Energy Department invests $17 million in development of clean energy

Building on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to continue U.S. leadership in clean energy innovation, the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy today awarded $17 million in Small Business Innovation Research projects to help small businesses in 13 states develop prototype technologies that could improve manufacturing energy efficiency, reduce the cost of installing clean energy projects, and generate electricity from renewable energy sources. 

Can new smart windows or windmills help cut the cost of lighting and heating? The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) hopes so. According to the DOE, lighting and heating buildings accounts for nearly 20 percent of U.S. annual energy consumption. To combat this, the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has awarded $17 million to small businesses in 13 states for the development of prototype technologies ranging from wind turbine blades to “smart” windows, with each project taking a different angle at the behemoth that is energy consumption. One of the 17 projects that received money — out of the nearly 1,000 submitted — is the development of “smart” windows by Heliotrope, the Berkeley, Calif.-based electrochromic design company profiled by VentureBeat last August.

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