The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado is the nation's premier laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research. In this talk we will give a brief overview of NREL and then focus on some of the challenges and opportunities in meeting future global energy challenges. Computational modeling, high performance computing, data management and visual informatics is playing a key role in advancing our fundamental understanding of processes and systems at temporal and spatial scales that evade direct observation and helping meet U.S. goals for energy efficiency and clean energy production. This discussion will include details of new, highly energy efficient buildings and social behaviors impacting energy use, fundamental understanding of plants and proteins leading to lower cost renewable fuels, novel computational chemistry approaches for low cost photovoltaic materials, and computational fluid dynamics challenges in simulating complex behaviors within and between large-scale deployment of wind farms and understanding their potential impacts to local and regional climate.
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