Research For Our Energy Future

Energy Research at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) is leading to advances that can transcend the limitations of current technologies and may enable completely new and vastly more efficient energy systems. The strategy being employed at BNL is described in this brochure. (pdf)

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The Energy Challenge
Our nation faces a grand challenge: finding alternatives to fossil fuels and improving energy efficiency to meet our exponentially growing energy needs over the next century and beyond.

Harnessing the power of plants to fuel our future - Plants are efficient energy scavengers, using sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates and other products that fuel every living thing on Earth.

Driving Toward Alternative Fuels - About 85 percent of the nation’s energy needs are met by the combustion of fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas, and coal -- finite resources that make the United States dependent upon other countries while polluting the environment through carbon emissions.

Complex Materials
Unusual properties may lead to new superconductors - The energy systems we rely on today were designed at the start of the last century and are based on scientists’ understanding of the properties of basic materials --simple metal wires for conducting electricity, insulators for holding in heat. Brookhaven National Laboratory is home to the Center for Emergent Superconductivity, one of 46 multi-million-dollar Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) which will seek to understand the underlying nature of superconductivity in complex materials.

Last Modified: May 31, 2013

Solar Energy
Harnessing the Sun’s Power for Fuel and Electricity - The average power need of the world’s energy economy is 13 terawatts -- a thousand trillion watts of power -- and by 2050, that amount is expected to double. Fossil fuels and other non-renewable sources are not the answer to the world’s ever-expanding need for energy.

Advanced Storage Systems
Tapping Into Fuel Cells and Batteries - Imagine being able to drive a forty-mile round-trip commute every day without ever going near a gas pump. As the United States moves towards an energy economy with reduced dependence on foreign oil and fewer carbon emissions, development of alternative fuel sources and transmission of the energy they provide is only part of the equation.

Northeast Solar Energy Research Center -
As the host site for a new 32MWac solar photovoltaic plant, Brookhaven National Laboratory will have access to unique time-resolved data sets from a utility-scale solar PV plant in the Northeast.