ARPA-E is investing in moonshot energy ideas that are so audacious, they might just change how we power our society.
Batteries made with chemicals that we mine from rhubarb plants, rather than expensive metals taken out of the earth. Magnets that clip onto electrical lines and reroute electrons. Solar panels that work efficiently even when they get hot or are shaded. These are just a few of the advanced energy research projects in the works that could bring the promise of a future electricity grid that is decentralized, resilient, and less carbon-heavy closer to a reality.
All are projects of ARPA-E, a young federal agency created just five years ago as the U.S. Department of Energy’s analog to DARPA, the military’s research agency that funds the development of mind-reading science, cyborgs, and deadly robots. Similarly, ARPA-E’s mission is to fund big, risky ideas in energy that might have trouble otherwise getting off the ground because they haven’t been proven to work yet. This year, it had a $280 million annual budget (still small compared to the overall $5 billion budgeted for the Energy Department’s Office of Science). It has funded a total 362 projects since its beginning.
“We’re trying to take really crazy ideas … and we get it from the impossible to the plausible. That’s an important place. Once people think it’s plausible, then they can decide they want to step up and put some money to do a demonstration,” says acting director Cheryl Martin.
“We’ve taken the idea of taking big chances from being unacceptable to acceptable. Failure is becoming part of the process,” Martin says.
The Latest on: ARPA-E
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The Latest on: ARPA-E
- NREL to Develop a Long-Duration Thermal Energy Storage Technologyon November 19, 2019 at 7:58 pm
ARPA-E has challenged researchers to innovate a storage technology that can be deployed in almost any location and charge and discharge electricity, at a low fixed cost per cycle, for up to 4 days.
- CVD MesoScribe Awarded ARPA-E Grant in Collaboration with Penn State Universityon November 17, 2019 at 4:00 pm
ARPA-E funded this program to develop the methodology to integrate sensors into additive manufactured turbine components. This is a transformative shift towards a data-driven design and qualification.
- ARPA-E Announces Funding Program to Develop Lower-Cost Fusion Energy Conceptson November 8, 2019 at 1:35 pm
Under a new program, dubbed Breakthroughs Enabling THermonuclear-fusion Energy, ARPA-E aims to establish controlled fusion energy by lowering the cost of more-mature fusion concepts and enhancing the ...
- Our national experiment in R&D for clean energy just turned 10on October 26, 2019 at 6:17 am
Luckily, the U.S. has a powerful tool in place to support clean-energy innovation: the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which announced its first projects 10 years ago today. As ...
- House Committee Votes to Increase Funding for Energy’s DARPA by $2.9Bon October 18, 2019 at 10:51 am
The House Science, Space and Technology Committee moved a bill to reauthorize ARPA-E with additional funding, as well as new restrictions and oversight. The House Committee on Science, Space and ...
- API supports reauthorization of ARPA-E programon October 18, 2019 at 10:29 am
WASHINGTON - The American Petroleum Institute released the below statement in support of reauthorizing the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), which the House Science, Space, and ...
- V&R Energy, in Partnership with PNNL, PacifiCorp and Google, Awarded an ARPA-E Funded Project for Grid Control Technologyon October 1, 2019 at 5:09 am
V&R Energy, a leading provider of advanced power systems engineering solutions for improving reliability and resilience of the electrical transmission and distribution networks, has been awarded an ...
- Congress should support clean energy research and developmenton August 21, 2019 at 1:36 pm
Congress, though, has wisely resisted the president’s proposal, and continued to fund ARPA-E. But the White House has stubbornly proposed eliminating the program again this year. Congress should hold ...
- ARPA-E Awards Grant for Hybrid Opposed-Piston Engineon March 6, 2019 at 6:48 am
SAN DIEGO and ANN ARBOR, Mich., March 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Achates Power has announced that it was awarded $2 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects ...
- University of Virginia and C-Crete Technologies awarded $1.18 million from ARPA-Eon December 21, 2018 at 10:37 am
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The University of Virginia School of Engineering and Texas-based C-Crete Technologies have been awarded $1.18M in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research ...
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