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@energy

Building America's #energy future. Reducing environmental risks. Expanding knowledge via innovative scientific research.

https://www.energy.gov/podcast

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A STRONG WIND: The numbers are in for wind! Today, the Energy Department announced the release of three market reports that show continued growth for America’s wind energy industry.

The reports document data and trends in wind installations, technologies, costs, prices, and performance through the end of 2018 for utility-scale land-based, offshore, and distributed wind.

A few highlights:
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▪️The U.S. wind industry installed 7,588 MW of capacity last year, bringing total utility-scale wind capacity to over 96 gigawatts (GW).
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▪️Wind industry employment is at an all-time high, supporting 114,000 jobs.
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▪️In total, 41 states operated utility-scale wind projects. Texas leads the nation with nearly 25 GW of wind capacity, while California, Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma have more than 5 GW.
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▪️Wind energy provides 6.5% of the nation’s electricity, more than 10% of total generation in 14 states, and more than 30% in Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma.
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▪️U.S. wind turbines in distributed applications reached a cumulative installed capacity of 1,127 MW in 2018. This capacity comes from over 83,000 turbines installed across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.
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▪️The U.S. offshore wind project development pipeline grew to a potential generating capacity of 25,824 MW across 13 states, including the Block Island Wind Farm commissioned in 2016.
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➡️See more wind stats at energy.gov/windreport.
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➡️Learn more about how the Energy Department advances wind energy technologies at energy.gov/eere/wind.
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📸Wind farm in Iowa. (Dennis Schroeder/ @nationalrenewableenergylab).

A STRONG WIND: The numbers are in for wind! Today, the Energy Department announced the release of three market reports that show continued growth for America’s wind energy industry. The reports document data and trends in wind installations, technologies, costs, prices, and performance through the end of 2018 for utility-scale land-based, offshore, and distributed wind. A few highlights: . ▪️The U.S. wind industry installed 7,588 MW of capacity last year, bringing total utility-scale wind capacity to over 96 gigawatts (GW). . ▪️Wind industry employment is at an all-time high, supporting 114,000 jobs. . ▪️In total, 41 states operated utility-scale wind projects. Texas leads the nation with nearly 25 GW of wind capacity, while California, Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma have more than 5 GW. . ▪️Wind energy provides 6.5% of the nation’s electricity, more than 10% of total generation in 14 states, and more than 30% in Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma. . ▪️U.S. wind turbines in distributed applications reached a cumulative installed capacity of 1,127 MW in 2018. This capacity comes from over 83,000 turbines installed across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. . ▪️The U.S. offshore wind project development pipeline grew to a potential generating capacity of 25,824 MW across 13 states, including the Block Island Wind Farm commissioned in 2016. . ➡️See more wind stats at energy.gov/windreport. . ➡️Learn more about how the Energy Department advances wind energy technologies at energy.gov/eere/wind. . 📸Wind farm in Iowa. (Dennis Schroeder/ @nationalrenewableenergylab ) ...

SUN RACER: ☀️🏎 College football season kicks off this weekend so we’re throwing back to a different collegiate competition that scored big points for sustainability –– the North American Solar Challenge!

The event challenged university teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered cars. Teams would race these cars across the U.S. and Canada for a shot at the title. Pictured is a University of Michigan student taking a break during a 2005 race stage in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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The competition, which started in 1990, was originally called Sunrayce and sponsored by General Motors. The Energy Department and @nationalrenewableenergylab sponsored the race in 2001, when it was renamed American Solar Challenge. In 2005, the race was rebranded as North American Solar Challenge since stages in Canada were added and the country’s Department of Natural Resources co-sponsored it.  The Energy Department stopped sponsoring the event after the 2005 race but still hosts several other college competitions and STEM-related events. Stay updated on all of them at energy.gov/STEMRising.

#ThrowbackThursday #TBT #Solar #Energy #Technology #Racing #2000s #History #STEM #STEMRising.

SUN RACER: ☀️🏎 College football season kicks off this weekend so we’re throwing back to a different collegiate competition that scored big points for sustainability –– the North American Solar Challenge! The event challenged university teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered cars. Teams would race these cars across the U.S. and Canada for a shot at the title. Pictured is a University of Michigan student taking a break during a 2005 race stage in Winnipeg, Manitoba. . The competition, which started in 1990, was originally called Sunrayce and sponsored by General Motors. The Energy Department and @nationalrenewableenergylab sponsored the race in 2001, when it was renamed American Solar Challenge. In 2005, the race was rebranded as North American Solar Challenge since stages in Canada were added and the country’s Department of Natural Resources co-sponsored it. The Energy Department stopped sponsoring the event after the 2005 race but still hosts several other college competitions and STEM-related events. Stay updated on all of them at energy.gov/STEMRising. #ThrowbackThursday #TBT #Solar #Energy #Technology #Racing #2000s #History #STEM #STEMRising ...

