Making clean fuel out of sunlight is the idea behind a $122 million U.S. DoE award to a team of California researchers. The award will bring about the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, which will be led by the California Institute of Technology in partnership with the DoE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The lab will bring together researchers in an ambitious effort aimed at simulating nature's photosynthetic techniques for practical energy production with the goal of developing a commercial-grade solar energy-to-chemical fuel conversion system, the DoE stated.
What are the biggest barriers to developing wind energy?
The DoE in July said it is looking for the public to help identify the most significant barriers to future wind energy development. In addition the agency said it is looking for ideas that will help the U.S. grow and educate its wind energy workforce. While other U.S. energy industries have extensive training infrastructures in place, minimal infrastructure currently exists for the wind industry. Many companies are struggling to find individuals with experience in wind technologies, the DoE stated.
Algae-based biofuel development gets $24 million boost
The DoE said it would invest $24 million in three research groups to tackle the challenges of bringing algae-based biofuels to market. According to the DoE, the basic concept of using algae as an alternative and renewable source of biomass feedstock for biofuels has been explored, but a scalable, sustainable and commercially viable system has yet to emerge. The DoE went on to say that a great deal of research and development is still necessary to reduce risks and uncertainty associated with the algae-to-biofuels process so it can be commercialized. Other areas must be addressed as well such as regulations and standards, and public-private partnerships, the DoE stated.
U.S. wants bigger wind energy ideas
The DoE wants to kick up the research and development of offshore wind projects as it looks to achieve its goal of producing 20% of the country's electricity from wind farms by 2030. The DoE Wind Program is looking to hone in on what it calls specific advanced technology, gigawatt-scale demonstration projects " that can be carried out by partnerships with a wide range of eligible organizations and stimulate of cost-effective offshore wind energy deployment in coastal and Great Lakes regions of the country.
Can your data center earn an EPA Energy Star?
Think your data center is so power efficient it could earn an Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star label? The EPA in June said that any stand alone data centers in the top 25 % of their peers in energy efficiency according to EPA's energy performance scale can now earn such an accolade.