Making Energy Storage and Electric Aviation "Cool"

ARPA-E’s mission to change the way we get, use, and store energy isn’t just something reflected in our broad technology R&D portfolio. It is ingrained in the very fabric of our agency’s structure. Since our programs tackle challenges across the energy technology spectrum, we’re constantly bringing in new staff with fresh perspectives and ideas to develop the energy technologies of tomorrow. Our Program Directors (PD) are our main source of these fresh perspectives and ideas. They come up with the ideas for our programs and lead program development and management for new technology…


ARPA-E Investor Update Vol. 2

On August 12, 2020, Chevron Corporation announced their involvement in fusion-energy startup Zap Energy’s Series A fundraising round, through Chevron’s venture capital fund Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV). The investment was CTV’s 10th since its launch in 2018 and placed the total amount of Zap’s Series A fundraising round at $6.5M.[1] In the announcement, CTV highlighted their part in Zap’s Series A as an “…opportunity to enhance the company’s focus on a diverse portfolio of low-carbon energy resources with the capacity to provide communities across the globe access to affordable, reliable…


Turning Ideas Into Reality - Projects In Progress X

ARPA-E focuses on next-generation energy innovation to create a sustainable energy future. The agency provides R&D support to businesses, universities, and national labs to develop technologies that could fundamentally change the way we access, use, and store energy. Since 2009, ARPA-E has provided over $2 billion in support to more than 950 energy technology projects. In January, we introduced a new series to highlight the transformational technology our project teams are developing across the energy portfolio. One area of interest is the electricity grid. Advanced grid control…


Waste Into X and the MIDAS Touch

by Nicholas Rodricks, ARPA-E Summer Scholar Trash has a way of going unnoticed. Whether an apple core, a bag of chips, or an old microwave, we give little thought to throwing away everyday items. In reality, our trash’s journey is only just beginning when we throw it in the garbage. The quantity of our garbage is staggering, and with concerns around pollution and storage, the U.S. still struggles to answer the question “where should it all go?” U.S recycling rates are still relatively low, so it is important that we create ways to derive value while also reducing our waste stream. ARPA-…


Prevention and Abatement of Methane Emissions

Traditional 100-year metrics for measuring greenhouse gas emissions show that methane is a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential (GWP) 28-36 times greater than carbon dioxide (CO2)[A]. While this may be the case on a 100-year scale, many researchers actually recommend using a 20-year metric because methane has a relatively short life (roughly 9 years) in the atmosphere. Using this shorter lifetime increases methane’s GWP to 84-87 times greater than CO2, and shows that there is an opportunity to focus on other reductions in emissions from sources other than CO2 to lower…


Turning Ideas Into Reality - Projects In Progress IX

ARPA-E focuses on next-generation energy innovation to create a sustainable energy future. The agency provides R&D support to businesses, universities, and national labs to develop technologies that could fundamentally change the way we access, use, and store energy. Since 2009, ARPA-E has provided over $2 billion in support to more than 950 energy technology projects. In January, we introduced a new series to highlight the transformational technology our project teams are developing across the energy portfolio. Through thermoelectric power devices and electric vehicle (EV) chargers,…


ARPA-E Investor Update Vol. 1

On September 3, 2020, battery producer QuantumScape announced its initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange through a reverse-merger with the special public acquisition company Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp. at an implied value of $3.3 billion. QuantumScape spun out of a project at Stanford University that was awarded $1.5 million to develop transportation battery technology under the Batteries for Electrical Storage in Transportation (BEEST) program. In April 2010, ARPA-E announced over $35 million in funds[1] for 10 projects in the BEEST program to develop…


Changing What's Possible for the New Carbon Economy

by Dr. David Babson We live in a carbon-based economy. From the fuels that power our trains, planes, and automobiles to the materials used in our earbuds and iPhone cases, carbon is a critical backbone of our modern economy. Despite our need to actively mitigate and remove carbon and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) from our atmosphere, our future economy will not be a low-carbon economy that emphasizes incremental GHG reductions as much as it will be a new carbon economy: one that removes, efficiently uses, and sequesters more carbon than it emits. Enabling this economy requires new…


Turning Ideas Into Reality - Projects in Progress VIII

ARPA-E focuses on next-generation energy innovation to create a sustainable energy future. The agency provides R&D support to businesses, universities, and national labs to develop technologies that could fundamentally change the way we access, use, and store energy. Since 2009, ARPA-E has provided approximately $2 billion in support to more than 800 energy technology projects. In January, we introduced a new series to highlight the transformational technology our project teams are developing across the energy portfolio. About 13% of all energy produced in the United States today is…


Raising the Bar: 2020 at ARPA-E

For an agency mandated to look to the future – often far into the future – please allow a quick glance into this year so far.  Since the beginning of our fiscal year the agency which you know so well has continued to do what it does in extraordinary fashion – raise the bar through the efforts of all.  In this time, we have launched new programs, made changes in our recruiting and contracting approaches, had a number of successes in follow-on-funding and employed new approach to how we help tech move to market.  Allow me to briefly update you on some changes at the agency…