ASERTTI News

ASERTTI NEWS

Save the Date for the 2012 ASERTTI Fall Meeting – October 10-12 - Seattle, WA

Please mark your calendars for the 2012 ASERTTI Fall Meeting, hosted by the Washington State University Energy Program, October 10-12, 2012 in Seattle, Washington.  We hope you can join us for this two and a half day clean energy event. The agenda will include discussions and presentations addressing current research, site visits to industrial facilities, and networking with ASERTTI members and guests.  Agenda, lodging, and travel details will be posted on the ASERTTI website as they become available.  If you have any questions, please contact ASERTTI Executive Director, David Terry at dterry@asertti.org or 703-395-1076. 

California Energy Commission Awards More Than $15 Million to Advance Green Transportation

The California Energy Commission unanimously approved funding of more than $15 million to projects that will advance biofuels and electric vehicle research in California. By leveraging outside funding, some of these projects can attract additional investment in green technology and jobs.  These grants are provided through the Energy Commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. The program, created by Assembly Bill 118 (Núñez, Chapter 750, Statutes of 2007), provides approximately $100 million annually to encourage the development and use of new vehicle technologies and alternative and renewable fuels to help attain the state's climate change policies.

Governor Cuomo Announces $15 Million for Three "Proof of Concept" Centers to Connect Energy Innovators with Business Investors

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced $15 million for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to launch three "Proof of Concept" Centers across New York State to help inventors and scientists turn high-tech, clean-energy ideas into entrepreneurial successes.  The Proof-of-Concept Centers will invite universities, scientists, and research organizations to partner with business experts and early-stage investors in order to move technical innovations beyond the lab and into the market. At a time when New York is growing its clean-energy economy, the centers will invest in the world-class research taking place in the state, while helping bridge the gap between the maturing of an idea in a research environment and the creation of a successful business. 
 
NYSERDA will invest up to $15 million – $5 million per site over a five-year period, with cost-sharing required – to create the centers within an appropriate organization. The centers will accelerate the commercialization of innovations, particularly through the creation of new start-up companies, while connecting the developers of promising new technologies with business mentors and potential investors.  Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA, said, "There is a key gap at the proof-of-concept stage of product development. The goal of this program is to create an innovation ecosystem that helps turn promising cleantech business ideas into reality. By funding these new centers, New York State demonstrates its commitment to growing the clean-energy economy and its support of economic development through public-private partnerships."  Read the Proof-of-Concept initiative Program Opportunity Notice.

NATIONAL NEWS

DOE Announces Launch of Energy Innovation Hub for Critical Materials Research

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced plans to invest up to $120 million over five years to launch a new Energy Innovation Hub, establishing a multidisciplinary and sustained effort to identify problems and develop solutions across the lifecycle of critical materials. Rare earth elements and other critical materials have unique chemical and physical characteristics, including magnetic, catalytic, and luminescent properties that are important for a growing number of energy technologies. These critical materials are also at risk for supply disruptions. The Hub, funded by up to $20 million in Fiscal Year 2012, will work to advance U.S. leadership in energy manufacturing—such as electric vehicles, wind turbines, efficient lighting, and others—through research aimed both at having a reliable supply of these rare earths and other critical materials, as well as finding efficiencies and alternatives that reduce the amount we actually need.  The Critical Materials Hub builds on the Department's Critical Materials Strategy report, which addresses the use of rare earths and other critical materials in clean energy components, products, and processes.  Universities, national laboratories, nonprofit organizations, and private firms are eligible to compete and are encouraged to form partnerships when submitting their proposals. The award selection is expected this fall. The full Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is available.

Obama Administration Launches $26 Million Multi-Agency Competition to Strengthen Advanced Manufacturing Clusters Across the Nation

The Obama Administration announced a $26 million multi-agency Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge to foster innovation-fueled job creation through public-private partnerships. These coordinated investments will help catalyze and leverage private capital, build an entrepreneurial ecosystem, and promote cluster-based development in regions across the United States. This is the third round of the Jobs Accelerator competition, which is being funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); the U.S. Department of Energy; the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration; the Small Business Administration; and the National Science Foundation (NSF).  Approximately 12 projects are expected to be chosen through a competitive inter-agency grant process. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals that will help grow a region’s industry clusters by strengthening connections to regional economic development opportunities and advanced manufacturing assets; enhance a region’s capacity to create high-quality sustainable jobs; develop a skilled and diverse advanced manufacturing workforce; increase exports; encourage the development of small businesses; and accelerate technological innovation.  The deadline for applications is July 9, 2012, and guidelines for submissions are accessible here.

