This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

November 27, 2013

ARPA-E Offers $30 Million for Distributed Generation Technologies

The Department of Energy on November 25 announced up to $30 million in Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy (ARPA-E) funding for a new program focused on the development of transformational electrochemical technologies to enable low-cost distributed power generation. ARPA-E’s Reliable Electricity Based on ELectrochemical Systems (REBELS) program will develop fuel cell technology for distributed power generation to improve grid stability, increase energy security, and balance variable renewable technologies while reducing carbon dioxide emissions associated with current distributed generation systems.

Renewable generation technologies, such as solar and wind power, pose a fundamental challenge to centralized power generation due to due to variability in their power output. In addition, centralized generation frequently requires long transmission distances that result in power losses and leave lines susceptible to disruption during natural disasters. Many of these challenges can be mitigated through a distributed system, where power is generated in close proximity to the end-user. REBELS addresses these challenges by developing innovative, low-cost distributed generation technologies using electrochemical power generation that can also act as a storage device.

ARPA-E is encouraging outstanding scientists and engineers from different organizations, scientific disciplines, and technology sectors to form new project teams for REBELS applications and projects. ARPA-E believes that inter-disciplinary and cross-organizational collaborations can facilitate scientific and technological discoveries that a single group alone would not be able to achieve. See the Energy Department press release and the Funding Opportunity Announcement.