US National Renewable Energy Lab trims staff - report
Solar cells. Author: Martin Abegglen. License: Creative Commons. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic
The US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) made 15 solar researches redundant on Monday and aims to further trim staff, the Denver Business Journal reported this week, citing a spokesman for the lab.
The additional headcount reduction at the facility in Golden, Colorado is expected to happen through voluntary buyouts by between 50 and 60 people in "support" departments such public affairs and business administration.
The cuts, which represent less than 5% of the lab's 1,600 staff, are due to less funding being appropriated by Congress.
The money for solar research has dropped by 19% over the last three federal fiscal years to USD 233 million (EUR 206m) in fiscal 2015, spokesman George Douglas was cited as saying. The Department of Energy (DoE) has shifted some of the available financing to the SunShot project, which aims to make solar more competitive and in which NREL is not so involved as it is outside its focus on science.
The cuts also reflect a bid to reduce overheads as Douglas said the lab's overall funding had been flat for three years but the cost of business had increased.