The U.S. Department of Energy will invest $75 million in the quest to create liquid transportation fuels through artificial photosynthesis.
The funding will renew the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), an Energy Innovation Hub established in the beginning of 2010. The hub, which is modeled after “the strong scientific management approaches typified by the Manhattan Project,” is one of several Energy Innovation Hubs established by the Department of Energy.
According to Under Secretary for Science and Energy Lynn Orr:
Basic scientific research supported by the Department of Energy is crucial to providing the foundation for innovative technologies and later-stage research to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. JCAP’s work to produce fuels from sunlight and carbon dioxide holds the promise of a potentially revolutionary technology that would put America on the path to a low-carbon economy.
This commitment of new funding comes on the heels of an announcement from the Government Accountability Office stating that the department’s $28 billion loan program will cost taxpayers $2.21 billion over the lifetime of the loans. The cost skyrocketed by $500 million after several companies defaulted on their loan guarantees.