FLY EAGLE, FLY! 🦅

It’s #WildlifeWednesday and we’re highlighting this beautiful bald eagle, America’s national bird.
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Eagle is also the name of @nationalrenewableenergylab’s latest supercomputer, which is three times more powerful than the lab’s Peregrine system, helping researchers solve tough energy challenges using advanced simulations, modeling, and other capabilities.
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Learn more at nrel.gov.
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📸 Dennis Schroeder/NREL.

FLY EAGLE, FLY! 🦅 It’s #WildlifeWednesday and we’re highlighting this beautiful bald eagle, America’s national bird. . Eagle is also the name of @nationalrenewableenergylab ’s latest supercomputer, which is three times more powerful than the lab’s Peregrine system, helping researchers solve tough energy challenges using advanced simulations, modeling, and other capabilities. . Learn more at nrel.gov. . 📸 Dennis Schroeder/NREL ...

TIP-TOP SHAPE: Get a behind-the-scenes look at @NASAJPL's #Mars2020 rover being assembled in Pasadena, California!

Here, you can see the head of the rover's remote sensing mast, which contains the SuperCam instrument (its lens is in the large circular opening). The SuperCam project is led by the Energy Department's @LosAlamosNatLab and will zap rocks to help scientists analyze the chemical composition of the Red Planet's surface.

The Energy Department is also providing the power system for the rover, know as a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, or MMRTG for short.

The Energy Department's Office of Nuclear Energy develops, manufactures, tests and delivers radioisotope power systems for space exploration and national security missions and maintains responsibility for nuclear safety throughout all aspects of the missions.

Essentially a nuclear battery, an MMRTG can provide about 110 watts of electrical power to spacecraft and science instruments like the SuperCam during the mission. The excess heat from the generator can also keep spacecraft systems warm in cold environments.

MMRTGs convert heat from the natural decay of radioisotope materials into electricity. The generators consist of two major elements: a heat source that contains plutonium-238 and thermocouples that convert the plutonium's decay heat energy to electricity. The Department of Energy provides radioisotope power systems to @NASA for civil space applications and will insert the fuel into the MMRTG at @Idaho_National_Lab. The mission’s MMRTG will later be shipped from INL to the launch site at Cape Canaveral, Florida, for integration into the rover.

In the second photo, you can see where the MMRTG will be inserted: the aft end of the rover between the panels with gold tubing visible at the rear, which are called heat exchangers.

The process of loading the heat source into the MMRTG is timed for the mission's launch date, which is expected to be next July. The rover is expected to land on Mars in February 2021. Go to mars.nasa.gov/mars2020 to send your name to Mars and follow the mission!
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Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

TIP-TOP SHAPE: Get a behind-the-scenes look at @NASAJPL 's #Mars2020 rover being assembled in Pasadena, California! Here, you can see the head of the rover's remote sensing mast, which contains the SuperCam instrument (its lens is in the large circular opening). The SuperCam project is led by the Energy Department's @LosAlamosNatLab and will zap rocks to help scientists analyze the chemical composition of the Red Planet's surface. The Energy Department is also providing the power system for the rover, know as a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, or MMRTG for short. The Energy Department's Office of Nuclear Energy develops, manufactures, tests and delivers radioisotope power systems for space exploration and national security missions and maintains responsibility for nuclear safety throughout all aspects of the missions. Essentially a nuclear battery, an MMRTG can provide about 110 watts of electrical power to spacecraft and science instruments like the SuperCam during the mission. The excess heat from the generator can also keep spacecraft systems warm in cold environments. MMRTGs convert heat from the natural decay of radioisotope materials into electricity. The generators consist of two major elements: a heat source that contains plutonium-238 and thermocouples that convert the plutonium's decay heat energy to electricity. The Department of Energy provides radioisotope power systems to @NASA for civil space applications and will insert the fuel into the MMRTG at @Idaho_National_Lab. The mission’s MMRTG will later be shipped from INL to the launch site at Cape Canaveral, Florida, for integration into the rover. In the second photo, you can see where the MMRTG will be inserted: the aft end of the rover between the panels with gold tubing visible at the rear, which are called heat exchangers. The process of loading the heat source into the MMRTG is timed for the mission's launch date, which is expected to be next July. The rover is expected to land on Mars in February 2021. Go to mars.nasa.gov/mars2020 to send your name to Mars and follow the mission! . Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech ...

