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A Nice Earth Day Present
The planet got an Earth Day present from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) this year; Dr. Steven Chu has announced that the DOE will invest more than $200 million over 5 years to "expand and accelerate the development, commercialization, and use of solar and water power technologies throughout the United States." It's a welcome investment since the foundation of any sustainable civilization is clean energy; even if you get a lot of the rest right, if you are still powered by dirty sources, you won't get there. So what is Dr. Chu putting the money in more specifically? Read on to find out.
They're splitting the money in 4 pots:
-Photovoltaic Manufacturing Initiative - up to $125 million over five years
The goal here doesn't seem to be the development of any specific technology, but rather the speeding up of the processes of innovation: "Funding will be available for applicants in two topic areas: University-Focused Development and Industry-Focused Development. Both topics will consider collaborative research models to accelerate manufacturing-related technologies and provide maximum leverage to federal funding."
-Photovoltaic Supply Chain Development - up to $40 million over three years
"The Department is seeking projects focused on component and manufacturing technologies that show a strong potential to impact a substantial segment of the photovoltaic industry within two to five years. Examples include engineering lower cost coating materials, electrical components to improve performance, processes that reduce manufacturing waste, or equipment that dramatically improves manufacturing or installation speed. "
-National Administrator of the Solar Instructor Training Network - up to $4.5 million over five years
"This funding opportunity will select a National Administrator that will act as a central coordinating body for the Training Network. The Network was created in 2009, by the Department of Energy to establish high-quality, local and accessible training for personnel involved in the sales, design, installation, commissioning and inspection of solar photovoltaic and solar heating and cooling systems."
-Marine and Hydrokinetic Technologies (MHK) - up to $39 million over four years
"The Department will accelerate the technological advancement and commercial readiness of emerging water power technologies that can produce renewable, cost-competitive electricity by harnessing the energy of waves, currents, tides, and free-flowing rivers, or energy stored in ocean thermal gradients."
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