The Obama administration has been good to the renewable energy industry, with the Department of Energy announcing in July that it will give up to $30 billion in loan guarantees to renewable energy projects. Now the DOE is going out on a limb and giving serious cash to early-stage green tech. The ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy) DOE program, created in 2007 to fund "moonshot" projects that might not otherwise have a chance, announced today that that it has awarded $151 million to 37 companies.
The lucky winners of ARPA-E's funds include MIT (liquid metal batteries), Momentive Performance Materials (low-cost crystals for LED lighting), Envia Systems (high-density lithium-ion batteries), Univenture Inc. (algae harvesting), and the University of Minnesota (direct solar fuels). The full list of winners is available here.
This is just the first round of funding under the ARPA-E program, which has $400 million to dole out in the next two years. The program is competitive—3,600 preliminary proposals were submitted—but ARPA-E heavily favors small businesses and universities. In the initial round of funding, 43% of the cash went to small businesses, 35% went to educational institutions, and just 19% went to big corporations. So start getting those ARPA-E applications together—at least if you think you have the next big greenhouse gas-reducing energy efficient technology on your hands.