For more than 40 years, researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., have helped make wind and solar energy a viable alternative to fossil fuels.
Now the laboratory itself is ready to make the switch.
On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm traveled to NREL to announce Net Zero Labs, a $38 million initiative to begin eliminating the climate impact of the 17 national laboratories overseen by the U.S. Department of Energy. The agency plans to pilot the effort at NREL and three other national laboratories.
Granholm said the initiative would demonstrate how other industries and government facilities can eliminate their planet-warming footprint by focusing on research centers with supercomputers and other energy-hungry equipment.
"Scientists are telling us we got to get to net-zero by 2050," Granholm said. "That means we got to deploy, deploy, deploy. It also means we got to innovate, innovate, innovate."