U.S. Puts Clean Energy on the Fast Track
Steven Chu is on the hunt for technology breakthroughs, the key to making renewable energy affordable and the long-term economic health of the U.S. During a keynote talk at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit, the Energy secretary used the history of aviation and automobiles to demonstrate how innovations in science, often funded by government, have changed how we live and brought prosperity to the U.S.
Looking ahead, he said rapid advances in renewable energy and storage mean that electricity can be delivered without transmission lines in remote areas of the U.S. or in areas of developing countries which don’t have the power grid. In autos, vehicles using light-weight materials and other technologies promise to slash emissions while boosting the power of autos, he said. The ARPA-E agency was created to fund this type of research which is high-risk but has a potential for breakthroughs within three to five years.