American Solar Energy Society Supports the National Renewable Energy Laboratory

In response to anticipated budget cuts, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo. on Monday announced a "voluntary separation program," offering buyouts to up to 150 employees.

In response to anticipated budget cuts, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo. on Monday announced a "voluntary separation program," offering buyouts to up to 150 employees.

In response to the news, the American Solar Energy Society expressed support for the laboratory's mission.
"Since 1974 the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has been a key driver of technology innovation in American industry," noted ASES President Susan Greene. "The lab's dramatic progress in improving the efficiency of solar and wind power in particular have triggered massive growth of clean-energy industries around the world.
"The American Solar Energy Society encourages the lab's management to preserve and expand its research programs," Greene said. "Those programs are critical to American competitiveness as renewable energy industries achieve mainstream economic vitality worldwide."
According to Bob Noun, NREL's director of external affairs, the offer will be made to all 1350 technical, nontechnical and management personnel, full time or part time, with more than a year of service. NREL's total staff, including subcontractors, is about 2600.
"The decisions will be based on the extent to which the lab will have to replace the skills and knowledge of the employee," Noun said. "We need to retain people whose skills and knowledge are essential to meeting our critical mission goals."
Those goals include ongoing development of technologies in renewable electricity generation and transportation, including fuels and vehicles. "We need to be able to advance those key technologies across the entire spectrum of innovation, from basic research to technology deployment that can have an impact on markets," Noun said.
NREL estimates that the buyout offer may cost about $8 million in separation pay and medical benefits, Noun said. "The savings will be determined by who steps up," he said. "The budget effect is hard to quantify now. Our concern is budget cuts we likely face over the next few years. But we're confident we'll be able to adjust and preserve our critical mission."

About ASES: The American Solar Energy Society is the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of renewable energy, energy efficiency and our nation's transition to a sustainable energy economy. Founded in 1954 by solar scientists, educators, professionals and solar advocates, the Society hosts the National Solar Tour, organizes the National Solar Conference and publishes SOLAR TODAY Magazine and its online editions SolarToday.org and Solar@Work. ASES founded the FindSolar.com database and website, produces original Climate Change and Green Jobs Reports, and supports grassroots advocacy initiatives. ASES advocates 50 percent of U.S. electric generation from renewable by 2050. Register for SOLAR 2012 and the World Renewable Energy Forum, coming to Denver, May Learn more about the American Solar Energy Society at In response to anticipated budget cuts, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo. on Monday announced a "voluntary separation program," offering buyouts to up to 150 employees.
In response to the news, the American Solar Energy Society expressed support for the laboratory's mission.
"Since 1974 the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has been a key driver of technology innovation in American industry," noted ASES President Susan Greene. "The lab's dramatic progress in improving the efficiency of solar and wind power in particular have triggered massive growth of clean-energy industries around the world.
"The American Solar Energy Society encourages the lab's management to preserve and expand its research programs," Greene said. "Those programs are critical to American competitiveness as renewable energy industries achieve mainstream economic vitality worldwide."
According to Bob Noun, NREL's director of external affairs, the offer will be made to all 1350 technical, nontechnical and management personnel, full time or part time, with more than a year of service. NREL's total staff, including subcontractors, is about 2600.
"The decisions will be based on the extent to which the lab will have to replace the skills and knowledge of the employee," Noun said. "We need to retain people whose skills and knowledge are essential to meeting our critical mission goals."
Those goals include ongoing development of technologies in renewable electricity generation and transportation, including fuels and vehicles. "We need to be able to advance those key technologies across the entire spectrum of innovation, from basic research to technology deployment that can have an impact on markets," Noun said.
NREL estimates that the buyout offer may cost about $8 million in separation pay and medical benefits, Noun said. "The savings will be determined by who steps up," he said. "The budget effect is hard to quantify now. Our concern is budget cuts we likely face over the next few years. But we're confident we'll be able to adjust and preserve our critical mission."

About ASES: The American Solar Energy Society is the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of renewable energy, energy efficiency and our nation's transition to a sustainable energy economy. Founded in 1954 by solar scientists, educators, professionals and solar advocates, the Society hosts the National Solar Tour, organizes the National Solar Conference and publishes SOLAR TODAY Magazine and its online editions SolarToday.org and Solar@Work. ASES founded the FindSolar.com database and website, produces original Climate Change and Green Jobs Reports, and supports grassroots advocacy initiatives. ASES advocates 50 percent of U.S. electric generation from renewable by 2050. Register for SOLAR 2012 and the World Renewable Energy Forum, coming to Denver, May Learn more about the American Solar Energy Society at ases.org.

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