Energy Department Awards Grants for Exotic Research

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Spurring development of the next generation of energy technologies is the goal of a new Department of Energy program that announced on Monday the awarding of more than $150 million in grants to small businesses and universities for “high-risk, high-reward” projects.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) is giving out 37 grants for research that the federal government hopes will have “a transformative impact” on the nation’s energy supply. Some of the ideas being funded involve a new kind of bioreactor that might produce gasoline using only bacteria and sunlight, and a revolutionary liquid metal battery that holds the promise of storing solar-powered energy around-the-clock and bringing greater stability to energy grids.
ARPA-E was established in 2007 by the Bush administration, which didn’t bother to fund it. It wasn’t until the adoption of the stimulus act earlier this year that the new agency received any appropriations. ARPA-E now has $400 million to spend over the next two years.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Energy Dept. Aid for Scientists on the Edge (by Matthew Wald, New York Times)
ARPA-E Deserves Support (Environmental Leader)


Leave a comment