Energy Research on a Shoestring
By CLIFFORD KRAUSS
GOLDEN, Colo. — Thirty years after it was founded by President Jimmy Carter, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory at the edge of the Rockies here still does not have a cafeteria.
Evaporation chambers for new solar energy systems look like they belong in an H. G. Wells movie. Technicians had to knock out a giant door from a testing facility to fit modern wind turbine blades, which now stick out like a bare toe from an old sock.
The hopes for this neglected lab brightened a bit just over a year ago when President Bush made the first presidential call on the lab since Mr. Carter and spelled out a vision for the not-too-distant future in which solar and wind power would help run every American home and cars would operate on biofuels made from residues of plants.
But one year after the president’s visit, the money flowing into the nation’s primary laboratory for developing renewable fuels is actually less ...full text