U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is spearheading a new wave of renewable energy research by recruiting top scientists from the nation’s best research laboratories to staff a new agency called ARPA-E, modeled after DARPA, the research and development wing of the Pentagon that invented the Internet. With a surge in funding for renewable energy,
courtesy of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, plus grants from the Department of Energy, ARPA-E has made more than 180 investments in basic research projects in renewable energy.
One company, Ocean Power Technologies, is installing a 260-ton generator in the Pacific Ocean off the Oregon coast to capture renewable energy from waves. If the generator operates as planned, it will link to the grid and generate enough electricity for 1,000 homes.
Other ARPA-E-funded projects are making cheaper batteries, more efficient air conditioners and appliances, experimental algae-based biofuels, carbon sequestration (trapping) technologies and even plants that secrete crude oil.
Source: The Atlantic magazine