Energy Innovation ‘Moonshots’ Include Batteries, Fuel Cells and Pine Trees

Posted March 17, 2014 at 5:40am

GigaOM reports on the recent ARPA-E Summit in Washington D.C.: “A fuel cell for space. Batteries that use air. A way to tap pine trees and extract biofuels like maple syrup from a maple tree. These are just some of the “out-there” energy innovations that researchers and entrepreneurs are hard at work building in labs across the U.S., and which were on display at the fifth annual energy innovation-focused ARPA-E Summit… Over 260 energy technology projects were showcased across diverse sectors from biofuels, to power grid analytics, to next-gen batteries.”  

“Most of the scientists and innovators at the conference have a few things in common. The bulk are funded by the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program, which gives small grants (a million dollars or so) to early-stage, high-risk ‘moonshots’ that can advance energy technology. Some of the researchers work at university labs, some work at startups, others work in the R&D divisions of big companies. A lot of these scientists are examples of what Bill Gates once (lovingly) referred to as crazy energy entrepreneurs working on energy miracles.”