Newswise — WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $125 million for basic research on rechargeable batteries to provide foundational knowledge needed to transform and decarbonize our energy system through the development and adoption of cost-effective and clean energy sources. The national, economic, and environmental security challenges will not be met solely by incremental improvements to existing clean energy technologies but instead will require transformational technologies founded on new fundamental knowledge and capabilities developed through basic scientific research.  

The ability to sustainably store electricity for future use is central to many modern technologies, from consumer electronics to electric vehicles. Currently, batteries such as lithium-ion and lead acid dominate the landscape, but they have technical limitations. The Energy Innovation Hub projects supported by this funding opportunity will accelerate discovery and scientific exploration of new battery chemistries, materials, and architectures for transformational energy storage technologies to be deployed in transportation and on the nation’s electricity grid.

“The Biden-Harris administration has set aggressive decarbonization goals to address the climate crisis. Electricity plays a central role in virtually all possible pathways to decarbonization of our economy and renewable sources of electricity are already transforming the way we generate and use energy,” said Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, DOE’s Director of the Office of Science. “But we need ways to better store the clean energy captured from solar and wind resources. The scientific discoveries and innovation from the Energy Innovation Hub program, in close coordination with DOE’s applied technology programs, will play a key role in ensuring that the US plays a leading role in transforming the way we store and use electricity.”

This FOA will support new awards in the Batteries and Energy Storage Energy Innovation Hub program to advance fundamental knowledge for the next generation of rechargeable batteries and related electrochemical energy storage beyond today’s commercialized batteries. Proposed efforts should assemble large teams to conduct coordinated, collaborative, synergistic, and highly interdisciplinary fundamental research to tackle scientific challenges for the next generation of batteries. Proposed research should address the highest scientific priorities in this area, build on advances and accomplishments in the published literature, and represent a world-leading scientific program when compared to relevant international research efforts. To strengthen the commitment to promoting a diversity of investigators and institutions supported by the DOE Office of Science, applications are explicitly encouraged that are led by or involve Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Applications are open to all accredited U.S. colleges and universities, national laboratories, nonprofits, and private sector companies. Total planned funding is up to $125 million over four years. 

A webinar will be held on this Funding Opportunity Announcement on February 8, 2023 at 3 pm EST. Register here.

The Funding Opportunity Announcement, sponsored by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences within the Department’s Office of Science, can be found here.