5 NREL Partnerships that are Transforming Energy in Aviation

Author photo: Jim Frazer
ByJim Frazer
Industry Trends

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is at the forefront of aviation innovations, partnering with a variety of Transforming Energy in Aviationstakeholders to bring sustainability to the skies.

NREL's strategic partnerships across the sustainable aviation ecosystem are vital in achieving deep decarbonization goals. Brett Oakleaf, the strategic partnership manager leading NREL's sustainable aviation collaborations, emphasizes the need for collaboration with industry leaders and federal agencies to address future challenges.

Important NREL's Partnerships

U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO):

  • Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF): NREL conducted a study at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, demonstrating the viability of SAF.

  • Seaweed and Wood Waste Conversion: A partnership aims to turn seaweed and wood waste into SAF and graphite for electric vehicle batteries.

Colorado Division of Aeronautics:

  • Sustainable Aviation Technologies: Collaborating with NREL to study the introduction of alternatively powered aircraft in Colorado.

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW):

  • Electric Bus Deployment Strategies: NREL developed a simulation-based optimization model for effective electric bus deployment.

  • Energy Efficiency Goals: Strategies include digital wayfinding technologies and optimizing buildings.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA):

  • Cybersecurity in Electric Aviation: NREL partnered with the FAA to review cybersecurity needs as airports embrace electrification.

Department of Defense AFWERX:

  • Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) Technologies: A partnership with the Air Force's AFWERX division to develop electric and hybrid electric aircraft technologies.

NREL's partnerships are shaping the future of sustainable aviation, from fuel innovations to electric transportation within airports. These collaborations are not only paving the way for a greener future but also addressing vital aspects like cybersecurity and technological advancements.


For a comprehensive look at these five initiatives, visit 5 NREL Partnerships Transforming Energy in Aviation

Technology professionals looking to explore sustainable solutions in aviation can find inspiration and opportunities for collaboration NREL News.

Lastly, if you or your organization is Interested in partnering with NREL or learning more about their sustainable aviation and transportation research, please contact Brett Oakleaf at [email protected]  or sign up for NREL's quarterly transportation and mobility research newsletter


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