The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $377 million in funding to 46 new Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC). The centers will be built at 31 universities, various non-profits, research organizations, and private firms across America.
According to the DOE press release, United States Energy Secretary Steven Chu said,
“Meeting the challenge to reduce our dependence on imported oil and curtail greenhouse gas emissions will require significant scientific advances. These centers will mobilize the enormous talents and skills of our nation’s scientific workforce in pursuit of the breakthroughs that are essential to expand the use of clean and renewable energy.”
Enlisting the skills and talents of engineers and leading scientists across the country, students and researchers will take advantage of the technology and advanced resources the EFRCs will offer. The centers will employ 700 investigators as well as both full and part-time graduate and undergraduate students, postdoctoral associates, and staff.
Out of 260 EFRC applicants, the final selection was based on a rigorous peer review comprised of scientific experts. Each center will focus on one or more energy challenges.
- 20 of the centers will focus on renewable and carbon-neutral energy
- 14 centers will focus on crosscutting science
- 6 on energy efficiency
- 6 on energy storage
16 of the centers are forward-funded with $277 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act while 30 centers will be funded under the FY 2009 Federal Budget. Each center will receive up to $5 million annually for an initial five year period. The total commitment of the EFRC initiative will be $777 million over five years.
The ERFC initiative will help scientists and researchers not only address energy demands, but will also inspire and support scientists to develop new energy science technologies and approaches. The centers will look towards the future and discover new sources of energy that are “abundant, clean and economical.”
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