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Saturday, March 6th, 2021

Bill addresses energy research, development

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Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) recently introduced a measure reauthorizing Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) funding, noting it advances high-potential, high-impact energy technologies in early development stages.

The ARPA-E Reauthorization Act would increase funding levels from $428 million in Fiscal Year 2020 to $750 million in Fiscal Year 2024 to fund more ARPA-E projects.

“ARPA-E provides crucial investments in cutting-edge energy research to develop innovative ways to address pressing environmental and national security challenges,” Van Hollen said. “This boost in funding is absolutely essential to ensure that America leads the world in the development of clean energy technologies, which will generate thousands of good-paying, home-grown jobs. Our current investments in clean energy research do not begin to match the urgency of the need to confront the rising damage caused by climate change. That’s why this legislation should be a priority.”

Alexander said earlier this year he proposed a New Manhattan Project for Clean Energy to create breakthroughs in advanced nuclear reactors, natural gas, carbon capture, better batteries, greener buildings, electric vehicles, and cheaper solar and fusion.

“This bill would put us on a path toward creating these breakthroughs by working towards doubling funding for ARPA-E’s high potential, high-impact research,” he said. “We must be careful not to lose the advantages we’ve gained through government-sponsored research. Building off of America COMPETES, which created ARPA-E, I look forward to working with Sen. Van Hollen and my colleagues to make sure researchers have support to maintain our nation’s global competitiveness.”