This week U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced 43 cutting-edge research projects that aim to dramatically improve how the United States uses and produces energy. Funded with $92 million the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, the selections announced July 12th focus on accelerating innovation in green technology while increasing America's competitiveness in grid scale energy storage, power electronics and building efficiency.
"These innovative ideas will play a critical role in our energy security and economic growth," said Secretary Chu. "It is now more important than ever to invest in a new, clean energy economy."
These awards complete ARPA-E grants under the Recovery Act Funding. In 3 rounds of awards since last year, the Department of Energy has selected a total of 117 projects for $349 million in funding, supporting research that can deliver breakthrough changes in how the U.S. generates, stores, and utilizes energy.
The projects include a program to develop new storage technologies that exhibit energy, cost, and cycle life comparable to pumped hydropower, but which are modular and can be widely implemented at any location across the power grid.
General Atomics and the University of California San Diego will develop a novel flow battery technology that pumps chemicals through the battery cell when electricity is needed, revolutionizing the century-old lead-acid battery technology.
A large portion of the electricity we generate is lost before we can use it. Agile Delivery of Electrical Power Technology or ADEPT is focused on dramatically improving the efficiency and cost of power conversion and switching, among the main causes of electrical efficiency loss. One of the ADEPT projects being funded by the Department of Energy will develop advanced transistors for electrical substations that can make the electrical grid more flexible and controllable.
Buildings consume 40 percent of the primary energy in the United States and account for 40 percent of our carbon dioxide emissions. Cooling is one of the major uses of energy. The Department of Energy-funded Building Efficiency Through Innovative Thermodevices, or BEE-IT, program is focused on developing new approaches and technologies for cooling in buildings to dramatically improve energy efficiency and reduce the use of refrigerants and their impact on the environment.
The United States is committed to promoting innovative technologies that will provide the energy the world needs and while protecting the environment the world shares.