, and videos of award-winning homes that meet the strict energy efficiency requirements of the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program.

  • New Commercial Lighting in Store to Slash Energy Bills

    PNNL Research Featured in Special Issue Exploring Lithium Sulfur Battery Technology

    An August 2015 special issue of the journal Advanced Energy Materials explores the different facets of lithium sulfur battery technology and points out the main concerns and problems revealed by current research. The special issue includes three invited papers by PNNL researchers, including Jie Xiao, who is also the guest editor.

  • Renewable Fuel Options, Fish Tags, and Energy Forecasts: A Few of R&D Magazine’s Favorite Things

    Renewable Fuel Options, Fish Tags, and Energy Forecasts: A Few of R&D Magazine's Favorite Things

    The editors of R&D Magazine have announced their finalists for the 2015 R&D 100 Awards, and three of them are from PNNL's Energy and Environment Directorate. From renewable fuel options, to injectable tags for tracking fish, and a new system for forecasting energy availability, here is a quick summary of our finalists.

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas