Clean Energy Should Be Innovative, Affordable

When looking into America’s future, one thing is clear-energy matters.

The Department of Energy (DOE) plans to invest in innovation for affordable clean energy technologies, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy director Dr. Arun Majumdar said in a webcast on Wednesday.

The investment is intended to address America’s continued dependence on foreign oil and push the US to the forefront of clean energy innovation. To win the race, Majumdar said the government needs to encourage innovation.

Microbial Electrosynthesis: University of Massachusetts

image copyright EarthTechling

“Innovation is the engine for the United States,” said Majumdar. “We want the US to fly in the 21st century.”

The DOE’s investment will focus on technologies that will directly impact consumption of transportation fuel, including biofuel, electrofuel, and electric batteries production.

In attempts to reduce the cost of biofuel creation, the DOE plans on investing in a new method developed by Agivida. This patented method will integrate enzyme feedstock systems within plants, and if successful, will drastically decrease the cost of biofuel production.

The DOE will also invest in a new process for electrofuel production that uses non-photosynthetic microbes, instead of the standard photosynthetic microbes, such as the ones found in trees. OPX Biotechnologies and North Carolina State University are already using this method for electrofuel production for fuel cells, which they claim in ten times more efficient than standard methods.

With the overarching goal of the project to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, the DOE’s investment will also encourage domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles. Calling them BEEST, batteries for electrical energy storage for transportation, Majumdar said he hopes the investment will help the United States become a leader in battery manufacturing.

“The United States has always invested in the future and as we know, I firmly believe clean energy is part of the future,” said Majumdar.

Editor’s Note: This is a cross post from our friends over at AOL Energy. Credit for this story goes to Stephanie Spanarkel.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.