Happy #WorldPhotographyDay! 📸🎉
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We're celebrating the occasion with this beautiful shot of Diablo Dam beneath Pyramid Peak in North Cascades National Recreation Area in Washington.

It won second prize in the overall hydropower category of the #MakeASplash photo contest and was shot by Pablo McLoud.

Follow @Energy for more cool energy and science photos!.

Happy #WorldPhotographyDay ! 📸🎉 . . We're celebrating the occasion with this beautiful shot of Diablo Dam beneath Pyramid Peak in North Cascades National Recreation Area in Washington. It won second prize in the overall hydropower category of the #MakeASplash photo contest and was shot by Pablo McLoud. Follow @Energy for more cool energy and science photos! ...

Today, we're throwing back to 2011 with this photo from Reidar Hahn, @FermiLab's legendary science photographer.

You're looking at the interior of a beam tube — a crucial part of particle accelerators — being prepared to receive a thin metal coating. Particle accelerators are an important part of Fermilab's work, allowing scientists to study the smallest building blocks of matter, unlocking mysteries of the universe.

Fermilab, located outside of Chicago, was founded in 1967 and is America's leading particle physics laboratory.  Learn more at fnal.gov..

Today, we're throwing back to 2011 with this photo from Reidar Hahn, @FermiLab 's legendary science photographer. You're looking at the interior of a beam tube — a crucial part of particle accelerators — being prepared to receive a thin metal coating. Particle accelerators are an important part of Fermilab's work, allowing scientists to study the smallest building blocks of matter, unlocking mysteries of the universe. Fermilab, located outside of Chicago, was founded in 1967 and is America's leading particle physics laboratory. Learn more at fnal.gov. ...

🌸🦋🌼🦌Preserving nature and wildlife might not be top of mind when you think of the Energy Department but, it's an important part of our overall mission!

One example is the Office of Legacy Management's Fernald Preserve in southern Ohio, where you can spot wildflowers, butterflies, and other plants and animals along miles of public hiking trails.

At Fernald Preserve’s visitors center, the first building in Ohio to achieve LEED Platinum certification, you can explore the history of the area and how it transformed from a former weapons production site to a natural gem for all to enjoy. The site is open daily and located in Hamilton, Ohio. Learn more at lm.doe.gov/Fernald..

🌸🦋🌼🦌Preserving nature and wildlife might not be top of mind when you think of the Energy Department but, it's an important part of our overall mission! One example is the Office of Legacy Management's Fernald Preserve in southern Ohio, where you can spot wildflowers, butterflies, and other plants and animals along miles of public hiking trails. At Fernald Preserve’s visitors center, the first building in Ohio to achieve LEED Platinum certification, you can explore the history of the area and how it transformed from a former weapons production site to a natural gem for all to enjoy. The site is open daily and located in Hamilton, Ohio. Learn more at lm.doe.gov/Fernald. ...

10 YEARS OF LASERS: 💥💥💥You're looking at the world's most powerful and energetic laser facility ever built!

It all started 10 years ago when @Livermore_Lab's National Ignition Facility (NIF) began operations. NIF heats and compresses matter to some of the most extreme temperatures and pressures ever obtained on Earth – temperatures of 100 million degrees and pressures 100 billion times that of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Funded by the National Nuclear Security Administration (@NNSANews) as a key component of the Stockpile Stewardship Program, NIF is designed to allow unprecedented experimental access to the physics of nuclear weapons and help maintain the U.S. nuclear deterrent without further underground testing.

This knowledge helps ensure the current and future nuclear stockpile is safe, secure and effective, and helps scientists better understand the behavior of matter throughout the universe.

In the last decade, more than 2,700 experiments have been conducted by scientists and engineers. Researchers have used NIF to further understanding of weapons physics issues and applied this data to improve and constrain critical weapon simulation codes. In addition, there's b has seen significant progress toward fusion ignition, a grand scientific endeavor that requires the most extreme conditions ever obtained in the laboratory.

In addition, NIF experiments also enable university and laboratory scientists to study matter at extreme conditions in temperature and pressure, yielding new insights about the stars and the universe while revealing phenomena like the metallization of hydrogen and the interiors of distant planets.

