U.S. Department of Energy Awards almost $100 Million in Renewable Energy Funding
Renewable Energy Funding includes Solar, Biomass, Marine, and Wind Energy
The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a total of $96 million in funding to various renewable energy sectors over the last 2 weeks. These awards highlight the Obama Administration's commitment to further renewable energy development and research in the United States.
On September 7th, the DOE announced $8.5 million in awards to help advance solar energy deployment and grid reliability. The money was awarded to four projects that have reached Stage III of the Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems (SEGIS) program.
The DOE announced on September 8th an award of $16.5 million for two major research and development cost-share initiatives that will support the expansion of renewable fuels production. Under the first initiative, DOE will invest up to $12 million over three years in four projects that will employ pyrolysis, the heating of biomass in the absence of oxygen to create a bio-based oily liquid called bio-oil. Under the second initiative, DOE will provide up to $4.5 million to three projects focused on developing sustainable methods of biomass crop production.
Then on September 9th, the DOE announced an award of more than $37 million in funding to accelerate the technological and commercial readiness of emerging marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) technologies, which seek to generate renewable electricity from the nation's oceans and free-flowing rivers and streams. The 27 projects who received this funding ranged from concept studies and component design research to prototype development and in-water device testing. This was an unprecedented level of federal funding for marine and hydrokinetic technologies. View the list of projects funded (pdf - 129kb).
The DOE announced on September 10 that it has selected six transformational energy research and development projects to receive a total of $9.6 million in funding. A few of the projects funded include an airborne wind turbine, consisting of a high-performance wing that carries a turbine and is tethered to the ground, a dynamic liquid prism that can be adjusted using an applied electric field, allowing concentrating photovoltaic systems to track the sun without the use of mechanical systems, and a thermal energy storage system for concentrating solar power systems that uses supercritical fluids to potentially store twice the energy of an equivalent-size molten-salt system.
On September 13, the DOE announced an award of more than $5.2 million in funding over two years to five projects that will support U.S. wind energy development. Two projects that have received this funding are focused on short-term wind forecasting, while three will aim to develop wind turbines ranging from 200 to 500 kilowatts in generating capacity.
Finally, on September 15, the DOE announced $20 million in funding to research, develop and demonstrate cutting-edge geothermal technologies that could reduce U.S. demand for fossil fuels, significantly cut carbon pollution, and create new jobs in geothermal manufacturing and operations. The seven funded projects will demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of non-conventional geothermal energy technologies in three research areas: low temperature fluids, geothermal fluids recovered from oil and gas wells, and highly pressurized geothermal fluids.