DOE Opens Clean Energy Facility, Announces New Grants

From Yahoo News

By Susan Graybeal

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Department of Energy’s Carbon Fiber Technology Facility in Oak Ridge, Tenn., was held this week, with Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson announcing plans for a new clean energy manufacturing initiative. Here are the details.

 

* The new Carbon Fiber Technology Facility is now open to U.S. manufacturers, the Department of Energy reported . The facility provides clean energy companies and researchers with a place to test the development of less expensive and better performing carbon fibers and manufacturing processes.

 

* The 42,000 square-foot facility was supported by a $35 million grant from the Department of Energy.

 

* Carbon fiber is a critical material for lightweight vehicles, wind turbines and other consumer and industrial products, the department stated. The hope is that carbon fiber will lower the cost and improve the performance of fuel-efficient vehicles, wind energy and energy storage components, electronics, power transmission, aerospace technologies and other items.

 

* According to the department, carbon composites could reduce the weight of a passenger car to 50 percent and improve fuel efficiency by about 35 percent without compromising performance or safety.

 

* The department announced that it has awarded more than $23 million in manufacturing research and development projects and has now released a $15 million funding opportunity via its new Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative to reduce the manufacturing costs of solar energy technology, including photovoltaics and concentrated solar and to demonstrate cost-competitive manufacturing technologies that can achieve commercial production within a few years.

 

* According to the department, more funds will be available in the coming months to provide energy productivity training and technical assistance for manufacturers, such as no-cost energy efficiency assessments.

 

* The Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative is intended to increase U.S. competitiveness in the production of clean energy products and in manufacturing across the board by increasing energy productivity.

 

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