ARPA-E in $30m research push

US Energy Secretary, Dr. Ernest Moniz, focuses on energy storage in the same week that he announces plans to dramatically restructure the Department of Energy.
US Energy Secretary, Dr. Ernest Moniz, focuses on energy storage in the same week that he announced plans to dramatically restructure the Department of Energy. Photo credit: Sarah Gerrity, Department of Energy
US Energy Secretary, Dr. Ernest Moniz, focuses on energy storage in the same week that he announces plans to dramatically restructure the Department of Energy.

Dr. Ernest Moniz focuses on energy storage in the same week that he announced plans to dramatically restructure his department. Photo credit: Sarah Gerrity, Department of Energy

The US Department of Energy has announced that up to USD$30m from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) will be made available to develop technologies that deliver cost-effective solar energy when the sun is not shining. A programme entitled Full-Spectrum Optimized Conversion and Utilization of Sunlight (FOCUS) seeks to develop hybrid solar energy converters and energy storage systems.

The first approach will develop advanced solar converters that turn sunlight into electricity for immediate use, while also producing heat that can be stored at low cost for later use. The second approach will develop ‘innovative storage systems that accept heat and electricity from variable solar sources to deliver electricity when needed.’

“ARPA-E’s new programme will leverage the ingenuity of America’s best and brightest to develop technologies that are critical to the continued growth of the solar industry,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “As the President made clear in his plan to cut carbon pollution, energy innovations like these are a critical contribution to ensuring America’s future national, economic, and environmental security.”

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