U.S. DOE Offers $125M for Disruptive Energy Technologies

Jan. 11, 2015
The Department of Energy is offering $125 million for research and development of disruptive energy technologies through its Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E).

The U.S. Department of Energy is offering $125 million for research and development of disruptive energy technologies through its Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E).

The solicitation is open to a broad range of technologies, among them energy storage, combined heat and power, renewables, fuel cells, grid reliability and energy efficiency.

The DOE says it seeks projects that pursue novel approaches to energy innovation across the full spectrum of energy applications.

Because of the breadth of technologies eligible, the solicitation does not provide well-defined technical targets. Instead, ARPA-E asks applicants to show how the technology will impact the agency’s mission to:

  • Reduce imported energy
  • Reduce energy-related emissions
  • Improve energy efficiency

“The critical question for applicants to consider in assessing potential impact is: ‘If it works, will it matter?’,” says the funding opportunity announcement (DE‐FOA‐0001261). “The burden of demonstrating potential impact lies solely upon the applicant, who must make the strongest possible case for why the proposed technology will matter – that it has the potential to change our energy future.”

ARPA-E expects to make 30 to 50 awards of anywhere between $1 million to $10 million. Funding will be awarded beginning February 1, 2016, unless negotiated otherwise.

The awards are available for a range of entities — individuals, project teams, companies, non-profits, educational institutions,  and others.

The program encourages applications at various stages; they may be ideas that still require proof‐of‐concept R&D or have already demonstrated some proof‐of‐concept.

Called Open 2015, this is ARPA-E’s third open funding opportunity announcement. ARPA-E also issued open solicitations in 2009 and 2012. Open solicitations are meant to support disruptive projects outside the scope of ARPA-E’s more focused programs.

“OPEN 2015 highlights ARPA-E’s commitment to transformational energy innovations,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “We are excited to announce this open solicitation to support the development of a broad range of disruptive technologies, advancing our all-of-the-above energy strategy to ensure a secure, affordable and sustainable American energy future.”

Important deadlines are: notice of intent, Feb. 20, 2015; concept paper submission: Feb. 27, 2015. ARPA-E has yet to schedule the application submission deadline.

Solicitation details are on the ARPA-E Funding Opportunity Exchange  page. See DE‐FOA‐0001261.

About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded RealEnergyWriters.com, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

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