Credit: Wagner Christian

Credit: Wagner Christian

The Obama administration continues to put money where its mouth is regarding energy innovation. And, they are doing it in a way that should prick up the ears of ceramic, glass and other advanced materials researchers and industry leaders.

DOE Secretary Chu today went to Golden to announce the allocation of nearly $200 million in new spending from the American Recovery and Reinvestment act.

The biggest beneficiary is the National Renewable Energy Lab, which is getting $100 million for “facility and infrastructure improvements” alone.

Another $93 million is being set aside for United States wind energy projects. Chu said, “Wind energy will be one of the most important contributors to meeting President Obama’s target of generating 10 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2012 . . . The projects funded by this opportunity will advance wind technology so that it can reliably supply a substantial portion of our nation’s electricity. They will also help in creating more new jobs and expanding a clean energy economy.”

Here is a breakdown on the wind energy funding:

Amount Target Detail
$45 million Turbine drivetrain R&D and testing Develop cost effective hardware for utility scale wind turbines with over a 20-year design life
$14 million Advanced materials Improve turbine blades, towers, and other components; better process controls for lamination, blade finishing, trimming, grind, painting, materials handling and inspection.
$24 million R&D Funding for three university-industry R&D consortia for advance material design, performance measurements, and analytical models; improve power systems operations, maintenance and repair; and component manufacturing.
$10 million National Wind Technology Center NREL project to provide support for wind industry, including testing services; installation of two utility-scale turbines for R&D purposes.

Here is the NREL facilities-improvement breakdown:

Amount Target Detail
$68 million Research Support Facility Goal is to create the nation’s most energy efficient (LEED Platinum) office building at prices competitive with current construction costs and achieve 50% energy use reduction; develop model design process
$19.2 million Renewable Energy and Site Infrastructure Install solar and potentially geothermal and fuel cells to replace power currently purchased from utilities.
$13.5 million Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility Develop commercial-scale cellulose-to-ethanol technologies

These are great things!