ARPA-E is hosting a virtual workshop on October 20th 2020 to explore new routes to prevent and/or abate anthropogenic methane emissions. The goal is to reverse the rate of accumulation of methane in the atmosphere, resulting in a decrease in atmospheric methane concentration. Registration is required to be able to participate in the workshop, and space is limited to 125 participants.

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This workshop will focus on the innovation of microgrid design and control to improve or enable: reliability, resiliency, self-healing, black-start capability, prosumer capabilities, macrogrid support, plug and play functions, networks of microgrids, multi-objective systems, standardization, low-inertia/inverter-based systems, and more.

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This potential program would aim to develop ultrahigh temperature materials that would enable drastic improvements in gas turbine and aircraft engine efficiency as well as operating temperatures of nuclear reactors. Developing such ultrahigh temperature materials might be feasible today because of the availability of modern material research tools including multiscale modeling, machine learning, and in particular the advancement of manufacturing technologies such as additive manufacturing.

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The workshop convened leading experts in waste-to-energy, combustion, pyrolysis, and cement to identify technology approaches capable of significantly improving the consistency and value of ash from municipal solid waste incineration through pre- and post-combustion analytics, pre-combustion additives, combustion conditions, and ash processing. 

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The Rapid Encapsulation of Pipelines Avoiding Intensive Replacement Workshop (REPAIR) workshop sought to reduce costs for replacing bare steel and cast iron gas distribution pipes by fabricating new, “smart” pipes inside the old pipes using robotics, advanced composite materials, and new inspection tools.

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ARPA-E sought information regarding promising pathways toward improving the carbon-conversion efficiency of renewable feedstocks to products. This workshop explored opportunities to reduce the lifecycle carbon emissions from biofuel and bioproduct pathways through highly efficient directed flux of biomass carbon into products with minimal carbon loss as CO2. Workshop participants explored how inexpensive clean power can enable novel bioprocess designs that limit or completely avoid carbon loss during biomass conversion.

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Building on the ARPA-E ALPHA program and synergies with the Fusion Industry Association and the National Academies recommendation, ARPA-E is exploring opportunities for a potential new fusion program that is broader in R&D scope than ALPHA while pursuing the same vision as ALPHA: catalyze R&D pathways to lower the cost and accelerate the development time scale for commercially viable fusion energy. 

This event convened leading experts in electric motors, power electronics, thermal transport, advanced materials and manufacturing, and hybrid/electric aviation to identify innovative research paths forward for the development of disruptive technologies in electric propulsion that can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of commercial aviation while improving its economic viability and competitiveness.

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ARPA-E seeks information regarding the role of flexible carbon capture in terms of plant- and grid-level performance, economics and emissions. This workshop will focus on the impact of a growing share of renewable generation on conventional power plants equipped with carbon capture and storage (CCS) systems.

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The PERFORM program aims to shift the operations and planning to a risk-driven paradigm. Future operations and investment strategies will more closely resemble portfolio management practices; resource offers will be differentiated by their overall historical performance and prediction of their real-time performance. This shift enables the ability to balance the tradeoff between minimizing costs versus delivery risk while providing the foundation for an incentive compatible environment that efficiently mitigates risk. This program will provide grid operators a transparent quantification of their system position and overall risk exposure, which does not exist today.