Go to lasers.llnl.gov to learn more.
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📸 View from the bottom of NIF’s ignition chamber shows the target positioner being inserted. Pulses from NIF’s high-powered lasers race toward the Target Bay at the speed of light. They arrive at the center of the target chamber within a few trillionths of a second of each other, aligned to the accuracy of the diameter of a human hair..

10 YEARS OF LASERS: 💥💥💥You're looking at the world's most powerful and energetic laser facility ever built! It all started 10 years ago when @Livermore_Lab 's National Ignition Facility (NIF) began operations. NIF heats and compresses matter to some of the most extreme temperatures and pressures ever obtained on Earth – temperatures of 100 million degrees and pressures 100 billion times that of the Earth’s atmosphere. Funded by the National Nuclear Security Administration (@NNSANews ) as a key component of the Stockpile Stewardship Program, NIF is designed to allow unprecedented experimental access to the physics of nuclear weapons and help maintain the U.S. nuclear deterrent without further underground testing. This knowledge helps ensure the current and future nuclear stockpile is safe, secure and effective, and helps scientists better understand the behavior of matter throughout the universe. In the last decade, more than 2,700 experiments have been conducted by scientists and engineers. Researchers have used NIF to further understanding of weapons physics issues and applied this data to improve and constrain critical weapon simulation codes. In addition, there's b has seen significant progress toward fusion ignition, a grand scientific endeavor that requires the most extreme conditions ever obtained in the laboratory. In addition, NIF experiments also enable university and laboratory scientists to study matter at extreme conditions in temperature and pressure, yielding new insights about the stars and the universe while revealing phenomena like the metallization of hydrogen and the interiors of distant planets. Go to lasers.llnl.gov to learn more. . 📸 View from the bottom of NIF’s ignition chamber shows the target positioner being inserted. Pulses from NIF’s high-powered lasers race toward the Target Bay at the speed of light. They arrive at the center of the target chamber within a few trillionths of a second of each other, aligned to the accuracy of the diameter of a human hair. ...

READY FOR A CLOSE-UP: 📸The world's largest digital camera is one step closer to completion! This week, @SLAC_Lab installed 21 new state-of-the-art imaging sensor arrays called science rafts. Together, they'll take unprecedented 3,200-megapixel images of the night sky, which will produce the world's largest astrophysical movie as part of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope project.

@LSST_Astronomy, lead by @nsfgov and situated in northern Chile, is expected to start operations in the early 2020s. The project will observe the entire sky hundreds of times over 10 years, helping physicists probe questions about dark energy, dark matter, and galaxy formation. Learn more about the camera at lsst.slac.stanford.edu.
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📷@farrinabbott.

READY FOR A CLOSE-UP: 📸The world's largest digital camera is one step closer to completion! This week, @SLAC_Lab installed 21 new state-of-the-art imaging sensor arrays called science rafts. Together, they'll take unprecedented 3,200-megapixel images of the night sky, which will produce the world's largest astrophysical movie as part of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope project. @LSST_Astronomy , lead by @nsfgov and situated in northern Chile, is expected to start operations in the early 2020s. The project will observe the entire sky hundreds of times over 10 years, helping physicists probe questions about dark energy, dark matter, and galaxy formation. Learn more about the camera at lsst.slac.stanford.edu. . 📷@farrinabbott ...

⏪🕰 #ThrowbackThursday: Scientists at @BrookhavenLab have explored the subatomic world for decades using highly sophisticated technologies like this linear accelerator that was built in the 1960s and started operating in 1971.

The accelerator provided protons to Brookhaven’s Alternating Gradient Synchroton complex  and Brookhaven Linac Isotope Producer. The acclerator’s basic components included ion sources, a radiofrequency quadropole, and nine accelerator radiofrequency cavities spanning the length of a 459 foot tunnel.

Go to bnl.gov to learn about Brookhaven Lab’s latest efforts to deliver discovery science and transformative technology that powers and secures America's future..

⏪🕰 #ThrowbackThursday : Scientists at @BrookhavenLab have explored the subatomic world for decades using highly sophisticated technologies like this linear accelerator that was built in the 1960s and started operating in 1971. The accelerator provided protons to Brookhaven’s Alternating Gradient Synchroton complex and Brookhaven Linac Isotope Producer. The acclerator’s basic components included ion sources, a radiofrequency quadropole, and nine accelerator radiofrequency cavities spanning the length of a 459 foot tunnel. Go to bnl.gov to learn about Brookhaven Lab’s latest efforts to deliver discovery science and transformative technology that powers and secures America's future. ...

