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DOE’s $3 million will support a national network of clean energy incubators

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $3 million to support clean energy businesses and entrepreneurs. This “National Incubator Initiative for Clean Energy” will help to provide critical support to help entrepreneurs commercialize their ideas and bring them to market more quickly.

Overseen by the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), these funds will be awarded to incubators across the country. In turn, this national incubator network will directly provide mentorship, business development, capital access, and manufacturing support to promising clean energy ideas. According to the announcement, this initiative will support this national network of clean energy incubators and early-stage companies through two primary channels:

1. National Organization: The DOE will fund a national organization to support the coordination of American clean energy-focused business incubators. This organization will serve as a central source of information about incubators, enable entrepreneurs to have easier access to clean energy incubators and services, and connect industry with innovative clean energy start-up companies.

2. Clean Energy Incubators: The Energy Department will fund up to five incubators to identify, develop, and implement best practices for top-performing, clean energy-focused incubators. These organizations will support early-stage companies as they scale to production and enhance our clean energy sector and manufacturing competitiveness.

Melissa C. Lott About the Author: An engineer and researcher who works at the intersection of energy, environment, technology, and policy. Follow on Twitter @mclott.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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  1. 1. Spironis 4:42 pm 01/15/2014

    A123 Batteries, Fisker automobiles, burning corn for fuel; Sanjay Wagle, Steven Spinner, Steve Westly, David Prend: $3.9 billion Federal Enviro-bucks disappeared like dew on a warm spring morning. We can rescue a tenebrous future (not for its occupants’s use!) by inflating massive immortal bureaucracies lubricated with pallets of $100 bills.

    To criticize is to volunteer. A hermetically isolated hard vacuum envelope contains two closely spaced but not touching, in-register and parallel, electrically conductive plates having micro-spiked inner surfaces. They are connected with a wire, perhaps containing a dissipative load (small motor). One plate has a large vacuum work function material inner surface (e.g., osmium at 5.93 eV). The other plate has a small vacuum work function material inner surface (e.g., n-doped diamond “carbon nitride” at 0.1 eV). Above 0 kelvin, spontaneous cold cathode emission runs the closed isolated system. Emitted electrons continuously fall down the 5.8 volt potential gradient. Evaporation from carbon nitride cools that plate. Accelerated collision onto osmium warms that plate. Round and round. The plates never come into thermal equilibrium when electrically shorted. The motor runs forever. I want $337 million to build a ten watt demonstration model.

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