Secretary of Energy awards US$122 million for an energy innovation hub


Caltech will be leading the way for the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) with some help from U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy, Daniel Poneman’s US$122 million award for the Energy Innovation Hub. The project will focus on replicating nature’s photosynthesis energy process as a new approach to energy production for commercialized use. The award will be distributed over a five year term to a multidisciplinary team of scientists chosen for the project.

The hub will be directed by Nathan Lewis and George Argyros, both chemistry professors at the California Institute of Technology. Caltech will also partner with the Berkeley Lab and a slew of other California universities including: Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine and UC San Diego. The center will be located in the Jorgensen Laboratory building on the Caltech campus.

“The Energy Innovation Hubs have enormous potential to advance transformative breakthroughs,” says Deputy Secretary Poneman. “Finding a cost-effective way to produce fuels as plants do-combining sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide-would be a game changer, reducing our dependence on oil and enhancing energy security.  This Energy Innovation Hub will enable our scientists to combine their talents to tackle this bold and highly promising challenge.”

The hubs will consist of large, multidisciplinary, collaborative teams of scientists and engineers who are managed by other scientists and engineers, which will be selected for their experience and authority in responding to new developments. JCAP’s research will be aimed at creating a synthetic photosynthesis system, including: light absorbers, catalysts, molecular linkers and separation membranes. Taking this research the hub will then take those components from nature and move them into an operational solar fuel system, whose ultimate goal is to go from laboratory to commercial operation.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

Selection for the program was based off a scientific peer review and directed by the DEO of Science, who will maintain federal oversight responsibilities for the hub. This fiscal year the hub will receive US$22 million, with an additional US$25 million every year after for the next four years, subject to congressional appropriations.

More information about the hubs can be found here.

Read Next

July 19, 2024
US solar manufacturer First Solar has started an investigation into several crystalline-silicon cell solar manufacturers for potential infringement of its patents.
July 19, 2024
Investment fund Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners and its subsidiary Primergy Solar have reached commercial operations at their 690MWac/966MWdc Gemini solar-plus-storage project in Nevada.
July 19, 2024
The Energy Storage for Resilient Homes Act would allow residents of the two states to use funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to purchase residential BESS.
July 19, 2024
SunPower said the decision was not made "lightly" and will consider options to support its mutual customers and collective business pipeline.
July 19, 2024
Sungrow has signed an agreement with Hero Group's renewables arm Hero Future Energies to supply 850MW of inverters.
July 19, 2024
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a loan of up to US$861.3 million to support 200MW of solar PV and 285MW/1,140MWh of battery energy storage system (BESS) projects in Puerto Rico.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
July 31, 2024
1:00 PM (BST) / 2:00PM (CEST)
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Warsaw, Poland
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Singapore, Asia
Solar Media Events
October 8, 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA