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Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy: Fueling Innovation
July 14, 2010
09:42 AM EDT
The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) is pursuing transformational solutions to our energy problems. Part of the Department of Energy, ARPA-E is modeled after the famed DARPA program at the Department of Defense that led to the internet, GPS, stealth airplane technology, and many other success stories. At ARPA-E, we are trying to hit clean energy home runs, not just base hits. Our goal is to drive the sort of energy innovation that can help us take the lead in high-tech clean energy manufacturing and export clean energy products to the world.
On Monday, we announced $92 million in funding for 43 advanced research projects. These projects focus on three areas that are critical to building a new energy future: grid scale energy storage, advanced power electronics, and energy efficient cooling systems.
Grid-scale energy storage
Affordable, large-scale energy storage could change the game for the U.S. electrical grid by enabling the widespread use of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power.
Advanced power electronics
A large portion of electricity is wasted before we even get to use it. Better power electronics can greatly improve the efficiency of the electric grid and of products as diverse as lights, computers, and electric vehicles.
Efficient cooling systems
Cooling is one of the major uses of energy in buildings, yet the fundamental design most buildings use for cooling has not changed since Willis Carrier invented the air conditioner in 1902.
By promoting dramatically new approaches in areas like these, we can fundamentally change the way we produce, use, and store energy and ensure that the U.S. becomes the global leader in clean energy technologies. That is how we will create new jobs, maintain America’s competitiveness, and dramatically cut our carbon pollution.
Dr. Arun Majumdar is the Director of ARPA-E