NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.--There's good energy at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit.
The conference, held this week and organized by the ARPA-E agency, brings together the movers and shakers in clean-energy technologies who are trying to take inventions from research labs and make them viable commercial products.
So far, no startups which received grants have gone on to become a Google or Apple of green tech. But ARPA-E, which operates with a $180 million budget this year, has had a big impact on entrepreneurship by setting a high bar for technical performance and asking technologists to think big.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.--Even with the exciting work being done on energy at countless labs and startups, Bill Gates isn't counting on a repeat of what happened with info tech.
Speaking at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit here today, Gates argued that the amount of government funding for energy research and development should be doubled to speed the pace of innovation.
Even with a massive increase in research and other policy mechanisms, such as a tax on carbon emissions, Gates said energy moves slowly just by its nature. Unlike IT, the energy industry is capital-intensive and heavily regulated, and … Read more
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.-- Steven Chu is on the hunt for technology breakthroughs that will make renewable energy affordable and thus improve the long-term economic health of the U.S.
During a keynote talk at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit here today, the Department of Energy secretary used the history of aviation and automobiles to demonstrate how innovations in science, often funded by government, have changed how we live and brought prosperity to the U.S.
Looking ahead, he said rapid advances in renewable energy and storage mean that electricity can be delivered without transmission lines in remote areas of … Read more
As far-fetched as that sounds, a group of scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab is testing the limits of genetic engineering to make the widely grown tobacco plant a carrier for hydrocarbons.
Scientists will be at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit this week to discuss the project, which received a $4.8 million grant over three years. The grant fits ARPA-E's mission of funding research that is high-risk but with a potential for a breakthrough.
Biofuels or biochemicals are typically made by growing plants and then converting that biomass into … Read more
With the auto industry pining for a battery breakthrough to lower electric vehicle costs, Envia Systems has some interesting performance data to share.
The five-year-old company today is expected to disclose technical details of its batteries which executives say could lead to cutting EV battery pack prices in half in three or four years. Envia Systems' batteries are being evaluated by a number of automakers, including its largest investor General Motors, according to CEO Atul Kapadia.
The lithium ion batteries in cars, such as the Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf, provide ample power to accelerate a car, but the cost … Read more
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.--Although its short-term funding remains uncertain, the 2-year-old Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program has so far delivered on its mission to pursue high-risk, high-payoff research.
But even at this week's ARPA-E Summit, a conference to tout potential game-changers, there were reminders that even great technology doesn't guarantee commercial success, which could be crucial when questions over government R&D funding arise in the future.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.--U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus can measure the cost of transporting oil to combat missions in dollars and in lives.
Mabus gave the keynote talk today at the ARPA-E Summit here, where he announced an agreement between the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy to create energy storage systems geared at providing reliable power and reducing fossil fuel use.
His talk followed speeches by Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and representative Steve Israel of New York, who both highlighted the importance to national security of fossil fuel alternatives.
The Navy has a program, launched in fall 2009 and called the "Great Green Fleet," to convert 50 percent of its energy to fossil fuel alternatives by 2020 and to have half of the Navy's thousands of bases become net energy zero consumers. It's a reference to the "Great White Fleet," the nickname used under President Theodore Roosevelt for a battle fleet which circled the globe almost 100 years ago.
"Every time we make changes to improve the efficiencies of our engines or systems or we use alternative sources of power, we get better and we make people safer," Mabus said.
In the agreement between the Departments of Defense and Energy, the Navy plans to take advantage of grid storage technologies developed in the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The cost of the project would be $25 million and start in fiscal year 2012.
The first project will seek to develop hybrid storage systems with higher energy density than what's available in batteries today. Mabus said the technology could lead to mobile storage units for charging military equipment at bases or be used to reduce fuel consumption in vehicles. … Read more
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.--Green-technology proponents need a better way to make their case, according to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who, in a speech today, arguably raised his profile as a leading advocate himself.
The former California governor and movie star gave a keynote talk at the ARPA-E Summit here, alternating between funny one-liners and serious discussion on the importance of clean-energy technologies for the country's future prosperity.
California offers a model for tech companies that can help vitalize the economy and reduce greenhouse gases, while helping the country reduce its imports of oil, he argued. Schwarzenegger signed a global-warming law that … Read more
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.--Energy Secretary Steven Chu is drawing on U.S. history in research and development to advocate for policies to encourage clean energy technology innovation for the future.
Chu gave the keynote speech at the ARPA-E Summit here today, saying once again that the U.S. is in a race with China, the European Union, and other countries to create energy products expected to grow in demand.
He started out by showing a graph of the rise and fall of oil prices over time, saying that people cannot accurately say where oil prices be in a few years … Read more
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.--The ARPA-E Summit opens this morning with seemingly dual purposes: toinspire scientists to invent and to convince Congress of the energy agency's own worth.
The conference is a showcase for cutting-edge energy research and development and a magnet for investors and politicians eager to tout the benefits of investing in developing clean-energy technologies. Keynoters include Energy Secretary Steven Chu, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Navy Secretary Raymond Mabus. Also speaking will be some Republican and Democrat members of Congress, leaders of big businesses, and representatives of several fledging technology companies.