The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the nation's primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency R&D. Established in 1974, NREL began operating in 1977 as the Solar Energy Research Institute. It was designated a national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in September 1991 and its name changed to NREL.
NREL is the principal research laboratory for the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and also provides research expertise for DOE's Office of Science, and the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. NREL is managed for DOE by Midwest Research Institute and Battelle.
NREL's mission and strategy are focused on increasing the impact on the U.S. Department of Energy's and our nation's energy goals by meeting market objectives to accelerate the research path from scientific innovations to market-viable alternative energy solutions. At the core of this strategic direction are NREL's research and technology development areas. NREL's research and technology areas span from understanding the resource, its conversion to electricity and fuels, and ultimately to its use in homes, buildings and vehicles. Thereby directly contributing to our nation's goal for finding new renewable ways to power our homes, businesses, and cars.