Energy Department Commits $85 Million to Advance Geothermal Research and LED Technologies

The US Department of Energy announced $85 miilion in funding this week to advance geothermal energy and LED research. 

DOE will make $70 million in new funding available over three years for technology advancements in geothermal energy, and $15 million will be dispersed to support solid-state lighting technologies like LEDs and OLEDs.

The goal of the new geothermal funding is to help reduce the cost of
new geothermal resources and enhanced geothermal systems so they are
competitive with conventional sources of electricity. 

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), new geothermal resources
could add up to 30 gigawatts of renewable energy to the U.S. energy
supply, and enhanced geothermal systems – through the development of
engineered reservoirs and other methods – have the potential for an even
greater impact.

Funding will support existing partnerships with industry, national laboratories, and academia in several key research areas, such as reducing the cost of exploratory drilling; lowering the cost of completing geothermal wells; surveying and monitoring geothermal resources; and predicting reservoir temperatures.

A description of the solicitation, eligibility requirements, and application instructions can be found here.

Solid-State Lighting Projects

Eight compaies and research institutions have already been selected to receive funding for solid-state lighting projects.

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs)
have the potential to be ten times more energy-efficient than
conventional incandescent lighting and can last up to 25 times as long.

The selected projects are in three areas of research and development.

Core Technology Research ($4.3 million) – These projects will focus on filling key technology gaps in LED and OLED development.

  • Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ) – $664,785
  • Research Triangle Institute (Research Triangle Park, NC) – $1,699,318
  • Soraa Inc. (Goleta, CA) – $678,257
  • University of Rochester (Rochester, NY) – $1,247,881

Product Development ($3.6 million) – These projects aim to develop and improve commercially viable solid-state lighting materials, devices, and systems.

  • Cree, Inc. (Goleta, CA) – $1,610,681
  • Philips Lumileds Lighting Company, LLC (San Jose, CA) – $1,987,200

SSL Manufacturing ($6.9 million) – These projects will focus on achieving significant cost reductions and enhanced quality by improving manufacturing equipment, processes, or monitoring techniques.

  • Moser Baer Technologies, Inc. (Canandaigua, NY) – $2,906,324
  • Veeco Instruments (Plainview, NY) – $4,000,000

This is the seventh round of DOE funding for solid-state lighting core technology research and product development, and the second time that DOE has funded solid-state lighting manufacturing projects.

Read more information about award selections in the DOE document linked below.

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