The Department of Energy (DoE) announced March 10 the launch of two new funding programs (“fellowships programs”) intended to support research on “clean technologies”. Two areas: renewable energy and energy efficiency. Both programs reflect the will of the Obama administration that intends to develop research and innovation – which it sees as essential to the economic engines of the United States – while ensuring the formation of a labor of and new work necessary for technological development.

“[These programs] will strengthen our economy and help us develop the next generation of scientists and engineers in the field of clean technologies.” says Steven Chu, energy secretary. “We need more young scientists who focus on cleaner energy solutions […]. It is the only way to ensure the United States its dominant position in the emerging clean tech economy. ”

The first of two programs, one for postdoctoral fellowships (“Postdoctoral Fellowship Program”), DOE plans to fund a score of postdocs with experience in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency, covering wide variety of subjects: energy efficiency in building and industry, vehicles, fuel cells, biomass, geothermal, solar and wind … Candidates selected by the program will be funded over two years. In addition to their work on a research project previously defined, the fellows will also spend 20% of their time in pursuit of a research project staff and innovative.

The beneficiaries of the second program (“SunShot Initiative Fellowships Program) will contribute to them about the research program” SunShot Initiativerecently established. The latter aims to bring down the cost of installing solar photovoltaic electricity by 75% to reach $1 per watt by 2017.

These two new programs will join those already funded by the DOE. In addition to several research programs general, the DoE also has programs with more targeted objectives. Like the scholarship program “SunShot”, the Agency for Advanced Research in Energy (ARPA-E) has, too, a scholarship program tailored to its business, that is to say Research in high-risk and high potential in energy . There is also a scholarship program in which the DoE finance graduates for their work in the field of hydropower (“Hydro Fellowship Program”). Finally, the GATE program (“Graduate Automotive Technology Education) funded centers of excellence within universities that allow students to do research in the automotive field. Among the areas covered include hybrid propulsion systems, biofuels, fuel cells and energy storage.

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