The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced up to $100 million in funding for transformative clean energy technology research and development (R&D) via its Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) OPEN 2021 funding opportunity.
The first of billions of dollars of DOE R&D opportunities to be announced this year, the funding will help to identify cutting-edge, disruptive clean energy technologies to address the climate crisis.
The Department will also participate in the National Climate Task Force’s Climate Innovation Working Group announced on 11 February 2021 by the White House.
The working group will coordinate Federal Government-wide efforts to foster affordable, game-changing technologies that can help America achieve the President’s goal of net-zero economy-wide emissions by 2050, and emphasise research to bolster and build domestic clean energy supply chains and strengthen American manufacturing.
DOE Chief of Staff, Tarak Shah, said the DOE is inviting scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs and creative thinkers around America to join them in developing the energy technologies needed to tackle the climate crisis and build a more equitable clean energy economy.
“The Department of Energy is committed to empowering innovators to develop bold solutions that will help America achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 while creating millions of good-paying jobs that benefit all Americans,” Shah said.
Since its founding in 2009, ARPA-E has provided $2.4 billion in R&D funding, and ARPA-E projects have attracted more than $4.9 billion in private-sector follow-on funding to commercialise clean energy technologies and create sustainable clean energy jobs.
Previous ARPA-E awardees have also gone on to achieve breakthroughs in commercialising a variety of energy solutions, including in the development of transformative solar, geothermal, batteries, biofuels and advanced surface coating technologies.
“On behalf of the House of Representatives, I applaud this vital investment in the transformative and resilient clean energy technologies of the future,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“This exciting step is a key pillar of the Democratic Congress and Biden-Harris Administration’s mission to not only reverse the recent anti-science, anti-climate agenda but to Build Back Better – while creating millions of good-paying jobs, protecting public health, advancing America’s pre-eminence in the green technologies of the future and advancing justice for all,” she said.
House Majority Leader, Steny H. Hoyer, said Congress reauthorised and expanded ARPA-E in the recently enacted Energy Act of 2020 and since then, it has been an essential tool in federal support for clean-energy innovation, which leads to greater economic competitiveness for U.S. businesses and their workers.
“These new technologies help create good jobs here at home that position our country to lead the global race in clean energy, which cannot be outsourced, and I’m glad that the President is making ARPA-E a central part of his push to invest in clean energy job growth,” he added.
Senator Joe Manchin, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said innovation is critical to addressing climate challenges and to charting a path to a cleaner energy future.
“West Virginia has hosted four ARPA-E projects and the Mountain State’s innovative spirit continues to thrive. I encourage all scientists, entrepreneurs and technology trailblazers to apply for this funding. I will continue supporting the Department’s investment in these much-needed technologies of the future,” Senator Manchin said.
Potential applicants can visit ARPA-E’s newly launched OPEN 2021 website to access useful information and resources, including a teaming partner list to help forming new project teams and identifying potential collaborations, and webinars featuring Program Directors discussing technical areas they hope to pursue.
To apply for funding through OPEN 2021 click here.