The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced up to $130 million will be made available for cutting-edge research in biofuels, thermal storage, grid controls and solar power electronics.
Just two months after the DOE announced that six projects under the ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy) programme have attracted over $100 million in private investment, the programme has opened its fourth round of funding.
In its first year, the programme has awarded $363 million to 121 projects based in universities, small and large businesses and national labs.
The latest round promises to focus on research into creating plants that can be used to produce biofuels at lower cost, improving thermal storage technology to use with renewables like solar power or HVAC systems and developing control software to maintain the electricity grid better.
ARPA-E will also be looking for early-stage technologies that can reduce or eliminate the use of rare earth metals, which are increasingly in demand for electric vehicle motors and wind generators because of their unique properties, but are as the name hints at in short supply and expensive.
The latest funding round is also operating in collaboration with the DOE’s $112.5 million SunShot Initiative, which aims to reduce the cost of utility-scale solar facilities by 75% over the next ten years.
For further information:
US SunShot initiative invests $112.5 million to reduce costs of solar power (8-Apr)
US awards $106 million to innovative energy research (30-Apr 2010)
US invests $100 million cutting-edge energy research (4-Mar 2010)
Cutting edge energy research gets $151 million boost (29-Oct 2009)
26 April 2011