ARPA-E: 43 Grants Announced

U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced this week 43 cutting-edge research projects that aim to dramatically improve how the U.S. uses and produces energy (pdf).

Funded with $92 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), this week’s selections focus on accelerating innovation in green technology, grid scale energy storage, power electronics and building efficiency.

ARPA-E was funded for the first time last year with a $400 million budget to award grants for breakthrough clean-energy technologies. ARPA-E projects in 17 states were awarded this April.

The ARPA-E Summit last March, was captured by Martin LaMonica for C/Net. ARPA-E announced grant solicitations earlier this year for grid storage to complement wind and solar power. The agency has already awarded $151 million to researchers developing methods for storing carbon dioxide underground and improving electric vehicle energy storage.

Meanwhile, General Electric and four venture-capital companies are putting up $200 million to award entrepreneurs for coming up with innovative ways to modernize the electricity grid.

At an event at San Francisco this week, the companies launched the “GE Ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid,” a competition designed to cultivate smart-grid technologies. The money is being made available by GE, Emerald Technology Partners, Foundation Capital, Rockport Capital, and Kleiner, Perkinsk, Caufield & Byers, each of which are investing in green-technology start-ups.

There are more than 65 software developers making at least 126 applications for environmental management, energy-efficiency tracking, carbon emissions tracking, sustainability planning and safety/health compliance. The dominant deployment model is software as a service (SaaS).

SmartGrid.gov tracks billions in grant awards guided by the Smart Grid Task Force. The FCC’s Broadband Plan overviews Energy and the Environment in Chapter 12.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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