The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is focusing most of its research and development budget on emerging technologies in solid-state lighting (SSL).
According to Mary Colvin Werner, technology manager for the building technologies program at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO, buildings account for 71 percent of total electricity consumption in the United States, and for commercial buildings, the largest portion of energy consumption (25 percent) is from lighting.
"Of all the building efficiency technologies the DOE is looking at, solid-state lighting is receiving the most research dollars, by far," says Werner. The DOE of pouring 60 percent of its buildings R&D budget for emerging technologies into SSL. The remaining funding is directed at building envelope (22 percent), space conditioning and refrigeration (9 percent), and analysis tools and design strategies (9 percent).
The SSL research activities represent an essential component of the DOE's strategy for achieving zero-energy buildings - buildings that produce as much energy as they use. The development of highly efficient, cost-effective SSL technologies, along with advanced windows and space heating and cooling technologies, can help reduce total building energy use by 60 to 70 percent. This improvement in component and system energy efficiency, coupled with onsite renewable energy supply systems, can result in marketable net-zero energy buildings.
For more information, visit (www.nrel.gov