Talk:National Renewable Energy Laboratory

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Old comments[edit]

I forgot to log in when I updated this article with the notation "added recent events," but that was me. Ginkgo100 02:55, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

I'd come here looking for information regarding NREL classifications (having found that i apparently live in an "NREL class 2" area based on winds)... perhaps a link?

"our nation"?[edit]

inappropriate style for a wikipedia-article, isn't it? wiki should be readable for more ppl than just US-citizens.. --Astat 02:12, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

This article is poorly written and has little information about the site, it's full history, it's mission and it's successes. It reads like a political statement.

Also, it's not up to date - it's now operated by a consortium lead by Battelle Memorial Institute —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:34, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Copyvio revert[edit]

I reverted back to an older version of the article. The current version was verbatim from [1], and a copyvio. eaolson 03:26, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Substantive page update by NREL PA[edit]

I just reverted a major update to the article—apparently a good faith effort by NREL PA (talk) to greatly improve the article—by someone who may be affiliated with the NREL laboratory. Rationale was a lack of verifiable citations for most of the added claims, and also that there appears to be a conflict of interest per [{WP:COI]].

Having said that, I suspect that a lot of the information that was added may be found to be, upon investigation, solid and verifiable. If so, it should be examined by someone with no conflict of interest, and then that part of the information which can be supported with inline citations may be added back to the article, as long is it does not violate WP:COPYVIO.

So we should resolve the apparent WP:COI here on the Talk page, and then interested editors can have at improving the article. Cheers. N2e (talk) 06:33, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Article Update 4-18-11[edit]

This article was updated and revised with further information on technology transfer and solar PV research as a part of the Wikipedia:WikiProject United States Public Policy as a class requirement at JMU. Ryan.ramirez (talk) 17:34, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Peer review[edit]

In my role of Online Ambassador, I am reviewing this article for content and consistency with Wikipedia guidelines. To be clear, everything mentioned below is my opinion; you may do with it what you wish.


  • You want to add some more content to the lead. The longer the article, the longer the lead should be. This should probably be 3 or 4 paragraphs long. For one, it is missing any reference to the lab's history. You should probably discuss some of the administration or at least some sort of heirerarchy of the lab (more on this below), especially since you have sections for the National Center for Photovoltaics and National Wind Technology Center (NWTC).


  • I added some links in there for you.
  • I added a {{fact}} template ([citation needed]) on one statement.
  • Chronologically, you bounce fromt he mid '80s to 2006 in one sentence. Anything happen in the late '80s, '90s, and early '00s?

Funding in 2009

  • I would suggest renaming this section 'Administration' and covering how the lab is split up. Are there different departments? Who runs the place? How much money is in its budget and where does it come from?

Commercialization and technology transfer

  • "The engineering and science behind these technology transfer successes and awards demonstrates NREL's commitment to a sustainable energy future" sounds like it's from an advertisement. Rephrase or remove.
  • Be sure to put your periods and commas before your references from now on (I fixed about a dozen in this section alone).
  • You use "U.S. industry competitiveness" twice with a couple sentences of each other. This probably means on reference is redundant. Rephrase or remove one.
  • What do you mean by "The challenge to achieving these goals is investment security." What is investment security in this context?
  • For future reference, there is almost no reason to include forced line breaks in your articles.
  • " Licensing Agreements provide industry to market and commercialize technology developed by NREL." I don't know what you mean by "provide industry to market". Can you rephrase this?
  • No need to use "U.S. Department of Energy" since it was earlier defined as "DOE". Abbreviations are more than acceptable.


  • "The STEP program focuses funding on PV solar and concentrating solar because they feel that they have the greatest potential to be cost-competitive by 2015." Rephrase 'because they feel that they have'; doesn't sound like professional writing.
  • I added another {{fact}}.

National Wind Technology Center (NWTC)

  • Not sure if you're still working on this, but the content that's there now doesn't warrant a new section. I would either expand on this section (especially since the NCPV has such detail) or move the info elsewhere.
  • Links in the text is not allowed.


  • One thing this article lacks is any coverage of criticism of the department. I'm trying to not be a huge pessimist here, but I've never heard of the place before and it sounds like it's supposed to be doing some noble work, but I've never seen evidence of a product it sold. Therefore, there's probably some opinion papers or editorials questioning the need to spend taxpayer dollars on this initiative. Have you come across anything like this?
  • You've gotten really specific on the NCPV but not so much any other topics. Are there other departments/sections within the lab that are not covered here? We can't really have such a level of detail for one group and none of others.
  • We need some examples given in the article that proves many of the statements: "Ultimately, many of the deployed technologies help mitigate the oil dependence of the United States, reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuel use, and maintain U.S. industry competitiveness." My response to this is, "Mmhmm, like what?"
  • I leave this article still wondering: does NREL come up with the advancements (and secure the patents) and give them away to private businesses?
  • References: Almost all of your references come from NREL itself. This is frowned upon. I would look at some of the loftier (and qualitative and almost opinion-based) statements and try to confirm these elsewhere. A search of the New York Times, or other big media outlets may find you similar results, which then make your article significantly more stable when it comes to references.
  • Level of detail: you have a lot of detail for some of the parts of this article (I'm specifically thinking of the 11-step process you outline). Have a look at WP:SUMMARY and judge for yourself whether you think your level of detail is appropriate. In some places, I think it goes too far.

