The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $156 million to its Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program to support 60 initiatives relegated to renewable power.
The projects focus on accelerating innovations in clean technology while increasing U.S. competitiveness in rare-earth alternatives and breakthroughs in biofuels, thermal storage, grid controls and solar power electronics, according to the DOE.
‘These innovative projects are at the forefront of a new technological frontier that plays a critical role in our future energy security and economic growth,’ says Arun Majumdar, director of ARPA-E. ‘It is now more important than ever to invest in game-changing ideas that will build the technological infrastructure for a new, clean energy economy.’
The projects selected are located in 25 states, with 50% of projects led by universities, 23% by small businesses, 12% by large businesses, 13% by national labs, and 2% by nonprofits.
For example, the University of Houston, in conjunction with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, SuperPower, Tai-Yang Research and TECOWestinghouse Motor Co., will work to develop a new, low-cost superconducting wire that can be used in future advanced wind turbine generators.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, in conjunction with Ames Laboratory, Electron Energy Corp., United Technologies Research Center, the University of Maryland and the University of Texas at Arlington, will work to reduce the cost of wind turbines and electric vehicles by developing a new alternative to rare-earth permanent magnets based on a composite that uses manganese materials. These manganese composite magnets hold the potential to double the magnetic strength relative to those being used today.
For a complete list of projects, visit arpa-e.energy.gov.