The Biden-Harris Administration has initiated their innovation effort to tackle the climate crisis, and has announced the launch of a new research working group, an outline of their innovation agenda, and a new $100 million funding opportunity through ARPA-E. At the FIA, we think that fusion needs to be a key aspect of this new ambitious agenda!
A new Climate Innovation Working Group is being created as a part of the National Climate Task Force, which will help coordinate and strengthen government-wide efforts to foster game-changing technologies that can help America achieve a net-zero economy by 2050. Outlined in the innovation agenda are key planks needed to reach this goal, some of which fusion energy can help achieve. These include carbon-free heat for industrial processes and carbon-free hydrogen, along with carbon-free electricity of course.
In addition, an important opportunity for FIA Member Companies is the ARPA-E OPEN 2021 funding program. Along with its focused funding opportunities, such as the ALPHA or BETHE programs, every three years ARPA-E issues an OPEN Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to identify projects that address a wide range of energy-related issues in order to support potentially disruptive and transformational new technologies. For their OPEN 2018 program, FIA Member Companies Zap Energy, CTFusion, and Princeton Fusion Systems all received a significant amount of funding. Concept papers are due by April 6, 2021, and we urge all U.S.-based FIA members to apply!
The FIA is encouraged by the White House’s new focus on addressing climate change, as this is one of the greatest challenges facing our generation. Fusion offers a pathway to virtually limitless, highly dispatchable, clean energy production, and it should be considered as an important aspect of the Biden Administration’s agenda.