Overall, this is pretty good. It's an interesting topic and you guys did a nice job bringing the info together. I realize the comments above look daunting probably overly negative, but that's really not how you should take them. Your work here is of good quality and it significantly adds to the coverage of this topic on Wikipedia. Let me know if you have questions. You can post them below and we can discuss. upstateNYer 20:29, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Hey, Thanks for your feedback. Sorry I havent had a chance to work on the article in a while as finals and other assignments have been consuming my time. I personally worked on the NCPV information, and I will work on the changes you suggested in the coming few weeks. As this was a class assignment, some of the issues you addressed (level of detail in some sections, lack of criticism, and content from pre-existing sections) are a result of the requirements of the assignment. Regardless, I will work on improving the article, per your suggestions, to the best of my abilities when time permits (hopefully in the next week or two). Thanks again for your help! Ryan.ramirez (talk) 05:48, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Criticism of NREL[edit]

  • NREL received only $1 million in royalty returns in 2010, reports the Denver Post, while "investing" $350 million tax dollars in research. [1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:21, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Research appears to take a backseat to funding. NREL discriminates between "regular employees" and others (contractors, post-docs, etc). This distinction is clearly indicated with an "expiration date" on the badges of non-"regular employees". In general, to become a regular employee, you have to bring or acquire your own funding. In the meanwhile, you get no health care or other benefits from NREL; furthermore, you are excluded from certain training events such as the annual "Town Hall" grant-writing meetings, where employees are monetarily compensated to write grant solicitations. The main speaker at the 2011 Town Hall meeting referred to non-NREL grant writers (e.g. independent solar technology developers) as "Clowns" and referred to the lab's acquisition of new grants as "putting money into our [NREL's] coffers".
  • Us rep. Doug Lamborn sent a letter on Thursday June 2, 2011 to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development asking that all funding be cut from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden. The letter was written by California Republican Rep. Tom McClintock, and likened NREL to a boondoggle. [2]
  • "CBS 4 Investigates NREL Running Empty Shuttle Buses" (2011 CBS4 news article): Instead of saving energy, some have wondered if the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s 2,300 workers are wasting energy and money and polluting the environment with its shuttle buses, which almost none of the employees use. [3]
  • NREL has a dedicated Communications department to facilitate pro-NREL news stories (
  • NREL's publication department censors published work on the internet, going as far as looking at metadata in Word documents found online, then contacting the authors.
Most of this criticism seems rather weak, and poorly sourced. I'm not sure that there is anything here that we can use in the article. Johnfos (talk) 04:25, 30 January 2012 (UTC)


Proposed Updates to the Article[edit]

Hi there! First off: I've got a COI. I'm part of NREL's Communication team, and I was asked to help make some updates to the article. I'm familiar with Wikipedia's rules and regulations, and I'm not going to make these edits myself. Instead, I have a draft in my sandbox. Are there any active editors on this page who could review it and see if it (or part of it) would be OK to move over?

Here's the draft. (And while it's messy, here's the comparison between my new draft and the current, live draft. It's messy, though--I moved a few paragraphs, so it's marking a lot of stuff as "new" that was actually just moved down a line or two.

Some high level stuff I did:

  • Removed the FY16 Budget section, because those listed the congressional requests for funding--not the actual amount NREL got
  • Commercialization has a different process now, so I updated that
  • Work for Others isn't called that anymore, so that's updated
  • Fixed broken links and added more (and tried to make sure everything was either using the Cite Web or Cite News link templates)
  • Removed sources when there was, for example, a paragraph where every sentence was cited to the same source (I just cited the whole paragraph to the source instead)
  • Added information on facilities.

As much as possible, I left the content from the live page alone. There's definitely language that could be cleared up/made more neutral in the live article, but I'm probably not the best person to make those.

Please feel free to chat here or on my talk page! Glad to answer any questions. Es2017 (talk) 13:15, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

After reading the comparison, I actually don't see this as an improvement, and therefore, will decline this request. jd22292 (Jalen D. Folf) (talk) 03:40, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
I disagree. Whilst I've not had time to review all the requested edits, the changes to the introduction were an improvement, and were made before you declined the request. I've changed the status to partially completed. BlackcurrantTea (talk) 04:03, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

Suggestions to Add[edit]

1. One way to improve the article is to expand on the history of the Solar Research Institute. 2. You need to add more information on the solar energy aspect. 3. Another way is to add when the national Wind Technology Center was established. 4. Consider adding more information on the National Center for Photovoltaics. 5. One last way to improve the article is to explain what photo-electrochemical materials are. JaySShieh (talk) 17:40, 15 October 2017 (UTC)