California, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] UC Santa Barbara’s Institute for Energy Efficiency will be home to one of 46 new multi-million-dollar Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) announced by the White House and reported on RenewableEnergyWorld.com yesterday. The UCSB EFRC is one of 16 to be funded by President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
It will receive a total of US $19.0 million over the five-year initial award period. The EFRCs, which will pursue advanced scientific research on energy, are being established by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science at universities, national laboratories, nonprofit organizations and private firms across the nation.
“The award of this center supports and strengthens the two core missions of the Institute for Energy Efficiency: creating new technologies for energy efficiency, and training a new generation of energy scientists and engineers,” said Professor John Bowers, director of UCSB’s EFRC. “We’re delighted by the recognition, and by the confidence shown by the DOE in the research leadership of our faculty and our partners.”
The objective of the center is to discover and develop materials that control the interactions between light, electricity and heat at the nanoscale, for significantly improved efficiencies in solar energy conversion, solid-state lighting, and thermoelectrics for conversion of heat into electricity. UCSB is also active in the energy efficiency space and will be hosting a summit on that topic later this month.
The 46 EFRCs, each to be funded in the range of $2-5 million per year for a planned initial five-year period, were selected from 260 applications received in response to a solicitation by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science in 2008. Selection was based on a rigorous merit review process by panels composed of scientific experts from outside the Department of Energy. Of the 46 EFRCs selected, 31 are led by universities, 12 by DOE National Laboratories, two by nonprofit organizations, and one by a corporate research laboratory.