NIFty and SPARCly: Recent Achievements in Fusion

On August 17, 2021, a New York Times article proclaimed a fusion energy release of 1.3 megajoules from 1.9 megajoules of incident laser energy, achieved at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The announcement of such a significant physics result rocked the fusion world, renewing discussions on R&D to enable commercially viable embodiments of laser-driven inertial confinement fusion (ICF). While the NIF result equals the decades-old record tokamak scientific…


REPAIR Program Update: An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

ARPA-E has kicked off a 3-year, $38M research program called REPAIR (Rapid Encapsulation of Pipelines Avoiding Intensive Replacement) to rehabilitate cast iron, wrought iron, and bare steel natural gas distribution pipes. The goal of the program is to use robots to create a new pipe inside the old pipe. For the program to be successful, the new pipe must meet utilities and regulatory agencies’ requirements, have a minimum life of 50 years, and possess sufficient material properties to operate throughout its service life without relying on the exterior pipe. Considering that gas utilities have…


Refueling Carbon Neutral Liquid Fuel Development with REFUEL+IT

Working to find outside-the-box solutions that address existing limitations of energy technologies is a unifying goal among many ARPA-E programs. A core aspect of our mission is to look at how we can develop new materials, new processes, and new technologies to solve complex problems, with a particular focus on decreasing carbon emissions across a range of energy applications. One such space that ARPA-E identified for impact back in 2016 was the development of manufacturing low-carbon, renewable liquid fuels that are cost and performance competitive with existing petroleum-based fuels.…


The Heat is ON this Summer at ARPA-E

It’s July, and it being the middle of Summer means temperatures are rising and Americans across the country are doing their best to manage the heat in different ways. While people in business and residential spaces seek to keep temperatures as cool and comfortable as possible and electricity costs low (check out this throwback blog about some ARPA-E projects working to do just that), managing heat and thermal energy is also extremely important in almost every aspect of energy technology development. Heat itself - or more specifically thermal energy - is involved in over 90% of all energy…


A Virtual First: The 2021 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit Recap

Nearly every year – we took a little break in 2020 –  ARPA-E’s Energy Innovation Summit gathers participants from across the country and around the world to meet and discuss some of the most pressing issues in energy technology development. The Summit’s Main Stage program features high-level speakers and thought leaders, including Cabinet Secretaries, CEOs, and entrepreneurs working to design the energy systems and technologies of the future. The Summit’s popular Technology Showcase features presentations, displays, and interactive booths from ARPA-E performers who show off the cutting…


ARPA-E Investor Update Vol. 4 – Long Duration Storage and Electric Vehicle Batteries with ESS Inc. and Solid Power

Long Duration Storage with ESS, Inc. On May 7, 2021, ESS Inc. (ESS) announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement for a business combination with ACON S2 Acquisition Corp., a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company. The business combination between ESS and ACON S2 Acquisition Corp would lead ESS to becoming a publicly listed company, basing the combined company valuation at a $1.072 billion pro forma enterprise value. In a statement announcing the business combination, ACON S2 Acquisition Corp. touted the potential impact of ESS’ technology, “ESS offers a remarkable…


Register for the Virtual 2021 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit

This May 24, 2021, ARPA-E will kick off the 11th ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit, with this year’s Summit taking on a new all-virtual format! While things are going to look different this year in the new online format, the 2021 Summit will still feature all the signature programming that attendees are familiar with from years past. In addition to switching to an all-online format, this year we’ve expanded the Summit agenda to four days (up from our normal three) providing attendees with an additional day of energy innovation action at the 2021 Summit!   REGISTER NOW Every year,…


Earth Day (Literally) Rocks!

Every year on April 22, we celebrate Earth Day; promoting environmental enthusiasm and efforts to protect our planet’s precious natural resources. As part of ARPA-E’s authorizing authority that established the agency within the Department of Energy, we’re tasked to overcome long-term and high-risk technological barriers in the development of transformative science and technology solutions to address the energy and environmental missions of the Department. Because of this, our projects and programs focus on developing technologies that have the potential to radically improve U.S. economic…


Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose!

At ARPA-E, we develop energy technologies that can enhance the economic and energy security of the United States through 5 core goals: 1. reducing imports of energy from foreign sources 2. reducing energy-related emissions, including greenhouse gases 3. improving the energy efficiency of all economic sectors 4. providing transformative solutions to improve the management, clean-up, and disposal of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel; and 5. improving the resilience, reliability, and security of infrastructure to produce, deliver, and store energy By working towards these 5…


Cruisin' for Nonconventional Fusion with ARPA-E

At ARPA-E, we’re constantly thinking about what new white spaces we can explore in our mission to change how Americans get, use, and store energy. One key tool that we use to help design exciting focused programs is to issue periodic Requests for Information, or RFIs, which ask the research community to submit to us their best ideas for how we can have maximum impact on a specific technical space. RFIs help our Program Directors’ (PDs) build out their ideas.  A robust conversation in response to an RFI better enables PDs to flesh out and expand on how they’re thinking of addressing a…