DOE Announces Interagency Committee to Increase Use of Clean Energy Technologies in Federal Facilities

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a new interagency advisory committee to accelerate deployment of innovative products and technologies in the federal sector. The Senior Executive Committee for Technology Deployment, a subcommittee of the Interagency Technology Deployment Working Group, brings together leaders of technology deployment programs from across the federal government to implement the Obama Administration's comprehensive strategy to reduce energy costs in agency facilities, while boosting American competitiveness in the global clean energy race.
 
The Senior Executive Committee features founding representatives from DOE, General Services Administration, and the Department of Defense, including the Army and Navy, and is expected to grow. The committee will support the transition of energy efficient technologies from research and development to successful commercialization by developing consistent processes to test and evaluate innovative and underutilized technologies, and share information on technology performance and economic value agency-wide. The committee's activities will be coordinated agency-wide by DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP).

U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Hearing on the Government's Role in Energy Innovation

The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on May 22 to receive testimony on the report produced by the American Energy Innovation Council titled "Catalyzing American Ingenuity: The Role of Government in Energy Innovation."  In Chairman Bingaman’s opening statement, the Senator acknowledged the “long record of commercial success that the business leaders of the Council have demonstrated through building technology companies that compete in the global marketplace and they make a strong case in that report that, with the government as a partner, the United States can continue to lead in the clean energy sector.”  He went on to say that “the only losers in the clean energy technology race will be those that fail to participate,” and concluded with accolades to witnesses testifying saying that they, “have given a great deal of thought to what leads to success in developing new technologies.  I look forward to hearing about their conclusions and what we can do here to put our American entrepreneurs in the best position to succeed in this vital area.” 
 
In ranking member U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s remarks, she said “I think most would agree that it’s time for us to renew a coherent, long-term approach to energy development – truly an “all of the above” approach. Innovation will be right at the core of that strategy, and I believe it’s one of the few areas where the government can and should provide greater funding.”  She went on to say, "At the same time, I’m aware that even if we do decide to spend more on energy innovation, we will have to make some truly difficult decisions about the amount and duration of spending as well as what our priorities are for it.” 
 
Witness testimonies included: Mr. Norman R. Augustine, Retired Chairman & CEO, Lockheed Martin Corp.; Mr. Ethan Zindler, Head of Policy Analysis, Bloomberg New Energy Finance; and Mr. Jesse Jenkins, Director of Energy and Climate Policy, Breakthrough Institute.

U.S. Solar Tariffs on Chinese Cells May Boost Prices
Bloomberg

The U.S. recently imposed tariffs of as much as 250 percent on Chinese-made solar cells to aid domestic manufacturers beset by foreign competition, though critics said the decision may end up raising prices and hurting the U.S. renewable energy industry.  The U.S. Commerce Department ruled that Chinese manufacturers sold cells in the U.S. at prices below the cost of production and announced preliminary antidumping duties ranging from 31 percent to 250 percent, depending on the manufacturer.  The decision is meant to provide a boost to the U.S. solar manufacturing industry, where four companies filed for bankruptcy in the past year. The tariffs will probably inflame trade tensions and drive up prices for solar projects in the U.S., according to Shyam Mehta, an analyst with GTM Research in Boston. The duties may prompt Chinese companies to shift production to other countries to evade the duties.  The Commerce Department sided with companies including the U.S. unit of SolarWorld AG (SWV), which had argued that Chinese companies benefit from government subsidies, allowing them to sell solar products below cost.

EVENTS

SunShot Grand Challenge Event
June 13–14, 2012 – Denver, CO

Save the Date: Commercial ZNE Annual Workshop for Champions and Interested Stakeholders
June 19, 2012 - San Francisco, California

Biomass 2012: Confronting Challenges, Creating Opportunities – Sustaining a Commitment to Bioenergy
July 10-11, 2012 – Washington, D.C.

BlueGreen Alliance Foundation Manufacturing Conference
Making It Here 2012: Manufacturing Our Energy Future
July 11-12, 2012 – Cleveland, Ohio

Energy Services Coalition’s Market Transformation Conference
August 23-24, 2012 – Nashville, Tennessee

2012 ASERTTI Fall Meeting
October 10-12 - Seattle, WA