http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalcapit ... tionaries/
Starting today, the Department of Energy is accepting proposals for energy R&D projects that “disrupt the status quo. The Nation needs transformational energy-related technologies to overcome the threats posed by climate change and energy security, arising from its reliance on traditional uses of fossil fuels and the dominant use of oil in transportation.”
The DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, modelled on a successful Defense Department research scheme, is offering up to $20 million assistance to make moonshots reality. Small thinkers need not apply: “We are not looking for incremental progress on current technologies.”
The $400 million program is part of the Energy Department’s new emphasis on breakthrough technologies. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has repeatedly said that the U.S. needs “Nobel-level” breakthroughs in energy technology in order to tackle the twin challenges of energy security and climate change. Some naysayers figure all the emphasis on technological breakthroughs distracts from the task at hand—using existing technology to tackle the same challenges.