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New Energy Innovation Hub for Batteries and Energy Storage

Posted on the 01 March 2012 by 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev

New Energy Innovation Hub for Batteries and Energy StorageEarlier this month Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced “plans to launch a new Energy Innovation Hub for advanced research on batteries and energy storage with an investment of up to $120 million over five years.” The purpose of this newest hub “will be to deliver research leading to revolutionary new technologies.” Applications are due by May 31, 2012. A range of organizations are eligible to apply, including universities, national laboratories, nonprofits, and private firms.

One of the great hopes for the future of renewable energy is improving storage capacity. In order to meet peak demand and provide base load power, there needs to be a reliable, constant supply of energy, which is part of the reason coal, natural gas, and nuclear work so well for generating electricity. They can be stored (some sources more easily than others) and readily come online to produce more electricity when demand jumps. This is not the case for wind and solar, two increasingly sought after renewable energy sources.

The Department of Energy’s statement points out that the “interdisciplinary research and development through the new Energy Innovation Hub will help advance cutting-edge energy storage and battery technologies that can be used to improve the reliability and the efficiency of the electrical grid, to better integrate clean, renewable energy technologies as part of the electrical system, and for use in electric and hybrid vehicles that will reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.”

Several Energy Innovation Hubs across the country are working on various challenges. This hub marks the fourth one created in the last two years. “Other hubs include the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, which focuses on advanced research to develop fuels directly from sunlight; the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors, which is seeking to improve nuclear reactors through sophisticated computer-based modeling and simulation; and the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy-Efficient Buildings, which is working to achieve major breakthroughs in energy efficient building design.”

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