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Environment

Energy Tech Review Spotlights Materials

Grants & Funding: Computational chemist to lead agency division

by Jessica Morrison
September 21, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 37

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Credit: Shutterstock
Research opportunities in the critical materials field include permanent magnets for wind turbines, the Energy Department says.
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Credit: Shutterstock
Research opportunities in the critical materials field include permanent magnets for wind turbines, the Energy Department says.

The performance and cost of nearly all new energy technologies are influenced by advances in materials modeling and characterization, says a federal report released this month. In its second Quadrennial Technology Review, the Department of Energy presented an overview of clean energy technologies and identified research opportunities that might modernize the industry overall. These include R&D activities on critical materials that affect the power and transportation sectors such as permanent magnets for wind turbines and electric vehicles and phosphors for lighting. The desire to characterize and control matter at the atomic, nano-, and mesoscales for use in material synthesis or fabrication is relevant to the six sectors in the report—the electricity grid, power, buildings, manufacturing, fuels, and transportation. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says, “The Quadrennial Technology Review is intended to serve as a blueprint for the Energy Department, its national laboratories and the public and private sectors as we all work toward additional future technology breakthroughs that can help to mitigate the risks of climate change, modernize our energy infrastructure, and enhance our energy security.”

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