⚛️⚡️FUELING THE FUTURE: Tomorrow's advanced nuclear reactors will need fuels that are tough enough to operate in extreme conditions.

One example is TRi-structural ISOtropic particle fuel, or TRISO fuel for short. Each TRISO particle is made up of a uranium, carbon, and oxygen fuel kernel. The kernel is encapsulated by three layers of carbon- and ceramic-based materials, which prevent the release of radioactive fission products.

TRISO fuel particles are very robust and incredibly small, about the size of a poppy seed. These particles can be made into cylindrical pellets or billiard ball-sized spheres called “pebbles,

⚛️⚡️FUELING THE FUTURE: Tomorrow's advanced nuclear reactors will need fuels that are tough enough to operate in extreme conditions. One example is TRi-structural ISOtropic particle fuel, or TRISO fuel for short. Each TRISO particle is made up of a uranium, carbon, and oxygen fuel kernel. The kernel is encapsulated by three layers of carbon- and ceramic-based materials, which prevent the release of radioactive fission products. TRISO fuel particles are very robust and incredibly small, about the size of a poppy seed. These particles can be made into cylindrical pellets or billiard ball-sized spheres called “pebbles," which can then be used in high temperature gas or molten salt-cooled reactors. TRISO fuels are structurally resistant to factors that impact performance of traditional reactor fuels like neutron irradiation, corrosion, oxidation, and high temperatures. They can't melt in a reactor and are able to withstand extreme temperatures that are well beyond the threshold of current nuclear fuels. Go to energy.gov/ne to learn more about how the Energy Department is helping to advance these fuels and other amazing nuclear energy technologies. . 📸 @Idaho_National_Lab ...

You may not think solar ☀️and nuclear ⚛️ energy have a lot in common but they sometimes share a key ingredient: salt! 🧂

Engineers can use molten salt to fuel and cool nuclear reactors. One of the benefits of using salt as a nuclear fuel is it withstands radiation and can operate at near-normal pressure and relatively low temperatures.

Salt also remains fairly inert and stable within the nuclear fuel cycle. Now engineers at @argonne and @oakridgelab, with support from the Energy Department’s Solar Energy Technologies Office, are drawing on decades of nuclear research on salts to improve a technology called concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP). CSP plants like this Crescent Dunes Solar Energy project in Nevada use mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto receivers that collect solar energy and convert it to heat. Thermal energy can then be used to produce electricity via a turbine or heat engine driving a generator.

Scientists are working to make CSP more efficient and cost-effective than competing technologies. Commercial CSP power plants generate and store electricity by heating molten, or liquid, nitrate salts to 565 degrees Celsius. But that temperature caps the system’s efficiency and makes it difficult for reducing production costs.

Now researchers are turning to chloride salts, which can be heated to 750 degrees Celsius. At higher temperatures, CSP may yield high enough efficiencies to drive down the cost of electricity generated from CSP plants.

Go to anl.gov/news to learn more.
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📸 Julianne Boden.

You may not think solar ☀️and nuclear ⚛️ energy have a lot in common but they sometimes share a key ingredient: salt! 🧂 Engineers can use molten salt to fuel and cool nuclear reactors. One of the benefits of using salt as a nuclear fuel is it withstands radiation and can operate at near-normal pressure and relatively low temperatures. Salt also remains fairly inert and stable within the nuclear fuel cycle. Now engineers at @argonne and @oakridgelab , with support from the Energy Department’s Solar Energy Technologies Office, are drawing on decades of nuclear research on salts to improve a technology called concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP). CSP plants like this Crescent Dunes Solar Energy project in Nevada use mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto receivers that collect solar energy and convert it to heat. Thermal energy can then be used to produce electricity via a turbine or heat engine driving a generator. Scientists are working to make CSP more efficient and cost-effective than competing technologies. Commercial CSP power plants generate and store electricity by heating molten, or liquid, nitrate salts to 565 degrees Celsius. But that temperature caps the system’s efficiency and makes it difficult for reducing production costs. Now researchers are turning to chloride salts, which can be heated to 750 degrees Celsius. At higher temperatures, CSP may yield high enough efficiencies to drive down the cost of electricity generated from CSP plants. Go to anl.gov/news to learn more. . 📸 Julianne Boden ...