Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — February 9, 2012 – Plans to launch a new Energy Innovation Hub for advanced research on batteries and energy storage in the U.S. with an investment of up to $120 million over five years have been announced by Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
The hub, which will be funded at up to $20 million in fiscal year 2012, will focus on accelerating research and development of electrochemical energy storage for transportation and the electric grid. The aim is to help advance cutting edge energy storage and battery technologies that can be used to improve the reliability and the efficiency of the electrical grid, to better integrate clean, renewable energy technologies as part of the electrical system, and for use in electric and hybrid vehicles.
“This Energy Innovation Hub will bring together scientists, engineers, and industry to develop fresh concepts and new approaches that will ensure America is at the leading edge of the growing global market for battery technology,” said Secretary Chu. “With the advances from this research and development effort, we will be able to design and produce batteries in America that last longer, go farther, and cost less than today’s technologies.”
The Energy Innovation Hubs are intended to bring together teams of scientists and engineers across intellectual disciplines to rapidly accelerate scientific discoveries and shorten the path from laboratory innovation to technological development and commercial deployment of critical energy technologies.
The goal of the Batteries and Energy Storage Hub will be to advance the current understanding and underlying science around energy storage, as well as to develop new scientific approaches, including the exploration of new materials, devices, systems and novel approaches for transportation and utility scale storage. The Hub should foster new energy storage designs and develop working, scalable prototype devices that demonstrate new approaches for electrochemical storage, overcoming current manufacturing limitations through innovation to reduce complexity and cost. The ultimate goal will be to surpass the current technical limits for electrochemical energy storage and reduce the risk level enough for industry to further develop such new technologies and deploy them into the marketplace.
This will be the fourth such hub established by the Department since 2010. Other hubs are focusing on energy efficient building design, artificial photosynthesis, which seeks to develop fuels directly from sunlight, and improved nuclear reactors.