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DOE to grant up to $130M for renewable energy projects  

Credit:  By Matthew Lynley at VentureBeat, www.reuters.com 20 April 2011 ~~

The U.S. Department of Energy said today it will grant up to $130 million to renewable energy projects that can’t find funding from private investors.

The projects the DOE plans to fund are riskier than their solar and wind power counterparts, focusing on the research and development of technologies that are not yet commercially viable.

The funding will come from the Advanced Research Programs Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). President Barack Obama created the agency in 2009 as part of the stimulus package. The agency has so far received $363 million in federal funding, with an additional $650 million requested by the President in his budget proposal for next fiscal year.

So far, six projects funded by ARPA-E have received around $100 million in funding from private investors.

Here’s a list of the types of projects that are eligible for funding:

1. Plants Engineered to Replace Oil (PETRO, $30 million) These projects focus on genetically engineering plants to be more efficient at capturing sunlight and producing energy to drive down the cost of biofuel.

2. High Energy Advanced Thermal Storage (HEATS, $30 million) Projects that develop new techniques to store thermal energy from sunlight and other sources and transfer it across large distances are eligible under this category.

3. Rare Earth Alternatives in Critical Technologies (REACT, $30 million) This type of research aims to eliminate reliance on rare-earth metals for electric vehicles and wind turbines. Prices for rare-earth materials that are found in electric motors and wind turbines have increased between 300 and 700 percent in the past year.

4. Green Electricity Network Integration (GENI, $30 million) These projects focus on developing smart grid technology that efficiently distributes electricity produced from wind and solar power.

5. Solar Agile Delivery of Electrical Power Technology (Solar ADEPT, $10 million) This category covers research on reducing power conversion costs and increasing energy efficiency for solar power, specifically companies that develop semiconductor switches and solar energy storage.

Source:  By Matthew Lynley at VentureBeat, www.reuters.com 20 April 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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