Among the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) many funding agencies, the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) funds what is perhaps some of NREL's most innovative work. ARPA-E's mission is to advance promising technologies that are not yet ready for private-sector investment, with the goal of developing new ways to generate, store, and use energy. The high-risk, high-reward nature of these projects is what makes them so exciting—and what requires NREL researchers to use their most creative problem-solving approaches.
This year, ARPA-E-funded projects will be showcased at the 12th annual ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit, to be held on May 23–25 in Denver, Colorado. In the lead-up to the summit, NREL researchers are reflecting on the ways in which ARPA-E funding has allowed them to advance innovative research and develop robust industry partnerships.
Since 2009, ARPA-E has provided approximately $2.93 billion in R&D funding for more than 1,270 potentially transformational energy technology projects. NREL has played a key role in many of these projects, ranging from developing new solar cell material growth techniques and improving grid control to reducing energy use in transportation. In the five ARPA-E projects featured here, NREL's collaborative, partnership-oriented approach has been crucial. Read more>>>
Photo by Werner Slocum, NREL